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Royal Navy Selects SEA’s Ancilia for £135m Maritime Countermeasures Contract

SEA has been awarded a £135m contract by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) to provide a Trainable Decoy Launcher to improve Royal Navy surface Ship defensive capabilities.

Ancilia, SEA’s highly modular and flexible maritime countermeasures solution, has been selected by the UK’s Ministry of Defence to provide Electronic Warfare Countermeasures Increment 1a (EWCM 1a) to the UK Royal Navy. Ancilia delivers effective and rapid protection against modern anti-ship threats, as well as other sophisticated systems and tactics. It will be installed across a range of the Royal Navy’s surface ships. Its design builds on SEA’s deep knowledge of existing systems in service with the Royal Navy.

A step-change in decoy launcher technology from traditional fixed solutions, Ancilia’s trainable nature removes the need to manoeuvre the vessel to counter incoming threats. Its relatively small size and weight enables rapid installation on a wide range of maritime platforms, and it has the capability to configure the firing of multiple decoy types in varying positions, providing the Royal Navy with a truly flexible countermeasures solution.

EWCM 1a forms part of the Maritime Electronic Warfare Programme (MEWP), which is intended to progressively update surface ship electronic surveillance, electronic warfare command and control, and countermeasures capabilities over the next 20 years.

As a proven and trusted supplier of torpedo launcher and countermeasures capabilities to the Royal Navy, SEA partnered with fellow Cohort company, Chess Dynamics, to develop Ancilia and offer the best available engineering solution from within the UK supply chain.

Ancilia is a low-risk solution that will be delivered by a proven team from established UK facilities and has been designed in-part based on existing systems in service with the Royal Navy to minimise integration complexity.

Alongside systems and software integration work, SEA [and Chess] will manufacture and export Ancilia from facilities in North Devon [and Sussex respectively], creating and safeguarding over 150 highly skilled jobs. SEA sees a promising range of export opportunities for Ancilia, and success in these could contribute further to regional prosperity and employment.

Richard Flitton, Managing Director of SEA said: “Being awarded a contract of this nature demonstrates the Royal Navy’s trust in SEA which is based on our proven track record of delivering, upgrading, and sustaining high-end maritime capabilities over many years. The knowledge and maritime domain expertise within our UK-based team has enabled our long-standing partnership with the Royal Navy, and we’re delighted that this will allow us to support the UK’s defensive capabilities against modern and complex naval threats.”

SEA is already contracted to design and deliver the new inboard electronic system for the fixed SeaGnat countermeasures launchers, which will be largely common with the SEA EWCM 1a solution, thus reducing risk and providing commonality across the fleet.

Chess Dynamics designs and develops systems that require precision movement in complex environments and provided the trainable base for SEA’s Ancilia. David Tuddenham, Managing Director at Chess Dynamics, said: “We are delighted to have contributed our systems expertise to this innovative solution that will help to protect the UK. We have a proven track record of in designing high-precision positioning platforms that support forward thinking solutions such as Ancilia and it’s fantastic to have collaborated on this project with fellow Cohort company SEA.”