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Author Topic: South African missiles/rockets/PGM's - Prototypes, Projects, Concepts, etc.  (Read 69381 times)

Offline Graugrun

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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

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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

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 :o Very interesting Graugrun...I wonder if it is based on Umkhonto or Darter components.

Offline Graugrun

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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 »

Offline Graugrun

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Re: South African missiles/rockets/PGM's - Prototypes, Projects, Concepts, etc.
« Reply #184 on: October 13, 2017, 04:17:41 am »
Finely - an update on the Marlin BVR missile, looks like they are making good progress on it too!

http://www.defenceweb.co.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=49580:marlin-missile-making-swift-progress&catid=35:Aerospace&Itemid=107


Offline kaiserbill

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Re: South African missiles/rockets/PGM's - Prototypes, Projects, Concepts, etc.
« Reply #185 on: October 13, 2017, 02:41:56 pm »
Very interesting. .it's further along than I thought.
Interesting tidbit too that A-Darter will finish its final acceptance tests before year end..so in a matter of weeks.

Offline Graugrun

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Re: South African missiles/rockets/PGM's - Prototypes, Projects, Concepts, etc.
« Reply #186 on: February 14, 2018, 10:56:52 am »
Here's an interesting article published in the then official SADF/SANDF magazine "Salut" in April 1995. It covers some of the development of the South African LRAAM Ramjet BVR Air- Air missile project (See from posts #25 to #35 on page 2 and 3 of this thread). It states that the project began in 1986 with multiple tests of 127mm and 230mm sized boosters occurring three years later in 1989. Final tests of 2 X 180mm Mach 2.3 capable missiles successfully took place in 1994.

I have never mentioned it before, but I have been told for the last 7 years or so that this technology was sold off to MBDA for use in their Meteor missile...? This was by someone who was and still is very connected in weapons development, and has a very good understanding of the industry in general. I certainly believe that at least Taiwan must have bought it. This might explain why with the current Marlin BVR missile program, we are using conventional propulsion instead of Ramjet propulsion (that I believe we should be doing) - because sadly we just don't own the IP anymore....
« Last Edit: February 14, 2018, 11:28:04 am by Graugrun »

Offline Trident

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Re: South African missiles/rockets/PGM's - Prototypes, Projects, Concepts, etc.
« Reply #187 on: February 14, 2018, 11:06:12 am »
I have never mentioned it before, but I have been told for the last 7 years or so that this technology was sold off to the British for use in their Meteor missile...?

Seems unlikely - the Meteor ramjet is not a British area of responsibility (developed by Bayern-Chemie of Germany).

Offline Graugrun

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Re: South African missiles/rockets/PGM's - Prototypes, Projects, Concepts, etc.
« Reply #188 on: February 14, 2018, 11:14:58 am »
Thanks for that Trident - correction made...

Offline Graugrun

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An interesting article on how Denel has been speeding up both the development and integration of both the A-Darter and Marlin missiles for the past while. They have also been able to make quite a large cut in integration costs too - this should interest many air-forces out there who want to achieve the same results, with new weapons they want to place on their aircraft.

It also provides a little bit of an update on the Marlin missile (BVRAAM) development.

http://www.defenceweb.co.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=50926:test-pod-assisting-denels-missile-programmes&catid=90:science-a-defence-technology&Itemid=204
« Last Edit: March 05, 2018, 02:56:28 am by Graugrun »

Offline Graugrun

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Malaysia has just trialed their new Denel Ingwe (leopard) ZT-35 missiles - a short article from Janes Defence on that. The Ingwe has been Denel's bread and butter missile for some time now, I know that there have been projects to develop a very stealthy version and naturally there have been ongoing smaller upgrades to the missile's components over the years.

The question is, that since it's combat debut in 1987 - when are they going to replace it with something new..?

http://www.janes.com/article/78500/malaysian-army-trials-ingwe-missile

Offline Graugrun

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I originally posted this article in the "Space" section, however the below piece also relates very much to our nuclear missile program (dual use missiles), it's interesting in that the below is an official comment/admission to three test launches of MRBM/ICBM's - so I decided to add it here as well.


"In the 1980s the Overberg Test Range in the Western Cape was used for space launches. Four South African space rockets were built, and three launched between 1989 and 1990, but without useful payloads. In the 1990s funding for South Africa’s space programme dried up and as a requirement to join the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) in 1995, South Africa was forced to destroy much of its key facilities and technologies, including the launch pad at Overberg. However, the site has retained most of its space launch capabilities, including mission control centre, radar and telemetry tracking facilities, and range safety systems."

http://www.defenceweb.co.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=51386:south-africa-to-increase-focus-on-space&catid=35:Aerospace&Itemid=107

Offline Graugrun

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So here's some very interesting news concerning the supposedly defunct Mongoose 3 missile(?) being  the long range part of the LEDS close in vehicle protection system. So there is the short range (and well tested I believe) Mongoose 1 (5-20 meters), Mongoose 2 that reaches out to 60 meters and in this article they are talking about 300 meters for the Mongoose 3, or even up to a Km!

I have coincidentally just found some info on the early developments of the LEDS system and the Mongoose 1 - as soon as I get it scanned I will post.

It's a pity this program was short funded (and therefore very delayed), as we really were ahead of pretty much all other such close in vehicle weapons protection systems at the time!

http://www.defenceweb.co.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=51913:firsts-for-denel-dynamics-in-close-area-protection-system-development&catid=50:Land&Itemid=105

Offline Graugrun

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On another note, Janes Defence has just reported that Denel Dynamics has successfully concluded a live test of the Marlin BVR missile's radar seeker (and the missile) - it was fired at a Locats target earlier this year.

So things are getting rather close to fruition for the Marlin program!

http://www.janes.com/article/80588/denel-tests-bvr-missile-seeker

Offline Graugrun

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Some more detailed info on the Mongoose 3 missile (Janes Defence), although I seem to have more questions than answers after reading the article... I suppose I'll have to wait a few months more for the AAD show to be able to find out more. I really thought it would be a much smaller missile and restricted to armour (tank) close in protection - it seems to be something else though...?

Your comments, thoughts...?

http://www.janes.com/article/80959/denel-dynamics-sheds-light-on-new-c-ram-missile