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Interview by Stephen Elliott, Publisher

While Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) recently announced that it and Thales UK joined forces to offer a next-gen ship-killing solution – SEA SERPENT – to the Royal Navy (details below), MSD caught up with Mr Ron Tryfus, IAI’s Systems Missiles & Space Group VP Marketing & BD and he shared some unique insights.

MSD: As this was a joint effort, what aspects of IAI expertise did it bring to the SEA SERPENT programme?

Ron Tryfus: IAI’s vast experience in developing advances missile systems and especially

A GABRIEL missile emerges, rushing forward with the fury of an avenging angel toward its target (Photo: IAI)

the heritage of the GABRIEL family of surface-to-surface missile.

MSD: In general, are their drawbacks to using an RF seeker head?

Tryfus: The proposed unique and advanced RF seeker capabilities are key factor that can match and overmatch a rapidly expanding range and intensity of current and emerging threats. There are no drawback using rf seeker especially it enables all weather/ day night and address all types of targets.

MSD: As SEA SERPENT can take in new information and change directions and tasks mid-course, how can prevent being hacked or jammed by an opposing force?

SEA SERPENT at the ready (Photo: IAI)

Tryfus: We cannot address this but we can say that SEA SERPENT is well equipped to address current and future challenges of the battle field. SEA SERPENT has already demonstrated an impressive Next Day capacity to deal with emerging threats, as well as the technological flexibility for further growth and development.

MSD: What other opportunities exist for similar cooperation in the future for other NATO or allied navies?

Tryfus: IAI and the JV partner Proteus Advanced Systems see this cooperation as a significant milestone to address exciting and future challenges and requirements of different navies. SEA SERPENT introduces existing and future users a leading edge capabilities that will lead to future implementations.

Toda Raba & Yom Atzmaut Sameach!
Thank you very much & Happy Independence Day! 


Israel Aerospace Industries / IAI and THALES UK jointly offer SEA SERPENT a compelling solution to equip the Royal Navy’s Type 23 frigates with an anti-ship and anti-surface missile that can exceed a rapidly expanding range and intensity of threats.
The SEA SERPENT delivers an agile, highly-penetrative, combined anti-ship and land attack capability at ranges significantly in excess of 200 km.

SEA SERPENT en route to destroy a targeted threat (photo: IAI)

It employs an innovative RF seeker head and a sophisticated data analysis and weapon control system to provide precise target detection, discrimination and classification. It overcomes both kinetic counter-fire and electronic countermeasures of increasing sophistication, so that the missile can locate and attack its target in littoral, open-ocean and overland environments.

It is especially designed to prevail in contested, congested and confusing situations characterised by large numbers of decoys, disrupted reality and heavy electronic interference, as well as clutter from land and false returns.

SEA SERPENT comes alive – as seen by a live firing from a ship (Photo IAI)

In fast-moving situations, SEA SERPENT incorporates mid-course updates from real-time ISTAR feeds and the ability to re-task in flight, especially in cooperative engagements and distributed sensor-and-shooter networks.