Future Anti Ship Missile

#1
MBDA are slated to develop a Mach 5 "stealth" anti ship missile available by 2030 tagged "Perseus". Perseus (missile) - Wikipedia

Harpoon seems to be pretty much obsolete by todays standard, Norway and Australia have the NSM and the yanks the JSM, the French are still using the Exocet.

With the media intent on slating that boats are sitting targets, in the case of every new carrier, I suspect that the lack of ASM (ie the gap between Harpoon and its latest upgrade) that TPTB realize that ASM are not the silver bullet?

Can some of the RN adults educate me as much as possible on ASMs and their perceived threat vs defence?
 

Guns

ADC
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#2
I'm sure @meerkatz will be along as the fountain of all knowledge.....

Joking aside.

Anti Ship Missiles have been a interesting topic for decades. In the 90s it was all about Shipwreck, a Russian supersonic missile that would wreck havoc across the high seas. Now we have hypersonic missiles that render all ships futile etc etc.

The balance is having the means to FIND, ID and then TARGET a ship. This is not as easy as it sounds and is a two way street (my radar to find you can also tell the other person where I am). Good countermeasures help here, reduce Radar Cross Section (RCS) of a ship to reduce the range your radar can find it, jamming to stop accurate targeting, defence in depth to "kill the archer" - the idea being I kill the deliverer of the weapon before it can launch.

Then you need to launch and final target in. Difficult if your target is close to shore and there is a complex radar picture with clutter and varies other contacts. Harpoon suffers from this as it is very much "go to this box and kill what you find". The more complex the homing head is the more susceptible it is to ECM attack. Also hypersonic missiles are great but they suffer from lack of mobility, if you can give a vague area to fire at you but on final homing the missile is off then it becomes easier for it to fly right on by.

Final attack and defence - soft and hard kill is the buzz phrases here. Ideally you want to seduce the missile away with ECM at distance or kill long range with things like PAAMS for the Type 45 or Sea Ceptor for close in. There is CWIS - gun systems mostly but they are more about turning one big missile in to lots of smaller ones and the holes are smaller in the hull and easier to plug.

For the RN it starts at training (ensuring all personnel contribute to the war effort - good radar discipline, noise hygiene and social media to make initial targeting harder). Planning plays its part, ensuring strong and well controlled Spectrum Management which in turn leads to good Frequency Management to avoid mutual interference and ensuring all parts of the spectrum are covered either actively or passively.

Technology is very important. Type 45 gets a bad rap but its radar is a world leader. PAAMS are good at what they do. Sea Ceptor is a capability jump from Seawolf.

Practising Anti Missile drills is hard work, not glamours and often forgotten. RN ships spend a lot of time ensuring all parts of the chain are working to the goal of countering ASMs.
 
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#3
Technology is very important. Type 45 gets a bad rap but its radar is a world leader. PAAMS are good at what they do. Sea Ceptor is a capability jump from Seawolf.
Why does type45 get a bad rap?

Do they still do radar pickets, putting the ships with better radar in between the fleet and the expect direction of attack?
 
#4
Technology is very important. Type 45 gets a bad rap but its radar is a world leader. PAAMS are good at what they do. Sea Ceptor is a capability jump from Seawolf.
.
Ahh.

Apologies for going off at a slight tangent, but I've never really understood the PAAMS/Sea Viper versus CAMM/Sea Ceptor thing.

Is PAAMS obsolete? Is the Aster 15 not as good as the CAMM? And what about Aster 30 versus CAMM-ER?

It seems we're fitting Sea Ceptor/CAMM to the Type 23s (well, for a while, anyway) and the Type 26s. And using Type 41 VLS cans (at least on the Type 26s)?

Just seems to be a bit odd to me to have walked away from the Aster/Sylver system so quickly given how 'hyped' it was for the Type 45s.

Anyway, apologies again for branching off on a tangent and displaying my, actually quite vast, lack of knowledge in this.
 
#5
Ahh.

Apologies for going off at a slight tangent, but I've never really understood the PAAMS/Sea Viper versus CAMM/Sea Ceptor thing.

Is PAAMS obsolete? Is the Aster 15 not as good as the CAMM? And what about Aster 30 versus CAMM-ER?

It seems we're fitting Sea Ceptor/CAMM to the Type 23s (well, for a while, anyway) and the Type 26s. And using Type 41 VLS cans (at least on the Type 26s)?

Just seems to be a bit odd to me to have walked away from the Aster/Sylver system so quickly given how 'hyped' it was for the Type 45s.

Anyway, apologies again for branching off on a tangent and displaying my, actually quite vast, lack of knowledge in this.
Sea Viper is an area defence system: the combination of Aster 30 and SAMPSON being all about finding and stopping more challenging air targets further away - Falklands lessons learned.

Aster 15 and Sea Ceptor aren't directly comparable. Ceptor is essentially the Sea Wolf replacement - so the need is addresses is so provide a point defence missile that fits on FFs and ideally does so whilst improving top weight limits (ie removing the fire control radars associated with Wolf).

Whilst it's arguable that Ceptor isn't the best point defence missile out there, it does enhance air defence for T23 by replacing an old system with a new missile that has fewer limitations on channels of fire, releases top weight, and provides economies of scale because it's also used on land (Land Ceptor) and in the air (ASRAAM).

For T26 these benefits are added to the ability to carry a larger number of missiles (48 vs 32 on the T23) which is another handy benefit.

Ultimately missiles are just one part of a weapon system. Sticking Aster 15 on a T23 wouldn't be much help without the right radar, fire control and command systems. Equally, if you then have to cut top weight on the ship to make it fit, what else are you losing to compensate, and is it worth it?
 
#7
Sea Viper is an area defence system: the combination of Aster 30 and SAMPSON being all about finding and stopping more challenging air targets further away - Falklands lessons learned.

Aster 15 and Sea Ceptor aren't directly comparable. Ceptor is essentially the Sea Wolf replacement - so the need is addresses is so provide a point defence missile that fits on FFs and ideally does so whilst improving top weight limits (ie removing the fire control radars associated with Wolf).

Whilst it's arguable that Ceptor isn't the best point defence missile out there, it does enhance air defence for T23 by replacing an old system with a new missile that has fewer limitations on channels of fire, releases top weight, and provides economies of scale because it's also used on land (Land Ceptor) and in the air (ASRAAM).

For T26 these benefits are added to the ability to carry a larger number of missiles (48 vs 32 on the T23) which is another handy benefit.

Ultimately missiles are just one part of a weapon system. Sticking Aster 15 on a T23 wouldn't be much help without the right radar, fire control and command systems. Equally, if you then have to cut top weight on the ship to make it fit, what else are you losing to compensate, and is it worth it?
Ah, ok.

Point defence versus area defence.

Thanks for that
 

jrwlynch

LE
Book Reviewer
#8
Apologies for going off at a slight tangent, but I've never really understood the PAAMS/Sea Viper versus CAMM/Sea Ceptor thing.

Is PAAMS obsolete? Is the Aster 15 not as good as the CAMM? And what about Aster 30 versus CAMM-ER
PAAMS is a system: Radar 1045 (Sampson - the 'sputnik'), the control system, and the ASTER missiles, which are identical except for the size of the booster. (ASTER15 is designed to have a shorter minimum range to cover in-close threats). It's an extraordinarily capable system against air-flight threats, but it's expensive (both system and weapons)

To put PAAMS on a Type 23 you'd need to replace Radar 997 with Radar 1045, which is probably not even possible just because of the topweight issues (the reason the 45s are the size they are, is so they're stable despite that huge heavy radar being held 40m above the waterline). If you don't, then you're updating your target track every two seconds (997 turning at 30rpm) compared to six times a second for 1045 in "really interested" mode, which means a lot of the capability of ASTER against difficult targets (accelerating, weaving, corkscrewing) can't be used because the missile isn't being updated often enough or accurately enough.

And you wouldn't get many ASTERs aboard just on cost grounds - when it was looked at ten or fifteen years ago for "what do we replace Wolf with?", before CAMM kicked off, you'd get at bestn eight or twelve ASTER 15, guided by "replacement MRR", with reduced performance, unless very large sums of money were made available (hah!)

Sea Ceptor is a bronze bullet (instead of silver) that aims for a cheaper cost per round, and instead of the ASTER option of "extremely high single shot kill probability but six figures per shot" it goes for a much lower cost per missile, with good performance that's not as stellar as ASTER (sorry...) - partly because CAMM replaces Sea Wolf, Rapier and eventually ASRAAM, meaning one stockpile for three requirements (it should be straightforward to take Land Ceptor cans and put them on a ship if we end up in a situation with lots of fighting at sea but no land-based action). Although it's not as exquisite a solution as ASTER, it's (a) still very capable, (b) much cheaper.

But, because Ceptor is much cheaper, if you've got a difficult threat with a SSPK of only 50% (compared to ~90% for ASTER from a T45) then you fire three shots at it and get the same ~90% PK overall. More rounds gone, but (a) you can afford more, (b) the really capable threats are also rare and expensive. It achieves that performance while being cued by 997, and on a 23 we can simply one-for-one replace Wolf with Ceptor while the Type 26 will get forty-eight Ceptor.

One option being examined is to put some Sea Ceptor onto the Type 45, so they've got a "less expensive, more numerous" option to conserve the ASTER30 for 'difficult' targets. It's not quite the simple panacea it sounds but it does have some benefits.

Comparing across to the US, look at the way they have the big, expensive and very capable Standard missiles for long-range work (with variants able to do TBMD and anti-satellite work), and also Enhanced Sea Sparrow carried in quadpacks to give numbers of a shorter-ranger, less capable, but cheaper system when the enemy tries to saturate with lots of inexpensive threats. (And Sea Ceptor is a better system than ESSM against numerous attackers)
 
#9
I recall some talk about a follow-on air defence optimized version of T26 - presumably that's more do-able as it's a much bigger ship?
 
#10
I recall some talk about a follow-on air defence optimized version of T26 - presumably that's more do-able as it's a much bigger ship?
The T-26 is one of the ships being evaluated by Canada (and widely regarded as the leading contender) and the first three ships out of a planned fifteen are intended to be some sort of air defence version. However, it is unlikely to be comparable to a T-45.
 

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