The U.K. has given the go-ahead for a new short-range air defense system for its Type 26 Global Combat Ship and also the existing Type 23 frigates.
Sea Ceptor, as the new system is called, is to replace the Seawolf. MBDA has received a £483 million ($759 million) system demonstration phase contract from the U.K. Defense Ministry to work on the system, also called the Future Local Area Air Defense System (Flaads).
(Artists rendering: MBDA)
Sea Ceptor is being designed to destroy aircraft and supersonic anti-ship missiles, including saturation attacks. The Common Anti-Air Missile is to be the interceptor. The ministry puts the defended area of the system at 500 sq. mi. "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 U.K.’s interests wherever necessary,” Adm. Mark Stanhope, the First Sea Lord, says in a statement.
The system is to be fielded first on the Type 23s around 2016 and be on the Type 26s when they enter service.