The Royal Navy has tested a new missile system to protect aircraft carriers from attacks by swarms of small enemy boats.
During the live-fire exercise, the missile reportedly detached from the Wildcat Mk2 helicopter in only 0.3 seconds. It then accelerated to one and a half times the speed of sound and struck a large floating target in the Pacific Ocean.
According to Air Wing Commander Capt. James Blackmore, the new missile system can provide the navy with both offensive and defensive capabilities against maritime targets that threaten the Carrier Strike Group.
The weapon system adds another layer of protection against enemy boats since a Wildcat helicopter can carry 20 laser-sensor missiles.
Earlier this month, the UK Carrier Strike Group 21 (CSG21) participated in a drill with two US carrier strike groups and a Japanese big-deck warship in the waters off the southeast of Okinawa, Japan.
Aimed at enhancing the tactical skills and interoperability of the participating navies, the drill consisted of anti-submarine warfare, air defense warfare, tactical movement, and communications training.
The UK sent some of its most advanced ships to the exercise, including the carrier Queen Elizabeth (R08), destroyer HMS Defender (D36), frigate HMS Kent (F78), and replenishment ships RFA Fort Victoria (A387) and RFA Tidespring (A136).