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Sea Wolf


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Jul 15, 2007
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Source Norman Friedman's British Destroyers and Frigates, page 297.

1963 Summer discussions began.

1964 January 9 GD302 submitted. Desired ISD 1972.

1964 April Joint RN MoA study group formed.
Looks at alternative solutions. Guns ruled out, IR guided missiles ruled out, Sparrow II ruled out on size and weight. Noted the French were not developing Roland for warships and predicted US would drop Mauler.
Softkill (EW, decoys etc..) alone also ruled out, but viewed as worth investment 'with' a new missile system.
Rapier examined, concluded it would need larger warhead, new fuse and essentially a new missile body. Or in other words, Rapier ruled out, but elements of the technology ruled in.

1964 May Tripartite French Dutch and British agreement on a new SAM, in July agreed the UK would continue it's national effort.

1964 December, five sketched solutions looked at, and immediately three rejected on cost and size grounds.
Remaining options termed A and B
A, a lightweight system for small craft, used a combined search/track system under consideration for a new lightweight gun fire control. It would replace Sea Cat on frigates. 60 to 80kg missile.
B, command guidance of system A or SARH. This will became Sea Wolf

1965 May Third meeting in Paris, added a third option, option C of high performance, likely under pressure from the French. Who were most interested in this.
Option C would try to intercept the target at 7km and any passing target within 4km of the ship, i.e. crossing targets. Using a 140kg SARH missile or 80kg command guided weapon.

1965 15 Oct, Confessor feasibility study. Limited to 90kg to be handleable by personnel. Storable vertically on one deck limiting it to 2m in length.

1966 Germany signs MoU but withdraw in early '67, at least partly due to unwillingness to incur R&D costs.

RN compromises on performance of the missile, the French leave (they wanted the high performance option) and the Dutch adopt Sparrow III. The Dutch are recorded as only interested in Sea Wolf if it uses Dutch radar.

Would be interesting to know what the other three options were....
I notice the RN did'nt look at Contravene's Indigo