Ground Based Air Defence

Contains threads on British Army equipment of the past, present and future.
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Tempest414
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Re: Ground Based Air Defence

Post by Tempest414 »

both vehicles pictured above will be around 35 tons and to much over all package for the light BCT's they would find it hard to support them . Thor has now been rebranded as Rapid Raider and on the PDF from Thales one image is the system fitted to Husky which would work well with the light BCT's

Lord Jim
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Re: Ground Based Air Defence

Post by Lord Jim »

Thor would be an option, but it would need to be mounted on the MRV(P) phase two platform ideally. What I would like to see in a weapon system on board either vehicle type that wins the MRV(P) competition and mounting four to six Starstreak/LMM together with a autocannon of between 25mm and 35mm and the required detection and fire control systems. As we are not procuring enough CAMM batteries, currently no more than five of which one is already deployed in teh Falklands, such a system would be applicable to the RAF Regiment to protect forward airfields and other installations, hopefully complimented by an area GBAD system with the capabilities of Patriot or SAMP-T, a capability the UK urgently needs if it wishes to undertake autonomous combat operation in the future.

Ron5
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Re: Ground Based Air Defence

Post by Ron5 »

Lord Jim wrote:Thor would be an option, but it would need to be mounted on the MRV(P) phase two platform ideally. What I would like to see in a weapon system on board either vehicle type that wins the MRV(P) competition and mounting four to six Starstreak/LMM together with a autocannon of between 25mm and 35mm and the required detection and fire control systems. As we are not procuring enough CAMM batteries, currently no more than five of which one is already deployed in teh Falklands, such a system would be applicable to the RAF Regiment to protect forward airfields and other installations, hopefully complimented by an area GBAD system with the capabilities of Patriot or SAMP-T, a capability the UK urgently needs if it wishes to undertake autonomous combat operation in the future.
I fear you will need a better protected vehicle for the front line where these VSHORAD's will be needed. One was shown earlier in this thread.

Lord Jim
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Re: Ground Based Air Defence

Post by Lord Jim »

I totally agree, for the Heavy BCTs we should be looking at a SHORAD system that is a Mission Module fitted to Boxer, ideally a gun and missile combo that can operate autonomously or be networked with other systems. In as ideal world we would be purchasing enough CAMM batteries to allow for greater coverage of important site not just the front line Army units, but although improving air defence was one of the key recommendation form the Command Paper, little has been said or done since, like so many of the other recommendations.

Can't call they actions etc. as the MoD and Government haven't signed off on many of they, instead they are paper promises.

Anyway we need a layered air defence system that can cover our forces whether operating as part of a coalition or independently. SO we need a wide area system with BMD capabilities such as SAMP-T or Patriot mounted on a 8x8 Lorry chassis, additional CAMM and ideally CAMM-ER batteries to cover the middle ground again mounted on an 8x8 Lorry chassis, ideally armoured, and a combination of medium autocannon and SHROAD missiles for the inner zone, mounted on either a Boxer or a MRV(P) platform. All these should be networked and also include independent Radars and other detection devices and in the future spaced based sensors.

RunningStrong
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Re: Ground Based Air Defence

Post by RunningStrong »

I think there's two elements against a turreted, cannon armed Boxer.

Firstly, budget. It's a big price to put a turret on, unmanned or otherwise. And it'll likely be one of the medium weight turrets to include airburst rounds, and possibly a missile fit.

But also tactically, it's an obvious high value target. A concealed missile carrier would be easier to conceal with the other variants, and the boxer module allows that to be done in a fairly simple manner. Also allows for an overwatch variant with shared hardware (but possibly different sensor solution).

Ron5
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Re: Ground Based Air Defence

Post by Ron5 »

I still like this on a UK chassis. Boxer is just too tall esp with a turret. And this would be better protected too.

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Lord Jim
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Re: Ground Based Air Defence

Post by Lord Jim »

I agree if we adopt another tracked chassis. IF Ajax gets sorted then it might be a contender, but I believe the Army's future in its form of a Global force for good is with the Boxer. It is the best protected 8x8, equalling most tracked IFVs, yet is more flexible in theatre and can get there under its own power.

Many of the needed Boxer variants including a SPAA variant are not going to be cheap, but modern warfare isn't either. The shopping list of equipment to make the Army truly viable in a peer conflict is pretty large and the recent Command Paper barely scratched the surface. The Army has given itself ten years to transform itself and find the funding to carry this out. The new money provided by the four year settlement with the Treasury was aimed at such a transformation rather than supporting existing large programmes, so the Army should be aggressively developing the variants of the Boxer and possibly Ajax it is going to need and place orders for them in a timely manner so that they are ready and in service by 2030.

Nearly twenty years of COIN operations have almost terminally degraded the Army's ability to carry out effective combat operations in a peer conflict, at present it would be more a sacrificial lamb that a serious threat to a hostile peer power. The Army has always been relatively week in air defence relying on Rapier supplemented by Starstreak, but these were really stand alone systems and not networked and limited in their range. In modern warfare we need a layered mobile air defence umbrella under which our Soldier can conduct operations. WE are not alone, most NATO members are now in this situation as equipment used in the 80s and 90s has been retired, being seen as no longer required. In a peer conflict we can expect not to have air superiority and the air above our troops to be contested. This is something we are not used to and need to train under this assumption.

CAMM and CAMM-ER are one of the best western air defence systems available in the world, be truly flexible and easily networked in to an integrated air defence shield with other systems. We should be ordering the latter and forming combined batteries of both missiles as they compliment east other and share 60% commonality of their components which should ease support costs. Both can use the same launch vehicle, and both are radar agnostic, meaning they will work with almost any radar. Just buying CAMM-ER would almost double the range our batteries could cover. But we need to order sufficient CAMM batteries to equip a second Sir Defence Regiment, in effect doubling our existing order as a bear minimum. The four Batteries that will currently be available are not enough to protect our Armed Forces in the field and the installations that support them let alone key locations of our civilian infrastructure.

Timmymagic
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Re: Ground Based Air Defence

Post by Timmymagic »

Ron5 wrote:I still like this on a UK chassis. Boxer is just too tall esp with a turret. And this would be better protected too.
You won't find any argument from me...its been a gap for decades...

Mind you I'm of the opinion that every armoured vehicle with an autocannon should be capable of fast rotation and tracking for high elevation fire with airburst rounds, have a mast mounted E/O sight with radar and E/O capable of picking up aerial threats, tied in to its own APS with radar and soft/hard kill with a missile capability including AT and Surface to air missiles...in an age with UAV's, attack helos, ATGM's and loitering munitions proliferating I don't think there's much of a choice but to make each IFV a mini SPAAG. It's not as if these threats will only present themselves at the Forward Line of Troops (FLOT) like in the Cold War....we have to be prepared to defend assets all the way back to the home base until the threat is neutralised.

RunningStrong
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Re: Ground Based Air Defence

Post by RunningStrong »

Timmymagic wrote:
Ron5 wrote:I still like this on a UK chassis. Boxer is just too tall esp with a turret. And this would be better protected too.
You won't find any argument from me...its been a gap for decades...

Mind you I'm of the opinion that every armoured vehicle with an autocannon should be capable of fast rotation and tracking for high elevation fire with airburst rounds, have a mast mounted E/O sight with radar and E/O capable of picking up aerial threats, tied in to its own APS with radar and soft/hard kill with a missile capability including AT and Surface to air missiles...in an age with UAV's, attack helos, ATGM's and loitering munitions proliferating I don't think there's much of a choice but to make each IFV a mini SPAAG. It's not as if these threats will only present themselves at the Forward Line of Troops (FLOT) like in the Cold War....we have to be prepared to defend assets all the way back to the home base until the threat is neutralised.
WCSP with the CT40 airburst (ground or air round) would have been capable.

Timmymagic
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Re: Ground Based Air Defence

Post by Timmymagic »

RunningStrong wrote:WCSP with the CT40 airburst (ground or air round) would have been capable.
This is true...but not Ajax...the airburst capability was, incredibly, not there...

RunningStrong
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Re: Ground Based Air Defence

Post by RunningStrong »

Timmymagic wrote:
RunningStrong wrote:WCSP with the CT40 airburst (ground or air round) would have been capable.
This is true...but not Ajax...the airburst capability was, incredibly, not there...
Not completely, no. But last I knew, CTAI didn't have a qualified airburst round to test it with. I think it was said at DSEI that the original airburst is qualified now, but the anti-air round is still in progress (higher kinetic energy, longer range).

Ron5
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Re: Ground Based Air Defence

Post by Ron5 »

Timmymagic wrote:
Ron5 wrote:I still like this on a UK chassis. Boxer is just too tall esp with a turret. And this would be better protected too.
You won't find any argument from me...its been a gap for decades...

Mind you I'm of the opinion that every armoured vehicle with an autocannon should be capable of fast rotation and tracking for high elevation fire with airburst rounds, have a mast mounted E/O sight with radar and E/O capable of picking up aerial threats, tied in to its own APS with radar and soft/hard kill with a missile capability including AT and Surface to air missiles...in an age with UAV's, attack helos, ATGM's and loitering munitions proliferating I don't think there's much of a choice but to make each IFV a mini SPAAG. It's not as if these threats will only present themselves at the Forward Line of Troops (FLOT) like in the Cold War....we have to be prepared to defend assets all the way back to the home base until the threat is neutralised.
I've had the same thought myself but I don't think it's practical.

It makes for one very expensive turret/vehicle that probably doesn't need all those capabilities at the same time and place. Kinda like saying all escorts should have both Type 26 ASW capability and Type 45 AA capability. Otherwise known as a "fleet in a warship". Yet the way escorts are used tactically, it's two capabilities would ever be used at once.

Also may force technical compromises that you don't really want. For example, one radar to detect both aerial threats and incoming rockets, one gun to handle both drones & bunkers, one missile for anti-tank and anti-aircraft, the list goes on.

Timmymagic
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Re: Ground Based Air Defence

Post by Timmymagic »

Ron5 wrote:I've had the same thought myself but I don't think it's practical.
I agree. But when I look at loitering munitions in particular I can't see any other practical answer (and I think there's a real chance that loitering munitions may kill off the attack helicopter as well...). Either you kill them at every opportunity that they're detected or they kill your armour, artillery or supply vehicles further back. NGK may be an outlier (one side with huge advantages/preperation over another) or a pointer to the future...I think its a bit of both personally.

Lord Jim
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Re: Ground Based Air Defence

Post by Lord Jim »

The British Army needs at SPAA platform to compliment the Starstreak, and that is better at engaging certain aerial targets. We do not need both on a single platform but having a percentage of Starstreak turrets installed on a Boxer Mission Module would make sense. At present the Starstreak on has a IRST for advanced detection and really need to be part of a network that includes Radar in increase the time the system has to react to incoming threats. OF course it will still be able to act autonomously.

As for the Gun Systems, it will need both EO and radar to provide targeting data to its FCS if it is to be able to engage targets effectively using programable fuse ammunition. Like Starstreak this platform will also need to be networked in order that it may provide data to another platform or alternatively receive data. A turret able to contain not only the gun but also the necessary radar and EO sensors will not make the vehicle unwieldy or too high, just look at the turret installed on the Lithuanian Boxer AFV or even the RWS installed on others, the overall height is not greatly exceeded by the turrets highlighted by Ron5.

Providing effective air defence at Battalion and even Company level is going to be essential if the Army is going to be able to fight effectively in any peer conflict. I would go further and have this capability down to Platoon level given the widely dispersed nature of the new doctrine being developed for the heavy and light BCTs. Very light units like the Royal Marines and 16AA should be able to manage with both shoulder fired and pedestal launched Starstreak and LMM or even a small number of Stinger MANPADS, as used by our SF.

But we also need a high level of GBAD that will also have a ABM capability. At a bear minimum our lower level capabilities need to be networks and be able to work with systems like Patriot used by our allies. But this may not always be available which is why the UK need ots own high level GBAD systems to complete its own multi-layered air defence network.

What ever happens the UK needs to greatly increase its GBAD capabilities over the next ten years. If it doesn't all the money invested in mew AFV, and other equipment might as well be wasted as the Army will not be able to effectively fight in a peer level conflict even with allies, and any attempt to do so will result is a disproportionate level of casualties and loss of equipment.

Ron5
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Re: Ground Based Air Defence

Post by Ron5 »

@LJ You may be interested in the Hanwha Biho II system. Shown here at a defense exhibition. It's a modular air defense system that can accept several missile types mounted on a turret with EO & radar sensors plus FCS. In model & CGI forms on both wheeled and tracked AFVs.

Of interest is that CAMM is offered in both dual and quadruple launchers.

Worth a Google.

Image


Turret mock up ...

Image

Lord Jim
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Re: Ground Based Air Defence

Post by Lord Jim »

Very interesting, thanks for posting. Now we just need to order a number of both auto cannon plus Starstreak/LMM and CAMM equipped vehicles. The former to be integral with Infantry units equipped with Boxer and the latter to equip a second Royal Artillery Air Defence Regiment to provide longer range GBAD for mobile forces. This would allow the existing CAMM batteries to be concentrated on protecting fixed installations like air fields, supply dumps and high level Headquarters. I must be dreaming again. :D

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