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VLS timeline

zen

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Qustion when would it have been possible to pioneer VLS?

Could this have been achieved by the 60's?

It seems to me that this is possible. Frankly from even earlier.
Though for SAMs beam riders and early SARH tended to keep director radars close to the launchers to ensure the missile picked up the signal.
However once you move to Command Guidance or INS autopilot for the bulk of the missile's flight. Then this need ceases and VLS becomes plausible.
 

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You could probably get some form of VLS around the same time as the Sea Sparrow. That took the idea of using an ASROC launcher for AAMs. From there it's not too big of a leap to VLS. The biggest challenge is getting the missile seeker head to see the target after a vertical launch.
 

zen

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Well I think certainly with Sea Wolf the arguments for VLS actually led to some firings to test the idea.

But ...for the USN at the time, it was heavily invested into launchers.
And the advanced Point Defense System callec Mauler had been cancelled. Not that I think this could achieve VLS into that system easily.
Sea Sparrow BPDMS is just that, basic.

However while PT.428 the British rival to Mauler has the option of a booster, the use of beam riding guidance rather makes VLS harder.

It seems more institutional inertia that saddles Sea Dart with a launcher.....
 

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Qustion when would it have been possible to pioneer VLS?

Could this have been achieved by the 60's?

It seems to me that this is possible. Frankly from even earlier.
Though for SAMs beam riders and early SARH tended to keep director radars close to the launchers to ensure the missile picked up the signal.
However once you move to Command Guidance or INS autopilot for the bulk of the missile's flight. Then this need ceases and VLS becomes plausible.

Wasn't the use of launchers dictated by the use of beam-riders? I'm asking because I don't know, but it would seem a vertical launch would be far out of the targeting beam before it started to head toward the target....

Regards,
 
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zen

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Qustion when would it have been possible to pioneer VLS?

Could this have been achieved by the 60's?

It seems to me that this is possible. Frankly from even earlier.
Though for SAMs beam riders and early SARH tended to keep director radars close to the launchers to ensure the missile picked up the signal.
However once you move to Command Guidance or INS autopilot for the bulk of the missile's flight. Then this need ceases and VLS becomes plausible.

Wasn't the use of launchers dictated by the use of beam-riders? I'm asking because I don't know, but it would seem a vertical launch would be far out of the targeting beam before it started to head toward the target....

Regards,
That's partly my contention too. Only if the guidance beam was separate from target tracking could it be done.

Plus for SARH you'd want to be sure the missile is receiving the reflected signal.
 

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One thing that has to be remembered is that even in the 1980s, especially during the first half of the decade, VLS systems were still considered immature when compared to rail and box launcher systems. Not only that, but the Mk 26 launcher in particular was considered to be a quite more flexible system than the Mk 41 VLS, both in terms of compatiable munitions and in response times & coverage.
 

zen

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And yet....
And yet various missiles for attack had used vertical launch since the V-2.
Including several solid fuel systems.

And as if that wasn't enough, work on long range SAM systems had included vertical launch such as BOMARC and this would reach the extreme Sprint ABM system.

So really beyond the guidance solution, it seems more like institutional inertia.
 
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1Big Rich

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One thing that has to be remembered is that even in the 1980s, especially during the first half of the decade, VLS systems were still considered immature when compared to rail and box launcher systems. Not only that, but the Mk 26 launcher in particular was considered to be a quite more flexible system than the Mk 41 VLS, both in terms of compatiable munitions and in response times & coverage.

Mark 26 was extremely fast compared to other twin armed systems It could fire every 10 seconds (9 second reload, with one second salve delay), or 12 rounds per minute.

Mk 10 in comparison could fire every 30 seconds (4 rounds per minute).


Regards,
 

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I thought I had read in one of Friedman's books that VL was considered for Sea Slug but I can't for the life of me find it again.
 
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Dilandu

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The main headache with VLS, is that missile itself needed to be smart enough to orient itself toward the target in flight (or into the guidance radar beam). In 1960s, this generally means unreasonably big programmable autopilot, which would increase cost & weight of the missile. Also, rocket engines of 1960s were not as advanced as modern ones, and vertically-launched missile might require too much engine power to remain stable and controllable immediately after boosting out of the cell.
 

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USSR experimented with idea of vertically-launched SAM's as early as in 1959-1960s:

1595189915824.png


This is multi-purpose warship, designed in 1960 by NII-20/OKB-82. This ship was supposed to carry UR-VS (Upravlayemaya Raketa - Vertikalnyy Start; Guided Missile - Vertical Launch) long-range multi-purpose missile in 24 vertical cells:

1595189727514.png

Not exactly the best-looking missile, I must admit. It was supposed to carry heavy 300-kg warhead, to be useful both against aircraft (60-80 km range) and surface ships (up to 120 km range).
 

Dilandu

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Later (1965) projects of ocean air defense (top) and anti-submarine (bottom) cruisers with "Korshun" VLS-capable SAM:

1595190045253.png
1595190079451.png
The "Kvant" missile (derivative of "Korshun") was supposed to be another "universal" missile:
1595190172610.png
It was supposed, that on the same base would be designed the multi-purpose missile with SAM/ASM functions, and anti-submarine missile with the same engine and guidance system. Those missiles were supposed to be launched from semi-VLS launchers (they were cell-based design, but "Kvant" cells were angled at roughly 15 degrees). In late 1960s, "Kvant" project was proposed for the 1134-B and 1144 missile cruisers, but since it was only in design stage, Party decided to use naval version of S-300 instead.
 

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There are various photographs on the internet of HMS Penelope when she was used as Seawolf trials vessel, but it was with the 'standard' sextuple mount on her helicopter flight deck.
HMS Loch Fada and old WW2 Loch class frigate was used for early Seawolf trials and I believe that at one time during the trials some form of VLS was tested.
Unfortunately I have not been able to find any pictures of the ship in her trials configuration at all, let alone any showing the experimental VLS.
IF, given the timescale, the VLS system had proved to be workable, this could put the (British) Royal Navy ahead of the field...

Does anyone have any images of Loch Fada from her Seawolf trials day??
 

zen

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The main headache with VLS, is that missile itself needed to be smart enough to orient itself toward the target in flight (or into the guidance radar beam). In 1960s, this generally means unreasonably big programmable autopilot, which would increase cost & weight of the missile. Also, rocket engines of 1960s were not as advanced as modern ones, and vertically-launched missile might require too much engine power to remain stable and controllable immediately after boosting out of the cell.
I don't think it does as such. Rather we're talking either datalink command guidance or separating beam guidance from target tracking.
Both are do-able with 60's technology.
 

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The main headache with VLS, is that missile itself needed to be smart enough to orient itself toward the target in flight (or into the guidance radar beam). In 1960s, this generally means unreasonably big programmable autopilot, which would increase cost & weight of the missile. Also, rocket engines of 1960s were not as advanced as modern ones, and vertically-launched missile might require too much engine power to remain stable and controllable immediately after boosting out of the cell.
I don't think it does as such. Rather we're talking either datalink command guidance or separating beam guidance from target tracking.
Both are do-able with 60's technology.
Doable, yes. But at what cost and how much of a penalty in weight and performance?
 

zen

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Isn't it the opposite case?
Less cost through no complex and expensive launcher, that demands more power from the ship, constant maintenance due to exposure to maritime environment.

Less cost as missile kept in neutral atmosphere container.
Less cost in no complex magazine system....
 

Dilandu

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Isn't it the opposite case?
Less cost through no complex and expensive launcher, that demands more power from the ship, constant maintenance due to exposure to maritime environment.

Less cost as missile kept in neutral atmosphere container.
Less cost in no complex magazine system....
No, that's the problem. Launcher and magazine system do not affect the missile performance. But complex autopilot, additional engine power, more complex trajectories - actually do, on 1960s tech. Essentially you would be using more complex, less reliable, and less capable missiles, which main function - to destroy enemy targets - would be servery impaired.
 
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Dilandu

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In short, the choice was:

* Rail launcher - heavier, more bulky launch system and magazines, BUT much simpler, more reliable, more high-performance missile.
* Vertical cells - more compact launch system, BUT heavier, less reliable, much more complex missile with quite probably impaired performance.

In 1960s, it was hard enough to design reliable SAM, added complexity was the last thing any navy wanted.

Also:

Less cost as missile kept in neutral atmosphere container.
Many missiles of 1960s actually required regular servicing while on ship.
 

zen

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I get the simple aspect here, and that through direct connections the ships systems can interrogate the missile on the rail, checking the signal it's receiving, the direction the launcher is pointing compared to the tracking radar etc...

But I think once you disconnect the missile flight from directly towards the target, all of this paraphernalia has to be questioned.

As we have covered, even NIGS considered VL but the method envisioned put more constraints on the ships design.
And as we know Sea Wolf was tested in VL. But institutional inertia stuck with a launcher.
 

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HMS Loch Fada and old WW2 Loch class frigate was used for early Seawolf trials and I believe that at one time during the trials some form of VLS was tested.
I have a clear memory of seeing a photo, decades ago, of a Sea Wolf vertical launch from a test platform, dated to the 1960s I believe. I also recall that the missile had quite a long booster added to it.
 
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