UK probes Sea Viper missile test failures
By Richard Scott and additional reporting by Doug Richardson
The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) and Royal Navy (RN) are examining the potential impact of two successive test failures of the Sea Viper air-defence system on the overall programme for the service's new Type 45 destroyers.
The MoD is working with prime contractor MBDA UK to review range and telemetry data after the latest failure to achieve an intercept.
The MoD told Jane's the two latest sets of Sea Viper test-firings "were not as successful as the earlier trials, although they have successfully provided vital system performance evidence". It added: "This has enabled Sea Viper qualification and ship trials to progress in accordance with the planned Type 45 programme... Analysis of the most recent [November 2009] test-firing, using range and telemetry data, is being progressed urgently. It is too early to assess the impact on the Type 45 programme."
Sea Viper qualification testing, performed from the UK's guided-weapon trials platform Longbow , has been under way at the Centre d'Essais de Lancement des Missiles (CELM) range in the south of France since early 2008. The UK had originally planned three live-firing events to validate system performance in the area, point-defence and local-area roles.192 of 869 words
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