TechBritish Navy's First Combat Use of Sea Ceptor Missiles against Houthi Drones

British Navy's First Combat Use of Sea Ceptor Missiles against Houthi Drones

MBDA CAMM Sea Ceptor
MBDA CAMM Sea Ceptor
Images source: © UK Ministry of Defence

1:18 PM EDT, March 27, 2024

The British Ministry of Defence recently revealed the first combat use of the MBDA CAMM (Common Anti-Air Modular Missile) Sea Ceptor air defense system. This event took place from the deck of the HMS Richmond, a Type 23 Duke class frigate. It targeted unmanned drones deployed by the Yemeni Houthi movement over the Red Sea, specifically targeting civilian shipping lanes.

On March 9, via social media, the Ministry highlighted this operational debut. The Royal Navy's HMS Richmond intercepted two drones from a larger group of 28, part of 37 initially launched in the attack. This defensive action was a collaborative international effort involving U.S. ships, the Danish frigate HDMS Iver Huitfeldt, and the French ship FS Alsace, which succeeded in downing four drones each.

These ships were part of the international coalition supporting Operation Prosperity Guardian, initiated on December 18 of the previous year. The operation aimed to safeguard critical maritime routes. During this specific Houthi attack, the targets included the 623-foot bulk carrier Propel Fortune, under the Singaporean flag, alongside American missile destroyers operating in the vicinity.

The CAMM Sea Ceptor boasts an impressive interception capability, ranging from 0.6 to over 15.5 miles. Its Mach 3 speed allows it to counter airborne threats, including supersonic anti-ship missiles, aircraft, helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles, and even fast assault boats within approximately 501.5 square miles. Suitable for dealing with saturation attacks, these missiles can neutralize multiple threats simultaneously within a full 360-degree perimeter. Each missile measures 10.5 feet in length and weighs 218.3 pounds upon launch.

Internationally, the CAMM missile systems have attracted interest from several countries' navies, including Poland, Brazil, Chile, New Zealand, Canada, and Sweden. Furthermore, Pakistan and Italy have selected an advanced variant known as the CAMM-ER (Extended Range), capable of covering more than 24.8 miles, for their respective air defense operations.

Poland, for instance, plans to arm its three Miecznik class multi-purpose frigates with CAMM missiles. An agreement made on January 12 between the PGZ-Miecznik consortium and MBDA set this plan in motion. These missiles will be launched from the versatile Mk 41 Vertical Launch System (VLS), acquired from Lockheed Martin on February 1. The first ship of this class, the future ORP Wichr, had its keel laid on January 31.

  • Test CAMM Sea Ceptor
  • CAMM Sea Ceptor test
[1/2] Test CAMM Sea CeptorImages source: © Licensor
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