Sea Ceptor aims for corvette retrofit [ID18D2]

07 November 2018

European guided weapons house MBDA (Hall D, Stand D210) is pushing its new Sea Ceptor local area anti-air missile system as a potential retrofit for the Indonesian Navy’s three Bung Tomo-class corvettes, writes Richard Scott.

Based on the new Common Anti-air Modular Missile (CAMM) effector, Sea Ceptor has been ordered by the UK Ministry of Defence to replace VL Seawolf on the Royal Navy’s Type 23 frigates, and to equip new Type 26 frigates from build. The system has also secured export orders from New Zealand and Chile for frigate upgrade programmes.

The 95m Bung Tomo-class ships were originally designed to receive the VL Seawolf point defence missile system (with space for a 16-cell silo forward of the bridge). However the Seawolf system was not installed prior to Indonesia’s 2013 agreement to acquire the ships.

With VL Seawolf no longer in production, MBDA is now proposing to equip the three vessels with the next-generation Sea Ceptor system. “As demonstrated by the highly successful Type 23 upgrade programme for the Royal Navy, Sea Ceptor is a proven and low-risk upgrade option for vessels configured for the previous Seawolf system such as the Bung Tomo corvettes,” an MBDA spokesperson said. “Also, the system’s design, including its active radar seeker and a two-way datalink, makes it virtually radar- and combat management system-agnostic.”

Capable of ranges of more than 25km, CAMM uses an active radar seeker (supported by mid-course guidance updates) to deliver an allweather engagement capability against multiple targets simultaneously. It also features novel ‘soft launch’ technology, where a gas-powered piston propels the missile away from the ship before thrusters orientate it in the required direction of flight. Once the low-speed/low-energy turnover is complete, the missile fires its main rocket motor.

“At only 100kg per missile and utilising cold vertical launch, Sea Ceptor offers substantial weight and volume savings over alternate systems,” MBDA told the Show Daily, “while providing shorter interception times and substantially increased maximum range.”

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