In a burst of fire and smoke, Royal Navy warship HMS Defender tests world-beating missile system off Scottish coast

The missiles reach four times the speed of sound

Tuesday 21 May 2019 16:56
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Royal Navy warship HMS Defender tests world-beating missile system off Scottish coast

Shooting out at four times the speed of sound the HMS Defender has tested missiles off the coast of Scotland.

Using its Sea Viper system, a combined radar system that is comprised of both Sampson and Aster missiles, the Royal Navy warship aimed at an incoming drone target in a missile designed to simulate a projectile attack on the Type 45 destroyer.

​The drone has been designed to fly faster and lower than targets previously used, the Ministry of Defence said.

The missiles were able to hone in on the target at G-forces impossible for humans to withstand.

“Being a part of our first firing against a fast-moving, low-level target has been a really rewarding experience,” the ship's senior warfare officer, Lieutenant Commander Daniel Lee said. “Proving the effectiveness of the Sea Viper system against a more challenging target reassures us in the ability of HMS Defender to deliver on operations as an air defence destroyer.”

The missile test was conducted as part of Nato Exercise Formidable Shield to prove the ship’s defence capabilities.

The exercise spanned 10 days with almost every nation involved engaging in missile tests at the Hebrides range in Scotland.

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