The UK Missile Defence Centre (MDC) was established by the Ministry of Defence in 2003 following signature of a Memorandum of Understanding with the US for the conduct of collaborative ballistic defence studies.
Largely funded by the Chief Scientific Adviser’s S&T research programme (Defence Science and Technology Laboratory), the MDC – in collaboration with its industry partners – announced a programme to explore the potential of the Royal Navy’s destroyers to conduct Theatre Ballistic Missile Defence missions.
Six months later, building on the Ministry of Defence’s relationship with the US Missile Defense Agency, the MDC also agreed to take part in a trial which will test the Sampson radar, part of the Sea Viper missile system, in detecting and tracking ballistic targets.
In September Sea Ceptor missiles were ordered to complement the longer range Sea Viper system (left) on the Type 45 destroyers, providing the Royal Navy with a full range of missile systems to defeat current and future threats.
As no other states appear to be interested in attacking Britain and the current UK threat level for international terrorism is ‘SUBSTANTIAL’, according to MI5 – is taxpayers’ money being completely wasted on expensive missile systems?