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The Common Anti-air Modular Missile (CAMM) – United Kingdom

The Common Anti-air Modular Missile (CAMM)

The Common Anti-Air Modular Missile or CAMM is one of the core UK Complex Weapons programmes that is intended to replace the Sea Wolf Block 2, ASRAAM and Rapier FSC missile systems in service with the Royal Navy, Royal Air Force and Royal Artillery respectively under the Future Local Area Air Defence System (FLAADS) requirement.

It is intended to maximise commonality across all three services in order to minimise logistic and support costs. FLAADS(M) for Maritime, FLAADS(L) for Land and FLAADS(A) for Air were all intended to be delivered with the Common Anti-Air Modular Missile. The modular design is also intended to facilitate lower the cost of through life incremental upgrades.

This type of commonality across all three services was previously somewhat hard to find but it makes so much sense as to be obvious.

A quick terminology note: FLAADS, the Future Low-Altitude Air Defense System, is the British designation for the program as a whole, which is projected to involve FLAADS (M) at sea, and FLAADS (L) on land. CAMM is the missile, which MBDA uses as a general base reference, but they sometimes mention “CAMM-M” and “CAMM-L” specifically. The naval CAMM-M version and its integration with ship systems is marketed globally under the name “Sea Ceptor”. (defenseindustrydaily.com)

Background

The CAMM concept came from MBDA studies into a replacement for Rapier and Startstreak.

In 2004, the MoD awarded a £10m technology demonstration programme contract to MBDA through the Joint Sensor and Engagement Networks Integrated Project Team. Another £15m was committed to a second stage TDP and in January 2012 the MoD announced a development contract with MBDA for the ‘Sea Ceptor’ system that would use the Common Anti Air Modular Missile at its core, this final contract was valued at £483m

Don’t forget, the £483 is for a ‘demonstration contract’ and does not include any production systems.

From MBDA, the 2010 description of each system was;

Maritime

FLAADS(M) provides a true 360° air defence capability for naval forces out to ranges greater than 25km against the future air threat. Requiring no dedicated tracker/illuminator radars, CAMM can be cued by ship target indication data to provide high levels of protection in open ocean and littoral environments. It can also be used against surface targets. The weapon system, which incorporates a 2-way data-link capability to CAMM missiles in flight, is intended for vessels of corvette size or larger, for either new ships or as a retrofit. It will provide self and consort defence whilst operating with 2-D and 3-D radars and has an architectural design to allow integration within a variety of combat systems. CAMM can operate from SYLVER and Mk41 family launchers utilising features such as folding missile fins to maximise packing density. For smaller ships, a simple bespoke quad-pack launcher (occupying the same space as a Seawolf canister) will be available. The introduction of “soft launch” techniques reduces system mass and eases installation. MBDA has taken a Through Life approach in developing the CAMM solution. New weapon system architectures that reduce customer costs by removing expensive components are now possible. MBDA’s PAAMS (Principal Anti-Air Missile System) naval self, local and fleet area defence weapon system has now established a preferred architectural approach to air defence. FLAADS(M) follows this approach by re-using software and substituting new low cost components.

Land

For ground based air defence (fulfilling the need to replace the UK’s currently in-service Rapier system), FLAADS(L) is expected to form part of the air defence equipment being procured within the UK’s NEADS (Network Enabled Air Defence and Surveillance) programme. FLAADS(L) will provide future land forces with a highly effective and deployable local area air defence system capable of operating as a stand alone unit or of being integrated within a future battlespace network.

Air

The CAMM missile uses the same airframe and has technology pull through from MBDA’s proven ASRAAM design (Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missile in service with the UK RAF and the Australian RAAF) with a range of performance enhancing modifications. CAMM technology can now be used to re-life ASRAAM for its Mid-Life Re-life. FLAADS(A) provides an opportunity to generate a new short range anti-air capability for the RAF in the future.

All good stuff, a modern missile family designed to offer all the usual commonality benefits whilst still being effective against a range of targets.

FLAADS(M) was always intended to enter service first as Sea Wolf was due out of service in 2016, well before Rapier and ASRAAM.

Apart from the crap name, Sea Ceptor will be quite an advance of Sea Wolf that will first be fitted to the Type 23 frigates and transferred to the Type 26 as they enter service.

Type 23 frigates

Type 26 Global Combat Ship: HERE

Type 26 Global Combat ShipSea Septor Missile Graphic (FLAADS(M))Sea Septor Missile Graphic (FLAADS(M))Sea Septor Missile Graphic (FLAADS(M))

Supersonic missile system design and features

The supersonic Sea Ceptor missile is 3.2m long and weighs 99kg. It has a diameter of 160cm.

The missile covers a range of more than 25km and provides 360 degree coverage. It can reach speeds up to Mach 3.

The Sea Ceptor has a simple integration mechanism. It has a compact launch system which allows it to be deployed at various deck locations. The ‘soft launch’ technique reduces the weight of the system and provides it with installation flexibility.

The missile system does not require dedicated radars because it can utilise the data interpreted by the vessel’s surveillance radars. The command and control system can be integrated with new as well as the existing combat systems. 

Combat capabilities of MBDA’s missile defence system

The missile has the capability to intercept combat aircraft and missiles moving at supersonic speeds and neutralise them. It protects the host ship as well as the surrounding installations.

Sea Ceptor can respond to saturating attacks with its multiple channels of fire. It can protect an area of 1,300km² over land and sea.

The system is targeted towards sophisticated missile attacks in future.

Portfolio management agreement (PMA)

Under the PMA, MBDA will oversee the transformation of the complex weapons of the UK’s defence forces. The portfolio of projects under the agreement has the potential to value £4bn over ten years. It is expected to bring in efficiencies worth £1bn to the MoD.

The Sea Ceptor programme is the second contract awarded under the PMA. The first contract, worth £330m, was signed between the MoD and MBDA in 2010.

Under the contract, MBDA will supply Fire Shadow Loitering Munition (LM) for the British Army and Selective Precision Effects At Range (SPEAR) Capability 2, Block 1, for the Royal Air Force. Source @naval-technology.com

Sea Ceptor is all system go but no production contracts have been announced for FLAADS(L) or FLAADS(A) although work is reported to be on-going with both, with the work CAMM being used to inform decisions on how best to enhance of life extent ASRAAM.

Design

The missile itself takes a great deal from ASRAAM but it is not a surface launched ASRAAM with a new name. Common components include the very low signature rocket motor from Roxel, the warhead and proximity fuse from Thales

The seeker and open architecture electronics backbone are new, the latter is called Programmable Open Technology for Upgradable Systems or PrOTeUS and uses an IEEE 1394 Firewire bus technology as a starting point.

Sea Ceptor differs from Sea Wolf in a number of respects but the most significant is the elimination of a requirement for dedicated fire control radar. By removing this reliance on fire control radars the data link and two-way active radar homing seeker is designed to overcome saturation attacks and has the additional benefit of removing a piece of equipment from the support chain.

Although range will of course be classified MBDA declare it as ‘in excess of 25km’, which in any case is better than Sea Wolf and Rapier but then it should be, at 99kg it is nearly 20kg heavier than Sea Wolf and over 50Kg heavier than Rapier.

Common Anti Air Modular Missile (CAMM)Common Anti Air Modular Missile (CAMM)Common Anti Air Modular Missile (CAMM)Common Anti Air Modular Missile (CAMM)

The ability of Sea Ceptor to use many different radars for initial target information should provide an advantage on the export market, as will its flexible siting and quad packing, if customers need it.

An update from MBDA in September 2011 described progress on the Command and Control system, noting that 75% of the Sea Viper’s software had been re-used and the common data link had been developed.

The Common Data Link (CDL) is the small ‘black box’ that sits on top of the mast, especially clear in pictures of FLAADS(L) although it doesn’t necessarily have to use the two way data link to the launch vehicle, so, it could take mid-course corrections from any number of suitably equipped land or air platforms and then switch to active homing when it gets close enough. The original launch platform could have even moved by the time the missile hits.

Common Data Link (CDL)Common Data Link (CDL)

It is reported that each missile in its sealed canister will have a shelf life of ten years and although MBDA claim it can be quad packed in either a SYLVER or Mk 41 launcher current images suggest they will be installed on the Type 26 in a bespoke low cost launcher, which does make a lot of sense. The Type 45, that is another matter though.

Sea Septor Missile Graphic (FLAADS(M))Sea Ceptor Missile Graphic (FLAADS(M))SYLVER VLSMk 41 VLS

On the Type 23, images such as this one show a 2×6 arrangement offset to one side and if the silos shown in that are similar to the design below (one cover equals 4 missiles)

That makes a potential of 48 missiles total load, an increase on Sea Wolf’s 32 by some way.

(How many will actually be carried is of course, another matter)

The soft vertical launch system that ejects the missile to a height of about 30m before a small a thruster fires to orientate the missile with the target location. This method is safer, removes the need to manage hot gas efflux in the launch silo and ensure all of the main rocket motor fuel is used for arriving at the target.

The vide below shows a number of test firings that demonstrate very well the vertical launch and tip over sequence

Read the Sea Ceptor brochure here for some technical details, weight, size etc

The first land based version was shown in mid-2009 and has continued to be developed in parallel. Adapting Sea Ceptor for land use should be relatively straightforward, the images and video below show it mounted on a MAN HX Support Vehicle

An interesting feature of the CAMM system in a land environment is that it does not require the radar system to be co-located, opening possibilities for concealing the launch point and attacking non line of sight targets.

Linking the missile system into the Royal Artillery’s evolving Land Environment Air Picture (LEAAP) system which uses the Falcon trunk network, Saab Giraffe radars and Link 11/16. This might also evolve if the Network Enabled Airspace Defence and Surveillance (NEADS) project ever gets off the ground and will provide a series if incremental improvements over LEAAP.

One problem does present itself though, tactical mobility.

Rapier Field Standard C is a pretty mobile system, it is towed and can be air lifted by in three parts (launcher and surveillance radar and electro optical tracking system) easily by Chinook and Merlin.

Rapier-Field-Standard-C-FSC-Ground-Based-Air-Defence-740x500Rapier Field Standard C (FSC) Ground Based Air Defence

The current development shows the FLAADS(L) system mounted on a demountable pallet on a MAN HX truck. Decisions on a lighter transport platform or perhaps a smaller missile load (currently 12) remain to be made.

Future-Light-Anti-Aircraft-Defence-System-Land-FLAADSL-using-the-MBDA-Common-Anti-Air-Missile-740x528Future Light Anti Aircraft Defence System (Land) – FLAADS(L) using the MBDA Common Anti Air MissileFuture-Light-Anti-Aircraft-Defence-System-Land-FLAADSL-using-the-MBDA-Common-Anti-Air-Missile1-740x495Future Light Anti Aircraft Defence System (Land) – FLAADS(L) using the MBDA Common Anti Air MissileFuture-Light-Anti-Aircraft-Defence-System-Land-FLAADSL-using-the-MBDA-Common-Anti-Air-Missile4-688x1024Future Light Anti Aircraft Defence System (Land) – FLAADS(L) using the MBDA Common Anti Air MissileFuture-Light-Anti-Aircraft-Defence-System-Land-FLAADSL-using-the-MBDA-Common-Anti-Air-Missile5-681x1024Future Light Anti Aircraft Defence System (Land) – FLAADS(L) using the MBDA Common Anti Air Missile

Not everything in 3CDO or 16AAB needs to be air droppable or able to be lifted by Chinook/Merlin, but it would be sensible to maximise tactical transportability for such an important capability of light role spearhead type forces. One might argue it is these type of forces that need air defence more that the heavier units as they would tend to operate under a much more controlled airspace.

The CAMM (Common Anti-Air Modular Missile) series is a family of surface-to-air and air-to-air missiles developed by MBDA for the United Kingdom.

In May 2014, the British MOD has ordered the Land variant of the Future Local Area Air Defence System (FLAADS Land), the CAMM. FLAADS is part of a wider UK ‘Complex Weapons’ programme to deliver a variety of UK industry based weapons. FLAADS is intended to deliver a common weapons platform (the Common Anti-Air Modular Missile (CAMM)) to equip forces in the air, land a maritime environments.

CAMM Common Anti-Air Modular Missile air defense system data sheet specifications information description intelligence identification pictures photos images United Kingdom British army defence industry military technology

 Variants

– CAMM Sea Ceptor: As part of the Sea Ceptor weapon system, CAMM provides a 360° air defence capability for naval forces out to ranges greater than 25km against the current and future air threat. Requiring no dedicated tracker/illuminator radars, CAMM can be cued by the ship’s own standard surveillance radar to provide high levels of protection against multiple simultaneous targets in open ocean and littoral environments. It can also be used against surface targets. CAMM launch canisters are compatible with SYLVER and Mk41 family launch silos with CAMM utilising features such as folding missile fins to maximise launch canister packing density. The introduction of “soft launch” techniques reduces system mass and allows for more flexibility in terms of installation positions on a ship.
– CAMM Air Operations: The same CAMM missile design for Navies and Armies is easily adaptable by MBDA for Air Force use on Fast Jets. With MBDA’s experience from ASRAAM and Meteor ensuring world class performance will be achieved. MBDA has been working with the MoD on assessing how CAMM technology could be used to sustain or enhance the Royal Air Force’s ASRAAM capability in the future.

Launcher unit

The launch unit is mounted on a MAN SV HX60 4×4 truck, mounting a crane for self-reloading, and 12 launch tubes for CAMM missiles mounted at the rear of the chassis. In road condition, the missiles are lowered to the rear part of the truck chassis. In firing position, two groups of six all-weather canister missile launchers are erected to the rear of the crew cabin.

Missile

The CAMM missile has a minimum operational range of less than 1 km and a maximum range greater than 25 km. It has a weight of 99 kilograms, a length of 3.2 meters, a diameter of 166 millimeters and reaches a supersonic speed of Mach 3 (or 1,020 meters per second). In flight, the missile can receive mid-course guidance via a data link before the active homing radar seeker takes over for the final approach to target. The missile is based on the ASRAAM infra-red air-to-air missile, sharing some common features and components but with updated electronics and an active radar seeker. The CAMM is ejected “cold” from the canister by compressed air and a pistol, which fire the missile 100 ft into the air before its rocket ignites, making integration of the missile easy on all kind of launching platforms, very differently from missiles such as ASTER, MICA, ESSM and all others, which are launched “hot”, requiring a far more complex canister and launcher vehicle, capable to handle the stress, flames, heat and exhaust of an hot launch.

Radar and control components.

Linking the missile system into the Royal Artillery’s evolving Land Environment Air Picture (LEAAP) system which uses the Falcon trunk network, Saab Giraffe radars and Link 11/16. This might also evolve is the Network Enabled Airspace Defence and Surveillance (NEADS) project ever gets off the ground and will provide a series if incremental improvements over LEAAP.

Mobility

The CAMM launch unit is mounted on a 4×4 military truck chassis MAN SV HX 60. The truck is motorized with a latest-generation MAN Common Rail small block diesel engine developing 326hp and 1,250Nm torque. The truck-mounted CAMM will have better battlefield mobility. The HX 60 is fitted with a 12-speed ZF AS-Tronic automatic constant mesh gearbox and MAN two-speed transfer box. It provides seating for driver and two passengers. Add-on armor kit can be fitted to the cab. There is an observation hatch on the roof which can be used to mount a light machine gun. The truck can run at a maximum road speed of 90 km/h with a maximum cruising range of 800 km. Without preparation the MAN HX60 fords water obstacles up to 1.2 m deep.

Operations

An interesting feature of the CAMM system in a land environment is that it does not require the radar system to be co-located, opening possibilities for concealing the launch point and attacking non line of sight targets.

Source @armyrecognition.com

ASRAAM design and features

The ASRAAM air-to-air missile can outperform all existing short-range missiles in close-in combat missions. It features low-drag design concept incorporating body lift technology.

Image @janes.com

The tail-controlled missile measures 2.9m in length, 166mm in diameter and 88kg in weight. It is fitted with high-explosive blast fragmentation warhead with impact and laser proximity fuses. The missile is also equipped with seeker detector cooling and self contained cooling engine.

The missile can be deployed using lock before launch capability to engage targets in the forward hemisphere. It can be launched in ‘lock after launch’ mode to engage targets beyond the seeker acquisition range.

The missile gathers target positional data from aircraft sensors including radar or helmet mounted sight during close-in combat missions when target is located outside the off-boresight and visual limits of seeker. This capability ensures the aircraft’s crew to perform over-the-shoulder firing in ‘lock after launch’ mode.

Missile guidance and sensors

The ASRAAM weapon is guided by an advanced, accurate focal plane array Imaging Infra-Red (IIR) seeker developed by Raytheon. The passive homing guidance system provides the ability to significantly track, acquire and engage targets beyond visual range (BVR) under severe clutter and countermeasures environmental situations.

Imaging Infra-Red (IIR) seeker developed by Raytheon

The missile collects the target data using fibre optic gyro sensors and solid state accelerometers, stabilised in three axes. It can also gather target information from autonomous infrared search and track system.

Propulsion for the short range air-to-air missile

A low signature rocket motor is fitted to drive the ASRAAM short range missile. It provides superior acceleration and range throughout the flight. The motor also allows ASRAAM to quickly intercept any target and gives it a speed of about Mach 3.

Main material source: “UK Complex Weapons – Part 5 (Common Anti-Air Modular Missile)” posted  April 28, 2013 @thinkdefence.co.uk

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