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Subject: supersonic anti ship missiles
forvalour    8/18/2008 7:46:48 AM
any thoughts on supersonic AShMs. should the west/ NATO adopt them? To help range of the standard RAM is 5 miles. harpoon takes 36 secs to cover that distance compared to 9-10 seconds for brahmos .
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dwightlooi       8/22/2008 3:32:54 AM
Supersonic AShMs are not much harder to shoot down than subsonic ones. In fact, in many instances, the lower flying Subsonics make tougher targets than the slightly higher flying supersonic sea skimmers.
What they do is shorten the response time available to detect and engage the incoming missile. With a typical naval air defense radar's 30~40km horizon against seas skimmers, there is typically about 50 seconds to detect, track and engage a Mach 2.5 inbound vs about 2 1/2 minutes to engage a subsonic target. This presents a huge problem for older systems with long response times and slow scan rates. But it is not much of a challenge for modern systems like the Sampson, the APAR, the SPY-1 or any of the ESA arrays with VLS missiles. The actual probability of kill of the missiles against supersonic missiles is not significantly, if at all, lower.

If the range and closing velocities of the RAM does not allow adequate time to do a shot, kill assessment and re-engagement against a supersonic AShM, then the solution is simply to pre-emptively take two or even three shots against each incoming before the first missile impacts or misses. The actual salvo will depend on the predicted probability of kill which is classified.
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FJV       8/23/2008 11:29:10 AM
If I remember correctly the faste the missile flies the wider the missile turns, which means that a well timed evasive maneuver might have a better chance of succes, the missile flying too fast to make the tight turn to counter.

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Rasputin       8/25/2008 1:03:25 AM
Seems like the advantage lie squarely with those taking the first shot in this case. Definately deadly if it were used in some kind of supprise attack against another unprepared nation.
If under normal naval patrol conditions, do you think that 10 seconds is enough time for a ships crew and the captain to provide the weapons free shoot down order. Even the latest Israeli warship can be caught off guard. However if the western warships are prepared they do stand a better chance to get a shoot down.
These missiles seem to be ideal for the past soviet docterine of the mass attack, imagine a supprise attack on a valuable naval target with scores of such supersonic anti shipping missiles incoming. The attacker on the other hand will have close to a minute to get away or prepare for counter fire by slower harpoons.

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