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Royal Navy frigate HMS Northumberland tested Sea Ceptor missile system


The UK Royal Navy Type 23 frigate, HMS Northumberland used its Sea Ceptor missile system to shoot down drones in a unique test off the northwest coast of Scotland.


Royal Navy frigate HMS Northumberland tested Sea Ceptor missile system HMS Northumberland test-firing the Sea Ceptor (Picture Source: Royal Navy)


The frigate was testing her powerful weapons system on the ranges around the Outer Hebrides in Installation Test Firing exercises.

The Plymouth-based ship’s missile system – fitted to all the Royal Navy’s Type 23 frigates – can defend an area of 500 square miles and, in this latest drill, the ship’s company was tasked with taking down high-speed, sea-skimming drones fired from one of the nearby islands.

“In my role on board I get to operate a wide variety of weapons, but firing a Sea Ceptor doesn’t come around all that often.” said weapons specialist, Chief Petty Officer Mark Lynch.

Sat in the missile director’s chair for the serial, CPO Lynch had previously missed out on the live firing on HMS Montrose, but this time he found himself at the helm operating the system. CPO Lynch’s quick reactions allowed Northumberland to successfully engage the sea skimming threat as it came into range, splashing the target whilst it was still at arm’s length.

“Before joining Northumberland I was part of the Sea Ceptor acceptance team working at Abbey Wood. In this role I was heavily involved in the acceptance of the missile system into the navy,” said CPO Knights. “To have now completed a successful firing on my own system is as exciting as it is rewarding; this is a definite career highlight.”