British Army’s new air defence system completes firing trials.

Land Ceptor, the Army’s new air defence missile, was recently tested on a Swedish test fire range 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.

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.

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.

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

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 radar.

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 Rafael 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.

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.