Supporting more than 100 highly skilled jobs in Bristol, Stevenage, Gosport and Bolton, two contracts will develop the cutting-edge air defence systems of the Type 45 destroyers.
MBDA UK has been awarded an 11-year contract to integrate the Common Anti Air Modular Missile (CAMM) into the Type 45 destroyer’s Sea Viper weapon system. In addition to this, a 10-year contract with Eurosam will provide an Aster Mid-Life Refresh (MLR) programme of work to missiles that the Type 45 destroyers currently use.
The CAMM contract was placed by the DE&S Maritime Anti-air Weapon Systems (MAWS) Team and the Aster MLR contract via OCCAR.
DE&S MAWS team leader Captain Matt Stratton RN said:
“The placement of these contracts cements the next step in the UK’s development of the Type 45 Destroyer’s Sea Viper capability and is the result of a tremendous amount of activity between MBDA and the MAWS delivery team.
“The introduction of the UK produced CAMM as the inner layer missile in conjunction with a refresh of the fielded ASTER 30 outer layer missile will provide the Type 45 with a significant uplift in Anti-Air capability into the future as the Type 45 delivers the backbone of Air Defence to the Royal Navy’s Carrier Strike Group (CSG).
“These contracts are the critical element of the Sea Viper Mid Life Refresh programme which will sustain the weapon system through to the platform’s out of service date. We now enter the incredibly exciting demonstration and manufacture phase where we will bring this capability to the hands of the end user.”
Announced by the Prime Minister last November, Defence has received an increase in funding of over £24 billion across the next four years, focussing on the ability to adapt to meet future threats. Outlined further in the Defence Command Paper, this investment to upgrade the Royal Navy’s Type 45 destroyers will support the lethality of the surface fleet.
Currently the Type 45 destroyers use a combination of short-range Aster 15 and long-range Aster 30 anti-air missiles to engage with and destroy enemy threats.
To facilitate the introduction of CAMM to the vessels, a new 24-missile CAMM silo will be added in front of the current 48-missile Aster 30 silos, therefore increasing the overall missile capacity of the vessels by 50% with a total capacity of 72 anti-air missiles per destroyer.
CAMM also provides a means to accurately and effectively engage small, fast inshore attack craft, hovering helicopters and low-speed targets alongside defeating their more traditional high-speed air targets.
The Aster 30 missile system refresh is a tri-national sustainment and enhancement contract between the UK, France and Italy which includes investment in a dedicated UK embodiment facility at Defence Munitions in Gosport, Hampshire.
DE&S CEO Sir Simon Bollom said:
“The introduction of the UK produced CAMM missile in conjunction with the current Aster 30 missile will provide the Type 45 with a significant uplift in anti-air capability into the future as the Type 45 delivers the backbone of air defence to the Royal Navy’s Carrier Strike Group.”
The Royal Navy’s Type 45 destroyers are among the most advanced in the fleet and carry out a range of activity, including defence from air attack, counter-piracy and providing humanitarian aid.
The first Type 45 destroyer is expected to have been overhauled by summer 2026.
Minister for Defence Procurement, Jeremy Quin said:
“Enhancing the capabilities of the vessels, this investment reaffirms our commitment to provide the Royal Navy with the most advanced technology and defensive systems.
“Supporting over 100 local jobs, industry expertise will be vital in maintaining the longevity of the Type 45 and central role in the Royal Navy’s surface fleet.”