Common Anti-Air Modular Missile

Common Anti-Air Modular Missile
Common Anti-air Modular Missile
Type Short-range air-to-air and surface-to-air missile
Place of origin  United Kingdom
Service history
In service 2016
Production history
Manufacturer MBDA
Weight 99 kilograms (220 lb)[1]
Length 3.2 metres (10 ft)[1]
Diameter 166 millimetres (6.5 in)

Engine solid rocket motor
Over 25 kilometres (16 mi) [1]
Speed "Supersonic"[1]
Type 23 frigate
Global Combat Ship
Truck launcher
CAMM is loosely based on the AIM-132 ASRAAM

The Common Anti-Air Modular Missile (CAMM) is a Surface-to-air missile and Air-to-air missile made by MBDA for all three branches of the British Armed Forces, scheduled to enter service from 2016. The missile is based on the airframe and some components of the ASRAAM infra-red air to air missile, with updated electronics and an active radar seeker.

CAMM is intended to replace the Sea Wolf missile on Type 23 frigates of the Royal Navy, the Rapier missile in British Army service and contribute to the eventual replacement of ASRAAM on RAF aircraft. CAMM has a longer range (25 kilometres (16 mi) compared to eg 8 km for Sea Wolf),[2] does not need dedicated illumination radars and more launchers can be fitted into a given space. CAMM is designed to meet the requirement of the British Ministry of Defence for a Future Local Anti-Air Defence System (FLAADS) but MBDA refer to the systems for air-launched, land and maritime use as CAMM(A), CAMM(L) and CAMM(M) respectively.



The design aims for low cost by modularity and aiming to minimise electromechanical complexity by implementing most functionality in software.[3] It comes in its own launch canisters, or can be quad-packed into the SYLVER and Mark 41 Vertical Launch System[1] silos found on many NATO warships.

The land and naval versions have folding tailfins[2] and both use a "soft vertical launch" system, whereby the missile is ejected from a tube by a piston. A short booster uses squib thrusters to point the missile at the target before the main motor fires.[2] The lack of toxic fumes on launch makes launches safer for users, avoids corrosion of the launch platform and the lack of exhaust vents allows the launch cells to be much more compact.

In flight, the missile can receive mid-course guidance via a datalink before the active homing radar seeker takes over for the final approach to target. This does away with the need for separate tracking radars, and allows targets to be hit that are not in line-of-sight. The command and control software reuses over 75% of that developed for the Sea Viper system.[4]


CAMM has its roots in a Technology Development Partnership (TDP), jointly funded by MBDA and the British Ministry of Defence.[3] 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.[3] Phase 2 began in 2008 and covered the manufacture of flightworthy subsystems, mid-course guidance firings and captive airborne seeker trials on a Qinetiq Andover trials aircraft.[3] The Soft Vertical Launch was proven over a series of trials, culminating in a successful truck launch in May 2011.[4] The MoD decision on the business case for the naval variant was scheduled for late 2010[3] but the Strategic Defence and Security Review of October 2010 intervened. As of September 2011, MBDA are still waiting for the green light for CAMM(M).[4]

Naval variant

CAMM(M) will be the first variant in service, replacing the Sea Wolf point-defence missile on the Type 23 frigate from 2016.[5] CAMM can be packed much more tightly, with up to four CAMM fitting into the space occupied by one Sea Wolf.[2] It will be fitted to the Type 26 frigate[4] entering service after 2020, and be an option on export versions of the Global Combat Ship.

MBDA is working with the MoD, BAE Systems Insyte and Qinetiq to integrate CAMM with the Type 23 combat system.[3] This work is centred at the Type 23 shore integration facility at Portsdown, near Portsmouth.[3]

Land variant

CAMM(L) will replace the Rapier missile batteries of the British Army[4] from 2020 or so. Four three-pack launchers[2] are fitted to a self-contained "pallet" that can be fitted to a range of trucks.[6] The launch vehicle will not have its own radar, instead taking targeting information over a secure datalink as part of an integrated air-defence network[6] and using the active seeker head for terminal guidance.

Air-launched variant

Since the CAMM airframe is based on that of ASRAAM, the current dogfighting missile of the RAF and other airforces, MBDA say that CAMM is "easily adapted"[1] onto aircraft that now carry ASRAAM. There is no requirement to replace ASRAAM yet, but it is intended that CAMM will form the basis of the RAF's future short-range missile. The modularity of CAMM would lend itself to a family of missiles like the Vympel R-27/AA-10 "Alamo", which is carried in both radar-guided and infra-red versions by Russian planes.

See also

  • NASAMS - surface-launched AMRAAM
  • Crotale NG VT1 French missile that can also be quad-packed in SYLVER launchers
  • RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile from the US
  • Buk missile system (SA-11/SA-N-7 "Gadfly") from Russia
  • Tor missile system (SA-15/SA-N-9 "Gauntlet", SA-17/SA-N-12 "Grizzly") from Russia

Notes and references

Further reading

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