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Weapons: China's Phalanx
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October 2, 2009:  In the last five years, China has been installing a Chinese designed Type 730 30mm CIWS (Close In Weapon System) on its destroyers and newest frigates,  while planning an update that adds short range missiles.

Costing some $5.4 million dollars per unit, and weighing eight tons, the seven barreled, 110 inch long, cannon resides in a box shaped turret providing point defense against anti-ship missiles, aircraft, coastal targets, small boats and mines. With a rate of fire of 4,200-5,800 rounds per minute (rpm), the gun is fed from twin 500 round boxes and fires either High Explosive or Armor Piercing shells. By virtue of its caliber, performance exceeds that of the most famous CIWS, the U.S.20mm Vulcan ‘Phalanx’, but remains inferior to the Russian ‘Kashtan’ (Chestnut) twin 30mm CIWS.

 Its electronics consists of a small round radar extending from the left top of the turret for tracking and engagement as well as a color camera, heat seeking camera and laser range finder extending from the right top in a U shape mount, where a sensor filled ball rides in the center. The radar’s range is 8 kilometers for small targets and 15 to 20 kilometers for moderate to large targets. The Electro -Optical unit can track out to 6 kilometers. Once identified, the target is allowed to close to 3 kilometers, whereby the gun engages. 1 to 1.5 kilometers is the most opportune and accurate range, however.

Type730’s counterparts include the U.S 20mm ‘Phalanx’, a 1970s design that uses a 6 barreled, 73 inch long, gun with radar (10 kilometer range) and electro optical sensor (5 kilometer range) firing High Explosive and Armor Piercing shells at 4,500 rpm out to a range of 2 kilometers. Cost of the system is $5.6 million. Total systems weight is seven tons.

Russia’s ‘Kashtan’ mounts twin 6 barreled, 110 inch long, 30mm guns using radar (20 kilometer range), and electro-optical sensing (6 kilometer range),and fires High Explosive or Armor piercing projectiles out to a distance of 4 kilometers with a combined rate of fire of 10,000 rpm. Cost of the system is $7 million with a weight of 16 tons. -- Mike Perry

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trenchsol    missile vs. CIWS   10/2/2009 1:07:09 PM
Was there any real life situation when CIWS type weapon stopped sea skimming missile ? Far as I know, the score is 2:0 in favor of missiles, Sheffield destroyer vs. Exocet and Saar class corvette vs. Silkworm. In both cases CIWS type weapon remained inactive for some reasons. Perhaps Stark frigate vs. Exocet could be included in statistics, although it was friendly fire, a sort of.
 
The way I understand, keeping CIWS on standby regime creates some sort of problem ? So, what can be expected in the future ?
 
DG

 
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Marion-19C       10/2/2009 3:00:38 PM
Not sure about it's design, but it looks a lot like the Goalkeeper the Dutch use.
 
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warpig       10/2/2009 4:09:31 PM

Was there any real life situation when CIWS type weapon stopped sea skimming missile ? Far as I know, the score is 2:0 in favor of missiles, Sheffield destroyer vs. Exocet and Saar class corvette vs. Silkworm. In both cases CIWS type weapon remained inactive for some reasons. Perhaps Stark frigate vs. Exocet could be included in statistics, although it was friendly fire, a sort of.

The way I understand, keeping CIWS on standby regime creates some sort of problem ? So, what can be expected in the future ?




As you realized, there have been few opportunities so far to see them in action.  Sheffield did not have a CIWS.  As an aside, Hanit was damaged by an anti-ship missile, but it was either a C-802 or even just a C-701.
 
 
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Slim Pickinz       10/2/2009 6:58:03 PM




Was there any real life situation when CIWS type weapon stopped sea skimming missile ? Far as I know, the score is 2:0 in favor of missiles, Sheffield destroyer vs. Exocet and Saar class corvette vs. Silkworm. In both cases CIWS type weapon remained inactive for some reasons. Perhaps Stark frigate vs. Exocet could be included in statistics, although it was friendly fire, a sort of.




The way I understand, keeping CIWS on standby regime creates some sort of problem ? So, what can be expected in the future ?










As you realized, there have been few opportunities so far to see them in action.  Sheffield did not have a CIWS.  As an aside, Hanit was damaged by an anti-ship missile, but it was either a C-802 or even just a C-701.

 


 
There was a third incident too. Israeli destroyer INS Eliat sunk in 1967 by 4 Styx missiles launched from Egyptian missile boats. Although I'm pretty sure the Eliat has no missile defense systems either.
 
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sinoflex       10/2/2009 9:48:46 PM
It is interesting to note that during Operation Praying Mantis the Iranians fired a Harpoon missile at USS Wainwright (CG-28) that was soft killed with chaff. 
 
There is also a claim that 2 Silk Worm missiles were fired at USS Gary (FFG-51), one of which was diverted by chaff.  Supposedly the SM-1 and CIWS was not usable due to Iranian jamming.  < Link>
 
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gf0012-aust       10/2/2009 10:24:22 PM

Not sure about it's design, but it looks a lot like the Goalkeeper the Dutch use.
its almost universally regarded as a chinese ripoff of Goalkeeper.  they did the same with the French Hecate around about the same time
 
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trenchsol       10/2/2009 11:42:38 PM
Warpig, you are right, Type 42 got CIWS after the Sheffield misfortune.
 
DG

 
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mabie       10/3/2009 12:03:55 AM
Cannon-based CIWS still allow incoming missiles to get uncomfortably close to the target  before engaging.. I don't know if the USN is still installing phalanx systems on their ships or has it completely shifted to RAM/SeaRAM for point-defense?
 
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bandit87       10/4/2009 4:16:47 AM
You guys are also forgetting about the USS Stark in 1987. The two most common defeats that come to mind are the Stark and the Hanit, both of which had their CIWS turned off at the time of the attack. To my knowledge there has not been an ASM attack on a ship where the ACTIVE (engaging and firing) CIWS has been defeated. That said, while gunned CIWS do allow missiles to get dangerously close to your ship (potentially enough to cause "Splash damage" to say the antennas and maybe even put some fragments through the hull) the CIWS are always part of a multi-layer air-defence system, ideally the CIWS is not the first thing thats going to take out the target. Using the USN as an example, in a carrier strike group (aside from the aircraft flying off the carrier itself) you have your AEGIS ships (Tico CGs and Burke DDGs) which use their Standard SAMs, which are an area defense missile, to engage/intercept any ASMs at long range. The nature of AEGIS allows these ships to engage quite a few missiles at once (I forget the public specs off the top of my head, chances are they can engage quite a few more than the USN will admit). There is always the chance, depending on how many missiles (saturation attack) are used and how the ships are engaged (could be a close in sneak attack from a submarine) that AEGIS could be negated. If any thing gets past AEGIS, then you have your ships that are equipped with Sea Sparrow (which in my opinion the Perrys should have, the Aussie ones do). Sea Sparrow is point defense (chiefly meant to guard the firing ship from attack, not other ships or the whole battle group), what ever Sea Sparrow misses would be engaged by guns (I am not sure if the 5" even carry AA shells anymore, the 76mms on the Perrys do but I don't want to think about how good/bad, probably bad, a big gun like that would do against a sea-skimming target, would probably be nice at downing helicopters though). For the most part that leaves the CIWS. While RAM has its advantages in principle, Phalanx gives you insurance (your firing hundreds of 20mm shells at a target instead of say 2 or 3 Stinger sized RAMs, RAM's advantage is if it works it will splash the incoming missile far enough away from the ship so that it won't take damage, you can ripple fire them/carry more and reload them easier than Sea Sparrow). Frankly if I was a captain I would rather end up with a bunch of holes in my ship from a near miss (Phalanx) than having my RAMs miss the target and have to eat a missile. The Russians have the best idea with their redundant system, combining both missiles and guns into one system, and the USN COULD do something similar with SEARAM by hanging RAM tubes onto the side of the Phalanx R2D2, both the missiles and the guns sharing the same targeting system. I am not sure if they are considering this though because it would be more expensive than just replacing the 20mms. Also, I cannot remember where I heard this or even how accurate it is but I heard that the USN, after a hiatus was equipping/re-equipping some of the newer Burkes that were built without Phalanx with it. I am not sure if this is just with old mounts as a cost savings thing instead of RAM, or if they are reconsidering keeping the Phalanx around, but I can remember reading something about that and seeing a newer Flight II Burke with the R2D2s. 
 
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REMF       10/4/2009 7:05:43 AM
Does the Phalanx fire a high explosive shell in its naval anti-missile role? Everything I see on the net indicates it uses a penetrator round made of depleted uranium or tungsten.
 
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