Of a particular interest was the Royal Navy frigate modernization program, particularly the replacement of aging combatants with new Type 26 and Type 31e, and modernization of air defense systems on the remaining Type 23 frigates, that includes the replacement of Sea Wolf anti-missile system and Rapier Ground Based Air Defense missiles with the Common Anti-Air Modular Missile (CAMM).
The Navy also plans to modernize its electronic warfare capabilities, for which Elbit Systems and Lockheed Martin announced a teaming agreement.
Anti-submarine warfare, electronic warfare, and mine countermeasures were also featured, addressing acquisition programs with several NATO navies.
Babcock unveiled at DSEI its Arrowhead class light frigate, developed to meet the Royal Navy requirement for eight Type 31e vessels. The new 120m vessel has a displacement of 4000 tons and an operating autonomy of 6,000 nautical miles. It is armed with one 127mm gun turret, eight Exocet anti-ship missiles and an air defense battery of 16 CAMM missiles. It has a dock for RHIB and unmanned boats, and an aft deck that can support Merlin or Wildcat helicopters and UAVs.
The mission operators at the control room at Elbit Systems’ booth at DSEI controlled the company’s Seagull unmanned boat and its sonars, as it sailed at the Haifa Bay in Israel.
Another attraction was the unveiling of Britain’s future laser weapon – DragonFire. The system is under development by an industry team led by MBDA and is set to begin sea trials in 2019 tested as a weapon system capable of scalable response, from non-lethal deterrence to lethal effects against missiles, drones, and swarms of fast boats.