The system successfully fired an Aster 30 missile from HMS Dauntless at the MOD range in the Hebrides and hit a moving target drone.
The Sea Viper can engage multiple targets simultaneously, meaning it is capable of defending the new Type 45 fleet and ships in their company against multiple attacks from the most sophisticated aircraft or missiles approaching from any direction and at supersonic speeds.
Sea Viper also has state-of-the-art Sampson radar, allowing it to react to high-speed, very low-level, anti-ship missiles, and can track targets over a range of up to 400 kilometres. The Aster missiles are capable of speeds in excess of Mach 4 and are highly agile.
Captain Richard Powell, Commanding Officer of HMS Dauntless, said:
This firing is the culmination of a series of trials of Sea Viper as the ship moves towards acceptance into the Royal Navy. Both my ship’s company and the equipment manufacturers have done a sterling job in preparing for and conducting the test.
We are delighted with the success of this firing which is particularly important for the UK as the Sea Viper system will also work in support of land and air forces.
Richard Smart, Head of Team Complex Weapons at the MOD, said:
Sea Viper is one of the most advanced weapons systems in the world. Its ability to engage multiple targets gives the Royal Navy unparalleled protection from air attack which, together with the ship’s speed and agility, makes the Type 45 a truly formidable fighting force.
The first firing from HMS Dauntless is a fantastic achievement that has successfully built on the weapon system’s extensive qualification programme.
At Naval Command Headquarters, news of the successful first firing at sea from a Royal Navy warship was received warmly by the Chief of Staff (Capability), Major General Garry Robison. He said:
This is an essential milestone in the development of Type 45 capability and is the culmination of much successful co-operation between MOD and industry.
Sea Viper is the Royal Navy’s version of the MBDA-designed PAAMS (Principal Anti-Air Missile System) which consists of Sampson radar, a combat and control system, the Sylver missile launching system and Aster 15 and Aster 30 missiles.