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Subject: ASTOR v Standard
kensohaski    2/19/2008 7:15:12 AM
I would like to see some current discussion on the capabilities of each...
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B.Smitty       2/19/2008 8:24:14 AM
ASTOR is an airborne radar system.

If you mean ASTER, the missile system, then there are other threads on this board that go in to significant detail about this.

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kensohaski       2/20/2008 12:54:20 PM
I was talking about the ground mapping radar.  I guess it is pretty good.....
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B.Smitty       2/20/2008 4:05:43 PM
ASTOR vs what then? 

The only "Standard" I can think of is the Standard missile system.  Obviously one can not directly compare a sea-based SAM system with an airborne ground-mapping radar.

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B.Smitty       2/20/2008 4:10:55 PM
A friendly word of advice: You'll get a lot more interest in your topic if you first research the systems you would like to discuss, and then as ask pointed questions or make detailed observations.

Asking for other people to just "discuss" something will likely lead to a dead thread. 

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kensohaski       2/20/2008 6:58:35 PM
I have been around here for a little while guys..  Ease up..  Ya'll knew what I meant. 
I got the two systems confused.  I was told mistakenly that ASTOR was an AEW system.  I did some reading and I guess it is a ground radar like our JSTAR. 
I will read about ASTER as well..
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dwightlooi       3/1/2008 1:14:56 PM
From a capabilities stand point, the Standard + Mk41 (or Mk57) system is superior to the Aster + Sylver VLS even though the European system is a more recent development and has certain features the US system lacks.


The Aster system has significantly shorter range than the Standard. It is also relies exclusively on 2-stage designs which hampers the miminum range of the short range Aster 15 because maneuvering is limited until the 1st stage booster has been jettisoned. The following is a comparison of the two. The ESSM is thrown in because it is the horizon range missile used by AEGIS ships and is fired from the same VLS as the Standard.

Aster 15 (2-stage) -- Mach 3.5, 30km
Aster 30 (2-stage) -- Mach 4.5, 120km

ESSM (1-stage) -- Mach 4+, 50km
Standard SM-2MR (1-stage) --Mach 3.5+, 167km
Standard SM-2ER or SM-6 (2-stage) -- Mach 3.5+, 370km
Standard SM-3 (3-stage, exoatmospheric) -- Mach 9+, 600 km; ballistic only


The main distinction of the Aster over the ESSM/Standard is that it currently uses active radar homing for terminal guidance. This eliminates the need for radar illumination and/or the possibility of illuminator saturation on ships without multiple illuminators or X-band ESA multimode radars. Active homing also opens up the possibility of engaging targets on under the radar horizon assuming that a remote sensor track is available and can be communicated.

Aster 15 -- Active Radar
Aster 30 -- Inertial Command + Terminal Active Radar

ESSM -- Inertial Command + Terminal Semi-Active Radar
Standard SM-2MR Block IIIB -- Inertial Command + Terminal Dual Band (Semi-active Radar & Imaging IR)
Standard SM-2ER Block IV -- Intertial Command + Terminal Semi-Active Radar
Standard SM-6 -- Intertial & GPS Command + Terminal Active Radar
Standard SM-3 -- Inertial & GPS Command + Terminal Imaging IR

Control and Agility

The Aster system utilizes lateral control jets for terminal divert control in additional to tail mounted aerodynamic controls. This permits two things. Extreme altitude maneuvering and steering speed/precision for hit-to-kill. Unfortunately, the Aster system (until the on-paper Aster 45 is developed and deployed) lacks the kinematics to that really requires lateral divert control for maneuvering. The X-band active seeker on the Aster missiles also lack the resolution needed to prosecute hit-to-kill as the primary neutralization mechanism -- to do that a millimeter wave imaging radar or imaging IR guidance is necessary. Nonetheless, the Aster is hit-to-kill "ready" if an appropriate seeker is incorporated. Until then, the 15kg blast fragmentation serves up the kill even if the aster misses by a feet or several.

The ESSM and Standard SM-2 missiles rely on traditional tail steered aerodynamic controls. This limits the operational altitude to ~24km (only the ER is designed to go that high) and maneuvering precision. This means that the weapon is has to rely on explosive blast fragmentation as the primary kill mechanism. To this end, they carry much bigger warheads than the Aster family. 39kg on the ESSM and 61 kg on the SM-2/6.

The SM-3 is a completely different animal. The SM-3 replaces the entire warhead and guidance section of the SM-2 block IV with a third stage. This ignites at about 25km altitude and takes the weapon out of the atmosphere. At about 80km altitude, the nose cone is jettisoned and a kinetic energy kill vehicle is exposed. A powerful IR telescope acquires the target and if necessary a second pulse is ignited to push the missile even higher (up to >280km altitude if necessary). As it closes on the target, the kill vehicle is released and the third stage falls away. Eight lateral divert jets and two axial pulse motors refines the aim until the kill vehicle slams into the incoming ballistic missile in space at an altitude between 100 and 250km and out to about 600km down range.


This is one area where the Aster-Sylver system lags. As of today, the system is exclusively a SAM VLS. The Mk41 on the other hand also handles the Tomahawk TACTOM (cruise missile) and the ASROC anti-submarine torpedo delivery rocket.

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