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Alternatives to the Bloodhound SAM in RAF service

JFC Fuller

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SAM.72 was nothing more than a feasibility study that went absolutely nowhere, and it is said that it would have required international cooperation (BSP4). There was also the Wolverine ATBM proposal of the late 80s that suggested the usage of a stretched Sea Wolf with a tandem motor and vertical launch (with a flechette warhead and an active seeker derived from work done on active radar homing Sky Flash- possibly the same one proposed for GWS.27 Sea Wolf) and also Landwolf- all went nowhere and barely made an impact. If you really want to pursue this line of thought it is also worth looking at GWS-31 (Mk 2 Sea Dart) in the Land Dart configuration possibly with Wolverine as a shorter range complimentary system but with longer range director for the Land Dart than the proposed Marconi 805SW, both Plessey (Commander- AR327) and Marconi (Martello Series culminating in S753) worked on advanced 3D surveillance radars well into the 90s- still, whats the point?
 

JFC Fuller

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pathology_doc said:
In the long run, you're probably right. I'm just putting it forward as one of those examples where the UK service in question hung its hopes on a foreign missile only to have them dashed by cancellation. The question of whether they should ever have tried for it is another matter altogether. I think they should have - there are upsides to having a part of your nuclear deterrent that can be called back if you find the missiles the other side just launched aren't actually heading your way. Be terrible to fling sixty-odd ICBMs at the USSR on launch warning some time in the late sixties only to find that their real intention was a limited smackdown of China, for example. I would stay out of that war and tell the V-force to come on home - or at least come back into friendly territory, plug into tankers and wait it out for a few hours.

I suggest you forward your opinions on nuclear deterrence to the MoD where they may be more relevant than they are in this thread.
 

zen

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International cooperation was de rigour for virtualy everything.

Landpax I think, not Landwolf.

Whats the point? Of what? Developing your own missile system?

I would not be surprised if the ARH seeker being mused over for GWS27 was the same as for Active Skyflash. Seems par for the course really.

Mentioning that I'm minded of the proposal to produce Seaflash, Skyflash for shipboard SAM duties along the same lines as SeaSparrow and Aspide. Another path not taken.

Point to make, there are paths away from how things actualy happend, and they lead to all sorts of different places.
 

JFC Fuller

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Both Jane's and Armed Forces Journal International from the era refer to Land Wolf.


Paths not taken have usually never been explored meaning the true ramifications and effects of taking them are a complete unknown. Sea Wolf has been very successful, much like Rapier, and could have been more successful if lightweight Sea Wolf had been pursued for the Invincible class and T42 Batch 3 (larger user community).


What is "our own missile system"? Does every subcomponent have to be UK made? Does it have to fulfil an actual role? Does it have to make financial sense? Why not a license produced missile? etc.
 

CJGibson

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Interesting thread, been in Greece for the last week, so catching up. Like Nick, I still think UKGW, particulalry SAGW and AAGW never recovered from the dead years of 1945 - 49. Could it be that the Staffs were somewhat starstruck by what they discovered in Germany?


I have....

LANDPAX - SAM Project study leading to NAST.1210 for a new land based SAM. Versions of SEAWOLF were considered

Landwolf - Version of BAC Seawolf considered for NAST.1210.

SAM.3 - BAC SAM study for AST.1210.

SAM.72 - Feasibility study from 1972 for a medium-range SAM. Foundered on the lack of a RAF requirement for such a SAM and the need for international co-operation on the project.

Chris
 

CNH

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I still think UKGW, particulalry SAGW and AAGW never recovered from the dead years of 1945 - 49.
Not only GW - I think a lot of things went by the board in that period. Too much to do, and too little to do it with.
 

JFC Fuller

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CJGibson said:
Interesting thread, been in Greece for the last week, so catching up. Like Nick, I still think UKGW, particulalry SAGW and AAGW never recovered from the dead years of 1945 - 49. Could it be that the Staffs were somewhat starstruck by what they discovered in Germany?

Personally I am not inclined to agree, indeed I would dispute the entire notion that UKGW was a failure (AAM's aside until the 70s), both Thunderbird and Bloodhound were successful (especially Bloodhound) even if Sea Slug was a shambles. Vickers did an excellent job with the Vigilant, Fairey then BAC did great work on Swingfire, Shorts has been outstanding over the years (I listed their work earlier), both Rapier and Sea Wolf were successful and I would regard Sea Dart as successful. In fact given the available budgets I think the non-AAM programmes (Sea Slug and the strategic stand-off weapons aside) were very successful- even AAM's caught up after the Skyflash programme. The fact that a Bloodhound/Thunderbird replacement was not developed owes as much to the fact that one was simply not required, and certainly not in sufficient numbers to justify a fully indigenous development programme, as to any technical deficiency within the industry. Just my opinion though.
 

zen

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Seems this thread is on the Alternative History and Future Speculations section, and so paths not taken are clearly within its remit.
Whereas not engaging in alternative history and future speculations would seem to lie in some other area of the Secret Projects Forum.
I will certainly agree that more could have been done with SeaWolf, including the lightweight launcher options.
In that area, one might question the need for ASTER-15, had the GWS27 development been persued, and strangely enough we see CAMM persued instead of ASTER-15. It seems Type 45's will hold ASTER-30, but I've not read of any -15 ordered.
Why not a licensed system? Depends on the weapon obviously, on the license, on the 'cost' (more than money) and how things might progress. Why, what have you got in mind?
SeaDart II had a key problem, not of the missile but rather the system and radars and of course the need for launchers, whether they be box or arm type. Its quite a puzzler, the lack of VLS, even when I've read of TVC, its described as 'off the rail', implying the continued use of an arm launcher.
 

JFC Fuller

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Why are radars a problem? The Marconi 805SW was proposed as a director, two UK firms were making surveillance radars, the Type 909 could probably have been repackaged. All missiles need launchers, the box solution seems quite neat, I doubt VLS would have been impossible.
 

alertken

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zen, #32: It adds up to the idea the UK should do nothing, and at no point comes a 'trade off'. Where perhaps we should give up on this and give up and that, but make suchandsuch something we do do, and plough whatever we can into making it so.

If this thread is expiring, may we not leave it with any argy-bargy between us. I do not in the least disagree with you, as here quoted. I do not subscribe to any Buy Everything notion. Simply, I am sympathetic with Ministers' constant dilemma: vested interests yelling ME for £, when we must prioritise. If: an off-the-shelf piece of proven kit can meet (a high %age) of your Requirement, then abandon perfection and grab what's on offer. See my wife for amplification. If not...then either abandon your Requirement, or step up to cost and pain. So: 1950-ish: UK chose to go solo on SAMs, 3 of them. One by one, resources conflicts caused other projects to lapse - plastic V1s, ASMs, ATMs, Naval anything-much.

Ministers can be criticised for embarking on more than we would be able to deliver - compartmentalisation, lack of co-ordination, no one Minister of Defence until 1964; industry can be criticised for disdain for any concept of cost-effectiveness/value engineering until...well, ah, erm...

UK did try to do almost everything in Defence technology; some solo successes followed; we did much better when we started collaborating. One advantage of cross-border JVs was that no one Govt. could lightly chop it. But in the 1950-ish timeframe the mood of the time was not to talk to the French or overly rely on US, whose President had intended to pull out of any European Defence entanglement, right up to Stalin's escapade in Berlin.
 

pathology_doc

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alertken said:
If this thread is expiring, may we not leave it with any argy-bargy between us.
Agreed. This is why I'm writing my "Carthaginian Secret Projects" thing (see: the Bar) for a bit of a laugh, because it lets me explore these sorts of things in an utterly fictitious setting that doesn't upset any applecarts among anyone now living.

Ultimately (a) it's fun to talk about where they should have spent the money, but (b) there is an unavoidable tendency to have the discussion through the lens of the retrospectoscope. It's a lot harder to stand back in nineteen fifty something with the pressing need for some sort of SAGW or AAGW weighing over one's head but never being entirely sure exactly how far one's allies have progressed with such work, whether their needs fit "ours" (whoever "we" are), and what do we do if they don't?

It's easy to say "buy Terrier/Tartar off the shelf", but IIRC what Friedman calls the 3-T system required obscene amounts of money to bring up to any reasonable standard, and who's to say the US might not have stuck the UK with part of the bill - possibly an unaffordable part? There's the potential for the whole thing to have degenerated into a TSR.2 vs. F-111K fiasco, with neither system being bought in the end despite massive outlay (and then AFVG piled on top of that). Plus how long do you wait for your ally to get it right, especially since your warship designers need to know exactly what systems you are going to buy in order to design their ships to take them?

OTOH look at what GEC did turning Sparrow into Sky Flash - somewhere in there they started to get their radar-guided AAM development astonishingly right, the reasons for which would be worth exploring in detail - and think of what might have been done with Tartar in the same vein.

If: an off-the-shelf piece of proven kit can meet (a high %age) of your Requirement, then abandon perfection and grab what's on offer.

The best is the enemy of good enough, true. Part of the problem, and not just in Britain, was service requirements that were impossible to meet with the technology of the day.
 

PMN1

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CJGibson said:
Which horse would you have backed in 1949? Ramjet? Rocket? My view is that when the Brakemine team and the talented Flt Lt Benson were wound up, UK GW lost a lot of ground.
Out of interest, what ceiling did Brakemine have?

Also, while looking around, I found this... :)

 

pathology_doc

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PMN1 said:
CJGibson said:
Which horse would you have backed in 1949? Ramjet? Rocket? My view is that when the Brakemine team and the talented Flt Lt Benson were wound up, UK GW lost a lot of ground.
Out of interest, what ceiling did Brakemine have?

Also, while looking around, I found this... :)


Ooh, neat. Proto-County Class!!


The air battle controllers see it as THE answer to the Kamikaze as the invasion of Japan begins in a non-nuclear alternative world. Meanwhile, crusty old sea dogs who are learning new tricks channel the ghost of Jacky Fisher and hunt for whatever Japanese destroyers might still be left to give it a shot in the SSM role...
 
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