• Hi Guest! Forum rules have been updated. All users please read here.

British Naval missile launchers are awful

uk 75

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Sep 27, 2006
Messages
2,329
Reaction score
979
One of my pet moans in various threads is how awful British ship missile launchers are:

I can almost forgive Seaslug as it was our first and the County Class were probably obsolete at about the same time as their weapons because of high crewing levels.
But Seadart has no such excuse. Tartar and Terrier offered examples to follow, especially single arm Tartar. Again we ended up with a heavy bulky launcher which had to be placed in the wettest place on the T42s.
Worse was yet to come. Seawolf should have had a simple lightweight 4 box launcher which could fit where a Seacat had been. God alone knows why we had to have the manually loaded 6 box abortion.
Even the VL version seems to need more room than VL Sea Sparrow.
We bought Ikara and Exocet. Other countries were able to fit these in neatly keeping existing armaments. The RN had to strip out gun turrets.
I dont know much about T45 but isnt it another case of our launchers being less effective than the USN ( no VL Tomahawk or ASW missile).
I suapect we are still doing it..
 

zen

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2007
Messages
1,834
Reaction score
585
Assumptions not evidence.
Sea Dart.....magazine placement makes it wet....on Type 42. Not on Type 82 or frankly Type 43 or 44 or CVA-01 or Invincible.

Heavy? Less complex than US systems of the time. No launcher arms spreading out line up with missiles.

However deeper storage = safer. Volume of intermediate deck reduces fragment density of enemy exploding warhead. Triggered by exterior surfaces.
Magazine spacing driven by safety. More separation = less risk of chain reaction.

Sea Wolf....on the basis of 2-3 AShM incoming, two interceptors per target. No time to reload as Attack coordinated to arrive at near simultaneous. Hence double ended systems.
Launchers part of 'follow the US', when pragmatism and innovation could have seen VLS from get go.
We were right and VLS was the way to go.

RN cares about stability margins, maintenance and removing unnecessary systems. Failure here is lack of funded AShM variant for Sea Dart.....a mini-British Onyx/Yakhont.

Cluttered decks = dangerous decks. Obstructing systems impede arcs of fire.

Silos ....Sylver rated for Aster series SAM, SCALP.....?
Why do you want to fill silos on an AAW ship with missiles other than SAMs?
 

sferrin

CLEARANCE: Above Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
13,119
Reaction score
1,181
One of my pet moans in various threads is how awful British ship missile launchers are:

I can almost forgive Seaslug as it was our first and the County Class were probably obsolete at about the same time as their weapons because of high crewing levels.
But Seadart has no such excuse. Tartar and Terrier offered examples to follow, especially single arm Tartar. Again we ended up with a heavy bulky launcher which had to be placed in the wettest place on the T42s.
Worse was yet to come. Seawolf should have had a simple lightweight 4 box launcher which could fit where a Seacat had been. God alone knows why we had to have the manually loaded 6 box abortion.
Even the VL version seems to need more room than VL Sea Sparrow.
We bought Ikara and Exocet. Other countries were able to fit these in neatly keeping existing armaments. The RN had to strip out gun turrets.
I dont know much about T45 but isnt it another case of our launchers being less effective than the USN ( no VL Tomahawk or ASW missile).
I suapect we are still doing it..
Can't be any worse than the plywood, manually loaded Sea Sparrow (500lb missile) launchers with manually slewed illuminators. (Okay, maybe not plywood but damn near as cheaply built.)

a-gunners-mate-mans-the-mark-115-sea-sparrow-fire-control-system-director-during-cb06da-1024.jpg
 

uk 75

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Sep 27, 2006
Messages
2,329
Reaction score
979
Seadart only served on T42 and CVS so T82 (Bristol was one off) etc fantasy ships.
Singlearm Tartar spreading out over missile?
Later twin armed Standard could fire ASROC as well.
Type 22 had twelve ready to fire. A typical Sea Sparrow ship had nine ready to fire from its equally cumbersome launcher see attached.
T45 launchers are limited to save money not to focus on AD role.
RN got clumsy Ikara housing for a nuclear warhead which it never got.
Were the French Exocet ships really inferior to the RN ones
 

Attachments

Zootycoon

CLEARANCE: Secret
Joined
May 27, 2008
Messages
289
Reaction score
277
Sea Dart was box fired once, live booster and inert missile, just to prove the concept. It worked really well, had loads of potential, but by then the writing was on the wall that the Sea Dart project as a whole, was a cul-de-sac;- shame really.

As for the load, point and shoot launcher, these were always problematic, but the admirals just saw a gun turret type thing which they had been playing with for years. They never seemed to appreciate the increased complexity of the missile operation, every last little bit of which had to go just right in order to get birds away. ....... conversely should a few quids worth of micro switch crap out, no birds away and you took delivery of a thousand pounder amidships. There was a suspicion also they looked at what the USN was up to as a means of gaining confidence.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: zen

Hood

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2006
Messages
1,719
Reaction score
951
Compared to?

Using the USN is a small sample size.
Mascura and Malafon were not compact systems.

The Soviets hardly knew what a compact launcher was either. Their SSM cannisters were all massive due to the size of their missiles within. Even VLS didn't help to hide the bulk of the missiles - look at the size of Kirov's foredeck!
The FRAS-N-1 had a neat twin-arm launcher but was essentially just launching a FROG-series rocket, in contrast the quadruple 'Silex' launchers on the Krivaks makes Ikara look like a compact system (the Kresta/Kara quad boxes were neater but still rather bulky for just 8 missiles).
SAM systems were not quite so bad, SA-N-1 was probably a more sensible launcher than Sea Slug but not as compact as US single-arm launchers of the time.
The later VLS systems were rather complicated rotating affairs but took up reasonable little deck area although deck penetration was still deep. The SA-N-4 with its pop-up twin-arm launcher always seems quite neat but then I'm not convinced the added complication of adding hydraulics to elevate it and the deck penetration needed were worthwhile, especially since it was indeed for smaller vessels with less spare tonnage to spare. Always wondered how reliable it was?
 

zen

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2007
Messages
1,834
Reaction score
585
Legend goes the Soviets crammed as many systems into their ships due to reliability issues. By doing so they gambled at least one of these would work on the day.
Flipside is by cramming in lots, they said maintenance a nightmare. Ensuring reliability issues....
But at least they looked impressive..........
 

zen

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2007
Messages
1,834
Reaction score
585
Ok attempt to link to YouTube videos

 
Top