RN anti-ship missiles

Contains threads on Royal Navy equipment of the past, present and future.
jimthelad
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Re: RN anti-ship missiles

Post by jimthelad »

Time to UOR something, maybe that was the navy plan all along. Avoid interminable competition phases and they get to pick. I doubt any politician now has the balls to say no.

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Re: RN anti-ship missiles

Post by donald_of_tokyo »

If any UOR is needed, I think purchasing ammo stock is the top priority. Lack of ammo stock (and shortage of engineer) was the top priority problem of RN, according to the Save the RN article a few months ago.

Harpoon is still there, luckily. It is not a good weapon, but firing it will invoke opponents reaction = taking up their effort. So, T23 and T45 must re-start carrying it. Even more stock can be ordered.

I also noted that I-SSGW is still in "scrutiny" not completely dead. Interesting.

As a result, Harpoon blk II+ may come in (although I prefer NSM)...
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Re: RN anti-ship missiles

Post by SD67 »

NickC wrote: 20 Feb 2022, 15:05
GarethDavies1 wrote: 19 Feb 2022, 10:41 I'd prefer a small buy of JSM missiles to be launched from F-35B.
That's a problem as they would have to be carried externally on the F-35B as weapon bay too short compared to the F-35A and C weapon bays where JSM can fit internally, so you lose the F-35B stealth capability, remember reading the Israeli wanting extra range for their F-35As to attack Iran and fitting external fuel tanks on wing, the fuel tank and wing pylons had to be jettisoned to restore stealth before coming in range of Iranian radars.
I don’t understand this argument. Every other naval aircraft in service today is also carrying their stores externally. F35B with a couple of externally mounted JSMs will still likely have the lowest RCS within the maritime domain which is why it has external hard points. Why wouldn’t you want the option especially as it’s available off the shelf.
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Re: RN anti-ship missiles

Post by NickC »

SD67 wrote: 09 Mar 2022, 21:35
NickC wrote: 20 Feb 2022, 15:05
GarethDavies1 wrote: 19 Feb 2022, 10:41 I'd prefer a small buy of JSM missiles to be launched from F-35B.
That's a problem as they would have to be carried externally on the F-35B as weapon bay too short compared to the F-35A and C weapon bays where JSM can fit internally, so you lose the F-35B stealth capability, remember reading the Israeli wanting extra range for their F-35As to attack Iran and fitting external fuel tanks on wing, the fuel tank and wing pylons had to be jettisoned to restore stealth before coming in range of Iranian radars.
I don’t understand this argument. Every other naval aircraft in service today is also carrying their stores externally. F35B with a couple of externally mounted JSMs will still likely have the lowest RCS within the maritime domain which is why it has external hard points. Why wouldn’t you want the option especially as it’s available off the shelf.
The raison d'etre of the 5G F-35, the most expensive DoD programme ever, is its stealth, with its very low RCS signature, a few quotes

RCS achieved by "an integrated airframe design, advanced materials and an axisymmetric nozzle maximize the F-35's stealth features. A quick look at the aircraft reveals an adherence to fundamental shaping principles of a stealthy design. The leading and trailing edges of the wing and tail have identical sweep angles (a design technique called planform alignment). The fuselage and canopy have sloping sides. The canopy seam and bay doors are saw toothed. The vertical tails are canted. The engine face is deeply hidden by a serpentine inlet duct. The inlet itself has no boundary layer diverter channel, the space between the duct and the fuselage, to reflect radar energy, the edges are sharp to prevent there being rounded surfaces plus radar-absorbent coatings and of course weapons carried internally."

" The RCS of an aircraft depends on its aspect, the orientation of the target to the radar source. Any aircraft will have a smaller RCS from the front, and show-up bigger from the side or the rear"

If you pylon mount weapons and fuel tanks on the wings where the rounded surfaces will often have some portion of the surface normal to the radar source, any ray incident along the normal will reflect back, this will make for a strong reflected signal and any corner reflectors will increase RCS from many orientations.eg ordnance pylons, open bomb-bays, engine intakes, joints between constructed sections, etc. and which can be impractical to coat these surfaces with the necessary radar-absorbent materials.

Its said the F-35 head on has a RCS (m2) of 0.005 whereas a Typhoon 0.5 (m2) same as a Tomahawk which 100 x larger and said to make them big fat targets for the latest advanced radars, so my assumption is that with the missiles fitted to the wings the carefully crafted design of the F-35 to maximise its stealth is negated, think my assumption is reasonable as same as IAF expressed. The F-35 RCS (m2) measurements from all aspects and with external weapons classified, maybe some expert estimations available on web somewhere.

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Re: RN anti-ship missiles

Post by SD67 »

My question is - does the F35B + JSM have a larger RCS than say Rafale + Exocet?

If the answer is "no" then what's the problem? If F35B were required to be 100% stealthy in all missions then it would never have been designed with underwing hardpoints at all. Losing Stealth in 1 mission doesn't mean it's permanently degraded all the time. By this logic no F35 variant should ever carry drop tanks. And isn't a stand off anti ship weapon meant to be released at the outer limit of enemy radar anyway, that's kind of the point?
I think the question is what is the relative risk of a less stealthy F35B attacking a target at standoff range vs a stealthy F35B dropping LGBs close up.
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Re: RN anti-ship missiles

Post by NickC »

A few thoughts

How could an aircraft radar with its small radar target an enemy ship, confirm its the correct target and not be outranged by the ships large radar to target aircraft, only possible if low stealth aircraft allowing it to get in closer before firing its missiles (would note why Chinese and Russian ships fit low frequency radars that would detect F-35 but don't think accurate enough to individually target them).

An aircraft with high RCS will have to launch its missiles at long range out of range of the ships AA missiles as much more easily targeted, or perhaps need to attack on the deck at short range as anti-ship missile range decreases at low altitude. If you are going to release your subsonic anti-ship missiles at the outer limit of enemy ship radar range your chance of Pk is low as ship more than likely will have moved out of the basket range of the small anti-ship sensor head by the time it arrives, understand the stealthy long range subsonic LRASM with its numerous sophisticated passive sensors stays high to target ship until near target when it drops down to deck to attack, FC/ASW both stealthy and supersonic options studied

Would note if targeting Chinese CBG with future Type 003 carrier and its new KJ-600 AEW&C don't think any aircraft anti-ship missile will have the range to be launched outside the limit of its radar.

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Re: RN anti-ship missiles

Post by SW1 »

All that being stated here is you don’t need a low observable platform with all the associated production and sustainment costs that brings to conduct a stand-off anti ship missile strike. Hardly news

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Re: RN anti-ship missiles

Post by Timmymagic »

NickC wrote: 11 Mar 2022, 12:42 How could an aircraft radar with its small radar target an enemy ship, confirm its the correct target and not be outranged by the ships large radar to target aircraft, only possible if low stealth aircraft allowing it to get in closer before firing its missiles (would note why Chinese and Russian ships fit low frequency radars that would detect F-35 but don't think accurate enough to individually target them).
If they're illuminating you'll be able to accurately triangulate their position. You also just have to look at small SAR satellites out there at present to see where a lot of targeting is going to come from in the future.

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Re: RN anti-ship missiles

Post by Lord Jim »

We are already operating our F-35Bs with their outer wing pylons in order to carry ASRAAM. The pylons are supposed to have been designed to have a low RCS as carriage of external weapons is supposed to be routine except for "Day one" operations. Long range AShMs like the US LRASM are fired in the direct the target is believed to be, activating their guidance package once it has crossed its radar horizon, so the target ship should not even see the launch platform. The targets can counter this by carrier borne AEW&C if available but this cannot illuminate the F-35 for teh ships radar but can direct any available CAP towards the F-35s. We then have the F-5 and its low probability of intercept radar, in theory being able to lock onto the CAP without it knowing it has been illuminated and one or more Meteors sent their way. Alternatively the F-35s who fired the AShMs should already be heading home. It is also important to note the AEW&C platforms usually use passive means observing emcom until they have a good idea an attack is incoming, and as the F-25s do not need to illuminate the target, and their radars are hard to detect if at all, no CAP may be redirected and the first thing the targets will know of an attack is when their radars pick up the AShMs inbound, and these are also stealthy nowadays, reducing the reaction time. Of course our CSG will have similar issues to contend with.

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Re: RN anti-ship missiles

Post by NickC »

Targeting long range anti-ship missiles very, very difficult, with stealth F-35 and its ability to get close enough to confirm targeting an enemy ship and not wasting them on what might be a commercial ship acting as decoy etc in the fog of war helps mitigate the problem.

Any radar can detect a F-35, but the claim with the 5G F-35 is that with its stealth it can get much closer to the expected target and with its SAR radar mode active and able to confirm its an enemy ship before launching its anti-ship missiles before the enemy ships radar can distinguish the F35 from background noise.

PS Not sure if correct but think the future F-35 Block 4 will be needed for FOC to fire JSMs, Block 4 includes the Technology Refresh 3 including APG-81 radar upgrade, etc, as understand the radar upgrade includes the necessary much higher processing power for wide area SAR search mode presuming giving ability to find and confirm targeting the right ship at range, current APG-81 SAR mode limited minimal search in azimuth, USN classifies it as a Category 1 F-35 deficiency. If my assumptions correct any current 4G aircraft and current radar would appear to have limited capability in targeting peer enemy ships successfully eg Chinese CBG.

PPS Finland last December chose the 5G F-35A Block 4 as winner for its competition for 64 fighters/attack aircraft in preference to the 4G Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, Dassault Aviation Rafale, Eurofighter Typhoon, and the Saab Gripen E. Why did Finland Air Force chose the F-35A, some reasons quoted "Particular aspects of the F-35 that the Air Force singled out for praise were its situational awareness and ability to share targeting data with other platforms, as well as its stealth characteristics and its sensors, all of which are internal, rather than podded. The endurance of the F-35 was also praised in the Finnish competition, with the jet having the largest internal fuel capacity of the entrants and not needing external fuel tanks"

An old Aviation Week image, presuming larger ships radar will extend ranges substantially
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Re: RN anti-ship missiles

Post by Lord Jim »

I thought the most modern AShMs had guidance systems that could differentiate objects to find their intended target, even going around and ignoring other vessels in a group to do so. If positive ID is required first, surely that is a role for UAVs. Alternatively the R=35s in clean form could provide targeting data of warships and other platforms who could them launch AShMs at the enemy.

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Re: RN anti-ship missiles

Post by SW1 »

NickC wrote: 12 Mar 2022, 19:05
An old Aviation Week image, presuming larger ships radar will extend ranges substantially
Very disingenuous to compare radar range of airborne and ground radars, the image completely ignores flight profiles against a ground radar. Aircraft on low level run to launch a standoff missile will get much closer to a ground radar.

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Re: RN anti-ship missiles

Post by donald_of_tokyo »

NickC wrote: 12 Mar 2022, 19:05 Targeting long range anti-ship missiles very, very difficult, with stealth F-35 and its ability to get close enough to confirm targeting an enemy ship and not wasting them on what might be a commercial ship acting as decoy etc in the fog of war helps mitigate the problem.
In these days, hiding a ship is more and more difficult.

- Target info can come from elsewhere. Satellite, UAV, SAR, ESM. Those assets are more and more networked, so the data will come almost immediately. Targeting side only needs one chance to "see" the target, while the "targetted" side need to hide 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

- Modern ASM like NSM/JSM can "image" the target to identify the ship type. That is the sales point of these modern and expensive ASM, make them different from Harpoon / Exocet.

I do not think F35B unable to carry JSM in its stealth cargo bay is "critical". It is better to be stealthy, but even carried outside, it will have smaller radar cross-section. And, even if the radar cross section is too large, it is still better than B1B, F15E, F18E/F, Typhoon, Rafale, Gripen and other fighters carrying ASM under their pylon.

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Re: RN anti-ship missiles

Post by NickC »

donald_of_tokyo wrote: 13 Mar 2022, 12:09
NickC wrote: 12 Mar 2022, 19:05 Targeting long range anti-ship missiles very, very difficult, with stealth F-35 and its ability to get close enough to confirm targeting an enemy ship and not wasting them on what might be a commercial ship acting as decoy etc in the fog of war helps mitigate the problem.
In these days, hiding a ship is more and more difficult.

- Target info can come from elsewhere. Satellite, UAV, SAR, ESM. Those assets are more and more networked, so the data will come almost immediately. Targeting side only needs one chance to "see" the target, while the "targetted" side need to hide 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

- Modern ASM like NSM/JSM can "image" the target to identify the ship type. That is the sales point of these modern and expensive ASM, make them different from Harpoon / Exocet.

I do not think F35B unable to carry JSM in its stealth cargo bay is "critical". It is better to be stealthy, but even carried outside, it will have smaller radar cross-section. And, even if the radar cross section is too large, it is still better than B1B, F15E, F18E/F, Typhoon, Rafale, Gripen and other fighters carrying ASM under their pylon.
Satellites - Kremlin recently claimed they had the ability to take down every US GPS satellite after testing their latest ASAT, so don't think beyond the Chinese and Russians capabilities to take down reconnaissence satellites tracking ships.
UAV - The Iranians June 2019 shot down a U.S. Navy RQ-4A Global Hawk UAV over the Gulf.
ESM - In Cold War era it was common for fleet exercises to operate in EMCON mode to ensure the enemy could not triangulate signal source and the ships using ESM techniques.

I'm sure there maybe possible future options, perhaps constellations of LEO reconnaissence satellites?, but as said targeting long range anti-ship missiles will be very, very difficult to enable the small missile sensor to come within range and confirm its the correct enemy ship in massive expanse of the oceans.

My view as to the stealth capability of a F-35 carring wing mounted JSMs think it would be seriously compromised as mentioned in previous post F-35 stealth depends on its clean optimised shape, even opening its weapon bay doors would compromise it, normally only open for a short time so of limited consequences whereas wing mounted JSMs just the opposite.

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Re: RN anti-ship missiles

Post by donald_of_tokyo »

NickC wrote: 13 Mar 2022, 18:04Satellites - Kremlin recently claimed they had the ability to take down every US GPS satellite after testing their latest ASAT, so don't think beyond the Chinese and Russians capabilities to take down reconnaissence satellites tracking ships.
UAV - The Iranians June 2019 shot down a U.S. Navy RQ-4A Global Hawk UAV over the Gulf.
ESM - In Cold War era it was common for fleet exercises to operate in EMCON mode to ensure the enemy could not triangulate signal source and the ships using ESM techniques.
Don't worry. Taking down ALL satellites is much much more difficult than taking down one satellite. Shooting down ALL UAVs, including stealthy ones, are virtually impossible.

How can you imagine a F35B can be more stealthy than stealthy UAV? UAV is much more easy to be stealthy, for sure.

ESM vs EMCON? How can you shoot down the UAVs as you suggested, without emitting any radar signals?

Countermeasure to each probe is possible. But, overall, denying ALL such surveillance capabilities, not only a part of them, is very very difficult.

(By the way "constellations of LEO reconnaissence satellites" is already there. Not a fantasy, some of such constellation is in operation. Shooting down all of them will be very very expensive. So to say, impossible.)
My view as to the stealth capability of a F-35 carring wing mounted JSMs think it would be seriously compromised as mentioned in previous post F-35 stealth depends on its clean optimised shape, even opening its weapon bay doors would compromise it, normally only open for a short time so of limited consequences whereas wing mounted JSMs just the opposite.
Sorry, disagree. Satellite will spot the enemy fleet within a few minutes, and stealthy UAV can easily identify each ship by enlarged vision (because approx-location is already known) or radar scan in SAR mode. Yes, sometimes these attempts will be denied by enemy, but, denying ALL chances is virtually impossible.

Stealthy mode F35 with JSM within the mission bay is good, but not the sole solution.

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Re: RN anti-ship missiles

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Germany's decision to buy F-35A to use with the B61 nuclear bomb would seem to say one and the same thing as my above posts on F-35 which i interpret as confirmation of the importance of stealth in attacking peer enemy ships and the F-35 stealth should not degraded/compromised in anyway by hanging anti-ship missiles on the wings.

"Justin Bronk, a technology research fellow at the UK-based Royal United Services Institute, said that Germany’s decision is “very logical”, as a fourth-generation aircraft like the Super Hornet would not be able to penetrate into the airspace of a peer adversary like Russia to drop B61s as the stealthy F-35 can."

From <https://breakingdefense.com/2022/03/ger ... ced-plans/>

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Re: RN anti-ship missiles

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NickC wrote: 14 Mar 2022, 16:26 "Justin Bronk, a technology research fellow at the UK-based Royal United Services Institute, said that Germany’s decision is “very logical”, as a fourth-generation aircraft like the Super Hornet would not be able to penetrate into the airspace of a peer adversary like Russia."

From <https://breakingdefense.com/2022/03/ger ... ced-plans/>
And a TB2 pusher prop drone says hold my beer…
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Re: RN anti-ship missiles

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Brings back to Marte ER at 3.6 meters it is the same length as a Meteor plus as said it is already tested for Merlin and Typhoon
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Re: RN anti-ship missiles

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NickC wrote: 14 Mar 2022, 16:26 Germany's decision to buy F-35A to use with the B61 nuclear bomb would seem to say one and the same thing as my above posts on F-35 which i interpret as confirmation of the importance of stealth in attacking peer enemy ships and the F-35 stealth should not degraded/compromised in anyway by hanging anti-ship missiles on the wings.

"Justin Bronk, a technology research fellow at the UK-based Royal United Services Institute, said that Germany’s decision is “very logical”, as a fourth-generation aircraft like the Super Hornet would not be able to penetrate into the airspace of a peer adversary like Russia to drop B61s as the stealthy F-35 can."

From <https://breakingdefense.com/2022/03/ger ... ced-plans/>
Hornets haven't been cleared to carry nuclear bombs for years. If Germany went with F18 they would have to pay for a capability unique to themselves go with F35 and the capability is built in. Stealth is just an added bonus.

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Re: RN anti-ship missiles

Post by Lord Jim »

Would be nice to steer the conversation back towards AShMs with the F-35 thread and Germany thread filling in the other areas being discussed. By the way, could Sea Venom fir inside the bay(s) of an F-35B? Could possibly two be fitted in each? Maybes that is where the UK should look?

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Re: RN anti-ship missiles

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Janes pic of USAF F-35A with its weapon bay open with JSM? accompanying its article April 2021 "conducted two initial in-flight test releases of a Joint Strike Missile (JSM) from the F-35A CTOL (Conventional Take-Off and Landing) Lightning II multirole stealth fighter over Edwards Air Force Base, California, in February." The Norwegian's insisted their contract for F-35s was made conditional on integration of JSM.

Oct 2021 Norway contracted with Kongsberg for JSMs "nearly NOK 4 billion (approx. $480 million—Ed.)"

Think nearly zero chance the Sea Venom will be integrated with F-35 anytime soon if ever, reported last year a budget ~$400 million, mainly funded by UK, to integrate Meteor and Spear by 2024 year end, also said Block 4 slipping which may delay programme.

From <https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news ... from-f-35a>
From <http://avioblog.it/en/norway-orders-joi ... orth-480m/>
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Re: RN anti-ship missiles

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NickC wrote: 17 Mar 2022, 11:43 Think nearly zero chance the Sea Venom will be integrated with F-35 anytime soon if ever, reported last year a budget ~$400 million, mainly funded by UK, to integrate Meteor and Spear by 2024 year end, also said Block 4 slipping which may delay programme.
2027 now if we are lucky :crazy:

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Re: RN anti-ship missiles

Post by Timmymagic »

Lord Jim wrote: 14 Mar 2022, 22:01 By the way, could Sea Venom fir inside the bay(s) of an F-35B? Could possibly two be fitted in each? Maybes that is where the UK should look?
Given the costs of integration would cover the cost of an entire purchase of JSM for the F-35 fleet why bother? If we only want to kill ships at 40nm range we could just buy the 1,000lb QuickSink JDAM and be done for a tiny fraction of the cost.
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Re: RN anti-ship missiles

Post by SW1 »

Maybe relevant here

https://www.ft.com/content/b8ddf153-b9c ... 8509a9921f

The US, UK and Australia will co-operate on the development of hypersonic weapons, expanding a trilateral security pact designed to help Washington and its allies respond to China’s rapid expansion of its military.

President Joe Biden is preparing to unveil the expansion of the so-called Aukus security pact with Scott Morrison, the Australian prime minister, and Boris Johnson, the British prime minister, according to three people familiar with the situation. One of the people said an announcement could come as early as Tuesday in Washington.
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Re: RN anti-ship missiles

Post by SD67 »

I'm guessing maybe the cancellation of the interim weapon releases some budget for this?

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