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UK seeks US-made ballistic missile defence equipment

18th March 2022 - 09:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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RAF Fylingdales currently hosts the only BMD radar facility in the UK. (Photo: USAF)

Less than a month after delaying a BMD radar plan until 2029, the UK MoD is now requesting equipment from Lockheed Martin under the FMS programme.

The UK could receive new ballistic missile defence (BMD) equipment from the US via the FMS programme, after the State Department announced the green light on 17 March.

Congress is now required to approve the estimated $700 million package for one BMD radar, two Command, Control, Battle Management Communications (C2BMC) user nodes and other related equipment.

The user nodes would be connectable to the C2BMC system to support radar operations.

The UK government also requested the design and construction of a combined radar-equipment shelter, communications security equipment such as encryption devices and ancillary technical, logistical and training support.

Lockheed Martin would be the prime contractor.

According to the State Department, the proposed sale would ‘improve [the] UK’s ability to meet current and future ballistic missile threats to the UK and NATO by improving the effectiveness of NATO BMD systems’.

Today, there is only one BMD radar facility in the UK at RAF Fylingdales in Yorkshire — but the MoD issued an RfI in 2017 for technology to be used in a future system.

However, UK-based BMD radar planning was deferred until 2029 under the latest ten-year MoD Equipment Plan (published on 21 February 2022) in order to save between £100 million and £199 million ($131.4 million to $261.5 million).

Shephard reported in late February that the UK RN is exploring ship-based BMD for its Daring-class Type 45 destroyers by the late 2020s.

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