Bangladesh and neighboring Myanmar are in a naval standoff over who owns
the right to search for, and extract, natural gas and oil along their maritime
boundaries. Myanmar was unwilling to wait for the diplomats to sort it all out,
and leased some of the disputed tracts to a South Korean company, which sent
out four survey ships, accompanied by two Myanmar warships. They were met by
four Bangladeshi warships. The weapons
embarked on these ships consisted of 3 and 4.5 inch guns, and Chinese Silkworm
and C802 anti-ship missiles. The largest Bangladeshi ship is a half century old
former British frigate.
these nations is a naval superpower. Both fleets are largely composed of patrol
boats, many armed with those ubiquitous Chinese anti-ship missiles. Each nation
is believed to have a frigate or corvette sized ship at the scene, as well as
some missile armed patrol boats. If it came to violence, the C802 missiles
could make quick work of ships on both sides. The older missiles, less so.
time the C-802 was used in combat, was two years ago, against an Israeli
warship. Two C-802s were fired at an 1,100 ton Israeli corvette off the coast
of Lebanon. One hit the helicopter hanger, but the warhead failed to go off.
The fire on the Israeli ship was caused by the half a ton of missile crashing
into it, and unburned rocket fuel. The other C-802 homed in on a nearby
Egyptian merchant ship, and sank it (the warhead on that one did detonate). The
Israeli anti-missile system was not turned on because it was found to interfere
with the electronics on Israeli warplanes operating in the vicinity. This is
also an increasing problem in modern warfare. There are so many electronic
gadgets transmitting, that there are more cases of signals, literally, getting
The C-802 is
a 20 foot long, 360mm, 1,500 pound missile with a 360 pound warhead. The
Israeli warship carries electronic defenses against anti-ship missiles, as well
as a Phalanx auto-cannon. This systems is supposed to be turned on whenever the
ship is 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 250 meters
a second, you can see why Phalanx is set to automatic. There's not much time
for human intervention. The Bangladeshi and Myanmar ships don't appear to have
any missile defenses.
needs to work with a radar that can track the target. The C-802 fired in
Lebanon apparently used Lebanese government coastal radars for this. The
Bangladeshi and Myanmar ships warships have radar on board for this. The C-802
is 30 year old technology, and many of them are quite old. With age comes
reliability problems. Bangladesh has many older models of Chinese anti-ship
missiles (like the half ton SY-1 Silkworm), and these have been unused for
quite some time.