VIDEO: UK’s warship destroys drone during Formidable Shield 23

A Royal Navy warship destroyed a jet drone during the world’s largest test of naval and missile defences.

Royal Navy

HMS Defender deployed to Scotland’s Outer Hebrides for Formidable Shield 2023 to test missiles, systems, sensors and software against ballistic, subsonic and supersonic targets, alongside 13 NATO and partner nations.

View on Youtube.

The Type 45 led the Royal Navy’s participation as a dedicated air defence destroyer designed to shield a task group, culminating in a firing of its Sea Viper missile system, the £1bn warship’s primary weapon, during a mission to locate, and destroy a drone designed to be difficult to track and intercept.

Petty Officer Cameron McDonnell controlled the Sea Viper missile fired from Defender against the highly-maneuverable drone, designated Bruiser 9384, which travels at hundreds of miles an hour.

‘Bruiser’ is the NATO codeword for an anti-ship missile.

“We’ve been using experimental hardware and software to push our sensors to the limit, ready for the fight of tomorrow. We’ve tracked ballistic, subsonic and supersonic targets while working with our allies and partners. The final stage saw HMS Defender conduct a live missile engagement against an uncrewed aerial vehicle,” McDonnelll explained.

HMS Defender provided an umbrella of protection, calculating that a threat was approaching using its distinctive radar systems: the Sampson (the spiked ball atop the distinctive main mast) and the Long Range (large black rectangle) which, combined, make the Type 45s world-leading air defence ships, giving them the ability to track hundreds of targets as far as 250 miles away.

This technology makes up the Sea Viper system, which gives Defender the ability to accurately find and track a target before firing the missile itself, known as an Aster 30.

Each Type 45 destroyer carries up to 48 missiles, each held in a vertical-launch silo on the forecastle at the front of the ship and capable of taking out aerial threats at ranges up to 75 miles away.