MBDA’s Sea Ceptor system will protect the Royal Navy’s new Type 31 frigates under a contract awarded by the Ministry of Defence.

Sea Ceptor utilises the Common Anti-Air Modular Missile (CAMM), it offers close-in air defence and local-area air defence.

MBDA claims that the missile has a “wide target set”, including the capability to engage small naval vessels, which would give the missile a limited surface-to-surface role.

The Anti-Air-Warfare Officer of the Type 23 Frigate HMS Westminster said after test firings

“Westminster managed to explore the real potential of the system during her training and to say it is a real game changer is an understatement. Unlike its predecessor, the system is capable of defending ships other than Westminster herself. Whether it’s engaging multiple air threats or fast incoming attack craft, Sea Ceptor represents a massive capability upgrade for the Type 23 frigate.”

Sea Ceptor.

According to MBDA:

“The system will allow the Type 31 to protect simultaneously both itself and vessels near it from attack from current and future threats, including high-speed manoeuvring missiles, attack aircraft and fast inshore attack craft.”

Eric Beranger, CEO of MBDA, said in a news release from the firm: 

“We are very pleased to mark this latest success for the CAMM family. Sea Ceptor was designed to change the game in naval air defence and, with Type 31 the latest in a growing list of ship classes that Sea Ceptor has been chosen to protect, it is rapidly delivering on this promise.”

Sea Ceptor.

The new contract includes integration of Sea Ceptor with the Type 31’s systems, along with delivery and installation of ship hardware for the Type 31 programme.

Sea Ceptor is currently in service on the Royal Navy’s Type 23 frigates, and will also protect the new Type 26 frigates.

The Ministry of Defence maintains a common stockpile of CAMM missiles for both the Royal Navy and British Army. On land, CAMM is known as Land Ceptor by the British Army and the whole land-based air defence system is known as Sky Sabre.

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James H
James H
28 days ago

But it’s only getting 12 cells, i know its meant to be a low cost ship but how much extra would another 12 cost.

Jason Holmes
Jason Holmes
28 days ago
Reply to  James H

Or quad pack them!

James H
James H
28 days ago
Reply to  Jason Holmes

You cant as not Mk 41 or Sylver cells

DRS
DRS
28 days ago
Reply to  James H

So mushroom farm? Surely it makes sense to do ExLS it is already tested and integrated with CAMM and brand new – gives other options there too later on hopefully easy to add more ExLS 3 cell batteries too after https://www.lockheedmartin.com/content/dam/lockheed-martin/rms/documents/naval-launchers-and-munitions/VLS_3_Cell_ExLS_Launcher_Product_Card_8.5x11_042419.pdf

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
28 days ago
Reply to  DRS

Hi DRS,

I have been saying the same for a couple of years now. The T26 is getting a mushroom farm for its Sea Ceptors has well. Nuts..!

There is a great aerial view of the T26 on Navy Lookout and you’ll see just how poor the capacity of the mushroom farm really is.

Cheers CR

Last edited 28 days ago by ChariotRider
Nate M
Nate M
28 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Do the t26s and t31s have anti ship capabilities?

Ambivalent Lurker
Ambivalent Lurker
28 days ago
Reply to  Nate M

Yes, on T26 there will be a Merlin with 4 Torpedoes plus possibly the interim heavy AShM we end up with after 2023, on T31 there will be a Wildcat with Martlet lightweight missiles and/or Sea Venom AShM, and most probably autonomous/unmanned combat drone aircraft and boats as well.

Nate M
Nate M
27 days ago

Oh. Right. No i ment ship luched like harpoon or tomahawk. Cuz wiki says it will have ship luached anti ship.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
27 days ago

Hi Ambivalent Lurker, A couple of points I would make about the helicopter borne weapons. The torpedoes carried by Merlin and Wildcat are the little weight anti-submarine Stingray torpedoes which only have a small warhead designed specifically to punch holes in submarine pressure hulls. They are not particularly effective against surface vessels and I have never seen any comment anywhere that they have a secondary surface vessel capability, although I would be surprised if they didn’t. Secondly, I think I am right in saying that the RN has not equipped the Merlins for the air to surface role so I… Read more »

Ambivalent Lurker
Ambivalent Lurker
27 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Thanks CR, didint realise Stingray was only for use against Subs. Yes, Merlin is purely for ASuW (and now Crowsnest AWACS) role. Sea Venom with the Wildcat IOC date is 2022-2023 with FOC in 2024: I think IOC got pushed back a year but UK-based testing is now happening.

Last edited 27 days ago by Ambivalent Lurker
ChariotRider
ChariotRider
27 days ago

You’re welcome. It was reported on here back on 1st December that the Sea Venom had completed its qualification trials which tested its targeting capabilities, with previous trials covering launch from Wildcat and the French H160M.

I’m guessing we are now into the production and introduction into service phase which will include further trials, modification of weapons handling systems (if needed), training etc. So 2022 / 23 for IOC is looking good.

Cheers CR

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
27 days ago
Reply to  Nate M

Hi Nate M, There is still little clarity around an interim anti-ship missiles for either the T31 or T26 as the selection process is still underway. My understanding, and there may be others who can clarify this, is that the interim capability is likely to be fitted to the T31. The T26 is to be fitted with strike length M41 VLS as well as the Sea Ceptor VLS. The MK41 is a hot launch system used to launch Cruise and well as other large missles, so it is possible that the T26 could be equipped with Cruise missiles. This would… Read more »

andy a
andy a
1 day ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

The first sea lord said recently that they intend to give the t26 land attack capabilities, dont know if that means tomahawk or a combined land/anti ship missle.
Does anyone know on here if the royal navy is cleared to use sea ceptor against small surface vessels, the system will do it but I heard rumours the RN wont pay to clear it for use, anyone know?

RoboJ1M
RoboJ1M
27 days ago
Reply to  Nate M

As mentioned, only light anti ship capabilities. T31’S purpose is to free up T26s and 45s for war fighting. In which case you’re sinking shipped with F35 launched weapons. The sea war during the Falklands really does aptly demonstrate why ships will never fire at ships every again. If you’re in range, you’ve already been sunk by an attack submarine. The only ships left over to do this are old Soviet brown water ships. They were designed to suicide charge at a carrier, launch 6+ Granite missiles OTH, turn and run and then Get Murdered. And yes, those light torpedos… Read more »

CJ
CJ
26 days ago
Reply to  RoboJ1M

Ah yeah, the old planning for tomorrow’s war with armchair tales of 40 year old experiences. Excellent, well reasoned arguments for under gunning an entire class of ship.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
28 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

I gather there’s supposedly an in service reliability benefit to our mushroom concept, though.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
27 days ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

Hi Gavin, I have not heard that before, but I guess that we know all about the mushroom farm VLS whereas we have not operated the ExLS system. However, the ExLS is a variant of the MK41 which we have bought for the T26, so if we have confidence in the MK41 why not the ExLS? Looking at various renders of the T26 (especially a recent image on Navy Lookout from above) you could easily put 12 ExLS in place of the 24 mushroom farm tubes. Quad packing would give 48 Sea Ceptor. Given the cost and of these ships… Read more »

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
27 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

I’ve got to admit I’ve never been able to square the concept of taking a mature vessel accommodated to mk 41 vls, in Huitfelt, and stripping those out. Since the void and associated hull stresses were already factored in, for one thing. But I suppose the RN had already gone all in on Type 26 with mk 41. A fantastic vessel that. So, it’s got to be the budget constraints on the T31. As Dern points out, the mushrooms are cross decking from the T23. As things stand the entire T31 fit could easily be sourced by the decommissioning of… Read more »

Last edited 27 days ago by Gavin Gordon
Robert
Robert
27 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Hi john 26’s already fitted with 48 seaceptors 24 forward in front of the MK 41’s and 24 aft behind funnels

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
26 days ago
Reply to  Robert

Ah thanks Robert, I had foregotten about the 24 aft of the funnel. Even so the T26 still lacks in a number of areas when compared to other ships of similar size, especially ASW torpedoes and surface to surface missles (for the moment at least). I would also say that my point about using a standard VLS rather than the bespoke mushroom farm would greatly increase the ship’s potential and flexibility. This is penny pitching, sadly. Two banks of even just 18 ExLS or Sylver VLS for cold lunch weapons would see 72 quad packed Sea Ceptor which would provide… Read more »

andy a
andy a
1 day ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

If you think MOD would ever clear 8 t26’s to have 72 missles (576) your mad, never pay for it.

Dern
Dern
27 days ago
Reply to  DRS

The Moushroom farms are being brought forwards onto Inspirtaions (and I assume City’s) from the Iron Dukes. ExLS won’t be added as there are none in inventory and the Inspirations are ultimately build to a budget.

Paul T
Paul T
27 days ago
Reply to  Dern

The T23’s use CAAM in adapted Sea Wolf Tubes, are you suggesting these will be recycled and fitted onto T31 rather than use New 6 cell VLS ?.

BB85
BB85
27 days ago
Reply to  Paul T

They will not be recycling the launchers from the t23’s. Even the T26 shows much room farms in the cgi renders. Why they don’t just use the same slim line launchers the the army is using for land Ceptor on the cgi rendors is beyond me. The mushroom caps must provide an additional level it protection from the elements but from previous posts on ukdj the 6 tube cells will be just as efficient space wise, more reliable, less complex and cheaper.

Dern
Dern
27 days ago
Reply to  Paul T

John Howie during a Q&A session said: “Yeah, so there’s two categories of equipment in the programme, Sash. There’s equipment that we are providing as part of the programme, and that includes the guns, the Thales mission system, the integrated navigationand bridge, et cetera, and then there’s the government-furnished assets, which would include things like the Sea Ceptor missile, and a lot of it actually is information as well asequipment.So, our £250 million doesn’t include the cost of the GFE, but it does include the cost of, effectively, the baseline equipment including the guns, the engines, gearboxes, propellers, et cetera”… Read more »

pete
pete
27 days ago
Reply to  DRS

could it be that the fixed price includes supply and systems integration of initial12 and then at first refit mushrooms released from retiring T23’s get added ?

Derek
Derek
11 days ago
Reply to  DRS

Neither T31 or T26 will have mushroom farms. That was a compromise design to fit Sea Ceptor where previously Sea Wolf was fitted. T31 and T26 will have properly fitted silos.

Meirion X
Meirion X
28 days ago
Reply to  James H

Correct!

stephen ball
stephen ball
28 days ago
Reply to  James H

You can Quad pack them.

CAMM (MARITIME APPLICATION) | Maritime Superiority, CAMM SOLUTION | MBDA (mbda-systems.com)

Sea Ceptor can operate from the SYLVER and Mk41 launchers using a quad-pack configuration to maximise packing density and for optimum installation on smaller ships. The Soft Vertical Launch technology reduces system weight and provides flexible installation. The weapon’s Command and Control system is designed to be integrated into new or existing naval combat systems.

camm.pdf

Last edited 28 days ago by stephen ball
James H
James H
28 days ago
Reply to  stephen ball

Yes but type 31 isn’t getting Mk 41 or Sylver cells, that’s the problem

Pacman27
Pacman27
28 days ago
Reply to  James H

it can also be quad packed in the current T23 seawolf cells, but we choose not to.

at this point I would agree to transferring those VLS if it means 24 or more per T31.

Paul T
Paul T
27 days ago
Reply to  Pacman27

How can Sea Ceptor be Quad Packed into Sea Wolf Cells,it doesn’t look possible ?.

Dern
Dern
27 days ago
Reply to  Pacman27

It also would probably mean -2 Inspirations because you’d have to procure a brand new VLS system within the 1.25 billion alloted to them, instead of just intigrating the Mushroom farm from the Dukes.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
27 days ago
Reply to  James H

The original Danish vessels have the Staniflex weapons bay too that really utilised the given space. This “under arming” mindset is so wasteful and short-sighted even if it’s supposedly cost effective.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
27 days ago
Reply to  stephen ball

Hi Stephen, if it can be used in Sylver they can then add two more silos with 32*Camm an extra 8* Aster to the T45s. It would be a good muscle up investment over the next 10-15 years of their life.

Paul T
Paul T
27 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Nice idea but there just isn’t the Funding for it, any spare money has been taken up with the Engine Upgrade work.

Jason Holmes
Jason Holmes
28 days ago
Reply to  James H

They are using that horrid mushroom farm? makes no sense? use a multifunction launcher, its dumb not to!

Dern
Dern
27 days ago
Reply to  Jason Holmes

Using a multifunction launcher will cost £££’s. The Inspiration class has a pretty hard budget cap of 1.25billion, so you want a multifunction launcher, you can probably say goodbye to a couple hulls. ATM the RN needs the hulls more than the possibility of fitting missiles they don’t own.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
27 days ago
Reply to  Jason Holmes

Hi Jason, yes, I wonder why the ExLS VLS for the Camm was rejected on the T26s for the RN. The Canadian T26s have the 6*4=24 Camm silo and the NZ Anzacs have somehow squeezed 20 “mushroom” Camm into their old MK41 Sam space and also kept their Phalanx’s, so that can be done.

DRS
DRS
28 days ago
Reply to  James H
Andy G
Andy G
28 days ago
Reply to  DRS

very nice indeed. Though I wish they had put the control units and transformers below the launchers, rather than on the sides which would seem to preclude tightly packing these together.

Nate M
Nate M
27 days ago
Reply to  DRS

Okay if we ain’t gonna have that then that completely defeats the point of a multi purpose ship!

Kizzy p
Kizzy p
28 days ago
Reply to  James H

Im reading its getting 24 cells ?

James H
James H
28 days ago
Reply to  Kizzy p

Navy lookout reporting 12

Screenshot_20210526-130818.jpg
James Fennell
James Fennell
28 days ago
Reply to  James H

NL is going by a 2019 render. Truth is we don’t know.

Jason Holmes
Jason Holmes
28 days ago
Reply to  James H

This is a joke if they are using this configuration

Steve
Steve
28 days ago
Reply to  Kizzy p

From what I have seen there is no official confirmation of fit out for the UK ships beyond the guns. 12 was based on the artist impressions, but things change. 24 would be more realistic, but I suspect unlikely.

Paul T
Paul T
28 days ago
Reply to  Steve

The specification of the Type 31’s has been known for some time – 12 Cells has been the number since then.

Steve
Steve
28 days ago
Reply to  Paul T

Where has this been officially confirmed?

Paul T
Paul T
28 days ago
Reply to  Steve

This subject had been covered multiple times on here – lets start with Babcock’s Website,they should know they are Building them https://www.babcockinternational.com/what-we-do/marine/defence/type-31/

Steve
Steve
28 days ago
Reply to  Paul T

Not saying its not true, just saying its not been offically confirmed by the UK Gov/MOD/RN or Babcock as far as i am aware. As such it is still speculation. It’s probably true, but it can’t be said it is a fact, until it is officially confirmed.

Paul T
Paul T
27 days ago
Reply to  Steve

Ok,Contracts have been signed,Design Reviews have been completed,Equipment has been ordered,Babcock’s have released a CGI of the Design,NavyLookout has confirmed it ( James H link ) above,you were told the same thing 9 months ago on another Type 31 Article here,trust me if a Bird Swims,Waddles and Quacks like a Duck it is actually a Duck !.

Dern
Dern
27 days ago
Reply to  Paul T

While I think it will be 12 Sea Ceptor, I’ll just point out Navy Lookout didn’t confirm it “believed to be” = speculation not confirmation.

James Fennell
James Fennell
28 days ago
Reply to  Paul T

No not true – was speculation from a render from Babcock in 2019. But the government furnished equipment has not been confirmed.

BB85
BB85
28 days ago
Reply to  Kizzy p

Where did you see 24 mentioned? I haven’t seen anything official mentioned other than updated cgi renders. At 1 point it was 24 then cut down to 12.
24 is probably sufficient but 12 is taking the pi$$ a bit

stephen ball
stephen ball
28 days ago
Reply to  BB85
Daveyb
Daveyb
28 days ago
Reply to  stephen ball

That was report was made in 2019. But fingers crossed its correct.

James Fennell
James Fennell
28 days ago
Reply to  BB85

Wiki says 24 cells.

Connor
Connor
28 days ago
Reply to  James H

Wow – if this is true it’s a ridiculous oversight. It can’t be easy to reload CAMM at sea (if it’s even possible at all).

So now basically any form of attack is inadvertently also a saturation attack, magnifying one of the Navy’s biggest vulnerabilities.

Andrew Deacon
Andrew Deacon
28 days ago
Reply to  Connor

I guess given sea ceptor is relatively small and the position of the system it’s feasible they could be reloaded from below, but probably easier just to have more vl tubes to start with . It might be to do with the control systems since I believe each can handle 12 missiles. But truth is I think everyone is guessing based on the illustrations

Dern
Dern
27 days ago
Reply to  Andrew Deacon

If it’s 12 rather than 24 I think it’s more likely to have something to do with the 250mil hard cap on the cost per Inspiration.

Andrew Deacon
Andrew Deacon
27 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Just checked and apparently each launch management system controls 8 missiles on the type 23 so 12 seems like an odd number to go with. (According to navy lookout article)

Connor
Connor
27 days ago
Reply to  Andrew Deacon

I work with CAMM in the GBAD role and we have 4 redundent missile slots on the system during set-up, which indicates that it’s designed to facilitate 12.

Still – that’s hardly a good reason to leave the T31 so vulnerable

Andrew Deacon
Andrew Deacon
26 days ago
Reply to  Connor

Unfortunately it does sound as though they are going for the cheapest possible solution

Steve
Steve
27 days ago
Reply to  Connor

Wouldn’t really need to be a saturation attack, in the sense of what the term is normally used to represent. Unless you assume 100% hit ratio (very dangerous assumption), probably 2-3 jets could put up 12 targets to go after.

andy a
andy a
1 day ago
Reply to  Connor

T31 is budget frigate, how many times do people go over this, u can have 2 front line warfighting ships or you can have 5 budget ships. RN desperatly needs hulls, even the US realise this with their new frigates. Not every ship can be armed to the teeth. If they ever join the carrier group it will be under a type 45/F35 unbrella. This is the same rubbish talked about the river class, a ship is built for certain tasks and yes the RN does under arm ships but untill the goverment ups defence to 4% we need to… Read more »

Connor
Connor
12 hours ago
Reply to  andy a

T-31 is meant to be a somewhat more expendable hull. A ship you can ask more dangerous tasks of without fear of unnacceptable losses if it goes wrong. You wouldn’t ask a T-45 to expose herself in order to provide in-land support for a major land offensive, she’s far too important a ship to risk, but a T-31? Sure why not. To that end, you can expect T-31 to be operating alone in dangerous circumstances. You only have to look at the falklands conflict to see this in practice over and over again. Therefore – she must be able to… Read more »

Andy a
Andy a
1 hour ago
Reply to  Connor

Who do you think a t31 is gunna take on alone that can fight through 12 of best air defence missles in the world? Unlikely that Russia will suddenly attack it on own. Would I like 24? Yes but I’d prefer a joint anti ship/ land attack missle. It’s more likely to be facing down people in Middle East. It’s unlikely to be facing a high end enemy on its own. Who would attack with full squadron of high end planes? Usa? France? Only really China or Russia and we will see that coming.

Connor
Connor
4 minutes ago
Reply to  Andy a

If the intended use for the T31 is against third-world countries like you say, why have the missile at all? The T31 is designed from the ground up to face conventional threats at a high level. By that I mean, to face off against a near-peer enemy. If she can’t do that credibly, then she’s already failed. With the direction we’re going in terms of drones, swarm attacks and saturation attacks using smaller weapons (see Sea Spear for perfect example) – it’s not hard to imagine a scenario where even 2-4 modern jets could put up enough targets to overwhelm… Read more »

Andy a
Andy a
1 hour ago
Reply to  Connor

Is it possible that they are intending to re use the t23 weapons as they go out of service to up arm units later? If not where are the weapons going?

Geoffrey Roach
Geoffrey Roach
28 days ago
Reply to  James H

As I understand it decision has not been made, so start with we want 24 guys.!

stephen ball
stephen ball
28 days ago
Reply to  Geoffrey Roach

I’ll like 16 quad pack or the 3 pack Sea ceptor, 2 Aster 6 of Poseidon So 12 cell Mark 41 or 13 cell Mark 41.

Last edited 28 days ago by stephen ball
Nate M
Nate M
28 days ago
Reply to  James H

Ya but thats the point. The 31s are ment for general purpose. So the weopons load is quite valenced for a general purpose.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
27 days ago
Reply to  James H

Hi James, yes, I’m with you. 12 Camm s a ridiculous fit, another 12 for long lasting defence. The RAMs have 22 missiles in one launcher. They could remove the forward 40mm and put the extra 12 Camm there.
The forward 40mm is a duplication of the 57mm. Is it really necessary. Could any spare 40mms can go on the carriers?

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
27 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Sorry for my typos.

DJ
DJ
27 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

There is no shortage of space. The IH frigate has 32 mk41 cells where the current 12 mushroom farm cells are shown to go (as does the A140). Quad packed, that means 128 CAMM could fit if you wanted to. This is with all guns fitted & space for 8 AShM (deck canister launch). Nothing needs to be removed to go to 24, even of the current cell type.

Steve R
Steve R
27 days ago
Reply to  James H

Considerably less if it starts with 12 then gets another 12 as the Type 23s start retiring, same with Harpoon or whatever interim anti-ship missile we get.

Might as well wait a few years until the T23s start to retire and move the equipment across rather than spend additional money buying all kit.

Paul.P
Paul.P
26 days ago
Reply to  James H

Agree it does sound a bit penny pinching. I wonder if the reason it is only 12 is because they want to up-cycle ( much better than re-use :-)) the launch tubes removed from the T23s as they go out of service. Are the 2 T23 slated as the first to leave service fitted with Sea Ceptor? They might release 48 tubes as they are stripped; enough for 4/5 T31 to get 12 each. The last T31 would need a third T23 to be decommissioned.

Kizzy p
Kizzy p
28 days ago

I have not previously heard anything about its ability to intercept fast surface targets …..has this been actually trialled ??

BB85
BB85
28 days ago
Reply to  Kizzy p

It was designed to have a secondary surface attack capability. So long as it can track the target in not sure why it wouldn’t be able to destroy a rib or soft land based target. We will prob use lmm for it though as the missiles are a lot cheaper and can be launched from a uav

Joe16
Joe16
27 days ago
Reply to  BB85

I imagine that it would fall somewhere in capability between LMM and Sea Venom for surface attack? I agree that using the air launched weapons would be the first choice, but CAMM may have a nice niche.

Challenger
Challenger
28 days ago

12 VLS on a ship the size of T31 is a really embarrassing level of penny pinching! If true they may as well not bother!

All the while The Army are pi**ing billions on Warrior which was ditched and Ajax that by all accounts still doesn’t work.

TrevorH
TrevorH
28 days ago
Reply to  Challenger

The size is irrelevant. There is no real extra cost for using a bit more steel and they can be upgraded and can be exported and fitted out as needed. Its crew is economical for its size.

Challenger
Challenger
28 days ago
Reply to  TrevorH

I think you’ve missed my point which is that the RN is calling them frigates and will be deploying them to the less than benign Gulf, Horn of Africa and South China Sea.

24-32 Sea Ceptor and 8 box launched AShM as well as the planned choice of guns would result in a cheap but effective patrol frigate on par with the T23’s (minus the sonar).

Anything less represents a significant downgrade in capability and leaves them vulnerable to saturation attack.

John Clark
John Clark
28 days ago
Reply to  Challenger

Absolutely Challenger, they should at least pack the same weapons fit as their predecessors. That said, the equipment bays might well pack all sorts of off board weapon systems in the future. I would settle for 24 Camm and Martlet for close in boat defence. The gun fit is pretty ferocious though relatively short range in nature, they should make mincemeat of fast attack boats, but unfortunately, it means you have to let them get rather uncomfortably close before the ‘Swiss cheese effect’ can be adequately employed… I would have liked a main gun fit that allowed naval gunfire support… Read more »

Paul.P
Paul.P
27 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

My take. ..The drone landscape is evolving rapidly. I don’t think that 12 Sea Ceptor is a number that can be defended. It does need to be at least 24. I believe a Wildcat can carry 20 Martlet as a full load out. So with the Wildcat and the Bofors 57mm and 40mm I think T31 would be able to fend off a swarm of FAC. Also by the time T31 enters service Wildcat will also carry Sea Venom which can disable corvettes beyond the likely range of their AShM so I’m happy that T31 will be a credible patrol… Read more »

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
27 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Hi Paul, I wonder if the Merlin will also be given a Marlet/Sea Venom capability? It’s not its main task but if the ship doesn’t have a Wildcat it might be useful. Also I’d like to see all the Wildcats get a dipping sonar and maybe a larger fuel tank. And with all these shops coming along is there any talk/budget for so s extra helos? Just asking, wishing, hoping…

Paul.P
Paul.P
27 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

No idea Quentin. I have no privileged knowledge of these things. With respect o helos our historical choice of AW159 and AW101 designs (for industrial strategy reasons) plus defence budget constraints means we are where we are versus say having gone for a single medium type like NH90. But that’s not a bad thing. Wildcat is a formidable maritime attack helicopter; it can see 200miles and with Sea Venom any ship within conservatively 25km ( probably a lot further) is at risk of being dismasted . And Merlin is the benchmark sub hunter, a workmanlike AEW platform and a capable… Read more »

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
27 days ago
Reply to  Challenger

Totally agree. The RN ships deserve a fuller fit out than this. It makes the T31 look like a toy.

Frank62
Frank62
24 days ago
Reply to  Challenger

If only 12 Sea Ceptor cells & 57mm gun, then the treasury has already effectively K.O.’d half the frigates weaponry. We’re probably the only navy not to equip our main ship borne choppers with AShMs. Other nations who operate Merlins fit them with AShMs. Talk about fighting with one hand tied behind your back. “Light frigates” is just empty spin for not properly equipping such substantial vessels. 5,000t+ is nothing like light & no enemy will go easy in any way because we present them in lesser ways than fully capable warships. They just welcome easier kills. The ships they’re… Read more »

Jason
Jason
28 days ago

No official figure has been put on the amount of air defence missiles that the Type 31 will come with. Some of the images released suggest 12, some 16 and some 24. The most “official” text suggest “up to 24” so I suppose all we can have a good guess at is that it’ll be no more than that. I think they want to surprise us all. my fingers are crossed for a nice surprise but on a dark day I’m expecting a horrible surprise.

Andrew
Andrew
28 days ago

Inspirational decision…..

Formidable capability with 12 missiles!

John Hartley
John Hartley
28 days ago
Reply to  Andrew

The first image I saw for T31 had 24x SeaCeptor + 8X anti ship missiles. This would cost more than £250m per ship, so recent images show 12x Seaceptor & no anti ship missiles. An oversized OPV by any other name.

Peter S
Peter S
28 days ago
Reply to  John Hartley

But the £250m is the per ship contract price to Babcock. The 5 ship programme cost is close to £2b. I’m not sure what the difference covers. For example, the gun contract is between BAE and Babcock so is probably included in the £250 m. I guess SeaCeptor is not but is part of what was expected to be a bigger range of gfe.
12 missiles is pathetic.

Rogbob
Rogbob
27 days ago
Reply to  Peter S

The difference is government furnished equipment GFI, not sure what it’ll be but its usual, the US for instance often makes its stuff appear cheaper as the cost is purely the manfuacturers gubbins, not all the extra kit that you have to contract for seperately. The UK has gone down this line it seems, noting lots of bits of stuff get handed down and between ships. Exactly what it is her I dont know, but weapon systems seem the most likely, backed by some comms/nav etc. but also say things like boats, helo landing kit – because that is more… Read more »

Lordtemplar
Lordtemplar
28 days ago

Any news on sonar (hull and/or towed), torpedoes, antiship missiles?
Right now 12 CAMM missiles in mushroom cells and 57mm gun seems a bit light for a 6000 ton frigate.
Hopefully this is planned and has just not been announced yet.

Dan
Dan
28 days ago
Reply to  Lordtemplar

My understanding is it will probably have bow-mounted sonar, but no towed array, no torpedoes, no ASM. Extra capabilities could be added at a later date, but at the moment, anything extra would add too much to the budget.

Steve M
Steve M
27 days ago
Reply to  Dan

The dreaded ‘fitted for’ but ‘not with’ slogan which seems to be the go to for the RN 🙁

Dern
Dern
27 days ago
Reply to  Lordtemplar

Towed Array will never be added, the Duke’s they are replacing don’t even have them. Torpedoes probably are also a no, there’s never even been a mention of them. Anti-ship missiles will probably eventually be fitted, but it’s subject to whatever replaces Harpoon, I believe 5x cannister launched sets of interim ASM’s are to be ordered for the Dukes, if so they’ll probably be moved onto the Inspirations. Impossible to announce though since we don’t even know what missile system will be procurred. 12 CAMM, a 57mm and 2x 40mm is quite light, but at the end of the day… Read more »

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
28 days ago

So, leaving aside the issue of magazine size for the now, RN surface combatants have or very soon will have short range anti-air and anti surface capabilities in the shape of a number of medium calibre guns, Sea Ceptor, Martlet & Sea Venom. Medium to long range anti-air with Sea Viper and the not inconsequential F35B. Probably as good as it gets against submarines with state of the art sonar, Merlin and Stingray. Long range anti-sub with Astutes/Spearfish, together with land attack TLAM. Added to which there’s leading EW abilities with modern radar, air platforms and SIGINT. The list is… Read more »

Quiteallright
Quiteallright
28 days ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

The main thing has to be to get the ships built and in the water. The stick everything on them attitude is why we have got so few numbers in the first place. They are going to built so they can be upgraded easily in the future. Rules of engagement mean no Royal Navy ship is going to be firing missiles at targets 100’s miles away. Close range it will be be for now and the chances these will actually get used is highly unlikely. Unlike land battles and missile firings at odd balls in pickup trucks, long range sea… Read more »

Jason Holmes
Jason Holmes
27 days ago
Reply to  Quiteallright

Stick ‘everything on them’ is a big step from fitting launchers that have way more practicality and use than the ‘mushroom farm’ which is seriously limiting any future upgrade and export selling points.

Dern
Dern
27 days ago
Reply to  Jason Holmes

Export models will not be using equipment taken off the Type-23s, so that’s not a drama. If you fit anything other than the Mushroom farm you can start to say goodbye to hull numbers because you will have to procure an expensive VLS system instead of getting one for practically free off of a retiring Type-23 frigate. It’s also not limiting future upgrades, Arrowhead 140 is designed to be modular and if you really have to you can remove a 12 cell SeaCeptor farm and replace it with a 24 cell one or a 24 cell Mk57 battery (yes the… Read more »

John Pattullo
John Pattullo
27 days ago

12 cells its embarrassing – why even make a “warship” if your not going to put a credible armament on it – minimum should have 24 mk41 cells

Steve
Steve
27 days ago
Reply to  John Pattullo

It’s not a war ship realistically, it’s a ship do undertake low intensity policing roles, to cover up cuts in the escort numbers.

A war ship needs ship to ship attack capability and sub surface warfare options. Without this it’s a sitting duck and would need to be escorted.

Maybe in the future there will be unmanned UAV style capabilities that can be added to make up for this weakness but that is some time away

Last edited 27 days ago by Steve
John Pattullo
John Pattullo
27 days ago
Reply to  Steve

they have helicopter hanger which i think is large enough for a merlin and a bow sonar – thats enough for a non dedicated sub hunter – the only thing it needs is those mk41’s – that would give it the ship to ship and respectable air defense – hard to believe that a few launch tubes could cost so much

Steve
Steve
27 days ago
Reply to  John Pattullo

It would be interesting to know how often the current frigates/destroyers are forced to deploy without their helicopters due to shortage of air frames.

Is there any details on which bow sonar they will be equipped with or still speculation?

Last edited 27 days ago by Steve
John Pattullo
John Pattullo
27 days ago
Reply to  Steve

dont know the details of the sonar offhand but sure they were in some of the details released when the design was chosen as for the helicopters – quite often i imagine but as you said for low intensity/ offshore patrol duties they wont be needed – i would imagine if they are deployed to more dangerous areas or as part of a carrier strike group they would get a merlin that said with only 12 sea ceptors not sure how much use they would be as part of a task group – suppose all those guns would be useful… Read more »

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
27 days ago

Only one person picked up on the now announced anti surface capability for Ceptor.

I did mention a few months ago that it would be proven and implemented this year …looks like its now a go.

John Clark
John Clark
27 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

It certainly makes sense to fully utilise that capability. In reality, a good number of launched missiles will probably be used in this mode in years to come, especially if the current international terrorist / pirate situation remains much the same.

After all, this is precisely the sort of patrolling the the T31 is designed for.

DJ
DJ
27 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

I very much doubt so from a T31 unless it gets a lot more than 12 missiles. From a T26 (or even T23) – could be useful.

Paul.P
Paul.P
26 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

Exactly, why wouldn’t you? And this does strengthen the case for increasing T31 Sea Ceptor numbers to 24.

Jason Holmes
Jason Holmes
27 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

It’s only a light anti-surface capability, with 12 missiles in a swarm attack against an Iran type scenario, it will exhaust its compliment in minutes in theory

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
27 days ago
Reply to  Jason Holmes

In a swarm attack you have 40mm and 57mm guns, 50 cal and Mini Guns. . A ceptor can reach out 20+km and hit say a patrol boat at mach 2 detonate its warhead and probably still have propellant in the body to cause a serious fire. That’s the kind of target it would be used on.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
27 days ago
Reply to  Jason Holmes

In a fleet format you will have whatever is on the 2-3 x T26, + 1-2xT31 + 2xT45 so the is an awful lot of really good missiles.

Add to that whatever the 16+ F35B can carry and then add on the helo weapons that most seem to discount.

That is an awful lot of weapons and an awful lot of options.

Why do you have to aggregate? Because they now have decent range – some say out to nearly 40km.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
27 days ago

VL Sea Wolf was supplied on a circular launch tube and due to it hot launching it came with rocket exhaust vents built into the tube. The tubes where lowered into the holes in the T23 deck and and the bottoms of the tubes where shock mounted inside the ship So now that VL Seawolf has gone out of service the MOD has a shed load of spare launch tubes that it is adapting to become Ceptor launch container holders. They are modded to accept the square Ceptor launch container into the round VL launch tube and an extension piece… Read more »

Ian M.
Ian M.
27 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

An SME with common sense, good stuff GB.

Paul.P
Paul.P
26 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

That’s what I call up-cycling…good work 🙂
No reason they can’t make another 12 for the Inspirations then …..🧐

Steve R
Steve R
27 days ago

Hopefully we’ll get more than just the 12 Sea Ceptors. I’d like to see 24 Sea Ceptors plus 8 anti-ship missiles in canister launchers, and I feel they might just get that down the line. Arm them with the minimum of 12 for now, then when the Type 23s start being retired their launchers can be transferred onto the Type 31s. This keeps the £250million per-ship price tag and also allows for them to be up-armed in a few years for cheap as it won’t need to buy new equipment, just move it from an old ship to a new… Read more »

Steve
Steve
27 days ago
Reply to  Steve R

If it doesn’t have at launch, it’s unlikely to have it added during its life. It’s the whole fitted for but not with scam. Not many examples of stuff being fitted at a later date. Possible whenever they replace sea ceptor but I suspect that won’t be during the t31 life time.

Pete
Pete
27 days ago

Thought CAMM on Type 23 were all soft launch ! Main ‘image’ shows hot launch. Is Westminster hot launch?

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
27 days ago
Reply to  Pete

That’s going to be just after the big bungy cord throws it out of the tube and the rocket motor ignites

Pete
Pete
26 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Sorry..not main image.The 2nd image. Looks like a very very hot Bungy cord

Mike O
Mike O
27 days ago

This article reads as if not equipping type 31 with Sea Ceptor was an option. That though never even crossed my mind.

Steve
Steve
27 days ago
Reply to  Mike O

Kinda was. The original public requirement was for a ship with either missile or ciws for defense, it didn’t require both.

Mike O
Mike O
27 days ago
Reply to  Steve

You are of course right. The idea of not fitting it just seems so foreign that I never realised it was an option. Fortunately it will be fitted so it doesn’t matter now.

Steve
Steve
27 days ago
Reply to  Mike O

They were designing to a budget rather than to counter a specific threat. Dangerous way to design military kit, but hopefully the capability is sufficient for the threats they will need to go against.

Frank62
Frank62
24 days ago
Reply to  Steve

Both the 40mm & 57mm are effective CIWS.

QuentinD63
QuentinD63
25 days ago

Question for anyone. Is the land based Sky Sabre Camm also used in protection of sea ports, naval bases and other strategic facilities or just air bases and army sites at the moment?

Ryan Brewis
Ryan Brewis
18 days ago

So now it has a surface to surface capability. Great. Exactly what we needed, another lightweight missile for use against FAC. Seriously, do we need three different light AShM, four if you count SPEAR3? If they knew CAMM could have this capability, why not invest earlier in that rather than Martlet/Sea Venom? If air to surface capability can be worked in as well (I’m no expert but it doesn’t seem like it would be impossible), then there we go, a universal light missile. Surface to air for ship defence and for the Rapier replacement, air to surface for helos and… Read more »