Royal Navy’s Type 45 destroyers to receive upgraded missile defence capability

A Sea Viper missile is launched from the Type 45 destroyer HMS Dragon. (Photo: Royal Navy)

The Royal Navy’s Type 45 destroyers are to be given additional and enhanced firepower to fend off the latest threats from ballistic missiles.

Sister ships HMS Daring, HMS Dauntless, HMS Diamond, HMS Dragon, HMS Defender, and HMS Duncan will be fitted with the Sea Ceptor surface-to-air missile system on top of crucial upgrades to the destroyers’ principal weapon, the Sea Viper surface-to-air missile.

Each destroyer carries up to 48 Sea Viper missiles, each of which can reach speeds in excess of Mach four and is capable of neutralising aerial threats up to 120 kilometres away.

The Sea Viper Evolution upgrade package covers the missiles themselves as well as the Sampson radar and the command/control system. The upgrade is designed to deal with the increasing threats posed by anti-ship ballistic missiles against the fleet, especially Carrier Strike Groups.

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