CAMM main mortar fire

Royal Navy's Type 45 Destroyers To Get £500m Firepower Upgrade

CAMM main mortar fire

The Royal Navy's Type 45 destroyers will receive a £500m upgrade to their firepower capability.

It will see the warships' missile capacity increased by 50%.

The vessels, of which there are six, will receive two new upgrades as part of the investment.

Missile manufacturer MBDA UK has been awarded an 11-year contract to integrate the Common Anti-Air Modular Missile (CAMM) programme, often referred to as Sea Ceptor, into the Type 45 destroyers' Sea Viper weapon systems.

In addition, a 10-year contract with Eurosam will provide a refresh of the Aster 30 missiles system currently in use.

Minister for Defence Procurement, Jeremy Quin, said the investment "reaffirms our commitment to equip the Royal Navy with the most advanced and powerful defensive systems".

At the moment, Type 45 destroyers use a combination of short-range Aster 15 and long-range Aster 30 anti-air missiles.

Type 45 destroyer HMS Diamond
Type 45 destroyer HMS Diamond (Picture: MOD).

To introduce CAMM, a new 24-missile CAMM silo will be added in front of the current 48-missile Aster 30 silos.

This will increase the overall missile capacity of the vessels by 50% and result in a total capacity of 72 anti-air missiles per destroyer.

CAMM is also capable of targeting small, fast inshore attack craft, hovering helicopters and low-speed targets, as well as more traditional high-speed air targets.

Royal Navy Fleet Commander, Vice Admiral Jerry Kyd, said: "These programmes will provide an exceptional capability to the front line, ensuring the RN [Royal Navy] remains poised to defend the surface fleet, and most importantly the Carrier Strike Group, against complex air threats both now and into the future."

The programmes are expected to support more than 100 jobs across the UK.

The Type 45 destroyers are among the most advanced in the Royal Navy fleet, capable of carrying out a range of operations, including defence from air attack, counter-piracy and humanitarian aid.

The Navy's fifth Type 45 destroyer, HMS Defender, was recently the subject of an incident in the Black Sea where it was shadowed by Russian vessels and buzzed by jets as it sailed through disputed waters around Crimea last month.

The Ministry of Defence denied shots were fired by a Russian patrol boat towards HMS Defender and that a warplane dropped four high explosive fragmentation bombs in its path during its passage through the Black Sea.

Cover image: CAMM main mortar (Picture: MBDA/MOD).