The UK is to invest in a ground-based ballistic missile defence radar and also investigate the potential of the Type 45 Destroyers to operate in a ballistic missile defence role.

The UK’s current and only ballistic missile defence (BMD) radar is at RAF Fylingdales, speculation suggests that either a site in the UK or Cyprus will house the system.

While the radar station at RAF Fylingdales remains a British asset operated and commanded by the Royal Air Force, it also forms one of three stations in the United States BMEWS network. The other two stations in the network are Thule Air Base, Greenland and Clear Air Force Station, Alaska. The data obtained by Fylingdales is shared fully and freely with the United States, where it feeds into the US-Canadian North American Aerospace Defence Command at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs. To this end a United States Air Force liaison officer is stationed at the base.

In addition, the UK will also support “research and development initiatives and multinational engagement through the UK’s Missile Defence Centre “.

The relevant section of the Strategic Defence and Security Review states:

“The UK has been under constant threat from ballistic missiles since the Second World War. But states outside the Euro-Atlantic area and non-state actors are now acquiring ballistic missile technology. The threat faced by the UK, our Overseas Territories and our military bases has evolved. We will continue to commit significant funds to the NATO Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) network, as well as supporting research and development initiatives and multinational engagement through the UK’s Missile Defence Centre. We will invest in a ground-based BMD radar, which will enhance the coverage and effectiveness of the NATO BMD system. We will also investigate further the potential of the Type 45 Destroyers to operate in a BMD role.”

The Missile Defence Centre is a UK Government and industry partnership for working with allies and partners on ballistic missile defence issues.

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Ross Hendrie

We’re really not pulling any punches when it comes to investing in new toys, are we?

Stephen Brown

and there are very few reasons that will account for this and none of them give me an all warm feeling.


Well it’s Russia. NATO is in the process of rearming after years of believing Russia was turning into a modern progressive state. Putin has convinced his own people that we are a threat and in doing so has soiled east/west relations for at least a generation. Reminds me of the British after the war where we couldn’t let go of the empire and it took Suez before we realised we’re no longer a superpower. Russia is going through that denial process right now and it’s ugly to watch. Russia is in a game it can’t possibly win.

Russell Bushby

Some of the members of the SDR have published a report questioning the UK’s ability to quickly increase manning. The HMG response seems targetted at that, after the very politicised SDR2010

Mark Campbell

About time!! Invest away!!

Andy Shepherd

thinking maybe the cut in type 26’s maybe they should build 5 more t45’s whats the chances of one being in the right place at the right time ? and with having 3/4 of them gaurding carriers

Jason Bartlett

There is not a cut in frigate numbers 8 t26 will be built and a further 5 of a new class of flexible light frigates will make it up to 13 there is also a good chance that even more will be built to up the navies surface fleet.

No chance of anymore t45 it would cost to much to reopen production and by the time they were built after the t26 the new opvs your looking at 2040 and by then the t45 will be looking to be replaced.

Andy Shepherd

trubble is 13 is not enough maybe they should have anti bal missile on t45 and t26 and maybe even think about giving one class tomohawks to take the pressure off the ssn’s

Michael Karl Dawes

they have indicated that by designing a GP frigate it is possible they may order more than 5 in the 2020 – 30s increasing the total number of Frigates and Destroyers beyond 19. They have moved away from order all 13 T26s for affordability reasons so there is no chance at all they will order the even more expensive T45s

Andy Shepherd

didnt they learn from the falklands that cheap ships put people in harm’s way ? why the current t23’s got beefed up a lot from the first drawings but more numbers would defo help

ive aways thought they should put a hanger on the bay class couple if merlins and rm raiding boats great ship for drug patrols etc

Jason Bartlett

There is talk about using the t45 for anti balistic and if current plans stand the 3 general purpose t26 wil be armed with land attack missles. Its worth noting that just because there calling the new gp light frigates cheaper it does not mean less capable, id guess they would be armed like the new french light frigates.

Michael Karl Dawes

^ agreed, less capable ASW platforms no doubt but possibly better suited to other tasks. Not a bad trade off if it means more hulls in the long run

Rob Simmonds

Sounds good, but I believe the Aster 30 Block 2, which is being developed by MDBA for ABM capability, will, like SCALP Naval, require the A70 launcher, as opposed to the A50 currently fitted to Type 45. I guess the currently free space in the middle of the Type 45’s A50 launchers may be long enough for A70 launchers to be fitted, but would require the Type 45s to be refitted to handle them. Interesting if it comes to fruition, especially as the Chinese have in their arsenal hypersonic ballistic anti ship missiles.


Andy – I read on another forum that the T26 has been designed with the possibility (i.e. space available) for an all MK41 forward silo which would give (I assume) 48 x MK41 and also weight margin up to 9,000 tons. If there’s depth in T26 for MK41 (48 I presume) then 48 x A70 would seem possible plus the T26 mast seems to have been getting bigger in more recent design iterations and now appears big enough for Sampson. What I’m getting to is that, rather than building more T45 (where the line is now pretty cold and it… Read more »

Ian Lawrence Moody

Near Whitby hope the hackers dont get in

Rik Adams

Well they better hurry up considering events today.

David Crook

Would gladly drop the 5 T26’s if the 8 got Tomahawk, ASROC, LRASM ect. For 8 to 10 BMT Ventors.

Richard Simmonds

So we can see them coming , but can not stop them ……
How about a defence system to stop them ???

Ross Hendrie

I should also say that some actual infantry might be good too in the SDSR… :p

Simon Taylor

Fat lot of good that’ll do us, may help the yanks! The only nukes we have are SLBM’s!


fair enough investing in new radar systems, but maybe we should invest in a land based missile defence system aswell….. in the event of war who says a type 45 will be in the right place….having our own missile defence system would cut down the amount we rely on someone else to save our arse

James Bartlett

See that when you go on the NYMR.


Forget about Type 45 Uk needs to buy Arleigh Burke-class destroyer with Aegis.That way we can do two jobs protect the Uk Carrier force and supply Ballistic Missile Defence as well


We are going to spend 20 Billion on updating Trident, the government say it’s a deterrent which means we launch a retalitary strike, once that happens the only people that survive are the ones in their bunkers, we are all dead, so much for a deterant. We should spend the Trident money on a BMD system that will protect a large proportion of our population not just the chosen ones. We cannot rely on NATO or the Americans to protect us, in the event of mass Nuclear war each nation will protect its own, except us. As more and more… Read more »


Is this similar to what u guys are on about with the smaller frigate t26 i think

[…] absent it’s Merlin helicopter, are at present unable to shoot down ballistic missiles but research is underway and in contrast to the US Navy aren’t equipped with Tomahawk missiles (TLAM) capable of striking […]