Harpoon to be cut?

#2
Maybe this has some bearing on it.

"Production for the United States has ceased although upgrades programs are still continuing. The production for export continues and the SLAM-ER remains in production as well."

Source: Weapon
 

Purple_twiglet

War Hero
Moderator
#3
More valid question is - is there many credible scenarios where the happy coincidence of a fairly uncluttered ocean, a target needing to be functionally destroyed by a big missile, the political willpower to see a firing causing sufficient damage to kill a lot of people (AKA Belgrano), and the ability to be certain of your targets ID, all going to come together any time soon?
 
#4
More valid question is - is there many credible scenarios where the happy coincidence of a fairly uncluttered ocean, a target needing to be functionally destroyed by a big missile, the political willpower to see a firing causing sufficient damage to kill a lot of people (AKA Belgrano), and the ability to be certain of your targets ID, all going to come together any time soon?
While that has been the perceived wisdom in town for some years now (with some justification), there are an awful lot of ifs and buts in there which are entirely scenario-specific.

Given that neither the RAF or FAA can offer ship-killing capability against anything with a relatively modern PDMS, it would be unfortunate were the UK contribution to NATO DD/FF-killing capability to be limited to our 7 SSN.

Can just imagine the reaction in No10 if having been tasked to sink somebody's warship, PM is told sorry sir, we can't actually sink ships anymore unless one of our 7 boats is in the area.
 
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#6
While that has been the perceived wisdom in town for some years now (with some justification), there are an awful lot of ifs and buts in there which are entirely scenario-specific.

Given that neither the RAF or FAA can offer ship-killing capability against anything with a relatively modern PDMS, it would be unfortunate were the UK contribution to NATO DD/FF-killing capability to be limited to our 7 SSN.

Can just imagine the reaction in No10 if having been tasked to sink somebody's warship, PM is told sorry sir, we can't actually sink ships anymore unless one of our 7 boats is in the area.
Or typhoon, gr-4 or F35.
 
#7
Or typhoon, gr-4 or F35
And the Ship-killing capability available to those assets vs a relatively modern PDMS right now is? Might be able to use EPW2, but the GPS/IMU bit won't be useable, cutting down on the stand-off range quite considerably.
 

Purple_twiglet

War Hero
Moderator
#10
I think the issue as I see it is baring a major change in world circumstances, the willingness of any politician to endorse an ROE package which permits us to lob heavy ASMs into large escort ships, knowing a succesful hit could potentially kill / injure more crew than we lost UK troops in Iraq is very low.

We may have the capability, but I fear the political freedom to conduct this sort of operation is low - I sense that ship killing at distance (as opposed to localised taking out of FIACS using Sea Skua etc) is now a strategic issue, and one that is likely to be handled in a manner similar to the deterrent - you don't do it unless you REALLY have to...
 
#11
I would disagree PT.

Political authorisation was forthcoming in both Iraq and Libya for multiple SS strikes against single C2 bunkers and other facilities where the was the possibility of significant loss of life. Likewise, had the Libyan ships destroyed at their moorings in 2011 been found to be underway, I suspect they'd still have received the same number of EPW.

Granted a bunker can arguably be evacuated with less risk than a ship sinking in icy waters, however, I have no doubt the will would be there if required. Moreover, modern ASMs increasingly have the ability to target a specific portion of a vessel to increase the likelihood of an m-kill with minimum loss of life.

Regards,
MM
 

Purple_twiglet

War Hero
Moderator
#12
MM - Totally agree - but there is a big difference between a relatively small missile over which the firer has to be certain of the target, and firing something like Harpoon which is designed to go into a box, pick its target up and then functionally destroy the ship.

I have no doubt that limited strikes will occur, or that we'll continue to use Sea Skua, FASGW and Brimstone - its when you get to the sort of 'Conqueror / Belgrano' scenarios that could see 3-400 enemy KIA that I worry some politicians would seek a different way out.
 
#13
Not sure I'd describe SS as 'relatively small' PT!

Similarly, I would argue that third party targeting can ensure a high degree of certainty in an ASuW scenario. That likelihood will increase with future weapons due to the likely inclusion of Imaging Infra Red and other systems capable of a very high degree of target discrimination.

Regards,
MM
 

Purple_twiglet

War Hero
Moderator
#14
MM - Agree on SS, fascinating piece of kit and very useful - although arguably comcens are less politically challenging than ships?

The future may seem bright, but again my worry now is with Harpoon - I think its a great weapon, but one that is probably unusuable and I hope to christ its successor isn't like this.
 
#15
...arguably comcens are less politically challenging than ships?
That's probably what the targeting cell said about the Amiriyah C2 facility in Feb 91.

...The future may seem bright, but again my worry now is with Harpoon - I think its a great weapon, but one that is probably unusuable and I hope to christ its successor isn't like this.
I say bring back Bucc with Sea Eagle!

Regards,
MM
 
#18
I would suggest we actually need two weapons.

One that looks a lot like FASGW(H), with plenty of pos-ID real-time targetting capability.
The other looks a lot like one of Harpoon/Sea Eagle or even a supersonic version. With terminal guidance ID / mid course control - however you want to play it. It does however need to be capable of crippling a DD/FF sized target with decent defences - because we just may have to one day.

As for battlewagons, while I have a soft spot for Tiger, Renown (rebuilt) and QE (rebuilt), Vanguard really was the best looking.
 
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