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MBDA’s Sea Ceptor Air Defense System to protect Polish Navy Miecznik-class Frigates

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MBDA’s Sea Ceptor Air Defense System to protect Polish Navy Miecznik-class Frigates

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MBDA’s Sea Ceptor Air Defense System
MBDA’s Sea Ceptor Air Defense System

MBDA has been awarded a contract by Poland to equip the Polish Navy’s three new Miecznik-class frigates with MBDA’s Sea Ceptor naval air defense system.Sea Ceptor is a latest generation naval air dedense system that protects naval vessels and consorts from modern air and surface threats, such as supersonic anti-ship missiles and unmanned surface vessels. The contract builds upon a series of strategic agreements between MBDA and Poland around MBDA’s CAMM family of air defense missiles. Poland will take advantage of the interoperability of CAMM, designed specifically for both land and maritime domains, by utilising its already procured CAMM missiles stockpiles to equip Miecznik. CAMM will be efficiently installed on board with a quadpacking solution in Mk41 VLS (Vertical Launching System) enabling a high load-out and increasing platform survivability.

MBDA is working with PGZ to create a sovereign missile capability in Poland through the NAREW programme backed by unprecedented transfer of knowledge and technology from MBDA. The use of the CAMM family for PILICA+, NAREW and MIECZNIK programmes will drive significant efficiencies for Poland while boosting Polish industry and providing high-skilled jobs. The contract for Miecznik further demonstrates the strategic relationship between MBDA and PGZ, which includes also joint work on a future medium range CAMM missile, and the strength of the UK-Polish defense co-operation. Many militaries worldwide have chosen to rely on the CAMM family for latest generation naval and ground based air defense, including Poland, as well as the UK, Italy, Canada, Brazil, and more recently Sweden.

Sea Ceptor can be targeted from the ship’s existing surveillance radar sensors and therefore does not require dedicated fire control radars.
Sea Ceptor can be targeted from the ship’s existing surveillance radar sensors and therefore does not require dedicated fire control radars. (Photo by MBDA)

On 4 March 2022, Babcock announced that it won the frigate competition for the Polish Navy. The Polish Armaments Agency selected Babcock’s AH140 from three different platform design proposals provided by the PGZ-MIECZNIK Consortium (“Miecznik” is Polish for “Swordfish). In August 2023, the construction of the first in a series of three Projekt 106 frigates began at PGZ Stocznia Wojenna. The Type 31 frigate, also known as the Inspiration class, and formerly known as the Type 31e frigate or General Purpose Frigate (GPF), is a class of five frigates being built for the United Kingdom’s Royal Navy, with variants also being built for the Indonesian and Polish navies. Designed by Babcock International, it is based on the Odense Maritime Technology (OMT) Iver Huitfeldt-class frigate hull and is marketed under the name Arrowhead 140.

The CAMM (Common Anti-Air Modular Missile) is a family of surface-to-air missiles developed by MBDA UK for the United Kingdom. CAMM is derived from and shares some common features and components with the ASRAAM (Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missile), but with updated electronics, a soft vertical launch system, and an active radar homing seeker. For naval use, often marketed as ‘Sea Ceptor’ (despite this name also often used to refer to a specific variant of the CAMM family), CAMM’s soft vertical launch capability and its resulting removal of most efflux management concerns aboard ships, enables the use of variety of shipborne launching options: The low cost, low weight, option is to use CAMM’s own vertical launch canisters colloquially known as ‘mushroom farms’ due to their capped appearance on older platforms.

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