SPIMM consists of a SIMBAD-RC automated naval turret equipped with two ready-to-fire Mistral missiles and a 360° infrared panoramic system to detect and track air and surface threats.

At Navdex 2019, MBDA say it will be presenting the SPIMM (Self-Protection Integrated Mistral Module), an all-in-one air defence module based on the SIMBAD-RC system and designed to equip ships of all types, particularly those without a combat system (such as supply ships).

The system is entirely controlled by two operators located in a shelter inside the module, which is also used to store four additional missiles.

According to MBDA:

“This ISO standard all-in-one module, 10 feet long and weighing some 7 tons, can be easily positioned on the deck of a ship using a crane, and requires just a standard electrical connection.

Designed to protect surface vessels against most conventional airborne threats (anti-ship missiles, combat aircraft, helicopters and UAVs), the SIMBAD-RC and Mistral demonstrated, at the end of last year, its ability to neutralise asymmetric threats such as Fast Inshore Attack Craft (FIAC) by day and by night.”

“The SPIMM enables the urgent and rapid adaptation of supply vessels or landing platform docks to cope with new threats, or for using them in contested areas,” says Naval Defence Systems Product Executive Christophe Leduc.

“This system illustrates MBDA’s ability to understand its customers’ needs and to quickly come up with effective and functional solutions.”


    • Two missiles ready to fire, reloads are stored in the module. It’s a last ditch hard kill system, cheaper (and less capable) than SeaRAM. Imagine if, for example, the Atlantic Conveyor had had one of these modules on board. She might have stopped one or both of the Exocets that sank her. Likewise, it would prove very useful on auxiliaries, reducing their need for escort in wartime and freeing up hulls.

      • Its all about layered defense, and i guess this would combine with Phalanx etc.

        Would be great if the Royal Navy brought a few platforms, could then be used on aux ships, albion or even the carriers when needed. Potentially the river’s if there is space.

        Yes all these ships should have their own weapon systems, but budgets don’t allow for it, so a handful of these to pass around could be a big cost effective capability boost.

      • Not disagreeing with you but the threat now is very different to the environment the AC sailed in. You can take any technology and say how great it would have been to have it 30 to 40 years ago it’s how it would perform now and in the following decade that counts.

      • These are just manpad missiles on a fancy mount not comparable to Phalanx which is fully automatic and radar controlled so weather agnostic.

    • looks like a searam kind of set up,it would need at least 8 tubes.i’d like to think the ‘kill rate’ percentage in testing is as good as the one in the article above

  1. better than nowt at a pinch and presumably power supply dependant if you have the space/ place can fit more than one unit. You only have to look at recent history- say the Falklands war where something like a SPIMM unit would have been useful – just one or two missiles would have been all it took to save many many lives. I see no reason why any future conflict would be any different especially with our Gavin’s desire for car ferry warships- although if Chris Grayling is in charge of ferries …….

  2. “The system is entirely controlled by two operators located in a shelter inside the module” would Sea Ram be better and cut out the need for the “shelter below the two missiles”? But Atleast the shelter does hold 4 extra missiles though…

  3. I think we are reaching an age when ALL RN and support ships must have some sort of missile defence system. Having say 4 units of this on a tide or FSS would be a great way of offering some protection, but I really think any new ship design, be it patrol ship or tanker should have a bank of at least 12 seaceptor imho, especially with numbers so low. We need to minimise the risk of loosing any. This is what worries me about the T31 – although they may do low end duties most of the time, they will be called upon to escorts for task groups and even if we don’t fit them now, they must have space for a decent number of cells should we need it. 36 min.

    • Just buy the MSI Seahawk Sigma add on. UK made, designed around the RN standard 30mm mount that the RFA’s will have as standard and using UK missiles. It could carry with Martlet/LMM or Starstreak. If you want to add a sensor capability the UK’s ADAD would be a very easy addition. Defence against air threats out to 8km, FIAC’s via the LMM and a 30mm cannon to boot, plus if you put some decent optics on you add another sensor for the ship to use in general duties.

      It would be really, really interesting if MSI could team up with the Blighter AUDS guys. They have decent optical sensor units and radar panels. You could conceivably turn the standard RN 30mm mount into a very capable CIWS for surprisingly little money.

      • Looks like MSI have moved away from offering Seahawk Sigma based on their website no longer showing the option unless I am missing it somewhere? Perhaps RN wasn’t interested because frigates and above will come with Sea Ceptor and anything below might have ISO or palletized Sea Ceptor if it gets anything at all?

        It looks like Batch 2 OPVs could in theory use Sea Ceptor with their own Terma Scanter 2D radars and BAES CMS. Albions have Artisan so in theory Sea Ceptor supportable. Arming RFA ships with Sea Ceptor seems a stretch and they’d likely be escorted if the threat was that high.

        • the thai upgrade of a 76mm main gun, should be done to all the rivers, they’re big enough to carry phalanx. the sigma 10514 corvette(look at it. is almost identical in many ways (10 feet longer,)5 knots faster, 20 more crew, yet comes with twin ,triple torpedo launchers,exocet, two quad anti air missile launchers an a 76mm oto melara. if the u.k put all this onto a batch 2 river which i believe they can, we’d quickly gain 9 light frigates or corvettes whatever you’d like to designate them.

          • To what end though? How would the UK use relatively short endurance corvettes or light frigates as in the case of Sigma 10514? What is their role in a UK context? Finland, Sweden and even Norway have a strong rationale for fast corvettes and coastal defense ASM, the UK doesn’t.

            The Sigma 10514 looks to have similar manning to the T31 but with 2/3 the range and endurance, while being overkill for the Batch 2 type role as would be most corvettes. A manning challenged RN should focus on more capable frigates such as T31, with more space to better house its crew.

            The potential for Sea Ceptor on the Batch 2 is either for use in extremis, or if say B2 is utilised in future for mission module based MCMV, where point self defense is deemed necessary, which in itself would be a big change from today’s defenseless MCMVs. IMO there’s no reason to up gun B2s as a default given their role and where they will be used

        • the albions are seriously big ships, and, like the carriers, have plenty of room for defensive/ offensive systems. not to include such things in the original planning stages was plain incompetent

    • i’m having my doubts about the 31 actually happening, its time ‘our gav’ gave an update, we lost the initiative when we didn’t ‘gun up’ the rivers especially when the sigma 10514 became operational a ship almost identical in dimensions, yet fitted with twin triple torpedo launchers, a 76mm main gun, two quad anti air missile launchers, 1o meters longer, 20 more crew 8 knots faster it shows what can be done with a platform the size of the rivers, a couple of toothed ships like this at gibraltar and one in the falklands would sent a clear ‘stay away message’ to spain and argentina.other nations would call this kind of ship a corvette or light frigate.

  4. So essentially its a standard Simbad launcher with a 2 man station underneath and a French equivalent to the UK ADAD. Presumably bolt down and attach power like Phalanx.

    It’s strikes me that a far more useful set up would incorporate a gun system, particularly as modern RWS combine missiles and guns. No need for a 2 man crew in a cabin either. SImply linked to a console in the bridge.

    • I assume the idea is that they can be added and removed cheaply and as needed. Cabling to the bridge would take time and effort to route the cables etc and then setup the computers needed to control them also requires room and time.

    • For me having a two man crew constantly in position 24/7 is a decidedly suspect aspect of this system. How many men/women would you need to actually achieve that and in what sort of environments could it efficiently and usefully work in practice I wonder? Better than nothing but the question is how much better in real time use over theoretically or test s enarios.

      • If you had only a handful across the fleet and the ‘crew’ and equipment were shared together, you could easily have a decent rotation for 24/7 coverage. For sure not ideal, but right now we have no point defence missiles on most of the key ships and so anything would be better than nothing.

      • It’s the same just the gun replaced with the missile module and modified software.The RN trialled SeaRam and was not impressed but it might be better now with the upgraded missile.

        • I guess the question is what did they not like about it, was it the price or the capability.

          We know that phalanx has a chequered past when it comes to actually doing its job, but we don’t know if this has been fixed or not.

          • Nobody was privy to their report but the supplier but the RN didn’t choose to take it.
            There were some reports of Phalanx failing to stop target drones and I believe it was due to the initial block2 software upgrade.
            I remember seeing a report the French got all upset when the U.S. Navy and the RN did a test where a Phalanx was mounted on a target ship and the RN fired 4 exocets at it,3 were downed and the fourth hit the ship.

          • “Chequered past?” Most if not all the times the crew had failed to even turn on the Phalanx weapon system. Not it’s fault if the people in charge keep the thing turned off all the time. No system can defend a ship when not turned on. lol

      • “The Rolling Airframe Missile is what defence experts call a “fire and forget” missile, meaning it uses an RF or radio frequency detection technology along with a heat-seeking infrared sensor to find its way toward an approaching threat in order to intercept and destroy it.

        The SeaRAM also provides an advantage to the Littoral Combat Ship because it is a self-contained system, meaning it uses its own radar, software and sensors without needing to occupy other technologies or systems on the ship.

        “SeaRAM will take out cruise missiles, manoeuvring UAS (unmanned aircraft systems or drones) and other surface threats. What you really gain is a layered defence ability and an independent radar so that you gain a lot of situational awareness as well as increased range”

        • The missile is now based on the Sidewinder X, it uses a similar Imaging Infra-red seeker to that fitted to ASRAMM. This makes it an all aspect weapon so can attack the target from any angle. Compared to ASRAMM/SeaCeptor it is much shorter range (small rocket engine) and has a much slower published speed Mach 2.5 compared with mach 3. The other disadvantage it has is that it does not have a two-way data-link like Sea Ceptor, so if the missile gets spoofed it can’t be corrected.
          For a last ditch defence against an incoming missile, something is better than nothing. It has greater range over the Phalanx, but in some tests required more than one missile to take out large target drones, where a Phalanx would shred the target.
          The option of fitting a MANPAD style missile on the remotely controlled DS30M makes a lot of sense and integrating a standalone search and track radar with the Electro optics can be achieved quite cheaply. The question would be what type and how many?
          The Starstreak is a very effective anti-aircraft missile, except it is SACLOS controlled, so can only engage one target at a time. The best option for commonality would be a canister mounted Sea Ceptor. This would give the ship air defence coverage to the radar horizon and has significantly more punch than the Sidewinder or Mistral option. However, it is nearly twice the weight and diameter of Mistral, so could the mount take the weight? Therefore it would probably be better to use a vertical canister system much like the Land Ceptor arrangement. There must be an affordable way of integrating the canisters, data link controller and fire control system on our smaller ships like the Batch 2 Rivers, or even the RFAs. Could we afford to lose one of the new Tides to an opportunist off Yemen for example.

    • this system is now being fitted to most of the u.s fleet, and its already on the gerald ford. it could, as its chassis is similar to phalanx, be fitted in place of the phalanx around the fleet

  5. This is not a great idea. 2 crew in the module at a time with 3 duty watches equals 6 crew in total. Just to provide 2 missiles and 2 on standby. I would prefer enough phalanx mounts for the entire fleet and more of our ships being armed with SeaCeptor such as the Fort, Tide and coming MARS class ships, the new littoral warfare ships (base ships) will need a SAM, medium weight 4.5 inch guns or gun as well as plenty of ds30mm gun mounts and a CIWS fit.
    Plenty of people have said on this site that it is all about optimising and making the most of what we have got. Support ships should be able to support a task forces defence.

  6. Lot of people posting evaluating how it would perform on a warship or dedicated fleet auxiliary. Totally missing the point of the system. Its an independent module with minimal power supply requirements that could be just dropped on to a civilian ship in hours to give it some defensive capability.
    The scenarios its envisaged for are things like needing to commandeer a ferry or passenger liner as a troop transport, or a cargo ship to supply a fleet and get it ready to sail in a couple of days.


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