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Sea Ceptor confirmed for new Brazilian frigates

MBDA has been contracted to supply its Sea Ceptor local area anti-air guided weapon system for the Brazilian Navy's new Tamandaré-class frigates.

Four Tamandaré-class ships, based on the MEKO A100 platform, are being delivered by Águas Azuis – a special purpose joint venture comprising ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems, Embraer Defense & Security and Atech – under a EUR2 billion contract awarded in March 2020. The overall project is being managed by state-owned EMGEPRON (as delivery agent for the Brazilian Navy).

Already in service with the UK Royal Navy (RN), the Sea Ceptor guided weapon system is founded on MBDA's Common Anti-Air Modular Missile (CAMM) munition: CAMM employs active radar homing, supported by mid-course guidance updates, to deliver an all-weather engagement capability against targets out to a range of 25 km.

The incorporation of an active radar seeker and datalink on the missile means CAMM does not require a dedicated fire-control radar. Instead, by exploiting the track-while-scan functionality offered by a standard 3D surveillance radar for three-dimensional target indication and intercept point prediction, CAMM missiles can ‘launch on search' to prosecute multiple simultaneous air threats.

Another key feature of the CAMM munition is the use of a ‘soft' vertical launch system. The missile is ejected from its canister by a piston driven by an explosive gas charge incorporated within the canister; at a height of 80–100 ft, aft-mounted gas thrusters or ‘jetavators' effect a turnover manoeuvre before the main motor fires.

The Sea Ceptor fit planned for the Tamandaré-class frigates will comprise a silo of 12 CAMM missiles installed forward of the bridge. The system will receive target indication data from a Hensoldt TRS-4D G-band active electronically scanned array surveillance radar (rotating variant).

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