Defense Technology International - January/February 2008 - (Page 38)
DISPATCHES GLOBAL TARGET ACQUISITION MAST highlights missile-defense concepts ANDY NATIVI•GENOA evelopments in seabased missile defense and coastal surveillance were among features at the Maritime Systems and Technology (MAST) exhibition in Genoa last November. Missile manufacturer MBDA discussed its strategy to upgrade Paams, the principal anti-air missile system, on the latest British, French and Italian destroyers, with a theater ballistic missile defense capability. One approach is leveraging technology developed for the SAMP/T land-based air-defense system, whose evolved Aster 30 Block 1 missiles are designed to destroy short-range ballistic missiles—those with a range of 600 km. (373 mi.). Adding the Aster 30 Block 1 missiles will require software upgrades for Paams’ multifunction, longrange radar systems, combat management system (CMS) and the DCNS-built Sylver vertical launcher. MBDA claims the upgrade will be relatively low-cost and quickly achieved. The emergence of advanced ballistic missile threats is leading MBDA to a radical departure from the current Aster missile design. The proposed Block 2 round is a two-stage weapon, featuring a larger body that’s compatible with the Sylver launching cells, and which relies on thrust vectoring for control. The launch weight, at around 1,000 kg. (2,200 lb.), would be almost double that of the Aster 30, and the directed-fragmentation warhead would be replaced with a 100-kg. kinetic kill vehicle coupled with deployable lethality enhancers similar to those in Lockheed Martin’s PAC-3 missile. The boost stage will accelerate the missile to Mach 6 in less than 5 sec. The second stage sustainer motor pushes the kill vehicle well beyond Mach 7. An imaging infrared seeker guides it to the intercept. The Block 2 missile will have a 150-km. range (30 km. more than Aster GEM ELETTRONICA D Surface-surveillance radar for naval operations from GEM Elettronica combines Ka-band and X-band radars. 30), enabling it to deal with short- and medium-range threats and intercept targets at altitudes of 20-60 km. To fully exploit capabilities of the Block 2 missile, upgrades of Paams’ long-range radar (Thales/BAE Systems S1850M) and multifunction radar (Empar by Selex Sistemi Integrati or Sampson by BAE Systems) are planned, along with the CMS. The Italian navy has approved a growth program for Empar, which will become a rotating active phased array system ﬁrst and then a non-rotating system with four staring active arrays. France also wants to expand Paams’ capability in ballistic missile defense. Another o spring of the Aster family of naval air-defense systems is the SAAM-ESD surface-to-air anti-air missile. This has been o ered to the Italian navy as a Fremm frigate upgrade and as a replacement of the current SAAM-IT, which is based on the Aster 15 missile and Sylver A43 launcher. By using the longer Sylver A50 launcher and up- grading the CMS, the SAAM-IT can fire the Aster 30, which has more than three times the range. When coupled with an evolved Empar radar, the resulting system comes close to that of Paams at signiﬁcantly less cost. This concept is attracting interest from Italy and some other navies that are looking at customized Fremm designs, including Saudi Arabia and Turkey. Singapore has a special SAAM conﬁguration on its new frigates, combining Thales Herakles radar with the Sylver A50 launcher and a mix of Aster 15 and Aster 30 missiles. Meanwhile, in port security and surveillance, Selex Sistemi Integrati presented a new HSS harbor surveillance system, which integrates coastal radars, underwater acoustic sensors, optronic sensors, aircraft and unmanned surface vessels. A prototype was tested during NATO’s Harbor Protection Trials 2007 in Taranto, Italy. GEM Elettronica’s new EOSS electro-optical stabilized surveillance system has been speciﬁed by Italy for use on board the aircraft carrier Cavour. It is mounted on a stabilized platform and features a TV camera with 50X magniﬁcation and a thermal sensor. Another new product is the X-Ka surface-surveillance radar that combines separate Ka-band and X-band radars into a compact 220-kg. unit, measuring 2.8 X 1.19 meters. The tracks are integrated on a single screen. The Ka-band radar is designed to ﬁnd di cult targets at short range; X-band o ers longer range. Galileo Avionica showed its electrooptical SASS silent acquisition and surveillance system, which works alongside surface-search radar. SASS combines a TV camera with a 9-12-micron thermal imager. Stabilized mounts allow operation in heavy seas. I www.aviationweek.com/dti 38 DEFENSE TECHNOLOGY INTERNATIONAL JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2008
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