Chemring Centurion Update

Back in April this year I wrote a short piece on the Chemring Centurion naval countermeasures launching system;

[browser-shot width=”600″ url=”https://www.thinkdefence.co.uk/2013/04/the-chemring-centurion/”]

In that piece was information on a partnership between Chemring and Raytheon, especially with their plans to use the Centurion to launch Javelin missiles for defence against small craft.

Javelin is in service, reliable and relatively low cost.

Raytheon and Chemring have recently announced a successful test firing of Centurion with Javelin on Salisbury Plain.

Although the Centurion is more complex than the traditional fixed tube launchers the operational benefits would seem to be many. One wonders if the cost would be significant and the Royal Navy being the launch customer for such an innovative product would improve its export chances no end.

Chemring Centurion Javelin Test Launch
Chemring Centurion Javelin Test Launch

Although not mentioned in any of the literature, the image below shows the launcher mounted on an ISO flatrack. Could this be the basis of a demountable protection system, rotated between vessels or used as a temporary measure for merchant vessels.

The Centurion even has its own web site, click here to view.

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Marcase
Marcase
December 28, 2013 10:56 pm

An innovative and usefull design. As you mentioned the flatrack/ISO formfitting launcher should be adaptable to merchants. If a sensor/targeting system would also be as mobile, this plug-and-play defense system could go places.

I wonder if the launcher could be adapted/modified into a lighter version for land-based applications. Besides C-RAM, an anti-tank – or more correctly an anti-mobile VBIED – version could prove usefull in a COIN or base/APOD/SPOD defense scenario, an alternative to the cancelled NLOS-LS.

Johnboy
Johnboy
December 28, 2013 11:05 pm

Erm, so what exactly is the advantage of this very complex system over vertical launch tubes?

wf
wf
December 28, 2013 11:19 pm

@Johnboy: presumably that some of the munitions are not designed for vertical launch. But your point is valid, since a small VL launcher would have better arcs of fire and fewer restrictions to placement if fitted to otherwise merchant ships.

Dunservin
Dunservin
December 28, 2013 11:39 pm

@Johnboy

Unlike vertical launch tubes, this can adopt the required bearing and elevation to launch unguided aerial decoys or terminally homing ‘fire and forget’ missiles to meet specific needs, either simultaneously or in rapid succession.

Fedaykin
December 28, 2013 11:49 pm

Chemring is one of those companies that deserves far more public recognition, apparently they moved heaven and Earth during the Falklands war producing chaff for the task force. Their Chaff was the only effective defence against Exocet during that conflict.

dave haine
dave haine
December 29, 2013 4:28 pm

Handy bit of kit- put it on a trailer with an onboard gennie…bit of area defence for ground formations, airfields etc

Observer
Observer
December 29, 2013 5:14 pm

Very impressive, a chaff/flare launcher and a weapon system all in one. Maybe even inflatable decoys. All in a plug and play system.

Johnboy, some ships can’t take throughdeck penetrations to fit the VLS. Add to the fact that VLS weapons are often linked to an all up fire control radar and usually only carries one type of round per cell, this is an interesting way to add on weapons.

Of course it has some disadvantages vs a VLS, for example a VLS can take a much larger and more capable anti-ship missile and it seems to have facing limitations that an upward boosted VLS launched weapon does not, and against small craft, a 25mm would be a lot more efficient but it still seems to be a worthwhile and versatile system. I wouldn’t mind a pair of these gracing the port/starboard AA mount positions on our LPDs, seems to be a very nice fit. Consider me impressed.

mike
mike
December 29, 2013 6:38 pm

Here’s hoping that it becomes as bolt-on-able (?) as Phalanx is, then they’d be onto a real winner!

Here’s also hoping that the RN/MoD(N) has the will (balls) and moneyto go with this new system, its not to replace VLS by a far cry, but imagine RFA’s or STUFT vessels and the defence and capability with this and Phalanx bolted on provides them…

ChrisM
ChrisM
December 29, 2013 7:56 pm

What is the advantage over having a Royal Marine with a standard Javelin launcher onboard?

wf
wf
December 29, 2013 8:05 pm

Observer: I’m not talking about needing a Mk41 replacement. I’m just saying a decoy / ultra short range flatrack mounted platform would be better being a VLS, because of the flexibility inherent in such. Yes, we would need to redesign the likes of decoys, but the idea of holding a stock of such a platform to be able to be mounted to a STUFT sounds very nice, as well as it’s use on warships

Observer
Observer
December 29, 2013 10:09 pm

“What is the advantage over having a Royal Marine with a standard Javelin launcher onboard?”

You need to install an additional catapult to toss the Marine as a missile decoy.

wf, that is simply the same idea mounted on a flatrack isn’t it? All that differs is the arc of firing the round. 12 of one, a dozen of another?

wf
wf
December 29, 2013 10:24 pm

@Observer: no, it’s very different, for three reasons. Firstly, just think of the limitations when you think of locations on a merchant ship, plumbed for power and with the necessary reinforcement, which allow for the required fields of fire compared to what a VLS would need . Secondly, a VLS is mechanically much simpler and requires less maintenance. Thirdly, a VLS would have a higher density than Centurion.

Observer
Observer
December 29, 2013 10:40 pm

wf, the VLS also needs it’s own power and plug connectors and even more so to a central fire control radar. If the ship does not come with fire control, the VLS isn’t a viable option. Remember, being fired straight up means that the seeker head is not looking at anything in particular and needs the track from fire control to guide it in the direction it should twist to.

Either way, both are solutions that depend on the circumstances, we just have to look at the ship to be fitted to determine which is the better solution. In the LPD example I mentioned, installation space is about 1.5m x 1.5m. Not much space for a VLS.

wf
wf
December 29, 2013 11:03 pm

@Observer: I should have made myself clearer. We’re not thinking of a Mk41 or Sylver, we are talking about something of the same size as Centurion, that would fit in the same footprint, and would fire much the same munitions, but with fewer restrictions on placement and higher density. Whatever we fit will need some fire control, but the best place for an additional radar/IR is very unlikely to be in the same location: it’s not a CIWS where the radar must be colocated with the gun.

Observer
Observer
December 29, 2013 11:40 pm

Ah, I get it. It would be something like the US’s ill-fated NLOS and Netfire then. That would work too, with one caveat, guidance. All VLS munitions need to be guided, this “Centurion” thing would be for unguided munitions. Whatever works actually. As long as it delivers effect for decent cost, I’m not too picky about what does the job.

That being said, it’s still an impressive piece of equipment.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
December 29, 2013 11:48 pm

Not certain what wf is on about. Far easier to integrate a non deck penetrating system than a VLS.

wf
wf
December 30, 2013 12:02 am

@APATS: no deck penetration required, just a different launcher configuration for the same size and type of munitions

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
December 30, 2013 12:18 am

Yes but we are discussing semi temporary arming an MV and look at how many different munitions fit singly twin or quad packed in a single vls tube.
Then consider the lack of need to program a vertical turn over etc.
For something like javelin or brimstone its a no
Brainer

Observer
Observer
December 30, 2013 1:03 am

APATS he probably means something like the Netfire/NLOS system proposed for the LCS, a standalone VLS system on pallets. It was a good idea killed by the US’s inability to buy off the shelf.

He has a point, though my opinion is that the Centurion is a better idea in the variety of payloads it can use, even dumb munitions. How much chaff is needed to distort the radar shape of an LPD? I’m not familiar with things like that. You able to share any experience in that APATs?

Jason Lynch
Jason Lynch
December 30, 2013 11:04 am

wf,

The reason for Centurion, not VLS, is to launch expendable decoys: chaff rounds. EO decoys (flares, smoke and other seeker-annoying stuff), and suchlike. Fire them from a VLS and they go “straight up”, which is almost certainly not where you want them.

Centurion doesn’t replace a VLS, it replaces Outfit DLH and its sets of fixed (angled) launchers; giving the gollies much more flexibility in their ASMD courses, since instead of manoeuvring the ship to get the right solution of course, speed and relative wind from one of the available fixed launchers (four options if they’re all still loaded) the launcher can place the countermeasure(s) in the right place while the ship follows the course it needs to (for example) continue to goalkeep the RFA it’s protecting. (The German MASS is a similar concept but less flexible).

The VLS alternative is guidance and turnover packs for every chaff rocket, which gets unaffordable very quickly for most decoys (one of the few examples I can think of is Nulka, and that’s a very pricey beast)

Note that Centurion is designed as a decoy launcher, and the thought of “Couldn’t we drop some weapons in there as well?” (one suggestion was sleeving the 130mm barrel down for a laser-guided mortar bomb) is very much a secondary option. The immediate problem is “how many mounts?” since this would replace twenty-four Outfit DLH barrels, plus quite likely the Sonar 2170 decoy launchers, and then we start wanting offensive whoosh-bangs in whatever “spare” barrels we’ve got… Tyoe 26 may want four of these, not two…

Jason Lynch
Jason Lynch
December 30, 2013 11:15 am

Observer,

The short answer for how much chaff you need to protect an LPD is, “It depends…” but you probably guessed that already.

The advantage of something like Centurion over fixed launchers is being able to put the clouds where you want them, rather than where the fixed launchers, your current course and the relative wind would take them. There are other decoys, too, some of which become rather more effective when they can be placed with more flexibility than the current DLH system allows, and Centurion becomes very attractive there too. Being able to drop offensive weapons into the barrels is, frankly, a nice-to-have addition: you’ll be pushed to find many spare barrels in most situations.

Jason Lynch
Jason Lynch
December 30, 2013 11:41 am

WF,

This is primarily a decoy launcher, replacing Outfit DLH, not an extra weapon launcher. Putting a turnover and guidance pack into every chaff rocket ends up thoroughly unaffordable: you end up either with fixed barrels (like DLH, four launch angle options with fixed elevation) or you go for a trainable launcher like Centurion, DAGAIE or MASS. Centurion’s unusual in that it lets you keep your existing 130mm SeaGnat rounds, but you can place them much more flexibly than a fixed launcher allows.

Heaving missiles out of Centurion is good PR but very much a secondary role: there’s plenty of other competition for those barrels…

Observer
Observer
December 30, 2013 2:02 pm

Another interesting possibility from reading about competition for the barrels among ammunition types that Jason posted. I agree that there would be very heavy competition for their use as they are so flexible. IIRC, I’ve seen a dual ammunition loading carousel of one stacked on top of the other, can’t remember where now, but the Centurion is so short that having one stacked on top of another might be a possible option which doubles your available payload, just run the top stack’s cables through the part of the lower carousel’s blocked firing arc and install a step there for loading (on the left, most people are right handed so loading from the left is a bit easier.)

This is a piece of equipment worth another look.

And Happy New Year to all. To you boys in dark blue, you guys sound the horn on 12am New Year’s Day? I know the civilian ships do.

Derek
Derek
December 30, 2013 2:06 pm

Putting an ATGM in decoy launcher is an interesting marketing technique but pretty silly really. If one really wants to add an anti-small boat capability to a service ship then MBDA’s proposed Sea SPEAR*. Even more interesting going forwards would be a surface launched SPEAR Cap 3 weapon for both surface ships and the Royal Artillery.

Fedaykin,

Chemring has achieved all the public recognition it deserves by successfully reducing it’s share price by over 65% from its 2011 peak during one of the longest sustained stock market rallies in history. Chemring is a running joke within the UK defence industry.

* http://defensetech.org/2013/06/19/brimstone-adapted-to-target-swarming-fast-attack-craft/

Observer
Observer
December 30, 2013 5:53 pm

Derek, it’s anti-small boat AND decoy functions. Using a pure Brimstone mount, you would get ONLY anti-FAC functions. It’s the multi-capability packed into a small package that is impressive. As for Javelin/Brimstone, whatever works. Spike, Javelin, Brimstone, 120mm mortar round, whatever.

What I really like to know is if it can provide for a Starstreak, Mistral or Igla round. If it can accommodate 2 MANPAD rounds, then as a replacement for our SIMBAD twin Mistral launchers, it would really be getting additional capability for free, other than cost, which isn’t really a problem for our rather paranoid government. Anyway, it’s worth keeping an eye on.

Fedaykin
December 30, 2013 6:06 pm

@Derek

I am not talking about now, in 1982 they provided a vital tool to the task force that the average man in the street has no idea about. That is what they deserve recognition for, current business is another matter.

Derek
Derek
December 30, 2013 6:20 pm

Observer,

There are a whole host of issues with this little scheme. First is the initial targeting- there is none onboard centurion which means it has to be provided for elsewhere, for either man pads or ATGMs. Second is the short range of Javelin compared to SPEAR.

Observer
Observer
December 30, 2013 7:10 pm

So that Javelin they fired was blindfired? And it was adjusting its’ altitude without a target?

And Javelin or Brimstone, as I said, I don’t really care, as long as the round lands on the enemy FAC. Even if the round is a 81mm or 120mm unguided mortar round.

Derek, you don’t like the Centurion or Chemring that is not my problem. My opinion is that it has potential that can be developed and that is the only thing I’m concerned about.

derek
derek
December 30, 2013 11:09 pm

Mounting a targeting system on a pallet next to another pallet in a field is one thing- mounting suitably on a ship is quite another. And that does not change the issue with range.

I actually quite like the Centurion, what I dislike is silly marketing gimmicks like this.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
December 30, 2013 11:14 pm

@Derek

Javelin is a target loaded fire and forget missile. The targeting unit is actually quite small and could be easily mounted on the launcher via the extension of the centre pole.
It is not designed to make the thing a warship but the ability to have a one shot kill capability against FAC at 2.5km is a massive ste up in capability and tremendously useful.

Observer
Observer
December 31, 2013 4:06 am

It’s the flexibility that impresses me. Right now, this would do the job of 3 different systems at minimum, decoy launcher, chaff dispenser, flare launcher. 3 systems folded into one. Tossing ATGMs and MANPADs would be a big bonus, but even without them, it is already a big step up in capabilities.

My biggest question would be how to integrate these into warships with signature control measures. Having them stick out like a blob on the deck would not do too well I fear. Probably hide them behind a RAM bulwark and fire the round over the obstruction, or a RAM cladded mount similar to what they do with the deck guns. Much easier to integrate on non-RCS controlled ships.

Jason Lynch
Jason Lynch
December 31, 2013 10:57 am

Observer,

The intent seems to be shown at if you want to reduce the signature.

Derek
Derek
December 31, 2013 11:03 am

APATS,

Fundamental misunderstanding of the targeting problem there. The standard Javelin targeting unit is really only for pointing the missile- the target is found by the human eye. That is far less practical on a large warship where some sort of all round IR surveillance system will be required.

mr.fred
mr.fred
December 31, 2013 11:14 am

AIUI, the command and launch unit (CLU) for the Javelin includes observation/surveillance optics that allows him to pick out the target. Actually aiming the missile requires the use of the missile’s seeker, so the launch unit allows the operator to acquire the target and the missile seeker is aligned to the CLU so it is easier to point the missile at the target.

In the Centurion, you would need some system to cue the launcher to the target, either accounting for range or having the cueing sensor co-located with the launcher.

Fluffy Thoughts
Fluffy Thoughts
December 31, 2013 11:25 am

:cough: Wiki :cough: states that the Starstreak missle has a diameter of 5.1 inches (130mm in Euro–speak). I assume it is faster; can be targeted using MSI systems already deployed; and is more than enough for your Red-Sea wannaby. Why would any sane person employ Javelin…?

Observer
Observer
December 31, 2013 11:33 am

@Jason Lynch

“The intent seems to be shown at if you want to reduce the signature.”

Could you rephrase this? The meaning is a bit vague.

@Derek

With your complaints about the Javelin, would your suggested Brimstone fare any better?

Jason Lynch
Jason Lynch
December 31, 2013 11:41 am

Fluffy Thoughts,

Warhead matching. Starstreak’s got three darts, at least one of which is expected to hit and get through the armour of a Mi-24 HIND and inflict enough damage inside (helicopters being pretty complex and tight-packed beasts) to cause it to cease controlled flight at some point shortly thereafter. That’s not an ideal payload for blasting small boats.

For the same reason, the Thales Lightweight Modular Missile (leading contender for FASGW(Light)) steps back to a unitary HE warhead rather than the Starstreak darts. (Now, could you put LMM in Centurion? The world wonders…)

Chris
Chris
December 31, 2013 11:45 am

FT – I like Starstreak, but it is not self guiding like Javelin or Spike. It needs an operator to keep the aim point on the target and the missile rides the beam. Very much not fire & forget, in operation more like Swingfire.

Fluffy Thoughts
Fluffy Thoughts
December 31, 2013 11:53 am

Thanks to JL and Chris. To address your points:

Most boghammers would not like three fast, pointy, explosive things heading towards them at mach-3+. As for targetting it is surely as-fast-as-a-speeding-bullet (so guidance will be in measured in seconds)…?

What Starstreak gives (over-and-above Javelin) is range. Why load-up on Javelin if you have a cannon-or-two with better. cheaper, fire-and-forget capability? Javelin does not tick any boxes (sorry Raytheon)….

Chris
Chris
December 31, 2013 12:31 pm

FT – while the flight time of Starstreak is short, its still probably long enough for ship motion to take effect, which means for sharp targeting you’d want a stabilised aiming unit (not I believe current design).

As for the fire & forget option, I’d favour Spike/Eurospike, for a few reasons – firstly it has on all but short range versions a Lock-On After Launch capability – Javelin has not; secondly the missile comes in a series of versions from short range (up to 1km), through medium (up to 2.5km) and long range (up to 4km), and on to extended range (up to 8km). Added bonus is that buying through Eurospike GmbH it is an EU supply, untainted presumably by the hideous ITAR.

Jason Lynch
Jason Lynch
December 31, 2013 12:42 pm
Reply to  Observer

Sorry, Observer, there was meant to be a link to a picture there. Over on the Chemring Centurion site, some of the images show the mount in a “Dalek” style enclosure with each barrel having a closure plate along its length: so closed up it’s a faceted polyhedron of fairly low RCS with the reflective innards shielded.

http://www.centurionlauncher.co.uk/image-gallery.html

has an example, as does the back of the brochure.

Derek
Derek
December 31, 2013 1:00 pm

To sum up what is being said here and to answer Observer’s last question to me.

The problems with a Javelin/Centurion launcher

1) Target acquisition, the Javelin CLU, even if mounted somewhere else on the ship will make for a poor surveillance system- it will need a further surveillance system to cue the CLU if it is to be effective

2) The missiles range- if you can hit something with a Javelin you can also hit it with a 30mm or 76mm, it has a surprisingly short range. The tubes on the Javelin are much better suited to the countermeasures they are designed for.

Starstreak will have even worse guidance issues due to its laser beam riding technique.

The advantage of SPEAR is it is radar guided. In short, defeat swarms of fast boats the same way Brimstone was designed to defeat swarms of Soviet tanks, targets located by a search radar then engaged by MMW guided missiles. It also has much better range.

mr.fred
mr.fred
December 31, 2013 1:38 pm

To cover a couple of points on the Javelin, and vs. Starstreak:
The Javelin CLU is reportedly an excellent surveillance asset and used extensively as such in the land environment.
It can be inferred that the limitation on range is based on the seeker, which is apparently a 64 by 64 pixel array. If the FoV of the seeker were available online (which I note it isn’t) you could calculate the approximate range at which you could lock onto a target of given size. Since the naval environment is less cluttered and with greater temperature differences than the land environment, a javelin might be able to shoot further. If the trajectory diagrams on Wikipedia (and also in the technical manual available online) are to be believed, then the missile has the energy to go further.
The Javelin goes up and comes down, which is of benefit at sea, with waves, compared to a straight-line SACLOS missile like Starstreak.
Shooting a Starstreak at a boat would be like engaging that target with three APFSDS – the likelihood that they will hit anything important is low.

In the end, there are choices to be made. If you can fit a dedicated weapon system then that is preferable. If you can only afford (via cost, weight or space limitations) to fit one system then a decoy launcher that can fire missiles is probably preferable to a missile launcher that cannot launch decoys.

Derek
Derek
December 31, 2013 2:00 pm

mr.fred,

Just one point- CLU is an excellent surveillance asset because it is a powerful thermal imager- not for any other reason. It still needs to be moved around and pointed. That is a task performed on land by a person holding it. That is a task that becomes much more challenging on a ship where someone/something has to replace the person. The CLU needs to know where to look, for that it needs something over and above it.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
December 31, 2013 2:32 pm

@Derek

Let me see I have a fundamental misunderstanding of the targeting problem? You seem to have a fundamental misunderstanding how a warsip works. The system is not going to be an automated system. It is going to require a human input, exactly like ASCG does. It is also a system that would only be online and manned at certain threat postures.

The CLU only unit on Javelin was used extensively on Bulwark as a surveillance asset at night in constrained waters. Worked really well. Look at the optics and remote platforms for ASCG, both on the bridge and in the ops room. A similar control and link for a Centurion firing Javelin would be anything but complex. The whole point of building an RMP and indeed a close in surface picture is to use all available sensors. From a bridge wing lookout, to EODs to radar. People speak to each other in order to cue something like a CLU to look in the correct direction.
Given ROE and threat profiles, ships mvre and lots of people are in the command loop. It is not and never will be a system that provided 360 degree surveillance target acquisition and engagement automatically.

Observer
Observer
December 31, 2013 3:47 pm

Re: Starstreak/various MANPADs

Think people missed the context in which I was curious about possible (Starstreak/Igla/Mistral/Stinger) integration.

The location for a standalone unit in regards to our Endurance LPDs is currently taken up by a pair of Mistral launchers port and starboard, which means that if it gets replaced by a Centurion module, aerial point defence, as poor as it is, is going to become near non-existent. If MANPADs can be integrated into the Centurion, this alleviates the loss of PD. Not too worried about boghammers TBH, there is a 76mm gun, a pair of Bushmasters, and 4×0.5 cals. And the helos.

So it is not a general solution, but more of a specific case consideration and not against boghammers but against hostile aircraft that wander close.

Derek
Derek
December 31, 2013 7:02 pm

APATS,

Yup, you still don’t get it. Using a CLU, which is essentially just a thermal sight, for basic surveillance is one thing. Using it to provide surveillance for cueing weapons is something quite different. And that before we get to the range issue on Javelin.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
December 31, 2013 7:21 pm

@Derek

Did you bother reading my post? The surface picture is compiled by various sensors that can cue the CLU.
As for range, it is a system that can offer protection against FAC and FIAC, not go toe to toe with an FF OTH.
What do you think the effective range of an RPG in a FIAC?
There was a whole Green Paper written on it before it even made it to FOTIS.

Derek
Derek
December 31, 2013 7:47 pm

APATS,

I had to read it to know you still didn’t get it. Anything at sea a Javelin can hit can be hit with gun system that has its own onboard targeting system. An FIAC with an RPG hardly requires a javelin either. The weakness of centurion is it’s lack of onboard targeting which something like an RWS already has. It’s a great countermeasures dispenser, but this is a marketing gimmick/make-work for engineers.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
December 31, 2013 7:58 pm

@Derek

Out of curioisity how much time have you spent trying to hit even non moving targets ar 2.5km with 20/30 MM systems? I have spent quite a bit and it is anything but easy.
Add in mvring at 40kts and it becomes even more difficult.
The point I am making is that the gun systems targetting systems are no different from what could be remoted from a CLU attached to a Centurion.
The CLU direction cued by a range of sensors and the actual CLU controlled remotely, exactly the same as ASCG and other RWS.

mr.fred
mr.fred
December 31, 2013 8:00 pm

APATS,
You cue the missile seeker, not the CLU. In the dismounted arrangement, the CLU is used to cue the seeker because they are connected together.

With whatever sensor you use on the ship, you need some way of cueing the missile. Chances are most ships have something like that anyway for cueing whatever other weapons you have.

Derek
Surveillance is one thing, Cueing weapons is another. Do not expect people to ‘get it’ if you conflate two different things.

As for the range issue on the Javelin, how far away do you think that the Javelin can successfully engage a target in a maritime environment, and what sort of target are we talking about?

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
December 31, 2013 8:09 pm

@ MR Fred

You use other longer ranged sensors to ensure the CLU detects and cues the threat to the missile by the time it is range.
Perhaps I should have said, direct the CLU. This makes it simpler than integrating a fixed ships system.

Perhaps easier to explain in a scenario. During a transit of constrained waters, Centurion is active the CLU is attached via a pole and linked to the system. It is remoted to another screen on the bridge or ops room where it can be controled via a joy stick and monitored on a screen.
Small contacts are detected visualy at about 4 miles closing the Ship. The ship mvres to clear venturion weapon arcs and the CLU is controlled to look down the bearing.
Warnings are read with no response,a warning shot is fired with no response. At2.5 km the system is activated and the CLU designates a target for a missile. After that it is just like a normal engagement.

mr.fred
mr.fred
December 31, 2013 11:26 pm

APATS,

I don’t think that you understand how the Javelin system operates. The CLU is a cooled thermal imager and direct optic with a mounting point for the missile and a screen that can display either it’s own thermal image or one from the missile seeker.

You cannot launch the missile until you lock the Seeker onto the target. Since the seeker has a rather poor resolution (a standard definition television is in the region of two orders of magnitude higher resolution) it is consequently a very narrow field of view, akin to looking through a drinking straw, so you need another sensor to make sure it is pointing in the right direction, which is what the CLU does. The mounting point aligns the seeker with the much higher resolution and consequently wider field of view optics of the CLU.

For a ship mounted system like the Centurion you need something that points the launcher in the right direction, which isn’t particularly challenging. The main difference from the co-located CLU is that a remotely located sensor would also need range to provide an accurate bearing for the missile seeker. Simply mounting the CLU somewhere near the launcher wouldn’t work because you would also need to include some way of routing the images to a crew station and determining the azimuth and elevation of the CLU to provide the proper data to point the missile in the right direction to obtain a lock. At this stage you might as well use a different sensor and use the CLU for additional dismounted use.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
December 31, 2013 11:53 pm

@ Mr Fred

Before i get shot, you have described nothing unfamiliar or even remotely technically challenging.

mr.fred
mr.fred
January 1, 2014 12:05 am

APATS,

If that is the case, why on earth do you think that it is easier to mount the CLU on a servo-controlled mount and remote its inputs and outputs to a crew station rather than use existing shipboard sensors that undoubtedly have cueing capability?

It’s easy to do and the CLU need have nothing to do with it.

SomewhatRemoved
SomewhatRemoved
January 1, 2014 2:09 am

From a front-line operator perspective I think this is a really good idea. We have four fixed launchers at present, with limited load-outs in each. The ability to place decoys with absolute precision, if necessary with multiple decoys down the same bearing or spread of bearings, would significantly enhance the survivability against both the current and next generation of ASMs and attack aircraft. However, 2 points from me. 1 – I want this but combined with the Rheinmetall MASS system with IR and EO counters, which is orders of magnitude more effective against the IR/EO threat than a single-shot decoy system like Seagnat or Centurion would be. Marry the two together and you have a truly effective multi-sensor counter to any threat. Combining it with MASS arguably allows you to retire the DLF ‘rubber-duck’ decoy as well. 2 – make it deck penetrating, so you can reload from below. We go to considerable effort to make the ships are gastight, then put people on the upper deck in gasmasks to reload manually. A magazine below decks, even a manual reload below decks, makes a lot of sense. When SeaWolf gets removed for SeaCeptor, two ideal mountings become available with space below.

The Javelin is a nice gimmick, but nothing more. I want this launcher full of decoys against the missile threat. If you’re facing a salvo of a dozen or more Saccade, Sandfly or Sardine, which is likely, I want a fully-effective decoy salvo back down the bearing with spares available, not a wasted tube with a Javelin in it. For AAW we have SeaCeptor which, despite the same, is more than good enough. If you want lots of extra niceties like missiles, then a) sort out the defence budget please and b) stick them on the 30mm mountings as MSI have proposed.

On the other side of the coin, the SeaGnat launchers make excellent sun-loungers in warm weather.

SomewhatRemoved
SomewhatRemoved
January 1, 2014 2:13 am

Observer,

We won’t be sounding sirens – it’ll just wake the ship’s company up. But happy new year to one and all from one of HM’s deployed finest, at sea and busy. Champers in the Wardroom will suffice!

Gloomy Northern Boy
Gloomy Northern Boy
January 1, 2014 3:35 am

@SomewhatRemoved – A very happy New Year to your good self and your Ship’s Company – I hope you achieve success in all your endeavours, and return safely home – I have drained my malt in distant toast to you all…

GNB

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
January 1, 2014 12:09 pm

@Mr Fred

I thought the whole point of a possible Javelin load out was that it could be fitted to an RFA or other Ship without the shipboard sensors of an FF/DD. Hence the reason I was talking about a remote station with the CLU mounted so it was at a slight and known offset to the active tube.

@SR
Again this is not a proposal that would go on a T23, you want to put them in the 911 slots? Agree that upgrading the ASCG with a LMM attachment makes sense.

SomewhatRemoved
SomewhatRemoved
January 1, 2014 12:57 pm

APATS,

Actually I think it would, and should appear on the T23 even in it’s existing form. Deck-penetrating designs aside, it would be absolutely ideal to trial this on the Bridge Wings in place of the DLH launchers (thus adjacent to the magazines) as the Centurion overcomes many of the shortcomings of having four fixed launchers, not all of which can fire every munition type. Fitting it in the 911 slots with a below-decks magazine is a complete pipe-dream, but I like the idea and there’s no reason why it can’t appear in the T26; it’s also entirely in keeping with the idea of risk-reducing the system designs in the T26 along with 997, SeaCeptor, etc. The gravity of the missile threat in one theatre in particular makes me want this system today.

WiseApe
January 1, 2014 1:04 pm

Happy New Year to all. A carrier year.

I like these. I have 2-4 of them on each of my fantasy ships. Purely in the chaff/decoy/flare role though.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
January 1, 2014 1:21 pm

@SR

Can definitely see the utility as a Decoy Launcher on an FF/DD. The ability to “intelligently” deploy offboard decoys will allow more flex in mvring etc.

Dunservin
Dunservin
January 2, 2014 11:56 am

@APATS

“…There was a whole Green Paper written on it before it even made it to FOTIS.”

– Don’t you go mentioning Green Papers, FOTIs, FXTIs or FIs here. TD is in an entirely different universe based on fantasy, U/C data and ill-informed (but particularly strongly held) opinion. ;-)

mr.fred
mr.fred
January 2, 2014 1:15 pm

Dunservin,

And it is still an order of magnitude better informed discussion than most sites.

Dunservin
Dunservin
January 2, 2014 2:11 pm

@mr.fred

With some notably insistent and frequent exceptions, I’ll drink to that. Happy New Year to all. :-)