Ever since the development of the missile, most of the test launches of the missile have been conducted at Vidsel in Sweden. The first test was conducted on 21st November 2010, while the second test took place on 13th May 2011. This month’s tests will be the third test launch of the missile.
Although the British Army had intended to use the missile against the pro-Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan, the officials have postponed the plan due to some technical and political issues. As of now, the army is not using the missile for any of its overseas deployments.
Weighing less than 500 pounds, the Surface launched missile is capable of striking targets up to a range of 60 miles. It has the ability to loiter in mid-air for as much as 6 hours, before deciding to take out a target. Apart from the Army, the Royal Navy is also trying to incorporate the missile in to its Type 45 destroyers.
One of the major advantages of the missile is that it is cheaper and much more affordable, when compared to the other missiles of its genre. The missile was especially developed for the British Army’s Team Complex Weapons initiative by the European missile manufacturer MBDA.
Apart from the Fire Shadow, the company has developed dozens of other missiles, such as the MBDA Aster and the MBDA Mistral. MBDA is a consortium of three European defence firms – BAE Systems, Finmeccanica and the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS).