Frigates in the air defense / missile defense system of modern Navy
Dutch frigate, type "Seven Provinces"
The deployment of long-range air defense systems on destroyers, for example, Arly Burke or UIC-type cruisers of the Ticonderoga type, or the Russian cruisers of Project 1144 Orlan and Project 1164 Atlant was a natural consequence of the desire to protect such valuable military units from air strikes and from seas. However, times are changing, technology is improving, and new challenges are emerging. Currently, the bulk of the surface fleets of most countries are not cruisers or even destroyers, but multipurpose ships with a displacement of 5000 to 7000 tons, belonging to the class of frigates. These are real “workhorses” performing missions of air defense and anti-submarine defense in the ocean zone, as well as having the ability to strike at enemy ships.
This article aims to consider the capabilities of air defense / missile defense of domestic and foreign ships of the class of frigates, to identify the main trends in the development of this class of ships and give recommendations in relation to the situation in which the Russian Navy is now. The main attention of the article is directed to naval air defense systems and radars deployed on ships of the frigate class.
Classifying and comparing frigates is a very difficult task, since in some countries ships with a total displacement of more than 5000 tons are already classified as destroyers. For convenience, we will accept the classification of producing countries and we will consider those ships that are so classified in the national Navy as frigates, making an exception for Japan, since here very small ships with a total displacement of 2500 tons are considered frigates.
Frigates of the "De Zeven Provinsien" type. Total displacement - 6048 tons. Propulsion system - 2 gas turbine engines and 2 diesel engines rated at 52 hp. (GTE) and 300 13 hp (diesels) respectively. The air defense system is represented by 600 air defense missiles Mk 40 with missiles RIM-41 SM-66 Block IIIA and RIM-2 ESSM.
The RIM-66 SM-2 Block IIIA missiles have a starting weight of 708 kg, a single-stage solid propellant rocket engine, a range of 167 km, a maximum height of 24 km, and a speed of about 3,5 Mach. Control system - semi-active radar, inertial guidance system, infrared seeker.
SAM RIM-162 ESSM: starting weight - 280 kg, engine - solid propellant rocket engine, range - about 50 km, speed more than Mach 4,0, maximum overload - about 50g, is achieved by controlling the thrust vector. The control system is an active semi-active GOS.
The radar equipment controlling the air defense system is represented by two radars: Thales SMART-L and Thales APAR.
Thales SMART-L is a three-axis L-range radar for long-range aerial viewing with a digital antenna array.
The digital antenna array consists of 24 horizontal lines of emitters with 48 dipoles each, of which 16 lines operate in the receive and transmit mode with digital synthesis of the radiation pattern in the vertical plane (in elevation), 8 - only in the receive mode. Vertical scanning and beam stabilization electronic. Azimuth scanning - mechanical.
The detection range of the base model was 400 km for a patrol aircraft and 60 km for a low-flying cruise missile. Subsequently, ELR (Extended Long Range) mode was introduced with a maximum range of 480 km. The increase in range was achieved by software upgrades and did not affect the hardware. The number of targets followed: air - 1000, surface - 100.
Thales APAR - X-band active phased array antenna, multifunctional three-coordinate radar. Thales APAR has four fixed sensor arrays mounted on a tetrahedral mast. Each face consists of 3424 transmit / receive modules.
The radar allows airborne tracking of more than 200 targets at a range of 150 km, ground tracking of 150 targets at a distance of 32 km, supports the search mode according to data received from another sensor, can guide 32 missiles with semi-active seekers in flight and 16 in the final guidance phase.
Alvaro de Bazan frigate
Frigates of the Alvaro de Bazan type. They have a total displacement of 5802 tons. Propulsion system type CODOG, consisting of 2 gas turbine engines and 2 diesel engines. The total capacity of the gas turbine engine is 46 hp.
The air defense system consists of 48 UVK Mk 41 cells with RIM-66 SM-2 Block IIIA and RIM-162 ESSM missiles.
The main difference from the Dutch frigates is the radar weapons, presented by the American radar AN / SPY-1D and AN / SPG-62.
AN / SPY-1D is a three-axis multifunctional radar with a phased S-band antenna array. Performs search in azimuth and elevation, capture, classification and tracking of targets, command control of anti-aircraft missiles at the starting and marching sections of the trajectory. The antenna consists of 4 fixed VFDs, oriented in azimuth with an interval of 90º, each of which covers one segment (90º in azimuth, 90º in elevation) of the spatial hemisphere surrounding the ship. Each grating has the form of an octagon of 3,6 x 3,6 m in size, consisting of 4350 individual radiating elements. The radar has a wide frequency range, inside which the pulse frequency varies randomly, which complicates the work of electronic countermeasures of the enemy and anti-radar missiles. The maximum range of the radar is up to 320 km for a target with an EPR of 0,03 m² (80 km for low-flying targets). Allows you to track 200 targets and shell 20 of them.
X-band AN / SPG-62 radar performs the function of illuminating the target at the final guidance site of the Standard SM-2 missiles. The maximum range of the radar is 110 km. It has a radiation pattern with a very narrow main lobe, which allows for efficient and highly selective illumination of the target with a relatively low radiation power. It can be used as a surveillance radar.
France and Italy
Frigates URO type "Horizon". They have a total displacement of 6700 tons. Propulsion system type CODOG with a capacity of 58 hp
The frigates are equipped with PAAMS air defense systems with 48 Aster 15/30 missiles. The PAAMS system is designed to protect ship formations from a wide range of possible threats, including supersonic, low-flying, subtle, and ballistic targets. The capabilities of the system allow the simultaneous tracking of several hundred targets at a distance of 400-500 km in the atmosphere and near space. Target designation is provided simultaneously for 16 goals. The system is able to withstand a simultaneous attack from several directions and track simultaneously different types of targets.
Currently, PAAMS is considered one of the most advanced air defense / missile defense systems in the world.
The system uses 2 types of missiles: Aster 15 and Aster 30. The first has a range of about 30 km, the second - 120 km. Both missiles are identical, their difference in interception range and speed is due to the large accelerator used on the Aster 30. The total mass of Aster 15 and Aster 30 is 310 kg and 450 kg, respectively.
Aster 30 is capable of speeds of Mach 4,5 when it reaches a height of 20 km and can perform air maneuvers with an acceleration of 60 g, which gives it a very high degree of maneuverability. This is possible thanks to a combination of aerodynamic control and a thrust vector control system. The standard launch of an Aster rocket may include a change in direction of motion by 90 degrees.
The Aster rocket is autonomously guided, equipped with an active homing radar, which allows the air defense system to cope with a saturating attack.
Radar weapons are presented by the S1850M early warning radar and EMPAR radar.
S1850M is a three-axis long-range radar with a digital antenna array for early warning systems about missile attack, as well as the detection of aerodynamic, ground and surface targets. Designed based on the SMART-L radar, however, it uses its own signal processing architecture. It can detect and track up to 1000 targets at a distance of up to 400 km (65 km for stealth targets).
EMAR is a multifunctional radar with a phased array antenna range C, designed for use on ships of medium and large displacement. It is a rotating passive phased array with electronic scanning of the beam in elevation. Provides full-volume scanning of space, work with surface and low-flying targets, information transfer to control systems weapons.
The main function of EMPAR is a three-dimensional overview of airspace (azimuth, range, elevation angle) at a distance of up to 180 km. The radar is capable of tracking aircraft and smaller targets (missiles). The system uses a single narrow beam to transmit a signal and several beams for reception. The vertical beam control is electronic, allowing fast scanning in a wide range of bearings and / or elevation angles. Thus, simultaneous monitoring of the upper hemisphere is ensured. Flat radar antennas rotate at a speed of 60 rpm, which allows you to scan a hemisphere with a period of 1 s, in contrast to earlier radars, in which a hemisphere scan took 10 or more seconds. This is important for air defense systems, given the high speed of modern anti-ship missiles.
Destroyers of the Akizuki type. Total displacement - 6800 tons. Engines - combined gas turbine from 4 turbines. With a total capacity of 60 hp
SAMs are located in the UVK Mk 41 for 32 cells with missiles RIM-66 SM-2 Block IIIA and RIM-162 ESSM.
The main feature of the ship is the FСS-3, an integrated ship weapon control system that includes a multifunctional radar with AFAR, which has two sets of antennas: large C-bands for detection and tracking and small X-bands as a fire control radar. The maximum range of the radar is 500 km, while according to open sources, the detection range of fighters is 450 km, cruise missiles - more than 200 km, the number of escorted targets - 300, while fired - 10-12.
Project 11356P frigate
Frigates of the project 11356P. Total displacement - 4035 tons, engines - twin-shaft gas-gas turbine unit type COGAG with a total capacity of 56 044 hp
The ships of the series are equipped with the Shtil-1 air defense system. This multichannel air defense missile system with vertical missile launch is designed for circular defense of the ship from all air attack weapons, including for repelling massed missile and aviation attacks. Project 11356R frigates are equipped with 24 9M317M missiles with semi-active RGSN. Rocket weight - 581 kg, speed - 1550 m / s. The main stage of the flight of the rocket is in inertial mode, and when approaching the target, radio correction is carried out. The air defense missile system is capable of hitting targets with a speed of up to 3 km / s at a range of up to 70 km and at an altitude of up to 35 km, while up to 3 9M317M missiles can be simultaneously targeted at each target. The missile has a disposable overload of 24 g.
Primary information about the air and surface conditions comes from the Fregat-M2M radar. This three-coordinate E-band radar is designed to control space, detect, determine the coordinates, speed and flight path of air targets at large ranges and altitudes with high resolution in conditions of intense radio interference. Maximum range - 300 km, fighter detection range - 230 km, cruise missile - 50 km, anti-ship missiles with EPR of 0,1 square meters. m at an altitude of 5-10 m - 15-17 km, stealth fighter - 100 km. The number of simultaneously tracked targets is 100, the maximum rate of view is 2,5 s.
Fire control is carried out using an X-band radar with a "Positive-M1.2" phased array. The radar has a viewing range of 80 km and a viewing height of 20 km. Maximum target detection range with RCS> 1 sq. m at a flight altitude of 1000 m is 50 km, anti-ship missiles with RCS> 0,03 sq. m at a flight altitude of 15 m - 13-15 km.
Project 22350 frigates. These ships have a total displacement of 5400 tons. CODAG type propulsion system consisting of 2 afterburning gas turbines with a total capacity of 55 hp and 000 marching diesel engines with a capacity of 2 hp each.
The ships are equipped with 32 airborne air defense systems of the Redut air defense system. In the cell there is one transport and launch container with a long or medium-range missile (9M96E, 9M96E2) or 4 short-range missiles (9M100). When launching a rocket, a cold start is used. A charge of compressed air rocket is thrown from a vertically located transport and launch container to a height of 30 m, turning towards the target using a gas-dynamic system. Due to this, the minimum interception range is significantly reduced. The gas-dynamic system also provides the rocket with a super-maneuverability mode and is capable of increasing the rocket overload by 0,025g in 20 s. The maximum overload for missiles is more than 60 g.
For 9M96E, 9M96E2 missiles, inertial-command guidance is used on the marching section of the trajectory, and active radar homing in the final section. The 9M100 short-range missile is equipped with an infrared homing head. Capture the target immediately after the launch of the rocket.
The maximum range of the Redut air defense system reaches 150 km, the maximum speed of the intercepted target is 4800 m / s.
Fire control is carried out by the Poliment radar with 4 fixed HEADLIGHTS located along the 4 sides of the frigate mast. The radar can simultaneously fire up to 16 targets (4 for each grating). There are few data on the Poliment radar in open sources. The declared range of the radar reaches 200 km. The radar operates in the X-band and can track up to 200 targets. It can be assumed that Polyment is a certain analogue of Thales APAR with comparable characteristics.
The general detection and tracking of airborne (including low-flying) and surface targets is carried out using the Furke radar with a decimeter-range headlamp. Transmission - passive (one beam), reception - semi-active (three rays), electronic beam stabilization. Provides digital signal processing, multi-channel Doppler filtering, auto-compensation of active noise interference radar. The maximum viewing range is up to 150 km. The detection range of the RCC trajectory with an EPR of 0,02 square meters. m at an altitude of 5 m with an antenna post height of 21 m is 12-14 km.
Prospects for the development of domestic ship-based air defense systems
The study of foreign and domestic experience shows the following.
• The displacement of the "frigate" -class ships allows the deployment of missiles from short (<30 km) to long (> 100 km) ranges.
• The protection of modern frigates is built echeloned from medium-range missiles (up to 50 km) and long range (up to 160 km).
• Modern naval air defense systems are mainly intended for combating anti-ship missiles with low EPR, this predetermines the installation of two types of radars on ships: three-coordinate long-range radars for volume search and short-range X-band radars for fire control.
• To combat the aircraft of armed anti-ship missiles, the range of 150-160 km achieved on modern frigates is already insufficient, taking into account the development of aviation radars, as well as AWACS aircraft.
• X-band radars provide greater accuracy of guidance missiles and multi-channel, but have a relatively small detection range.
• “Division of labor” between naval radars allows the optimal allocation of radar resources, between volumetric search and target designation for missiles.
• The leading role in the fight against modern anti-ship missiles is played by highly maneuverable missiles with a maximum overload of 50-60 g.
In order to understand the development prospects of domestic marine air defense systems, it is necessary to identify the challenges and threats that our ships are facing today.
1. Widespread development of anti-ship missiles with a low-altitude flight profile.
2. The development of high-speed anti-ship missiles of the Chinese CM-400AKG type, reaching speeds of up to Mach 5, and Japanese XASM-3-E with speeds of up to Mach 3,5-3,7.
3. The spread of fighters built on stealth technology such as F-35, which significantly reduces the detection distance of aircraft of a potential enemy.
4. A small number of ships with modern air defense / missile defense systems. Hence there is a need to cover ships with weak air defense systems from the air (missile defense systems of all projects, MPK, BOD of project 1155, TFR of project 11540, patrol ships of project 22160).
5. The small number of naval fighter aircraft of the Russian Navy, which can only be compensated by the deployment of modern long-range air defense systems on ships.
A study of foreign experience shows that European countries do not seek to deploy longer-range air defense systems on their ships than 120-160 km. This range allows you to shoot down missiles, but limits the ability to work against their carriers. For NATO countries, this is understandable and normal - they are preparing to fight with a noticeable superiority in the air.
However, Russia is a different matter. Our videoconferencing is now not too numerous and also dispersed over a huge area, so in case of conflict the fleet It is necessary to count primarily on ship air defense systems. And here the range of the Reduta of 150 km is no longer enough. For example, the range of the Japanese anti-ship missile XASM-3-E is 200 km, the Chinese CM-400AKG is 240 km, the Norwegian JSM is 280 km, the French Exocet is 180 km, the Italian Otomat is 180 km, the Turkish SOM is 200 km . Obviously, it is more efficient not to fight missiles, but to destroy their carriers, and for this we need long-range naval air defense systems based on the S-400 with a 40N6E missile. It would be possible to place them on frigates of project 22350M, since we most likely will not have other platforms in the next 10-15 years. In the future, we could consider the creation on the basis of project 22350M of an air defense / missile frigate with the Redut and S-400 marine systems, by analogy with the British destroyers of type 45.
Missiles - this is important, but no less important is the creation of modern radars. From the above data it is clear that there is a lag in this component from leading arms manufacturers. Radars capable of detecting inconspicuous targets at a distance of 200-250 km are needed. Similar systems can be created on the basis of the 91H6E early warning radar S-400, and in the future based on the radar of the S-500 system.
Separately, it should be said about survey radars on frigates of project 22350. These ships are equipped with Furke radars (marine version of the Pantsir-S1 RPMS) with a maximum viewing range of 150 km. The choice of such an option can only be explained by money savings. The best option would be to install a three-coordinate Podberezovik-ET1 radar with a maximum detection range of 500 km or a Fregat-M2M radar optimized for the detection of low-flying targets with a viewing range of 300 km.
In conclusion, it should be noted that today Russia has a good backlog on naval air defense systems in the form of "Redut", "Shtilya-1" and S-400 (the marine version of which can be created), and this potential can be realized on new ships.