UK Royal Marines have successfully tested the laser-guided Lightweight Multirole Missile (LMM) missile system, using it to shoot down a Banshee target drone.

The marines targeted drones launched from a platform offshore Plymouth and managed to successfully hit the target first time, despite Banshee drones being designed to be missed and re-used multiple times.

Officer Commanding of Air Defence Troop Captain James O’Rourke said of LMM: “It gives us more utility across the battlefield and gives the brigade a different option.”

Manufactured by Thales Air Defence, the laser-guided missile is capable of being launched from a shoulder mounted platform and can be targeted using a joystick. It has a maximum range of 6km but travels at a significantly slower speed than the HVM to give the missile greater accuracy.

O’Rourke said: “It means we can start enabling attacks on targets that won’t be able to see us. It’s got a laser beam system as well and it’s a passive system so we won’t be spotted by the enemy when we pull the trigger.”

The LMM can be launched from a tripod or mounted onto vehicles, ships and rotorcraft for bolstered anti-air capabilities.

LMM is designed to replace the High Velocity Missile (HVM) currently used by the Royal Marines and Royal Artillery. The HVM has been in use with the British Armed Forces since 1997 and was deployed on roofs of tower blocks to protect the London Olympics.