New Sea Ceptor missiles to be developed for Royal Navy

The MOD has con­firmed the devel­op­ment of a new Roy­al Navy mis­sile defence sys­tem which will be able to inter­cept and destroy ene­my mis­siles trav­el­ling at super­son­ic speeds.

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A com­put­er-gen­er­at­ed image of the new Sea Cep­tor mis­sile for use by the Roy­al Navy [Pic­ture: Copy­right MBDA Systems/MOD 2012]
Source: Min­istry of Defence, UK
Click to enlarge
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A com­put­er-gen­er­at­ed image of the new Sea Cep­tor mis­sile for use by the Roy­al Navy [Pic­ture: Copy­right MBDA Systems/MOD 2012]
Source: Min­istry of Defence, UK
Click to enlarge

The £483m con­tract to devel­op this cut­ting-edge air defence sys­tem — known as Sea Cep­tor — is being award­ed to UK indus­try.

The sys­tem uses a new UK-devel­oped mis­sile capa­ble of reach­ing speeds of up to Mach 3 and will have the abil­i­ty to deal with mul­ti­ple tar­gets simul­ta­ne­ous­ly, pro­tect­ing an area of around 500 square miles (1,300 square kilo­me­tres) over land or sea.

Sea Cep­tor will be devel­oped under a demon­stra­tion con­tract with MBDA (UK) that is expect­ed to last for five years.

This con­tract will sus­tain around 500 jobs in MBDA and its sup­ply chain in key loca­tions across the UK such as Steve­nage, Fil­ton and Lostock.

Min­is­ter for Defence Equip­ment, Sup­port and Tech­nol­o­gy Peter Luff said:

“The devel­op­ment of this mis­sile sys­tem is a huge boost to the UK’s world-lead­ing mis­sile indus­try and once again proves our com­mit­ment to pro­vid­ing bat­tle-win­ning tech­nol­o­gy for our Armed Forces.

“The intro­duc­tion of this cut­ting-edge mis­sile sys­tem will not only ensure that the Roy­al Navy will be able to con­tin­ue pro­tect­ing our inter­ests wher­ev­er they may be, but is also high­ly sig­nif­i­cant in sus­tain­ing and devel­op­ing the UK’s skill in build­ing com­plex weapons.”

First Sea Lord Admi­ral Sir Mark Stan­hope said:

“This new weapon sys­tem will equip our frigates to deal with the type of sophis­ti­cat­ed mis­sile threat expect­ed in the com­ing decades. Invest­ment in advanced defence tech­nol­o­gy, such as Sea Cep­tor, is vital to ensure the Roy­al Navy’s con­tin­ued abil­i­ty to defend the UK’s inter­ests wher­ev­er nec­es­sary.”

Chief of Defence Materiel Bernard Gray said:

“There is no room for com­pla­cen­cy when it comes to pro­vid­ing the Armed Forces with the kit that they require and the devel­op­ment of Sea Cep­tor is tes­ta­ment to the for­ward-think­ing atti­tude of the MOD. While we are com­mit­ted to pro­vid­ing our Armed Forces with the kit they need now it is also vital that we have one eye on the future and the threats that may face us.”

Sea Cep­tor has been designed for ini­tial use on the Type 23 frigate to replace the Sea Wolf air defence sys­tem when it goes out of ser­vice in 2016 and it is planned that it will be used on the Type 26 Glob­al Com­bat Ship. Its flex­i­ble design also means that it could in future be adapt­ed for use by the Army and RAF.

Press release
Min­istry of Defence, UK

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