Club-K Container Missile System 2013

It has been a while since I posted one of these from Concern Agat

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Interesting as ever

And just in case you were wondering whether it is all just a load of computer animations

Not the FULL system of course, but is demonstrates feasibility


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Red Trousers
Red Trousers
August 26, 2013 11:34 pm

Thanks for that TD (connect your comment on the VLS T45 thread).

No doubt some engineering challenges, but it does to me point the way in large handfuls for a modularised, joint service concept. Time for the Andrew to start thinking of a modular ocean going containerised solution for lots of things, and not just kinetic. You could do all sorts of DR and medieval from such a hull, turn it around in Pompey and put to sea again as a AAW boat, accept a container from an RFA or a friendly port and then be an ISTAR platform, land strike asset, or simply a cargo lugger. All you need is the ability to host what? 6 ISOs from a flat bit of deck. It also makes a container ship taken up from trade into a self-defending platform.

Small Q: power and data. Need some thickish cables to draw power from the host ship, some smaller ones to take data to a C4 centre (that probably is not on board, instead elsewhere.) But all doable. The biggest problem would be crew training for different disciplines.

Type Next-Gen. With flat space for ISOs.

August 27, 2013 9:18 am

RT – The Danes have a system called StanFlex: . ISO containers canting all sorts of goodies.


Check out the 2nd image on the Club-K page:

Definitely looks like the missiles are being fired at alot of Humvees and a CVN.

Engineer Tom
Engineer Tom
August 27, 2013 5:59 pm

@ RT

Change the crew over with the container, i.e. have a standard crew to run the ship and a mission specific crew for the containerised kit, much like the aircrew on a carrier only being attached when the aircraft are.

El Sid
El Sid
August 27, 2013 7:24 pm

You’ve just invented the LCS.

The lessons from which (and to some extent Stanflex) include :
Although it’s a nice idea in theory to be switching lots of different modules, in practice your requirements don’t change that much, the LCS will average 1.2 modules per ship in the first instance. It’s better to think in terms of medium-term changes, the modules allow you to swap out kit for maintenance and easy medium-term upgrades, rather than completely reroling your ship – the people problem is a big part of this.
Though modular weapons are sexy, arguably more thought needs to be put into modularising the boring stuff like water/sewage treatment, being able to swap them out for maintenance onshore would contribute to higher availability of the ship as it always seems to be that kind of stuff that breaks down.
In practice it takes 48-72 hours to bed down everything during a move, unless you’re just emptying out the modules for storage space. In a hot war that seems to be the CONOPS for LCS – most will start out as specialised ships, and then once that initial role has been completed, they get stripped out and used as light transports and/or lilypads for helicopters.
There’s also parallels in the way that small LPD/LSD’s are being used for HA/DR and anti-piracy, but would go back to the day job in a hot war. Again, their most important “modules” are a helicopter and a boatload of Royal. An extreme version would be TD’s HA/DR/hospital ship made from a Bay class.
Full-size ISOs are a bit of a handful on the deck of a small ship, it may be better to think in terms of sub-ISO modules.
Integration with the combat system is non-trivial, particularly if you’re doing complicated stuff like AAW. CAMM would be good for this, but it’s more difficult with semi-active SAMs.

August 28, 2013 8:29 am

The containerisation issue is, as El Cid points out, something of a misleader. The very fact that you are trying to force something into a restricted space such as an ISO, to which you then must factor in the not inconsiderable weight of the steel itself, means you are already compromising something.

ISO design is useful but not the be-all-and-end-all. You can use it for some things that will not always be necessary – recompression chambers for dive support, the modular MCM system being envisaged for the MHPC concept, additional power or watermaking facilities for disaster relief situations, maybe even for independent operation of a UAV system. Those sorts of things will not be needed everywhere so you could make them more easily exchangeable. But using it for machinery is a bit daft – if it made things any easier, you would have seen it in the commercial world by now. It’s easier to swap out a half ton pump by itself than it is to faff about by sticking it in a container.

LCS has so far proven to me that modularising equipment is not yet a valid way forwards. They should have done their homework on the STANFLEX system – the Danes never used the system as it was designed and left modules in place for years. In my only published contribution to TD so far, I pointed out that a warship will always need a self-defence AAW system, so modularising and containerising that makes little sense, especially given the minimal footprint of new systems like SeaCeptor. But it does make sense for nations trying to achieve coastal defence on a budget, so the Club-K system works well by providing a robust, easily concealed shell for a potent system; it would also work well for AAW systems.

RT, the T26 will have a mission bay designed to accept a small number of ISOs for some limited capabilities. But it is not a practical solution. Amazingly, the RN has already thought about it – and it’s why the T26 looks like it does and not like an LCS-copy. More than happy to spend a few millions buying up some new missiles and spend a few years trying to wedge them into an ISO or two. Which Regiment will you give up for that, or shall I ask the RAF to sacrifice a couple of Typhoons instead? Type 26 is the Austerity Frigate – for a bloody good reason.

August 28, 2013 9:36 am


Spot-on again. Whenever “modularity” is tried (and we see the same things in AFVs) it never really works as it turns out that swapping the modules is a pain in the backside, the fixed shape and volumes makes module design awkward and most capabilities are actually needed most of the time.

Containerisation is a fad that comes round every few years, I recall from the 80s a proposed containerised Sea Wolf system that never went anywhere.

The most intelligent thing that seems to be happening at the moment is the Sea Ceptor VLS, apparently small enough that it can be distributed around the ship using small spaces. It makes design optimisation much easier. Combine that with CEC and ASTERs for the 24 big cells and the RN will be starting to get a credible fleet wide AAW capability.

August 28, 2013 9:39 am


Like TD I am a ‘fan of containers’ and modularity.

Both sides of the ‘modularity” debate tend to overstate their case.

Staniflex rather like the Wampom can be used to prove anything you like really.

Yes the Danes created it intending in a cold war scenario to play ‘find the lady’ with modules in order to arm ships quickly for differing levels of soviet threat.

By that lights the system was a failure. in particular modules were rarely swapped between hulls.


It did allow for the Danes to build a large homogeneous class of hulls, which meant:-

1) A steady production run,
2) Which proved relatively easy to service. both the hulls and the modules.
3) Which lead to savings on training costs, construction costs, and upgrades both to hulls and modules, big reduction in the ‘fleets within fleets’ problem.

So by and large a success for all sorts of semi-unintended reasons.

No one is suggesting putting a half ton pump on its todd in a container, but with regard to much of the general service equipment o a ship why not?

Complete water treatment plant already does fit in one for land use. Likewise ventilation etc. – Generators (there are 2 containerised emergency generators outside my local hospital in 20 footers.

OK slotting some of this stuff into smaller hulls in commercial containers would be a bit daft, But a lot of it sits on rafts anyway, so is halfway there already. I suggest for warships ships that some of the smaller aircraft container dimensions might be appropriate.

As for weapons we are again halfway there already. A lot of our weapons can fit inside containers. There are plenty of picture of for example the OTOMARA 76 being test fired off of a container.

I suspect the Russians did not design the missile to fit in a container- they just figured out it did, and realised the market.

At first site playing wiki expert, a lot of kit both fighting and service looks like it could be containerised, a surprising amount looks like it could be done with little wasted space or weight.

There are cost savings and practical utility in containerising what can comfortably be containerised.

But it does mean starting form a hull designed for it, an only works if you are building more than a handful.

LCS is an example of what happens when people ‘get excited’ about not only containers, but high speed composite hulls etc.

August 28, 2013 9:46 am

will try again.

Staniflex is NOT a poster boy for the containerisation does not work argument.

The original concept was flawed.

But the Danes got a standard long production run hull into the water, with side benefits of commonality cheaper unit cost, and considerable gains in service/ upgrade ability.

LCS is clusterfuck for different reasons. – obsession with technological superiority, and high speed amongst them.

A lot of service kit generators purification and ventilation etc is already raft mounted – which is half way to containerised already.

August 28, 2013 9:57 am

I think what RT was looking for was a way to weaponize civilian ships into auxiliary cruisers in times of emergencies, not build purpose built warships around the ISO container.

Think it’s a fair idea, as a back drawer plan to boost naval power fast, turning container ships into Q-ships. Not for regular military use though. There might be cause for a case study to see how fast can a MV be converted into a warship for future reference purposes.

August 28, 2013 11:14 am

The only overstating going on in the container debate is by people who think that containerisation is some sort of panacea. It is not and has been proven as such on multiple occasions.

Peter Elliott
August 28, 2013 11:24 am

‘Containerisation’ can be a slightly lazy shorthand for saying something that is easily portable on the back of a COTS truck, train or cargo aircraft, rather than being a specific reference to modularied warship equipments.

That’s certianly what I was thinking when I started babbling on about a land based Sylver A70 firing MdeCN for Land Attack with a 1,000km range.

Does the Sylver manufacturer already offer a land based launcher by the way?

Engineer Tom
Engineer Tom
August 28, 2013 11:36 am

The French and Italian’s have an Aster 30 based land system, assume this is based on an A50 rather than A70 though.

August 28, 2013 12:23 pm


I was trying to be fair to both sides of the argument.

However now you have wetted my appetite. When was containerisation within the context we are talking about, a ‘failure’?

For example everyone talks about the Arapaho concept as a failure. Neatly forgetting that a lot of it went into the Atlantic conveyor.

Other than that, where has the containerisation concept failed? or even been tried?

There is of course MEKO.

You know that program by the Germans that ‘failed’ .

If by failed you mean virtually ruining the sale of UK built warships to our previous customers south American and commonwealth countries like Australia and South Africa, by outcompeting on price and availability.

August 28, 2013 1:36 pm


‘Modularity v containerisation, two different things’.

Yes if you limit ‘containerisation’ to commercial TEU style 20-40ft boxes.

If by containerisation you adopt for example the airfreight containers then you have many types and sizes to play with.

IF it fits inside a container is it modular or containerised. Is the club k not modular because it’s module is a container?

I accept there is a practical difference in the potential way they are to be used for but at least one MEKO brochure I have seen talks about containers (Perhaps badly translated).

Also of course (re RT and OBSRV’s comments).

What is an ‘Arsenal ship’ (apart from perennial underachievers that gets way to much footballing coverage than it’s lacklustre form deserves), if not a container ship.

Sooner or later the world’s cash strapped navies will wake up to the incredible utility of components and weapons that can be slotted into cots hulls when required- even rented existing ones.

A LOT of the kit that fought and won ww2 was commercial off the shelf, or built with commercial off the shelf components- from the flower class corvettes to the light fleet carriers.