Thales UK has been awarded an £11m contract by MBDA to provide the laser proximity fuze for Sea Ceptor’s common anti-air modular missile (CAMM). The contract is for the development and qualification of the laser proximity fuze, and includes options for various production quantities.

Thales has traditionally supplied the majority of the proximity fuzes for MBDA missiles, including the Seawolf and Rapier missiles that CAMM will replace. The particular challenge in this instance has been to improve performance while significantly reducing price by maximising the use of modularity, generic signal processing and commercial off-the-shelf components.

The contract follows almost five years of Thales research and development, and collaborative working with MBDA on the FLAADS/CAMM concept and assessment Phase.

“MBDA’s selection of Thales UK for the delivery of this critical capability reinforces Thales’s position as a leader in the field of proximity fuzing and as the UK Ministry of Defence’s sovereign provider under Team Complex Weapons.” says Alex Cresswell, head of Thales UK’s land defence business. “This award is a reflection of the invest-ment that Thales continues to make to develop this technology for the benefit of the UK Armed Services.”

Commenting on the selection of Thales UK, Steve Wadey, MBDA’s Executive Group Director Technical and UK Managing Director, says: “Thales brings a wealth of experience in proximity fuzing and we view them as an important contributor to the complex weapons sector in the UK. The Sea Ceptor system and its CAMM missile will deliver a next-generation air-defence capability for the Royal Navy, with excellent potential for overseas sales.”

Thales UK’s Basingstoke facility will undertake the development and qualification work.

Thales has more than 40 years’ experience successfully supplying missile electronics to customers worldwide. There are over 100,000 missile equipments operational in more than 50 countries. Seekers, proximity fuzes, and safe and rrm units are key product areas for Thales, in service in many missiles including TOW-2B, JSOW, Paveway 2/3/4, Storm Shadow, ASRAAM, MICA, EXOCET, Seawolf and Rapier.

Thales is a global technology leader for the defence & security and the aerospace & transport markets. In 2010 the company generated revenues of £11.2 billion (€13.1 billion), with 68,000 employees in 50 countries. Thales UK employs 8,000 staff based at 40 locations. In 2010 Thales UK’s revenues were around £1.5 billion.