Military Review

The fighting qualities of the “handicraft” version of NASAMS. MML launcher: expensive and "dubious"


In the photo - the launch of the anti-aircraft version of the air-to-air missile AIM-9X “Sidewinder”, carried out from the multi-purpose launcher MML (Multi-Mission Launcher) in the USA on March 29, 2016. A few days earlier, a test launch of the FIM-92 SAM was carried out. In this case, you have an “extended” version of the inclined launcher with 15 transport and launch containers for various types of missiles. In azimuth, MML can rotate 360 ​​degrees, in elevation - 0-90 degrees. The ability to adopt the vertical position of the launcher is crucial during the massive use of tactical aviation and other means of air attack of the enemy from all air directions. So, the AIM-9X missile during vertical launch will not use the over-the-shoulder do-it-yourself mode, which spends precious seconds of the rocket’s exit on the interception trajectory, for FIM-92 there is the possibility of attacking a target flying from any direction (it does not shooting "over the shoulder")

Among the promising military systems of air defense and missile defense, designed to cover stationary military facilities, moving units of the ground forces, naval strike groups of the Navy in the littoral zone, as well as various strategic industrial facilities, in addition to short-range and long-range air defense systems, anti-aircraft missiles medium range. Their distribution in the air defense of the Ground Forces is explained by the excellent mobility, small size and weight of the elements of the complexes (from the MRLS antenna post to the PU), as well as the facilitated and faster process of reloading light ammunition with the help of specialized transport, starting and charging machines. For example, the 9А39М1 family of Buk-М1 complexes, in addition to transporting four 9М38М1 SAM systems on the lower tier of fixed transport cradles, are capable of launching anti-aircraft missiles from the upper tier of oblique guides (4) that are used for launching anti-aircraft missiles from the upper tier of oblique guides (XNUMX). during the reflection of the impact of the IOS.

But the current trends towards the universalization of various types of missile weapons have not bypassed medium-range anti-aircraft missile systems. In the West, the American-Norwegian project SAM NASAMS is turning into such a multi-purpose missile system.

For the AN / MPQ-64 “Sentinel” multipurpose radar, an antenna post is placed in the mast, thanks to which NASAMS / NASAMS II and SL-AMRAAM can use all the capabilities of the AIM-120 family to intercept low-altitude air attack weapons by increasing the range of the radio horizon

According to information published by 24 in March on, the US Armed Forces launched the Stinger anti-aircraft guided missile FIM-92 from the new home-made MML multi-mission launcher on the US Avb Eglin. Also, according to the statements of the US Air Force, the new universal MML launcher will be able to launch AIM-9X Sidewinder air-to-air missiles integrated into ground-based air defense systems, as well as the AGM-114L Longbow Hellfire multi-purpose missiles c active radar guidance. This means that a small slant launcher, firstly, will be much stronger than the Stinger MANPADS in terms of positional air defense, and secondly, it can be used to deliver high-precision Longbow Hellfire missiles at enemy fortified ground targets, regardless of weather conditions. and the use by the enemy of means of optoelectronic countermeasures or GPA, since the AGM-114L is equipped with ARGSN. The idea is, of course, ambitious, and allows even a small military unit equipped with an MML battery to simultaneously resist the ground enemy and provide their own self-defense from enemy air strikes. But the final goal of the US Armed Forces is to build a short range missile defense system based on the MML to destroy all types of military weapons, as well as various types of unguided rocket and artillery shells. The implementation of this idea raises many technical questions, due to the characteristics of the above types of missiles.

Launch of the FIM-92 SAM from the experimental TPK-PU MML. The modular platform of the universal launcher allows you to create a launcher with any number of WPCs, designed to be placed on any kind of off-road or cargo transport, or a full-fledged installation of 15 cells. The installation can be installed on surface ships of various displacements.

First of all, it is necessary to take into account that for detecting, setting up a route and hitting targets such as “artillery shell” or “NURS”, an air defense weapon must have a sufficiently powerful G / X / Ka-band multi-purpose radar for illumination that provides high targeting accuracy for SAM. since its homing head may not “capture” a small-sized target with too large an error in the output of coordinates.

Therefore, the agenda of the American Air Force specialists is the task of synchronizing an MML launcher with the AN / MPQ-64F2 multifunctional radar Sentinel 3D, which is also used in the US-Norwegian NASAMS air defense system, and in some sources it is referred to as AN / TPQ-64. This radar was developed on the basis of the AN / TPQ-36A Firefinder counter-battery artillery reconnaissance radar and has improved power qualities, and also operates in the X-band, which allows for significant distances (15-18 km) to detect small-sized artillery shells, accompany them on pass, and also to give a designation on the available means of interception. The presence of a passive HEADLIGHT provides a high throughput of the “Sentinel 3D” with 60 air targets. The instrumental range is about 75 km, and the target detection range with EPR 2 м2 - up to 50 km, CU - 30 km. Apparently, thanks to the combination of all these qualities, it is precisely the analogue of NASAMS - SL-AMRAAM that is an important link in Washington's echeloned defense. Regarding the accuracy indicator "Sentinel 3D", it is possible to determine its similarity with our modern GLS 64 6L1 surveillance radar of the centimeter range. The accuracy of determining the elevation coordinates of targets for the American and Russian radars is about the same (0,17 hail); in azimuth - Sentinel 0,2 hail, Gamma 0,25 hail, range accuracy 30 vs 50 m in favor of the American radar. This is quite enough to target the AIM-120 AMRAAM SAMs used in NASAMS / SL-AMRAAM. The frequency of the mechanical rotation of the AN / MPQ-64 antenna post is 0,5 revolutions per second, i.e. The tactical information about the air situation at the operator's MFI ARM is updated every 2 seconds, which is enough to detect and assess the threat from mortar shells fired even from minimal distances.

But the fight against such air objects usually involves active or semi-active radar targeting of interceptor missile interceptors, and from the MML multi-purpose launcher, it is proposed to use infrared AIM-9X and FIM-92 for air defense purposes, which are only effective against warm-contrast targets with a significant area of ​​infrared radiation (jet TRDDF, ramjet, helicopter TVD). And, for example, 82 and 120-mm mortar shells have extremely small linear dimensions, and the initial departure speed of 211 — 325 m / s (760 — 1170 km / h) not only does not contribute to the heating of the projectile, but moreover, cools the stabilizer block (tail) heated during the detonation of the powder charge at the moment of firing. The dependence of the heating of the surface of the aircraft on its speed of movement can be seen in the graph (figure below).

Thus, the FIM-92B / C / E anti-aircraft missile of even the most recent “Blocks” with dual-band (IR / UV) GOST of the POST-RMP type immediately falls out of the category of “effective interceptor” of an artillery shell. Even the introduction of a radio channel correction with the battery MRLS "Sentinel 3D" will not allow to hit a miniature and cooling in flight mine, especially since the mass of the warhead FIM-92 (2,3 kg) is insufficient to destroy such an object even with a minimum slip.

The AIM-9X "Sidewinder" has a chance to intercept more than the Stinger "fimki". Here, in addition to IKGSN, a non-contact laser fuse of the DSU-36 / 37 type is used to hit the target, which provides an accurate detonation of the laser radiation reflected from the target. Yes, and the sensitivity of the GOS itself is much greater than that of the POST-RMP, it is able to “capture” a fighter target in the LPS (against the background of free space) at a distance of 17 km, which indicates a better ability to detect a small low-contrast object like mine ", but at minimum distances. Implementing a maneuver with a close “capture” of AIM-9X can be more successful than FIM-92, because it is equipped with a gas-dynamic thrust vector deflection system, which gives 1,5 - 2 times greater disposable overloads; and the warhead has a mass in 9 kg. But this does not make it a high-class means of dealing with projectiles, since for an accurate detonation near the mine by the reflected laser radiation of a fuse, a perfectly close span is needed, which neither the ICGSN nor the ground-based radar can realize.

The moment AIM-9X exits the MML transport starting container. Due to the versatility of the launcher, it uses exclusively the “hot start” of any type of missile. The development of the MML project towards the growth of capabilities to combat artillery shells and NURS can lead not only to the integration of SACM-T or AIM-120B / C, but also to the revival of previously closed projects of the Sidewnder family

First of all, it is AIM-9R. In the sectional section, you can see flexible power cables from the battery compartment to the autopilot compartment and the INS, and then to the TVGSN, the aerodynamic control servos are powered by a black loop. The rocket was developed by the US Navy Armament Center based on AIM-9M and used the extremely rare, as for air-to-air missiles, television-optical homing head WGU-19, which operates in the standard visible optical range, like most digital cameras on our devices . The image sensor is an antimony indium matrix (InSb) with a resolution of 256x256, or a higher-quality platinum silicide (PtSi) with a higher resolution. For high image quality, the matrix module is cooled with ammonia. The video stream from the matrix is ​​digitized by the GPU processor, and then transmitted to the rocket control system. This GOS is capable of pointing directly at the silhouette of an air target, regardless of the use of heat traps or the background on which it approaches the target (free space, water or land surface). This guidance system, in contrast to the infrared. much better suited to detect and “capture” ultra-small objects such as “projectile”, “mini-UAV”, “free-fall bomb”, but only during the daytime and in normal meteorological conditions. The AIM-9R rocket was tested and was ready for mass production by 1991, but the project was turned off after the collapse of the USSR. A modernized GOS of this type with a resolution close to 4K can be equipped with a new super-maneuverable AIM-9X

Another example of modernization could be the AIM-9C project. This rocket, the only one in the “Sidewinder” family, has a semi-active radar homing head. AIM-9C, despite the prescription of its development (the beginning of 60-s), to this day has every chance of a renewal in the "hardware» AIM-9X. Designed specifically for use in conjunction with the AN / APQ-94 radar of the F8U-2 carrier-based fighter aircraft, the AIM-9C could be aimed at a target illuminated by the radar in any meteorological conditions, like the AIM-7M Sparrow. Consequently, AIM-9X can learn more advanced ARGSN, which would not have problems with the destruction of "blanks"

The third modification of Sidewinder, the upgraded template of which can proceed to integration into the Multi-Mission Launcher, is the anti-radar AGM-122A SideARM, developed by the American fleet together with Motorola. It is designed based on the AIM-9C. The missile received major changes in avionics, in particular: as with most PRLRs, passive radar seeker was installed on SaydARM; the fuse was replaced by an active radar (this was done to break the WDU-17 warhead not at the target itself, but at a distance of several tens of meters, in this case the core filling receives the optimal expansion cone and damages the enemy radar antenna with high efficiency); the main mode of the ANN is the “slide” maneuver, during which the PRGSN searches for a source of radar radiation.
In comparison with AGM-114L, AGM-122A operating on ground targets has the main advantage - 2 has a higher flight speed, which is why even some modern ZRSKs can not intercept it.

Based on this, it can be stated that any passive type homing head (except television) will be ineffective against a low-speed and small-sized “black” body, and therefore the ability to combat artillery shells in action in the multi-purpose rocket battery MML is almost absent, which cannot be said o NASAMS or SL-AMRAAM, where AIM-120 missiles with ARGSN are free to work on small targets like “mine” or “RP-shell”. Not for nothing the anti-missiles "Tamir" of the Israeli missile defense system "Iron Dome" are equipped with an active radar GPS. Therefore, from a technical point of view, it would be more logical to talk about upgrading NASAMS / SL-AMRAAM or MML anti-aircraft missiles like SACM-T (discussed in a recent article), which are able to fight all types of missiles and projectiles thanks to the modified ARGSN and "belt" gas-dynamic rudders in the bow, i.e. "Shoot down a fly bullet."

It is known that the MML multipurpose PU batteries will be “linked” to the IBCS integrated air defense / missile defense management system, which was developed by Northrop Grumman. It is a rapidly deployable stationary facility at the command and staff level, equipped with numerous computerized operators' workplaces, a high-speed tactical information exchange bus with a single interface, as well as numerous C2 network-centric modems, which integrates information from a variety of external devices, among which there is MRLS "Sentinel", and AN / MPQ-53 ("Patriot") and IR / TV sights, and then displays IBCS in the interface. The open architecture of IBCS allows you to adapt any modern radio-electronic equipment for system diagnostics, various sensors, radar stations of various ranges, and in the future - laser systems. All this speaks of the high survivability of IBCS in the most unpredictable combat situation: the elements of the system have a high degree of interchangeability.

Schematic representation of the IBCS system. Various users and sources of information can be connected to the interface of the integrated air defense and missile defense system: launchers and a multifunctional radar of the Patriot air defense missile system, DRLO / ORTR airships, Sentinel radar, etc.

Separated can be considered the implementation of the MML and IBCS multipurpose missiles for the destruction of armored vehicles and other ground targets AGM-114L "Longbow Hellfire". The fact is that initially the IBCS system was developed as a promising control link in the structure of the air defense and anti-missile defense forces, now it will be necessary to install additional software to adapt to firing at ground targets. The AGM-114L multipurpose heavy ATGM should effectively target it as quickly as under the control of the AN / APG-78 millimeter-range overhead radar AN / APG-64 AH-8D Apache Longbow helicopter, which, when launched from a ground-based PU, will require accurate targeting from RER / RTR UAV, tactical aviation or ground target designation aircraft such as E-0,01C. But in the conditions of active hostilities with the presence of a powerful and modern enemy air defense, the use of drones with EPR more 2 m 8 often leads to their destruction, and radio-electronic means of multi-purpose fighters and E-XNUMXC with significant distances may not find out the exact location of the target, if the enemy uses powerful EW systems. The Apache Longbow, as a highly maneuverable and manned platform with the entire set of radar and optoelectronic equipment, will cope with the task more skillfully, especially when it comes to mobile armored vehicles.

If the US Armed Forces plan to use the Longbow Hellfire rocket from an MML installation in the European or Far East theater, then all their ideas are doomed to failure, because the Russian air defense system and the Pantsir-C1 / 1U ”, C-2PMU-300 and C-2 can destroy not only the carriers of PRLR and other tactical missiles, but also the missiles themselves, this also applies to the AGM-400L“ Hellfire Flame ”, the average flight speed of which does not exceed 114 km / h and therefore it is not so difficult to intercept this “flame”, with the exception of old samples of the Wasp "," Arrow "or" Cube ". The active defense complexes with which our armored brigades will be saturated will also be protected from Hellfire missiles.

Assessing the effectiveness of MML launchers with Stinger, Sidewinder and Hellfire missiles in general, one can speak of very mediocre interception capabilities of modern high-precision missile weapons with its massive use; interception of artillery ammunition is also impossible, contrary to statements by representatives of the US Armed Forces. The only system will have significantly higher capabilities than the Stinger MANPADS, thanks to the use of the AIM-9X rocket: the range of destruction of aerial targets may increase from 5-6 to 12 km, the speed of the targets hit will be around 2М, on opposite courses - to 2,5 - 3М, which is typical for airborne “sidewinders”. And the use of IKGSN will allow you to combat any number of enemy aircraft in the affected area, it all depends only on the number of MML launchers assembled on a modular basis from 15 TPK cells (each TPK can be equipped with one AIM-9X and no less than 4 FIM-92), as well as on the correctness of the distribution of goals by the IBCS system.

The Longbow Hellfire rocket will allow to work effectively only against a weak opponent, armed with no prospective ZRSKs, nor wide-range electronic countermeasures. Given the cost of the US Armed Forces to develop two MML prototypes in the amount of 119 million dollars, the combat payback of the project leaves much to be desired, and only in the configuration with the AIM-120 and SACM-T SAMs or various AIM-9X modifications created on the basis of earlier versions " Sidewinder ", MML will be able to show high fighting qualities.
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  1. 31rus2
    31rus2 April 5 2016 06: 52
    Dear, good article, everything is consistently stated, photos and drawings, thank you. Such a project has been brewing for a long time, to combine various missiles into one launcher with the ability to "work" for various purposes, there was already ADATS, capable of working both on the ground and in the air, not specialist, but it would be more promising to use the developments on it. I also want to say a lot of publications recently (this does not apply), the "enemy" is all bad and aircraft carriers and tanks, and the enemies themselves cannot fight at all, but we are only masterpieces of global importance, it would be good that way, otherwise the mistakes of 1941 cost dearly
    1. psiho117
      psiho117 April 6 2016 17: 15
      there was already ADATS capable of working both on land and in the air

      Adats, although it was very good (especially the version with an auxiliary 25mm gun), but turned out to be too expensive: in the conditions of the collapsed Union, such an expensive universal complex was not needed ...
  2. qwert
    qwert April 5 2016 07: 03
    Unable to create a worthy anti-aircraft missile for short-range air defense systems, the United States is trying to adapt aircraft missiles for this purpose. And if it is still clear with AIM-120, then, for AIM-9, it seems to me, we need a starting accelerator. Still, the engine impulse and the operating time are not enough to start from "zero" speed
    1. opus
      opus April 5 2016 16: 57
      Quote: qwert
      AIM-9 seems to me to need a starting accelerator. Still, the engine impulse and the operating time are not enough to start from "zero" speed

      What for?
      1. It is not necessary to overcome the pressure head (when starting from the aircraft carrier) -Max. media overload on startup 7 G

      2. Their 150 thousand units (or more produced)

      Quote: qwert
      And if with AIM-120 it’s still clear

      AIM-120 AMRAAM Engine Compartment WPU-6 / B, Starting Weight 150.7 kg, Warhead weight, kg 22kg The propulsion system is 2-mode solid fuel high specific impulse rocket engine operating on low-smoke alumina-free fuel. Fuel weight 45 kg.
      And no
      Quote: qwert
      starting accelerator

      AIM-9 Sidewinder Starting Weight 75 kg, Warhead weight, kg 11 kg

      And no
      Quote: qwert
      starting accelerator

      What is the difference? What is the impairment of AIM-9?

      Solid propellant rocket Mk.36 Mod 5, 6, 7 "burns" for more than 2,2 seconds (in comparison) with Mk.17, Mk.36Mk.36

      The impulse is again more than 3700 kg / s
      MTI / Hercules Mk. 36 Mod.9 is even better (heavier)

      1. Lt. Air Force stock
        Lt. Air Force stock April 6 2016 10: 31
        Quote: opus
        What is the difference? What is the impairment of AIM-9?

        At short range, the Aim-9X has a maximum range of 20 kilometers. For example, our R-73 has a launch range of 40 kilometers.
    2. voyaka uh
      voyaka uh April 7 2016 11: 03
      "Having failed to create a worthy anti-aircraft missile for short-range air defense systems,
      The United States is trying to adapt aircraft missiles for this purpose "////

      Not only the USA - Israel too belay .
      Air-to-air missiles, like missile defense missiles, can now be launched from any
      platforms on the ground or in the air and in any direction.
      Only the software setting changes.
      Very convenient, no need to produce and contain many types of missiles.
  3. sergeyzzz
    sergeyzzz April 5 2016 07: 13
    They called the article! Underestimating the capabilities of the enemy is fraught with defeat. This seems like a cheaper response than our caliber. Fast reaction. Previously, they did not have the task of small air defense for their territory, now they have it. And the electronics in the picture are laughing . It looks like a photo of the rockets of the 80s rocket.
  4. Belimbai
    Belimbai April 5 2016 09: 23
    Shoot a mine with such a bandura ..... an "interesting" solution. Somehow it doesn't work: // that is. "Shoot down a fly with a bullet." // .... Rather, shoot down a bullet with an elephant ...
  5. Kronos07
    Kronos07 April 5 2016 11: 14
    IFPC Inc 2-I launch of an AIM-9X Sidewinder Missile
  6. Operator
    Operator April 5 2016 11: 35
    When firing adapted air-to-air missiles at mines and shells, you will be left without trousers - the cost of one missile ranges from 100 to 200 thousand dollars.

    To shoot down mines and shells, a cheaper solution is intended - a small-sized EAPS missile with a semi-active radar seeker, but it was not accepted into service either, because the price in 50 thousand dollars bites (more than an order of magnitude more expensive than intercepted mines and shells).
    1. Lopatov
      Lopatov April 5 2016 19: 35
      Quote: Operator
      A cheaper solution is designed for shooting down mines and shells - the small-sized EAPS rocket

      Entirely next to the victim
    2. Lopatov
      Lopatov April 5 2016 19: 36
      But these were Wishlist
    3. Lt. Air Force stock
      Lt. Air Force stock April 6 2016 10: 26
      Quote: Operator
      When firing adapted air-to-air missiles at mines and shells, you will be left without trousers - the cost of one missile ranges from 100 to 200 thousand dollars.

      The cost of the Aim-9X is 375 thousand dollars, the Aim-120D will cost 1786000 dollars ...
  7. Leeder
    Leeder April 5 2016 14: 49
    Quote: Operator
    To shoot down mines and shells, a cheaper solution is intended - a small-sized EAPS missile with a semi-active radar seeker, but it was not accepted into service either, because the price in 50 thousand dollars bites (more than an order of magnitude more expensive than intercepted mines and shells).

    Of course, it’s a little expensive, but for organizing the protection of especially important objects, the price is of secondary importance, because the cost of the protected equipment can be several times higher. In addition, when entering mass production, the price should fall by an order of magnitude.
  8. Operator
    Operator April 5 2016 14: 53
    When using missile interceptors, mines and shells only to protect critical mass production facilities cannot be provided. Therefore, EAPS has been in limbo for nine years.
    1. Lopatov
      Lopatov April 5 2016 19: 45
      Here and with the effectiveness of the problem.
      Minute fire attack, 6-8 shells in a series, not less than the division. Total 108-144 shells ... And then a short break for moving and a repeated series ...

      And from a lonely mine, which the barmaley threw "in that direction", it is possible to fight off with something cheaper.
  9. k_ply
    k_ply April 5 2016 16: 00
    Understood correctly if omitted "... the possibility of attacking a target flying from any direction ...":
    "... it is NOT implemented (i.e. in missiles) the possibility of shooting "over the shoulder" ..."; and above about this mode"...who spends precious seconds rocket exit on the interception trajectory ..."? belay
    And here, in terms of meaning, not in the AIM-9 Sidewinder, and not in the FIM-92 Stinger (by the way, these short-range and close-range SAMs) the aforementioned firing mode is not implemented, even with a PU elevation angle of 90 °.
  10. Operator
    Operator April 5 2016 21: 58
    The question is: how is the hot start of missiles from the MML transport and launch container combined with the words in the text of the article about the possibility of their vertical launch?

    What, a jet stream from a solid propellant nozzle with a vertical start hits directly into the ground under the wheels of a mobile launcher, setting fire to rubber?
  11. gregor6549
    gregor6549 April 6 2016 06: 03
    I don’t know how good Sidewinder is in the role of a ground-based air defense missile, but the trend is clearly visible. Use a significant arsenal of these missiles not only as an aircraft weapon, but also as a ground weapon. I’m also not sure that the effectiveness of the use of aircraft missiles in ground-based air defense systems is unlikely to be the same as when applied from aircraft platforms, as and the sensors of such missiles and the algorithms of their onboard guidance systems were designed and optimized not for ground use.
    More attractive in this regard is the Israeli Spyder air defense system, which provides for the simultaneous use of two types of missiles on one launcher and, most importantly, minimal interference of the ground part of the air defense system in the guidance of these missiles. Those. recent advances in computer technology have allowed the Israelis to create an air defense system that truly operates on the principle of "fire and forget." And the air defense system described in the article is more reminiscent of an attempt by the Sidewinder manufacturer to find a new sales market for its seriously outdated air-to-air missiles. This attempt is not the first and not the only one, not only in the West, but also in the native defense industry.
    1. voyaka uh
      voyaka uh April 7 2016 14: 19
      Spider has two types of missiles of the same diameter, but with different maneuverability,
      with different range of defeat and different types of GOS.
      One of them is airplane air-to-air. Able to even unfold on the spot
      180 degrees.
      Comp. he decides on the characteristics of the goal, which to let go.