The UK is to invest in £300 million over the next 10 years to enhance operational communications, renew the existing air defence system and upgrade infrastructure on the Falkland Islands.
Britain had already ordered additional Giraffe AMB radars to bolster the ground based air defenses on the Falkland Islands, the Swedish company SAAB announced earlier in the year that it had received an order from the UK MoD for the supply of new radars and the upgrade of existing systems.
The MoD has also selected missile maker MBDA’s CAMM(L) to replace aging Rapier weapons on the islands as part of the upgrade.
CAMM(L) is the land-based variant of the CAMM missile family and will replace the Rapier missile batteries of the British Army from 2020 or so. Four three-pack launchers are fitted to a self-contained “pallet” that can be fitted to a range of vehicles. The launch vehicle will not have its own radar, instead taking targeting information over a secure datalink as part of an integrated air-defence network and using the active seeker head for terminal guidance. Some reports have called the land variant, “Land Ceptor” similar to the naval “Sea Ceptor”.
The relevant section of the Strategic Defence and Security Review states:
“We will continue to work closely with the Falkland Islanders to defend their right to selfdetermination, which is enshrined in the Charter of the UN. They face an unjustified claim of ownership from Argentina. We judge the risk of a military attack to be low, but we will retain a deterrence posture, with sufficient military forces in the region, including Royal Navy warships, Army units and RAF Typhoon aircraft. We will invest up to £300 million over the next 10 years to enhance operational communications, renew the existing air defence system and upgrade infrastructure.”
The system is currently in a £228 million development phase at MBDA.