British defense ministry awards 125 mln USD contract for missile system

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The plaque outside the South Door of the Ministry of Defence Main Building in Whitehall, London.

LONDON, Nov. 4 (Xinhua) — Britain’s Ministry of Defense (MOD) announced Friday it has awarded a contract worth 125 million U.S. dollars to deliver a key defensive weapon for the Royal Navy’s new Type 26 Global Combat Ships.

The advanced Sea Ceptor air defence missile system, designed and built in Britain by MBDA, will be fitted to each of the new Type 26 ships.

The MOD said using innovations in radar and datalink technology that will guide powerful missiles with pinpoint accuracy, Sea Ceptor will provide the Royal Navy with a shield against airborne threats such as the new generation of supersonic anti-ship missiles, fast jets, helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles.

A new Demonstration and Manufacture phase contract will support additional design work and allow equipment to be manufactured to equip the entire Type 26 fleet.

MBDA’s Sea Ceptor system has already been selected by the Royal New Zealand Navy for use on board their Anzac class frigates, with considerable potential for additional overseas orders in the future.

An MOD spokesman in London said Sea Ceptor is also planned for use on board the Royal Navy’s current fleet of Type 23 frigates, which will eventually be replaced by Type 26, with three vessels currently being fitted with the system to allow sea trials throughout 2017.

“The system offers significant improvements over previous air defence systems, such as Sea Wolf, with the ability to engage multiple targets more effectively at a longer range,” said the spokesman.

The Sea Ceptor is due to enter service on Type 26 in the mid-2020s, and on Type 23 in 2017.

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