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Belesarius

USN developing SM-6 anti-ship capability.

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The US Navy is developing additional capabilities for the SM-6.  This will give the US Navy a Mach 3.5 350 mile range anti-ship missile.  Of course, not broadly talked about is that the SM-2 already had a surface attack mode.

 

http://news.usni.org/2016/02/04/secdef-carter-confirms-navy-developing-supersonic-anti-ship-missile-for-cruisers-destroyers

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There is also talk about modifying the warhead a bit.  But even if the warhead isn't optimal for anti ship duties, an anti ship missiles hitting a modern warship at mach 3.5 and then going boom is not going to do good things.

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I would naively guess the restriction is more on the kind of warhead it carries, though?

 

Seekers are quite specialized.  You can't shoot a heat-seeking air to air missile at ground targets, for instance.  The use of radar-guided SAMs against tanks in 1973 was an act of desperation by Egyptian SA-2 crews who were about to have their shit stomped by Israeli armor.  It did nothing, because radar-guided SAMs can't lock on ground targets, and the stomping commenced.

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Seekers are quite specialized.  You can't shoot a heat-seeking air to air missile at ground targets, for instance.  The use of radar-guided SAMs against tanks in 1973 was an act of desperation by Egyptian SA-2 crews who were about to have their shit stomped by Israeli armor.  It did nothing, because radar-guided SAMs can't lock on ground targets, and the stomping commenced.

You can get laser guided and gps guided both pretty small now so on something the size of the SM-6 it's more of finding the room to cram it in to the existing shell without fucking with other functionality at this point.

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Seekers are quite specialized.  You can't shoot a heat-seeking air to air missile at ground targets, for instance.  The use of radar-guided SAMs against tanks in 1973 was an act of desperation by Egyptian SA-2 crews who were about to have their shit stomped by Israeli armor.  It did nothing, because radar-guided SAMs can't lock on ground targets, and the stomping commenced.

Well, if you want to build a universal missile, would the choice of seeker be as hard as making a warhead effective against tanks, aircraft, and ships?

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Well, if you want to build a universal missile, would the choice of seeker be as hard as making a warhead effective against tanks, aircraft, and ships?

Particularly hardened or large targets would require specialized warheads, but the majority of military targets are things like a truck, a bunch of dudes standing in a field, an expensive and easily breakable radar dish, an airplane, et plurima cetera.  A fragmentation warhead that will reasonably kill one of those things will reasonably kill the rest of them.

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Seekers are quite specialized.  You can't shoot a heat-seeking air to air missile at ground targets, for instance.  The use of radar-guided SAMs against tanks in 1973 was an act of desperation by Egyptian SA-2 crews who were about to have their shit stomped by Israeli armor.  It did nothing, because radar-guided SAMs can't lock on ground targets, and the stomping commenced.

 

The AIM-9X has been tested against boats and vehicles. And back during Vietnam they messed around with using a version of the AIM-9B against trucks on the Ho Chi Minh trail at night, apparently the headlights/exhausts put out enough of a IR signature for a lock.

 

You can get laser guided and gps guided both pretty small now so on something the size of the SM-6 it's more of finding the room to cram it in to the existing shell without fucking with other functionality at this point.

 

I suspect that anti-radiation/home-on-jam for the SDB-II and Brimstone will eventually show up, as another mode to their radar guidance packages. (IIRC the Air Force and Raytheon have already worked on a version of the SDB specifically for killing GPS jammers)

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Interesting.  AIM-9X probably works much better in this regard thanks to the planar array.  Getting a reticule seeker to home on ground targets but ignore ground clutter would be very, very difficult.  Planar array also opens up the door to all sorts of software signal filtering witchcraft.

 

Edit:  I realize this is jargon-filled.  "Planar array" basically means how a sane person would design a heat-seeking missile, i.e. there is a matrix of little heat-sensitive elements under the focus of some IR optics.  Analogous to how a CCD in a camcorder works, or the nerves and optics of an eye.

 

"Reticule seeker" is how heat-seeking missiles worked in the stone age when all the electronics were shit and barely worked.  You have a single analog pixel, basically, underneath some spinning filters underneath some wavelength filters.  It's amazing they worked at all, let alone as well as they did.

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I wonder how long it will take before electronics are good enough that you can just have a general purpose guided missile. Surface to air, surface to surface, anti-ship, anti-radiation, just tell it what it's supposed to fly into, and it figures out how to do it.

Because the amount of explosives needed to take down even small warships trumps the amount to take down jets. It would be incredibly cost inefficient

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