Discussion is reportedly ‘intensifying’ regarding equipping the Type 45 Destroyer fleet with the MK41 Vertical Launch System.
Andy Rhodes, Raytheon UK business development executive, claimed recently that discussions are intensifying about equipping the Royal Navy’s Type 45 Destroyer fleet with the MK41 Vertical Launch Systems, allowing the vessels to carry ballistic missile defence weaponry.
This seems unlikely in the short-term.
The MK 41 Vertical Launch Systems is also expected to be fitted on the Type 26 Frigates fleet, “which means they could be inherently ideal for sea-based ballistic missile defence protection” said Rhodes.
In a press release, Raytheon said:
“Not only could the Royal Navy carry the only sea-based mid-course defence weapon in existence today, the SM-3, they could also take advantage of the SM-6’s anti-air warfare and ballistic missile defence capability.
In August, an SM-6 Dual 1 interceptor destroyed a short-range ballistic missile target in a first-of-its-kind test at sea, solidifying its place in an elite group of weapons that can defend against this class of threat.”
However, it should be noted that a variant of the Aster 30 could be used in this role.
France and Italy have signed an agreement on development of the Aster 30 Block 1NT missile, the French Defence Ministry have said in a statement. British officials at a summit in March said that the Royal Navy is considering arming its destroyers with the new Aster version, dubbed Aster 30 Block 1NT (New Technology), a wide area defence capable against 1500 km-range ballistic missiles.