Royal Navy Type 45 Destroyers to Receive Counter-Anti-Ship Missile Upgrades

The British Royal Navy has contracted MBDA to upgrade the Type 45 destroyer fleet’s counter-anti-ship ballistic missile capability.

The 400-million-pound ($509 million) contract comprises two Sea Viper Evolution contracts and a Sea Viper in-service support contract.

The Type 45 destroyer’s Sea Viper weapon system includes Aster 15 and 30 surface-to-air missiles, a 48-cell Sylver A50 vertical launcher, Sampson multi-function radar, and an MBDA UK-developed command and control system.

$509M Upgrades

The first Sea Viper Evolution contract includes equipping existing Aster 30 missiles with upgraded Block 1 warheads and new guidance and seeker software.

It also includes upgrading the Sampson radar and combat management system.

The second Sea Viper Evolution contract consists of evaluating the addition of the new Aster 30 Block 1NT (New Technology) missile to the destroyers.

It also includes assessing the addition of further improvements to the radar and broader weapons package, particularly against “medium range maneuvering and separating ballistic missiles.”

Aster 30 Block 1NT 

The Block 1NT can intercept short-and medium-range ballistic missiles up to 1,500 kilometers (932 miles) away, more than twice that of the Block 1’s 600 kilometers (373 miles).

It can also intercept tactical ballistic missiles with separable warheads.

“These contracts will make Sea Viper the most capable naval air defense system ever developed for the Royal Navy in our 60 year history as the Navy’s primary air defense system supplier,” MBDA UK managing director Chris Allam said

“They will also see the UK further enhance the cooperation with France and Italy through MBDA by joining the Aster 30 Block 1 programme, giving the UK the ability to defeat anti-ship ballistic missiles.”

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