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Missile Data Links

Discussion in 'Navy & Maritime' started by beegee, Dec 12, 2018.

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  1. beegee

    beegee Active Member

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    One of the common misconceptions I've seen when discussing naval SAMs is that all you need to guide a SARH missile is a target illuminator and if you have an active radar missile you don't even need that, just the launcher. There's a lot more to it than that.

    So I thought I'd post this article that explains the history and operation of the SM-2 and ESSM missile data links and how intimately integrated they are with the ship's radar and CMS. Just because a ship has a mk41 launcher doesn't mean you can launch any mk41 capable missile from it.

    This information is specific to those missiles, but it's important to understand that data links are crucial in almost all modern medium to long range SAMs.

    https://www.jhuapl.edu/techdigest/TD/td2804/Cole.pdf

    The Preplanned Product Improvement Link discussed is now called the Joint Universal Waveform Link (JUWL). This missile link is used by SPY-3 and APAR Blk 2.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2018
    Millennium7 and ngatimozart like this.
  2. beegee

    beegee Active Member

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    I'd also like to mention one of the key features of the Sea Ceptor missile system data link. When MBDA designed the system they deliberately set out to remove the missile data link dependence on the parent ship's radar. Instead, the Sea Ceptor system provides a stand alone data link called the MBDA Platform Data Link Terminal. Two are required to give a ship full 360 degree coverage.

    This allows the system to be truly radar independent while still providing a multiple engagement capability. The only thing the system needs from the parent ship's CMS is the target's location. The pic below shows all the components of the Sea Ceptor system.
    [​IMG]
     
  3. Millennium7

    Millennium7 New Member

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    Thanks for pointing me to this.
    Great paper.
     
  4. spoz

    spoz Active Member

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    As I read the article, and I may be wrong as this is getting way outside my expertise, it is not discussing ESSM Bloc 2 or SM-2 Active but rather restricts itself to the passive missiles; the date of its publication (2010) would tend to support this. Both those missiles still need radar for target indication of course (as does Sea Ceptor) but not, as I understand it, the level of support described in the paper. Of course, both are also still developmental, and the problem in the case of SM-2 active, with its much longer range, is more complex that for Sea Ceptor or ESSM.
     
  5. beegee

    beegee Active Member

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    The level of data link support required is the same for active or semi-active missiles. The advantage an active (or IR) missile has is it does not require target illumination from the parent ship in the terminal phase. The thing you need to remember is the missile's on board sensor is very small and has a very limited range. It is only used in the terminal phase. During a missile's mid-course phase it still needs to be updated with the target's position as it changes (or in the case of the AEGIS system the ship basically controls the missile directly).