The appearance of the production of hypersonic missiles means a revolution in the naval art: the relative parity in offensive-defense will change, the potential means of attack will considerably exceed the capacity of the defence.
News about the successful testing of the newest Russian hypersonic missile is seriously concerned over the military leadership of the United States. There, according to media reports, decided to urgently develop countermeasures. We have this event the proper attention is not paid. Meanwhile, enter the armament of the missiles become a revolution in military shipbuilding will significantly change the balance of forces on sea and oceanic theaters of war at once will obsolete the samples, still considered quite modern.
NPO Mashinostroyenia leads a unique development at least since 2011, ("Zircon", five Swings off your goal"). In the public domain adequately to very promising and, accordingly, the private project is presented scientific-industrial cooperation of enterprises and research institutions involved in its creation. But the performance characteristics of the rocket shown very sparingly. It is known in fact, only two: speed, which is estimated with good accuracy 5-6 Mach (speed of sound in the surface layer of the atmosphere) and to approximate the likely range of 800-1000 miles. However, available and some other important data, relying on which it is possible to estimate other characteristics.
On warships "Zircon" will be applied from the universal launchers vertical launch 3C-14, unified "Caliber" and "Onyx". The rocket should be two-stage. Starting stage – solid-propellant motor. As sustainers can only be RAMJET (ramjet engine). The main carriers of "Zircon" discusses the heavy nuclear missile cruiser (TARKR) project 11442 and 11442М and future nuclear submarine with cruise missiles (SSGN) 5-th generation "Husky". According to unconfirmed reports, is the creation of the export version – "Amur II", the model which was presented at the exhibition DefExpo 2014 in February 2014.
In the beginning of this year, held its first successful flight test of the rocket with the ground PU. It is expected that will be adopted with the beginning of deliveries to the Russian Navy before the end of the decade.
What can you draw from these data? On the assumption of accommodation in the unified PU "Caliber" and "Onyx" make a conclusion about the dimensions and, in particular, that the energy of the GOS "Zircon" may not significantly exceed the similar parameters of these two missiles, that is 50-80 miles, depending on the effective area of dispersion (EPR) target. Warhead tactical missiles, designed to engage large surface ships cannot be small. Taking into account public data on the weight of the warhead "Onyx" and "Caliber" it can be estimated at 250-300 pounds.
The trajectory of the rocket at hypersonic the probable range of 800-1000 kilometers can be on the main part of the route, only high-rise. Allegedly 30 000 meters and even higher. This achieves long range hypersonic flight and significantly decreases the efficiency of the most modern air defense system. In the terminal phase the missile is likely to carry out aircraft manoeuvring, particularly with a reduction on extremely small height.
In the control system of the missile and its seeker are likely to be built-in algorithms that allow her to reveal the location of the main purposes in order of the enemy. The shape of the missile (according to model) is made with stealth technology. This means that its ESR may be of the order of 0.001 square meters. The detection range is "Zircon" the most powerful radar of foreign surface ships and aircraft RLD – 90 to 120 kilometers in free space.
These data are sufficient to assess the capabilities of the most modern and powerful air defense system of the American cruisers "Ticonderoga" and destroyers URO type "Arleigh Burke" - based CICS "aegis" with the most modern missiles "Standard-6". This rocket (full name of RIM-174 SM-6 ERAM) adopted by the U.S. Navy in 2013. The main difference from the previous versions of the "Standard" is the use of active radar homing, allowing you to effectively hit the target of "fire and forget" – unaccompanied-fire radar ship carrier. This greatly increases the efficiency of its use at low-flying targets, in particular over the horizon, and allows you to work according to the external target designation, such as AWACS aircraft. With a starting weight of 1,500 kilograms "Standard-6" shoots at 240 kilometers, the maximum height of defeat of air targets – 33 kilometers. The speed of the missile is 3.5 M, approx 1000 meters per second. Maximum g-force when maneuvering around 50 units. The combat part of the kinetic (ballistic targets) or frag (for aerodynamic), weighing 125 pounds – twice more than in the previous series of missiles. Maximum velocity of aerodynamic targets is estimated at between 800 meters per second. The probability to hit the target with one missile in terms of range identified is 0.95.
Comparison of the performance characteristics of "Zircon" and "Standard-6" shows that our rocket lands on the border of range American missiles in height and almost twice allowed for a maximum velocity of aerodynamic targets – 1500 vs the 800 meters per second. Conclusion: to impress our "swallow" American "Standard 6" can not. However, this does not mean that hypersonic "Zircon" will not shoot. The system "aegis" is able to detect such high-speed target and give target designation to fire – it has the possibility of solving problems ABOUT and even deal with satellites, the speed of which is much higher than that of the SSN "Zircon". Therefore, the firing will be carried out. It remains to evaluate the probability of our missiles the American missiles.
It should be noted that given the performance characteristics of the missiles damage probabilities are usually given for field conditions. That is, when the target is not maneuvering and moving at a speed that is optimal in order to get into it. In actual combat, the probability of damage, as a rule, considerably lower. This is due to the peculiarities of the process of guidance of missiles, which define these limits on the allowable speed of the maneuvering target and the height of its defeat. To get into these details we will not. It is important to note that the probability of hitting missiles "Standard-6" maneuvering aerodynamic targets will affect the detection range of the active seeker and the output precision of the missiles in the capture point objectives, permissible overload missiles for maneuvering and the atmospheric density, and errors in location determination and motion elements of the target according to the targeting radar and CICS.
All these factors determine the main – can SAM "choose" given the maneuvering target the size of the penalty to the level at which the warhead is able to impress her.
Open data on the range of active seeker missiles "Standard-6" no. However, based on the weight and size characteristics of missiles it can be assumed that the fighter with RCS of about five square meters, it will be able to see the range of 15-20 kilometers. Accordingly, a target with the RCS of 0.001 sq meter – missile – range GOS "Standard 6" not more than two or three kilometers. Shooting the reflection of the attacking ASM will be, of course, on a collision course. That is the approach velocity of the missile will be about 2300-2500 meters per second. To perform maneuver of rapprochement have missiles remains less than one second from moment of detection of the target. The possibility of reducing the magnitude of the penalty is negligible. Especially if we are talking about the interception at maximum altitudes of about 30 kilometers, where the thin atmosphere reduces the room of manoeuvre missiles. In fact, SAM "Standard-6" to successfully defeat the goal of "Zircon", must be bred to it with an error not exceeding the affected area, its warhead is 8-10 meters.
Sinking aircraft carriers
The calculations performed taking into account the above factors show that the probability of hitting missiles "Zircon" one SAM "Standard-6" is unlikely to exceed 0,02–0,03 under the most favorable conditions and target designation directly from the media SAM. When shooting according to an external designation, such as AWACS aircraft or other vehicle, taking into account errors in determining the mutual location and delay time of the communication error in the output to the target goal will be higher and the likelihood of its defeat less, and very significantly – up to 0,005–0,012. In General we can say that the "Standard-6" – the most effective missiles of the Western world, miserable possibility of defeat "Zircon".
I could argue the Americans and the cruisers of the "Ticonderoga" struck the satellite, flying at a speed of 27,000 kilometers per hour at an altitude of about 240 kilometers. But he is not maneuvered and its position determined with extremely high accuracy after long-term observation, which allowed to bring the missile defense system to the target without a miss. Such opportunities for reflection attacks "Zircon" from the defending side will not, moreover the RCC will begin to maneuver.
Evaluate the capabilities of our ASM air defenses of the cruisers of the "Ticonderoga" or URO destroyer type "Arleigh Burke". First of all, it should be noted that the detection range is "Zircon" radar overview of airspace these ships can be estimated in the range of 90-120 miles. That is, the time of the RCC approach to the boundary of task execution from the moment of its appearance on the radar of the enemy will not exceed 1.5 minutes. Have a closed loop air defense system "aegis" on all about all 30-35 seconds. With two Mk41 Ohr really produce no more than four missiles, potentially capable of taking into account the remaining time to get closer to the attacking goal and hit it – the probability of hitting the "Zircon" the main defense systems of the cruiser or destroyer URO will not exceed 0,08–0,12. Opportunity ZACH-defense ship "Vulcan-Phalanx" in this case is negligible.
Accordingly, two of the ship even with the full use of their defenses against one RCC "Zircon" give the probability of its destruction 0,16–0,23. That is the GAC of the two cruisers or destroyers URO have little chance to destroy even a single missile "Zircon".
Remain EW. It is an active lead and passive interference. For setting time since the detection of RCC or their GOS enough. Integrated application of interference can disrupt the missile guidance to the target with a decent probability, which is given workhouse time the electronic warfare systems of the ship can be estimated at 0.3 to 0.5.
However, when firing at multiple targets high probability of capture GOS RCC other purpose in the order. Just as in the fighting at the Falklands the English aircraft carrier could, by putting clutter to take going for it RCC "Exocet". It GOS, if it loses this purpose, seized the container ship "Atlantic conveyer" which after defeat missile sank. When the speed of the "Zircon" to another ship of the order which will capture the GOS PKR, just not enough time for effective application of EW.
These estimates imply that even a volley of two missiles "Zircon" on GAC, consisting of two cruisers of "Ticonderoga" or destroyers URO type "Arleigh Burke" with a probability of 0.7–0.8 would lead to the disabling or sinking of at least one of the ships of the GAC. Chetyrehskatnye volley practically guaranteed will destroy both ships. Because the range of "Zircon" is almost twice more than the RCC "Tomahawk" (about 500 km), the chances of the us GAC to win the battle with our cruiser, equipped with anti-ship missiles "Zircon", no. Even if the superiority of the Americans in the systems of reconnaissance and surveillance.
Slightly better for the U.S. Navy and the situation where the GAC of the Russian Federation headed by the cruiser, equipped with anti-ship missiles "Zircon", is opposed to the carrier strike group (CSG). Combat radius of carrier-based attack aircraft in the action groups of 30-40 cars does not exceed 600-800 kilometers. This means that for Aug to launch a preemptive strike on our ship's connection with large forces, able to penetrate defenses, would be very problematic. Strikes in small groups of carrier-based aircraft – pairs and links to be able to operate at up to 2,000 kilometers with refueling in the air against our GAC with modern multi-channel air defense system will be ineffective.
The output of our GAC for the volley and start 15-16 RCC "Zircon" for Aug would be fatal. The probability of disabling or sinking of the aircraft carrier will be 0.8–0.85 with destruction of two or three escort ships. That is Aug such a volley is guaranteed to be defeated. Open data, on cruisers project 1144 after the upgrade should be placed UVP 3S-14 to 80 cells. With this ammunition RCC "Zircon" our cruiser can defeat up to three Aug US.
However, no one is hurt in the long term to place the RCC "Zircon" and the frigates, and small-missile ships that are known to have, respectively, 16 and 8 cells to the CD "Caliber" and "Onyx". It will boost their combat capabilities, will make a serious rival to carrier battle groups.
Note that in the US, intensively develop hypersonic SVN. But the main effort of the Americans was directed on creation of hypersonic missiles for strategic purpose. Data on the development of U.S. anti-ship hypersonic missiles such as "Zircon", not yet, at least in the public domain. Therefore, we can assume that the superiority of the Russian Federation in this sphere will last for a long time – up to 10 years or more. The question of how we use them? Can in a short time to saturate the fleet with a sufficient number of these RCC? When the wretched state of the economy and the curtailment of defense contracts – is unlikely.
The appearance of the production of hypersonic missiles will require the development of new methods and forms of combat at sea, in particular for the destruction of enemy surface forces and ensure their combat stability. For adequate capacity building of defense ships, probably necessary to revise the conceptual foundations of such systems. It will take time – at least 10-15 years.
doctor of military Sciences, corresponding member of raran
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