British Army’s New Land Ceptor Air Defence System Completes Firing Trials

The British Army’s new Land Ceptor air defence missile, was recently tested from the Vidsel Test Range
in Sweden close to the Baltic Sea, launching from its launcher vehicle and intercepting and destroying an aerial target in a display of the weapon’s accuracy.

The trial, which followed previous munitions tests, was the first time Land Ceptor had been test-fired as a whole system, including the cutting-edge SAAB Giraffe Agile Multi-Beam (AMB) medium-range 3-D radar.

UK Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “Land Ceptor will be a formidable battlefield barrier, protecting our troops from strikes and enemy aircraft while on operations.”

MBDA Land Ceptor
British Army tests MBDA Land Ceptor air defence missile system (Crown Copyright, 2018)

Built by MBDA, Land Ceptor comprises the Common Anti-air Modular Missile (CAMM), a launcher vehicle and two fire unit support vehicles. It is being developed to protect British troops on operations from aerial threats, including hostile combat aircraft and air-launched munitions.

The launcher vehicle is based on the MAN SV HX60 8×8 truck and is equipped with 12 launch tubes that fires the CAMM missile.

MBDA Land Ceptor
MBDA Land Ceptor air defence system – launcher vehicle and Saab Giraffe AMB radar

From the same family of weapons systems as Sea Ceptor, which will defend the Royal Navy’s Type 23 and Type 26 Frigates, Land Ceptor will provide the stopping power within the cutting-edge Sky Sabre air defence system, and will equip 16th Regiment, Royal Artillery, who currently operate Rapier Field Standard C surface-to-air missile (SAM) system.

Sky Sabre, developed for the UK Sky Sabre ground-based air defence (GBAD) requirement and will prove to be a step change in the UK’s air defences, taking it from short to medium range capability.

Land Ceptor has far greater battlefield awareness and intelligence than the current Rapier system as its engagement range is three times greater and the Giraffe radar and the Battlespace Management Command, Control, Compute, Communicate and Inform (BMC4I) system within Sky Sabre will be able to observe incoming threats from seven times further away. Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems supplied its Modular, Integrated C4I Air & Missile Defense System (MIC4AD) as Sky Sabre’s BMC4I system.

The system is able to intercept the most challenging targets in any weather conditions, including cruise missiles and precision guided munitions (PGM).The missiles can be launched in quick succession to defeat as many as eight different threats at once, even if obstacles such as trees and terrain are in the way.

The system will now undergo further development and trials before Sky Sabre enters service, in the early 2020s.

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