The U.K. Royal Navy has placed an order for MBDA-manufactured Sea Ceptor missiles to be armed on its Type-31 frigates.
The new contract includes integration of Sea Ceptor with the Type 31’s systems, along with delivery and installation of ship hardware for the Type 31 programme. Designed and made in the U.K., the contract forms part of the Portfolio Management Agreement (PMA), a partnership initiated in 2010 between the U.K. MoD and MBDA on sovereign complex weapons design and production.
Sea Ceptor is currently in service on the Royal Navy’s Type 23 frigates, and will also protect the new Type 26 frigates. The U.K. Ministry of Defence maintains a common stockpile of CAMM missiles for both the Royal Navy and British Army.
The missile provides complete protection against multiple air targets simultaneously. It utilises the Common Anti-air Modular Missile (CAMM) that features a fully active RF-seeker, two-way datalink and soft-vertical launch system. The weapon system has the capability to intercept and thereby neutralise the full range of current and future threats including combat aircraft and the new generation of supersonic anti-ship missiles. Capable of multiple channels of fire, the system will also counter saturation attacks.
The weapon system can be easily retrofitted into a wide range of platforms, ranging from 50m OPVs to frigates and destroyers. Two main features provide this flexibility. Firstly, the use of “soft-launch” weapon technology for a highly scaleable and compact launch system that can easily be installed in a number of locations. Secondly, Sea Ceptor can be targeted from the ship’s existing surveillance radar sensors and therefore does not require dedicated fire control radars.
Sea Ceptor will operate from the SYLVER and Mk41 launchers using a quad-pack configuration, various flexible canister configurations are also available. The Soft Vertical Launch technology reduces system mass and eases installation.