RN anti-ship missiles

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Re: RN anti-ship missiles

Post by Lord Jim »

I still think it would make more sense to install more Mk41 cells on the Batch 2 T-26. The AShM and Land Attack FC/ASW are supposed to share the same body and even the same electronics and guidance, not separate missiles. Therefore the the missile should go in both canister and VLS of different flavours as well as a Submarine launched version the French navy want to both replace their SM-39 Exocets and give their new SSNs a land attack capability. The latter would fill two capability needs for the RN in finally providing its SSNs with a replacement for Sub-Harpoon and compliment or replace TLAM.

The first three T-26 may use the canister launch version but during their first refit could be brought up to the same configuration as the Batch two vessels. Who knows the latter could even be stretched to allow even more Mk41 that either the Australian or Canadian variants. We have done this many tomes before with the T-22, T-42 even widening the classic Leander, so their is a president.

However if the RN become fixated on the possibility of obtaining a Hypersonic AShM, then this will certainly kill off FC/ASW. Even if the RN then still bought a small number of the missile it would impact the overall cost per weapon, and given the RAF want a weapon quite different to the French, they would probably jump ship altogether blaming the RN for any fallout whilst being grateful to the RN for giving them an out.
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Re: RN anti-ship missiles

Post by wargame_insomniac »

And MK41 VLS will help in cross-compatibility of missiles with pretty much all the likely nations we would be serving alongside, apart from the French. It would give us far greater choice of various misiles including ASW and AAW as well as Anti Surface / Land.

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Re: RN anti-ship missiles

Post by donald_of_tokyo »

I agree FC/ASW is an issue, both good and bad.

As 1st SL mentioned hyper-sonic AShM/land-atack, the trend has a bit changed. Also I understand, "super-sonic" is rapidly becoming NOT a trend.
1: Speed costs a lot.
2: With modern AAW weapon systems (like SeaCeptor), countering Mach 3 missile "looks like" becoming relatively easy (which was not easy for older systems such as Phalanx CIWS)

But, FC/ASW is NOT aiming at hyper-sonic (although super-sonic options is there).

This is the reason I'm interested in SM6 Blk-IIB, "multi-purpose" "mini" hyper-sonic missile. It is a BMD missile. Even good against hyper-sonic missiles. It is also super-long-range AAW capable, good for countering AWACS or Maritime Patrol aircrafts. At the same time, it is ALSO capable of being a "mini-hyper-sonic AShM". Its too small for efficient land-attack, maybe even not enough to sink enemy CV. But it is a clear threat to enemy.

It is also "cheapish". It is the most expensive missile for AAW, but also the cheapest solution as hyper-sonic ASM. (not saying SM6 Blk IIB is cheap, just saying full-spec hyper-sonic land attack missile is very very very very expensive).

Then, as SM6 BlkIIB has many "short falls" as a land attack missile, has another capabilities such as BMD/anti-hyper-sonic missile capability which RN lacks now, I propose it can "live along with" FC/ASW.

It will be ready well before T26 comes in (while I seriously doubt FC/ASW could be), so "RN's SSM gap" can be filled, albeit only "on paper" (because having one SSM-capable escort never fills the capability provided by 19 escorts until recently).
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Re: RN anti-ship missiles

Post by NickC »

donald_of_tokyo wrote: 08 Jan 2022, 02:50 I agree FC/ASW is an issue, both good and bad.

As 1st SL mentioned hyper-sonic AShM/land-atack, the trend has a bit changed. Also I understand, "super-sonic" is rapidly becoming NOT a trend.
1: Speed costs a lot.
2: With modern AAW weapon systems (like SeaCeptor), countering Mach 3 missile "looks like" becoming relatively easy (which was not easy for older systems such as Phalanx CIWS)

But, FC/ASW is NOT aiming at hyper-sonic (although super-sonic options is there).

This is the reason I'm interested in SM6 Blk-IIB, "multi-purpose" "mini" hyper-sonic missile. It is a BMD missile. Even good against hyper-sonic missiles. It is also super-long-range AAW capable, good for countering AWACS or Maritime Patrol aircrafts. At the same time, it is ALSO capable of being a "mini-hyper-sonic AShM". Its too small for efficient land-attack, maybe even not enough to sink enemy CV. But it is a clear threat to enemy.

It is also "cheapish". It is the most expensive missile for AAW, but also the cheapest solution as hyper-sonic ASM. (not saying SM6 Blk IIB is cheap, just saying full-spec hyper-sonic land attack missile is very very very very expensive).

Then, as SM6 BlkIIB has many "short falls" as a land attack missile, has another capabilities such as BMD/anti-hyper-sonic missile capability which RN lacks now, I propose it can "live along with" FC/ASW.

It will be ready well before T26 comes in (while I seriously doubt FC/ASW could be), so "RN's SSM gap" can be filled, albeit only "on paper" (because having one SSM-capable escort never fills the capability provided by 19 escorts until recently).
The SM-6 Block IB which uses the 21" main rocket motor (max dia that can fitted in a Mk41 VLS cell) developed for the SM-3 Block IIA BMD exo-atmosphere missile, in place of the earlier SM-6 13.5" motor, which gives its long range ~200 mile range AA and BMD capability in the endo-atmosphere and as you say capable of taking out AWACS or MPAs at long range.

In AShM role SM-6 Block IB relies on GPS guidance for targeting before its active seeker takes over in the last ~5 seconds or so, which unlikely to be effective, GPS signals very weak and easily jammed or spoofed, Russia recently claimed its new tech ASAT missiles can take out all 32 US GPS satellites. SM-6 Block IB mention max speed Mach ~3.5 for very limited time before motor burns out after ~10 seconds or so, its not a hypersonic missile but its fast.

MDA recently placed study contracts for a possible anti-hypersonic missile with Lockheed, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon, I know of no tests/trials that would suggest SM-6 Block IB is 'good against hyper-sonic missiles'. NATO 2020 study was not that overly optimistic on anti-hypersonic missiles, sure possible but would be very expensive.

For the long range AAW missile presume RN will rely on the Meteor when ever the F-35 Block IV comes on line in 5-6 years? Future ASTER for the BMD mission. Radikon's wish for an anti-ship and land attack hypersonic missile looks totally unaffordable, so left with the FCASW for the T26 Mk41 VLS cells if funded?

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Re: RN anti-ship missiles

Post by donald_of_tokyo »

Not sure. As SM6 BlkIA can reach Mach 3.5, SM6 BlkIB reaching Mach 5, as suggested in several articles, are reasonable. If the SM6 Blk IB can efficiently shoot down hyper-sonic missiles or not, is not known. It will all depend on what kind of hypersonic missiles they need to engage.

SM6 Blk IB can do BMD, at very high altitude, much higher than Aster30.

SM6 Blk IB can sink an escort, (e.g. USS Reuben James), but I cannot find the detail yet. Although, it may not be able to sink a CV.

And, as you said, full-spec hypersonic missile is not cheap. It will even "replace some F-35Bs" itself, in cost point of view. So, having SM6 BlkIB as a mini hypersonic AShM (if not good at land attack) looks like the only possible option for RN.

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Re: RN anti-ship missiles

Post by NickC »

Alternative to SM-6 Block 1B?

As mentioned for RN T26 AShM Mk41 VLS cells, one possible option looked at is the SRBM LM PrSM ~70 to 500+km range, the major attraction over the SM-6 Block 1B is that the PrSM Spiral 1 variant has a multi-mission seeker, using both ESM and IR, similar to the Australian seeker being developed for their version of the Kongsberg JSM. Another advantage don't think it would need the additional the SM-6 Block 1B fire control with its International Aegis Fire Control Loop which would be needed to be integrated with the BAE CMS, which expect not easy and expensive.

PrSM dimensions of 13 feet by 17 inches so would have no problems fitting in the Mk41 VLS cell, hopefully approx half cost of a SM-6 Block 1B as the basic GPS PrSM targeted cost $1.5 million, Spiral 1 $3 million?

Both the PrSM and the SM-6 Block 1B appear an order of magnitude less expensive than hypersonic missiles based on the long range USN/US Army hypersonic missile at an estimated cost of ~$100 million each.
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Re: RN anti-ship missiles

Post by wargame_insomniac »

NickC wrote: 08 Jan 2022, 14:21
donald_of_tokyo wrote: 08 Jan 2022, 02:50 I agree FC/ASW is an issue, both good and bad.

As 1st SL mentioned hyper-sonic AShM/land-atack, the trend has a bit changed. Also I understand, "super-sonic" is rapidly becoming NOT a trend.
1: Speed costs a lot.
2: With modern AAW weapon systems (like SeaCeptor), countering Mach 3 missile "looks like" becoming relatively easy (which was not easy for older systems such as Phalanx CIWS)

But, FC/ASW is NOT aiming at hyper-sonic (although super-sonic options is there).

This is the reason I'm interested in SM6 Blk-IIB, "multi-purpose" "mini" hyper-sonic missile. It is a BMD missile. Even good against hyper-sonic missiles. It is also super-long-range AAW capable, good for countering AWACS or Maritime Patrol aircrafts. At the same time, it is ALSO capable of being a "mini-hyper-sonic AShM". Its too small for efficient land-attack, maybe even not enough to sink enemy CV. But it is a clear threat to enemy.

It is also "cheapish". It is the most expensive missile for AAW, but also the cheapest solution as hyper-sonic ASM. (not saying SM6 Blk IIB is cheap, just saying full-spec hyper-sonic land attack missile is very very very very expensive).

Then, as SM6 BlkIIB has many "short falls" as a land attack missile, has another capabilities such as BMD/anti-hyper-sonic missile capability which RN lacks now, I propose it can "live along with" FC/ASW.

It will be ready well before T26 comes in (while I seriously doubt FC/ASW could be), so "RN's SSM gap" can be filled, albeit only "on paper" (because having one SSM-capable escort never fills the capability provided by 19 escorts until recently).
The SM-6 Block IB which uses the 21" main rocket motor (max dia that can fitted in a Mk41 VLS cell) developed for the SM-3 Block IIA BMD exo-atmosphere missile, in place of the earlier SM-6 13.5" motor, which gives its long range ~200 mile range AA and BMD capability in the endo-atmosphere and as you say capable of taking out AWACS or MPAs at long range.

In AShM role SM-6 Block IB relies on GPS guidance for targeting before its active seeker takes over in the last ~5 seconds or so, which unlikely to be effective, GPS signals very weak and easily jammed or spoofed, Russia recently claimed its new tech ASAT missiles can take out all 32 US GPS satellites. SM-6 Block IB mention max speed Mach ~3.5 for very limited time before motor burns out after ~10 seconds or so, its not a hypersonic missile but its fast.

MDA recently placed study contracts for a possible anti-hypersonic missile with Lockheed, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon, I know of no tests/trials that would suggest SM-6 Block IB is 'good against hyper-sonic missiles'. NATO 2020 study was not that overly optimistic on anti-hypersonic missiles, sure possible but would be very expensive.

For the long range AAW missile presume RN will rely on the Meteor when ever the F-35 Block IV comes on line in 5-6 years? Future ASTER for the BMD mission. Radikon's wish for an anti-ship and land attack hypersonic missile looks totally unaffordable, so left with the FCASW for the T26 Mk41 VLS cells if funded?
For BMD, presumably our best option for that currently is the T45 using PAAMS / Sea Viper. I believe the RN currently uses Aster 15 and Aster 30 Block 0. What about Aster 30 Block 1NT or the future Aster 30 Block 2 BMD? Or is that what you meant by "Future ASTER for the BMD mission"?

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Re: RN anti-ship missiles

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The issue with BMD using the SM-6 Blk1B is that we a talking of initially only installing it on the T-26, though possibly on the T-31 is it receives a number of Mk41 VLS. Can the Artisan radar on the T-26 handle BMD? From what I have read BMD is not a role we would look at using the SM-6 for until the T-45s successor enters service. Instead it would be used as a long range SAM as well as a stand in hypersonic AShM.

In the latter role it may have some advantages of some of the purpose designed hypersonic weapon the first being its size, making it a smaller target to hit, though like all hypersonic weapons its terminal trajectory will be relatively easy to predict as long as you are looking in the right place, usually from a high angle. Yes some countries profess to have glide bodies that allow for some manoeuvres, but this is very difficult to do without losing a substantial amount of velocity, and even then it produces an enormous amount of heat. It is the high angle that is the issue as, even high end USN Escorts have few sensors beyond radar looking in that direction and this is less reliable when doing so. High angle IRST sensors are needed to compliment radar to effective engage targets coming in from that direction.

In the meantime we have to hope the MoD is funded to develop the T-45 into a BMD platform using the possible more advanced versions of the Aster or the European BMD weapons being developed for use on land and sea and also able to use the same Sylver VLS.
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Re: RN anti-ship missiles

Post by donald_of_tokyo »

Lord Jim wrote: 08 Jan 2022, 23:45 The issue with BMD using the SM-6 Blk1B is that we a talking of initially only installing it on the T-26, though possibly on the T-31 is it receives a number of Mk41 VLS. Can the Artisan radar on the T-26 handle BMD? From what I have read BMD is not a role we would look at using the SM-6 for until the T-45s successor enters service. Instead it would be used as a long range SAM as well as a stand in hypersonic AShM.

In the latter role it may have some advantages of some of the purpose designed hypersonic weapon the first being its size, making it a smaller target to hit, though like all hypersonic weapons its terminal trajectory will be relatively easy to predict as long as you are looking in the right place, usually from a high angle. Yes some countries profess to have glide bodies that allow for some manoeuvres, but this is very difficult to do without losing a substantial amount of velocity, and even then it produces an enormous amount of heat. It is the high angle that is the issue as, even high end USN Escorts have few sensors beyond radar looking in that direction and this is less reliable when doing so. High angle IRST sensors are needed to compliment radar to effective engage targets coming in from that direction.

In the meantime we have to hope the MoD is funded to develop the T-45 into a BMD platform using the possible more advanced versions of the Aster or the European BMD weapons being developed for use on land and sea and also able to use the same Sylver VLS.
Thanks, fair point.

My proposal for SM6 BlkIB is rather for T45 (and then for T26.)
- T45 are getting 24 CAMM, but losing SSM
- Then, how about locating "24 CAMM" in place of Harpoon? This will leave the Mk.41 VLS 16-cell location between the 114 mm gun and Silver VLS.
- Installing Mk41 VLS there and filling it with SM6 (and SM3), T45 will be a good BMD ship. As SM6 is ALSO an anti-ship missile, it is also replacing Harpoon. Also, Aster 30 blk1NT or blk2, can also be used for BMD.

What we need to be careful is, there are (at least) 3 layers of BMD, in US Navy standard. SM3, which is basically a mid-course BMD, providing large-area BMD (e.g. two AegisAshore was to cover whole Japan from North Korea). For "local-area-defense" BMD, SM6 Blk1A is there (Aster 30 will be also).

SM6 blkIB is developed because Blk1A cannot cover the altitude gap, to the lowest altitude for SM3. And here is the altitude glyding hypersonic missile are to fly.

But, if defending only CSG from ballistic/hypersonic missile is aimed, I agree Aster 30 development may work. But, I guess it won't be able to defend logistic fleet stationed ~100 nm back. I'm afread NOT even ASW forward stationed T26 (say, 30-40 nm). Because these short-range BMD missile are SLOWER than the hyper sonic missiles, they can cover only the local fleet.

And, if SM6 BlkIB is to come (of course, not highly likely, this is just a proposal), carrying some on T26's Mk.41 VLS, with some post-CEC system will be doable. "Launched from a ship (T26), controlled from another ship (T45)" is included in this system from the beginning. Considering the high speed of ballistic/hyper-sonic missiles, this idea is very reasonable, the missile do not need to travel 40-100nm (taking 40-60 seconds even in Mach 4) before positioned to the best engagement position...

Anyway, this is just a proposal, if RN want something hypersonic in short term.

It is likely that RN will limit its BMD only to "local-area" level = only CSG itself and leave the logistic fleet, because of cost. But, SM6 BlkIB is attractive solution that it can cover larger area as BMD, as well as providing hypersonic AShM capability. As it is multi-purpose, it will be built in number, and thus will be the cheapest among the many possible hypersonic missiles. Worth considering, I think.

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Re: RN anti-ship missiles

Post by donald_of_tokyo »

NickC wrote: 08 Jan 2022, 17:36 Alternative to SM-6 Block 1B?

As mentioned for RN T26 AShM Mk41 VLS cells, one possible option looked at is the SRBM LM PrSM ~70 to 500+km range, the major attraction over the SM-6 Block 1B is that the PrSM Spiral 1 variant has a multi-mission seeker, using both ESM and IR, similar to the Australian seeker being developed for their version of the Kongsberg JSM. Another advantage don't think it would need the additional the SM-6 Block 1B fire control with its International Aegis Fire Control Loop which would be needed to be integrated with the BAE CMS, which expect not easy and expensive.

PrSM dimensions of 13 feet by 17 inches so would have no problems fitting in the Mk41 VLS cell, hopefully approx half cost of a SM-6 Block 1B as the basic GPS PrSM targeted cost $1.5 million, Spiral 1 $3 million?

Both the PrSM and the SM-6 Block 1B appear an order of magnitude less expensive than hypersonic missiles based on the long range USN/US Army hypersonic missile at an estimated cost of ~$100 million each.
Interesting proposal. But, someone needs to integrate it into Mk.41 VLS. As it is aiming at longer and longer range, I'm afraid it may not be cheap, but the long-range may be a good option.

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Re: RN anti-ship missiles

Post by Lord Jim »

There is a European programme to develop an equivalent to the SM-3 to work in a layered BMD screen with an improved Aster being to lower level weapon system. It will possibly be fired from the same Sylver VLS and SAMP-T launchers allowing for combined Batteries on land and at sea.

The RN is going to have problems with the availability of the F-35Bs as these are the prime strike weapon of the CSG and providing a constant CA P will restrict the number available for their prime role significantly. This is the all part of the main problem the RN has, it is not equipped to actually fight a war in reality, against anything other than submarines and Fast Attack Boats. It has not kept its AShM inventory up to date and viable, with its only effective weapon being those carried by the Wildcat and with limited range. Its only true offensive platforms are its SSNs and the number of these available as been drastically reduced as part of the never ending "Peace Dividend" our Armed Forces have been paying since the end of the Cold War. Few if any other NATO navy has put escort or corvette class Warships into service without an effective AShM. But it gets worse and the RN is the only Navy to not equip its Carrier class with an effective defence relying on escorts instead!

Having a ten or so year capability gap regarding a MPA after Nimrod was scrapped was bad enough, we now have both a Navy and Army that at taking a ten year gap in being able to even fight anything near a peer opponent!.
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Re: RN anti-ship missiles

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Connected to some of the recent discussion here. From the defence editor of Aviation Week:



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Re: RN anti-ship missiles

Post by Lord Jim »

Somehow I cannot see the RN filling the flight decks of their Escorts with 20' Containers in order to launch a limited number of Hypersonic missiles. Doing the same with either the Bays or Albions would also not make much sense, better to go with having M270 GMLRS on the decks of these ships to provide precision fore support as has already be proven by the USN and USMC. Hypersonic is become the new "Stealth" as regards to technological aspirations.

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Re: RN anti-ship missiles

Post by tomuk »

Has everyone received Christmas presents from Raytheon? Why the obsession with SM6?
Surely it should be a MBDA solution, a big booster version of Aster or a surface launched Meteor with a big booster.
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Re: RN anti-ship missiles

Post by Lord Jim »

There is a joint European effort to develop a layered BMD capability but we are not part of it at present. WE still only aspire to have a BMD capability but nothing has been funded beyond some assessment work if that.

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Re: RN anti-ship missiles

Post by Tempest414 »

tomuk wrote: 12 Jan 2022, 01:42 Has everyone received Christmas presents from Raytheon? Why the obsession with SM6?
Surely it should be a MBDA solution, a big booster version of Aster or a surface launched Meteor with a big booster.
I would love nothing more than to see a VL Meteor with a Aster 30 Booster attached if it could match Aster 30's Mach 4.5 and give a range of 200+ km

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