UK defence issues and the odd container or two

Anglo French News

In the news today is the meeting between David Cameron and Francois Hollande

Not much here in detail, just a handful of links that I will expand over time

In defence terms, these are the main points;

Have also seen mention of continuing work on MCM and one or two other things like swapping an A400M production slot

 

Background on FCAS and FASGH(W)/ANL at the links below

http://www.thinkdefence.co.uk/2013/04/uk-complex-weapons-part-4-sea-skua-and-fasgwh/

http://www.thinkdefence.co.uk/2013/06/life-after-typhoon-and-rafale-a-european-ucav/

 

 Update from Dassault

Dassault Aviation is delighted by the decision  announced today by the President of the French Republic, François Hollande, and the  British Prime Minister, David Cameron, concerning the future combat air system. This  decision led to the signing by the French Defense Minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, and  his counterpart, of a letter of intent which formalizes the launch of joint feasibility  studies in the field of unmanned combat air systems (UCAS). This is a major step  forward in Franco-British military aeronautical cooperation.

This decision, which follows on from the Lancaster House Treaties (November 2010),  gives a new dimension to the joint studies already undertaken in this field: Dassault  Aviation and BAE Systems, as leaders of the project, have worked, together with their  partners Safran, Rolls-Royce, Thales and Selex, to ensure the success of this
ambitious R&T programme.

This decision also bolsters the national investments made in recent years, notably in  the nEUROn combat UAV demonstrator.

As leader of the French team, Dassault Aviation has always supported its  Government’s efforts to launch an ambitious Franco-British programme, designed to  lay the foundations for the future European fighter aircraft.

For Eric Trappier, Chairman and CEO of Dassault Aviation, “this launch by the French  and British authorities is contributing to the development of the combat air systems  sector and is paving the way for the future in this strategic field.”

In France, this work will help maintain technological expertise in defence aeronautics  at a world-class level. It will eventually benefit the entire industrial fabric, including  SMEs.

 

A snazzy new video from MBDA

FASGW/ANL missile : The next generation multi-role Surface Attack Weapon

 

 Anglo French News

 

 

FINAL UPDATE

Full text

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/277167/France-UK_Summit-Declaration_on_Security_and_Defence.pdf

 

About The Author

Think Defence hopes to start sensible conversations about UK defence issues, no agenda or no campaign but there might be one or two posts on containers, bridges and mexeflotes!

70 Comments

  1. Derek

    FASGW(H)- Progress of sorts.

    VBCI- we tried it once before and preferred the Piranha but that’s irrelevant as there is no budgetary space for it anyway.

    WATCHKEEPER- still interested translates as still not buying

    UCAV feasibility study- confirms Telemos is dead, UCAV is part of FCAS

    FCAS: read Typhoon, Rafale and possible Reaper replacement, will be part manned and part unmanned with the manned part being an F-35 variant. “Additional F-35s” beyond the non-ordered but committed too 48 are part of this.

  2. Observer

    Personally, in my opinion, UAVs have sort of hit a plateau in utility. The original design purpose of the drones (cheap, disposable, ubiquitous) have been left by the wayside for capability creep and are no longer cheap, disposable or ubiquitous with their rising costs. They’re now comparable in size with manned aircraft but only with a fraction of the capabilities.

  3. Derek

    observer,

    You post is rendered moot by its incorrect opening assumption. The primary reason for the use of UAS is that they can either be operated from places where manned aircraft struggle (so artillery observation for instance) due to a lack of infrastructure or where the human becomes a limiting factor on the core operation (so very long endurance ISTAR flights such as Reaper missions). There is also the added bonus of nobody caring if a UAV crashes into the Pakistani tribal areas.

  4. Brian Black

    We don’t need the VBCI. We certainly don’t need the IFV variant if we’re upgrading Warrior.

    The APC variant (VTT) is probably the fella we’ve looked at, but that’s surely too big and heavy for our needs. Lose an axle, buy the VBMR for something relatively lightweight and air-transportable. A much more suitable complement to the heavy vehicles we already have.

  5. ChrisW

    Apart from this being seemingly the umpteenth time this has been announced what does this do that Brimstone doesn’t? I know it’s bigger – no range stats. on MBDA website. Aren’t the French happy with whatever they’ve got for a few more years, aka no money at the moment?

    Don’t we need a “real” anti-ship missile, i. e. supersonic and ship-launched? The Yanks and ourselves need a Harpoon replacement badly. How long can Exocet be kept going?

    Re. VBCI. I’m thinking of getting someone to knock up a metal box with 4 lorry axles attached and get the MoD to give me £500 milion so they can “evaluate” it.

    PS Read the article on the FT website about the missile – it’s hilarious. Have they not heard of Martel – a previous Anglo-French collaborative triumph?

  6. H_K

    Totally agree ChrisW.

    FASGW(H) is one of those nice to haves that’s too expensive by half. Imagine what could be done if those 500+ mil were reallocated to a more deserving programme… like FCAS!

    The irony is that it’s the MoD which insisted on pushing ahead with FASGW(H), and strong-armed the French when all they wanted was to pull out.

  7. All Politicians are the Same

    FASGW(H) as an update and improvement on sea Skua is more than a nice to have. Sea Skua saw not only great operational success but also good export sales. Given the proliferation of FAC/Corvette sized vessels being purchased FASGW(H) allows an organic rotary wing asset to reach out and “touch” these vessels well over 100NM away from its base platform. when you tie in the complex sensor suite to be fitted allowing a “man in the loop” from the launch platform and the ability to both operate in a clustered littoral environment and within even a tight ROE ID profile it becomes very useful.
    Combine this capability with the greater SA made available from future Organic UAV and you have a potent weapon system which is a major upgrade to a class of system that has been used operationally.

  8. H_K

    APATS, but aren’t GBU-totting fast jets and legacy harpoon more than enough to deal with the odd corvette? Especially with Brimstone on the lower end for FACs?

  9. All Politicians are the Same

    @H_K

    Sea Skua remains in service remember and does the job that FASGW(H) will do much better and how many fast jets does a singleton deployed Frigate have available? Legacy Harpoon is realistically now open ocean only.
    Ship mounted Brimstone is a long way away if it ever happens. Far more likely to see a LMM/Gun mount combined.

  10. Not a Boffin

    Remind me again how many operational naval platforms or naval aircraft (as opposed to a floating trials barge that is not a representative naval EM/RF environment) Brimstone is cleared for use on?

    Remind me again what the MEZ of a typical SA-N-4 equipped corvette is, compared to the release range of a GBU?

    Since when was the entire threat, the odd corvette with a smattering of FIAC? (Other than the “someone else” will do it fantasy of the DPA and SAG scenarios?)

    And btw, £500M would just about allow the FCAS PT to do some initial studies and choose their requirements software going on past performance (across MoD, not just FCAS!)…..

  11. Think Defence

    Don’t think I would argue with the need for a Sea Skua replacement but yet again we seem to be developing single service single platform single use equipment

    A bit of imagination, put TV seeker on it and use the datalink then you have a non line of sight precision weapon for land use or support for deployed forces from all manner of small craft, a mini GMLRS

    Am sure there are loads of other uses with some thought

  12. All Politicians are the Same

    @TD

    Why does it have to be a single service weapon. It is designed to attack moving targets with man in the loop and a datalink in an cluttered littoral environment, those are Naval requirements but if it can hit and mission kill a 40kt 450 Tonne FAC from 30KM then surely it can have uses in a land environment.

  13. Fluffy Thoughts

    With ALARM going and Taranis coming closer to reality then – sadly – I agree with TD. Stick a decent seeker on Sea-Skua II and let it loiter, seek and destroy. Any news on FireShadow…?

  14. BIgDave243

    @H_K

    Now i’m not a naval strategist or anything, however APATS makes the point that Sea Suka or it’s replacement provides an organic capability.

    So for example, a Type 45 operating in the Gulf of Aden (insert your own Area of Operation) isn’t going to have the luxury of calling on fast air support to smash a Paveway into a pop-up target like a Corvette type vessel or other FAC. Equally a Harpoon might be an expensive overkill on a vessel that weighs 450 tonnes or less. So a precision guided organic missile that can be fired from Wildcat seems a good idea to me, and if the FAC gets in too close then brassing them up with Phalanx is always an option. :-)

    Or have I totally misunderstood everything i’ve read above? :-/

  15. Think Defence

    APATS, I wonder if the other two services had an input?

    I can imagine a 30km non line of sight weapon with a chunky but not massive warhead would be useful across all domains but if you have a TV imager and datalink then you have something that is double useful

  16. All Politicians are the Same

    @TD

    I doubt all 3 services had an input. In order to keep costs down the missile has been designed to remain compatible with all current launch, storage and handling systems that handle Skua. It has also been driven weight wise to maximise launch platforms/carriage.
    It does have an IR man in the loop and whilst I am no tech geek if you can have an IR picture then you cannot be a million miles away from being able to have a TV picture.
    Datalink on a missile of that range would be platinum plating expensive, however were the missile to replace other systems the cost would be easier to justify.

    @BD

    yes for the first part, would try MR Gun and 30MM and maybe a Milan if carried by embarked RM before Phalanx though ;)

  17. John Hartley

    Doubtless I will be told FASGW is made from papermache & will fall apart if we do this, but would it not be handy if it could also be launched from aircraft? Thinking of MPA, Typhoon & F-35.

  18. H_K

    APATS, BigDave, NaB,

    1) Remind me how many conflicts have there been without a serious air campaign? You can drop a GBU from high-altitude outside a local area SAM envelope. If you need more capability on the cheap, add a cheap wingkit or borrow a few 50km range IIR-guided AASMs from the French (since the Saudis are paying for integration on Typhoon).

    2) If a corvette is big enough to fit a local area SAM, it’s big enough to deserve a Harpoon. Especially in the unlikely event that you have a lone frigate without air support… no need to think twice.

    3) A 450-ton FAC isn’t going to look good after a couple Brimstone hits. Much better fit for Wildcat.

    IMHO, FASGW(H) is an expensive niche capability. Might have been justifiable when there were no alternatives (as was the case in the 80s and early 90s), but now there are enough to make it a questionable investment.

  19. Think Defence

    APATS, what was the range of the Martel TV guided missile

    Having a TV guided missile means you are not relying on designation, IR isn’t going to work well in the land environment. Exactor is TV guided and we all know how useful that is. Spike NLOS has a range of 25km, has a man in the loop datalink and TV head

    If your data link has a max range of 25km, OK, thats the limitation.

    If you listen to NaB railing against missile systems with no use outside their initial design environments and blaming the originating service then that cuts both ways.

    Save a few pennies now, spend a few pounds later

    Seems we never learn

  20. Observer

    John we’ll just have to wait and see. Time will tell I guess.

    Derek, UAVs were used way even before Pakistan and rural areas, I’m old enough to remember Bekka Valley where the UAVs (Scout) first proved their worth. If you’re looking at a Western Centric viewpoint on UAVs, then it would look like the US was the trendsetter with modern UAV tactics, but reality is that the Israelis were the first ones with that breakthrough, and cheap, disposable and ubiquitous was the key highlights. Only when the US got their hands on it did UAVs become large as planes, armed with missiles, endurance of days and expensive as houses. Go look up the old Scout UAV and compare it with the current Reaper or Predator and tell me there has not been mission creep.

  21. Simon

    The UK and France have agreed to strengthen defence co-operation.

    David Cameron and Francois Hollande.

    Long-term politics.

    Bravo.

  22. All Politicians are the Same

    @TD

    You do know why IR is preferred to TV for Naval Missiles? It is to do with countermeasures, let me just say that one is much easier to counter than the other. However as i pointed out I do not see why it should be that much more difficult to go dual mode.
    Yes and how much extra does the data link cost? It would have to be examined, what benefit do you get from the datalink if you already have the man in the loop, remember this is a short to medium range naval missile so it is not designed to mvre around hills and follow terrain, more extra cost and weight to add. What would this missile do in the other environments that other systems do not do already.
    there is a reason that we have 5 physical environments, sometimes it is better to get what you need than something that reaaly does not cut it in any of them.

    @ H_K
    1. we deploy singleton Frigates and Destroyers to areas where they may potentially have to face down a Corvette or FAC all the time.
    2. Current Gen harpoon is not a littoral capable weapon and to maximise its range you need OTHT anyway so of the helo is already there why not minimise engagement time? A Helo plus FASGW(H) also outranges it significantly.
    3. Brimstone is designed for a very different role. It has no man in the loop, a quarter of the range, is armour piercing so may go through and has a smaller warhead.
    4. You are entitled to your opinion but have not made a point to back it up yet.

  23. as

    I can see this going like last time we had an agreement with the French for equipment. Where we bought the equipment off them then they cancelled the equipment they were suppose to buy off us. That was the Puma, Gazelle and Lynx. The France operate a protectionist policy on there equipment . So it will have to be built in France for them to perches anything.

  24. All Politicians are the Same

    Read my previous posts, I agree that i cannot see how much more difficult it would be to go dual mode, or simpler still a switchable head.

  25. Think Defence

    Switchable head, like that one, nice and simple

    Surely you can see what I mean here, stovepipe requirements might reduce the cost within that stovepipe but a bit of creative joint service thinking and we can deliver more for a lower overall price

    Exactly like the MPA debate, which usually only looks at the narrow MPA requirement, and not the wider implications

    We need to get better at this stuff

  26. All Politicians are the Same

    @JH

    From a professional view point, no. I know which one is most likely to come in useful and there are plenty of possible harpoon replacements out there we could buy off the shelf if we thought we needed to like NSM.

    Not to say I would not love to see Perseus but it is a longer term project.

    @TD

    The senior Officers need to get better at talking to each other, in fact there should be a team that has an fing huge spread sheet somewhere that has OSD on all equipment from all 3 services and the capabilities involved and then look at ways of reducing overall different system numbers as each is replaced by ensuring that some of them are capable with min mods of also replacing other systems that leave the service.

  27. El Sid

    @John Hartley
    Thinking of MPA, Typhoon & F-35.

    Already in hand – Google SPEAR 3

    @APATS
    Brimstone is designed for a very different role. It has no man in the loop, a quarter of the range, is armour piercing so may go through and has a smaller warhead.

    The range argument reduces if you consider Brimstone 2 – OK it has its issues, but assume it works out.

    The warhead size argument reduces if you consider that three Brimstone weigh as much as one Sea Skua (although you need a bit extra for the launcher), and three Brimstone warheads are much closer in size. Plus like Perseus three missiles are more likely to penetrate CIWS, and can hit three vulnerable spots rather than a single one. And three missiles are 3x more useful against swarms, which is arguably where the threat lies.

    So would developing a HE warhead module for Brimstone be more relevant than a 1:1 replacement for Sea Skua?

  28. Observer

    Isn’t a “man in the loop” missile capable of sea-skimming since there is someone literally flying the thing by remote control? In fact, I think a human brain behind the controls makes it even more capable of flying lower as the operator can see the situation and fly it just above wave top height. Wouldn’t this be useful even against higher end opponents as the intercept would be made even more complicated?

  29. All Politicians are the Same

    @ El Sid

    A few issues here.

    1. Brimstone actually weighs 49KG that will increase for Brimstone 2 if range increases, FASGW(H) will weigh 100KG so a 2 for 3 is all you may get.
    2. Brimstone has major issues in a complex emission environment such as a warship, it is nowhere near being cleared to be onboard.
    3. It is a fire and forget weapon with no man in the loop and does not fly a profile designed to defeat a ships soft and hard kill options.
    4. it is effectively an active missile unlike FASGW(H) which will utilise an IR seeker head. Which will allow passive engagements.

    So in short no, it would be a compromised solution in several areas.

    @ Observer

    Do not confuse a missile that someone literally steers for a missile that someone can see the picture from the seeker head and abort if required.

  30. El Sid

    @APATS
    3 for 2 still makes for 50% more effectors. Sometimes you’ll want the extra warhead, sometimes you’ll want to overwhelm with numbers or have numbers coming at you.

    Neither FASGW(H) nor Brimstone have been fitted to Wildcat or have been cleared for onboard operation. Money will have to be spent either way. However given that Brimstone 2 is almost certain to be fitted to F-35B (and would be essential if the RN wanted to replace land-based FJ in an Ellamy II), one might assume that money will be spent to get Brimstone cleared for use on CVF. Taking it down to a frigate is a new problem, but a CVF-compatible Brimstone will be a good way there. One also might think that it might get integrated onto Wildcat AH1 at some point, although that’s obviously getting more into the realms of fantasy. But at present FASGW(H) has not been flown on Wildcat either.

    Money will need to be spent designing flight profiles for FASGW(H), and developing new seekers. Why not spend the money on plugging in to the modular system that HMG has already spent taxes on developing for Brimstone? In turn a passive seeker might be developed further for eg the Wildcat LAH.

    it would be a compromised solution in several areas.

    Not as compromised as FASGW(H) would be by a £600k price tag.

    I’m not arguing that Sea Brimstone 2.5 would be a better missile than FASGW(H), just asking the question – is it an 80% solution rather than a Gucci one based on the need for 1:1 replacement of existing kit without regard to the rest of the missile world or changing threats? We’re in a budget environment where even with the fleet being thrashed, we can’t afford £10m/year to run an extra Bay. So we come to trade-offs where you have to ask – do we have a more effective fleet with an extra Bay for a decade (–insert other pet economy drive to be undone–) and an 80% solution in Sea Brimstone which fits in with other plans for F-35B and generally helping the missile inventory position and exportability of Brimstone – or spend an extra £100m (or whatever it is) to get the Gucci solution of FASGW(H)?

    At the moment I’m not convinced that Gucci is the way to go.

  31. Observer

    Disposable UAS are fiction, being disposable would imply single flight, with a/c delivered as ammunition.

    Its useful to remember who the longterm users of UAS are.

    IIRC the USAF was using strategic UAS over China in the 1950s, not sure if USAF have been continuous users since then.

    UK Army (RA) have been continuous users since 1963ish, although they didn’t use them operationally until GW1, that said, there were rumours that a small UAS (Raven?) had some use/trials in NI in the late 70s.

  32. Observer

    Er.. that wasn’t me.

    And disposable not as single shot weapons but as literally missile magnets. See how the Israelis used them in Mole Cricket 19. Sent in Mastiff UAVs as missile lures, then nailed the batteries as the radar came on.

    If you are talking about spotter UAVs, even the Royal Artillery had them long long ago, think it was the Phoenix, but this ISTAR concept only caught on after the Israelis turned in a lopsided kill ratio in Lebanon of 0 losses and 80+(?) aerial kills, 17 SAM battery kills, (the UAVs were parked near 3 enemy airfields and fed the info back as soon as a plane left the runway). Hardly a rural area as people claimed. The kill ratio was what caught international attention and made UAVs the international craze it is today. Took me a while to find it, but look for the Bekka Valley conflict in Mole Cricket 19, Bekka Valley only linked to the wiki geographic location.

  33. Mark

    Seem a sensible choice to me sea skua has been used a lot and the threat of smaller vessels is predominantly what were facing. I would say ensure its fitted to merlin and can we use it as the basis for the spear 3 requirement.

  34. All Politicians are the Same

    @ Mark

    Good spot, I must have been looking at an older version of their blurb.

    @El Sid
    I was actually over generous. A Brimstone pylon with 3 missiles on it weighs 235kg. As the missile weighs 49kg the pylon obviously weighs 90kg so the pylon weighs almost as much as a FASGW(H). With the weight increase to Brimstone 2 to increase range we are unlikely to even get 3 for 2.
    The warthead weight is a whole 7KG and 300G precursor warhead or maybe we could redesign for an 8KG HE warhead. FASGW(H) has been deliberately designed with a 30KG Warhead to achieve mission kill.
    As for clearances FASGW(H) is being designed to allow continued use of all storage movement and launch equipment from Sea Skua. Brimstone is miles away from being allowed onboard. As for the changing threat. that makes FASGW(H) even more important because FIAC will be dealt with by shipboard systems but the increased number of missile carrying FAC should be dealt with at range.

    So we can either
    1. Replace Sea Skua with a proper system designed to deliver a 30KG warhead to achieve mission kills with a man in the loop a maritime sensor, a data link and a flight profile designed to defeat maritime defences or.

    2. Try and develop a system that can deliver less than half the warhead weight to 2 seperate locations on a looping flight profile from a shorter range that will not achieve a mission kill, requires the helo to go active prior to firing. Is ROE and traffic constrained due to having no man in the loop, requires a huge amount of work to clear to be shipborne and a completely new handling, launching and storage equipment to be designed.

    That is more like an 8% solution to me and would nowhere near meet the system requirements.

  35. All Politicians are the Same

    For those bemoaning the high cost and capability of FASGW(H) it must be remembered that it was not developed in isolation. Sea Skua is to be replaced by 2 systems, one more capable, one less. So FASGW(L) or Lightweight Multi Role Missile will enter service in the next couple of years. Based on the Star streak system it will give a capability out to about 8KM at multi mach speed and wildcat will be able to carry 10-12.
    So FASGW(H) will not be used against 4 rhibs with machine guns.

  36. martin

    a Sea Skua replacement would seem vital for a nation lacking in Antiship missiles on many of it surface combatants.

    I can’t help but think that if we start to mess around with FASGW(h) by putting in TV and data link that we will end up building something that’s too expensive to use. With Dual mode Brimestone and SPEAR 3 the RAF will not be short on guided munitions to use on land. Commonality is great but sometimes seeking commonality and gold plating can be one in the same thing.

    I think the work on the UCAV program is welcome but it smacks more of a delaying tactic than anything else. 125 million will only allow a small study and I still think the French will try and turn it into a Euro shambles project that they will eventually leave.

  37. DavidNiven

    I’d like to see if we could try and do projects with Poles as well. We all know what the French can be like.

  38. Gloomy Northern Boy

    With England 13 points down, I am coming out against any co-operation with the French, and for a ban on importing smelly cheese, overpriced and over-rated wine, and that bread that turns into concrete fifteen minutes after you got it…if things get any worse I want an internment camp established for all those bloody Frenchmen now living in London!

    An infuriated Gloomy.

  39. Chris

    GNB – ref defence cooperation etc – calm down, its only a game – a trial of strategies and tactics to see which nation can dominate the other, knowing full well the result will be forgotten in a week. The rugby on the other hand is much more important!

  40. All Politicians are the Same

    @GNB

    They are playing Union, you know full contact chess, not northern full contact bulldogs e.g league.

  41. Mark

    Is that because the army are concerned its encroaching into apache territory if they arm it. Considering wildcat will be cleared for weapons it can’t be a huge stretch to arm the army ones, seems a waste not to use it like a usmc Huey.

  42. All Politicians are the Same

    @ Mark

    They would have to fit the appropriate designation and sensor package as well as C2 kit. would make the airframe more expensive. Not sure exactly how much more or exactly what would be required.
    The army wildcat is not getting radar but LMM does not require radar it looks like it is getting the EOD/Laser “ball” so it probably would not be that expensive?

    /www.google.co.uk/search?q=wildcat+helicopter&tbm=isch&imgil=QrGnRztZ1iwJgM%253A%253Bhttps%253A%252F%252Fencrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com%252Fimages%253Fq%253Dtbn%253AANd9GcS8sdH1SdQaCC_tC_qO6hfCdLHBqMuBvHrF3dnrsJFlexeJJTu9_w%253B1600%253B1023%253BPRVn0G6BQM91iM%253Bhttp%25253A%25252F%25252Fgrandlogistics.blogspot.com%25252F2010%25252F10%25252Fcost-of-westland-wildcat.html&source=iu&usg=__gfhD9MW9rAQ_JtCyi2rm2ocFWAk%3D&sa=X&ei=Z1DtUoW0D-WV7Aa4qAE&ved=0CDMQ9QEwAA&biw=1366&bih=667#facrc=_&imgdii=_&imgrc=QrGnRztZ1iwJgM%253A%3BPRVn0G6BQM91iM%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252F3.bp.blogspot.com%252F_f_TiAqdkqU4%252FTLDV2LxTA8I%252FAAAAAAAABIA%252FBMEYawj0aY8%252Fs1600%252FWestland%25252BWildcat%25252B1.jpg%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fgrandlogistics.blogspot.com%252F2010%252F10%252Fcost-of-westland-wildcat.html%3B1600%3B1023

    the 2 helos

    https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=wildcat+helicopter&tbm=isch&imgil=QrGnRztZ1iwJgM%253A%253Bhttps%253A%252F%252Fencrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com%252Fimages%253Fq%253Dtbn%253AANd9GcS8sdH1SdQaCC_tC_qO6hfCdLHBqMuBvHrF3dnrsJFlexeJJTu9_w%253B1600%253B1023%253BPRVn0G6BQM91iM%253Bhttp%25253A%25252F%25252Fgrandlogistics.blogspot.com%25252F2010%25252F10%25252Fcost-of-westland-wildcat.html&source=iu&usg=__gfhD9MW9rAQ_JtCyi2rm2ocFWAk%3D&sa=X&ei=Z1DtUoW0D-WV7Aa4qAE&ved=0CDMQ9QEwAA&biw=1366&bih=667#q=wildcat+helicopter+lmm&tbm=isch&facrc=_&imgdii=_&imgrc=Q1VSFfq_j0NlvM%253A%3B2iQSGZ4NB71QjM%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fmedia.defenceindustrydaily.com%252Fimages%252FORD_LMM_FASGW-L_AW159-SCMR_and_AH1_Apache_Thales-UK_lg.jpg%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.defenseindustrydaily.com%252Fcontract-kicks-off-production-for-thales-small-lmmfasgw-l-missiles-06829%252F%3B1024%3B1024

    Navy wildcat with LMM

  43. Simon257

    APAT’s, GNB

    You may not have enjoyed the result, but just to let you know I did!! Roll on the Ninth of March.

  44. Not a Boffin

    Another way of looking at this is the target set. The RN need something that can disable (through blast & frag and secondary effect) a ship with a volume of (at minimum) 8000 cubic metres / weight say 600 tonnes, which is subdivided specifically to resist spread of damage and may be deploying both passive CM and hard-kill.

    The original Brimstone target set was essentially a small (armoured to varying degrees) box of volume (say) 60 cubic metres and weight up to 70 tonnes. The internals are not (by and large) designed to resist spread of damage (the hull is intended to keep it out) and while there are active CM and hard-kill options they are primarily designed to keep out the weapon, rather than kill the launch platform.

  45. Think Defence

    Army Wildcat will only be bought into service with GPMG and M3M, nothing else because it wont have the stores pylons.

    It will however have the EO turret in a position that limits its field of view because it has to be in the same place as the RN one that needs the logical EO turret space for its radar.

    So the Army Battlefield Recce Helicopter wont be able to see that well

    See what I was saying about the Army getting the best naval helicopter money can buy :)

  46. All Politicians are the Same

    @TD

    I think the Army do get the 80% in the platform role that are not directly land platforms. that is a natural consequence of these platforms offering a supporting role. They definitely did not get an 80% solution with Apache or any of their primary combat systems. As a nation the size we are then yes trade offs are required and if we are building a helicopter that for the RN is as important as Apache is for the army then in order to cut costs yes you get it as well. it is a support platform has done sterling work and does a job.
    I think what is important is that we try to minimise 80% solutions in essential capabilities.

  47. Mark

    Thanks apas a future upgrade then!

    Not to fussed about the turret position just means the helicopter would spend less time in the hover looking dwn doing recon never a bad thing. Fitting the weapons pylons sounds like army politics to me.

    Lynx seems to me anyway like an ideal asset for the assymetric threat world on land and sea especially as small more discrete operations seem the order of the day.

  48. Simon

    Come on?

    Surely the EO turret will eventually go underneath the ugly nose appendage? Just send the current ones back with a note ;-)

    45 degree downwards fov and 90 degree up seems the wrong way round.

  49. All Politicians are the Same

    ‘@ Mark

    Yes, I reckon if you asked an engineer with no politics involved how difficult it would be to fit LMM to Army Wildcat you would get an answer that some would like to suppress, I have heard (allegedly)

  50. Gloomy Northern Boy

    @RT – That sniper of yours – could we make an arrangement? Not sure exactly where the job is yet, but I’m assuming somewhere to the West of your current position. There’s this chap called @Simon 257..!

    A vengeful and unscrupulous Gloomy.

  51. Simon257

    @ GNB.
    Yesterday was another fine example of Stuart Lancaster England Team, celebrating winning a match before the final whistle. And know doubt, believing their own and the media’s hype that the Championship is all but theirs!
    And just to make you more even Gloomy. This is “THE” Greatest Sport Occasion I’ve ever been to: http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=JT7lcZf6dBQ

    Back on topic now.

    Solomon’s website, has a piece that we are to take 20 VBCI’s on loan. The only unit that operates this type of vehicle is the CBRN wing at RAF Honington. The Fuchs are now over twenty years old, so could these be a possible replacement on the quiet?
    http://snafu-solomon.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/uk-to-operate-french-vbcis.html#comment-form

  52. Waylander

    Not read all comments yet. But I thought Sea Ceptor CAMM (M) had an anti ship capability?
    Sea Ceptor will be fitted on the T23s & T26s, but there was an article on Defence industy daily saying that it would also eventually be installed on the T45s giving them a “3 tiered defence” eg

    They would go from having 16 Aster 30 & 32 Aster 15 missiles – total 48

    to 16 Aster 30, 20 Aster 15 & 48 quad packed Sea Ceptor/CAMMs to give a total loadout of 84 missiles.

  53. Simon

    Waylander,

    I’ve read different. I read that the Aster15 boosters will be upgraded to Aster30 boosters meaning that the 48 cells could then take 32 x Aster30 + 64 x quad-packed CAMM.

    As for the current 16+32 mix, I think that is conjecture… one I happen to agree with, but I don’t think us mere mortals are allowed to know ;-)

  54. Waylander

    @Simon
    Well either way the T45s will be even more formidable with CAMM, also they will no longer be light on missiles compared to the RIM-162 armed AAW destroyers/frigates.

  55. Gloomy Northern Boy

    @Simon 257 – The fact that the silly buggers didn’t wake up until the Frogs had five points on the board didn’t help either…and on your point what I find puzzling is that Lancaster himself remains poker-faced throughout…I would dearly love to have been a fly on the wall in the dressing room afterwards, when I imagine he might have displayed a little more visible emotion.

    I will not comment on your choice of “Best Sporting Event EVER!”…although I do tour with a crowd of Welsh chaps, and have greatly enjoyed watching them give the Frogs a tanning in Paris more than once…

    Yachi da boyo

    GNB

  56. twecksypat

    Interesting given the obvious shared interest and current speculation on this blog and in both UK and FR MODs that nothing in the agreement I could see about MPA !!

  57. percontator

    VBCI

    Interesting snippet in an article written by Andrew Chuter and reprinted in buglerbilly’s The Fifth Column.

    Regarding the VBCI – “Manufacturers also have addressed British requirements by allowing for a quick engine change, the executive said.”

    The inability to perform a quick engine check in the field was one of the reasons cited for the failure of VBCI in the FRES UV Trials of Truth.

    Addressing this point removes one of the obstacles to a possible British adoption of VBCI.

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