The British Army’s Royal Artillery (RA) has received the new Sky Saber air defense system from Defense Equipment & Support (DE&S), an organization of the UK Ministry of Defense (MoD).
The new air defense system will replace the Rapier which has been operational since the 1970s.
Sky Saber will be operated by 16 Regiment Royal Artillery, based at Baker Barracks on Thorney Island, West Sussex.
The Regiment has undertaken a training program to facilitate the transition from Rapier to Sky Saber.
The Sky Saber air defense system consists of three main components: the surface-to-air missile command and control center (SAMOC), an agile mutlibeam giraffe radar (GAMB), and the land-based launcher and missile.
The radar is capable of 360° rotation on an extendable mast and can scan up to distances of 120 km to identify threats.
Common anti-aircraft modular missiles (CAMMs) used in the system can destroy fighter jets, drones and laser-guided smart bombs.
The launcher can fire missiles in a unique multi-directional fashion to reduce its signature, making it difficult for adversaries to pinpoint its location.
According to a MoD statement, Sky Saber can hit a tennis ball-sized target moving at the speed of sound.
UK Defense Procurement Secretary Jeremy Quin said: “Sky Saber’s advanced technology has significantly improved the protection of our forces against threats from the air. This state-of-the-art defense system is a clear demonstration of our combat capabilities to those who wish to harm us.
The 16 Regiment Royal Artillery now accepts the first section of Sky Saber. The system can be configured to operate in all regions of the world.
Lieutenant Colonel Chris Lane, Commanding Officer of the 16th Regiment Royal Artillery, said: “We will be able to compete with our peers and take on some of the toughest opponents.
“It gives us a capability that we didn’t have before; this new missile system with its new launcher and world-class radar will absolutely put us at the forefront of ground-based air defense.