Israel unveiled an anti-ship missile to arm British frigates

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LONDON, ($1=0.73 British Pounds) – At the international naval exhibition DSEI-2021 in London, the Israeli defense company Israeli Aerospace Industries [IAI] presented its anti-ship missile Sea Serpent, learned BulgarianMilitary.com. After 2023, the Royal Navy may be left without guided naval weapons at all, so the latest missile is needed by the British “yesterday”.

The missile was developed in collaboration with the French defense company Thales exactly following the requirements of the British defense program SSGW [Surface to Surface Guided Weapon] for the replacement of weapons with guided missiles on frigates type 23, writes the portal Naval News.

IAI designers prefer to talk about the characteristics of their development in general. In particular, it is stated that the Sea Serpent will have a range of up to 290 kilometers and will be able to “switch” to other targets with the help of commands from its operators or onboard sensors of the rocket itself.

It seems that the Sea Serpent can be considered an improved version of another new Israeli anti-ship missile – Sea Breaker, which has the function to “switch” to higher priority targets with the help of onboard “artificial intelligence” and is part of the armament of the Sa`ar 6 project of the Israeli Navy.

At the same time, according to the Israeli aerospace industry, they developed their Sea Serpent as part of a fleet order package around the world – in parallel working on the development of the Blue Spear missile for the Singapore Navy and the modernization of the Gabriel V RCC for the Finnish Navy.

Israel and the United Kingdom have not had any open agreements on the development of anti-ship weapons. It seems that the IAI designers simply identified a promising customer, researched his needs, based on this data offered a promising product and hurried to say something like “our latest rocket will meet all the challenges facing the Royal Navy”.

Because for the British Navy, the issue of guided anti-ship weapons seems extremely disappointing.

In particular, according to sources, in January 2021 the British Navy signed an agreement with Babcock International to extend until 2023 the life of the Harpoon Block 1C, included in the set of weapon frigates type 31.

Harpoon Block 1C missiles were adopted by the British Navy in the 1980s and were due to be written off in 2018. But at the time, Foggy Albion had no choice but to simply extend the life of Harpoon Block 1C missiles.

In theory, in 2023, Britain plans to choose an “intermediate” anti-ship missile, which will be in service in the Royal Navy until the early 2030s. And from the beginning of the 2030s, the British Navy should receive a missile under the Future Cruise / Anti-Ship Weapon index, which is already being developed as a successor to the Harpoon missile.

The UK Ministry of Defense plans to spend at least £ 100 million on a program for future anti-ship missiles/weapons to fight ships, according to sources from the island. It seems that Israel with its Sea Serpent anti-ship missile is still “striving” to win the race for an “intermediate” missile for the British Navy.

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