CAMM (missile family)

The CAMM (Common Anti-Air Modular Missile) series is a family[8] of surface-to-air missiles developed by MBDA for the United Kingdom. CAMM shares some common features and components with the ASRAAM air-to-air missile, but with updated electronics and an active radar homing seeker. The Common Anti-Air Modular Missile is intended to replace the Sea Wolf missile on Type 23 frigates of the Royal Navy from 2017, the Rapier missile in British Army service from 2018 and is contributing to the updating of MBDA's ASRAAM in service with the Royal Air Force. [1][9]

MBDA Sea Ceptor graphic.jpg
An MBDA computer generated graphic showing a CAMM missile in flight.
Short/medium range anti-aircraft and anti-missile missile.
Medium range anti-aircraft and anti-missile missile.
Place of originUnited Kingdom (CAMM)
Italy (CAMM-ER)
Service history
In service2018[1]
Production history
ManufacturerMBDA UK (CAMM)
MassCAMM: 99 kg[2]
CAMM-ER: 160 kg[3][dead link] (<250 kg, missile with canister)
LengthCAMM: 3.2 m[2]
CAMM-ER: 4.0 m[3] (canister, 4,4 m)
DiameterCAMM: 166 mm[2]
CAMM-ER: 190 mm[3] (canister, 27.5 × 27.5 cm)
WarheadDirected fragmentation.
Contact or proximity.

EngineSolid-fuel rocket motor.
CAMM: <1–25+ km[2][nb 1]
CAMM-ER: <1–45+ km[3]
SpeedMach 3 (1,020 m/s)[2][5][6][7][4]


  • Maritime platforms.
  • Land based platforms.
  • Aircraft.


CAMM is a point defence and local area defence missile designed to respond to sophisticated missile attacks and has the capability to defend against saturation attacks of supersonic anti-ship cruise missiles, aircraft and other high-performance targets.[7] It does this via multiple channels of fire, providing 360-degree simultaneous coverage and high degrees of manoeuvrability. MBDA state that CAMM has a "high rate of fire against multiple simultaneous targets",[23] providing capabilities comparable to the Aster 15 missile.

Design characteristics allow for low cost by modularity and minimising electromechanical complexity through implementing most functionality in software.[10] Additionally, the command and control software reuses over 75% of that developed for the PAAMS system.[11]

CAMM has a minimum operational range of less than 1 km and a maximum range greater than 25 km, although IHS Jane's reports that trials have a shown a capability of up to 60 km.[4] These ranges are significantly greater than the 1–10 km range of Sea Wolf and other systems CAMM will replace.[22] CAMM is 99 kilograms (218 lb) in weight, 3.2 metres (10 ft) in length, 166 millimetres (6.5 in) diameter and reaches generous supersonic speeds of Mach 3 (or 1,020 meters per second).

CAMM's claimed benefits include:

  • Active, next-generation RF seeker that provides true all-weather performance with excellent clutter rejection capabilities and means there is no need for complex and high-cost fire control/illumination radars
  • A two-way datalink providing outstanding accuracy and highly improved functionality. The associated radar system tracks the threat and uses the datalink to update the missile with the location of the threat before the seeker takes over the missile guidance.
  • A Soft Vertical Launch (SVL) system that offers 360° degree coverage and high degrees of manoeuvrability. CAMM also uses a gas generator to eject the missile from its canister, the benefits of which include increased range – by saving all the rocket motor's energy to power the intercept – reduced minimum intercept range, reduced stress on launch platforms, significantly reduced maintenance costs, more compact installations on ships and there being no need to manage the hot gas efflux on board, reduced launch signature, and on land the possibility of firing the missile from wooded or urban areas.
  • CAMM comes in its own launch canisters, or alternately can be quad-packed into the SYLVER, ExLS and Mark 41 vertical launching systems found on many warships.[8]

CAMM's Extended Range application is known as CAMM-ER and has been under development with MBDA for the Italian MoD since 2013[26]. The CAMM-ER (extended range variant) shares the same characteristics of the original CAMM with the exception of an additional rocket booster which significantly increases the missile's engagement range, out to 45 km and a slightly adapted missile structure. The missile is 160 kilograms (350 lb) in weight, 4.2 metres (14 ft) in length, 190 millimetres (7.5 in) diameter.[9]


The Common Anti-Air Modular Missile has its roots in a Technology Demonstration Programme (TDP), jointly funded by MBDA and the Ministry of Defence as part of the United Kingdom's Future Local Area Air Defence System (FLAADS).[10] Phase 1 of the TDP worked on technologies for soft vertical launch, the low-cost active radar seeker, a dual-band two-way datalink and a programmable open systems architecture.[10] Phase 2 began in 2008 and covered the manufacture of flight-worthy subsystems, mid-course guidance firings and captive airborne seeker trials on a Qinetiq Andover experimental aircraft.[10] The Soft Vertical Launch was proven over a series of trials, culminating in a successful truck launch in May 2011.[11] The MoD decision on the business case for the naval variant was scheduled for 2010.[10] After publishing the Strategic Defence and Security Review in October 2010, the business case was approved in April 2011.

FLAADS is part of a wider UK 'Complex Weapons' programme to deliver a variety of UK industry based weapons. FLAADS is intended to deliver a common weapons platform (the Common Anti-Air Modular Missile (CAMM)) to equip forces in the air, land and maritime environments.[12][13] During the early stages of the FLAADS programme, requirements were identified for the new missile to meet the known and unknown air threats of not only the present, but those well into the future too. Thought was particularly given to meeting a target set "of complex airborne targets which are typified by high speed, rapid evasive manoeuvres, low signatures and advanced countermeasure[s]."[14]



CAMM's modularity makes it a highly versatile and flexible missile that can be used in land and sea environments.[22]

MBDA states that by purchasing the same missile to meet the air defence needs of both armies and navies, development costs are significantly reduced (by developing a single system rather than two separate ones) and both services are able to utilise a common stockpile that will significantly reduce procurement and support costs.


The maritime application of CAMM is known as Sea Ceptor.[23] The system will provide the principal air defence capability for the Royal Navy's Type 23 and Type 26 Frigates, as well as arming other navies around the world. Sea Ceptor can be easily retrofitted onto a wide range of platforms, from 50m OPVs to frigates and destroyers.

In addition, CAMM can also be integrated with a range of radar types to suit customer requirements. MBDA claim that CAMM has a "wide target set", including the capability to engage small naval vessels, which would give the missile a limited surface-to-surface role.[24 This has since been confirmed by the Royal Navy, with the Anti-Air-Warfare Officer of Type 23 Frigate HMS Westminster stating: “Westminster managed to explore the real potential of the system during her training and to say it is a real game changer is an understatement. Unlike its predecessor, the system is capable of defending ships other than Westminster herself. Whether it’s engaging multiple air threats or fast incoming attack craft, Sea Ceptor represents a massive capability upgrade for the Type 23 frigate.”[24]


On the land domain, CAMM is known as Land Ceptor by the British Army and the whole land-based air defence system is known as Sky Sabre.[25] This application has over three-times the range of its predecessor Rapier, it is able to intercept the most challenging targets in all-weather conditions[26]

For international customers in the land domain, MBDA markets the Enhanced Modular Air Defence Solutions (EMADS). This is a rapidly deployable point and area defence system designed to protect mobile and static high value assets. It provides all-weather protection against a spectrum of conventional and challenging air targets, including low level terrain and high altitude threats. Each EMADS launcher is scalable and can carry multiple CAMM or CAMM-ER missiles as well as being highly mobile with excellent off-road capability. The system provides EMADS with pre-launch targeting information based on track data from a suitable radar sensor[27][28]


Originally, the CAMM program aspired to provide Land, Sea and Air launched capabilities, but it was deemed more effective to instead develop CAMM for use in the Land and Sea domains, while using the well established and highly capable ASRAAM short range air-to-air dogfighting missile to cover the Air Launched domain. However, technologies and components developed for CAMM have been leveraged as part of an upgrade to ASRAAM.[29][30]


Map of CAMM operators in dark grey, and future operators in lighter grey.

Current OperatorsEdit

  United Kingdom
  • Royal Navy - Sea Ceptor was officially declared "In Service" with the Royal Navy in May 2018, and is currently equipped on some of Britain's Type 23 fleet, including HMS Argyll.

Future operatorsEdit

  New Zealand
  United Kingdom

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Although trials have a shown a capability of up to 60 km[4]


  1. ^ MBDA' Sea Ceptor missile system enters service with Royal Navy. Navy Recognition. 29 May 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Common Anti-Air Modular Missile" (PDF). MBDA Missile Systems. February 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 May 2013. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  3. ^ a b c d CAMM-ER Datasheet Archived April 2, 2015, at the Wayback Machine,
  4. ^ a b c d "UK orders next-generation air defence system from MBDA". IHS Jane's. 15 January 2015. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
  5. ^ Royal Navy gets mega missile which travels at three times the speed of sound January 2010, Archived February 1, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "Navy unveils new missile capable of destroying enemy weapons at THREE times the speed of sound".
  7. ^ Naval technology: CAMM, accessed August 2013
  8. ^ "Royal Navy completes Sea Ceptor firing trials - MBDA". MBDA. Retrieved 2018-03-21.
  9. ^ "CAMM-ER - MBDA". MBDA. Retrieved 2018-03-21.
  10. ^ a b c d Scott, Richard (11 September 2009). "UK's common anti-air missile forges ahead..." IHS Jane's. Archived from the original on 15 August 2011. Retrieved 17 October 2011.
  11. ^ "Common Anti Air Modular Missile (CAMM) - Think Defence". Think Defence. Retrieved 2018-03-21.
  12. ^ Future Local Area Air Defence System Hansard, 7 Mar 2012
  13. ^ Complex Weapons Hansard, 15 July 2008
  14. ^ FLAADS Archived May 13, 2014, at the Wayback Machine MBDA, June 2010
  15. ^ Naval Industry News - UK Sea Ceptor, MBDA’s Next Generation Air Defence System Gets Go Ahead For Royal Navy Frigates, 31 January 2012,
  16. ^ a b "Sea Ceptor selected for ANZAC Frigate Update". MBDA Missile Systems. 7 October 2013. Archived from the original on 30 March 2014. Retrieved 7 October 2013.
  17. ^ "MBDA: "Chile podría adoptar el misil Sea Ceptor en la modernización de sus fragatas tipo 23"". infodefensa. 12 August 2014. Retrieved 12 January 2015.
  18. ^ a b "Brazilian Navy Selects MBDA's Sea Ceptor for Air Defense". MBDA. 1 December 2014. Retrieved 9 December 2014.
  19. ^ "UK Signs Deal For New Air Defense Missile".
  20. ^ (21 September 2015). "La idea de comunalidad de sistemas de MBDA cala en Europa - Noticias Infodefensa España".
  21. ^ "Defence Minister announces successful first firings of Sea Ceptor missiles to protect new aircraft carriers - GOV.UK".
  22. ^ "MBDA Products - CAMM".
  23. ^ "Royal Navy complete first-of-class firings of Sea Ceptor air defence system - MBDA". MBDA. Retrieved 2018-03-15.
  24. ^ "Missile success for HMS Westminster as second ship to fire new Sea Ceptor". Retrieved 2018-03-21.
  25. ^ "Final configuration of British Army Land Ceptor unveiled - MBDA". MBDA. Retrieved 2018-03-15.
  26. ^ "Final configuration of British Army Land Ceptor unveiled - MBDA". MBDA. Retrieved 2018-03-15.
  27. ^ "EMADS - MBDA". MBDA. Retrieved 2018-03-15.
  28. ^
  29. ^ "MBDA receives capability sustainment order for ASRAAM - MBDA". MBDA. Retrieved 2018-03-21.
  30. ^ "MOD to upgrade air-to-air missile - GOV.UK". Retrieved 2018-03-21.
  31. ^ During, Nelson (2014-11-14). "MBDA e AVIBRAS anunciam projeto de Defesa Antiaérea de média altura" [MBDA and AVIBRAS announce medium range Air Defense project] (in Portuguese). DefesaNet. Retrieved 2016-11-11.
  32. ^ "Lockheed Martin Updates Chilean Frigates".
  33. ^ "MBDA's Advanced Air Defence System for the British Army Enters Assessment Phase". MBDA Missile Systems. 1 May 2014. Archived from the original on 30 March 2014. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
  34. ^ "Royal Navy Missile Contract Sustains 500 UK Jobs". GOV.UK. 10 September 2013. Archived from the original on 30 March 2014. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
  35. ^ "National Shipbuilding Strategy" (PDF). GOV.UK. 16 September 2017. Retrieved 26 June 2018.

Further readingEdit