The Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has announced that the £850 million Sea Ceptor missile system responsible for protecting Royal Navy’s new aircraft carriers has officially entered service.
The system provides a powerful shield against airborne threats, including hostile combat jets, helicopters and other missiles, and has been developed and manufactured through Ministry of Defence contracts worth around £850m.
It will be carried by the Royal Navy’s Type 23 frigates, and has been successfully demonstrated through a trials and test firing campaign that started last year. Most recently, Plymouth-based HMS Montrose became the third ship to test fire the system.
Designed and manufactured by MBDA, the system is directly supporting 600 jobs in Bristol, Stevenage and Bolton as part of the Team Complex Weapons partnering agreement between MOD and MBDA.
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “Sea Ceptor will protect our nation against the intensifying threats we face today and in the future, giving our ships a powerful shield against everything from supersonic missiles to enemy fighter jets.
“Fitting our warships with this ground-breaking technology not only protects our Navy but shows we are world leaders at sea. HMS Argyll will be the first ship to deploy with this cutting-edge system when she heads to support peace and security in the Asia Pacific region later this year.”
The announcement follows detailed analysis of data gathered during the first of class firing trials by HMS Argyll, which took place last year. HMS Westminster and HMS Montrose, the second and third ships to be fitted with Sea Ceptor, have since also carried out successful firings.
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