Exercise FORMIDIBLE SHIELD - 2021 NATO naval missile defence exercise

Yokel

LE
News story from NATO

Europe’s biggest and most complex air and missile exercise gets underway on Saturday (15 May 2021) with ships and aircraft from across NATO defending against a variety of missiles. Exercise “At-Sea-Demo/Formidable Shield” is held primarily at the Hebrides range off Scotland, and also at the Andoya training site off Norway, involving 15 ships and dozens of aircraft from ten NATO nations.

“Formidable Shield shows how Allies are working together to defend NATO forces and populations from the very real threat of missiles,” said NATO Deputy Spokesperson Piers Cazalet. “In conflicts around the world, cruise and ballistic missiles are often the weapon of choice, both for state and non-state actors. So at a time when we see missile arsenals growing and becoming more complex, it is important that Allies continue to adapt and exercise our defences.”

Part of the exercise will see ships detect and track a missile flying at more than 20,000km/h. Ships will also defend against an array of anti-ship and other sub and supersonic missiles using NATO procedures. Allies will share common tactical pictures, conduct joint mission planning and coordinate in shooting down incoming missiles. Surveillance aircraft will monitor the live-fire training.


RN participation described here

HMS Dragon leads the Royal Navy’s participation as a dedicated air defence destroyer designed to shield a task group with her Sea Viper missile system.

Using her Sampson radar – the spinning ‘spiked egg’ atop her main mast – the Portsmouth-based warship has the ability to detect and follow a missile’s progress from launch to ‘splash’ (when it is destroyed).

She’s joined by frigates HMS Lancaster and Argyll, whose Sea Ceptor systems also provide shorter range defence against incoming missiles and aircraft.

Both systems will be tested against supersonic high-diving targets plummeting towards the task group at speeds in excess of 12,000mph – 16 times the speed of sound – as well as sea-skimming drones simulating missiles, weaving at high sub-sonic speeds in a bid to outfox the radars tracking them.
 

Yokel

LE
@jrwlynch and @Not a Boffin anything to add? There seems to be a school of thought that things like carriers and amphibious assault vessels are very vulnerable to missiles that cannot be engaged by naval weapons?

A2/AD strategies can be countered.
 
@jrwlynch and @Not a Boffin anything to add? There seems to be a school of thought that things like carriers and amphibious assault vessels are very vulnerable to missiles that cannot be engaged by naval weapons?

A2/AD strategies can be countered.
I suspect that anything is vulnerable to a weapon that it can’t engage.

fortunately, aircraft carriers don’t just sit there and take what’s fired at them.
 

Yokel

LE
Exactly - which is why I fail to understand the normal suspects concluding that carriers are vulnerable to ballistics missiles because the Chinese drew an outline of a carrier in the wilds somewhere and fired a missile against a known and fixed location.

I thought much the same when Robert Gates claimed the days of amphibious assault were over due to the anti ship missile threat.
 

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Exactly - which is why I fail to understand the normal suspects concluding that carriers are vulnerable to ballistics missiles because the Chinese drew an outline of a carrier in the wilds somewhere and fired a missile against a known and fixed location.

I thought much the same when Robert Gates claimed the days of amphibious assault were over due to the anti ship missile threat.


Because a CSG will always be at sea under full EMCOM and always have a shooter with a proven ABM capability in attendance.
Oh wait, CSG's do port visits and transits through congested waters and the RN's ABM capability is still Vapourware.

And yes, the Private Ryan days of Amphibious assault ship of yore is dead, literally, in the water if the opposition have anti ship missiles - See GWI : lets invade Kuwait - but Silkworm - so no.
You stand off waaaaaay over the horizon and use air to get people ashore until the beachead is secure and pacified.
 
I wonder what the ballistic target is? The writeup mentions a Firejet drone simulating a cruise missile but not what it is that's re-entering at Mach too many.
 
And yes, the Private Ryan days of Amphibious assault ship of yore is dead, literally, in the water if the opposition have anti ship missiles - See GWI : lets invade Kuwait - but Silkworm - so no.



Would that be the Gulf war where the bulk of the Iraqi army was positioned in and around Kuwait - The Liberation of that being the allied objective.

Whereupon the allied forces did indeed launch limited attacks upon the forces in Kuwait.

The bulk however charged into Iraq and then into Kuwait from behind / straddled Iraqi supply lines, in a campaign so swift and trapping an army so effectively that it made the German 1 - 2 punch in France 1940 seem positively pedestrian.

The US themselves cite the mine threat - not ASM as the biggest deterrent to an amphibious assault -

One assumes because they were confident in their ability to neutralise the Silkworm sites with air power and or 16 inch shellfire. Given the few ASM fired and the amount of coallition coat trailing off the coast, i doubt their confidence was missplaced.

On the other hand looking as though you could be thinking of doing it - well that diverted attention and significant resources.

I would thus contend that far from the presence of ASM preventing an amphibious assault, it was rather more sensibly decided that not charging head on into the bulk of enemy forces and flanking them would be a far better proposition.
 
Oh wait, CSG's do port visits and transits through congested waters and the RN's ABM capability is still Vapourware.

That is why there's an Arleigh Burke class accompanying HMS QE on her maiden voyage. There has been talk about upgrading Sea Viper (ie. Aster) with an ABM capability but not sure if anything ever came of it, or has come of it yet.
 

PhotEx

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That is why there's an Arleigh Burke class accompanying HMS QE on her maiden voyage. There has been talk about upgrading Sea Viper (ie. Aster) with an ABM capability but not sure if anything ever came of it, or has come of it yet.

Aster NT will have an SRBM capability, but that's still out in the long grass - the much touted Block 2 with a full spectrum ABM capability is still a work of fiction and its rather stupidly based around the shorter (5.0m) SYLVER 50 VLS - which imposes unnecessary performance limits compared to the proven and already here (6.5m) SM-3 with a fully funded development path.
Chances of T45 ever getting a proper ABM capability? Zero to trending to none.
 
Chances of T45 ever getting a proper ABM capability? Zero to trending to none.

There's provision in the T45 design to add "strike length" A70 VLS cells or even to replace all the existing A50s with A70s. A bigger hurdle would be the software integration, SM-3 is designed to be a component of a complete AEGIS system.
 

Yokel

LE
Because a CSG will always be at sea under full EMCOM and always have a shooter with a proven ABM capability in attendance.
Oh wait, CSG's do port visits and transits through congested waters and the RN's ABM capability is still Vapourware.

And yes, the Private Ryan days of Amphibious assault ship of yore is dead, literally, in the water if the opposition have anti ship missiles - See GWI : lets invade Kuwait - but Silkworm - so no.
You stand off waaaaaay over the horizon and use air to get people ashore until the beachead is secure and pacified.

There was still a useful tole for amphibious forces in making the Iraqis keep troops and armour to guard against any landing. The AV-8Bs and AH-1s of the USMC did useful stuff too.

The Iraqis used minefields to lure allied vessels into Silkworm range.
 
There's provision in the T45 design to add "strike length" A70 VLS cells or even to replace all the existing A50s with A70s. A bigger hurdle would be the software integration, SM-3 is designed to be a component of a complete AEGIS system.
Covered recently in a Defence Select Committee meeting. There's a variant of Aster in development that will have some capability in this regard, should fit within the existing launch cells too.

See: Concern over lack of anti-ballistic capability on Type 45

Oblig. gratuitous picture of Aster launch from Type 45:

maxresdefault.jpg
 

PhotEx

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There's provision in the T45 design to add "strike length" A70 VLS cells or even to replace all the existing A50s with A70s. A bigger hurdle would be the software integration, SM-3 is designed to be a component of a complete AEGIS system.

We won't be fitting strike length cells, be they S70's (dead end) or Mk41 (our original and now future pick).
SM-3 can be integrated to the existing system - it just take money and will.
 

PhotEx

On ROPS
On ROPs
There was still a useful tole for amphibious forces in making the Iraqis keep troops and armour to guard against any landing. The AV-8Bs and AH-1s of the USMC did useful stuff too.

The Iraqis used minefields to lure allied vessels into Silkworm range.


Its nearly as long from the Gulf War, as the Gulf War was from Suez - Time and tactics has moved on.
 
We won't be fitting strike length cells, be they S70's (dead end) or Mk41 (our original and now future pick).
SM-3 can be integrated to the existing system - it just take money and will.

A Sylver A50 takes up to a 5 metre missile, an A70 up to 7 metres. The T45s presently have 48 A50s. If you want SM-3 you will need to fit longer cells, either in the spare space or replacing some existing A50s.
 
I know that Dragon and Aegis et al are pretty good but, I assume, there are numerical limits to their capabilities and, sooner rather than later, magazines will be empty in the face of sustained attack(s).
 

jrwlynch

LE
Book Reviewer
I know that Dragon and Aegis et al are pretty good but, I assume, there are numerical limits to their capabilities and, sooner rather than later, magazines will be empty in the face of sustained attack(s).
True, but ballistic missiles aren't cheap either, and they get exponentially more expensive as you try to go from "hit somewhere inside an Ordnance Survey grid square... maybe" to "hit inside a six-figure grid" to "actually hit a point target" - and then multiply that cost by "even more" if the point target is moving.

Similarly, anti-ship cruise missiles can be cheap... and unreliable and easily spoofed. Once you start demanding longer range, and countermeasure resistance, and smart seekers able to pick higher-value units (and not random merchants unlucky enough to be caught in the search ambit), and the sort of flight path that means expending multiple ASTER against them for confidence in a kill... you're paying a lot of money for the privilege. (and that's before you get into the logs and C2 problems of positioning, co-ordinating and executing several big multi-missile strikes)

You can run a Type 45 out of weapons... but it'll cost you a fair bit to do, and didn't you have other targets you needed to sink? There's a certain tendency to wargame RED as having endless supplies of all the munitions they want, when in reality they may not have a large stockpile (and not all of it may be serviceable and ready to use)
 
Exactly - which is why I fail to understand the normal suspects concluding that carriers are vulnerable to ballistics missiles because the Chinese drew an outline of a carrier in the wilds somewhere and fired a missile against a known and fixed location.

I thought much the same when Robert Gates claimed the days of amphibious assault were over due to the anti ship missile threat.
But amphibious assaults are over.
As we all know, the best way to move troops into a hostile country is by air......oh, wait a minute .
True, but ballistic missiles aren't cheap either, and they get exponentially more expensive as you try to go from "hit somewhere inside an Ordnance Survey grid square... maybe" to "hit inside a six-figure grid" to "actually hit a point target" - and then multiply that cost by "even more" if the point target is moving.

Similarly, anti-ship cruise missiles can be cheap... and unreliable and easily spoofed. Once you start demanding longer range, and countermeasure resistance, and smart seekers able to pick higher-value units (and not random merchants unlucky enough to be caught in the search ambit), and the sort of flight path that means expending multiple ASTER against them for confidence in a kill... you're paying a lot of money for the privilege. (and that's before you get into the logs and C2 problems of positioning, co-ordinating and executing several big multi-missile strikes)

You can run a Type 45 out of weapons... but it'll cost you a fair bit to do, and didn't you have other targets you needed to sink? There's a certain tendency to wargame RED as having endless supplies of all the munitions they want, when in reality they may not have a large stockpile (and not all of it may be serviceable and ready to use)
I thought there was a certain tendency to warhame red forces based on Red Storm rising.

I didn’t have a friend who was playing red force for one exercise. He shifted all of his SAM systems up front instead of behind. Caused quite a stir. NATO had sort of relied on air superiority.

you do however make a good point.
I’ve often heard that about Iranian missiles in the gulf. Nobody ever really thought that you can blat away at those from height before you even need to put a ship in harms way.
 
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