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CAMM (missile family)

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CAMM (missile family)

CAMM
300px
An MBDA computer generated graphic showing a CAMM missile in flight.
Type Short/medium range anti-aircraft and anti-missile missile.
Place of origin United Kingdom
Service history
In service 2016
Production history
Manufacturer MBDA
Specifications
Weight 99 kg[1]
Length 3.2 m[1]
Diameter 166 mm[1]

Warhead Directed fragmentation.
Detonation
mechanism
Proximity.

Engine Solid propellant rocket motor.
Operational
range
1-25+ km[1][5]
Speed Mach 3 (1,020 m/s)[1][2][3][4]
Guidance
system

  • Two way data link.
  • Active RF seeker.
Launch
platform

  • Maritime platforms.
  • Land based platforms.
  • Aircraft.

The CAMM (Common Anti-Air Modular Missile) series is a family[6] of surface-to-air and air-to-air missiles developed by MBDA for the United Kingdom. The missile is based on the ASRAAM infra-red air-to-air missile, sharing some common features and components but with updated electronics and an active radar seeker. It is envisioned that the missile will be introduced into all three service branches of the British Armed Forces and is currently scheduled to enter service starting 2016. The Common Anti-Air Modular Missile is intended to replace the Sea Wolf missile on Type 23 frigates of the Royal Navy, the Rapier missile in British Army service and contribute to the eventual replacement of ASRAAM in service with the Royal Air Force.

Three variants of the missile have been designed for use across the Air, Maritime environments. These are designated as CAMM(A), CAMM(L) and CAMM(M) respectively. The maritime variant is known as Sea Ceptor in the Royal Navy.[7]

History

The Common Anti-Air Modular Missile has its roots in a Technology Demonstration Programme (TDP), jointly funded by MBDA and the Ministry of Defence as part of the United Kingdoms Future Local Area Air Defence System (FLAADS).[8] Phase 1 of the TDP worked on technologies for soft vertical launch, the low-cost active radar seeker, a dual-band two-way datalink and a programmable open systems architecture.[8] Phase 2 began in 2008 and covered the manufacture of flight-worthy subsystems, mid-course guidance firings and captive airborne seeker trials on a Qinetiq Andover experemental aircraft.[8] The Soft Vertical Launch was proven over a series of trials, culminating in a successful truck launch in May 2011.[9] The MoD decision on the business case for the naval variant was scheduled for 2010.[8] After publishing the Strategic Defence and Security Review in October 2010, the business case was approved in April 2011.

FLAADS is part of a wider UK 'Complex Weapons' programme to deliver a variety of UK industry based weapons. FLAADS is intended to deliver a common weapons platform (the Common Anti-Air Modular Missile (CAMM)) to equip forces in the air, land a maritime environments.[10][11] During the early stages of the FLAADS programme, requirements were identified for the new missile to meet the known and unknown air threats of not only the present, but those well in-to future too. Thought was particularly given to meeting a target set "of complex airborne targets which are typified by high speed, rapid evasive manoeuvres, low signatures and advanced countermeasure[s]."[12]

In January 2012 MBDA and the Ministry of Defence announced a contract worth £483 million to fully develop the maritime variant of CAMM known as Sea Ceptor for the Royal Navy.[13]

Characteristics

Design characteristics allow for low cost by modularity and aiming to minimise electromechanical complexity by implementing most functionality in software.[8] Additionally, the command and control software reuses over 75% of that developed for the PAAMS system.[9]

CAMM has a minimum operational range of less than 1 km and a maximum range greater than 25 km, providing a significant advantage compared to the 1–10 km for Sea Wolf and other systems it will replace.[14] CAMM is 99 kilograms (218 lb) in weight, 3.2 metres (10 ft) in length, 166 millimetres (6.5 in) diameter and reaches generous supersonic speeds of Mach 3 (or 1,020 meters per second). CAMM is a ship point defence and local area defence missile designed to respond to the sophisticated missile attacks of the future and has the capability to defend against saturation attacks of supersonic anti-ship cruise missiles, aircraft and other high performance targets.[4] It does this via multiple channels of fire, providing 360 degree coverage and high degrees of manoeuvrability. MBDA also state CAMM has a "high rate of fire against multiple simultaneous targets",[15] providing capabilities comparable (on some levels) to the shorter range Aster 15 missile. In flight, the missile can receive mid-course guidance via a datalink before the active homing radar seeker takes over for the final approach to target. This does away with the need for separate tracking radars, making CAMM compatible with any 2D or 3D surveillance radars and allows targets to be hit that are not in line-of-sight.[15]

CAMM comes in its own launch canisters, or alternately can be quad-packed into the SYLVER and Mark 41 vertical launching systems found on many warships.[1] Additionally, it can be fired from aircraft such as the Eurofighter Typhoon. The land and naval versions have folding tailfins[14] and both use a "soft vertical launch" system, whereby the missile is ejected from a tube by a piston. A short booster uses squib thrusters to point the missile at the target before the main motor fires.[14] The lack of toxic fumes on launch makes launches safer for users, avoids corrosion of the launch platform and the lack of exhaust vents allows the launch cells to be much more compact.

MBDA claim that CAMM has a "wide target set", including the capability to engage small naval vessels, which would give the missile a limited surface-to-surface role.[15][16]

Variants

Air variant

CAMM(A) is the air-launched variant of the missile. Since the CAMM airframe is based on that of ASRAAM, the current dogfighting missile of the RAF and other airforces, MBDA say that CAMM is "easily adapted"[1] onto aircraft that now carry ASRAAM. There is no requirement to replace ASRAAM yet, but it is intended that CAMM will form the basis of the RAF's future short-range missile. The modularity of CAMM would lend itself to a family of missiles like the Vympel R-27/AA-10 "Alamo", which is carried in both radar-guided and infra-red versions by Russian planes.

Land variant

CAMM(L) is the land-based variant and will replace the Rapier missile batteries of the British Army[9] from 2020 or so. Four three-pack launchers[14] are fitted to a self-contained "pallet" that can be fitted to a range of trucks.[17] The launch vehicle will not have its own radar, instead taking targeting information over a secure datalink as part of an integrated air-defence network[17] and using the active seeker head for terminal guidance.

Maritime variant

CAMM(M), the maritime variant known as Sea Ceptor, will be the first variant in service, replacing the Sea Wolf missile system on the Type 23 frigates from 2016.[18] Sea Ceptor can be packed much more tightly, with up to four missiles fitting into the space occupied by one Seawolf.[19] It will also equip the Global Combat Ships expected to enter service around 2021, and be an available option on any export versions of the Global Combat Ship.[9] MBDA is working with the MoD, BAE Systems and Qinetiq to integrate Sea Ceptor with the Type 23 combat system.[8] This work is centred at the Type 23 shore integration facility at Portsdown, near Portsmouth.[8]

In September 2013 the MOD agreed a £250 million contract with MBDA for Sea Ceptor.[20]

Operators

 United Kingdom
Royal Navy - CAAM(M) variant, ordered.
 New Zealand
Royal New Zealand Navy - CAAM(M) selected by for ANZAC frigate upgrade.[21]

See also

References

Further reading

  • CAMM missile looks to soft option for vertical launch Warship Technology (May 2009) pp31–36. (subscribers only)
  • New Missile system to shield the fleet from air attack Royal Navy (31 January 2012)
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