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Surface Forces: Phalanx Gets Sharp Eyes
   Next Article → PEACEKEEPING: Embarrassing Embargos
May 29, 2008: The U.S. Navy has developed a video camera (with 18:1 zoom and night vision) for its Phalanx 20mm automatic cannon. This system is a final defense against anti-ship missiles. As originally designed, you turned Phalanx on whenever the ship was likely to have an anti-ship missile fired at it. The Phalanx radar can spot incoming missiles out to about 5,000 meters, and the 20mm cannon is effective out to about 2,000 meters. With incoming missiles moving a up to several hundred meters a second, you can see why Phalanx is set to automatic. There's simply not much time for human intervention.

 

Since 2003, there have been two major Phalanx mods. In one, the Phalanx was adapted to use on land, to shoot down incoming  rockets. This was done by using a larger artillery spotting radar, which directs Phalanx to  fire at incoming mortar shells and rockets. Not all the incoming stuff is hit, but nearly 80 percent of it is, and every little bit helps.

 

The second mod is for shipboard use, and changes the software so the Phalanx can be used against small boats, especially those of the suicide bomber variety. This is where the ALMTV (Phalanx All-Light Marine TV) attachment comes in. With the software modification and ALMTV, Phalanx becomes a complete defense against small boats.  There are nearly 600 Phalanx systems installed in warships worldwide.

 

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nyetneinnon       5/30/2008 1:40:42 AM
The RIM-116 is replacing the Phalanx?  Anyway, I think the friendly Navies need a 'look-down' type detection capability, such as an air-ship/blimp-based sensor system, to cover combatant ships and carrier strike groups, etc (for greater than 5,000m warning against Mach 3 sea-skimmers).  Maybe some kind of RIM-116 type system carried aloft as well to 'shoot-down'?
 
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gf0012-aust       5/31/2008 12:24:54 AM

Anyway, I think the friendly Navies need a 'look-down' type detection capability
They already do.  The USN certainly does.  As for everyone else (incl the USN), alert status determines sensor state.  Unless there is a Pearl Harbour action on some idiot nations agenda - then what environment is dictating that western navies go to a 70's-80's response footprint?


 
 
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Griffin       6/11/2008 11:40:24 PM
When I hear of the Phalynx being supplanted by new air defence systems, I often wonder why this isn't kept on as a powerful close in surface defense system.  Anyone remember the Cole?  It would seem to me in a day of asymetric threats, this would certainly perform better than smaller weapons and not have the draw backs of using a main gun. 
 
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Herald12345       6/12/2008 4:02:05 AM

When I hear of the Phalynx being supplanted by new air defence systems, I often wonder why this isn't kept on as a powerful close in surface defense system.  Anyone remember the Cole?  It would seem to me in a day of asymetric threats, this would certainly perform better than smaller weapons and not have the draw backs of using a main gun. 

 

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1. Ripping loose with a Phalanx, even by accident, inside an crowded anchorage is a guaranteed,  for adjoining ships, disaster.
2. Gun depression. -30 degrees is hard to do in an air de3fense mount.
3. Open ocean a QFG, like the Bofors 57/60, with a guaranteed one speed boat per close proximity burst death is more murder efficient as a solution.

Herald

 



 
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