This enhancement initiative aims to equip the system with advanced missiles featuring innovative warheads and sophisticated software, empowering it to effectively counter ballistic missile threats while continuing its primary role of intercepting hostile drones in the Red Sea.
The contracts for this crucial upgrade were awarded to the British division of MBDA, a collaborative venture owned by Airbus, BAE Systems, and Leonardo, as confirmed by the Ministry of Defence.
Defence Minister Grant Shapps underscored the significance of adapting to ensure the safety of the United Kingdom, its allies, and partners. He emphasized Sea Viper’s pivotal role, noting its recent historic accomplishment as the Navy’s chosen weapon in successfully intercepting an aerial threat, marking the first instance in over three decades.
The decision to reinforce the Sea Viper Air Defence system comes amidst escalating tensions in the Middle East. Shapps expressed the urgency of staying vigilant and prepared in an increasingly complex and challenging security landscape.
Recent events have highlighted the system’s operational relevance, with U.S. and British naval forces actively engaging and neutralizing drones and missiles launched by Yemen’s Houthi movement in the Red Sea.
This proactive response underscores the system’s vital role in safeguarding regional stability and security amid the spillover of conflicts beyond the Israel-Hamas dispute.