shark bait wrote:Might even be a cheaper option in the long run, allowing for more weapons in the ready to fire position
Cheaper is like efficient: to get the job done for less money
However, the overall solution (in whatever way the Tomahawks are going to be launched) also needs to be effective, i.e. get the job done. In this respect the Tomahawk is still a 1970s design in that it relies on low altitude to hide from radars.
- and that is not going to change, even though downward-looking radars are proliferating on small AWACS planes and aerostat blimps
There might be some mileage in the GPS III M-code upgrades, which will also improve anti-jamming and anti-spoofing capabilities.
- the same Raytheon that is the prime for Tomahawk makes the satellite/ earth interface part (OCX) for the GPS III "upgrade"
An update by DID also says that "Raytheon and the Navy are looking for more, with a focus on mature technologies to cut down program risk. An ESM system for noticing and geolocating emissions has already begun testing. Raytheon personnel stress its quality, to the point that Navigation via Signals of Opportunity (NAVSOP) might be possible as a backup to GPS. During the attack run, ESM can allow the Tomahawk to home in on an active enemy ship or air defense radars, or even on other intercepted signals. That begins to add autonomous moving target capability" ... like ships
To cut the long intro short, going VLS/ VPM rather than sticking to the "thru the torp tubes" method will be a great "future proofing" insurance against the Tomahawk's impending obsolescense
- e.g. the above mentioned ESM homing (as the third method for targeting) is already funded, jointly by Norway & Oz, for JSM... made by BAE
- and as our subs with a VPM on them will be a long time in coming, there is a bridging solution (don't know when the Tomahawks are due for re-lifing) as in " Encapsulated launch from a standard torpedo tube based on a JSM baseline configuration utilizing a thrust vector controlled booster are the ground rules for the studies. Babcock
is responsible for developing the canister concept. The system will only require minor changes to the JSM airframe; however, all internal components will be kept unchanged. The operational capabilities of NSM-SL will be similar to JSM with stand off ranges well beyond 300 km. Kongsberg is aiming to be ready for the test and integration firings on the Next Generation Norwegian Submarines in 2025." http://www.navyrecognition.com/index.ph ... ystem.html
Someone could say that range is everything? We can go back to the need for actually making it through, to the target.