A Terrier Oriole projectile was shot down by NATO warships off the coast of Scotland.

Terrier Oriole is an unguided two-stage rocket system which is used to test ballistic missile defence systems, under the name ARAV-B. The rocket was launched from a Scottish island and has been detected and destroyed by NATO warships.

Exercise Formidable Shield brought together eight NATO countries in the Outer Hebrides to test integrated air and missile defence capabilities through a series of live missile firings and demonstrations.

The exercise culminated with the launch of a Terrier Oriole ballistic missile target to simulate a medium-range ballistic missile, marking the largest and highest object launched into space from UK soil reaching an altitude of 320kms. To enable this firing to be conducted safely, QinetiQ put in place an air exclusion zone of 1.1m sq kms, approximately twice the size of Spain.

The United Kingdom hosted the event at its Hebrides Missile Test Range in Scotland.

During the demonstration, the vessels defended against simultaneous anti-ship and ballistic missile threats originating from multiple locations. The countries had to pass information over a total of 5.7 million square miles using a variety of platforms from different countries to identify, track and engage the threats.

The fleet fired more than 26 missiles, including the Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile and the SM-3 in the US inventory and the Aster-30 missile used by France, Italy and the United Kingdom.

34 COMMENTS

  1. Half asleep when I read just the headline – I suddenly thought ‘heck those North Koreans have improved their rocketry recently’… then thankfully I woke up.

    And Jas is right, bit naughty not to specify who’d shot it down in the first paragraph.

  2. Jas – as the article says this was a combined search, trace and destroy Exercise. The Exercise was more about the sum of the parts rather than who fired the missile that actually hit the target drone. And with 26 fired it could have been any ship. I suspect the ships that saw it first, tracked it and gave the co-ordinates out had as much to be praised about.
    The article did not seek to mislead as it gave a good summary but for some reason quoted an unsubstantiated Tweet from an unofficial source and it is this you seem to have seized upon.

    • I believe not, they need the newer version of the Aster 30. At the moment it’s undergoing land-based trials, but hasn’t been taken to sea yet. The radars and everything else are in place though. Someone else may have more up to date information though?

      • Well if the C3 and radar and stuff is capable and the UK just needs to order the latest missile variant that should not be too much trouble?

        • It’s not just the missile. Though important the system has to put the missile where it needs to be. BMD sounds simple but relies on a systematic approach to make it work of which the missile is just one part. It took the US with all its financial might nearly 20 years to get it within an acceptable “hit” ratio which I would guess is about 60% (you normally launch missiles in pairs to guarantee 99% success).
          The 1850 and Sampson would need to make sure the missile had the right information At the right time to enable it to predict were to intercept (ballistic missile could be travelling at >10k mph)

  3. Putin could launch a cyber attack on key infrastructure points, spread fake terror news causing panic and launch fifty cruise missiles at our two Typhoon bases and wreck the UK in afternoon.

    He is the master of cheap warfare. We are the clowns spending tens of billions buying equipment for enemies who only exist in the minds of BAE and Lockheed Martin.

      • If they only exist in the minds of BAE and we are clowns then Putin is no problem then is he?

        Why Putin would want to do that is any ones guess.

        His Cyber attacks can be negated, many are.
        His Cruise Missiles would be spotted at launch.
        NATO would reply in kind.
        Big Trouble.

  4. Chris cuck, you shut you mouth, this was foreign asset firing near our waters …
    NEO Brits, dint care about murica for many m00ns ago…
    <One true native…. BRIT.

    Take note that NEO Brits, care about america.. but that memory is nearly dead, buried, and in history b00ks of d00m sayers.

  5. it was a cheeky dig at the poor state of our navy ( armed forces ) in general & our lack of an ability to shoot down a missile should the need arise.

  6. what the article isn’t clear on is how many missiles it took to hit the target. Any real strike would involve a large number of missiles and if even 1 gets through its game over.

    • The above tweet implies 1.

      And they are very expensive interceptors, so I doubt they would launch a “large number” in an exercise.

  7. It’s all very well having T45s with ABM capability but defending the UK from a multiple sub launched cruise missile barrage cannot be stopped by the 6 of them. The UK is big and surrounded by water. London for example is not that far from international waters, about 10 mins as the missile flies. By the time a T26 got there from Pompy maybe 12hrs later to hunt the sub it will have gone. As the other Tim says, Coningsby and Lossiemouth could be taken out very quickly as well. We simply don’t have the defences like for example a fleet of MCMV providing CAS with 2087 and a couple of Spearfish supported by fleet of QRA Merlins spread out around our coast.

    • During the Cold War the U.K. and NATO built a robust tiered system to provide enough time to react to acts of aggression from an enemy that they understood.
      In 1989 the wall came down and the West (excluding the US) spend the next 20 years enjoying the peace dividend or in financial speak the reduction of GDP spent on defence.
      Now we are in a position that no NATO nation nor Russian for that matter can, beyond reasonable doubt, protect themselves from an off shore cruise missile attack from a submarine.
      SOSUS provided us with that first indication that something was moving, submarines could then be directed either to follow or channel enemy submarines where they were then picked up by aircraft monitoring the GIUK gap.
      Those days are gone. It is a capability gap we accepted.
      The threat we were told was not there and the risk could be accepted. We are now told, by people of the same party, being advised by the same military advises that the threat is back.
      Did it ever leave- we will let history decide

  8. Think I remember reading early on about this exercise that UK warships weren’t expected to fire any anti-missile missiles.

  9. In fairness much of the exercise is to improve and test detection, commnication and co-ordination. Shooting down a missile is just for fun! And media reports of course 🙂

    • Morning
      Spot on.
      Fusion of, and interpretation, data is what it is all about. The sensor arrays on Aegis and T45 are probably a step change from what anyone else has currently got. If you can fuse that data together along with the data from other sources (ASACS Merlin, E-2 Hawkeye, F-35 etc.) you have full situational awareness and if you can the share that data with all platforms you have multiple weapon systems in which to prosecute your target. Imagine a BM being picked up on Aegis, that data shared with T45 and prosecuted by ASTER 30. Dat fusion is everything, the ability network all your C4ISR together to give a recognised picture of the battle space so that any platform, with the right weapon fit, can attack it.
      NATO spend a lot of time and money making sure there is a level of interoperability so that this can happen. NATO STANAGS drive those standards and ask that all member nations meet them. When countries like Turkey decide to purchase something (S-400) that cannot be integrated you start to lose the benefit of integration

  10. Correction “Nato” ships didn’t do anything.

    *An American* ship intercepted the target….

    Because ONLY American ships can.
    Europe has nothing that America doesn’t bequeath it.

    • You seem to have issues.

      What “Europe” does have is a history and a culture that the USA, for all its power, can only look at.

      Without Europe, the USA would not exist at all.

      For example you are speaking ENGLISH. You have no language of your own, except the Red Indians who you suppressed.

      Poor attitude from you, and I consider our American allies cousins.

      A feeling obviously not replicated by yourself.

    • I also don’t recall America developing RAM, Radar, Jet Engines, and countless other things, but they were all given to you.

      You even needed a Nazi in Von Braun to put NASA on the moon and develop rockets.

      I could go on…?

    • Another short sighted American, it was definitely not just one ship who did everything. For something like this you need multiple ships, and maybe aircraft in some cases, to track, locate and target the missile. This would have been done on NATO ships. The T45’s and eventually hopefully the T26’s will get the improved version of the ASTER 30 missile along with the associated equipment to ensure that they can defend against a ballistic missile defence.

      GO BUILD A WALL!!!!!!!

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