MBDA has received a new £175m contract from the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) to provide further in-service support for the British Royal Navy's Daring-class Type 45 destroyers' Sea Viper weapon system.

The new agreement is known as the Sea Viper Unified Support Environment Period 1, and will see MBDA offer continuing in-service support to the Sea Viper weapon system over the next five years.

The unified support environment (USE) is the principle behind providing in-service support to UK MoD’s weapon systems and missiles in a portfolio environment, which has been designed with an aim to cut down support workload and administrative costs.

USE has already been successfully employed in a wide range of other MBDA programmes, such as advanced short range air-to-air missile (ASRAAM), Brimstone and Storm Shadow.

"The British Royal Navy’s Type 45 destroyers are deployed for hunting pirates, drug traffickers and submarines, as well as defending the fleet from air attack."

The in-service support work will help support approximately 50 MBDA jobs, mainly at Stevenage, Portsmouth and Bristol in the UK, as well as involve a large number of companies in the supply chain across the country, in addition to MBDA France and MBDA Italy.

The British Royal Navy’s Type 45 destroyers are deployed for hunting pirates, drug traffickers and submarines, as well as defending the fleet from air attack and delivering humanitarian aid after natural disasters.

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Type 45 destroyers are 152m long and have a displacement capacity of 8,000t.

The Sea Viper weapon system comprises Sampson, a combat management system, long-range radar and the Sylver missile-launching system, as well as Aster 15 and Aster 30 missiles.

Image: HMS Duncan, the last vessel of the Royal Navy’s Type 45 fleet. Photo: courtesy of Mark Harkin.