HMS Westminster to rejoin fleet with new SAM


Sea Ceptor SAM (MBDA)

At present the Type-23 frigate is undergoing a major overhaul at Portsmouth Naval Base and is set to rejoin the fleet next year. When it does it will be carrying the MBDA Sea Ceptor surface-to-air missile (SAM) in place of its Sea Wolf missile system. Sea Ceptor was selected by the Royal Navy in January 2012 under the future local area air defence system (FLAADS) program and will eventually be adopted by the future Type 26 frigate as well as being retrofitted to the remaining Type 23s.

Capable of speeds up to Mach 3 and with a range of 15.5miles (25km), the weapon is designed for defence against high speed aircraft and anti-ship missiles. The missile was designed to be easily integrated with a number of radar systems both existing and in development meaning it can theoretically be integrated in to a number of surface warships. With 360 degree coverage of the launching vessel it is reported as being able to protect 1,300km² of sea from multiple air threats.

As well as new weaponry, the Royal Navy’s website states that Westminster will also have the main propulsion systems thoroughly overhauled and the hull will be subjected to repairs and preventative maintenance.



4 responses to “HMS Westminster to rejoin fleet with new SAM

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