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Iran’s Shkval – Tamed!

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posted on Apr, 13 2006 @ 02:00 PM
The “Deadly” weapon that’s designed to be unstoppable…Apparently is easily defeated.

In my recent “Conventional Global Strike” I promised to address soon other ways in which U.S. Navy submarine armament systems are dramatically broadening in reach and lethality. But observing the errors of fact and occasional tone nearing hysteria in some media lately, I feel compelled to first address an “enemy” weapon and put it in its proper place. This weapon has been called in print “hellacious.” It's been described as a “quantum leap” in the nature of naval warfare from this day forth -- a disruptive technology for which America is woefully unprepared. It's even been said that there's no physically possible friendly defense against it, and the target won't even realize the weapon is coming until it impacts and the target's crew are dead. Paints a scary picture, doesn't it? Yet none of these statements are true.

It’s a large article explaining in detail and using real life type circumstances.

My take?

Shkval – Like your sand wedge, great club when you are in the sand, but meaningless if you never land there. The Shkval is a menacing weapon, so long as you are dead ahead and within a few miles…And we all know how likely that is against the US Navy…

[edit on 13-4-2006 by skippytjc]

posted on Apr, 13 2006 @ 02:43 PM
That's an excellent article. Thanks for the post!

posted on Apr, 13 2006 @ 03:45 PM
good find. im fed up with iranian propoganda and so i really enjoyed that.


posted on Apr, 13 2006 @ 04:00 PM
Its a good weapon, no doubts there. But the issue is, its not the future of naval warfare, its 30 years old and been accounted for by nearly all of modern navy equipment and protocol.

Bottom line: New to Iran, not the world. Decent SHORT range weapon thats been accounted for, and for decades.

[edit on 13-4-2006 by skippytjc]

posted on Apr, 13 2006 @ 04:50 PM

Originally posted by skippytjc

Shkval – Like your sand wedge, great club when you are in the sand, but meaningless if you never land there. The Shkval is a menacing weapon, so long as you are dead ahead and within a few miles…And we all know how likely that is against the US Navy…

Yep. Both German and Swedish subs managed to penetrate the carrier group and get the carrier "in sight" - undetected, with their "puny" diesel-electric boats. And these are only the cases I know of/that are public.

posted on Apr, 13 2006 @ 06:08 PM
Well people are making the mistake od assuming Iran will only use one weapon at a time. Im sure Iran will use a multiduce of different weapons to do a job and different technicques to accomplish tasks.

Iran also has self guided torpedo's and wire guided torpedo's and many different anti-ship cruise missiles this torpedo is just another weapon in its arsenel its foolish to assume that Iran plan's to fight a whole naval war with this single torpedo. Im sure Iran actually has some real tactical uses for it otherwise they didn;t really need it considering all the other torpedo's and anti-ship cruise missiles they have.

posted on Apr, 14 2006 @ 02:05 AM
I've read the article in full and unfortunately I'm rather disappointed.

While the essay does present certain aspects which are to be considered, other then the somewhat slanted overtones, it suffers from the lack on factual foundation and poses the question on the background of the author.

In order to be objective, I have looked into the bio of Mr. Joe Buff, and found out that in fact he is not a professional in the field, but an enthusiastic and dedicated novelist focusing on various aspects of Naval warfare.

Considering his professional background as a risk analyst coupled with in depth interest in Naval warfare, I'm sure it gives his fictional work a very interesting read, but in this case such interests hardly form viable and factual base for the analysis in question.

I am not yet familiar with his award winning non-fictional works published by the Naval Submarine League, but from what I've learned, NSL is a non-profit awareness promoting organization, or what is commonly know as "interest group".

The primary mission of the Naval Submarine League is to PROMOTE AWARENESS of the importance of submarines to U.S. national security

assist members in creating public awareness of submarine capabilities and value to U.S. defense, a forum for exchange of thoughts on submarine matters

While fully appreciating his personal patriotism, dedication and passion for Naval warfare, in the essay in question a number of hydro-fluid dynamics misconceptions were presented, along with clear word play and occasional fallacy, ultimately leading to misrepresentation of the issues discussed.

Among other inconsistencies, basic technical information presented by Mr. Buff about Shvkal and its deployment is simply incorrect, facts which are easily found by a simple google search.

While I fully agree with Mr. Buff on the issue of mass media ratings agenda achieved by spin/hype/hysteria, his representation of the current Naval battlefield reality in the face of supercavitation based weapons are clearly of base, and serves as a personal essay rather then a factual study.

By no means am I attempting to discredit his personal point of view, but simply stating that the essay should be scrutinized as such, and not as an in depth study conducted by a professional in such matters.

Much as a personal view of a music aficionado should not be scrutinized on the same scale as the experience of a professional musician.

posted on Apr, 14 2006 @ 02:50 AM
Here's a peculiar find.

Unlike Mr. Buffs opinion that the West has no interest in "outdated" and what he deems as useless concept of Shkval torpedo, declassified Canadian documents show that the issue of Shkval acquisition was brought to the attention of the Canadian Minister (president) back in 1999.

Briefing note;

and actual acquisition request;

It is clear that unlike Mr. Buffs notion that Shkval is easily tamed by non existent defense systems and is obsolete by its very concept, Canadian Minister was seeking to invest in such torpedo technology since 1999.

If by Mr. Buffs notion Shkval is so easily tamed by existent means, logic dictates that instead of investing enormous resources into acquisition/development of Canadian Shkval, it would be much cheaper to simply ignore it and invest in next generation of technology mentioned in the essay in question.

Obviously it isn't so, because I'm sure that the people advising the Canadian Minister are professionals in their field, and are not in position to "theorize" and "speculate" on what "might" be best for the national interest.

posted on Apr, 15 2006 @ 06:53 PM
While I haven't read the article in question, I must agree wholeheartedly with the paragraph excerpted. It is not the ultimate weapon of doom.

iskander, That is one of the best assesments of an essay I've ever read, thank you!

posted on Apr, 16 2006 @ 02:27 PM

He couldn't be more wrong. Not least because our /wonderful/ allies (namely the Germans) are also doing SCT work and I believe have invented a system which can supposedly 'see at speed'.

To which I would add that the principle vulnerability of -any- asset is it's predictability of approach.

You have to go to X and X will be populated by nastiness, whether you see them or not. Ninjas with shuriken betwixt their teeth are thus nothing to infantry with a good mortar waiting for them to 'cross that line' of that transit choke predictor.

Further, I would add that ANY hit by by ANY modern ASW weapon on a sub is an instant mission kill and has a 70% or higher certainty of being a platform kill IF the target is holed.

Where you are dealing with a 1.5-2 BILLION dollar asset value, there is thus no bloody excuse for risking the boat at all. And taking big nuclear kettles into the littorals is one HUGE risk.

Why? Mines. Simple. Stupid. Easy.

Mines are what ended the Earnest Will/Armilla Patrol efforts with the U.S.S. Roberts attack. Mines are what made the 'respondant' Praying Mantis effort on the oil rigs which supported the boghammer fleet ineffective. Mines are in essence what took the 'Tanker War' outside the straits of Hormuz and thus required an intervention by political and commercial powers that truly ended the war.

What was the common thread here? Not the munitions themselves but that the Iranian's could /lay them/ without being caught.

Now. You should all know what mine's vulnerability is, namely that it's effective radius of kill is VERY small.

But what happens when you put a Shkval in one? What happens when that _CAPTOR_ is now scaled-down (along with it's precious drag coefficient) to a level where even 200 knots in a 1-3 mile radius IS 'invisible until too late'. While it is also fairly light and easy (say cheap) to produce and deliver as a

Because the weapon can be triggered in a way that either cues multiple, similar, 'netcentric' weapons in a cluster aroudn the target.

Or which releases a weapon that itself is 'biplateau' in it's impulse capability.

We have SEEN this people. In the Brahmos/Alpha. In the Gel Propulsion techniques which Eglin has run on testbed missiles. JB himself mentions a two-stage performance system for the Mk.48.

Which is NOT about 'maximum stealth'. It is about conserving energy for a terminal kill endgame after a very long target stalk.

IMO, the day of the sub is long since past. Because the simplest way to kill one is to saturate it. The operating environment is /so/ hostile and the nature of the deaths (and the poisoning of the ocean) -so- horrific that OF COURSE America 'won't sit still and let it's little killer boys play lethal-toy /games/'.

Which is what the stupidity of putting a 350 foot boat into water shallower than two hull lengths comes down to. Stupid kids pretending they know what they're doing when they haven't /had a war to proof the skill/ in over 60 years.

Myself, if I wanted to kill a sub or a CVBG, it would be with robots. Because _having no subs of their own_ most nations don't need to worry about killing anything friendly. And even with a 100,000 dollar starting price and a one way trip, you only need to set out a skirmish line a 2 mile intervals with 50 craft and with five million dollars you have created a 100 mile wide CERTAINTY of encountering /something/ which will have to evade you.

Whether the units in question then ARE the Shkval ('go ahead and die tired dumbass'). Or simply carry them (probably of a size akin to the 'dart' mechanism mentioned). The reality is that a single penetration of the sub hull is a likely kill at any kind of realistic operating depth and speed. And an /explosive/ holing (say 1ft in diameter) will ingress so much water, so fast, that there is NO HOPE of handling the casualty.

Even as 200 people die at the hands of a robot kamikaze that never was alive.

And 10-30 minutes later, the rest of the pack arrives on the '3,000 mile per hour' acoustic howl of the first hunter.

The USN knows they are a bunch of dated hacks. Indeed, the entire U.S. military has an ego trip fixation on manned systems which is by-the-balls destroying our economy and 'riskable' force projection capabilities for next to no return on value (anybody seen ONE MAN named Osama recently?).

It's only the willingness of the human animal to use cybernetic (casepoint in it's own presented context) rather than independent analytic analysis of the -environment- which generates the presumption of a systemic solution (simlistic scenario based) in the first place that makes life so damn hard for the rest of us.

For a primer lesson in this, ask yourself WHY the USN should be wanting to operate a CVSF in a littoral surrounded bath tub. WHY the USN would want to associate (clump together) signature risks and asset values as a 'combined arms' exercise when a sub can fire UGM-109 from the deep blue and still hit north of Tehran.

And then start working backwards as you realize who the TRUE propogandists are.


posted on Apr, 16 2006 @ 03:03 PM

Originally posted by skippytjc

Shkval – Like your sand wedge, great club when you are in the sand, but meaningless if you never land there.

[edit on 13-4-2006 by skippytjc]

The sand wedge is used all over the course, not just from the sand.

I still get your point, i think.

posted on Apr, 22 2006 @ 04:19 PM
I'm actually double posting, but since misconceptions about Shkval are currently so widespread on ATS forums, this post belongs here as well as on the "Video of Iranian made VA-111 Shkval missile" thread, so I hope its not going to be hacked by mods.

Shkval-1 is not a "dumb" WWII straight runner that can't maneuver. While it is not actively guided, it is pre-programmed with target data and executes a computer generated intercept maneuver, or if manually launched with out targeting data it enters an automatic area search pattern mode.

When launched in manual mode, optimum search pattern model is automatically selected from a pre programmed databank after the operator enters the engagement area parameters and expected target type/classification.

If the engagement area is surveyed and expected threats are assessed, the data can be manually entered and saved as a custom memory mode. This allows the operator to instantly recall targeting parameters relevant to the engagement area and enter the position of the launching platform and expected location/type of the target.

Variable such as surface targets, submerged, water depth/target depth, distance, target speed/maneuverability and expected evasive maneuvers, etc.

After calculating engagement variables the computer chooses the best search pattern mode and launches the weapon.

When targeting data is available the fuse is programed to detonate upon reaching the intercept point and does not require contact with the target.

When targeting data is not available and the torpedo is in search mode, magnetic proximity fuse detonates the warhead upon sensing the the hull of the target.

Do to the speed of the torpedo and its short intercept time, magnetic countermeasures can not be deployed in time to effectively spoof the fuse.

Shkval-1 is the 1st gen weapon which is over twenty years old, and the performance data of the current Shkval-2 is classified, but it is said that it has much longer range, uses thrust vectoring and active guidance, making it the most advanced torpedo to date.

While German Barracuda scav torpedo is said to use active guidance and a rotating nose cone to achieve a high degree of maneuverability, to date only CG graphics of the weapon have been published and no real life test were announced, thus placing the German project in a category of conceptual research and development.

The principle of navigation and targeting is very simple and efficient - internal programming. After a target is detected through visual means, radar, or satellites and its speed and heading are identified, the "Shkval" underwater missile is programmed with estimated intercept coordinates and launched. The missile has no on-board targeting systems, but due to its high speed and stealth its intended target has no way of detecting and evading the missile in short time of the missile's underwater "flight." Naturally, the missile is 100% jam-proof and there are no defenses against this type of weapon in any navy in the world (including Russian).

In order to avoid well expected bias, here's

The concept of operations for this missile requires the crew of a submarine, ship or the coast guard define the target's parameters -- speed, distance and vector -- and feeds the data to the missile's automatic pilot. The missile is fired, achieves its optimum depth and switches on its engines. The missile does not have a homing warhead and follows a computer-generated program.

"Shkval 2" - Current variant; believed to be guided, possibly via the use of vectored thrust, and with much longer range.

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