The government has announced that the Royal Navy missiles used to shoot down Iranian backed Houthis militant drones in the Red Sea will receive an upgrade.
The Sea Viper Air Defence system will receive a system update with a new warhead for the missiles that will be able to defeat ballistic missile threats from more than 70 miles away.
Missile systems company MBDA UK, has been awarded the £405 million upgrade to be completed by 2032, which help to sustain 350 jobs across the UK.
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The government said that the contract will make the Sea Viper “the most capable naval air defence system ever developed for the Royal Navy.”
Defence Secretary Grant Shapps said: “As the situation in the Middle East worsens, it is vital that we adapt to keep the UK, our allies and partners safe.
“Sea Viper has been at the forefront of this, being the Navy’s weapon of choice in the first shooting down of an aerial threat in more than 30 years.
“Our strong and enduring relationship with British industry has ensured we can deploy the latest technological capabilities wherever they are required while supporting hundreds of jobs across the country and bolstering UK prosperity.”
Rear Admiral Anthony Rimington said: “A cutting-edge weapon system, Sea Viper continues to provide the Royal Navy with impressive lethality.
“Sea Viper Evolution further enhances this capability against the more complex and evolving threats and strengthens our co-operation and interoperability with key partners.”