The purpose of this article is to examine the options the Royal Navy has for improving the BMD (Ballistic Missile Defence) capabilities of the Type 45 Destroyer.


This article was submitted by Ethan and is an opinion piece. Please note that the opinion of the author may not necessarily reflect that of the UK Defence Journal.



This article is the opinion of the author and not necessarily that of the UK Defence Journal. If you would like to submit your own article on this topic or any other, please see our submission guidelines.


With a primary role of AAW (Anti-Air Warfare) and long-range defence of the fleet from aerial threats, the Type 45 is the most suited class of surface warships to receive a BMD-focused upgrade. 

HMS Dauntless, a Type 45 Destroyer, at sea off the Scottish coast.

Background

While ballistic missiles have existed for over 50 years, the prevalence of anti-ship ballistic missiles has increased dramatically within the past decade with both Russia and China introducing new anti-ship capable ballistic missiles.

To clarify, the focus of this article is not to analyse the potential of procuring ship-based defences against ICBMs (Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles), as is the purpose of US Arleigh-Burke class ships based in Rota, Spain. This task is somewhat insurmountable for even land-based systems and the US ICBM defence presence remains a token force of deterrence at best. Regardless, these ICBMs are impractical in targeting surface ships and don’t pose the same class of threat as anti-ship MRBMs (Medium Range Ballistic Missiles) recently fielded by China and Russia.

China has begun to employ batteries of the Dong-Feng 21D ballistic missile which can threaten surface ships up to 1500km away from a coast. Because of this capability (and a certain amount of geopolitical rivalry), the DF-21D has often been touted as a ‘carrier-killer’ missile to deter American carrier strike groups in the Asia-Pacific region.

The UK’s primary military presence in the Asia-Pacific region will be primarily through intermittent CSG (Carrier Strike Group) deployments, the first of which will be underway in a few months time. In a hypothetical war against China in said region, due to the <1000km unrefueled combat radius of the CSG’s primary strike aircraft, the F35B Lightning II, a UK CSG will be limited to distances within the DF-21D’s 1500km reach.

This is exemplified when it is known that RAF F35Bs will not possess long-range standoff weapons until at least 2024. A CSG will have little to no luxury of simply ‘staying out of harm’s way’, should it intend to conduct deep strike missions against Chinese land targets.

Although it is acknowledged that the ability to lob a projectile long distances is one small step in a very large kill-chain, it is logical for the Royal Navy to invest in a hard-kill BMD capability.

FILE PHOTO: A Type 45 being constructed in Govan.

Notable previous events

As has been previously reported by the UK Defence Journal, the UK has expressed interest in procuring existing BMD-capable missiles (Aster Block 1 NT in particular). However, this potential order was suggested in tandem with a French purchase of Brimstone missiles, suggesting this order had greater concerns about supporting local industry (Aster B1 NT has very little industrial links to the UK workforce) than of improving the UK’s BMD capability.

BMD focused exercises have also been conducted with a Type 45 Destroyer in 2013, using its SAMPSON radar to locate and track two ballistic targets and its Command and Control infrastructure to provide real-time estimates of the launch and impact points of the targets.

The 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review had also expressed intent to ‘investigate further the potential for a BMD capability in the Type 45 Destroyer’.

A Type 45 launches a Sea Viper missile.

SAMPSON MFR

SAMPSON MFR (Multi-Function Radar) is the Type 45’s primary search-and-track and fire control radar. It consists of two back to back AESA (Active Electronically Scanned Array) radar panels which rotate at 30rpm to provide near constant 360 degree coverage of the air. SAMPSON’s primary function is to provide air search and track against incoming threats, whilst simultaneously guiding intercepting Aster 15 and 30 missiles to their targets during their mid courses.

BAE has shown intent to give SAMPSON a BMD-focused upgrade in 2024, however very little is known about the program. It could be speculated that this upgrade will introduce a third planar array, pointing directly upwards and giving better coverage of the ship’s zenith from ballistic threats with a steep trajectory. 

During the aforementioned ballistic missile tracking tests of 2013, SAMPSON trialled an experimental software upgrade to improve SAMPSON’s performance against ballistic threats. This software was reported to have worked ‘better than expected’ and so it is feasible that a development of this software could be installed as a bare-minimum upgrade to improve tracking performance.

It is interesting to note that SAMPSON has not received any major upgrades since it first entered service on HMS Daring.

HMS Daring, the first Type 45, was launched in 2006.

SMART-L/S1850M

S1850M is the second major radar system onboard the Type 45 Destroyer. It is a long-range air search and track radar with reported ranges (against aircraft-sized objects) out to 400km (provided the target is at an altitude high enough to be seen over the horizon at such a distance). S1850M is a development of the Thales SMART-L radar, sharing the same front-end PESA (Passive Electronically Scanned Array) radar panel and using some back-end processing components from the Marconi Martello S723 radar.

While the S1850M and SMART-L systems have already shown limited ballistic missile tracking capability, Thales Netherlands have continued development of the SMART-L system with the SMART-L-EWC (Early Warning Capability), later referred to as SMART-L-MM (Multi-Mission). SMART-L-MM uses an upgraded AESA radar panel over the original PESA, allowing for the use of a new radar emission frequency tailored towards ballistic missile tracking whilst also continuing to operate in AAW frequencies unaffected. (For context, PESA radars are limited to using one narrow frequency band at a time due to the use of one TRM (Transmit-Receive Module) to control all antennae on the array).

Other changes include improved return signal processing to better identify extremely fast moving targets and improved coverage at high beam elevation, allowing for a better track of targets with steep trajectories (a defining characteristic of ballistic missiles). This upgrade has been implemented on the four Royal Netherland Navy’s De Zeven Provincien class frigates, amongst several land-based installations.

These upgrades intend to improve tracking performance against fast moving ballistic targets whilst retaining existing AAW search and track capability. Instrumented range has reportedly also been increased to 2000km (it should be noted that a target at this range would need to be detected at an altitude of ~230km, similar in altitude to the apogee of a 1500km range MRBM like that of the DF-21D).

Real world tests of a ground-based system have demonstrated SMART-L-MM’s ability to easily track ballistic targets at an average range of 1500km and transmit this data to the appropriate weapons platform.

S1850M’s capacity to receive this EWC upgrade has been confirmed by Thales Netherlands and would undoubtedly improve the Type 45’s early detection of incoming ballistic threats, albeit with the downside of further Type 45 dry-docking in addition to their PiP (Power improvement Project) dry-docking periods.

HMS Dauntless.

Aster (block 0/1/1 NT)

The Aster missile family is a group of surface to air interceptors designed to combat agile, supersonic, low flying anti-ship missiles which appear over the horizon with little time to react. The Aster missile’s design has been tailored to this requirement by emphasising extreme agility in its final stage and high intercept speeds (up to Mach 4.5).

The Aster family comes in two sizes, Aster 15 and Aster 30. Aster 15 and 30 share an identical final phase hit-to-kill ‘dart’, whereas Aster 15 has a shorter first stage booster to allow the missile to fit in the smaller Sylver A43 vertical launch cell (Aster 30 fits in the longer Sylver A50 and A70 cells).

The Type 45 Destroyer uses a mix of Aster 15 and 30 missiles in its 48 Sylver A50 cells.

Once an Aster missile is launched, it is initially guided inertially using onboard sensors and a pre-installed location of the target. At the same time, the first stage booster is ignited to propel the missile up to a certain speed and altitude. Shortly after launch, a data link is established between the missile and the ship which guides the missile towards its target. The first stage booster is also detached once its fuel has been exhausted. 

In the final stage, closer to the target, the Aster ‘dart’ interceptor engages its active radar seeker to locate and destroy the target. It provides real-time input corrections using aerodynamic surfaces and thrust vectoring perpendicular to the direction of travel (a system known as ‘PIF/PAF’) which gives Aster its renowned agility. While Aster is a ‘hit to kill’ interceptor, it is also equipped with a small fragmentation warhead should a kinetic kill be unachievable.

Aster 30 has undergone multiple iterations to improve its effectiveness against ballistic missiles of different classes. Block 0 is the first iteration and is used by almost all naval applications of Aster (including the Royal Navy). It has relatively little ABM (Anti-Ballistic Missile) capability, however it can theoretically intercept a short range ballistic missile in its final stage, low in the atmosphere.

Block 1 is an iteration funded by France and Italy for use in the land-based SAMP/T BMD system. The improvements of block 1 include software improvements to the guidance of the missile and integration with SAMP/T’s Arabel radar. Block 1 also uses an improved warhead which reportedly explodes into larger fragments to better destroy a ballistic target. These improvements officially give block 1 the ability to intercept SRBMs (Short Range Ballistic Missiles) of the 600km range class.

Block 1 NT (New Technology) is a further iteration for the SAMP/T system, to first be delivered to the French Air Force in 2022. There have also been orders for naval use, including implementation on some of Italy’s PPA frigates. B1 NT uses an improved seeker operating in the higher frequency Ka-band. This gives the missile an improved target acquisition range and a thinner angular resolution. This allows for B1 NT to better handle target selection against ballistic missiles with multiple warheads. This gives Aster B1 NT a confirmed ability to counter MRBMs in the 1500km range class. This puts interception of DF21D anti-ship ballistic missiles within the operating scope of the missile.

However, it should be noted that Aster block 0, 1 and 1 NT are constrained to intercepting ballistic missiles of any class within an altitude of ~20km or lower, due to the nature of the missile using aerodynamic surfaces as the primary means of course correction. Aerodynamic surfaces lose effectiveness with an increase in altitude.

Intercepting ballistic missiles in their final stage is not ideal because it proves the most challenging period of interception; the incoming missile is moving at its fastest speed and any movements can change the missile’s course by large distances and nullify interceptors that are already in the air. Granted, it is an improvement over virtually no capability at all and is a welcome upgrade to the UK’s Aster stockpile.

The latest iteration of Aster is block 2 BMD. Little is publicly known about this block besides an increased focus of BMD against targets greater than the 1500km range MRBM class. It has been speculated to use an exo-atmospheric kill vehicle to target ballistic missiles in earlier stages of flight, albeit to a lesser extent than similar competitor missiles due to the supposed requirement to fit in shorter Sylver A50 Vertical Launch Cells.

With very little input from MBDA on the state of the program, it may have been cancelled in favour of the land-based TWISTER European BMD program. One notes that a land-based system may be more feasible for a mainland European project which is more focused on ICBMs from Russia than creating a BMD umbrella over a naval fleet/carrier strike group operating near the South China Sea.

HMS DUNCAN & HMS DRAGON.

Standard Missile 3

Endo/Exo-atmospheric interceptors focus on intercepting ballistic missiles in a far more vulnerable stage of flight, the mid course. This occurs high in the atmosphere (from ~80-250km in altitude for an MRBM). At higher altitudes, the effectiveness of aerodynamic control surfaces is greatly reduced and subsequently a ballistic missile’s ability to sharply manoeuvre is hampered. This makes for a far easier target, provided the interceptor is technologically capable of reaching and manoeuvring at such altitudes.

The SM3 (Standard Missile 3) is an American ship-based BMD missile with versions capable of intercepting IRBMs (Intermediate Range Ballistic Missiles) of a range class far greater than that of the anti-ship DF21D. The SM3 is a four stage missile with 3 propulsion stages in order to propel the interceptor to such high altitudes that it can intercept ballistic missiles in their vulnerable mid course stage.

The final stage of an SM3 works differently from that of Aster through the use of a LEAP (Lightweight Exo-Atmospheric Projectile) and a TDACS (Throttleable Divert and Attitude Control System) to intercept a warhead when aerodynamic surfaces are not a viable means of course correction. The LEAP will use onboard sensors to locate the ballistic missile and align its trajectory with the target, relying on the release of kinetic energy at the point of impact to obliterate the target.

This method of interception, albeit unreliable in early iterations, has proven to be far more successful at intercepting a greater range of ballistic targets than focusing on a re-entry phase interception like that of Aster block 1 NT. A missile that operates in this way should be a procurement focus for the Ministry of Defence, should they (rightly) consider BMD a priority upgrade for the Type 45 Destroyers.

A procurement of SM3 would also benefit from continued testing and funding from both the US and Japanese governments (of which SM3 is in service for both nations onboard Aegis ships). However, there may prove to be increased costs due to the necessary installation of 16 additional Mk41 strike length cells to facilitate the larger missile and the costs of integration with the Type 45’s Combat Management System.

HMS Duncan with her Wildcat Helicopter.

Summary

Should the MoD finally decide ship-based BMD is a capability worth investing a useful amount of money into, there are a variety of options available to develop both the search and track and hard-kill interception of ballistic threats. With a continuing doctrinal shift in naval deployments to the Asia-Pacific region, it would be plausible for this requirement to grow past the statement of intent exhibited in the 2015 SDSR.

While the CSG2021-attending Arleigh Burke class destroyer USS The Sullivans will be capable of providing a BMD umbrella over the group with the use of SM3s (a capability refined by the inclusion of the Type 45’s radar abilities), the MoD should not become complacent in regards to BMD and invest in a sovereign capability to improve total BMD capacity and reduce the ever-increasing reliance on US military presence to achieve (albeit often aligning) British goals.

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AlexS
AlexS
7 months ago

Italians are replacing the S1850M in their MLU of Horizon destroyers with Leonardo Kronos radar which will also replace the Arabel on land.

https://www.portaledifesa.it/index~phppag,3_id,3954.html

Pacman27
Pacman27
7 months ago

really good, informative article. I think part of the conversation also needs to include SeaCeptor as these can be quad packed which increases the current capability. Assume 48 Sea Ceptor in 12 cells leaving 36 cells for the block 2 NT, the really good thing this article points out is that for a relatively limited set of upgrades the UK’s capability is dramatically increased in terms of BMD. All of these are upgrades rather than new, even the missiles, so really good VFM potentially. Should be said that these ships should also be given 16 mk41 strike, to ensure they… Read more »

John Clark
John Clark
7 months ago
Reply to  Pacman27

Were in agreement yet again mate. The T45’s have huge potential for upgrading. Sampson upgrades… Quad packing Sea Ceptor (ER variant perhaps) to replace Astor 15 and replace the 30’s with the NT and we have an incredibly effective air defence umbrella. Baring in mind we will only ever have 4 operational T45’s, we need to make the most of them. Considering Daring is now approaching it’s mid life point, I certainly hope we have learned the lessons of having to rebuild T23’s and have started serious TXX design studies. The first TXX needs to be ready to take over… Read more »

Rob N
Rob N
7 months ago
Reply to  Pacman27

Sea Ceptor is not as capable as ASTER 15. However I do agree it should be fitted to T45 to increase missile numbers and give an additional SAM system. I totally agree that the extra 16 VLS should be added. I would go for 40 Block 2, 8 ASTER 15 (as a shorter range Golden Bullet), and the 16 MK41s with Sea Ceptor. I would upgrade SAMSON and the S1850. I would also remove the main gun and put in the T32 main gun. I would also remove Phalanx and replace it with the 40mm guns to be used on… Read more »

Daveyb
Daveyb
7 months ago
Reply to  Rob N

SeaCeptor could be made just as manoeuvrable as Aster which is capable of 60g turns. Back during Asraam’s development, the missile was going to be fitted with fuselage reaction jets (just like Aster). However, when the US decided to upgrade Sidewinder and pulled out of the project. The requirement for super-manoeuvrability was shelved and the space was used for more fuel for the main rocket engine. It would be possible to reclaim this area for the reaction jets, but it would slightly reduce the maximum effective range. The other major difference is mass. SeaCeptor weighs slightly less than 100kg, whereas… Read more »

Rob N
Rob N
7 months ago
Reply to  Daveyb

Hi interesting. I did not know that about Sea Ceptor. Of course you could fit the jest and add a booster as in the ER version.

however as all this would cost money it will never get done.

Paul T
Paul T
6 months ago
Reply to  Daveyb

Interestingly the Marina Militare plans to replace its Aster 15’s with CAAM ER, it would be interesting to know the specific reasoning for their decision.

Rob N
Rob N
6 months ago
Reply to  Paul T

It would be great if we could have both. T45/23 with a batch of ERs would improve the fleet defence a great deal. Aster is more agile but you can quad pack Sea Ceptor.

Joe16
Joe16
7 months ago
Reply to  Pacman27

I don’t often disagree with you, but on this I will have to politely dissent; I don’t think we have the resources to upgrade the T45 significantly in the way you describe, even if we were to offload the hardware onto T32. T45 is already very good at what it does, I would just make the light upgrades to radar and missiles to get a modest BMD capability at this point. Beyond that, enhance the whole fleet’s networking capabilities. Put that Mk41 money into T46 development, give it more of a chance of being the benchmark against which air defence… Read more »

Daveyb
Daveyb
7 months ago
Reply to  Joe16

The Fight 3s still use upper hull mounting for their flat panel SPY-6. So the T45 with its Sampson placement will still detect a sea skimmer earlier. The main advantage of the four panel SPY-6 is handling simultaneous multiple e targets, as it doesn’t have a rotating dead zone.

Joe16
Joe16
7 months ago
Reply to  Daveyb

Thanks Davey, good points as always. My thought process was more along the track of them being able to engage fully active with the new radar and missile combination by my understanding, so no need for the Burke to keep a lock on the target and allowing more of a “one shot, one kill” approach like T45 does. I believe Burkes currently have to ripple fire against each target, to give reliable probability of kill, which we don’t have to. Maybe I’m wrong in that, but with the magazine depth on a Burke, that would make them more capable overall… Read more »

DaveyB
DaveyB
7 months ago
Reply to  Joe16

Yes that’s right. The Flight 1 and 2 Burke’s use semi-active SM2 missiles which require a separate continuous wave radar to illuminate the target. Due to the way radar bounces off a target when it’s moving around, the reflection strength will vary, so at times the missile may only see a very weak signal. To get round this they send a pair of missiles per target. The angular difference between the two compared to the target means at least one of the pair will have a better chance of intercepting the target. The Patriot system before it went AESA and… Read more »

Rob N
Rob N
7 months ago
Reply to  DaveyB

I do not think that SM6 will be as agile as the ASTER dart. SM6 is a huge missile and I think it must be less agile. This could be a factor in taking down very fast manoeuvrable targets. This could lead the US to still shoot twice against some targets. The main weakness of T45 is the small number of VLS cells. i would suggest adding the extra 16 cells would greatly enhance the ships combat persistence. when Duncan was buzzed by 17 Russian planes we saw limitation. If such a forces fired a couple of missiles each… A… Read more »

Sonik
Sonik
6 months ago
Reply to  Rob N

It’s true that the Burke’s have deeper magazines, and T45 arguably has better radar. Well that’s great, because we are both on the same side! With networking and CEC, we may even one day soon be able to combine the two capabilities, which would be formidable. In the UK I think we like to obsess over sovereign capability, which is understandable given what happened in 1982. But the reality is UK will never face a true peer opponent like Russia or China alone – we will always be part of a much larger international team, together with the depth that… Read more »

Last edited 6 months ago by Sonik
Netking
Netking
7 months ago
Reply to  DaveyB

If SM6 is as good as Aster”

You should note that the SM6 on more than one occasion has recorded the longest surface to air engagement on record. It has also on multiple occasion successfully hit medium range ballistic missile targets. It also has an anti surface capability and is being re-engineered as the first anti hypersonic missile in the US arsenal. I honestly can’t think of a more capable missile in existence.

ETH
ETH
6 months ago
Reply to  Netking

Depends on against what target. Whilst SM6 is undoubtedly a far more all-around utile missile, it is not a given that it outperforms Aster in the AAW role against supersonic cruise missiles.

Netking
Netking
6 months ago
Reply to  ETH

I think that’s a fair point but based on the reports coming out of testing over the last few years I wouldn’t be surprised if it does.
What it proves most significantly imo is that a clean sheet design is not always needed to have a leap in capability. This missile was created from piecing together parts of 3 other proven missiles. Finally i’m not knocking the Aster in any way. It’s an impressive family of missiles but I believe the SM-6 has taken a huge leap forward.

Last edited 6 months ago by Netking
Joe16
Joe16
6 months ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Yeah, it’ll be a real game changer for the Burkes. I’m hopeful that the T4X will be a step change again in capability, but I guess we’ll have to see where we are in 10-15 years.
Nice to know the science behing the headline!

Ron
Ron
6 months ago
Reply to  Daveyb

Db, I understand where you are coming from however the AB Flight III SPY-6 although has a good tracking ability the ship itself can only launch and control three missiles at a time. From my understanding the T45 can have upto 17 missiles in the air in a single salvo and control them. So as a sensor platform the T45 is a much more capable anti air platform than an AB. If the T45 was built with the original capabilities planned for, such as ship to ship sensor and weapons control ( I have forgotten what it was called) they… Read more »

Netking
Netking
6 months ago
Reply to  Ron

I’m pretty certain you are confusing the radars on the flight 111 AB with the older flight 1 and 11 burkes. The SPY 6 is a completely new GaN based AESA that provides its own terminal illumination  as well as volume search, ABM, periscope detection and even electronic attack.

Pacman27
Pacman27
7 months ago
Reply to  Joe16

Understandable and I think a T26 AAW is on the cards as the follow up.

The reason I mentioned the Mk41 is down to when I watched the Warship programme and the crew stated that the Russians did not see the T45 as a threat as it didn’t have Mk41 and chose to shadow the Burke.

As long as we can move them over to another later platform I see this as a long term proposition, but fully understand where you and others are coming from.

Joe16
Joe16
6 months ago
Reply to  Pacman27

Yeah, likewise, I absolutely understand your point of view.
That’s an interesting anecdote about the Russians, do you know whether they were Russian surface ships or aircraft? Burkes don’t carry any surface warfare weaponry in their Mk41 at all, only ASROC (not considered very helpful) and air defence missiles. Burkes just carry two four-packs of Harpoon, like T45 does. They definitely have the reputation as the bigger badder vessel though- with our potential adversaries too apparently. If nothing else, I bet the T45 crews will be happy to know they’re not priority targets!

Pacman27
Pacman27
6 months ago
Reply to  Joe16

It was the shadowing Russian Baltic Sea fleet.

Famously on the programme the Russian Air Force sent 17 aircraft in a show of force against His Duncan I think.

As you would expect all crew were cool as cucumbers…

Joe16
Joe16
6 months ago
Reply to  Pacman27

Ah, yes, I’ve been meaning to watch that on cath up and just haven’t got around to it yet…! I think you’re right about it being Duncan. I’m not surprised they handled it well. One can criticise many things about the armed forces, but not the professionalism of the forces we field- land, sea or air. I can’t claim to have any personal experience, I’ve never served, but I’ve never seen a bad word said about the men and women of the UK armed forces by anyone who’s served with them or against them. Some of the senior leadership I… Read more »

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
5 months ago
Reply to  Joe16

Harpoon is not on all ABs only the Flight ! versions who dont have a hangar.

Joe16
Joe16
5 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Good point, although I thought they were bringing them back with the latest Flight IIIs? or maybe they’re just sticking with SM-6. I didn’t realise that it was to make room for a hangar, that makes sense!

James Fennell
James Fennell
7 months ago
Reply to  Pacman27

Very good and agree on article. Sea Ceptor ER anyone + Sea Viper Block 2 NT? Also Sky Sabre ER on land to push out the Area Denial umbrella.

Callum
Callum
7 months ago

Informative as always. The key issue I can see with this is that any upgrade programme would likely cost as much as another T31 or T32, at a time when when global presence and rebuilding the fleet are big political promises.

As much as we can all see the clear need for such a system in purely military terms, I have my doubts as to if any politician, and for that matter many admirals, would choose BMD over more usable ships.

spyintheskyuk
spyintheskyuk
7 months ago
Reply to  Callum

Thats a tough one isn’t it especially trying to look forward a decade when what are only theoretical, erratic, unproved or inconclusive threats now against our ships will be anything but most like. Having an extra ship or two will certainly be attractive esp in a non conflict environment where numbers have the biggest impact by far as they are visible, in time those numbers will become increasingly meaningless if the capabilities don’t really allow them to operate in any meaningful way should a conflict develop. Again who and where that conflict is against has a powerful influence in this… Read more »

Last edited 7 months ago by spyintheskyuk
Callum
Callum
7 months ago
Reply to  spyintheskyuk

I’m always skeptical about weapons that emphasise max range as one of their key attributes, because it’s incredibly different to effective range. Just look at the data we have in this article. If detecting a target at 2000km requires that target to be 230km in the air, how do you target a weapon with that sort of range against a mobile ship? Even an AEW aircraft like the E-2, which has a max altitude of just over 10km for reference, would have to get within around 400km to even have a chance of detecting a ship. As the article points… Read more »

DRS
DRS
7 months ago
Reply to  Callum

Satellites. Not much cost to put one or few up in orbit and have visual and synthetic aperture radar detection. Then your icbm is programmed to go to this grid square and search. Not sure how your radar return works at hyper sonic speeds but presume you can do that before you enter atmosphere, and optical once in lower atmosphere?

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
6 months ago
Reply to  DRS

Somewhat concerningly, it may not even take satellites. A submarine, positioned as a picket at choke points, passively picking up the noise of a CSG and while still submerged, might launch one or more small UAVs to do the accurate spotting, to obtain GPS coordinates for the kill chain before the UAV is destroyed. Its then an issue of the missile being able to accurately target a ship when it arrives in the area.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
7 months ago
Reply to  Callum

Hi Callum, You are quite right to highlight the detection and effective targeting of the Carrier Strike Group at long range. It would be very difficult if the carrier was to stand off. However, the Ballistic Missile threat has in effect reduced or neutralised the carrier as an effective force by forcing it to stand of at extreme range. So if a carrier is to close to effective ranges it will need some kind of BMD capability or risk being sunk by a weapon it has no defence against. As for stand off targeting for the Ballistic Missiles this could… Read more »

Sonik
Sonik
6 months ago
Reply to  Callum

That’s an interesting perspective. In many ways the cold war was very simple, it was an industrial arms race punctuated by a few proxy wars like the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and Vietnam. Ultimately, the superior economic resources of the west were able to overwhelm the capacity of the Warsaw pact to continue in the race. 9/11 and GWOT changed all that. A small number of non state actors like AQ, Taliban, Daesh etc. have been able, through asymmetric means, to provoke the west into shifting almost its entire defence posture, resulting in many changed priorities for capability, equipment and… Read more »

Last edited 6 months ago by Sonik
Sonik
Sonik
6 months ago
Reply to  Sonik

Sorry replied to wrong comment – was meant for spyintheskyuk but you get my point.

pkcasimir
pkcasimir
7 months ago

The author does not appear to be current with the capabilities of the SM-3. The US has demonstrated that it is capable of intercepting an ICBM, not just IRBMs, as demonstrated in November 2020 using AEGIS and a SM-3. This is a demonstrated capability far beyond any ASTER theoretical capability.
US successfully intercepts ICBM with ship-launched missile in historic test – ABC News (go.com)

ETH
ETH
7 months ago
Reply to  pkcasimir

Author of the article here.

You are right – I should have made it clearer that SM3 is far more capable than just intercepting MRBMs. However, I focused on MRBMs because that is the threat that a fleet would need to deal with.

Jonathan
Jonathan
6 months ago
Reply to  pkcasimir

I’m pretty sure I read a write up on that test and it was very much a limited test,It was a simulated ICBM, the range ( and therefore ballistic apogee) was not what you would see from say a North Korean missile fired at the continental US or was really what you would see for any other true ICBM interception. The target had no penetration aids, the ship was specifically placed ect. The conclusion was that although it was a nice test of the potential of the SM-3 it was pushing the limits of what you could expect from a… Read more »

Netking
Netking
6 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

You are correct that at this point in it’s development, the SM-3 could not realistically defeat an ICBM. Even the GBI has a spotty record after the US has spent an enormous amount of money developing it. This is the thing though, the engineers believe that given enough time and resources they will get this to work and Russia certainly believes the US will make a breakthrough in ABM technology. That’s why we’ve seen all these new “wonder weapons” being developed by them over the last few years. It’s a hedge, a “just in case” there is a breakthrough that… Read more »

Last edited 6 months ago by Netking
pkcasimir
pkcasimir
6 months ago
Reply to  Netking

That’s your conclusion. The US Navy disagrees with you and so do I. US GBD is a totally different system and has nothing to do with the AEGIS/SM3. An AEGIS ground system has been deployed in Romania under NATO and others are planned. The bottom line is that the US has deployed ABM systems and all the UK can do is write papers about the theoretical possibilities of British systems.

Netking
Netking
6 months ago
Reply to  pkcasimir

I don’t think I ever said that the GBD had anything to do with AEGIS or the SM3. The test record of the GBD is well known and the official line from the US government/military has consistently been that the system is not design to stop a all out Russian ICBM attack. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ground-Based_Midcourse_Defense Feel free to educate yourself on this topic. You can even read the government accountability office report on this project. Having said that, i personally believe that in time they will get it to work but it’s simply not there yet and in terms of an all… Read more »

pkcasimir
pkcasimir
6 months ago
Reply to  Netking

I am perfectly aware of these matters. You are the one who apparently isn’t. I don’t need to educate myself but you do since you use wikipedia as a reference. The AEGIS SM-3 system has shown that can defeat an ICBM. You just refuse to accept the fact.

Jonathan
Jonathan
6 months ago
Reply to  pkcasimir

don’t get me wrong what the SM-3 can to is nothing short of amazing for a ship launched missile. But what they tested was about pushing its intercept and engagement envelope as far as it would go. the test was not a simulation of a potential real intercept of an actual ICBM launch against the Continental US by any realistic enemy. For that you still need a GBI. Range matters in the ballistic arc of an ICBM and that means the physics of intercept gets more challenging the greater the distance and the US is a long was from its… Read more »

Geoffrey Roach
Geoffrey Roach
7 months ago

Wow…this article needed reading more than once…very good. I have to be somewhere else but I throw this in as a parting shot.

The other and/or option is the land based Aster The SAMP/T, essentially the same Aster missiles but with deployed radar units etc.

ETH
ETH
7 months ago
Reply to  Geoffrey Roach

Author of the article here.

I had noted that currently Aster block 1 is in use in the SAMP/T system but the focus of the article was ship-based defences.

Thanks for the comments.

Geoffrey Roach
Geoffrey Roach
7 months ago
Reply to  ETH

Yes..understood. I have an article here as well where I suggest that the army look at ABMDS for U.K. defence using the Aster. Once again …very interesting read.

ETH
ETH
6 months ago
Reply to  Geoffrey Roach

Thanks!

Jan van der Werk
Jan van der Werk
7 months ago

Interesting thanks. Somehow though l cannot see any probability of an F35 ever being over the Chinese mainland….However, the protection of the UK mainland IS worth attention. Rogue states like Iran pose a far greater threat imo than China. I think the last SAM to protect the UK mainland was Bloodhound. Israeli Iron Dome has no doubt protected innocent Israelis from some attacks, maybe it is time the UK looked at protecting its own citizens from similar. Sadly it seems UK Government thinking does not extend to protection of the homeland beyond a few QRA Typhoons.

Jack
Jack
7 months ago

The UK government can’t even protect the UK from rubber dinghies from France

Levi Goldsteinberg
Levi Goldsteinberg
7 months ago
Reply to  Jack

Not sure that’s fair. Everyone that arrives by dinghy is sent back to the first country they could have claimed asylum in or to their homes countries if they have not come from an unstable country

Paul T
Paul T
7 months ago

You are Joking ?.

Johan
Johan
7 months ago
Reply to  Paul T

They no longer have a right under EU Law, which states all persons of refugee status must be given shelter, EU wants to house everyone then fine. good luck.

Johan
Johan
7 months ago

since we left the EU they can be returned….

Johan
Johan
7 months ago
Reply to  Jack

Thats a Border Force Issue and not MOD, now they have no right of EU Passage and can be taken back to where they left without any formalities. EU PROBLEM.

Steve R
Steve R
6 months ago
Reply to  Johan

I always chuckle when people start saying that the army and navy need to defend our borders against people in rubber dinghies.

Jonathan
Jonathan
6 months ago
Reply to  Steve R

Personally I think the main job there’s is saving them from drowning, then you decide who goes where and pays for what. Best way to solve this old problem is at source, people don’t really want to travel thousands of miles and risk drowning in the cold sea. You just need to make sure they have a choice not to do that. At some point we are going to have to face the fact we are all interconnected, if the second and third world can’t keep their populations healthy, we will all get the pandemic that nations won’t come back… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
6 months ago

It does really depend what you are trying to defend against, any ballistic missile threat on the U.K. from Iran or anywhere is going to be at least an intermediate range ballistic missiles. That is not something that can be intercepted from the U.K. unless we decide to invest in something like the US GBI ( this is literally a three stage orbital booster, proper space rocket and you need around 10-20 with launch facilities to work). you have to remember not all ballistic missiles are the same and the complexity and difficulty of intercept is not linear at all.… Read more »

Ron5
Ron5
7 months ago

Excellent article. Thanks.

Don’t forget lasers! They might be the answer for the RN come the type 46.

TrevorH
TrevorH
7 months ago
Reply to  Ron5

Possibly. Given the additional requirement of anti ballistic missile defence, will or should the next ‘T45’ be much bigger? Should those vessels be purely tasked to support the carriers, in which case is 4 not the number we need.

On the other hand if they have ABMD, then may be they themselves should be escorted, not be the escort?

DRS
DRS
7 months ago
Reply to  TrevorH

Could you ever do a gun based ABMD. Or would that have to be massive or at best rail gun like, I think lasers still some way out?

GlynH
GlynH
7 months ago

The seeker can also be used to ‘home on jam’, where the target is jammed by the Aster interceptor’s radar seeker as it approaches.
Typo there, that’s not what ‘home on jam’ means, it means the seeker can passively target ‘the target’ by locking on to narrow & broad band jamming signals.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
7 months ago

Apropos of very little in the article, merely the aside over Aster B1 NT likely tied to a French purchase of Brimstone, I did wonder if the latter was ultimately for the chop, now that we have apparently agreed to join the US on the AGM 179 JAGM.

Andrew Deacon
Andrew Deacon
7 months ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

Yes I wondered this though it’s more likely they will be a hellfire replacement for Apache/protector/ reaper or perhaps for our f35’s since brimstone is unlikely to ever be qualified on the f35 .
I believe brimstone 3 is supposed to be a common missile across the typhoon/protector and Apache fleet. The costs of qualifying brimstone on protector and Apache might be prohibitive though

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
7 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Deacon

Just as likely a scenario on past performance, but hardly represents rationalisation of the weapon inventory i.e. one or the other, as one may have thought in keeping with IR.

Joe16
Joe16
7 months ago

Good article, thanks. I would agree that a BMD capability is important, but I’d argue that this should be limited to “soft” upgrades of the radar and missile systems; there are other areas that could do with addressing with greater/equal priority if we do this. Get the simple radar upgrades and the newer block Aster 30s, fine. But T45 (as well as the wider RN surface warfare force) could also do with a better-networked set up. I know that we have some set up that allows some kind of performance similar to the USN’s CEC, but I believe it’s a… Read more »

Sonik
Sonik
7 months ago
Reply to  Joe16

‘but our advanced weapons partnerships with France and Italy are a real success story- build on them’

Very true – a rare example of European collaboration where the partner nations somehow manage to put ego and national industrial interests aside, allowing each to bring their best capabilities to the projects.

Pretty successful with international exports too, which benefits all involved.

Joe16
Joe16
6 months ago
Reply to  Sonik

Exactly- play to our strengths, and advanced weapons is one of them! I think it works so well because MBDA and the partner nations have agreed workshare spread by each country having specific areas; if I recall UK has guidance and warhead, France has boosters and something else, that kind of thing. That way, each country has guaranteed work on either one’s projects- meaning there’s less/no feast and famine and loss of skills. It also encourages successful projects, because there’s a clear and fairly spread industrial stake from the beginning. Collaboration on common weapons (Martlet, FC/ASW etc.) is also encouraged,… Read more »

Sonik
Sonik
6 months ago
Reply to  Joe16

Beyond advanced weapons I think your underlying point is a good one. In the last few decades a lot of things have gone very badly so it gets all too easy to get overwhelmed with all the negativity and doom mongering. Ultimately it gets very difficult to even accnowlege where things have gone well, to use that as a model for other projects. To a certain extent I think that’s just the British disease – we love to champion the underdog and are often uncomfortable with beeing too proud of our success (at least when compared to USA, not that… Read more »

Last edited 6 months ago by Sonik
Ron5
Ron5
6 months ago
Reply to  Joe16

@Joe: “I believe the ER booster makes it wider than normal CAMM”

A very common misconception. Yes the dimeter of the ER booster is larger but that’s not the limiting factor for its VLS. That’s the diagonal width over the fins which is exactly the same as on a regular CAMM. Bottom line is that ER will fit any launcher that can contain CAMM as long as the extra one meter length will fit.

Meirion X
Meirion X
6 months ago
Reply to  Ron5

Yes that is correct, CAMM-ER is 190mm diameter, compared to CAMM at 166mm.

Joe16
Joe16
6 months ago
Reply to  Ron5

Thanks Ron, I didn’t realise that! Good news. I think there’s room in a Sylver AS50.
They’ve done a similar job with the Meteor I believe, in order to get it to fit in the F-35 bays.

PaulW
PaulW
7 months ago

Type 45’s don’t have enough cells to give up space for ABMs. Barely enough to cover area defence as well as self defence. First-class radar will definitely see the kill missile coming. Fit a stern cell assembly and things might be different. Seems that Type 45 batch 2 stretched would be a good way forward.

Steve R
Steve R
7 months ago
Reply to  PaulW

To be honest there is space for additional cells on the Type 45 and if we’re talking about ABM defence we wouldn’t need a lot of them; perhaps a dozen missiles at most.

Ron5
Ron5
6 months ago
Reply to  PaulW

There’s no such thing as a Type 45 Batch 2 stretched. Nor will there ever be.

James
James
7 months ago

The fastest way to increase destroyer numbers and capability apart of upgrading existing ones is to build 5 more type 26 that are destroyer variant. This ship are as large as a type 45 already and need no new design from scratch and the industrial base is already there. Delaying destroyers build further is dangerous at this time in history .

Last edited 7 months ago by James
Ron5
Ron5
6 months ago
Reply to  James

“fast” does not belong in any comment on Type 26 build.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
6 months ago
Reply to  James

T26 isn’t really suitable as it doesn’t have the top weight capability for the high mast and top weight mass that an AAW destroyer requires.

ASW you need the quietest running hull form so relatively flat bottomed and shallow.

For AAW you need stability to get the best radar picture from a high mounted sensor. Sure you can digitally stabilise but there are links particularly in high sea states.

Meirion X
Meirion X
6 months ago

Yes the stern section of the T26 is long and shallow, just deep enough to store the towed array sonar(TAS), and cable drum, winding machine.

It looks like, future AAW destoryers, will need a beem in excss of 22m.

McZ
McZ
6 months ago
Reply to  James

The days of networked firepower are finally here. This means, the tendency to create ever larger surface combatants to accomodate sensor plus weapons will stop, at some point. I think, BAE had it exactly right with their famous UVX-“drone-carrier” concept. AAW will be AEW-drones/helicopters, controlled from a mother vessel, connected to ordnance-truck drones and arsenal ships. Same goes for ASW. I hope, this is what T32 will be all about. A relatively simple GP-combatant, having space for two helos or 4-7 VTOL-UAVs. Basic self defense kit, improved by incorporating NAMMO-RAM into Sea Ceptor, and lasers. Lots of comm equipment, including… Read more »

Peter S
Peter S
7 months ago

Interesting article from 2017 on AIP website attempts to review the effectiveness of ABM systems. Because so much is kept secret, its conclusions were rather tentative. But some interesting observations: * Success rate of Patriot missile in gulf war turned out to be nil * Aegis seems to have a fairly high success rate * Tests of GBM defence system very artificial (and expensive at$244m) with limited relevance to a real attack in numbers * Anti interception systems likely to be effective The USN current big worry is the area denial capability being developed by China. A missile launched at… Read more »

Daveyb
Daveyb
7 months ago

Nice, a very good a succinct piece. During the Formidable Shield Exercise in 2017, part of the tests were to detect, track and destroy a ballistic test missile (Terrier-Oriole) launched from the Hebrides. However, the shooter, the USS Donald Cook, would not illuminate the target with its own radars. This job would be provided by the the Dutch Ship HMLNS De Ruyter using its SMART-L radar. What is really important about this exercise, is that the ship’s radar was a standard SMART-L PESA, not the later AESA version. It just had some software tweaks based on the data from the… Read more »

Ethan
Ethan
6 months ago
Reply to  Daveyb

Thankyou for your comments and insights Daveyb.

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
6 months ago
Reply to  Daveyb

Hi Davey, I think part of the answer on supporting an ABMD capability is in the Formidable Shield Exercise in 2017 that you describe, i.e. use T45 sensors for detection and use T26 MK41 cells for SM3 and perhaps SM-6. We don’t even need CEC for this, although I think the RN should, like other navies, move to support a CEC like capability as the T26s commission. This systems approach to ABDM defence avoids taking T45s out of service for a significant time, along with what is probably significant cost, when the ships are 2/3 or more into their life.… Read more »

Ron5
Ron5
6 months ago

The T45’s are about halfway through their planned RN life.

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
6 months ago
Reply to  Ron5

Probably a little less assuming a ~25 year commissioned life, which seems to be approximately what’s planned for a 2035-38 current OSD. What I meant though was by the time we add MK41, update software, test and accept into service missiles like SM-3 or SM-6, then T45s are 2/3 or more into their life. Now I think about it, its probably more like 3/4 or more into life.

Ron5
Ron5
6 months ago
Reply to  Daveyb

In all UK exercises to date, the RN has used the Sampson radar for BM detection. The Tye 45’s S1850M is primarily carried for aircraft controller duties.

By the tone of your comments, I suspect most of information comes from Thales.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
6 months ago
Reply to  Ron5

I suspect that the first two S1850Ms to be upgraded will be on QEC and PoW. The rotors are up higher: more coverage. This then sort of makes sense of why Sampson was not fitted to the QEC’s as was in the original designs. Although as I opined in an earlier thread if QEC has Sampson that much higher up that would probably have spelled the end of CrowsNest. Then CEC must be the priority. With CEC the VLS silo can be on any ship in the task group. RN are incredibly proud of Sampson and it is incredibly good.… Read more »

Jon
Jon
6 months ago

Dauntless has just had its S1850M fully refurbished, the first of the Type 45s. A decision must have been made not to go with a Smart-L MM upgrade instead. This seems a pity, as it would have circumvented the extra drydocked time mentioned in the article.

Some details on the test can be found here:

https://www.navalnews.com/naval-news/2021/03/thales-completes-hms-dauntless-s1850m-long-range-radar-overhaul/

Last edited 6 months ago by Jon
Daveyb
Daveyb
6 months ago
Reply to  Ron5

Are you sure about that? I am not going to discount it. However, at the moment the I know the T45 splits the load of volume search with target of interest tracking between the two radars. Admittedly the Sampson could do all the work, but the load placed on the system would be very high. I’m still at a loss why the T26/31 is only going to have one primary radar? Mainly, it is the difference in physical performance between the S1850M’s L band (1 to 2 Ghz) and Sampson’s S band (2 to 4 Ghz) radars, that would make… Read more »

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
5 months ago
Reply to  Daveyb

Owwww….That just took me back to my systems engineering time ….I will be having nightmares about all that pinky stuff.

If I remember rightly ( I did guns and missile systems not Radar or EW) the use of modern AESA radars with complex waveforms also make the radars less easily detectable so they also become LPI.
Most EW systems have a fingerprint library of known PRFs and frequencies to compare against. As Sampson is using steps and various different transmission beams it is difficult to compare against a library and provide a detection alert.

DaveyB
DaveyB
5 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Yes, that’s correct. The Sampson’s TRMs can operate over a much wider operating frequency range within the S band. ESM gear and aircraft RWR in particular look for pattern repetition. The radar’s PRF is one part of the pattern that these system’s look for. However, Sampson and other AESA radar use a combination of different waveform techniques rather than the standard pulse or continuous wave. These are clearly not advertised for security reasons. But as an educated guess it will be using something along the lines of frequency modulated carrier wave. This has the benefit of using a relative low… Read more »

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
5 months ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Now my head really hurts… EW stuff as well. As far as I was concerned I didn’t need to understand how an EW set did an intercept I just took it on good faith that it did it…. It was Magic . Regarding war waveforms this will be true. The old 967 for Seawolf usually operated on 3 frequencies. London went active on all of the frequencies with full multi hop during the Gulf War. They where rapidly told to go back to 3 as the threat level didn’t justify full multi hops across all of the set frequencies. Fingerprinting… Read more »

DaveyB
DaveyB
5 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Sorry, I’ll go hide in my cabin. They only let me out if I’ve been good!

I won’t mention what the Nimrod R1’s used to get up to in provoking Soviet/Russian air defences networks to go live?

OldSchool
OldSchool
6 months ago
Reply to  Daveyb

Great info Daveyb. Also I think any synergies for BMD detection via the Type45 and USN (eg Burkes) should be investigated as we could borrow a Burke to escort our carrier ( which will be acting as a component of a US carrier TF – we won’t be fighting a peer enemy on our own). The 45 could detect the incoming missile for the Burke to use its SM3).

Ethan
Ethan
6 months ago
Reply to  OldSchool

The scenario you describe has already been tested on 2015, a Type 45 used its SAMPSON radar to track a short range ballistic target and give targeting information to a nearby Arleigh Burke. The Arleigh Burke then used an SM3 to intercept.

Order of the Ditch
Order of the Ditch
7 months ago

The biggest issue facing the Royal Navy is that the fleet can easily be saturated by incoming missiles. As it currently stands the T45s can take 48 missiles. If there are two T45 destroyers and 2 x T23 with CSG that means combined the fleet will have 160 missiles. (if fully loaded) A single Chinese Type 052D destroyer has a 64 VLS and a Type 055 destroyer has a 112 missile VLS. Just two Chinese destroyers can field more missiles than 4 UK ships. When you add the need for defences against aircraft and land based ballistic missiles it is… Read more »

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
5 months ago

You are not going to fill your VLS with only ASMs . It will also include AA Missiles for defence against ASMs aimed at your own unit.

Not that it would make much difference anyway when an Astute sticks a Spearfish under your keel at 70 knts from many 10’s of miles away.

John Hartley
John Hartley
7 months ago

The T45 has been a classic example of “spoil the ship for a halfpenny of tar”. First, they were cut from 12 to 8, to 6. Then the 155mm gun was switched to 5″ & finally, 4.5″. The 4 panel Sampson was cut to 2 panels. CEC was cut. Torpedo tubes missing. No rush to fix the intercooler problem. By the time they are put right, they will be going out of service. It is probably only worth spending serious money on the newest 2. I would fit Standard, but go for SM6. It has surface attack capability, as well… Read more »

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
7 months ago

I have been thinking about what a T45 replacement would look like and how it would be equipped. Given recent moves by the RN and RAF to bring ‘future’ technologies forward onto current platforms e.g. the T26 propulsion system on a T23 and the recently announced Captor Mk2 radar for Typhoon, I was also thinking about what technologies could be fitted to T45 as a lead into T46. BAES proposed a number of upgrades for the SAMPSOM when it was first introduced these included a 3, 4 and even 5 panel versions and the option of developing a Gallium Nitride… Read more »

Order of the Ditch
Order of the Ditch
7 months ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

There is very little difference in size between the size of T45 and T26 in terms of hull size. However the hull of T45 isn’t very good. T45s sound ‘like a bag of spanners’ underwater. It make more sense to stick with the T26 hull and maybe stretch it by 10m to accommodate an extra VLS. T45 = 6 hulls where as T26 = 8 x UK 12 x Canadian and 9 x Australian.
This will keep costs down and improve commonality.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
7 months ago

Hi Order of the Ditch,

On reflection a fair point so lets go with T26 hull with a broad beam and a few metres stretch. The increase in beam would enable the retention of the 10 deck / 40m positioning of the radar.

Cheers CR

Sonik
Sonik
6 months ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Not wanting to spoil your fun, but this very suggestion was discussed at length on Navy Lookout, IIRC posters much more knowledgeable than me pointed out that a major part of the T26 design effort is the hullform itself.

Apparently all the various dimensions, compartments, machinery layout etc. are ‘tuned’ somehow to eliminate resonances and thereby reducing radiated noise. If you start changing the length or beam it throws all this out and you have to do the whole expensive exercise again. Or something like that!

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
6 months ago
Reply to  Sonik

Hi Sonik, That’s interesting and would go some way to explain the cost of the T26 and perhaps why the RN AD ships are not so quiet as the ASW ships. So my original suggestion of stretching a T45 hull would be the most sensible way forward. Without going into detailed justification again I did highlight that AD ships are likely to operate differently to a ASW platform as they would need to maintain station on the High Value Asset being escorted whereas the ASW platform may need to break off to prosecute a connact or effectively use the ‘tail’.… Read more »

Ron5
Ron5
6 months ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

The T26 is at its L/D limit for stretch so that’s not going to happen.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
6 months ago
Reply to  Ron5

Hi Ron5,

Which is why I suggested a broad beam a al Broadbeam Leander and a ‘few’ metres stretch to preserve the Length to beam ratio.

Cheers CR

Meirion X
Meirion X
7 months ago

Stretching the hull, without broarding the beem, can decrease stability of the ship if you substantially increase top weight.

Last edited 7 months ago by Meirion X
Johan
Johan
7 months ago

T45 is a whats it called a ANTI AIR DESTROYER, NOT A ASW SHIP.

Order of the Ditch
Order of the Ditch
6 months ago
Reply to  Johan

The Australians will be using theirs in the AAW role. Ships having specialisms will increasingly be a thing of the past. When the hull sizes are almost identical it makes a lot sense for the new destroyers to be based off the T26 hull.

Paul T
Paul T
6 months ago

I thought that the ‘bag of spanners’ noise claim of the Type 45’s had been refuted – admittedly it won’t be as Quiet as an ASW Ship but the issue had been exaggerated.

Ron5
Ron5
6 months ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

@CR A few thoughts for you: On the T45, the Sampson wasn’t capable enough to perform aircraft direction as well as AA so the second radar was fitted. A future Sampson probaby doesn’t have that problem even if the aircraft direction requirement survives. So just the one radar would be needed. Secondly, the Bae radar team are researching spherical arrays so that equal power can be sent in any direction. Interesting eh? As for reusing “hulls” for a Type 46. Much is made of this but it really doesn’t make any sense. Hull shape design is cheap and reuse doen’t… Read more »

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
6 months ago
Reply to  Ron5

Hi Ron5, Thanks for the thoughts. I was not aware of the aircraft direction issue which is interesting. However, there might still be a case for the two radars. Firstly, the S1850 reportedly has a greater effective range than the SAMPON. Secondly, because it operates in a different waveband to the SAMPSON the T45’s performance against stealthly threats is reportedly improved. Also, each of the radars has the ability to take over the others job to some level, so a significant level of redundency is provided. Obviously, there would need to be a proper assessment made, but much of the… Read more »

Daveyb
Daveyb
6 months ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Ok, my pennies worth is that the T45 needs to be a clean sheet design. As this keeps up the momentum of ship design matured through the T26 process. On that basis, I think the ship will follow a similar line to the current T45 even though the navy probably want a more rounded vessel. So it will still be optimised for anti-air. The air threats it will faced will become more diversified which the inclusion of hypersonic glide vehicles (HGV), with perhaps loitering munitions also included. However, I don’t think HGVs should be treated anything less than a ballistic… Read more »

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
6 months ago
Reply to  Daveyb

Hi Daveyb, I would agree with most of what you are suggesting, however, I have three points to make: 1) Yup, it is a gold plated solution so unlikely to ever see the light of day, sadly, but that does not mean that some of the idea would not see service. I particularly agree with the dual radar fit for the same reasons that you give and the 10,000 tons displacement; 2) The trimaran hull form appears to not be favoured for blue water applications because it apparently creates quite high accelerations in beam seas. BMT have developed a Pentamaran… Read more »

DaveyB
DaveyB
6 months ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Hi CR, I’m not a hull designer, systems that go in it, not the shell. I kind of know what you mean by the beaminess of a trimaran affecting lateral acceleration. Not seen the pentamaran hull form before, it looks interesting and a good candidate for what I’m proposing. If you have ever been on the “vomit comet” from Stranraer to Belfast, you appreciate it! I used to sail Hobbie cats then Weta trimarans. What used to amaze me was how much sail the Weta could take in a strong wind compared to a monohull or even a cat. However,… Read more »

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
6 months ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Hi Daveyb, You are right to highlight the independent ops as an issue, however, I think we will see destroyers operating independently on rather fewer occasions now that the carriers are entering frontline service. Nevertheless, it is a fair point especially for the T83. I posted about the mission bay for the T32 sometime ago and MCM and ASW mission packs were high on my priority list. However, I do not think that going full ASW on the accoustic treatement of the hull is necessary as I would use the destroyers and general purpose frigates as ‘force multipliers’. As such… Read more »

Paul.P
Paul.P
7 months ago
Johan
Johan
7 months ago

To be Fair, read the comments and you see why Procurement is a mess, ALL BIG I WANTS, WITH NO BALANCE. 100 of them 60 of them 3000000 of them and lots of them. and you may USE 1 OF THEM IN ANGER.

THIS IS WHATS WRONG, all future ships should be based on a single hull, and changeable platforms to meet the fleet requirement. Arleigh Burke @ $2.5b compared to a type 45 @ £1b yet the AB still needs the type 45. flexibility over BIGGER/LARGER/LONGER. its not the 1930s,

Sonik
Sonik
7 months ago
Reply to  Johan

I agree with your sentiments re defence procurement, but in fairness I would put the argument about 1930s the other way round. WW2 was essentially an industrial war of attrition, several bigger and better toys didn’t help the axis win because they were out produced and overwhelmed by both west and east. But in the shadow of MAD, 21st century conventional defence posture is all about having the biggest stick, for deterrent effect if nothing else. Numbers are a slightly different issue, minimum credible effect should be the base benchmark IMO, otherwise it’s not worth bothering. So flexibility is important… Read more »

/north co
/north co
6 months ago
Reply to  Johan

Why does an AB need a type 45, The Americans are going away from semi active missiles with new seeker heads and now they are putting lasers on quite a few AB’s and upgrading the AGEIS radar.

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
6 months ago

An excellent article that pulls together many of the considerations around adding ABMD to the fleet. I responded at more length under Davey’s comment, so I won’t repeat it all, but two points. We really should think is terms of a fleet/complete system capability, rather than individual ships IMO. This leads to using T45 as the sensor platform and T26 with its MK41 cells as the weapon carrier. Formidable Shield exercise has demonstrated why this is practical. Countering “conventional” hypersonic ballistic missiles is only part of the solution, we also need to counter manoeuvering hypersonic missiles, both glide vehicles (HGV)… Read more »

Andy P
Andy P
6 months ago

Thanks for the article its (yet another) area I don’t know much about but it these long range anti-ship missiles are going to be a ‘thing’ then it would make sense to be able to deal with them. Its the old story of arms races throughout history isn’t it. I haven’t read all the comments, there’s quite a lot but aren’t we looking at lasers for this sort of thing ??? That’s going to be a while away so I guess missiles will be the short to medium term option. All down to cash I suppose. Cheers.

Ethan
Ethan
6 months ago
Reply to  Andy P

Current laser tech is not mature enough to be a consideration for anything but long term investment.

There is also the question of its effectiveness against a target already designed to withstand the immense heat upon re entry to the atmosphere are such high speeds.

Jonathan
Jonathan
6 months ago
Reply to  Andy P

keeping a laser on a target for the time needed while is travelling at speed measured in Kps is pretty none trivial.

donald_of_tokyo
donald_of_tokyo
6 months ago

T45 OSD is planned to be 2035-38. However, considering continuity in complex ship building, anything AFTER T45 replacement is T26 replacement. As the T26-hull1 is to be delivered on 2025, its OSD shall be +30 years = 2055 or so. This means, T45 replacement build shall continue until ~2050, and therefore, the last T45 will be there until 2050. Thus, at least some of them needs mid-life upgrade. I hope: 1: simply replacing 48 Aster30/15 blk0 with 48 Aster30 Blk1 NT and/or Blk 2. 2: adding CAMM (may be Blk2 CAMM, with dual-pulse motor). How about 12 ExLS = 48… Read more »

Ron5
Ron5
6 months ago

I’ve seen more than one claim in the Italian press that CAMM-ER was qualified for ExLS in 2020.

I’ve also seen the claim that MBDA is developing a new CAMM-ER VLS that would be simpler and cheaper than ExLs.

I’m not sure how reliable this informaton is.

donald_of_tokyo
donald_of_tokyo
6 months ago
Reply to  Ron5

Interesting. Yes, CAMM system is based on its canister, which is water proof by its own. There shall be many options to “densely pack” them.

Sonik
Sonik
6 months ago

Lots of talk about potential T45 replacement. Some great ideas and it’s all well and good.

Let’s not forget though, there will be many new technological developments, and the world will become a very different place, before any of this comes to fruition. It’s always good to plan ahead, particularly with long delivery cycles and strategic goals. But need to keep an open mind, and be able to make adjustments along the way. IMO, built in flexibility will be the key, and fortunately this seems to be something current RN leadership understand well.

Last edited 6 months ago by Sonik
Ron
Ron
6 months ago

The way I see it is this, the T45 is good at what she does but with some investment can be so much more. For example the third Samson array can be fitted without to many changes to the ship, with the array being active I would think some extra coolant feed,power supply and a fibre link. There would also need to be a software update but no major hard ware, So thats the radar taking care of. As for a anti Ballistic missile, on this site many of us myself included have argued for the Mk41 VLS to be… Read more »

Sonik
Sonik
6 months ago
Reply to  Ron

Interesting suggestion to use Sea Ceptor as a CIWS. Our Canadian cousins are doing just that on their Type26/CSC, with ESSM as the main AAD weapon. The shorter minimum range on Ceptor means it doesn’t really have any disadvantage over a gun based CIWS, besides cost, and probably more reliable interception given the track record of Phalanx

Oh, and I suspect the South Koreans’ choice of armament has something to do with their neighbours…

Last edited 6 months ago by Sonik
Gunbuster
Gunbuster
6 months ago
Reply to  Ron

There is no point in integrating Ceptor to a CIWS. You would end up spending a fortune doing it for little or no benefit. If you want Ceptor, stick it on and use it in the same way as the current T23 System.Its pretty compact and could be mounted just about anywhere for the launchers. Data link domes need a fairly clear LOS and somewhere where mutual interference isnt an issue. Regarding Goalkeeper, we got rid because the RN mounts needed a lot of upgrades and to keep them running (even after any potential upgrade) would costs considerably more than… Read more »

dan
dan
6 months ago

Would be great if other nations could help out America in doing the BMD role but not holding my breath.

OldSchool
OldSchool
6 months ago
Reply to  dan

Well I’m hopeful for UK but it won’t happen overnight for full capability. Theres also the Aegis upgrade to the Aussie Hobarts (starting 2024 so a way off yet). Not sure what this entails but I’m expecting it will introduce some type of advanced intercept capability. The RAN has a history here – their OH Perry frigates were the best ever in their later years and I expect Hobart will follow a similar path. When the QE deploys to the Far East I’m hoping the RAN will be there to test/improve RN/RAN deployment capbilities fully.

AJH
AJH
6 months ago

The most annoying thing is that we always talk about enhancing the capabilities of a platform just as we start talking about replacing them. Why can we never just deliver an incredibly capable platform right from the get go?

ETH
ETH
6 months ago
Reply to  AJH

The Type 45 is an incredibly capable platform. The ships are only just reaching their mid-life and s typically would be due an upgrade. The Type 83 is decades away.

Craig Stutz
Craig Stutz
6 months ago

Would hope that the RN and MOD see fit to install the new MK41 strike length cells and the needed integration for SM3. If nothing else on a limited number of ships. The reason is because its available and can be done. The RN needs the protection and the world environment is rapidly changing which might not align with other projected options.

Anthony Robinson
Anthony Robinson
5 months ago

A third planar array on Sampson is totally unworkable and also unnecessary as scanning in the vertical plane should be able to achieve the necessary coverage.The comment regarding a single TRM is not understood as far as S1850M is concerned!

ETH
ETH
2 months ago

Whilst the two current arrays can reach completely vertical coverage, electronically scanned arrays lose transmitting power at sharp beam angles.

Could you elaborate on your comment on the S1850M’s TRM?

Anthony Robinson
Anthony Robinson
2 months ago
Reply to  ETH

Sorry, I can’t!

Anthony Robinson
Anthony Robinson
2 months ago
Reply to  ETH

I can say that there is more than one power amplifier involved. BTW the reason that a third Sampson array is unworkable is essentially top weight. Interesting that in the article/comments there is no reference to current or future decoy systems – the main driver for the Type 45 ‘stealth’ design.

ETH
ETH
2 months ago

Would I be correct in saying power amplifiers are used on the receiving channels of the antennae? Or can you not go into that sort of detail?

Anthony Robinson
Anthony Robinson
2 months ago
Reply to  ETH

Couldn’t possibly say!

ETH
ETH
2 months ago

I thought as much, it was worth a shot 😉

Thanks for your comments.

Ron
Ron
2 months ago

Good article that sent me of into several months of thinking on what to do with the T45 if money was available and for that matter the T83. so here goes. The T45 is a good all round ship however she does have some issues that needs to be resolved. The first is her powerplant, yes I know they will undergo some upgrades but that does not fix the issue. This will be done in the T83 of which I will write about later. The next is her weapons fit. The Sea Ceptor upgrade is a move forward but so… Read more »