The Thales lightweight multirole missile (LMM) has been fired from a JACKAL aerial drone for the first time.
Sponsored by the UK Royal Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office, the test was part of an initiative to explore unmanned air combat advancements.
Within six weeks of launch, the project produced two operational JACKAL drones and demonstrated two LMM live fires.
Thales and JACKAL developer Flyby Technology are working with Turkish unmanned solutions providers FlyBVLOS Technology and Maxwell Innovations on the effort.
“Given the impressively short time scale it took the team to deliver the initial trial, it’s clear that Flyby could have an exciting future in this sector, and the partnering and support from Thales was outstanding in lowering the barriers to entry for innovative start-ups,” Rapid Capabilities Office Head Air Cdre. Jez Holmes said.
Flyby’s JACKAL Drone
The JACKAL is a vertical take-off and landing vehicle capable of close air support and battlefield air interdiction operations.
The drone can engage in-flight helicopters and tanks. It can also protect airfields and roadways against adversaries.
The JACKAL can deploy from vulnerable runways and remote sites such as woods and built-up camps.
“War is about winning, and JACKAL is designed by war fighters for that ultimate aim,” Flyby Technology CEO Jon Parker stated.
“The future of warfare is changing and JACKAL is part of that future as a true multi-role attack aircraft. We want to make JACKAL a flagship product, creating secure UK jobs and contributing to a new future for the British aerospace and defence industries.”
The LMM is a precision strike multirole missile designated for tactical missions on land, sea, and air.
The weapon can intercept targets such as armored vehicles, fast inshore attack vessels, and autonomous airborne systems. Its warhead consists of blast fragmentation and sharped charge effects for effective threat neutralization.
In the UK Royal Navy, the LMM is operated as the Martlet lightweight missile.
“One of the unique selling points of LMM is its ability to be integrated onto multiple platforms… to address different threats,” Thales Northern Ireland Managing Director Philip McBride explained.