Submarine-Launched Ship-To-Air Missiles

From "Leiser, tiefer, schneller-Innovationen im deutschen U-Boot-Bau" by Jürgen Rohweder:

Edit: I've modified the title, to include other systems, than just the Vickers SLAM, as those alrfeady were
mentioned here

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IDAS is a very interesting system. One I can see any sub stuck in shallow waters wanting!
 
Concept art of TRITON the torpedo tube launched derivative of Polyphem. While it was cancelled together with Polyphem you can still see the heavy influence the concept had on the later IDAS. Both the fibre-optic guidance and the capability against a wide range of targets (ships, helicopters and shore targets) have their origin in the Polyphem/TRIFOM
 

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The float could have its own radar—-nosecone flips over as dish or something…
 
In any case, I doubt that an SLBM would want to risk revealing its position by launching anything in response to an aircraft. Aircraft simply aren't major threats to submarines that are quiet and don't have to surface (nuclear and closed-cycle).

Systems like these might once have made some sense for conventionally powered submarines operating in shallow water. But, judging from the lack of adoption in the last 50-odd years, even that seems doubtful.
 
Best defence of a submarine is to stay underwater or get there pdq.
Israel may have a special case given its operations against neighbours which might involve surfacing to land special forces.
 
In any case, I doubt that an SLBM would want to risk revealing its position by launching anything in response to an aircraft. Aircraft simply aren't major threats to submarines that are quiet and don't have to surface (nuclear and closed-cycle).
The only solution is if missile launched not from the submarine itself, but from the buoy or torpedo-like vessel. I.e. when the opponent could not be sure, where exactly submarine is, or even is it here at all (such "anti-ASW aircraft mine" could be deployed just to hamper ASW operations and create "false confirmation". The opponent would concentrate its search effort on the area, where ASW plane was downed by buoy-launched SAM - so it make sence to plant some SAM buoys as mines, to distract enemy from real submarines)
 
In any case, I doubt that an SLBM would want to risk revealing its position by launching anything in response to an aircraft. Aircraft simply aren't major threats to submarines that are quiet and don't have to surface (nuclear and closed-cycle).
The only solution is if missile launched not from the submarine itself, but from the buoy or torpedo-like vessel. I.e. when the opponent could not be sure, where exactly submarine is, or even is it here at all (such "anti-ASW aircraft mine" could be deployed just to hamper ASW operations and create "false confirmation". ...
I follow your reasoning. But I still doubt that the concept offers enough advantage to offset the risks of using it outside of coastal waters, where aerial detection is possible.

Launching anything, including a capsule, generates extra noise and thus extra risk. Modern submarine sonars can supposedly detect dropped tools and slightly unbalanced machinery. So even a quietly lauched capsule might be detected and allow a fix on the SSBN.

So, to justify the use of an AA weapon, the threat posed by maritime aircraft would have to outweigh the risk. Currently, it doesn't appear to. Current aircraft lack both the sensors and the weapons for attacking quiet submarines in open waters. It isn't clear that planes could even come close enough to use nuclear depth charges effectively, and they would only be used after the start of full-scale hostilities, in which case the SLBMs would probably be on their way, rendering an attack on the SSBN moot. In almost every other scenario, the SSBN can either avoid detection by aircraft togetheror quietly break a fleeting contact and slip away.

The obvious threat to an SSBN is a shadowing SSN following it from port and operating a passive sonar backed by powerful signal-processing computers. In such a case, quiet makes all the difference. The quieter boat can break contact and slip away or, in extremis, make a first-shot kill on its opponent.
 
In any case, I doubt that an SLBM would want to risk revealing its position by launching anything in response to an aircraft. Aircraft simply aren't major threats to submarines that are quiet and don't have to surface (nuclear and closed-cycle).
The only solution is if missile launched not from the submarine itself, but from the buoy or torpedo-like vessel. I.e. when the opponent could not be sure, where exactly submarine is, or even is it here at all (such "anti-ASW aircraft mine" could be deployed just to hamper ASW operations and create "false confirmation". ...
I follow your reasoning. But I still doubt that the concept offers enough advantage to offset the risks of using it outside of coastal waters, where aerial detection is possible.

Launching anything, including a capsule, generates extra noise and thus extra risk. Modern submarine sonars can supposedly detect dropped tools and slightly unbalanced machinery.
Not even modern sonars, we were doing that on the Ohio-class with their 1970s vintage BQQ-5. Even dropped toilet seats could be heard miles away.

So even a quietly lauched capsule might be detected and allow a fix on the SSBN.

So, to justify the use of an AA weapon, the threat posed by maritime aircraft would have to outweigh the risk. Currently, it doesn't appear to. Current aircraft lack both the sensors and the weapons for attacking quiet submarines in open waters. It isn't clear that planes could even come close enough to use nuclear depth charges effectively, and they would only be used after the start of full-scale hostilities, in which case the SLBMs would probably be on their way, rendering an attack on the SSBN moot.
Honestly, given that SSBNs are usually second-strike platforms, it's unlikely for there to be much available to hurt an SSBN after it emptied its tubes. That said, what scared boomer crews the most was a partial launch order. Because they just launched the mother of all flares and if someone was on the ball with their retargeting and launch, dropping a circle of 100kt warheads around the position of an SLBM launch is possibly able to smoke that boomer.

In almost every other scenario, the SSBN can either avoid detection by aircraft togetheror quietly break a fleeting contact and slip away.

The obvious threat to an SSBN is a shadowing SSN following it from port and operating a passive sonar backed by powerful signal-processing computers. In such a case, quiet makes all the difference. The quieter boat can break contact and slip away or, in extremis, make a first-shot kill on its opponent.
You would not believe just how quiet an Ohio class is, even when operating normally.
 
Well, you want the capsule to be noisier than the sub.

Speaking of visibility

I could see a sat warning a sub in advance of aviation and the sub pre-deploys the float in advance.

Several floats could also be placed in choke points in peacetime.

The ASW may be so focused on looking for a sub that it just…goes quiet.

With more sat-to-sub partnerships that are line of sight (cone) the ASW’s job gets much harder.

As for hunter killers, boomers might go from sea-floor smoker to sea-floor smoker.

I want noise to hide in.
 
Well, you want the capsule to be noisier than the sub.

Speaking of visibility

I could see a sat warning a sub in advance of aviation and the sub pre-deploys the float in advance.

Several floats could also be placed in choke points in peacetime.

The ASW may be so focused on looking for a sub that it just…goes quiet.

With more sat-to-sub partnerships that are line of sight (cone) the ASW’s job gets much harder.

As for hunter killers, boomers might go from sea-floor smoker to sea-floor smoker.

I want noise to hide in.
I think most smokers are too deep for any military sub to hang around, but I hope to be surprised. Maybe in the South China Sea? I mean, generally speaking subs don't really go a whole lot deeper than 300m/1000ft, so any smoker in water shallower than probably 600m/2000ft is likely to be too deep to provide much noise to hide a sub.

And for maintaining comms, especially with that laser, you need to be shallower. IIRC no less than 180m/600ft
 
What happened to the sub-launched AIM-9X proposal? I gather there'd been some sort of buoyant pod developed to encapsulate it to enable under like of the AIM-9X.
 
Two-pager on the "Vickers Seaborne Missile Launcher System", which includes the SLAM launcher and also other Blowpipe options. The multi round crewed mounting I have numerical data for somewhere.

The notion of trying to guide Blowpipe from a helicopter in flight is interesting. Could be pretty challenging and might require the SACLOS upgrade that became Javelin.
 
What happened to the sub-launched AIM-9X proposal? I gather there'd been some sort of buoyant pod developed to encapsulate it to enable under like of the AIM-9X.
Probably struggled getting the capsule out of the water and missile out of the capsule, then get the missile pointed in the right direction.

AIM-9X just doesn't have the off-boresight to look around like that. You'd want a seeker like the AIM-95 in terms of field of view, but with a staring array to look around for the target.
 
Probably struggled getting the capsule out of the water and missile out of the capsule, then get the missile pointed in the right direction.

I suspect that to get this to work the capsule would need its' own launch-booster something akin to a scaled down Mk-135 rocket-motor (The current launch booster for the R/UGM-109 Tomahawk) to get out the water quickly and pointing in the general direction of the target.
 
I suspect that to get this to work the capsule would need its' own launch-booster something akin to a scaled down Mk-135 rocket-motor (The current launch booster for the R/UGM-109 Tomahawk) to get out the water quickly and pointing in the general direction of the target.
I doubt it. A torpedo tube can spit out a Tomahawk or SubHarpoon capsule at 50 knots just from the ejection pump. I think part of the problem was how light an AIM-9X is. They're only 200lb/90kg!

So a 21" tube with only 1x missile in it is way too light. (See also IDAS with 4x missiles in a magazine that stays in the tube)
 
Probably struggled getting the capsule out of the water and missile out of the capsule, then get the missile pointed in the right direction.

AIM-9X just doesn't have the off-boresight to look around like that. You'd want a seeker like the AIM-95 in terms of field of view, but with a staring array to look around for the target.

All of that was tested, back in 2005-10 as the Littoral Warfare Weapon launched from the Water-Piercing Missile Launcher. They envisaged AIM-9X as having both air and surface targets, but mostly it was an existing missile considered suitable for testing.

Two period news articles describing the progress c. 2009-10:

Patent draft (c 2001) for the Water-Piercing Missile Launcher, which is a variation on the Concentric Canister Launcher concept, in this case using the exhaust from the missile to create a gas jet that shields the missile from the water as it is ejected.

1716951688939.png

And here is a submerged launch test at NSWC Crane, captioned "A surrogate missile is launched from a water-piercing missile launcher at Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane during proof of concept testing. The technology could provide submarines at periscope depth with a "stand and fight" defensive missile capability against above water threats."

This shot looks stationary, but they eventually worked their way up to 3 knots or so, towing the test rig across the pond. Dealing with that horizontal flow across the tube muzzle was the biggest technical challenge they faced, it seems:

1716951582734.png

ETA: After the 2010 tests, LWW/WPML basically vanish, There are two basic theories as to why. Either it went black and this capability is deployed in the fleet or it was abandoned. Knowing submariners, I suspect the later. Who wants to stooge around at PD and 3-5 knots when you know an ASW helo is working you? Either run or go deep (or both). It would take very specific and rare circumstances (like an SSGN recovering a SEAL team and their SDV) to make "stand and fight" an attractive idea.
 
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ETA: After the 2010 tests, LWW/WPML basically vanish, There are two basic theories as to why. Either it went black and this capability is deployed in the fleet or it was abandoned. Knowing submariners, I suspect the later. Who wants to stooge around at PD and 3-5 knots when you know an ASW helo is working you? Either run or go deep (or both). It would take very specific and rare circumstances (like an SSGN recovering a SEAL team and their SDV) to make "stand and fight" an attractive idea.
Thank you for all that!

The other specific circumstance where "Stand and Fight" is an option is when you're stuck in shallow water, like the Baltic. Can't go deep, going fast is dangerous, gotta fight.
 
ETA: After the 2010 tests, LWW/WPML basically vanish, There are two basic theories as to why. Either it went black and this capability is deployed in the fleet or it was abandoned. Knowing submariners, I suspect the later. Who wants to stooge around at PD and 3-5 knots when you know an ASW helo is working you? Either run or go deep (or both). It would take very specific and rare circumstances (like an SSGN recovering a SEAL team and their SDV) to make "stand and fight" an attractive idea.
Why "stand and fight"? Add the floatation device to capsule, and you could use it as anti-air minefield. If submarine detect the aerial threat around, it could just launch several capsules with delay mechanism & run/hide. The floating capsules itself - providing, of course, their ejection is reasonably quet - aren't connected with the sub itself, and do nothing to give its location away.

On the other hand, anti-sypub aircraft would be forced to operate with extreme caution, knowing that they could be suddenly attacked by SAM from floating capsule. And since capsule is not connected to submarine, the mere fact of its presence told nothing more about the sub. They couldn't even be sure that submarine is nearby - after all, SAM capsules may be specifically deployed as decoys (for example, dropped by planes) to both hamper the ASW efforts and divert attention from real submarines being deployed elsewhere.
 
Just imagine the situation. In point X, the ASW helicopter was downed by floating SAM capsule. What could be deduced from that mere fact? Three possibilities:

A)The submarine is nearby and deployed capsule for self-defense
B) The submarine was nearby sometime in the past, and deployed capsule for some other reason (maybe A, maybe C)
C) There were no submarine here for the first place, and capsule was specifically deployed as a decoy and a way to hamper the anti-sub efforts (anti-air minefield)

Let's consider those possibilities. Unless ASW forces have additional data about the submarine, they have three scenarios with similar probability. Of those three, only A - that submarine is nearby and deployed capsule for self-defense - promise any possibility to actually catch the submarine. Both B and C scenarios gave nothing besides downed copter.

So essentially, the existence of SAM capsules force the opponent into the situation, when he is forced to risk his ASW aircraft for mere 33% probability of actually catching the submarine somewhere near the place when SAM capsule is. Considering that ASW efforts by themselves are far from foolproof - even if the submarine is actually nearby, it could still get away - the floating SAM capsules looks like a pretty good idea.
 
Just imagine the situation. In point X, the ASW helicopter was downed by floating SAM capsule. What could be deduced from that mere fact? Three possibilities:

A)The submarine is nearby and deployed capsule for self-defense
B) The submarine was nearby sometime in the past, and deployed capsule for some other reason (maybe A, maybe C)
C) There were no submarine here for the first place, and capsule was specifically deployed as a decoy and a way to hamper the anti-sub efforts (anti-air minefield)

Let's consider those possibilities. Unless ASW forces have additional data about the submarine, they have three scenarios with similar probability. Of those three, only A - that submarine is nearby and deployed capsule for self-defense - promise any possibility to actually catch the submarine. Both B and C scenarios gave nothing besides downed copter.

So essentially, the existence of SAM capsules force the opponent into the situation, when he is forced to risk his ASW aircraft for mere 33% probability of actually catching the submarine somewhere near the place when SAM capsule is. Considering that ASW efforts by themselves are far from foolproof - even if the submarine is actually nearby, it could still get away - the floating SAM capsules looks like a pretty good idea.
Assuming that the capsule will float for more than a few seconds, it still needs a way to lock onto the ASW aircraft.
 
In all seriousness though.....Diehl and HDW have been touting IDAS around Defence Shows for 20 years now (think it first appeared in 2005) and no-one has bitten....yet....they're clearly not entirely convinced of the market out there for it as otherwise they would commit company funds to develop and sell themselves.....they're still waiting for a Government customer to basically fund its development at no risk to themselves....

If someone actually coughs up...would it be the longest development saga from initial showing to arrival in service ever with a missile? I can't think of another missile whose fundamental design and concept that has changed so little in 20 years but has yet to be fielded or developed (which presumably if they signed today would take c10 years).
 
In all seriousness though.....Diehl and HDW have been touting IDAS around Defence Shows for 20 years now (think it first appeared in 2005) and no-one has bitten....yet....they're clearly not entirely convinced of the market out there for it as otherwise they would commit company funds to develop and sell themselves.....they're still waiting for a Government customer to basically fund its development at no risk to themselves....

If someone actually coughs up...would it be the longest development saga from initial showing to arrival in service ever with a missile? I can't think of another missile whose fundamental design and concept that has changed so little in 20 years but has yet to be fielded or developed (which presumably if they signed today would take c10 years).
If i remember right Germany wanted to sign a contract but because of money this was one of the things cut / postponned
 
If someone actually coughs up...would it be the longest development saga from initial showing to arrival in service ever with a missile?

Rolling Airframe Missile? Initial concept designs from the early 1970s, entry into service 1992.
 
From British Defence Equipment Catalogue 3rd Edition (1970)
Hi Paul,

I know it's been some time since the image was posted, but do you happen to have any information regarding the truck-mounted launcher? If not, where can I find this information?

Thanks in advance,

Jason
 
AIM-9X just doesn't have the off-boresight to look around like that. You'd want a seeker like the AIM-95 in terms of field of view, but with a staring array to look around for the target.
Having sats and subs collaborate with aircraft being in the dark might be an answer.

Starships above, Hunter Killers beneath...a perfect nightmare of aviation I have long been waiting for.
 
Having sats and subs collaborate with aircraft being in the dark might be an answer.

Starships above, Hunter Killers beneath...a perfect nightmare of aviation I have long been waiting for.

Don't overthink it. AIM-9X Block II has lock-on-after launch capability and that was part of the LWW experiments.

Assuming that the capsule will float for more than a few seconds, it still needs a way to lock onto the ASW aircraft.

There was another launcher concept using a floating capsule - Broaching Universal Buoyant Launcher (BUBL). It was one of the the ideas for launching UAVs from subs, but I think there were SAM proposals associated with it was well. Details were always pretty limited on BUBL but I did find a picture. I'm not sure how far along BUBL got; not as far as the WPML, I think.

1574274853704-sacs~2.jpg
 
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BUBL could be laid down like mines, and strike without sub-mariners put at hazard?
You'd still need some platform to get in there and lay the mines. Submarine is easier because it's sneaky by nature. Air dropping the BUBL capsules may be possible, but the parachutes would be very visually obvious. I'm not sure there's any UUVs currently large enough to carry many BUBL capsules, but that'd be the other option for laying them.
 
You'd still need some platform to get in there and lay the mines. Submarine is easier because it's sneaky by nature. Air dropping the BUBL capsules may be possible, but the parachutes would be very visually obvious. I'm not sure there's any UUVs currently large enough to carry many BUBL capsules, but that'd be the other option for laying them.
As @TomS mentioned, BUBL was associated with the Forward PASS SSN concepts which were designed around cascading delivery vehicles and payloads. They had a notional MPUUV based on the Boeing OSIRIS, accomodating modular payloads measuring 1.8 metres by 1.2 metres, with varying lengths according to type (6 metres for torpedoes and cruise missiles, 1.8 metres for deployable cashes, 1.2 metres for underwater maintenance devices, and 60cm for energy packages and information and electronic warfare payloads).

The monohull Forward PASS submarine was expected to carry 72 Tomahawks (one third launched vertically), 12 ADCAPS, 225 NetFires rounds, 90 UAVs and 2 MPUUVs and four self-deploying sensor nodes. To carry all of this it had 14 external BUBL weapons clips, 4 vertical and 10 horizontal, plus an Ocean Interface in the stern, with a watertight hangar containing the MPUUVs, and their payloads, 12 small and 2 largest packages.

Don't know how the armament was divided between the BUBL clips and MPUUVs, there's 84 weapons to divide between the 14, which would suggest 6 21" diameter weapons in each, although I 'm not sure how would find room for the UAVs and NetFires rounds.
 
One thing I do know is that the main manifestation seems to have been a 21-inch canister.

A 21" canister would be great for a subsurface launched AIM-9X as the AAM's wing-span was 13.9" so it wouldn't need to use folding fins.
 

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