The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has awarded a £100m contract to MBDA to equip the UK Royal Navy's entire Type 26 global combat ships with the advanced Sea Ceptor air defence missile system.
Designed and built in the UK, the advanced missile system is also planned to be deployed on-board the navy's Type 23 frigates to replace the existing Sea Wolf missile system.
The Sea Ceptor missile system is slated to enter service on Type 26 in the middle of the 2020s and on Type 23 next year.
UK Minister for Defence Procurement Harriett Baldwin said: "Sea Ceptor will ensure the Royal Navy’s Type 26 global combat ships are protected as they, in turn, protect the UK and her interests, keeping our nuclear deterrent submarines and the UK’s two new Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers safe on operations around the globe.
"Supported by our rising defence budget and our £178bn equipment fund, Sea Ceptor is yet another example of how the MoD investing in cutting-edge kit to help our armed forces meet future threats."
Under the demonstration and manufacture contract, MBDA will carry out additional design work and manufacture equipment for the entire Type 26 fleet.
Capable of being deployed on various platforms ranging from 50m-long offshore patrol vessels to destroyers, the 3.2m-long supersonic missile can intercept combat aircraft and missiles moving at supersonic speeds and neutralise them while protecting the host ship.
The Sea Ceptor is equipped with radar and datalink technology, can travel at speeds of more than 2,000 miles per hour, and has a range of more than 25km.
The missile system has also been selected for use on-board the Anzac-class frigates of the Royal New Zealand Navy.
Image: MBDA's Sea Ceptor missile system to equip Type 26 global combat ships. Photo: courtesy of MBDA.