Sky Sabre air defence missile system was recently unveiled at the home of 16 Regiment Royal Artillery.

According to the Army at a press event, Sky Sabre is due in service in 2020 and will prove to be a step change in the UK’s air defences, taking it from short to medium range capability.

Speaking yesterday at the unveiling Air Commodore Ian Gale MBE Senior Responsible Officer for the introduction of the system said:

“You are seeing the future here today, you can’t replace like for like in the digital age. This will take the Army from short to medium range, It is a truly integrated air defence system that will be operated both by the Army and the Royal Air Force. It has significant benefits; it’s fast, reliable and trusted.”

According to the accompanying release, this was the first time that the three principal components of the system had come together; the MBDA launcher that fires the CAMM missile, the Saab radar targeting system, aptly named the giraffe because of its extending neck and the command and the Rafael control electronics suite from which the system is operated.

A host of deals were agreed around the turn of the year but are only now becoming public. This includes award of a contract by the British to the Israeli company to supply a key battlefield command-and-control network for the Sky Sabre system.

The main contract award, which the MoD valued at £78 million, was signed in January with Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, to develop a battle management, command, control, communications, computers and intelligence (BMC4I) network.

Missile builder MBDA and surveillance radar supplier Saab say they have also been awarded contracts to integrate other, already ordered, ground-based air-defense system elements into the BMC4I. Rafael, with help from UK partners Babcock, will supply its Modular, Integrated C4I Air & Missile Defense System and associated equipment in a development and manufacture phase likely to be completed around 2020.

Babcock will provide a proportion of UK based activity including: synthetic based test and integration facilities, project management and hardware procurement. The percentage of UK work content on BMC4I is put at 40% with the remainder coming from Israel.


  1. Curious about the Air Commodores words.

    “operated both by the Army and the Royal Air Force”


    This being procured to replace Rapier FSC in 16 Regiment RA, an Army Formation. It and other air defence assets operate under Joint Ground Based Air Defence which is a joint unit with the RAF, but that I believe is just a command umbrella for seamless integration of the Land and Air RAP’s?

    His words imply to me the RAF will also operate the system, when in fact the RAF Regiment was taken out of the Air Defence game in 2004 when the Shorad Squadrons disbanded.

  2. I’m not an expert on air defence. Can some one explain to me why this sounds a bit limp when compared to the s400 or 300. Are there capabilities I’m missing? Is it like most of NATO we assume we will always have air dominance. If so extremely dangerous.

  3. I suspect that we are not getting just a 25km rabge system as ASRAAM in tests has done much more. The new missile is bassed on ASRAAM.

    However we should have bought a land based Sea Viper with better rabge. Or even the Sea Ceptor Italian ER missile.

    Once again we have not got value for money.

  4. kinda shame we didn’t invest in camm-er and I am guessing the saber is not designed for the potential upgrade in the future. Doubling the range of the missile would have massively increased the capability. They are already not helicopter liftable and so that capacity goes with rapier, so a little larger base unit doesn’t seem like a big problem, unless it would have hit airlift options in the a400.

    • As I understand it CAMM-ER is identical to CAMM, same seeker and motor etc except that it has a kind of ‘first stage’ booster for extra range. So it just needs longer launch tubes and that’s it.

  5. It is gonna be very good a replacement for rapier SAM, which good move but we lack long range defences since we retired bloodhound. Which my concern of British lack long ranges missiles SAM

    I would like see British army restored defence for long range ie:- NASAMS systems with METEOR (MK2) with booster missiles. It is will more cost effective if we buy more METEOR (MK2) for ground and air long range missiles, METEOR MK 2 Which based on British and Japanese project, new AESA seeker and new minor modifications shape.

    Or go for Aster 30 block 2 /aster 45 anti icbm defence with long range anti air defence to more fund it so can cost effective for upgrade aster 30 in destroyer type 45 also in land versions.

    If we add long range defences will put Russian more fears to our air defence.

  6. Good to see a Medium Range Capability coming online next year
    However we must also look at a Long Range version as mentioned above, either bought off the shelf or new design.
    Stationed on the South and East coasts would help deter the Russians even more !


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here