The Ministry of Defence has notified bidders of its intention to purchase an interim anti-ship missile as current Harpoon stocks reach end of life and a replacement not being due until 2030.

The Ministry of Defence has issued a Prior Information Notice (PIN) for “Next Generation Surface Ship Guided Weapon (SSGW)” to equip Royal Navy vessels..

The notice is as follows:

“Short description of nature and scope of works or nature and quantity or value of supplies or services:

The Authority has a possible future requirement to procure a next generation ship launched anti-ship weapon system for use within training and operational roles with the Royal Navy. First delivery of the ship installed equipment would be required by December 2022 and first delivery of missiles would be required by December 2023. The potential contract will be for 4 years, with the potential of option years to follow (up to 9 more years), the potential contract would cover the following activities:

Manufacture and delivery of the weapon system to be delivered in Financial Year 2023/2024.

Installation of the weapon system onto Royal Navy ships.
Provision and support of interface requirements to assist ships installation.

Provision of train the trainer courses.

Maintenance and technical support for the operational upkeep of the weapon system.

Should this requirement proceed, a Contract Notice will be published in due course with more precise requirements and interested parties will be invited to complete an online pre-qualification questionnaire, which will be measured against selected criteria in terms of commercial and technical requirements.

The technical requirement will be base lined against the user requirements and include questions regarding:

— battlefield effect,
— terminal effect,
— interoperability: climatic and environment,
— munition sensitivity,
— system and design safety,
— human factors,
— deployability,
— training,
— sustainability and supply chain,
— Capability resilience and reliability.

Evidence will be required at the PQQ stage to demonstrate the weapon system can meet the Authority’s requirement set.

Estimated value excluding VAT: Range: between 100 000 000 and 200 000 000 GBP”

When Harpoon exits service in 2023 there will be a serious capability gap until the potential entry into service of FC/ASW programme in 2030 if this does not happen, warned a report published by the Defence Committee last year.

During a Defence committee session Lt General Sir Mark Poffley, Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff, made clear that the MoD wanted a surface to surface anti-ship missile to fill the capability gap. However, he conceded that there was not a funded line in the equipment plan for such a purchase and that it was therefore one of the MoD’s “aspirations” for the Modernising Defence Programme.

The report advised:

“Alongside the work being undertaken by the FC/ASW concept phase, the MoD should conduct a careful analysis of the various options for filling the capability gap. This analysis should include a technical assessment of: the potential for Harpoon’s lifespan to be extended; whether other existing capabilities could be augmented to provide a stronger anti-ship function; the various off-the-shelf options that exist, including the procurement of Harpoon Block II for the P8 Maritime Patrol Aircraft; and the potential procurement of Exocet as a surface-to-surface capability for the Royal Navy.”

According to the report, which can be found here, the possible off-the-shelf alternatives that could be considered by the MoD include the following:

i) Lockheed Martin’s Long-Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM): the LRASM comes with both air and vertical canister launch capabilities, relies on onboard systems for target acquisition without the need for GPS navigation or external data-feeds and is able to defeat jamming and detection measures. It offers interoperability with the F-35. The LRASM will enter service for the US Air Force this year and the US Navy next year. Australia, the UK and Canada are reported to have expressed interest in the missile. Cost per unit is in the realm of $700,000–1,000,000.

ii) Naval Strike Missile (NSM): the multi-role variant of this missile, jointly developed by Kongsberg and Raytheon, would be compatible with the F-35 and would offer lower costs than the LRASM or the latest Harpoon variant. According to Raytheon, the NSM is “proven, affordable—and available today. The Naval Strike Missile is a long-range, precision strike weapon that can find and destroy enemy ships at distances up to 100 nautical miles away”. The NSM’s lifespan extends until 2040.53

iii) RBS15 Mk3: produced by Saab, the RBS15 Mk3 is, according to Naval Technology, “packed with a range of high-end features, including sophisticated electronic counter-measures (ECM) and an advanced graphical user interface [ … ] it carries a heavy, high-explosive blast and pre-fragmented warhead over a range of around 134 nautical miles and at a speed of 0.9 mach”.

iv) The MoD could seek to procure the Block II+ variant of Harpoon. The US Navy is due to introduce the Block II+ this year and it “offers greater reliability and survivability” than previous variants, including new GPS guidance and a new data link that offers “in-flight updates”, as well as improved target selectivity and “enhanced resistance to electronic countermeasures”.

v) Another alternative could be deploying the latest version of the Exocet MM40 Block 3 system. The Royal Navy operated Exocets until 2002 and according to Naval Technology, the Block 3 offers an increased range of 97 nautical miles and “a number of other enhancements and upgrades, including changes to its navigational system which now accepts GPS waypoints to enable it to use different angles of attack against naval targets and to provide a limited land-attack capability”. An upgraded Exocet model, the Block 3 C will soon be available to the French Navy and, according to Janes, offers “a new coherent active radio frequency (RF) seeker as the centrepiece of a ‘digitised’ guidance and navigation package” that should bring “significant improvements in target selectivity and electronic countermeasures performance”.

The Harpoon anti-ship missile was due to be retired from Royal Navy service in 2018, that changed last year.

Jane’s reported that senior sources informed them that the missiles would remain in service at least until 2020. According to the publication:

“There is work ongoing to look at options for longer extension in service.”

Royal Navy ships were originally to lose anti-ship missile capability in 2018 when the Harpoon missile is withdrawn with a replacement not due until ‘around 2030’, the interim missile would fill that gap.

142 COMMENTS

  1. Interesting this, from the timeframes a couple of questions come up:

    If they pick something that’s compatible with the MK41 launchers on the type26 will they then think about adding MK41s to the type45s. I would imaging sorting out deck launchers for say the LRASM on they type 45s vs MK41 may not be that much ( in the grand scheme) different in costs.

    The type 23s will I assume need a deck launched option no matter what.

    What about the type 31 will it get the same deck launcher as the 23s or maybe transferred over later in deletion of the 23s as the 26s will be better suited to a mk41 launched option.

    This could be very interesting, but I bet they do something really short term, wasteful and a bit second rate.

    • “something really short term, wasteful and a bit second rate.”
      Remember this is MEANT to be a short term, off the shelf option while Perseus is developed. Most likely, it’ll only be integrated on the T45s, T31s, and the last 8 T23s. The cost: capability ratio is heavily skewed in favour of a cheaper weapon, especially since there isn’t actually any money currently available for it.

      For the foreseeable future, I’d give up any hope that Mk41 will ever be fitted to the T45s, and I definitely wouldn’t be planning future purchases based on it. Additionally, LRASM is just too expensive for a stop gap option: it would increase the chances that Perseus gets cancelled.

      • perseus is in collaboration with the french – its as good as cancelled already!

        and even if its an interim solution these weapons can be transferred to older/smaller assets in the event we do get perseus – slap a couple LRASM on those batch 2 rivers so they can at least contribute something to fight if they need to

      • The obvious choice has to be the new harpoon surely? The current missiles can be upgraded to the new missile at a reduced cost and there is not much additional work need to the fit them to the ships. It makes no sense to go with anything else for a short term replacement.

        • According to the article, the latest Harpoon would be more expensive than buying NSM. It doesn’t state if that’s purchasing new Harpoon missiles or just upgrading existing stocks, but in any case I’d assume NSM is the cheapest option.

          • I doubt it. If you upgrade the current harpoons to the new version it costs half the price of buying a new harpoon. I doubt NSW is less than half the price of a new harpoon… Especially as there would need to be a lot of training needed on the new missile and likely integration costs too. If this was a long term replacement then the overall cost of purchasing new missiles could be a significant factor. However we only need these for a few more years. We would likely need very few brand new missiles if we went for Harpoon.

      • Would cancelling Perseus be that bad though? What does it get us over LRASM? We’re short on hulls and people to crew them, each should be as versatile as possible, without sacrificing their core mission. The T45s are already the worlds premier air defence platform, adding mk41 VLS and LRASM also gives us access to surface launched TLAM and SM3 for ballistic missile defence and more. Assuming the cost is in the same ball park as developing, fitting and maintaining Perseus, I don’t know if it is, what am I missing? Mk41 and LRASM gives us a solution now and a deck mount is in development that could be used on the T23s.

  2. I’m not offering any expertise here by any means but here is my guess,the proposed FC/ASW will go to the Type 26’s (via mk41 vls) ,HMS Glasgow should be operational by 2027 by all accounts so pending delays to either (and of course funding) similar timescales.For now id go for NSM,looks to be a cheaper option,Canister Launched so has the ability to be swapped around Ships (T45,T23,T31) plus can be used with the F35 too albeit externally only on the ‘B’,will look at other peoples contenders here with interest.

  3. Across the Pond in naval circles there has been a lot of talk over the last few years about the surface fleet’s lack of lethality. And many are advocating bolting missiles on to all manner of hulls. There is a notable discrepancy between the many ISRT systems (and all that data they generate) and hard / kinetic kill systems. Funnily I have discussed our lack of such weapons with RN bods and they said to me we don’t need them because we are on the USN’s side….go figure. So i wonder if this sudden interest in such systems is being pushed from the Pentagon? I am constantly amazed that the MoD think they will have a lead up to the next war long enough to procure and integrate systems (especially considering how complex they are today). There is little point in saying capability is a substitute for mass if that capability is hollow. I am not going to moan about T45 and ASW………

    • I think the USN drive for more antiship missiles is driven by China and the fact that the USN has been fixated on land support for the last few years not Blue Water fleet on fleet opperations.

      It is tome that both the US and UK tool up to face China and a Russia which is growing in naval power.

      Rob

      • In my view, whichever option is chosen, the missile should be capable of attacking land targets. The least value for money weapons are the ones that sit on the shelf and never get used. The chances of a conflict where we need to engage targets on land are far greater than one where we’re in a near peer battle at sea.

        • HMS Glamorgan fired her Sea Slug at a land target once , totally obliterated the target , destroyed the sensors recording the test and one of the boosters destroyed the head techie car .
          This was before the days of health and safety and being a 500 yards in a bunker was deemed safe but not for your car.

          • At polly we had a sea slug radar which we used as a learning aid. It was easy to work on as it still used valve based amplifiers. You could actually see it working.

    • I’d be interested to hear your opinion on this beyond the fact that this development has to be good news.
      Looking at it from outside there has to have been some serious mismanagement. Harpoon’s lifecycle is a know quantity, extensions apart, future weapons projects whilst not entirely predictable are known to be long term, even in RN terms. So why, with a fleet not exactly bursting with offensive lethality do we find ourselves scratching around for an interim solution for one of the RN’s primary purposes?
      Parsimony is a likely factor, so too is a fair amount of poor planning. On top of that it is a fact that the MoD/HM Gov were happy to rely, if it came to it, on our allies that do have anti-ship capability. For such a fundamental capability that seems to me to be foolish in the extreme.
      On a slight tangent ‘fitted for but not with’ suggests that the RN/MoD has an unrealistic view on how quickly it could arm its ships if needed.

      • ‘that the RN has an unrealistic view. Like in 1916 being unprepared to fight in the dark which cost us Jutland!

  4. …. so does this mean all 6 Type 45s will finally get anti ship missiles? With so few hulls in the fleet, all need to be equipped as best as possible.

    With much chagrin, I fear the government will penny pinch again and the RN will end up not getting half of what’s truly needed…. or worse still, something has to get cut to fund it.

    British defence procurement – what a shambles!

    • I have a suspicion that the F35 programme will be halted at 48 for some time to cover the short fall in the equipment plan. The treasury keep stating that the MOD must live within its means, and they are likely to look at the fact that will be able to deploy 24 F35 plus allies on a carrier with what we will have and delay the next order until the next spending plan. This is what may be leading to the rumours of mothballing PoW, as there will be no spare jets to operate of it for the first 10 years of its life, and therefore could be mothballed for a while saving yet more money. Not ordering a further 48 jets would close a huge part of the funding gap in one clean swoop and may allow scope for some smaller procurements such as an ASM. What do you think? Something will have to be cut, end of. Not what I want, but a reality of how things are. So would we rather loose say Boxer and an array of smaller but vital things for the forces, or do we rather make do with 48 F35 until the 2030’s?

      • I think it’s more likely that the RN push for the full 138 Lightning so they can justify both carriers and the RAF so they can properly replace Tornado and do some publicity stuff.
        My money would be on the Army getting shafted when the other two branches have a vested interest in getting the full complement of F-35.

        Shame it has to be a competition really, it’d be much better if we had the defence budget to buy what we need in the numbers we need. Parliament could start by actually spending 2% GDP and not artificially inflating the figures.

      • “This is what may be leading to the rumours of mothballing PoW, as there will be no spare jets to operate of it for the first 10 years”

        It may well be fuelling the rumours but what needs to be remembered is the fact operating both QEC with air groups to match at the same time has NEVER been in the plan.

        The SDSR charts released clearly showed 1 Carrier and 1 LPD in service and 1 Carrier and LPD in reserve, so the capability is always available.

        POW in reserve but available within a certain time and occasionally in use as required is far better than sold or mothballed to a degree that it takes an age to get her ready for replacing Elizabeth as needed.

          • No it doesn’t. Our soft power comes from other sources such as the City, being one of the P5, membership of most worlds international and intergovernmental organisations, etc Our aid money, which we have to borrow, is mostly squandered.

          • Steve Taylor

            Yes it does

            The methodology for the soft power index (which we are number one) uses data from six catagories, one of this is called engagement.

            “The strength of a country’s diplomatic network and its contribution to global engagement and development”

            Go have a look, the amount or money a country spends overseas contributes significantly.

            From our own treasury white paper

            “It stated that ‘UK leadership in [tackling poverty] will cement our global moral leadership, and make a strong contribution to the UK’s soft power and our ability to project our influence across the globe.’

            I’m regards to money

            “A 2014 ODI report showed that in 2014 every $1 of UK aid spent generated an increase in UK exports of $0.22 thereby providing an estimated 12,000 extra UK jobs. For those critics of Britain’s development aid budget, the domestic benefits of that policy are often ignored or overlooked in favour of short-term spending proprieties based on a different set of priorities, both domestically and internationally.“

          • @Steve Taylor

            Foreign Aid is a big win for the UK if it is used in the right way. It can help reduce the likely hood that states move their allegiance to China (Who are practically buying Africa right now) and can help stop people turning to terrorism. It also sends a very good message to these countries that we are friends and that we want to help. That counts for a lot the next time we are in a big war and need the material help of other countries. Bearing in mind the mess we have created all over the world it can also be seen as our duty to help in some way.

            However I am perplexed as to why we give aid to India bearing in mind it is a nuclear power and is spending billions on its space program…

            The aid is important and should continue. It is the countries we spend it on that needs to be looked at.

          • “Can help stop people from turning to terrorism” – Foreign Aid is not meant to be bribery and protection money to not be a criminal. If the choice is aid or a bombing raid/drone strike one is permanent the other is a mouse asking for a cookie then asking for a glass of milk.
            Soft Power is merely a sop for progressives and pacifists to feel good. What it amounts to is a foreign policy based on wishful thinking and theft of tax revenues, followed by handing those taxes to foreign countries.

    • You know what they will do… buy less then we need then put thoses in a dhed and only take a few out at a time for a handfull of ships.

      Because as we all know we will have years to prepare for the next conflict.!

      So when Spain invades the rock we will have nothing ready,

      Rob

  5. For goodness sake get on with it-chose one & buy them so our ships have this essential capability. Wars kick off famously before we’re ready, but the last 20 years have been a race to be as ill-prepared & weak as possible.

    • Well, they have to run a decision support matrix in order to optimize the value over a life-cycle approach to inventory management and then….

  6. Thank god they are seeing some sort of sense ,now can we have the sea ram system for our carriers please,asking for too much?

  7. My guess would be canister launched system for the T23’s still in service and maybe first T26, with them all going to the T31e’s eventually. It would help with hitting the T31e optimistic budget cap by recycling as much as possible from retiring ships.
    It may even end up being deployed like Phalanx, bolted onto whichever ship happens to be going to sea, with it being removed during long lay-ups for use aboard another vessel.

  8. Assuming funds are found to support this…

    If we choose LRASM, it be available for Type 26 and Type 31 but not for Type 45 or Type 23 without significant modifications to the ships because the missile needs a Mk41 VLS. It could be launched from F35 but not carried internally. It’s a sophisticated missile with the ability to differentiate between targets and resist jamming…but its slow.

    If we choose RBS-15 Mk3, we’ll have to modify all ships because it’s not compatible with any vertical launch system. It has waypoint following abilities and good EW resistance. It also has long range but it’s big, slow and it’s not compatible with the F35.

    If we choose the NSM, we’d improve the capabilities of our F35s. It can be carried internally by that aircraft. It is also compatible with Mk41, so it would work for the Type 26s and Type 31s, but not the Type 23s and Type 45s. I bet Merlin could be adapted to carry this missile. Like all the others listed, NSM is subsonic. It also carries a substantially smaller warhead over a shorter range than the LRASM and RBS-15 Mk3. This is my pick – mainly for its flexibility.

    I dont like the idea of Harpoon 2+ or Exocet because they are not VLS compatible, they are slow, not agile and they dont have the range, EW resistance or target differentiation capabilities of the others. Neither is compatible with the F35, either.

    So, NSM it is…unless we buy Brahmos from the Indians 🙂

  9. Couldn’t make it up if you tried, the MOD and Government have known about this shortfall for a number of years and yet only now do they start looking. What a joke.

    • Dads rmy wrote:
      Good news, timely, in time, and no joke at all.

      From Sept 2017:
      The Royal Navy Faces a Frightening Future Without Anti-Ship Missiles
      Right now, the Royal Navy’s main surface-to-surface anti-ship weapon is the over-the-horizon Harpoon missile, which is also the primary equivalent weapon in service with the U.S. Navy since 1977. Back then, the missile soon became a workhorse that provided considerable range compared to other anti-ship weapons at the time.

      With the advent of new Chinese and Russian anti-ship missiles proliferating around the world, however, that is no longer the case. And unlike the U.S. Navy, the Royal Navy will be without Harpoons or a replacement for them within a few years, turning its ships into sitting ducks.

      In 2010, Britain’s sailing branch opted not to replace the Harpoon, and one year ago it was revealed the missiles were set to retire at the end of 2018. In September 2017, IHS Jane’s Defense Weekly announced that the U.K. Ministry of Defense has delayed the retirement until 2020.

  10. LRASM would be an amazing uplift in the capability if T23 and T21 is a deck launch option can be installed. LRASM would also be complimentary to a future Pegasus type weapon with one Low slow and stealthy and the other higher and faster and both can provide land Attack which is by far the most likely use. Million dollar missiles that can only sink ships are a waste of money as the chance of them being used are close to zero.

    LRASM would be worth spending on, if we can’t afford it then simply upgrading harpoon stock which cost about $70K a missile is the way to go. Everything else NSM Exocet block III is a waste of money.

    Type 31 is going to be 4,000 tonnes. The Russians launch land Attack cruise missiles off of corsets so a deck la7nxh option can be done. That being said every design for T31 incorporates space for a mk41 VLS and a 8 cell launch battery only costs about £2.5 million which is just 1% of the cost if a T31. No warship should be built without a Mk41 VLS as it’s by far the most useful system in any warship.

    • Agree, the number of missiles a ship can carry looks to become more and more important with swarming drones and the like becoming a reality. We should not be building any warships without a decent number of cells in my opinion, 24-36 for low end, 48-60 for mid range, and 72 plus for a top end ship. I believe our next destroyer must have 100 plus, and replacements for ships such as the Albion’s should have a limited capability too. With so few ships, more need to be able to contribute in order to survive.
      The other option, which may be cheaper, is to look at the concept of cheaper large ships kitted out as missile barges. These would tag along with a task group and carry a range of defence and offensive missiles under the control of the principle destroyer or frigate in the group, who would carry out the detection and targeting. The ships could be largely automated once the technology is mature, with just a small crew of weapons engineers.

      • Problem is the UK always thinks small. Trying getting an arsenal ship with 500 VLS cells designed to shoot half a billion dollars worth of missile in an hour past the treasury in the UK. The treasury is the main reason not a single British surface ship is fitted with Mk41 VLS despite being designed for them with T45.

        The treaury has to pay for cruise missiles from the contingency fund. They are ok with an SSN firing of 6 on the first night of an operation but no chance they would allow a surface ship to shoot 50 plus a million a pop. Lack of of surface launch TLAM capability is a major problem. Look what happened in the Med when Britain, and the USA tried to launch missiles at Syria. SSN’s are to valuable for lugging cruise missiles round the Med and the platform is too sensitive to operate in congested environments.

  11. Well the request for information goes some way to explaining to people why modern weapons systems are not plug and play and it requires a long , long time to procure and to get the associated infrastructure and support in place.
    Looking at the PIN and the follow on questions I have little doubt that the RN will go with Harpoon 2+.
    The requirements to get the thing in service quickly and cheaply are all weighted in Harpoons favour.
    1. Its currently in service and fitted to or for on most FF/DD. The wiring and control panel fits will be in all likelihood similar to the present fit. Also the weird and wonderful power requirements for Harpoon are covered by the already fitted SFCs and conversion machinery.
    2. The shore support is in place for the current Harpoon So no new handling requirements on the Ammunition facilities.
    3. Most established RN maintainers will be able to easily convert to the new system with minimal training.
    4. The missile safety case will not need much of a revisit. It is far easier to do a safety case from a known in service piece of ammunition than starting afresh from the beginning on a new piece of kit.

    LSASM would be the ideal gold standard replacement . It will go on aircraft, in a canister and in a Mk41.
    However the current timeline with an Anglo/French replacement for Storm Shadow /Scalp which is going to be multi use probably precludes this…(Unless someone makes the ballsy decision to cancel it now and that is unlikely) The export of Storm Shadow/Scalp has made it quietly successful and its current users would like a replacement that doesn’t come with all the baggage that buying a US Made precision strike missile would bring with it.

    • That’s true but LRASM is highly likely to be the replacement for TLAM rather than stormshadow. An Anglo France hypersonic Perseus type weapon is too short range for TLAM replacement and it’s difficult to get a hypersonic missile to fly so far without it being massive. So Perseus will be the storm shadow replacement with inbuilt anti ship capability.

    • Gunbuster, I thought the whole argument against retaining an older generation heavyweight anti ship missile was that you can’t use them and what’s needed is something that can be used by a western nation in a limited conflict.

      Harpoon has a bit of a record for hitting any old thing in its way, which would lead to an instant lost war for a western nation if it hit a cruise liner.

      Some totalitarian states that will remain nameless can get away with being more indiscriminate, the RN can’t.

      So I agree pragmatically harpoon 2 seems the best option, but politically it will never be used (short of WW3), we need something the RN will actually be allowed to fire in most likely limited wars we could end up having to fight.

      • Harpoon 2+ has a data link so you can pick what its going to hit. It will be man in the loop and not fire and forget

    • How is this Perseus development being done and how much money has been sunk so far?

      The stuff I’ve seen seems to all mention MBDA. Is it MBDA doing the work with development costs jointly funded by U.K. & France? Given that MBDA did all the other SPEAR stuff is MBDA locked in as the ultimate manufacturer? If that is the case then I can see a shift to a Norwegian partnership being difficult unless it is felt acceptable to write off all dev costs to date and start again. MBDA is joint U.K./French/Italian owned but would the Norwegian government be happy to continue a project with MBDA when they have a domestic manufacturer (Kongsberg) that is in the same marketspace or would they demand a total reset with Kongsberg as the selected industrial partner?

    • Agree we might as well save as much money now by cancelling Perseus before the French steal all the technology and cancel it anyway. NSM is the only answer with LRASM 2nd best option.
      NSM gives the UK a weapon that can attack land or sea targets, is stealthy, has a reasonable range and can be launched from cannisters (type 31 and River batch 2s + RFA) or mk41 vl via type 26 and ideally type 45 retrofitted. I agree with Steve up arm all possible vessels, collective defence amongst the fleet with as many platforms as possible armed with sea ceptor, NSM and phalanx + DS30 guns. We could make do with around 23-26 escorts and match current patrol commitments if all our ships were armed to the teeth.
      Crucially the type 31 needs no less than 2 batches of 5 ships 10 hulls has to be the minimum.

  12. I think that this should be good news, provided that the bean counters actually allow some money to fund the programme. I am with Gunbuster on this one, Harpoon is a shoo in given the existing infrastructure, for fitting, training and maintenance.
    Changing the subject completely, I have just received the response to Andy’ petition regarding the FSS programme. A typically weaselly response, which succeeds in contradicting itself. I have already sent it to my MP and told him that it is up to the government to get this right, if they want to support maritime industry they have an excellent way of doing it. I bet I only get the same drippy reply, but it is a way to keep beating them with as large a stick as possible.

  13. What blue water Navy takes ten years to fit an anti ship missile worthy of the name?
    I am so sick and tired of the amateurs at the MOD and the procurement agency continually risking British lives with sub standard kit while spewing garbage about our huge defence budget which buys less than any other nation out there. Warehouses full of decent kit all greased up and nowhere to go. We’re going to need a huge one for the POW!
    12 F35s on an aircraft carrier by 2023. Cosmic. Embarrassing, pathetic posturing.
    Any UK government does not have the nuts to kit out the armed forces to a credible level. Sticking plasters, bombastic comments by ministers, ship maybe built by Spain the only real threat to British sovreignty at present taking the proverbial pi** every other week. Absolutely pricessless

    • “Warehouses full of decent kit all greased up and nowhere to go.”

      Which warehouses and which kit please? Curious.

      “12 F35s on an aircraft carrier by 2023. Cosmic. Embarrassing, pathetic posturing.”

      Compared to WHO? The USA? Name the countries who operate carrier type vessels out of the 195 nations in the world today.
      Or see this:

      https://www.popularmechanics.com/military/navy-ships/g2412/a-global-roundup-of-aircraft-carriers/

      “huge defence budget which buys less than any other nation out there.”

      On this I agree. As far as numbers of armoured vehicles, planes, and ships go.
      The UK also has cutting edge ISTAR platforms, C3 systems across the MoD and intelligence community , nuclear weapons, cyber, and other things others lack.

      Numbers of ships and fighter jets are too few yes but one needs to look at things from a wide perspective not just how many?

      What about professionalism, experience, know how, elan, capability?

      You are so doom and gloom you’ve gone of the scale I feel.

      • Bills comments pretty much mirror the ITV program I saw the other night. ‘Can we defend ourselves?’ Mde by more Doom n Gloom merchants

        WTF has happened to this country? I’m proud of it, is it perfect? No. But if it is so bad as is depicted daily in the media, why do so many immigrants, legal and otherwise come here?

        Our military is one of the best in the world, we have nukes, a very prestigious club, we have 2 brand new shiny huge aircraft carriers, again an elite club. We have stuff that a lot of the world can only dream of having.

        Our healthcare, education, standard of living etc etc. None of it may the be ‘the best’ but its up there, and the vast majority of it is free to all regardless of race colour religion sexuality etc etc. Britons are some of the most generous people on the planet, we donate more per person to charity than the richest country on the planet. So when you add it all up it ain’t too shabby being British & living here.

        So to all you misery guts doom mongers out there. If it’s that bad, move.

        I hear Syria is nice this time of year.

        Rant over, await trolls to abuse me.

        • I’ve had rants like that here over the years.

          I agree.

          Migrants come here because we are a successful country, with low unemployment, jobs, and good benefits. Why else. My cousins son has moved here from Italy. To work. Because there are no jobs in Italy. Italy! A modern, western European nation.

          I feel British people are naturally modest, or put themselves down too much.

          • I’m not sure it’s the British people, it’s the fact the media culture in this county is quit frankly toxic and controlled by a small clic of individuals who are only out to push their narrow interest so areas of national interest like promoting how lucky we are and influential as a nation are never put forward, we also never really get down to the bits that need changing like health inequalities etc….

          • Jonathan,

            I wouldn’t mind if the media and its handlers spouted off a bit about how good it is here. It is good here compared to alot of the rest of the world.

            Its the never ending doom n gloom coverage of any event or occurrence that wearies me.
            Read all about it!!

            £1 Gazillion funding increase for NHS!
            Whiny feckers complain its not enough and they should be handed life on a plate.

          • The tabloid media run stories about doom and gloom because that is what their readership want to read. It is simple really… Don’t blame the media blame the people that buy the papers because if they bought papers based on positivity then that is what they would all contain.

      • The USA spends $70,000 to equip each soldier in its army. China spends $1500. Who’s going to win?

        France can even deploy a modest and lightly armed forces across the Mediterranean without Uk and US logistics.

        High end militaries cost a lot but keeping them in effective order and trained is extremely expensive. This is what makes the USA a super power. It has the best part of 1milliin men ready to go.

        For all our small size and small Budget the UK can deploy a full division any where in the world, indeed in 1982 is conducted probably the furthest ever deployment of any substantial military force. China might be able to defend its own coats for a while against US forces and Russia might be able to invade Estonia but that’s about the limit of their power.

        • The figure of $70,000 to equip a US soldier is totally fraudulent as is the figure of $1500 to equip a Chinese soldier. Try dealing in facts not figures pulled out of thin air.
          There is absolutely no way the UK can deploy a combat division anywhere in the world without US aid. And if you think it can, you’ve been smoking funny cigarettes.

  14. The Russians have a saying which goes something like, “there’s nothing so permanent as temporary things”..

  15. Cannister launch best bet due to costing, short term requirement and flexibility (ease of transfer between assets and reloading at sea, for instance). With regard to the actual capability; range and speed with this requirement less important than target designation, particularly within the littoral.

  16. We should be thinking a bit more tactically/long term. The odds of Perseus being massively delayed is high and so whatever capability we buy, it needs to be able to cover a fairly long gap.

    Harpoon2 seems an easy option, but it is odd that the USN has not gone down this route, which indicates to me that it might not be that effective as it might seem.

    From what little info we know about Harpoon, it seems it is currently completely obsolete and would be of almost zero use against a near peer opponent. We need a replacement that not only is effective today, but also in 20-30 years, which means something that is going to be developed on because it has a large customer base.

    • As far as I know the US military is looking for a long term solution so Harpoon 2 is not ideal for them. However we are looking for a cost effective short term solution as our long term solution is in the works and looks impressive.

  17. Tangentally but valid with regard to ASM assets; there is an unsubstaniated rumour that the RN have not adopted the Sea Ceptor’s developed anti-surface capability, even though it is not difficult to see a current requirement. Anyone knowledgeable enough to repudiate or otherwise?
    I know that Ceptor’s only classified for ‘annoying’ small vessels, but it seems roughly equivalent to a WWII light cruiser armament. I don’t know how many skippers, no matter how large or nominally capable their command, who would relish half a dozen 6 inch shells winging their way in quick succession.

    • Gavin – If that rumour is correct its could be a cunning tactical ploy to get a genuine ASM rather than make do with an adaptation of another type.

  18. A budget of upto £200 million for anti ship missiles will probably only provide 150 missiles. Once integration, training and associated hardware factored in. That is a small arsenal really. I would have preferred a budget allocation of £350-500 million and save the cash by leaving Perseus before the French do. NSM fulfills all the requirements and is flexible enough to fit into cannisters, VLS or air launched by F35Bs. Just need a large budget allocation. Meanwhile the Chinese are mass producing frigates and destroys (see the type 55 design) they are undertaking missile load out maths. Whoever brings the largest numbers of missiles to bear wins. Simple as that. Saturation attack by anti ship missiles Vs numbers of air defence missiles. Currently China cannot face the USN and it’s NATO allies without losing. But in 10-15 years who knows.

    • Generally speaking going head to head in a who has more guns is not the best way to win a naval conflict even if you are dominant, knifing them in the back while they are still inbed works best.

      The RN are the masters of this…..BA22 8JR…..

  19. We do actually need to get a missile that a western navy will be allowed to fire in the sort of likely conflicts the RN will be forced to fight, big dumb Heavyweight anti ship missiles like harpoon 2 are effectively useless in anything less a very simplistic bluewater engagement (or WW3), anywhere you are likely to actually going to need to fight will be complex and full of neutral shipping and civilians. The quickest way for a western power to loss a war will be to hit a cruise ship ( 4 thousand dead innocents is an instant lose the war event, imagine if the RN had accidentally done that in 82, what would the outcome have been ?)or impact on a neutral power ( hitting a Chinese tanker while shooting at someone else etc).

    So for me Having a weapon you can’t safely fire a a complex environment is leaving the RN as effectively disarmed as not having a heavyweight missile in the first place.

    The only time harpoon would have any use is in a general war (or somewhere stupidly isolated) at which point 10s of thousands of nuclear warheads says we are all dead anyway and the human race is heading for being on the man made extinction list (the irony).

    Anyway what I’m trying to say is get a weapon you can actual use….not one that looks impressive but is not actually there to fight the real conflicts we are likely to be involved in( that’s what we have CASD for).

      • Jonathan,

        And that is your inherent British sense of fair play shining through. I absolutely agree that non combatants need to be protected, but you think things like that would bother some potential aggressors out there?

        All is fair in love n war someone once said.

        • Oh yes it’s a western democracy issue as wars are won through national will as much as anything. Seeing the RN accidental kill 4000-5000 random civilians by accident would remove the national will to fight a specific war very quickly.

      • Hi. Captain P, they were combatants at the time, I’m talking about a boat load of random civilians. They are all over the place.

        • Wouldn’t it be a bit remiss of P&O to send Nausea Of the Seas into a war zone?

          Ladies and Gentlemen if you look out to the right you’ll see the USS Nimitz under attack by a swarm of Chinese drones, and just a reminder its happy hour on the lido deck.

          • Unfortunately, most countries we could end in conflict with will not give 24 hours notice for all the floating hotels to please leave the area, many would use the confused picture to force a bastard of a decision on the RN. If I was the Iran navy planning an operation against the RN and I knew their ASMs were a bit dumb and force a ROE that prevented firing in a busy sea lane I would use those ships packed with 4000 civilians as a way to kill the RN ship.

            Not buying a weakness ( the missiles that has restricted use, vs buying a strength ( the missile with unrestricted use) seem logical to my mind ( unless you,re accepting risk for pragmatic purpose)

    • The Harpoon 1 we have at the moment may be too risky to fire in a mixed situation, but Harpoon 2+ has the data link, so you can redirect it if you see it locking on to a cruise ship.

  20. I wouldn’t be surprised if they went for the latest version of Exocet, it has target recognition and would keep the French from throwing their toys out on the joint MBDA project.

  21. I would be sad to see Perseus cancelled. If it can live up to the concept specs, and MBDA do have a good track record of delivering world-class products, it would be in a whole different league to NSM for instance. Warhead-wise it might even be comparable to LRASM. LRASM might have 50% more explosive than the tentative Perseus spec (450kg vs 300kg for Perseus when Perseus’s two effectors are included) but with Perseus intended to be hypersonic at something like Mach 5 it would be bringing a lot more kinetic energy than LRASM to the target in addition to the explosive effects.

    If France were to pull out then, as long as the U.K. could wrap up some sort of commercial terms with MBDA such that we got royalties and/or preferential per-unit pricing, I would like to see the U.K. keep the project alive even without French funding.

    • Same old made up story, no one will sell Prince of Wales as no one will buy it. As with the Albion LPD’s we might expect to see one CVF at Low readiness status but that’s not the end of the world. Your only likely to need two full armed once in a generation.

      • The MoD are selling the idea a little too hard that we are buying a USN CBG capability when we are not. We only really operated 2 of 3 Invincibles, it wasn’t really 3 for 1 as we used to operate destroyers and frigates back when we had 30 plus escorts during the Cold War. The USN CBG is deployed as much for deterrence as anything else to do that they have to be at sea. We will trot out a QE more in a supporting role rather like how the old fleets used to go for their summer cruises. Carriers are that complex that they have to be used. But we mustn’t confuse QEC at sea with a USN CBG at sea. I choke every time I hear the term ‘carrier strike’. Our carrier is there to do a huge variety of roles.

  22. In fairness to he French they have been massively supportive of the MBDA collaboration with the UK even selecting sea venom for development when they really did not need it.

    MBDA has been a major boon for European and British Defence giving us some of the most effective weapons in the world.

    It’s also a bit prejudiced to state that France is nicking our technology (it’s probably true for UCAV’s) but the French have a better track record the us in deploying high end missiles.

    • Really??? Anyone remember the actual facts and history of the Eurofighter typhoon programme??. France involved from the early stages. Then just as it’s going into production France withdraw and build the near identical Rafale. Which they then proceed to undercut and sell internationally. Generating billions of Euros into the French economy and stealing sales from the Eurofighter typhoon consortium, crucially Rafale has much of the technology from Eurofighter onboard. Great partners.

  23. The RAF had a good ASM , Sea Eagle, comparable to Exocet that could be fitted with a booster to enable a SSM capability. Old design yes, but so is Harpoon and Exocet. So remanufacture everything with new avionics and upgrade engines, warhead etc. If little Norway and Israel can make anti ship missiles then why can’t the UK.
    “Perfect is the enemy of good enough”.

    • Indeed David, A single Buccaneer could carry 4 of them bad boys at heights as low as Wave Tips, at stupid Speeds. Launched via Cats.
      Harriers could carry one or two, too.
      Not sure they sank any ships in anger though.

    • The sea eagle was superior to the exocet but was never developed properly by the BAe .
      Another very good missile that we failed to develop.

  24. What is that guided land attack rocket the Israelis are fitting to angled deck launch cannisters on their latest surface ships?
    I suspect that T45 is big enough to take 8x Harpoon block 2+, and 8x Israeli land attack rockets.

    • JohnHartley – the Israeli’s have also been a Harpoon user,i cant find anything specific on what will be their next choice.

      • I may be wrong, but I saw one model of their SA’AR 6 (a stretched German K130 corvette, $480m) that had 16x angled missile launchers. It looked like 8 were Harpoon, while the other 8 were these new Israeli land attack rockets.

        • Been looking at pics etc,on one of the Model it looks like 16 x Harpoon to me,although a Gabriel V is supposed to be in development .

  25. Instead of giving India aid, why not purchase off of our Commonwealth ally, their superdoper anti ship missiles?

      • “What could go wrong” ? lol, It could be sent to China to be Reverse Engineered.
        The Very thought of a Russian Missile being built in India and then Reverse Engineered in China just fills me with Joy.
        If It could just be Copied by “Rocket Man’s” bunch of Independently thinking, free to express themselves, Intellectuals, then my life would be complete.

  26. @Johnathan…
    You can’t not buy a missile because its only use would be “in WW3”. You have to be able to have the credible ability to fight “WW3” to have the slightest chance of avoiding it. It would be a mistake to build a peacetime military unable to face down the Russians and Chinese who are, incidentally, building their forces to prevail in WW3!

    • Hi nick I’m not say that, what I’m saying is if you have the opportunity buy the missile you can use in as many situations as possible, buying the cheaper can only be used in WW3 ROE vs a slightly more expensive can use in most complex ROE situations seems to me to be potentially foolish penny pinching.

  27. If it isn’t nsm then it can only be an upgrade to harpoon, anything else is to expensive or permanent. nsm is a step backwards

  28. Perhaps worth considering tiers of ASM capability in order to address what the UK needs, both short term and longer term? Low-Med-High-Ultra High might respectively align to capabilities delivered by Sea Venom – SPEAR 3 – NSM/JSM (or similar) – Supersonic/Hypersonic Perseus (or similar). High and Ultra High merge in the absence of a supersonic/hypersonic option IMV, unless there is a differentiation just based on range.

    Sea Venom is helicopter delivered short range (20km), primarily anti-Fast Inshore Attack Craft (FIAC) weapon. Might take a Tier 2/3 corvette or higher end vessel out of the fight from sensor damage but launch may well be within likely SAM range of such vessels, let alone Tier 1 adversary corvettes.

    SPEAR 3 might in suitable numbers, as either air launched or potentially VLS launched, saturate corvette and frigate SAM capabilities and even take large vessels out of the fight through sensor and/or command center damage. Ship launched range is well within Tier 1 adversary ASM counter attack range though. To counter, SPEAR 3 140km range launched from F35B bomb bay can engage well beyond adversary ASM range.

    The “high end” ASM sinks or significantly damages ships using a much larger warhead. The question is whether a ship launched high end ASM, particularly with the relatively short range of Harpoon II+ which is likely to only be used against a Tier 1 adversary, makes sense as a new or upgrade purchase, even on an interim basis? Harpoon Block II+ reportedly has 130km range, the proposed ER variant range is speculated at >2x this. However, even the ER variant is well within range of Russian ASMs such as Oniks and Kalibr fitted to the new Russian corvettes. Chinese ASMs are a similar threat. We can of course assume that our AAW/SAM systems will take out all Tier 1 adversary ASM threats so their range is irrelevant, but that seems a little optimistic.

    IMV if Russia is considered the primary Tier 1 adversary for the UK to counter through 2030, then UK air launched ASM is the solution. The likelihood of Russia attempting to break out from the Baltic or the Black Sea, or succeeding if they do, is negligible in a shooting war scenario. If they attempt to come down through the GIUK gap then they face Norway’s fast missile corvettes, frigates and F-35A’s with NSM/JSM respectively, with Norway’s P-8’s also possibly carrying JSM by then. The UK could saturate using SPEAR 3 from land and/or carrier launched F35B and perhaps also below radar horizon Typhoons, thus exhausting Russian ship SAM missile silos before Norway launches any NSM/JSM, all without any UK Harpoon replacement. The Russians might of course just launch ASM from Murmansk or Kalingrad harbours with their longest range ASM as an alternative, but that’s beyond the scope of this discussion.

    If China is also a considered a potential adversary in this time period then JSM becomes the likely weapon of choice in the absence of something better, because Norway and Australia are already paying for F35 integration, including wing launched for F35B. JSM then also enables commonality for ship and submarine torpedo tube launch capability. However, the probability of a Chinese conflict seems much lower than the already unlikely Russian scenario since China seems much more likely to use its power to threaten and coerce its neighbours rather than risk an economically and domestically destabilizing all out war.

    IMV Perseus should aim for something above and beyond JSM rather than try to compete with what will be a very well established product by the late 2020’s. Perhaps, with supersonic or hypersonic capabilities, even if only for the terminal sprint mode; and with significantly greater range than JSM.

  29. I think two option is suitable for British. Maybe 3rd option wildcard – no mention at list..

    1) LRASM as it can replacement Tomahawk rather focus on Anti-ship missiles as it is 300 miles with potential to 1000 miles in reduce normal warhead to small warhead to give more fuel to extend range. Expensive for interims periods but in long term it is worth the money to replacement Tomahawk.

    It is can carry F35 wing hardpoint

    2) JSM/NSM is excellent for interims periods with reasonable price and save money in short term … Bonus is F35 is one it is can fixed in internal bay (F35 A and c only) but British use B version which not fixed yet it can use wing hardpoint.

    JSM/NSM is ideal can use operation on the land and better portable than LRASM also cheap.

    3) SPEAR 3 – WILDCARD
    It is make sense to use it interim options to less hassle to buy ASM where SPEAR 3 can operate as ASM roles. It is operator in F35 also typhoon and it is can fire VLS even canister.. problem is p8 as I reckon that American won’t interim it fix for p8 which force us to buy American product which is a problematic ..that why It is WILDCARD.

    So 3 of them is best optional for interims.

    Hope see British use spear 3 for interims.

    I hope see peregus in service rather cancelled as supersonic-hypersonic is better chance hit than both LRASM and JSM/NSM as laser or CSW easy shot down in slow missiles.

  30. If this is a tactical interrim buy then I would consider Harpoon Block II for T45 and T23 plus NSM or Exocet for T31.

    • No plans for Harpoon launch canisters on Type 26. So what is the point of procuring a ASM that is only deployable on part of the fleet?

      • Meiron X – The Type 26 will (hopefully) have MK41 fitted so will have more options regards Missile choice,this initiative is more aimed at T45/23 plus T31 once it actually gets ordered.

  31. Still assuming the littoral is the most challenging environment, there is a lot to commrnend data-linked optical/IR guidance since light is very much at the ‘advanced’ end of the electromagnetic spectrum. Probably why RN loves these missiles e.g. Venom

  32. Yes, Gunbuster, I agree with you – except the part about F35/Spear 3. The Russians would not likely deploy limited surface assets south of the GIUK gap. So, should this missile purchase be made with consideration of the Chinese threat? How might we respond to a shooting war in the Pacific? Perhaps, LRASM would be a good idea? I still think it will be tempting to choose the only one of these missiles that the F35 can carry internally, though.

    • Perhaps you were responding to my comment given the content of your reply? In any event your comment “The Russians would not likely deploy limited surface assets south of the GIUK gap” probably highlights why the US and UK navies haven’t focused resources on updating ship based ASM up to this point. Neither planned on choosing ship-ship engagements to counter Russian threats and probably still don’t.

      Surface ships can be very vulnerable to saturation ASM attack from aircraft, especially stealth aircraft, launched well outside the range of the target ship’s ASM to respond. The attacker only has to have one more ASM than the defender has SAM and the ship(s) is/are in trouble and relying on EW alone to counter. I am discounting close in defensive systems as being that effective against modern ASM but you get the point.

      IMO this scenario probably won’t go away until practical laser solutions are developed, with in effect an infinitely deep magazine. I suspect this is why the US UOR was for carrier aircraft with LRASM to address the Chinese threat, albeit with unstealthy Super Hornets which would presumably fly low to try to keep below the radar horizon in the absence of Chinese AEW aircraft. Deployments of US F35B and F35C in the 2020’s increasingly addresses the lack of carrier based stealth airframes, even with externally carried weapons.

      In an all out conflict, with access to aircraft using a 2-tier strategy to saturate with low cost SPEAR 3 first, it almost doesn’t matter which heavy ASM weapon is selected to follow up with. Where ship launched ASM does become a factor is in exchanges where there is no air cover. So the over arching strategy would be to bottle up the adversary navies surface and submarine fleets using air and submarine assets. Just my 2c.

  33. @ SS

    The government know that DfiD is unpopular. Its whitepaper is questionable. Especially on the figures of returns, especially set against the costs of borrowing the budget in the first place.

    12,000 jobs for a budget of 14 billion? Value? Really.

    The City and the fact that half the world’s wealth sit in the banks of British overseas territories has more leverage.

    • You can’t argue with facts Steve, it’s not about leverage or what you think is more important and has more clout internationally, that is not how they work out the soft power index, if it was the US would be number one every year.

      Go and have a look at the soft power index and see how they work it out.

      “The UK’s objective soft power assets are the foundation of its continued success. Once again across the Engagement, Culture, Education and Digital sub-indices, Britain ranks highly. State institutions such as the British Council and BBC World Service, combined with internationally recognized brands like the Premier League provide the global reach and influence to reach and engage global audiences. The UK’s creative, cultural, financial and technology sectors keep the world interested in what is happening in Britain. Moreover, the UK is home to some of the world’s most successful higher education institutions that attract students and academics from across the globe.”

      The City and finance or “enterprise” as its categorised in the index is actually our second lowest performing category. We are 7th in that category, our highest ranking is number 2 in engagement and culture, to which overseas aid is part of engagement.

      I’m not going to argue about pros and cons that was not my initial point, my point was overseas aid contributes to the soft power ranking and that is a fact.

  34. Not sure but they bought the Russian missile Bramhos is based on and have an their own supersonic missiles in production now.

    • BrahMos is based upon the P-800 Oniks, GRAU index 3M55 and NATO code SS-N-26 Strobile. NPO Mashinostroyeniya started development in 1983 yet it didn’t get accepted into service until 2002, being cynical I would say the only reason that happened was the injection of Indian money from 1998 on when they agreed to jointly develop BrahMos.

  35. Reading the “Future Anti-Ship Missile Systems” doc from HMG it seems they would like two missiles in one (provided by Anglo-French MBDA):

    1. A super/hypersonic ASM – French driven requirement
    2. A subsonic stealthy LAM – British driven requirement

    This seams like the same seeker and warhead (~250kg) with a modular rocket/ramjet or turbojet powerplant.

    I guess this should then fit into a Mk41 and hopefully a 21inch torpedo tube.

    NOT FOR THE INTERIM THOUGH 🙁

    • I think its just the British and French have different ideas ,it may end up as 2 different weapons a hypersonic anti ship and subsonic stealthy land attack.The last info I saw from a French source suggested they wanted a 500 miles range and high speed.Personally I hope its a common weapon and Hypersonic.

    • Perhaps the reason for the French focus is that they already have the Missile de Croisière Naval (MdCN) based on Storm Shadow which is A70 Sylver or torpedo tube launch-able.

      If SPEAR 4 mid-life update enhancements to Storm Shadow also enables more of an ASM role for air/ship launch, then the French might upgrade their existing surface capabilities that are currently land attack focused. In this scenario the French might consider this good enough for a longer term high level ASM/land attack role, complementing the lower level Exocet MM40 Blk 3. Hence the focus on the very high end super/hypersonic missile capability. The French only have two FREMM frigates with A70 cells currently but a Perseus solution with boost for surface launch would probably need A70 too.

      • The mid life up date has been reigned back it was once a new active passive infrared sensor and 2 way data link,now it’s just replacing obsolete parts so no real improvement.The hypersonic anti ship comes from the French believing its required to defeat ship defences.As you say they have relatively new systems but air launched Scalp runs out of life in 2030 so has to be replaced with something.

  36. A number of people have suggested LRASM but I wonder how that would compare to an ASM role for Storm Shadow after the SPEAR 4 mid-life update? Perhaps Storm Shadow SPEAR 4 might include an interim air-launched ASM capability?

    At present LRASM is air-launch only, with MK41 VLS launch as part of OASuW)/Increment 2. Canister and torpedo tube launch are just potential solutions at this time and LRASM is not currently designed for the land attack cruise missile role.

    However, perhaps the larger issue with LRASM for the UK is timing. Quoting from US Director of Operational Test and Evaluation annual report published December 2018 –
    “OASuW Increment 2 is required to deliver the long-term, air-launched anti-surface warfare (ASuW) capabilities to counter 2028 threats (and beyond) … Due to Increment 2 budget marks, the Navy planned an incremental upgrade to LRASM to bridge the gap until an OASuW Increment 2 program of record can be established. Increment 2 Initial Operational Capability is now planned for the FY28-30 timeframe.”

    So LRASM may only be air-launched until FY28-30 and incapable of supporting ship based ASM until then.

  37. Surprised the Marte hasn’t come up by MBDA would seem like a good fit as it’s already getting integrated into Typhoon for Italy and seems like they have land and ship based launch systems too.

    • While Marte has its own merits it all boils down to what platforms this ‘Interim’ solution is supposed to equip,my understanding is that its for -: Type 45,Type 23 and Type 31 (obviously design pending) ,add to that mix use on F35b and P8 Posiedon would be a bonus,whatever is chosen (if at all) has to balance costs/integration etc with all of these.If the requirement was to equip Typhoon and Merlin then yes it would be an ideal choice,as it stands that wont be the case.

  38. Lots of talking about 300+ Km range missiles and their respective launch platforms.
    However no one has mentioned hoe to find the target to shoot at.
    At 300+ km a surface search radar is not going to be any good for seeing a target.
    You can shoot on an EW bearing line but that is +/- 2 degrees of accuracy on a good day which means there is a good chance that the missile seeker head wont see that target when it arrives as the ship will have moved outside of the seeker head basket during the missile flight time.
    If the target ship is doing things properly it will be EMCOM silent anyway or be using LPI sensors that are very difficult to detect.
    Mid course guidance and targeting from external sources such as ROSAT , Aircraft or Subs are a possibility but if they will be Tier 1 adversary who has that capability and those sorts of assets and they (ROSAT excluded) will be top of the target list to kill as soon as they are seen.
    Things like a Bear D or Badger have a massive radar signature and when there search radar are seen by the EW set you know exactly where the aircraft is. Once the aircraft finds the targets it then needs to stay alive long enough to send back the information.

    Anti Ship missile systems are not just the “Woosh!… Bang!” bit that looks good on Youtube….there is a whole bunch of other interconnecting systems that need to be considered to support and target them.

    • Again we should buy JSMs. If they are good enough for USN LCS and Japan then we should do the same.
      Hell we should fit them to our ships and the Typhoons and the new P-8s too!

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