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Submarine-Launched Air Missile (SLAM)

GTX

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Hi folks,

Apparently, back in 1972, the RN Submarine HMS Aeneas tested the Submarine-Launched Air Missile (SLAM) system consisting of 6 Blowpipe SAMs in a retractable mount in the conning tower. Israel may have used the system.

Regards,

Greg
 

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CJGibson

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It also came fitted with a big sign with "Depth Charge Me" written on it. I suspect any decent May or Helix crew would have located a SLAM-armed submarine before it had a chance to launch a Blowpipe.

SLAM was fitted to HMS Aeneas for trials and (alledgedly) two German-built Israeli boats.

There is a diagram in Janes Weapon Systems from 1974 that shows SLAM's use as an anti-ship weapon, rather than as a SAM. More likely methinks.

KB
 

Firefly 2

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Description
The missile is shipped as a single round in a storage cylinder/firing tube. The controller unit is clipped to the launch tube and fired from the operator's shoulder. To reduce the overall size of the container, the rear fins of the missile are stored in the larger diameter area at the front of the tube; during firing the fins clip onto the rear of the missile as it moves past. This gives the launch container a unique shape, seemingly oversized at the front and extremely thin at the rear. The missile is powered by a short duration solid rocket for launch, then by a main sustainer rocket once it is well clear of the launch tube.

Guidance of the Blowpipe is completely manual, or MCLOS, requiring the operator to steer the missile all the way to its target manually via a small thumb joystick. A flare in the tail of the missile makes it more easily visible in flight. Detonation is either by proximity or contact fuse. The controller can then be removed from the empty missile container and fitted to a new round.

Blowpipe was developed as a SAM for submarines, fitted into a mast that could be raised from the submarine's conning tower under the name Submarine Launched Airflight Missile (SLAM) trialled on HMS Aeneas (P427) in the 1970s.

The french now have a projest underway to give any Sub fitted with standard 533mm tubes SAM capability by fitting a MICA heatseeking missile in a shell. Much like they did with the SM3 Exocet.
 

Jemiba

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SLAM - Submarine-Launched Airflight Missile

Found a drawing of SLAM in Bill Gunstons "Enzyklopadie der
Raketen & Lenkwaffen". It even seems to carry six Blowpipes.
 

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starviking

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Re: Fairey Rotodyne

Jemiba said:
Found a drawing of SLAM in Bill Gunstons "Enzyklopadie der
Raketen & Lenkwaffen". It even seems to carry six Blowpipes.

Nice.

Maybe the Aeneas fit had some of the blowpipes swapped out for test equipment. Or maybe it's another case of Wikipedia being slightly in error. ;D

Starviking
 

Rickshaw

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Re: Fairey Rotodyne

Using SLAM would have sort of destroyed the best defence the submarine had - stealth. Which is why the weapon wasn't adopted by anybody except (supposedly) the Israelis.

As for how loud the Tu-142 was, well I suspect it didn't really come down that low and slow, did it, compared to the P-3/Nimrod.
 

TinWing

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Re: Fairey Rotodyne

rickshaw said:
Using SLAM would have sort of destroyed the best defence the submarine had - stealth. Which is why the weapon wasn't adopted by anybody except (supposedly) the Israelis.

I would agree, but I would also remind you that this system was envisioned for conventional diesel electric submarines that are forced to "snorkel" periodically.

There were rumors that the Soviets envisioned a similar system for the Kilo class, although there is only evidence of MANPADS during surfaced operations, and it is also worth noting that the SLAM system received some attention from Brasil for its Oberon class submarines. Even today, the issue of submarine air defence isn't entirely dead. MBDA promoted an encapsulated, torpedo tube fired MICA VL missile. Would it be practical or even desirable?

All I can state for certain is that it seems that the P-8 MPA might very well deliver its lightweight anti-submarine torpedos from relatively high altitude, well outside of the range of potential air defense missiles. This obviously saves the 737-based airframe from the fatigue of sustained low altitude flight, but it also nullifies a very indefinite future threat.
 

starviking

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Re: Fairey Rotodyne

TinWing said:
Even today, the issue of submarine air defence isn't entirely dead. MBDA promoted an encapsulated, torpedo tube fired MICA VL missile. Would it be practical or even desirable?

All I can state for certain is that it seems that the P-8 MPA might very well deliver its lightweight anti-submarine torpedos from relatively high altitude, well outside of the range of potential air defense missiles. This obviously saves the 737-based airframe from the fatigue of sustained low altitude flight, but it also nullifies a very indefinite future threat.

Nowadays, I don't know. Might be useful to have something that can be fired at aircraft narrowing in in your location, mess up their weapons release run. But if you can't detect 'em...useless.

I was thinking the Israelis might have wanted the system so as to give subs performing infiltration ops a bit of firepower. Would be very useful against the aerial targets they would have faced in the 70s, and could also perform a surface-to-surface role.

On the subject of other projects, wasn't there a 'Polyphem' missile in the 90's that was supposed to be fired from sub tubes and be guided by fiber-optics to aerial targets?

Starviking
 

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Re: SLAM - Submarine-Launched Airflight Missile

The sub-launched version of the cancelled Polyphem was called Triton and it used a solid rocket motor fired from a torpedo tube instead of a turbojet engine on the ship-launched Polyphem.
 

TinWing

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Re: Fairey Rotodyne

starviking said:
But if you can't detect 'em...useless.

I always thought that the typical diesel-electric submarine had a radar detector incorporated in its snorkel to detect the emissions of patrol aircraft?

Of course, submarines do have radar sets. I have always assumed that a submarine could use its own radar to detect MPAs while still at periscope depth?
 

Jemiba

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Re: SLAM - Submarine-Launched Airflight Missile

"I have always assumed that a submarine could use its own radar to detect MPAs while still at periscope depth?"

And MPAs probably all have receivers to locate radar emissions at longer distances, than the radar
will give a warning of the MPA ... ;D
 

SlickDriver

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Re: SLAM - Submarine-Launched Airflight Missile

I remember reading about this in the late 80s and early 90s.

Most of the countries building submarines were interested in this type of defense system for submarines that were preparing for a missile launch. Kind of a last ditch point defense if ASW aircraft came across a sub at it's most vulnerable point.

The US, UK, France, USSR and Israel were all interested in something along this line and it was suggested that all of them tested their own versions.

Some of the early computer submarine games even simulated this such as Red Storm Rising.
 

Mercurius Cantabrigiensis

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To the best of my knowledge, SLAM never saw service. I was told by an industrial source who was in a position to know the facts, that the Israeli submarines were "fitted for, but not with" the system.

Mercurius Cantabrigiensis
 

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I just remember reading something in the excellent " La Marine Soviétique" by Claude Huan.
Apparently, the Project 949 A ( nato code Oscar II) subs Omsk and Kursk( we all know that one) were fitted with a SLAM system called Igla, with 12 missiles. The author susjests that the Borei class SSBN would also receive this system. He mentions no further info on the system, and these facts are not confirmed by the excellent " Illustrated Directory of Submarined of The World" by David Miller.

Would this be a navalised version of the Igla MANPAD?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/9K38_Igla
 

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A photo of the HMS Aeneas trial Submarine-Launched Air Missile (SLAM) system.

Regards,

Greg
 

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robunos

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From 'HM Submarines in Camera - 1901-1996' page 158, a picture of HMS Aeneas fitted with SLAM; photo caption posted separately.


cheers,
Robin.
 

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Jemiba

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Just found in FliegerRevue Extra N°35, a photo of HMS Aeneas fitted with SLAM:
 

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Nik

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If you're a diesel sub in littoral zone, and your threat is a helicopter or two, being able to force the helo to dump its dunker and evade might, IMHO, prove useful...


'Honour the threat...'



How many sub-hunter helos would you face ? And how long for them to return to ship and re-equip ??


Still, it would be poor odds to fight on surface-- The WW1 Q-ships proved what a juicy target a surfaced sub could be...
 

Sea Skimmer

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Firefly 2 said:
I just remember reading something in the excellent " La Marine Soviétique" by Claude Huan.
Apparently, the Project 949 A ( nato code Oscar II) subs Omsk and Kursk( we all know that one) were fitted with a SLAM system called Igla, with 12 missiles. The author susjests that the Borei class SSBN would also receive this system. He mentions no further info on the system, and these facts are not confirmed by the excellent " Illustrated Directory of Submarined of The World" by David Miller.

Would this be a navalised version of the Igla MANPAD?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/9K38_Igla


My understanding is they simply have MANPADS launchers as used on land stored in a locker; not any kind of fixed system. Many NATO lightweight ASW torpedoes could not a hit a surfaced submarine as they had been designed not to hit shallow targets to protect launching ships and the air and surface versions were common as many NATO ships had a shared torpedo magazine. This meant a missile you could fire when surfaced is useful, and need not be a fixed system, while some of the more elaborate proposals for periscope mounted missiles made no sense as they would not offer a similar immune to torpedo advantage. They'd just give away your exact position and cost a fair bit of money to maintain. Such systems are mainly useful for a damaged submarine anyway as otherwise you'd be nuts to rely on anything but stealth, speed and depth to escape; Russian submarines had very high survivability so they had a lot more reason to think it might be realistic to fight it it out damaged on the surface. Particularly for a missile submarine which might need considerable time to finish emptying its main battery.
 

flateric

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Sea Skimmer said:
My understanding is they simply have MANPADS launchers as used on land stored in a locker
that's correct
 

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Nik said:
If you're a diesel sub in littoral zone, and your threat is a helicopter or two, being able to force the helo to dump its dunker and evade might, IMHO, prove useful...


'Honour the threat...'



How many sub-hunter helos would you face ? And how long for them to return to ship and re-equip ??


Still, it would be poor odds to fight on surface-- The WW1 Q-ships proved what a juicy target a surfaced sub could be...

It would no doubt be one hell of a suprise for the Helo crew!

Regards
Pioneer
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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From British Defence Equipment Catalogue 3rd Edition (1970)
 

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CJGibson

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This was drawn from a sketch in file from Kew (which I can dig out if anyone is interested)

Chris
 

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