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Sub launched surface to air missiles - how useful?

This is a discussion on Sub launched surface to air missiles - how useful? within the Navy & Maritime forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; Although sub launched MANPADS have been around for a while, they were not widely adopted. The Israeli's reportedly had Blowpipes ...


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Old November 26th, 2012   #1
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Sub launched surface to air missiles - how useful?

Although sub launched MANPADS have been around for a while, they were not widely adopted. The Israeli's reportedly had Blowpipes on their subs and the Soviets had Strelas that could only be fired on the surface.

More recently DCNS is offering a sub launched version of Mistral and Diehl the IDAS that can be launched underwater. Assuming these and other future systems work as advertised and are widely deployed over the next decade, will it change the way ASW is conducted? Will helicopters with dipping sonars and torps be willing to conduct ASW duties in the knowledge that the hunted sub may be able to hit back? Or will this eventually lead to navies drawing up a requirement again for stand off ASW platforms like MILAS, Silex the retired Ikara?

Last edited by STURM; November 26th, 2012 at 02:36 AM.
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Old November 26th, 2012   #2
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There have also been a couple of successful underwater firings of the AIM-9X, with the target set apparently intended to include small surface vessels in addition to air targets.

I brought this up a while ago on another forum and the response I got seemed to indicate that while such developments were interesting and may give a submarine some additional flexibility in certain situations, it would be more of a last resort when it comes to responding to ASW helos, as the launch of the missile would give away sonar data to any other ASW platforms in the area. From my understanding a dedicated ASW package is going to include multiple helos/surface vessels running search patterns, and for a submarine to fire off a weapon in the midst of that would be highly hazardous.

One of the others on here with more knowledge might be able to tell you more.

Underwater AIM-9X
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Old December 10th, 2012   #3
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Agreed, a hunted sub is going to be deep and coming up that close to the surface is pretty much a final act. Plunking one of these out inside a bubble is interesting but I have no idea how it "Orients" itself to the target after reaching the surface, unless it just rotates around until it "See's" something.
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Old December 10th, 2012   #4
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its about tactical context if you want to argue utility

otherwise you're doing an Alexander Graham Bell

Lots of concepts have been tried and tested, eg Iris-T

again, its about tactical context to establish relevance
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Old December 11th, 2012   #5
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I suppose it would be good for a vindictive blaze of glory when you know you are not getting out of the situation you are in. Fire everything at anything and see what happens.
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