UK — Royal Navy fires Sea Viper from Type 45 destroyer

Sea Viper, the Roy­al Navy’s ground­break­ing new air defence mis­sile sys­tem, was fired from a Type 45 destroy­er for the first time last week.

An Aster 30 missile is fired from HMS Dauntless
An Aster 30 mis­sile is fired from HMS Daunt­less
Source: MBDA 2010
Click to enlarge

The sys­tem suc­cess­ful­ly fired an Aster 30 mis­sile from HMS Daunt­less at the MOD range in the Hebrides and hit a mov­ing tar­get drone. 

The Sea Viper can engage mul­ti­ple tar­gets simul­ta­ne­ous­ly, mean­ing it is capa­ble of defend­ing the new Type 45 fleet and ships in their com­pa­ny against mul­ti­ple attacks from the most sophis­ti­cat­ed air­craft or mis­siles approach­ing from any direc­tion and at super­son­ic speeds. 

Sea Viper also has state-of-the-art Samp­son radar, allow­ing it to react to high-speed, very low-lev­el, anti-ship mis­siles, and can track tar­gets over a range of up to 400 kilo­me­tres. The Aster mis­siles are capa­ble of speeds in excess of Mach 4 and are high­ly agile. 

Cap­tain Richard Pow­ell, Com­mand­ing Offi­cer of HMS Daunt­less, said: 

“This fir­ing is the cul­mi­na­tion of a series of tri­als of Sea Viper as the ship moves towards accep­tance into the Roy­al Navy. Both my ship’s com­pa­ny and the equip­ment man­u­fac­tur­ers have done a ster­ling job in prepar­ing for and con­duct­ing the test. 

“We are delight­ed with the suc­cess of this fir­ing which is par­tic­u­lar­ly impor­tant for the UK as the Sea Viper sys­tem will also work in sup­port of land and air forces.” 

Richard Smart, Head of Team Com­plex Weapons at the MOD, said: 

“Sea Viper is one of the most advanced weapons sys­tems in the world. Its abil­i­ty to engage mul­ti­ple tar­gets gives the Roy­al Navy unpar­al­leled pro­tec­tion from air attack which, togeth­er with the ship’s speed and agili­ty, makes the Type 45 a tru­ly for­mi­da­ble fight­ing force. 

“The first fir­ing from HMS Daunt­less is a fan­tas­tic achieve­ment that has suc­cess­ful­ly built on the weapon system’s exten­sive qual­i­fi­ca­tion programme.” 

At Naval Com­mand Head­quar­ters, news of the suc­cess­ful first fir­ing at sea from a Roy­al Navy war­ship was received warm­ly by the Chief of Staff (Capa­bil­i­ty), Major Gen­er­al Gar­ry Robi­son. He said: 

“This is an essen­tial mile­stone in the devel­op­ment of Type 45 capa­bil­i­ty and is the cul­mi­na­tion of much suc­cess­ful co-oper­a­tion between MOD and industry.” 

Sea Viper is the Roy­al Navy’s ver­sion of the MBDA-designed PAAMS (Prin­ci­pal Anti-Air Mis­sile Sys­tem) which con­sists of Samp­son radar, a com­bat and con­trol sys­tem, the Sylver mis­sile launch­ing sys­tem and Aster 15 and Aster 30 missiles. 

Press release
Min­istry of Defence, UK 

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