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PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 2:39 pm 
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With the Harpoon ASM being withdrawn from RN service soon, and the Sea Skua already gone, with replacements pegged for 2020 how much of an operational gap exists for the RN? Does the Aster.30 have a confirmed ASM secondary role?

If a likely sea based conflict looks likely in the mean time can Harpoons not be quickly re-added to the fleet? What about brimstone, are they rated to be launched by the wildcat helicopter?

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 3:46 pm 
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There isn't that much of a capability gap - LMM/Martlet is fairly capable against small craft and a Wildcat can carry 20 of them at once. (For a throw weight of 60kg of explosives per helicopter - equivalent to a pair of Sea Skua missiles).
Any decent surface combatant is going to be dealt with by SSNs rather than Harpoon or Sea Skua, meaning that the gap is really with heavy but obsolete craft: too big for Martlet to sink, to cheap to be worth the attention of an SSN. Given it's only a 2 year gap before we get something rather better to replace Sea Skua, I think that's an acceptable trade-off.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 4:00 pm 
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pdf27 wrote:
There isn't that much of a capability gap - LMM/Martlet is fairly capable against small craft and a Wildcat can carry 20 of them at once. (For a throw weight of 60kg of explosives per helicopter - equivalent to a pair of Sea Skua missiles).


I looked for info on the Martlet but couldn't find anything saying it was in service now, rather than in a year or two from now?

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Any decent surface combatant is going to be dealt with by SSNs rather than Harpoon or Sea Skua, meaning that the gap is really with heavy but obsolete craft: too big for Martlet to sink, to cheap to be worth the attention of an SSN. Given it's only a 2 year gap before we get something rather better to replace Sea Skua, I think that's an acceptable trade-off.


Can the Aster.30 be used as an ASM as well during that 2 year period?


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 7:10 pm 
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IIRC, they've run tests with Brimstone on choppers too, haven't they? I coulda sworn I've seen pictures in the assorted Brit aviation magazines.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:05 pm 
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OK, thought exersise. We assume, NSM and its airborne version, have significant operational benifits vs Harpoon.

You are the USN. A war is coming in 12 months, and the thought was that there will be lots of medium sized ships to kill. You have enough fairy dust to put 500 missiles in service in 12 months.

Where do you put them, surface ships, or Hornets?


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:30 pm 
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NewGolconda wrote:
OK, thought exersise. We assume, NSM and its airborne version, have significant operational benifits vs Harpoon.

You are the USN. A war is coming in 12 months, and the thought was that there will be lots of medium sized ships to kill. You have enough fairy dust to put 500 missiles in service in 12 months.

Where do you put them, surface ships, or Hornets?


I choose 500 Trident missiles, and I lay them down on my enemies' harbors, industrial facilities, and transportation nodes.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 11:01 pm 
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Poohbah wrote:
NewGolconda wrote:
OK, thought exersise. We assume, NSM and its airborne version, have significant operational benifits vs Harpoon.

You are the USN. A war is coming in 12 months, and the thought was that there will be lots of medium sized ships to kill. You have enough fairy dust to put 500 missiles in service in 12 months.

Where do you put them, surface ships, or Hornets?


I choose 500 Trident missiles, and I lay them down on my enemies' harbors, industrial facilities, and transportation nodes.


Damn expensive way of delivering tungsten rods to your opponent.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 12:39 am 
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Is it a risk - yes. Is not having freakin lasers on board to stop martian invasions a risk - yes.

The challenge is to manage the risks.

Sea Skua was old (as in OAP territory) and the Mk8 withdrawal meant that it had no airframe to fly on. Its replacement missile is rapidly inbound and will hit the capability sweet spot of what it is we want to sink.

Beyond that, Harpoon is old (as in OAP territory) because succesive generations of RN officers at funding boards have made the call that what is not needed is a SLEP but a new missile. Defer the replacement until it can align to US plans and then jump onboard for the long haul. A short term fix quickly becomes a long term bodge job (e.g. Canadas new F18s). The RN would rather spend 4-5 years minus an anti-ship missile that its never used in anger, than get stuck with the bastard child of Frankenstein that it wont be able to replace for decades.

In this day and age, long range ASuW missiles are all fine and dandy until you start working out the scenarios when you will realistically have to use the bloody things. At which point that investment in close in stuff like air launched missiles seems a lot more sensible.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 1:48 pm 
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NBS wrote:
I looked for info on the Martlet but couldn't find anything saying it was in service now, rather than in a year or two from now?

Looks like trials have started but it isn't actually in service. I got lazy and just checked Wiki which had it as entering service in 2015, but it looks like trials started last year and it'll enter service next year instead.

The Bushranger wrote:
IIRC, they've run tests with Brimstone on choppers too, haven't they? I coulda sworn I've seen pictures in the assorted Brit aviation magazines.

There are plans to run it on Apache, which should be relatively straightforward as it has a very similar aerodynamic shape to Hellfire. Nothing I'm aware of for naval helicopters however.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 3:34 pm 
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NewGolconda wrote:
OK, thought exersise. We assume, NSM and its airborne version, have significant operational benifits vs Harpoon.

You are the USN. A war is coming in 12 months, and the thought was that there will be lots of medium sized ships to kill. You have enough fairy dust to put 500 missiles in service in 12 months.

Where do you put them, surface ships, or Hornets?

I sprinkle my fairy dust around, and purchase 150 JSOW for the F-18, 200 of a mix of SM-2 Block IV, SM-3, and SM-6, and 150 AMRAAM. That gives a decent increase to the systems in use, allows for a wide range of potential threats, and puts stuff on most of the systems in use.

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