16 Regiment Royal Artillery has now accepted into service the first tranche of Sky Sabre air defence systems.

Sky Sabre has replaced Rapier.

According to the Ministry of Defence, “unprecedented in speed, accuracy, performance and target acquisition, Sky Sabre will be able to hit a tennis ball-sized object travelling at the speed of sound”.

Sky Sabre has three key components expected to operate up to 15km apart:

• A Giraffe Agile Multi-Beam 3D medium-range surveillance radar that rotates 360 degrees on an extending mast and can scan out to 120km for threats.

• A computer system linking up the radar and missiles sending them to their targets. It also provides ‘Link 16’, a tactical datalink allowing Sky Sabre to share its information with Royal Navy vessels, Royal Air Force systems and allies.

• At 99kg each, the Common Anti-Air Modular Missiles (CAMM) are double the weight of Rapier and have three times the range. They can reach speeds of 2,300mph eliminating fighter aircraft, drones and even laser-guided smart bombs. Eight missiles are mounted on the launcher, which fire in a multi-directional manner that significantly reduces its signature making it less of a target for adversaries. The launcher also re-arms in less than half the time of Rapier.

Defence Procurement Minister Jeremy Quin was quoted as saying:

“Sky Sabre’s spearheading technology has significantly upgraded the protection of our forces from threats from the air. This cutting-edge of defence system is a clear demonstration of our warfighting capabilities to those who wish to do us harm.”

Commanding Officer of 16 Regiment Royal Artillery, Lieutenant Colonel Chris Lane, said:

“We will be able to compete with our peers and take on some of the toughest adversaries. It gives us a capability we have not had before; this new missile system with its new launcher and world-class radar will absolutely put us at the forefront of ground-based air defence.”

Senior Training Officer, Major Tim Oakes said:

“Sky Sabre is so accurate and agile that it is capable of hitting a tennis ball sized object travelling at the speed of sound. In fact, it can control the flight of 24 missiles simultaneously whilst in flight, guiding them to intercept 24 separate targets. It is an amazing capability.”

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AlexS
AlexS
1 month ago

Meanwhile The telegraph have a sorry incompetent article about this…so typical of mainstream journalism.

Y Ddraig Goch
Y Ddraig Goch
1 month ago
Reply to  AlexS

I totally agree! I read articles on military matters, both current & historical, in the mainstream press & on the BBC with increasing despair. The uneducated idiots who pass for journalists make so many obvious & basic errors that it just leaps out that they haven’t even done the most basic research to ensure that they get the simplest facts right.

Tim James
Tim James
1 month ago
Reply to  Y Ddraig Goch

Which facts are incorrect?

AlexS
AlexS
1 month ago
Reply to  Tim James

For a start that France uses it. It does not. Then that the system have capability against hypersonic/ballistic missiles without qualifying. Then the whole text depressing mediocre level. The Su-57 reference !? well the fact is that UK have no missile defence against aircraft since Bloodhound. Rappier is a very short range system with probably a ceiling of 5-6km at most. A Tupolev bomber can go trough all UK air space at civilian aircraft ceiling level not even high and only aircraft can intercept it. If journalists were not so monocultural they could have written what it was the status… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by AlexS
geoff
geoff
1 month ago
Reply to  AlexS

It would seem that there are very few dedicated Defence journalists of calibre in the mainstream press. It is very much a case of “It’s your turn to cover Defence this week Matilda”. The Mail in particular often describes RN assets as Battleships and still mix up Tornados and Typhoons

Badger.
Badger.
1 month ago
Reply to  geoff

The BBC doesn’t bother to even have a dedicated defence section on its website.

WillDbeest
WillDbeest
1 month ago
Reply to  Badger.

The BBC website has been steadily dumbed down over the years to please the likes of Rupert Murdoch and Richard Desmond.

Tommo
Tommo
1 month ago
Reply to  AlexS

As with the all journalists, a deadline usually means, either add a little spice or a dollop of doom , they really believe that our adversaries will be firing either tennis balls or golfballs at us whether it’s Rapier, seawolf , or the new generation of SAM missiles, Editors just love a scoop rather than an in depth summary like George’s work

AlexS
AlexS
1 month ago
Reply to  Tommo

One of problem with journalists, is that they do not know much about anything else. There are no engineering specialised journalists, medical, logistics, defence, etc.
Basically you have political journalists, sport journalists, some travel, arts, women and not much else. The media is pretty mediocre.

lee1
lee1
1 month ago
Reply to  AlexS

Then the really bad ones go into Government…

Y Ddraig Goch
Y Ddraig Goch
1 month ago
Reply to  Tim James

Another example today. The Evening Standard reporting that HMS Duncan was forced to leave CSG21 with engine difficulties. It was of course Diamond. Duncan was never with CSG. I won’t go on with these. The basic errors are so numerous I could spend all day pointing them out if I didn’t have better things to do.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago

It has taken a long time to replace Rapier, but this looks to be a very good capability. I doubt that it can be carried underslung by anything other than a Chinook though. The RAF Regt discarded Rapier many years ago – might they be interested in getting back into the LLAD business with Sky Sabre? – it was strange to me that the Rockapes lost the capability to defend an RAF airfield against enemy air.

James Fennell
James Fennell
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Rapier had the same range as Starstreak – 8km max, so not really comparable. Sky Sabre is 25km+ (maybe out to 50km, more with CAMM-ER). We have updated Starstreak with LMM missiles and it is more portable than Rapier (and a much less faff) and replaced it in the SP role long ago.

Last edited 1 month ago by James Fennell
Rob
Rob
1 month ago
Reply to  James Fennell

Good to hear – thanks. The faffing and adjusting and overall fragility was what made them so un-ready down south in 82.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  James Fennell

The article says that Sky Sabre has replaced Rapier, ie it provides area air defence. Starstreak is a point defence weapon system. So it is wrong to compare Starstreak with Rapier for any reason.
My comparison is between Rapier and its replacement, Sky Sabre – my point is that Sky Sabre probably has portability issues.

Daveyb
Daveyb
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

If the total vehicle weight exceeds 11 tons, then that is above a Chinook’s capability to lift any distance. They have in the past lifted more, but only on short hops and the aircraft had to be examined using NDT afterwards.

Rudeboy1
Rudeboy1
1 month ago
Reply to  Daveyb

Sky Sabre can be lifted as a palletised, standalone system without the MAN truck.
But you’d also need the radar…

Daveyb
Daveyb
1 month ago
Reply to  Rudeboy1

That raises a few possibilities?

James Fennell
James Fennell
1 month ago
Reply to  Rudeboy1

It’s radar agnostic, so can take data from the cloud if needed (i.e. from other sensors).

Rudeboy1
Rudeboy1
1 month ago
Reply to  James Fennell

It’s a lovely idea, but in practice its always going to need a radar nearby to get a decent track and mid-course guidance before the active seeker takes over.

Guy Wood
Guy Wood
1 month ago
Reply to  James Fennell

Sorry, but that’s not true. It uses the GAMB data for engagement control.

Mark bradley
Mark bradley
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

The RAF Regt had no choice, it was taken away from them. They will not get it back. Looks like the Regt’s days are numbered

Gary Moore
Gary Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark bradley

Why ? The RAF Regiment field squadrons have refocused to agressive patrolling of large areas outside of airfields which is a much better use of resources than static missile defence of airfields that the enemy of today is much less likely to have the capability to attack from the air .

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  Gary Moore

Why do our current and future enemies lack the ability to attack from the air?

Gary Moore
Gary Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

They don’t But if one is relying on short range , fixed missile defence operated by the Royal Artillery and previously the former RAF Regiment air defence squadrons then we’re all in a lot of trouble. Hopefully our QRA and superior fighters would have eliminated the threat long before that . I was just pointing out that fixed position point defence is now better suited to the RA and the Rocks released as specialised air asset infantry protection to counter ground based threats that are now more likely on operations .

Airborne
Airborne
1 month ago
Reply to  Gary Moore

The reduction of the RAF Reg AD was all about cuts! Same as them losing Scimitar/scorpion. They then replaced the DF capability with an IDF asset with the 81mm. Crazy concept well prior to any real expeditionary warfare, ie we need to protect the airfield let’s lob mortar bombs about. And the RAF Reg exist in decent numbers at the moment to act as sacrificial lambs incase the RAF have to lose PIDS (cuts in manpower). However I’m a supporter of the Reg as if they were cut real infantry soldiers (or CS/CSS arms) would have to do the boring… Read more »

Gary Moore
Gary Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  Airborne

You have your view but a few in II Sqn particularly might beg to differ . Can’t speak for everyone but personally saw quite a bit of Brecon.

Airborne
Airborne
1 month ago
Reply to  Gary Moore

II Sqn are part of the issue. In house pre selection, (jumping is the easy but anyone can’t do it) in house Cadre courses, in house promotion courses, in house sniper cadre etc etc! And this isn’t from my mouth (yes I have an opinion) but its the opinion of my son in law, currently 23 year served flight Sgt in RAF Reg (ex II Sqn for a while) Sad to say II Sqn head sheds soon forget their original history as a RR armoured car Sqn who got re-roled mid 60s to form a Para capability for the RAF… Read more »

Airborne
Airborne
1 month ago
Reply to  Gary Moore

Aggressive patrolling of the NAAFI, the boardwalk in KAF and the capability to drive from the veh park, to the NATO cookhouse in their Panthers! 😂😂😂

DaveyB
DaveyB
1 month ago
Reply to  Airborne

Called on their help a number of times when doing meet and greet that went pear shaped. At that point they still had WIMKs (no GMGs weirdly).

Airborne
Airborne
1 month ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Covert gimpies….special ops!

Daveyb
Daveyb
1 month ago
Reply to  Gary Moore

I have always believed that the RAF should still have an independent ground force, to defend not only airfields, but also logistic sites, such as fuel and ammo dumps. To that end, I think the Reg has become too infantry focused and requires a dedicated air defence Sqn. However, I would go further and say they need a weapon system that can not only be used for air defence but also against lightly armoured vehicles that both Russian and Chinese airborne forces use. The issue is then where do you draw the line of what the weapon system can counter?… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark bradley

I don’t think that the RA demanded the RAF Regt handed over Rapier to them.

Mark
Mark
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

No, neither do I. The RAF Regt had no choice, just as CBRN is now lost. The strategic choice is difficult but the writing is on the wall sadly, then the RM’s could well be next.

David
David
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

I am sure the RAF Regt would be interested in this, but their political masters are not – as always, for them it all boils down to cost, which is why far too few systems are procured.

Mike
Mike
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

The RAF Regt did not discard Rapier the kit was too expensive to have both the army and the RAF Regt using it and after many tests it was decided that the Army would keep it and the RAF Regt would re-role.

Joe16
Joe16
1 month ago

Good news! If it’s got Link16 then I suppose it also becomes precision guided artillery, using its secondary land attack role? We’d have to be in serious trouble to need to do that mind, given the relatively short range. Hopefully will integrate nicely with some CAMM-ER purchases to create layered defences, or am I just being far too optimistic?! I understand that they can use the same vehicle chassis, just carrying fewer ER missiles on the launcher. Am I right in understanding this is the same system that Poland are also interested in purchasing? Hopefully might drive the prices down,… Read more »

FieldLander
FieldLander
1 month ago
Reply to  Joe16

Land Attack Capability. Explain….

Joe16
Joe16
1 month ago
Reply to  FieldLander

Sea Ceptor, which is CAMM on ships, has a secondary land attack capability- i.e. the missiles can be directed onto surface targets. It’s seen as a back-up / supplementray answer to boat swarms and suchlike. Seeing as the missile is the same, then I presume the Land Sabre system has the same secondary capability- as long as they have a platform providing the targetting information (any aircraft with a Link16 datalink for example).

David
David
1 month ago
Reply to  Joe16

This seems like a VERY expensive way to deal with fast attack/swarming boats! Martlet added to the 30mm cannon mount that was trialed recently – and seemingly shelved – seems a much better and cost effective option.

Joe16
Joe16
1 month ago
Reply to  David

I couldn’t agree more, broadly speaking. Even surface-launched Brimstone (I know we don’t have it, but MBDA offer it) would probably be more reasonably priced- and more easily stuck in a corner due to the (presumably) smaller size. I think Martlet is laser-guided only though, whereas CAMM is an active radar seeker with a datalink (if I recall correctly), so your engagement options are far wider. I think it’s a case of being able to if you have to. We don’t have those twin mounts, and seem to be moving to 40 mm anyway (which don’t currently have Martlet fitting… Read more »

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
1 month ago
Reply to  Joe16

Brimstone-Sea Spear, I rember posting this some time ago!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jo86Sy7_kuw

Joe16
Joe16
1 month ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Certainly easier than having sailors hanging off the bridge wings with multiple laser designators for the different LMM! I presume the launch unit for Martlet on the DS30 can only engage one or two targets at the same time?

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
1 month ago
Reply to  Joe16

A very welcome addition to the fleet, if we opt to fit them that is!

Joe16
Joe16
1 month ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

We can but dream..!

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 month ago
Reply to  David

From memory I think the issue was the launch smoke, debris etc messed up the optical and other sensors on the mount. So can fire one but can’t see where to shoot anymore for a while.

Ron5
Ron5
1 month ago
Reply to  Joe16

The launchers carry exactly the same number of CAMM-ER as CAMM.

Joe16
Joe16
1 month ago
Reply to  Ron5

Really? When I had a look a couple of years ago Janes were saying that the larger rocket motor meant you could only get 8 CAMM-ER for every 12 CAMM. I’ll be happy to hear that they’ve managed to squeeze an extra 4 in!

Rudeboy1
Rudeboy1
1 month ago
Reply to  Joe16

CAMM-ER’s container is longer than CAMM’s. But apart from that it is exactly the same dimensions. The wider mid section is the same width as the folded rear fins on CAMM. CAMM-ER tapers at the motor end to use the same fin assembly as CAMM.

Joe16
Joe16
1 month ago
Reply to  Rudeboy1

Cool, so they can carry the same number of rounds on the same truck then? All of the stuff I’ve seen has CAMM-ER at 190 cm wide against ~160 cm, but I guess that may not take into account folding fins and stuff.

Rudeboy1
Rudeboy1
1 month ago
Reply to  Joe16

Yes, 8 rounds of either or mixed. The CAMM-ER is obviously longer but will fit in the rack.

Quentin Drury
Quentin Drury
1 month ago
Reply to  Rudeboy1

Then I wonder why they didn’t go FOR a 12 x CAMM fit out if it can support 8 x CAMM ER?
They need to look at this system to defend naval ports, not just air and army bases. I hope 24 units doesn’t just mean 24 trucks but 24 batteries with multiple launchers. Anyone know?
Good to see some new equipment coming through.

Quentin Drury
Quentin Drury
1 month ago
Reply to  Quentin Drury

They might be able to go for a mix of CAMM Standard and ER mix launcher. I think the Israelies gave this kind of mixed launcher already.

Quentin Drury
Quentin Drury
1 month ago
Reply to  Quentin Drury

Last bit… now to have a CAMM mix on the T26, T31,T32s which I think has been brought up here before.

Guy Wood
Guy Wood
1 month ago
Reply to  Quentin Drury

CAMM ER wasn’t on the cards when we decided to go for 8 CAMM, a decision made for multiple reasons, mainly mass and sway volume.

ETH
ETH
1 month ago
Reply to  Joe16

I believe you are right, that won’t account folding fins. In the canister CAMM-ER protrudes to the same extremes as CAMM.

Meirion x
Meirion x
1 month ago
Reply to  Joe16

You got the measurements wrong, they should be in mm, or 16.5cm, and 19cm diameter.

Last edited 1 month ago by Meirion x
Joe16
Joe16
1 month ago
Reply to  Meirion x

Sorry, you’re quite right- don’t know what I was doing there… 190 cm would be one hell of a long range air defence missile!

Meirion x
Meirion x
1 month ago
Reply to  Joe16

Yes, CAMM is 166mm diameter, CAMM-ER is 190mm.

Ron5
Ron5
1 month ago
Reply to  Meirion x

But measuring diameter over fins, both missiles are smaller than the internal diagonal width of the launcher/storage container. In other words, they both fit in the same cross section containers.

Ron5
Ron5
1 month ago
Reply to  Joe16

Jane’s most certainly did not say that.

Joe16
Joe16
1 month ago
Reply to  Ron5

Well, the article was at least 2 years old, because I referenced it in a comment I made on a UKDJ article back in 2019. I would imagine that things have come along somewhat since then in terms of development of CAMM-ER and the information available. Unfortunately, Janes only seem to make their news releases available for the previous 12 months and I haven’t been able to find the particular article in an archive. If you happen to have a subscription to Janes, then maybe you can find it and prove me unable to read accurately, but until then maybe… Read more »

Ron5
Ron5
1 month ago
Reply to  Joe16

I’m suggesting your memory is at fault. Apologies for making it sound like I thought you were a liar. I do not.

Liam
Liam
1 month ago

Does this have any role in protecting the country permanently or is it for deployments only?

Paul T
Paul T
1 month ago
Reply to  Liam

For the Falkland Islands it will serve as a permanent system,but in general use i think it will be able to be Deployed as and when it’s needed.

Liam
Liam
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul T

Thanks for that.

Bringer of Facts
Bringer of Facts
1 month ago
Reply to  Liam

This is a tactical battlefield level AA with relatively short-range missiles. The UK currently does not have a ground-based AA system with a Long-range / ABM capability.

Liam
Liam
1 month ago

I’ve often wondered why we don’t

maurice10
maurice10
1 month ago

One concern, how many systems will be purchased? The Rapier fleet was surprisingly small and that leads me to wonder if this replacement will be just as sparse?

DB7
DB7
1 month ago
Reply to  maurice10

I think it’s just 16 but may be wrong there, I don’t have any in the know knowledge just what I recall reading

Airborne
Airborne
1 month ago
Reply to  maurice10

Believe it will be 24 launchers and associated radars etc. Not many!

James Fennell
James Fennell
1 month ago
Reply to  Airborne

Yes but tihs order was placed in the dark Cameron days. DCP says more investment in GBAD.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Airborne

Ah, that was going to be my next question. How many, and how many batteries. How many batteries is always the biggest question. I think 16RA has 4 Fire batteries at present. With one in the FI that leaves 3 for deployment with the HBCT’s and DRSBCT. Too few. So at a guess 4 launchers per battery? Leaves 4 with SRA/14RA at Larkhill and 4 spares. Woeful. Stop giving us the spin MoD on how good it is, there are too few. Lots of commentators here always talk of the system having a UK defence role. If it is used… Read more »

Airborne
Airborne
1 month ago

Spot on, as ever an excellent asset but so few in number! We need to re look at the RA and understand no matter whatever other arms think the RA will be the battle winners of the future. They will have the Find, Fix, strike which will include every element required. They need to be looking at counter UAV as yet another priority. It’s exhausting thinking how much the RA needs to be equipped with and how much real reform it needs mate.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Airborne

Which is what I stupidly hoped would be indicated in the ORBAT reveal of Future Soldier.

No new RA regiments in sight. No new batteries in sight.

Cripes
Cripes
1 month ago
Reply to  Airborne

Yes, it’s been reported as 24 units.
Apart from maybe 4 at Mount Pleasant, the remainder will support the “field army’, aka 3 Division.

One medium SAM regiment is pretty small beer for our deployable force. There will be none spare for defence of airbases, ports, lines of communication etc, which the high heid yins wish to believe can be defended by our small Typhoon force.

James Fennell
James Fennell
1 month ago
Reply to  maurice10

24 is the guess for first order (3 Bty.), but its likely to grow. An extra battery was included in Future Soldier and DCP says more money for Medium and SHORAD Air Defence systems.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  James Fennell

Hope so.

maurice10
maurice10
1 month ago
Reply to  James Fennell

If you consider the massive threat of drones and swarms, a need to create an effective ‘sky net’ might necessitate a considerable increase in the numbers currently planned? The swarm target map might be simultaneous on several fronts across a wide expanse of territory?

Would I be right to assume this system can be integrated with ship mounted equivalents?

David Barry
David Barry
1 month ago

Can we gift a battery each to Latvia, Estonia and Lithuanian please?

Farouk
Farouk
1 month ago
Reply to  David Barry

Oh I don’t know, it might get too cold:

Opera Snapshot_2021-12-06_110134_www.dailymail.co.uk.png
David Barry
David Barry
1 month ago
Reply to  Farouk

God in Heaven, int’hills around Catterick digging in, in the snow… what joy in Feb and March!

Cymbeline
Cymbeline
1 month ago
Reply to  Farouk

Perhaps he would be so kind to leave his brain to medical science if indeed he has one in the first place.

Rudeboy1
Rudeboy1
1 month ago
Reply to  David Barry

All the Baltic States can afford it, particularly Estonia…they need to step up to the plate more than they are. After all they are on the frontlines They only hit 2% recently.

David Barry
David Barry
1 month ago
Reply to  Rudeboy1

Doubt the Baltics could afford it, however, they do have something we struggle with: manpower; quid pro quo.

David Barry
David Barry
1 month ago

Could someone be so kind and explain ‘spearhead technology’ please?

Some of the terminology issuing forth from Govt. is utter tripe.

Jacko
Jacko
1 month ago
Reply to  David Barry

Never mind the spiel Just be glad something has actually entered service!

David Barry
David Barry
1 month ago
Reply to  Jacko

It was reported on the thinpinstriped line Nov 2020… hardly news.

Jacko
Jacko
1 month ago
Reply to  David Barry

Silly me I thought the article actually says accepted for service not when it was being talked about.

Jon
Jon
1 month ago
Reply to  David Barry

It means the same as groundbreaking. Both are metaphors implying follow-up. As groundbreaking is a construction metaphor implying that something is to be built, spearhead (or speartip) is a military one, implying that there’s a spear behind the head that will follow through. However, just as politicians turned groundbreaking into a meaningless cliché, Quinn continues the trend here, implying more than he dares state. There is no follow-through planned. No CAMM-ER. No ballistic missile defence. If there was, he’d say it rather than hint at it. This way he can sound good to his own ears without accountability. When a… Read more »

AlexS
AlexS
1 month ago
Reply to  Jon

It is MoD propaganda. It is far from the first active radar SAM in operation (for NATO that would be probably the NASAMS(land based Aim120 in Norway from late 1990’s) . It is Rafael(Iron Dome) that is managing the controlling logic. So unless there is some secret sauce somewhere nothing is spearhead. PS: this is not a dismiss of the system value which i have every reason to think it is very good and several generations and quality above Rappier. Just others already arrived there before.

Blue Fuzz
Blue Fuzz
1 month ago
Reply to  Pete

Ascension would come in useful to the UK/US in that senario.

Levi Goldsteinberg
Levi Goldsteinberg
1 month ago
Reply to  Blue Fuzz

Or back to Bermuda

Caribbean
Caribbean
1 month ago

I think the old Naval Dockyard is a cruise ship terminal now and the old seaplane base is a complete wreck, though the USN have moved out of the airport, so there might be facilities available there (though no harbour)

Pete
Pete
1 month ago
Reply to  Blue Fuzz

Indeed.

Paul.P
Paul.P
1 month ago
Reply to  Pete

So the Chinese navy will be working with HMS Trent on anti piracy duties….?

David Steeper
David Steeper
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul.P

😁

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul.P

They don’t have a Blue Water Navy according to one or two on here😂

James Fennell
James Fennell
1 month ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

They already ring the Indian Ocean with bases in Dar es Salaam, Djibouti, Gwardar and Trinco and have leased the island of Feydhoo Finolhu in the Maldives (near the old RN base at Addu Atoll) and in striking distance of Diego Garcia / BIOT.

Last edited 1 month ago by James Fennell
Pete
Pete
1 month ago
Reply to  James Fennell

Indeed James. The Djibouti base with proximity to entrance of the Red Sea and Suez is significant. They already have marines, armour and artillery based there although officially a logistics base.

James F
James F
1 month ago
Reply to  Pete

Those bases command the entrances to the Red Sea, Gulf, the Cape, Straights of Malacca and Bay of Bengal. Not bad.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
1 month ago
Reply to  Pete

Just about everyone has a foothold or a base in Djibouti!
Having been there a few times they are all welcome to it.

Last edited 1 month ago by Gunbuster
Pete
Pete
1 month ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Indeed GB…and I assume that are not there for the lifestyle or economic wealth that can come out of the place if it was a game of Risk it would be Iceland, Japan or PNG on the board. Key Gateway…. Kind of like Svalbard / Spitsbergen during the cold war with a few thousand Russian ‘miners’ facing off a few thousand Norwegian ‘miners’ in a confined space !

David Barry
David Barry
1 month ago
Reply to  James Fennell

Trinco – Trimcomalee (sp)? They have Lanka in their pockets, but, local groundswell from several areas now agitating against this statebof affairs.

We need to engage their junior service people.

James F
James F
1 month ago
Reply to  David Barry

A remarkably similar spread to the bases the RN had in the 1940s. Trinco, Singapore, Mombasa, Addu Attoll (Maldives), Karachi and Aden. Add to that Freetown in the Gulf of Guinea.

Last edited 1 month ago by James F
Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
1 month ago
Reply to  James Fennell

And with joint patrols with Russia, who knows where they will appear next!

“The patrols involved a total of 10 warships, five from each nation, and lasted a week, from Sunday, October 17 to Saturday, October 23, covering 1,700 nautical miles, according to the Ministry.”

https://edition.cnn.com/2021/10/23/asia/russia-china-patrol-pacific-defense-intl/index.html

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
1 month ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Welll…If you define a blue water navy as being capable of conducting and support operations without the use of naval bases then they don’t have a blue water navy. Thats why the investment in certain countries infrastructure was made. When those countries cannot pay the loans back then they are given an offer they cannot refuse…let us build a base or we cripple your economy…So now they are building bases anywhere that they can.

James
James
1 month ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Sadly the debt trap policies have worked in many countries on strategic assets, plus all of the other companies and properties they have acquired through this process.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
1 month ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Russian bases perhaps?

“The objective of the joint patrol was to “demonstrate the state flags of Russia and China, maintain peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region and also protect facilities of both countries’ maritime economic activity,” the statement read.”

https://edition.cnn.com/2021/10/23/asia/russia-china-patrol-pacific-defense-intl/index.html

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
1 month ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

This was also alarming news.

7.12.2021

“The Russian military has deployed its K-300P Bastion-P mobile coastal defence missile system in the Kuril Islands, a chain in the northwest Pacific Ocean, the ownership of which is disputed by Japan and Russia.”

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/defence/latest/update-russia-deploys-bastion-coastal-defence-system-at-new-military-facility-in-disputed-kuril-islands

Pete
Pete
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Apparently..and they plan to do so with armour and artillery…as they have established in Djibouti ….lol Ignore the title..the Djibouti photo is interesting in following link.

https://www.businessdailyafrica.com/bd/economy/china-hits-out-at-the-us-over-kenya-military-base-claim-3611430

James Fennell
James Fennell
1 month ago
Reply to  Pete

Angola most likely. Long term relationship with MPLA and lots of oil and diamonds.

Pete
Pete
1 month ago
Reply to  James Fennell

Equatorial Guinea is named and I would suspect malabo which is the capitol island much further to the North than the mainland would be the location. Very strategic.

James F
James F
1 month ago
Reply to  Pete

Yes right on the Gulf of Guinea and oil rich.

Pacman27
Pacman27
1 month ago

So the key here is for each radar unit to have 4 sets of missiles, so that it can manage 24 in the air, have 8 in reserve to protect itself whilst replenishment is ongoing. ideally we could do with 4 lots of containers holding 24 missiles each to be in attendance, for both speed and capacity, perhaps this can be a follow on activity to increase capability

Matt
Matt
1 month ago

Serious question.

How does this protect itself from missiles that home in on radar transmissions?

I guess, also, is there an ER version?

Last edited 1 month ago by Matt
Paul.P
Paul.P
1 month ago
Reply to  Matt

I would think the mobility is key to survivability. Maybe a Camm could take out an incoming missile.

Daveyb
Daveyb
1 month ago
Reply to  Matt

The Saab Giraffe AMB radar is a multi-mode passive electronically scanned array (PESA) radar that operates in the C-band (4 to 8GHz with a wavelength from 7.5cm down to 3.75cm, though some publications state it operates between 5.4 and 5.9GHz). It can provide both very short to medium (longish) range surveillance out to a published range of 120km (75 miles) and simultaneous tracking of helicopters, supersonic threats, UAVs, ballistic threats such as rockets, mortars and artillery shells. The mechanically rotating antenna rotates at 60 rpm or once per second. Although it does not have the frequency agility of an active… Read more »

James Fennell
James Fennell
1 month ago
Reply to  Daveyb

The RAF had only one mobile long range radar in 1982 – if I recall it was lugged up a mountain in Chile to provide early warning over Argentine bases not covered by Chilean radar.

Daveyb
Daveyb
1 month ago
Reply to  James Fennell

I’m not sure if the RAF only had one. But they did do a deal with Chile, to sell them one, which was then flown to Patagonia, where it kept an eye on the airfield at Rio Grande, which is only 40ish km from the Chilean border. From memory Sky Hawks flew from the base. The radar was operated by RAF personnel under the auspices of training Chilean forces. It went with the deal of giving them a couple of photo-recce Canberras and allowing a certain Nimrod to operate from their Airspace.

James Fennell
James Fennell
1 month ago
Reply to  Daveyb

Only one I believe – it was to fill in if one of the fixed radar heads goes down. Same as today.

Last edited 1 month ago by James Fennell
James Fennell
James Fennell
1 month ago
Reply to  Daveyb

They ‘sold’ them the radar as cover (and gave it to them after the war as a TY).

Ron5
Ron5
1 month ago
Reply to  Daveyb

This has been developed under a MBDA-Italian collaboration along with UK MoD funding, with Italy being the launch customer, initially for land systems but with sea based systems to follow on as part of their Albatross NG system. Not quite correct: CAMM-ER was developed as a joint project between MBDA UK and MBDA Italy. Significant parts of CAMM were already being manufactured in Italy such as the active seeker. There was a UK-Italy government to government agreement that covered such things as who would get what for 3rd party sales etc. As far as I know, the UK MoD did… Read more »

James Fennell
James Fennell
1 month ago
Reply to  Ron5

Agreed – it uses a larger diameter Fiat Avio rocket motor but apart from that it’s identical and is designed to use the same launchers. Also it has completed trials as is on order for Italy and Pakistan, as well as being part of this new deal with Poland.

Last edited 1 month ago by James Fennell
Quentin D63
Quentin D63
1 month ago
Reply to  James Fennell

Better watch for China getting its hands on CAMM technology through its friendship with Pakistan. Risky move.

Daveyb
Daveyb
1 month ago
Reply to  Ron5

I would disagree, it’s a bit like saying a Supermarine Spiteful is just a Spitfire, with a different wing! With regards to the seeker, it is in essence the same, but has been given a wider arc of travel (elevation and azimuth). This improves its off-boresight tracking. They have had to change and lengthen the nose cone to make sure the transmissions are not impeded by the metal tubular fuselage. As the missile uses a new fatter diameter mid-section, significantly lengthened it overall and added the four strakes. The flight control software has been amended to incorporate these changes. Aerodynamically… Read more »

AlexS
AlexS
1 month ago
Reply to  Daveyb

UK MBDA is involved only in CAMM-ER because is the design authority of the CAMM that CAMM-ER uses several components from. The Italians had to seek authorisation and agreement. Of course the Italian MBDA paying for CAMM-ER at same time sharing it with MBDA UK is a benefit for UK. It is one less direct competitor, it make the whole CAMM cheaper due to increased volume selling and militarily increases CAMM capabilities.

Ron5
Ron5
1 month ago
Reply to  AlexS

Not forgetting that even for the Italian bought CAMM-ERs, significant manufacturing will take place in the UK. For 3rd party sales, I believe the amount of work done in the UK increases.

@DaveyB makes some very dubious & weird claims in his comments above. Makes me wonder where he’s getting his ideas from.

Ron5
Ron5
1 month ago
Reply to  Daveyb

By the way, a Spitfire Mk IV had a different engine but it was still a Spitfire.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
1 month ago
Reply to  Matt

I am hardly an expert here but I presume if the radar can track something it can engage it at least theoretically or is that being naive.

James Fennell
James Fennell
1 month ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

CAMM does not need a tracking radar, that’s part of it’s USP. It’s sensor agnostic so can get it’s data from anything around – can recieve data from other surveillance sensors both before launch and in flight and then uses its own seeker. The Link 16 datalink also allows the command post to see data from multiple sources, so if the AMD is not working it can still launch if other sources are available.

Last edited 1 month ago by James Fennell
Ron5
Ron5
1 month ago
Reply to  James Fennell

The Sky Sabre launcher also has an EO sensor which can used for targeting instead of the radar. It can be seen in the photos on a second extendable mast. The first mast being for the missile data link.

Daveyb
Daveyb
1 month ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Technically, so long as you can get CAMM close enough to a threat object, its own radar should be able to track a very stealthy object. My presumption is that due to the limited cross sectional area of the missile’s main body. The radar’s antenna size is going to be quite small. Add to that you want the radar to be able to track an object off-boresight, therefore it needs to swivel, which will also slightly limit the antenna size. This means for the antenna to have the best Gain (power output and sensitivity) the antenna’s area will have to… Read more »

James Fennell
James Fennell
1 month ago

Giraffe is almost identical to Artisan in the way it operates, using a mechanical / pesa arrangement.

ETH
ETH
1 month ago
Reply to  James Fennell

Artisan is not a PESA.

AlexS
AlexS
1 month ago
Reply to  ETH

What it is then?

ETH
ETH
1 month ago
Reply to  AlexS

An AESA

Daveyb
Daveyb
1 month ago
Reply to  ETH

Nope, it is a PESA radar.

James Fennell
James Fennell
1 month ago
Reply to  ETH

Yes it is. Its a mixed mechanical/PESA system, with a software defined backend.

James Fennell
James Fennell
1 month ago
Reply to  James Fennell

The software is supposed to be quite fancy, it was jointly developed with the USN and has some unique features.

ETH
ETH
1 month ago
Reply to  James Fennell

Interesting, do you have a source for that? Or do you mean off the back of the ARTIST trials?

Daveyb
Daveyb
1 month ago
Reply to  James Fennell

It uses some of the same algorithms that Sampson uses, but that’s a different story.

ETH
ETH
1 month ago
Reply to  James Fennell

What do you mean by ‘mixed mechanical/PESA system’? Mixed how? The fact that it physically rotates? If so, I wouldn’t say that makes it a ‘mixed system’. And how is it also semi-PESA? Could you provide a source, or elaborate on the specific architecture of the system which makes it the ‘mixed mechanical/PESA system’ you describe?

Every modern radar has a software-defined backend.

James F
James F
1 month ago
Reply to  ETH

Actually you might be correct, its often described as such on message boards, but BAe say ‘Developed by BAE Systems Maritime Services, the Royal Navy’s E/F-band multibeam Type 997 radar (also known as Artisan 3D) draws on technology from the Sampson multifunction shipboard radar, and the Commander series of ground-based air-defence radars. Its antenna-mounted solid-state transmitter borrows from the Commander power amplifier, while the waveform generator and digital front-end receivers are based on those in the Sampson.’

The software is mostly Sampson derived.

Last edited 1 month ago by James F
ETH
ETH
1 month ago
Reply to  James F

The emphasis on drawing from the Commander and Sampson AESA radars is a pretty solid giveaway that it’s also an AESA system, though not concrete. ‘Antenna-mounted solid-state transmitter’ is also extremely suggestive of an AESA design. A PESA will typically only go so far as to mount its phase shifters on the antenna itself, any solid-state (or other means like TWTs) transmitter(s) will not be on the antenna itself but deeper in the radar and connected via waveguides (radar plumbing). Whereas an AESA will almost always have its solid-state transmitters mounted on the array to reduce/eliminate waveguide losses. We can… Read more »

ARTISAN 300.JPG
James F
James F
1 month ago
Reply to  ETH

Excellent thank you. I agree its an AESA radar.

AlexS
AlexS
1 month ago
Reply to  ETH

No. The diagram shows it is a PESA.

ETH
ETH
1 month ago
Reply to  AlexS

Ok, could you explain how?

AlexS
AlexS
1 month ago
Reply to  ETH

It do not show the existence of more than one transmitter.

ETH
ETH
1 month ago
Reply to  AlexS

‘Solid-state transmitter distributed in array’ shows it’s not a single transmitter. You cannot distribute a single transmitter across an array, PESA transmitters are single units and very, very rarely are they mounted on the array itself. Certainly not when the emphasis is low top-weight and a tall mast/radar horizon. Not to mention the transmitter(s) being ‘60% Commander based’. However, if that’s not enough for you (nor that the entire radar architecture and marketing is indicative of an AESA, BAE also claims in some of their old ARTISAN marketing material that there are no ‘single point failures in the antenna’. A… Read more »

09DADB33-54DF-455C-B7FB-A6358198B9EA.jpeg
Gunbuster
Gunbuster
1 month ago
Reply to  ETH

A give away is also the block indicating antenna cooling cabinet. High power transmitters need cooling. 996 , 997s predecessor on T23 had a TWT in the radar room and a lot of cooling for it. There is now no TWT. Montrose recently changed out the turning unit on her 997. The turning unit is very thin and lightweight compared to older generations of turning units that used wave guide slip rings to get the transmitter and receiver radar energy to and from the aerial to the radar room transmitter and receiver cabinets. The first picture is the antenna being… Read more »

20210822_141025.jpg
Gunbuster
Gunbuster
1 month ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

And here with the antenna removed

Daveyb
Daveyb
1 month ago
Reply to  ETH

That does not prove the system is AESA. You can have the signal generator generate frequency address codes that are then sent an oscillator in the antenna assembly. This cuts down on the length of waveguides needed and the losses they incur. BAe themselves refer to Artisan as a PESA system.

Perhaps what is telling is that the T31 is getting the Thales NS-100 AESA multifunction radar, not Artisan!

James Fennell
James Fennell
1 month ago
Reply to  Daveyb

They do not – I did a thorough look – its olny called mixed pesa/mechanical on a few message boards, and the guy who posted that admitted he was wrong and it was an AESA>

Ron5
Ron5
1 month ago
Reply to  Daveyb

BAe themselves refer to Artisan as a PESA system.

Are you sure about that?

ETH
ETH
1 month ago
Reply to  Daveyb

Yes, you are right that potentially there could be a single, antenna-mounted transmitter. However, that is *extremely* unlikely as it would mean mounting the larger single transmitter and A/D converters on the array for a system which is emphasised as a ‘low-weight design’ with a high mast/radar horizon. Additionally, as Gunbuster has mentioned, no heavy liquid-cooling for this hypothetical transmitter (which would, for some reason, be developed on a completely different path to the radars preceding/succeeding ARTISAN yet still claim to have high levels of commonality/pedigree with AESA systems?) And, as I have mentioned in another comment, numerous instances of… Read more »

9D26175D-48D5-4BA5-95D8-9443A5C50FEE.jpeg
ETH
ETH
1 month ago
Reply to  ETH

*source labelling ARTISAN as a PESA

Daveyb
Daveyb
1 month ago
Reply to  ETH

Mixed mechanical/PESA is used in the same context as Sampson’s mixed mechanical/AESA. In that the antenna array assembly is rotated, but the beam’s direction is electronically steered.

AlexS
AlexS
1 month ago
Reply to  AlexS
George Parker
George Parker
1 month ago

Excellent article and even better news. I just hope the MOD buy enough of them to deploy far and wide.

Bill
Bill
1 month ago

Did l miss something? There are 8 missiles mounted on the launcher but the radar can control 24 missiles in flight; from 3 separate launchers presumably?

Daveyb
Daveyb
1 month ago
Reply to  Bill

Yes, that’s correct. However, the system is networkable through Link-16. So it could be directed in theory by anything Link-16 equipped. The caveat being that the threat has to be in range of both the missile and the sensor that detects it. As it’s a networkable system, the number of missiles controlled could be more than 24. It will depend on how the management system’s software is set up and who is given hierarchical control. The number 24 is from one given operations group that consists of four vehicles carrying eight missiles apiece, controlled from one mission control vehicle, along… Read more »

Ron5
Ron5
1 month ago
Reply to  Daveyb

The missile itself is not directed by link 16.

James Fennell
James Fennell
1 month ago
Reply to  Bill

Yes each troop is 3 Launchers and 1 Radar / Fire Control truck.

Rudeboy1
Rudeboy1
1 month ago
Reply to  James Fennell

Radar and Fire control are seperate trucks. No need for the radar to be located with the other systems.

Ron5
Ron5
1 month ago
Reply to  Bill

Sea Ceptor has a system limit of 48 launchers so it’s possible that Sky Sabre has the same limit.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  Ron5

Subtle point.

48 simultaneously addressable launchers.

You can have a second battery but they are not addressable at the same time. But this is faster than reloading.

I don’t know if changing the addressable launchers can be done automatically, or if it involves pulling plugs. Anyone know?

Mike
Mike
1 month ago

Great news, we were becoming increasingly vulnerable to UAV systems and our Land Air Defence needed up dating. I think the lessons that can be taken from the Nagorono-Karabakh conflict can show the need to be able to detect and then defeat UAS/UAV’s quickly to protect your traditional ground forces.

DB7
DB7
1 month ago
Reply to  Mike

The nagorono-karabakh conflict should have the MOD pushing for a system like sky ranger 30 with maybe starstreak as it’s missile component for boxer and ASCOD (Ajax-whatever name they would give it with that module).
The need for a close in anti drone defence has to be a priority or is that just too much common sense!?

Rob N
Rob N
1 month ago

When will it be operational on the Falklands?

Paul.P
Paul.P
1 month ago

Good news. An urgent and important purchase given the increasing availability of drone to both state and non state actors. Can the system be transported in an A400M?

BB85
BB85
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul.P

We need cheaper alternatives to counter drones. When the drones costs a fraction of the missile the enemy will simply use drones to deplete our missiles stocks just like the Palestinians do by launching thousands of unguided rockets as israel. By the looks of things our stocks wouldn’t last more than 24 hours 😥

Paul.P
Paul.P
1 month ago
Reply to  BB85

AA gunfire?

DB7
DB7
1 month ago
Reply to  BB85

The only feasible solution is a canon system, as I’ve said in another reply, a sky ranger 30 which has gun and missiles module would be the idea solution for boxer and ascod (Ajax)

Gun for small drones and missiles for jets/helos/larger drones

Rudeboy1
Rudeboy1
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Yes.

Paul.P
Paul.P
1 month ago
Reply to  Rudeboy1

Thx

Donaldson
Donaldson
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul.P
Paul.P
Paul.P
1 month ago
Reply to  Donaldson

👍

Matt C
Matt C
1 month ago

“fire in a multi-directional manner that significantly reduces its signature making it less of a target”

I’m curious to know more about this.

Rudeboy1
Rudeboy1
1 month ago
Reply to  Matt C

The launcher does not need to be trained in the direction of the atrget like Rapier. Its vertical launch, the missile is fired upwards using a cold launch method (a piston) and thrusters orient it in the direction of the target then the main motor fires. Happens very quickly.

Matt C
Matt C
1 month ago
Reply to  Rudeboy1

Thanks. Ah, so that is what the sentence refers to. Rather cumbersome way of describing it.

David
David
1 month ago

Anyone know how many batteries we ordered?

Rudeboy1
Rudeboy1
1 month ago
Reply to  David

24 so far, Defence Secretary has recently mentioned that more will be ordered. CAMM-ER likely to be on the way as well.

Rudeboy1
Rudeboy1
1 month ago
Reply to  Rudeboy1

A battery is 4 launchers, so 6 batteries. ! of which will be permanently based in the Falklands.

Airborne
Airborne
1 month ago
Reply to  Rudeboy1

Think its 4 Btys, 1 of which is in the FI. Think 4 launches per Bty, remainder at Larkill for training so 12 operational systems with 16 RA. TBC will ask Bro.

Rob
Rob
1 month ago

I wonder what the ORBAT 16 AD Regt RA is? HQ Battery with 3 Missile Batteries with 3 launchers each? I doubt it. Probably 1 8 missile launcher per Battery.

Geoffi
Geoffi
1 month ago

When is it off to the Falklands ?

Rob
Rob
1 month ago

Skeptical…but hopeful. They said the same thing about Rapier and let me tell you, it was depressing watching them reset their little brains and struggle to adjust to the Falklands unsavoury weather conditions in the middle of waves of air raids.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
1 month ago
Reply to  Rob

Sea Wolf had similar issues in 910 and latterly 911 which had the blindfire rapier radar B added to it.
Things have moved on. Sea Wolf ops programme was loaded with reels of hole punched paper tape. Then it became magnetic media. Better hardware and software improved it many time over the years.
Ceptor will is pretty good on reliability and availability. There are less systems of systems to go wrong for a start.

Rob
Rob
1 month ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Thanks for this. Yes I know sea wolf from the type 22 I served on down south. We used to bootstrap the ancient tracker computer with reels of punch tape – while under air attack 😁 Am glad to hear things have greatly improved. Cheers.

Andrew D
Andrew D
1 month ago

Great news and about time ,just so few but there again same for all our Armed forces now. 🙄

John Hartley
John Hartley
1 month ago

This is a great middle layer, but it needs CAMM-ER as a top layer & Boxer with an Oerlikon 35mm gun as an anti-drone bottom layer.

James Fennell
James Fennell
1 month ago
Reply to  John Hartley

Also Direct Energy / Electronic Attack is likely to join the mix.

DB7
DB7
1 month ago
Reply to  John Hartley
Sceptical Richard
Sceptical Richard
1 month ago

At long last army will have a really capable air defence system. Very welcome, but how many systems are being procured? Am I guessing three fire units per battery?

Rudeboy1
Rudeboy1
1 month ago

4 launchers per battery, 6 battery’s in total. Possibly with more to come..

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Rudeboy1

Hi RB. Do you have a source for that battery total and launcher number? 16 RA has 4 Fire batteries. Where are the other 2 from?
14RA? 106RA?

Steve
Steve
1 month ago

The MOD is really scared of tennis balls it seems, all air defense seem to be focused on this dangerous object.

Rudeboy1
Rudeboy1
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

Only if they’re travelling at Mach 3….do we have a low speed tennis ball gap?

James Fennell
James Fennell
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

Maybe it means their obsession with double-decker busses is at an end?

Steve
Steve
1 month ago
Reply to  James Fennell

They got replaced by far more deadly bendy buses.

Humpty Dumpty
Humpty Dumpty
1 month ago

What’s its range and ceiling?

Ron5
Ron5
1 month ago
Reply to  Humpty Dumpty

Adequate and ample.

Humpty Dumpty
Humpty Dumpty
1 month ago
Reply to  Ron5

What kind of a reply is that? What’s its range and altitude in metres? It needs an altitude of 20,000 metres so aircraft can’t fly above its max altitude and it needs enough range so that it outranges all possible ordnance it may face. SAMP/T is a far superior system.

Humpty Dumpty
Humpty Dumpty
1 month ago
Reply to  Ron5

I was asking for figures in metres.

Humpty Dumpty
Humpty Dumpty
1 month ago
Reply to  Ron5

What’s its range and ceiling in metres?

James
James
1 month ago

Am I imagining this or was the radar shipped to the Falklands years ago?

JohninMK
JohninMK
1 month ago

Reading through the thread it would appear that, as the systems will be in RA units their prime function (apart from the one in the Falklands) is AD of armoured formations. Does this mean that,apart from using their own fighters, there will continue to be a lack of AD at our airfields, or is there a plan to use more of these there?

James Fennell
James Fennell
1 month ago
Reply to  JohninMK

We’ve not had GBAD for RAF airfields in the UK since Bloodhound was withdrawn. Rapier was only deployed to RAF Germany.

JohninMK
JohninMK
1 month ago
Reply to  James Fennell

Thank you.I can remember Bloodhounds next to the A1 when we used to drive up to Leconfield in the Lightning days. I assume that the MoD’s view is that if we need AD there then its all over so there is no point spending the money.

James F
James F
1 month ago
Reply to  JohninMK

They brought Bloodhound back from Germany and redeployed it in the UK in the early ’80s, when Rapier came into service, but I suspect they think we are too far from danger – however in an era of hypersonic cruise missiles and ballistic missiles they probably need to think again.

JohninMK
JohninMK
1 month ago
Reply to  James F

Agreed but with no defence against the hypersonics yet and very expensive and difficult against any IRBM that might now come our way. The ending of the INF was a big blow to our defence as it seems likely that a modern equivalent of the SS-20 with conventional warhead is in development.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
1 month ago
Reply to  James F

Yes, and if they look at the Aster 30 NG SAMP/T system they can possibly have some commonality with the Aster upgrades on the T45s. The timings now.

James Fennell
James Fennell
1 month ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

1-2 Battery’s of SAMP/T and 2 more of Sky Sabre with CAMM-ER and some new DE SHORAD and duel purpose cannon on UGVs. The Polish Narew system will have 27 CAMM launchers I think I heard.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  James Fennell

Morning James. A gentle reminder, RAF Regiment did have 2 Rapier Squadrons for the defence of Lossimouth and Leuchars. Then there were 4? additional squadrons of RAFReg which covered the USAF bases here with Rapier, paid for by the USAF.

But yes, 16RA is primarily for the defence of the army in the field, not home defence.

James F
James F
1 month ago

Morning Daniele, I knew about the USAF sqns. but not Leuchars and Lossie. Thank you!

I think we need two medium / long range GBAD regiments minimum – with two batteries / squadrons (I’ll let the Army and RAF Rgt. fight over that) of SAMP/T (or a UK system derived from Meteor?) and at least 6 with Sky Sabre and CAMM-ER.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  James F

Agreed. That would double the batteries available, as currently 16RA has 4. I do not count the Starstreak batteries as they are point defence. If this Future Soldier was serious, which the reviews never seem to be apart from the cuts, they would be announcing at least 2 additional RA Regiments. 1 with additional SAM assets as you describe, 1 with a mobile AA gun system, mounted on Boxer as example, whatever, and maybe a 3rd with UAV assets. Instead, we have an additional MLRS Regiment ( not new, but obtained by converting a Light Gun Regiment and subsequently leaving… Read more »

Klonkie
Klonkie
1 month ago

Hi D. Thanks for the detailed post, good reading. Do you know if the army a dedicated unit to defend RAF airfields/stations; or is this an “ad hoc” arrangement in times of need?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Klonkie

Morning K.

Not that I’m aware of. As far as I’m concerned all RA AD batteries are needed and are used to support 3 (UK) Division in the field. There are no home defence dedicated assets.

In 2012 AD assets were deployed from high rise buildings in London to defend the Olympics, and again with the recent G8 meeting in Cornwall. These are exceptions not the norm.

Klonkie
Klonkie
1 month ago

Thanks for clarifying. It does present a concerning capability gap- but then clearly there are real budgetary constraints.

simon
simon
1 month ago

Also RAuxAFalso had Skyguard as a back up as well

James Fennell
James Fennell
1 month ago
Reply to  simon

Ex-Argentine?

simon
simon
1 month ago
Reply to  James Fennell

Yes, but still useful

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  simon

As James says, Argie, and only a handful at Waddo if I recall. One I think now stands outside the bunker at H Wycombe, of all places.

Ron
Ron
1 month ago

Good it is a step in the right direction, however we still need more than 24 launchers. The main issue I have with this system is its mobility, we need a fire on the move anti air system. This system is good for the Falklands, airfield defence or a town/city but to defend a mobile strike brigade a mobile system that can keep up with an advancing military unit and fire whilst moving or to stop fire and move again. An idea as a starting point could be to take a Challanger 2 tank body that will not be upgraded… Read more »

JohninMK
JohninMK
1 month ago
Reply to  Ron

That sounds really expensive. What is needed is lots of ready to fire rounds. With networking and the vertical soft launch Sky Sabre couldn’t the Warriors be converted into TELs with not much more than a hole chopped in the roof?

Ron5
Ron5
1 month ago
Reply to  Ron

Are you forgetting the Stormer HVMs?

Ron
Ron
1 month ago
Reply to  Ron5

No, but as far as I am aware Stormer is to be taken out of service and since 2009 there has been a large reduction in numbers.

Ron5
Ron5
1 month ago
Reply to  Ron

Stormer HVM has only just been upgraded to fire LMM.

Paul T
Paul T
1 month ago
Reply to  Ron

Converting Challenger 2 Hulls for SHORAD seems a bit like using a Sledgehammer to Crack a Walnut to me,as Ron5 pointed out CVRT Vehicles have and are being used,even putting something on Boxer would be good but C2 would not be my choice.

Ron
Ron
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul T

As I said it was a starting point idea using material available or material that could be got cheap. Ajax is a long way off for an Anti Air version to escort tank units and Boxer is just starting production for the UK. Also Germany did something like what I suggested with the Gepard, a Leopard 1 hull with twin 35mm guns and a radar package for anti air. At the time it worked and worked well. I think Russia also modified MBT hulls for air defence systems. So why not use what we have rather than either having nothing… Read more »

Rob
Rob
1 month ago

Looks like a good piece of kit; basically a frigate’s worth of CAMM which looks good for providing point cover for each armoured brigades logistics / HQ / artillery lines. Trouble is that Putin, now reaching his sell by date, looks increasingly likely to throw the dice, like most dictators do at that age, and risk a proper war. In that case the UK is terribly under armed. It’s not just the lack of numbers in soldiers. Whilst we can recruit infantry soldiers fairly quickly it is the enablers where we are short. Sky Sabre should be rolled out to… Read more »

James Fennell
James Fennell
1 month ago
Reply to  Rob

Bit more than that – 24 x 8 is eight Frigate’s worth (or 4 T26).

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  Rob

Rob, Can we really recruit Infantry soldiers quickly? Capita takes about a year to get someone in, then the Combat Infantrymans Course at Catterick takes 26 weeks – so thats a year-and-a-half, by which time the big war will be over!

Steve R
Steve R
1 month ago

How many of these are we getting? I couldn’t see anything regarding numbers in the article.

Gareth
Gareth
1 month ago

Does anyone no how many systems we are getting ?