The Royal Navy has tested a new missile system to protect aircraft carriers from attacks from swarms of enemy small boats.
During the live fire exercise, the missile would have detached from the Wildcat Mk2 helicopter in just 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 the 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 ships since a Wildcat helicopter can carry 20 laser sensor missiles.
Earlier this month, the British Carrier Strike Group 21 (CSG21) participated in an exercise with two U.S. carrier strike groups and a Japanese high-deck warship in the waters off southeastern Okinawa, Japan.
Aimed at improving the tactical skills and interoperability of the participating navies, the exercise consisted of anti-submarine warfare, air defense warfare, tactical movement and communication training.
The UK has sent some of its most advanced ships to exercise, including the aircraft carrier Queen Elizabeth (R08), destroyer HMS Defender (D36), frigate HMS Kent (F78) and tankers RFA Fort Victoria (A387) and RFA Tidespring (A136).