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Naval Version of MLRS

This is a discussion on Naval Version of MLRS within the Missiles & WMDs forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; The Navy has only so much money and already have other means to deliver precision firepower so they probably think ...


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Old July 12th, 2011   #31
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The Navy has only so much money and already have other means to deliver precision firepower so they probably think this need is already being met with the assets at hand. Now maybe some other country without the same capabilities of the USN could consider something like a navalized MLRS worth the effort.
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Old June 5th, 2013   #32
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i think its not a problem the Egyptian nave did it prior the 73 war they mounted bm-11 on ships [Mod edit: One-liners or content fee posts (spam like posts), like this, are a violation of forum rules, and posting a string of one-liners to just post a link in another thread will not be tolerated.

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Old June 16th, 2013   #33
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Not huge advantages, but not a bad idea.

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Originally Posted by Belesari View Post
Can someone tell me the possibility of adapting the MLRS and its subsystems like ATACMS to a naval version? Not nessesarily a VLS But just a upgrade of the system itself and why it wouldnt be possible for it to use it for Naval firesupport or why it hasn't? I've asked the question before but it hasnt ever really been answered.
Most US battleships are using VLS for launching Tomahawk cruise missiles, I don't think there would be a use for MLRS in naval warfare, Tomahawks have greater range and (if I'm not mistaken) larger warheads. The only use I really see MLRS having in naval warfare is the capability of launching faster warheads than the Tomahawk, infact lately cruise missiles have been easy tragets for anti-cruise surface-to-air missile technology. I like the idea of MLRS in naval warfare, the speed will give a great advantage.

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Old June 17th, 2013   #34
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A Tomahawk costs about thirty times as much as a guided rocket for MLRS, hence why there is interest in the first place. That, and a MLRS module would be relatively easily reloadable at sea from the ship's magazines or supply units.
For the other reasons read page one of this thread.
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Old June 18th, 2013   #35
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Did anyone come up with a way to handle the pallets the missiles come on? They'd have to be cycled back into the magazine or stored some other place - that takes up some room. Agreed that MLRS can drop a large weight of fire onto target but we're already seeing a situation where they're only firing the guided rounds for fear of collateral damage. I'm wondering if that space might be better used by something more flexible is all.
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Old June 19th, 2013   #36
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Originally Posted by StobieWan View Post
Did anyone come up with a way to handle the pallets the missiles come on? They'd have to be cycled back into the magazine or stored some other place - that takes up some room. Agreed that MLRS can drop a large weight of fire onto target but we're already seeing a situation where they're only firing the guided rounds for fear of collateral damage. I'm wondering if that space might be better used by something more flexible is all.
Well, I can envision a way to feed a MLRS, but it requires 2 hatches, 2 elevators, and a big chunk of deck space for a horizontal feed mechanism, as well as the below deck ammunition storage. You are right about the need to cycle the pallets back into the magazine, which will double the size of the loading mechanism.

I suspect it would be more cost effective to design a bombardment rocket derived from the ESSM or SM-2 so you could launch it from the VLS.
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Old June 19th, 2013   #37
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Technically you only need a hatch giving access to a below-deck pod storage in front of the launch assembly. At least if you keep the integral loading boom assembly of the land version. An elevator would probably be helpful though.

Getting the pallets from that below-deck area in and out of magazines would then be a separate thing. That access hatch could also serve as a genera strikedown access though, so it's not necessarily wasted extra space.
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Old June 19th, 2013   #38
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From a materials handling point of view, I'm sure it'd be possible to come up with a transport mechanism that can bring up a loaded pallet then stow an expended one, but I wonder what kind of magazine arrangements you'd need ?
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Old June 19th, 2013   #39
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Wouldn't be that much different from stowing anti-ship missiles, both dimensions- and dangerwise. Okay, there aren't that many frontline ships stowing extra ammunition of these proportions like that, but you can easily copy such e.g. from missile FAC tenders.
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Old June 19th, 2013   #40
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Wouldn't be that much different from stowing anti-ship missiles, both dimensions- and dangerwise. Okay, there aren't that many frontline ships stowing extra ammunition of these proportions like that, but you can easily copy such e.g. from missile FAC tenders.
"Cool" idea, but this is a rather costly way to perform a niche capability with limited utility.

For starters, the range of ATACMS is extremely limited compared to TLAM.
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Old June 23rd, 2013   #41
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Originally Posted by StobieWan View Post
From a materials handling point of view, I'm sure it'd be possible to come up with a transport mechanism that can bring up a loaded pallet then stow an expended one, but I wonder what kind of magazine arrangements you'd need ?
There is no need to speculate, this is how the Chinese did it with their Jianghu Type 053H1 516 converted to a one-off fire support ship (5 x 50/122mm MRLS).

Here is a series of photos showing the under-deck reload system, which is basically what you described.
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Old June 23rd, 2013   #42
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Some context on the 516. It is a one-off conversion circa 2005-2006, with 5 x MRLS, based on the Type 81 system. No further units are expected and the Jianghu's are being scrapped or sold to third world clients upon being paid-off.
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Old June 23rd, 2013   #43
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Originally Posted by koxinga View Post
There is no need to speculate, this is how the Chinese did it with their Jianghu Type 053H1 516 converted to a one-off fire support ship (5 x 50/122mm MRLS).

Here is a series of photos showing the under-deck reload system, which is basically what you described.
This appears to be a technology demonstrator, rather than a serious design.
  • There is only one set of reloads. Granted it is not a large ship and the reloads are bulky, always a problem with MLRS.
  • If you look closely at the 1st picture and the pictures in the second post it is likely that only the #4 launcher just ahead of the aft gun turret has a loader.
  • The launcher shown in the 3rd photo of the 2nd post clearly does not have a loader.
  • No indication what they did with the empties. Given the location even levering them over the side will be time consuming. Not a problem if they are loaded and unloaded dock side.
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Old June 23rd, 2013   #44
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  • If you look closely at the 1st picture and the pictures in the second post it is likely that only the #4 launcher just ahead of the aft gun turret has a loader.
It's actually the two forward launchers that don't have a loader, while the three aft do. The Z position launcher has a loader starboard forward, the X and W launchers have a loader between them on the starboard side (feeding both?).
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Old June 24th, 2013   #45
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The USN did actually design a magazine arrangement for a sea based MLRS trainable launcher in the 1980s. The pods were very space efficent and this LFS proposal had a very large magazine, 900 rockets per launcher with different ship configurations (some with a single and some with double launchers). The MLRS rocket is quite space efficent by naval standards. Then in the 1990s MLRS was proposed as a VLS application using the tech that later became GMLRS (ie self guided). Unfortunately this was canned by Congress.
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