Missile consortium MBDA is looking to sell its Sea Ceptor naval air defense system to Finland as part of efforts
to help arm the latter's fleet of Squadron 2020 corvettes
. The firm's offer is based on its Common Anti-air Modular Missile (CAMM
), and is being made through the three companies—Atlas Elektronik, Lockheed Martin Canada and Saab—currently on the short list to supply the combat management system to the Finnish authorities. Speaking to Defense News, Paul Stanley, MBDA vice president for northern Europe, said that bidders for the CMS deal will propose an “air defense system as part of a package, with recommendations,” after which Finnish authorities will then “make a selection.” That indirect approach in the tender leaves the missile maker relying on the combat systems integrator, which is expected to offer Raytheon's Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM) and Barak from Israel, he said. The Sea Ceptor system has already been certified and installed on three of the British Royal Navy's Type 23 frigates and will be installed on the service's next generation Type 26
and Type 31 frigates. Exports have also been secured for new Zealand, Chile, and Brazil, while Spain is also looking to conduct a study for its own Sea Ceptor package. MBDA has also teamed with Lockheed Martin to develop a lightweight version of the MK41 launcher for CAMM, known as the extensible lightweight launcher (ExLS), which is intended to fit on smaller naval vessels.
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.