Wildcat Helicopter Carrying FASGW Missiles

Both flavours of FASGW

Computer generated image of the Royal Navy’s Wildcat attack helicopter, fitted with next generation precision missiles.

The Royal Navy’s new Wildcat attack helicopters are to be fitted with next generation precision missiles thanks to a £90 million contract with a British defence company that will sustain 300 UK jobs.

Future Anti-Surface Guided Weapon (Heavy) (FASGW(H)) and FASGW (Light) missiles will be integrated, tested and installed onto 28 Wildcat helicopters by 2020. Capable of targeting small boats, fast attack craft and targets on land, each airframe is able to carry up to twenty missiles.

The FASGW programme has protected over 300 jobs across the United Kingdom will sustain a number of additional jobs at AgustaWestland in Yeovil, Somerset, which employs over 3,000 people.

An initial £500 million investment into the highly advanced anti-ship missiles was the first new collaborative equipment project to follow the Anglo-French summit which took place at RAF Brize Norton in January.

Wildcat helicopter with FAGHWH and FASGWL Missiles
Wildcat helicopter with FAGHWH and FASGWL Missiles
Wildcat helicopter with FAGHW(H) and FASGW(L) Missiles
Wildcat helicopter with FAGHW(H) and FASGW(L) Missiles
Wildcat helicopter with FAGHW(H) and FASGW(L) Missiles
Wildcat helicopter with FAGHW(H) and FASGW(L) Missiles

 

 

READ MORE ABOUT UK COMPLEX WEAPONS

UK Complex (Guided) Weapons – Reference

 

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Challenger
Challenger
September 17, 2014 4:58 pm

Important to get right if one considers it may be the ONLY anti-ship missile in the RN’s armory by 2018 (at least temporarily).

Of course if we didn’t persist with the culture of cutting corners and ‘gapping’ capability after capability then we would be doing things properly with FASGW (H), air-launched NSM and a ship-launched system to replace Harpoon.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
September 17, 2014 5:10 pm

20 missiles is a good loadout
… for a lone ranger ship, there is only one helo, though

RE “air-launched NSM and a ship-launched system to replace Harpoon”
JSM for airlaunch… I think it will also come in the upgrade-to-NSM ship-launch flavour? J for Joint and N for ?…

xbradtc
xbradtc
September 17, 2014 6:53 pm

Is there any particular reason the RN doesn’t just fit Dual Mode Brimstone to the Wildcat?

The Other Chris
September 17, 2014 7:26 pm

Why would the Army need Apache if Wildcat could carry Brimstone, CRV7, LMM and potentially a THL-20mm under the chin?

Mr Mxyzptlk
Mr Mxyzptlk
September 17, 2014 11:31 pm

Anybody know what the FASGW(H) is in these photos? I am a bit out of touch on this but last I heard it was a variant of the Sea Skua with an IR seeker, and this is what previous CG images have shown Wildcats carrying: http://defesaglobal.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/aw159-10b.jpg . Is the missile in this photos a totally new weapon, based on something else, or just a placeholder until they sort out what they are doing?

Tom
Tom
September 18, 2014 1:53 am

I find it sad that most modern procurement announcements are reduced to referring to subsidiaries of US/German/French/Italian enterprises as “British companies”.

The Other Chris
September 18, 2014 6:13 am

@Mr Mxyzptlk

It’s the Brimstone approach. Based on Sea Skua to make introduction to service easier (weight, fit, storage, etc).

Think its keeping the semi-active radar and adding the IR seeker. New motor to double the range, new datalink, smarter warhead.

MBDA are modularising all the components as well.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
September 18, 2014 6:43 am

On the original image I count 16, and can see no way how that could be increazed.

So, the quoted 20 must be a mix of (L) only, all the heavies left behind?

Tom
Tom
September 18, 2014 7:10 am

xbradtc – FASGW(H) is a size bigger than Brimestone and specifically designed to go up against proper War Canoes.

Slightly Agricultural
Slightly Agricultural
September 18, 2014 3:04 pm

– I assume the 20 figure is for FASGW(L)/LMM as the latest pictures are all racks of 5 per hardpoint (older ones show 7).

The only new thing I see in these renders is the stores…wing…bits-the-bombs-go-on…thing (I am not a flying things person). Not seen that conformal curved design before.

Still think its a shame there are no plans to put the M230 cannon from the Apache in a pod (more for the AAC), a la Blackhawk DAP;
http://2005.uploaded.fresh.co.il/2005/10/19/12604499.jpg
Looks like that wing would get in the way of feeding ammunition from the cabin. Oh well, never would have caught on anyway, need to protect the Apaches…

10+2 missiles is still a pretty large amount of bang for one platform though.

Observer
Observer
September 18, 2014 3:20 pm

SA, don’t the RAF already have the ADEN gun pod?

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
September 18, 2014 4:08 pm

Observer, that is a good question… Where are they?

Reminds me of the fact that no renders of any form have been shown for the 8 of the Wildcats that willl become light attack (LAH? Then, certainly not AH).

The Other Chris
September 18, 2014 5:13 pm

I don’t think They are meant to talk about those ones much.

Slightly Agricultural
Slightly Agricultural
September 19, 2014 8:33 am

@Observer – indeed a good question. Can’t seem to find a mention of them, so I suspect they went out with the Sea Harriers unless the Navy hoarded them somewhere (maybe they went to the USMC?). The other reason I put M230 in my fantasy fit is for commonality with Apache, which is helpful in all sorts of ways.

– the only mention I can see for ‘LAH’ are for Light Assault Helo;
http://ukarmedforcescommentary.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/the-evolving-budget-situation.html (fair bit down)

which would match what they did with the old Lynx. I’d question how useful hanging a single .50″ off one side really is, but I guess that is very dependant on what you’re trying to do with it. If it’s fast-roping blokes onto something then probably a lot more useful than forward-facing gun pods. Organic CAS…meh…probably not so much. It bugs me because I see it as such a wasted opportunity. The technology is more than capable, it’s just the funding for integration & training…

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
September 19, 2014 9:26 am

@SA, the old Lynxes were needed (to be upgraded) for hot & high convoy escort duties and securing areas during and around troop set-down by Chinooks. My interpretation, not written anywhere, but evidenced by how quickly they were written off after that need expired?

I was being satirical about the LAH designation (I thought I made jt up) so as to having AHs (also into the future) not to preempt also having a little bit of fire power than can lillypad on a frigate, in support of , say, a limited RM op on a company scale. Or even smaller, with SF. Having such asset(s) in an area nicely hidden… Until thay are needed, they can stay in the hangar, just showing the tail rotor, from which the version would not be identifiable.

The Other Chris
September 19, 2014 10:13 am

Type 45 can host a pair of Wildcat’s, with requirements for Type 26 to do the same.

No reason why an armed Wildcat couldn’t accompany an AH Wildcat if operating from a ship.

Still think the question of replacing Apache with sixty-odd armed Wildcat must be considered in-depth even if later rejected.

At the very least the savings made can be transferred towards a very serious Puma replacement, even a Gucci solution such as chipping in with V-280 Valor purchase, M/CV-22 Osprey’s or similar.

Remember we’re about to get a lot of exposure to the USAF CV-22’s based at RAF Mildenhall through the NATO Spearhead formation.

Would Apache be that much more capable (or even more capable?) than an equivalently developed Wildcat at cheaper cost? Currently possible are Brimstone II, LMM, CVR7, FASGW(H) used in land-attack mode, EO turret, AESA, Longbow/Bowman cards and gun pods. It’s cheaper to build and operate. Same crew, can go places and be operated from platforms that Apache can’t. Higher performance.

For the future? Wescam turrets can be upgraded further to combine smaller SAR/AESA with EO/IR/T, addition of an AAM (or facilitate LMM), chin turret with a 20mm cannon could be fitted in place of the SeaSpray, the platform can support uprated and heavier engines with its uprated transmission and fuselage over Lynx, plenty of space and capacity for added kit.

Also note that the Wildcat systems are being used on the RWUAS CCD (an S-4 Solo) leading into TMUAS, which will likely mean optionally manned Wildcats ultimately on the table.

Anyway, for eye candy, here’s a T45 hangar with a pair of Lynx (HMA.8’s?):

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Y-aNQ4JW8sw/UBAIjaxRuRI/AAAAAAAABMY/qe08oxh0IuM/s1600/2+Lynx+in+Type+45+hangar.jpg

Beno
Beno
September 19, 2014 2:35 pm

Wildcat and Apache are totally different rolls.
You wouldn’t see an Apache making a dent in a frigate. Wildcats will more than dent !
Lynx has made pretty much all our “ship to ship kills” (ASuW) since during the Falkland’s, and that is quite a few.
Brimstone and SeaBrimstone are great missiles, but from an anti-tank lineage, LMM has an anti-air component Brimstone can’t match. And can target “plastic” Rhibs and personnel when brimstones millimetre radar can’t.
On another note, I’m likening the upgraded mounts, the little wings, goes nicely with the larger tail stabilizer of the wildcat.
Beno