Thales said qualification testing will take place during 2012 with production starting at the end of the year. Deliveries are scheduled to start the following year and the missiles will first enter service with the British forces flying the new Wildcat Lynx helicopter.
Specific activities covered under the Ministry of Defense contract include the design, development and qualification of the laser beam rider version of the LMM, together with production of an initial quantity of 1,000 missiles.
The LMM is a low-cost, lightweight missile designed for launch from a variety of air, sea and land platforms against a wide range of threats. Development of the missile began in 2008.
The LMM has a maximum range of 6,000-8,000 yards and features multi-mode guidance, a laser beam-riding and/or semi-active laser and modular warhead options.