MBDA UK was earlier this year awarded a Demonstration and Manufacture contract for the Sea Viper-CAMM (SV-CAMM) implementation by Defence Equipment and Support. The CAMM missile already forms part of the Sea Ceptor local-area anti-air guided weapon system fitted to the Royal Navy’s Type 23 frigates, and is also to equip the new Type 26 and Type 31 frigates.
The first Type 45 destroyer to receive the SV-CAMM fit is scheduled to have completed its upgrade by the start of 2027. All six ships of the class are planned to have received the SV-CAMM installation by the end of 2032.
As a complement to the medium-range Aster 30 missile, CAMM will replace the current Aster 15 short-range missile in the Sea Viper system to provide inner layer anti-air defence and also offer a capability against fast inshore attack craft. A new 24-missile silo for CAMM will be installed in front of the existing 48 cell SYLVER vertical launcher silo, increasing overall missile capacity by 50%.
The existing 48 SYLVER launch cells on the Type 45 will now be solely for the longer-range Aster 30 missile, which is the subject of a recently announced mid-life refresh. This will see the missile remain in service throughout the life of the Type 45 destroyers.
The current Sea Viper command and control system will also receive a technology upgrade. As well as a significant uplift in processing power, the existing Threat Evaluation and Weapon Assignment software functionality will be adapted so that the system can optimise the engagement plan for the specific threat scenario.
According to MBDA, the SV-CAMM upgrade will allow the Type 45 to maintain a high degree of commonality and re-use with the Sea Ceptor systems installed on Royal Navy frigates, and exploit the UK’s existing CAMM missile stockpile. Also, in addition to increased depth of fire, the introduction of CAMM in a separate silo means all 48 SYLVER cells remain available. This offers opportunities for increased flexibility in the mix of Aster 30 missiles if the UK chooses to further evolve Sea Viper for anti-ship ballistic missile defence.