CAMM Scores First Guided Successes

 - July 9, 2014, 1:10 PM
An instrumented CAMM round demonstrates its soft-launch capability during tests conducted at Vidsel in April 2013. Recently the missile has performed its first guided trials (Photo: MBDA)

MBDA successfully undertook two CAMM (common anti-air modular missile) launches in recent weeks, the company announced. The firings, carried out at the Vidsel overland range in northern Sweden on May 29 and June 5, were the first seeker-guided launches for the CAMM. Instrumented-only firings of CAMM were conducted in April last year.

CAMM has an active radar seeker and a two-way datalink. During the trials the missiles were launched in conjunction with the Sea Ceptor command and control system, one of two primary applications for the CAMM weapon. The Sea Ceptor system processed third-party radar data and passed target information to the missiles. In both tests the seeker acquired the target shortly after launch and continued to track until intercept.

MBDA has a Portfolio Management Agreement with the UK Ministry of Defence, under which the company is developing complex weapons through the use of modularity and commonality of sub-systems. CAMM is a prime example since it is based on the airframe of the ASRAAM infrared-guided air-to-air missile but equipped with a new active radar seeker. It is likely to form the basis of a follow-on weapon to the air-launched ASRAAM if such a requirement emerges.

In the meantime, its first application will be as a naval defense missile as part of the Sea Ceptor system, initially to replace the Sea Wolf system on the Royal Navy’s current Type 23 and forthcoming Type 26 frigates. The Royal New Zealand Navy has ordered the Sea Ceptor/CAMM solution as part of its Anzac-class upgrade program. The British Army is also to use CAMM as the basis of the FLAADS (future local area air defense system) program to replace the Rapier.

The missile has been designed for compact carriage in a variety of launcher systems, including the popular Mk 41 vertical launch system. In its land- and sea-based applications CAMM employs a low-signature soft-launch process in which a piston ejects the missile aloft before the motor fires.