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What happened to Seacat 2?

uk 75

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In an old edition (about 1962-3) of the excellent annual Flight International missiles guide published in those days with drawings and photos I found a missile called Seacat 2, which looked similar to Roland, Rapier etc and was supposed to be a simple mount on the existing Seacat/Tigercat launcher, but with supersonic capability. As this seems a much simpler and cleaner solution that the massive Seawolf launcher and at least an improvement on the old Seacat, does anyone out there know why it never got anywhere? I have searched all the usual reference books without success.
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I suspect that it was actually an early version of Sea Wolf (PX430 at that time). It was intended to be a much lighter system than that which resulted. IIRC the Sea Wolf programme started before Sea Cat was in service, as it was allready recognised that the earlier missile was ineffective against supersonic threats.

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Having looked through Friedmans BD&F, the originator of Seawolf, NSR 6522, which is pretty much what you describe, is first mentoned with reference to a meeting in 1964 and the then raising of the Staff Target for the Seacat replacement. The ST followed feasibilty studies, however, so it is not unreasonable for these to have been the subject of press releases.

Certainly NSR 6522/PX430/GD 302(T)/Confessor/Sinner/Seawolf was supposed to be a one-for-one refit. The FCR is usually shown as fitting in a dome about as big as the SCOTT domes!

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Seacat 2 was completely unrelated to what eventually became Seawolf.

Bill Gunstons book on Missiles states that Shorts displayed a model of Seacat 2 in 1961, however the spec for Seawolf was not drawn up until 1964.
 

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Well, there you go. Thanks for that. Which book, BTW? Sounds interesting.

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overscan

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NSR 6522 info at National Archives

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalogue/displaycataloguedetails.asp?CATID=6076806&CATLN=6&Highlight=%2C6522&accessmethod=0&Summary=True
 

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Has anyone ever seen any proposed figures for Seacat II
 

Petrus

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http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1961/1961%20-%200733.html
 

Grey Havoc

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From Flight, 1st June 1961:
Short Seacat 2 This private-venture development of Seacat Mk 1
has hitherto been a well-kept secret, and even now all the company are
prepared to do is display an accurate model without comment. One of
the models appears to be about life-size, the length and span being some
78in and 20in respectively (corresponding figures for Seacat 1 are 58in
and 26in). The most obvious difference between the two Seacats is that
Mk 2 is designed for a much higher performance, with supersonic speed
and obviously greater range. It is logical, in view of this, for the
aerodynamic configuration to be completely changed (see illustration),
the second-generation weapon having a circular-section body carrying
four fixed wings of acute taper and low aspect ratio, and four rear
control fins. Again the propulsion appears to be a two-stage solid
internal motor. Shorts are allowed to state that a lot of Seacat 1
equipment is embodied in the new weapon system, and probably most of
the changes are confined to the missile itself. Doubtless a Tigercat 2
could also be produced, and models show new Tigercat 1 launchers.
Another model illustrates a ship installation of Seacat 1 matched with
an entirely new radar from NV Hollandse Signaalapparaten.
 

Kadija_Man

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Considering what Seacat Mk.2 looked like, perhaps it became Sea Wolf?
 

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Kadija_Man said:
Considering what Seacat Mk.2 looked like, perhaps it became Sea Wolf?
Seacat was Short Brothers, Sea Wolf was BAC, so they aren't that closely related.
 

Hood

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No, Seacat 2 predates the work on Confessor/PX.430 by several years, though I suppose it could be argued that it was an influencing concept.

I have always been surprised that the Admiralty showed no interest in Seacat 2, especially given the early date of its conception, shortly before Seacat was being widely deployed on ships as they came in for refit or new-build ships finished completion. I suspect at the time Seacat was available and thought adequate as a 40mm Bofors replacement as a close-in self-defence missile despite its subsonic speed and visual-guidance. This is odd given that as early as 1956 work on projects like Orange Nell had shown that only supersonic missiles with radar guidance had any chance of success of shooting down missiles, but the emphasis switched to tackling the bomber before it released its stand-off missile.
By the time Seacat 2 might have been ready for production (mid-60s), the Navy had reverted back to the supersonic 'goalkeeper' missile that became Confessor/PX.430 that they hoped would enter service in the early 1970s to replace Seacat, but they seem prepared to wait for the ideal system they wanted. Doubtless had their been strong official interest, Shorts would soon have been knocking on the Ministry of Aviation's door demanding R&D money.

As we know now, Seawolf was a surprisingly bulkier system than Seacat and could not be fitted as a direct replacement and Seacat soldiered on far past its prime. In hindsight, if the Seacat 2 really had been able to use the same launcher and most of the similar equipment (I suspect some magazine changes would have been required), then it would have been a great upgrade not only for the Royal Navy but for export users too. Perhaps even a competitor to Sea Sparrow.
 

Grey Havoc

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I would say another major factor was that the Royal Navy were (with strong Treasury 'encouragement') expecting to shortly be able to procure Sea Mauler. Unfortunately the British had no idea just how badly dear old McNamara had fouled up the entire Mauler program. There weren't any British and Canadian officers seconded to the project as observers at that point in time, they only came onboard in 1963, ironically after the BAC PT.428 had been cancelled by Great Britain in favour of the supposedly well advanced Mauler program. In fact the official U.S. Army history of the Mauler program hints that both Britain and Canada were effectively conned into propping up it's budget in the latter part of it's development both directly & indirectly.
 

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In fact the official U.S. Army history of the Mauler program hints that both Britain and Canada were effectively conned into propping up it's budget in the latter part of it's development both directly & indirectly.
I'm shocked!! Well not really

Can I ask the source please?

Regards
Pioneer
 
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