The UK Royal Navy has successfully completed trials of the Sea Viper air defence missile, which were being conducted in the Mediterranean.

Sea Viper directly hit a manoeuvrable sea-skimming target that was travelling at hundreds of miles an hour during the trials.

The system is capable of defending the Type 45 destroyers and ships against multiple attacks from enemy aircraft or missiles approaching from any direction and at supersonic speeds.

The missile is also capable of engaging more than ten targets simultaneously.

The phased-array Sampson radar, used by Sea Viper, has a range of 400km with an onboard position of 30m above sea level, enabling the system to react to high-speed, very low-level, anti-ship missiles.

The radar sends a target location update to the missile during its flight, which uses thrusters to shift the missile sideways several metres to bring the warhead into range of manoeuvring targets.

Complex Weapons at Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) head Richard Smart said Sea Viper’s capability would be tested from a Type 45 platform, Dauntless, later this year.