Royal Navy: MoD reveals when Type 45 destroyers will get ferocious missile upgrades to eliminate threats

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Royal Navy destroyers are due to get crucial missile upgrades, with the Ministry of Defence hinting at when they will be ready.

The Sea Viper Missile system on Type 45 destroyers will be getting enhanced, with the MoD investing £405m into the project. These weapons have been previously used to tackle various threats.

Portsmouth-based warship HMS Diamond shot down various drones believed to be utilised by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen when she was deployed in the Red Sea. Kevan Jones, Labour MP for North Durham, wrote a written question on March 4 asking when the new system will be ready.

HMS Diamond firing its Sea Viper missile to engage and shot down a drone over the Red Sea. The Royal Navy warship has shot down a suspected attack drone in the Red Sea, Defence Secretary Grant Shapps has said. Picture: MoD/Crown copyright/PA Wire.HMS Diamond firing its Sea Viper missile to engage and shot down a drone over the Red Sea. The Royal Navy warship has shot down a suspected attack drone in the Red Sea, Defence Secretary Grant Shapps has said. Picture: MoD/Crown copyright/PA Wire.
HMS Diamond firing its Sea Viper missile to engage and shot down a drone over the Red Sea. The Royal Navy warship has shot down a suspected attack drone in the Red Sea, Defence Secretary Grant Shapps has said. Picture: MoD/Crown copyright/PA Wire.
HMS Diamond. Picture: Andrew Matthews/PAHMS Diamond. Picture: Andrew Matthews/PA
HMS Diamond. Picture: Andrew Matthews/PA

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

James Cartlidge, minister of state for the MoD, said the missile upgrades are among the raft of improvements scheduled for the ships. He said: "Sea Viper Evolution is the first stage of UK Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD), with enhancements to the Type 45 Destroyer's Multi-Function Radar, Combat Management System (CMS), Weapon Command and Control (C2), and the ASTER 30 Block 1 missile. Initial Operating Capability (IOC) is scheduled for February 2028." Mr Cartlidge added that the UK is currently in an assessment phase for future capability upgrades.

Defence secretary Grant Shapps told Reuters in January that the upgrades are vital for Royal Navy operations in the future. "As the situation in the Middle East worsens, it is vital that we adapt to keep the UK, our allies and partners safe," defence minister Grant Shapps said in the statement. Sea Viper has been at the forefront of this, being the Navy's weapon of choice in the first shooting down of an aerial threat in more than 30 years."

The new missiles will feature a newly-designed warhead. Mr Cartlidge said the system enables ships to defeat ballistic missile threats. Contracts were awarded to the British division of MBDA, a joint venture owned by Airbus, BAE Systems and Leonardo.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.