Home' Defence Review Asia : DRA May-June 2017 Contents SELF-DEFENCE
DefenceReviewAsia | MAY/JUNE 2017 35
electro-optical/infrared sensors, sonars, missiles,
guns, chaff, and electronic warfare. These neutralise
the threat by active (hard kill, such as a missile or
gun) or passive (soft kill, such as frequency jamming
or decoy) countermeasures.
The Australian-developed Nulka decoy system
is an integral part of the ship self defence system
against active RF anti-ship missile attacks on
most US Navy ships, as well as Australian and
Its incorporation into a ship's layered defence
system provides ship survivability under high
stress conditions in the littoral and open ocean
environments. Because of the characteristics of
the decoy payload and the system's fast reaction
time, the Nulka system is effective around the
whole ship and is independent of the ship’s current
track. At launch, the decoy payload autonomously
begins to engage the anti-shipping missile’s seeker
by simulating a radar return from a large ship
overlapping the targeted ship. The decoy seduces
the incoming missile by providing a larger and more
attractive target and moves it slowly away from the
ship, neutralising the attack.
The last line of defence for the USN and the
RAN is the 20mm gatlin-style Phalanx system that
can destroy incoming missiles at typical ranges of
The Peoples’ Liberation Army – Navy (PLA-N)
have a major construction program for up to
a 12-strong fleet of Type 052D destroyers. At
least four are in service with a further six nearing
completion in Chinese shipyards, with 10 to be
in service during 2017. A claim, not able to be
substantiated from an independent source, was
made on Beijing TV by Chinese military expert Fang
Bing who said that China’s Type 052D destroyer
is better than the USN’s Arleigh Burke class
destroyer as it is equipped with better electronics
for communications - especially an advanced
phased array radar that can detect and track stealth
warplanes including the F-35 Lightning II.
In addition, it is stealthy and armed with better
missiles fired from vertical launch tubes. These are
China’s newest YJ-18 supersonic anti-ship missiles
whose high speed and terminal movements make
them very difficult to intercept.
Offensively they have a range of missiles which
can be launched from a 64 cell VLS. Defensively
they have CIWS of the H/PJ-12 or Type 1130
variety. They also mount four sets of 18 tube decoy
Japan’s Maritime Self-Defence Force has
four helicopter destroyers, two of which are the
latest Izumo Class. At 27,000 tonnes these are
comparable with Australia’s landing helicopter dock
ships of similar size and capability. They have two
Aegis equipped destroyers in each of the Atago
and Kong classes, while also building two larger
destroyers, an evolved design of the Atago class,
due for completion in 2020 and 2021.
A comparison of the Atago class with China’s
Type 052D destroyer shows the Atagos have 96
vertical launch silos (VLS) compared with the Type
052D’s 64, for defence against a wide range of
threats to a task force. Other comparisons show
the two classes of destroyers are evenly matched
in naval guns, and information sharing through
The Republic of Korea Navy already has three
KDX-III destroyers of their Sejong the Great
class, and are constructing a further three.
The ships feature the Aegis Combat System
(Baseline 7 Phase 1) combined with AN/SPY-1D
multi-function radar antennas. These warships
are larger than the USN’s Arleigh Burke-class
destroyers or Japan’s Atago-class destroyers to
accommodate 32 more missiles.
They have a range of point-defence weapons
including a Goalkeeper CIWS and Rolling
Airframe Missiles. They use SM-2 missiles fired
out of an 80 cell VLS (soon to be upgraded
to SM-3?). The next three KDX-III destroyers
will feature a more advanced Aegis to allow
both ballistic missile defence and air warfare
operations at the same time.
A HYPOTHETICAL SOUTH CHINA SEA
After the US Navy Arleigh Burke Destroyer
USS Erehwon (Nowhere) had passed through
the Malacca Straits and was heading north into
the South China Sea, her captain made this
announcement to the ship’s crew.
“This ship has been ordered to conduct a
Freedom of Navigation Operation, a FONOP,
through the eastern shipping route passing close
by the Spratly Islands. Although we will be sailing
GUN FOR PHALANX
Geoff Slocombe / Sydney
A pril 4, 2017 - Raytheon Company
(NYSE: RTN) successfully tested
a new electric gun for the Phalanx®
Close-In Weapon System. The upgrade allows
soldiers and sailors to fire at varying rates,
which uses less ammunition.
Phalanx is a rapid-fire, computer-
controlled radar and 20 mm gun system that
automatically acquires, tracks and destroys
enemy threats that have penetrated all
other ship defense systems. More than 890
systems have been built and deployed in
navies around the world.
The goal of the live-fire test was to ensure
the electric gun can operate despite the heavy
vibrations that occur when Phalanx is fired.
The new design replaces a pneumatic motor,
compressor and storage tanks, reducing
the system's weight by 180 pounds. These
changes also increase reliability and reduce
"Phalanx is a weapon of last resort and the
electric gun's larger magazine will allow the
U.S. and its allies to stay in the fight longer,"
said Rick McDonnell, director of Raytheon's
Close-In Defense Solutions program."
This Raytheon-funded test is one part of a
series of "tech refresh" projects for Phalanx.
The land based Phalanx® weapon system is
forward deployed and has been used in combat.
(Photo: U.S. Army)
The latest and currently most worrying threat is the development of
sophisticated anti-shipping missiles which can be launched from land, air,
or opposing ships.
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27/04/2017 4:16 PM
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