Register here

Author Topic: South African missiles/rockets/PGM's - Prototypes, Projects, Concepts, etc.  (Read 54954 times)

Offline Graugrun

  • CLEARANCE: Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 328
As per the posts in the "Various aviation projects from South Africa" thread, in the Postwar Aircraft Projects section, I have decided to post this here as it relates specifically to cruise missile use -

I chatted to the lead engineer from CSIR on this project, and in essence he mentioned the following:

1. There is a strong international need/requirement that has been placed on them, hence the Resurrection of the program (plus a local need).
2. He dug up the project "Apartment" program purely as a starting point for the project, so as not to 'reinvent the wheel' - however his initial designs will differ quite a bit (much lighter, smaller, more powerful and more fuel efficient).
3. He has commissioned Stellenbosch University and a small private company to design and build a 200N turbojet engine for radio controlled models use. This could have easily been bought off the shelf, however the aim was to produce our own and obtain the basic knowledge and grounding, allowing them to develop larger stuff later. They have completed the 200N project (I will post pics later).
4. The University and small company are now busy with designing the 600N advanced cycle turbine for Glider sustain-er purposes - and to further increase their ability.
5. He has a request to produce a very compact engine (could be the 600N mentioned above, or perhaps the new 3 kN model, developed from project Apartment?), for the Raptor III as per my post above. Although the lead Engineer on the Raptor III told me that he is free to choose any gas turbine engine he wants - so if CSIR don't make it in time, I guess Denel is going elsewhere. He will end up on a 6.6 kN model at the end of this project (so -200N, then 600N, then 3.3 kN, ending with a 6.6 kN engine).
6. He mentioned that there were a few other projects, other then project Apartment on the go in the 80's and 90's, without elaborating...
7. He seemed to indicate that he will be working on developing a turbofan as his project (as opposed to the turbojet that project Apartment is) - perhaps this will be the 6.6 kN version.
8. The reason project Apartment was terminated (even though it was showing very good promise), was that the French quickly decided to supply us with one of their own turbojets (Microturbo?), as soon as they saw that we were getting it right, they obviously thought it better to get the sale and prevent a new competitor in the micro turbo market. Apparently what we bought from the French was then used in Skua (although the accompanying sign mentions that project Apartment was as a replacement for the Skua turbojet).

Below are some pics of project Apartment model as per the show - I am not a professional photographer and battled a bit with the perspex case covering the engine, so please forgive the poor quality of my pics.

Ok Kaiserbill - so to both answer you and for better reference and continuity purposes, I have quoted my own post (#84) above. The above was written directly after my AAD 2016 visit and therefore with a very fresh memory...

So looking back at my notes, I have now posted a pic of the (CAT) 200N Micro turbine as per point 3 - It seems that this will be developed into the 600N version for glider sustain-er purposes (civilian applications IIRC).

The 1000N/1kN turbine model I posted after that is the military specific development - I guess that they are starting with this as the core building block to verify and then test it all out. Once this core has matched expectations and theoretical projections, they will upscale it to a 3.3kN thrust model (specifically for the Raptor III requirement - which then should also cover Umbani/Al-Tariq should there also be that need). Finally ending up with a 6.6kN model, which I guess will be powering something pretty big (far bigger than your average cruise missile), so perhaps a fairly large UAV?

Whatever it all entails, there are certainly going to be some interesting times ahead for us in terms of new weapons and other (UAV?) developments. We would simply carry on buying more French micro-turbo's if it were not the case... With regards to what is driving this sudden resurgence of mini turbine development, I can only guess that there is a definite (more than likely foreign) client requirement/s that they are working to.

So in essence this is the 'new' Project Apartment, picking up where it left off in 1988 and building on it and diversifying on it quite dramatically too.

Two more pics of the 1kN model (different angles) - IIRC, it was about 40cm in length and about 20cm in width, excluding the black air inlet vane (the little slide lock on the inside of the cabinet door should also be able to give you some sort of size reference).

Offline Graugrun

  • CLEARANCE: Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 328
A bit of a change in direction from my above last posts - this time something more on the Cheetah C-RAM missile, currently being developed.

I assume it will work on the CLOS/Semi- Automatic CLOS principle (very cost effective and simple), although I could be wrong here. pictured is both the mock-up missile, as well as a scale model depicting it's deployment layout in conjunction with the Oerlikon Skyshield radar and 35mm (upgraded) guns. The Oerlikon radar usage is to both keep costs down and to increase potential client opportunities.

I actually do have the brochure somewhere, but seem to have mislaid it and a whole pile of the newer stuff I collected at AAD 2016... As soon as I find it, I will scan and post it too.

There is a call for a cheap type C-RAM system, in terms of our many deployments up in Africa as part of various U.N. forces. The U.N. camps are often located near to towns and cities, where every now and again mortar or other light weapons are fired into the camps at night, from positions within the surrounding civilian towns or cities. This makes retaliatory fire near impossible, so a system like this to eliminate the threat without causing collateral damage is needed. It should be available for testing in about 2 years time from now.

Let's hope they get it right and well within budget/cost per shot expectations.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2017, 05:22:09 am by Graugrun »

Offline kaiserbill

  • Senior Member
  • CLEARANCE: Top Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 1182
 :o Very interesting Graugrun...I wonder if it is based on Umkhonto or Darter components.

Offline Graugrun

  • CLEARANCE: Secret
  • **
  • Posts: 328
Kaiserbill - I would suspect more tech would be used from the Umkhonto missile program - it's much more matured, cheaper and lower tech (thus cheaper) than the A-Darter program.

Obviously a big part of the Cheetah C-Ram missile program is to get to a very low cost per round - also as per my picture below, the Umkhonto program had already made provision for a very cost effective CLOS version (bottom missile), specifically for those cash strapped countries operating in a low tech military environment (threat).
« Last Edit: June 27, 2017, 11:50:44 pm by Graugrun »