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Aster Missiles Ordered For Type 45 (Nov. 14)

The Type 45 Destroyer program took another big step forward today, when the contract was placed for the latest in surface-to-air missiles, which will form part of the Type 45’s Principal Anti-Air Missile System (PAAMS).

The missiles -- Aster 15 and Aster 30 -- use an innovative thrust system to achieve pinpoint accuracy, and when combined with the UK-designed, developed and built Sampson radar, will provide the Royal Navy with one of the most advanced air defense systems in the world.

The PAAMS system is being procured as part of a collaborative program with France and Italy, and the missile contract has been placed through OCCAR - the organization for joint armaments co-operation (Organisme Conjoint de Cooperation en matiere d’Armement). The total value of the contract - which includes missile systems for France and Italy - is £2.8 billion. The UK contribution, for the purchase of the missiles themselves, is £278 million.

UKAMS, a subsidiary of defense contractors MBDA, are the prime contractors for the UK requirement. Minister for Defence Procurement, Lord Bach said:

“This order marks a significant stage in the Type 45 program. With the ability to handle a multitude of simultaneous threats, these ships will be a vital British asset with world-class capabilities. They will set new standards in anti-air warfare.

“This contract is a key element of the PAAMS part of the Type 45 program which will see total UK investment in the system of over £1 billion.

“Today’s contract will not only provide us with the missiles we will need for these new ships, but also serves to underline our commitment to the process of international collaboration.”

The PAAMS system will combine the most up-to-date radar, launch system and command and control system with the Aster 15 and 30 munitions to provide a world-class defense against anti-ship missiles and aircraft attacks.


1. The Type 45 ship will replace Type 42 Destroyers. The Type 45 will carry the world-beating Principal Anti-Air Missile System, designed to destroy the most advanced anti-ship missiles. Using the UK-developed Sampson radar, it will be able to engage more than ten targets simultaneously.

2. The munitions - the Aster 15 and Aster 30 - are capable of speeds in excess of mach 4. Highly agile, they use an innovative system called 'Pif-Paf', a lateral thrust system which allows them to alter direction at the last moment for pin-point accuracy.

3. The missiles for PAAMS are being procured as part of the French/Italian FSAF (Family of Future Surface to Air Missile Systems) Phase 3 contract.

4. The DPA has placed an order for six Type 45 Destroyers. The overall cost for these six is expected to be about £4.3 billion.

5. Construction of the first ship - HMS Daring - began at BAE Systems' shipyard in Govan earlier this year.

6. The Type 45 programme is good news for British jobs, securing over 2,000 shipbuilding jobs on the Clyde, 650 shipbuilding jobs in Portsmouth and many more jobs at sub-contractors around the country.

Milestone Reached In Type 45 Destroyer Programme