Royal Navy’s new air defence missile impresses Thorney Island artillery team

The new Sea Ceptor missiles
The new Sea Ceptor missiles
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AIR defence soldiers have been shown the Royal Navy’s latest piece of kit to destroy deadly enemy missiles.

Troops from 16 Regiment Royal Artillery, based at Thorney Island, were given an insight into the new Sea Ceptor system during a visit to HMS Westminster.

The ship is in the final stage of a major overhaul at Portsmouth Naval Base which has seen her becoming one of the first vessels in the fleet to be fitted with the new short-range anti-air attack defence.

The weapon, and its supporting radar system, will gradually replace the aging Seawolf missiles fitted across the Type 23 frigate flotilla.

The army gunners, led by Lieutenant Colonel James Mardlin, will soon be replacing their veteran Rapier missile with a ground version of the Sea Ceptor.

Lieutenant Commander Chris L’Amie, Westminster’s senior naval officer was excited to work with 16 Regiment, and said: ‘The introduction of Ceptor is a real opportunity for both us and 16 Regiment to learn from each other.’

The supersonic Sea Ceptor is heavier and has a range of 15 miles – more than twice that of the Seawolf.

Once upgrades are finished, Westminster will return to the fleet next year as the navy’s premier submarine hunter.