MBDA has confirmed it has started delivering hardware for the first Sea Ceptor missile system installation after the Royal Navy approved a ‘commit to fitting’ for HMS Argyll.

Sea Ceptor is a missile defence system being developed for the UK’s Royal Navy. The system will initially be mounted on Type 23 frigates with the system eventually being fitted to the Type 26 frigates.

The missile has the capability to intercept combat aircraft and missiles moving at supersonic speeds. Sea Ceptor can respond to saturating attacks and has a range of over 25km.

Rear Admiral Alex Burton, assistant chief of the Naval Staff (Ships), told the DSEI Daily:

“In May this year I made the decision, with the Ministry of Defence, to commit to the fitting of Sea Ceptor on HMS Argyll. This is a key acknowledgement of the confidence we have in Sea Ceptor to replace the current Seawolf system. Sea Ceptor provides a significantly improved capability and massively reduced whole-life costs.”

Other upgrades include the replacing of the Type 23’s medium range radar with the Type 997 Artisan 3D radar. Artisan is a medium range radar designed to provide a cost-effective high-performance radar, capable of operating effectively in littoral zones and improving air-defence, anti-surface and air traffic management capabilities of the Type 23 frigates and the following Type 26. Protection measures are also added to maintain detection ranges even when attacked by complex jammers. HMS Iron Duke was the first Type 23 frigate to have received the Type 997 Artisan 3D radar 2013.

Export customers for the system are the Royal New Zealand Navy, selected for their ANZAC frigate upgrade programme and the Brazilian Navy to equip their new Tamandaré class corvettes.

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