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  • harpoons and other ASMs...

    i've never really been all onboard with missiles for surface action. even less so after serving in the navy, and after some initial research of combat usage in the few various conflicts they were used, and sinkex's i'm even less convinced of their utility...

    during a sinkex the HMAS Warramunga launched 7 harpoon missiles at the former USS New Orleans. 4 missed, only 3 hit. less than half of the harpoons launched at a stationary defenseless target hit it...when they're supposedly guided and super accurate.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_New_Orleans_(LPH-11)
    the only time the US launched a harpoon from a surface ship in combat it missed as well.

    air launched missiles seem to do better, but with mixed results.
    particularly with the exocet. 2 sunk the sheffield and sunk her, but two hit the stark, and she stayed afloat, and made it to port.

    also nearly every missile launch i could find occurred either inside of gun range or only a little bit outside of gun range with the exception of the egyptian launch which took place at 30miles

    even the use of SM2s is ridiculous from what i've seen. SM2 at $1.2million is even less effective for only a savings of $300,000.
    unfortunately the only gun round i could find prices of was the LRLAP round for the 155mm AGS which is $35,000 per round, so you could fire 34 LRLAP rounds and still not have spent as much as an SM2 and i bet you'll be doing more damage if only a few hit...

    so considering that there hasn't been a combat launch (that i could find) of a missile any where near their much vaunted maximum range, the much higher price, and the apparent poor performance, why are we trying to develop more ASMs?
    the answer is on the floor- john roseberry

    A tiger dies and leaves his fur,
    A man dies and leaves his name,
    A teacher dies and teaches death.
    Seikchi Toguchi 1917-1998

  • #2
    Travis,

    That is a pretty small sample size you listed for the Harpoon. A couple of independent sites indicate the AGM-84/SLAM has had a 90% success rate.

    http://militaryedge.org/armaments/agm-84l-harpoon/
    http://www.skytamer.com/Boeing_AGM-84L.html

    Can you provide any sources for Harpoon/SLAM operational/test launch ranges? Also, since the AGM-84 have undergone several upgrades, it is important to see what variant is being documented.

    One of the reasons that test launches are closes to gun range is the safety requirements for operational test launches. A very large area, dictated by the proposed launch range, must be cleared of all possible traffic. As the launch range increased the required “cleared area” increases substantially.



    As an example: In December 1988, a Harpoon launched by an F/A-18 Hornet fighter from the aircraft carrier USS Constellation killed one sailor when it struck the merchant ship Jagvivek, a 250 ft (76 m) long Indian-owned ship, during an exercise at the Pacific Missile Range near Kauai, Hawaii. A Notice to Mariners had been issued warning of the danger, but Jagvivek left port before receiving the communication and subsequently strayed into the test range area, and the Harpoon missile, loaded just with an inert dummy warhead, locked onto it instead of its intended target.

    As for the development of new missiles; they are being developed to address increasing technical capabilities of other countries systems.

    LRASM has is expected to provide longer ranges and better odds against advance air defense systems.

    The US military is expecting an environment where enemies try to jam or destroy the GPS system and encrypted datalink transmissions, compounding its difficulties in targeting opponents if it can’t get many of its platforms through advanced air defenses. Those considerations underline the importance of LARASM’s autonomous targeting. Beyond their anti-jamming digital GPS, LRASM will also rely on a 2-way data link, a radar sensor that can detect ships (and might also be usable for navigation), and a day/night camera for positive identification and final targeting.

    What time frame and on what ship(s) did you serve?

    Bob

    Comment


    • #3
      I'm talking about real world combat missile launches for the most part, I'm on my iPod so I'll go back and find my references later, but SM2s and a harpoon were launched at the joshan at 14.7 miles, the isrealis launched their harpoons at 11miles during the yon kippur war. The argentine Exocets that sunk Sheffield were launched from around 20 miles and around 15 miles, the Iraqi missiles that hit the stark were launched from very short range, and I can't find evidence of a single missile hitting a a vessel armed with counter measures.
      the answer is on the floor- john roseberry

      A tiger dies and leaves his fur,
      A man dies and leaves his name,
      A teacher dies and teaches death.
      Seikchi Toguchi 1917-1998

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by General_Jacke View Post
        I'm talking about real world combat missile launches for the most part, I'm on my iPod so I'll go back and find my references later, but SM2s and a harpoon were launched at the joshan at 14.7 miles, the isrealis launched their harpoons at 11miles during the yon kippur war. The argentine Exocets that sunk Sheffield were launched from around 20 miles and around 15 miles, the Iraqi missiles that hit the stark were launched from very short range, and I can't find evidence of a single missile hitting a a vessel armed with counter measures.
        Two obvious problems here--
        1. The HMS Sheffield was only hit by one Exocet.
        2. The Harpoon wasn't introduced into service until 1976, well after the Yom Kippur War.

        Comment


        • #5
          There are multiple problems with guns that make them the wrong weapon for many uses in modern warfare, two of which where that's true include as anti-ship weapons and anti-aircraft weapons.

          Let's start with the later first.

          AA guns have both limited range and altitude. A very large one in the 5" (120mm +) range can't fire on an aircraft above about 30,000 feet with any real chance of success. Slant range versus aircraft is limited to about 20,000 yards / meters at best.
          The probability of killing a maneuvering aircraft per round is very low and it would take several guns firing to have a reasonable chance of shooting down a modern jet at all.
          All of that on a ship results in a lot of weight. The guns are relatively heavy. Their mountings have to take the shock of firing. The ammunition is heavy and you have to carry a considerable volume of it. The loading arrangements take up both space and weight.

          Against that, a SAM can range out to 100 miles or more and hit stuff to the edge of space these days. One SAM has a probability of kill of anywhere from about 25 to 90% Therefore 1 to 3 SAMs will take an aircraft down and the engagement envelope is exponentially larger than that of a gun. A battery of guns would require several hundred rounds fired to have the same effect.
          It becomes a matter of weight versus volume on a ship. Missiles take up space but by comparison don't weigh much. This means smaller, lighter ships can carry SAMs that are effective against modern aircraft where they couldn't carry a battery of guns that does the same.

          SSMs are the same way. Guns lose accuracy with range, missiles don't. A single missile also can carry a far more effective warhead than a shell fired from a gun. Where realistically a naval gun can fire to maybe 15 to 20 miles at most, a missile can attack a ship up to hundreds of miles distant.

          "Smart" shells from guns are just as vulnerable to jamming and countermeasures as missiles are. Countermeasures are only as good as the operators and equipment are. If the equipment won't work or works poorly against a particular threat, or the crew operating them is not proficient, then they won't do what the manufacturer may have advertised.

          Stark took one hit and was totally crippled. That she survived was only because the tactical environment was safe after that hit. Sheffield took one hit and was crippled. She was sunk as a constructive loss because of location and sea state made recovery of the heavily damaged ship impossible.
          In fact, a single SSM hit has generally proved sufficiently crippling in tactical situations to render the target ship hors de combat. Even the OP claim of a 30 mile launch range on SSM means they are being fired anywhere from 2 to 3 times the range of effective naval gunfire. Worse, against guns the launch platform will certainly escape retaliation. This means the target cannot stop the launch with guns alone, only try defense against the incoming missile.

          Against aircraft heavy AA guns are no longer being used by virtually any first or even second tier military. At sea, guns of 3" to 5" (76mm to 130mm) are still in use for dealing with small surface targets and for amphibious support. Their use as AA weapons has pretty much vanished except as a back up / last ditch line of defense.

          Basically, guns are no longer a viable first line weapons system on ships for surface and anti-air combat.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
            There are multiple problems with guns that make them the wrong weapon for many uses in modern warfare, two of which where that's true include as anti-ship weapons and anti-aircraft weapons.

            Let's start with the later first.

            AA guns have both limited range and altitude. A very large one in the 5" (120mm +) range can't fire on an aircraft above about 30,000 feet with any real chance of success. Slant range versus aircraft is limited to about 20,000 yards / meters at best.
            The probability of killing a maneuvering aircraft per round is very low and it would take several guns firing to have a reasonable chance of shooting down a modern jet at all.
            All of that on a ship results in a lot of weight. The guns are relatively heavy. Their mountings have to take the shock of firing. The ammunition is heavy and you have to carry a considerable volume of it. The loading arrangements take up both space and weight.

            Against that, a SAM can range out to 100 miles or more and hit stuff to the edge of space these days. One SAM has a probability of kill of anywhere from about 25 to 90% Therefore 1 to 3 SAMs will take an aircraft down and the engagement envelope is exponentially larger than that of a gun. A battery of guns would require several hundred rounds fired to have the same effect.
            It becomes a matter of weight versus volume on a ship. Missiles take up space but by comparison don't weigh much. This means smaller, lighter ships can carry SAMs that are effective against modern aircraft where they couldn't carry a battery of guns that does the same.

            SSMs are the same way. Guns lose accuracy with range, missiles don't. A single missile also can carry a far more effective warhead than a shell fired from a gun. Where realistically a naval gun can fire to maybe 15 to 20 miles at most, a missile can attack a ship up to hundreds of miles distant.

            "Smart" shells from guns are just as vulnerable to jamming and countermeasures as missiles are. Countermeasures are only as good as the operators and equipment are. If the equipment won't work or works poorly against a particular threat, or the crew operating them is not proficient, then they won't do what the manufacturer may have advertised.

            Stark took one hit and was totally crippled. That she survived was only because the tactical environment was safe after that hit. Sheffield took one hit and was crippled. She was sunk as a constructive loss because of location and sea state made recovery of the heavily damaged ship impossible.
            In fact, a single SSM hit has generally proved sufficiently crippling in tactical situations to render the target ship hors de combat. Even the OP claim of a 30 mile launch range on SSM means they are being fired anywhere from 2 to 3 times the range of effective naval gunfire. Worse, against guns the launch platform will certainly escape retaliation. This means the target cannot stop the launch with guns alone, only try defense against the incoming missile.

            Against aircraft heavy AA guns are no longer being used by virtually any first or even second tier military. At sea, guns of 3" to 5" (76mm to 130mm) are still in use for dealing with small surface targets and for amphibious support. Their use as AA weapons has pretty much vanished except as a back up / last ditch line of defense.

            Basically, guns are no longer a viable first line weapons system on ships for surface and anti-air combat.
            i have no problem with SM2s for AA purposes, whether it's against an incoming missile, or an enemy warplane.

            my problem is that a 155mm LRLAP round the largest, most complicated and advanced gun round in the USN, possibly in the world can be fired 34 times and still be cheaper than a single SM2, with longer range.
            the answer is on the floor- john roseberry

            A tiger dies and leaves his fur,
            A man dies and leaves his name,
            A teacher dies and teaches death.
            Seikchi Toguchi 1917-1998

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by johns624 View Post
              Two obvious problems here--
              1. The HMS Sheffield was only hit by one Exocet.
              2. The Harpoon wasn't introduced into service until 1976, well after the Yom Kippur War.
              the sources i've seen said the sheffield was hit by 2 exocets, same as the stark. even if it was a single exocet, it seems to be the only instance of effective ASM usage. with the combat data we have, it appears to be an outlier no different than a dive bomber single handedly destroying the arizona.
              excuse me, i meant the isrealis launched their gabriel missiles during the yom kippur war. sorry about that. posting from the ipod, at work or at the bar, i used the suggested words rather than actually typing what i meant out.

              however every instance of ASMs being launched at ships with missile counter measures i have seen (there may have been an incident i missed), the missile has completely failed to inflict any damage. battle of baltim egyptian styx missiles all missed as a result of isreali chaff. egyptian osa class boats did not have counter measures from what i have seen.
              the joshan, sunk by SAG charlie, launched missiles, none hit due to chaff, but the joshan had no counter measures, same for the sahand and sabalan.

              i have recently learned about the indo-pakastani war, and will spend the next day or so when i'm not at work trying to learn about those engagements, but i'm sure we'll see more of the same.
              the answer is on the floor- john roseberry

              A tiger dies and leaves his fur,
              A man dies and leaves his name,
              A teacher dies and teaches death.
              Seikchi Toguchi 1917-1998

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by General_Jacke View Post

                during a sinkex the HMAS Warramunga launched 7 harpoon missiles at the former USS New Orleans. 4 missed, only 3 hit. less than half of the harpoons launched at a stationary defenseless target hit it...when they're supposedly guided and super accurate.
                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_New_Orleans_(LPH-11)
                the only time the US launched a harpoon from a surface ship in combat it missed as well.
                I don't see where is says four Harpoon missiles missed... all I see is HMAS Warramunga fired three, the other four came from other ships or P-3 Orions.
                "In modern war... you will die like a dog for no good reason."
                Ernest Hemingway.

                "The more I learn about people, The more I love my dog".
                Mark Twain.

                Comment


                • #9
                  That 155mm round is useless vs ships. It is a shore attack gun launched rocket. A big fat round that is dum. A ship could easily track it and aviode it or shoot it oof course. A modern supersonic asm can be launched from a longer range fly low so as to aviode detecstion and go so fast that a response needs to be seconds. Fine for a modern CIWIS. Unless there are 4 or 8 or 12 ASMs with only seconds to respond the task force not fleet is in danger.


                  For me i see the issue is stealth. Not a big issue for fleets but lone frigats and destroyers could bump in to each other at close range. At that point i say the gun is better. A 76mm super rapid can out shoot any asm through ROF.
                  you think you a real "bleep" solders you "bleep" plastic solders don't wory i will make you in to real "bleep" solders!! "bleep" plastic solders

                  CPO Mzinyati

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by andrewza View Post
                    That 155mm round is useless vs ships. It is a shore attack gun launched rocket. A big fat round that is dum. A ship could easily track it and aviode it or shoot it oof course. A modern supersonic asm can be launched from a longer range fly low so as to aviode detecstion and go so fast that a response needs to be seconds. Fine for a modern CIWIS. Unless there are 4 or 8 or 12 ASMs with only seconds to respond the task force not fleet is in danger.


                    For me i see the issue is stealth. Not a big issue for fleets but lone frigats and destroyers could bump in to each other at close range. At that point i say the gun is better. A 76mm super rapid can out shoot any asm through ROF.
                    actually ASMs can't out range the LRLAP round...nor has there ever been a combat launch of an ASM from ship or plane that i can find that took place beyond 30miles from the target.

                    the radar on the missile will cause it to be detected by other radar...

                    also considering 4-8 harpoons will leave a US ship with no more missiles to launch, chances of a ship launching that many in a single engagement is unlikely.
                    Last edited by General_Jacke; 08 Jun 16, 11:34.
                    the answer is on the floor- john roseberry

                    A tiger dies and leaves his fur,
                    A man dies and leaves his name,
                    A teacher dies and teaches death.
                    Seikchi Toguchi 1917-1998

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Achtung Baby View Post
                      I don't see where is says four Harpoon missiles missed... all I see is HMAS Warramunga fired three, the other four came from other ships or P-3 Orions.
                      unfortunately the only source i have been able to find with any actual information on the sinkex itself was wikipedia, so if you could share your source that would be much appreciated.

                      rereading, it might be poorly worded.
                      "The most damage came from the Australian HMAS Warramunga (FFH 152) who hit with 3 of the 7 Harpoon and over 70 5 inch shells"

                      so if that's the case, then my apologies for bringing it up.

                      how ever that does not change the fact that ASMs have not been launched at the ranges people keep talking about, and nor have the proven effective against a vessel armed with counter measures
                      the answer is on the floor- john roseberry

                      A tiger dies and leaves his fur,
                      A man dies and leaves his name,
                      A teacher dies and teaches death.
                      Seikchi Toguchi 1917-1998

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        battle of baltim
                        egypt launched several salvoes of styx missiles. all missed due to chaff. range 30miles (longest missile combat engagement range i've found.)
                        isreal launched their gabriel missiles at 11miles. effective engagement, but the egyptians don't appear to have had any counter measures
                        http://www.revolvy.com/main/index.ph...%20of%20Baltim

                        HMS Sheffield was struck by 2 exocets, one bounced off...they were launched at a range of 15miles...heck the missile didn't even detonated...it's fuel caught fire...but if it works it works i guess...so this was truly an outlier. it should be noted that the sheffield had no missile counter measures.
                        http://royalnavymemories.co.uk/sam-salt-hms-sheffield/

                        USS stark was hit by two missiles, the first launched at 22miles a few seconds later a second was launched. again one hit and failed to explode, but caused fire due to leaking fuel. the second missile detonated as designed. again should be noted, that while the stark had countermeasures they did not have them ready, or use them
                        http://www.navybook.com/no-higher-ho...stark-on-fire/

                        praying mantis, joshan launches a harpoon missile at a range of 13 miles. US deploys chaff, the missile misses. the US launches SM2s and a harpoon, the harpoon missed, it should be noted that the joshan had no missile counter measures. so in that engagement harpoons were 0 for 2
                        http://www.navybook.com/no-higher-ho...raying-mantis/
                        the above link also details the other actions taken during operation mantis.
                        the sahand was sunk (unfortunately not much detail, but it was hit by harpoons, as well other missiles and bombs. harpoon is 2 for 4 in operation mantis)
                        the sabalan was hit by a lucky bomb hit that immediately disabled her. she was spared, in hopes of avoiding further escalation.

                        so what is that about the ranges of missiles? a short full power run would have put a ship in gun range of almost every combat missile launch. the world's first missile duel between ships occured inside of gun range, and the vessel was finally put under by gun fire.

                        note my criticism of missiles is as weapons on major blue water combatants, not on planes, smaller vessels like patrol boats/LCSes etc.

                        with the modern naval doctrine being to achieve 'mission kill' which can be achieved by simply damaging radar so it can't be used, 5" KEET rounds spammed at a target would do that easily and for a fraction of the price of any missile. a ticonderoga class could have one gun mount firing KEET and the other firing HE and achieve mission kill no problem. i will be surprised if the zumwalt's 155mm guns don't get a round similar to KEET being a littoral ship there's no reason to think small boats wouldn't be a threat.
                        http://www.globalsecurity.org/milita...ions/mk182.htm

                        blast away with a dozen KEET rounds tear up electronics, sensors, and probably **** up the bridge, and bridge watch team, switch to HE and lay into them.
                        Last edited by General_Jacke; 08 Jun 16, 11:32.
                        the answer is on the floor- john roseberry

                        A tiger dies and leaves his fur,
                        A man dies and leaves his name,
                        A teacher dies and teaches death.
                        Seikchi Toguchi 1917-1998

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by General_Jacke View Post
                          actually ASMs can't out range the LRLAP round...nor has there ever been a combat launch of an ASM from ship or plane that i can find that took place beyond 30miles from the target.

                          the radar on the missile will cause it to be detected by other radar...
                          The lrp is shore only. You not going to hit a ship with it. No matter the range the zumwalt 155mm is usless vs ships compared to every other ship gun and modern ASM.

                          Most modern missiles only activate radar in the termnal phase. By then it is to late.

                          How many ship have shot each other with guns from 30km range or even 15km?
                          you think you a real "bleep" solders you "bleep" plastic solders don't wory i will make you in to real "bleep" solders!! "bleep" plastic solders

                          CPO Mzinyati

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by andrewza View Post
                            The lrp is shore only. You not going to hit a ship with it. No matter the range the zumwalt 155mm is usless vs ships compared to every other ship gun and modern ASM.

                            Most modern missiles only activate radar in the termnal phase. By then it is to late.

                            How many ship have shot each other with guns from 30km range or even 15km?
                            how is it shore only? that was the intention of the round, the gun and the ship, but what makes it any less effective at spamming HE rounds at ships at sea than spamming HE rounds at targets ashore?

                            how many ships have shot each other with missiles from 30km range?
                            SAG charlie shot the joshan at around 13-14 miles i have no idea why they even launched missiles in the first place since the engagement started within gun range.
                            literally the only reason guns weren't used for the whole thing is because someone wanted to play with their shiny new toy.

                            however i can tell you that as OPFOR during 2 com2exs 2 groupsails as well as my ship's own com2ex and groupsail as blueforce, the way ships over there are operating is if a target is just outside of gun range, launch SM2s while rushing to close the distance.

                            a former officer who wrote PPRs already questioned why in regards to leaving the carrier and the threat of small boat attack. to be completely honest i do not know what was going on beyond my ship, it may have been rotating one ship rushing forward at a time or all of us might have been idk. what i can tell you, is that almost all of our 'engagements' with large enemy surface vessels either started in LoS or just over the horizon, and quickly became LoS engagements. if we can see it, we can shoot it with 5"
                            the answer is on the floor- john roseberry

                            A tiger dies and leaves his fur,
                            A man dies and leaves his name,
                            A teacher dies and teaches death.
                            Seikchi Toguchi 1917-1998

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by General_Jacke View Post
                              how is it shore only? that was the intention of the round, the gun and the ship, but what makes it any less effective at spamming HE rounds at ships at sea than spamming HE rounds at targets ashore?

                              how many ships have shot each other with missiles from 30km range?
                              SAG charlie shot the joshan at around 13-14 miles i have no idea why they even launched missiles in the first place since the engagement started within gun range.
                              literally the only reason guns weren't used for the whole thing is because someone wanted to play with their shiny new toy.

                              however i can tell you that as OPFOR during 2 com2exs 2 groupsails as well as my ship's own com2ex and groupsail as blueforce, the way ships over there are operating is if a target is just outside of gun range, launch SM2s while rushing to close the distance.

                              a former officer who wrote PPRs already questioned why in regards to leaving the carrier and the threat of small boat attack. to be completely honest i do not know what was going on beyond my ship, it may have been rotating one ship rushing forward at a time or all of us might have been idk. what i can tell you, is that almost all of our 'engagements' with large enemy surface vessels either started in LoS or just over the horizon, and quickly became LoS engagements. if we can see it, we can shoot it with 5"
                              155MM AGS as a 10round min fire rate. So i will you spam that.

                              It is guided and due to the fact it as a high flight arc will be picked up by radar. Combided with 50m CEP and a 11kg warhead it wont be a threat to ships at lo g range. At close range a 76mm or simlare is better due to ROE.

                              For interest the Umkhonto SAM used by south Africa as a 23kg warhead. So a warhead built to kill prety light weighed is 23kg double the 155mm used on the zumwalt. That 11kg is not going to sink a warship with a hit and a near miss will do nothing.

                              In short the 155mm on a ship means it is usless at every thing but NGS. Germany tested the use of a 155mm on a ship and found it useless for every thing but NGS and the USN have said the zumwat 155mm are for NGS. Commparing the 155mm AGS to a harrpoon is pointless since it should be a tomahawk cruise missile it going up against. The tom has greater range, more advanced and powerfull warheads and a CEP measured in MM compared to M.
                              you think you a real "bleep" solders you "bleep" plastic solders don't wory i will make you in to real "bleep" solders!! "bleep" plastic solders

                              CPO Mzinyati

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