Feeds

Navy's £1bn+ destroyers set to remain unarmed for years

Ex-British miracle missiles in new test FAIL

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

The "Sea Viper" missile system for the Royal Navy's new Type 45 destroyers looks set to suffer further setbacks following a reported failure during test firings. The weapons are already so late that the first £1bn+ Type 45 has been in naval service for nearly a year - almost completely unarmed.

HMS <em>Daring</em> during sea trials

Might as well park her up for a bit, lads. You're wasting your time

News of the test failure comes courtesy of the Ares blog, reporting remarks by Andrew Tyler of the UK Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) organisation.

“[The test failure] has been a setback," says the MoD mandarin.

“We are working extremely hard with the other partner nations and the company to resolve what the problems were with the final firing ... [It is] too early to come up with the diagnosis.”

Sea Viper is the Royal Navy's name for its version of the Principal Anti Air Missile System (PAAMS), European industry's answer to the highly successful American Aegis/Standard, which has nowadays developed to the point of being able to shoot down satellites in low orbit. Sea Viper/PAAMS is largely French and Italian in origin, but includes some British technology too.

The system's promised special sauce is that it is supposed to be able to knock down supersonic sea-skimming antiship missiles, a thing that even the latest Standard SM-2s may be unable to do. Such missiles are a terrible threat to surface ships without air cover, as they will only be seen by a mast-mounted radar as they emerge above the horizon during the final minute of their flight. Sea Viper/PAAMS is supposed to be able to detect a hostile shipkiller the second it appears, fire an Aster countermissile almost instantly, tip the Aster over from its vertical launch and fly it to intercept the shipkiller head-on at a closing speed in excess of Mach 5.

There has always been some doubt as to whether this is worth doing - it would be cheaper and simpler to deliver maritime air cover from carriers than provide every convoy or task group with a screen of £1bn+ destroyers. Airborne radar can cover vast areas of ocean, tracking sea-skimmers over their entire flight, and patrolling jets would have a much easier task taking down the shipkillers with time in hand from behind - or, even easier, attacking the plane or ship carrying them.

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
FORGET the CLIMATE: FATTIES are a MUCH BIGGER problem - study
Fat guy? Drink or smoke? You're worse than a TERRORIST
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
HUMAN DNA 'will be FOUND ON MOON' – rockin' boffin Brian Cox
Crowdfund plan to stimulate Blighty's space programme
Post-pub nosh neckfiller: The MIGHTY Scotch egg
Off to the boozer? This delicacy might help mitigate the effects
I'M SO SORRY, sobs Rosetta Brit boffin in 'sexist' sexy shirt storm
'He is just being himself' says proud mum of larger-than-life physicist
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence
Download Choosing a Cloud Hosting Provider with Confidence to learn more about cloud computing - the new opportunities and new security challenges.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.