Royal Navy boost destroyer’s lethality with new Sea Ceptor missiles

MBDA has been awarded a number of contracts to significantly upgrade the air and missile defence capabilities of the Royal Navy’s six Type 45 destroyers, said British MoD in a statement.

The work will see CAMM (Common Anti-air Modular Missile) paired with an upgraded Sea Viper command and control (C2) system for the first time. CAMM offers both world-leading close-in and local-area air defence, and will complement Aster 30, strengthening the anti-air defence capability of the Royal Navy.

Fitting CAMM onto the Type 45s will give the destroyers a 50% increase in the number of its air defence missiles. Installation will be via 24 additional launcher cells, and the Sea Viper C2 will get a technology upgrade, giving it a major increase in processing power.

Sea Ceptor Missiles. Source MBDA Systems.

The existing 48 Sylver cells on the Type 45 will now be solely for the longer-range Aster 30 missile, which is also subject to a recently announced mid-life refresh. This will see the missile remain in service throughout the life of the Type 45s.

CAMM has already been delivered to both the British Army and the Royal Navy, where it is the interceptor in both ground-based air defence (GBAD) and naval-based air defence (NBAD) systems, enabling these services to equip missiles from a shared stockpile.

In service on upgraded Royal Navy Type 23 frigates, CAMM will also be fitted to Type 26 and Type 31 in the future. The CAMM family has proven a rapid success with international customers, with Canada and Brazil among the new users ordering the missile this year.

A statement on Tuesday said the Common Anti-Air Modular Missile program, known as CAMM or Sea Ceptor, will be integrated into weapons systems of Britain’s six Type 45 destroyers.

Additionally, long-range Aster 30 missiles will be purchased from defense contractor Eurosam to equip each of the Royal Navy’s six Type 45 vessels with 72 missiles.

The ships, comparable to the U.S. Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class destroyers in length, displacement and purpose, will receive 24-missile CAMM silos, to accompany 48-missile silos for the Aster missiles.

“The introduction of the U.K.-produced CAMM missile in conjunction with the current Aster 30 missile will provide the Type 45 with a significant uplift in anti-air capability into the future as the Type 45 delivers the backbone of air defense to the Royal Navy’s Carrier Strike Group,” Defense Equipment and Support chief Sir Simon Bollom said in a press release.

The MBDA UK contract runs for 11 years, and the Eurosam contract for 10 years, with the upgrade in firepower comes at a cost of $689 million.

A statement known as the Defense Command Paper 2021, released by the British government in November 2020, said the Defense Ministry will see an increase in spending of over $33 billion over the next four years.

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