British destroyer HMS Defender tests Sea Viper missile system

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The British Royal Navy’s Type 45 destroyer HMS Defender tested its Sea Viper missile system off the coast of Scotland.

Traveling at four times the speed of sound (Mach 4), the missile struck an incoming drone target. Designed to simulate a projectile attack on the warship, the target flew faster and lower than those previously used.

The test represents the first time that HMS Defender has demonstrated its missile firing capability against this particular type of target.

In a statement, the Royal Navy said the successful test proved the ship’s ability to defend itself and other ships from the incoming threat. It was conducted as part of the NATO-led NATO Exercise Formidable Shield.

Lt. Commander Daniel Lee, Senior Warfare Officer of HMS Defender, said: “Being part of our first firing against a fast moving, low level target was a truly rewarding experience.

“Proving the effectiveness of the Sea Viper system against a more difficult target gives us reassurance about the ability of HMS Defender to conduct its operations as an air defense destroyer. ”

The British Sea Viper missile defense system consists of the Sampson radar and the Aster missile system.

“The British Sea Viper missile defense system includes the Sampson radar and the Aster missile system. “

While the radar system sits atop the main mast of a Type 45 destroyer, the Aster missile system is placed in a silo on the ship’s upper deck.

Sea Viper has the ability to track planes and other objects, identify threats and destroy them if necessary.

Along with HMS Defender, the ten-day exercise involved assets from nine other Marines in the Hebridean Range in Scotland.


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