Modern Naval Vessels

Unread postPosted: 07 May 2020, 05:03
by boogieman
continued from OT discussion in the F35 vs Flanker thread.

Re: Modern Naval Vessels

Unread postPosted: 07 May 2020, 05:06
by boogieman
Corsair1963 wrote:Sorry, in the real world SSK's just don't appear and disappear with ease..... :doh:

Many of them can if you're unlucky enough to sail close to one... which was my whole point.
https://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-b ... k-us-18383
Don't take my word for it though - ask any current or recently serving submariner and you'll hear much the same thing.
Corsair1963 wrote:Surface Action and Aircraft Carrier Battle Groups don't operate within the Littorals. Just waiting for an SSK to pick them off.

Correct, you're aggressively agreeing with me again :wink:
Corsair1963 wrote:Plus, of those choke points that you often bring up. You ever think that during times of conflict or war. That Allied SSK's wouldn't be operating within those areas too! Along with MPA like the P-1, P-3, P-8, and drones like the MQ-4C Triton.... :devil:

Also, as long as you bring up Chinese SSK's. You really want to compare PLAN Kilo, Song, and Yuan Classes of Diesel Submarines. Compared to Japanese (Oyashio & Sōryū), South Korean (KSS-II & KSS-III), and Australian (Collins and future Attack Class) Boats....

MPA ops would be heavily restricted in the 1st island chain that I am referring to. The airspace would be extremely contested and inhospitable to such vulnerable aircraft. You can invoke allied SSKs if you like, but that is shifting the goal posts a little. If we want to talk about allies you also need to consider that the ROK and Japan would still need to keep an eye on NK's ~70 odd (mostly mini) subs. They might suck but quantity has a quality all of its own. We would need every sub we could get our hands on to sanitize that part of the ocean, because the PLAN is on the way to 40 modern SSKs, with close to 70 subs in total... all devoted to that one theatre.
Corsair1963 wrote:Which, is not to say the PLAN Submarine Force is no threat. Yet, they aren't likely to success in just about any scenario you could come up with either....

Depends on how you define success. They are certainly capable of inflicting some very unpleasant losses on anything that crossed their path (both to our subs and surface vessels). Would their losses be heavier than ours? Sure. It wouldn't be a fun time trying to root them all out though. Again, don't take it from me - ask an expert.

Re: Modern Naval Vessels

Unread postPosted: 07 May 2020, 06:58
by weasel1962
boogieman wrote:By my count the PLAN has 14 x Luyang DDG and 1 x Renhai CG (+5 in fitout), which makes for 15 major surface combatants at a comparable (& in some cases higher) level of technological sophistication to US Aegis vessels, with dozens of smaller or less modern vessels behind them that would probably be used as ASW skimmers and AShM launchers. By comparison, the US 7th Fleet has (I believe) 3 x Ticonderoga CG and 7 x Arleigh Burke DDG in theatre, so it's a pretty respectable fleet we're talking about, and one that is growing rapidly.

While their SSN fleet is still very rudimentary, their newer SSK's are a real worry - just ask any Australian or Swedish submariner what a modern SSK can do to an unsuspecting vessel that gets too close. This is especially true in shallower water/choke points where they can lie in wait with the diesels off in near total silence, masked by ambient noise levels.


PLAN has 1 055 commissioned (101) and 6 more launched. The 7th was just launched on Apr 28. At least 1 more under constuction. They also have 13 052D Luyang III commissioned with a further 11 launched and a few more under construction. That is in addition to 6 052C Luyang II and 2 051C Luzhou (with the Russian S-300) already commissioned, which potentially means ~40 comparable DDG/CGs. In contrast, US has 7-8 Burkes under construction as well (DDG 118-125), not exactly chump change either.

SSKs are designed to operate in the littorals which in China's case is masked by busy commercial traffic in normal times. however, in war time, that may not be the case as commercial traffic is generally stopped. However, the addition of AIP means quieter and longer submerged range. Add new ASCMs (CM-708 UNB) but the Yuans, which copy in part the Kilos, carry only 4. SSNs generally operate in deeper water.

USN is CVBG centric so PLAN would need to venture out into deeper waters if they want to challenge the USN. I doubt USN will send surface fleets without air cover against China so its less relevant to compare surface fleet to surface fleet. Same goes with the sub fleet where USN only operates SSNs and so have the advantage against PLAN SSKs in deeper waters. Note, because of the long ranged TacToms, the USN subs don't really need to go very near to China's coast to strike targets. whereas in China, its been surface fleet focused since before 1990. Its only recently that PLAN CVBGs appeared (and thus SSNs). So unlike Russia which used SSNs as a tactical weapon, PLAN appears to develop SSNs to support CVBGs. The PLA surface fleet would thus rely on air based land cover (PLAN naval aviation).

Re: Modern Naval Vessels

Unread postPosted: 07 May 2020, 07:49
by boogieman
weasel1962 wrote:PLAN has 1 055 commissioned (101) and 6 more launched. The 7th was just launched on Apr 28. At least 1 more under constuction. They also have 13 052D Luyang III commissioned with a further 11 launched and a few more under construction. That is in addition to 6 052C Luyang II and 2 051C Luzhou (with the Russian S-300) already commissioned, which potentially means ~40 comparable DDG/CGs. In contrast, US has 7-8 Burkes under construction as well (DDG 118-125), not exactly chump change either.

SSKs are designed to operate in the littorals which in China's case is masked by busy commercial traffic in normal times. however, in war time, that may not be the case as commercial traffic is generally stopped. However, the addition of AIP means quieter and longer submerged range. Add new ASCMs (CM-708 UNB) but the Yuans, which copy in part the Kilos, carry only 4. SSNs generally operate in deeper water.

USN is CVBG centric so PLAN would need to venture out into deeper waters if they want to challenge the USN. I doubt USN will send surface fleets without air cover against China so its less relevant to compare surface fleet to surface fleet. Same goes with the sub fleet where USN only operates SSNs and so have the advantage against PLAN SSKs in deeper waters. Note, because of the long ranged TacToms, the USN subs don't really need to go very near to China's coast to strike targets. whereas in China, its been surface fleet focused since before 1990. Its only recently that PLAN CVBGs appeared (and thus SSNs). So unlike Russia which used SSNs as a tactical weapon, PLAN appears to develop SSNs to support CVBGs. The PLA surface fleet would thus rely on air based land cover (PLAN naval aviation).

No arguments here. Just goes to show what an incredible weapon the Tomahawk is. Such a simple concept and yet it is still relevant against peer adversaries all these years later.

Re: Modern Naval Vessels

Unread postPosted: 07 May 2020, 09:33
by boogieman
Corsair1963 wrote:Honestly, wouldn't be much of a contest. As the US and her Allies would bottle up the PLAN in their ports. While, our navies would cut off all imports and exports to and from the Chinese Mainland.


This would be nothing short of devastating to the Chinese Economy and little they could do about it....

With a naval force based on the US 7th Fleet? Not likely. The only way this would be remotely possible is by committing the entire USN to the task, requiring months of warning and buildup before the outbreak of hostilities and the total compliance of other geopolitical rivals like Russia, Iran and NK during the conflict. You are cherry picking the most favourable of the possible scenarios here.

Re: Modern Naval Vessels

Unread postPosted: 07 May 2020, 09:44
by Corsair1963
boogieman wrote:
Corsair1963 wrote:Honestly, wouldn't be much of a contest. As the US and her Allies would bottle up the PLAN in their ports. While, our navies would cut off all imports and exports to and from the Chinese Mainland.


This would be nothing short of devastating to the Chinese Economy and little they could do about it....

With a naval force based on the US 7th Fleet? Not likely. The only way this would be remotely possible is by committing the entire USN to the task, requiring months of warning and buildup before the outbreak of hostilities and the total compliance of other geopolitical rivals like Russia, Iran and NK during the conflict. You are cherry picking the most favourable of the possible scenarios here.


The US and her Allies could shut down China very quickly. First, they would cut off her Sea Lanes to Europe and Asia. While, bottling up the PLAN in their ports and like I said they could do nothing about it...

China couldn't do the same thing in reverse.....(not even remotely so)

Re: Modern Naval Vessels

Unread postPosted: 07 May 2020, 09:55
by boogieman
Corsair1963 wrote:
boogieman wrote:
Corsair1963 wrote:Honestly, wouldn't be much of a contest. As the US and her Allies would bottle up the PLAN in their ports. While, our navies would cut off all imports and exports to and from the Chinese Mainland.


This would be nothing short of devastating to the Chinese Economy and little they could do about it....

With a naval force based on the US 7th Fleet? Not likely. The only way this would be remotely possible is by committing the entire USN to the task, requiring months of warning and buildup before the outbreak of hostilities and the total compliance of other geopolitical rivals like Russia, Iran and NK during the conflict. You are cherry picking the most favourable of the possible scenarios here.


The US and her Allies could shut down China very quickly. First, they would cut off her Sea Lanes to Europe and Asia. While, bottling up the PLAN in their ports and like I said they could do nothing about it...

China couldn't do the same thing in reverse.....(not even remotely so)

Apart from play the nuke card perhaps. At any rate this is a straw man. My original argument related to how competitive the PLAN would be inside the first island chain. The answer is "very" which is why it is being increasingly viewed in the context of A2/AD. A blockade of China would likely have to occur in deeper water where we would hold a decisive advantage.

Re: Modern Naval Vessels

Unread postPosted: 07 May 2020, 10:17
by Corsair1963
[quote="boogieman]
Apart from play the nuke card perhaps. At any rate this is a straw man. My original argument related to how competitive the PLAN would be inside the first island chain. The answer is "very" which is why it is being increasingly viewed in the context of A2/AD. A blockade of China would likely have to occur in deeper water where we would hold a decisive advantage.[/quote][/quote]


Your missing the point. The US and her Allies would first just cut off China. Then contain her and finally just wear her down...

The PLAN couldn't come without facing utter destruction. While, the PLAAF could do little but to try in vain to maintain "Air Superiority" over the mainland. Yet, against F-22's, F-35's, and B-2's. I doubt they could even do that...

Honestly, I'll take the US cards over China anyday of the week and twice on Sunday.

Re: Modern Naval Vessels

Unread postPosted: 07 May 2020, 10:49
by boogieman
Your missing the point. The US and her Allies would first just cut off China. Then contain her and finally just wear her down...

The PLAN couldn't come without facing utter destruction. While, the PLAAF could do little but to try in vain to maintain "Air Superiority" over the mainland. Yet, against F-22's, F-35's, and B-2's. I doubt they could even do that...

Honestly, I'll take the US cards over China anyday of the week and twice on Sunday.

Nope haven't missed a thing, you're just talking at cross purposes. I haven't actually contradicted any of the above, save for pointing out that the USN would require massive additional mobilisation to pull this off, even with allies in play (simply wouldn't be possible in a lot of contingencies). I guess we'll just have to agree to... agree. :P :wink:

Re: Modern Naval Vessels

Unread postPosted: 07 May 2020, 17:07
by zero-one
Your missing the point. The US and her Allies would first just cut off China. Then contain her and finally just wear her down...


There's a lot of politics that will come in between that. As we have seen historically, even NATO allies aren't as "united" as they should be on paper, there are a lot of allies that just won't tag along.

And Against China, half a world away, Uncle Sam will need to rely more on her Asian allies, S.Korea, Japan, the Philippines, Australia are the main allies on paper with some having Bilateral defense agreements,

Thailand, Singapore, Taiwan, Malaysia and maybe even Vietnam are more of West leaning countries that may ally with the US when the bullets start flying.

But even with China's aggressive sea grab in the SCS, most US allies are still pretty neutral and are unwilling to form a joint hedge against the PLAN.

Basically what I'm saying is, the US needs to rely on her own against China unless China does something really aggressive, because Allies may not exactly jump on the bandwagon. Most may go neutral, just like some NATO allies.

Re: Modern Naval Vessels

Unread postPosted: 07 May 2020, 19:55
by milosh
I think we need to hold allies from this topic because it isn't 100% unrealistic China involve Russia in war, because last thing Russia want is their important buyer and quasi ally (they are protecting Russian back) be beaten.

So no allies.

I am watching Burk and Tico ships. Lot of Burks and all Ticos are build before 2000. I don't think those ships will sail lot longer.

Another problem is tracking radar on this ships. It is very outdated that is something which folks don't know they think if it is Aegis then tracking radars are also PESA or AESA. Nope they are MESA and quite old MESA , it was used as part of Aegis because of cost cuts Aegis was already very expensive and new track radar was out of question so they used what they have.

SPG-62 is based on SPG-51 which was tracking radar for RIM-24 and RIM-66 on per Aegis ships.

In that time it was okey, you didn't need to counter smallish targets becuase most deadly soviet antiships missiles were like MiG-21 fuselage or even bigger (massive Kh-22)

But with Oniks and especially LO/VLO missiles, old tech antenna with 10kW average power doesn't sound good at all.

Re: Modern Naval Vessels

Unread postPosted: 07 May 2020, 21:14
by boogieman
You'll notice that all the latest versions of ESSM, SM2 and SM6 have active RF seekers, reducing their reliance on ship based FCRs. I've heard it claimed that the combination of SPY-6 and ARH SAMs eliminates the need for AN/SPG-62 entirely, with the old FCR simply being retained to service the older SARH SAMs in the inventory.

I think this is also where NIFC-CA comes into play, allowing missiles to be guided using data from E2D. Don't get me wrong, it would obviously be better if every Aegis vessel had AN/SPQ-9B, but the USN is in a uniquely good position to work around the issue with its unmatched access to organic air power... at least until the old FCRs are replaced or made redundant.

I'd add that you want to use networked sensor data to reduce the ISR burden on an individual ship anyway - I imagine relying exclusively on on-board FCRs limits the number of simultaneous targets that can be engaged, and bottlenecks the ship's defensive output in the precious seconds between threat detection and impact. Given the speed and lethality of modern sea skimming AShMs, you really want to be hitting them early and at extended range (radar horizon prevents this with onboard sensors) to ensure you nullify them. Waiting until they crest the radar horizon strikes me as extremely dangerous going forward.

Re: Modern Naval Vessels

Unread postPosted: 08 May 2020, 01:49
by boogieman
In other news, behold the AN/APS-154 Advanced Airborne Sensor - seems to be equal parts high powered air to surface AESA and standoff jammer. Ought to come in handy when going after those nasty new PLAN surface ships we talked about.
Specific details about the pod itself and the capabilities of the radar inside, all of which Raytheon developed almost entirely in secret, are limited. The radar is known to be an active electronically-scanned array (AESA) type with moving target indicator (MTI) and synthetic aperture functionality. What this means is that the system is capable of tracking moving targets below at sea and on land, as well as taking high-quality radar imagery of objects of interest for further analysis, even at night or in poor weather.

The AAS is also specifically designed to work in littoral regions where it might have to scan both water and land areas simultaneously. Traditional surface search radars are typically optimized for one environment or the other, or have dedicate modes for each, and generally have difficulty covering both at the same time.

All of this makes it a powerful information-gathering tool for the P-8A, which is set to not only replace the Navy's P-3C Orion patrol planes, but also partially assume the missions of its specialized intelligence variants of that aircraft, such as the EP-3E Aeries II. The AN/APS-154 is itself a direct follow-on to the equally secretive AN/APS-149 Littoral Surveillance Radar System, another podded Raytheon AESA radar that some P-3Cs carry. The AAS is also just one bolt-on sensor suite that is in development for the Poseidon, as well.

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/3 ... -radar-pod

https://foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com/exclu ... 1562912667

Re: Modern Naval Vessels

Unread postPosted: 08 May 2020, 01:58
by weasel1962
I think the point not stated is it won't be just a US navy driven effort. It will more likely be a USAF driven counter strategy (at least against the surface fleet). Rather than in-place assets, its more how fast the USAF can redeploy in-theatre. But not discounting potential allied air & naval power. There's quite a fair bit of that in place. Even against PLA subs, simple use of captors on known routes, whilst takng out ill defended minesweepers can bottle up a fleet.

Unlike US and allied inter-operability, China despite its size suffers from a perceived lack of "jointness". There is a split between the various commands (military regions operate within their own zone) whereas the US operates on a schwerpunkt basis where every sqn can be merged into any command facilitated by network improvements and inter-operability training. Whilst China in theory can adopt the same, in practice command is divided into zones. A simple example is how often do you see air brigades being deployed and operate outside their allocated airbase. Each airbase is tied to a specific unit. What that means is the US can apply pressure points to achieve local superiority and overwhelm each region in turn. I think China recognizes that and is taking steps to address this but it could take way longer than a decade to achieve this (e.g. esp for airbase development).

Re: Modern Naval Vessels

Unread postPosted: 08 May 2020, 16:17
by madrat
How bout those French swordship designs? They seem like they embrace sort of a hybrid between ship, stealth, and surfaced submarine; coupled to expansion of situational awareness kind of like what the F-35 is to aircraft. They kind of hit me as what LCS promised only without the ridiculous podded strap-on kits.

Re: Modern Naval Vessels

Unread postPosted: 08 May 2020, 20:21
by milosh
@boogieman

SPY-6 is not X-band radar there was proposal for X-band version but in future.

So as S-band radar it can't be accurate enough to guide SM-6 with datalink against LO/VLO target which could also be quite fast.

Type-055 looks quite impressive:

Re: Modern Naval Vessels

Unread postPosted: 11 May 2020, 06:16
by charlielima223
milosh wrote:@boogieman

SPY-6 is not X-band radar there was proposal for X-band version but in future.

So as S-band radar it can't be accurate enough to guide SM-6 with datalink against LO/VLO target which could also be quite fast.


I think you're confusing the SPY-1D initially used on the Arleigh Burke with the newer SPY-6. The SPY-6 operateds in both S and X band frequencies.

https://missilethreat.csis.org/defsys/amdr/

Re: Modern Naval Vessels

Unread postPosted: 11 May 2020, 06:26
by weasel1962
Radars like MF-star operate in the S band and are used to guide Barak ship-based SAMs. Multi-function radars are the "in-things" today.

Re: Modern Naval Vessels

Unread postPosted: 11 May 2020, 07:57
by hornetfinn
milosh wrote:@boogieman

SPY-6 is not X-band radar there was proposal for X-band version but in future.

So as S-band radar it can't be accurate enough to guide SM-6 with datalink against LO/VLO target which could also be quite fast.


S-band radar can definitely be accurate enough given large enough antenna and large ships have enough room for such an S-band antenna. S-band antenna needs to have 3 times the diameter an X-band antenna has to give the same angular resolution. IIRC, AN/SPY-6 has something like 4 to 6 meter diameter depending on version. So it should not have problems with resolution to guide SAMs to any target.

Re: Modern Naval Vessels

Unread postPosted: 11 May 2020, 16:41
by milosh
That would be quite useful, I didn't think S-band can be used agianst LO/VLO fast targets, becuase other newest destroyers all have AESA X-band fire control radars (british Type 45, chinese Type 055).

But now when I think there are SAM systems which used S-band for fire control.

What is interesting more is usage of AWACS radar to guide AAM. E-3 and A-50/100 work in S-band, A-100 is also AESA so it could be quite useful to guide R-37 but why not 9M96 missiles.

Re: Modern Naval Vessels

Unread postPosted: 11 May 2020, 18:49
by skyward
milosh wrote:That would be quite useful, I didn't think S-band can be used agianst LO/VLO fast targets, becuase other newest destroyers all have AESA X-band fire control radars (british Type 45, chinese Type 055).

But now when I think there are SAM systems which used S-band for fire control.

What is interesting more is usage of AWACS radar to guide AAM. E-3 and A-50/100 work in S-band, A-100 is also AESA so it could be quite useful to guide R-37 but why not 9M96 missiles.


I would think you would know that LO/VLO design missile and fighter is all about good against x-band. The type 45 use S band for fire control because Aster use active seeker. The x-band still useful for point defense vs LO/VLO anti ship missiles and that why type 55 have it. Long range radar for ship is always S band nowadays. It is better against LO/VLO target than x-band.

Re: Modern Naval Vessels

Unread postPosted: 18 Jun 2020, 00:08
by boogieman
Was reading this piece recently about the Kh31/MA31 target missile:
In 1995, McDonnell Douglas first received a contract to deliver modified Kh-31A missiles as part of a Foreign Comparative Test (FCT) to see if they could meet the Navy's requirement for a Supersonic Sea-Skimming Target (SSST). The American company subsequently worked with the Russian manufacturer, Zveda-Strela, to develop the MA-31.

Zveda-Strela had first begun the development of the Kh-31-series in the late 1970s in what was then the Soviet Union. The original requirement was for a high-speed anti-radiation missile that would be able to home in on and destroy the radars associated with then-new and emerging western air defense systems, such as the U.S. Army's Patriot surface-to-air missile system and the U.S. Navy's Aegis combat system...

...The MA-31's days had already been numbered due to factors beyond Boeing's control. In 2001, Russia, under its then-new President Vladimir Putin, had imposed new export restrictions that led to delays. President George W. Bush's decision to pull out of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in December of that year also chilled relations between Washington and Moscow. By 2005, Boeing had only been able to make 18 of the contracted 34 MA-31s due to political and bureaucratic hurdles, according to a report from the Defense Science Board's Task Force on Aerial Targets.

The success of the GQM-163A was the final nail in the coffin for the MA-31. The Navy eventually expanded all of these Kh-31-based targets it had acquired and canceled the program for good in 2007.

The Coyote, which remains in use today, is yet another rocket-ramjet-powered design. Orbital Sciences, which evolved first into Orbital ATK and is now Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems, was able to keep the cost of the target low by using established components from proven Standard Missile 1 and 2 variants and the smaller AQM-37D supersonic target.

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/3 ... rom-russia

It's a really interesting story that ultimately gave rise to the GQM-163 used today. Would love to hear from members on the board who can provide insight on how the Kh31 performed and what was learned from it?

Presumably the SSST initiative has been invaluable in testing and validating a variety of systems (SM2/6, ESSM, RAM etc) over the last 15 years or so. That said I suspect a new generation of super/hypersonic targets will be needed in due course to emulate weapons like Tsirkon, Kinzhal, YJ-18 and DF-21D/26.

Re: Modern Naval Vessels

Unread postPosted: 18 Jun 2020, 04:12
by weasel1962

Re: Modern Naval Vessels

Unread postPosted: 18 Jun 2020, 05:00
by marauder2048
boogieman wrote:what was learned from it? [/b]


That the US had little to fear from Russian supersonic cruise missiles (aside from Threat D)
if the KH-31 was at all representative of the threat.

boogieman wrote:Presumably the SSST initiative has been invaluable in testing and validating a variety of systems (SM2/6, ESSM, RAM etc) over the last 15 years or so.


Why presumably?

boogieman wrote: That said I suspect a new generation of super/hypersonic targets will be needed in due course to emulate weapons like Tsirkon, Kinzhal, YJ-18 and DF-21D/26.


You mean a VFDR can't emulate a MaRV? Was anyone suggesting it could?

Re: Modern Naval Vessels

Unread postPosted: 18 Jun 2020, 06:15
by boogieman
marauder2048 wrote:That the US had little to fear from Russian supersonic cruise missiles (aside from Threat D)
if the KH-31 was at all representative of the threat.

That is welcome news. What are you basing that on out of interest? A source would be great.
marauder2048 wrote:Why presumably?

Why not? :wink: :P
Because it appears to have produced the most modern target missile (GQM-163) for USN emulation of supersonic sea-skimming ASMs(?)
marauder2048 wrote:You mean a VFDR can't emulate a MaRV? Was anyone suggesting it could?

Happy to plead ignorance on both counts :D You raise a fair point though - weapons like Kinzhal and the Chinese ASBMs follow a ballistic profile AFAIK, so perhaps they could be emulated using existing BM targets (whatever is used for testing SM3/THAAD perhaps? Honestly don't know - my Google-fu has failed me).

Tsirkon and possibly YJ18 may be a bit different though, as I am not sure of exactly what kind of flight profile the former uses, while the latter is a sea skimming subsonic cruise/supersonic-maneuvering-terminal-sprint weapon akin to the Russian Klub. I believe the GQM-173 would have replicated this sort of thing had it been brought to fruition. Perhaps the GQM-163 was seen as sufficient?

Re: Modern Naval Vessels

Unread postPosted: 18 Jun 2020, 08:20
by weasel1962
Supersonices: Generally AQM-37. I think they are looking for a replacement. GQM-173 - for klub (ground launched).

Re: Modern Naval Vessels

Unread postPosted: 18 Jun 2020, 09:20
by boogieman
I was under the impression GQM-173 got canned. I think it's GQM-163 in that space for now.

Re: Modern Naval Vessels

Unread postPosted: 18 Jun 2020, 20:07
by marauder2048
boogieman wrote:I was under the impression GQM-173 got canned. I think it's GQM-163 in that space for now.


It was canned. They are adding a chaff kit to GQM-163 to simulate Threat D's staging.

Re: Modern Naval Vessels

Unread postPosted: 18 Jun 2020, 20:43
by marauder2048
boogieman wrote:
marauder2048 wrote:That the US had little to fear from Russian supersonic cruise missiles (aside from Threat D)
if the KH-31 was at all representative of the threat.

That is welcome news. What are you basing that on out of interest? A source would be great.
marauder2048 wrote:Why presumably?

Why not? :wink: :P
Because it appears to have produced the most modern target missile (GQM-163) for USN emulation of supersonic sea-skimming ASMs(?)
marauder2048 wrote:You mean a VFDR can't emulate a MaRV? Was anyone suggesting it could?

Happy to plead ignorance on both counts :D You raise a fair point though - weapons like Kinzhal and the Chinese ASBMs follow a ballistic profile AFAIK, so perhaps they could be emulated using existing BM targets (whatever is used for testing SM3/THAAD perhaps? Honestly don't know - my Google-fu has failed me).

Tsirkon and possibly YJ18 may be a bit different though, as I am not sure of exactly what kind of flight profile the former uses, while the latter is a sea skimming subsonic cruise/supersonic-maneuvering-terminal-sprint weapon akin to the Russian Klub. I believe the GQM-173 would have replicated this sort of thing had it been brought to fruition. Perhaps the GQM-163 was seen as sufficient?


On the KH-31, it's just informal conversations with some of the people who worked on the program.
Virtually all of the work on it is public domain. I don't know if KH-31 is truly representative of the state
of late-Soviet/Russian ASCMs though I've read some of the various Russian military sites that are adamant
that it is not.

The big issue is the dive angle/RCS for some of the threat weapons; not sure if GQM-163 can emulate that or the
RCS of a MaRV.

Re: Modern Naval Vessels

Unread postPosted: 18 Jun 2020, 22:03
by boogieman
Interesting, thanks for the input. Can I just clarify what is meant by threat D? I vaguely remember seeing it mentioned online some time ago but haven't managed to find a reference to it since.

Out of interest, have any of your sources shed any light on how the USS Mason's systems performed against Houthi C802 attacks? AFAIK the inbounds were defeated but it was not clear whether hard or soft kill measures were responsible for defeating them.

Re: Modern Naval Vessels

Unread postPosted: 18 Jun 2020, 22:13
by marauder2048
boogieman wrote:Interesting, thanks for the input. Can I just clarify what is meant by threat D? I vaguely remember seeing it mentioned online some time ago but haven't managed to find a reference to it since.

Out of interest, have any of your sources shed any light on how the USS Mason's systems performed against Houthi C802 attacks? AFAIK the inbounds were defeated but it was not clear whether hard or soft kill measures were responsible for defeating them.


Threat D is SS-N-27 Sizzler/ 3M-54 Klub. Subsonic first stage; supersonic SRM second (sprint) stage. It's pretty nasty.

No idea about the USS Mason but soft kill enhancements (obscurants, advanced offboard decoys) seems to be all the rage
at the moment. The observation being that the faster the ASCM is the lower the amount of time it has to discriminate
between decoys and the ship.

Re: Modern Naval Vessels

Unread postPosted: 19 Jun 2020, 01:22
by boogieman
marauder2048 wrote:Threat D is SS-N-27 Sizzler/ 3M-54 Klub. Subsonic first stage; supersonic SRM second (sprint) stage. It's pretty nasty.

No idea about the USS Mason but soft kill enhancements (obscurants, advanced offboard decoys) seems to be all the rage
at the moment. The observation being that the faster the ASCM is the lower the amount of time it has to discriminate
between decoys and the ship.

Gotcha, yes I am familiar with the Klub. The Chinese appear to have used much the same concept with the YJ18 which is being fitted to many of their newest surface combatants. Interesting in that their other major supersonic ASM, the YJ-12, is reported to be heavily influenced by none other than the Kh31.

As for soft kill techniques, they probably don't get the publicity they deserve. I guess it's just sexier to shoot an ASCM down than it is to simply make it miss. I remember watching with interest here in Australia as the Nulka decoy was developed. I note that the USS Mason deployed it in the Red Sea against Houthi C802's. Would be interesting to find out what ultimately defeated them.

Re: Modern Naval Vessels

Unread postPosted: 19 Jun 2020, 01:33
by weasel1962
Mason, based on public literature apparently fired the SM-2 + ESSM to defeat the C802 (after an earlier successful attack against the HSV swift).

Was reading about the development of the GQM-173B. The budget was moved out of weapons into R&D in FY15, and the 173A was terminated. However, it looks like the issue became moot after Orbital (which makes the 163) and the aerial target part of ATK (which was developing the 173) merged (before being acquired by Northrop Grumman in 2018). Based on what Marauder has said, it looks like Orbital may have integrated the 173 tech into the 163.

Re: Modern Naval Vessels

Unread postPosted: 19 Jun 2020, 01:51
by boogieman
weasel1962 wrote:Mason, based on public literature apparently fired the SM-2 + ESSM to defeat the C802 (after an earlier successful attack against the HSV swift).

Yes, although it was never explicitly confirmed that the SM2 and ESSM salvo successfully intercepted the C802's. As far as I am aware the official reports simply state that the weapons crashed into the ocean ~10nm from the Mason, with no accounting for precisely why. That range would seem consistent with a successful interception of ASMs picked up as they crested the radar horizon, and I would expect the C802 to be a trivial target for SM2 and ESSM. That said I would love to know the full story regardless. Alas, this may not be publically available information.
weasel1962 wrote:Was reading about the development of the GQM-173B. The budget was moved out of weapons into R&D in FY15, and the 173A was terminated. However, it looks like the issue became moot after Orbital (which makes the 163) and the aerial target part of ATK (which was developing the 173) merged (before being acquired by Northrop Grumman in 2018). Based on what Marauder has said, it looks like Orbital may have integrated the 173 tech into the 163.

That would make sense if true. It would be interesting to find out more about how the Russian Tsirkon works. I wouldn't be surprised to find that it uses velocities and approach vectors/angles that current target missiles can't readily replicate.

Re: Modern Naval Vessels

Unread postPosted: 19 Jun 2020, 02:49
by boogieman
An interesting read on the YJ18 below:
The YJ-18’s wide deployment and long range would increase China’s ability to launch standoff* multi-axis, multi-missile attacks against U.S. Navy surface ships. Such attacks are formidable challenges for shipboard defenses, and the YJ-18’s supersonic sprint capabilities will further increase the likelihood some missiles would penetrate a U.S. ship’s missile defenses The YJ-18 is one of a variety of antiship missiles that provide China a multilayered anti-access/area denial capability in its near seas and beyond (see Figure 2). In a 2014 volume on China’s cruise missiles, China military experts Dennis Gormley, Andrew Erickson, and Jingdong Yuan assessed, “It appears that China’s increasing ASCM inventory has increasing potential to saturate U.S. Navy defenses.”

https://www.uscc.gov/sites/default/file ... issile.pdf

Bear in mind the range rings in the attached image estimate the YJ-18's kinematic range from notional submarines, but do not factor in the PLAN's ability to provide them with effective targeting data. I suspect their effective coverage would be more restricted once this is taken into account. Nevertheless, the sub-launched variant seems to be the most dangerous of all, mainly due to the elusiveness of the launch platform.

Re: Modern Naval Vessels

Unread postPosted: 19 Jun 2020, 04:26
by marauder2048
boogieman wrote:As for soft kill techniques, they probably don't get the publicity they deserve. I guess it's just sexier to shoot an ASCM down than it is to simply make it miss. I remember watching with interest here in Australia as the Nulka decoy was developed. I note that the USS Mason deployed it in the Red Sea against Houthi C802's. Would be interesting to find out what ultimately defeated them.


The issue with soft kill is that it tends to be last ditch so timing is crucial; Nulka needs to be programmed
prior to launch which when combined with its short (2 min) hover duration is the reason the US
is shifting towards a long duration (1 hour) expendable with a datalink controlled by the AOEW helicopter.

Nulka is getting a new payload (ADAP) though so it'll be around for some time.

Re: Modern Naval Vessels

Unread postPosted: 19 Jun 2020, 06:08
by boogieman
marauder2048 wrote:
boogieman wrote:As for soft kill techniques, they probably don't get the publicity they deserve. I guess it's just sexier to shoot an ASCM down than it is to simply make it miss. I remember watching with interest here in Australia as the Nulka decoy was developed. I note that the USS Mason deployed it in the Red Sea against Houthi C802's. Would be interesting to find out what ultimately defeated them.


The issue with soft kill is that it tends to be last ditch so timing is crucial; Nulka needs to be programmed
prior to launch which when combined with its short (2 min) hover duration is the reason the US
is shifting towards a long duration (1 hour) expendable with a datalink controlled by the AOEW helicopter.

Nulka is getting a new payload (ADAP) though so it'll be around for some time.

Indeed, clearly the solution to the ASM problem does not reside in any one system, but in the system of systems. The USN is in a uniquely good position to deal with it using its unmatched access to elevated sensors (E2D & P8A + AN/APS-154), high quality datalinks and the new generation of hard kill (SM2 Blk IIIC, SM6, ESSM Blk II) and soft kill measures. The ability to intercept inbound ASMs well before they crest the radar horizon strikes me as being invaluable going forward.

Re: Modern Naval Vessels

Unread postPosted: 19 Jun 2020, 07:50
by boogieman
So regarding the Chinese ASBM threat, I did some digging to find out just what targets get used for BMD testing, and I think I figured it out. Interesting though, that AFAIK there isn't a target missile out there that could properly replicate the behaviour of an HCM like Tsirkon.
GROUND LAUNCH TARGETS
HERA

In 1992, the United States Army Space and Missile Defense Command awarded AR Coleman the Theater Missile Defense Targets contract to develop a ground launched target missile to test missile defense systems such as Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) and Patriot PAC-3. The two-stage HERA launch vehicle was powered by surplus SR19 and M57A1 solid rocket motors from the Minuteman II program. The target vehicles were launched from White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico and Fort Wingate, New Mexico.

AIR LAUNCH TARGETS
AR Coleman's air launch capability allows the launch of target missiles from cargo aircraft positioned anywhere in the world, and at any azimuth/orbit inclination to simulate a target with mobile launch capability. This capability allows target missiles to mimic a variety of realistic threat scenarios to thoroughly test U.S. missile defense technologies.

SRALT

AR Coleman's Short Range Air Launch Target (SRALT) is a short range air launched target vehicle that supports tests of American anti-ballistic missile systems. The single stage vehicle that was first launched in 1999 is powered by surplus SR19 solid rocket motors from retired Minuteman II ICBMs.

LRALT

The Long Range Air Launch Target (LRALT) is a two-stage launch vehicle AR Coleman developed for testing theater missile defense systems. Powered by two surplus SR19 solid rocket motors, the LRALT completed a demonstration launch in May 2004; followed by its first operational mission in September 2005.

E-LRALT

The Extended Long Range Air Launch Target (E-LRALT) includes two SR-19 motors, an Orbus 1A motor and a reentry vehicle. It completed its first mission in October 2012 when it was air dropped from a C-17 cargo aircraft off Wake Island where it ignited and headed toward the Reagan Test Site at Kwajalein Atoll. The target was successfully destroyed by a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) interceptor launched from Meck Island at Kwajalein.

MRBM

In February 2014, AR Coleman was awarded a contract from the U.S. Department of Defense’s Missile Defense Agency (MDA) to provide Medium-Range Ballistic Missile (MRBM) target vehicles for use in tests of missile defense systems. Once operational, these target vehicles will enable MDA to continue to assess the performance of the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense and THAAD systems.

https://www.rocket.com/defense/targets- ... le-targets



These all strike me as very modern systems, many of which ought to be capable of replicating a variety of threat ASBM behaviours (MaRV but not HGV as yet). The question that occurred to me was whether or not an Aegis vessel would be able to use SM3 to defend itself from an ASBM attack, or whether it would need to be pre-positioned between the launcher and the target (say, a CSG) to "catch" the ASBM in its exo-atmospheric mid-course phase(?).

SM6 would be in there too of course (intercept in terminal phase) but SM3 could theoretically add an additional outer layer of protection if the inbound ASBM could be detected early enough. Seems plausible given the immense capability of a sensor like AMDR.

Re: Modern Naval Vessels

Unread postPosted: 19 Jun 2020, 21:40
by marauder2048
I was under the impression that Chinese ASBMs would be flown on depressed trajectories very close
to (if not under) SM-3's altitude minimum.

Re: Modern Naval Vessels

Unread postPosted: 20 Jun 2020, 00:43
by boogieman
Not to my knowledge. AFAIK DF-21D and DF-26 are essentially adaptations of existing IRBM tech to a naval target set. Happy to be corrected if I am wrong.

Re: Modern Naval Vessels

Unread postPosted: 20 Jun 2020, 18:35
by milosh
boogieman wrote:Not to my knowledge. AFAIK DF-21D and DF-26 are essentially adaptations of existing IRBM tech to a naval target set. Happy to be corrected if I am wrong.


Both are listed on wiki as quasi ballistic missiles:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ballistic ... c_missiles

Re: Modern Naval Vessels

Unread postPosted: 20 Jun 2020, 19:41
by weasel1962
Pg 21, DoD's China military power report 2009. How ASBM appears to differ from standard ballistic missiles is the addition of terminal guidance maneuver capability including possibly depressed trajectories.
IMG_20200621_023737.jpg

Re: Modern Naval Vessels

Unread postPosted: 21 Jun 2020, 00:57
by boogieman
That's interesting, was not aware of that. The question then becomes one of whether SM3 has the range to catch the ASBM in its mid-course phase/before it ducks too low to be engaged. The (much) greater reach of SM3 Blk II (A&B) may be useful here.

Re: Modern Naval Vessels

Unread postPosted: 21 Jun 2020, 21:41
by wrightwing
boogieman wrote:That's interesting, was not aware of that. The question then becomes one of whether SM3 has the range to catch the ASBM in its mid-course phase/before it ducks too low to be engaged. The (much) greater reach of SM3 Blk II (A&B) may be useful here.

The SM-3's "official range is ~2500km, so an ASBM would have to shed its booster, and and begin a steep descent, to stay out of range. Of course the SM-6 is an endo-atmospheric interceptor, so it could take over once a threat reentered the atmosphere.

Re: Modern Naval Vessels

Unread postPosted: 22 Jun 2020, 00:43
by boogieman
Yes, and I would question how far the MaRV would be able to travel once it re-entered the atmosphere - diving early to avoid SM3 must have a negative impact on range. The solution to this problem would presumably be to replace the MaRV with an HGV, but I am not aware of the Chinese having done this as yet.

Re: Modern Naval Vessels

Unread postPosted: 22 Jun 2020, 01:04
by weasel1962
DF-17.

Re: Modern Naval Vessels

Unread postPosted: 22 Jun 2020, 01:09
by boogieman
weasel1962 wrote:DF-17.

Ah yes, I was under the impression that it was an ICBM but I was incorrect. The larger question is whether the WU-14 HGV could be used to target moving naval vessels. Could be a big problem if so.

That said it seems that the effort to develop an anti-ship HGV is still in progress, with RGPWS and HDWS also underway as potential counters. The arms race continues...

Re: Modern Naval Vessels

Unread postPosted: 22 Jun 2020, 01:42
by marauder2048
wrightwing wrote:
boogieman wrote:That's interesting, was not aware of that. The question then becomes one of whether SM3 has the range to catch the ASBM in its mid-course phase/before it ducks too low to be engaged. The (much) greater reach of SM3 Blk II (A&B) may be useful here.

The SM-3's "official range is ~2500km, so an ASBM would have to shed its booster, and and begin a steep descent, to stay out of range. Of course the SM-6 is an endo-atmospheric interceptor, so it could take over once a threat reentered the atmosphere.


You would take a range hit but given that the Chinese have flown almost all of their recent MRBM/IRBM/ICBMs
on depressed trajectories it seems likely they would do so in anger. There are other tradeoffs like increased
thermal load on the MaRV (if exposed) and potentially less time for the MaRV's seekers to find the carriers.

But you wouldn't have to exceed 100 km in altitude and still get out to 1600 nautical miles. That would under-fly SM-3.
But SM-6 would still be useful. I suspect it's this reason (amongst others) that's motivating SM-6 Block IB rather
than improvements to SM-3 like the Block IIB.

Re: Modern Naval Vessels

Unread postPosted: 22 Jun 2020, 01:56
by weasel1962
Test altitudes were ~60km. At that altitude, sea level radar horizon is ~1000km (550nm) which at mach 5 ingress would provide ~10 minutes reaction time (5min at mach 10). Airborne AWACS (with CEC) would double that.

No moving target capability can still be a threat e.g. docked CVNs at Japan and Guam. Guam is 1600nm from the coast of China.

Re: Modern Naval Vessels

Unread postPosted: 22 Jun 2020, 08:37
by weasel1962
For avoidance of doubt on the target sets. Apparently the last DF17 test was a few days back on June 13.

https://twitter.com/rajfortyseven/statu ... 45/photo/2

Re: Modern Naval Vessels

Unread postPosted: 22 Jun 2020, 09:01
by boogieman
Thanks for the context. Clearly the capability to kill HGVs and HCMs will be needed in due course. For now it seems we may be limited to disrupting the kill chain in other ways (e.g. soft kill, dismantling ISR apparatus). This obviously isn't ideal, as targeting ISR assets on mainland China may well elicit unwanted (cref nuclear) escalation.

Re: Modern Naval Vessels

Unread postPosted: 23 Jun 2020, 16:16
by wrightwing
weasel1962 wrote:For avoidance of doubt on the target sets. Apparently the last DF17 test was a few days back on June 13.

https://twitter.com/rajfortyseven/statu ... 45/photo/2

It's one thing for them to practice against stationary known targets, but I'd love to hear about tests where they had to find and engage unknown targets, that were moving and manuevering.

Re: Modern Naval Vessels

Unread postPosted: 23 Jun 2020, 18:20
by marauder2048
wrightwing wrote:
weasel1962 wrote:For avoidance of doubt on the target sets. Apparently the last DF17 test was a few days back on June 13.

https://twitter.com/rajfortyseven/statu ... 45/photo/2

It's one thing for them to practice against stationary known targets, but I'd love to hear about tests where they had to find and engage unknown targets, that was moving and manuevering.


Maybe it's one of those things where they don't demonstrate it against a moving target because
if a demo failed it would damage the credibility of the weapon.

But at the moment, the defense would have to honor the possibly that it (and the kill chain behind it)
can hit moving/maneuvering targets

Re: Modern Naval Vessels

Unread postPosted: 24 Jun 2020, 00:35
by boogieman
wrightwing wrote:
weasel1962 wrote:For avoidance of doubt on the target sets. Apparently the last DF17 test was a few days back on June 13.

https://twitter.com/rajfortyseven/statu ... 45/photo/2

It's one thing for them to practice against stationary known targets, but I'd love to hear about tests where they had to find and engage unknown targets, that was moving and manuevering.

The thing that has me curious is how they get around the disruption of onboard seekers caused by the hypersonic plasma sheath. Presumably you'd need an RF based terminal seeker to hit a moving target, but the technical challenge involved in making this work strikes me as significant. Even if you could get around it I do wonder if there would be a residual vulnerability to jamming/spoofing etc.

Re: Modern Naval Vessels

Unread postPosted: 24 Jun 2020, 02:48
by marauder2048
boogieman wrote:
wrightwing wrote:
weasel1962 wrote:For avoidance of doubt on the target sets. Apparently the last DF17 test was a few days back on June 13.

https://twitter.com/rajfortyseven/statu ... 45/photo/2

It's one thing for them to practice against stationary known targets, but I'd love to hear about tests where they had to find and engage unknown targets, that was moving and manuevering.

The thing that has me curious is how they get around the disruption of onboard seekers caused by the hypersonic plasma sheath. Presumably you'd need an RF based terminal seeker to hit a moving target, but the technical challenge involved in making this work strikes me as significant. Even if you could get around it I do wonder if there would be a residual vulnerability to jamming/spoofing etc.


It's really a non-issue for typical RF seeker frequencies at typical IRBM HGV/MaRV velocities;
lower-frequency datalink and GNSS signals...maybe.

Re: Modern Naval Vessels

Unread postPosted: 24 Jun 2020, 03:38
by boogieman
marauder2048 wrote:It's really a non-issue for typical RF seeker frequencies at typical IRBM HGV/MaRV velocities;
lower-frequency datalink and GNSS signals...maybe.

Interesting. Where'd you hear that?

Re: Modern Naval Vessels

Unread postPosted: 24 Jun 2020, 04:28
by marauder2048
boogieman wrote:
marauder2048 wrote:It's really a non-issue for typical RF seeker frequencies at typical IRBM HGV/MaRV velocities;
lower-frequency datalink and GNSS signals...maybe.

Interesting. Where'd you hear that?


boogieman wrote:
marauder2048 wrote:It's really a non-issue for typical RF seeker frequencies at typical IRBM HGV/MaRV velocities;
lower-frequency datalink and GNSS signals...maybe.

Interesting. Where'd you hear that?



It's been in DOD/USG publications on the matter for many years.
And recently reiterated by Mike White, assistant director of hypersonics with the Pentagon.

When we fly a missile for sustained hypersonic flight within the atmosphere, the plasma tends to not be so much of a problem,” he says. “We see plasma effects when we have relatively blunt bodies entering from space and the velocities they’re very, very high, and the shockwaves are very, very strong, so that heats the air even more severely than what we experienced in sustained flight.”


"Time Critical Conventional Strike From Strategic Standoff" is a good reference.

Re: Modern Naval Vessels

Unread postPosted: 24 Jun 2020, 06:43
by boogieman
Awesome, thanks for the source :thumb:

Re: Modern Naval Vessels

Unread postPosted: 25 Jun 2020, 12:30
by boogieman
An interesting piece on emerging tech that may be relevant to countering the HGV/HCM threat in due course:

https://assets.documentcloud.org/docume ... Guided.pdf

I had thought that EMRG or derivatives thereof might yield something useful in this space but progress seems to have stalled as best as I can tell(?). I have read comments elsewhere suggesting that railguns present significant challenges with barrel wear and the electromagnetic environment generated inside the chamber interfering with guidance systems onboard the weapon's rounds. Anyone able to shed more light on this?

Re: Modern Naval Vessels

Unread postPosted: 25 Jun 2020, 17:50
by marauder2048
boogieman wrote:An interesting piece on emerging tech that may be relevant to countering the HGV/HCM threat in due course:

https://assets.documentcloud.org/docume ... Guided.pdf

I had thought that EMRG or derivatives thereof might yield something useful in this space but progress seems to have stalled as best as I can tell(?). I have read comments elsewhere suggesting that railguns present significant challenges with barrel wear and the electromagnetic environment generated inside the chamber interfering with guidance systems onboard the weapon's rounds. Anyone able to shed more light on this?



A 32 MJ railgun with a useful rate of fire (say 10 shot per minute) will require 17 MW of ship power
and will induce a cooling load of 10 MW. There's nothing in the US fleet aside from (maybe) three Zumwalts
or the Ford class that would come close to being able to accommodate those loads.

Re: Modern Naval Vessels

Unread postPosted: 25 Jun 2020, 22:59
by boogieman
marauder2048 wrote:A 32 MJ railgun with a useful rate of fire (say 10 shot per minute) will require 17 MW of ship power
and will induce a cooling load of 10 MW. There's nothing in the US fleet aside from (maybe) three Zumwalts
or the Ford class that would come close to being able to accommodate those loads.

Right. I'd add that as an AAW weapon geared to intercepting hypersonics, you may well need an ROF even higher than that, making it even more impractical.

That leaves lasers and HVPs. I am not sure about how useful the latter would be for HGV/HCM interception, while the former probably won't achieve the needed range for some time.

Re: Modern Naval Vessels

Unread postPosted: 26 Jun 2020, 00:19
by madrat
10 MW is paltry to cool with the ocean as your heat gradient. That is going to be one of the easier engineering issues to tackle for this technology. Concentrating 17 MW in a minute span is going to be much more difficult challenge.

Re: Modern Naval Vessels

Unread postPosted: 26 Jun 2020, 11:18
by boogieman
The word from the program seemed upbeat 3 years ago:



Seems to have gone suspiciously quiet since then, save for this a year later: