Interesting. Please do me a favor and consider calling it an S2A or 'SAM' rather than what I presume 'AA' or Anti Aircraft missile was intended
That said, it was only a matter of time, given the way they are going with MICA and Adder (and we are flying over 20K to drop IAM), before someone
woke up and decided to send VSHORADS systems to 18,000ft and Mach 3 or more.
And that is what this system looks like. A two stage weapon _too large_ to be hamhanded around on a shoulder. And thus fitted to a rugged naval
Interestingly, if it is a QW-3 clone, it might be more a case of 'favor in kind' (or at least trade) as the Vanguard system is supposedly based on
the SA-16 Igla. Yet the third generation (Qian Wei -3) is supposedly 'dual mode' LCG _and_ IR.
While the Russian system is not (Though I think the SA-19 is)
In any case, back in the 80's, the Iranian's got their hands on some RBS-70 (quite the scandal, caused a Swede exporter or Bofors guy to be murdered
in his home, supposedly) and it was found to be the most dominant weapon on the battlefield /because/ it was 'unjammable' (no warning signals to the
airframe RWR either) and had a very high topend and max effective range for a period S2A system (about 12,000ft altitude and 20-22,000ft total
Largely because of the aerodynamic shape.
In a war driven by artillery in which the HAWK could hardly deploy close enough to make a difference, for awhile, the RBS-70 was quite the bogey
The reports are very unknown about this but it can be used on both navy ships and can be launched from vehicles....
What continues to interest me are the potential relevance of 'EW use' and 'Radar Blind Spot' wordings as these present the possibility of a mode
more akin to RAM.
In that you have a system which can /potentially/ track a CM radar altimeter if not active seeker threat (AShM at sea) on inbound missiles which are
technically below the horizon on FAAD/Sector type systems until after launch.
This would, to an extent, explain the ogival shape to the nose rather than a simple conical taper as with most CG weapons (Rapier, Starburst,
Even as it would, to an extent, justify the notion of this (heavy = expensive and limited coverage area) weapon as a lofted system or one intended to
be used on aircraft or missiles passing through constricted approaches to targets (i.e. where you 'know' a threat is, by observation and geographic
precondition, and are not necessarily firing blindly into the dark so much as down into a cued target lane).
If it works, and if it truly has a 15km range (launch team outside the FOV of even an overhead drone) it might even be /more/ dangerous as an
anti-comms-node killer, given we are so incredibly reliant of 2EOT relay via FAC/TACPs and battlefield networking systems.
I must admit, the presence of the large dark band (PifPaf collar or a secondary RF fuze?) and the apparent segment breakline but no forward controls
is rather bizarre.
Anyway, here's some other pages which might give more of a clue as to where things are bound to be headed for more conventional VSHORADS-
While, if true, it certainly does pose a lot of questions as to the 'sudden sophistication' of seeker engineering; the two that most intrigue me are
whether AA-ARM guidance, if truly present, is accurate enough to home on it's own or whether a secondary mode (SA-6 IR say) is available either
on-missile (frangible cover) or as a second round tethered to the first. It would also be interesting to note what kind of boost-terminal profile the
weapon has in terms of crossing angle snap-to-track performance on threats close in or at the edge of the envelope.
Out to sea the obvious answer to beating the inner air battle zone is very high speed to get across a largely open horizon, even as you also maximize
standoff from conventional OAB (FORCAP and SM-2, Aster or SA/N-6) type threats.
But inland, I would think you would need to have a very special weapon to keep the terrain profile matching heights as low as they are today in a
supersonic or hypersonic weapon.
Indeed, if this Iranian missile /could/ defeat an all-out missile attack (20+ shots on 4 targets is less than five each) on sheer numbers of shooters
if nothing else, one wonders whether we could deny the efficacy of this by 'switching bands' ourselves as with the AGM-129 LIDAR. To retain TRN
elevation mapping as a means of route nav and obstacle avoidance on a short horizon. Or if we simply have to abandon the low penetration option
Certainly, if our CM (and the Israelis) have suddenly gone from 'radalt or GPS dual channel assured redundancy' being vulnerable to an Iranian
'spoof the local signal on the GPS with microjammers /then/ attack the radalt as the missile switches over' as a kind of combined arms approach to
denying us a critical first-penetration (unmanned) rollback option.
Or worse a solo precision-strike anti-WMD capability.
Things could get bad. Maybe even force a rushed switch to aeroballistics.
Obviously, a decent cruise system will navigate on pure inertial for a fair distance without getting too sloppy (and this may explain the latest
generation of SCALP/JASSM weapons preference for brilliant target-mapping IIR seekers) but my understanding is that at least the first generation
DSMAC required a fairly precise optical (perspective) corridor to lane into.
Having to go extended distances before recapture-correcting for nav certainty while generating 'unlikely' target approach avenues with a subsonic
weapon could make for a lot more exposure to semi-conventional (AAA with a smart fuze) or other-exotic (AHM with an optimized anti-CM seeker).
Resulting in mission planning headaches (BTOTs and so on) to say the least.