Two Type 23 frigates, HMS Argyll and HMS Westminster, completed firing trials with the MBDA designed Sea Ceptor missile system. This means the European missile manufacturer’s system can proceed the next stage of the acceptance into service with the Royal Navy.

Sea Ceptor is replacing the Sea Wolf weapon system on Type 23 frigates and will provide the same capability to the Royal Navy’s future Type 26 frigates.

The new missile defense system will provide the UK with a powerful shield against airborne targets such as jets, helicopters and enemy missiles traveling at supersonic speeds. It uses the new Common Anti-Air Modular Missile, or CAMM. These missiles can travel up to three times the speed of sound and deal with multiple simultaneous targets.

“The results of the firings are now going through extensive analysis; our assessment so far is positive and shows how Sea Ceptor is capable of protecting both the ship which fired it and other ships in its task group,” said Richard Smart, Director Weapons with the MoD’s Defence, Equipment and Support (DE&S).

Test firings were conducted by DE&S off the coast of Scotland at the Hebrides range.

“Unlike its predecessor, the system is capable of defending ships other than Westminster herself,” said Lieutenant Nick Andrews, HMS Westminster anti-air-warfare officer. “Whether it’s engaging multiple air threats or fast incoming attack craft, Sea Ceptor represents a massive capability upgrade for the Type 23 frigate.”