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South African missiles/rockets/PGM's - Prototypes, Projects, Concepts, etc.

compton_effect

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Is it my imagination - or is that a aerospike nozzle on the rocket motor?
That is one way to get a common performance at all altitudes.
 

Graugrun

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Ahh, thanks - so that's what the aerospike nozzle is for - you can see it clearly in the 3rd (last) Impundulu photo. This was one of the things that made this look all too much like science fiction when I first saw this model, so I almost walked away thinking it was all just fantasy...
 

kaiserbill

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Thankfully you didn't just walk away, and were observant as well to pick up the code-name and thus to take pictures.
I'm quite intrigued by this missile.

I wish I had that foresight back in the day when I saw a large model of what later turned out to be the Carver at a public exhibition in Cape Town...

I still can't believe in hindsight that I didn't take photos, and kick myself to this day.
Instead, all that exists on the internet so far is the single pic of a model from the exhibition in Chile. So far.

Saying that, surely somebody else must have taken some pics of the model at that exhibition...
 

Racer

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The special nozzle might be a valve for variable thrust?
 

compton_effect

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Areospikes are a type of altitude compensating nozzles that allows for aerodynamic efficiency across a range of altitudes. It would allow the missile to have about 20% more thrust at low altitudes than a normal nozzle.
There's been a lot of research done about them for large rockets, there's even a new startup called Firefly Space Systems that's planning a smallsat launcher.
But I've never heard of a weapon making use of one.

But yeah, I think one testbed used a carbon carbon aerospike that could be moved in and out to vary thrust. It would make for one impressive bird if it could do that.
 

kaiserbill

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Ramjet propulsion was still being discussed recently, within the last 2 or 3 years, as can be seen by a "show-and-tell" presentation described below. The author meant ramjet, obviously...

...was the development of a long-range multi-role, multi-mode 6th generation B-Darter missile with radar and IR seeker technology and ramrod propulsion to achieve a 100km range.
http://www.wattnow.co.za/article.php?id=649
 

compton_effect

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I've seen that photo a few times and every time my first thought is - 'That must be the ugliest demo model ever made'


I mean, it looks like a first year engineering student slapped it together with some stuff he found in the one storeroom.
 

Graugrun

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One of the many developmental weapons the article in the link posted above talks a bit about is Umkhonto (Zulu - short stabbing spear) long range radar guided version. Here it is posed above two models of the short range and in use Unkhonto IR (South Africa, Finland and soon Algeria), and a cheap CLOS option (not yet sold). While the range of the IR version has just been increased to 20 Km, there has been various mention of the longer range radar guided version being in the 45-65 Km range class. Initially they had developed a standard type booster attached to the rear of the radar missile to obtain the extended range, now they seem to be opting for twin boosters on the sides of the missile - I would assume this was the only way they could ensure it was compateble with existing launch tubes.

As per the article in the link above, the radar seeker they are busy developing will also be used (maybe slightly modified?) in the new Marlin long range air-air AMRAAM type missile that they are also busy developing.

Pics taken at AAD 2012.
 

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kaiserbill

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I think that is the GBADS ground based SAM launcher unit in the backround?

That earlier link you posted was interesting, stressing that the AAM missile itself, not the project, is called Marlin.
 

Graugrun

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Quite correct Kaiserbill, that's a GBADS ground launcher in the background - moving onto another, here are some photos of the prototype Umbani (lightning) PGM, the first pic shows it without the range extension wing kit the 2nd pic with it attached and extended. It has now been ordered and is being jointly produced by Denel Dynamics and Tawazan Holdings in the UAE, after a $490 million order was placed by the UAE for the Umbani - now re-named Al-Tariq for use on their Mirage 2000-9's and perhaps also on their F-16 E/F Block 60's. - link regards the Al-Tariq purchase and it's ramifications - http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/new-options-denel-tawazuns-precision-weapons-partnership-07551/

Note the copper coloured antennae around the front portion of Umbani in the first pic - I assume it's the GPS antennae.

Also note in the 2nd pic, the A-Darter missile mock-up on the ground under the Gripen's wing - it's a rather fat missile, whereas the IRIS-T mounted on the wingtip is a rather thin missile for it's class.
 

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overscan

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I posted without verifying.

Its probably actually a Teledyne Ryan Firebee target as the South African Air Force used those.
 

kaiserbill

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PaulMM (Overscan) said:
I posted without verifying.

Its probably actually a Teledyne Ryan Firebee target as the South African Air Force used those.
I was not aware of that Paul.

Do you have any further info on this?
Google didn't really reveal anything.

Where and when was the picture taken, SA Bushwar?

EDIT: The Friends of the SAAF Museum list a Teledyne Ryan Model 124 Firebee I which has a construction number of AF-83-0553 and a "previous identity" of 78022 listed in storage.

http://www.saaffriends.co.za/gallery/aeroplanes/museum_planes/list_of_museum_planes.htm
 

sa_bushwar

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Picture taken at SAAF museum AFB Zwartkops, approx 2010, so it must be the item you refer to below.

kaiserbill said:
PaulMM (Overscan) said:
I posted without verifying.

Its probably actually a Teledyne Ryan Firebee target as the South African Air Force used those.
I was not aware of that Paul.

Do you have any further info on this?
Google didn't really reveal anything.

Where and when was the picture taken, SA Bushwar?

EDIT: The Friends of the SAAF Museum list a Teledyne Ryan Model 124 Firebee I which has a construction number of AF-83-0553 and a "previous identity" of 78022 listed in storage.

http://www.saaffriends.co.za/gallery/aeroplanes/museum_planes/list_of_museum_planes.htm
 

kaiserbill

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It's interesting in that it is painted the same blue as most of the combat planes (Buccaneer, Canberra, Mirage and Cheetah) of the SAAF of the time, and not a hi-vis colour for target work.
As Paul says, if the link given above has the correct serial numbers, then this was a combat variant, not a target variant.

Quite intriguing, to say the least....

Any other pics of it SA Bushwar?
 

sa_bushwar

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Maybe it was used for the development of the Raptor or Mupsow?

kaiserbill said:
It's interesting in that it is painted the same blue as most of the combat planes (Buccaneer, Canberra, Mirage and Cheetah) of the SAAF of the time, and not a hi-vis colour for target work.
As Paul says, if the link given above has the correct serial numbers, then this was a combat variant, not a target variant.

Quite intriguing, to say the least....

Any other pics of it SA Bushwar?
 

kaiserbill

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Does anyone have any backround info on the Skua target drone?

It has been mentioned in a book that the Skua was originally designed as a long range cruise missile, and was redeveloped into a target drone once the cold war ended.
Looking at the size and design, that makes a lot of sense.

Any history on the Skua would be most appreciated.
 

sa_bushwar

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Do not have any history, but here is a 2004 picture, and a strange Skua lookalike mock-up at the SAAF museum at AFB Zwartkops

kaiserbill said:
Does anyone have any backround info on the Skua target drone?

It has been mentioned in a book that the Skua was originally designed as a long range cruise missile, and was redeveloped into a target drone once the cold war ended.
Looking at the size and design, that makes a lot of sense.

Any history on the Skua would be most appreciated.
 

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panzerskool

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question for those in the know. Did We produce Skerpions under license or simply buy off the shelf Gabrials from Israel?
 

kaiserbill

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SA Bushwar, thanks for that pic of what looks like some sort of Skua type mick-up.
I wonder what the story behind that is?
Any further info?
Is it definitely something to do with the Skua, or is it something else?

EDIT: Nevermind, I see you said a type of "Skua lookalike". Be interesting to know what it is.


Panserskool, I'm also interested in whether the Skerpioen/Gabriel was produced in SA.
Certainly, Graugrun posted a couple of attachments earlier that show different types of warheads were designed in South Africa.
 

TomS

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Looks like the big centerline drop tank for the Mirage F.1.
 

kaiserbill

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I seem to recall reading on the Saairforce forum that this was an indigenous project to replace the original aluminium Mirage F1 drop tank with a composite one.
I speak under correction though.

I think it was around the time of the All Composite Evaluator (ACE) and the composite fuel tanks and sponsons developed for the Oryx helicopter.

I'll see what I can find out.

I'm still interested in that mock-up of that winged cruise missile/target drone thingy SA Bushwar posted up a little earlier if anyone has any info...
SA Bushwar, do those displays have any information or name boards?
 

kaiserbill

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That tank above was an RP35 type fuel tank as used by the Mirage F1, containing 1200 liters.

This was a local project (CSIR) designed to manufacture a composite replacement of the original aluminium version.

3 prototypes were built, with the first being for structural testing. The next 2 prototypes were fully equipped and contained fuel and electrical systems.
I think this one above is the first prototype.

The project was actually to see whether new tanks should be constructed in aluminium or composites. Composites were selected due to a number of advantages, listed as including good corrosion behaviour with moisture and fuel, lower likelihood of suffering catastrophic structural failure due to a hostile strike, relatively low tooling requirements and cost for complex shapes, and greater scope to tailor the structural dynamics of the new drop tank to the original to prevent additional flutter clearance work.

Prepreg materials showed greater promise than wet lay-up systems, and weave was both plain weave and unidirectional.

http://researchspace.csir.co.za/dspace/bitstream/10204/3235/1/Du%20Preez1_2007.pdf


It really belongs in the aerospace projects section.
 

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Graugrun

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Kaiserbill from what I have been told you are correct in terms of Skua originally being designed as a cruise missile. As with most high end South African projects, the cruise missile project was two tiered, that then later developed into a three tier project. The three tiers being:

1.Lower-end, low risk - Skua
2.Medium to high risk - MUPSOW (and later Torgus)
3. High risk - Flowchart 2 (later Seraph)

Flowchart 2/Seraph has always been of great interest to me for this reason - paraded under the (flimsy) covers of high speed UAV's and "stealthy" target drones (to allow the AA fraternity in the field to test their abilities and skills on stealth objects - according to Denel). The Seraph brochure states that it has a maximum range of 1300 km, 10- 1200m altitude, max speed of Mach 0.85 - Flowchart 2 must have had similar performances.

Back to Skua The IDR article posted below (published Jan 1993) states that it has a 100kg payload (including external storage), however take out the landing/recovery cushions and parachute and you can then easily fit more internally and increase the weight of a potential warhead. Since we supposedly had developed tactical nukes to fit in 155mm G5/6 gun shells, it would be more than easy enough to turn these into strategic nuclear cruise missile (one drawing in "Those who had the power" shows off the ability to launch two Skua's from our then Daphne submarines). The IDR article also mentions a 800km programmed round trip capability.

This is naturally a bit speculative, however I know at least one insider who is adamant that this is the case.

SA Bushwar's earlier picture post shows the early prototype/concept with the mini turbine mounted above the body. What I can tell you is that Denel Dynamics have revealed that they are definitely working on a Skua successor that they refer to internally simply as "Target 2". I know that we hired some Skua's out to Brazil for them to test their air-air projects with, later we sold them a couple.

See below for an early and later brochure on Skua - I will post some more on Flowchart 2 and Seraph in time to come.
 

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kaiserbill

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Thanks for the detailed reply and attachments, Graugrun.

Even before I had read in that book about the Skua being initially designed as a cruise missile, years before when the Skua had first been revealed, the very first thing that came into my mind when I saw it first was that it had a cruise missile pedigree behind it.

I was not aware that the others, MUPSOW and Flowchart/Seraph, were basically contenders, just at different capability levels. I'd assumed they were follow-ons. Interesting.

Certainly, the heavy "target drone" story never really stood up as logical to me, particularly as there was more than one design, one of which had clear signature reduction/stealth features... ;D

When one looks at the known MRBM/ICBM programme, then the obvious cruise missile component is pure logic.
 
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