Royal Australian Navy Discussions and Updates

vonnoobie

Well-Known Member
When all said and done way too many options and different pathways that can be taken. Any option will have its positives and negatives between weight, cost, range, accuracy, maturity etc. Lasers would be nice but I don't see them coming about at the earliest until the second batch of Hunters.

@John Newman true could be that the phalanx is equal or superior to the other options the I will say with the stated maximum range being lower then that of other options and the risk of the shrapnel from a destroyed missile being able to cripple a ship I would prefer being able to destroy the threat further out and reduce the shrapnel risk.

All said and done we just have to wait and see, worst case I will set my mother onto them. She could nag North and south Korea into peace lol.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Hypersonic threat missiles have one glaring (pun intended) weakness - they have huge IR signatures. RANs choice to add VAMPIR has future proofed it's warships against these threats so maybe the best CIWS is RAM Block 2 in the Mk 49 launcher (21 missiles?), cued by VAMPIR.
So you're got a missile incoming at Mach 5 or 6 and you're going to fire off a missile at it capable of say Mach 3 with a range of say 9 nm. At Mach 5.5 at sea level those hypersonic missiles are travelling at 1.02 nm per sec, which is 2.5 times the speed of the Brahmos AShM. The IR signature will be behind the missile and any defensive SAM will have to allow for that and for the closing velocities of up to Mach 8 or 9 depending upon the intercept angle. It's basic physics.
 

SteveR

Active Member
So you're got a missile incoming at Mach 5 or 6 and you're going to fire off a missile at it capable of say Mach 3 with a range of say 9 nm. At Mach 5.5 at sea level those hypersonic missiles are travelling at 1.02 nm per sec, which is 2.5 times the speed of the Brahmos AShM. The IR signature will be behind the missile and any defensive SAM will have to allow for that and for the closing velocities of up to Mach 8 or 9 depending upon the intercept angle. It's basic physics.
1 . The leading edge of any hypersonic missile is going to glow - from the AIM-9L onwards IR homing missiles have been homing on the hot leading edges of their targets. That is why the RN Harriers with their AIM-9Ls were able to do head on attacks against Argentinian Mirages during the Falkland war.
2. AIM-9s and other western missiles do lead pursuit - keeping the bearing to the target constant which means if the target swerves the missile goes for the tangent across the target's radius of turn - which limits the G's required to hit or detonate in front of an oncoming target.
 
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ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
1 . The leading edge of any hypersonic missile is going to glow - from the AIM-9L onwards IR homing missiles have been homing on the hot leading edges of their targets. That is why the RN Harriers with their AIM-9Ls were able to do head on attacks against Argentinian Mirages during the Falkland war.
2. AIM-9s and other western missiles do lead pursuit - keeping the bearing to the target constant which means if the target swerves the missile goes for the tangent across the target's radius of turn - which limits the G's required to hit or detonate in front of an oncoming target.
Maybe so, but the question is will a RAM with such a short range and Δ velocity be able to intercept an incoming hypersonic missile in CD such a short time? If so how much damage will the ship still suffer because the kinetic energy alone will be significant? That's an important consideration and such damage could seriously incapacitate or sink a ship. There's a big difference between Harriers taking on Mirages and RAM taking on hypervelocity missiles. If it was so easy the USN wouldn't be running programs to find a feasible shipboard defence against hypersonic missiles.
 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
When I read about hypersonic missiles and big-a$$ torpedos, naval surface warriors are likely envious of their submariner brethren. The WW2 movies of submarines getting depth charged made the surface ship seem much more attractive. Not so much today. Offence and defence are constantly evolving and the advantages go back and forth. Hypersonic missiles may change this unless really effective directed energy weapons emerge.
 

south

Active Member
Hypersonic threat missiles have one glaring (pun intended) weakness - they have huge IR signatures. RANs choice to add VAMPIR has future proofed it's warships against these threats so maybe the best CIWS is RAM Block 2 in the Mk 49 launcher (21 missiles?), cued by VAMPIR.
I’d hardly call it future proofed. It means that you know that it is there (dependant on defection thresholds, background clutter, IR decoys, atmospherics, false alarm rates etc).

You still have to kill it. Which is a non trivial task, particularly for crossing targets (defending the High Value Asset) - how much lead do you need to pull when the threat is double your speed?
 

OldTex

Member
It may be that laser-based defences can provide an effective capability to our ships, whilst reducing the need for large quantities of expendable rounds and missiles.
The issues with a LASER CIWS are the power required for the LASER emitter and the beam dispersion at a usable range. LASER cutters work because the distance from the emitter aperture and the material are relatively small (1000s of wavelengths), whilst a LASER CIWS intended to destroy the aerodynamic integrity of the incoming target is operating at an enormous distance. This distance will increase the power required in the emitted beam. The LASER cutter also works because the beam is held on a single point for a period of time. With beam dispersion due to the atmosphere, combined with the movement of the target, it will be difficult to achieve the continuous illumination to achieve the breach of the material (and the resulting aerodynamic destruction of the missile).
It may be that the current generation of LASER weapons are intended to destroy or damage the seeker of a missile or the optical payload of a UAV. This would make the LASER weapons closer to ECM and decoy defences and not 'HTK' CIWS.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
The issues with a LASER CIWS are the power required for the LASER emitter and the beam dispersion at a usable range. LASER cutters work because the distance from the emitter aperture and the material are relatively small (1000s of wavelengths), whilst a LASER CIWS intended to destroy the aerodynamic integrity of the incoming target is operating at an enormous distance. This distance will increase the power required in the emitted beam. The LASER cutter also works because the beam is held on a single point for a period of time. With beam dispersion due to the atmosphere, combined with the movement of the target, it will be difficult to achieve the continuous illumination to achieve the breach of the material (and the resulting aerodynamic destruction of the missile).
It may be that the current generation of LASER weapons are intended to destroy or damage the seeker of a missile or the optical payload of a UAV. This would make the LASER weapons closer to ECM and decoy defences and not 'HTK' CIWS.
One thing not in the public domain is the power output or the configuration of the weaponized lasers. But we do know the power generation capabilities of the DDG-51 and the FFGX. So I wouldn't dismiss the feasibility so quickly.
 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
One thing not in the public domain is the power output or the configuration of the weaponized lasers. But we do know the power generation capabilities of the DDG-51 and the FFGX. So I wouldn't dismiss the feasibility so quickly.
The latest USN test by USS Portland was with a 150 MW laser (as per post on USN thread). We also know the power generation for the Zumwalt, 78 MW, thus making this class a good place to start with more powerful lasers.
 

Hazdog

Member
I am not sure lasers will be all that effective against missiles that will be specifically designed to withstand the high temperatures of re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere.
Mm, that interesting.

The lasers do not need to exceed the energy limit of the missile's surface, rather the laser just needs to apply more energy to a specific area.

To explain this idea, imagine the skin of the missile is able to withstand very high temperatures (<2000*C, this will vary depending on the missile's speed and every other factor...) and is able to either insulate from that heat or is able to disperse that heat well enough so that the skin stays intact.

Now to actually affect the missile, the laser does not need to have the capability to heat an object to over 2000*C (sticking with the random value), rather it needs to be able to raise the temperature of that surface by another 500*C, to exceed the surface temperature limit, and thus destroying the missile.

Of course many other factors come into play, such as the ionised fields around the missile and potential plasma build-up, but for simplicity, this thought experiment serves it purpose.
 

SteveR

Active Member
I’d hardly call it future proofed. It means that you know that it is there (dependant on defection thresholds, background clutter, IR decoys, atmospherics, false alarm rates etc).

You still have to kill it. Which is a non trivial task, particularly for crossing targets (defending the High Value Asset) - how much lead do you need to pull when the threat is double your speed?
There is no way a hypersonic missile will project IR decoys ahead of it, so you go for the leading target. CIWS was always meant to protect the ship on which it was mounted. Protect nearby HVA/HVUs with ESSM.
 

south

Active Member
There is no way a hypersonic missile will project IR decoys ahead of it, so you go for the leading target. CIWS was always meant to protect the ship on which it was mounted. Protect nearby HVA/HVUs with ESSM.
IR in the background, same as clutter. How do you tell what the leading target is with passive ranging (IR only)?
sooo if your defending a phatship with ESSM how’s your cross range looking? Or uprange for that matter?
 
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Stampede

Active Member
Maybe so, but the question is will a RAM with such a short range and Δ velocity be able to intercept an incoming hypersonic missile in CD such a short time? If so how much damage will the ship still suffer because the kinetic energy alone will be significant? That's an important consideration and such damage could seriously incapacitate or sink a ship. There's a big difference between Harriers taking on Mirages and RAM taking on hypervelocity missiles. If it was so easy the USN wouldn't be running programs to find a feasible shipboard defence against hypersonic missiles.

Maybe the question is whether a ASM hard kill option is viable out to the inner 10 km's from the defending ship.
Be that a missile or a cannon?
I'd like to think so, but to the layman observer like myself it's a mystery.



Regards S
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
There is no way a hypersonic missile will project IR decoys ahead of it, so you go for the leading target. CIWS was always meant to protect the ship on which it was mounted. Protect nearby HVA/HVUs with ESSM.
Can you back that up with some empirical evidence please, because the USN would be very bloody interested in your findings. That way they wouldn't have to spend shiploads of treasure on lasers and when they can just repurpose CIWS.

RIGHT YOU HAVE BEEN PUSHING THIS HOBBY HORSE TO LONG. WHEN OTHERS HAVE TRIED TO INFORM YOU OF THE PROBLEMS AND FUTILITY OF IT YOU DON'T DEVIATE AT ALL. IF YOU WISH TO PUSH IT YOU WILL EXPERIENCE A HOLIDAY FROM HERE JUST LIKE WOMBAT 000 IS FOR THE NEXT MONTH. THE CHOICE IS YOURS.

MODERATORS AND DEFENCE PROFESSIONALS HAVE HAD ENOUGH OF THIS AND OTHER THREADS BEING DERAILED BY FANTASY POSTS. IF PEOPLE WISH TO CONTINUE DOWN THAT PATH, WE WILL REACT QUICKLY AND RUTHLESSLY.
 

Boagrius

Active Member
To my mind one of the biggest challenges associated with defeating supersonic (let alone hypersonic) ASMs is intercepting them far enough away from the target vessel to protect it from harm. If all your effector achieves is to turn the incoming ASM into a shotgun-blast of high velocity fragments that go on to pepper the ship, it leaves a lot to be desired. I do worry that Phalanx may suffer from this problem nowadays.

As for hypersonics, I would have thought there is very little outside of the SM6 Blk IB (perhaps) that has the speed and acceleration to get up to an incoming HGV and stop it at a safe distance. By the time a weapon like that reaches CIWS range I suspect it may already be too late.
 

vonnoobie

Well-Known Member
It's becoming a situation where CIWS will sooner or later become useless between the speed of missiles and manoeuvrability of them making any hit both difficult and likely to late to prevent damage to the ship. CWIS which used to be a defence within a few km's around the ship will effectively have to expand out to 10km or more with faster response time and greater accuracy. Won't be right away but seems to be the way it is heading.
 

Stampede

Active Member
It's becoming a situation where CIWS will sooner or later become useless between the speed of missiles and manoeuvrability of them making any hit both difficult and likely to late to prevent damage to the ship. CWIS which used to be a defence within a few km's around the ship will effectively have to expand out to 10km or more with faster response time and greater accuracy. Won't be right away but seems to be the way it is heading.

Maybe the question is what distance will the incoming debris from from a struct ASM still be harmful to their intended target.
I appreciate some elasticity to the question re range of damage to the missile but feel its pertinent anyway.
For the 2020's whats in or out for close in defence.

Rapid fire cannon relying on a direct hit out to 2 km.
Medium calibre cannon with smart explosive rounds out to 4 km
Large slow RPM 5 inch sized rounds
or
small SAM missiles out to 10 km?

I appreciate some of the above are multi role assets.


Regards S
 
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