The UK says its new £850 million missile defense system has completed all trials and is ready to be deployed across the world onboard the Royal Navy warships.
Dubbed the Sea Ceptor, the missile system is designed to protect the Royal Navy from “intensifying threats,” British Secretary of Defense Gavin Williamson will announce later on Thursday.
“Sea Ceptor will protect our nation against the intensifying threats we face today and in the future, giving our ships a powerful shield against everything from supersonic missiles to enemy fighter jets,” he will say.
The system is said to be capable of launching missiles at speeds up to mach 3 or 2,301mph – three times the speed of sound, protecting an area of around 500 square miles over land or sea.
British commanders said the system is a major upgrade over the Seawolf missile system, which is currently in use.
All of the British navy’s Type 23 frigates, including the HMS Argyll and the HMS Westminster, were scheduled to receive the system, which is intended to provide protection for the Royal Navy’s two aircraft carriers.
The UK has successfully test-fired Sea Ceptor, a new missile defense system.
“Fitting our warships with this ground-breaking technology not only protects our Navy but shows we are world leaders at sea,” Williamson is expected to argue.
The deployment on HMS Argyll is significant as the ship will be deployed later this year to the Asia Pacific region, where it will grab North Korea’s attention.
The UK, along with the US and a host of other Western countries have long accused North Korea of developing long-range missiles to attack them.
A House of Commons defense select committee made up of Conservative, Labour, Scottish National Party and Democratic Unionist MPs, stated in April that Pyongyang was less than two years away from developing missile technology that will allow it to hit targets across the UK.
This is while the North has warmed up to the idea of a détente with the West, bringing to halt its ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons tests.