The United Kingdom awarded MBDA and Eurosam $690 million in multiyear contracts to increase the Royal Navy’s Daring-class Type 45 destroyers missile capacity by 50 percent, the government announced July 6.
MBDA is set to integrate the Common Anti-Air Modular Missile (CAMM) program, also known as the Sea Ceptor to the Type 45, while Eurosam will refresh the long-range Astor 30 missiles, currently used by the ship.
MBDA was awarded an 11-year contract to integrate the CAMM to the Type 45’s Sea Viper weapons systems. The CAMM is able to target high-speed air targets; hovering helicopters and low-speed threats; and small, fast inshore attack craft.
Separately, Eurosam was awarded a 10-year contract to refresh the Aster 30 missiles the ships currently use. Eurosam is a joint venture originally formed by companies that became part of MBDA and Thales Group. MBDA’s French and Italian subsidiaries own 66 percent of Eurosam with the remaining stake owned by Thales.
The U.K. government said the Aster 30 refresh is a tri-national sustainment and enhancement contract with France and Italy.
The BAE Systems’ Type 45 destroyers are designed as anti-aircraft and anti-missile warfare vessels and currently use a combination of short-range Aster 15 and long-range Aster 30 anti-air missiles.
“This upgrade ensures the Type 45 remains hugely respected by naval fleets across the globe and secures highly-skilled jobs and investment,” Minister for Defence Procurement Jeremy Quin said in a statement.
MBDA noted the CAMM will be combined with an upgraded Sea Viper command and control system for the first time.
The U.K. government said these upgrades are part of a $33 billion four-year increase in funding for the Defence Ministry to meet future threats, previously announced by the Prime Minister last November and outlined in a Defence Command Paper.
The government said in order to facilitate the new CAMMs, a new 24-missile CAMM launcher cell silo will be added in front of the existing 48-missile Aster 30 silos. This will increase the Type 45 destroyer’s capacity to 72 anti-air missiles per ship, a 50 percent increase over the current complement.
MBDA said once upgrades are completed, the current 48 Sylver cells on the Type 45s will only be used for longer-range Aster 30 missiles. The Aster 30 refresh will also keep the weapon in service through the service life of the Type 45s, the company added.
“These programmes will provide an exceptional capability to the front line, ensuring the [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,” Vice Adm. Jerry Kyd, Royal Navy Fleet Commander, said in a statement.
The U.K. expects the first Type 45 destroyer to undergo an overhaul to add these weapons by summer 2026.