Britain’s Royal Navy currently uses Seawolf missiles as the primary air defense system for its Type 23 frigates. They’re updated versions of a missile that was used during the 1982 Falklands War, but modern threats demand more. Britain also needs to equip its Type 26/27 Global Combat Ship frigate replacements, and could use an option that raises the number of air defense missiles carried by its Type 45 air defense destroyers.
The answer to all of these problems is being developed as one component of Britain’s GBP 4 billion, 10-year “Team Complex Weapons” partnership with MBDA. It’s a quad-packable, intermediate-range air defense missile with its own active radar guidance, which re-uses a number of features and technologies from British fighter jets’ AIM-132 ASRAAM short-range air-to-air missile. Not only will it serve on British ships, but it’s set to field as an Army air defense missile, and may even fly on future British fighters.