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Author: Subject: Ship-launched Missiles
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[*] posted on 8-10-2017 at 08:34 PM


SM-2 Restart


Standard Missile-2 is primarily used by U.S. and allied navies for fleet air defence and ship self defence (Photo: Raytheon)

After halting production in 2013, Raytheon is now reconfiguring and modernising the Standard Missile-2 (SM-2) factory to increase production efficiencies as a result of a number of new contracts signed with customers. Todd Callahan, Raytheon Vice President of Naval and Area Mission Defence told MONS: “The big news this year was that four main countries (Japan, Australia, South Korea and the Netherlands) came in for a bulk buy for 262 missiles, that is, $650 million in award.”
 
When asked what differentiates the SM-2 from other missiles out there, Mr. Callahan replied: “The radars and illuminators used for this missile are extremely good, and the way that we are able to target and close the overall guidance loop of the missile are very mature: we shot over 4,000 SM-2, so it has been extensively tested from all aspects.”
 
Raytheon cannot disclose the identity of other potential customers, but Mr. Callahan indicated that: “Considering the countries where SM-1 and SM-2 are at the moment, there are not many other markets that are releasable, so we can consider that we have already covered the market and it is now more a matter of moving customers that have SM-1 to SM-2, like Taiwan.”

Additionally, industry sources say that the SM-2 and SM-6 are now being considered by the Royal Australian Navy for the future frigates and the air warfare destroyers programmes.
 
New SM-2 assembly will begin in early 2018, with the first deliveries slated to occur in 2020.
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[*] posted on 21-10-2017 at 10:39 AM


Turkey carries out first test firing of Atmaca anti-ship missile

Lale Sariibrahimoglu - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly

20 October 2017

Admiral Ahmet Çakir, navy technical commander of the Turkish Naval Forces Command, officially confirmed on 16 October that the Atmaca (Hawk) anti-ship guided missile developed by Roketsan had been test fired for the first time, without giving a date.

Addressing a naval systems seminar in Ankara, Adm Çakir stated that the missile would be test fired from naval platforms next year. Little information is publicly available on the status of the Atmaca project and the missile itself, which is intended to replace the Harpoon missile.

The Turkish Defence Industries Underecretariat (SSM) signed a contract in 2009 on the research and development phase of the Atmaca project, with Roketsan as the prime contactor.

(135 of 427 words)
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[*] posted on 25-10-2017 at 08:11 PM


Published: Tuesday, 24 October 2017 12:09
 
MADEX 2017: LIG Nex1 Showcasing TSLM / Haeseong II Land Attack Missile for the 1st Time
 
At MADEX 2017, the International Maritime Defense Industry Exhibition currently held in Busan, South Korea, local company LIG Nex1 is showcasing its new Tactical Surface Launch Missile (TSLM) for the first time.
 
 
Tactical Surface Launch Missile (TSLM) / Haeseong II / Sea Dragon showcased for the first time on LIG Nex1 stand at MADEX 2017.
 
According to a LIG Nex1 representative, the missile just entered mass production. It is designated Haeseong II in the Republic of Korea Navy (ROK Navy) and Sea Dragon by LIG Nex1.

The TSLM missile was developed in 2011, and from 2016 started being deployed aboard ROK Navy vessels (the new FFX Batch I Incheon-class of frigates) in a variant designed to be launched from "canister" and top side / inclined launcher.
 
VIDEO: https://youtu.be/-knQgmIPu_g
TLSM presentation video (DAPA video)
 
TSLM may be launched from the existing launchers of the SSM-700K Haeseong (C-Star) Anti-ship Missile. South Korea's Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) announced earlier this year that it has completed the development of a TSLM variant intended to be launched from the K-VLS (Korean Vertical Launch System) now fitted aboard all new South Korean surface combatants. Serial production of this version of the missile will be launched in 2018 with deliveries starting in 2019.

VIDEO: https://youtu.be/jSKo3LWsgXc
Tests of both variants of TSLM (DAPA video)
 
Talking to Navy Recognition at MADEX 2017, an LIG Nex1 representative confirmed that the Sea Dragon is heavily based on the C-Star anti-ship missile: The two missiles share the same body, turbojet engine and range (Up to 200 km). Even the missile interface in the CIC is similar so technicaly even a PKX-A could strike land targets with it. TSLM guidance system is INS-based using GPS correction. The variant of the TSLM missile for launch from the K-VLS differs from the top side launcher variant by the presence of a more powerful launch booster equipped with thrust vectoring.

According to a DAPA release in April 2017, the TSLM missile is equipped with a submunition warhead with cumulative fragmentation elements, capable of "striking an area covering the equivalent of two football fields". From this it can be concluded that the main purpose of the TSLM missile is to defeat the positions of North Korean artillery and missile systems.
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[*] posted on 28-11-2017 at 09:56 AM


Israel declares operational capability for sea-based Iron Dome

By: Barbara Opall-Rome   4 hours ago

TEL AVIV, Israel — The Israeli military has declared initial operational capability of a ship-based version of the Iron Dome intercepting system following a live-fire test earlier in the day that destroyed multiple incoming targets at sea.

The Nov. 27 milestone test capped more than 18 months of intensive coordination between the Israeli Air Force, the Israeli Navy and local industry to integrate Iron Dome with the Adir surveillance, track and guidance radar onboard the INS Lahav, a Sa’ar-5 corvette-class surface ship.

“Officially, from today, we added another operational layer to defend Israeli assets in the Mediterranean Sea,” Brig. Gen. Zvika Haimovich, commander of the Air Force’s Aerial Defense Division, told reporters.

“Now there is full connectivity between the ship-based Iron Dome, the Adir radar and our ground-based Iron Dome batteries. It was proven in today’s live-fire test and its performance is excellent,” Haimovich said.

Developed by state-owned Rafael, Iron Dome has been credited with more than 1,700 successful intercepts since it was first deployed in 2011. The firm is marketing its ship-based Iron Dome variants under the name C-Dome.

The Air Force officer noted that the ship-based Iron Dome would be operated by air defenders according to the same doctrine and skill sets developed for land-based Iron Dome batteries. “This naval Iron Dome is part of our new Iron Dome battalion … and the merging of land- and sea-based capabilities promises to achieve our goals in the next round of escalation or the next war.”

Navy Capt. Ziv Barak, head of the service’s weapons department, said lessons from Israel’s 2014 Gaza war drove requirements for a sea-based Iron Dome for defense of the Israeli coast, Israeli ships and offshore energy assets. However, he emphasized that integration of the ship-based interceptor and its interoperability with land-based systems could just as easily be used to defend against threats beyond its northern border.

“For the first time, we used the Adir radar to detect and track threats, and we used Iron Dome missiles to intercept the threats. For the Navy, it’s a very high-value capability,” Barak said.

Developed by Elta Systems, a subsidiary of Israel Aerospace Industries, the ELM-2248 Adir radar was initially developed to support the more sophisticated Barak-8 anti-missile and air-defense system. Now that it has been proven to also support Iron Dome, the Navy will use the radar to defend against salvos of less expensive rockets and lower-tier threats as well as higher-end threats like the supersonic, anti-ship P-800 Yakhont cruise missile.

In an interview earlier this year, a senior officer at the Israeli Navy headquarters said that in response to the growing rocket threat to Israel’s offshore energy assets, the service plans to double the number of Iron Dome interceptors deployed on new Sa’ar-6 corvettes now under construction with Kiel, Germany-based ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems.

According to the officer, proliferation of 122mm Grad-type rockets and longer-range projectiles from Lebanon and Gaza justified efforts to equip each of the four new surface ships on order with two Iron Dome launchers, each capable of firing as many as 20 Tamir intercepting missiles.

Those four Sa’ar-6 corvettes on order with the TKMS shipyard have been the subject of an ongoing police investigation into potential conflicts of interest among key figures close to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Assuming that contract is not canceled due to improprieties, the Israeli Navy plans to take receipt of the first ship by the end of 2019 or early 2020.

In his briefing to reporters, both Haimovich and Barak declined to discuss the exact amount of Iron Dome interceptors planned for Israel’s future surface fleet.

“It doesn’t matter how many missiles are on board; or whether there will be one or two launchers. What’s important is that we are adding additional operational capability at sea which will serve as a very relevant supplement to our multilayered concept of active defense,” Haimovich said.
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[*] posted on 20-12-2017 at 09:28 PM


Published: Tuesday, 19 December 2017 15:23

3M22 Tsirkon Hypersonic Missile to be Fitted Aboard Russian Navy Corvettes & Frigates

The deployment of Tsirkon new anti-ship hypersonic cruise missiles on the Russian Navy’s corvettes and frigates is envisaged by Russia’s state armament plan for 2018-2027, a source in the country’s defense industry told TASS on Tuesday.


According to rumors, the Indo-Russian BrahMos II hypersonic cruise missile (pictured here at Defexpo 2014) is the export variant of the Russian 3M22 Zircon missile.

"The naval component of the new state armament plan prioritizes building Project 20385 and 20386 corvettes and Project 23350 and 23350M frigates with precision weapons that include Kalibr-NK cruise missiles and Tsirkon hypersonic missiles," the source said to the agency.

TASS has no official confirmation of the said information.

The Russian Navy operates five Project 20380 corvettes and another five are under construction. Russian shipbuilders have laid down two corvettes of the modernized Project 20385 and a corvette of Project 20386. Possibly, the order for these warships will be increased and their construction will begin at the Yantar Shipyard in the western Kaliningrad Region (currently, the corvettes are under construction at the St. Petersburg-based Northern Wharf Shipyard and the Amur Shipyard in the Far East), the source said.


Project 22350 Admiral Gorshkov frigate

Four Project 22350 frigates under construction at the Northern Wharf Shipyard are at various stages of their readiness.

Russia’s Defense Ministry announced in April that the new state armament program "sets the task of completing the development of principally new types of hypersonic weapons and delivering them to the troops." Russian senator and former commander of Russia’s Aerospace Force Viktor Bondarev said in late November that Russia possessed Tsirkon hypersonic missiles.

Russia’s new state armament plan stipulates allocating 19 trillion rubles ($324 billion) for weapons deliveries and 1 trillion rubles ($17 billion) for synchronizing these efforts. The new state armament plan prioritizes developing nuclear deterrence forces and delivering precision weapons to the troops.

According to the data available as of December 18, the program’s final version had not yet been submitted to Russian President Vladimir Putin for signing.


Indo-Russian BrahMos II hypersonic cruise missile scale model on display at DEFEXPO 2016

Tsirkon missiles

As another source in the Russian defense industry told TASS earlier, Tsirkon missiles can be launched with the help of a universal shipborne platform with ZS-14 launchers that are also used for Kalibr and Oniks missiles. Precisely this platform is mounted on Project 20380 corvettes and Project 22350 frigates.

According to public data, the Tsirkon has a firing range of about 400 km and its maximum speed is indicated in the range of 4-6 Mach.

As a source in the defense industry told TASS, the Tsirkon missile reached a speed of 8 Mach during flight tests in April.

© Copyright 2017 TASS. All rights reserved.

Navy Recognition comment:

Navy Recognition understands that early rumors indicate the Indo-Russian BrahMos II hypersonic cruise missile may be an export variant of the Zircon (just as the BrahMos missile share many similarities with the Russian P-800 Oniks missile).

It was recently announced that Russia's current UKSK VLS would be upgraded to the UKSK-M variant. UKSK-M can fire both operational and perspective missiles. Izvestia said the launcher is designed to transport and fire perspective hypersonic 3M22 missiles from the 3K22 complex (codename Tsirkon).

More details on 3M22 and 3K22 Tsirkon system at this link.

https://navyrecognition.com/index.php/focus-analysis/naval-t...
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[*] posted on 21-12-2017 at 03:39 PM


Sea Ceptor Missile Test Firing Complete at Sea

(Source: UK Ministry of Defence; issued Dec. 20, 2017)


The Royal Navy has completed firing trials of its Sea Ceptor air-defense missile, which can now proceed to the next stage of the acceptance into service. As seen here, the latest trials included firing two missiles at the same time. (UK MoD photo)

Firing trials of the new Sea Ceptor air defence system have been successfully completed on board HMS Argyll.

The second ship fitted with Sea Ceptor has also conducted a successful firing to verify the weapon system upgrade.

The new missile defence system will provide UK personnel with a powerful shield against airborne targets – including hostile combat jets and helicopters, as well enemy missiles travelling at supersonic speeds.

The completion of the firing trials from Type 23 frigate HMS Argyll means Sea Ceptor can proceed to the next stage of the acceptance into service with the Royal Navy.

Minister for Defence Procurement Harriett Baldwin said: “In the face of intensifying global threats, cutting-edge systems like Sea Ceptor will keep the UK safe. These successful trials from HMS Argyll mark a major milestone towards the introduction of this world-class missile system into service for the Royal Navy.

“Work to develop and install Sea Ceptor across the Royal Navy is also boosting British industry, supporting 600 jobs in the Bristol, Stevenage and Bolton areas.”

VIDEO: Sea Ceptor firing trials from HMS Argyll: https://youtu.be/Zl-US7xdIX4?t=106

The first firings of Sea Ceptor were conducted from HMS Argyll at the Hebrides range off the coast of Scotland and involved firing the system to assess its performance against a range of scenarios.

Two sets of trials were conducted by Defence, Equipment and Support (DE&S) and supported by a number of other organisations, lasting around two weeks each.

During the firings the system was first tested against single aerial targets. This was followed by more demanding tests, including a single target engaged by two missiles and a twin firing (two targets, each engaged by a single missile at the same time).

An installation test firing from HMS Westminster - the second ship fitted with Sea Ceptor - took place in November, with each of the Type 23 ships due to carry out installation test firings in due course.

Lieutenant Nick Andrews, HMS Westminster’s Anti-Air-Warfare Officer, said: “HMS Westminster managed to explore the real potential of the system during her training and to say it is a real game changer is an understatement. Unlike its predecessor, the system is capable of defending ships other than Westminster herself. Whether it’s engaging multiple air threats or fast incoming attack craft, Sea Ceptor represents a massive capability upgrade for the Type 23 frigate.”

Designed and manufactured by MBDA in the UK, Sea Ceptor is being fitted to replace the Sea Wolf weapon system on the Type 23 frigates and will provide the same capability for the Royal Navy’s future Type 26 Frigates.

Sea Ceptor defends escort vessels within a maritime task group, such as for the new Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers, and with HMS Argyll due to deploy to Japan next year, the trials successfully showcased the short-range capabilities of the new defence system. Another Type 23, HMS Sutherland, is due to deploy to Australia in the New Year.

The system uses a new UK-developed missile, the Common Anti-air Modular Missile or CAMM, that is capable of reaching speeds of up to three times the speed of sound, and will have the ability to deal with multiple targets simultaneously, protecting an area of around 500 square miles (1,300 square kilometres) over land or sea.

Sea Ceptor supports around 600 MBDA jobs and its supply chain in key locations across the UK such as Bristol, Stevenage and Bolton.

Richard Smart, Director Weapons, for the MOD’s procurement organisation Defence Equipment and Support, which is based at MOD Abbey Wood in Bristol, said: “These trials are a significant step in getting the Sea Ceptor weapon system to acceptance and a great example of how important live trials are in helping us to understand a new military capability before using it in operational service. The success of the trials is testimony to the hard work put in by the DE&S project team and the working relationship they have with industry.

“The results of the firings are now going through extensive analysis; our assessment so far is positive and shows how Sea Ceptor is capable of protecting both the ship which fired it and other ships in its task group, which could include the UK’s two new Queen Elizabeth Aircraft Carriers.”

-ends-



Royal Navy Completes Sea Ceptor Firing Trials

(Source: MBDA; issued Dec. 20, 2017)

The Royal Navy has successfully conducted the final First of Class firing trials of the new Sea Ceptor air defence system – completing the qualification firings of this cutting-edge new capability for the Royal Navy.

Following on from the first round of trials this summer, the second set of trials from HMS Argyll saw the system tested against more complex scenarios, including rapidly engaging multiple simultaneous threats.

With HMS Argyll having completed development testing of Sea Ceptor, the weapon system is now being rolled out to the Royal Navy’s other Type 23 Frigates. The first of a series of installation test firings has been successfully completed on HMS Westminster. Each Sea Ceptor platform will similarly complete an installation test firing in due course as they prepare to re-join frontline service after their refits.

Sea Ceptor offers a step-change in capability compared with legacy systems like Sea Wolf, which it is replacing in Royal Navy service. While Sea Wolf gave Royal Navy warships the capability to protect themselves, with Sea Ceptor the navy’s frigates will now also be able protect other vessels.

Speaking following the success of the trials, Nick Neale, Sea Ceptor Programme Manager at MBDA said: “The performance and capabilities of Sea Ceptor have been fully demonstrated in these outstanding trials by the Royal Navy. Recognising the complexity of the new system, the consistent level of success achieved is quite remarkable and testament to the quality of MBDA’s verification and validation process”.

Sea Ceptor’s missile is called CAMM (Common Anti-air Modular Missile), and its unique features provide the key to this step-change in capability. These include its powerful rocket motor that provides double the range of Sea Wolf, and its active radar-seeker that allows the missile to engage targets without the need for complex and costly target illuminators.

CAMM also makes use of a soft-launch system that uses a gas generator to eject the missile from its canister, the benefits of which include: further increased range by saving all the rocket motor’s energy to power the intercept, reduced minimum intercept range, reduced stresses on the launch platform, significantly reduced maintenance requirements/costs, more compact installation on ship, and removes the need to manage the hot gas efflux on board.

Despite being brand new to the international market, the benefits that CAMM offers have already been widely acknowledged internationally; with a number of international customers having chosen it as the basis for their future local air defence capabilities.

As part of the Portfolio system of co-operation between the UK Ministry of Defence and MBDA, CAMM is also being brought into service as the weapon element of the Land Ceptor system to replace the British Army’s Rapier ground-based air defence systems. By operating a common missile, the UK armed forces will be able to take advantage of significant cost benefits throughout the lifecycle of the systems, including development, procurement, support costs and sharing a completely common stockpile

MBDA is the only European group capable of designing and producing missiles and missile systems that correspond to the full range of current and future operational needs of the three armed forces (land, sea and air). In 2016 MBDA achieved a turnover of 3.0 billion euros with an order book of 15.9 billion euros. With more than 90 armed forces customers in the world, MBDA is a world leader in missiles and missile systems.

MBDA is jointly owned by Airbus (37.5%), BAE Systems (37.5%), and Leonardo (25%).

-ends-
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[*] posted on 22-12-2017 at 05:21 PM


Agreement on Missile Cooperation

(Source: Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency; issued Dec 1, 2017)

(Issued in Norwegian only; unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com)

Norway and Germany have agreed to further develop a common missile based on the Norwegian Maritime Missile (NSM), which will eventually provide identical missiles in both countries' navies.

“This will be a solid starting point for comprehensive collaborative work and lifetime support for the equipment. This cooperation will help secure Norwegian and German high-tech jobs for a long time, "said Defense Minister Frank Bakke-Jensen.

Cooperation with Germany will further strengthen the position that the Norwegian defense industry has gained through many decades of high technology development. The value of future sales of NSM will be significant and the agreement ensures a technology launch that provides great opportunities for Norwegian industry. This cooperation can lead to increased export potential.

Norway and Germany will now start a risk-reducing phase that provides the basis for a development phase for the future missile.

"Norway has chosen a good partner for the future. Germany is an important ally and one of our largest trading partners. Now, we have a closer cooperation on the defense side through a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that will be of major importance to the Armed Forces and to Norwegian industry," says Mette Sørfonden, Director of Defense Materials.

-ends-
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[*] posted on 4-1-2018 at 07:07 PM


Pakistan conducts firing of cruise missile from Azmat-class boat

Ridzwan Rahmat - Jane's Navy International

03 January 2018


PNS Himmat firing the ‘Harbah’ naval cruise missile in January 2018. Source: Pakistan Navy

Key Points

- Pakistan has launched a new type of cruise missile from its latest Azmat-class vessel
- Event further demonstrates the platform’s range of anti-surface capabilities

The Pakistan Navy has launched what appears to be a shipborne variant of an indigenously developed cruise missile from its latest Azmat-class patrol craft, PNS Himmat (1027).

The weapon, which has been referred to by the service’s chief of naval staff, Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi, as the ‘Harbah’ naval cruise missile, was fired on 3 January in the North Arabian Sea.

The missile was said to have hit its intended target accurately, but no further details were available, including its distance from Himmat . Adm Zafar and other senior naval officers witnessed the weapon’s launch from onboard the service’s Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate, PNS Alamgir .

Himmat , which is the Pakistan Navy’s third Azmat-class boat, was commissioned in July 2017. The 63 m platform derives its design from the People’s Liberation Army Navy’s (PLAN’s) Houjian (Type 037/2)-class missile boat design.

Weapons onboard the 63 m boat includes eight (two quad) launchers that are also capable of deploying the C-802A surface-to-surface missile. Himmat is also equipped with the 25 mm STOP remote controlled stabilised naval gun from Turkish defence company Aselsan, and a Type 630 30 mm close-in weapon system (CIWS) in the aft section.

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[*] posted on 4-1-2018 at 09:28 PM


That is a bloody big missile for the beam of the ship in question.





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[*] posted on 6-1-2018 at 06:34 PM


More info on this..............

Pakistan test-fires indigenous anti-ship missile

By: Usman Ansari   11 hours ago


Pakistan's indigenous Harbah naval cruise missile is fired by PNS Himmat and successfully hit its target. (Pakistan's Inter-Services Public Relations)

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan has announced a successful test of its indigenous anti-ship missile, which appears to be a variant of the Babur land-attack cruise missile family.

According to a statement released Jan. 3 by the country’s Navy, the Harbah is a “Surface to Surface anti-ship missile with Land Attack capability” and was launched from the new Azmat Block II-class fast-attack craft Himmat, commissioned in July 2017.

The missile “accurately hit its target” as demonstrated in a video compilation of the test showing both the Harbah’s launch from the Himmat and its impact on a ship target.

“The successful live weapon firing has once again demonstrated the credible fire power of Pakistan Navy and the impeccable level of indigenization in high tech weaponry achieved by Pakistan’s defense industry. This is a clear manifestation of Government’s resolve to achieve self reliance in this field,” the Navy said.

The test was witnessed by naval chief Adm. Zafar Mahmood Abbasi from aboard the Perry-class frigate Alamgir (former U.S. Navy frigate McInerney), who “emphasized the need to capitalize on indigenous defense capabilities and reduce reliance on foreign countries.”

He “reaffirmed the resolve of Pakistan Navy to ensure seaward defense of Pakistan and safeguard national maritime interests at all costs.”

As reported by Defense News when steel was cut for the Himmat in late December 2016, images of the design appeared to depict it would carry new anti-ship missiles, possibly an anti-ship variant of the Babur land-attack cruise missile.

Two months earlier, at Pakistan’s biennial defense exhibition IDEAS, a spokesman for the Navy informed Defense News that the Azmat Block II boats would be equipped with indigenous anti-ship missiles, though the spokesman did not identify the type.

A test of an unnamed, shore-based anti-ship missile reported by Defense News in March 2017 further reinforced speculation that an anti-ship variant of the Babur cruise missile had been developed. Images from the Jan. 3 test confirm this to have been correct.

Pakistan has been increasingly concerned over India’s impressive naval expansion program, something that will further widen the huge naval imbalance between the two countries.

Asked whether the Harbah will become the Navy’s standard anti-ship missile, author, analyst and former Australian defense attache to Islamabad Brian Cloughley said he expects this to be the case.

Although the Harbah will help Pakistan contest control over more of the Arabian Sea, he said, “I don’t think it’ll keep the Indians awake at night.”

Malcolm Davis, a senior analyst for defense strategy and capability at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, believes the Harbah is “a step up for the Pakistan Navy.”

“It offers both anti-ship and land-attack. If it’s based on the Babur, then it has a range of up to 700 kilometers, which, whilst not very long range, is sufficient to be militarily useful and certainly better than older systems such as Harpoon and C-802,” he said.

As to whether it would help keep Indian warships at bay, he said: “I think in terms of India’s Navy, it would depend on context. How many such missiles might be launched — a single [anti-ship cruise missile] most likely would be shot down by anti-ship missile defense systems on [Indian Navy] vessels. How good are Indian Navy defenses? That includes radar systems and their ability to detect sea-skimming missiles early.

“So it’s hard to say specifically whether this missile will be effective at the time it is used. Clearly the land-attack capability is also important and adds to Pakistani Navy capability vis-a-vis India.”

Further indigenization efforts are focused on closing the critical gap in air defense capabilities. The same naval spokesman that informed Defense News about an indigenous anti-ship missile program also mentioned an indigenous air defense missile project.

He said the Chinese medium-range LY-80N has already been selected and a platform equipped with the missile would be acquired, as revealed by the recent news of a deal for a
Type 054A Jiangkai II frigate. He also stated there were no immediate plans to replace the FM-90 short-range air defense system that equips the F-22P Sword-class frigates.

Considering the bulk of the FM-90 system, however — only eight missiles are capable of being carried by the F-22P frigates — it is possible a smaller, short-range missile is being developed for those vessels unable to be equipped with the FM-90.

The next Pakistani missile program to break cover, therefore, may be such a system.
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[*] posted on 10-1-2018 at 09:26 PM


Japan cleared to buy advanced SM-3

By: Aaron Mehta   12 hours ago

WASHINGTON – The U.S. State Department has cleared Japan to buy four Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IIA weapons, worth an estimated $133.3 million.

The SM-3 Block IIA is being designed jointly by the U.S. and Japan for defense against medium- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles, so the fact the Foreign Military Sale request cleared the State Department is no surprise. It is unlikely to meet resistance in Congress, where members of the Senate now have 30 days to raise concerns about the potential sale.

The weapon, which underwent its first intercept test in Hawaii in February, can be deployed on Aegis-class destroyers or on land by the Aegis Ashore program.

Work will primarily be done at Raytheon’s Tucson, Arizona, facility and BAE Systems’ Minneapolis location. All sales figures are estimates until final negotiations have occurred, so the $133.3 million price tag may change.

A State Department official, speaking on background, specifically cited North Korea as a reason why Japan needs the SM-3.

“It will bolster the security of a major treaty ally that has been, and continues to be, a force for political stability and economic progress in the Asia-Pacific region,” the official said. “It will also improve [Japan’s] interoperability with U.S. missile defense systems, and increase the protection for U.S. installations in the region.”

During a summer visit to Washington, top Japanese officials pledged to increase their spending on ballistic missile defense. And in September, reports surfaced that Japan was evaluating new sites to place Aegis Shore systems.
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[*] posted on 10-1-2018 at 11:13 PM


SNA 2018: BAE Systems Unveils the Adaptable Deck Launcher

Posted On Wednesday, 10 January 2018 06:03

At the Surface Navy Association's (SNA) 2018 National Symposium currently held near Washington DC, BAE Systems unveiled the Adaptable Deck Launcher, or ADL, capable of launching multiple missile types from multiple platforms for multiple mission scenarios.


Adaptable Deck Launcher scale model on BAE Systems stand at SNA 2018

The Adaptable Deck Launcher, or ADL, meets the need for a fixed angle, low elevation, deck-mounted ship defense launching system (SDLS) for near-term application onboard U.S. Navy and allied ships. The ADL is fully compatible with the Evolved SeaSparrow Missile (ESSM), in the Mk 25 Quad Pack Canister, as well as other canisters compatible with the Mk 41 Vertical Launching System (VLS). Launch control can be provided by the Mk 41 VLS electronics suite and other launch control systems.

Providing a straightforward approach to deploying ESSM in non-Mk 41 VLS 41 ships, ADL benefits from a modular design that allows any number of launch cells to be configured as low angle, deck-mounted launchers for varying ship applications. The ADL is deployed with a protective enclosure to minimize radar signature, maintenance, and to provide protection for the encanistered missiles and service connections. The system is reloadable and will support numerous launches during its service life.

VIDEO: https://youtu.be/YWZ6xZHsQMo

In Proof of Concept demonstrations, ADL successfully launched an ESSM from an ADL-enclosed Mk 25 Quad Pack Canister, verifying that ADL meets requirements for missile egress and gas management and provides adequate launcher structural support, while proving applicability of a Mk 41 VLS Launch Control System variant for SDLS operation.

This identical approach also applies to other missiles and missions including Surface Strike, Air Defense, and Anti-submarine warfare. The ADL answers the call for Distributed Lethality and Distributed Maritime Operations for platforms big and small. Direct applications include LCS, FFG(X) as well as big deck amphibious ships and carriers.

ADL provides near-term, “VLS-like” reliability, and allows low cost operation, leveraging the existing Mk 41 VLS logistics system. The design meets shipboard marinization and survivability requirements and provides armored protection against ballistic threats.
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[*] posted on 12-1-2018 at 12:38 PM


Why would you bother, any serious combatant will have one of the versions of Mk41 VLS fitted.



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[*] posted on 12-1-2018 at 01:26 PM


Ahhhh BUT...............there are a lot of vessels out there that are minimally armed, some Ex USCG that now operate as frigates (Philippines) and some that serve as CG vessels but in a navy that arms their CG vessels heavily (Vietnamese and, possibly, the Malaysians).

On top of this you have various Amphibious Warfare LHD's, LPD's and others, that have both the deck space and need to be armed under certain circumstances (the Armed For But Not With scenario), as well as AOR's that could benefit similarly.

Putting these units on top decks as an addition to self-defence capability, can be done quickly and cheaply. The USN in particular, is intent on arming as many vessels as possible, but deck penetration to install VLS is not quick OR cheap. This is not the best solution, but it's better than nothing................
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[*] posted on 12-1-2018 at 09:50 PM


Quote: Originally posted by unicorn  
Why would you bother, any serious combatant will have one of the versions of Mk41 VLS fitted.


It wasn’t mentioned but I would bet it is also useable by missiles that aren’t VLS compatible, such as NSM or perhaps Harpoon, so that with a few of these around the deck you could operate a flexible weapons mix.

Edit: I wonder also are these long enough to be ‘strike length’ equivalent launchers? Or looking at things another way, could be a way to add cells to major vessels lacking enough VLS cells too...

2-4 of these added to an AWD to look after ESSM would provide 16 cells or so for BMD or TacTom etc...




In a low speed post-merge manoeuvring fight, with a high off-boresight 4th generation missile and Helmet Mounted Display, the Super Hornet will be a very difficult opponent for any current Russian fighter, even the Su-27/30
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[*] posted on 13-1-2018 at 12:57 PM


Nice thought...........I don't see why not?
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[*] posted on 15-1-2018 at 09:05 PM


SSMM module set for LCS testing

Richard Scott, London - IHS Jane's Missiles & Rockets

15 January 2018

The US Navy (USN) is preparing to complete testing of the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Surface-to-Surface Missile Module (SSMM) during 2018, hence giving the green light for this new anti-surface warfare capability to transition to production.

The SSMM utilises the US Army’s AGM-114L-8A Longbow Hellfire missile in a vertical launch configuration to confer the LCS with a capability to interdict multiple swarming surface threats.


USS <I>Detroit</I> launches a Longbow Hellfire missile during structural test firing (STF) off the coast of Norfolk, Virginia, in February 2017. (US Navy)

According to Captain Ted Zobel, program manager for the LCS Mission Module Program (PMS 420), USS Milwaukee (LCS 5) was fitted with a surface warfare (SuW) mission package including SSMM in August 2017. “We have missiles on LCS 5 today ready to take the test,” he told an audience at the Surface Navy Association annual symposium on 11 January. “When LCS 5 completes her PSA [post-shakedown availability], as part of her CSSQT [Combat System Ship Qualification Trials] SSMM will commence and execute the first part of the DT [development test] regime for that programme in the April/May timeframe.

“After that, we will pull the MECS [missile exhaust containment structure] out of LCS 5 [and] we’ll put it in LCS 7 [USS Detroit ]. We’ll take LCS 7 through the remainder of the DT/OT [developmental test/operational test] and TECHEVAL [technical evaluation] regime, and LCS 7 should deploy with this capability sometime next year [2019].

“About the same time that LCS 7 deploys, we’ll roll into production and start building these and deploying them on the SUW division ships.”

A SSMM structural test firing was previously carried out from Detroit in February 2017. “We did our structural test fire off LCS 7, we scheduled the beginning of DT on LCS 5, and then we’re going back to LCS 7,” said Capt Zobel. “It was all based on ship schedules to support our testing.”

(319 of 407 words)
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[*] posted on 22-1-2018 at 10:09 PM


GTV tests loom for ESSM Block 2

Richard Scott, London - IHS Jane's Missiles & Rockets

22 January 2018

Raytheon and the US Navy (USN) are gearing up for two key live test events for the RIM-162 Evolved SeaSparrow Missile (ESSM) Block 2 programme.

Planned to occur on the Self-Defence Test Ship (SDTS) by the end of the first quarter of this year, Guided Test Vehicle-1 (GTV-1) and GTV-2 will exercise the new Block 2 guidance section in flight for the first time. Successful completion is a pre-requisite for a Milestone C approval to start low rate initial production (LRIP).

The ESSM Block 2 programme is a co-operative effort between the USN and its 11 NATO SeaSparrow Consortium partners (Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, and Turkey) to develop an upgraded ESSM ‘front-end’ to enter service from 2020 to counter the evolving anti-ship cruise missile threat.

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[*] posted on 26-1-2018 at 07:49 PM


Iranian Navy Test-Fires Long-Range Qadir Cruise Missile During Drills

(Source: FARS News Agency; published Jan 23, 2018)


The Iranian Navy has test-fired Qadir, a new ship-launched missile it describes as a “long-range cruise missile,” during the ongoing wargames in the Gulf of Oman. (FARS photo)

TEHRAN --- The Iranian naval forces for the first time tested the home-made long-range Qadir cruise missile during the wargames underway in the Sea of Oman on Tuesday.

The missile could destroy simulated enemy target deep in the sea during the military exercises codenamed Mohammad Rasoulollah (PBUH) which started in the country's Southern and Southeastern waters, South Makran region and the Northern coastline of the Sea of Oman on Monday.

Qadir is a new generation of cruise missiles capable of destroying marine targets with high precision and power. It can be fired from coasts and vessels both.

Also on the second day of the wargames, combined sonic and magnetic demining operations were conducted by the Navy's helicopters.

Meantime, the enemies' simulated planes and drones as well as cruise missiles were destroyed by the Air Defense units of the army at low, mid and high altitudes.

On the first day of the wargames on Monday, participated by the Army's Ground, Air, Navy and Air Defense Forces, different Naze'at and Fajr5 rockets, 155-mm laser-guided cannon balls and automatic 122-mm cannon balls were fired.

Meantime, different vessels, including light and heavy submarines and various types of helicopters and reconnaissance planes were used in the drills.

Also on Monday, two US-led coalition warships deployed in the region were shooed away from the zone of the Iranian military wargames in the country's Southern waters and the Sea of Oman.

"This morning and in the first hours of the drills, two warships of the coalition which had approached the drills zone to monitor the Iranian Navy units were identified by the Navy drones," Spokesman of the drills Rear Admiral Seyed Mahmoud Moussavi told reporters on Monday.

"After declaring the issue to the drills' tactical base, the patrolling and reconnaissance planes flew over the coalition warships and warned them (to leave the region) and the warships left the drills zone," he added.

-ends-
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[*] posted on 27-1-2018 at 02:03 PM


Cannon balls? What. The. Actual?

Did they test their rowers’ ability to hit ‘ramming speed’ as well?

Maybe run a few pots of Greek Fire on deck while they’re at it?




In a low speed post-merge manoeuvring fight, with a high off-boresight 4th generation missile and Helmet Mounted Display, the Super Hornet will be a very difficult opponent for any current Russian fighter, even the Su-27/30
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[*] posted on 31-1-2018 at 02:17 PM


Raytheon’s Supersized Interceptor Prepped For Aegis Ashore Test

Jan 31, 2018

James Drew | Aviation Week & Space Technology

The upcoming test of Raytheon’s supersize Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block 2A will have significant implications for the U.S.-built ballistic missile shields in Europe and Asia.

The largest and most advanced member of the Standard Missile interceptor family, the SM-3 Block 2A is designed to knock out the deadly reentry vehicles of medium- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles in space, after launch from U.S. and allied Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) ships and land sites.

- Enlarged Standard Missile-3 will arm Aegis Ashore missile defense complex in Poland and perhaps Japan
- If successful, land-based intercept test of SM-3 Block 2A in Hawaii will cap development program

The end of development is now in sight, just one intercept test away. If successful, Raytheon Missile Systems will likely receive the U.S. government’s blessing to transition into low-rate initial production and begin operational fielding.

Raytheon officials say the upsized missile has 2-3 times greater range than the latest SM-3 Block 1B, launching from the same Mark 41 Vertical Launching System. This will greatly expand the kill zone of Aegis ships and Aegis land sites in Europe and Asia.


The U.S. built this Aegis Ashore test complex at the Pacific Missile Range Facility to support development of the land-based Standard Missile sites in Poland and Romania. Credit: Missile Defense Agency

The upcoming test at the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai, Hawaii—designated Flight Test Mission-29 (FTM-29)—will be SM-3 Block 2A’s first flight from an Aegis Ashore complex.

The success or failure of this intercept has significance beyond Japan, which codeveloped the full-caliber missile in partnership with the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA). Poland will also be watching closely, as host nation of the newest U.S./NATO Aegis Ashore facility, being stood up at Redzikowo Air Base.

SM-3 Block 2A is a central component of the third phase of the U.S. government’s European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA), an initiative that was launched by the Obama administration in 2009 to protect mainland Europe from emerging Iranian ballistic missile threats.

EPAA Phase 1 involved deploying SM-3 Block 1A-armed Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) ships to Naval Station Rota, Spain, from where they patrol the Mediterranean Sea. Raytheon TPY-2 long-range X-band radars were also forward deployed to Kurecik, Turkey, and other regional locations.


The 21-in.-dia. SM-3 Block 2A (pictured) has approximately double-to-triple the intercept range of earlier 13.5-in. SM-3s, Raytheon says. Credit: Missile Defense Agency

Phase 2 was completed in 2015, when the first Lockheed Martin-built Aegis Ashore facility was established in Deveselu, Romania, armed with the latest SM-3 Block 1Bs.

The third and final phase will be fullly realized later this year when Poland’s Aegis Ashore is switched on and the first SM-3 Block 2As are installed. The Block 2A flies faster, higher and is more accurate than its predecessors, owing to its enlarged, 21-in.-dia. booster built by Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) and Raytheon’s newest and most advanced Standard Missile kill vehicle, the exoatmospheric hit-to-kill Kinetic Warhead.

The interceptor has flown four times, including two intercept tests from the Aegis BMD test ship, the USS John Paul Jones.

The first two flight tests were deemed successful, as was the first intercept against a medium-range ballistic missile target in February 2017. However, the second attempt in June 2017 failed because a sailor misclassified the target as a friend instead of foe, causing the interceptor to self-destruct.

This next test will not only be the SM-3 Block 2A’s first shot from Aegis Ashore, it is the missile’s first attempt against an intermediate-range ballistic missile target. Future tests recently approved by Congress will examine the Block 2A’s “inherent capability” against intercontinental-range ballistic missiles, but that’s not a baseline requirement for fielding.


Raytheon’s latest SM-3 Block 1B was recently approved for full-rate production because of its performance during the Formidable Shield 2017 exercise. Credit: Missile Defense Agency

In January, Raytheon SM-3 Senior Program Director Amy Cohen confirmed that this upcoming intercept will be the final test of the development program before shifting gears into live operational testing. There are no plans to redo the last test, since that misfire was attributed to human error.

“No, the government has not made any indications [that] we are going to rerun that test,” Cohen says. “The missile performed exactly as it was designed to [and] there were no modifications made to the missile because of that test.”

MDA has previously indicated that FTM-29 will demonstrate “launch-on-remote” capability using the latest Aegis Baseline 9.2 (BMD 5.1) weapon system. This means the interceptor will launch early against the target missile using long-range, offboard radar tracks from Raytheon’s TPY-2.

“It’s checking off three or four boxes,” Cohen says. “This will round out testing for the development phase of the missile, clearing the way for low-rate initial production.”

“It’s a real inflection point for this program,” adds William Blair, vice president for business development at Raytheon’s air and missile defense systems division.

MDA will not say exactly when the test will take place, since China has a nasty habit of sending spy ships out into the Pacific Ocean to collect telemetry data. North Korea and Iran will also be taking notice, but Russia is particularly unhappy about the Aegis Ashore site being set up in Poland.

Moscow has already positioned mobile Iskander systems armed with short-range ballistic and cruise missiles to nearby Kaliningrad, and would likely strike Redzikowo Air Base in the opening phase of any future conflict.

The Kremlin has also reportedly been mounting a propaganda campaign to stir up local opposition to the facility. Russian President Vladimir Putin has called the Aegis Ashore sites in Poland and Romania destabilizing because they undermine Moscow’s nuclear deterrent and are potential launch points for Tomahawk cruise missiles.

Despite this opposition, construction of the Aegis Ashore site in Poland that got underway in May 2016 continues.Raytheon also continues building the first 17 SM-3 Block 2A interceptors for Aegis ships and land bases. Work takes place at the company’s 70,000 ft.2 production plant at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama, where all SM-3 and SM-6 derivatives are finished.
The first operational missiles will be delivered in the next couple of months, Cohen confirms.

Japan, as expected, is to become the first international operator, with the U.S. State Department in January approving an initial request for four SM-3 Block 2As.

The interceptor will arm the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force’s six planned guided-missile destroyers, Kongo- and Atago-class ships. But Tokyo also plans to adopt two Aegis Ashore sites to defend against North Korean missiles.

The initial batch of four interceptors will probably be used for testing, with many more orders to follow. MHI builds the second- and third-stage solid rocket boosters, nosecone and other components as a top-tier supplier to Raytheon.

With delivery of the first 17 now underway, Raytheon is negotiating with MDA on the next batch of missiles funded in fiscal 2018. Cohen says the exact number of SM-3 Block 2A interceptors remains “in flux,” but the deal should include Japan’s order.

Meanwhile, Raytheon is scaling up construction of the SM-3 Block 1B following last year’s successful intercept test against a medium-range target during the Formidable Shield exercises off the coast of Scotland. “That was the gating test for a full-rate production decision,” Blair confirms. He notes that NATO vessels also successfully shot down airborne targets using the Raytheon Evolved Seasparrow Missile during the exercises.

The SM-3 Block 1B is already deployed on U.S. ships and the Aegis Ashore facility in Romania. This version retains the 13.5-in.-dia. missile body of the Block 1 series, but introduces a two-color seeker, guidance section improvements, as well as a throttling divert and attitude control system (DACS). The earlier Block 1A has a single-color seeker and pulsed DACS.

Last year, Raytheon also achieved another significant milestone in the evolution SM-6, a multimission endoatmospheric interceptor capable of taking down missiles, aircraft, and surface ships.

In August 2017, an Aegis destroyer fired two SM-6 interceptors against a medium-range ballistic missile target, successfully destroying the threat in the terminal phase, just as it was reentering the atmosphere. Other SM-6 tests have validated the missile’s performance against short-range ballistic missile and cruise missile targets, as well as against ships, with the sinking of the USS Reuben James.

SM-6, which is guided by an AIM-120C7 active radar seeker, was first fielded in 2013. Raytheon has since delivered more than 400 units. “Looking ahead to 2018, it is really about transitioning from the baseline SM-6 Block 1 to the Block 1A version, which has a lot more incremental capability and is more affordable,” Blair says.

Naval Sea Systems Command intends to buy SM-6s in bulk, having teed up a sizable multiyear contract covering the quantities funded in fiscal years 2019-23. Blair says this multiyear contract allows core components such as rocket motors to be purchased in bulk, and Raytheon is advocating for a similar arrangement with the SM-3 program to lower overall costs.

The company also wants to expand its international customer base for the SM-6, now that it has been approved for export to certain allied and partner nations.

International customers help stabilized production throughput when domestic demand is low. Blair confirms that production of the legacy SM-2 anti-aircraft missile has now resumed, thanks to a multinational Foreign Military Sales contract awarded in June 2017.

The interceptor can shoot down aircraft, as well as cruise and short-range ballistic missiles. Many components are built in Tucson, Arizona, with final assembly in Camden, Arkansas.

The majority of new SM-2 missiles are going to Japan, but Australia, the Netherlands and South Korea have also placed orders. SM-2 production is now secure through March 2022.
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[*] posted on 31-1-2018 at 08:07 PM


An order from the RAN should follow the three Hobart class entering service, if we're actually serious about equipping them for the job.



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[*] posted on 31-1-2018 at 09:12 PM


India to develop new long-range variant of BRAHMOS missile

Posted On Wednesday, 31 January 2018 11:05

The BrahMos Aerospace company will develop a new variant of the BRAHMOS missile with a range of up to 800 km, according to the Hindustan Times newspaper.


BrahMos missile launched from Indian Navy Destroyer INS Chennai during TROPEX 17. Indian Navy pictures.

"India is laying the groundwork to test a high-range BrahMos supersonic cruise missile, capable of striking targets more than 800 km away," the daily says, citing unnamed sources. The newspaper adds that the missile might be tested before the year-end.

It is noteworthy that the Indian defense industry is enhancing the capabilities of the BRAHMOS missile. According to the official catalogue of the BrahMos Aerospace company, the original variant has a firing range of up to 290 km in accordance with the stipulations placed by the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) that limits the range of export-oriented missile weapons to less than 300 km. In June 2016, New Delhi joined MTCR and obtained the right to develop and produce modifications of the BRAHMOS with longer ranges.

In February 2017, S. Cristopher, Director of India's Defence Research and Development Organisation (DROD) told Indian media that the range of the BRAHMOS missile would be extended to 450 km and then to 800 km. The variants of the extended range BRAHMOS variants would be available for ground-, sea- and air-based platforms, he added. The official pointed out that the modification of the missile with a range of 800 km would be developed within next two years. However, the development schedule seems to have been shrunk. As a result, in March 2017, India successfully tested the BRAHMOS-ER (Extended Range) missile that had a range of 400 km. According to the Hindustan Times newspaper, the missile is now being reconfigured in order to achieve the goal, namely, to increase its range to 800 km.

The modernization of the BRAHMOS missile to 800 km will beef up the capabilities of the Indian military in a drastic manner. "It [the new variant of the BRAHMOS] will be a significant leap forward for the BrahMos project. [The Indian] Air Force fighters will be able to attack targets from increased standoff ranges," an Indian official told the Hindustan Times daily.


BrahMos NG scale model as shown at India's Defexpo 2016 exhibition

BrahMos Aerospace also pays a special attention to the development of the air-launched variant of the BRAHMOS designated BRAHMOS-A. The BRAHMOS-A is an air-launched cruise missile (ALCM) intended for Sukhoi Su-30MKI (NATO reporting name: Flanker-H) fighter jets of the Indian Air Force (IAF). A Su-30MKI of the IAF successfully test-fired the ALCM in November 2017. "The successful maiden test-firing of the BRAHMOS ALCM from the Su-30MKI will significantly bolster the IAF's air combat operations capability from stand-off ranges," India's Ministry of Defense (MoD) said in a statement.

It should be mentioned that the Indian military has revealed an intention to develop a lightened variant of the BRAHMOS-A ALCM designated BRAHMOS-NG (New Generation). According to the Hindustan Times newspaper, the BRAHMOS-NG is currently at the design stage, and initial consultations have already been held. The new ALCM will be integrated with the indigenous Tejas LCA (Light Combat Aircraft) air platform. The BRAHMOS-NG is planned to be developed by 2019.

The IAF is reported to have placed orders worth approximately USD650 million for the BRAHMOS-A. The service expects to get a total of approximately 40 Su-30MKI multirole fighter jets modified for the ALCM. Each aircraft will be able to carry a single BRAHMOS-A missile.

The Hindustan Times says that the Indian military is planning to get a variant of the BRAHMOS-A ALCM with a range of up to 800 km. "The Sukhoi has a range of 3,600 km. Arming it with an 800 km range missile will increase its reach tremendously, and even more, considering the option of midair refueling," an unnamed Indian official told the daily.

It should be mentioned that the Indian military is now operating land-based and sea-based variants of the BRAHMOS. All brand new and upgraded ships of the Indian Navy are planned to get the missile.

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[*] posted on 1-2-2018 at 01:05 PM


Another US Navy ballistic missile intercept reportedly fails in Hawaii

By: David B. Larter   8 hours ago

WASHINGTON — A test shoot of the SM-3 Block IIA fired from an Aegis Ashore test site in Hawaii failed Wednesday, CNN has reported. The missile is designed to intercept ballistic missiles.

If confirmed, it would mark the second unsuccessful test of the Raytheon missile in the past year. It also deals a setback to U.S. missile defense efforts as North Korea makes seemingly daily progress on it goal of striking the U.S. mainland with nuclear-armed missiles.

When reached for comment, U.S. Missile Defense Agency spokesman Mark Wright declined to comment on the outcome of the test.

“The Missile Defense Agency and U.S. Navy sailors manning the Aegis Ashore Missile Defense Test Complex (AAMDTC) conducted a live-fire missile flight test using a Standard-Missile (SM)-3 Block IIA missile launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility, Kauai, Hawaii, Wednesday morning,” Wright said.

CNN was first to report the failed test.

Its important to note that a number of factors apart from the missile could be to blame for the failed test. The targeting and fire control radars, or the Navy’s AEGIS system could also have caused the failed test.

An SM-3 Block IIA test in June failed after a sailor on the destroyer John Paul Jones mistakenly triggered the missile’s self-destruct mechanism.

The missile successfully intercepted a ballistic missile target last February in a test launch. The missile is being developed by Raytheon and is a joint project between the U.S. and Japan, designed to counter rising missile threats from North Korea and elsewhere.
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[*] posted on 2-2-2018 at 01:44 PM


Reality check: Failures happen, even in missile defense testing

By: David B. Larter   6 hours ago


U.S. Missile Defense Agency conducting a flight test of the SM-3 Block IIA in 2015. A test of the SM-3 IIA Jan 31 was a failure. (MDA Photo by Ralph Scott)

WASHINGTON — The Navy and Missile Defense Agency is investigating what caused a failed intermediate range ballistic missile target intercept over Hawaii. But despite the failure, experts say that in the long run the SM-3 IIA has no choice but to succeed.

The January 31 test involved both the AEGIS Ashore system, eventually destined for Japan, and the Army’s AN/TPY-2 radar providing target data for the missile, meaning that any number of factors including the missile could have led to the failure.

The test involved a hand-off to AEGIS from TPY-2, adding layers of complexity to the already daunting prospect of hitting a hypersonic target in space with another missile.

In a press conference Feb. 1, Dana White, the Pentagon’s top spokesperson, offered limited details on the launch.

“We can confirm [the test] and it did not meet our objectives,” White said. “But we learn something all the time from these tests and we learned something from this one. And we’ll continue to improve our capabilities.”

When it comes to the Navy’s options for shooting down short and intermediate range missiles, SM-3 IIA is the only show in town. With the rising threat of North Korean missiles, there is no choice but to learn from the test and move on, experts say.

“Missed intercepts are part of whats going to happen in missile defense testing,” said Rebeccah Heinrichs, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute who specializes in missile defense issues. “We’ve gotten so afraid to fail and when you are afraid to fail in these missile defense tests, it can really impact the whole program.”

The whole lens through which people view these tests should move away from success and failure rates and focus more on continued improvement, she said.

“Every time we miss and adapt we have a more capable system across the board,” Heinrichs said.

The SM-3 IIA is being jointly developed with Japan and is destined to be a mainstay of both the U.S. AEGIS Ashore stations in Romania and Poland, and the future AEGIS Ashore stations in Japan. News broke in December that Japan’s lawmakers had voted to purchase the system from the U.S.

The failed test was the third flight test against an intermediate range ballistic missile. The first test was successful. A test in June became a wash after a sailor accidentally triggered the missile’s self-destruct feature by misidentifying it as a friendly target. The third test appears to be a failure.

If all goes according to plan, the missile is slated to start being fielded this year.

Failures

The Wednesday launch was a so-called “engage on remote,” which is a complicated shot that requires Army’s TPY-2 to hand off highly accurate data to the Navy’s AEGIS Ashore system so it can kill the incoming missile. That technology has been years in the making and will forge ahead despite occasional setbacks, set Tom Karako, a missile defense expert with the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

“The IIA represents block development of a long-running effort to be fielded for the defense of multiple nations,” Karako said. “The requirement for a faster Aegis interceptor isn’t going anywhere, nor is the demand for cooperative engagement capability underlying launch- and engage-on-remote.”

Just what impact the failed test has on the Navy’s BMD efforts will depend on exactly what caused the failure. But it’s probably not an insurmountable issue, said retired Rear Adm. Archer Macy, the former head of the Joint Integrated Air and Missile Defense Organization.

“It’s unlikely that there is there is some fundamental problem of physics involved here,” Macy said.

Hiccups in the testing program are to be expected, Macy said, adding that people shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that hitting a missile with a missile in space is complicated.

“Does it look good? No,” Macy said. “Two out of the three launches of IIA have not gone as planned. But you do this stuff to find out and learn what you can. In the end this is rocket science.”

“Nobody believes the challenges from potential antagonists are going away any time soon, and it’s not just North Korea,” he added.

Missile Defense Agency head Lt. Gen. Samuel Greaves addressed test failures in August, saying that he doesn’t mind failures but wants to move fast to make the systems better.

“Missile Defense Agency and industry partners are not afraid to fail,” Greaves said. “When we fail, it will be because of a good reason, not because we weren’t prepared for a test or capability.”

Urgency

The test failure comes at a particularly cruddy time for Hawaii, which in January suffered through a horrifying 38 minutes after an alert was sent to residents saying that a ballistic missile was inbound and it was “not a drill.”

The false alarm triggered discussion of how best to defend America’s islands in the Pacific and has created fresh urgency to move out as quickly as possible on bolstering missile defenses.

Former Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Adm. Sandy Winnefeld wrote in a January 18 op-ed in the Cypher Brief that the SM-3 IIA, combined with the TPY-2, could play a vital role in Hawaii’s defense in the future.

Winnefeld argued that the military should move the TPY-2 to the Navy’s Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai where SM-3 launchers already reside.

“To enhance the defense of Hawaii, it is only necessary to move a radar back to PMRF and load the launchers with SM-3 interceptors,” Winnefeld wrote. “This would take weeks, not years, and would cost very little. And as the North Korean threat increases, as it will, it will be a simple matter to upgrade this site with already-planned improvements to the TPY-2 radar and by installing the new SM-3-IIA missile.”
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