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Thread: Royal Navy losing ASMs?!

  1. #1
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    Royal Navy losing ASMs?!

    So... this just poped up on my feed: the Royal Navy 'will withdraw the GWS 60/Harpoon Block 1C anti-ship missile from Royal Navy (RN) service at the end of 2018 without replacement'...leaving it's warships with just guns to engage ships, since the Sea Skuas are also being witdrawn early 2017... and, while these are being replaced, apparently no one thought about replacing the Harpoons...

    Maybe the RN should get HMS Belfast up to speed again... those 6" guns are looking good, right now...

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    Sea Ceptor aka CAMM(M) being integrated during their current overhaul round on Type 23 has anti-ship capability, though not OTH.

    LMM - Martlet aka FASGW(L) - should come into service on RN Wildcats right around the time Sea Skua is on the way out. Real replacement for Sea Skua will be Sea Venom aka FASGW(H) in 2020.
    F-35B Block 4 should implement SPEAR 3 as an additional medium anti-ship missile if the RN ever gets that far.

    There's technically a development programme to replace Harpoon jointly with France along with Exocet, SCALP and Storm Shadow: FC/ASW (Future Cruise/Anti-Ship Weapon). Procurement planned sometime after 2020.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kato View Post
    Sea Ceptor aka CAMM(M) being integrated during their current overhaul round on Type 23 has anti-ship capability, though not OTH.

    LMM - Martlet aka FASGW(L) - should come into service on RN Wildcats right around the time Sea Skua is on the way out. Real replacement for Sea Skua will be Sea Venom aka FASGW(H) in 2020.
    F-35B Block 4 should implement SPEAR 3 as an additional medium anti-ship missile if the RN ever gets that far.

    There's technically a development programme to replace Harpoon jointly with France along with Exocet, SCALP and Storm Shadow: FC/ASW (Future Cruise/Anti-Ship Weapon). Procurement planned sometime after 2020.
    But the ASMs carried by the helis are light and short range; and depend on the heli. And the F-35+carrier will not cover all the places needed...

    And then there's this bit: The United Kingdom currently has no funded programme for a Harpoon replacement

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    Yeah, the funding for FC/ASW is supposed to be signed at the end of this year. First technology demonstrator around 2019. There were originally hopes for a program to extend Harpoon 1C usage until 2020 to 2023 (i.e. until FOC of FASGW(H)), but those would have apparently been too costly.

    Problem is largely that MOTS systems on the market right now are pretty crappy really. With newer Harpoon blocks you'll mostly end up with a refurbished version of what you had, with RBS-23 you're buying a system with high integration cost and low reliability (at least in German tests) and NSM is considered by many as too untested (though recent Norwegian and Polish tests - in particular also against land targets this year - may change that opinion).

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    Okay, someone remind me.

    Why is there a need to pull the Harpoons if there is no replacement on line?
    “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
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    Degradation of the solid fuel (expired use by date) is my guess.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kato View Post
    . . . and NSM is considered by many as too untested (though recent Norwegian and Polish tests - in particular also against land targets this year - may change that opinion).
    Yeah, but it's pretty much the only game in town for a next-gen ASM; even the US Navy will (probably) adopt it for the LCS eventually. Looks like all of the tests (as you said) have been successful . . .

    Kongsberg Naval and Joint Strike Missiles Update

    US Navy intention to install NSM on a US Navy Littoral Combat Ship for deployment
    "There is never enough time to do or say all the things that we would wish. The thing is to try to do as much as you can in the time that you have. Remember Scrooge, time is short, and suddenly, you're not there any more." -Ghost of Christmas Present, Scrooge

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    Quote Originally Posted by surfgun View Post
    Degradation of the solid fuel (expired use by date) is my guess.
    That plus deterioration of electronics. The missiles were originally bought in '84. Germany is facing the same problem. Both the UK and Germany have companies working on maintaining the missiles on that side for use beyond the original shelf life expiration, which was a couple years ago already; original Exocet MM38, in those navies that use them, also present the same problem (and are pulled for that reason too).

    Quote Originally Posted by Stitch View Post
    Looks like all of the tests (as you said) have been successful . . .
    Most recent test series is this one:
    http://www.janes.com/article/61515/n...-firex-for-nsm

    I think there have been some doubts about lo-lo-lo flight profiles for NSM though, especially about range in such profiles (... which is likely well below 50 nm). That and the IIR-only seeker is giving people headaches, to the extent that for JSM this will be modified.
    Last edited by kato; 18 Nov 16, at 21:09.

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