London, January 21, 2024, The Europe Today: The United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced on Sunday a significant investment of £405 million ($514 million) to enhance the Sea Viper Air Defence system, currently deployed by the Royal Navy for countering hostile drones over the Red Sea.
The upgrade includes the integration of new missiles equipped with advanced warheads and software enhancements, enabling the system to effectively counter ballistic missile threats. Contracts for these enhancements were awarded to the British division of MBDA, a joint venture owned by Airbus, BAE Systems, and Leonardo, according to the MoD.
Amid escalating tensions in the Middle East, the Defence Minister, Grant Shapps, emphasized the importance of adapting to ensure the safety of the UK, allies, and partners. The Sea Viper system has played a pivotal role, being the Navy’s primary weapon in successfully intercepting an aerial threat, marking a crucial milestone in naval defense capabilities.
Shapps stated, “As the situation in the Middle East worsens, it is vital that we adapt to keep the UK, our allies and partners safe.” The Sea Viper Air Defence system has demonstrated its effectiveness in recent events, including the interception of hostile drones and missiles fired by Yemen’s Houthi movement in the Red Sea.
The investment underscores the UK’s commitment to maintaining a robust and technologically advanced defence infrastructure, ensuring its readiness to respond to evolving threats and challenges in the dynamic geopolitical landscape.