Army

Sky Sabre installed as 16 Regiment Royal Artillery's new colours

16 Regiment Royal Artillery have waved goodbye to their Rapier missile system and welcomed a state-of-the-art air defence system.

Being an anti-aircraft unit, 16 Regiment Royal Artillery, is being equipped with the Sky Sabre air defence system, which will become, for ceremonial purposes, its new colours.

Regimental colours are usually flags, used to identify regiments amid the smoke and chaos of the battlefield.

If the colours were taken in battle, it symbolised defeat for that regiment and so the colours would be fiercely defended at all costs.

However, for the Royal Artillery, their guns were their most cherished asset and assumed the mantle of the regimental colours.

A significant upgrade, Sky Sabre can hit a tennis ball travelling at several times the speed of sound with its missiles capable of travelling at 2,300 miles an hour.

Watch: Sky Sabre, the Army's new 'cutting-edge' air defence system.

It can also target and destroy drones, with the British Army saying the system is indicative of their modernisation plans.

Rapier was driven off the parade square in front of assembled troops and Lieutenant General Sir Chris Tickell KBE – the senior inspecting officer.

Then to a fanfare called 'Sky Sabre', specially prepared for the occasion, the new system announced itself by raising two hydraulic arms in unison over the parade.

The Sky Sabre system will be based at Baker Barracks, West Sussex, although its first deployment will be to replace the Rapier batteries on the Falkland Islands.