MBDA announced, early September, that HMS Argyll had successfully completed the first firings of the Sea Ceptor System as part of the Royal Navy’s (RN) Type 23 frigates life-extension programme it is currently undergoing.
Minister for Defence Procurement Harriett Baldwin said: “Sea Ceptor will protect our interests against threats both known and unknown. It will launch from the Royal Navy’s new Type 26 frigates as they keep our nuclear deterrent submarines and the UK’s two new aircraft carriers safe on operations around the globe.”
Designed and manufactured by MBDA, the Sea Ceptor is a ship-based, all weather, air defence weapon system based on the Common Anti-air Modular Missile (CAMM). Faster, with a longer range, a two-way data link and an active radar seeker, the Sea Ceptor will replace the Sea Wolf on the Type 23 frigates.
The active radar seeker and data link remove the need to use a dedicated fire control radar on which a semi-active system depends, making the new system cheaper, lighter and much easier to integrate, as well as capable of intercepting more targets simultaneously across 360°. Moreover, the missile’s clean aerodynamic design improves its performance in the air, while the use of an innovative soft vertical launch system, from the SYLVER and Mk41 launchers using a quad-pack configuration, reduces the impact of a traditional “hot launch” missile on both the ship and the crew, as well as reducing system mass and easing installation.
The Sea Ceptor will also be fitted onto the RN’s future Type 26 frigates, and is also the modern air defence weapon of choice for Royal New Zealand Navy's ‘ANZAC’ Frigate as well as the Brazilian Navy ‘Tamandaré’ class corvettes.
Dr. Alix Valenti