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MBDA secures first contract for Albatros NG shipborne air defence system

MBDA has revealed a first order for a new shipborne anti-air guided weapon system based on the extended range version of the Common Anti-air Modular Missile (CAMM-ER).

Known as Albatros NG, the new system is scheduled to enter service with an undisclosed international customer from 2024, according to MBDA. While no other details of the sale have been released by the company, it is thought likely that the system will equip Brazil’s four new Tamandaré-class light frigates.

CAMM-ER is an extended range variant of the CAMM missile. CAMM is already in service with the UK Royal Navy as part of the GWS 35 Sea Ceptor local area anti-air missile system. Sea Ceptor has also been sold to New Zealand (as part of the Anzac-class Frigate Systems Upgrade) and Chile (Type 23 air defence upgrade). A ground-based version, known as Land Ceptor, has been procured as part of the British Army’s Sky Sabre ground-based air defence system.

MBDA’s UK and Italian businesses began development of CAMM-ER in 2014 using company funds. While re-using the basic architecture of CAMM, and sharing significant commonality with its progenitor (such as the active radar seeker, dual-band datalink, warhead, fuze, actuators, and inertial measurement unit), the CAMM-ER all-up round is lengthened to incorporate a larger rocket motor developed by Avio, and features mid-body strakes to improve lift-to-drag coefficient. The result is a missile capable of achieving a range of more than 40 km, compared with the 25 km of CAMM.

CAMM-ER is being integrated in the new ground-based air defence systems for the Italian Army and Italian Air Force. In November 2019 MBDA announced that it had concluded a series of firing trials to prove the performance of the CAMM-ER missile at extended ranges and high altitudes.

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