Video-Besides nukes, what other weapon would be bad in the hands of NK or Iran? #military

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11 thoughts on “Video-Besides nukes, what other weapon would be bad in the hands of NK or Iran? #military

  1. I must admit, I’m not sure what I’m supposed to see here.

    Yes, supersonic terminals are a step up but the obvious answers are inherently present with active seekers on ESSM and Standard plus maybe pifpaf for more agile endgames, especially on the big SAM.

    Toss in a blimp or VTOL UAV (or RQ-4B BAMS if you can buy enough of them) and you can cue a complete outer/inner/terminal air battle zone overlap without ever committing the heavies through the Gates.

    1 million dollar AShM vs. 500,000 dollar SAM, with the SAMs already in-inventory, you lose Mister Muktar.

    Yes, AShM (Harpoon Block 1J/II can have a secondary landattack mission, as does any missile (SM-4 LASM) with a sufficiently accurate strapdown and datalink navigation system or GPS.

    The question then becomes whether they have the range to reach and the warhead to kill such targets, particularly point/mobile systems for which long kill chain cycles via satellite or presurveyed geo-locate are not viable andyou need on the fly targeting ala ATA SLAM.

    There can be no doubt that 450km (250nm) is a fair piece in smaller state conflicts but, -for the cost-, I also have significant doubts as to the effectiveness of the system in the LAM mode. Pakistan vs. India, Taiwan vs. China, even the two Koreas, there is a lot of depth there.

    While, at sea, the need to either guarantee remote targeting or achieve some kind of blindfire search more -before- the supersonic phase sounds unreasonable (i.e. you need to be able to independently put up a fast-loft targeting capability which itself has to be small and ‘optical enough’ to survive a series of optical popup search and classification phases.

    That’s at least one missile from every six for every engagement _assuming_ you can live to get it to the target area without downlook intercept by equally capable (LASM is a 200nm system, SM2 Block IV and SM3 are significantly better) heavy interceptors.

    What this ultimately means of course is preemption, particularly in tight bathtubs like the PG or Formosa Straits.

    Whether it’s home ported, ‘could attack’ but is presently neutral or simply a radar doing day to day surface tracking as part of an EEZ sea control mission, if it is associated with a threat weapons system which we feel we cannot counter effectively, it’s just bought a bomb or a _700nm_ cruise strike.

    Where I see real threats, at least in ASUW is in the complete weapons system, as for instance a missile firing equivalent of a Type XXIII inshore patrol sub 2-3 men in a hydrogen peroxide sub with a 1,000nm of range and six shots, all of which are cued from shore. Throw in a sixty knot sprint mode to get inside the SSN screen. All in the hull size of large cigarette boat. Send them out, let them sit and wait for the ASW screen to go past. Then go. Lightens the load considerably in terms of missile weight and lets you saturate from a very short range. Suicide system of course but then, what isn’t when it comes to layered defense screens and ‘bloody roll back’.

    Alternately, go to a system which can be laid like mines and fire remote launch and A-UAV spreads without the need to risk a deployment vessel at all. Creep speed swimmers that move in pods and then self deploy into prearranged linear or cell type engagement boxes. Dial it up with your cell phone.

    Throw in one or two cans worth of 4-shot popup SL-UAV capability to confirm target presence and type (rather than an acoustic system which isn’t cheap and can be fooled) and then go supercav under the water or supersonic atop it. Even stay subsonic and swarm the target with 20-100 inbounds (enough to saturate the RAM boxes and run the CIWS dry).

    It’s this perception of changing the tactical engagement conditions as _cheap_ and _effective_ delivery alternatives that these systems show a conceptual lack of understanding of.

    Start to show real innovation in this ‘system of systems’ (what the Russians call a ‘Complex’ is actually too narrowly focussed) and you will see a threat capable of real genius rather than a tit for tat technical escalatory spiral.

    Which brings me to my last point: too much of the Western World is interlinked where someone picks up a phone and the seeker codes are a gimme. I increasingly include Russia in this, at least for non-Chinese/Indian clients (who strip and replace the electronics anyway). This as much as anything will begin to drive the smaller powers either into direct alliances with superstates that can afford to say ‘NO’ to the West. Or into joint-development coalitions as with the Iran/Korean link.

    Where such linkages are not present, don’t underestimate the low yield nuke or heavy demolition charge on a fleet of 20-30 PCIs. Time and again, destroyers have shown they have much more value as ‘sinkaficial’ assets than capitals do. And playing a reverse Taffy 3 game could be a critical mistake inherent to -over- estimating threats as well.

    In this, it is critical to note that Russian reactor tech, along with Chinese missile (gyros, nozzle RCC fiber, thermal imaging) engineering gave the Iranians the push they needed to go for the big bang in the big package. That doesn’t mean they need to stay that way.

  2. This type of weapon is expensive and difficult to operate and maintain. There won’t be more than a dozen system outside of russia and china in the next decade or so. Who can afford them exactly? Venezuela?

    I for one think it’s still the classics + enhanced electronic that will cause the most trouble. short range missile, rpg, small guided bomb, better electronic for remote detonation, uav.

    in term of larger asset? I think small/shallow water sub with capable crew and advance sonar and torpedo will be far more dangerous than medium range missiles.

  3. I am not too worried about the high-tech stuff like JC alludes to. These missiles are dangerous but in such a small number/high priority of destruction by SK/USAF, we should be able to handle them.

    I am far more worried about large quantity of artillery pieces, small “one way mission” subs and infiltration forces. These things are low tech but the sheer volume can be overwhelming. NK can afford to lose a bunch of them and not be bothered at all if they get the job done.

  4. They already sell short/mid range land base anti ship missile like C302, C802, C705. The price is in $500K – $1m. Just the missile not system.

    But even with freebie advance radar, targeting computer, etc, etc… It’s still a pretty complex and expensive system to run. Not exactly affordable for your average tin pot dictator. Only oil rich country or larger emerging economy so far can afford them in useful number.

    Will cuba get anti ship medium range missile? Probably if Russia or China P.O enough. But Cuba isn’t going to be able to support and operate these missiles all by themselves. (I mean look at singapore, they are pretty loaded, and not exactly clueless, but yet, they are not in possession of large land base anti ship missiles.)

    me personally, I am not a big believer in bigger and badder anti ship missiles. Seriously, what prevent somebody to send 2 destroyers + 20 radar decoys ships to face those missiles? (anywhere from electronic decoys to a simple 60 feet antenna + shroud that look like a ship to those fancy missiles)

    There is no way a missile can tell the difference between a well designed decoy (heck, tow a real junk ship) and a 300 feet ship. (btw, One reason I think expensive gigantic ships is just dumb. You can’t hide it from big bad missiles)

    for the price of one missile system, I can create a small credible flotilla of invading force. .. The numerical advantage is with me. You’ll run out of missile first before I run out of ships.

    Maybe at the end of next decade when somebody knows how to make cheap missile case, fuel and more importantly cheap integrated missile guidance, then I will worry. But as of right now, even the basic material and engineering cost are pretty out of reach to most. A ship is still cheaper.

  5. Anon’s comments are well taken, as are the other commentator’s as well (like Nico’s comments on artillery pieces and suicide subs).
    One thing the video fails to take into account is the radar coverage from a E-2D Hawkeye (or two) flying overhead. I’m confident that the U.S. Navy has learned from Britian’s loses in the Falklands.

  6. While I see a lot of valid comments about the cost and maintenance of the Club-M, I’m afraid that I don’t share the doubts about how lethal this system is.

    In passive mode the Club M has a 250KM range, but in active radar mode its range increases to 450 KM. As in the first video, networked launchers can fire in ripple mode, launching different missiles at the same targets on different flight patterns so that multiple missiles converge on the target from different directions all at this same time!

    While the cruise missile part of the delivery system operate subsonic most of the flight, the final 30 KM to the target is occurs at just under Mach 3, 15 feet off the water. With ripple launch you might have missiles from several launchers, up to 6 from each arriving on the targets at the same time. If those orbiting E-2D’s don’t catch the all of the missiles while traveling subsonic, and they are able to close to the final 30 KM, there is no existing reliable way to stop these things. The USN leadership have gone on record stating there is NO adequate defense for the sizzler at this time.

    Where this system would be most lethal would be in a networked environment like China where over the horizon radar and orbiting ocean surveillance satellites could provide targeting data out to 450 KM allowing the missile to fly passive for most of its flight.

    The NORKS are not sophisticated enough for this bad boy, but China and Venezuela could use this nasty weapon for sure, and maybe Iran.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=a5LkaU0wj714

  7. I would never pack more than one missile per truck. Spread the launcher wide, run a 100km glas fibre atween them. This thing is certainly dangerous, think of scenarios like the Strait of Hormuz, limited maneauver space, sub-optimal formation due to narrow sea lanes, maybe mines and mini-subs in the water. Don’t even need a big radar. Couple of skiffs with pagers along the coast – press button if you see target. What I don’t like so much is the hot launch profile, as that will shine on IR. A sneak-attack weapon needs a cold launcher.

  8. I still think that by the time the CVNs come through Hormuz, implying a severe shortage of landbased tanking), the majority of the Iranian coast (and well inland which will preclude most coastal radars) will be a flaming pyre, marked by dropped bridge spans.

    I don’t doubt that there will also be operational exclusion zone rules in force that keep the junk fisherman from doing their daily business, yes they will yap. Yes we will snicker. Given what the PG -smells like- it might actually lead to an improvement in the local population’s health.

    I also believe that there is an immense value in locking down a threat states freedom of road mobility by direct optical and shortrange radar means, and selective hardkill. Much like the Israeli’s did in Lebanon in 2006. Chop the bridges to divide the country up into sectors, drop a few leaflets to make sure everyone knows that running in a car is a death sentence and then dare them to play chess on a chinese checker board.

    Right now, thanks to the overwhelming predominance of manned-air missioning in the budget (and it’s associated perception of bottomless coffers), we simply don’t have the dedication to creating swarm densities necessary to cover every back road and byway which high mobility MAZ trucks might use.

    Especially at sea, this is a shame because it shows a fundamental cognitive disconnect as to the true capabilities (as acreage) of an aircraft carrier. And no, I’m _not_ talking about Dominator thought that is certainly a possibility if the Navy doesn’t pull their heads out of the sand-

    http://defensetech.org/2006/04/10/drone-swarm-for-maximum-harm/

    But rather something which can truly perform, reliably, in the naval deck-landing environment with a lot of WOD and at least some accounting for PRH, even on a 100K ton super carrier. i.e. Not an overblown RC plane. Not a glider with satcomms.

    Obviously, short of fuel cell technology, there will be limits to how many you can tuck into a strike cycle but if you could put up just 20-30 for 10-15 hours, _cheap_, (less than 2,000lbs of fuel each) at a 500nm radius, you could catch the TEL launch vehicles moving up into their forward hides to go hull down motionless.

    Sterilize a given area (probably by tracking whatever unique C2 commo system signature they are using to communicate with higher headquarters) and then move up behind it as the drone cloud shifts forwards.

    What I am in fact suggesting is something like the French Fast-Slow ‘Tactical’ UAV-

    http://defense-update.com/products/s/slowfast.htm

    Obviously 500KG is still likely too small to go to sea with. But if you look at something just a couple thousand pounds larger… Say Tomahawk Class ‘with real wings’-

    Now before you laugh, _think_. An 18,000fpm climb means you can get in and out of sensor LOS or met compromised conditions easily as much as ATC ruled ones, here in the states.

    Unlike say a Predator where you are flipping a coin running through clouds, even with later icing gear.

    OTOH, a 70 knot stall and 100 knot approach is well within the speed range of CVTOL and the gear stance is both wide and sufficiently tall. At 2,250lbs EEW, and a 28X21ft spot give you some structurals room to make choices on beefing and folds and indeed, you are light enough that _removing_ the pilotage system to add endurance fuel, satcomms and sensorization should still result in significant excess power around the boat where it counts.
    Obviously, strengthening for catlaunch and arresting is a given and will add weight but with landbased takeoff on the order of 800ft at a gross of 4,400lbs with rotation at 90 knots, you won’t need a lot of oomph and can make some lifing trades on what must be assumed to be a potentially sacrificial design. Crunch some, we’ll make more!

    Within the Bede-10 system metric I can easily see a UAS airframe which is 1.4 supersonic to a 500nm radius, 450 knot capable of shifting between kill box coverages and (with the right VC core or even a separate cruise engine) able to slow down to 200 knots for 10+ hours before returning home.

    This is what happens when you start to _seriously_ talk about the unmanned solution for unconventional perceptions of mission needs people. A fighter performance class airframe that has drone like endurance and is small and cheap enough to make ISR a persistent, corporate, architecture, within the CSG. All on less than 3,500lbs of gas.

    Let the ALAM-

    http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/munitions/alam.htm

    Armed with son of LOCAAS/LAM-

    http://www.defense-update.com/products/s/smacm.htm

    Be your prosecutor. Using <50 million dollar fast boats which you aren't afraid to send through narrow chokes, quickly and at night (50+ knots, old school…) as 'what the LCS should have really looked like'-

    This (300 tons and 200ft)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:USS_Cyclone_(PC_1).jpg

    Crossed with These
    http://images18.fotki.com/v25/photos/9/907829/3859296/sd1-vi.jpg?500375

    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3558/3312832582_6f31521fbd.jpg

    The combination gives you extended range Optical/MMW Road Traffic Interdiction with fast shift between kill boxes and cues for High Speed (aeroballistic) Missile Based Response without a funnel effect of jets hanging on a tanker.

    You kill the enemy in the deployment stage.

    Smaller Naval Craft = Lower Value Forward Asset with cheap and dirty construction at any of a number of non-Marine contractor yards on a LO-for-low budget, away from prying eyes. Creating the first 'land attack' FAC-M which uses stealth to avoid detection amongst a horde of other small coastal traffic targets and fires close-in LAM from erectable stealth box on the back, like the early Osas an Styxx.
    UAS and and SOF who are targeting the Club TELs now have an immediate means of prosecution, little more than 3 minutes out.

    Which makes everyone is happy

    The Navy because they are free from Air Force ISR and at last have something like a functional, netcentric = realtime CEC targeting capability to regain their overland power projection options with.

    The Task Force Admirals who don't sweat bullets over Mach 3 sea monsters killing their precious capital centers.

    The Special Warfare Community who get a new mission as as a new toy to play with like they haven't had since the Nasty Boats which started Vietnam.

    And the aviators are thrilled because they get to keep the gun out of the robots hands for another 10 years while the unmanned community gain sporting points to show just how -exceptional- UCAV performance can be.

    When the lasers and hunting weapons come online.

    Only the Iranians and maybe the Chinese are miserable and (looking around deviously) 'nobody likes them anyway…'.

    Which brings me to the defensive players. I think the ulimate endgame kill is going to be a combination of APS type technologies and Sea Wall systems.

    Quick Kill or an equivalent APS is your baseline-

    But you want it to be bigger and capable of reasonable standoff (150ft minimum) so that your close aboard blast yields are minimal. You still want it small enough to be dense packed though so that the threat can't use any of these radical (direct side force) defensive maneuvers to out-G the interceptor. You literally put up a wall of kill mechanisms, possibly using Metal Storm technologies.

    Ideally, the combined detect/track/kill capability would occur far enough out that you could get several terminal defensive engagements.

    But if not, the ability to also fire the modern day equivalent of a spigot mortar, uncoiling a line charge type cable of plastic explosive would allow you to have a final, literal, shield in place -before- the intereceptor cloud launches.

    Charge hits, goes neutral buoyancy at somepoint forward along the course track (say 15ft, 300ft out), maybe with a decoy emitter/corner reflector attached to it's radio buoy.

    And then the super-AShM is engaged by ten of these micro interceptors which ideally hit the weapon beyond the plunge point of the charge.
    The missiles signal their imminent warhead detonation.
    The depth charge receives a similar, knock-on signal and both blow within a second of each other. Boom. The AShM's 500-1,000lb warhead detonates, hits the water column _and is absorbed_. Limiting CAD on particularly smaller craft.

    It's the only way I can see, short of effective laser technology, to get inner-zone defense below the Mk.49 level of a 5,000kg RAM installation-

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:RIM-116_Rolling_Airframe_Missile_Launcher_3.jpg

    I also think that relying on the E-2D to be anywhere's near the fight may be wishful thinking. You would have to stage both CAPs and tanking forward and that in and of itself invites disaster, even as it takes away 2 of a limited airwing count of FORCAP defenses. Up until last year, the USN kept at least 5 of the Cyclone class PCs forward staged in Bahrain. They do not keep a Carrier in the Gulf. Why wait for help?

    Instead, I would like to suggest moving to a joined wing AEW design, integrated with the propulsion pod of the X-2 helicopter-

    http://i1.tinypic.com/msc4me.jpg

    http://regmedia.co.uk/2008/05/21/sikorsky_x2.jpg

    As an autonomous, VTOL, AEW capability that is integrateable with small SAGs and even useful 'over the horizon' in support of special warfare boats like the above suggested stealthy FAC-M.

    Obviously, you are not going to get any processing or operator linkage on this system. But the Swedes don't operate the Argus that way either. And if you fit powerful engines in the T700 or even T406 class (2,000 to 4,000shp), you should have sufficient power to run _just the radiator_ elements of a UHF band antenna. Even a C-band array. Why? Because that gives you tropobounce on a moving platform that perhaps can be multi-statically synched with the -existing- receiver group on the AEGIS ship. Cheap is as sufficient does.

    Engineering wise, obviously, this is going to require a change in the perception of the joined wing design. You will not be anchoring the wings at the lower nose and upper tail because you will need to leave room for the twinned rotor disks which themselves lie below a long, flat, engine and fuel pod.

    The radiator aerofoil will be secured at the front and back of this lifting body fuselage, as well as at spanwise endplates on a conventional (fuel carrying) transverse wing.

    The endplates carry heavy outrigger gear as well and the stiff rotors effectively stop and lock at 12 and 9, captured in tip guards which prevent aeroelastic flexure at higher airspeeds. They also effectively multiply lift as a multi-airfoil wing. JWAEWP won't be stealthy but it will be _hollow_ which means it will be light. Which equates to range an station time, away from a protected fleet while using very small SH-2/SH-60 ASW helipads available on most escorts.

    A drop-down pilotage pod, similar to that on the CH-54 Skycrane (though potentially unmanned) will house the forward tricycle gear. A small pogo may be necessary at the back to make the airframe a four poster for unstable flight deck recovery.

    Provided you're willing to accept a slow speed of about 100-150 knots and use something like RTIP to keep the TRM weights down, you will have the equivalent of a 70-90ft long antenna array, wrapped around two quarters, for a total 50ft fuselage length. Mounting an AIRST at each end of the center fuselage pod (top and bottom) would provide further assistance in both BMD and CMD modes.

    I would further suggest that cheapo (ADADS level) air/sea alerter systems be mounted on sea buoys to give further passive picket capabilities on a platform that doesn't have to worry about itself becoming a target (beyond typical tamper proofing against the curious and the stupid…).

    Finally, I remain firmly commited to the notion that you intercept a heavy aircraft or a fast missile when it's slowest. And if you miss the first time, you come around for a second pass. In the former case, that means right off the tanker or even -the tanker-, 200nm out. In the latter it means anywhere over the horizon where you can match vectors and formate rather than trying to solve a front quarter closure proximity fuze operating condition on the order of 1,800 knots or more.

    This is an essential element now missing in SAG based air defenses and it is particularly crucial with hybrid AShM because they are depending on a low impulse sustainer or turbojet to give them the majority of their legs without going to pure ramjet ala Brahmos.

    Such a system (as MALI)-

    http://www.spacedaily.com/news/missiles-02h.html

    Is indeed -optimized- for Cruise Missile Defense and was the principle OTH/NLOS defensive asset envisioned when they did the Mountain Top and JLENS efforts-

    http://blog.al.com/breaking/2009/09/armys_lighter-than-air_defense.html

    http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/munitions/sm-5.htm

    Speed -misses- when you are snapping down OTH blind and even an ARH based (AIM-120C-7) autonomous track to kill capability often isn't enough to defeat the clutter in tracking small threats without some kind of TVM support through a parent aperture. SM5 gave that capability, via the E-2D. SM6 doesn't. Because it was believed 'wiser' (half the cost at 80% of the capability) to go straight to an ARH seeker which was what the USN wanted most anyway. Last I heard, SM6 was also now dead. Apparently half as much was still not 'good' enough.

    Put the MALI on a flat horizon, 50-100nm away, with up to 40 minutes of endurance (ADM-160A had 20 minutes but ADM-160B is 50% larger so a RIM equivalent should be better performing as well), with a rocket terminal boost or a sufficiently robust turbine and you don't have that 'forward pass/first shot' problem. Everything can be passive optical, you just motor right upalongside the warhead section and blow directed blast frag pattern through it.

    The Club TELs, unseen because they are parked beneath structural roofs, drive out, elevate and launch. Boom.

    As another poster suggests, the plume is spotted by DSP, FEWS or possibly a HALE platform.

    The Joined Wing AEW Platform, 100 miles 'to the left' of the main JSOC littoral group, shifts station and goes to active illumination mode, 50 miles to their front. An AEGIS picks up the backscatter and tracks the surround sound course tracks as discrete inbounds.

    RIM-160B MALI, around 10ft an 360lbs each, are popped out of VLS/SS on the stealthy FAC-Ms. Their launch and arrival is timed out to a given point along track, arriving with a 5 minute lead window as the JWAEWP begins to feed tracking data back to the AEGIS.

    Shortly after MALI station arrival, the Flight II Burke destroyer launches four SM2 Block IVs as the JWAEWP relays ground course vector data to the MALIs, bringing them to bear within seeker FOV windows as the Club's go past.

    They sprint to chase and catch up. One fails (muslim seagull). Two hit and two more are out of lane as Clubs pass around an island LOS masker and tracks are broken without enough boost energy to overtake on reacquisition.

    The Standards are retasked onto the leaker and the new threats and four more are stagger launched, overriding the 'first shot' stagger algorithm as the destroyer takes no chances with the 5 minute profile from 400km over the local horizon.

    Using the updated 'plate' blk.IV receiver electronics to look down into the clutter, the Standards pitch down onto the subsonic Clubs while the JWAEWP provides illuminator downlook flood guidance as the forward pass. 5 more Clubs are blown into the sea with 3 misses.

    Finally, the small task group, busy supporting JSOC operations inshore, deploys it's Sea Wall, Decoys and the like and turns nose on to the threat, using either JWAEWP or onboard, masted, radars to track the inbounds. They know from their buoy sensors that the immediate seaspace around them is clear. Even at 50 knots, they can't outrun or outmaneuver the threat so it's better to be a steady launch and fires direction platform at minimal signature. Club seekers light off.

    As the Club terminal kill vehicles separate and go supersonic, the APS+ systems are hatched open and when the Club seekers start to acquire at around 5km, they fire.

    At 3-4km, another ballistic launch occurs, on a loft, three shots per missile.

    At 2 km, a final loft intercept (think MRSI).

    Two intercept events happen at 1.5 and .5km. And the third bags the final two Clubs (from a 12 missile salvo) at .15km, as the Sea Wall cleans up the frag and a third missile goes for a decoy.

    Systems of Systems. So that nothing stands or falls, alone.

    Seen in this light, the thing you have to worry about is Iranian adoption of Chinese or Russian Infowar technology to disrupt the LINK'd CEC itself.

    Sorry if this thing comes across in pieces folks. Notepad isn't very user friendly when it comes to word wrap.

  9. Anon’s thoughts need to be released on Wikileaks.

    Anyway, I’m going to concur with the ‘tossing in a blimp’ concept as part of tomorrow’s mix. Add 3rd party linked EO DAS to blimp ship or aerostat for cueing the active ESSM VLS barges (another topic). Or module for operating MAD boom/sonobuoys on station for days. And another counter-battery concept – re-conceived – could include pg N-TACMS.

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