HMS Iron Duke’s new radar system fires missile for first time

15 April 2014 (Last Updated April 15th, 2014 18:30)

HMS Iron Duke, the UK Royal Navy’s type 23 Duke-class ship, has successfully test fired a Seawolf missile from its Artisan medium-range 3D surveillance radar for the first time off the Dorset coast.

A Seawolf missile being launched.

HMS Iron Duke, the UK Royal Navy's type 23 Duke-class ship, has successfully test fired a Seawolf missile from its Artisan medium-range 3D surveillance radar for the first time off the Dorset coast.

During the testing, the on-board radar tracked the sea-skimming target and then transferred the data to the Seawolf system to follow and shoot.

The missile was then launched successfully, blasting the object out of the Channel sky with a direct hit off the coast of Portland.

HMS Iron Duke is the first vessel in the fleet to feature the new surveillance radar, as well as the latest version of Seawolf missile, which is designed to protect navy frigates from air attack.

Lieutenant commander Chris L'Amie said: "We had just finished eight hard weeks of training where we had used Seawolf in simulation mode to defend ourselves against hostile aircraft and missiles.

"To cap off the training with a live shoot was hugely satisfying. I'm pleased the team performed well and we achieved the firing quickly and efficiently.

"To cap off the training with a live shoot was hugely satisfying. I'm pleased the team performed well and we achieved the firing quickly and efficiently."

"It really boosted confidence in the new radar ahead of Iron Duke's deployment."

Lieutenant commander Jim Hyde, whose short range air defence (SHORAD) team is responsible for Artisan and the upgraded Seawolf, said: "It was rewarding to see both the new radar and the upgraded weapon system operate together perfectly, successfully demonstrating end-to-end combat system performance, and validating a lot of hard work done by agencies across [the] MoD and in industry."

Artisan is being fitted to the navy's type 23 frigates, as well as its two new aircraft carrier and assault ships Ocean and Albion.


Image: A Seawolf missile being launched from HMS Iron Duke. Photo: courtesy of PO Carl Osmond.

Defence Technology