UK’s Type 45 destroyers to undergo £500M upgrade

The Royal Navy’s Type 45 destroyers will receive a £500 million upgrade to enhance their firepower capability, the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) said.

Specifically, MBDA UK has been awarded an 11-year contract to integrate the Common Anti-Air Modular Missile (CAMM) programme, often referred to as Sea Ceptor, into the Type 45 destroyers’ Sea Viper weapon systems.

In addition to this, a 10-year contract with Eurosam will provide a refresh of the Aster 30 missiles system that are currently in use.

The first Type 45 destroyer is expected to have been overhauled by summer 2026.

“Enhancing our destroyer capabilities, this investment reaffirms our commitment to equip the Royal Navy with the most advanced and powerful defensive systems,” Jeremy Quin, Minister for Defence Procurement, commented.

Announced by the Prime Minister last November, Defence has received an increase in funding of over £24 billion across the next four years, focussing on the ability to adapt to meet future threats.

Outlined further in the Defence Command Paper, this investment to upgrade the Type 45 destroyers will boost the lethality of the surface fleet. Currently, the Type 45 destroyers use a combination of short-range Aster 15 and long-range Aster 30 anti-air missiles to engage and destroy enemy threats. To facilitate the introduction of CAMM, a new 24-missile CAMM silo will be added in front of the current 48-missile Aster 30 silos, therefore increasing the overall missile capacity of the vessels by 50 per cent. This will result in a total capacity of 72 anti-air missiles per destroyer.

“These programmes will provide an exceptional capability to the front line, ensuring the RN remains poised to defend the surface fleet, and most importantly the Carrier Strike Group, against complex air threats both now and into the future,” Vice Admiral Jerry Kyd CBE, Royal Navy Fleet Commander, said.

CAMM also provides a means to accurately and effectively engage small, fast inshore attack craft, hovering helicopters and low-speed targets alongside defeating their more traditional high-speed air targets.

The Aster 30 missile system refresh is a tri-national sustainment and enhancement contract between the UK, France and Italy which includes investment in a dedicated UK embodiment facility at Defence Munitions in Gosport, Hampshire.

The Royal Navy’s Type 45 destroyers are among the most advanced in the fleet and carry out a range of activity, including defence from air attack, counter-piracy operations and providing humanitarian aid.