MBDA and Lockheed Martin have jointly completed qualification of the Common Anti-air Modular Missile (CAMM) from Lockheed Martin’s Extensible Launching System (ExLS) 3-Cell Stand Alone Launcher following a series of trials.

Lockheed say that the compact vertical launch 3-cell ExLS system is specifically designed for smaller naval platforms that are unable to accommodate the larger 8-cell MK 41 Vertical Launching System (VLS). ExLS has also been designed to fit inside the MK 41 launcher (ie ExLS Host), offering “adaptable installation solutions for larger ships to achieve high combat mass within a small on-board footprint”.


MBDA’s CAMM is a highly compact missile that enables multiple weapons to be fitted in limited spaces. It is the most modern air defence missile of its class on the market and has recently completed a highly successful series of firings by the Royal Navy. When operated from ExLS or MK 41 VLSD, CAMM comes in a quad-pack arrangement which allows to store and fire 4 missiles from a single cell. These latest trials from 3-cell ExLS were successfully completed in the United Kingdom at the end of 2017.

The success of these trials is testament to the hard work and close co-operation of the MBDA and Lockheed Martin,” said Joe DePietro, Lockheed Martin vice president of small combatants and ship systems.

“A launcher within a launcher, ExLS uses CAMM canistered munitions with its qualified launch electronics to cut integration costs by more than 50 percent. It is a mature design that when paired with CAMM offers a low-cost alternative for integrating new missiles and munitions into current and future surface combatants.”

Paul Mead, Head of Business Development at MBDA, said:

These trials have further demonstrated the maturity, reliability and safety of the CAMM vertical launch system from both 3-cell ExLS and ExLS Host/MK 41 and follows the highly successful operational trials of CAMM by the Royal Navy in 2017.

The pairing of CAMM with the 3-cell ExLS launcher is a natural choice, providing a flexible launcher solution available now for naval platforms to take advantage of the high performance air defence capabilities and compact size of CAMM with ExLS. Other MBDA weapon systems, compatible with ExLS, are planned for the future.”

17 COMMENTS

  1. Excellent news!

    With the lack of defence spending finally making the nationals, let’s hope the government starts to invest heavily in some of the technological advances in defence that’s available to us.

    I have a feeling that playing second fiddle to France in the recent Syrian strike might just rattle a few feathers in the right places.

    • Don’t quote that crock of shit dailymail article. The majority of that article is either wrong or badly slanting facts. All they do is nitpick and blow things out of proportion. I would advice you dont take the word of any crappy tabloid papers such as the dailymail seriously.

    • Hi
      Just to put a couple of things into context:
      First flight Tornado 14 August 1974
      First flight Rockwell B-1 23 December 1974
      First flight of B-52 15 April 1952
      The B-52 by the way will outlive them both.
      The US spends over $600Bn a year on defence, doesn’t seem to bother them that some of their kit is a bit old, as long as it does the job.

      • Re-manufacture the DH Mosquito in numbers. Versatile, stealthy, and cheap compared to the usual over-priced stuff.

      • B52 is aggressively updated though isn’t it? The plane itself is just a very big box to carry stuff (primarily electronics and weapons I assume) and that stuff has changed radically over the decades. An original B-52 pilot might have a chance of flying it today (or would they?) but would any of the other crew have any chance at all, without comprehensive retraining, of understanding all the new stuff inside a B52 that is flying now?

    • We don’t know, at least from what I’ve read, that we did play second fiddle to France. If you count weapons launched then yes but I for one don’t know what assets we each contributed to tankers, istar, ew etc.

  2. I read somewhere that Finland is considering CAMM for their new OPV’s and land based system, although their requirement is for 50km range so whats the odds the Italian version gets it.
    I’m guessing the internals for both are still manufactured in the UK.
    Does anyone know if the UK has any work share in the Aster 15/30?

    • Not sure about the work share but we are actively paying for the development of Aster 30 Block 2 BMD with France and Italy.
      The SeaCeptor is 3.2m long and 166mm in diameter. The Camm-ER is 4.2m long and 190mm in diameter. I didn’t realise that Camm-ER wasn’t just a rocket booster add-on. It’s a completely redesigned missile airframe using Camm/SeaCeptor internals. This will give it a range greater than 45km. SeaCeptor has been reported to engage a target which significantly further away than the published maximum range. I believe the Camm-ER is the model that the Finns will be looking at.
      Will the Type 26/31s have the required below deck space for a possible future upgrade to Camm-ER?

      • It would make sense for the T26 CAMM cells to be long enough for the ER version since the variant was known about long enough ago.

      • Do you have a link to something describing CAMM-ER? I had also assumed that it was regular CAMM with a booster strapped on the back (the booster being fatter hence the increase in diameter as well as length). You sound quite definite that this is not the case though which is interesting, and slightly disappointing as far as commonality is concerned.

          • Thanks but that image does still leave the possibility that CAMM-ER is CAMM with an extra booster strapped on. I was wondering why DaveyB is so certain that the CAMM at the front of the booster on the ER version is a significant redesign vs the non-ER CAMM.

          • Oops. I just looked more carefully at the image and on both of the front sections you can see a yellow line going round each of them about half way down. The non-ER version then has a black line a little bit further down and, crucially, seems to maintain the same diameter all the way to the tail section. The ER version however doesn’t have the black line just after the yellow one but, just about where that black line would be, it does flare out to a slightly wider diameter that carries on back to the booster section which is then wider still.

            So, it does look as if the front “basic” CAMM casing is different on the ER version although, maybe clutching at straws here, I suppose that thickening at the front of the CAMM-ER forward section might simply be an aerodynamic cowling that is jettisoned on separation and underneath it might be a standard same-diameter-all-along CAMM with its flip-out tail fin section. That’s why I’d quite like to find some text or more detail of exactly how a CAMM-ER is put together.

    • Someone on another forum did do the basic maths and worked out that, even with the increased diameter of CAMM-ER, it should still quad-pack into a Mk41 tube. I certainly hope that T26’s dedicated Sea Ceptor launchers have been sized to support CAMM-ER as well as regular CAMM. If T26 is going to use the 3 cell stand-alone ExLS system then what that can quad-pack is the issue.

  3. Please, please use the upcoming Type 45 engine refits to also fit the MK41 VLS launchers or even these ELS systems. Let’s not waste the opportunity, because if we wait an longer it will never be done. Let’s have 6 billion pounds with of destroyers that can do the job we have paid for please.

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