Ground Based Air Defence

Contains threads on British Army equipment of the past, present and future.
User avatar
Tempest414
Senior Member
Posts: 3037
Joined: 04 Jan 2018, 23:39
France

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
Senior Member
Posts: 6250
Joined: 10 Dec 2015, 02:15
United Kingdom

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
Donator
Posts: 6329
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:42
United States of America

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
Senior Member
Posts: 6250
Joined: 10 Dec 2015, 02:15
United Kingdom

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
Member
Posts: 768
Joined: 06 May 2015, 20:52

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
Donator
Posts: 6329
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:42
United States of America

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.

Image

Lord Jim
Senior Member
Posts: 6250
Joined: 10 Dec 2015, 02:15
United Kingdom

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
Donator
Posts: 2300
Joined: 07 May 2015, 23:57
United Kingdom

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
Member
Posts: 768
Joined: 06 May 2015, 20:52

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
Donator
Posts: 2300
Joined: 07 May 2015, 23:57
United Kingdom

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
Member
Posts: 768
Joined: 06 May 2015, 20:52

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
Donator
Posts: 6329
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:42
United States of America

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
Donator
Posts: 2300
Joined: 07 May 2015, 23:57
United Kingdom

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
Senior Member
Posts: 6250
Joined: 10 Dec 2015, 02:15
United Kingdom

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
Donator
Posts: 6329
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:42
United States of America

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
Senior Member
Posts: 6250
Joined: 10 Dec 2015, 02:15
United Kingdom

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

Ron5
Donator
Posts: 6329
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:42
United States of America

Re: Ground Based Air Defence

Post by Ron5 »

From this mornings DT ..
Royal Artillery's new Sky Sabre missiles 'can strike tennis ball travelling at speed of sound'

Advanced 'detect and destroy' air-defence system needed to counter threat from modern Russian stealth fighters
By Dominic Nicholls, Defence and Security Editor 6 December 2021 • 6:00am

"Sky Sabre" missiles that the MoD have brought into service to destroy Russian fighter jets can strike a tennis ball travelling at the speed of sound.

The advanced "detect and destroy" air-defence system will be “a real step up” and “the system of choice” according to defence experts.

The new system, being delivered to the Royal Artillery now, replaces Rapier.

Unprecedented in speed and accuracy, Sky Sabre will be able to hit a tennis ball-sized object travelling at the speed of sound.

The new system is needed to counter the threat from modern Russian stealth fighters such as the Sukhoi Su-57 with a 3,500km range, codenamed Felon by Nato, a defence source told the Telegraph.

Jeremy Quin, the defence procurement minister, said: “Sky Sabre’s spearheading technology has significantly upgraded the protection of our forces from threats from the air.

“This cutting-edge defence system is a clear demonstration of our warfighting capabilities to those who wish to do us harm.”

The Sky Sabre system comprises a common anti-air modular missile (CAMM), with three times the range of Rapier, and the Giraffe radar, that rotates 360 degrees on an extending mast and can scan out to 75 miles for threats.

The CAMM missile can reach speeds of 2,300mph, eliminating fighter aircraft, drones and even laser-guided smart bombs out to 16 miles.

Eight missiles are mounted on the launcher, which is able to re-arm in less than half the time of Rapier.

Defence expert Nicholas Drummond said the combination of CAMM and Giraffe is “phenomenal” and would provide “a world-class system.”

CAMM is already in service with the Royal Navy, where it is known as Sea Ceptor, as the principal air-defence system for Britain's frigates and destroyers.

The MoD hopes the commonality between the Army and Navy systems will reduce overall costs and training time.
Sky Sabre 'among best systems in Nato'

Mr Drummond said Sky Sabre “is definitely one of the best systems in Nato and is used by France and Italy”.

“Air defence is a huge area and the Government is getting a grip of that,” he said.

The MoD would not confirm exact numbers “for security reasons” but is expected to have bought 24 systems, at a cost of around £250million.

One battery of around eight Sky Sabre systems will be deployed to the Falkland Islands, leaving only around 16 sets for all other Army and RAF deployments.

To support an armoured division as well as RAF bases the MoD would need to buy an additional 24 systems at least.

The Commanding Officer of 16 Regiment Royal Artillery, Lieutenant Colonel Chris Lane, said the new systems will mean British forces can “compete with our peers and take on some of the toughest adversaries”.

“It gives us a capability we have not had before; this new missile system with its new launcher and world-class radar will absolutely put us at the forefront of ground-based air defence.”

Sky Sabre can control 24 missiles simultaneously in flight, guiding them to intercept 24 separate targets.

It is likely the systems will form part of a wider ground-based air defence system to protect against ballistic and hypersonic missiles.
Defending against Russian and Chinese hypersonic missiles

Russia and China are investing “significant” sums of money in hypersonic missiles, Mr Drummond said.

The Russian Avangard hypersonic glide missile is capable of carrying nuclear and conventional payloads. It can travel at speeds around Mach 20.

Unlike ballistic missiles hypersonic vehicles are able to manoeuvre at low altitudes. The incredible speed and ability to fly around air-defence sites makes them particularly difficult to intercept.

Currently only the US military have systems thought capable of destroying hypersonic weapons by combining long-range radar systems with very powerful missiles.

An MoD spokesman said a long-term solution for air-defence systems will be delivered in the second half of this decade but there would be “no capability gap” in the interim.

Repulse
Donator
Posts: 2822
Joined: 05 May 2015, 22:46
United Kingdom

Re: Ground Based Air Defence

Post by Repulse »

I understand that the current ambition is for 24 Sky Sabre launchers which probably means 8-10 Radar units - feels very low given the range of threats this will be tackling on the modern battlefield.
”We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and those interests it is our duty to follow." - Lord Palmerston

Ron5
Donator
Posts: 6329
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:42
United States of America

Re: Ground Based Air Defence

Post by Ron5 »

Repulse wrote: 06 Dec 2021, 14:58 I understand that the current ambition is for 24 Sky Sabre launchers which probably means 8-10 Radar units - feels very low given the range of threats this will be tackling on the modern battlefield.
I doubt that many.

Timmymagic
Donator
Posts: 2300
Joined: 07 May 2015, 23:57
United Kingdom

Re: Ground Based Air Defence

Post by Timmymagic »

Ron5 wrote: 06 Dec 2021, 15:32 I doubt that many.
UK has more Giraffe AMB than that already, 5 additional sets were ordered in 2014 on top of the systems (that have since been upgraded) ordered in 2004....apparently the UK is the largest land user of Giraffe around, and its not the only radar in use. Other unmanned radars can be emplaced that link in from the Rapier 2000 system. Apparently, they operate almost as remote radar heads, plonk them in a field, link them up and leave them at it. Apparently they'll remain around, at the very least they're useful radar lures...

Image

Lord Jim
Senior Member
Posts: 6250
Joined: 10 Dec 2015, 02:15
United Kingdom

Re: Ground Based Air Defence

Post by Lord Jim »

I believe the ratio of launchers to Radars for CAMM is 3:1, though it could be as low as 4:1. One advantage of CAMM is that it is radar "Agnostic", meaning it will work with virtually any radar. AS for the Rapier FSC radar in the picture, well we really need to retain a few batteries of these for the defence of fixed installations such as airbases as we won't have enough CAMM to protect the Army in the field and do anything else. At most we will have eight Batteries of CAMM in total, though none bar the single battery in the Falklands has actually been bought yet. That leave between five and seven batteries to protect the Army's formations, which is spreading things a little thin even if supplemented by HVM/LMM. None of these are really ideal for dealing with UAVs let alone incoming munitions, highlighting the need for a gun based solution with a high rate of fire and programmable ammunition. Yet there appears to be not requirement for such a system in the MoD. There is a requirement that has existed ever since the Bloodhound was retired for a weapon system in the league of Patriot or SMAP-T but nothing has happened with that either.

Post Reply