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possesses the RIM-174A Standard ERAM (SM-
6) missile, an upgrade of the SM-2ER designed
to hit aircraft and high-performance AShMs. Initial
operating capability (IOC) of the RIM-174A is
expected this year, and Australia will eventually
employ it on Hobart-class destroyers.
The United Kingdom fields the Sea Wolf in two
variants -- GWS-25 Conventionally Launched Sea
Wolf (CLSW) and GWS-26 Vertically Launched Sea
Wolf (VLSW). It entered service in 1979, meaning
its first combat was the Falklands War in 1982.
The GWS-26 Mod 1 will remain in Royal Navy (RN)
service until 2020. Regionally, the VLSW is fitted
on Malaysian Lekiu-class frigates. Another UK air
defence suite is the Principal Anti-Air Missile System
(PAAMS), a joint British/French/Italian programme
with MBDA as major stakeholder. PAAMS is called
Sea Viper on RN Type 45 destroyers, and it offers
better performance than the preceding Sea Dart.
PAAMS uses Aster 15 short-range and Aster 30
medium-range missiles, and eight missiles can be
launched in just ten seconds from a Sylver VLS.
MBDA is also developing the Sea Wolf's
successor, the Common Anti-Air Modular
Missile (CAMM), or Sea Ceptor, which shares
components with the ASRAAM air-to-air missile.
It will replace the VLSW on Type 23 frigates by
around 2016 and the Sea Ceptor should have a
Russian systems are used within the region.
The 3K95 Kinzhal (SA-N-9 "Gauntlet") is a
naval variant of the Tor and it is mounted on the
Russian Navy's Admiral Kuznetsov carrier, Kirov-
class cruisers, Udaloy-class destroyers and
Neustrashimy-class frigates. Missiles are stored
in rotary VLS modules and the newest type is
the 9K332 Tor-M2 introduced in 2008.
The Russian medium-range 3S90 Uragan
(SA-N-7 "Gadfly") is the naval version of the
9K37 Buk. Its successor is the 9K37M1-2
Shtil (SA-N-12 "Grizzly") that was fitted to later
Sovremenny-class destroyers. India acquired a
modernised Shtil-1 system on its Talwar-class
frigates and Delhi-class destroyers. China
has developed it into the HQ-16, while the
mainstream short-range missile on Chinese
ships is the HQ-7 derived from the French
Another missile used locally by India and
Singapore is the Barak 1 from Israel Aerospace
Industries (IAI). Following a US $330 million
contract signed in 2007, India and Israel are
collaborating on the new 70km-range Barak 8. It
was successfully fired in July 2009.
CLOSE-IN WEAPON SYSTEM
The most successful systems against sea-
skimming missiles involve layered defence
with short- and medium-range components.
Defensive missiles have a greater range than
guns, but what happens if an AShM penetrates
that outer shield? This is where the CIWS
comes into play, an automated point-defence
gun mounted on ship decks. It uses radar
to track incoming missiles (either its own
sensors or integrated with a ship's systems)
and attempts to shoot them down in a last-
ditch wall of lead. Thus, the CIWS is critical on
nearly all modern warships. Their guns must be
rapid-firing and are typically multi-barrel cannons.
They have obvious limitations such as a short kill
range often 500m or less. At such ranges, the
system has only one-third of a second to respond
to missiles screaming in at 1,500m/s! Another
problem is that, even if hit, a missile may not be
sufficiently incapacitated or destroyed, plus a CIWS
can engage only one target at a time. Another
problem is that modern AShMs steer intentionally
erratic courses on final approach to avoid such
The best-known CIWS is Raytheon's Phalanx. It
features a 4,500-rounds-per-minute, six-barrelled
20mm M61 Vulcan Gatling gun directed by Ku-
band radar. The USN has it aboard every class of
ship, and 21 other nations use it too. Because it
is autonomous, it is ideal for support ships with
fewer on-board sensors. The Block 1B added a
forward-looking infrared (FLIR) in 1999, and the
The most successful systems against sea-skimming missiles involve
layered defence with short- and medium-range components.
The United Kingdom fields the Sea Wolf in two variants -- GWS-25
Conventionally Launched Sea Wolf (CLSW) and GWS-26 Vertically
Launched Sea Wolf (VLSW)
This Phalanx CIWS was photographed aboard the
Ticonderoga-class USS Lake Erie (CG-70) during a
RIMPAC exercise. (Gordon Arthur)
This is one of two Type 730 30mm CIWS aboard the People's
Liberation Army Navy Type 052C destroyer Haikou (571).
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