Released on Thursday, February 12, 2009
Type 45's Sea Viper missiles on track
The new Sea Viper air defence missile system has demonstrated its ability to protect air, land and sea forces during a second, successful test firing.
Sea Viper, formerly called the Principal Anti-Air Missile System (PAAMS), is a highly sophisticated air defence system that has been designed to allow the Royal Navy's new Type 45 destroyer to protect forces, both at sea and over land, against attack by enemy aircraft, as well as to defend the fleet against anti-ship missiles approaching from any direction and at supersonic speeds.
The second test firing, which took place on 4 February 2009, saw the missile system successfully fired from the 12,000-tonne trials barge Longbow near the Ile du Levant off the French coast.
The Longbow barge has a full replica of the air defence equipment the new Type 45 destroyers will carry, including long-range and missile- directing radars, a combat control centre and missiles in their vertical launcher silos.
The first test firing took place in June 2008 - see Related News >>>
MOD Defence Equipment and Support Medium Range Air Defence Weapons Team Leader, David Emly, said:
"This test was much more difficult with the target simulating a low-level anti-ship missile at close range and so I am very pleased with the result as it demonstrates that the Type 45 destroyer's powerful Anti-Air Warfare capability is on track to be delivered in 2010."
Integral to the Sea Viper system is the Sampson Multi-Function Radar which tracks targets and directs missiles towards them. This element is a bespoke design developed by BAE Systems to meet the Royal Navy's very specific requirements.
This latest success comes hot on the heels of the recent arrival of the first Type 45 destroyer, Daring, into her home port of Portsmouth for the first time in January. Integrating the Sea Viper system is the main focus of the ship's remaining trials before she is declared ready for service. See Related News >>>
Sea Viper came into being on 28 January 2009 when Vice Admiral Sir Trevor Soar, Chief of Material Fleet, formally announced the name selected by the Royal Navy for its Principal Anti-Air Missile System.
Sea Viper is a maritime area air defence system composed of the Sampson radar, a Combat Management System, long-range radar, the Sylver missile-launching system and Aster 15 and Aster 30 missiles.
The Aster missiles are capable of speeds in excess of mach four and are highly agile, using an innovative system called 'Pif Paf'. This combines conventional aerodynamic control with a novel lateral thrust system. The trial comprised the firing of a single Aster 15 missile launched against a Mirach target simulating a low-level attack from an anti-ship missile.
PAAMS - Principal Anti-Air Missile System