MBDA's Sea Ceptor missile system has officially entered service with the Royal Navy, where it will protect the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carriers against airborne threats.
MBDA's Sea Ceptor missile system has officially entered service with the Royal Navy.
Sea Ceptor — which will protect the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carriers against airborne threats, including hostile combat jets, helicopters and other missiles — has been developed and manufactured through UK Ministry of Defence contracts worth around £850m.
It will be carried by the Royal Navy’s Type 23 frigates, and has been successfully demonstrated through a trials and test firing campaign that started last year. Most recently, Plymouth-based HMS Montrose became the third ship to test fire the system.
UK Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said HMS Argyll would be the first ship to deploy with the system when she heads to support peace and security in the Asia-Pacific region later this year.
The announcement, made at the RUSI Sea Power Conference in London, follows detailed analysis of data gathered during the first of class firing trials by HMS Argyll, which took place last year. HMS Westminster and HMS Montrose, the second and third ships to be fitted with Sea Ceptor, have since also carried out successful firings.
Sea Ceptor has been designed and manufactured as part of the Team Complex Weapons partnering agreement between MOD and MBDA. The first firings of Sea Ceptor were conducted from HMS Argyll at the Hebrides range off the coast of Scotland and saw the system tested against a range of complex scenarios – including engaging multiple targets at once.
Recently, HMS Montrose took part in the third test firing of the system and successfully intercepted a fast-moving drone target.
Sea Ceptor’s missile is called CAMM (Common Anti-air Modular Missile), featuring a rocket motor that provides double the range of Sea Wolf and an active radar-seeker that allows the missile to engage targets without the need for complex target illuminators.
As part of the Portfolio system of co-operation between the UK Ministry of Defence and MBDA, CAMM is also being brought into service as the weapon element of the Land Ceptor system to replace the British Army’s Rapier ground-based air defence systems.