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This is a discussion on The Royal Navy Discussions and Updates within the Navy & Maritime forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; Originally Posted by daviesg maybe the UK should team Thales UK and MBDA together to come up with a lightweight ...


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Old December 29th, 2006   #46
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maybe the UK should team Thales UK and MBDA together to come up with a lightweight inner layer missile defence system to replace SeaRAM!
I think by then PD lasers will be standard on Western vessles.
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Old December 29th, 2006   #47
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Sea wolf was faster than i thought, and 4 nations, Chile, Brazil, UK, Malayia, use it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_Wolf_missile

Sea Wolf 2 details:
Guidance Automatic command line of site
Speed Mach 3
Range 1-5 km (GWS-25)[1]
1-6 km (GWS-26)[1] [2]
Ceiling 3000 m
Payload/Warhead 14 kg blast
Trigger Proximity or contact
According to Jane's, the VLS sea wolf on the Dukes has a max speed of Mach 2.5, and, yes, a range of 6 km. If the Sea Wolf 2 improves speed to Mach 3 but not the range or the warhead size, the whole thing is IMHO inferior to RAM... so I would agree about the option of freeing up VLS space for cruise missiles.

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Old December 29th, 2006   #48
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IThe point I was trying to make was that SW is not worse than any other kind of PD-missile, including Crotale and Sea Sparrow, as Contedicavour was claiming, especially given the Block 2 upgrade.
Would you mind reading post number 37 please ?
Besides, even with block 2 upgrade, Sea Wolf is inferior to Aspide 2000 sold to Brazil (range 18 km, speed Mach 3.5 vs Sea Wolf 2 range of 6 km and speed of Mach 3.0).
If it really were worth it, Darings would have embarked it.

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Old December 29th, 2006   #49
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I would argue the FSC should bwe more a GP vessel and thua have a true SAM capability in terms of both performance and number of SAM's carried. ASTER 15 may well have evolved since then. Or, like you argue a new system. I like ASTER 15's long range 30km, which allows for an area defence aspect (to an extent). I would hope a development of this system, like; new motor, new AESA seeker, TV control surfaces will allow an evoloution of the system verses a from scratch new system. I use standard at an example for an evoloutionaery approch.
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Old December 29th, 2006   #50
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If it really were worth it, Darings would have embarked it.
Why would the Daring-class have Sea Wolf for PD when it has Aster 30 for AD? Aster 15 is better than Sea Wolf overall, even Block 2. That does not mean Sea Wolf should be immediately replaced on all RN ships - they can do the job required while they're still in service.
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Old December 29th, 2006   #51
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Ok I've got my JFS 06-07 under my eyes.
Let's compare the late '80s SAMs in service :

Sea Wolf VLS : range 6km, Mach 2.5, warhead 14kg
Sea Wolf GWS 25 Mod 3 : range 5km, Mach 2, warhead 14kg
Aspide : range 13km, Mach 2.5, warhead 30kg
Crotale : range 13km, Mach 2.4, warhead 14kg

=> Aspide already had more than twice the range, same speed, a warhead twice as big as Sea Wolf (it helps in case of near miss). Accuracy against high subsonic speed manoeuvring targets bypassed 4 out of 5 shots fired in late '90s tests in Sardegna.

No argument left here,

cheers
Aspide is longer, heavier, a bit fatter . . . . you couldn't carry as many. And what launch systems does it have? Is there a modular launcher suitable for flex fittings?

Aster 15 is even bigger.

BTW, Thales only claim 11 km interception range for Crotale, 13 kg warhead. That's the current version, with VT1 missile - M3.5. But it's much smaller than Aspide - about the same as Seawolf without the VL booster, IIRC. Only a trainable launcher, though . . . .

You're only comparing the missiles, & only certain characteristics of them. I could compare an Aspide with an Aster 30, & tell you there's no point fitting Aspide because Aster 30 is longer range & faster. You would (rightly) tell me there's more to it than that.

What about reaction time? What about initial acceleration from launch? Minimum range? Footprint on deck? System weight? You have to consider all these.
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Old December 29th, 2006   #52
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With reference to the Future Surface Combatant I would be happy for it to be armed with 32 Sylver A70 Vertical Launch cells. Containing 12 Aster 15 Sams for point defence and 20 Storm Shadows for land attack. I also feel that an Inner Layer missile system like SeaRam is need to deal with last ditch defence against incoming anti-ship missiles and aircraft! It should also posses the ability to attack incoming fast attack crafts. IMO SeaRam is rather dated as most of its tech comes from the 1980s. I do however like the idea of a simple bolt on self-contained fully automatic system like SeaRam but ofcourse with newer technology employed! Such a system would hold 8 to 16 ready to fire missiles in a trainable launcher and would not require any facilities from its host ship! Therefore you have a redundacy system that could still operate if the ships main systems were damaged!
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Old December 29th, 2006   #53
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What about reaction time? What about initial acceleration from launch? Minimum range? Footprint on deck? System weight? You have to consider all these.
Don't forget the lowest height it can intercept an incoming missile at - very important for the latest types of sea-skimmers.
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Old December 29th, 2006   #54
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Aspide

Here are all of the data I could get my hands on. What is in bold font is the most interesting in order to answer some of your questions. Btw, since the system can operate from an octuple launcher it is non intrusive into the ship's superstructure. Just to be clear, I'm not proposing this for the Duke refit, I'm just providing the data regarding the discussion Aspide vs Sea Wolf in the '90s, before Asters and Mica were available.

Model: Aspide. IOC: 1980. Country: Italy.
Ordered by 17 countries.
Total Mass: 220 kg (480 lb). Core Diameter: 0.20 m (0.65 ft). Total Length: 3.72 m (12.20 ft). Span: 0.99 m (3.24 ft). Standard warhead mass: 35 kg (77 lb). Maximum range: 90 km (55 mi) air-to-air / 13km surface-to-air. Boost Propulsion: Solid rocket. Guidance: Semi-Active Radar Homing. Maximum speed: 4,520 kph (2,800 mph). Minimum range: 1.30 km (0.80 mi). Ceiling: 5,000 m (16,400 ft). Floor: 15 m (49 ft). Though question is : does this data refer only to the air-to-air version once used on the F104S/ASA/M ?? Let's also not forget that Aspide-equipped ships rely on 76/62SR or 40/70 CIWS guns for the closest ranges.


Model: Aspide 2000. Surface-to-Air missile. Country: Italy.
Surface-to-air version. In production.
Total Mass: 241 kg (531 lb). Core Diameter: 0.20 m (0.67 ft). Total Length: 3.69 m (12.10 ft). Span: 0.68 m (2.24 ft). Maximum range: 20 km (12 mi). Boost Propulsion: Solid rocket. Guidance: Semi-Active Radar Homing.


Brazilian Navy Albatros-Aspide Air Defence System Trials Success
(Source: MBDA; issued Apr. 15, 2004)
A test firing of MBDA’s Albatros-Aspide naval air-defense system was successfully carried out from the Brazilian Navy ship Defensora, a Niteroi class frigate.
During the firing, which took place approximately 60 nautical miles off the Brazilian coast, a Banshee drone, simulating an aircraft in low altitude attack mode, was intercepted and brought down following a direct hit by the weapon system’s Aspide missile.
MBDA is design authority for the Albatros-Aspide naval air defense system which forms a key component of the Brazilian Navy’s program to upgrade the combat system of its six Niteroi class frigates. Under the program, which began in the late 1990’s, two frigates have been upgraded and the Brazilian Navy proposed that a demonstration firing of the Albatros-Aspide system be carried out.
MBDA undertook all aspects of the trial including integration with the FCS (Fire Control System). MBDA is partnered with AMS-DSN, responsible for the supply of the complete combat system under the modernization program.
The Albatros surface-to-air missile system adds to a ship’s gun FCS (Fire Control System) the capability to launch an Aspide missile by integrating it to a set of easy-to-install missile units. This combination provides an integrated, all weather naval air defense system comprising an outer layer based on missiles and an inner layer based on the ship’s gun battery.
During the firing the ship’s FCS (NA30), supported by its RAN20S ship-air surveillance radar, acquired the target. The target was then tracked by the ship’s RTN30X tracking radar. The Albatros system, together with the NA30 system, then engaged and destroyed the Banshee radio-controlled drone.
Admiral Euclides Duncan Janot de Matos, Director General of Brazilian naval procurement (Diretoria General do Material da Marinha do Brasil) expressed his complete satisfaction with the results of the firing.
Sandro Pazzini, Managing Director for MBDA Italy, said: “This firing demonstrates once again the reliability of the Albatros-Aspide missile system, which is already in service with a number of navies around the world. MBDA’s team worked around the clock with the Brazilian Navy to ensure all aspects of the trial including integration with the FCS, missile launch and full firing data analysis successfully met all the navy’s requirements.”
Some 70 ships in service with 13 navies worldwide are currently armed with Albatros systems and Aspide missiles. Within Albatros-Aspide’s engagement envelope the system provides for an SSKP (Single Shot Kill Probability) greater than 0.8 with a single missile and 0.96 with two missiles.

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Old December 29th, 2006   #55
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Hello, this will be my first post after reading these boards for a couple of years.

Contedicavour,

I think your comparison between Apside and Sea Wolf contains some pretty simplistic points. A weapons system on a warship depends on sensors, ESM, ECM,ECCM, Processing power, good crew training and a multitude of other factors not just a tick box against the range and speed of the missile itself. Any adversary will always target the weaknesses, the RN learnt that the hard way during the falklands.

If the enemy is stupid enough to fly at you frigate at 2000 ft, then yes, on paper Apside will shoot it down before Sea Wolf. (Though He may have received a Sea Dart in the face long before). However if the opponent is an exocet type missile at wave top height, neither ship will have much chance of engaging it at more than 5 miles. Add clutter from waves then this could become less so any range advantage is pretty much negated. It then becomes a matter of tracking, locking and killing the missile. I dont know enough about either missiles capabiliies to make a "one is better than the other" judgement but I know the RN has been happy with SW over the last two plus decades. Maybe the experts could advise on which missile has the best chance of hitting an incoming sea skimmer?

A type 22 had 12 ready missiles, a T23 has 32. The are pretty easy for a couple of crew to reload on the Type 22. Forgive my lack of knowlege of the Italian ships, but what is the load carried/re-load time on your vessels? Also ours have two directors, we had TV as well as radar, the Type 22's launchers and directors have a good arc of coverage. The Italian ships?

In a multiple sea skimmer attack I think SW is as good as system as any out there. Apside clearly gives good coverage in terms of range and probably therefore makes a better general purpose ship. Again, please give the info on the overall sensor weapons mix on the Italian ships.

It is the capacity to deal with multiple threats that count. The Argentinians took out HMS Coventry with an eight-ship of Skyhawks coming in from different dircetions at zero altitude, utilising the radars deficiency against background land masses to reduce detection time. It is here that I think you have misrepresented the success of SW. HMS Broadsword was part of the trap and had two Skyhawks locked up and would likely have shot them down had the Coventry not turned into the line of its sensors. This was not a failure of the sensors but a circumstance of war. Would other missile systems have worked better, particularly as the computers of the day were far less powerful than today. SW was a new system, ating from the 60's but deployed from the late 70's. Only two ships had it in the Falklands, Brilliant and Broadsword, Brilliant engaged four Skyhawks, killing two and the third crashed avoiding one, Wiki says it had two kills and three possibles from only 8 fired, so not a bad record fo a new weapon, used in combat not a simulated demonstration. In fact, if success is judged on kills the the Sea Dart did pretty well, an even more ancient missile, getting seven kills.Has any other curret western missile killed more aircraft? No, but would anyone want it now? Course not but it still has to be judged a success. I see that your stats on the Apside 2000 refer to a 2004 test, some 28 years after SW was first deployed. I doubt though if it will ever see combat as intensive as SW did in '82.

SW will do the job until the RN needs a replacement.It does what it was designed to do, give point defence against missiles. I dont think Aster would fit in the tubes of the T23's or does anyone know differently? If the VLS needed replacing I would rather spend the cash on more T45's or Carriers.

Apside is obviously very good for the Italian navy and for the fight it faced or faces ie the Sunny Med where the sky is often blue and sea calm. The RN was going to fight in the freezing north atlantic, huge waves, wet decks and often ice forming on the antennas. The batch one 42's in the Falklands suffered from the missile doors jamming with salt. Do you think that got mentioned in any sales brochures or test programme? That is the kind of fact that stat by stat comparisons dont consider. Again, how would apside, its launchers and directors perform in the worst the north atlantic can offer? Have you any info on testing in extreme climates? (though I would imagine the brazilian navy has taken it antartic bound?)

Anyway, we have SW, you have Apside, we use ours within a package of other assets maxiising its effect, as Im sure you do.

Cheers Dave
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Old December 29th, 2006   #56
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Hello, this will be my first post after reading these boards for a couple of years.

Contedicavour,

I think your comparison between Apside and Sea Wolf contains some pretty simplistic points. A weapons system on a warship depends on sensors, ESM, ECM,ECCM, Processing power, good crew training and a multitude of other factors not just a tick box against the range and speed of the missile itself. Any adversary will always target the weaknesses, the RN learnt that the hard way during the falklands.

If the enemy is stupid enough to fly at you frigate at 2000 ft, then yes, on paper Apside will shoot it down before Sea Wolf. (Though He may have received a Sea Dart in the face long before). However if the opponent is an exocet type missile at wave top height, neither ship will have much chance of engaging it at more than 5 miles. Add clutter from waves then this could become less so any range advantage is pretty much negated. It then becomes a matter of tracking, locking and killing the missile. I dont know enough about either missiles capabiliies to make a "one is better than the other" judgement but I know the RN has been happy with SW over the last two plus decades. Maybe the experts could advise on which missile has the best chance of hitting an incoming sea skimmer?

A type 22 had 12 ready missiles, a T23 has 32. The are pretty easy for a couple of crew to reload on the Type 22. Forgive my lack of knowlege of the Italian ships, but what is the load carried/re-load time on your vessels? Also ours have two directors, we had TV as well as radar, the Type 22's launchers and directors have a good arc of coverage. The Italian ships? It matters if there are lots of aircraft and missiles coing in, especially if the enemy is prepared to sacrifice planes for ships as the Argentinians were.

In a multiple sea skimmer attack I think SW is as good a system as any out there from its contempories. Apside clearly gives good coverage in terms of range and probably therefore makes a better general purpose ship. Again, please give the info on the overall sensor weapons mix on the Italian ships.

It is the capacity to deal with multiple threats that count. The Argentinians took out HMS Coventry with an eight-ship of Skyhawks coming in from different directions at zero altitude, utilising the radars deficiency against background land masses to reduce detection time. It is here that I think you have misrepresented the success of SW. HMS Broadsword was part of the trap and had two Skyhawks locked up and would likely have shot them down had the Coventry not turned into the line of its sensors. This was not a failure of the sensors but a circumstance of war. Would other missile systems have worked better? particularly as the computers of the day were far less powerful than today.Did anyone actually include that freak event in a simulation? SW was a new system, dating from the 60's but deployed from the late 70's. Only two ships had it in the Falklands, Brilliant and Broadsword, Brilliant engaged four Skyhawks, killing two and the third crashed avoiding one, Wiki says it had two kills and three possibles from only 8 fired, so not a bad record fo a new weapon, used in combat not a simulated demonstration. In fact, if success is judged on kills the the Sea Dart did pretty well, an even more ancient missile, getting seven kills.Has any other current western missile killed more aircraft? No, but would anyone want it now? Course not, but it still has to be judged a success. I see that your stats on the Apside 2000 refer to a 2004 test, some 28 years after SW was first deployed. I doubt though if it will ever see combat as intensive as SW did in '82.

SW will do the job until the RN needs a replacement.It does what it was designed to do, give point defence against missiles. I dont think Aster would fit in the tubes of the T23's or does anyone know differently? If the VLS needed replacing I would rather spend the cash on more T45's or Carriers.

Apside is obviously very good for the Italian navy and for the fight it faced or faces ie the Sunny Med where the sky is often blue and sea calm. The RN was going to fight in the freezing north atlantic, huge waves, wet decks and often ice forming on the antennas. The batch one 42's in the Falklands suffered from the missile doors jamming with salt. Do you think that got mentioned in any sales brochures or test programme? That is the kind of fact that stat by stat comparisons dont consider. Again, how would apside, its launchers and directors perform in the worst the north atlantic can offer? Have you any info on testing in extreme climates? (though I would imagine the brazilian navy has taken it antarctic bound?)

Anyway, we have SW, you have Apside, we use ours within a package of other assets maxiising its effect, as Im sure you do.

Cheers Dave
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Old December 29th, 2006   #57
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I agree with Dave, the Sea wolf is more than capable for the Dukes for the second half of there lives. Moneys should go to Daring and other vessels. Duke will have a good decoy system, soon and a new radar, along with the new intergrated sonaer. They will be good ships.
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Old December 29th, 2006   #58
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Back to the thread and the expectant cuts, I for one would swap the entire surface fleet for 12 Arleigh Burkes or Evolved Darings (Utilise the forward space for 72 VLS, add the proposals for the FSC as shown by Mr Beedall such as a mid section plug for 32plus VLS tubes and a plug at the stern to allow UAV's and improved anti sub fit). Add three large carriers, 100 Superhornets and nine Astutes. Ok a pretty wild wish list but more than possible if we stopped fighting pointless wars, sticking our noses in to other people business and throwing away money in third world aid. About 40 billion should do the trick. We have blown about 7 billion in Iraq an Afghanistan already.

For a crisis we would have around 8 destroyers, 2 carriers and 5 SSN's available at anyone time. Add a few partol vessels for drug busting work and hey presto a powerful surface fleet.

Hindsight is a marvellous thing but why did we send 40 years keeping 55,000 troops and close to 20 squadrons of RAF strike aircraft in Germany when the Germans spent far less than us. I would hate to think what that cost in todays money...more than enough for us to have maintained our large carriers and long range bombers. Oh well....
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Old December 30th, 2006   #59
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A type 22 had 12 ready missiles, a T23 has 32. The are pretty easy for a couple of crew to reload on the Type 22. Forgive my lack of knowlege of the Italian ships, but what is the load carried/re-load time on your vessels? Also ours have two directors, we had TV as well as radar, the Type 22's launchers and directors have a good arc of coverage. The Italian ships? It matters if there are lots of aircraft and missiles coing in, especially if the enemy is prepared to sacrifice planes for ships as the Argentinians were.
Hello Dave, interesting reading, thanks.
To answer your question our FFGs and DDGs (excluding the Horizon and FREMM) carry RTN30X fire control radars, from 2 to 4 sensors per ship depending on its size. Range is 40km so more than enough vs Aspides' max range. With 2 systems the arc of coverage is already 360°. In modernization currently underway we'll have IRST sensors as well.
In our more modern ships such as the 2 Horizons, it's EMPAR (+ IRST) that takes charge of fire control.
The Aspide missile load on FFGs and DDGs is 16 (8 in the 8-cell module and 8 automatic reload).
Regarding ECM/ECCM I'm not an expert, but they should be comparable to that of the latest Sea Sparrows, from which the Aspide has been developed.
Last thing, missiles have been tested during exercises in the North Sea with the RN, Dutch and German navies in the '90s, though I can't find the articles detailing weather conditions and the like.

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Old December 30th, 2006   #60
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Back to the thread and the expectant cuts, I for one would swap the entire surface fleet for 12 Arleigh Burkes or Evolved Darings (Utilise the forward space for 72 VLS, add the proposals for the FSC as shown by Mr Beedall such as a mid section plug for 32plus VLS tubes and a plug at the stern to allow UAV's and improved anti sub fit). Add three large carriers, 100 Superhornets and nine Astutes. Ok a pretty wild wish list but more than possible if we stopped fighting pointless wars, sticking our noses in to other people business and throwing away money in third world aid. About 40 billion should do the trick. We have blown about 7 billion in Iraq an Afghanistan already.

For a crisis we would have around 8 destroyers, 2 carriers and 5 SSN's available at anyone time. Add a few partol vessels for drug busting work and hey presto a powerful surface fleet.
Your proposal makes a lot of sense for an oceangoing navy such as the RN... though cost-wise if I take the example of Horizon/FREMM each DDG costs 850 million euro and each FREMM with enhanced AAW (EMPAR and capability of launching Aster-30) costs 350 million. Roughly speaking you can get 25 FFG for the price of 12 DDG. Since the FFG's capabilities are getting close to those of a DDG, I'd rather go for 4 DDG and 16 FFG or 6 DDG and 12 FFG.

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