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.

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