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Value the cost of the missile against the value of the lives and asset it has saved (and the potential environmental catastrophe if a tanker were hit) rather than the cost of the drone it has destroyed.

The Traveller

That is an excellent point and one that only occurred to me recently in the Ukraine/Russia war


Phalanx would have beeb cheaper and wiser!


Use of Phalanx would’ve required the Houthis to actually be aiming at Diamond, and then the crew purposefully allowing a threat to get into last-ditch range.

You’d have fun justifying that to the families of anyone injured or killed if the drone had gotten through


Idiot that’s is for close range.

W Ratcliffe

Phalanx is for point defence not for long range interception of missiles planes etc


On top of the point made by Callum which would have required the ship to be near its flight path. The ciws is a last ditch effort. Not very reliable and whose effectiveness is questionable. There are many, including myself, who view even the 1b as a damage reduction tool not a threat elimination tool. It can stop the threats ability to maneuver to maximise damage, but is rarely expected to detonate the warhead. Hence why it is used as a close in pds and seacepters,ect. Are used to actually defeat threats.

Hope this helps clarify!


Who told you that Phalanx was not very reliable and whose effectiveness is questionable? There are several navies worldwide and hundreds of ships that would beg to differ.


There are multiple essays from various sources on the effectiveness. On reliability there are some older research papers focusing on mtfb for the 1b. Undoubtedly the mtfb would have been lengthened due to system upgrades. Finally to your point that it’s widespread use shows its effectiveness. For the navies I’ve had interactions with the main airdefence is missile interception. Mind you I’m not a PDO and have little experience in that region. However I would say there’s a reason ciws is used as a last resort and it’s not due to the cost of operation.

Last edited 2 months ago by Possessedtv
Erich W

There are instances of missiles literally being hit by gun-based CIWS and still flying into a ship and damaging it. When you can hit a target out to 120km you don’t want to wait until within shooting range to deal with it. It’s needless and incredibly excessive risk.


Instances ? Which ones


In 1983 during a live-fire exercise, USS Antrim engaged a target drone with a Phalanx CIWS, destroying it. The target drone hit the sea, skipped off it and slammed into the frigate. As well as structural damage, it caused a fire in the ship’s wardroom and electrical spaces. A civilian instructor died.


I think the fire control has improved since 1983 , dont you . Didnt they also change the ammunition as well?

Still a lot better that that simulated missile making a direct hit. Its a warship which has its more passive defenses even some residual can be expected and thats when the trained crew -damage control kicks in.

Last edited 2 months ago by Duker

Ammunition always have been APDS for ships versions.
The reality is that Phalanx have only an effective range of 1km. It always have been limited by the ballistics of 20mm round.

Last edited 2 months ago by AlexS

Actually the original ammunition for Phalanx in RN service was 20mm Depleted Uranium rounds. This was replaced late 90’s (I think although may have been later) with MPDS (Missile Piercing Discarding Sabot) using a tungsten penetrator.


The issue was not the accuracy of the system but the fact that the incoming target had the momentum to continue to hit the ship. Phalanx still doesn’t engage until the target is ~2 km away. More modern drones may well have more momentum than the target drone of 1983. Certainly, anti-ship missiles will be significantly more of an issue.

Re. your point about damage control, etc: so what? No one is saying that, ceteris paribus, it’s better not to have Phalanx. I think the argument is that Phalanx should be treated as a last-ditch, hard-kill solution – not the first response to a threat. If a missile has successfully evaded being shot down by a ship’s SAMs and won’t be seduced by (E)CM, and then of course it’s worth trying to use Phalanx against it. But if you’re waiting to engage a target (even a drone) until the last 2 km with a 20 mm Gatling gun when you have better options, you’ve made an error of judgement. Phalanx has a much lower Pk than missile systems and some larger-calibre, longer-range gun systems. And whilst a ship and her crew surviving is better than them not surviving an attack, if the ship is ‘mission-killed’, it’s still operationally useless. And if that mission-kill is the result of the loss of vital but sensitive ship’s sensors, a follow-up attack might very easily result in the total loss of the ship.


Wow.. let’s go back in time.


Phalanx was always a last ditch defence capability. Not long range and prine to shutting itself down for no apparent reason. I speak as an ex-phalanx maintenence.


Dont they have a ‘manual’ control as well as the autonomous one ?


You clearly have no clue and waffling around


Enlighten us then. Or is your object to take potshots at others ?


Only against a Dutchman with an Asian wife


Dont miss your chance to join the front line


Autonomous mode has dangers of its own. Nearby ships have been hit by 20mm projectiles that missed the target. If the target was an AShM, then that’s better than the alternative. Civilian ships though might not be so impressed getting shot up by their “protector”.


That’s for close in range ???? how do you know the range of the drone , do you know what phalanx is for ? How it going to destroy a drone that’s heading for a cargo ship out of phalanx range . The word idiot springs to mind .


But probably not in range and is a point defence weapon rather than area air defence. Better to go with something more likely to achieve the aim at further range.


you clearly have no clue what Phalanx is…


Depends how far away it was, it’s flight path etc. Plus, why wait until it’s right on top of you to engage?

Last edited 2 months ago by Mark

Arent they a ‘radius of action’. whether its a missile or any sort of cannon. Clearly Phalanx forte is close to the sea , which is difficult for most missiles


Do you know what Phalanx (CIWS) is actually for ? Here is a clue..

CIWS – Close In Weapon System – ie for close in defence when a ship is being attacked and it has gotten thru the outer defences! The drone wasnt being targeted at the ship!


I hope she’s carrying a full load out……..


Lets hope so… In addition, while we might be in a better situation then the french in terms of AAW with 48 aster vs 16, elsewhere we are far worse. The french ship has 8 AshM vs our 0, and 16 cruise missiles vs our 0. Reportedly, the 4.5inch on T45 doesn’t have AAW feature anymore.

Last edited 2 months ago by fvf
Supportive Bloke

In that respect it would be better to swap out the 30mm to 40mm – I doubt the surfaces would take a 57mm which would be the best option.

It will be interesting to see what happens to the 4.5” one T23 is fully OOS.

That depends on what B2T31 or T32 field. Which could well be 5”


The answer is RAM on the hangar roof,- for the extra distance over a phalanx and when a drone is within the radius of action of warship rather than heading for it.


RAM is half the range of CAMM, which is half the range of CAMM-ER & ESSM. Without the long range missiles like Aster 30 & SM2 etc & sensors to match, you simply need too many ships to cover the area. These civilian ships are flagged from all over & are running on their own schedules. Even trying to organise a convoy to make it easier would be like herding cats.


Temp situation while they take 10 years to install the CAMM in the T45. Its not to take away anything the T45 already has – the hangar roof is only suitable location for a new capability until CAMM- can also be used on the carriers ( as a non ballistic profile missile)
Its taken a year since the NSM missile ramps were installed in the first T23 for the ship to travel to Norway and receive them!


If I remember correctly, the RN trialled RAM years ago and decided it wasn’t worth the expense.

Given that we’re something like £16B over budget for the next 10 years, adding a new expense of questionable value would be a poor investment.


I think that was because it was the original version of RAM. Where the RIM-116 missiles used a passive RF sensor to lock on to the anti-ship missile’s active radar. Therefore, it was useless against anything else. Today’s RIM-116 keeps the RF sensor but also included an IR sensor (From Sidewinder X). So it can now engage a broader range of targets.


My point is, that in this situation, most of the time, short range missiles like RAM don’t have a role to play. Even CAMM is of limited use. In the case of the USN destroyer (forgot the name & too lazy to look it up), has fired something like 20 SM-2 missiles. The same ship has plenty of quad packed ESSM (comparable to CAMM-ER), yet hasn’t fired any (that I can ascertain). Doesn’t mean they won’t. France has used an Aster 15. But if you want to hit a civilian ship with a 3rd class missile, don’t shoot at one with a warship in close proximity.

If you are using RAM then Aster 30 / Aster15 / CAMM / etc have already failed & the missile is likely aimed at you (or as good as). These are not high end AShM incoming. If this is an AB / T45 or equivalent & you are reduced to RAM, then someone has really stuffed up.


Because of the war situation in two places with no end in sight and every prospect of it expanding, I happen to think we need to invest in the upgade of installing CAAM in the type 45’s without delay as soon as they go into refit. Dauntless could be next. Also is it such a big problem designing and commissioning smart ammunition for the 4.5″? Scaling down the 155mm shells? How many Aster 15’s or 30’s do we need to shoot off to cover the development costs. Maybe for comminality we need to start thinking again about a Naval 155mm main gun? How much have we already spent on the project we started and never finished?


The 4.5 always had proximity fuse AAW role in my day (pull up a bollard) but someone up thread said it’s not used in that role anymore?

Anyway, it’s on its way out, with NATO standard 5 inch / 127mm on the T26 and the Bofors 57mm on the T31. So it would seem to make sense to replace the 4.5 with a 57mm at the same time they get CAMM. The problem is on the T31 there is no dedicated FC radar for the 57, just the optronics, so can we regard it as a CIWS with anti-missile capability ? Probably not, but with SAMSON and good optronics, would it be good enough for C-UAS?

It would have been nice if we had gone with some commonality both the Army and the French and chosen the Thales RapidFire CTA40, with its on mount optics and AESA radar instead of the Bofors 40, but it is what it is, so could we get rid of the bloody awful Phalanx and mount the Bofors 40 in the same spot on the T45’s ?

Of course the other thing that’s cheaper than an Aster 15 or a CAMM, is a purpose designed C-UAS weapon, I’m pretty sure there is room on a T45’s upper decks for some of these: – probably not in the reusable mode/version!

As ever it’s down to budgets …….

The Whale Island Zoo Keeper

There is plenty of space for the Bofors to replace Phalanx and 30mm mount. I think there is enough space for 2 mounts on each beam. Need one of the hangar roof too. And something to replace the Mk8 Mod 1 main ornament too.

CTA40 is overly complicated.


Overly complicated, yet being fitted on MCMV, OPV’s and Auxillaries?

Toby J

Whose OPVs? The French?

The Whale Island Zoo Keeper

The French intend to use it everywhere. Thankfully the RN went with Bofors. Even if that was for cheapness.

The Whale Island Zoo Keeper

Yes. Have you ever seen one in pieces? We should have just bought Bofors off the shelf.


Roadrunner is a scam product.


Why? But even if you are correct, then Block 2 Coyote with 15km range is cheaper and longer ranged than Martlet.

Rob N

Yes rip out the 4.5 and put in the 57mm with 3p amo. Rip out Phalanx and put in the 40mm. Put a DEW on the hanger roof. Put a pod of Star Streak missiles instead of the old 30mm guns. Add the 24 Sea Ceptor and the Sea Viper Evolution upgrades and you have a very capable upgraded T45. Of course they are missing a trick by putting in the Sea Ceptor mushroom farm instead of 12 Mk41VLS. They could have quad packed Sea Ceptor and got 48 missiles instead of 24…. but I suppose it was done on the cheep.


155mm again!? they have separated round and propellant. There are 127mm guns around with good enough ammunition.


If this goes on for a while I hope the cost of replacing the missiles used comes out of the central reserve and not the MoD budget.



Supportive Bloke

It is a in deployment shot so I think that comes out of Treasury reserve funding.

That thinking isn’t part of the WO’s calculus.

Defending the threat appropriately is the thought process.

david cronin

dont we have cheaper options to take out a drone which is a slow moving target ?

Greta Thunderpants

It all depends on range really. I believe the rise of Drone warfare has concentrated a few minds recently. On the flip side, It does look as though they seem to be picked off pretty easily if you believe all the stories coming out of Ukraine and Russia.


Yes, we could launch attacks against the launch sites.. only we won’t, not because it is too difficult, but that it won’t serve the narrative!

John Coffee

Can’t we just throw bats at it and shout dagga dagga dagga


Yes – the SeaCeptor missiles (CAMM) are short range (approx 12km) and cheaper than Aster. As stated above the Aster 15 is being phased out for the quadpacked soft launch SeaCeptor. So using the Aster is not a worry as there be a stock to be used up or sold to be refurbished with the manufacturer.
Phalanx is only useful at very short ranges <5000m for defending the Navy ship.
What we don't know is how far the Type 45 was from the merchant vessel.
The last option is using Sea Venom or Martlet missiles from a helicopter if the incoming missile is not stealthy or supersonic.
The new Type 31 frigates coming in the next few years will have their broadside of triple large guns that should be handle low intensity threats like this.

W Ratcliffe

Pretty sure the marlet is for surface targets and not air to air


LMM is used in anti-UAV in Ukraina. It is promoted for precision land attack, but it is virtually a (guidance) updated StarBurst missile. Surely not good at AAW, but “can do” if it is against slow moving targets.

Armchair Admiral

Story just some months back that a target drone was shot down by a Wildcat firing Martlet. Martlet fits Starstreak firing posts in any case and the RM have used them against air targets. AA


Given the right situation, even RPG7 can shoot down Black Hawk helicopters in Somalia.


I understood the Aster15s are to be turned into Aster30s?

Supportive Bloke

Correct most if an A15 is identical to an A30


Shame the martlets could not have been fitted to the 30mm canon mounts or maybe create a new rolling frame mount for martlet/ starstreak for use against drones, or even adapt martlet from being laser guided to active seeker as an option


I doubt CAMM will be quadpacked on the T-45s. In fact I doubt it will be quadpacked on any RN ship.


There is nothing to “quad pack” it into on a T45, the graphics released show the existing individual launch tubes taken from T23 aka “mushroom farm”. The CAMM has I believe been test fired from the adapter that “quad packs” it into a Mk41 VLS cell. If, or rather when the T31 gets its MK41 we could use it, like the Poles intend to on their Arrowhead 140 derivative. Even better are the illustrations showing two of the joint UK-Polish CAMM-MR variants (100km range) being squished into a single MK41 cell…… but budgets to buy them?


The graphics on T45 don’t show T23-style silos. At least not the images I’ve seen here in Navy Lookout among other sites. There’s a different configuration done in 4 groupings of 6 silos just forward of the Sylver A50s. These are a relatively low-density grouping compared to quad packing, although somewhat more compact than the mushroom farm. It’s the same 6-pack configuration as shown in the graphics for T31 and T26 — also akin to the Italian Albatros NG for CAMM-ER.

According to the European Defence Review the “modules are spaced to allow canister inspection”. To me that’s not a particularly convincing explanation for the spacing, after all the canisters are sealed units, but it’s the only one I’ve come across.


Yes the grouping of 6 is not the same as T23, but I meant the single silos 🙂


ESSM is quad packed into mk41. Not sure what the difference is supposed to be. Stand alone ExLS 3 cell can hold 12 CAMM (quad packed). RCN is going to use these for CAMM as a point defence system on their T26.

Toby J

T31 it will have to quad pack. Only 32 mk41, there’s nowhere else to put it


That assumes they fit all 4 sets (4×8), rather than say 2 sets (2×8) & then use the CAMM only launchers in the remaining space. RNZN fitted 20 individual cells in the space of 16 mk41 cells on their Anzacs (only 1 mk41 set was ever fitted – removed to save top weight).


Sea Ceptors range is 25km +


Would it not be cheaper to use starstreak instead?

Greta Thunderpants

Only if carried and range depending.


MBDA is offering a containerized short-range air defense system utilizing the Mistral heat-seeking missile giving any ship shot range air defense,


Which is fine for naval vessels such as OPV’s, PB’s, auxiliaries etc. War has not been declared. These civilian ships are flagged from all over the world. It would be similar to handing out loaded pistols to people walking by in the street.


Are you waiting for the Houthi to declare war?

Did the US in WW2 wait for Nazi Germany to first declare war before sending Destroyers to the UK to counter the U-boot thread?

Some hand out and some streets.


Legally US was prevented in sending war equipment to UK- that they didnt buy first.


USN were entitled to defend a US flagged ship. They were not entitled to go hunting & sink any submarine they found, Many of these ships are flagged by nations out to make money & poor labour laws. If you fit one of these missile systems to a ship flagged by some tax haven & it shoots down something it shouldn’t have, where do you stand? The crew may have no relationship to either the owner or the flagged nation & likely you have no authority over either. It’s a legal minefield. Egypt will be more than upset over a helicopter of theirs your missile system just shot down. Navies rarely make these mistakes & when they happen, it’s a government to government discussion. Whose government would be having this discussion?

This is not the North Atlantic of WW2.


WHICH route do you think the Oil and gas coming from the Middle East are using?
BP pauses all Red Sea shipments after rebel attacks

You do not want to go on the streets when there are no oil and gas.

Last edited 2 months ago by Kenneth

Houthis release video showing Red Sea ship hijacking

And who are now walking around with loaded guns?


Legally these are pirates. Many civilian ships hire armed guards (professional international security companies – often ex military) when operating in such areas. I assume, if they had any, they may have left as the ship had got past Somalia (bad idea). If they did not have any, more fool them. These are all small arms, not missile systems. Not sure how proficient you are with firearms, but I suspect not at all. Neither are most civilian maritime crews.


Startstreak is not fire and forget , it needs to be guided all the time to target, it also means a good stabilisation system on the ship.


Aster15 being scrapped anyway in few years and replaced with upgraded Aster 30s, so might as well use them up.

The Type 31 gun layout would be effective for this job.

Last edited 2 months ago by Iain
Greta Thunderpants

As would the T45’s main gun.


Not for anti air


Slow moving drones, definitely if they have the right airburst ammo

The Whale Island Zoo Keeper

Type 31 gun layout would be effective for this job.

Yes. And the follow on to that is if ‘sniping at ships’ becomes a defining feature of mid-century maritime security then T45 needs more and better guns.
comment image


20mm, 30mm, 114mm. Isnt that enough except for the calibre tragics

The Whale Island Zoo Keeper



20mm, 30mm, 114mm.

20 and 30 are wrong calibres, too short range. 114 would have been ok if the gun was designed for AA but has the Falklands have shown they were mediocre in that function with low rate of fire and i suspect not much training in that mission.

The Whale Island Zoo Keeper

Yes. The Mk8 though wonderfully adequate for surface work was never ever going to be a successful AA mount. Apart from being less personnel intensive it was a step backwards from Mk6. Um. Remember the Leanders et al should have had the 3in mount that went to sea on the Tiger class. Now that would have been something.

If RN ships are subject to saturation attacks from simple drones that might be difficult for ECM to counter they are going to need quick firing guns with good range and cheap(er) shells.
comment image

Last edited 2 months ago by The Whale Island Zoo Keeper

Which Falkland war are you talking about. HMS Avenger showed a 4.5 in could shoot down an Exocet. These drones are even slower.
Fast combat aircraft are still targetable by 25 , 30 or 40 mm with the high standard modern fire control systems which aim them
Phalanx radius of action is 1-5nm or 2 -9 km . This is a substantial distance for slow moving drone and plenty of time for a couple of bursts to get the target

The Whale Island Zoo Keeper

No. Just no.


Yes and yes OTO/Leonardo Marlin

The Whale Island Zoo Keeper

You are never consistent are you?

You have made posts and up and down this thread questioning me when I have spoken about using 76mm DP guns and when I have said T45’s current guns are not suitable.

And now all of a sudden you post that picture? I just don’t understand you. You really need to stop explain yourself now. This is why you are regarded as a troll here.

If Avenger’s gun hit an Exocet it was a fluke and not a validation of the Mk8’s ability to areal targets. The Mk8’s cyclic rate is too slow and the mount’s traversing rate isn’t spectacular even now its internal gubbins are electric and not hydraulic. Mk8 was a cheap system that needed a reduced head count for operation not the optimum. It’s greatest contribution in the Mod 0 version was giving the weapons engineers something to do.

Once more…….

Mk8 isn’t a DP mount. It has a slow rate of fire.

Phalanx is short range and only good if the incoming weapon is heading directly for the ship.

30mm is manually laid.

What is needed is multiple medium guns with high rates of fire in DP mounts to cover all arcs radar laid capable of using smart munitions so the ship can defend itself and vessels it is escorting to preserve missile number if the ship is subject to a saturation attack that ECM cannot counter for whatever reason.

I don’t think you set out to annoy. It is you being you. I do admire your enthusiasm. But come on. 🙂


Of course you are right . But the RN isnt going have that sort changes is it. Thats why the imperfect gun fit will have to do while this situation evolves right now. My only wish list item till the Camm is installed maybe 5 years time frame is the single RAM launcher .


A 4,5in gun shot down an Exocet missile??? Which video have you been watching? Where is the proof?


Beyond reasonable doubt proof ….milord


where is the proof? and pigs can fly too.


Circumstantial of course as theres conflicting claims as there always are.
The last Exocet fired from an Entendard , HMS Avenger tracked it and fired as the steady course was within the 4.5 engagement envelope. The missile was destroyed.
Yes Exeter fired a Sea Dart and there is some claims they destroyed it. Unlikely as Sea Dart is a medium high altitude optimised missile.


57mm still too short


But, 57mm range is not much different from that of LMM. Actually, it will be “better” than LMM only in a bit shorter range. Anyway, the 57mm and 40mm guns are for close-in self defense. And it is very capable for that task. (but not for local-area air defense)


14.5 km is a decent range ( horizontally ) for the 57mm. Even 4-5km for an aerial target is is better than close in requires ..1-2 km


The aster 15 warhead is the same at the aster 30 so can have the aster 30 booster fitted so wasting them is an expensive plan.


It is a conversion job of the missiles not a replacement .


Aster 15 and Aster 30 are the same, identical missile with a different booster, longer for the Aster 30. The Royal Navy is planning to convert the existing stock of Aster 15 in Aster 30 by replacing the booster.

Personally I am not sure it is a good idea. The Aster15 (like the Aster 30) has much better terminal agility than the CAMM and CAMM-ER due to the use of the integrated aerodynamic/vectorial flight control. The CAMM is less expensive, but personally I would prefer to always keep a few Aster 15 available.


Apologies, I missed two words.

not sure it is a good idea. The Aster15 (like the Aster 30) has much better terminal agility than the CAMM and CAMM-ER due to the use of the PIF-PAF integrated aerodynamic/vectorial flight control.


A fair point but it’s all relative; at Mach 3 and according to Wikipedia, 30G maneuverability in the terminal phase, a CAMM should deal with sub-sonic and low supersonic threats, save your Aster’s for high end supersonic or even hypersonic (?) threats?


a CAMM should deal with sub-sonic and low supersonic threats, save your Aster’s for high end supersonic or even hypersonic (?) threats?

Yes. That is a good workshare.


of course. Since it took 11 months after the NSM support brackets were fitted in the first T23 for it to then go to Norway to get the launchers – hopefully with some missiles inside them ( but dont hold your breath)
How long before the CAMM to be fitted to T45 as is proposed and necessary?


and yes Iceland is known for its geologically active environment, which Coral reefs are renowned for their high biodiversity. They are home to a wide variety of marine life, the difference between genius and stupidity is that stupidity has no limits.


Please moderators . This sock puppet with multiple identities is back
Comment moderation policy says
Please try to stick to the subject matter of the article you are commenting on and above all, avoid personal attacks, however much you disagree.

Peter (Irate Taxpayer)


Normally the British armed forces going into action, anywhere in the world, is reported as headline news.

Therefore I find it very interesting how and why this interception has not been reported in the mainstream media (i.e. BBC and national press).

Furthermore, because shipping is now being diverted away from Red Sea (and thus Suez) to instead go the long route around via the Cape, this attack will very quickly have a big and adverse impact on the already-battered UK economy = when shipping rates are forced to rise (i.e. as NL has, quite correctly, just hinted at directly above).



Furthermore, in the same area and originating from the same hostile actor (i.e. originating from what us old gits used to call The Enemy) the mainstream media has also quite-noticeably ignored this world-first event, one which happened just six weeks ago:

(Note: this was not a drone! The USN shooting down a drone was separate incident)

It seems that little Yemen, an ally of Iran, has some “rather advanced military capabilities” for such a tiny and supposed very-impoverished nation! (and geographically it sits on a right on a key maritime choke point)



  • Ukraine – hot war now in its 15th month (and announced that two UK ex RN minesweepers were sold to AFU just last week)
  • Gaza – hot war now in its third month
  • Red Sea – getting very warm (see above)
  • Venezuela / Guyana – a fight over lots and lots of four-star petrol might well kick off very soon

However, of these four, nowadays only Gaza seems to be being reported on by the aforementioned mainstream media………………….

………….whilst distinctly under-reporting that now two key global shipping routes – Black Sea and Red Sea – are both now effectively defined as war zones.

Accordingly the b********g question now has to be asked: are we now entering a new era in world politics – one called WW3 – OR are the politicians and the mainstream media simply in denial about the scope of the challenges facing this maritime nation?

Regards Peter The Irate Taxpayer

Toby J

It’s on BBC at least, but not major
They don’t report every Syria airstrike, so why this?
It’s not like the ship was attacked


Can’t decide if you’re just ill-informed or deliberately making false assertions to back your views.
• The action by HMS Diamond was reported by the BBC on both its website and Radio 4 news programmes. It also appears on newspaper web-sites such as The Independent’s.
• Only two shipping companies have decided to avoid the Red Sea.
• Hilariously you claim that the “mainstream media” ignored that Israel shot down a ballistic missile… and then post a link to a mainstream media covering the shoot down. Thus disproving your own claim!!
• The 2 RN mine hunters being transferred to Ukraine is part of a package announced before the Russian invasion in 2022. Both spent the summer with Ukrainian crews aboard being trained by the RN.
• It’s coming up to the Venezuelan presidential election in 2024. While Maduro might go the Galtieri route in an attempt towards stoke patriotism, he’s unlikely to make such a gamble. The referendum should be more than enough given he’ll also be rigging the vote.
• Only the hysterical would claim we are in WW3. But the world is becoming more destabilised, with authoritarian regimes on the rise abroad, and democracy attacked at home by the far-right and conspiracy theorists. Add in the further destabilisation due to climate change, and we are likely to increasing numbers of regional conflicts in future.


He is correct, and you missed his point about media intensity, repetition and adjectivation in certain subjects and the mere article just to say they did posted it.

The significance of Suez channel closing is obviously being censored by the media. the fact that Houthis get a 2000+km plus missiles do not arises questions about what Heezbollah have. Beiruth to Athens is 1100km.
The media is doing again their “job” of protecting Iran.


Even the largest shipping companies only have a tiny fraction of worldwide shipping fleet.
Check for yourself from this Marine Traffic website on how ‘closed’ the Red Sea and Suez canal is


He had no point. The media reported it, but given what’s happening in Gaza and Ukraine there’s a lot of stories vying for the headlines. Given nobody was killed, news editors are going to place the story lower down the pecking order.
The Suez Canal isn’t closed. This affects the Red Sea, and only some shipping is avoiding the route. Two days ago it was 2 shipping companies, it’s currently at least 7.
The media don’t have a job to protect Iran, the media in the west is independent and does what it likes, including criticising the government at any opportunity. I doubt it would then do want the government asked without screaming to the world about political interference in the free press.

However Alexei, I think your confusing the news media media here with that in Russia where it’s all owned or directly controlled by Putin, which is why the news there has no basis in reality.

Last edited 2 months ago by Sean

Cracking a walnut with a sledgehammer to use a Aster 15 against a cheap drone, but better than letting that cheap drone hit it’s target.

Just hope Diamond sailed with a full compliment of missiles!

Ultimately the best way to keep a lid on this is to strike at the fools launching the drones rather than continually shooting them out of the sky.


Sea Wolf back in the day would of been ideal to knock out a drone. As it could take out an orange sized target, at a fraction of the cost.


It had a mere ~6km range. Needed to be guided to the target until it hit so dependent on ship radar director stabilisation.

The Whale Island Zoo Keeper

VLS Sea Wolf with solid state gyros was God’s own missile. Awesome piece of equipment.

That SeaCeptor is better is astounding.


Whats ‘mere’ about 6 km. Seemed to be enough for the very fast Exocet but drones are much much much slower. This location is truly littoral and and 12 km diameter ‘protected’ zone around a ship is not too bad


Hypothetical question.. If HMS Diamond goes Winchester over the next weeks is it possible she could be reloaded with Aster (Via RAF flying them) at Souda Bay or elsewhere saving the transit back to UK?

Is special equipment needed or would it simply be a crane and the specialist crew?

The Whale Island Zoo Keeper

It would be sensational if they ran out of missiles. If the Canal is closed and other parties join in Diamond would be in a dangerous situation. Diego Garcia three to four days steaming away would seem to be the best place for replenishment. Scary thinking.


Oman and kuwait bases.


Yes. RAFO Thumrait inland . USAF has some units there and RAF uses it as well. The local Governorate capital, Salalah is a substantial seaport and has its own decent airport/AFB

The Whale Island Zoo Keeper

Oman perhaps. But Kuwait is too far and sailing back into waters that can become problematic too.


Djibouti port and airbase are very close by. Massive US presence there .

Which is another reason why US has held back from attacking the missile firing sites as the Houthis can strike back at relatively undefended Camp Lemonnier


reason number 5 for playing careful in these straits


Supposedly one of the reasons there was such a delay between the terrorist attack and Israel’s invasion of Gaza, was that the US requested it so that they could bolster air-defences at their bases in the region. They anticipated the Houthis attacking all things Western.



Drew murrY

Who cares what aster costs .lives are saved and this is a clear demonstration that the rn is still a force to be reckoned with .b zs tonall


Instead of just dealing with the symptoms of drones and missiles targeting world trade. Why not just attack the Yemeni group backed by Iran.


I’m sure that’s being debated in Washington as we speak. On an unrelated topic he Eisenhower CBG left the Gulf yesterday.


Well said!

The crowd of people here jumping on the wagon discussing the merits of Aster15/30, Starstreak/Starburst, Phalanx/57mm/4.5in, and CAMM is like finding which saucepan to catch a deluge.
In WW2, did they try to eliminate the V1/V2 attacks just by barrage balloons and 40mm Boforts alone? They went after the launch sites and production facilities.
The Red Sea is a major shipping channel for the world economy so all those talks about JEF nations protecting infrastructure sounds hollow.

— Having been conceived and developed in the pre-Ukrainian crisis era, the JEF was initially focused on dealing with situations in the Middle East and the Persian Gulf. Following Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 and in keeping with new British and Alliance priorities, increased emphasis was placed on larger operations in the European theatre— . 

Toby J

In WW2, Noball (anti V weapon) missions were an extension of normal raids, it was just a question of the “target for tonight”. Attacking the Houthis directly would be a large deployment, potentially another Afghanistan which is the last thing we want at the moment. Containment is better than a failed intervention.


Well at least it works! Regardless of cost, the Aster is the best weapon we have for the job. Longer range over CAMM means the ship can through a larger protective umbrella over a larger area. Means the ship doesn’t have to always be in the precise right place at the right time. Cheaper ways to destroys drones absolutely, but cheaper prices mean you have to be much closer to the target to engage. Targets appear in the main merchant shipping rather than the military vessels in the area.


Fired a rocket !! when will the public enquiry start lasting years ?


The US version of the story has some differences
The Arleigh Burke class guided missile destroyer  USS Carney downed 14 drones today, a U.S. military official told The War Zone. The Type 45 destroyer  HMS Diamond downed one drone targeting merchant shipping in the Red Sea 
The two destroyers, which were in constant communications, shot down the drones during a 45-minute attack wave near the Bab al-Mandab Strait”

USS Carney has Sea ram as part of its lower threat missiles


That is interesting, maybe the one the Type 45 engaged was a bit to far out for sea rams 10km range.

looks like one lesson for the drone age is that very cheap attrition drones will need an answer that is not a 1-2 million dollar missile.

a mix of lower end missiles as well as guided rounds for medium guns would seems to be a a must for every modern escort….even a RAM missile at 900,000 dollars is a bit expensive.

Phillip Johnson

Fitting of CAMM to the T45’s has been mentioned by several people.
Maybe someone can correct me but CAMM uses the body and presumably the rocket motor of ASRAAM. ASRAAM is boost and coast in that the rocket motor boosts the missile to speed and burns out and the missile uses the impulse delivered to the missile to cruise (unpowered) to the target. The impact is that speed and maneuverability deceases with distance. So using CAMM at longer ranges is a trade of against speed and manouverablty?


Yes, it is a trade.
Its cold launched so doesn’t use rocket motor performance to get out of the silo meaning Ceptor has more umpf when it’s in the air and done its turnover manoeuvre to get where it needs to go at over M3.
Mid-course updates via data link get it to a future intercept point where the active radar on the missile takes over. The missile goes active at a range from target that minimises any possible escape vector, even with countermeasures.
Against an aircraft they won’t even know it’s coming as there is no illuminating radar to light up the aircrafts Missile Warning Radar Receiver ESM set. The first thing they would know would be the MWRR screaming as the missile goes active a few thousand meters away
An engagement at the officially stated max range of 25km would take 25 seconds. Thats flight time. Because you are firing the missile at a future intercept point and not directly at the target you can engage with the target at a far greater range and factor in target speed to achieve a hit at 25km.

Commonwealth Loyalist

Good article thanks
Interesting that the RN only shot down one drone vs about a dozen the Arleigh Burke destroyer shot down, why is that? Sorry to be ignorant.


They probably used ESSM and Searam missiles. All The Diamond had were the very expensive Aster

Commonwealth Loyalist

Thanks for explaining that, the news reports I heard did mention the Brits elping in passing but not very seriously, and it sounds like indeed their help was not major.

I still do not know why the US and UK don’t go after the sources of these missiles and drones more actively, just shooting down ones that actually get through is not a big deal, at least to shipping magnates if I was one which I am not,




Attacking another Arab country is going to work like all the previous times ? Anyway the Saudis, Emiratis, Sudanese have been having a go at the 40% of population of Yemen- even more % in the North that is Zaydism – a sect of Shia islam. hence the Iran connection


While it is commendable that a T45 managed for the first time to shoot a drone down in somewhat combat action, it was but a late arrival to the party.
The USN had already shot down multiple targets for days and even the French Navy FREMM frigate had at least shot down 2 drones before the British arrived,

Last edited 2 months ago by Tom

Not that ESSM or sea RAM are cheap..900,000 vs 2million is cheaper but not cheap…drones are going to mean the west needs to consider how it’s escorts are armed for air defence…when the enemy is throwing cheap as chips attritional units at you.


Now will someone please send a Tomahawk back along the drones path to its origin

The Whale Island Zoo Keeper

The lorries are off as soon as the last one is launched.
comment image


Like mobile V2?

The Whale Island Zoo Keeper

No. More like a typical delivery lorry.

I thought the picture was clear enough.


Wouldn’t be cheaper to take out the head of the snake?

The Whale Island Zoo Keeper

No. Afghanistan and Iraq would suggest staying at sea and defending ships would be better than going feet dry.


Now that comes to mind of using one of these

The Whale Island Zoo Keeper

Hell yes. I am all in favour of giving that a try. Sadly though I think the drones out range those guns by some margin.


You are right that drones would have a longer range than the 16in shell’s odd 20km range but it also has some Tomahawks for longer reach and… this Phalanx thing that some people here talk about in nauseous detail.
Sadly, to crew one of these ships needs 1000 men or more.

Toby J

They’d be knocked out of the sky just by the pressure wave of one passing within 100 yards. Area AA effect even before the shell hits the target. Agree, the original Zumwalt concept would be kinda useful ATM

The Whale Island Zoo Keeper

Throwing one tonne dustbins 18 odd miles with a CEP about the size of a tennis court………

Reynolds Alumiumn Hatter

This is is much better looking.


Was it ever used in combat in its 15-year of commission?



Toby J

Oh yes, one of the best lookers we’ve built. Just noticed here, but Vanguard’s bridge is different from a George V. No sticky outy bit at the top and it’s more square.


They should have fitted dragon fire and given it a good testing in the real world. Fitting the 40mm Bofors. Would have been a good call to test them out before the t31 arrive, and fitting the 76mm gun instead of the 4.5″ would have been a better choice than the 57mm for all frigates and destroyers as we should never use NGF as the ship could be lost to anti ship missles so close to shore.


This isnt the 1940s. Even the 30mm guns have the same fire control as a 76 mm and can provide a lot more firepower in the right places


30mm are too short range for AA. 2km max. 76mm goes to 8km and have guided ammunition.

Commonwealth Loyalist

Hey you guys there muct be something in between spending a $2m missile to shoot down a $2k drone and getting into WW III.

Definitely, the dhpping channels need to be defended, and it might involve more than is being done right now.

Peter (Irate Taxpayer)

Sean / All

Please be aware that my post – noting that the media had not reported this latest incident – was held up by the Navy Lookout editorial controls; i.e. it was delayed “awaiting approval”.

I will be the first to accept that it has now been reported in the media, including by the BBC R4 (i.e. by the date when my post was published here yesterday).

However the key point remains: that this incident will soon start to seriously impact on merchant shipping worldwide and that will have many economic consequences.

regards Peter The Irate Taxpayer


Which is why action is being taken.

However even at the height of the Iran-Iraq Tanker War in the 80’s the Persian Gulf was never closed and never impacted more than 2% of tankers in the gulf. (Though of course, the loss over over 400 civilian seamen was tragic.)
While the weapons the Houthi rebels are using are undoubtedly more sophisticated than those in the 80’s, it’s unlikely they can match the scale of attacks of two nation-states.


On a different note, something completely different, NSM has arrived on T23.
A total of 11 ships of T23 and T45 with NSM
HMS Somerset back from Norway

Last edited 2 months ago by Harkens
The Whale Island Zoo Keeper

I wonder if the hangar roof is robust enough for Phalanx?


6200 kg for Block 1B Phalanx
7800 kg? for SeaRAM


Camm looks after close in and a good distance out

The Whale Island Zoo Keeper

Yes they are weight.

It would cover a huge arc.

And then all that is needed is plumbing the water in.


I agree since Phalanx is not deck intrusive so should be a bolt-on job.
Sadly there does not seem to be enough Phalanx around.

BTW what is that guy Duker blundering on about? Is he taking drugs? Total nonsense

Last edited 2 months ago by Harkens

Comment moderation policy says
Please try to stick to the subject matter of the article you are commenting on and above all, avoid personal attacks, however much you disagree.


Another policy is no-nonsense out of orifice and you should read it more often

The Whale Island Zoo Keeper

He is very enthusiastic. Just a bit keen. That is all.


There is no margin left on T23 for adding top weight even after the trackers where removed.
In addition, where would the reload ammo go and how would you get it up to the hangar roof from the mag that stores the ammo? Add phalanx ammo and something else would be lost from the shelves.
You would also need RU Lockers (More weight) davits, blocks, and tackles(More Weight) installing around the mount to move ammo.
Local control consoles would need a dedicated compartment with AC and power. The old tracker office would do.

Trials with Goalkeeper on an LPD firing across a flight deck did not end well and I speak from experience on this!
Masses of FOD from the sabots. The pusher discs punched holes in man sized wooden range targets and representative helo skin ally plates put up for the trial. Anyone on the flightdeck or a helo on the deck would be dead, severely injured, the helo full of holes and U/S and possibly on fire.


More detail on a maps on recent attacks and locations
From naval News and
Damien Symon, an OSINT and map expert 

A ship was also hit by a ballistic missile while another missile missed its target. if they are spread out as the map suggests they will have to start a convoy system and a lot more escorts with ABM capabilities

Last edited 2 months ago by Duker
Commonwealth Loyalist

Good info thanks to all concerned, I will no be surprised if there is a stronger response coming up very soon betwen US and UK




The “western powers” seem content to stay at sea and play defense for now. Perhaps once more commercial shipping is diverted away from the Suez Canal, Egypt will take notice and lobby the other ME states against the Houthi’s/Iran.

The Whale Island Zoo Keeper

This is a good channel on shipping topics.

Mk 9

A lower cost way to intercept kamikaze drones from a Destroyer or Frigate, which are out of reach of a cannon based system, could be with a more sophisticated armed VTOL drone flying in a surveillance pattern, or on high alert / ready to launch. If there were sufficient time between detection & potential intercept. When operating closer to shore to on patrol the drone could be up on patrol also.

For example:

BAE STRIXAdvancing autonomy in Australia | BAE Systems


Northrop Grumman Tern

Tern UAS Concept Overview (

Or develop a hybrid rotor & jet based system if need something with both endurance for patrol & speed for timely intercept.

Bell Unveils VTOL Aircraft Concepts That All Feature Fold-Away Rotors For Jet-Speed Flight (


Problem is these are all in the design, concept or prototype stage. The need is now.

Mk 9

True. For now the cost of intercept will be x times greater than the cost of the drone, and the depth of magazine limited due to the size & cost of the missile (how many are carried by the ship).

These type of threats are only likely to become more frequent, and use of larger numbers of drones in a single attack. With the potential for running out of intercept missiles on a given time at sea. It seems to be a longer term economic issue, and short – medium term defensive vulnerability.

Using a micro / miniature missiles carried on a drone, the magazine depth could be much greater & you would think on the better side of the cost to intercept curve.
Tiny Missile Interceptor To Defend Aircraft Against Enemy Missile Attacks Moves Forward (

Hopefully given the level of threat to shipping they can accelerate, what are mainly out of the development stages technologies, & put them together for a practical solution / rapid capability acquisition.

Last edited 1 month ago by Mk 9

[…] Houthi drones with Aster surface-to-air missiles. On December 16, the British warship HMS Diamond shot down a drone with its Sea Viper […]


A complacent decision to send her without ASuW capabilities