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Royal Navy Type 45 Destroyers to be tested for Theatre Ballistic Missile Defence (TBMD) missions.

| 2013
Naval Forces News - UK
Royal Navy Type 45 Destroyers to be tested for Theatre Ballistic Missile Defence (TBMD) missions
The UK Missile Defence Centre (MDC) in collaboration with its industry partners, has announced a programme to explore the potential of the Royal Navy’s Destroyers to conduct Theatre Ballistic Missile Defence (TBMD) missions.

It follows on from successful satellite tracking experiments using BAE Systems’ Cowes based Sampson radar, which is fitted to the Type 45 Class.

Building on its relationship with the US Missile Defense Agency (MDA), the joint Ministry of Defence and industry-run MDC has agreed to take part in a trial which will include for the first time a RN Type 45 taking part in a major research and development programme. This will include testing the Sampson radar, part of the Sea Viper missile system, in detecting and tracking ballistic targets.

While there is no programme to fit Type 45 with TBMD capability, much of the MDC’s research over recent years has been geared towards understanding any potential the Royal Navy’s newest destroyers may have in this arena.
Simon Pavitt, Head of the MDC, remarked on the new approach to research and development: “It will be a step change to be able to work so closely with such a ship in an emerging area of Defence. Working with an operational platform will make a significant difference to our level of understanding and could contribute both financially and technically towards de-risking any future programme.”

The MDA regularly conducts similar trials to test and verify the US military’s BMD systems, including that of the US Navy’s AEGIS ships. The invitation to include a Type 45 in one of these events provides the first of such an opportunity and will allow the two allies to continue their close cooperation in fostering interoperability between their navies. HMS DARING, the first of the Type 45 Class, is no stranger to operating with the US Navy having completed several training exercises in both US and UK waters. HMS DARING’s recent deployment to the Gulf included several joint operational missions.
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