Navy's Guiding Force
Advanced, integrated technology key to defending against new threats
In his address at Australia’s Future Surface Fleet Conference in March 2015, the then-Minister for Defence, Kevin Andrews, spoke of a new threat environment and the value of integrating and sharing information between platforms and systems.
Below, Raytheon Australia looks at what the Royal Australian Navy may consider in developing enhanced, integrated systems and weapons to counter the new threat environment former Minister Andrews referenced.
Evolved SeaSparrow Missile I and II
The Evolved SeaSparrow Missiles (ESSM) provide self-defence against high-speed, highly manoeuvrable anti-ship missiles in the naval environment. There are more than 2000 ESSM Block 1 rounds in service or in production with a further 1500 rounds anticipated. ESSM is currently deployed by the Royal Australian Navy on the Adelaide and Anzac Class frigates and will be integrated into Air Warfare Destroyers.
SM-2 missiles provide long range, high- and low-altitude intercept capability with high performance against advanced and anti-ship missile threats. Its primary missions are extended-area air defence and ship self-defence. The Air Warfare Destroyers will employ SM-2 missiles controlled by the Aegis Weapon System and launched from the Mk-41 Vertical Launch System.
The SM-6 is the revolutionary upgrade to the Standard Missile family, providing a transformational long-range, over-the-horizon capability to counter evolving threats.
The SM-6 missile family combines the combat proven Standard Missile airframe and propulsion elements with active seeker technology from AMRAAM and was developed to extend the capabilities of the SM-2.
Mk-48 Mod 6 Advanced Technology
The Mk-48 Mod 6 Advanced Technology is a heavyweight torpedo designed for optimum effectiveness against targets. It is capable of autonomous operation or control via wire link featuring advanced sonar combined with an advanced digital signal processor for improved low Doppler target detection.
Mk-54 Lightweight Torpedo
The Mk-54 is the next-generation of the MK-46 lightweight torpedo capable of delivering a devastating blow to submarine threats in both deep and shallow water, and in various acoustic environments. It can be deployed from a surface ship, helicopter or fixed-wing aircraft to track, classify and attack underwater targets.
Phalanx Close-in Weapon System (CIWS)
The Phalanx Close-In Weapon System (CIWS) is a rapid-fire, computer-controlled, radar-guided gun system designed to defeat anti-ship missiles and other close-in air and surface threats. The Phalanx system is self-contained and automatically carries out functions usually performed by multiple systems. Those functions include search, detection, threat evaluation, tracking, engagement and kill assessment. The Block 1B version of Phalanx adds control stations that allow operators to visually track and identify surface targets before engagement.
The Phalanx CIWS is installed on most U.S. Navy surface combatant ship classes and on those of 24 allied nations. The land-based version is forward deployed and has been used in combat.
For a ballistic missile defence on land and at sea, the SM-3 is a critical weapon used to destroy short- to intermediate-range ballistic missile threats. It is controlled by the Aegis Weapon System to provide an umbrella of protection. The SM-3 Block IIA can be deployed on land as well as at sea. It has two new features:
- Larger rocket motors that allow it to defend broader areas from ballistic missile threats; and
- A larger kinetic warhead
The GPS-enabled Tomahawk Block IV cruise missile can circle for hours after launch from ship or submarine. It will instantly shift course on command and beam a picture of its target to controllers halfway around the world before striking with pinpoint accuracy.
SeaRAM Anti-Ship Missile Defence System
The SeaRAM Anti-Ship Missile Defence System is a spiral development of key attributes of the CIWS and the Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) Guided Weapon System. SeaRAM is designed to extend the inner layer battlespace and enable the ship to effectively engage multiple high-performance, supersonic and subsonic threats. An 11-missile RAM launcher assembly replaces Phalanx's 20mm gun.
GRIFFIN – BGM-176B
The Griffin missile is a multi-platform, multi-service weapon that has a proven track record for successful rapid integration on land, sea and air platforms. It is available in four variants: Griffin A, Griffin B, Griffin C and Griffin C-ER. Variant B is a forward firing missile that uses a composite launch tube. The missile launches from rotary and fixed-wing aircraft, ground-launch applications and maritime platforms. It is currently in operation on the U.S. Navy’s Cyclone-class Patrol Coastal ships.
Further information on Raytheon's precision weapons is available from the Raytheon Precision Weapon Product Guide.