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I suggested that the new launcher looked like it could fit LMM/Martlet last time an article appeared on UKDJ just because the tubes looked similar. I had no idea that this was actually a possibility.

Supportive Bloke

The problem with horizontally launching hit missiles is the hot efflux gasses. With Harpoon or NSM there are obvious and large efflux deflectors. Harder to do with a trainable launcher.

Sea Ceptor with its cold launch doesn’t have that issue. Problem is that you need a physically shorter version of CAMM as it is too long for this type of system. Cold launch also has the advantage of faster reaction as you don’t have to wait to fully clear decks before launch as efflux + crew = not good.

Quentin D63

Hi SB, couldn’t they come up with some adjustable angled exhaust pipes for each missile to manage the efflux problem?


A CAMM-SR RAM equivalent would actually be a really good idea.
The US Navy are putting RAM on everything but we don’t want CAMM on OPVs and whatnot because there is the risk of them being viewed as warships. A 10km range short CAMM would be fit everywhere in a horizontal launcher, still have small boat defence, and provide missile defence for non-fighting ships. Active seeker needs less integration into CMS as you just point the launcher in the right direction.
The main issue I can see is cold launch. The gas generator might not kick the missile out with enough force to clear the water before ignition. This would be mitigated slightly by having a shorter, lighter missile and the same gas generator but a more powerful one may be required.
One difference would be that the new missile doesn’t need a “Turnover pack” like normal CAMM as it starts out pointing in the right direction. The obvious solution would be to include a boat tail like ASRAAM, which also makes the missile shorter.
A bit O/T for this site, but I can also imagine something similar mounted on Boxer as a replacement for Stormer, given the extended range of modern helicopter-launched Anti-tank missiles.


Would this actually be much if anything cheaper than the current Sea Ceptor? Sounds like you’re spending a lot of development money for a much more complex launcher and a new worse missile. What do you get over a small installation of the existing system?


It seems to be worthwhile to develop CAMM-ER and CAMM-MR, both of which fulfill a new role and require significant changes.
My idea was for a specially lightweight variant for fitting to OPVs, RFAs or even the carriers. It wouldn’t have to be cheaper necessarily (RAM costs c.£600k) but would work as a point defence/CIWS for ships without the full version.
I agree with DaveyB below that the flexibility of cold launch makes a trainable launcher largely redundant so am adapting my concept to “pads” of lightweight, short VLS on deck containing CAMM-PD.


A point defence version of CAMM would be more than doable and I believe is a very sensible option. You could use a standard CAMM, but cut down the length of the rocket motor. This would have a negative effect on the missile’s fineness ratio (length to diameter). But as the missile is designed for purely visual range engagements only. The drag penalty won’t be a major factor. As a purely defensive missile, you would only really require a boost propellent. To make sure the missile has the highest possible impulse thrust. So it can accelerate very quickly towards the target.

The boat tail on ASRAAM and CAMM is used to reduce the drag. It directs airflow in to the pocket directly behind the missile after the rocket motor has burnt out. It has the same designed effect as the boat tail designed bullets and artillery shells.

The gas generator used to launch CAMM from it environmental canister is the same as used for the larger and heavier CAMM-ER. The gas generation is adjustable. For a point defence missile that is fired from a trainable launcher. You would initially angle the launcher’s elevation to +45 degrees. The gas generator then would ensure that the missile is given a parabolic launch, making sure the rocket motor has enough time to ignite and accelerate the missile towards the target, before it hits the sea.

However, the tip-over reaction jets are still a very good option to have. As that means you just need to stack the missile launchers on a clear bit of decking, with no overhead obstacles. Therefore, there would be no need to maintain a trainable launcher. Plus it means that you can ripple fire the missiles in different directions. Whereas when fired from a trainable launcher. The launcher will need pointing in the general direction of the threat.

The RIM-116 is 2.79m long and the Block 2 is 159mm in diameter. CAMM is 3.2m long and 166mm in diameter. You could chop the rocket motor down to similar length as the RIM-116, which is loosing around 41cm in length. This will make the short range CAMM rather fat compared to its length. But it should still have a fair bit more propellent than the RIM-116, so it should accelerate faster and probably reach a higher terminal speed, even though its draggier. Which for the RIM-116 is just over Mach 2.


I suppose the whole point of CAMM is that you don’t need a trainable launcher. I just thought that cutting the turnover pack would be an easy way to make the missile shorter without losing propellant.
So are you suggesting having deck mounted ‘pads’ of CAMM-PD (point defence) in a similar system to Hellfire on LCS? Say, on the foredeck of a River II in front of the 30mm.


Forget about fitting this sort of stuff to any River. They are built and equipped in lots of ways as pure OPV’s. To turn them into something even vaguely capable of combat would be both a mammoth task and make them far less useful as OPV’s. In war I suspect the Rivers would be quickly mothballed and the crew used to get ships rushed out of refit to sea.


I’ve said for a while that CAMM needs a cheaper, shorter ranged missile specifically to protect the battery’s themselves against the likes of loitering munitions and UAV’s.

Ideally what we need is something like the Cheetah. Denel and Rheinmetall developed the Cheetah, from the Denel Mongoose 3 munition. Cheetah has since been re-invented by the UAE’s EDGE company who have poached all of the South African engineers from Denel (not hard when wages weren’t being paid). It’s vertical launched and active radar homing but only has a range of 6km. Designed to be used alongside the Skyshield gun system.

Allegedly the cost was expected to be c$35,000 a few years ago…


LMM does better for £30,000…


LMM is good, and once the already spent development costs are excluded is probably around £40k per round at present.

But…each missile requires laser guidance, with 1 round under guidance at a time. That is actually useful against threats that have low emissivity or low RCS like RHIBS and USV’s but isn’t great against multiple threats simultaneously at speed or adverse weather.

Think of CAMM-SR (like Cheetah) as more like Iron Dome..salvo launch with active radar guided. Thats doable and has implications for the land domain as well (protection of CAMM batteries from pop-up loitering munitions etc). Plus it could be a cheap Air to Air missile to deal with ‘easy’ targets like drones or cruise missiles. A good supplement to Asraam/CAMM, with them reserved for high end threats. If we can also keep the guidance cheap and small enough we could roll it into the MBDA Micromissile proposed for active defence of aircraft from missiles that was shown alongside Tempest early on…

We’re getting a great family of missiles with CAMM/Asraam….best WVR missile on earth out to 60km, SAM from 200m to 100km+ with CAMM/CAMM-ER/CAMM-MR. The only ‘gaps’ that I can see in the family, that are also cold launchable from the cells, are a CAMM-SR (as above, but you could make an argument it would be better served from cells elsewhere), Land Precision Strike (LPS, precision strike out to 100km on moving or fixed targets) and a VL launched Spear (extend the body and you would have a mini cruise missile with 250km+ range.

You could even do a ground launched Meteor…MBDA have proposed it in the past….

Thats a really compelling capability, plus also a great export prospect (its doing well already, but this would definitely sell to existing users as well as new)…a really unique prospect. And most of the work has already been done (Meteor in service, Spear developed, Spear variants on the way, boosters and turnover packs exist, Brimstone seeker head/EO head for LPS etc etc.).

The CAMM/ASRAAM family, alongside Meteor, Brimstone/Spear/Spear Variants, LMM/Starstreak and soon FCASW variants and the cross-fertilisation across them is really the way forward for us.


Youve thought this out and CAAM is adaptable But some of your starting views arent right
But as the missile is designed for purely visual range engagements only.”

But as NL says

Most significantly it has far greater range, officially capable of interceptions between 1 and 25km, although the missile reportedly travelled up to 60 km during trials.”

and the tracking/guidance has some features you many have missed

CAMM / Sea Ceptor utilises the powerful track-while-scan ability of the multi-function Artisan 3D radar. Artisan has a maximum range of about 200km and can detect small object travelling at Mach 3 more than 25km away. It can track up to 800 objects simultaneously and is highly resistant to ECM and interference. Artisan provides initial target data to Sea Ceptor and updates the missile in flight via the two-way Platform Data Link Terminal (PDLT). Most importantly, the missile itself has an advanced active radar seeker head for use in the terminal phase which removes the need for dedicated fire control radars.

Visual isnt the right description


I believe DaveyB was referring to his shortened CAMM rather than the original version:

But as the missile is designed for purely visual range engagements anyway. The drag penalty won’t be a major factor.

Supportive Bloke

Exactly this.

Not sure why @Duker is stating those things that @DaveyB is well aware of?


Why do you need a shortened CAMM? CAMM has a really really short min engagement range. Dont reinvent the wheel just because you can.
Use of a different CAMM vertical launcher with a denser cannister to area fit would be better.

Supportive Bloke

I think you do need something physically sorter as the spaces that it would have to be launched from are not have large.

Also with a smaller mass it would accelerate faster but for a shorter range.

The reason for it not being VL is point defence with lack of FOD that would make a mess of F35B and Helo operations on a number of classes.

Supportive Bloke

CAMM doesn’t need ARTISAN it is system agnostic.

CAMM just needs to be told where to go.


You can use can with an EO turret. But you really want a 3D radar giving you bearing, elevation and range, though including velocity is also a big advantage. Which then allows you to detect the target before it comes in to the missile range.

Therefore a lot of the Navy’s RFAs would need a better primary radar. This would also include the OPVs, if they went down that route.

Supportive Bloke

I agree. £600k a missile is crazy. When we can do better for £200k with a domestically produced missile. A family of missiles that RN is committed to and is exporting well.

The thing is deconflicting flight operations.

Does 45 degrees give adequate decinfliction – probably not as F35B lowers and approaches the deck side on?


If MBDA made a cut-down version of CAMM. It may not be significantly cheaper, as it still will use the same radar, avionics, warhead and battery. The single pulse rocket motor, will save some cost, as you won’t have the complexity of trying to fill the pressure vessel with two separate propellent types.

For Carrier based SAMs, deconfliction is a problem no matter how you look at it. You can program the missile to fly only in certain corridors away from the ship. Which would leave gaps for aircraft to take-off and land. But these same gaps would likely be exploited by an incoming missile. From memory standard procedure for an anti-ship missile threat is for an aircraft coming in to land, would be told to circuit in a designated area, waiting for the threat to clear. But that could be dependent on the aircraft’s fuel state. Take-offs were trickier, if a SHAR was rigged for air defence they would be given priority for take-off. Though this would be temporarily halted for a Sea Dart missile launch. However, Sea Dart was a messy missile, it left expended propellent everywhere after a firing. Which required the deck to be cleaned. The expended fuel particles contained trace amounts of aluminium, so if they went in to an engine they would tend to stick to blades. They were fairly soft so didn’t cause major leading edge blade damage. Much like volcanic ash, they would clog up airways used for blade cooling.

Aluminium is still used in a lot of missile fuels, as it gives a more energetic burn, to develop more thrust.

For something like the QE class, sighting a CAMM cell would be tricky. You would really need a port and starboard VLS farm arrangement. As this would negate the need for CAMM to cross over the deck. The starboard side is fairly safe. As aircraft normally circuit left after take-off and land approaching the port side for both helicopters and F35B. Or from the stern if the F35 is doing a rolling landing. Which means the rear port quarter is out of the question. The starboard farm could be sited next to either island, which would give a bit of blast protection and stop the majority of expended propellent from covering the deck.

The CAMM farm for the port side almost needs to be placed in the middle of the port side. However, it does mean than any jet waiting to take-off may get covered in expended propellent. Which would mean a shut down and an engine flush, to get rid of the propellent that has been sucked into the engine. If both the F35 and helicopters could land from the stern going forward this would mitigate the problem. But that’s not really doable for helicopters, as it would mean a helicopter has to hover taxi over parked aircraft. Not a very good idea if that helicopter is a Chinook with a 70kt downwash.

On both French and Italian carriers they have SAMs mounted in front of the island. The Charles de Gaulle has a second VLS farm mid way along the port side edge. Whilst the Cavour has its second VLS farm in the rear port quarter edge. The French carrier operates Rafale and Hawkeyes which take off and land using CATOBAR. It also has a couple helicopters used for SAR etc. So it has clear lanes of deconfliction.

The Cavour is a bit different, and has a similar predicament to our QE class. Where it currently operates both Harriers and helicopters. It has been doing clearance and flight trials for the F35B. I’m not sure if the Italians will use the rolling landing technique, but its highly likely. Which means the rear VLS farm would be very close to aircraft landing in VTOL mode, or is in the way for the rolling landing technique. Interestingly the new Trieste LPD, is also being cleared for F35Bs. Has its two VLS farms on the starboard side edge. One in front of the bridge, the other near the stern. Which is well out of the way for a F35s rolling landing and VTOL approaches from the port side.

Both the French and Italian carries have the VLS farms nearly flush with the deck. Which would mean a lot of expended propellent blowing on to the deck following a missile launch. Especially as they are currently using Aster. I guess they are preferring the defence of the ship over maintaining flight ops! With CAMM being “cold launched”. I think part of the environmental seal from the launch cannister gets flung off, which will need finding if it lands on the deck. But having the missile lobbed 30m in the air before the rocket motor is ignited. Would I believe remove a lot of the expended propellent from washing on to the deck, compared to a hot launch. I’m sure there will still be some propellent which would still need cleaning/washing away.


Sea Cat and Rapier are cheap and British made, lol.


Or for 1% of the cost of developing this daft idea, ASRAAMs could be mounted on fixed elevation launchers just like they’ve done in the Ukraine.

By the way, mounting LMM on this chaff launcher is total internet fantasy. No basis in reality.


Why mess with ASRAAM when you have its cousin CAMM in service. Ukraine is just finding a way to make use of surplus early versions of ASRAMM.


Zero develop costs duh! No VLS duh! Quiet guidance duh! Low footprint duh!

Also check out the relationship between CAMM & ASRAAM if you have a moment or two.


ASRAAM would work well, especially considering that some of them are now being fitted with the active seeker off CAMM.
One issue would be that ASRAAM doesn’t have folding fins. It has the same 450mm wingspan as Sea Wolf so would probably fit in a similar sextuple or heavier octuple launcher.


You could mount Javelin missile container on the centurion dispenser.

Whale Island Zoo Keeper

CAMM is a PDMS system.


Not with up to 25km range it isnt. Its an local area defence but not wide area
Think of it as an umbrella for other ships within 5km

Nigel Collins

“A point defence version of CAMM would be more than doable” And in the short term rather than the long!

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Old idea


Stupid idea, Instead of using £30,000 LMM for short range defence like it is designed for with a 10km range you decide to develop a new variant of a £500,000 missile with no benefits over the existing system.


yes. Theres the shorter range RAM system which uses an existing missile and the launcher unit just bolts on deck . No ‘chopping’ a missile required or vertical launch removal


LMM isn’t designed for short range missile defence at all. It would be nearly impossible for the Mach 1.5, beam riding Martlet to hit a supersonic ASM, the role that was intended for the CAMM-PD.
The intention was to make a British RAM equivalent as a CIWS for ships without room for VLS CAMM. The Americans seem perfectly happy to stump up $900,000 for each RIM-116 as a “low-cost” self defence system because it is significantly more effective than Phalanx.


LMM for missile defence is daft. Speed isn’t necessarily isn’t an issue for all threats (it could only defend against a target coming towards the ship, not crossing threats). But the ability to target multiple threats is an issue, and the ability to engage far enough from the vessel to avoid fragmentation and the ability to re-engage if one attack failed. The warhead would also need to be optimised…

Starstreak is far more credible and was proposed as such in the 1990’s under the Seastreak name with a large launcher with 16 rounds, onboard radar and EO/IR. It’s speed in particular could allow multiple engagements in a short time window. It’s hit to kill nature would also wreck any threat.

Supportive Bloke

“ it could only defend against a target coming towards the ship, not crossing threats”

The flaw of Sea (Mouse) Cat?

In the end you need to be able to defend against a range of threats…


THALES literally going back years points to the modularity of LMM in it sales brochures – I mean the M is in the name… 🙂 It has often show graphics of a version with an IR seeker, and the US has developed both semi-active and active radar seekers for the Miniature Hit-to-Kill missile system which has a smaller diameter than LMM / HVM. So perhaps we just need the booster of HVM to bang it rapidly up to Mach 4, and an optimized warhead rather than LMM’s multi-role one, plus that IR or radar seeker, and we might have a missile cheap enough for C-UAS and last ditch anti-missile CIWS – it’s like all the bits are on the shelf, lets just put them together….???


“Subject to solving efflux management issues”. Wasn’t that what caused the 30mm mount solution to be shelved?


That’s what I heard, too.
Interestingly, doesn’t seem to be as much of a problem for SeaRAM and other trainable missile systems that are hot launch? Maybe they’re just positioned in such a way that they’ll only singe a bit of paint…


Perhaps because those are obviously planned to be missile launching positions from the start, while Martlet attached to 30mm say was definitely not.


That’s true, although they’re still spitting out shell casings and stuff I thought. Maybe not as much of an issue.


Right behind the 30mm mount on the trials ship was the 30mm magazine. Missile efflux directly onto a magazine door/bulkhead is not a great thing hence the firings where all angled away from RED/Green 90.


Nothing a bit of Rockwool on the inside of the bulkhead wouldn’t fix, surely?!
On a serious note, that’s fair enough- can see that being an issue. Although, in terms of testing of the feasibility of the mount, I suppose that can be considered a success- subject to position on any future vessel using it?

Supportive Bloke

Particularly if you are muggins coming out of the magazine with an armful of 30mm……


The interesting thing will be if T26 when built has 30mm positions that are designed to take LMM…


I kinda doubt it, the trials happened in 2019, the T26 design was well done by then.


The placement of the 30mm mounts on T26 does lead it self to better efflux management. It’s well away from anything else, with the exception of a shot at some in the front quarter, the majority of which are blocked by the superstructure, but which could see some efflux directed towards the helo deck.

Supportive Bloke

Quite so.

Supportive Bloke

With hot launch you can shape the burn profile to increase after say 10 seconds by shaping the propellant cavity.

Martlet was never designed with that in mind.


I read somewhere that the fact that the LMM mount replaces the reversionary controls is also an issue


Have to wonder if they even test the reversionary controls these days….

Allegedly the 30mm is that loud when close to the gun that there is no way of it meeting H & S rules. Apparently RN has tried all the hearing protection they can find and it is still not safe by modern standards…

Armchair Admiral

Surely they had an eye to fitting Martlet to the mount? Fitting Martlet would be a double whammy if these systems were fitted to support vessels in that they would instantly be provided with a separate missile defence over and above a pair of 30mm AND an improved passive decoy defence.
Not sure why you wouldn’t want to provide all navy ships with this. A bit like fitting APS to only half our meagre tank force I suppose.


Well cost, like it says they’re pricy systems. And generally the goal of the escorts will be to protect logistics and other capital vessels but obviously that isn’t always the case.

Supportive Bloke

Quite expensive to have a sunk or damaged ship.

View this like an insurance premium – nobody likes to pay for insurance but most of us do!


Well they’ve still got the basic decoys at least, would hope to see those on the FSS too


This is a fair point, but I’d be surprised if a converted container with CAMM inside would be much more expensive than £3M a pop.
Space is less of a premium on those RFA vessels too, so a container of CAMM (TM?) might be a handy option.


Would cost alot more than 3 million, need a radar to direct them for one. RFAs don’t have systems like Artisan.


Oh fair enough, I thought they’d have a radar set suitable for detecting and classifying threats etc. but if not, then that would be an issue. modularised containerised radar and AD systems, not dissimilar to a Sky Sabre battery, must be something achievable- I can imagine they could come in handy.
The RFA vessels must have something relatively accurate, though, so they know when and where to release countermeasures?


Honestly searching through all of them, the only one I can find with any kind of notable air search radar is Argus, with a pretty old model, and Fort Vic had room for one. Maybe they do have something else but I imagine it takes cooperation with escorts.
But yes, containerized sky Sabre isn’t such a bad idea, but probably something that would be whipped up only in a war.

Last edited 22 days ago by Hugo
Supportive Bloke

Containerised CAMM was part of the PODS conversation.

It would be relatively easy to do.

The Albions did/do have ARTISAN.

CAMM is radar agnostic so it only needs to be told where to go.


You’re probably right- innovation born of necessity and all that!


According to BAE, Argus also carries the AWS-10 2D radar, which is based on Artisan/ Sampson technology.

Single-cabinet, solid state,180km range, proven CMS integration, ability to track up to 800 targets. Optimised for helicopter operations

BAE also state that its 3D relative AWS-30 has been “selected for the Royal Fleet Auxiliary”, but I can find no details of any actual installations yet


I can’t think of any other of the RFAs that would need it. And it’s way too early for something like MRSS to be having parts chosen.


Looks like RN have bypassed AWS-10 2D….

They’ve gone for the GaN Hensoldt Quadome 3D AESA on the FSS…


I heard that it was probably the contractor who selected it rather than the navy, still, good to have more capable radars on the fleet.


Not too early
The new vessels will incorporate Quadome Naval 3D Air and Surface Surveillance Radar, Air Traffic Management (ATM) systems and Kelvin Hughes Integrated Navigation Bridge Systems (INBS).

software-defined active electronically scanned array (AESA) technology,
operational advantages include simultaneous 3D Air and Surface Surveillance with multiple specialist modes of operation. 

Hensoldt UK has a factory in Enfield London, formerly Kelvin Hughes


Thats for the Solid Support ships, different program to MRSS. Though it does indicate that RFAs will get more capable radars in future.


BAE were looking to market Artisan for OPVs, but they now have a further cutdown version on RFA Argus, called AWS-10. BAE’s blurb says

“Lightweight and easily installed, AWS requires a single cabinet to house the below-decks equipment and is easily and swiftly integrated with any modern missile or combat management system. It provides high performance even in the most demanding operating conditions and has excellent availability, reliability and maintainability.”

It’s said to be optimised for OPVs and support ships. However, it’s also described as 2D, so I’m not sure how well it would pair with CAMM that has active radar. It’s possible you could just stick CAMM on Argus without further update. ASW-10 is the lowest of three advertised specs for the AWS family.

In the blub for the 3D version, AWS-30, comes the following little titbit:

Selected for the UK Royal Fleet Auxiliary

I don’t know exactly what ships these will go on, that’s got to be something like Tides, Bays or FSSS, right? I don’t recognise the illustrative ship on the product brochure. Perhaps someone else will.


Got a link? Only thing I could think is MRSS but that seems too far off?


Keeping fingers crossed (add www. and the usual prefix if this doesn’t cut and paste)


Not sure why it came up for the Aussie site. The parent page on the UK site is the AWS-10 page, but you still get access to the same information


I think the silhouette is just Argus.


Yes. It was gnawing at me. Thank you. So they put the AWS-10 on Argus, and a picture of Argus on the AWS-30 datasheet.

Last edited 22 days ago by Jon

It would be useless for CAMM as its 2D. It gives range and azimuth but not height….you need that for a successful missile engagement.


The original blurb for CAMM stated that it would operate with both 2D & 3D radars, and even with EO/IR systems.

Effectively it just needs to know the right direction to head in at launch.


No, CAMM like any active radar missile needs altitude for optimum path.

Last edited 21 days ago by AlexS

When the min range is 1km you dont
:”Artisan provides initial target data to Sea Ceptor and updates the missile in flight via the two-way Platform Data Link Terminal (PDLT)”

So 3 things:
terminal homing by its small radar
Frees up the fire control channels when salvo launched.
If the inbound is close enough- and not manoeuvring- probably goes from intial to terminal very quickly


But that means the missile range is heavily curtailed.


When its 25km+ under optimum path guidance then under 5km it doesnt matter does it. Plus climbing high uses energy
The cold launch height (30m) and then when it tips over doesnt seem very high.
thats the advantage of cold launch the minimum range is reduced compared to hot launch VLS

Last edited 16 days ago by Duker
Rob N

Are the carriers going to get these? It seams a obvious upgrade. A torpedo countermeasures round would be a good thing too. It is about time the RN got this upgrade. Is there a time scale for fitting the Type 45?


Torpedo countermeasures isn’t as important for the RN as the major vessels already have the S2170 torpedo defence system that dispenses decoys. Like a mini Acilia.


I genuinely thought they were going for Centurion up until the other week. Shame. Centurion seemed more flexible with what it could deploy and with a smaller footprint. So they’re not putting it on the carriers?

Last edited 22 days ago by Coll

Centurion looked good, and was trialled on land at least…
But…I suspect it was too mechanically complex to be reliable at sea…lots of moving parts in comparison to Ancilia.


Let’s hope this also has flexibility like Centurion. Will this also have the fixed deck-mounted dispensers as well?

David MacDonald

A problem with decoy systems as that they can sometimes protect the ship that fires them but at the cost of defecting the incoming missile towards another vessel. This was illustrated during the Falklands War by the sinking of the Atlantic Conveyor. A trainable system gives more flexibility in arranging a pattern of decoys to ensure this effect does not happen.

Quentin D63

Maybe a typo here? I think it’s “Ancilia” not “Ancilla”… Lol ????
And interestingly, why isn’t this system being planned for on the two Carriers? They would compliment their three Phalanx’s. And why not a Martlet 2*6 based launcher too? The carriers could do with some increased defensive armament.


The T45s are certainly getting a lot of love from the RN;- Aster 15 to Aster 30 upgrades, Sea Viper Evolution, Sea Ceptor, NSM, and now SEA Ancilia too.

(Most probably Dragonfire also, given the amount of electrical generation they’ll have after the PIP.)

Last edited 22 days ago by Sean

This almost certainly means they will serve longer than the current planned OSD. If this is the case it makes it even more important to win the Norwegian ship contract. Winning that would go a long way to filling a potential build gap at the Clyde yards.


Well it’s possible they might try to reduce the cost of the T83 by transferring a lot of the relatively new stuff from the T45s across…
But I agree, I think the actual OSD will be a lot later – maybe the RN has publicised such an early OSD in case the T83 slips like T26 did.

Nigel Collins

Some exciting systems are being developed at the moment, this being one of them.

Here’s another.

“South Korea’s defence procurement agency has announced programmes to bolster its navy’s ability to intercept ballistic missiles and unmanned vehicles.

These include a programme to improve the country’s indigenous close-in weapon system (CIWS) project undertaken in consideration of recent changes in warfare techniques, said the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) in its announcement on 26 April.
South Korea’s indigenously conceived CIWS is known as the ‘CIWS-II’ and it is being developed by LIGNex1 under a contract awarded in 2021.

It is based on a seven-barrelled Gatling gun system incorporated with a tracking active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, a four-faced AESA search radar, and an electro-optical tracker. The weapon can fire about 4,200 rounds per minute.

At the 161st meeting of the country’s Defense Program Promotion Committee that was held on the same day of the announcement, changes to the CIWS-II programme’s quantity and localisation plans were decided on, DAPA said without giving further details.”

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Last edited 22 days ago by Nigel Collins
Whale Island Zoo Keeper

Perhaps we will see conventional CIWS with laser guns on the same mount?

I am interested in the Korean Hyunmoo ballasitc missiles.

Nigel Collins

A bit more on them can be found via this link. SK is currently looking at the construction of an arsenal ship which will carry 80 onboard.

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Last edited 21 days ago by Nigel Collins
Whale Island Zoo Keeper

Threats next door and a large electronics industry drive such things.


That is just an evolution of Goalkeeper with all its issues.


It was used by the T-22, Invincible, and Albion classes, what issues?


Massive, deck penetrating, needed to be installed on ships that were purposely designed to have it or large enough not to care….

Goalkeeper was better than early models of Phalanx by a margin (it worked for one…) but there is a good reason the RN relied more on Sea Wolf and now CAMM, the US has also moved to RAM ahead of Phalanx.

The only reason why Phalanx is still around is because it exists, its comparatively cheap and you just need to bolt it to a deck and plug it in…


Layers! . Its the last layer Phalanx- RAM- ESSM


And yet the USN is removing Phalanx from AB’s and replacing with RAM….mainly in SeaRAM configuration, i.e. removing the 20mm cannon…if they won’t take the dedicated 21 round launcher.

And the Constellation Class does not have Phalanx…nor does either LCS Class…

Whale Island Zoo Keeper

Massive? Goalleeper was just under 10 tonnes weight wise. Or a fifth of one per cent of the displacement of B3 T22. And lost among the upper deck clutter…..

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(I just wanted to a post a pic of a B3 T22. Super ships. 🙂 )


But a massive below decks gunbay, equipment room and its own dedicated CW Plant …Good yes…ergonomic…err…no!
(WE System engineer on Bulwark!)


,,,needed to be installed on ships that were purposely designed to have it or large enough not to care…
this is even more true with Sea Wolf and CAMM

As for RN relying more on Sea Wolf then why was T22 batch 3 had both Goal Keeper and Sea Wolf?

With T26 and T45 using CAMM, aren’t they also keeping Phalanx, or has RN not enough money to upgrade?


Goalkeeper was bought as a contra for the Dutch buying some British kit


Part of the reason for getting GK was political. The Dutch RN bought RR Spey for their frigates instead of US GTs. As part of that we took GK from the Dutch.

GK was better than Phalanx in an engagement…I looked after both over the years and can vouch for that. However GK needed massive upgrades, had a huge footprint and there were only a small number of mounts in service. It went because it wasn’t cost effective to keep it.


And I thought that GK was bought urgently to fill a gap for AShM defense after the Falklands debacle.

And what was the reason for buying Phalanx, cheap cheap?

Last edited 19 days ago by Pete

Phalanx was far easier to install and integrate on existing ships…but less effective…

Goalkeeper was far larger and harder to install and integrate so either needed the ship designed around it (Type 22 Batch 3) or placed on a ship with lots of space (Invincible Class and Albion Class).

Early Phalanx was not reliable, Goalkeeper was able to do multiple engagements…

Both were available in the same time frame, RN chose both so that existing ships would have coverage. Even then there were issues (space on Type 42 and topweight).


Inherent 30mm short range. There were other issues like vibration that did make almost equal to a Phalanx 20mm instead of superior in precision but that might have been fixed in this Korean variant.


GK was superior in accuracy at range compared to the 20mm (obviously)
I did plenty of Weapon System analysis on both systems after test/trial engagements.


I will try to find the article.


other issues like vibration — did you make that up or RN could not fix things?

Last edited 19 days ago by Bud

When the US Navy began showing off the concept for the new Phalanx in 1990/1991, they also had to secure funding to continue development. This was the post-Cold War years when defense spending tumbled. The United States Congress was concerned about the costs associated with developing such a radical weapon system. They instead asked about compromise designs that would be more powerful than the current Phalanx but cheaper. One of the compromises was whether the US Navy could potentially utilize the 30mm Goalkeeper system.

Now the United States Navy did agree to conduct a series of tests that compared the performance of the 20mm Phalanx and the 30mm Goalkeeper. It just so happens that the Royal Navy was also interested to see what the results of the tests would be and joined the testing process.

Surprisingly, it was found that the Goalkeeper offered no real advantage over the Phalanx. The Goalkeeper was found to be equivalent to the Phalanx when engaging sub-sonic targets and inferior when engaging super-sonic targets. Apparently, it all stemmed from the Phalanx being a more “accurate” weapon system.

This is a quote from a post made in facebook, it will be interesting to know if it is real and if the test was not made to have a result USN wanted.

Nigel Collins
Last edited 21 days ago by Nigel Collins

All good stuff! But like a lot of things, it remains to be seen if and when this actually gets physically installed on a ship……….We decided to buy NSM, but how many RN ships actually have it fitted yet?


1 has it fitted, 1 other has started the process. Issue is Somerset is just broken right now and it was supposed to carry out the trials before the rest were installed.


It’s reported that the fleet’s capabilites are being held up by one ship’s failures. I don’t understand this. Surely it’s possible to continue to install NSM on whatever the second ship was going to be despite the lack of a test firing and then use that to test. Even if, because of scheduling, several ships have NSM installed before the test firing and then all need tweaking post-test, that’s better than just waiting on Somerset.


You’d think but there aren’t many ships with time available to get NSM fitted and then do the trials,
Somerset had it done while it was in refit/maintenance, so they’ll probably have to put it on another ship that’s currently doing that and then test during sea trials etc.

There’s no point slapping the launchers on if they don’t work, and it’s a decent amount of work required.


Didn’t Somerset get its missiles while in Norway? Portland is on exercise in Stavanger right now, and Portland is the other ship that had some NSM pre-work done; how much I don’t know. Is it too much for me to hope? I know I’m probably adding two plus two to make five, but you have to have a bit of hope, right?

The point to adding the launchers is they are extremely likely to work and so you are taking a small risk for a relatively large reward.

Last edited 18 days ago by Jon

I assume the cost per unit was derived from dividing the contract value by the number of systems.

Unfortunately that is a very poor way to derive unit cost as the contract will undoubtedly cover more than just the purchase of the units.


Very true, particularly in the case of the U.K. where it’s normal to include the cost of a multi year support and spares package in contract awards.

Last edited 22 days ago by ATH

Uk is now doing through life contracting…


Issues i see:
recharging will be by hand – trade off with complexity/price of an automated system. For example an Soviet era RBU-6000 is rechargeable automatically.

There are not many rockets in the launcher at 12 only.


RBU is not a decoy system. While I understand what you mean about the reloading mechanism, that would have to be something designed into the ship from the start and not particularly upgradable over its life span.


You have to give the upperdeck loaders something to do at action stations!




For the CO or XO to stand nearby for the photo op … official of course


This is a good development and certainly positive for the Royal Navy, overall. I just wish RN ships in general were less porcupines and more panthers. Or maybe porcupines with panthers’ teeth.


I know what you mean but they’re getting there.

Chris Pentecost

What about the alleged new policy of buying off the shelf, cheaper and available now(ish). As usual British military want a bespoke system in ten years time. Don’t think we’ve got 10 years regrettably.

Also remarks about mistaking OPVs as warships made me chuckle. In the past very small warships have given a really good account of themselves during wartime. Do agree that the potential to beef up our OPVs is currently being totally overlookedly given the woefully small number of available ‘real’ warships. . Surely it would be possible to fit NSM and some form of canister launched Seaceptor. Also improving facilities for a visiting helicopter or drone capability.


We already have decoys, let’s get something good to replace them that will have a wide range of options into the future.

Using the OPVs as warships is a terrible idea. At least in peace time. They’re obviously not equipped for it, and all that extra equipment will increase the amount of time they’re in for maintenance rather than doing their role of patrolling, theyrebnever going to be assigned to situations like the red sea. They’d be pretty bad warships too

Last edited 21 days ago by Hugo
David Broome

I totally agree the Admirals need to re-read Fishers point about ‘sheep, llamas and goats’ because that defines the Rivers right now. However, as has been published here before, a magazine fed 40mm (ideally 57mm) with swappable TEU Pods for ASW (SEA also makes SeaKrait) and/or MCM with Camcopter provides fantastic utility. Augmented with decoy and a PDMS seaceptor RAM as mentioned (or LMM Ram, given LMM provides rudimentary anti air), makes them warships, not targets. Why do I look enviously at the Pakistani Damen OPVs and the Philippines HHI OPVs? In the North Atlantic, in WW2, the much smaller Flowers did unbelievable service. We need more warships now so taking what we have and making the most of the Rivers is a priority.

Last edited 18 days ago by David Broome

Why not simply make a slightly scaled up Ancilia launcher capable of holding 4 to 6 CAMMs? It’d be a little bigger and heavier, but it’d still be fairly compact, so it should fit most of the ships that can already hold decoy launchers. CAMM is already in service, it’s sensor agnostic & cold launch: combined with a trainable system, it’d be very good at close in protection. No need to re-design the missile to make it shorter to fit on the standard Ancilia decoy launchers: it’d be cheaper to just make the launcher a bit wider & longer to accommodate CAMM, no? Even if you lose some turning speed with a heavier launcher, the missile is quite agile and its’ “tip towards target before ignition” mechanism should compensate greatly.

For the carriers specifically, you could place it on the 30mm mounts to complement Phalanx, or purchase the 30mm cannons & replace Phalanx with “Compact CAMM” instead? “Compact CAMM” would be below the flight deck so no debris, plus reloading would be easier than a standard vertical CAMM silo. Even if it only has 4 to 6 missiles, it would be far more effective, especially against fast anti-ship missiles than what the QE class has currently. Food for thought.


Exactly, like Sea Wolf but extensively miniaturised and better in every way.
I would add that CAMM makes a trainable launcher mostly redundant. Each individual missile can aim itself towards the target and a moving launcher just closes off some angles at a time.
Where your idea would make sense is if you were launching ASRAAM with a CAMM seeker, as that saves weight and length by omitting the reaction jets and is more aerodynamic with a boat tail.


Start from first principles instead.
The objective is getting a small explosive charge to meet an incoming missile, drone, or even fast boat.
Because for a missile or drone its not going to manoeuvre if at all in those last km and the ‘explosive object’ you want to intercept it with has only a short time in the air the best choice at lowest cost is small shell fired from a gun- more likely a burst fired quickly.
The targeting and guidance for gun systems have come a long way in the last 20 years which is why they are first choice for the closest layer of self defence.
So keep the CAMM for the further out and fill the inner distance with a well targeted rapid firing burst of shells.


CAMM has a range of 25km, so I was thinking of 4 to 6 CAMMs in a Compact Launcher based on the Ancilia for longer range protection, then cannons for close in defense. Layered protection is a must I agree. Right now the QE class have just Phalanx (only when it’s fitted!), so even having just a few CAMMs in a small launcher below the flight deck, would be a big step up. Plus support/supply ships with no room to fit a standard CAMM silo, would greatly benefit from a “Compact CAMM” system in my opinion.

Whale Island Zoo Keeper

FWIW VLS don’t have to sit along the hull’s centre line.

Sea Sparrow and ESSm aboard the Halifax class in a Mk 48 Mod 0 launcher…….

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The positioning of the VLS on the Zumwalt’s was even more revolutionary as they were distributed about the ship rather than in one big farm.


Im sure its still policy for destroyers and cruisers to have 2 separate groups of vertical launchers rather than one big one.
Zumwalts innovation of all VL being distributed length wise and both front and rear decks was possible because of its 25m max beam


The QE class already have a layered protection called a CSG which includes F35s, Aster 30s, Aster 15s, and SeaCeptors.


Thanks . A much under discussed topic, compared to the fetishes about gun calibres


I think there are still some security fetishes to bypass as though nothing should ever be discussed, even though much of the general principles are already available just by reading Wikipedia.


yes. But it still needs hardware to detect and jam, so can be discussed in broad terms.


I know we bought Shaman for the destroyers, but not if we have anything on the Type 23s. So it’s really good news that the next gen frigates will also have some capabilities.

EW and SIGINT on naval drones is a whole other thing, I’m sure. Given that the F-35s are stealth reliant, having them conduct their own jamming can’t be optimal can it? When we get carrier-based loyal wingmen, I’d hope EW would be a function, even if Spear-EW eventually makes it to the F-35s.

Nigel Collins

A relevant article in the news today suggests we could not defend ourselves against a barrage of ballistic missiles being fired against the UK. Something I’ve been mentioning for some years, with only the Type 45s kitted out with a suitable ballistic missile defence system.

Any thoughts on this would be welcome.

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Last edited 19 days ago by Nigel Collins
Whale Island Zoo Keeper

The French army has Aster 30……..

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Nigel Collins

Hi Whale Island Zoo Keeper, Yes, that could very well fit the bill. Clearly, the RN and other branches of our armed services are short on much-needed manpower and equipment, but should we be prioritising homeland defence first and foremost given the current situation in Europe and direct spending in this direction?

I also read that Israel might be selling off their Patriot air defence system.

Whale Island Zoo Keeper

Well I don’t live in the Ukraine. The Russian don’t have the means to invade Western Europe. I do live three miles for something they would pay attention to in a time of conflict; in fact I can see it now from my window as I type. And now overflying Sweden is no longer a problem their missiles are even closer. Way to go US State Department and HMG.


Yes. It was an eye opener for me around your suggestion Britain made a mistake in late become a European/Nato land power and diminish its traditional sea power through the RN
Stalins early 50s formal offer for united but armed and nuetral Germany- that didnt join nato in 1955- would have changed the past and the present.


nato 1950 US and Canada

Last edited 18 days ago by Duker
Whale Island Zoo Keeper

Stalin was right. But I would have gone further. Germany should have been broken up as far as was possible back into pre-unification states. And then have had the Swiss model of governance imposed on to it. Thatcher was right that East Germany should have remained intact; though I think socio-economic pressures would have made that difficult.

Yes our part in “NATO” should have been centred on the RN with the Army configure along USMC lines. The Germans should have provided the heavy field armies. Italy would have been given control of the Med’. France would have supported the whole scheme. America and Canada should have been let off defending Europe. A modern European force would have been enough to give Moscow pause. But not be a threat. Not that I think the Warsaw Pact were ever coming west. But a balance was needed.

Or alternatively, and my preference, is that the UK, Canada, Oz, and New Zealand should have formed a bloc. We had the technology to do so. We could have provided a third column to the West.

But unfortunately the US had its own ideas.


Doh! Overflying Sweden is now a bigger problem for them, because now they would be overflying NATO territory.


No one in cold war days ‘overflew Sweden’ , especially Soviet planes. Their airforce was especially strong and focussed on self defence not international adventurism. A neutral united germany would have had similar defences.


Well there were slight incursions in Baltic Sea nothing like the USAF and RAF deliberate overflights deep into USSR ( secret at the time). Clearly they did what they thought necessary

Whale Island Zoo Keeper

You are just best ignoring Sean.

Last edited 17 days ago by Whale Island Zoo Keeper

Nobody said that Sweden was overflown during the Cold War, so I don’t know what you’re blathering on about. Can I recommend you actually read peoples post before commenting?
But such overflying is even more unlikely now, as they would face not just the wrath of Sweden, but that of the whole of NATO.

Neutrality works well until an unhinged aggressor, such as Nazi Germany or Putin’s Russia, decides to ignore it and invade. Just ask Denmark, Norway, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg…


yes they did and it was you.

Doh! Overflying Sweden is now a bigger problem for them'”

Whale Island Zoo Keeper

You really have no idea about these missiles work or International Relations or really much at all do you?

Go away have a think.

Everybody here have been having a nice chat all week. And then you come along with you high handed attitude. You are a nasty piece of work. Not a hundredth clever as you think you are.

Last edited 17 days ago by Whale Island Zoo Keeper

Yes Israel is retiring it’s old Patriot systems, as they no-longer need them. The question going round is will they be available, probably through purchase, for Ukraine.

Last edited 17 days ago by Sean
Irate Taxpayer (Peter)


Lots of very good points have been made here.

My comments as follows:

Lessons from 1982

  • Using trainable missile launchers for launching any type of quick-reaction air-defence missiles from our warships went right out of fashion in the RN, mainly because of what happened (repeatedly) in the middle of the Falkland’s war.
  • Not least of the numerous problems with these launchers was the need to continuously maintain them; in very rough seas and, especially, given the very adverse weather conditions.
  • Hence the words, “S**T, really sorry, gov = Sea Dart failed to launch” were always followed by the explanation “Therefore I needed to use a really big hammer, to remove the salt encrustations, thus hitting the launcher like this, gov”. Those phrases were often spoken in the same sentence: pausing only to catch breath.
  • It was then found that, for knocking the salt off, a 14lbs sledge-hammer – readily available from all good hardware shops – worked much better than the poxy little NATO standard issue 2lbs club hammer!
  • This was particularly big problem with the Type 42’s; mainly because that ship’s bow seemed to have been quite-deliberately designed (by an incompetent naval architect) to ensure that the “incoming” bow wave in all heavy seas came crashing directly down – right onto the very top of the no-longer-rotating Sea Dart launcher.
  • The fact that the T42 was conceived, designed and built as specialist air defence warship, however it went to sea with this rather fundamental engineering design flaw still in it, was not lost on some of us young engineers (Note. That was one of several very-important reasons why the T42’s Batch 3’s were substantially lengthened, when built in the mid 1980’s)


  • The second set of critical operational challenges, ones that afflict all trainable / directional missile launchers (all types and models: by all manufacturers), are as follows:
  1. Not having a full 360 degree all-round arc-of-fire. So, if the arc-of-fire of any one trainable launcher (typically 270 degrees) does not happen to cover the incoming threat direction = then the ship itself has to turn (so please remember that, statistically, you always have a one-in-four chance of that happening…),.
  2. To decide to turn the ship, and only then to act, simply takes too much time – usually a few extra minutes – time which one simply hasn’t got when operating at action stations ………….and thus when one is also writing out one’s last will and testament.
  3. Furthermore, the extra time needed to load the trainable launchers (especially a missile reload when in action….) always needs to be properly taken into account.
  • THUS – when compared to any vertical (silo) launcher – all trainable missile launchers have an increased reaction time = between a confirmed detection (i.e. warning) and when the crew are able to shoot off the first missile.
  • Accordingly, in these types of very fast-moving – and thus very short duration engagements – those extra few seconds will define the difference between a successful engagement and an abject failure…..


  • I totally agree with the comment made about Atlantic Conveyor, the single “most valuable ship lost in that 1982 campaign (and a sinking that nearly cost us the land war). A very simple lesson was learnt; that all ships operating in the war zone need to have a layered system of their own close-in defences (the famous porcupine)
  • One other – very-hard-won lesson of 1982 – one which is still very relevant today, was the sheer difficulty of actually trying to effectively coordinate multiple ship’s movements, especially when one has to also deal with the “minor distraction” of somebody simultaneously shooting at you……………so, the best example of this, knotty problem, which has not been mentioned above, was the events in 1982 which lead to the sinking of HMS Coventry.
  • In that engagement, just off the coast of Pebble Island, any one of three very-effective UK air defence systems could have probably have been used: Sea Harrier (flying CAP); Seadart (on type 42) and Seawolf (on type 22). So what actually happened was:
  1. Argie Biggles flew in at very low level over land, thus giving both warships very little warning time.
  2. Then, in a split-second decision made by the RN CAP controller, a sea harrier, patrolling on a CAP station nearby, was warned off. He decided to use missiles (probably the right choice)
  3. Then, simply because the range to the incoming Argie Skyhawk was very rapidly decreasing, it had just became too short a range to be able to launch a Sea Dart (by T42)
  4. Then, literally as the Seawolf was about to be fired (by T22), the two ships got in each others way – literally crossing each others paths – thus the T42 blocked the very-last-minute missile launch planned by the T22.
  5. Argie Skyhawk dropped bombs, which hit the ship
  • .HMS Coventry (T42) sunk: many matelots died.
  • Same key lesson as Atlantic Conveyor: each warship must be able to defend itself.


Putting large AD missiles on aircraft carriers is not a very good idea…

  • Sea Dart was removed from the RN’s three Invincible class carriers for several very-good reasons, only some of which have been listed by DavyB (above).
  1. Firstly it took up a lot of space: space it was felt could be much better used for storing more flying machines.
  2. Secondly, as I have just mentioned above, after 1982’s experience, there were grave doubts as to how effective Seadart would be in combat.
  3. However, it was only finally taken off the Invincible carriers when the RN (eventually!) realised the risk of having an truly-spectacular own goal.
  4. An aircraft crashing on take-off – for example a SHAR with burst tyre – could very easily have landed right on top of the ship’s own main missile launcher (remember: it was located just to one side of the ski-jump).
  5. Thus, having plenty of burning jet fuel, plus an aircraft laden with explosive munitions, directly on top of the seadart launcher and its own fully-loaded magazine (rotary magazine located directly below the launcher) could have been, to put it mildly, “not what tiggers like best“…..
  6. That one could have been a quite-spectacular own goal. To quite-deliberately misquote Oscar-winning actor Michael Caine’s best-ever one-liner: “that would have blown the bl****y ship’s bows right off”


Goalkeeper or Phalanx

  • I’m 110% with Gunbuster (posting above) that the Dutch-made 30mm Goalkeeper system was inherently better than the 20mm Phalanx. Furthermore, all of the other points made by Gunboater are all very valid (Note: as always!)
  • However I would also like to add that the Goalkeeper system could be both maintained and reloaded, especially during combat, by its deck crew working internally. I always felt that was hell of an advantage, especially when there were enemy munitions and ammunition flying about in the sky’s just above the main deck.
  • However the Berlin Wall came down in 1989. Therefore, once the threat of soviet-era fast anti-ship missiles was no more…… thus the MOD decided taking the peace dividend.
  • Phalanx works against “most threats” and it is much cheaper and easier to install (i.e. it bolts down) – so the mentality in MOD and RN was one of “lets make the Devonport dockers tasks nice and easy”.
  • Furthermore, those officers who had served in 1982 then toddled off, to collect their service pensions. They took with them, into retirement, the RN’s institutional memory of how to best to design, procure and then organise effective air defence against modern missiles and aircraft……


Current Best Practice

  • With regards to missile launching: VLS is the one and only way to go forward on a modern warship.
  • Trainable missile launchers are SJAL systems (Sunday Junior Amateur League)
  • Small trainable launchers are however, quite good, but only for launching small decoys etc
  • All warships (hence the word “war”) – together with all RFA’s and mercies in the war zone – must all have a suite of their own decoys, EW and also close-in defensive systems. Quite simply, they must all be “self-protected”
  • Those of you requesting the development of very short-range missiles are forgetting what Gunbuster has mentioned “in passing” above = that all missiles have a “minimum effective range”. Under that minimum range, they really don’t work very well.
  • For those of you advocating the development of very cheap AD missiles, can I please give you a piece of advice = there is no such thing….. all missiles are either expensive, or very expensive…………………..(i.e. Davy B is right)
  • Accordingly, with regards to the best type of close-in last-ditch defence – i.e. when the incoming threat is as close in as (lets say) the last few miles, I must admit that I am personally a very big fan of “fill the sky with lead”.
  • Large numbers of bullets fired from one of Mr Gatling’s inventions are relatively cheap = and plenty of dumb lead does the job…..
  • ——————————————-

Ballistic Missile Defence

Unless Putin decides to invade France, no short-range or even any medium-range ballistic missile system is going to be threatening the UK homeland at any time soon.

(However, now that the war in the Donbas is going his own way = Mr Putin may just be thinking about that option over his morning cornflakes)

Thus Nigel Collins (directly above) has just commented on the trap which so many technically-ignorant politicians have all been falling over each other to fall into recently – especially when hey are talking to the even-more-technically ignorant national press about our national defence.

They have all confused the many various different types and sizes of ballistic missiles.

The three main types of enemy threats are all very very different in scale:

  1. Strategic – big and long range (all of which will be nuclear tipped)
  2. Theatre – medium-range and medium-sized
  3. Tactical – smaller and short range


  1. The ones recently launched from Iran and Yemen into Israel are in the Theatre category.
  2. Ones recently launched by Hamas (from Gazza) and Hezbollah (from Lebanon) into Israel are in the Tactical category.


Thus, for the defence of the UK homeland – obviously by the elite Warmington-on-Sea Home Guard (ABM platoon) – we only really need to be considering the severe threat posed by big strategic ballistic missiles: ones which could be either submarine-launched or land-silo launched.

Russia has plenty of both types, and they are all nuclear-tipped. So, just like back in the 1980’s, these are the only serious threat to the UK mainland today.

As the Warmington ABM platoon can’t be everywhere at once (i.e. because they have their day jobs to do) MOD has taken another approach

That is why we here in the UK deter the Russians’ = hence the RN buying Trident and some SLBM’s…………..nuclear-tipped…..


The only land-based operational ABM system in the western world capable of taking out some, not all, enemy strategic ballistic missiles is, at the present time, the US THAAD

Some USN /RN shipborne systems are “quite effective” against the threats of theatre-category / shorter range ballistic missiles: but only IF those incoming missile have been targeted onwards those warships.

Furthermore, there was plenty of experience of defending against theatre-category missiles (conventionally armed) during Gulf War Round 1 (note for all you youngsters out there reading this: we are now on round 3). That is when Iraq launched its Scuds against both Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Then the then-brand-spanking-new US Army Patriot ABM system did “reasonably well” . However it proved necessary to put special forces on the ground, to hit the launchers before they launched (except for the famous Bravo-Two-Zero: a mission which failed simply because Andy McNab was sat there writing a best-seller in his tent at night)

Many NATO / RN AD systems are very effective against almost all tactical missiles.


However, what the UK might well need elsewhere, especially for defending its very vulnerable forward-based “expeditionary” ports and airbases (HINT: especially Cyprus !!!!!!) is a mobile version of the Israeli Iron Dome system. In a few places, that would be ideal; to defend a fixed point against both tactical and theatre level missile threats.

Why should we buy Israeli Iron Dome? = because we know it works!

Instead, we now have the buffoons at QinetiQ spending quarter of a billion quid of taxpayers money developing a ray-gun. Another classic case of “over-promising and under-delivery” by QinetiQ and DASA!

That money would have been much better spent on buying many more well-proven existing technologies of AD radars; missiles guns, etc: i.e. all of the types already in service with the three UK armed services. That cash should have been used for buying more munitions off-the-shelf (both gun ammo and more missiles (naval and military)) = to stock up for a rainy day.

Furthermore, there is much better technique than waiting for the enemy to launch large swarms of missiles at you. It is called deterrence. So, well before they actually launch any missiles = you need to threaten to hit their few key factories and also their key political / military command centres (and threaten to hit them very hard: using stealth planes armed with smart bombs (note 1).

That is why, on the 14th October 2023, so just one week after the horrendous attack by Hamas – so I was posting just a few days before Israel retaliated – I posted here on NL that both RN and USN aircraft carrier(s) should be deployed to the Gulf of Hormuz: to DETER the Ayatollahs.

That is, after all, why we brought two big and very expensive aircraft carriers……

To DETER is by, far and away, always the very best form of defence: against all types of ballistic missiles.

Regards Peter (Irate Taxpayer)

Note 1. Note to self: I really must get into the habit of using the flash words these youngsters now use: to start calling stealth bombers “low observable flying machines” and smart bombs “PGM’s – precision guided mutations“. My technical language is so 1990’s……… thus I must really be showing my age…

Whale Island Zoo Keeper

No T42 B1 and B2 weren’t designed by an incompetent naval architect. Their bows were truncated to save money. Same reason they went to sea with one anchor. Everybody knew what would happen. All T42 should have built to the longer and slightly broader in the beam B3 design.

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Last edited 18 days ago by Whale Island Zoo Keeper
Whale Island Zoo Keeper

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Whale Island Zoo Keeper

FWIW the original build programme was for something like 24 hulls.


This vg ship modeller has put all the types together from Glamorgan, Bristol, Cardiff to Gloucester


You also talk about a mobile version of Iron Dome, as though Iron Dome wasn’t mobile, but we have that already. It’s called Sky Sabre on land and Sea Ceptor on ship. (Just as Iron Dome is called C-Dome on ship.) The control function of Sky Sabre is even an Iron Dome derivative bought from the Israelis.

C-Dome is paired with Barak 8 on ship, just as Sea Ceptor is paired with Sea Viper. However on land Iron Dome is layered with Iron Beam (a ray gun), David’s Sling and Arrow 2 and 3. Sky Sabre isn’t layered with anything. We are developing upward to CAMM-MR, but that won’t reach the 250km range of David’s Sling, much less deliver Exoatmosphere attacks on ballistic missiles.

So we don’t need Iron Dome in Cyprus or anywhere else. We already have our own version. It’s currently defending the Falklands, being iteratively developed, and also works. We need medium to long theatre range and very long range exosphere. We have joined the German Sky Shield initiative although in what capacity, I’m not sure. It consists of IRIS-T (they would be better with Sky Sabre, but IRIS-T is half German), Patriot (US), and Arrow (Israeli/US). The last thing we need is the expense of Patriot, which is why we are working with the Poles on CAMM-MR. Arrow 3 on the other hand, is likely to remain longer range and better than Aster 30 Block 2, which could for us fulfil the role of David’s Sling.

Nigel Collins

It’s interesting to see what the US appears to be prioritising in this regard.

comment image?

Last edited 18 days ago by Nigel Collins

The U.K. is one of the original 15 founding members of the European Sky Shield Initiative (ESSI). The initiative was proposed and is lead by Germany.

That Iron Beam ray gun looks very effective


These things always look good in the press announcements. I wonder if we’ll decide we’d have been better with something like Iron Dome (or even land based DragonFire), which can contribute to a layered GBAD, rather than the 15kW Raytheon ones we are supposed to be getting for the Army, which are anti-drone rather than anti-missile.

Last edited 15 days ago by Jon

There is a lot of sensible commentary above, but I have to tell you that having served on 42’s that the knocking off salt with a sledgehammer sounds like a rubbish urban myth, and while I was not in FI, I joined very shortly after and served with people who were, never heard of it….. 🙂

Whale Island Zoo Keeper

I think he was conflating it with pictures of ship caked in ice.

Salt and water was a big problem for T42 down south. You often see pictures of the Mk8 pointed aft to help mitigate the problem. I have seen Mk8 trained aft.

Irate Taxpayer (Peter)

Whale Island Zookeeper

  1. I will agree that salty water was big problem in 1982
  2. However, having achieved a grade A in my O level chemistry exam, wasn’t confusing ice and salt:
  3. So please see above formed full earlier…..
  4. The Mk8 were often pointed sideways: That was so that seawater could not enter the turret by either of the two well-known weak spots: so either around the gun barrel nor by the rear entry hatch
  5. I said in an earlier post; there was some C**P engineering design throughout the T42 Batch 1

Regards Peter (Irate Taxpayer)

PS Well done for posting some very photogenic photos of the Type 42 batch 2 and 3 = please keep up the good work!

Irate Taxpayer (Peter)


Jed (above) and Whale Island Zookeeper (below).

When I made my “somewhat sarcastic” remarks about “governors” (note 1) and “sledge hammers” = I had hoped that my sarcasm would recognised for what it was: ————— by all of the regular / expert readers here on NL.

However, most-probably because my own brand extreme sarcasm is defined as the very-lowest form of humour, it obviously came in well underneath your radar horizon (note 2).


I will stand 100% by my remarks about hammers (various sizes) being needed to fix Seadart in the South Atlantic

That is because all of the very-many issues with GWS30 trainable launchers and its (very duff) computer systems were the subject on very-many earnest after-action reports – and also many long and boring meetings – for at least two years after the Falkland’s War ended.

To recap:

  1. Overall, during the punch-up about who owned a scrap-metal yard in the South Athletic (note 4), Sea Dart – the RN’s quite-new, very-specialist, custom-made and purpose-designed long-range air defence system – got an “quite an atrocious track record” for not working properly.
  2. Thus the politest way to put my next comment is that, overall, the Seadart GWS 30 system then in RN “service” was felt to be “somewhat temperamental”
  3. Throughout the Falklands War, there were many many instances when (not if) Seadart utterly failed “to do the business”
  4. There were at least two CONFIRMED instances where, due to salt, Seadart failed to work in action = and thus RN sailors got killed.
  5. Both are described below / next.
  6. Those two fatal incidents were both definitely due to the chemical compound wot your chemistry teacher might have taught you is more properly called NaCl. (Note. In contrast, ice is the frozen version of H2O)
  7. By confirmed instances, I mean when a “valid launch” command popped up on the T42’s (space-invaders inspired) VDU screen in the OPS room ……… when the captain (bloke wearing golden strips) said, in a very loud voice “FIRE”….
  • ………….NOWT happened due to salt.
  1. HMS Glasgow, T42, working in combo with T22 HMS Brilliant. 
  • Four Skyhawks came in, all flying very low. .
  • Despite having a good radar lock-on and a valid launch order and also the Sea Dart missiles already up prepared and ready – (so correctly in position on Glasgow’s “launcher”) both missiles failed to launch (so a 200% failure rate…..).
  • So, next, and by now speaking in very loud voice, the Captain decides to open up with the ship’s 4.5 inch calibre peashooter (which, not unsurprisingly, misses).
  • However HMS Brilliant (very helpfully) launches some Seawolf’s at the four incoming Skyhawks.
  • Two planes are hit, confirmed visually as direct hits, at short range.
  • The third Argie Biggles swerved to avoid “his” missile = thus causing him to join the goldfish club, hitting the sea at an impact speed of about 450 knots (Note he did not have time to eject)
  • However those of you keeping count will realise that, to date, this is only a 75% statistical success rate….,
  • Which, whilst this percentage looks very good on a BAe or MBDA manufacturers marketing spreadsheet, this doesn’t meet my high standards………
  • So the sole-surviving one of the original four 1950’s Ed Heinemann designed Skyhawk’s gets through…………..,
  • …… putting one (of its two) bombs into Glasgow.
  • Glasgow thus toddles off home to the dockyard, burying its dead
  • Root Cause: sea salt on the Seadart’s micro-launcher switch

So, once again, ten days later:

  1. Coventry (T42) in combo with (aforementioned) HMS Brilliant.
  • The burglar was an Argie AF Boeing which had been shadowing the fleet for few weeks, on long range recce flights, thus detecting and confirming our warship’s position….
  • Everybody in the RN had been trying to hit this very-elusive burglar
  • At 7am in the morning, at a range of just eight miles, Coventry gets a very good lock onto the Argie “burglar”
  • Point blank range, big slow target, dead cert… !!!
  • What could possibly go wrong….???.
  • Coventry’s Captain gives orders to fire Seadart (note: having solved the micro-switch issue)
  • However, as the two Seadart missiles were coming up from the magazine, up through the flash protection doors, the system jammed: leaving both the missiles stuck in the vertical position, unable to move
  • Root cause: salt encrustations of the flash doors
  • That one was definitely fixed with a large hammer: very quickly
  • However, not unexpectedly, when locked-up by a T42 fire-control radar, the Burglar pilot turned sharply and put his foot on the gas
  • So by the time missiles were up on the launcher = it got away
  • Later that same afternoon, using info supplied by the Burglar, more Skyhawks attacked this T42/T22 combo.
  • I have already explained above, in my earlier post, why on that occasion the Seadart failed to work, and also why, on that occasion, neither ship had been able to fire ….
  • HMS Coventry went to the bottom, after a fierce fire.
  • We will never really know why the Seadart did not work that afternoon: because the only ones who really know what happened were in Coventry’s Ops room, where the bomb(s?) impacted


Admiral Woodward (Note 3) had been the captain of the first of the T42 Batch 1, HMS Sheffield, when it was first commissioned in 1977.

He has on-the -record as having commented that the brand-new Sheffield did not lead the 1977 Silver Jubilee Fleet Review: because it kept breaking down

One of his more-poignant comments in his war dairy was “they blew my old ship Sheffield away today”.

Accordingly, very soon after he returned a war hero, Sandy W was absolutely scathing rude about the T42 generally, and – in particular about the “Seadart says no” problems

I am told that quite few engineers and naval architects got their bottoms kicked around the admirals office. The outcome of those many “chas- tisements” (as I am told they were known), had big implications, for the remaining T42’s

  • The Type 42 Type 1s still in RN service (i.e. those which were not already on the seabed) got several upgrades, before eventually going to the knackers yard sooner than planned
  • Type 42 batch and 3 were then designed = properly this time


  • Whist writing on the effectiveness of UK AD systems.


  • The Seawolf used in 1982 was the trainable version.
  • The trainable version of Seawolf was being reloaded (by hand) by perspiring top deck matelots, who were under fire during many Air Reds.
  • Those decks were very wet and slippery at the time (something to do with the icy-cold seawater, I seem to recall..(Technical Note. Upper deck ice is mostly frozen H2O, with small particles of NaCl mixed in it. However Ice served in the wardroom is fresh, without the salt)
  • Not to mention the ship rolling at extreme angles, because the warship was being manoeuvred by the also-perspiring helmsman.
  • Thus the issue of how best to reload empty Seawolf launchers up on the top deck when:
  1. the ship is heeling over at 30 degrees during a tight turn
  2. and when travelling at 30 knots
  3. and also under (obviously hostile) enemy fire
  4. and when the top deck is very slippery with ice
  5. and the seawolf missile itself being very wet and slippery, because no grab handles can be fitted onto its aerodynamically efficient fuselage,
  • was also discussed in several very boring meetings in 1982-84……

So, eventually:

  • Production of a the quick-reaction VLS version of Seawolf was authorised in 1984 (having first been proposed back in 1968!)
  • That is why the VLS was fitted to the then-new T23, whilst it was still being completely redesigned on the drawing board.


  • Also, just for the record, the Rapier installation at Bluff Cove didn’t work, also for quite-similar reasons.
  • The British Army’s Rapier missile system had not been been designed to be stored at sea…
  • Thus one fully-loaded Rapier launcher was sat, on a hilltop, overlooking Bluff Cove, covering the threat direction, whilst two big troop transport ships unloaded.
  • BUT:
  • A Sea King, which had just landed next to the Rapier, was bringing in the vital spare part needed to repair that launcher.
  • The spare part needed to repair the launcher would have taken about ten minutes to fix (by its Army sergeant)
  • = and thus for the only effective UK forces AD in the Bluff Cove area to work properly = to become fully effective………….. .
  • However, during those vital ten minutes, more Skyhawks flew in …….
  • For a full account of what happened next, read the account of that very brave, and very badly burnt, Welsh guardsman, Simon Weston
  • However the Sea King that had just delivered that the spare part for defunct Rapier did come in very useful = for rescuing many matelots and Welsh guards from two burning landing ships….
  • So you youngsters reading NL, please see repeats of BBC1 TV news (on Youtube thingy) for the horrendous footage of what happens when an Air Defence system does not work as advertised……….


  • Also, just for the record, the Phalanx was first brought for the RN as, an emergency procurement item during the war in 1982 (by MOD waving a chequebook).
  • That decision was taken quite-simply because it was the only CIWS available “off-the shelf” on the western market at the time.
  • If I remember correctly – and somebody might want to correct me on my next point – the first RN ship ever fitted with Phalanx was the third invoice (note 4) class aircraft carrier. No 3 was just out of the builder yard, with the ship’s grey paint still wet, when it relieved the task force’s HMS Invincible (soon after the war ended in the summer of 1982).


  • The Dutch Goalkeeper was later refitted to the RN’s three Invoice (note 4) class aircraft carriers

I would add the observations that today’s Iranian drones (Radio Controlled Planes) are much slower than Ed H’s 1950 brilliant Skyhawk plane, as used by many Argie Biggles back in 1982.

Modern anti-ship missiles are however much faster…………

. There are only two rules for effective Air Defence:

  • Rule 1. It has to work – properly – when the gov’nor says “FIRE”.
  • Rule 2. Do not ever forget rule 1: it is a split-second decision!


Jed, the moral of this story is, please don’t believe everything you have been told by your mates down the pub.

Some stuff that happened down in the Falkland’s remains very-highly classified, even to this day….like why there were deep diving salvage operations ordered down onto the wreaks of both Sheffield and Coventry……and how HMS Conqueror (very nearly), did (not) sink the Belgrano…

I must now toddle off to my “experts armchair”….. It is time to have my elevenses’ and thus to do the expert / master version of today’s Sudoku: without stopping……my definition of rapid calculus with my cranially mounted biological computer is to complete it before my coffee goes cold!

Anyhow, that’s quite enough for one day on how to train up the young office interns (sorry: serving fleet officers) on how to design effective naval air defence systems……………

regards Peter (Irate Taxpayer)

Note 1.

I really do hope that nobody serving in the RN today calls their CO “governor”. If so, then this Navy Cookout (note 4) website needs to change its name back to “Save The Royal Navy”

Note 2.

When posting here on NL, the protocol is to use phrases that stay “on topic”

Note 3.

Woodward was top ranking governor at sea for the RN in 1982. He was only admiral who went south of the equator in a warship that year. Sandy was known for his intelligence, and especially his sarcasm: which is why Mrs T subsequently wrote that he was, quote, “very good at his job”!

Woodward’s boll*****ings were known as Chas-Tisemets (chastisements) because his wife, the formidable Mrs Woodward, had the pet-name “Chas”.

Note 4.

Small bugs in naval computer and weapons systems, often called typo’s, need fixing early on = because if left until later they can have fatal consequences… upsetting the editor of NL


ladies and gentlemen, very sorry, there was a three minutes delay here




oh – s**t done it again….bloody computers never work when you want them too…..#

what is the this blue cycling circle all about????.



LOL: “Jed, the moral of this story is, please don’t believe everything you have been told by your mates down the pub.”

Sure, but how about all those quiet middle watches in the Ops room reading EXTACS, and all the other ‘secret’ stuff kept in the safe, because I was cleared to? Not quite the same as pub gossip, nor books written years afterwards. I am not disputing the fact that fairly crappy 70’s tech didn’t work too good in constant “harry roughers” – I simply said I have never heard of hammers being taken to GWS30 launchers, nor have I ever seen a Mk8 pointed “sideways” in rough weather, so maybe those problems were solved. On my own stint on the Glasow (Life is great on the D88!) we never had to fire Sea Dart in anger, but again, it always worked just fine in test firings…. unlike the Exocets on the Hermione, but thats a different dit…..

Irate Taxpayer (Peter)



Having had a beer (or three) down the pub with my old mate over this (nice and sunny) weekend, he recommends some further open-source intelligence on this matter.

The hardback book “One Hundred Days” by Admiral Sandy Woodward was one of the first definite accounts, by a key participant, of the whole Falkland’s War.

My mate tells me that his book has plenty in it about “how crap”

  • the T42 (batch 1) were generally
  • and, in particular, how crap Sea Dart systems were

…….. throughout the Falklands War.

regards Peter (Irate Taxpayer)


Royal Artillery AD has nothing for wide area defence, it doesnt even seem to be discussed as a capability gap except in very specialised forums


Cant defend agaisnt ICBMs which are the only ones that would be aimed at Britain.

Houthi type BM are a mix of repurposed longer range AA missiles and Theatre BM, a much lower threat.

Those RAF Bloodhounds are cold war defence against high altitude bombers and only for particular airbases only

Whale Island Zoo Keeper

Have they solved the problem yet with the software yet which means every cab is a virtual sub-type its own right?


Just an infomercial. CV-22 is a fine machine but Chinook has been the transformer of the last 50 years. Aerial refuelling of helicopters has been around for a while too.

My personal view is that over use of helicopters is why US looses all its ground wars, it just hides the defeat for far longer


Why not use Centurion launcher?

As far back as 2010 Chemring demonstrated their Centurion launcher prototype which contains 12 barrels on a rotary mounting enclosed in a cupola with a low radar cross-section.

Last edited 15 days ago by Leo