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Phalanx is a point-defense, total-weapon system consisting of two 20mm gun mounts that provide a terminal defense against incoming air targets. CIWS, without assistance from other shipboard systems, will automatically engage incoming anti-ship missiles and high-speed, low-level aircraft that have penetrated the ship primary defense envelope. As a unitized system, CIWS automatically performs search, detecting, tracking, threat evaluation, firing, and kill assessments of targets while providing for manual override. Each gun mount houses a fire control assembly and a gun subsystem. The fire control assembly is composed of a search radar for surveillance and detection of hostile targets and a track radar for aiming the gun while tracking a target. The unique closed-loop fire control system that tracks both the incoming target and the stream of outgoing projectiles gives CIWS the capability to correct its aim to hit fast-moving targets, including ASMs.
Originally posted by planeman
But the inferances are clear:
1) That the C-802 (and by implication more recent Chinese anti-ship missiles) can lock onto "stealth" warships
2) That they have some means of not being detected by the targets radars/warning sensors
3) That the mainstay Phalanx CIWS was at least in this case unable to engage it effectively
[edit on 18-7-2006 by planeman]
Turns out, the systems work fine, it was the rules of engagement that were broken.
Israel didn't expect anti-ship missiles, so the systems were offline.
Originally posted by iskander
That's a type of ridiculous statement PR people make when things don't work.
All Navy ships are on FULL alert in ANY military operations, and that off course includes ALL defense systems.
The fact that Phalanx failed is not big news. If failed before, it failed on tests, and its been openly said for years.
Again, the idea that the Phalanx was not activated because it must have some sort of a "flip" switch that turns it on and off can only be expressed by complete dilettantes.
It's turned off anytime there is a chance of a friendly fire incident, or is something is coming by that they DON'T want to shoot at. Phalanx is indiscriminate and shoots at anything that crosses into radar.
During initial testing, a Phalanx put four 20mm rounds into an incoming 5 inch naval shell.
If it can manage that, a MiG 15 sized subsonic cruise missile wouldn't present much of a challenge, UNLESS:
My understanding was that the Israelis were operating a lot of aircraft in the area and had shut down their defensive weapon systems believing the risk to be negligible.
Intelligence was the only thing that failed here.