Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Ron

So lets get this right the T45 and the new T26 will have no anti ship capability until 2030 with Perseus if that comes into production. What are the ships meant to do if it comes to a hot situation throw snowballs. Why can’t the 1C be upgraded to the II+ as the US navy was thinking about in 2018?
Yes I agree that a smaller missile such as the NSM or RBS 15 is needed, five sets of eight makes sense as they can be reallocated to the T31 but surley the upgrade package to the Harpoon 1C to the II+ configuration is affordable until Perseus becomes available. Would it not also be a good idea if the RN would be able to have one set of all NATO anti-ship missiles so that they can be tested and intergrated into the RN electronics. That way they can use whatever a NATO partner has.
When is the T45 going to get its Mk41Launchers, why spend money on designing and fitting for something when it is not going to be used its like designing a Farrari and giving it a Mondeo engine, pointless.
Warships are designed and built for one reason “war” what does the government think will happen ‘dear enemy, can you wait a few months whilst I take my ships back to port so that I can have time to equip them fully’ Oh, I need a bit more time to test to make sure that it all works, I don’t think so.
Every time that a warship is deployed it must be ready for the worst case scenario, she cannot just nip into port and be loaded for bear, port could be 10,000 miles away. In that initial situation she must fight with what she has

Ben Bithell

Well, if they go for LRASM, it can be fitted in the T26 Mk41 VLS, and in theorem the same could be done to a T45 with the same VLS. But, the other missiles may be a better choice, and, besides, the T45 getting the Mk41 is about as likely as anybody in the higher ups deciding to do something about the terrible readiness state of the Navy

Sintra

If everything goes according to plans, the RN will receive the first T26 in 2025, IOC in 2027, not much chance of being thrown into a hot scenario before 2030…

Gareth

Famous last words , we have a history of being court with our pants down .

Simon m

I would like t45 to get mk41, but Anti-ship missile is not a priority for this class as they will more or less be tied to the carriers which will carry f35b. I would much rather look at getting aster 30 nbt, sm6, and camm missiles as with hypersonic missiles several missiles maybe needed to destroy threats, also t45 now has an Anti-ballistic missile role, I would reserve some space for Anti-ship, but it wouldn’t be my justification for mk41 on t45.

I would very much like to see 8-12 cell be bought for t31 in fact if this was purchased then it would allow more of the fleet to be armed with interim missile (as long as we buy enough).

Humpty Dumpty

“I would like t45 to get mk41”

Me too. I’d also like to see Mk41 VLS fitted to Type 23s, Type 26s and Type 31s. Mk41 would mean that these ships could quad-pack the cells with CAMMs giving them far more anti-air missiles for self-defence. Just 12 Mk41 cells would provide 48 CAMMs.
I’d also like ships to have ADL launchers (16 CAMMs or ESSMs per launcher), because they can be replenished at sea,

Mk41 also means that ships could carry VL-ASROC, but it’s too short ranged. I’d like us to develop a VL anti-sub missile with a data link that’s longer ranged than any existing enemy torpedo so that subs can be taken out before they can get into range to fire torpedoes in the first place. Such an anti-sub missile would make carrier groups much more survivable against the sub threat.

“but Anti-ship missile is not a priority for this class as they will more or less be tied to the carriers which will carry f35b.”

Are you sure? Type 45s could be operating some distance from a carrier. And F-35Bs AFAIK can’t carry anti-ship missiles internally, which is far from ideal. Imo we need (a) anti-ship missiles that can be carried internally by F-35s, (b) carried by Astutes and (c) carried by Type 23s, Type 45s and Type 26s. When it comes (c), these anti-ship missiles would need to be far longer ranged than the Kalibr, Oniks, Zircon and YJ-18 anti-ship missiles so we can take out enemy ships before they can get into range to fire their anti-ship missiles.

“I would much rather look at getting aster 30 nbt”

What’s Aster 30 NBT? Do you mean Aster 30 Block 1NT? If so I agree so that Type 45s can take out ballistic anti-ship missiles. I’d also like Type 45s to be fitted with Aster 30 Block 2 BMD when it’s ready.

“sm6”

Well with a 240km range, it has decent range, but imo we need a far longer ranged anti-air missile to keep enemy aircraft at arm’s length (and ideally one that can accelerate in its terminal phase like Meteor). After all, Su-35s can fire Kh-95MK2 (range 550km) and P-800 Oniks (range 600km – 800km depending on variant) well beyond the range of Aster 30 (or even SM-6).

“I would very much like to see 8-12 cell be bought for t31 in fact if this was purchased then it would allow more of the fleet to be armed with interim missile (as long as we buy enough).”

The Type 31s could (and should imo) be significantly uparmed. They’re large ships and so have plenty of space to be uparmed. If they were, they could be used as part of a carrier group.

Max Jones

LRASM can be launched from the same canisters as the Harpoon. Additionally, there’s still going to be Martlet and Sea Venom deployed by helicopter and, for the latter, on 30mm gun mounts.

Humpty Dumpty

Martlet/LMM is just to take out fast attack craft. Sea Venom is to take out vessels up to just 1,000 tonnes. And isn’t it LMM that will be added to DS30Ms, not Sea Venom?

As for LRASM, according to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AGM-158C_LRASM “DARPA states its range is “greater than 200 nautical miles (370 km; 230 mi).”[15] Although the LRASM is based on the JASSM-ER, which has a range of 500 nmi (930 km; 580 mi),[16] the addition of the sensor and other features will somewhat decrease that range.[17] It is estimated that the LRASM has a range of 300 nmi (560 km; 350 mi).[18][19]”

So if that information is correct, then LRASM has a range between 370km and 560km.

Russian/Chinese anti-ship missiles:
Kalibr 3M54T: Range 660km
Oniks: 600-800km depending on variant
Zircon: 1,000-2,000km depending on the type of target
YJ-18: 220–540km

Harpoon: 280+km
Harpoon Block II+ ER: Range 310km
NSM: Range 185 km
JSM: Range 185 km (low-low-low profile), 555 km (hi-hi-low profile)
RBS-15 Mk3: Range 250km
RBS-15 Mk4: Range 300+km
Perseus: Range “300km class” according to Wikipedia (not sure what exactly that means)

Why aren’t we developing anti-ship missiles that are FAR longer ranged than anything Russia or China has? We should be.

Last edited 8 months ago by Humpty Dumpty
JohnHartley

I read that old Harpoon missiles can be upgraded to block II+ for half the price of a new missile. Is that true? Might be an easy/cheap way of keeping RN ships with an AShM until the 2030s.

ATH

Depends how old.

Blue Fuzz

Canister launched RBS15 transferred from 5x T23 to 5x T31e as the former are retired from service – that makes so much sense it’ll never happen 😜

Simon m

T23 towed array is not scheduled to retire until 2036 when all the T26 are in service. So the t23 towed array and t31e will be working alongside either other for 13 years.
So this wouldn’t be able to take place until 2028ish at the earliest and would mean t31e would not have missiles until then.
If they do get them the integration costs maybe too high considering in 2 years a new system would be available.

Max Jones

I don’t know what you mean by RBS.15 since the Royal Navy doesn’t use it but it seems possible. The four Type 45s with Harpoons took them from decommissioned Type 22s. The only concern is that by the time the Type 23s are being decommissioned, the missiles will be getting pretty old not necessarily due to technology but simply on the basis that they would be reaching the end of their service life.

Mark WALLACE

The UK should procure the NSM or RBS15 MkIV as soon as possible, they are both great ASM.
If NSM is good enough for the Cousins on their LCS then I would go with that. Also we should get a few air-launched versions for Typhoon and external carry on F35Bs.
The LRASM is really good but more expensive and would overlap capabilities with the upcoming Anglo-Franco FCASW aka Perseus .
The UK should stop dragging their feet and give the RN the capability to fight a war and have sufficient for all Type 23, 26 and 31. Hell I would put a couple on the OPVs especially the Falklands guardship HMS Forth. Think how we put missiles on the Hawk trainers to beef up the RAF air defence back in the 90s.
The issue with Anti Ship Missiles is that they are seen as a provocative weapon which are never used.
The potential flash points in South China Seas and the Persian Gulf/Straits of Hormuz mean the RN needs a capable weapon ASAP!

Sintra

Perseus is not FCASW.
Perseus was a 2010 design study done by a handfull of MBDA interns coming straight out of the University. It did provide some good CGI´s.
The most recent MBDA concept that has a direct relation with FCASW his this (the one on the photo):
https://www.janes.com/article/89751/mbda-unveils-future-air-combat-weapon-systems-concepts

Robert

Has it been described anywhere what the capability of these missiles must be? For example must they be stealthy, supersonic, large warhead etc. Or has the intended target (fishing boat, fast attack craft, destroyer, etc) been defined?

Caribbean

I would say that things are shaping up well, with Martlet for Boghammers (<50t) and the like, Sea Venom for FACs (50-500t range) or corvettes (in selective targetting mode) and the future Anglo-French missile for larger targets and land attack. All intended to be used from multiple platform types. A surface-launched Spear 3 would add a lighter, precision land-attack missile, as well, possibly quad-packable in a Mk41.

Gavin Gordon

Yes, there’s plenty in the UK pipeline, most of which are broadly from the same family, and thus relatively easy to produce and introduce as required. I find this demonstrates good forward thinking with regard to efficiency on the part of the UK, to which can now added the above snippet.

Sintra

“Given that the I-SSGW must be fitted to Type 23 frigates (without massive modifications) and have terrain-following land attack capability, the possible candidates are being narrowed down to three likely options. ”

EH?!
What particular capability the Harpoon Block II+ lacks that leaves it out of this list?

Paul.P

I think its terrain following capability – a database of maps which in conjunction with GPS allows the missile to follow the contours of the land. Maybe even plot a an indirect course to target via valleys etc. Stay below the radar horizon for longer. Happy to defer to any experts on this. Don’t believe any version of Harpoon has this.

Simon m

Can the rbs15 mk4 be fired from mk41 vls? As we’re purchasing mk41 for for t26 and hopefully a smaller launcher 8ish cells would be purchased for t31. A vls missile would likely just slot in to these vessels meaning the limited number of 5 conventional launchers wouldn’t have such an impact on the fleet.

Sintra

No, the RBS15 is not MK41 compatible

Simon m

To me that rules it out. I think NSM/JSM is as is lrasm which would mean as long as we purchased enough stocks we would be able to add to the mk41 vls vessels as well the t23 towed array.
Coincidentally the possible OSD of the interim missile could actually be the approximately the same as t23 towed array 2036-as I think there a 3 to 4 year option on top of the 10 year. Maybe there’s a plan ??

D J

JSM can be made mk41 compatible (as in it fits & Konsberg are working on it), but NSM is not (canister only). It appears the ability to fit in a mk41 was accidental & was due to changes to JSM shape & size to enable it to fit inside the weapons bay of F35A & C. I believe it is also the JSM variant they are looking at for a sub launch version.

DaveyB

There are a number of thoughts on the missile’s capability requirements. For instance the current Harpoon will sink a Frigate sized vessel. When the US Navy used a Tomahawk against an old Fletcher class, the ship was cut in two and sank in seconds. So would be overkill for a Frigate or anything smaller, but suitable against a Carrier, whereas you would need quite a few Harpoons to sink a carrier.
The NSM has a imaging infra red seeker and is paired with a data-link, so the correct vessel is targeted allowing it to ignore countermeasures or other nearby vessels. It also allows the missile to target specific areas on a ship which could compensate for its smaller warhead. The new RBS15 Gungnir uses a J band radar seeker and is data-linked like the NSM. It doesn’t have the ability to target specific parts of a ship, as the J band radar won’t provide a high enough resolution. It may be more susceptible to active countermeasures. The RBS15 is very similar to the Harpoon Block II in capabilities and size of warhead and range. All these missile have a very good land attack capability. The NSM has even proven itself in trials targeting slow moving vehicles.

For operations where the rules of engagement are very tight or there’s a lot of additional “innocent” shipping, the NSM is probably the best option. For an out an out ship killer, where collateral damage is accepted the RBS15 would be the choice.

Gavin Gordon

Interesting angle, Davey. I take it that’s inclusive of the 2018 update? With their coherence regarding other new-generation missiles, I’d think that would weight heavily as a consideration with the Naval Staff.

D J

The NSM is completely passive, making it harder to detect. There is also talk of Konsberg back fitting the new Australian passive RF seeker being added to its JSM variant to give a dual IR/RF passive seeking capability. This would give better all weather ability & make countermeasures extremely difficult. NSM is a recognition that you don’t need to sink a modern warship to take it out of action, you just need to hit it in the right place.

Glass Half Full

The NSM/JSM solution seems to be ideal for both what it is and what it isn’t.

What it isn’t: NSM/JSM weight, warhead size and range put it a class below Storm Shadow/Harpoon and two classes below Tomahawk (and a class above Sea Venom). The FCASW program is intended to replace Storm Shadow/Scalp as well as France’s ship launched version; FCASW might also produce a Tomahawk class weapon by leveraging the development and component commonality. Neither directly compete with NSM/JSM so the joint UK-French development should not be threatened. Indeed if FCASW did compete more directly with NSM/JSM then it would have to significantly increase its capabilities to overcome a decade plus market lead by the time its available, and to avoid reinventing the wheel. FCASW needs to deliver game changing capabilities similar to those achieved with Meteor.

Conversely what it is: NSM/JSM offers an air, sea (surface and potentially sub-surface), land missile launch platform with land and sea attack capability, that is already widely adopted in NSM form and also seeing significant uptake in JSM form. This offers lower procurement and integration costs, commonality across launch platforms and commonality with allies for the UK, with a modern very capable platform.

NSM/JSM may be positioned as an interim but would be very complementary to higher end FCASW solutions longer term too.

Andy

Bring back the sea Slug it would terrorise the enemy nearly as much as it terrorised the sailors who use to operate it .
Apparently when you loaded it on to its launcher there was a bit if you wearnt careful would take out your wedding tackle.
During a test firing it missed it’s intended target by 7 miles and destroyed a hay barn, 1 tractor several chickens and caused a large deposit in the farmers undergarments.
How the navy ever thought that the Sea Slug could be used as a cruise missile makes you wonder how much gin they drink.

donald_of_tokyo

If Harpoon Blk.II+ cannot be selected, I think NSM will be the best solution, as it will be the cheapest solution.

With the “200M GBP”, RN will be able to buy the largest amount of control kits and missiles. May be even ~10 sets with more than 100 missiles. If so, it can arm not only 5 of the 8 T23ASWs, but also the ~6 T45s. If not on T31e, it can even be used on T26 as a interim solution, because NSM launcher is light weight and small. We can find many place on T26 to fit it.

The Perseus missile is very ambitious project, and it will naturally delay. Betting it will come on 2030 is too optimistic view. At the same time, I’m afraid RN may not be able to prepare money more than 200M GBP. So, the cheapest = the largest amount option is the best, I guess.

Gavin Gordon

The elephant in the room with regard to equipment introduction is how significant the MOD judge the rise of the threat level. Lurking behind the commendation we may give with regard to ‘coherence of planning’, is the surprise that such is taking place anyway during the present political climate in the UK. Even during Chamberlain’s pre-war time – a much malined individual, evidently, who will nevertheless be grateful we’ve seen fit to forgive him now, I’m sure – acted prety fast while talking slow. We may yet find cause to regret the glee with which defence procurement is gradually ramping up: but it was ever thus.

Andy

Chamberlain played for time he knew war was coming but he also knew the armed forces needed more time to prepare.
He is a much maligned individual.

DaveyB

Chamberlain honestly believed that war could be averted right up to his first meeting with Hitler. His diaries have been released. In them they show how quickly despondent he became after the first meeting, recognising Hitler for what he was. Its a shame that his behind the scenes work isn’t more well known, especially the clandestine work with industry started in planning for war.

Sintra

The FMS offer for the Finnish Navy was one hundred surface launched Harpoons, twelve land launched Harpoons, eight exercise airframes, cannisters, manuals, training, for 622 million US.
Values for the NSM (either coming from Kongsberg or Raytheon) will be roughly similar.
Those two hundred million quids will buy five sets of cannisters, a handful of missiles and not much more. They will also have to pay the integration of a new missile with an entirely new CMS…

John Pattullo

5 LRASM canister launcher setups for the t23 that can be moved to the t31 – stockpile of missiles can be also used in the t26 as it comes into service from the mk41 vls – best missile on offer with enough punch to seriously hurt enemy warships

and lets face it FCASW is in collaboration with the french – its doomed to be canceled so might as well get a good missile now and one that can be used on as wide a range of our ships as possible – maybe even the t45’s if they would get the mk41 upgrade

Sintra

“and lets face it FCASW is in collaboration with the french – its doomed to be canceled so might as well get a good missile now”

Dont quite remember Aster, CAAM (the seeker is french, a variation on what you find in Aster…), Martlet, Meteor, Storm Shadow and Sea Venon being canceled, do you?

Simon m

Plus the t23 towed array ships will be in service until 2030 to 2036 so they will be using the sets until then meaning t31 cannot get the missiles unless it gets the canisters as part of the build (which maybe difficult unless missile is known shortly pre-December) or mk41 which is unlikely due to costs. It is likely wildcat will provide anti-ship for T31

Captain Nemo

Why not the block V Tomahawk? I think an 8 cell Mk41 retails at £10m; given the requirement is “protection of a Maritime Task Group” you would assume T45 would be present, the £200m would upgrade T45 and provide a provide a stock of missiles compatible with T26 and (hopefully) T31, it would also provide a heavyweight overlap to FCASW out to 2040.
Failing that, what about certifying Merlin for JSM? Then every ship would have the potential.

John Pattullo

doubt the type 31 will get mk 41 vls – 8 canister launched anti ship missiles and sea ceptor is the best you can hope for

Rob N

Once again we are stuck with subsonic offerings while India, China, Russia, Brazil all have supersonic ASMs…

Why not buy the Brazilian ASM it is Harpoon sized and is supersonic….

We will not win future battles by just buying slightly better variants of old kit. I do not believe stealth is the trump cad it once was and the West’s love affair with it has left us with slow ASMs that may be very vulnerable to S400 class SAM systems.

donald_of_tokyo

If the Anglo-Franco ASM is aiming at “world’s best” high-speed ASM, the interim ASM can rightly be a modern sub-sonic ASM?

Those missiles, like NSM, is not only stealthy, but also very agile.

NSM and LRASM does high-G manuever to avoid SAM and CIWS. (Also has an hop-up and dive option, like Harpoon). With high-G maneuver and good IR camera to identify the targets, it can first pretend aiming at a tanker in the task force, but suddenly turn to the high-value unit at the last moment.

Also, it can fly at much lower altitude than existing sea-skimmers.

What is the most important, I think, is that it is cheaper and light-weight than any other modern super-sonic missiles. RN can buy in number, with the pretty limited 200M GBP total project cost.

The high-end super-sonic missile (surely expensive and heavy), will come as Anglo-Franco ASM in late 2030s (I think it will naturally see a few years delay, because of very ambitious design).

Rob N

Some SAMS are much more agile then an ASM. Also subsonic missiles spend longer in the missile zone. Having many cheep missiles is fine but this is useless if they cannot beat the defensive SAMS/CIWS. Sophisticated targeting is fine but the test is actually getting the warhead to the target.

Defensive SAM systems and radars are getting more capable that is why Russia, China, India etc have all upped their game. NATO has just produced more of the same.

Pegasus looks great but we should have it now not in 2030, NATO has dropped dropped the ball and we are playing catch-up slowly.

donald_of_tokyo

No big objection, but

In principle
– SAM need to be 2-3 times more agile than ASM, to kill it. If NSM/LRASM is capable of 7-9G (I do not know the exact number), 14-20G SAM will be needed? In other words, “agile” ASMs can also be “more agile”.
– Even looking at those super-sonic missiles, US Navy is going on with LRASM, kind of large sister of NSM/JSM. So I do not think modern sub-sonic agile ASM is completely outdated.

Practically
– In many case, what enemy RN escort will engage in singleton (using their ASM) is NOT super-power nations, but more normal nations.
– 10-12 (5 initial + more) RN escorts with modern-agile subsonic ASM vs 5 escorts (5 initial will eat all the 200M GBP) with super-sonic ASM until mid-2030s. I think this is the choice now RN is facing. Which is better?
– Especially as Anglo-French super-sonic ASM to be introduced around mid-2030 and ubiquitous around 2040s, 10-12 sets of modern-agile subsonic ASM could be better?

Rob N

I have see 60G quoted for Aster that is more than enough to take out an ASM other SAM might not be as good but the point is ASM are up against it in agility turns, that is before we get into proximity kills.

My point is stealth and agility might not be enough, hence the need for speed.

donald_of_tokyo

Yes, 60G. But, we also know all Anti Air missile can provide such high-G only when they have high kinetic energy. But, yes I think Aster can hit-down NSM/LRASM (if not, I would be very worried about T45).

But, T45 is a high-end AAW escort, and normal escort like FREMM carries only 16 Aster 15. As NSM is cheaper, aiming “more than 16 NSM to a single target” will be relatively easy. As NSM is clever, ECM/softkill may not work (this is the big difference to the old ASMs, which were neutralized by soft kill in most cases). And, 125 kg warhead is enough to kill an escort.

I understand future Anglo-French ASM and NSM lives in different class. Former is very high-end and very expensive, latter is good and cheap. Both types has a place to live.

As this project budget is only 200M GBP suited for latter, former will need 1B GBP or more (= can easily kill T31e program as a whole, or ban ~2 T26 hulls. )

This is why I think 200M GBP for NSM (or possible RBS-15) is not bad.

Simon m

Virtually all SAMS will be more agile than anti ship missiles. But if a missile is stealthy and sea skimming it won’t be seen until last minute.

Fast supersonic missiles stick out like a sore thumb, fast missiles may struggle to manoeuvre at supersonic speeds even if they do, as already stated they won’t outmanoeuvre at SAM than can pull 30-50g. I would imagine almost all western systems could engage supersonic missiles. Hypersonic may push Defenses harder but as long as computer systems are quick enough to calculate an interception point missiles should be able to hit it though due to high speed several intercept points and missiles would be needed as if a miss there will be little time to launch another after the miss.

Captain Nemo

I think there are currently two trains of thought, the British want stealthy and the French want supersonic.

GlynH

The supersonic AShW angle isn’t as clear cut, its not automatically superior, otherwise the West would have invested in them at the height of the cold war when CCCP was producing a dozen such weapons. The weapons doctrine is fundamentally different, with the West wanted precision strike and “others” wanting hit anything ASAP.

There are frequently disadvantages to supersonic AShW such as manoeuvrability, skimming altitude, target analysis, ECCM, IR/IRR profile & range. Case in point, take Zircon. Assuming it does actually work. The marketed speeds of Mach 7-8 etc. might look overwhelming on paper but that is the high altitude mid-flight phase in a low-high-low profile. Zircon must drop to low altitude in the terminal phase, with very little time for target analysis & ECCM and very little manoeuvrability, what’s more it must drop to about Mach 2-3 tops less it be vaporised since nothing can move that fast in dense air, especially dense marine air. I doubt Zircon has a re-attack option and certainly will not have time to conduct ECCM and plan an optimum route. What Zircon does do is massively reduce response time, but with suitable automation of defences that can be at least partially mitigated. I was tickled by the Russian’s announcing that Zircon’s plasma cone at those speeds prevented any EM signals getting through . . . hmmm then how about its own on board targeting sensors . . . ?

LRASMs are jolly expensive but very smart and being able to launch them from VLS and drop them from F-35s (at some point) makes for an attractive capability. Stealth may be detectable but we must understand how. A long range, long wave length beam will tell you that “something might be over there” but that is a far cry from high resolution targeting required for a SAM to intercept. The S-400 will probably detect F-22s and F-35s but engaging them is a whole different issue.

But, for now let’s just go with NSM, we are more likely to shooting at small frigate/corvette size ships (think Persian Gulf and Black Sea) than aircraft carriers (think China) . . after all carriers are what Spearfish is for he he he.

Glass Half Full

Also worth reflecting on is that hypersonic missiles become less effective at reducing response time in the presence of AEW assets that can detect them. Consequently I expect we will see development of persistent AEW for more than just carriers, the USMC already see organic AEW as their highest priority for their MUX program, using something like the V-247 platform. Or even just some tethered aerial capability to push out the radar horizon.

Simon m

Another reason as to why merlin should not be doing the crowsnest role

DaveyB

I agree, that the so called hypersonic missiles are quick, but I believe stupid. If the performance is like other Russian made missiles they can be easily decoyed by both passive and active countermeasures. Unless fired blind they will require the launch aircraft or 3rd party to illuminate the target, thus giving the target an early warning of being targeted. As the missile is fired it will quickly accelerate up to its cruise speed of over Mach 3. All aircraft operating at this speed heat up, with the nose and wing leading edges heating up the most. For systems such as Typhoon’s Pirate or the F35’s EOTS, a missile will glow like a candle operating at these speeds. I also suspect that the majority of the flight will be conducted at a height over a 1000m due to the air density at sea level. making them easier to track by the aircraft’s radar.
As you pointed out a plasma field will stop any RF getting through, so how will the missile track the target? so will it need to slow down so that it can use its radar in active or passive modes? The problem is there is no real data on this missile only conjecture. Therefore, I think this requires the SBS to be tasked with acquiring one of these missiles for testing.

Gareth

That’s a big gamble I’d rather have all bases covered with LRASM.

Captain Nemo

For me it would be because we already operate Tomahawk and this is a gapping purchase, but USN will have Tomahawk out to 2040 which gives overlap against an FCASW delay and offers a heavyweight solution to unforeseeable problems, a 1000ib warhead at 1000 miles when FCASW will probably come in lighter.

Sintra

A) The “Brazilian ASM”, the Avibras Mansup is an Exocet copy.
B) There´s no Western ship launched supersonic Ashm on the market

Captain Nemo

Eight canister launched asm x 5 for £200m, how’s that even a thing?
Mk41 would be a recoverable asset and the T45 are going into refit, if this is a stop gap purchase why spend £200m to bin that money at FCASW?

Meirion X

It is not worthwhile fitting Mk. 41 to the T45. The RN will not have any warpons Integrated and tested on T26 for Mk. 41 until about 2027, by that time T45 will have less than a decade of lifetime. T45’s successors start entering service from maybe 2035, driven by the need for greater energy generation capacity, so DDG’s will become larger.
Most SAM’s will be made obsolete, and even some anti ship missiles, by mega watt lasers and functional rail guns by mid 2030’s.

The RN is not making enough uses of the existing Sylver system as it is, some A-70 cells could be fitted now on the T45s. Warpons for A-70 cells have already been integrated by the French.

I would say the Mk. 41 is more essential for the T26 to deploy ASROC anti sub warpon.

donald_of_tokyo

I guess the last T45 will stay until late 2040s. If not, escort building will be gapped, and UK will lose its capability.

But, for me T45’s Mk 41, if ever to be added, is NOT for ASM. Canistered ASM is good enough. On the other hand, ballistic missile defense and/or high-grade SAM missile for hyper-sonic ASM shall be added.

If RN can buy 11-sets of NSM within 200M GBP, 6 can go directly to T45, while 5 sets for T23ASW can eventually go to 5 T31s.

Meirion X

Hms Darling, 1st T45, will Be 30 Years old by 2039! The RN will have learned the lessons of keeping the T23s in service for so long, as very costly. The T45s will struggle to provide power for new warpon systems coming into service in mid 2030s, with No further upgrades possible due to lack of capacity.
A successor DDG will start to be built in 2035.

It is highly unlikely that Mk. 41 will be fitted for just Tomahawk, of which it will become obsolete by 2030s.

The UK does not use any other warpon compatible with Mk. 41.

Simon m

A successor destroyer is not a necessity T45/sea viper is acknowledged as better than aegis and the arleigh Burke class are still being built and are likely to be in service at the very least another 20 years. At the end of the day t45 is the platform not the weapon system which can be updated. The question is how much growth potential does Sampson/sea viper have. I’d rather have upgraded t45 (and/or possible new builds) than potentially waste money on a new design. With the money saved more T26 could be built. The only real advancement in ship building see t45 seems to be the flexible mission bay which is not really needed for it’s role

Captain Nemo

You’re taking the mk41 comment in isolation, my argument was for it to be in concert with block V tomahawk to be the gapping pick as Tomahawk offers a long range land attack capability, a demolition size warhead, we’re already familiar with it, have contracts on it and it offers overlap out to 2040.
The Mk41 is as I say a recoverable asset and could eventually be moved to another ship during refit, these little cannister options are going to be conflicting with FCASW in a decade, frankly it just shows a lack of respect for two hundred million quid.
How is fitting A70 a better option than Mk41? It would have been pertinent to this situation if Storm Shadow had been designed with anti ship capability and SCALP was an option but that’s not the case and overall most people are designing and testing for Mk41, not Sylver.
I would observe that there’s an opportunity here because £200m has miraculously appeared, T45 is due refit and the Americans are restarting Tomahawk production with shipping in mind. I would argue that the economies of scale in choosing a missile we already use possibly allows for a Mk41 purchase and I must admit to being mystified as to how the navy does not view these planets as being in alignment.

donald_of_tokyo

Thanks.

So you are proposing to cancel this interim ASM program and shift the 200M GBP for TLAM+Mk.41 VLS on T45? I agree it is an attractive proposal. I myself was also thinking about that.

1: But, looking into the PIN, it can be politically not easy now.

2: Technically, one problem here is that, even though TLAM is good at land attack, it is not good at anti-ship because not being survivable against enemy air-defense (not stealthy, not agile, not very-low altitude like NSM/LRASM). TLAM is a land attack missile, with anti-ship option against lightly defended vessels.

3: Taking into account the very limited 200M GBP money, I think NSM/RBS15-like options (but not LRASM) is good. FCASW will be very expensive. TLAM –> FCASW option means, both T23 (active until 2035) and T31e (until ~2060) will lack ASM capability. Also, if it is NSM, it is NOT conflicting with FCASW that much, because its land attack capability is limited (small warhead).

So it is pro and con. Not one side game.

TLAM options is worth considering, I agree. But at this stage, I think it is NOT worth resetting the program.

Captain Nemo

Hello Donald.
No, I’m suggesting that Tomahawk on a T45 BE the interim ASM programme, if the main role is protection of a maritime task force then T45 wouldn’t be far away, so why the T23 specifically?
I’m not wild about Tomahawk for attacking ships, but on balance I think it’s a better use of our money as I think these canister options will be immediately redundant once FCASW comes into service and that £200m is lost, at least by choosing MK41/Tomahawk we get some Mk41 and some Tomahawk; we’re far more likely to be using these to attack land targets and Tomahawk would be a valuable addition to a carrier group to help kick the door in, they just offer a supplementary anti ship capability we’ll probably never use.
We already use Tomahawk and can add to the stockpile for £2m a piece and maybe buy Mk41. Maybe.

Meirion X

The French will Integrate FCASW into their Sylver VLS, to deploy on Horizon/FREMM, or successor warships.

Captain Nemo

Yes, in the 2030’s. I read your posts and understand that you’re a fan of Sylver but it’s not really relevant to the argument . The job at hand is an anti ship/land attack capability right now for £200m, I was merely proposing that an opportunity possibly exists to get some lasting capability on a T45 against a disposable one on a T23 by choosing a missile we already use.
Could you at least destroy my argument? For a start there’s the fact that though we save money folding more tomahawks into our existing infrastructure we still end up paying for through life costs for the increased stock, or that it would mean earlier introduction of the Mk41, support for which probably isn’t a consideration yet. Or that it would mean restructuring the T45 refits. The list goes on.

Meirion X

@Captain Nemo
I agree, there are difficult choices to be made on ASM. But I think Tomahawk could become obsolete sooner, by S400. Need to keep watch on this issue!

Simon m

Does anyone actually know that the s400 is that good? Everyone seems to talk about it like it’s a magic bullet and can shoot entire airforces down with a press of a button. It defeats stealth can shoot aircraft whilst on the runway etc. etc. The Russians have really gone to town with the PR on this system! Before the 1st gulf war the feared T72 was one of the best tanks in the world massive 125mm gun then it went up against Challenger and Abrahams and turned into scrap!

donald_of_tokyo

TLAM is not good at anti-ship tasks. It is large, slow, not agile, not low altitude = very easy target to kill for modern escort-class vessels. Also, 200M GBP is not enough for TLAM, I’m afraid. In addition to Mk.41 VLS, we need TLAM control electronics and their integration into CMS, which may easily cost more than 200M GBP if for 6 T45s.

I also DO NOT think “NSM/RBS15 will be immediately redundant with FCASW introduction”. FCASW will be very expensive missile, and will not be carried on all RN escorts. In addition, FCASW may not “be onboard RN escorts” until late 2030s or 2040, I’m afraid (because of its high-tech). If RN can (virtually) gap ASM capability for ~15 years, it means RN do not need it = rationale for FCASW even DISAPPEARS for me.

NSM with good commonality with JSM, also has commonality with Norway, US Navy and German Navy. Malaysian Navy baught 6-sets of 8-missiles unit for their Gowind-class with ~110M GBP. This means, 200M GBP is large enough for NSM to fill anti-ship role on both 6 T45 and 5 T31.

At least, it will work very nice as primary ASM for RN for ~15 years, and then as a secondary ASM for another ~15 years.

Please note I love to see TLAM as an interim land attack missile, before FCASW comes into reality. But, I think it is >500M GBP program, and even relatively independent from ASM issues.

I agree I might be wrong, but my point is, the current RN/MOD approach does not look so bad to me.

Captain Nemo

– JSM would be a good choice.
– Tomahawk is peculiar isn’t it? Everything about it says it should have retired by now, yet the US is restarting production and ordering block V “allowing the missile to hit time critical high-value moving targets at sea and/or on shore” and pushing retirement into the 2040’s. I would dismiss it but how can I when the US navy doesn’t? Then there’s the 66 that got into Syria last year.
– Taking a 2018 US Foreign Military Sales request from Finland as a baseline, four VLS systems to equip four corvettes for $70m, you could possibly add Mk41 to T45 for about a hundred million pounds.
– I personally think FCASW will be available in numbers, to the point where maintaining a separate stock of inferior missiles at cost would be unthinkable, UK took 900 Storm Shadow and France a combined 650 Strom Shadow/SCALP.
That’s why I concluded Tomahawk, it offers something different, you must presume that the UK is pushing for internal carriage in an F35b, which is going to make FCASW slightly smaller than NSM/JSM and with a similar sized warhead, setting Tomahawk aside as a wrecking ball.
– But I think it will be JSM
Regards, Nemo

donald_of_tokyo

Thanks Captain Nemo-san

> – Taking a 2018 US Foreign Military Sales request from Finland as a baseline, four VLS systems to equip four corvettes for $70m, you could possibly add Mk41 to T45 for about a hundred million pounds.

But this do not include
– 6-sets of Tactical Tomahawk Weapons Control System (TTWCS)
– 6-set of physical integration and wiring
– software integration to CMS
which will make the cost nearing 200M GBP. This was my point.

On the FCASW, problem is no one knows how it will come about. If 300+ nm range and super-sonic and stealth is needed, as well as good warhead to replace StormShadow, it will be very large and expensive missile. Only if more modest the requirement is, it can be as compact as JSM.

I agree all my comment assumes FCASW be the former option; much lethal (larger warhead) in land attack (as well as anti-ship), greater penetrating power (not easy to shoot down), with sufficient long leg to replace StormShadow or TLAM. May be this is one of the reason we differ in assesment for this interim ASM, I guess.

Anyway, thanks a lot.

Meirion X

I wonder, when will we see a FCASW demonstrator?

captain Nemo

T45 benefits (I think) from essentially having been waiting for Mk41 all its life (it’s a sad story).

With the British wanting Stealth and the French wanting speed on FCASW I wonder whether a compromise might be reached whereby we see a small stealthy vehicle for aircraft release with a hypersonic booster for surface launch.
I think the synergy will see us get something the services can reach for as readily as they will Spear 3, just for a heavier target set.

Nemo

D J

Another advantage of something like NSM is it’s much easier to fit onto ships that cannot take or does not have VLS systems like mk41. It should be possible to fit NSM to B2 Rivers if you needed to or wanted to. Brunei’s 80m OPV’s carry 4 mk3 Exocet canister launch missiles. LM’s new ExLS bolt on vls are 3 x cells quad packable with CAMM. One set = 12 missiles, 2 sets = 24. Swap out the rather pointless 30mm main gun for say 35mm with Ahead ammo or 40mm with P3 ammo & you have yourself a pretty cheap basic corvette.

Options such as Tomahawk require strike length cells. These take up a lot of room through multiple decks. Retro fitting them takes a lot of work (months), even on ships where the possibility was planned for. Some of the T31 options would struggle to handle more than a single set if at all. All vls capable AShM’s require at least tactical length cells. T23’s were never intended to have mk41 at all? & RN will still be operating T23 for some time to come (till the last T26 comes online).

While you do need to fit the electronics on each ship, canister launched missiles themselves are easily removed, reduced, added or swapped within a few hours. The ability to fit them is a minor refit (wiring & firing electronics). The only advantages to VLS AShM missiles is somewhat better protection (not out on deck) & no-one knows what you really are carrying. Then again, sometimes it’s an advantage to advertise.

Captain Nemo

Mk41 on a T45 would actually sit in the space for the gymnasium I believe, or would that be that the gymnasium actually sits in the space for the Mk41? It’s one of the two. Nemo

Meirion X

Please see my post bottom of page,
on issue of FCASW with Mk. 41.

Simon m

Talking about Storm Shadow and SCALP surely adding data links updated INS etc. Could be done for 200 million? Why can’t it be the interim missile?

Simon m

The Royal Navy’s tomahawks are not suitable for the anti-ship role. Newer variants do have anti-ship but that would require another purchase probably using the 200 million, this would also likely upset the French especially as we want subsonic and they want supersonic

Meirion X

6 other Nations are using Sylver VLS, including Singapore Navy.

Adam C.

It’s also worth noting that there is a strong likelihood that NSM will arm the US Navy’s 20 new FFG(X) frigates. It seems to be the best option for the RN seeing as our closest ally will have a large stockpile of them for use on potentially upwards of 40 ships, and its made specifically for use in cramped, littoral environments where RN ships are more frequently deploying to.

Also, if we do somehow manage to procure some LRASM for the F-35s, then maybe we could use some to fill the Type 26 Mk41 VLS, and the Type 45’s when/if they are fitted with them. That way the entire surface fleet will be better armed for surface warfare with 2 missiles that complement each other, 1 suited for littoral environments (NMS) and the other for open-ocean (LRASM).

Sintra

LRASM is not integrated with the F-35, actually there´s no plan to integrate it on Dave “B”.
The future of the RN Ashm force will be something coming out of MBDA, the “Interin” buy of a handfull of missiles, is just that, “Interin”

GlynH

Might also be worth mentioning that given the UK has gotten in bed with Sweden over Typhoon’s replacement. It might be a handy to throw some money SaaB’s way and invest in the Gungnir. I was tickled by France & Germany snubbing UK involvement in “their” next gen fighter. When it comes to defence, France & Germany can’t decide the shade of paint primer to use, let alone the systems to develop.

I’m also curious about what became of LRASM-B. The AGM-158C (or LRASM-A as it used to be known) was originally meant as a stop-gap until the -B arrived, possibly a P-800 Oniks style weapon with all the -A sensors. Yet everything has gone quiet on that front. Is it possible that AGM-158C has exceeded its design so well that the pressing need for -B has faded?

Phillip Johnson

As usual the money seems to loom large. The idea of moving the missiles between ships to provide task force defence seems to depend on all the combat systems having been upgraded to integrate the new missile. Are any of the T23 combat systems open architecture? I would guess not.
That could end up being as expensive as the missiles themselves.

John Melvin

An Anglo-French project not a Franco-British project? So Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish taxpayers won’t be billed for it?

Meirion X

I only wish that most posters will Look to the future, and see what warpon technologies wiil be available in 10,15 or 20 years into the future!
Britain needs to stay head in technical developments for us to be still be a viable milltary power.

T.S

Does anyone know if there are any plans to create a Spear 3 canister launch system? Obviously would need a booster. Now I know the warhead is too small to be a medium ASM, but the missile could be launched in multiples with each targeting different areas of the enemy ship and is slated to have a naval attack capability. The missile has reasonable legs and will already used for our F35’s. Could this not fill our requirement and become our main ship launched asm on our smaller platforms, and interim on our largest ones too?
Spend the money on a compact box launcher to get as many missiles to fit as possible to allow the numbers to launch multiples at a target, say 16-24.
This would allow us to use a missile we will have in service anyway and get greater economies of scale and spend the £200 million on development of the box launch version.
Might not be doable but worth a thought?

Captain Nemo

I think the community was quite excited at the prospect of using the CAMM launchers for that, but that allegiance seems to have switched to a possible Brimstone/CAMM mashup they’ve been showing for Boxer and maybe using that out to 30/40km instead.
Nemo

Meirion X

Please see my latest post below.
What do you think Nemo?

Joe16

From the sounds of it, NSM/JSM would be my pick; whichever can be canister and VLS launched, with some potential scope for carriage on F-35 and maybe even Typhoon (air launch for the base missile, obviously, less the booster). I’m guessing it could even be launched from a Merlin or Wildcat if we felt like paying for the integration. Even if it’s a bit smaller warhead-wise, not sure who we’ll be fighting that we won’t achieve a mission kill on a target with an NSM.
That way there’s scope to add it to T45 (cannister), T23 (cannister), T26 (VLS) and T31 (cannister/VLS depending on eventual fitout) in a pinch. I know they say they’ll have the next-gen missile by then, but best have a fall-back.

Meirion X

I do agree with a cannister solution for NSM, but I can not see Mk. 41 to be worthwhile on Type 26 frigates any more. Due to the fact that only RUM-139 VL-ASROC out of the USN warpons available for Mk. 41, would be of any use to the RN, at this time. And the UK only uses the submarine version of TLAM, which will become increasingly obsolete at end of 2020s.
A big question is, will the RN ever integrate FCASW with Mk. 41? The French will Not do so, but integrate with Sylver VLS on their frigates.

So would a alternative VLS setup for Type 26 frigates be a better preposition?
Which would be, Sylver A-70 cells for SCALP and FC/ASW, A30 NT. And have standalone ExLS units for VL-ASROC. Plus Sea Ceptor.
Any one who wants to convince me
otherwise, please post!

Meirion X

If the MoD where to commit now to integrate FCASW with Mk. 41, this would change the picture, and Mk 41 would be worth while on T26.
. I think I would fall off my chair!!

Joe16

I take your point, although considering the number of export buyers tied into T26 so far it may well be worth integrating FCASW to give them a non-US option for their future weapons needs?

D J

ExLS stand-alone is unsuitable for ASROC. There are only a small number of compatible missiles. They include standard CAMM-M (Sea Ceptor), Nulka, RAM & I think a couple of others. It’s more like a light weight version of the mk41 self defence length VLS, but not identical missile options. Even ESSM is not on the list. ie it is for light, short range missiles. It’s highly likely any soft launch missile that physically fits in ExLS can be made work. Hot launch need to bring their own exhaust port setup in their drop in canister configuration. ASROC I believe requires Tactical length cells.

Meirion X

So Mk. 41 will be essential for VL-ASROC to be launched ftom a Type 26 frigate, so MoD will have to Integrate FCASW with Mk. 41.

Captain Nemo

Meirion, we agree, I’m just on the other side, I favour Mk41.
I think we need to operate one VLS for basic efficiency and you could probably argue that Sylver is the better system, but I prefer Mk41 because it has more users, but critically it has the US and their tremendous R&D and procurement budgets offering us some futureproofing. off the shelf options and (as friends and allies) access to their stockpiles.
I did dig up an old article (2013) from Think Defence stating that MBDA came to an agreement with Lockheed Martin that all their missiles would be compatible with MK41, I don’t know if that held true, but I’ve seen reference to that even being the case with Aster.
Mk41 is about more than just ASROC, VLS in general offer flexible options both now and in the future and it shows your competitors that you’re serious about that days business. I’d like to see more Mk41 on T26 if anything, you could envisage a task group where it in addition to its own weapons it would carry some Aster 30 and act as a spare magazine for the T45, or where it would favour land attack with FCASW, or where it would be quad packing CAMM ER and Brimstone while transiting some God forbidden strait.
In short, yes, Mk41or Sylver, but one or the other and for me Mk41.
Nemo

Meirion X

@Nemo
I do agree with you on the issue of compatibility of both Mk. 41 and Sylver able to launch each others missiles. And Integrating new missiles to both VLS systems.
But I would Not be reliant on just one VLS system, because the yanks have been awkward the past, and could be again in the future.
Just think what side a Latino US president would take on the Falklands!

Thanks for your opinion Nemo!

Captain Nemo

“It’s a cigarillo case engraved with the regimental crest of two crossed dead Frenchmen, emblazoned on a mound of dead Frenchmen motif” – General Melchett

Kind regards, Nemo

Captain Nemo

Damn that’s Wellington not Melchett, Blackadder 3 not 4. Apologies.

Jonesy

The Gungnir is no advance, really, on Harpoon. Buying new Harpoon BlkII rounds and using existing infrastructure is more sensible. Unless of course its already been nudged-and-winked to the Swedes as part payment for interest in Typhoon. Chances of finding out on that are slim but it would be a curious tradeoff seeing Typhoon is very unlikely to stay the distance without a bigger partner than Sweden aboard (no disrespect to the Swedes here!).

NSM is a great capability and, in my view, the nastiest antiship weapon out there at the moment. Unless we can ride on the back of the big USN options takeup, if that happens, and grab a bit of volume discount £200mn isnt going far though. You could also argue that with Wildcat/Sea Venom we have a long range lightwieght precision IIR capability….just its first stage (the chopper) is a bit slower than most missiles!.

LRASM, to me, looks the only real option here. We aren’t saturating an enemy AAW destroyer with 8 RBS15’s or NSMs any more than we would with 4 LRASM. So if the SSGW missile fit on a T-23 is 2×2 LRASM realistically its no less usable than 8 smaller/cheaper weapons. LRASM has, however, got the wonderful party trick of having a 1000lb BROACH-like warhead. For shooting at hardened targets ashore it will do a job where none of the other options will. I agree with the earlier sentiment that dual role antiship/land attack is a crucial element here. Most importantly, with LRASM, however is that, once in service, it lends itself to introduction on T26. Reconfigure ‘topside launcher’ rounds into VLS cannister rounds and Type23 weapons slot into Type26. A battery of 16-24 dual role antiship/landattack LRASMs on a Type26 would be noteworthy. Thats the goal – not worrying about long ranged missiles on a cheapo T31 that will get more off Wildcat/Venom.

Paul

A crazy scenario which goes further to lower faith in the MOD/RN. Any interim system should be fitted to every Type 23 and Type 45 initially plus the Type 26 & 31e as they come online. The RN has known for years that it need a new modern SSM to kit out the surface vessels – doiing half a job is not acceptable. Being stuck in a contract with the French for something that won’t appear for god knows how many years is senseless!! Its about time somebody took charge who actually understands what naval warfare actually means.

Paul

At the end of the day, the RN needs a capable ASM that can be fitted or integrated into all our major surface escorts. LRASM fits the bill for each aspect of the requirement and launched from Cannisters and Mk41 Vls. It is without doubt the best solution.

Simon m

I really think the RNs logic is completely wrong on this, the T23 towed array vessels are going to be close to a carrier carrying F35s, with an SSN likely in the task group as well! It is the vessel least likely to require Anti ship missiles.

Why not invest the money in MK41 for T31s instead £200 million would buy a number of launchers then either buy less of the cheapest missile that fits or look to fit it with SPEAR 3?

The other option is why not go to an all air launched system these are more likely to be used anyway? JSM could be ideal as it is likely to be electronically integrated with F35 & the b should be able to use on pylons, kongsberg are also developing a helicopter launched version that could be integrated on the Merlin. The missiles could then be kept in role post FCASW?
Either of these options means you’re £200 million will go further.

ATH

If the T31 is used for forward deployment it may not be available to work with the carriers. The T23 will form a key part of the carriers defence.

Humpty Dumpty

Any Harpoon replacement needs to be considerably longer ranged than Kalibr, Oniks, Zircon and YJ-18 anti-ship missiles or what’s the point? Any replacement also needs to be stealthy, resistent to ECM and decoys, and ideally manoeuvrable as well to make it hard to shoot down. It would also be good if any replacement worked liked Meteor and was able to accelerate in its terminal phase making a hit far more likely. The missile would also need a warhead large enough to take out a carrier and any escort ships.

We also need an anti-ship missile that can be carried internally by F-35Bs. AFAIK all current anti-ship missiles can only be carried externally by the F-35B, which would affect its RCS and make it easier to detect and shoot down.

Perseus will be able to be fired by subs, which is good, but that’s a decade off.

Also all these missiles are ridiculously expensive. Some more than others (like LRASM), but none of them are cheap. Can’t we come up with something cheap and low-tech that woud achieve the same result? Maybe loads of cheap suicide drones? They could be aerial, surface or underwater drones (or any combination of these types). Ideally the drones would destroy their target. Or else they’d mission-kill it by destroying its bridge and/or radars, by destroying its propellor or by making a ship use up all its missiles and CIWS rounds trying to take out wave after wave of cheap drones.