posted on Feb, 21 2011 @ 12:23 AM
reply to post by Lemon.Fresh
is what is in those tubes, there is defintely reason to be concerned:
The Raduga 3M80, 3M82 and Kh-41 Moskit / SS-N-22 Sunburn are all variants of the same 4.5 tonne supersonic rocket-ramjet missile. This weapon is
the primary armament of the PLA-N's new 956E Sovremennyy class destroyers and is credited with a range between 50 and 120 nautical miles.
More recently it has been integrated on the Project 12421 Molniya class missile boats, which carry four rounds.
An air launch centreline tunnel adaptor enables Su-27/30 family strike fighters to carry a single round and this configuration has been displayed on
the navalised Su-33, and more recently advertised on the land based Su-35BM Flanker variants.
A coastal defence variant labelled the Moskit E is in development, with a two round TEL based on the MZKT-7930 chassis.
Inertial midcourse guidance is supplemented with an Altair active radar seeker - there are no reports to date of land attack derivatives. The missile
is powered by a Turayevo 3D83 ramjet
Unlike subsonic Western anti-ship missiles such as the Harpoon and Exocet, the Moskit is a supersonic sea-skimmer. It can be programmed to fly a high
altitude trajectory at Mach 3, or a sea-skimming trajectory at Mach 2.2. If the sea skimming mode is chosen, the missile will be first detected by a
warship under attack when it emerges over the horizon at a distance of about 15 to 25 nautical miles. This provides the defences on the ship with
about 25-60 seconds of warning time before impact. The raw speed of the Moskit makes it a challenging target for most shipboard defences. All variants
use the KTRV-Detal 3A-81E-01 series radar altimeter, similar to the design used in the Kh-59ME / AS-18 Kazoo.
Terminal phase approach to targets is at 10 - 20 m AMSL.
Manufacturer datasheets state the following capabilities for the Moskit E system:
Ability to engage surface targets including warships, transports and ACVs with speeds of up to 100 knots.
Ability to engage targets at sea states of up to 6, and low signature targets at states of up to 5.
Wind speeds of up to 20 m/s.
The fire control system performs automatic test of missiles pre-launch, and can manage and allocate missiles for up to 4 targets.
The missile launch tubes can be deployed on a vessel for up to 18 months without servicing.
The 3M-80E and 3M-80E1 missile seeker has active radar and passive anti-radiation homing capability [likely band limited by antenna design].
The most recent variant is the improved Moskit MVE system:
Ability to fly pre-programmed composite profiles comprising high and low altitude segments.
Range on a low altitude profile of up to 140 km.
Range on a composite flight profile of to 240 km.
The US Navy is beginning to acknowledge a growing problem that threatens its freedom of the seas: its strike reach is shrinking and aging, while
potential opponents’ attack reach is expanding and modernizing. As new designs replace older planes, its carrier aircraft strike range is shrinking
to 1950s levels. Meanwhile, its anti-ship and land attack missiles are generally older, medium-range subsonic designs like the Harpoon Block I, which
are much more vulnerable to air defenses. In contrast, China is deploying supersonic SS-N-22 “Sunburn” missiles bought from Russia, and working on
a DF-21 anti-ship ballistic missile. The Sunburn is just one of Russia’s supersonic anti-ship missile options for sale, and a joint venture with
India has added the supersonic PJ-10 BrahMos.
The math is stark: enemies with longer reach, and better weapons, may be able to create large “no go” zones for the Navy in key conflict
areas. In response, think-tanks like CSBA are proposing ideas like AirSea Battle, which emphasizes a combination of advance hardening, more stealth
and long-range strike options, and a progressive campaign of blinding strikes and grinding interdiction campaigns. Success will require some changes
to American weapons, beginning with the missiles that arm its ships and aircraft.
I first began tracking Iranian production of Sunburns about a year and a half ago when they were claiming production of 100 a month "soon". I
didn't believe them capable of accomplishing that at that time, but by now they might be able to produce them in tens per month at least.
Sunburns are genuinely scary given the size of the Persian Gulf, their speed and the delivery method. A force of even 25 small missile boats could
launch 8 missiles each before they could be stopped. Even if the entire flotilla was annihilated seconds after luanch, the damage would be done: 200
Sunburns would overwhelm a carrier group's defenses. Iran has about 40 missile boats in their navy that can fire that many. The Revolutionary Guard
has a bunch, too, but I don't know how many exactly: they are smaller, more expendable types.