UK Ministry of Defense has awarded $125 million to MBDA for the advanced Sea Ceptor air defense missile system to be fitted to each of the new Type 26 ships.
Using innovations in radar and datalink technology that will guide these powerful missiles with pinpoint accuracy, Sea Ceptor will provide the Royal Navy with a shield against airborne threats such as the new generation of supersonic anti-ship missiles, fast jets, helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles, the MoD said in a statement Friday.
The new Demonstration and Manufacture phase contract will support additional design work and allow equipment to be manufactured to equip the entire Type 26 fleet.
The work will sustain around 85 jobs, including 55 at MBDA’s sites in Bristol, Stevenage and Lostock and 30 across the UK supply chain. Companies on the supply chain include Babcock in Leicester, Churrock Engineering in Chelmsford, Quadrant in Todmorden, API in Milton Keynes, Meggitt in Stevenage and Aish in Poole.
MBDA is actively pursuing export opportunities for Sea Ceptor. The system has already been selected by the Royal New Zealand Navy for use on board their Anzac class frigates, with considerable potential for additional overseas orders in the future.
Minister for Defence Procurement Harriett Baldwin said, “Sea Ceptor will ensure the Royal Navy’s Type 26 Global Combat Ships are protected as they, in turn, protect the UK and her interests, keeping our nuclear deterrent submarines and the UK’s two new Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers safe on operations around the globe.”
Supported by our rising Defence budget and our £178 billion equipment fund, Sea Ceptor is yet another example of how the MOD investing in cutting-edge kit to help our Armed Forces meet future threats.
Sea Ceptor is also planned for use on board the Royal Navy’s current fleet of Type 23 frigates, which will eventually be replaced by Type 26, with three vessels currently being fitted with the system to allow sea trials throughout 2017.
The system offers significant improvements over previous air defence systems, such as Sea Wolf, with the ability to engage multiple targets more effectively at a longer range.
Sea Ceptor is due to enter service on Type 26 in the mid-2020s, and on Type 23 in 2017.