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US Submarine-Launched Supersonic Anti-Ship Missile

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posted on Jun, 9 2018 @ 08:43 PM
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Posting this in Aircraft Projects because I think it's appropriate. An anti-ship missile is basically an aircraft, also what I want to relate this to aircraft, but feel free to talk about other aspects if you like.

Aside: I think about 3 subforums should be merged here anyway.

Anyways a great article from the author "we love to hate" here. I recommend reading the entire thing, I have only cut segments here that are relevant to what I want to talk about.


(snip)

But a previously unreported intrusion into a Navy contractor's computer network has provided the Chinese military with information on the service's electronic warfare and threat library, cryptographic radio systems used on submarines, specific sensor data, and detailed information on a previously undisclosed and fast-paced initiative to field a supersonic anti-ship missile onto American nuclear submarines dubbed Sea Dragon.

(snip)

Yet the news that the Navy is rapidly looking to field a submarine-launched anti-ship missile capable of supersonic speeds is the biggest revelation from this report. Not only that but it is supposedly a weapon already in existence that is being adapted for submarine use. Quite honestly, in a vacuum, it's good news that the Navy is working on such a capability. Giving U.S. nuclear submarines long-range anti-ship capabilities that they can use while operating where no ship can is a critical ability that should be obtained, but what weapon could this be?

(snip)

This weapon could be one of a number of concepts we identify below. But to start, a submarine-launched version of the SM-6 multi-role missile seems like the most conventional possibility.

(snip)

Because the SM-6 is networked and doesn't rely on organic sensors installed on its firing platform for targeting, submarines could even act as clandestine launch platforms for anti-aircraft attacks.


www.thedrive.com...


To summarize the rest of the article:
- Could also be LRASM and not supersonic, or LRASM-B, which was a proposed supersonic variant.
- Could also be RATTLRS which the Navy has shown models of recently.
- China hacking US servers is bad.

Anyways, back to SM-6, am I the only one who thinks a submarine launched SM-6 is a genius idea? Or even a Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUV) carrying several SM-6 is a fantastic idea?

From the Rogoway article:


The SM-6, which you can read all about in this recent profile we published on it, can be launched from the Mark 41 Vertical Launch Systems found on American destroyers and cruisers. In its latest form, it is fully networked, allowing it to receive targeting data from a variety of platforms, including airborne, ground-based, or surface-based sensor nodes. This concept is called Cooperative Engagement Capability/Naval Integrated Fire Control CEC/NIFC and it is one of the most important concepts the sea-going force is trying to implement at this time.

Because the SM-6 is networked and doesn't rely on organic sensors installed on its firing platform for targeting, submarines could even act as clandestine launch platforms for anti-aircraft attacks. This would allow for more vulnerable assets, like E-2D Hawkeyes, MQ-4C Tritons, P-8 Poseidons, and powerful radar-packing surface combatants to stand off at long ranges, using their sensor's great reach—outside the range of their own or nearby weapons—to their advantage and remotely ordering up attacks on enemy ships and aircraft by surprise.


Obviously the problem is getting communications to the submarine in a timely manner since a sub won't have a big phased array radar on the surface. Perhaps some new form of communications is needed to get the targeting information from an F-35 / PCA / E-2D to the sub.

Moving on, from the from the Air Superiority 2030 Flight Plan.


Adversaries are increasingly deploying integrated and networked capabilities as part of the Anti-Access/Area Denial (A2/AD) strategy in highly contested environments. To achieve air superiority against this strategy in support of joint force mission objectives, the Air Force needs to develop a family of capabilities that operate in and across the air, space and cyberspace domains— there is no single capability that provides a “silver bullet” solution. This family must include both stand-off and stand-in forces, integrated and networked to achieve mission effects.


Also, what if "Stand Off Arsenal Plane" isn't a Plane, instead it's a submarine?

Anyway, I submitted this to the Air Force 2030 Initiative, although they probably already have considered this and it's not even my idea.

And it would bring a whole new meaning to the term "scoot-and-hide". S-500 would have nothing on this.

edit on 9/6/18 by C0bzz because: (no reason given)

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posted on Jun, 9 2018 @ 08:46 PM
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The US has a supersonic submarine? Awesome!



posted on Jun, 9 2018 @ 09:03 PM
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a reply to: C0bzz

The US Navy did a test fire of a hypersonic missile from a sub, too:

news.usni.org...

An antiship version would be...delicious.

As for the arsenal plane being a sub or the SM-6 being used, I'm a bit dubious. SAMs from subs have been done before. The datalink could compromise the sub and the sub can't get away as fast as a stealthy aircraft can.



posted on Jun, 9 2018 @ 09:14 PM
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a reply to: anzha

I'll look into it a little bit more and report back findings. For now though I'll be playing DCS.



posted on Jun, 9 2018 @ 09:14 PM
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originally posted by: schuyler
The US has a supersonic submarine? Awesome!


Lol that had me scratching my head at first too! I was all day-um!

In reply to the questions here: Yeah I think subs--man or unmanned--would probably make excellent delivery systems for such weapons systems. Maybe even superior to other methods overall.

China? They are on the move for sure. It's only a matter of time I think. When I was 14 I had a nightmare that was like Red Dawn but the invaders were Chinese and they were everywhere and uncountable like sand on a beach. It still gives me chills.


edit on 9-6-2018 by The GUT because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 9 2018 @ 09:21 PM
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I changed the title to make it more clear.



posted on Jun, 9 2018 @ 09:43 PM
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a reply to: anzha
Not necessarily. If the SAM is getting it's targeting feed from an AWAC or a satellite there is no problem.



posted on Jun, 9 2018 @ 09:50 PM
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One issue is communications. For example, how do you tell the submarine to fire the missile? Bear in mind that that ELF is slow and can be intercepted (albeit it can be keyed). And normal bands cannot transmit deep into water, necessitating something close or on the surface.

I'm wondering if you could make a stealthy and extremely small antenna that is disguised as something like a log to receive the information, which could then be transmitted to a deeper submarine via a cable. Maybe quantum communications could help as well. Also one problem with stealthy datalinks is that they are highly directional, meaning something would have to know where the submarine is or some form of detection would be needed so that a directional datalink could be attained.

There's also the issue of a missile launch being detected, but this applies to all missiles not just subsurface to air, and it applies to SAM sites as well.
edit on 9/6/18 by C0bzz because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 9 2018 @ 10:41 PM
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originally posted by: schuyler
The US has a supersonic submarine? Awesome!


I know!

Speed of sound is only like....1500 m/s in water though. That sub is maybe going 4500 mph tops....psht. Weak.



Can you imagine a sub that fast? Terrifying if it took a wrong turn and mounted a beach. It'd likely end up a mile inland and the path of distruction would be insane.





edit on 692018 by CreationBro because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 9 2018 @ 11:10 PM
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originally posted by: C0bzz
a reply to: anzha

I'll look into it a little bit more and report back findings. For now though I'll be playing DCS.


F/A-18C? Im just building my pit.



posted on Jun, 9 2018 @ 11:16 PM
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originally posted by: anzha
a reply to: C0bzz

The US Navy did a test fire of a hypersonic missile from a sub, too:

news.usni.org...

An antiship version would be...delicious.

As for the arsenal plane being a sub or the SM-6 being used, I'm a bit dubious. SAMs from subs have been done before. The datalink could compromise the sub and the sub can't get away as fast as a stealthy aircraft can.


I thought they already deployed Harpoon as part of their arsenal? Wouldnt a Hypersonic missile deploy at much longer ranges so the same as Harpoon but just further away, beyond Torpedo and ASW Helicopter Range?



posted on Jun, 10 2018 @ 01:04 AM
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a reply to: Forensick


F/A-18C? Im just building my pit.


Yup. Let me know if you want to fly together sometime.

You can be my wingman any time.


edit on 10/6/18 by C0bzz because: (no reason given)

edit on 10/6/18 by C0bzz because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 10 2018 @ 04:01 AM
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originally posted by: CreationBro

originally posted by: schuyler
The US has a supersonic submarine? Awesome!


I know!

Speed of sound is only like....1500 m/s in water though. That sub is maybe going 4500 mph tops....psht. Weak.



Can you imagine a sub that fast? Terrifying if it took a wrong turn and mounted a beach. It'd likely end up a mile inland and the path of distruction would be insane.






Or hitting a whale



posted on Jun, 10 2018 @ 05:55 AM
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a reply to: Forensick

Harpoons can be fired from subs. I'm unsure if they pack them on every mission though.

A hypersonic missile would allow for prompt strikes from much further away. Mach 5 being about a mile per second. For the same flight time, a Mach 5 hypersonic missile can cover almost 7x the distance. 450 nm instead of, say, around 67. The added bonus is being in the engagement envelope of the defenses for about a 1/7th the time, too.



posted on Jun, 10 2018 @ 12:33 PM
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originally posted by: Spacespider

originally posted by: CreationBro

originally posted by: schuyler
The US has a supersonic submarine? Awesome!


I know!

Speed of sound is only like....1500 m/s in water though. That sub is maybe going 4500 mph tops....psht. Weak.



Can you imagine a sub that fast? Terrifying if it took a wrong turn and mounted a beach. It'd likely end up a mile inland and the path of distruction would be insane.






Or hitting a whale


Ground blubber shower.



posted on Jun, 10 2018 @ 11:22 PM
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originally posted by: C0bzz
One issue is communications. For example, how do you tell the submarine to fire the missile? Bear in mind that that ELF is slow and can be intercepted (albeit it can be keyed). And normal bands cannot transmit deep into water, necessitating something close or on the surface.

I'm wondering if you could make a stealthy and extremely small antenna that is disguised as something like a log to receive the information, which could then be transmitted to a deeper submarine via a cable.


stuff like this has been around for a while, e.g.

patents.google.com...

and earlier

patents.google.com...

and new versions

phys.org...



There's also the issue of a missile launch being detected, but this applies to all missiles not just subsurface to air, and it applies to SAM sites as well.


Subs can drive faster than SAM sites but a whole bunch slower than aircraft.



posted on Jun, 10 2018 @ 11:25 PM
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originally posted by: anzha
a reply to: Forensick

Harpoons can be fired from subs. I'm unsure if they pack them on every mission though.

A hypersonic missile would allow for prompt strikes from much further away. Mach 5 being about a mile per second. For the same flight time, a Mach 5 hypersonic missile can cover almost 7x the distance. 450 nm instead of, say, around 67. The added bonus is being in the engagement envelope of the defenses for about a 1/7th the time, too.


On the other hand, drag forces increase markedly with speed and thus the fuel required (and more fuel requires more fuel to lift the fuel) so usually range is much more limited than a turbojet which is about the most efficient. So it would have to be much much bigger and more expensive.



posted on Jun, 10 2018 @ 11:29 PM
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a reply to: Spacespider

thats what the BLOOP was.



posted on Jun, 11 2018 @ 04:33 AM
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Question WRT hypersonic missile, is the benefit from launching at say 2 miles out gives you near zero chance of avoiding it or is it range?



posted on Jun, 11 2018 @ 05:28 AM
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a reply to: Forensick

Launching an AShM within two miles of the target will result a) a hit if the ship is not on high alert b) interception during the launch phase if the ship is looking for threats.
It doesnt really matter if the AShM is hypersonic or not, it isnt during launch or acceleration anyway.

Emplyoing a SM-6 or even an hypersonic AShM from a submarine is the very definition of a n almost irrelevant niche capability.
You probably can work around the communication issues, but the very purpose of a submarine is to operate independently from other assets. If you plug it into the Aegis network or whatever you really dont need a submarine to play weapons carrier. Any ordinary sufrace combatant with a VLS capability will do.

There is a case to be made for the SSGNs to be equiped with a *hypersonic* *ballistic* *long range* strike capability under the PGS umbrella but thats pretty much it IMO.
Even LRASM on a submarine makes Llttle to no sense. It cant utilize the range on its own and there are about a dozen other assets to play weapons carrier in a standoff scenario.

If i had to choose a successor to the Harpoon on submarines i'd be looking at developing a sublaunched version of the AARGM. Its fast enough to make interception difficult (Mach 2+) , can fly far enough for a submarine(90mi), is perfectly capable of hitting targets with little to no outside support and you can probably pack four into each VLS tube (same diameter as ESSM).



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