Monthly Archives: April 2017

TOR-M2DT Arctic air defense missile system

Russia has displayed versions of the KBP Instrument Design Bureau Pantsyr-S1 and Almaz-Antey Tor-M2 air defence systems integrated onto Vityaz DT-30-series all-terrain tracked carriers (ATTCs) optimised for Arctic operations.

The systems were first seen in footage of a rehearsal for Russia’s 9 May Victory Day parade shown by Russian television on 5 April and then in a photograph released by the Russian Ministry of Defence on 8 April.

The DT-30 is amphibious, has a load-carrying capability of around 30 tonnes, and consists of two sections that are joined by an articulated joint to allow for a high degree of articulation while moving across rough terrain, including sand, ice, and snow.


Виталий Тимкив

The vehicle’s wide tracks provide a low ground pressure that allows it to cross terrain that is not passable by conventional tracked and wheeled platforms.

The front section houses the crew compartment and powerpack, with the rear section used to carry the load.

The Pantsyr-S1 and Tor-M2 systems seen on the rear sections of the ATTCs in the parade rehearsal were both covered, making it difficult to establish whether they are configured in the same way as the variants that are already in service with the Russian military.

The Pantsyr-S1 normally has 12 missile launch tubes (six on each side) and two twin 30 mm 2A38M cannons. The latter enable close-in targets such as cruise missiles to be engaged as well as providing a secondary capability to engage ground targets out to a range of 4,000 m.

An artist’s impression of the arctic Pantsyr-S1 that emerged last year indicated it will have 18 missile launch tubes and the new bidirectional phased array search radar, but not the 30 mm guns. Source

The Tor-M2 system is currently the basic short-range air defense missile complex operational in the Russian Army. It is designed to provide air and anti-missile defense at the division level. The system is capable of protecting land troops from anti-radiation and cruise missiles, remote-controlled drones, glide bombs, aircraft and helicopters.

Under an agreement between the Izhevsk-based Kupol electromechanical factory and Vityaz engineering company posted on the website of state purchases, R&D works for developing the system’s modification for application in the Arctic and the Extreme North will be carried out in 2015-2020. The new version of the antiaircraft missile system should be mounted on the chassis of the DT-30PM-T1 two-section tracked prime mover (the DT two-section prime mover). Source

Russia Test Its New Tor-M2DT Arctic Short-Range Air Defense System: Here

Scrum Half / PESA / 9K331M/M1 Tor M/M1/M2E / SA-15 Gauntlet


Виталий Тимкив

The Tor M2/M2E is a ‘deep modernisation’ of the baseline Tor M1 weapon system, available on the legacy tracked chassis, or the entirely new low profile wheeled MZKT-6922 6 x 6 chassis as the 9A331MK, the latter specifically developed by the ByeloRussian manufacturer for this application. The Tor M2E has an improved weapon system. The new planar array surveillance radar can track up to 48 targets concurrently, retaining the range performance of the legacy system. The revised phased array engagement radar uses new phase shifters, and is capable of tracking targets within a claimed 30° solid angle around the antenna boresight, quadrupling the angular coverage of the original radar. Paired command link antennas are mounted on both sides of the array, used to acquire the missiles post launch, while they are out of the field of view of the engagement radar array. Missiles can be launched 2 seconds apart.  Source

Tor M2E PESA engagement radar. The design is capable of tilting to engage high elevation targets The Electro-Optical targeting system is at the left of the image. Note the hemispherical command uplink antennas for post launch missile acquisition (Kupol JSC).

Type: Radar Altitude Max: 7620 m
Range Max: 22.2 km Altitude Min: 0 m
Range Min: 0.2 km Generation: Late 1980s
Properties: Pulse Doppler Radar (Full LDSD Capability), Weapon FCR (No CW Illumination)
Scrum Half [Tor] – (SA-15, Track, Tor, Tor M1, M2) Radar
Role: Radar, FCR, Surface-to-Air, Short-Range
Max Range: 22.2 km


Tor M2E search radar in deployed configuration. The low sidelobe planar array design replaces the cumbersome paraboloid section reflector design used with the Tor M1 series (Kupol JSC).

Type: Radar Altitude Max: 10668 m
Range Max: 74.1 km Altitude Min: 0 m
Range Min: 0.6 km Generation: Late 1970s
Properties: Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) [Side Info], Pulse-only Radar
Dog Ear [9S80] – (SA-13/15/19 Surveillance) Radar
Role: Radar, Target Indicator, 2D Surface-to-Air
Max Range: 74.1 km


Apertures for the Tor M2E Electro-Optical tracking system, used to supplement the engagement radar in heavily jammed environments (Kupol JSC).

Type: Visual Altitude Max: 0 m
Range Max: 148.2 km Altitude Min: 0 m
Range Min: 0 km Generation: Visual, 2nd Generation TV Camera (1980s/1990s, AXX-1 TCS)
Properties: Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) [Side Info], Classification [Class Info] / Brilliant Weapon [Automatic Target Aquisition], Continous Tracking Capability [Visual]
Generic TV Camera – (2nd Gen, Target Tracking And Identification) Visual
Role: Visual, Target Tracking and Identification TV Camera
Max Range: 148.2 km


The primary means of engaging targets is by radar guidance. Each Tor system is fitted with a 25 km 360 degree search radar and 15 km 60 degree tracking radar. The Tor has a good ECM resistance but can also engage targets by TV tracking. The TV tracking system has a maximum range of 20 km and is fitted with a laser range finder. The naval version uses a similar two radar setup but has a more powerful search radar. Source

9M334 modules

Зенитный ракетный модуль 9М334 – Image:

Aluminium containers

9T244 transporter / loader vehicle

TOR-M2 missile launcher station

Image: Vitaly V.Kuzmin

Workstation console


Виталий Тимкив


Виталий Тимкив


9K330/9K331/9K332 missile


Минобороны России

9K330/9K331/9K332 Technical Data

9K330 Тор 9K331 Тор-М1 9K332 Тор-М2
9М330 9М331 9М332
Зона поражения, км
Engagement zone [km]
– по дальности
– in range
1,5..12 1,5..12 1,5…
– по высоте
– in altitude
0,01..6 0,01..6
– по параметру 6 6
Верояность поражения истребителя одной ЗУР
Single Shot Pk for fighter type target
0,26..0,75 0,45..0,8
Макс. скорость поражаемых целей, м/с
Max Velocity of defeat target [m/s]
700 700
Время реакции, с
Reaction time [sec]
– с позиции
– static
8,7 7,4
– с короткой остановки
– short stop while moving
10,7 9,7
Скорость полета ЗУР, м/с
Missile velocity [m/s]
700..800 700..800
Масса ракеты, кг
Missile mass [kg]
165 165
Масса БЧ, кг
Warhead mass [kg]
14,5 14,5
Время развертывания (свертывания), мин.
Stow/deploy time [min]
3 3 3
Число целевых каналов
Number of concurrent engagements
1 2
Число ЗУР на боевой машине
Number of missiles on launcher
8 8 8
Год принятия на вооружение
Year of introduction
1986 1991 2009



Телеканал Звезда YouTube

Телеканал Звезда YouTube

Телеканал Звезда YouTube

DT-30PM Vezdesusciy, improved variant of the DT-30P. It is fitted with a more powerful YaMZ diesel engine, developing 800 hp and has higher road speed and greater range. Its load carrying capability is similar to the previous version. Source

YaMZ-847.10 – 12-cylinder multi-fuel diesel engine



Model Power, kW (hp) Rotational speed, rpm 1 Max. torque, Nm (kgs.m) Frequency for max. cool. point, min-1 Min. sp. fuel consumption, g / kWh (g / hph) Overall dimensions (length / width / height) Mass, kg
YaMZ-847.10 588 (800) 2100 3090 (315) 1250-1400 203 (149) 1830/1070/1220 2000


DT-30PM-T1 tracked articulated tractor

The DT-30 Vityaz (knight) all-terrain tracked carrier was designed to carry heavy loads over all off-road terrain, including swamps, sand and snow. First vehicle was built in 1981 and small scale production commenced in 1982. It is also used for a number of civilian applications in rough terrain. The original DT-30 is no longer produced. This vehicle has never been exported outside the former Soviet republics.

The DT-30 Vityaz has articulated configuration. The original DT-30 has a single flatbed cargo body. Vehicle weights 30 tons and has equal payload capacity. The DT-30P is a more usual variant with two cargo areas.

Vityaz has a fully enclosed forward control cab, which provides seating for driver and four passengers. Engine compartment is located behind the cab. The rear unit can accommodate a variety of bodies. In some cases the rear unit can vary considerably from the front.

Vehicle is powered by a V-46-5 multi-fuel diesel engine, developing 710 hp. This engine was developed from that, used on the T-72 main battle tank. Engine is fitted with a pre-heater and can be started at -50°C. Tracks of the Vityaz are 1.1 m wide. The DT-30P has a very low ground pressure. It can even go through anti-tank mine without causing detonation.

DT-30P Vityaz. It is produced since 1986. It has two load carrying areas, one on the front section and other and other on the second articulated unit. Vehicle is fully amphibious. On water it is propelled by its tracks; Variants

DT-30PM Vezdesusciy, improved variant of the DT-30P. It is fitted with a more powerful YaMZ diesel engine, developing 800 hp and has higher road speed and greater range. Its load carrying capability is similar to the previous version; (See above for YaMZ-847.10 engine data)

DT-10P Vityaz, smaller articulated tracked carrier. It has a payload capacity of 10 t or 10 passengers, including the crew of five. This vehicle also has narrower tracks.

Entered service 1986
Configuration Tracked
Cab seating 1 + 4 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight 28 t
Maximum load 30 t
Length ?
Width ?
Height ?
Engine V-46-5 diesel
Engine power 710 hp
Maximum road speed 50 km/h
Amphibious speed on water 5 km/h
Range 500 km
Gradient 60%
Side slope 30%
Vertical step 1.5 m
Trench 4 m
Fording Amphibious


Updated Dec 02, 2019

Please note I have removed all data from Army Recognition as it seems they do not allow use of there information even with reference links.

Gripen C / D Multirole Fighter Aircraft

The Gripen multirole fighter aircraft, developed by Saab, was first flown in December 1988 and entered operational service with the Swedish Air Force in 1997. It is planned that the Gripen will replace all current variants of the Viggen and Draken combat aircraft.

Saab 35 Draken


A single-seat, single-engine interceptor/fighter for all-weather conditions, with low double delta wings, the Saab 35 Draken was developed in order to replace the Saab J29 Tunnan and the Saab J32 Lansen. Its first flight took place in 1955, being amongst the most advanced and remarkable fighters of its time. In 1960 it entered in service with the Flygvapnet.


The Draken is designed as a tailless middle double-delta wing fighter, with a single tail and a single engine (A Volvo Svenska Flygmotor RM6C, bestowing a maximum speed of 2125 km/h / 1,317 mph). Its double-delta wings allow good high and low speed performances. It also provided good fuel and armament capacity. The engine air inlets are located mid-wing at each side of the cockpit, featuring a characteristic egg shape.

Considered an easy-to-fly platform, yet not suitable for untrained pilots given the high sensibility controls, and being prone to ‘superstalls’ as a very stable platform with good low flight.

Although the avionics were in principle basic, the radar was a very sophisticated one – A PS-02/A based on the French radar Thompson-CSF Cyrano – integrated with an Ericsson version of a radar Thompson-CSF Cyrano S6 fire control system. It also incorporated VHF/UHF radio, a radio altimeter, a transponder, an IFF (Identification Friend or Foe) system, and the Swedish version of the Lear-14 autopilot. The seat of the pilot was reclined 30 degrees, similarly like the Viggen, to allow the pilot to resist G-forces. And the cockpit was fitted with air-conditioning and pressurization.

The engine in combination with the design, made the Draken a very manoeuvrable and fast fighter jet, with the braking parachute assisting the aircraft in the landing, reducing the distance required to reach a full stop. Earlier version of the Draken had two 30 mm Aden M/55 cannons, with later versions having only one cannon. Also some export versions kept the two cannons configuration.


Draken Specifications

Wingspan 9.42 m / 30 ft 10 in
Length 15.20 m / 49 ft 10 in
Height 3.8 m / 12 ft 7 in
Wing Area 49.22 m² / 529.8 ft²
Engine 1 Svenska Flygmotor Turbofan RM6B
Maximum Take-Off Weight 10,089 Kg / 22,200 lb
Empty Weight 6.590 kg / 14,500 lb
Loaded Weight 16,000 kg / 35,273 lb
Maximum Speed 1,900 km/h / 1,200 mph
Range 3,250 Km / 2,020 miles
Maximum Service Ceiling 18,000 m /59,100 ft
Climb Rate 200 m/s ( 12,000 m/min / 40,000 ft/min )
Crew 1 (pilot)
Armament • 1 Aden 30mm Cannon
• 6 hardpoints that could allow 1700 kg of payload. A pod for a 135mm Bofors M70 rockets; air-to-air Rb 24, Rb 27 or Rb 28; external fuel tank; iron bombs; cameras.

Saab 35 Draken data

Saab S37 Viggen


The Saab Viggen is a single-seat, single-engine fighter with a low double delta wing and with two canards equipped with flaps, intended to replace the Saab J35 Draken. Its first flight took place in 1967. When it entered service in 1971 with the Flygvapnet, the Swedish Air Force, it was the most advanced fighter jet in Europe until the introduction of the Panavia Tornado (1981). It was also the first canard-designed aircraft to be produced in a large quantity.


The Viggen is designed as a low double delta wing fighter, with a single tail and a single engine (A Volvo Turbofan Flygmotor RM8B, the most powerful installed in a jet fighter upon its introduction, achieving a maximum speed of Mach 2. It has canards with flaps that provide lift for both flight and taking-off and landing. Assessed as a very stable platform with good low flight, the canards and the combination of the engine, the thrust reverser, the HUD, and the afterburner allows for STOL capabilities (Taking off: 400 mts/ 1310 ft; landing: 450-500 mts/1640 ft).

The wings were provided with dogtooth at the attack border, in order to improve stability at high incidence angles. The structure was built with aluminium with a honeycomb structure, with the rear being totally of aluminium, allowing the Viggen to withstand the stress of no-flare landings, while the vertical stabilizer, or tail, was made tall given the requirements the large anti-ship missiles existing back then imposed on the design. It has a “hump” on the dorsal area to reduce drag. An interesting feature of the tail is that it can be folded, so to enhance the storage in underground and/or smaller hangars. Earlier version of the Viggen did not have an internal cannon, as it was considered by the days a close-range combat was not necessary, an approach that also affected other designs, such as the American Phantom F4. Further variants incorporated an internal cannon. The pilot seat was angled by 19 degress so to allow the pilot to resist better G forces.


Viggen Specifications

Wingspan 10.6 m / 34 ft 9 in
Length 16.40 m / 53 ft 9 in
Height 5.6 m / 18 ft 4 in
Wing Area 46 m² / 500 ft²
Engine 1 Volvo Flygmotor Turbofan RM8
Maximum Take-Off Weight 20,500 Kg / 45,194 lb
Empty Weight 11,800 kg / 26,014 lb
Loaded Weight 16,000 kg / 35,273 lb
Maximum Speed 2,125 km/h / 1,320 mph
Range 2000 Km / 1,242 miles
Maximum Service Ceiling 18,000 m /59,100 ft
Climb Rate 203 m/s ( 12,000 m/min / 40,026 ft/min )
Crew 1 (pilot)
Armament • 1 Oerlikon KCA 30mm cannon (JA 37)
• 7 hardpoints that could allow 6000 kg of payload. A pod for Aden 30 mm cannon; 135mm Bofors M70 rockets in pods for six rockets; air-to-air Saab 305/Rb 05, Rb71 Sky Flash, AMRAAM or Sidewinder missiles; air-to-surface or Maverick missiles; Anti-ship Saab 304; 120 kg iron bombs.

Saab Viggen data

Gripen has been developed by an industrial consortium consisting of Saab, Saab Microwave Systems (formerly Ericsson), Volvo Aero Corporation, Saab Avitronics and FFV Aerotech. A joint venture company, Gripen International, has been set up by Saab and BAE Systems to market the Gripen for export markets. BAE Systems is building the main landing gear unit and wing attachment unit.

The Gripen demo aircraft achieved a supersonic speed level of above Mach 1.2 in January 2009 without using an afterburner, thus proving its higher range and fuel-savings advantages.

JAS 39A is the single-seater version of the Gripen. A two-seater JAS 39B operational trainer variant of Gripen is available. The JAS 39B is equipped with the same avionics and weapons suite as the JAS 39A, with the exception of the gun.


39_101_00384First production JAS 39A with Mk.82 bombs – Image:

A consortium named “IndustriGruppen JAS” was formed between SAAB-Scania, Volvo Flygmotor, Ericsson, and Foerenade Fabriksverken (now FFV Aerotech). The group’s proposal, with the company designation “SAAB 2110”, was accepted in the spring of 1982, with a contract signed in June for five prototypes featuring some modifications from the original proposal, plus an initial production batch of 30 aircraft and an option for 110 more.

* Work on the prototypes began in 1984, with a full-size mockup completed in early 1986. The program ran into technical problems, cost increases, and schedule slips, leading to political pressure for its cancellation and purchase of a foreign aircraft. However, the first single-seat “JAS 39A Gripen (Griffin)” prototype flew on 9 December 1988, with test pilot Stig Holmstroem at the controls, and the controversy faded. Design work on the “JAS 39B” two-seat version for operational conversion training began in 1989.

Unfortunately, the first JAS 39A prototype, the “39-1”, was lost on 2 February 1989 due to a software glitch in the flight-control system. The aircraft became unstable on landing and cartwheeled, with the pilot, Lars Raadstroem, suffering a broken arm. The whole ugly event was filmed and caused a bit of a public sensation. Work on cleaning up the software and fixing engine problems led to additional schedule slips. The problems were resolved, and the second prototype, “39-2”, took to the air on 4 May 1990. The third prototype to fly, which was actually designated “39-4” and featured operational avionics but no radar, performed its initial flight on 20 December 1990. The next prototype, the “39-3”, was fitted with radar and flew on 25 March 1991; followed by the last of the five prototypes, “39-5”, which was close to production spec, and flew on 23 October 1991.

By this time, the bugs had been largely ironed out. The Flygvapnet decided the Gripen had been worth the wait and trouble, since it easily exceeded many of its design specifications — and the fact that it was such a pretty aircraft didn’t hurt. In June 1992, SAAB got the go-ahead for building the two-seat JAS 39B, and the government formally signed off on the option for 110 more Gripens, which were to be built to an improved “Batch 2” standard. The new order included 96 JAS 39As and 14 JAS 39Bs.

The first production Gripen performed its maiden flight on 4 March 1993, with Raadstroem at the controls. The second production item was the first to be handed over formally to the Flygvapnet, with delivery on 8 June 1993. However, the first production machine crashed during a flight demonstration in Stockholm on 8 August 1993, Raadstroem ejecting without serious injury. Once again, the problem turned out to be a glitch in the flight control system software. All the Gripens were grounded until the bug was traced down and fixed.

The first JAS 39B was rolled out on 29 September 1995. It was actually a production-line modification of one of the 30 Batch-1 JAS 39As. The JAS 39A reached initial operational status in 1995 and full operational status in 1997. The first Batch 2 machine was delivered in December 1996, the same month that an order for 64 improved “Batch 3” machines was placed, including 50 single-seat “JAS 39Cs” and 14 two-seat “JAS 39Ds”. Source

892cb3ad72f9429c396db7ec80dcd792IRIS-T, MBDA Meteor beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile and the Boeing GBU-39 Small-Diameter Bomb

JAS 39C is the single seat batch 3 and export standard version, which was first delivered to the Swedish Air Force in September 2002.

JAS 39C has colour cockpit displays, an on-board oxygen generation system (OBOGS) and in-flight refuelling capabilty.

JAS 39D is upgraded similarly to the JAS 39C but is a two seater variant.

In-flight refuelling capabilty


The South African Air Force (SAAF) refuses to officially acknowledge it, but the Gripens it operates are equipped with a unique gravity refuelling capability that allows them to operate from airfields that lack fuel trucks or fuel pumps and to even be refuelled from drums if necessary.

Its presence can be verified by a visual examination of the SAAF’s aircraft. There are three discrete circles placed flush along the upper right fuselage, between the canards and the tail. A closer look reveals a small four-pointed star symbol, and the wording ‘NATO Code No. F-34’, alongside each. The star is the NATO-standard symbol for a refuelling port, while ‘F-34’ is an instruction that the aircraft uses JP-8, the military equivalent of Jet A-1 aviation fuel.

The circles are the caps of the gravity refuelling ports, each connected directly into one of the Gripen’s three main fuselage tanks, Tank 1, Tank 2 and Tank 3 respectively, as a backup to the aircraft’s standard pressurised refuelling port.

In this contrast-enhanced photograph the three gravity refuelling ports, marked with a four pointed star, are clearly visible. (ADR/Darren Olivier)In this contrast-enhanced photograph the three gravity refuelling ports, each marked with a four pointed star, are clearly visible. (ADR/Darren Olivier)

None of the other Gripens in service around the world have those ports, all feature smooth metal in the same locations. This is true not only for the Swedish-spec Gripens operated by Sweden, Hungary, and the Czech Republic, but also the export-spec models operated by Thailand.

A close-up view of one of the gravity refuelling ports. Note the lettering indicating JP-8 fuel. (ADR/Darren Olivier)A close-up view of one of the gravity refuelling ports. Although the ‘F-34’ code indicates JP-8 fuel, the Gripen can operate equally well on the similar Jet A-1 commercial fuel. (ADR/Darren Olivier)

The regular Gripen refuelling port, near the right-hand air intake, is a standard receptacle that requires a pressurised feed to function, so either a fuel truck or a ground fuel pump must be present. This means that SAAF Gripens have the unique ability to be refuelled at any location that lacks a pressure fuelling system, or even to be refuelled from fuel drums if necessary, allowing them to operate either from austere locations or completely independently of airport resources.

The specific reason for including this requirement in the Project Ukhozi specification, under which the Gripens were acquired, has not been made public and the SAAF is not willing to elaborate. However, an examination of SAAF doctrine and tactics implies that the original intention may have been to allow for dispersed operation into either deep rural areas, or semi-prepared airstrips close to the front line, if the country was to go to war.

In practice though it’s rare for any fighter aircraft to deploy to a location that does not have a pressure fuelling system, as nearly all airports have fuel trucks or ground pumps with that capability and the SAAF’s Gripens are in any case always deployed alongside a small technical team, equipped with a Sprinter van and custom-designed trailer from Desert Wolf, that includes all the necessary ground support equipment. In fact, despite the SAAF having deployed its Gripens to airfields and airports all over the country over the years, including a rapid combat deployment to Ndola, Zambia and Kinshasa, DRC in 2013, it has not yet had any need to use the gravity refuelling system.

The main reason for this is that gravity refuelling has two major disadvantages over the standard pressure refuelling approach: It is a much slower process and it can’t be performed while the aircraft is running and the fuel system pressurised.

With the regular single-point pressure refuelling system and a suitable fuel pump, the Gripen can have all of its internal tanks and three drop tanks refilled within an impressive ten minutes, at a rate of around 600+ litres per minute. The onboard systems automatically handle the rerouting of the fuel into each tank in turn. Gravity refuelling, on the hand, is limited by the rate that fuel can be moved from its source without being boosted. If using drums and regularly-sized flexible hoses, filling up the three main centre tanks alone might take over an hour.

It’s also unclear whether the Gripen’s systems support refilling the wing tanks and drop tanks from gravity refuelling, as it would likely require the transfer pump next to the Forward Refuelling Transfer Unit to be used and the system would be unpressurised.

To understand why these limitations exist, it’s important to first describe in brief how the Gripen fuel system works.

The location of the main fuel tanks on the Gripen C. The VT and NGT are excluded.The location of the main fuel tanks on the Gripen C. The VT and NGT are not shown.

The Gripen C has 11 fuel tanks: Tank 2 Fore (not present in the Gripen D), Tank 2 Aft, Tank 1 Fore, Tank 1 Aft, Tank 3, the Vent Tank, and the Negative G Tank all exist in the fuselage, while each wing has two tanks, Tank 4 and Tank 5. The included diagram shows the relative locations of the tanks, though for the sake of illustration it ignores the Vent Tank and Negative G Tank.

Fighter aircraft fuel systems are highly-complex and designed with multiple failsafes because they have to reliably feed a huge volume of fuel to jet engines in any possible stage of flight, whether the aircraft is flying straight and level, pulling up to +9 g or -3 g, or inverted. The Gripen system uses a combination of a collector tank, boost and jet pumps, and pressurisation to solve the problem.

The collector tank consists of Tank 1 A, Tank 1 F, and the Negative G Tank below both acting in concert and is the only one from which fuel is taken for the engine. A high-power boost pump sits inside the Negative G Tank, which in turn communicates with Tank 1 A/F via a one-way feed. When the aircraft is straight and level or under positive g, the Negative G Tank effectively forms the bottom of Tank 1 A/F so it’s as though the pump is pulling from Tank 1 A/F. When the aircraft is flying inverted or under negative g conditions, the one-way feed of the Negative G Tank ensures that fuel is kept inside it even as the surrounding fuel in Tank 1 A/F is pushed away. However, as the Negative G Tank only stores a limited quantity of fuel, this limits how long the aircraft can fly inverted or while under negative g.

As Tank 1 A/F and the Negative G Tank are the only ones that the engine draws fuel from, the fuel system keeps them topped up by transferring fuel from the other tanks. This is done via the Forward Refuelling Transfer Unit and Aft Refuelling Transfer Unit, a series of small jet pumps, and the main transfer pump, along with the assistance provided by pressurising the other tanks.

The order in which the tanks are transferred into Tank 1 A/F is the following: Drop tanks first (left and right together, then centre), then the combined Tank 2 A/F tank down to 200 kg, then the wing tanks, and finally Tank 3 and the remainder of Tank 2 A/F. As mentioned earlier, Tank 2 F does not exist on the two-seater Gripen D, as the space is taken up by the second seat, but the same process applies. When under high g loads and certain flight angles, the order changes, and the drop tanks are not emptied until the aircraft returns to normal flight.

For the fuel tank pressurisation system a powerful compressor and an intricate web of piping takes bleed air from the engine or APU, runs it past a heat exchanger to cool it down, and pumps it into the fuel tanks. The system is capable of pressurising the tanks to a high enough level that they can self-feed into the transfer pipes, providing a backup in case the jet pumps or transfer pump fail. In normal operations all tanks except for Tank 1 A/F and the Negative G Tank are pressurised, in order to help with fuel transfer, but the onboard computer can adjust the levels as needed to cope with different g loads. Importantly, the aircraft is capable of pressurising tanks during refuelling, helping to speed up the transfer from the refuelling port into the various tanks.

Given all this complexity, designing and testing a fuel system on a fighter aircraft like the Gripen is an expensive, long, and painstaking process. It’s therefore notable that Saab was willing to comply with the SAAF’s requirement to add gravity refuelling as an option, even though it’s a niche capability.

What’s more, the gravity refuelling system on the SAAF Gripens is just one of the more than a dozen changes and modifications that distinguish South Africa’s fleet from that of other Gripen operators. These include South African components such as the ACR500 radio (equipped with the Link-ZA datalink), the GUS-1000 audio management system, and a custom identification friend or foe (IFF) transponder, as well as broad changes to the navigation system, avionics symbology, mission planning tools, and a customised electronic warfare system which appears to have additional support from the on-board fluid cooling circuit. As the accompanying diagram shows, this circuit cools the radar, the avionics bay behind the cockpit, and the electronic warfare jammer installed in the Forward Pod Unit at the top of the tail fin.

A simplified diagram of the cooling circuit in the Gripen, which uses fuel and ram air to cool an polyalphaolefin fluid called Kylvätska 039 via heat exchangers.

All these changes are possible as a result of the South African Air Force both joining the Gripen programme while the final details of what was then called the Export Baseline Standard were being defined and having a very clear idea via its comprehensive User Requirement Specification of what capabilities it wanted its new fighter to have. This is an important factor, because it’s doubtful that similar alterations would’ve been accommodated in an in-production aircraft for an order as small as the SAAF’s. It’s to be hoped that the SAAF and SANDF might before long become less reticent about the unique systems on board their Gripens and, within reason, inform the South African public the impact that they have.

Because despite the limitations of the gravity refuelling option, it gives South African military commanders one more useful tool on the battlefield which may one day make the difference between a mission succeeding or failing. Source

Gripen NG next-generation upgrade programme

gripen-demo-fighter-jets-airforce-sea-wing-1920x1080-70477Gripen NG

A new version of the Gripen aircraft, the Gripen next generation (NG), has also been developed by Saab. The Gripen NG comes with several attractive features including its full interoperability with Nato, high operational tempo, a fully digital cockpit with advanced features, network connectivity with multifrequency datalink and a modern avionic mission system.

In October 2007, the Swedish government placed a contract with Saab for a Gripen demonstrator programme to develop an upgraded version of the JAS 39C. Saab has selected the GE Aviation / Volvo Aero F414G engine to power the demonstrator. The F414G has 96kN (22,000lb) thrust and will be fitted with full authority digital electronic control (FADEC). Saab Microwave Systems and Thales are developing an active electronically scanned radar (AESA) for the programme. The demonstrator, also known as Gripen NG, will be a flying testbed for further development of the Gripen and made its first flight in May 2008.

GE Aviation / Volvo Aero F414G engine

F414G has 96kN (22,000lb) thrust

Manufacturer: General Electric Co.

Thrust: 22,000 pounds
Overall Pressure Ratio at Maximum Power: 30
Thrust-to-Weight Ratio: 9
Compressor: Two-spool, axial flow, three-stage fan
LP-HP Compressor Stages: 0-7
HP-LP Turbine Stages: 1-1
Combustor Type: Annular
Engine Control: FADEC
Length: 154 in (3.91 m)
Diameter: 35 in (88.9 cm)
Dry Weight: 2,445 lbs (1,109 kg)

Saab and Selex Galileo reached an initial agreement for the AESA in March 2009. With high operational tempo, agility, improved sensor fusion and fully digital cockpit, the new generation aircraft will be a fully Nato interoperable multirole fighter designed for the future net-centric warfare (NCW) environment, Saab claims.

In September 2007, the Swedish Government approved the upgrade of 31 JAS 39A aircraft to the JAS 39C/D configuration. The upgraded aircraft successfully completed its first flight in February 2009.

The Gripen next generation fighter aircraft made its first international debut in July 2010 at Farnborough International Air Show held in UK. Gripen NG has significantly increased combat range and endurance, increased payload and super-cruise capability.

Saab has offered Gripen IN, an Indian version of the Gripen NG, to the Indian Air Force. The offer was made in April 2008 in response to the proposal made by the Indian Ministry of Defence for 126 medium multirole combat aircraft. The company has also submitted a proposal to the Brazilian Air Force for 36 Gripen NG aircraft. Saab plans to manufacture these aircraft in Brazil, if it wins the contract.

Saab Gripen E: Details

Gripen IN Indian Air Force Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA)

The JAS 39 Gripen was submitted by Saab for the Indian Air Force Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA), competing against the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, Rafale, Europfighter Typhoon, F-16 and MiG-35 for India’s largest ever defence deal at $16.36bn.

After showcasing the aircraft at the Aero India show Saab launched its collaborative aeronautical partnership project ‘Aeronautical Design and Development Centre’ with the India-based TATA Consultancy Services (TCS). The design centre’s first contract is to take part in the future design and development of the Gripen.

The competition was awarded to the Rafale in 2012.

Gripen international orders

In November 1998, the South African Air Force ordered 28 Gripen multi-role aircraft (19 single-seat and nine dual-seat). Denel Aviation of South Africa will produce part of the centre fuselage. The first flight was in November 2005 and deliveries began in April 2008 and will conclude in 2012. Four aircraft were officially handed over to the SAAF in September 2008. The fifth aircraft was delivered in November 2008.


In November 2001, Hungary signed a memorandum of understanding for the lease of 14 aircraft – 12 JAS 39A single-seat and two JAS 39B. In February 2003, Sweden and Hungary signed an amendment to the lease contract and both the single-seated and the twin-seated aircraft were upgraded to C and D standard. The amendment also stated that Hungary will purchase the aircraft after the lease period. The first five were delivered in March 2006 and deliveries concluded in December 2007.

In June 2004, the Czech Republic signed a leasing agreement with the Swedish Government for 14 new Gripen (12 single-seat JAS 39C and two two-seat JAS 39D) for a period of ten years. The aircraft were delivered between April and August 2005.

In October 2007, Thailand selected the Gripen, with a requirement for 12 aircraft to replace F-5B/E fighters. An agreement to buy the first six Gripen (four 39C and two 39D aircraft was signed in February 2008. The Thai Government approved the remaining six Gripens in February 2009. The aircraft are to be delivered in 2011.

In August 2010, Thai Government released THB170bn ($5.4bn) from the 2011 fiscal year defence budget to purchase a second Gripen batch for the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF).

Saab will provide product maintenance, technical support to Gripen as part of the Skr230m ($29m) contract awarded by Sweden in June 2010. As part of the contract, it will also offer basic operations which include test flying, rigs and simulators. Work will be carried out from the second half of 2010.

Saab looking at Thailand to set up MRO hub: Here


Saab Automobile AB, a Swedish manufacturer of fighter jets, among other products, has expressed interest in investing in a production and maintenance hub in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), says Industry Minister Uttama Savanayana.

Saab will develop an advanced avionics systems for the Swedish Armed Forces’ Gripen fighter aircraft as part of the two year Skr450m ($56m) contract awarded in May 2010. The avionics system will include computer systems and displays. The first aircraft upgraded with new avionics system will enter into service in 2020.

Bulgarian Air Force is being offered to buy Gripen fighter jets at the price of second-hand US F-16 planes in April 2010. Bulgaria unveiled a decision to buy new multipurpose fighter jets rather than second-hand ones. The government, however, has not made final decision on the acquisition.

Saab group was awarded a four year contract worth Skr2bn ($280m) by Swedish Air Force in March 2010 for upgrading the countermeasures and communication systems of the Gripen. The upgrade will also encompass incorporation of advanced weapons and new improved radar systems with increased range to its entire fleet.

Swedish Defence Material Administration awarded SEK 600m worth contract to Saab on 30 March 2010 for providing continuous maintenance services to Gripen. The maintenance will be carried out during 2010 and 2011.

SAAB Presents Gripen Aggressor: Here


Defence and security company Saab presents a new variant of Gripen, Gripen Aggressor. Gripen Aggressor is based on the proven Gripen C-series and is the ultimate platform for the adversary air combat training market. Gripen Aggressor brings a unique mix of high performance, mission flexibility and availability combined with a low life cycle cost.

Gripen cockpit

Björn Hellenius

The cockpit is equipped with a Saab Avitronics EP-17 electronic display suite, with three multifunction displays and a wide-angle, 22×28 degree diffraction head-up display. The central head-down display provides tactical data superimposed on a computer-generated map. The displays on the left and right provide the flight data and the target data from the sensor suites.


BAE Systems and Saab Aerospace, with Denel Cumulus of South Africa, have developed an integrated helmet-mounted display (IHMD) system for the Gripen, known as Cobra. The IHMD is a development of the Striker helmet developed for the Eurofighter Typhoon. Cobra is fitted on the Gripen for South Africa. The Swedish Air Force also placed an order for the system in October 2007.


The time-critical systems controls (for example, weapons and communications) are grouped on the throttle and control stick for hands-on throttle and stick (HOTAS) operation.

The flight control system is a triplex digital fly-by-wire system from BAE Astronics and Lockheed Martin.

Datalinks and communications – Flygvapnet pioneered the use of datalinks in the combat aircraft, fielding first versions on SAAB 35 Draken in mid 1960s. Gripen is equipped with four high-bandwidth, two-way data links, with range of around 500 kilometers. This allows for exchange of targeting information and other data, even when one of aircraft is on the ground. One Gripen can provide data for four other aircraft, as well as get access to ground C&C systems and SAAB-Ericsson 340B Erieye “mini-AWACs” aircraft. It can also allow fighters to quickly and accurately lock on to target by triangulation of data from several radars. Annother possibility includes one fighter jamming the target while another tracks it, or several fighters using different frequencies at the same time to penetrate jamming easier. Source

UTuihnkNote lower right switch show “PEACE” and “WAR” setting it is said that the WAR setting boast the Gripen performance by 30% and it could attain +12 G 

360 video with Gripen pilot

Mk10 seat


Operating Ceiling 50000+ ft (15,250m)
Minimum height/Speed Zero/zero in near level attitude
Crew boarding mass range 69.2 – 112.2 kg
Crew size range 3rd to 99th percentile
Maximum Speed for ejection 630 KIAS
Parachute type GQ Type 1000 Mk 2
Parachute deployment Drogue assisted
Drogue parachute type 5ft and 22 in.
Drogue deployment Drogue gun. Initiated by trip rod
Harness type Integrated
Ejection seat operation type Ejection gun and multi-tube rocket pack
Ejection gun Single, two stage
Gun stroke length 72 in.
Ejection initiation Handle on seat pan initiates gas operated seat firing system
Electronic Sequencer No
Barostatic time-release unit Yes, with 2 sec delay to give time for speed to decrease. Trip rod initiated.
Automatic back-up unit No
Manual override handle Yes
Guillotine Yes, early variant
Timers 0.50 second Drogue Gun Delay Timer, and a BTRU (barostatic time release unit)
Seat adjustment Up/down Actuator operated 28 Vdc
Arm restraints Yes
Leg restraints Yes, two garters
Oxygen supply Bottled emergency oxygen, Main oxygen system connection
Personal survival pack Yes, landscale, Liferaft option available
Aircrew services Personal Equipment Connector (PEC) provides connections for
– main oxygen
– back-up oxygen
– emergency oxygen
– anti-g suit
– mic/tel
Command ejection Yes
Canopy jettison No
Miniature detonating cord Yes
Miniature detonating cord Yes
Interseat sequencing system Yes, through command delay breech unit


Gripen and g-force

Fighter aircraft weapons

Jörgen Nilsson Photography

The Gripen has seven external hardpoints for carrying payloads: one at each wingtip, two under each wing and one on the fuselage centreline.


The Gripen’s built-in armament consists of a single Mauser BK-27 27 millimeter cannon, housed in a fairing on the aircraft’s belly, offset to left to the rear of the engine intake. Given the aircraft’s relatively small size, it generally carries guided weapons to ensure maximum combat effectiveness. Possible external stores include:

  • Air to air missiles (AAMs). The primary AAM is the Raytheon AIM-120 AMRAAM, and the Gripen’s PS-05A radar can guide four of these weapons simultaneously. Sweden is the only nation approved by the US to perform flight tests of AMRAAM, and Swedish AMRAAMs have minor modifications to fit Swedish specifications. Other possible AAM stores include the French Matra Mica; the British Aerospace Sky Flash, built in Sweden as the “Rb-71”; and the Anglo-French MBDA ramjet-powered Meteor BVRAAM or German BGT IRIS-T AAM, now in development. IRIS-T is a short-range heat-seeking AAM with “off-boresight” capability. The Flygvapnet intends to obtain the IRIS-T to replace Swedish-built Sidewinders.
  • Antiship missiles, such as the SAAB RBS-15 turbojet-powered sea-skimming missile. A precision land-attack version of the RBS-15 is now in development.
  • Air to surface missiles, such as the Raytheon AGM-65 Maverick, built in Sweden as the “Rb-75”, as well as the “BK (BombKapsel) 90 Mjoelnir” guided gliding submunitions dispenser, also known as “DWS-39”. The Mjoelnir was developed by Daimler-Benz Aerospace (now part of EADS), with the Gripen as the first intended flight platform. Of course, dumb bombs and unguided rocket pods have been qualified as well. Source

The air-to-air missiles include MBDA (formerly Matra BAe Dynamics) MICA, Raytheon AIM-120B AMRAAM and Lockheed Martin / Raytheon Sidewinder AIM-9L (Swedish Air Force Designation RB74).


Jörgen Nilsson Photography

The AIM-120 AMRAAM (Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile) is one of the most modern, powerful, and widely used air-to-air missiles in the entire world. After it entered limited service in 1991, this missile has been exported to about 35 countries around the world, where it has certainly been proven with over 3 900 test shots and 10 combat victories.

By the 1980s, the US deemed its current stock of air-to-air missiles, particularly the medium-range AIM-7 Sparrow, were obsolete, or at least not as capable as the latest Soviet missiles of the time. While the Sparrow was effective, with about 60 kills, it was not effective enough. In particular, it had one crushing fault—it was not fire-and-forget, meaning that the pilot was forced to remain on the scene and in danger until the missile reached its target. So, development of the AIM-120 AMRAAM began, along with European development of a short-range missile, resulting in the ASRAAM. In 1991, the AMRAAM entered limited service in the US Air Force. Two years later, it was fully operational there as well as the US Navy, while other countries started to show considerable interest.

Country of origin United States
Entered service 1991
Missile length 3.66 m
Missile diameter 0.18 m
Fin span 0.53 m
Missile launch weight 150.75 kg
Warhead weight 22.7 kg
Warhead type HE blast-fragmentation
Range of fire up to 75 km
Guidance active radar homing


AIM-9L Sidewinder

The Lima was followed in production in 1982 by the AIM-9M, which is essentially an improved AIM-9L. The Mike has improved background rejection, counter-countermeasures capability and a low smoke motor to reduce the visual signature of the inbound weapon. The AIM-9M has the all-aspect capability of the AIM-9L model, but provides all-around higher performance. The M model has infra-red countermeasures, enhanced background discrimination capability, and a reduced-smoke rocket motor. Deliveries of the initial AIM-9M-1 began in 1982. The only changes from the AIM-9L to the AIM-9M were related to the Raytheon Guidance Control Section (GCS). Several models were introduced in pairs with even numbers designating US Navy versions and odd for US Air Force. All AIM-9M GCS are comprised of three major assemblies; a seeker assembly for detecting and tracking the target; an electronics assembly for processing detected target information; and a servo assembly that transforms electrical tracking signals to mechanical movement of the fins. An umbilical cable assembly provides electrical interface between the missile GCS and the aircraft launcher. The umbilical I-3 cable also allows the flow of coolant from the LAU-7 to the missile GCS. AIM-9M GCS versions include the WGU-4A/B used in the AIM-9M-1 and AIM-9M-3, the WGU-4C/B used in the AIM-9M-4, the WGU-4D/B used in the AIM-9M-6, and the WGU-4E/B GCS used in the AIM-9M-8. The WGU-4E/B GCS uses advanced technology that has evolved through the WGU-4D/B development, while expanding the potential of the IRCM detection circuitry and improving the missile’s capability with respect to tactical IRCM deployment. Source

Sidewinder, mounted on the wingtips, is an all-aspect attack, short-range missile for enhanced dogfight capability. Air-to-surface missiles include the radar-guided Saab RBS15F anti-ship missile and Raytheon Maverick missile. In July 2008, the Hungarian Air Force’s Gripen fighters successfully test fired Sidewinder air-to-air missile.

Saab RBS15F anti-ship missile

Björn Hellenius

The RBS-15 was adapted for air launch as the “RBS-15F”, entering service in 1989. Such RB-04s as remained in service after that time were passed on to the training role.

The RBS-15F is Flygvapnet JAS-39 Gripen and was carried on the AJS-37 Viggen fighter. The missile’s advanced navigation system can store a large number of map “waypoints” to allow it to maneuver through complicated flight profiles, and it can even perform “feints”, closing in on one target and then veering off abruptly to hit another at the very last moment.

SAAB is now working on a land-attack derivative of the RBS-15F with a “stealthy” radar system, infrared terminal seeker, and new warhead, for introduction no earlier than 2004.



Spec Metric English
Wingspan 1.4 meters 4 feet 7 inches
Length 4.45 meters 14 feet 7 inches
Total weight 600 kilograms 1,320 pounds
Warhead weight 300 kilograms 660 pounds
Speed high subsonic
Range at altitude 200 kilometers 125 MI / 110 NMI


Saab to upgrade RBS-15 system with enhanced combat range and an upgraded target seeker: Here


Saab has been contracted by the Swedish Defense Material Administration to develop and produce a new generation anti-ship missile system, the company announced on Friday.

The new system, a major upgrade of the RBS-15 system, will be for both air-launched and ship-launched missiles and will be integrated on the new Gripen E fighters and in Sweden’s Visby-class corvettes.

Maverick air-to-surface missile

The AGM-65 Maverick is a tactical, air-to-surface guided missile designed for close air support, interdiction and defense suppression mission. It provides stand-off capability and high probability of strike against a wide range of tactical targets, including armor, air defenses, ships, transportation equipment and fuel storage facilities. Maverick was used during Operation Desert Storm and, according to the Air Force, hit 85 percent of its targets.

The Maverick has a cylindrical body, and either a rounded glass nose for electro-optical imaging, or a zinc sulfide nose for imaging infrared. It has long-chord delta wings and tail control surfaces mounted close to the trailing edge of the wing of the aircraft using it. The warhead is in the missile’s center section. A cone-shaped warhead, one of two types carried by the Maverick missile, is fired by a contact fuse in the nose. The other is a delayed-fuse penetrator, a heavyweight warhead that penetrates the target with its kinetic energy before firing. The latter is very effective against large, hard targets. The propulsion system for both types is a solid-rocket motor behind the warhead.

The Maverick variants include electro-optical/television (A and B), imaging infrared (D, F, and G), or laser guidance (E). The Air Force developed the Maverick, and the Navy procured the imaging infrared and the laser guided versions. The AGM-65 has two types of warheads, one with a contact fuse in the nose, the other a heavyweight warhead with a delayed fuse, which penetrates the target with its kinetic energy before firing. The latter is very effective against large, hard targets. The propulsion system for both types is a solid-rocket motor behind the warhead.


Primary Function: Air-to-surface guided missile
Contractors: Hughes Aircraft Co., Raytheon Co.
Power Plant: Thiokol TX-481 solid-propellant rocket motor
Autopilot Proportional Navigation
Stabilizer Wings/Flippers
Propulsion Boost Sustain
Variant AGM-65A/B AGM-65D AGM-65G AGM-65E AGM-65F
Service Air Force Marine Corps Navy
Launch Weight: 462 lbs(207.90 kg) 485 lbs(218.25 kg) 670 lbs(301.50 kg) 630 lbs(286 kg) 670 lbs(301.50 kg)
Diameter: 1 foot (30.48 centimeters)
Wingspan: 2 feet, 4 inches (71.12 centimeters)
Range: 17+ miles (12 nautical miles/27 km)
Speed: 1150 km/h
Guidance System: electro-optical television imaging infrared Laser infrared homing
Warhead: 125 pounds(56.25 kilograms)cone shaped 300 pounds(135 kilograms)delayed-fuse penetrator, heavyweight 125 pounds(56.25 kilograms)cone shaped 300 pounds(135 kilograms)delayed-fuse penetrator, heavyweight
Explosive 86 lbs. Comp B 80 lbs. PBX(AF)-108
Fuse Contact FMU-135/B
COSTS Air ForceAGM-65D/G NavyAGM-65E/F
Date Deployed: August 1972 February 1986 1989
Aircraft: A-10, F-15E and F-16 F/A-18 F/A-18 and AV-8B

AGM-65 Maverick data

Later versions of the aircraft for Sweden will be armed with the short-range Diehl BGT Defence IRIS-T air-to-air missile and the MBDA Meteor beyond visual range (BVR) air-to-air missile. Deliveries of IRIS-T began in December 2005.

IRIS-T air-to-air missile

The IRIS-T, InfraRed Imaging System – Tail/Thrust Vector Controlled, is an International initiative to replace current AIM-9L/M Sidewinder short-range, air-to-air missiles. The missile combines advanced aerodynamics and thrust vector control in a tail controlled airframe to achieve outstanding performance.

It utilizes a solid-propellant rocket motor. IRIS-T features a roll-pitch (128×128) IR seeker with �90� look angle for high off-boresight angle missile engagements. Engagements against targets in the rear hemisphere can be done successfully with the missile locked-on target after launch. IRIS-T outstanding agility is the key to successfully engage highly maneuverable advanced aircraft.

Overall, IRIS-T delivers increased agility, target acquisition range, hit accuracy, a more effective warhead and considerably improved protection against countermeasures compared with the Sidewinder missile. The mass, length, diameter and interface of the IRIS-T missile are very close to its predecessor achieving a high degree of compatibility which is a must for the IRIS-T program. During the flight tests, the IRIS-T achieved direct impact on the target even with IRCM (IR countermeasures) presence. The highly maneuverable IRIS-T missile will be integrated onto Typhoon, Gripen, F-16, Tornado, and F/A-18 aircraft. Dhiel BGT is the prime contractor for the program and Germany is the lead nation. Source

General data:
Type: Guided Weapon Weight: 87 kg
Length: 2.94 m Span: 0.45 m
Diameter: 0.13 Generation: None
Properties: Anti-Air Dogfight (High Off-Boresight), Capable vs Seaskimmer
Targets: Aircraft, Helicopter, Missile
Sensors / EW:
IIR Seeker – (IRIS-T) Infrared
Weapon Seeker, Imaging IR
Max Range: 18.5 km
RB 98 IRIS-T [AIM-2000A] – (2009) Guided Weapon
Air Max: 27.8 km.


MBDA Meteor (BVR) air-to-air missile

Meteor is a next generation, active radar-guided, beyond visual range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM) system. The missile is being developed by MBDA Systems for six European nations.

The Meteor BVRAAM can be integrated on Eurofighter Typhoon, Saab Gripen and Dassault Rafale aircraft. The Meteor missile can also be installed on Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF).

The missile, being designed as a complete unit, requires no assembly and maintenance immediately before loading. This arrangement reduces its overall life logistic support cost.

Meteor can be launched as a stealth missile. It is equipped with enhanced kinematics features. It is capable of striking different types of targets simultaneously in almost any weather.

The Meteor has a length of 3.65m and diameter of 0.178m. It is designed to be compatible with AIM-120 type rail and eject launcher systems.

The Meteor missile is equipped with a blast-fragmentation warhead, supplied by TDW of Germany. The warhead is designed as a structural component of the missile. The missile integrates proximity and impact fuses.

The Meteor is equipped with a two way datalink, which allows the launch platform to provide updates on targets or re-targeting when the missile is in flight. The datalink is capable of transmitting information such as kinematic status. It also notifies target acquisition by the seeker.

The Meteor is installed with an active radar target seeker, offering high reliability in detection, tracking and classification of targets. The missile also integrates inertial measurement system (IMS) supplied by Litef.

The missile has a range in excess of 100km. It is designed for a speed greater than Mach 4. The missile has a large no escape zone.

The Meteor missile is powered by a solid fuel variable flow ducted rocket (ramjet) supplied by Bayern-Chemie. The ramjet provides the Meteor missile with a capability to maintain consistent high speeds. This ability helps the missile to chase and destroy fast moving flexible targets.

The Meteor includes an electronics and propulsion control unit (EPCU). The EPCU adjusts the rocket’s air intake and duct covers based on the cruise speed and the target’s altitude.

The EPCU observes the distance and fuel level in the rocket and adjusts the throttle of the rocket. This feature of the EPCU helps the missile to manage its fuel system. Source

peter_brauns_aviation @IG

The Swedish Defence Material Administration awarded an Skr312m ($42m) contract to Saab in September 2010 for incorporating the active radar guided beyond visual range (BVR) missile, meteor as well as radar and displays on Gripen Fighters. Saab will execute test flight and test firing as part of the contract. The aircraft will also be equipped with support and maintenance systems such as simulators and planning computers.

The Saab Bofors / MBDA Taurus KEPD 350 long-range stand-off missile, with a range of 350km, has been successfully flight tested on the Gripen.

Taurus KEPD 350


Main features

  • Designed to penetrate dense air defences
  • Intended to neutralize high-value stationary and semi-stationary targets
  • Day-and-night all-weather capabilities
  • Only stand-off missle capable of being programmed for effect at a specific pre-selected floor


The TAURUS KEPD 350 is an MTCR category 2 weapon, designed to penetrate dense air defences by means of a very low level terrain following flight.

The TAURUS KEPD 350 is intended to neutralize high-value stationary and semi-stationary targets through its highly effective 481 kg dual stage warhead system MEPHISTO.

It combines outstanding penetration capabilities for hard and deeply buried targets (HDBT), as well as blast and fragmentation capabilities against high-value point and area targets (e.g. air defences), as well as an exceptional bridge- and runway-target kill capacity.

The TAURUS KEPD 350 remains the only stand-off missile capable of being programmed for effect at a specific pre-selected floor. This extraordinary feature is achieved by applying layer counting and void sensing-technology. It also has day-and-night all-weather capabilities.


Range +500 km
Weight 1400 kg
Length 5 m
Warhead 481 kg   (Tandem warheads)
Velocity M 0.6-0.95
Approach Low Level Terrain Following Navigation Tre-Tec

(IMU aided by Image-based Terrain Reference navigation and GPS)

Propulsion Turbojet


TAURUS KEPD 350 on both wings – Image:

In May 2008, South Africa placed an order for the IRIS-T air-to-air missile to equip its Gripen fleet until the indigenous Denel A Darter missile enters service.

A-Darter short range, air-to-air missile (SRAAM)

A-Darter, also known as V3E Agile Darter, is a fifth-generation short range, air-to-air missile (SRAAM) developed in South Africa. The AAM is designed to meet the challenges which may come from conflict against future air combat fighters.

The missile system completed several successful test launches in January 2012. It entered the final qualification phase in March 2012 and is expected to be ready for production by 2013.

The missile will enter service with the South African Air Force (SAAF) and Brazilian Air Force (FAB) in 2014.

The SAAF is planning to equip the missile on its 26 Saab Gripen fighter jets and 24 Hawk Mk120 fleet. The FAB is expected to integrate it on Northrop’s F-5E/F Tiger II, F-5A/B Freedom Fighter and future F-X2 fighters.

High explosive (HE) warhead and systems of the A-Darter SRAAM

The A-Darter is 2.98m (9.78ft) long and 0.16m (0.52ft) in diameter. It has four fixed delta control fins at the rear and two strakes along the sides. The missile weighs 90kg.

It carries a high explosive (HE) warhead and has a range of ten kilometres. It is powered by a solid propulsion system. The missile has a track rate of 120°/s and a seeker angle of 180° for countermeasure resistance. It also features lock-on after launch and memory tracking for higher range intercepts, and is compatible with Sidewinder stations.

The tail-controlled AAM is powered by a boost-sustain rocket motor and uses thrust vector flight control. Its wingless airframe and low drag enable the A-Darter to have a higher range than the traditional SRAAMs. The missile system is designed with a highly agile airframe for close combat in electronic countermeasures (ECM) environments.

It is guided by two-colour thermal imaging infrared homing with laser fuse. It features a multimode electronic counter countermeasures (ECCM) suite for higher view angles.

The SiIMU02, an inertial measurement unit (IMU) from Atlantic Inertial Systems (formerly BAE Systems), provides the mid-course guidance for the missile. Solid-state technology of the IMU provides accurate measurement of angular rate and acceleration range of up to ±9,000°/s, ±500°/s and ±500°/s in R, P and Y-axes respectively. It has a linear acceleration range of up to ±30g.

When integrated, the missile can interface with the aircraft using LAU-7 type launcher mechanical rails and MIL-STD-1760 / 1553 avionics bus system. It can be designated to a target using autonomous scan feature of the missile, helmet sight or aircraft’s radar. Source

a-darter-tiro-2-580x387Gripen firing A-Darter AAM illustration – Image: Gripen blog

Technical Data

  • Length : 2 980 mm
  • Diameter : 166 mm
  • Mass : 93 kg


GBU-12D/B Paveway II LGB

GBU-49/B Paveway II GPS/LGB

Boeing GBU-39 Small-Diameter Bomb

SDB_6Boeing GBU-39 GPS-guided 113kg (250lb) small diameter bomb

The Laser Small Diameter Bomb (Laser SDB) system is the next generation of affordable and low-collateral-damage precision strike weapons, which builds on the success of the same Semi-active Laser (SAL) sensor currently used by Boeing’s Laser JDAM.  A Laser SDB increases mission effectiveness in several ways:

By using already-proven laser sensor technology, Laser SDB offers the flexibility to prosecute targets of opportunity, including moving targets. With the BRU-61 Carriage System, these optimized munitions offer increased load-out for each weapons station to prosecute multiple targets per sortie. As a 250-lb. class weapon, Laser SDB’s smaller size and High Performance Wing Assembly allow it to glide for extended ranges.

Besides providing a safer standoff distance for pilots at greater than 60 nautical miles, Laser SDB target coordinates can be updated after weapon release by illuminating the target with standard Laser designation procedures. Laser SDB also retains a smaller warhead that provides reduced collateral damage, and offers ultra-low fragmentation with the composite focused lethality munition (FLM) variant. Source

GBU-39/B Weapon:

•  Dimensions: (L x W): 70.8″ x 7.5″ (1.8 m x 19 cm)
•  Weapon Weight: 285 pounds (130 kg)
•  Warhead: 206 lb. (93 kg) penetrating blast fragmentation
•  Warhead penetration: >3 feet of steel reinforced concrete
•  Fuze: electronic safe/arm fuze
•  Standoff maximum range: more than 60 nautical miles
•  Precision inertial navigation system/GPS
•  Anti-jam GPS and selective-ability anti-spoofing module

BRU-61/A Carriage System:

•  Payload capacity: four weapons
•  Weight: 320 pounds (145 kg) empty, 1,460 pounds (664 kg) loaded
•  Dimensions (L x W x H): 143″ x 16″ x 16″ (3.6 m x 40.6 cm x 40.6 cm)
•  Fits nearly all delivery platforms

The internally mounted 27mm Mauser high-energy gun can operate in an automatic radar-guided aiming mode. The stand-off dispenser is the DWF39 from EADS (formerly DaimlerChrysler Aerospace) and Bofors. The Bofors ARAK 70 rocket pod is cleared for carriage on the Gripen.

27mm Mauser high-energy gun

This 27mm cannon is a single barrel, gas-operated lightweight single barrel revolver cannon that fires electrically primed 27×145 mm ammunition at 1 700 rounds per minute.

Developed by Mauser-Werke Oberndorf of Germany, it’s features include low volume, low system weight, high fire power in target (air/air, air/ground), low time of flight projectile and a long stand-off range.

The cannon is relatively lightweight at only around 100 kg including barrel, but with a natural rate of fire of approximately 1700 rounds per minute (instantaneous time to rate), the relatively large shell (260g) and the high muzzle velocity of just over 1 km/s (v0) it packs a punch. The cartridge is ignited electrically and fed to the cylinder through linked belts or, in the case of the Eurofighter, through a linkless conveyor belt ammunition feed system, the first such system for revolver guns. Linkless systems (which are a staple in modern Gatling-type cannons) are less prone to stoppage and the ammunition uses considerably less space.

The different types of ammunition all have the same internal and external ballistic properties allowing for the use of belts with mixed ammunition for greater flexibility.

Ammunition types:
High explosive

Armour piercing
Armour piercing high explosive

All purpose
Semi Armour Piercing High Explosive

Target Practice Target Practice Frangible Projectile
Target Practice Tracer

Used by:
Gripen (fuselage x 1)


air_jas-39_gripen_in_winter_lgGripen C armed with BK 90 Mjolner Mk1

Mjölner, gliding stand off submunition dispenser

Series delivery to the Swedish Air Force has now of a gliding bomblet dispenser weapon system for Gripen and Viggen. Its official designation is Bombkapsel m/90, BK90, but is also named Mjölner, after the Norse god Thor’s warhammer, which he could throw hard, far and accurately.

As it is designed by DASA, formerly MBB, some details are similar to their MW1 dispenser for Tornado. DASA designation is DWS 24 (Dispenser Weapon System, 24 dispenser tubes), but it has also been referred to as DWS 39, as it was intended for JAS 39 Gripen.

Other dispensers in the same familiy includes:

  • DWS 16, approx  400 kg
  • DWS 40, approx 1000 kg
  • DWS 60, approx 1400 kg

The Swedish Air Force wanted a weapon that could be released at high speed and very low altitude very close to the target, as well as having a stand off range in cases where target position is known.

Dispensers such as MW1 and JP 233 always require you to overfly the target. Powered stand off dispensers do have longer range, but they have to be launched at higher altitudes and cannot be used at very close ranges. (They are also more expensive.) Source

BK 90 Mjolner Mk1 [72 x MJ1 Anti-Personnel] (DWS.39)

Type: Guided Weapon Weight: 600 kg
Length: 3.5 m Span: 1.0 m
Diameter: 0.63 Generation: None
Properties: Weapon – INS Navigation
Targets: Land Structure – Soft, Land Structure – Hardened, Mobile Target – Soft, Mobile Target – Hardened
BK 90 Mjolner Mk1 [72 x MJ1 Anti-Personnel] – (DWS.39) Guided Weapon
Land Max: 14.8 km.
Type: Guided Weapon Weight: 600 kg
Length: 3.5 m Span: 1.0 m
Diameter: 0.63 Generation: None
Properties: Weapon – INS Navigation
Targets: Land Structure – Soft, Land Structure – Hardened, Mobile Target – Soft, Mobile Target – Hardened
BK 90 Mjolner Mk2 [24 x MJ2 Anti-Tank] – (DWS.39) Guided Weapon
Land Max: 14.8 km.


Bofors ARAK 70 rocket pod


M70 135mm Rocket

Illustration purpose only
General data:
Type: Rocket Weight: 45 kg
Length: 2.16 m Span: 1.5 m
Diameter: 1.35 Generation: None
Targets: Surface Vessel, Land Structure – Soft, Land Structure – Hardened, Mobile Target – Soft, Mobile Target – Hardened
M/70 135mm Rocket – (Sweden) Rocket
Surface Max: 3.7 km. Land Max: 3.7 km.


Countermeasures suite

Saab Avitronics is responsible for the EWS 39 electronic warfare suite, which has been ordered by the Swedish Air Force. EWS 39 is an integrated EW system that provides radar warning, electronic support measures and chaff and flare decoy dispensers.

EW suite is built around AR-830 Radar Warning Receiver, with receiveing antennas at front and back of missile launch rails. BOL dispensers are bult into ends of missile launch rails and have capacity of 160 chaff packs or flares; BOP/C dispensers are built into the fuselage, and BOP/B into end of the wing pylons. Lattermost can trail BO2D towed repeater RF decoy, which can be used at supersonic speeds. Source


EWS 39 electronic warfare suite

The improved “EWS-30” EW system, built around the new Saab Avionics “BOW-21” RWR, capable of recognizing a wider range of threats and targeting them more accurately. The EWS-30 includes an onboard, automatic active jammer, and can support improved towed decoys.  Source


General data:
Type: ESM Altitude Max: 0 m
Range Max: 222.2 km Altitude Min: 0 m
Range Min: 0 km Generation: Late 2000s
Sensors / EW:
BOW-21 – (Gripen Batch 3, EWS-39) ESM
Role: RWR, Radar Warning Receiver
Max Range: 222.2 km


BO2D Towed Decoy

CelsiusTech Electronicas has designed the BO2D towed diverter to protect missile fighters with active radar (ARH) or semi-active (SARH) search head.

The sniper is ejected by pyrotechnics from a standard 55mm chaff / flare launcher as the BOZ / BOP disperser and weighs less than 2kg. Installation is simple and inexpensive. The cartridge has a tow cable and a stop mechanism, which is 10cm longer than a standard flare cartridge. Loading and operation are similar to flare cartridges.

The aerodynamic vehicle is a high gain, wide band repeater (H, I and J – 8-20GHz band), multimode with frequency modulation capability. It uses internal battery and communicates with aircraft by Kevlar reinforced towing cable.

RF transmissions can be switched on and off and different countermeasure modes can be selected while the diverter is towed. This allows the pilot to launch the dispatcher without transmitting while approaching a threat. The pilot can launch BO2D without transmitting and calling when it threatens to appear. After use the cable is cut. The system is disposable and maintenance free. Handling is also easy.

As it was designed specifically for fighter jets, it can be launched and used during supersonic flight.

The BO2D is a low-cost protection system that had the development started in the early 1990s in a contract from the Swedish Air Force to equip the JA-37 Viggen and JAS-39. It was qualified for production in 98 and is already in use. It will be launched from the BOP and BOZ dispersers.

The system has been of interest to several countries such as South Africa, Italy, Germany, France and the United Kingdom.

The BO2D is towed 100 meters behind the aircraft and creates an RCS of 200 m2. It is effective against Pulse-Doppler radars.

The BOP / B launcher installed on the outer wing hangers of the JAS-39 Gripen takes chaff, flare and the BO2D sniper. Can also be installed in BOL and BOP / C cocoons. Translated by google – Source



BOL’s high payload-to-volume ratio, non-pyrotechnic release mechanism and effective dispersion gives the dispenser superior performance for both chaff and IR payloads. The latter allows covert dispensing of a special material that has proved highly effective against advanced IR missiles.


Covert infrared decoys have been greatly improved thanks to new IR materials and methods of tactical deployment. Break-lock from hostile tracking radar can be further facilitated by synchronising chaff dispensing with aircraft manoeuvres and the use of jammers.


The ingenious design of BOL has revolutionised the dispensing of chaff and IR payloads. An elongated shape houses a long stack of payload packs (160). An electromechanical drive mechanism feeds the packs towards the aft of the dispenser where one pack at a time is separated from the stack and released into the airstream. The high-capacity of the dispensers gives pilots the sustained defensive capability needed to successfully accomplish missions.


The BOL internal vortex generators (airscoops) and vortex fields behind the aircraft, used with the specially designed IR payloads, make the air-stream rapidly build up a large radiating IR decoy cloud.

With dispensers on each wing, the spatial separation of payload clouds significantly increases radar cross-section (if used with chaff) or the extension of the IR radiating source (if used with IR payload). BOL systems are thus usually mounted in a symmetrical twin or quadruple configuration on the wings.



BOL offers numerous installation alternatives for new aircraft and for retrofits. It is currently operational on several different fighter aircraft, and interest for transport and bomber aircraft is growing significantly. The elongated shape of BOL lends itself to installation in elongated cavities in the aircraft structure, missile launchers and pylons.

Installation has been achieved without interfering with weapon load or flight performance. BOL has been successfully integrated with a range of missile launchers including the LAU-7 Sidewinder launcher, the LAU-127/128/129 family of AMRAAM launchers, and the CRL and MPRL launchers.

BOL payload – Image:


Weight, empty, LAU-128: 59 kg
Conformal dispenser: 15.9 kg
Dispenser only: 11.9 kg
Payload weight: 6.9 – 9 kg depending on type
Payload capacity: 160 packs
Reload time: Less than 1 min
Control signals: RS-485 serial data link or MIL-1553B data bus. Up to three +28V discrete signals.
Power supply: 115 V, 400 Hz single phase


BOL countermeasure dispenser for chaff and flares

ESTL, Enhanced Survivability Technology, is an effective self-protection system

In its basic form ESTL consist of:

  • BOL, an electro-mechanical launcher, containing 160 decoys that are launched to prevent missiles from locking on to the target. The packs, containing a spontaneously combustible material, disintegrate as they are dispersed into the air to form a cloud of infra-red energy greater than that of the aircraft. For the missile, the decoy becomes more enticing than the intended target.
  • BOP is a pyrotechnic dispenser that can launch rocket-powered flares. Gases from the flare provide sufficient energy to propel the flare forward.
  • MAW, a missile warning system consisting of a number of sensors, which together detect threats in the airspace.



ESTL is an intelligent system solution that can counter RF and IR threats – decisively and effectively.

The Missile Approach Warning system (MAW)provides rapid, accurate detection and tracking data of approaching missiles.

The ESTL is installed in place of a missile on a mission

ESTL requires a minimum of integration, thus representing a cost effective solution for adding advanced decoy dispensing and MAW capability

ESTL configuration as mounted on a Gripen ESTL-300 with MAW, the BOP forward firing and the aft BOL CM dispensers.



  • ESTL can be integrated with aircraft having an interface for AIM-9 or AIM-120.


  • Imaging UV Missile Approach Warning sensors.
  • Can handle up to eight threats simultaneously.


  • Electro-mechanically dispensed pyrophoric decoys using the world renowned BOL dispenser and forward firing of pyrotechnically dispensed flares.


  • To be installed onto existing missile launchers.
  • Weighs approximately the same as an AIM-9.


  • All aircraft capable of firing AIM-9 missiles.


  • The ESTL has a high level of modularity for ease of maintenance and cross platform availability.


Saab’s Arexis family of EW products in final development: Here

Photo courtesy of Saab


Saab Defense reported Wednesday that it is in the final stages of development of a new family of Electronic Warfare self-protection systems.

The systems include a new advanced electronic attack jammer pod, Saab said in a press release. It can protect aircraft strike formations from low-frequency radars is on display at a defense and security exhibition in Britain.

BriteCloud decoy system

BriteCloud Expendable Active Decoy (EAD) is a compact, DRFM-based active RF countermeasure that has the capability to defeat the majority of RF-guided surface-to-air and air-to-air threat systems. BriteCloud is designed to be dispensed from standard chaff/flare dispensers and therefore requires minimal platform integration. Utilising advanced techniques it is effective against active and semi-active RF seekers, and fire control radars. Source

Technical Specifications

Frequency Band H-J

Shelf Life 5 years minimum

Size 55mm format available now. 218 format available in 2016

Weight 1.1kg when loaded in flare tube

Details PDF: Here

Gripen sensors

The Ericsson PS-05 long-range multi-purpose pulse Doppler radar has air-to air operating modes covering long-range search, multi-target track-while-scan, multiple priority target tracking, air combat quick search modes, raid assessment and beyond visual range (BVR) missile mid-course updates.

The air-to-surface modes include long-range search/target identification, multiple priority target tracking, high-resolution, real beam mapping, air-to-surface ranging and Doppler beam sharpening (DBS).

Ericsson PS-05 long-range multi-purpose pulse Doppler radar

PS05Mk4The upgraded radar, designated PS-05/A Mk4, features a new hardware and software, with the primary changes being in the system’s ‘back end’.
Gripen-C-back-end-radar-PS-05A-mk4-imagem-Saab – Image:


Radar functions

Air-to-Air modes
  • Long and medium range look-up and look-down detection
  • Low probability of intercept
  • Multiple target Track-While Search
  • Short range auto acquisition and tracking
  • BVRAMRAAM and Meteor missile data link
  • Non cooperative target recognition (NCTR)
  • ECM immunity
  • Passive operation
Air-to-Surface modes
  • Mapping. Real beam and high resolution SAR
  • Ground Moving Target Indication (GMTI)
  • Ground Moving Target Tracking (GMTT)
  • Sea surface search and tracking
  • Air-to-ground ranging
  • ECM immunity
  • Weather Mapping mode

Technical data

  • General: Pulse Doppler, X band radar, monopulse
  • Sub-units: 4 Rack mounted units + antenna unit and waveguide parts
  • Weight: 150 kg
  • Antenna (ANT): 60 cm, Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) dipoles
  • Power Amplifier Unit (PAU). Transmitter: Travelling-Wave Tube (TWT), liquid cooled, peak power >10 kW
  • Transmitter AuxilliaryAuxiliary Unit (TAU)
  • High-FrequencyExciter Receiver Unit (EXRHFU): Narrowband and wideband receivers, digital pulse compression, state-of-the-art spectral purity and noise figures
  • Signal and data processorRadar Processing Unit (RPUSDP): Saab airborne Modular Avionic Computer System (MACS) computer system and parallel COTS based multiprocessor cluster, solid state discs for recording
  • Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF): 250 400 hours in airborne operation

Technical data – Source saab

The new processor includes a high-capacity, solid-state data recorder and is based on commercial off-the-shelf components. It supports new processing algorithms derived from Saab’s family of Giraffe ground-based radars, including sub-meter-resolution synthetic aperture radar modes and non-cooperative target recognition features. The claimed performance improvement – up to 150 % range increase, or the ability to detect a target with an RCS of 0.1 square meters at the same range at which the Mk. 3 can see a 4-sq.-meter target – points to the use of multi-hypothesis or track-before-detect algorithms to pull targets out of clutter.

Saab decided not to use an active electronically scanned array (AESA) because its cooling requirements would require substantial changes to the Gripen. The company is in talks with the Swedish air force about retrofitting the service’s 100-strong JAS 39C/D force, which will not be fully replaced by the new JAS 39E before 2025. Saab’s perception is that the Swedish air force is viewing upgrades of the C/D more favorably in view of Russia’s regional aggression, and the longer-range radar is a good match for the MBDA Meteor air-to-air missile. A Swedish buy of the Mk. 4 will pave the way for upgrades and new export sales, Saab believes.

The new radar is part of Saab’s strategy to continue selling the C/D version into the mid-2020s, as the first E/F versions will not be available for export beyond Sweden and Brazil until 2022. The final C/D on order was delivered to the Swedish air force in February, but Saab’s flexible production line will be able to meet new orders either with all-new aircraft or (at a lower price) Gripen C/Ds produced by modifying Sweden’s inventory of low-time JAS 39A/Bs.

Slovakia, which has selected the Gripen and still is negotiating a contract, is looking at updated A/B versions. Croatia is expected to select a new fighter in early 2016 and Hungary and the Czech Republic are both looking at exercising options to expand their leased Gripen fleets. Source  

The aircraft is equipped with a forward-looking infrared (FLIR) sensor and will have the Saab IR-Otis infrared search and track system (IRST).

Saab IR-Otis infrared search and track system (IRST)


1992 July 02

Since at least a year, Saab has been developing and testing an electro-optical targeting system, called OTIS, on a fighter Viggen. The trial installation is a ball similar to those on Su-27:s and MiG-29:s just in front of the canopy, slightly offset to port and about 20 cm in diameter.

In function, however, it is not similar. The Russian systems are non-imaging (like we’ve had on some of our Drakens since the 1960’s) and have a laser range-finder. The OTIS is totally passive, and gives images useful for identification of the targets. The display will be a “HLI” Head Level Indicator (I take this to be mounted rather high, and collimated on infinity (*) like a French system).


The OTIS will be pointable by a helmet system (as well as the radar), or external sources like ground control or other aircraft. It will also have an autonomous search program and tracking function. The information will be storable for evaluation and comparation with radar information, and also as video for later use.

This is a trial installation only, things like suitable zoom optics have not been decided upon yet, and there is no commitment to equip or retrofit any aircraft as of yet.

From the Swedish Air Force magazine “Flygvapennytt” 2/92 (*) Or _practical_ infinity, as I gather the curved windshield tends to bring objects optically closer than infinity. Source

General data:
Type: Guided Weapon Weight: 87 kg
Length: 2.94 m Span: 0.45 m
Diameter: 0.13 Generation: None
Properties: Anti-Air Dogfight (High Off-Boresight), Capable vs Seaskimmer
Targets: Aircraft, Helicopter, Missile
Sensors / EW:
IIR Seeker – (IRIS-T) Infrared
Weapon Seeker, Imaging IR
Max Range: 18.5 km
RB 98 IRIS-T [AIM-2000A] – (2009) Guided Weapon
Air Max: 27.8 km.


Nine Swedish Air Force Gripens have been fitted with the Saab Avitronics modular reconnaissance pod, which includes a recon / optical CA270 infrared sensor. The system entered service in 2006.

Swedish Defence Material Administration awarded a four year SEK 400m contract to Saab in April 2010 for developing modular reconnaissance pod system (MRPS) which will be fitted in the Gripen fighter aircraft.

Saab awarded a Skr55m ($7.4m) sub-contract to Terma in August 2010 for upgrading and manufacturing new modular reconnaissance pod system (MRPS) for the Swedish Air Force’s Gripen fighter aircraft. Software and equipment required for the reconnaissance pod system upgrade programme will be supplied by Terma as part of the contract.

Modular Reconnaissance Pod System (MRPS)

1225548723Image: Swedish FMV

Modern day multirole combat aircraft undertake the tactical reconnaissance (RECCE) role using a podded reconnaissance solution that can be shared amongst the aircraft type it is designed for.

In that context, Terma has developed the Modular Reconnaissance Pod System (MRPS) in cooperation with Saab, equipped with an advanced RECCE suite, certified for the JAS 39 C/D fighter aircraft, and compatible with various other aircraft. The MRPS is conceptually based on the Terma F-16 Modular Reconnaissance Pod (MRP).

Terma is responsible for design, development, and delivery of the MRPS mechanics, MRPS management and control units, Environmental Control System (ECS), Rotating Window Module (RWM), and integration of the MRPS Line Replaceable Units (LRU).

Saab is responsible for the electro optical/infra red sensor handling, recording of RECCE data. and integration in the aircraft and Ground Station.

jas-mrp_introGripen (image courtesy: Saab)

The MRPS is designed and certified by Saab for the JAS 39 C/D, MS18/MS20 fighter aircraft and operational by the Swedish Air Force (SwAF).

The MRPS provides a maximum of flexibility in tailoring the sensor suite to operational requirements for airborne tactical reconnaissance. It is easily integrated into the aircraft avionics, and the pod is designed for autonomous operation with the integrated Environmental Control System (ECS).

The reconnaissance payload can include a sensor or a combination of sensors and is housed in three main compartments and a rotating window section. The rotating window mid-section can accommodate advanced sensors, suitable for missions at any altitude.

The Reconnaissance Management System in conjunction with the ECS, both delivered by Terma, ensure a stable temperature and humidity within the pod structure and allows reconnaissance missions to be flown at low, medium, or high altitudes any place in the world.

jas_benefitClose up of SPK39  – Image:

Besides the pod structure, the MRPS consists of three major components delivered by Terma, namely the Reconnaissance Management System (RMS), the Environmental Control System (ECS), and the Rotating Window Module (RWM), each with different roles and functions to perform an aerial tactical reconnaissance mission.



Reconnaissance Management System: 

  • The MRPS is controlled by the pilot via the RMS that consists of a modular software architecture which makes it easy to integrate new sensors or Line Replaceable Units (LRU) with the existing system
  • The RMS ensures intelligent power control of LRUs via a Smart Power Distribution Unit (SPDU). This is necessary due to the limited power available on the JAS 39 C/D centerline station, but on the other hand, it allows carriage of more power consuming sensor systems within the MRPS structure
  • Further, it offers built-in-test functionality integrated with cockpit master caution panel and displays.

ECS unit

Environmental Control System: 

  • The main ECS unit is a Ram Air Turbine Environmental Control Unit (ECU) with high performance in the air and with a low power consumption
  • The ECS is controlled by the RMS and follows a pre-programmed temperature profile and allows missions to be performed in harsh environments
  • The ECS circulates conditioned air within the MRPS and prevents misting on transparent surfaces and development of condensation.

Close up of SPK39

Rotating Window Module:

  • The RWM is controlled autonomously from the RMS during RECCE missions, and its design allows different sensor suites to be fitted
  • The RWM is equipped with a 360º rotating profile allowing horizon-to-horizon coverage and is in a stowed position during take-off and landing to protect the glass surface
  • The RWM is slaved to the sensor when approaching a target and follows the sensor during its imaging profile with a high angular velocity
  • The RWM is designed to operate anywhere in the world with the ability to rotate at temperature extremes during RECCE missions.


Rafael’s Litening III Laser Designation Pod (LDP)


Litening Airborne Day/Night Navigation & Targeting Pod provides precision strike capability to every fighter aircraft.

  • reduces pilot workload during the process of targeting maintenance target
  • Sighting system of high accuracy and reliability
  • reduces operational limitations
  • simple maintenance and support
  • low maintenance cost
  • potential upgrade
  • upgrades available for aircraft with multi-mission capability
  • Adaptable on most aircraft
  • detection, recognition, identification, laser designation of targets on land or sea
  • Release accurate ammunition laser-guided enema and general purpose weapons.
  • identification of air targets beyond visual range (BRV)
  • option for data link and long-range video


The evolution of the Litening pod continued with the Litening III version, which utilized a more capable Gen III (3-5micron) FLIR, with a 640×480 digital detectors array. This system is also equipped with a target marker, which improves the coordination of ground and air forces, by designation of targets by day or night. Litening III system is also equipped with a dual-wavelength diode-pumped laser, which is compatible with training (eyesafe) and wartime operational modes. The system also employs electronic image stabilization, to provide cleaner images of targets, acquired at long standoff range.

Logistically, the integration of the pod is easy and straightforward; it can fit the centerline or E/O pod mounts available with most modern aircraft and require no structural changes in the aircraft. Pods can also be installed on different aircraft, in support of specific missions. For example, the US Reserves currently field eight pods per wing. The pod requires minimal maintenance and technical support on the flight line. It is self boresighting in flight, therefore requires no alignment prior to the mission and improved accuracy during operations.


The Israeli targeting pod was procured by 14 air forces, including the US Air Force Reserve’s and Air National Guards for their F-16 Block 25/30/32 Fighting Falcon. Other air forces operating the system include the US Marine Corps (AV-8B), Israeli air Force (F-16), Spanish and Italian Navy (AV-8B) and Spanish air force (F/A-18), German Air Force (Tornado IDS), and the Venezuela (F-16A/B). The pods were also selected for South Africa’s Grippens, India’s Mirage 2000, MiG-27 and Jaguar. The most recent inquiry for the pods came in March, for a planned procurement of F-16s by Austria. The pod is also fully integrated in the Eurofighter, F-5E, MiG-21 and other types. Testing are underway to integrate the pod with Boeing F-15I operated by the Israel Air Force.

Litening III specifications:
length: 220 cm
diameter: 406 mm
total weight: 440 lb
Operating altitude: +40,000
IR sensor: 640×480 FPA Mid-IR wavelength
Day sensor: CCDTV
Wide FOV: 18.4 x 24.1
medium FOV: 3.5×3.5
Narrow field of view: 1×1
Field of regard: +45 / -150
Roll: +/- 400
Laser: Diode pumped laser designator, dual wavelength


Rafael’s Litening III Laser Designation Pod (LDP) on Gripen 39C

RecceLite reconnaissande pod 

Close-up photo of RecceLite reconnaissande pod mounted on JAS 39D

The RecceLite is a self-contained self-cooled multi-sensor tactical reconnaissance system, consisting of an airborne pod based on the Litening Targeting and Navigation Pod and a ground exploitation station.

The RecceLite simultaneously collects Infra-Red (IR) and Visual (VIS and near IR) digital images within a very wide field of regard, in accordance with an automatic mission plan and/or manual operation. The images and the data annotation are recorded on a solid state recorder and transmitted to the exploitation station via the RecceLite data link. The Images are then interpreted at the ground exploitation station. Source

Thales Digital Joint Reconnaissance Pod

Thales Digital Joint Reconnaissance Pod Seen here on JAS 39C – Image:

Digital joint reconnaissance pod

  • Pod mounted high resolution EO imagery and horizon-to-horizon IR coverage
  • High speed/high altitude image collection, fulfilling all air tactical IMINT tasks
  • Vertical, oblique & stand-off for reconnaissance, border patrol, BDA, foliage penetration, route clearance
  • Flight envelope compatible with 4th Gen aircraft, MUAV and commercial aircraft

Source Thales

Thales Digital Joint Reconnaissance Pod – Purchased for use on the Gripen, the British-built Thales Digital Joint Reconnaissance Pod provides a wide-area reconnaissance capability in a pod operating with electro-optical and infrared sensors. The Digital Joint Reconnaissance Pod (DJRP) provides Day/Night, low to medium level and real time recce capability.



The aircraft has VHF / UHF transmitters and receivers from Saab Avitronics, and a Thales TSC 2000 identification friend or foe (IFF) system. An air-to-air data link allows real-time exchange of tactical data within and between cooperating air units.

Thales TSC 2000 identification friend or foe (IFF) system

  • Modes 1, 2, 3/A, C, 4, NSM
  • Mode S up to level 3 (ELS, EHS)
  • Mode 5 level 1 and 2
  • COMSEC appliqué or external (KIV77 – QRTK3NG)
  • Interface TCAS 7.1 compliant
  • Reverse IFF capable
  • MIL-STD-1553B, DIGIBUS, ARINC 485, ARINC 429 interfaces
  • Antenna Diversity
  • Mode 4/5 or National Secure Modes
  • Stanag 4193, ICAO Annex 10 (Amndt 85), DoD AIMS 97-1000 and DoD AIMS 03-1000B compliant
  • ADS-B OUT, DO260B compliant
  • MIDS compatible

TSC 2000 IFF Transponder


  • Standard French and German IFF transponder
  • Remote unit
  • Dimensions (WxHxD): 124x194x318 mm (1/2 ATR short)
  • Weight: 6.8 kg


In the attack and reconnaissance role, the data link allows radar-derived surface data to be transferred from one Gripen to a group of radar-silent attacking aircraft.

Data link

Gripen-NG-data-link (1)


Neil Bates

The RM12 engine, supplied by Volvo Aero, is a development of the GE F404 engine from General Electric. A digital engine control system automatically monitors the engine parameters and switches on the back-up systems if required. A condition monitoring system registers the flight data.

Sundstrand T-62T-46LC-1 APU

Notice the distinct bulge, and the flaps for the intake and exhaust – Image: kitreview.comAPU intake and exhaust flaps open

The Gripen features an auxiliary power unit (APU) to reduce its dependence on ground systems, and the fighter’s onboard digital systems include “built-in self-test” capabilities that can download diagnostic data to a tech’s laptop computer. Service doors to critical systems are at head level or lower, allowing easy access by technicians. Flygvapnet experience shows that the Gripen requires 40% less maintenance work-hours and only half the fuel of the Viggen.

After obtaining initial production machines, the Flygvapnet moved on to deliveries of Batch 2 Gripens, which featured a Sundstrand APU, replacing the older Microturbo APU, which was too noisy and not reliable enough. Source

Image: Gripen C RTAF

RM12 engine


The RM12 engine was developed by GE Aircraft Engines and Volvo Aero Corporation to power Swedish JAS-39 Gripen fighter. RM12, specially designed for single-engine use has a few different characteristic compared to it’ father F404-GE-400. First of all the fan has been strengthen to sustain a hit of 0.5 kg bird, the airflow was highten by 10% and the turbine was made of modern materials to stand higher temperatures. All of this increased the overall performance by 10-20%. Engine has FADEC with hydromachanical backup and backup ignition system. The RM12 has fast power setting response, unlimited number of power cycles, smooth to-afterburner transition and is very reliable. .










Maximal diameter



Inlet diameter



Bypass ratio


Fan pressure ratio


Overall pressure ratio





Temperature – max turbine inlet


– max turbine outlet


Thrust – maximal (SLS)



– with afterburner (SLS)



SFC – maximal thrust (SLS)



  – afterburner (SLS)



RM12 data

Emergency engine shut down on Gripen C RTAF 

The air-to-air refuelling probe is retracted into the aircraft to retain the aerodynamic profile. The longer flight times achieved by using air-to-air refuelling results in the pilot needing a larger oxygen supply, so an on-board oxygen generating system (OBOGS) has been installed.


The Gripen can fly at a maximum speed of 2,470km/h. The combat radius and ferry range of the aircraft are 800km and 3,200km respectively. Its service ceiling is 15,240m. The aircraft weighs around 5,700kg and its maximum take-off weight is 14,000kg.

Main material source

Gripen operational cost lowest of all western fighters: Jane’s

“The operational cost of the Swedish Saab Gripen aircraft is the lowest among a flightline of modern fighters, confirmed a White Paper submitted by the respected international defense publishing group IHS Jane’s, in response to a study commissioned by Saab.


For the purpose of modeling to create a standard or benchmark, the study arrived at the ‘aircrafts’ fuel usage, hence cost, based on a theoretical one hour sortie at max dry thrust’, not ‘necessarily reflective of actual fuel consumption and hence fuel cost of a one hour sortie’.

As is evident, the modeled cost pattern is closest to the derived cost pattern in the case of the Gripen, F-16, Rafale, and Eurofighter. The research and the model digress in the case of the F-35 and the F/A-18.

In the case of the F-35, the study says the different ‘costs arise from the differing power and specific fuel consumptions of the A / C and B models. The B model is the top figure in both cases’. The study says, “The single P&W F-135 engine is relatively fuel efficient for its power, resulting in a lower fuel burn at maximum dry thrust than might be expected.” It adds that, although obviously, ‘accurate CPFH for in-service aircraft does not exist’, ‘the US and Australian forecast costs both suggest it will not offer lower CPFH than current aircraft’, considering ‘the aircraft itself is an extremely sophisticated design carrying a large number of new and unproven onboard systems’.” Source



  • JAS 39A – The basic and first version entering in service with the Flygvapnet, later upgraded to the C version.
  • JAS 39B – The two-seated variant of the JAS39A, purposed for training, specialised missions and flight conversion, with the cannon and the internal fuel tank removed to allow the second crew member and life support systems.
  • JAS 39C – A NATO-compatible version with overall enhanced capabilities, as well as in-flight refuel.
  • JAS 39D – The two-seat version of the JAS 39C.
  • JAS NG – An improved version of the Gripen, having a new engine (The General Electric F414-400), a new radar (RAVEN ES-05 AESA), and increased payload and fuel capacity. Its development was undertaken through a partnership with Switzerland. A product of the changes brought by the end of the Cold War, as airbases were closed with fighter units being reduced, as well as the closure of the road base system for take offs and landings. But it is also a product of the new assessed threat Sweden could be facing, which required a new fighter with extended range, increased weapons, enhanced electronics, fighter communications (with satellite) and Electronic Warfare (EW) capability.
  • JAS 39E– Single seat version derived from the JAS NG.
  • JAS 39F – Two-seat version derived from the JAS 39E.
  • Sea Gripen – Proposed carrier version of the NG.
  • Gripen UCAV – Proposed unmanned combat version of the JAS 39E.
  • Gripen EW – Proposed electronic warfare version derived from the JAS 39F.

Gripen Specifications

Wingspan  8.4 m / 27 ft 7 in
Length  14.10 m / 46 ft 3 in
Height  4.7 m / 14 ft 9 in
Wing Area 30 m² / 323 ft²
Engine 1 Volvo Flygmotor turbofan RM12
Maximum Take-Off Weight 14000 Kg / 30,900 lb
Empty Weight 6800 kg / 15,000 lb
Loaded Weight 8500 kg / 18,700 lb
Maximum Speed 2450 km/h / 1522 mph
Range 3250 KM / 1,983 miles (with external drop fuel tanks)
Maximum Service Ceiling 16000 m /52,500 ft
Climb Rate 100 s from brake release to 10 km altitude / 180 s approx to 14 km
Crew 1 or 2
Armament • 1 Mauser BK 27 27mm cannon
• 6 hardpoints that could allow 6 air-to-air missiles, 4 air-to-radar missiles, 4 air-to-surface missiles, 5 smart bombs, 2 anti-ship missiles, 5 bombs, 2 stand-off weapons, 2 ECM Pods, 2 recce Pods, 1 FLIR/LDP Pod, 2 AACMI Pods, and 3 fuel tanks

Technical data


Length (excl. pitot tube):

14.1 meters

Wing span (including launchers):

8.4 meters

Maximum take-off weight:

14000 kg

Empty weight:

6800 kg

Total load capacity:

5300 kg

Internal fuel:

 >2000 kg

Combat turnaround air-to-air:

10 minutes


Length (excl. pitot tube): 14.8 meters
Wing span (including launchers): 8.4 meters
Maximum take-off weight: 14000 kg
Empty weight: 7100 kg
Total load capacity: 5300 kg
Internal fuel:  >2000 kg
Combat turnaround air-to-air: 10 minutes


Images are from public domain unless otherwise stated

Main image by Jörgen Nilsson Photography

Updated Jan 03, 2020

FTI / Belharra Medium-Size Frigates, France

A prototype of the export variant (designated BELH@RRA) of the French Navy’s future FTI (Frégate de Taille Intermédiaire) medium-size frigates was unveiled during the Euronaval trade show held in Paris in October.

The French Navy version is being developed by naval shipbuilding company DCNS in collaboration with the French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA), under the FTI medium-size frigate programme.

Thales has been contracted to supply latest-generation navigation and communications equipment for the frigates.

The heavily armed frigates can be deployed in a wide range of missions such as anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, anti-aircraft warfare, patrol, maritime security, control of exclusive economic zone (EEZ), asymmetric warfare, and special forces activities.

The French Navy plans to order up to five units with deliveries, beginning 2023.

French Navy orders 5 intermediate-sized frigates: Here


April 25 (UPI) — Five intermediate-sized frigates are to be constructed for the French Navy by DCNS under contract from the French defense procurement agency, DGA.

The ships are to be developed and built using the company’s new BELH@RRA frigate. The French version of the ships will enter into active service in 2025, the company said.

France starts construction of five FTI frigates

French Minister of Defense Jean-Yves Le Drian on Friday authorized shipbuilder DCNS to start the construction of five FTI (Fregate de Taille Intermediaire) medium-size frigates for the French Navy.

The 4,000-tonne front-line frigates, equipped for anti-submarine warfare with widened self-defence and commando-projection capacities, are set to start deliveries in 2023.

The first FTI frigate is expected to be commissioned in 2025.

DCNS’ partner in the construction, Thales, will be equipping the frigates with on-board equipment including their Sea Fire radar and the Captas variable depth sonar.

The new frigates, with an inverted bow design for greater stability at high speeds, are positioned between the 6,000-tonne FREMM multi-mission frigate and the 2,500- to 3,000-tonne Gowind corvettes. The FTIs are expected to replace the insufficiently armed La Fayette-class light frigates. Source

French Navy’s FTI frigate design and features

Image:  DGA

The FTI medium-size frigate will feature modular design with increased self-defence and long-range capabilities.

Overall length and midship beams of the ship are 122m and 17.7m respectively. With a displacement of approximately 4,200t, the frigate will carry up to 150 personnel, including 110 crew and 15 for helicopter detachment.

The ship will incorporate digital technologies for data processing and detection of evolving threats. Its wheelhouse will be positioned in the middle section.

A hangar and flight deck located at the stern will of the frigate will allow for the operation of a single unmanned rotorcraft system and / or NH-90 medium class military helicopter equipped with FLASH-based dipping sonar and MU90 lightweight anti-submarine torpedoes.

Single unmanned rotorcraft system and / or NH-90 medium class military helicopter

NH90 multi-role helicopter: Details

FLASH-based dipping sonar

Compact FLASH, which has been specifically developed for the AgustaWestland Super Lynx 300 and AW159 naval helicopters, uses the same FLASH Submersible Unit, Transmitter/Receiver unit and acoustic processing as installed in larger Anti-Submarine Warfare helicopters thus providing the same unrivalled ASW capability to smaller 5-6 tonne class helicopters.

Also under production in the Thales Brest facility is Compact FLASH Sonics, which integrates Compact FLASH with sonobuoy processing, it is also under contract with AgustaWestland for installation in the AW159 ASW helicopter being manufactured in Yeovil for the Republic of Korea Navy. Source

The medium-size frigate will additionally carry rigid hulled inflatable boats for patrolling and transportation.

Anti-aircraft and anti-submarine armament

The FTI will be armed with a variety of anti-aircraft and anti-submarine armament to attack aircraft and submarines and their crew.

An Oto Melara 76mm or 127mm naval gun will be mounted in a gun turret located in the bow deck to fight against enemy aircraft, submarines, missiles and ground-based threats.

Oto Melara 76/62 Stealth Shield


Technical data:

Caliber: 3 inches / 76,2 mm
Barrel lenght: 186 inches / 4,72 meters (= 62 caliber)
Weight: 7900kg, empty (Super Rapid)
Shell: 76 x 900 mm / 12,34 kilograms
Elevation: – 15° to + 85°
Traverse: 360°
Rate of fire: Compact: 85 rpm / Super Rapid: selectable from single shot up to 120 rpm
Muzzle Velocity: 925 m/s (1100 m/s – DART)
Magazine: Compact: 80 rounds / SR: 85 rounds
16 kilometers with standard ammunition
20 km with extended range ammunition
up to 40 km with VULCANO ammunition

Le barillet de la tourelle de 76mm (© MER ET MARINE – VINCENT GROIZELEAU) – Image:

HE (high explosive) – 6,296kg / Range 16km / effective range 8km (4km vs. air targets at elev. 85°)
MOM (multi-role OTO munition)
PFF (pre-formed fragmentation) – anti-missile ammunition
SAPOM (semi-armored piercing OTO munition) – 6,35kg / Range 16km
SAPOMER (semi-armored piercing OTO munition, extended range) – Range 20km
DART (driven ammunition reduced time of flight) – sub-calibre guided ammunition against multiple targets
(missiles and maneuvering targets at sea) 4,2kg in barrel / 3,5kg in flight / 660mm lenght / effective range >8km
VULCANO (76mm unguided and guided extended range ammunition) – under development

DART (driven ammunition reduced time of flight)


FTI Mid Size Frigate French Navy Marine Nationale naval gun 2Close up view of the FTI’s bow on the French MoD stand. Note the 76mm main gun, 16x VLS and the Narwhal 20mm RWS (right next to the bridge) – Image:

Otobreda 127 mm Vulcano

f-125_frigate_baden-wurttemberg_german_navy_marine_127mmOtobreda 127 mm Vulcano main gun F-125 Frigate Baden-Wurttemberg 

The upcoming Oto-Melara (now OtoBreda) 127/64 Lightweight (LW) naval gun is a rapid fire gun mount suitable for installation on large and medium size ships, intended for surface fire and naval gunfire support as main role and anti-aircraft fire as secondary role. The compactness of the gun feeding system makes possible the installation on narrow section crafts.

The gun can fire all standard 5 inch (127mm) ammunition including the new Vulcano long range guided ammunition.

Modular automatic feeding magazines allow the firing of up to four different and immediately selectable types of ammunition; the magazines (four drums, each with one shell ready to fire) can be reloaded while the mount is in operation.

An ammunition manipulator system is available to transport projectiles and propelling charges from the main ammunition store to the feeding magazines, which are automatically reloaded. Ammunition flow is reversible. Rounds can be automatically unloaded from the gun. Digital and Analog interfaces are available for any Combat Management System, also according to Corba protocol. The 127/64 LW Naval Gun Mounts includes a Vulcano module, which acts twofold:

– Programmer for ammunition’s fuse and guidance system.
– Mission Planning and Execution for Naval Fire Support Action (firing solutions, selection of ammunition, definition of trajectories and firing sequences, ballistic computations accounting for ammunition type, etc.), as a standalone or in interaction with ship’s Network Centric System.

wnit_5-64_lw_vulcano_sabot_picVulcano unguided projectile. Note how the projectile is carried down in the propelling cartridge. This will allow it to be used in the 54-caliber barrel. Picture courtesy of Ministero della Difesa. – Image: navweaps.comwnit_5-64_lw_vulcano_gps_picFuture Vulcano Projectile with Inertial and GPS guidance. Picture courtesy of Ministero della Difesa. – Image:

Technical data:
Caliber: 5 inches / 127 mm
Barrel lenght: 320 inches / 8,128 meters (= 64 caliber)
Weight: 33000 kg (without ammunition)
Elevation: -12° / +70°
Traverse: +/- 155°
Rate of fire: 32 rounds per minute
Range: 23000 meters, max. / 15000 meters effective / 8600 meters AA / up to 100 km with Vulcano ER/LR ammunition
Ammunition stowage: 56 rounds ready to fire in 4 loader drums / 500-600 in magazine
Ammunition: all standard 5-inch ammunition including the new Vulcano extended range / long range guided ammunition

OTO-Melara 127/64 LW source

FTI Mid Size Frigate French Navy Marine Nationale naval gun 3Close up view of the Belh@arra frigate’s bow on DCNS stand. Note the 127mm main gun, 16x VLS andthe Narwhal 20mm RWS (right next to the bridge) – Image:

Defence against littoral and coastal land threats will be provided by eight Exocet MM40 Block 3 all-weather weapon systems, installed amidships.

Exocet MM40 Block 3



The MM40 Block 3 missile, complete with a Microturbo TRI 40 turbojet engine, began development 2004 and was first tested from a ship in 2010. Improvements to the MM40 Block 3 include internal navigation and GPS upgrades. These updates, combined with a frequency modulated continuous wave radar altimeter, allows for control of the missile’s altitude over various types of terrain. This missile is armed with a 160 kg high explosive/semi-armour piercing warhead and an active radar terminal seeker 9 Additional upgrades include increased evasive capabilities such as the ability to make a 180 degree turn post-launch, allowing the MM40 to evade defense missile systems. These upgraded missiles will be both ship- and ground-launched and will be deployed first onto Forbin (Horizon)-class destroyers and then to La Fayette-class frigates.

Originated From: France
Possessed By: Numerous (see table below)
Class: Anti-ship Cruise Missile
Basing: Sea/Air/Ground/Submarine
Length: 4.69- 5.95 m
Diameter: 350 mm
Launch Weight: 655-870 kg
Payload: Single warhead
Warhead: 165 kg HE fragmentation or semi-armor piercing
Propulsion: Solid fueled (MM40 Block 3 uses a Microturbo TRI 40 turbojet)
Range: 40-180 km
Status: Operational
In Service: 1975

Variant MM40 MM40 Block 2 MM40 Block 3
Basing Ship-, Ground-launched Ship-, Ground-launched Ship-, Ground-launched
Range 70 km 70 km 180 km
Warhead 165 kg HE frag. 165 kg HE frag. 160 kg HE frag.
Status Operational Operational Operational
Users Argentina, Bahrain, Brunei, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Colombia, Cyprus, Ecuador, Egypt, France, Germany, Iraq, Ivory Coast, South Korea, Kuwait, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Peru, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Uruguay Brazil, Greece,    Indonesia, Malaysia,  Morocco,   South Africa Greece, Indonesia,   Morocco, UAE, Vietnam


MM40 Block 3 missile are installed at midship

The frigate will also be fitted with two eight-cell A-50 type Sylver vertical launch systems for Aster 15 surface-to-air missiles in the bow, two 20mm remotely-operated weapons at the rear, 2×2 deck-mounted torpedo tubes for MU90, and an anti-ship missile decoy launching system.

2 x eight-cell A-50 type Sylver vertical launch systems

The Sylver (SYstème de Lancement VERtical) is a vertical launching system (VLS) designed by DCNS. The launcher comes in several variants, each distinguished by their height. A-35 and A-43 were developed for launching short range surface-to-air missiles, the A-50 for the long-range PAAMS air defense system, and the A-70 launcher for larger missiles such as the SCALP Naval land attack cruise missile. The numbers refer to the approximate length of the missile which can be accommodated, in decimetres, i.e. the A-43 can hold missiles which are up to 4.3 metres long whilst the A-70 can accommodate missiles up to 7 metres long.

The launchers come in eight-cell modules, except A-35 available in four-cell modules, with each eight-cell module occupying six square metres of deck space. Inner size cell is 60 cm long and 56 cm wide, and each cell has its own exhaust vent. Crotale NG (VT1) missiles can be quad-packed in one cell.
The primary application of the launcher has been the MBDA Aster missile. The Sylver, together with the Aster, is the primary component of the PAAMS naval anti-air warfare system. Using PAAMS, up to eight missiles can be launched in 10 seconds.

The French Navy has initiated studies to convert the SCALP EG missile to be capable of launch from the Sylver. This missile, the SCALP Naval, would give France a land attack capability in the mould of the U.S. Tomahawk missile. It would also be attractive to the British Royal Navy, whose Type 45 destroyers will be equipped with the Sylver launcher, although the A50 type cannot take this missile at present.

The basic unit of Sylver VLS is an eight-cell module fitted with two rows of 22-inch missile cells surrounding the uptake for exhaust gas.

Models / Measures:
Sylver A-35 (lenght = 2,6 meters / width = 2,3 meters / height = 3,5 meters)
Sylver A-43 (lenght = 2,6 meters / width = 2,3 meters / height = 4,3 meters)
Sylver A-50 (lenght = 2,6 meters / width = 2,3 meters / height = 5 meters)
Sylver A-70 (lenght = 2,6 meters / width = 2,3 meters / height = 7 meters)


Aster 15 and 30 surface-to-air missiles


The ASTER 15 is a short range missile intended for self-defense (point defense) purposes against highly maneuverable threats. The ASTER 15 is integrated on the SAAM and beginning in 2006 in the PAAMS system. The SAAM is installed on French-built frigates and the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier. The PAAMS will be provided to the Horizon frigates (France and Italy) and the Type 45 destroyers (United Kingdom).

Diameter: 180 millimeter (7.09 inch)
Length: 4.20 meter (165 inch)
Max Range: 30,000 meter (16.2 nautical mile)
Min Range: 1,700 meter (0.92 nautical mile)
Target’s Max Altitude: 13,000 meter (8.08 mile)
Top Speed: 1,000 mps (3,601 kph)
Weight: 310 kilogram (683 pound)

ASTER 15 data


Number of Stages: 2
Diameter: 180 millimeter (7.09 inch)
Length: 4.90 meter (193 inch)
Max Range: 120 kilometer (65 nautical mile)
Min Range: 3,000 meter (1.62 nautical mile)
Target’s Max Altitude: 20,000 meter (12.4 mile)
Top Speed: 1,494 mps (5,380 kph)
Weight: 450 kilogram (992 pound)

ASTER 30 data

2 x 20mm remotely-operated weapons at the rear

Nexter 20mm Narwhal remote weapon systems (© MER ET MARINE – VINCENT GROIZELEAU) – Image:

NARWHAL® combines the impressive firepower of Nexter’s 20M621 20mm gun – used by more than 25 countries – with a set of high-performance day/night electro-optic cameras and a moving target monitoring function. It is the ideal system for a broad range of critical missions. It is perfectly suited to surveillance and maritime police operations, but also interception and self-defence operations in the face of constantly evolving asymmetric threats.

NARWHAL® provides short-range self-defence for French and Egyptian FREMM frigates, for French MISTRALclass vessels and for Lebanese navy patrol boats. It will be also in service on patrol boats (Guyanese PLG light patrol craft) and on the HORIZON class frigates of the French Navy. Source

2 x 2 deck-mounted torpedo tubes for MU90


The MU90/IMPACT Advanced Lightweight Torpedo is the leader of the 3rd generation of LWTs. Designed and built with the most advanced technology, the weapon is of fire-and-forget type conceived to cope with any-task any-environment capability requirements and meet the ASW operational needs of the 21st century.

The weapon has been designed to counter any type of nuclear or conventional submarine, acoustically coated, deep and fast-evasive, deploying active or passive anti-torpedo effectors


Main Dynamic Features
Linearly Variable speed …………………… 29 to >> 50 kts**
Range …………………… >10,000 m at max. speed**
> 23,000m at min. speed**
Minimum depth for launching …………………… < 25 m
Max. operating depth …………………… >> 1000 m**
Agility and manoeuvrability ……………………. Extreme
Diameter (NATO Standard) …………………… 323,7 mm
Length …………………… 2850 mm
Weight …………………… 304 kg
Main Acoustic Features
Operational bandwidth …………………… >>10KHz
Acoustic coverage …………………… 120°H x 70°V
Simultaneous targets …………………… Up to 10
Main Counter-Counter Measures
Stationary target detection capability
Decoy classification
Anti-Jammer tactics

(**) = real value classified


FTI Naval Gun System – EURONAVAL 2016

FTI Mid Size Frigate French Navy Marine Nationale naval gun 5The FTI mid-size frigate scale model on the French MoD stand at Euronaval 2016  – Image:

The Euronaval FTI scale model is representative of the FTI design being currently proposed by the French defense procurement agency (DGA) to the French Navy (Marine Nationale) but Navy Recognition learned from a number of sources that several systems are still being debated, one of these systems being the main naval guns.

The FTI model at Euronaval featured a 76mm by Leonardo (formerly known as Oto Melara). This solution makes perfect sense since this gun type is already fitted on the two Horizon destroyers and the Aquitaine-class FREMM frigates. However, as we’ve reported before, some sailors in the French Navy have been (and are still) advocating a larger gun system able to provide longer range and increased lethality. This need could be answered by a 127mm main gun. Two companies have such a gun in their portfolio: The 127/64 by Leonardo-Finmeccanica’s Defence Systems Division of Italy and the Mark 45 Mod 4 by BAE Systems Inc. from the United States.

The FTI was designed to accommodate the 127mm gun (from both companies): At the show, DCNS was showcasing a scale model of the export variant of the FTI, the Belh@rra, with a 127mm gun. Both the 127/54 and the Mark 45 Mod 4 can deploy smart, precision munitions (the Vulcano ammunition for the Italian gun, and the Hyper Velocity Projectile and Standard Guided Projectile for the American gun) which is of interest to the French Navy as well.

A key factor will be the whole life cost of the system. We learned at the show that this is the reason why the Bofors 57mm Mk 3 has recently started to be considered as well. In addition to being more affordable than a 127mm or 76mm gun, the 57mm offers other advantages: While this gun doesn’t offer the range and lethality of the 127mm guns, some of its performances are comparable to the 76mm. This is particularly true when you take factors such as the rate of fire and the amount of explosive per shell into account (the Bofors gun achieves a higher amount of “explosive fired per second” compared to the 76mm. This is explained in more details in this video). In addition, the 57mm shells being smaller, a greater number may be stored aboard the ship. Finally, we believe that a smaller main gun (such as the 57mm) because of its lighter weight could allow the installation of larger remote weapon stations (than the 20mm Narwhal). This is pure speculation on our end, but an FTI fitted with a 57mm main gun at the bow and two Thales RAPIDSeaGuardian 40mm CIWS on top of the helicopter hangar at the stern (for a 360° coverage) could make sense. The gun comes with smart ammunition as well: The 3P all-target programmable ammunition and the ORKA “one shot one kill” round currently under development.

The area around the bridge of the FTI may still evolve. Our understanding is that it looks the way it is right now mainly because of a requirement to fit a Narwhal remote weapon station just forward of the bridge (with another one on top of the helicopter hangar for 360° coverage).

We also learned that space provisions have already been set on and in the foredeck for future growth. While the French Navy FTI is shown with 16x A50 VLS (for MBDA Aster 30 SAM), there is a requirement to increase this number to a total of 32x VLS “if the need arises some time in the future”. We could not learn the reason behind this requirement, however our wild guess is that it could have something to do with the Future Cruise and Anti-Ship Weapon (FCASW) (known as Future Missile Antinavire/Future Missile de Croisière in France). It is intended to replace the Exocet anti-ship missile in the far future (as well as the air launched SCALP/Storm Shadow) and it may well be vertically launched from surface vessels. Source

Exclusive Video Interview: DCNS BELH@RRA front-line digital frigate: Here

Belh@rra weapon and sensor systems

Detailed analysis by D-Mitch of the weapon and sensor systems fitted aboard Naval Group’s Belh@rra

Anti-ship missile decoy launching system

Navigation and communication systems aboard FTI


The frigate will be equipped with efficient countermeasures, navigation and communications equipment manufactured by Thales.

They include Sea Fire 500 multi-function active fixed-array antenna radar, Kingklip Mark II hull-mounted sonar, Aquilon integrated naval communication system, radar and communications electronic support measures for electronic warfare, jammers, and a compact version of the combined active passive towed array sonar (CAPTAS-4).

Sea Fire 500 multi-function active fixed-array antenna radar

Naval Group and by Luca Peruzzi via

The Thales Sea Fire 500 is a new family of multifunction radars relying on a solid-state four-panel phase array antenna and smart management of radar resources to fit into large surface combatants. It consists of four solid-state active fixed panels that can be located at different points on the vessel. Each panel offers high power, 90-degree coverage and high detection and tracking performance. Working together for four panels offer 360-degree coverage in azimuth and 90-degree coverage in elevation. The Sea Fire 500 leverages the knowledge gained during the Herakles radar development and is being designed to meet evolving naval mission profiles and threats. It is a multifunction radar capable of performing missile fire control and guidance as well as target detection, identification and tracking. The modular architecture of the new radar family and different antenna sizes will enable to fit into a variety of ships and perform several mission types. Thales launched the Sea Fire 500 multifunctional radar at Euronaval exhibition in October 2014.

Naval Group and by Luca Peruzzi via

Thales expects the Sea Fire 500 radar to conduct ship self-defense and extended air defense missions against fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft and missiles. Besides, it will provide protection against emerging asymmetric threats such as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and anti-ship ballistic missiles even in heavy clutter and jamming scenarios as well as the complex conditions of the littoral environment. Source

ASEO XLR electro-optical FCS


Warships in littoral waters increasingly operate in close proximity to a variety of vessels among which potential threats may hide. From self-defense operations to ship protection at anchor, PASEO XLR electro-optical FCS provides crystal clear images of the environment, day or night, even in poor weather conditions, to ensure long-range identification & tracking. Source


Kingklip Mark II hull-mounted sonar


KINGKLIP is particularly efficient to detect submarines in rough sea states and coastal/littoral waters, where difficult reverberation conditions prevail.
It complements a CAPTAS Variable Depth Sonar to provide good coverage above & below the thermal layer.



System features:

  • Designed for medium size Surface Combatant
  • Cylindrical array installed inside an acoustically transparent dome (keel mounted)
  • ASW all-round surveillance
  • Several transmit configurations allowing operation with two ships in the same area
  • Integrated On-Board-Training capability
  • Embedded bathythermograph & performance prediction function for sonar optimisation

• Comprehensive Built-in Test capability


  • Can be operated either from CMS consoles or stand-alone
  • Directional/sectorial transmission
  • Underwater telephone capability
  • Powerful ASW Sonar Suite when integrated with CAPTAS VDS and sonobuoys


Array (Weight/Height/Diameter): (1.4t / 0.7m / 1.2m)
Active frequency range: 5250 to 8000 Hz
Pulse types: Hyperbolic FM, CW and COMBO
Pulse length: 60 ms to 4 s
Range scale: 1 to 72 kYds
Active modes:
– ASW: all-round surveillance
– Obstacle Avoidance: ± 90° off the ship’s bow
FM bandwidth: Wide bandwidth (2 kHz) against reverberation effect
Passive frequency range: 1000 to 8000 Hz.
Passive functions: All around broadband surveillance, LOFAR, DEMON & audio channels


Aquilon integrated naval communication system


Fully Integrated Communication System (FICS)

  • Already deployed on all class on naval platforms from fast attack craft to aircraft carrier and conventional or nuclear submarines
  • IP open architecture
  • Full range of services: voice, intercom, conference calls, data links, databases…
  • Centralized communication management
  • Full range of communications:
– Internal communications
– External communications
  • Naval network enabling capabilities
  • Local user connectivity via secure high speed IP backbone (NGIN, focon IP)
  • Interconnection with external communications (radio, modems, satcom terminals, public network, telephone…)
  • Security, survivability, reliability, interoperability
  • Scalable, flexible and modular design, standard interfaces
  • Communication management (PARTNER):
– Security management
– User management
– Radio management



An unrivalled performance against quiet submarines to achieve any anti-submarine warfare missions including escort, area sanitization and own force protection.

  • Ultra long range
    Capable of very large detection in every environmental condition.
  • Reduced operator workload
    The only large VDS to provide automated deployment and recovery procedures without operator on aft deck.
    The lowest operating and training manpower for this class of system.
  • Cooperative asset
    Very accurate target positioning to prosecute and engage distant submarines with airborne assets.
    Multi-static capability with virtually all low frequency sonar in operation world-wide.
    Minimising interference with other VDS and BMS
  • Embedded torpedo defence
    Permanent self defence capability.
  • Mammals safe
    Adjustable source level & noise monitoring for sea mammal protection.
  • Low Life Cycle Cost

Large installed base and continuous evolutions for Inherent customer’s long term support

CAPTAS family

  • The only LFA VDS in service in NATO countries
  • More than 40 CAPTAS systems already ordered
  • 2 installation variants for CAPTAS 4:
    • T23 UK frigate
    • FREMM frigate


A rugged design for sea operations which allows the ASW units to transmit and receive at the right depth with two separate arrays and maximize the detection of extremely quiet submarines.
The system is designed to independently deploy the arrays at optimum depth to continuously survey 360 degrees with a well covered water column, thus overcoming harsh propagation conditions and surface-layer problems inherent to Hull Mounted Sonar.


Active Frequencies: below 2kHz
Bandwidth: Wide FM
Pulse lengths: up to 16s
Pulse Modes: FM, CW and COMBO
Operational limits: Up to sea state 6
Operating depth: Up to 230m depth, e.g. 180 m at 12knts
Detection performance: Up to second oceanic Convergence Zone
A non-rotating IFF (identification friend or foe) antenna system will equip the frigate to provide surveillance and monitoring at sea.



ALTESSE-H, the new naval communications electronic warfare solution from Thales, identifies up to 2,000 targets in real time. With its TRC 6460 ultra-high-frequency interceptor and direction finder, advanced antenna system and operating software derived from the Keyobs suite, ALTESSE-H delivers real operational benefits, including faster response times and the ability to capture shorter signals at longer range and gather intelligence data at the same time. Source

Combat management system

The FTI frigate will be equipped with DCNS’ ship enhanced tactical information system (SETIS) combat management system, which provides the operator with improved decision-making and battle management capabilities.

Featuring man-machine interface, the SETIS system integrates onboard combat systems, command support modules and planning tools.

SETIS combat system

CO of Aquitaine (© MARINE NATIONALE) – Image:

The combat system of the ships is the DCNS SETIS (Ship Enhanced Tactical information System), an integrated combat system for networked multi-mission operations. SETIS features advanced algorithms to detect, identify and react immediately to threats with the most appropriate weapon system. SETIS combines a large range of equipment, sensors and long-range weapons for detection, identification and engagements in extreme conditions such as multiple attacks. The Thales SIC21 is a Command and Control Information System. According to Thales, SIC21 is a mission management capability to support all types of naval operations. It increases interoperability & information security within operational Command & control in National, Joint & multinational environments. Sea and Land continuum with deployment on all naval platforms, whether equipped with a Combat Management System or not, and land-based command sites. Source

Propulsion and performance of French medium-size frigates

Propulsion for the multi-mission frigate will be provided by a 32MW combined diesel and diesel (CODAD) propulsion system.

The mid-size frigate will have a maximum speed of 27kts and a range of 5,000nm at a speed of 15kt.

MTU 16V 8000 M91L engines

The Series 8000 now covers the power range from 7,200 to 10,000 kW. Like its 20-cylinder counterpart, the 16-cylinder engine excels with low overall operating costs, high power density and low environmental impact while meeting both IMO Tier II and EPA Tier II emissions limits, with the ability to meet other standards as required.

The American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) has awarded its Naval Vessel Rules (NVR) certificate to all models in the Series 8000 line-up, putting them among the first modern, ABS-certified engines in their power class. Another key factor in winning the FTI project was the engine’s extremely low structure-borne noise levels, as verified by MTU using a trial engine.

The FTI vessels are each to be powered by four 16V 8000 engines forming a combined diesel-and-diesel (CODAD) propulsion system, with two diesel engines connected to each of the ship’s dual prop shafts. The propulsion system will produce a total power output of 32 MW, powering the frigates up to speeds of 27 knots. The vessels will have a range of up to 5,000 nautical miles.

(CODAD) arrangement

General characteristics
Type: General purpose frigate
Displacement: 4250 tonnes
Length: 122 m (400 ft)
Beam: 17.7 m (58 ft)
Speed: Maximum: 27 knots (50.0 km/h; 31.1 mph)
Range: 5,000 nmi (9,300 km; 5,800 mi)
  • 110, excluding air crew detachment of approx. 15
  • air-detachment
Sensors and
processing systems:
Aircraft carried: 1 NH90 helicopter equipped with torpedoes, air-to-surface missiles, and/or heavy machine gun

Technical data

Main material source

Updated May 23, 2021

3M22 Zircon / SS-N-33 hypersonic maneuverable anti-ship missile

Zircon: the Russian missile that may render U.S. aircraft carriers obsolete

April 26, 2017 GLEB FEDOROV, RBTH

The news that Russia’s Zircon missile has attained unprecedented speed provoked alarming headlines in the Western media. RBTH summarizes what is known about one of Russia’s most classified military programs.

This month, Russia’s Zircon   reached the highest speed for any cruise missile in history. Citing sources close to the military, TASS said the missile, during trials, was able to fly at a speed that is eight times faster than speed of sound – the so-called Mach 8, which is approximately equal to 9,800 km/h.

With a possible range of around 400 km, it will be able to cover the entire distance in just two and a half minutes. Western media outlets fear that this will render much of NATO’s naval equipment obsolete.

According to The Independent, the Royal Navy’s Sea Ceptor system can only stop missiles travelling up to 3,700 km/h.

Tim Ripley, who covers defense issues for Jane’s Defence Weekly told that Zircon’s deployment “will greatly reduce the reaction time that they [Western military units] have to deploy their own defenses and counter-measures.”

Former commander of the Russian Navy Admiral Viktor Chirkov told Russian media outlets that by 2020 the Russian Navy is planning to create a “group of strategic non-nuclear deterrence” assets, equipped with high-precision long-range weapons. According to Kornev, this means that in three years time Zircon may already be deployed.

According to military expert Konstantin Sivkov, the adoption of the Zircon will lead to the weakening of the ability of the U.S. aircraft carrier forces to strike Russian targets as Moscow’s naval cruisers will be equipped with these missiles.

What is known about Zircon

All the available information about Zircon is based on rare comments from Russian officials and media leaks, which were not played down by the military and defense experts.

Dmitry Kornev, editor of, which collected the most complete profile on the Zircon missile, told RBTH that he believes the missiles were already launched from a Yasen-class attack submarine.

According to Kornev, this means that the engineers are close to successfully deploying the missiles on submarines, ships and on land.

The missile is reportedly going to be deployed in 2018 on a number of submarines and large-class ships, which will be upgraded to fit Zircon. It will also be deployed on Russia’s sole aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov (after its reconstruction), on Lider-class destroyers, and on the Husky 5th generation submarine.

The fact Zircon will be launched from the Agat 3S14 universal platform, which is also used for Klub cruise missiles, means that it can be deployed virtually on any platform.

According to Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, who was the first high-ranking official to confirm the very fact of the missile’s ongoing tests, Zircon belongs to “a totally new generation of weapons” and is “guaranteed to bypass anti-missile defense systems.”

Original postМилла Краевская

The 3M22 Zircon or the is a maneuvering anti-ship hypersonic cruise missile developed in Russia.[i] The Zircon’s estimated range is 500 km at a low level and up to 750 km at a semi-ballistic trajectory, but the state-owned media in Russia reports the range as 1,000 km.[ii] It’s a two-stage missile that uses solid fuel in the first stage and a scramjet motor in the second stage. This missile will be incorporated into the Kirov-class battlecruiser Admiral Nakhimov this year and the Pyotr Velikiy in 2022.[iii] Source



General data:
Type: Guided Weapon Weight: 3500 kg
Length: 9.0 m Span: 1.5 m
Diameter: 0.8 Generation: None
Properties: Home On Jam (HOJ), Search Pattern, Bearing-Only Launch (BOL), Weapon – INS w/ GPS Navigation, Re-Attack Capability, Level Cruise Flight
Targets: Surface Vessel, Land Structure – Soft, Land Structure – Hardened, Runway
Active Radar Seeker – (ASM LR, Kh-32) Radar
Weapon Seeker, Active Radar
Max Range: 148.2 km
Passive Radar Seeker – (AS-21, SS-N-26) ESM
Weapon Seeker, Anti-Radiation
Max Range: 18.5 km
SS-N-33 [3M22 Zircon] – Guided Weapon
Surface Max: 1296.4 km. Land Max: 1296.4 km.



TTX missiles (Russian source):

Length – estimated from 8 to 10.5 m (a larger figure is more likely)
– 300-400 km ( source – the United States experienced , source )
– 800-1000 km (forecast)
– at least 4.5 M ( source )
– presumably 5-6 M ( source )
– 6 M ( source , 2016)
– up to 8 M ( source , 15.04.2017 city)



Ships and nuclear submarines, as well as aircraft and coastal mobile missile systems can be equipped with Zircon-type missiles. Taking into account the requirements for a hypersonic rocket, the range of the Zircon should exceed the range of the Onyx, which, according to open data, is about 500 km.

It is assumed that the Onyx and Zircon missiles will be involved in the implementation of the concept of strategic non-nuclear deterrence.

Strategic non-nuclear deterrence implies the possibility of hitting, if necessary, the critical military and economic targets of a potential enemy, without resorting to the use of nuclear weapons.

The former commander-in-chief of the Russian Navy, Admiral Viktor Chirkov, previously stated that a group of strategic non-nuclear deterrent forces, equipped with long-range precision weapons, should be created in the Russian Navy by 2020.

The basis of this grouping will be the nuclear submarine cruisers of the project 885M Yasen, the upgraded nuclear submarines of the project 949M, and the heavy nuclear missile cruisers of the project 1144. Source

Former commander of the Russian Navy Admiral Viktor Chirkov told Russian media outlets that by 2020 the Russian Navy is planning to create a “group of strategic non-nuclear deterrence” assets, equipped with high-precision long-range weapons. According to Kornev, this means that in three years time Zircon may already be deployed.

According to military expert Konstantin Sivkov, the adoption of the Zircon will lead to the weakening of the ability of the U.S. aircraft carrier forces to strike Russian targets as Moscow’s naval cruisers will be equipped with these missiles.

Related post

Russia’s hypersonic Zircon missile to go into serial production in 2018 — source

Naresuan Class Guided-Missile Frigates (F 25T), Thailand

Naresuan Class guided-missile frigates were built by the China State Shipbuilding Corporation, Shanghai, for the Royal Thai Navy. Naresuan is a modified variation of the Chinese-built Type 053 frigate.

The keel for the lead ship in class, Naresuan (421), was laid down in July 1991. The ship was launched in December 1993 and commissioned in January 1995. Taksin (422) was laid in May 1991, launched in September 1994 and commissioned in to the Royal Thai Navy in October 1995.

mSQWlZdCq5b6ZLkvPT7Xl2f3W1np7jzWNaresuan (421) and Taksin (422) – Image:
 Name   Number   Builder   Launched   Commissioned   Decommissioned   Status 
HTMS Naresuan 421 China State Shipbuilding Corporation July 1993 15 December 1994 Active
HTMS Taksin 422 China State Shipbuilding Corporation 1994 28 September 1995 Active


Naresuan Class vessel specifications and Saab command and control system

Photo by TyronePhoto by TyronePhoto by TyronePhoto by Tyrone

Naresuan ClaPhoto by Tyroness was jointly designed by the Royal Thai Navy and China State Shipbuilding Corporation. The ships are considered to be more modern than the Type 053 class frigates.

The frigate has an overall length of 120m, beam of 13m and a draft of 3.8m. The full load displacement of the ship is 2,900t. Each ship can complement a crew of 150.

In June 2011, Saab was awarded two contracts by the Royal Thai Navy for the upgrade of combat management and fire control systems on two Naresuan Class frigates. The total value of the contracts is SEK454m ($72.8m).

Under the contract, Saab will supply a 9LV Mk4 combat management system (CMS), CEROS 200 fire control system and data-link equipment. Deliveries are expected to be completed by 2014.


On 3 June 2011, Saab announced that it was awarded a contract for the upgrading of the two Naresuan class frigates with new electronics and new weapons. The extensive midlife upgrade program (MLU)  included a Vertical Launching System (VLS), new secondary guns, Saab’s 9LV MK4 combat management system, Sea Giraffe AMB 3D long range air surveillance radar, CEROS 200 fire control systems, EOS 500 electro-optical system, Tactical Data Links (TDL’s) for communications with the newly acquired Royal Thai Air Force Erieye surveillance aircraft, a new sonar system, a new ESM system and other improvements The upgrade programme was finally concluded in 2016, after five years of work, and delivered almost complete new warships to the Royal Thai Navy. Source

Modified photo of Naresuan class frigate of the Royal Thai Navy. For a high resolution image click here. Source

The 9LV Mk4 CMS consists of multi function console (MFC) providing input and display facilities to control the system and integrated sensors and weapons. The CMS is integrated with smart sensor system EOS 500, navigation radar, surveillance radar, small or medium calibre gun, data link processor (DLP), AIS-transponder, GPS and wind sensor. The system will perform command and control, identification and tracking, as well as weapons engagement.


29662717_10156319936198221_5561101269099059845_oImage: Thai internet

The frigates Naresuan and Taksin are equipped with the latest generation Combat Management (CMS) of Saab, and one of the most advanced in the world today, the Saab 9LV Mk4. The Saab 9LV system integrates sensors, weapons and data links enabling the frigates to engage a variety of modern threats including sea-skimming missiles and small surface threats. The 9LV Mk4 CMS comprises a set of Multi-Function Consoles (MFC) providing display and input facilities for control of the system and the integrated sensors and weapons. The CMS is the core of the frigates CS and performs command and control, identification, tracking and weapon engagements. In addition to the modernization of the CMS the frigates are also equipped with Tactical Data Links (TDL’s) to enable them to share their tactical picture between them and to share information with the Royal Thai Air Force Gripen fighters and Airborne Early Warning radar aircraft which dramatically improves the effectiveness of both the naval and air force assets. In September of 2015, HTMS Naresuan frigate successfully tested a datalink with the Saab Gripen fighter and Saab 340 Airborne Early Warning aircraft. Source

Saab CMS of Naresuan – Image:

The full suite of Saab’s Combat Management System (CMS)  and integrated fire control solutions in configurations for every type of Coast Guard and naval vessel, is on offer for the Royal Thai Navy

The latest generation of Saab 9LV solutions is built on operationally proven modules and fielded in the major combatants of navies such as the Royal Australian Navy, the Swedish Navy and many others. Building on the experience in over 230 warship installations, the CMS offering from Saab is the open architecture, flexible and extensible, 9LV family.

This offer is applicable to all types of vessels from patrol vessels, corvettes, frigates and aircraft carriers. Source

Saab CMS of Naresuan – Image:


9LV technology is able to interface many subsystems, and its architecture readily scales to corvettes and large frigate or destroyer-type vessels. These solutions will typically support a high number of MFCs. They meet the demanding needs of battle resilience through extensive redundancy and physical separation of critical assets.

Medium-sized configurations often focus on one type of mission, such as anti-submarine warfare (ASW) or surface warfare (SuW) using surface-to-surface missiles (SSM). Larger configurations provide a wide range of capabilities and typically include multiple tactical data links and highly automated tactical responses to a range of simultaneous threats, above and below the surface. They also integrate with command support systems to provide the ship with complete C4I capability. Source

IMG_2669Naresuan (421) – Image:

EOS 500 integrated with CMS

EOS 500.pngImage:

Saab EOS-500 is a lightweight stabilized electro-optical fire control director with high quality stabilization and advanced TV- and IR-cameras and Laser Range Finder for observation, gun fire, missile laser guidance and target identification. The new sensor replaced the Chinese-built Type 347G  I-band fire-control radar (Rice Bowl) above hangar, for the 37mm guns. The inherent video tracker provides automatic detection of up to four concurrent threats, enabling the operator to change target within fractions of a second. EOS-500 is capable of high accuracy 3-D tracking all types of threats, including sea skimming missiles. The advanced Saab video tracker uses simultaneous input from the TV- and the IR- cameras in a data fusion process. The two (2) Saab CEROS 200 radar and optronic tracking systems and the EOS 500 optronic tracking system are the core of the frigates fire control capability and are fully integrated with the small and large calibre guns as well as the Surface to Surface (SSM) and Surface to Air (SAM) Missile systems providing unprecedented self defence capabilities against all modern symmetric and asymmetric threats. Source



Type 2-axis, elevation over azimuth
Angular speed < 2 rad/s
Angular acceleration < 2 rad/s2
Weight < 112 kg including all sensors
IR Thermal imager
Type Third generation
Wavelength 3-5 um or 8-12 um
Laser range finder
Type OPO-shifted Nd YAG
Wavelength 1.57 um (eye-safe)
PRF 3 Hz continuous (8 Hz during 30-sec burst)
Power 115 V 50-60 Hz, 3kVA
Communication interface
Ethernet TCP/IP
Environmental conditions


IMG_2687(1)Naresuan (421) – Image:

The CEROS 200 radar and optronic tracking system can be interfaced with the 9LV Mk4 CMS Gun Fire Control and SAM modules to deliver self-defence capabilities against advanced sea-skimming missiles or asymmetric surface threats. The shipboard data-link equipment from Saab will allow communication between the frigates and Gripen and Saab 340 aircraft of the Royal Thai Air Force.


A01157625130914110001Thales Network centric to integrate with RTN developed by Avia Satcom/Rohde & SchwarImage: thaidefense-news.blogspot.grI

Saab upgraded RTN aircraft carrier H.T.M.S. Chakri Naruebet: Here


Weapon systems on the Chinese-built Thai Navy frigates

Naresuan Class is armed with eight RGM-84 Harpoon anti-ship missiles launched from two quad launchers. The Mk 41 vertical launch system fitted on the ship can launch Sea Sparrow and Evolved Sea Sparrow Missiles (ESSMs).

RGM-84 Harpoon anti-ship missile


The Harpoon is an all weather, subsonic, over the horizon, anti-ship missile which can be launch from surface ships, submarines and aircraft. Its guidance system consists of a 3-axis integrated digital computer/ radar altimeter for midcourse guidance, and an active radar seeker for the terminal phase of the flight.

The Harpoon flies at subsonic speeds, with a sea-skimming flight trajectory for improved survivability through reduced probability of detection by enemy defenses. It was designed to strike enemy ships in an open ocean environment.

The ship launched RGM-84 Harpoon was introduced in 1977, as well as the encapsulated submarine launched UGM-84.


Diameter: 340 millimeter
Length: 4.63 meter (15.2 foot)
Wingspan: 910 millimeter
Max Range: 124 kilometer (67 nautical mile)

Top Speed: 237 mps (853 kph)
Thrust: 660 pound
Warhead: 224 kilogram (494 pound)
Weight: 691 kilogram


2 x 4 Mk141 Harpoon quad launchers

474195_273755102708091_226312960785639_606982_1260805165_o2 x 4 Harpoon launchers

Mk 41 vertical launch system


The MK 41 Vertical Launching System (VLS) is the worldwide standard in shipborne missile launching systems. Under the guidance of the US Navy, Martin Marietta performs the design, development, production, and field support that make the battle-proven VLS the most advanced shipborne missile launching system in the world. The Mk 41 VLS simultaneously supports multiple warfighting capabilities, including antiair warfare, antisubmarine warfare, ship self-defense, strike warfare, and antisurface warfare.

The Vertical Launching System (VLS) Mk 41 is a canister launching system which provides a rapid-fire launch capability against hostile threats. The missile launcher consists of a single eight-cell missile module, capable of launching SEASPARROW missiles used against hostile aircraft, missiles and surface units. Primary units of the VLS are two Launch Control Units, one 8-Cell Module, one 8-Cell System Module, a Remote Launch Enable Panel and a Status Panel.

“quad pack” launcher (Mk-41 VLS)

HTMS Naresuan (421) “quad pack” launcher being loaded – Image:

The Launch Control Units receive launch orders from the Multi-Function Computer Plant (MFCP). In response to the orders, the Launch Control Units select and issue prelaunch and launch commands to the selected missile in the VLS launcher. During normal VLS operations, each Launch Control Unit controls half of the Launch Sequencers in the launcher. Either Launch Control Unit can be ordered by the MFCP where one Launch Control Unit is offline and the other Launch Control Unit assumes control of all Launch Sequencers in the launcher.

HTMS Naresuan (421) 8-Cell Module – Image:

The 8-Cell Module consists of an upright structure that provides vertical storage space for eight missile canisters. A deck and hatch assembly at the top of the module protects the missile canisters during storage and the hatches open to permit missile launches. The plenum and uptake structure capture and vent missile exhaust gases vertically up through the module to the atmosphere through the uptake hatch. Electronic equipment mounted on the 8-Cell Module monitors the stored missile canisters and the module components and assists in launching the missiles.


Sea Sparrow and Evolved Sea Sparrow Missiles (ESSMs)

RIM-162 ESSM was developed by the U.S. Navy in cooperation with an international consortium of other NATO partners plus Australia. ESSM is a short-range, semi-active homing missile that makes flight corrections via radar and midcourse data uplinks. The missile provides reliable ship self-defense capability against agile, high-speed, low-altitude anti-ship cruise missiles (ASCMs), low velocity air threats (LVATs), such as helicopters, and high-speed, maneuverable surface threats. ESSM is integrated with a variety of U.S. and international launchers and combat systems across more than 10 different navies.

HTMS Naresuan (421) – Image:

ESSM has an 8-inch diameter forebody that tapers to a 10-inch diameter rocket motor. The forebody includes a guidance section uses a radome-protected antenna for semi-active homing and attaches to an improved warhead section. A high-thrust, solid-propellant 10-inch diameter rocket motor provides high thrust for maneuverability with tail control via a Thrust Vector Controller (TVC).
ESSM’s effective tracking performance and agile kinematics result from S- and X-band midcourse uplinks, high average velocity and tail control, increased firepower through a vertical “quad pack” launcher (Mk-41 VLS), and greater lethality with a warhead designed for defeating hardened ASCMs.


ESSM is a cooperative effort among 10 of 12 NATO Sea Sparrow nations governed by a Production Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and multinational work-share arrangement. In addition to the United States, ESSM Consortium Members include Australia, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Greece, The Netherlands, Norway, Spain, and Turkey.

The first production ESSM was delivered in late 2002 to the U.S. Navy by Raytheon Missile Systems (RMS) and has been in full operational use in the U.S. since 2004. ESSM is fired from the Mk-29 trainable launcher, Mk-41 Vertical Launch System (VLS), Mk-57 VLS (DDG 1000), Mk-48 Guided Missile VLS (Canadian, Greece, Japan), and Mk-56 Dual Pack ESSM Launching System (Danish Navy) configurations by the U.S. Navy, NATO, and other Foreign Military Sales (FMS) customers. ESSM interfaces with the Aegis (DDG 51 and CG 47 classes), NSSMS (LHD and CVN classes), Ship Self-Defense System (LHA-6 and future CVN classes), Total Ship Computing Environment (DDG 1000), ANZAC (Royal Australian Navy), Dutch Configuration (various European Navies), FLEXFIRE (Danish Navy), and APAR (various European Navies) combat systems.

11927817_1022361521148537_5941757222338732810_oHTMS Naresuan (421) – Image:

General Characteristics:
Primary Function: Surface-To-Air and Surface-To-Surface radar-guided missile.
Contractor: Raytheon Missile Systems, Tuscson, Ariz.
Date Deployed: 2004

Unit Cost: $787000 – $972000 depending on configuration
Propulsion: NAMMO-Raufoss, Alliant (solid fuel rocket)
Length: 12 feet (3,64 meters)
Diameter: 8 inches (20,3 cm) – 10 inches (25,4 cm)
Weight: 622 pounds (280 kilograms)
Speed: Mach 4+
Range: more than 27 nmi (more than 50 km)
Guidance System: Raytheon semi-active on continuous wave or interrupted continuous wave illumination
Warhead: Annular blast fragmentation warhead, 90 pounds (40,5 kg)

RIM-162 ESSM data Source


ESSM is a medium range surface-to-air missile with a range of more than 27km. It can counter supersonic manoeuvring anti-ship missiles, while travelling at a speed of Mach 4.

The main gun fitted on the bow deck is an Mk-45 Mod 2 127mm naval artillery gun. The gun can fire at a rate of 16 to 20 rounds a minute for a maximum range of 24km.

Mk-45 Mod 2 127mm naval artillery gun


The 127mm Mk 45 is a naval gun turret of US origin. It was developed in the 1960’s by United Defense as a lighter alternative to the earlier Mk 42 turret. The Mk 45 is the smallest 127mm gun turret in the world and can be considered a direct competitor to the Italian 127mm Compatto. The Mk 45 is a lighter and easier to install design while the Compatto has a higher rate of fire and has more ammunition ready to fire. Both guns use the same US standard 127mm ammunition.

The Mk 45 is a single gun turret which is armed with the 127mm Mk 19 gun which was derived from the earlier Mk 18 that was used in the older Mk 42 turret. The Mk 45 is an unmanned turret with an automatic loader and a 20 round magazine below deck. Additional rounds are stored elsewhere in the ship and fed into the magazine using a feed chute. The gun is controlled using consoles below deck or in the command center. The latest development are a longer barrel and extended range guided munition (ERGM), the latter program was cancelled while the new barrel is in production.

The Mk 45 fires 127mm shells for use against shore targets, naval vessels and aircraft. The gun has a rate of fire of 16 to 20 rounds per minute. The maximum range is 23 km versus surface targets and the anti-aircraft range is quoted as 15 km. The latest Mk 45 design with longer barrel has a longer range and higher rate of fire. The ERGM round has a range of 117 km but was never fielded. Depending on the ship design the total ammunition load ranges between 475 and 680 rounds


The Mk 45 turret can be easily distinguished from the earlier Mk 42 turret by its shape and longer ordnance. The Mk 45 is one of the smallest 127mm gun turrets. The Mk 45 guns with original 54-caliber barrel can be identified by their round turret shapes since the Mod 4 uses an angled one.
Mk 45 Mod 0: Original production model with mechanical fuze setter and two piece barrel.
Mk 45 Mod 1: Improved Mod 0 with automatic fuze setter and unitary barrel.
Mk 45 Mod 2: Export version of US Navy Mod 1.

HTMS Naresuan (421) – Image:
Type Naval gun turret
Armament 127mm 54-caliber, 808 m/s muzzle velocity, 8.000 round barrel life
Rate of fire 16 to 20 rpm
Ammunition 20 rounds in loading system, single feed chute
Range 23 km vs surface targets, 15 km vs aircraft
Traverse -170 to +170°, 30°/s
Elevation -15 to +65°, 20°/s
Dimensions ?
Weight 24.1 t empty
Crew 3 or 6
Fire control ?

127mm mk45 mod 2 gun data


Targets: Aircraft, Helicopter, Missile, Surface Vessel, Land Structure – Soft, Mobile Target – Soft
127mm/54 HE-CVT [HiFrag] – (USN) Gun
Air Max: 2.8 km. Surface Max: 20.4 km. Land Max: 20.4 km.


Targets: Aircraft, Helicopter, Surface Vessel, Land Structure – Soft, Land Structure – Hardened, Mobile Target – Soft, Mobile Target – Hardened
127mm/54 HE-PD [HiCap] – (USN) Gun
Air Max: 2.8 km. Surface Max: 20.4 km. Land Max: 20.4 km.


Two Type 76 twin 37mm naval guns onboard defend the ship from anti-aircraft and anti-surface threats. (New MSI guns replaced the old Type 76s naval guns)

MSI Defense Systems 30mm DS30M Mark 2 (Seahawk A2) gun systems

34326963616_264c577f8e_kMSI Defense Systems 30mm gun –  Photo by Tyrone

The two secondary Chinese-built Type 76 twin 37mm dual-purpose gun systems that were equipping originally the ships, were removed and replaced by the MSI Defense Systems 30mm DS30M Mark 2 (Seahawk A2) gun systems consisting of a 30mm Mark 44 Bushmaster II cannon on a fully automated mount with an off-mount electro-optical director (EOD) and with below deck control console. The gun has a rate of fire of approximately 650 rounds per minute in a maximum range of less than 3km in anti-aircraft role. Except the main naval gun, the ships are equipped with 2-4 MH2B heavy machine guns. The M2 has a maximum (effective) range of around 1,830m and a cyclical rate of fire of approximately 600 rounds per minute. Source

2-4 MH2B heavy machine guns

Calibre 12.7x99mm NATO (.50 cal)
Operating principle Short recoil of the barrel
Overall length 1,656mm (65.2″)
Weapon weight 38.150 kg (84 lb)
Barrel type Quick Change Barrel
Barrel weight 13 kg (28.63 lb)
Barrel length 1,143 mm (45″)
Buttstock type N/A
Cyclic rate of fire 485 to 635 RPM
Effective range 2,000m (2,187 yds)
Feed Disintegrating link belt (M2 or M9 link)
Firing mode Single shot, full automatic
Handguard type N/A
Role Heavy Machine Gun

FN® M2HB-QCB data

Anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capability is provided by the Mark 32 anti-submarine torpedo launching system. Two 324mm Mk-32 Mod.5 torpedo tubes can launch Mk 46 or Mk 50 torpedoes against submarines.

324mm mk32 torpedo tube

HTMS Naresuan (421) Mk32 torpedo launcher – Image:

12.75 inch (324mm) Mark 32 Surface Vessel Torpedo Tubes (Mk 32 SVTT):

Mk-32 / Mod. 5, 7, 14, 15 (3 tubes) – for Mk-44, Mk-46 torpedoes
Mk-32 / Mod. 17, 19 (3 tubes) – for Mk-46, Mk-50, Mk-54 LHT torpedoes
Mk-32 / Mod. 9 (2 tubes) – for Mk-44, Mk-46 torpedoes
Mk-32 / Mod. 11 (1 tube) – for Mk-44, Mk-46 torpedoes

Mk-32 SVTT can be modified to use other 12.75″ torpedoes (such as EuroTorp MU90 / Eurotorp A244S LWT / BAE Systems Stingray)


MK 54 Mod 0 Lightweight Torpedo

An exercise MK 54 Mod 0 Torpedo is launched from the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Roosevelt (DDG 80) in 2014. Photo: US Navy – Source

The Mk 54 is carried mainly by aircraft but also by many American and foreign surface ships and has replaced depth charges as the main weapon against submarines. The Mk 54 is particularly effective when used by aircraft equipped to seek out submarines. Patrol aircraft can carry up to eight lightweight torpedoes, while helicopters can carry up to three (but often just one). The Mk 54 is a 324mm (12.75 inch) weapon, weighing about 340 kg (750 pounds), and with a warhead containing 45 kg (100 pounds) of explosives. Its guidance system has been deliberately designed to work well in shallow coastal waters, where ships are believed most likely to encounter subs. Until 1991, when the Cold War ended and the Russian nuclear sub fleet disappeared, the emphasis was on fighting subs on the high seas.

There are several upgrades available for the Mk 54. For example, to make the Mk 54 more effective on patrol aircraft, the U.S. Navy developed glide kits. Putting wings on torpedoes is all about concern at the growing use of anti-aircraft missiles by submarines. To deal with that problem, the navy sought to equip some Mk 54 torpedoes (that are normally dropped into the water at a low altitude by P-3 patrol aircraft) with an add-on glide kit. These systems consist of wings, control flaps, a flight control computer, battery, and GPS for navigation. The kit allows a torpedo to be released at 6,300 meters (20,000 feet), which is outside the range of submarine launched anti-aircraft missiles, and glide for 10-15 kilometers. When down to about 100 meters (300 feet) altitude, the glide kit is jettisoned and the torpedo enters the water to seek out the sub. Normally, aircraft have to descend to under 330 meters (a thousand feet) to launch the torpedo. This takes time and puts stress on the aircraft.

Many subs have sensors that are sensitive enough to detect low flying helicopters (the main target for the subs anti-aircraft missiles) and aircraft. Patrol aircraft are more effective if it can stay at high altitude all the time. Moreover, the glide kit is easy to build, since it can use items already used for smart bombs (JDAM) and earlier glide kits.

The Mk 54 lightweight torpedo entered production in 2004. Costing about a million dollars each, the Mk 54 is a cheaper and somewhat less capable replacement for the Cold War era high tech Mk 50 and the old reliable Mk 46. The Mk 54 is a more cost effective alternative to the three million dollar Mk 50, which was in development for over two decades. The Mk 50 was difficult to build because it was meant to be a “smart” torpedo that was light enough to be carried by helicopters but could go deep to kill Russian nuclear subs. Alas, when the Mk 50 finally became available in the late 90s, the high-seas Russian nuclear subs were gone and the typical target was now a quieter diesel-electric sub in shallow coastal waters. So the Mk 54 was developed, using cheaper, off-the-shelf, electronic components, some technology from the Mk 50 and larger Mk 48, as well as the simpler, but not deep diving, frame and propulsion systems of the older Mk 46 lightweight torpedo. Thus the 3.25 meter (ten foot) long Mk 54 is a bit of a hybrid, created to save money and also be more capable against quieter subs operating in shallower water. The Mk 54 has a range of about 10 kilometers and a top speed of about 72 kilometers an hour. It has built in sonar that can search for the target sub, as well as acoustic sensors (listening devices to pick up any sounds a sub might make). The Mk 54 also has an onboard computer and a data file of underwater noises and search tactics, which are used as it tries to find its target and keep after it until it can hit the sub and destroy it with the explosives in the warhead. Source

Weight 608 lb (276 kg)[2]
Length 106.9 in (2.72 m)[2]
Diameter 12.75 in (324 mm)[2]

Warhead PBXN-103
Warhead weight 96.8 lb (43.9 kg)[2]
Blast yield 238lb TNT

Engine reciprocating external combustion
Propellant Otto II (liquid)
Speed >40 kn (74.1 km/h; 46.0 mph)
Active or passive/active Acoustic homing
Mark 32 Surface Vessel Torpedo Tubes, ASW Aircraft, RUM-139 VL-ASROC


Sensors, radars and aircraft carrying capabilities of the guided-missile frigates

HTMS Taksin (422) – Image:

Naresuan Class is equipped with Saab Sea Giraffe AMD 3D surveillance radar, Thales LW-08 long range air search radar, Thales STIR fire control radar and DE-1160 hull mounted sonar. (Thales STIR fire control radar replaced with Ceros 200 fire control director and DE-1160 hull mounted sonar replaced with Atlas Elektronik DSQS-24D hull-mounted sonar )

Saab Sea Giraffe AMD 3D surveillance radar

Main mast with the new sensors – Image:

SEA GIRAFFE AMB radar surveillance equipment designed to be capable of detecting both on the coast and in the air precisely. Designed to connect directly combat 9LV (CMS)

The radar is able to detect the angle of 0-70 degrees to 360 degrees, covering a 180 kilometer surveillance can detect targets with high accuracy. And detect even the target object invisible. Small as well as the 3D GIRAFFE AMB radar is versatile with the ability to cover all the needs. Featured in Add the time to meet and make decisions. Low radar footprint Can observe the motion of the target by land, sea and air radar highlights three critical limit.

  • Investigator in the air and can interfere with the radar track of the enemy.
  • Can observe and track the motion of the enemy on the side.
  • Be alert gunshot detection and neck where the bullet was fired.
  • Can distinguish between different types of goals Even the up and down motion of the helicopter.
  • Can pointing to fight missile defense land. Naval and air precisely.
  • To support gunnery ship.


Radar type Stacked beam 3D radar
Antenna type 3D phased array, digital beam forming
Frequency C (G/H)-band
Elevation coverage > 70 degrees
Rotation rate 60 RPM
Instrumented range 180 km

Source Saab

Thales LW-08 long range air search radar

Thales LW08 radar of Naresuan – Image

The LW08 is a radar system for long-range surveillance, providing target indication to weapon control systems. It meets all vital requirements for any naval surveillance system: LW08 presents a clear picture of the environment; it does so, reliably, under any circumstances; and it does it without adding great weight to the superstructure of the ship. The aspect which distinguishes LW08 from its competitors is its wide range and superb accuracy. The system has proven its worth time and time again, operating in various configurations. LW08 performs with great frequency agility over a wide band, due to its synthesizer-driven TWT transmitter.

Excellent performance under various clutter conditions is ensured by the wide dynamic range receiver with application of digital video processing, supported by circular polarization. Moreover, due to its lightweight construction and hydraulically controlled stabilization platform, this antenna can be installed at a high mast position, thereby improving performance.

Main characteristics

  • Long-range detection, with very short minimum range
  • Fully coherent system
  • Frequency agility over a wide band
  • Pulse compression
  • Linear and circular polarization
  • Digital video processor, using MTI
  • Hydraulic roll and pitch stabilization

Performance Data

Detection range

  • Small missile : 100 km
  • Fighter aircraft : 230 km
  • Target speed : up to Mach 4
  • Surface targets : radar horizon
  • Minimum range : 2 km
  • Instrumented range : 135/270 km
  • Tracking capacity : 400

Technical Data

Antenna parameters

  • Type : horn-fed parabolic reflector
  • Beamwidth

– horizontal : 2.2º

– vertical : cosec2 up to 40º

  • Polarization : linear/circular
  • Rotation speeds : 7.5 and 15 rpm

Transmitter parameters

  • Type : TWT
  • Frequency : D-band
  • Frequency modes : fixed frequency and frequency agility
  • Transmission modes : full scan and sector transmission
  • Average power : 5.2 kW

Receiver parameters

  • Receiver channels

– air surveillance : MTI and LIN

– surface surveillance : LIN or LOG

  • Video processing : MTI: digital canceller and

video correlator

Digital ISU and LOG with


  • Compressed pulse length : 0.6 µs


Saab CEROS 200 fire control director

Image00031Naresuan – Image:

The CEROS 200 comprises multiple sensors, including EO, IR, TV and Laser. In addition, it has an advanced video tracker to enable simultaneous TV and IR tracking. The radar director pedestal is of twoaxis, elevation over azimuth type, and incorporates direct-drive hydraulic motors with built-in hydrostatic bearings. The freedom of motion in azimuth is unlimited and all electrical signals are transferred via slip rings. In elevation the motion is controlled both by electrical and mechanical end stops. For stabilisation against ship motion and angular rate measurements of the pedestal, a two-axis measurement gyro is used. The gyro features high performance and reliability. At turn-off, the director is automatically slewed to parking position and secured with hydraulic locking pins. A key feature is its high ability when tracking with low angular speed. The CEROS 200 has a hydraulically-driven pedestal with a much higher Mean Time Between Failure compared with alternative approaches such as electro-driven systems.


  • Extremely high accuracy
  • Fast reaction
  • Extremely high availability
  • Patented CHASE algorithm
  • Proven performance
  • Unique capabilities
  • Long range
  • Extremely wide bandwidth (2 GHz)
  • Low weight
  • Low lifecycle cost
  • Inherent growth potential

Source Saab

General data:
Type: Radar Altitude Max: 30480 m
Range Max: 74.1 km Altitude Min: 0 m
Range Min: 0.2 km Generation: Early 2000s
Properties: Moving Target Indicator (MTI), Pulse Doppler Radar (Full LDSD Capability), Continuous Wave Illumination
Sensors / EW:
CEROS 200 Tracker [9LV Mk4 ESSM] – Radar
Role: Radar, FCR, Surface-to-Air & Surface-to-Surface, Short-Range
Max Range: 74.1 km


Among other equipment, the ships, after the upgrade have received the Atlas Elektronik DSQS-24D hull-mounted sonar that replaced the DE-1160, the Selex Communications SIT422 CI and M425 NGIFF, two Saab Bridge Pointer Target Designation Sights (TDS, INMARSAT-M, Saab Link E Link G (TIDLS), Saab Link 11 (TADIL-B) etc. Source

Atlas Elektronik DSQS-24D hull-mounted sonar

Taksin (422) – Image:
General data:
Type: Hull Sonar, Active/Passive Altitude Max: 0 m
Range Max: 44.4 km Altitude Min: 0 m
Range Min: 0 km Generation: Early 1990s
Sensors / EW:
DSQS-24C [CSU 90] – Hull Sonar, Active/Passive
Role: Hull Sonar, Active/Passive Search & Track
Max Range: 44.4 km


2 Kelvin Hughes SharpEye I-Band and E/F-Band (X & S-Band) radars


The ships are also equipped with one Furuno navigation radar (replaced Raytheon AN/SPS-64) and two Kelvin Hughes SharpEye I-Band and E/F-Band (X & S-Band) radars that replaced other Chinese-built radars in the class. SharpEye transmits a low power patented pulse sequence, which enables short, medium and long range radar returns to be detected simultaneously, allowing the radar operator to maintain situational awareness regardless of the range scale setting of the radar display. Other users of the radar can select their own radar display range scale. A low peak transmission power (less than 300W) equivalent to a 25kW magnetron reduces the probability of intercept by ESM systems. Doppler processing of radar returns provides coherent information concerning a target’s velocity (radial) and enable the detection of very small and slow moving objects and targets with a low RCS (Radar Cross Section) and through a series of electronic filters is able to distinguish between the targets of interest and sea, rain and land clutter. SharpEye I-Band (X-Band) transmitters are the first in their class to employ Gallium Nitride GaN power transistor technology. The significant performance benefits of GaN transistors have been harnessed to directly improve the performance of the radar. Other differentiating technologies include Moving Target Detection (MTD) providing enhanced clutter suppression at the Doppler processing stage and pulse compression of the return signal, enabling a low transmit power, providing efficient use of the radar and reducing the probability of detection by ESM equipment. SharpEye is a truly multipurpose naval radar transceiver and is/can be used for navigation, surface search and helicopter control and recovery.  Source

The frigate has an aft helicopter deck to allow the operations of a single helicopter, such as a Bell212 ASW or Super Lynx helicopter. There is also a hangar.

H145M landing on HTMS Taksin (422)

RTN H145M: Details

RTN Super Lynx

Settanan Memungboon


Building on the proven capabilities of the highly successful Lynx family, the 5.3 tonne Super Lynx 300 is equipped with advanced sensors, mission systems and a wide range of weapons, providing maritime commanders with Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR), Maritime Interdiction Operations (MIO), Anti Surface Warfare (ASuW), Anti Submarine Warfare (ASW) and Search and Rescue (SAR) capabilities, typical of larger helicopters.

The unique maritime features of Super Lynx 300 enable operations from the smallest helicopter-capable ships in the harshest environments.


  • Purpose built maritime helicopter optimised for harsh maritime, small ship, operations; day/night, all weather capability
  • Two powerful LHTEC CTS800-4N engines with FADEC, highly responsive main rotor system with negative pitch, excellent tail rotor authority, high decent rate undercarriage, harpoon deck-lock and proven deck handling system enable operations in severe weather and high sea states
  • Main rotor blade and tail fold minimise hangar space requirements
  • Low workload Night Vision Goggle (NVG) compatible glass cockpit and integrated avionics suite provides excellent situational awareness and mission effectiveness
  • ASuW mission system includes maritime radar, Electronic Support Measures (ESM), Electro Optic / Infra-Red (EO/IR) device, Anti-Ship Missiles (ASM), rockets and guns
  • ASW mission system includes maritime radar, Electronic Support Measures (ESM), Active Dipping Sonar (ADS) and torpedoes
  • Extensive role equipment including troop seats, stretchers, cargo hook, rescue hoist, internal weapon mounts and external weapon carriers


Leading Features

MTOW: 5.3 tonne

Power plant: 2 x LHTEC CTS800-4N with FADEC

Crew: 1 pilot and 1 co-pilot / TACCO

Technical Data

Max take Off (Int. Loads) 5330 kg 11750 lb
Engine Rating (2 x LHTEC CTS800-4N)
Take Off Power 1014 kW 1361 shp
Crew 2/3
Passengers Up to 7
External Dimensions    
Overall Length (Rotors turning) 15.24 m  50 ft 0 in
Overall Height (Rotors turning) 3.67 m  12 ft 0 in
Rotor Diameter 12.80 m  42 ft 0 in
Cruise speed 244 km/h 132 kt
Hovering IGE > 3350 m > 11000 ft
Hovering OGE 2620 m 8600 ft
Max Range (Max Std Fuel, No Reserve, @ 6,000 ft) 574 km 310 nm
Max endurance (Max Std Fuel, No Reserve, @ 6,000 ft) 3 h


  • Anti Surface Warfare Missile
  • Torpedo
  • Depth Charges
  • Pintle Mounted 12.7/7.62mm Machine Guns
  • Rockets

Super Lynx data


HTMS Taksin (422) – Image:

Terma SKWS (Soft Kill Weapon System) C-Guard

Image: Terma

Terma SKWS (Soft Kill Weapon System) C-Guard is the decoy launching system of the ships that replaced the obsolete Chinese ones. The system is integrated with the Combat Managment System, that can fire all existing 130 mm decoys – also known as SeaGnat decoys, made to defeat stream attack with multiple missiles and torpedoes from multiple directions. The system is based on two Terma DL-12T launchers (12 firing tubes each) on each side of the ship and four Terma Mk137 SRBOC launchers (6 firing tubes each) atop the bridge. The total number of decoy launchers is 48 (!), which is the maximum system configuration supporting the 48 launchers, three Control Units and uses two Launcher Interface Units providing a dual network. This configuration and the dual voltage power supply in each LIU secure a high MTBCF and graceful degradation in case of any malfunction. Source

Terma DL-12T launchers

Terma DL-12T launchers (12 firing tubes each) Naresuan – Image:

Terma Mk137 SRBOC launchers

Terma Mk137 SRBOC launchers on Naresuan – Image: defense-studies.blogspot.grImage:

ES-3601S – Tactical Radar ESM and Surveillance System


The ES-3601S is a cost effective high-capability radar Electronic Support Measures system for surface naval applications. The ES-3601S uses an innovative monopulse direction-finding system for accurate bearing measurements, and has been integrated into a variety of combat system environments. The ES-3601 is currently operational on platforms from Europe to Asia.

Tactical Radar ESM and Surveillance Capabilities

  • 100% Probability of Intercept
  • Instantaneous DF over 360°
  • Accurate 2 x 4 element monopulse DF
  • Long range detection, DF and tracking
  • Measures all radars simultaneously


Naresuan Class propulsion and speed

Naresuan Class is powered by combined diesel or gas (CODOG) propulsion system. It includes two General Electric LM2500 gas turbine and two MTU 20V1163 TB83 diesel engines, driving two controllable pitch propellers through twin shafts. The propulsion system provides a maximum speed of 32kt and a range of 4,000nmi at 18kt speed.

2 x General Electric LM2500 gas turbine


The General Electric LM2500 is an industrial and marine gas turbine produced by GE Aviation. The LM2500 is a derivative of the General Electric CF6 aircraft engine.

The LM2500 is available in 3 different versions:

  • The LM2500 delivers 33,600 shaft horsepower (shp) (25,060 kW) with a thermal efficiency of 37 percent at ISO conditions. When coupled with an electric generator, it delivers 24 MW of electricity at 60 Hz with a thermal efficiency of 36 percent at ISO conditions.
  • The improved, 3rd generation, LM2500+ version of the turbine delivers 40,500 shp (30,200 kW) with a thermal efficiency of 39 percent at ISO conditions. When coupled with an electric generator, it delivers 29 MW of electricity at 60 Hz with a thermal efficiency of 38 percent at ISO conditions.
  • The latest, 4th generation, LM2500+G4 version was introduced in November 2005 and delivers 47,370 shp (35,320 kW) with a thermal efficiency of 39.3 percent at ISO conditions.

LM2500 installations place the engine inside a metal container for sound and heat isolation from the rest of the machinery spaces. This container is very near the size of a standard 40-foot (12 m) intermodal shipping container – but not the same, the engine size very slightly exceeds those dimensions. The air intake ducting may be designed and shaped appropriately for easy removal of the LM2500 from their ships. Source

2 x MTU 20V1163 TB83 diesel engines

Series 1163    
No. of cylinders
12V 16V 20V
Cylinder configuration
60°V 60°V 60°V
Bore/Stroke mm
230/280 230/280 230/280
Rated power max. kW
4440 5920 7400
Speed max. 1/min.
1300 1300 1300


General characteristics
Type: Frigate
Displacement: 2,985 tons full load
Length: 120.5 m
Beam: 13.7 m
Draught: 6 m
Propulsion: 1 × General Electric LM2500+gas turbine and 2 × MTU20V1163 TB83 diesel engines, driving two shafts with controllable pitch propellersin CODOG configuration.
Speed: 32 knots (59 km/h) max
Range: 4000 nmi(7408 km) at 18 kn
Complement: 150
Sensors and
processing systems:
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
  • ESM ITT ES-3601 (AN/SLQ-4)
  • ECM Type 984-1 noise jammer&Type 981-3 deception jammer
  • Decoys Terma SKWS (C-Guard)
Aircraft carried: 1 x Super Lynx 300


Main material source

Images are from public domain unless otherwise stated

Updated May 16, 2017

South Korea’s Navy develops new ship-to-ground missile

Navy develops new ship-to-ground missile

South Korea’s Navy on Tuesday released photos of successful test-firings of a new tactical ship-to-ground guided missile from a battleship on an unidentified date. [YONHAP]

Apr 19,2017

South Korea’s Navy has completed the development of new tactical ship-to-ground guided missiles that would enhance its ability to strike North Korea’s key military facilities, the country’s arms procurement agency said Tuesday.

South Korea will start mass-producing the missiles with two types of launch systems – inclined and vertical – next year after a seven-year project led by the Agency for Defense Development, according to the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA).

The missiles have met all the required operational capabilities in a recent test for use by next-generation frigates, it added.

The shrapnel of the missiles’ warhead can penetrate armored vehicles and destroy an area with the size of two football fields at a shot, the agency said.

The nation’s warships have largely depended on anti-ship or anti-aircraft guided missiles. But the successful development of the new missile will upgrade its capability to attack ground targets.

Especially, ship-to-ground missiles with a vertical launch platform that can be used by various naval ships will be operational beginning in 2019.

“[South Korea] has become able to strike from sea not only the enemy’s major bases on the ground but also core facilities, including those related to ballistic missile launches,” said Lee Sang-moon, head of the DAPA’s guided weapon development team.

The new missile will serve as key maritime equipment for the military’s Kill Chain pre-emptive strike system against North Korea’s provocations, he added.


Original post


Looks like the SSM-700K Haeseong (C-Star) Anti-ship Missile…….So I assume it is the land attack version……

 SSM-700K Haeseong (C-Star)

SSM-700K Haeseong (C-Star) Anti-ship Missile (Hangul: 해성 미사일) is a ship launched anti-ship cruise missile developed by the Korea Agency for Defense Development (ADD), LIG Nex1 and the Republic of Korea Navy in 2003.[1] The missiles are deployed on KDX-II and KDX-III destroyers as of 2006, each carrying 8 and 16 of the missiles respectively.

Development History

During the 1970s the Republic of Korea Navy decided to import Exocet anti-ship missiles to deter North Korean naval provocations. Considering the fact that the DPRK Navy was then and now mostly composed of numerous small to midsize ships, a cheap, small guided anti-ship missile was proposed. In 1978 the Korean Agency for Defense Development (ADD) started the development of the Hae Ryong anti-ship missile, and by 1987 the ROK Navy approved for the mass production of the missiles. But the Hae Ryong was fitted with a semi-active laser guidance system, limiting its tactical capability during bad weather. Additional pressure from the USA ultimately resulted in the termination of the project.

In 1990, the problem of large proportions of the defense budget going into buying anti-ship missiles from foreign countries was brought up. The ROK Navy ordered the ADD to develop a missile that was in par with or better in performance than the Harpoon Block 1C missile. The new missile was codenamed Haeseong, and research of the following core missile technologies was started in 1996.

  • Microwave Seeking System
  • Inertial Navigation System
  • Radio Altimeter
  • Electronic Jamming system
  • Turbofan Engine

After 7 years of research, on August 21, 2003, the ADD successfully test fired the Haeseong and sunk the target dummy vessel. On December 20, 2005 the first production model was successfully fired from ROKS Dae Joyeong (DDH 977) KDX-II class destroyer.

Cruise missiles

In September 2011, South Korean defense officials confirmed the development of a supersonic cruise missile based on the Haeseong I anti-ship missile, called the Haeseong II. The Haeseong II is designed as a ship-to-surface cruise missile that travels faster than Mach 1 that can evade defense systems and accurately strike ground targets, particularly North Korean missile launch pads. The missile was developed without the assistance of the United States and will not be offered for export due to restrictions of the Missile Technology Control Regime. Ships will launch the missile with the installation of vertical and slant launch systems, and strike targets over 500 km (310 mi; 270 nmi) away.[2] There is a version of the Haeseong cruise missile designed to be launched underwater from submarines called the Haeseong III.[3] The Haeseong cruise missiles are believed to have become operational in 2013.[4]   Source

Weight 718 kg(with launcher:1,016kg)
Length 5.46 m
Width 0.34 m
180 km+
Flight altitude Sea-skimming
Speed 1013 km/h (Mach 0.85)


F-22 to Get Software Update 6 for Datalink and Sensor Targeting Technology

Air Force Plans to Better Link F-22 and F-35 Sensor Targeting Technology


The F-22 upgrade allows full functionality for the AIM-120D and AIM-9X Air-to-Air missiles as well as enhanced Air-to-Surface target location capabilities.

The Air Force is in the early phases of designing new sensors for its stealthy 5th-generation F-22 Raptor as it proceeds with software upgrades, hardware adjustments, new antennas and data link improvements designed to better enable to connect the F-22 and F-35 sensor packages to one another, industry officials explained.

Sensor interoperability, two-way data links and other kinds of technical integration between the two 5th-Gen stealth aircraft are considered key to an Air Force combat strategy which intends for the F-22 speed and air-to-air combat supremacy to complement and work in tandem with the F-35’s next-gen sensors, precision-attack technology, computers and multi-role fighting mission ability.

“The F-22 is designed to fly in concert with F-35. Software Update 6 for the F-22 will give the Air Force a chance to link their sensor packages together. Sensors are a key component to its capability. As the F-22 gets its new weapons on board – you are going to need to upgrade the sensors to use the new weapons capability,” John Cottam, F-22 Program Deputy, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, told Scout Warrior in an interview.

While the F-35 is engineered with dog-fighting abilities, its advanced sensor technology is intended to recognize enemy threats at much further distances – enabling earlier, longer-range attacks to destroy enemies in the air. Such technologies, which include 360-degree sensors known as Northrop Grumman’s Distributed Aperture System and a long range Electro-Optical Targeting System, are designed to give the F-35 an ability to destroy targets at much longer ranges – therefore precluding the need to dogfight.

Like the F-35, the latest F-22s have radar (Synthetic Aperture Radar) and data-links (F-22 has LINK 16), radar warning receivers and targeting technologies. Being that the F-22 is regarded as the world’s best air-to-air platform, an ability for an F-35 and F-22 to more quickly exchange sensor information such as targeting data would produce a potentially unprecedented battlefield advantage, industry developers and Air Force senior leaders have explained. The combined impact of each of the airplanes respective technological advantages makes for an unrivaled air-combat supremacy, observers have argued.

For example, either of the aircraft could use stealth technology to penetrate enemy airspace and destroy air defense systems. Once a safe air corridor is established for further attacks, an F-22 could maintain or ensure continued air supremacy while an F-35 conducted close-air-support ground attacks or pursued ISR missions with its drone-like video-surveillance technology. Additionally, either platform could identify targets for the other, drawing upon the strengths of each.

Conversely, an F-35 could use its long-range sensors and “sensor fusion” to identify airborne targets which the F-22 may be best suited to attack.

Air Force developers are, quite naturally, acutely aware of the Chinese J-20 stealth fighter and Russia’s PAK-FA T-50 stealth aircraft as evidence that the US will need to work vigorously to sustain its technological edge.

Along these lines, both the F-22 and F-35 are engineered to draw from “mission data files,” described as on-board libraries storing information on known threats in particular geographical locations. This database is integrated into a radar warning receiver so that aircraft have the earliest possible indication of the threats they are seeing.

Air Force officials have told Scout Warrior that, by 2019, the service will begin upgrading F-22 functionality for the AIM-120D and AIM-9X Air-to-Air missiles as well as enhanced Air-to-Surface target location capabilities. The F-22 currently carries the AIM-9X Block 1 and the current upgrade will enable carriage of AIM-9X Block 2.

Raytheon AIM-9X weapons developers explain that the Block 2 variant adds a redesigned fuze and a digital ignition safety device that enhances ground handling and in-flight safety. Block II also features updated electronics that enable significant enhancements, including lock-on-after-launch capability using a new weapon datalink to support beyond visual range engagements, a Raytheon statement said.

Another part of the weapons upgrade includes engineering the F-22 to fire the AIM-120D, a beyond visual range Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM), designed for all weather day-and-night attacks; it is a “fire and forget” missile with active transmit radar guidance, Raytheon data states. The AIM-120D is built with upgrades to previous AMRAAM missiles by increasing attack range, GPS navigation, inertial measurment units and a two-way data link, Raytheon statements explain.

As the Air Force and Lockheed Martin move forward with weapons envelope expansions and enhancements for the F-22, there is of course a commensurate need to upgrade software and its on-board sensors to adjust to emerging future threats, industry developers explained. Ultimately, this effort will lead the Air Force to draft up requirements for new F-22 sensors.

Cottam also explained that the House and Senate have directed the Air Force to look at two different potential sensor upgrades for the F-22, an effort the service is now in the conceptual phase of exploring.

“A sensor enhancement program is now being configured. We do not know what that is going to entail because it is not yet funded by the Air Force and we have not seen a requirements documents,” Cottam said. “Threats in the world are always evolving so we need to evolve this plane as well.”

An essential software adjustment, called “Update 6,” is now being worked on by Lockheed Martin engineers on contract with the Air Force. Work on the software is slated to be finished by 2020, Cottam added.

A hardware portion of the upgrades, called a “tactical mandate,” involves engineering new antennas specifically designed to preserve the stealth configuration of the F-22.

“New antennas have to be first constructed. They will be retrofitted onto the airplane. Because of the stealth configuration putting, antennas on is difficult and time consuming,” Cottam said.

Meanwhile, the Air Force is performing key maintenance on the F-22 Raptor’s stealth materials while upgrading the stealth fighter with new attack weapons to include improved air-to-air and air-to-surface strike technology, service officials said.

The AIM-120D also includes improved High-Angle Off-Boresight technology enabling the weapon to destroy targets at a wider range of angles.

Additional upgrades to the stealth fighter, slated for 2021, are designed to better enable digital communications via data links with 4th and 5th generation airplanes.

“The backbone of this upgrade also includes the installation of an open systems architecture that will allow for future upgrades to be done faster and at less expense than could be previously accomplished,” 1st Lt. Carrie J. Volpe, Action Officer, Air Combat Command Public Affair, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., told Scout Warrior.

 Stealth Coating Maintenance

The Air Force has contracted Lockheed Martin to perform essential maintenance to the F-22’s low-observable stealth coating to ensure it is equipped to manage fast-emerging threats.

Lockheed Martin completed the first F-22 Raptor at the company’s Inlet Coating Repair (ICR) Speedline, a company statement said.

“Periodic maintenance is required to maintain the special exterior coatings that contribute to the 5th Generation Raptor’s Very Low Observable radar cross-section,” Lockheed stated.

The increase in F-22 deployments, including ongoing operational combat missions, has increased the demand for ICR. Additionally, Lockheed Martin is providing modification support services, analytical condition inspections, radar cross section turntable support and antenna calibration.

F-22 Attack & Supercruise Technology 

At the moment, targeting information from drones is relayed from the ground station back up to an F-22.  However, computer algorithms and technology is fast evolving such that aircraft like an F-22s will soon be able to quickly view drone video feeds in the cockpit without needing a ground station — and eventually be able to control nearby drones from the air. These developments were highlighted in a special Scout Warrior interview with Air Force Chief Scientist Greg Zacharias.

Zacharias explained that fifth generation fighters such as the F-35 and F-22 are quickly approaching an ability to command-and-control nearby drones from the air. This would allow unmanned systems to deliver payload, test enemy air defenses and potentially extend the reach of ISR missions.

Newer F-22s have a technology called Synthetic Aperture Radar, or SAR, which uses electromagnetic signals or “pings” to deliver a picture or rendering of the terrain below, allow for better target identification.

The SAR technology sends a ping to the ground and then analyzes the return signal to calculate the contours, distance and characteristics of the ground below.

Overall, the Air Force operates somewhere between 80 and 100 or more F-22s. Dave Majumdar of The National Interest writes that many would like to see more F-22s added to the Air Force arsenal. (Story HERE). For instance, some members of Congress, such as former Rep. Randy Forbes, R-Va., have requested that more F-22s be built, given its technological superiority.

Citing budget concerns, Air Force officials have said it is unlikely the service will want to build new F-22s, however it is possible the Trump administration could want to change that.

F-22 Technologies

The F-22 is known for a range of technologies including an ability called “super cruise” which enables the fighter to reach speeds of Mach 1.5 without needing to turn on its after burners.

“The F-22 engines produce more thrust than any current fighter engine. The combination of sleek aerodynamic design and increased thrust allows the F-22 to cruise at supersonic airspeeds. Super Cruise greatly expands the F-22’s operating envelope in both speed and range over current fighters, which must use fuel-consuming afterburner to operate at supersonic speeds,” Col. Larry Broadwell, the Commander of the 1st Operations Group at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, told Scout Warrior in a special pilot interview last year.

The fighter jet fires a 20mm cannon and has the ability to carry and fire all the air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons including precision-guided ground bombs, such Joint Direct Attack Munitions called the GBU 32 and GBU 39, Broadwell explained. In the air-to-air configuration the Raptor carries six AIM-120 AMRAAMs and two AIM-9 Sidewinders, he added.

“The F-22 possesses a sophisticated sensor suite allowing the pilot to track, identify, shoot and kill air-to-air threats before being detected. Significant advances in cockpit design and sensor fusion improve the pilot’s situational awareness,” he said.

It also uses what’s called a radar-warning receiver – a technology which uses an updateable data base called “mission data files” to recognize a wide-range of enemy fighters, Broadwell said.

Made by Lockheed Martin and Boeing, the F-22 uses two Pratt & Whitney F119-PW-100 turbofan engines with afterburners and two-dimensional thrust vectoring nozzles, an Air Force statement said.  It is 16-feet tall, 62-feet long and weighs 43,340 pounds. Its maximum take-off weight is 83,500.

The aircraft was first introduced in December of 2005, and each plane costs $143 million, Air Force statements say.

“Its greatest asset is the ability to target attack and kill an enemy without the enemy ever being aware they are there,” Broadwell added.

The Air Force’s stealthy F-22 Raptor fighter jet delivered some of the first strikes in the U.S.-led attacks on the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, when aerial bombing began in 2014, service officials told Scout Warrior.

After delivering some of the first strikes in the U.S. Coalition-led military action against ISIS, the F-22 began to shift its focus from an air-dominance mission to one more focused on supporting attacks on the ground.

“An F-22 squadron led the first strike in OIR (Operation Inherent Resolve). The aircraft made historic contributions in the air-to-ground regime,” he added.

Even though ISIS does not have sophisticated air defenses or fighter jets of their own to challenge the F-22, there are still impactful ways in which the F-22 continues to greatly help the ongoing attacks, Broadwell said.

“There are no issues with the air superiority mission. That is the first thing they focus on. After that, they can transition to what they have been doing over the last several months and that has been figuring out innovative ways to contribute in the air-to-ground regime to support the coalition,” Broadwell said.

Original post


Software Update 6 Details

In 2012, Government Accountability Office (GAO) documents show that the USAF plans to bring 143 F-22As to the Block 35 standard with full Increment 3.2 upgrades at a total cost of $1.5653 billion and a unit cost of $10.298 million per airframe.[11] These 143 airframes likely consist of 123 PMAI (Primary Mission Aircraft Inventory) aircraft as well as those squadron’s accompanied 12 BAIs (Backup Aircraft Inventory) airframes and the remaining 8 airframes would plausibly be assigned to Nellis for TES or USAF Weapons School roles. Major F-22 upgrade programs are detailed below, the upgrades are generally understood to be associated with the following Block designations:

  • Increment 2.0 = Block 20 – earlier airframes upgraded to this baseline
  • Increment 3.1 = Block 30
  • Increment 3.2 = Block 35

In addition to the upgrade programs below, the F-22 is receiving additional upgrades through the Increment 3.2 follow-on, “Budget Program Activity Code [BPAC]: 674788 – F-22 Tactical Mandates” which consists of Update 5 and Update 6.

GAO vs USAF description of F-22 modernization effort components retrieved via CRS. Auto GCAS capability has been withdrawn from the Increment 3.2 upgrade and is now featured within the Update 5 software modification. Much more detailed examination of F-22 upgrades is available here: &#8211; Image:

The F-22 Tactical Mandates series of software upgrades have three principal objectives: reduce the risk of fratricide, improve fourth-to-fifth generation communication, and complete risk reduction measures for the Increment 3.2B upgrade via partial integration of the AIM-9X.[12] The most substantial Tactical Mandates components not listed under either Update 5 or Update 6 are Link-16 transmit capability and Identification friend or foe (IFF) mode 5 integration. A total of 72 F-22As will receive Link-16 transmit capability by 2020; the distribution of these 72 aircraft among the PMAI squadrons and the nature of the Link-16 modification, i.e. use of L-3 developed “Chameleon” waveform to reduce probability of detection, have not been specified. [13] In the interim period prior to the 2020 Link-16 upgrade, Raptor pilots will continue to utilize a series of ad-hoc operational procedures to share information over UHF and VHF radio with 4th generation pilots when there are no Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN) aircraft is not present; Update 5 modified aircraft will also be able to utilize the Intra-Flight Data Link (IFDL) GWY Mode as a means to communicate with 4th generation aircraft.[14][15]

            In 2014, pilots from the 422d TES tested the Scorpion helmet mounted cueing system (HMCS) for integration with the F-22. However, the Scorpion was ultimately not funded as the Air Force was struggling to fund Joint Requirements Oversight Council (JROC) mandated items such as mode 5 IFF as part of the Tactical Mandates program.[16] While integration of a HMCS or helmet mounted display (HMD) may seem of greater utility to F-22 combat capabilities than IFF upgrades, aircraft than have not featured the latest available IFF standard have often been relegated to subordinate roles or have had to adhere to strict rules of engagement which greatly diminish the capabilities of their aircraft. For example, F-4 Phantoms often struggled to identify distant radar contacts in the early years of the Vietnam War such that full use of the Phantom’s beyond visual range (BVR) capabilities was not realized until the fielding of the APX-80 IFF in 1972.

BAE PowerPoint slide showing contract award for AN/DPX-7 transponder integration into the F-22. TACAN = Tactical Air Navigation, ADS-B = Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast, M5L2 = Mode 5 Level 2 – Broadcast. Image Credit: BAE systems.  Image:

The APX-80 IFF was developed under the “Combat Tree” program in which the U.S. covertly acquired Soviet SRO-2 IFFs from Arab MiGs downed during the Six Day War. APX-80 equipped Phantoms enabled pilots to not only recognize friendly IFF contacts, but also to definitely recognize adversary aircraft at BVR.[17]

The Update 5 software modification component of the Tactical Mandates program is actively being integrated within the F-22 fleet, “The Update 5 Operation Flight Program (OFP) includes Automatic Ground Collision Avoidance System (AGCAS), Intra Flight Data Link Mode 5th to 4th generation IFDL capability (IFDL GWY Mode), and basic to Block I AIM-9X missile launch capability”.[20] Full integration of the more capable AIM-9X Block II requires Increment 3.2B upgrades which prove two-way datalink functionality between the F-22 and AIM-9X Block II thereby enabling lock-after launch (LOAL) capability. Furthermore, the symbology, possibly the weapons engagement zone (WEZ), for the AIM-9X is displayed with AIM-9M characteristics on the F-22’s HUD under the Update 5 modification. Increment 3.2B will rectify the symbology issues but is not scheduled to incorporate a HMD which facilitate AIM-9X HOBS. However, Raptor pilots will still be able to fully utilize the AIM-9X’s increased range and maneuverability enhancements over the AIM-9M as a result of the Update 5 modification. While the AIM-9X integration component of Update 5 is significant, the AGCAS capability is critical to mitigating the potential of future write-offs within the small F-22 fleet; the Update 5 modification also improves general software stability.

Update 6 appears to be geared towards both denying potential adversaries a source of signals intelligence and bolstering the cyber security, and possibly the resilience of, of Link-16 and IFDL:

U6 will develop, test and field new capabilities and capability enhancements including changes driven by real world evolving threats, emergency/safety of flight issues, and deficiency reports. U6 Interoperability provides cryptographic updates required by the National Security Agency (NSA) to IFDL, Link-16, and Tactical Secure Voice (TSV) and development to maintain interoperability with the enhancements to Link-16 and Secure Voice networks. The U6 Interoperability program will absorb and build upon the development work already accomplished in the KOV-20 Cryptographic Modernization Program and integrate that development into a single Operational Flight Program (OFP) for fleet release. In addition, U6 Interoperability will develop and deliver software fixes identified as critical to the operational community. – Exhibit R-2, RDT&E Budget Item Justification: PB 2016 Air Force – PE 0207138F: F, 2015.[22] [Emphasis added]

While the current F-22 modernization program represents a holistic approach to increasing the combat capabilities of the fleet with respect to suppression of enemy air defense (SEAD)/destruction of enemy air defense (DEAD) roles, augmenting the F-22’s already formidable beyond visual range (BVR) and within visual range (WVR) capabilities, and improving 4th to 5th generation compatibility – planned upgrades to not remedy deeper design deficiencies within the F-22A. While the F-22 is unambiguously the most lethal air-to-air platform in existence, the F-22 was designed during the 1980s and 1990s under a different threat and technological environment. Namely the F-22’s antiquated internal computing capabilities, software, high maintenance requirements, and limited combat radius degrade the utility of the F-22 within the context of operating in the Asia-Pacific against increasingly capable great power threats. Source

Main image by USAF Staff Sgt. Delaney Gonzales

F-22 Raptor: Details

Formidable Class Frigate, Singapore

Six Formidable Class multi-mission frigates have been built for the Singapore Navy. The first of class, RSS Formidable, was launched on 7 January 2004 at the Lorient dockyard in Brittany, France.

The Republic of Singapore Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) awarded the contract in March 2002 to DCN (now DCNS) in France for the design and construction of the frigates. The contract included a technology transfer programme under which the construction of the first frigate was carried out in France and then five further frigates were built in Singapore by Singapore Technology Marine (STM) at the Benoi shipyard. The frigate programme is named Project Delta and is being managed by Singapore’s state-owned Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA).


Following the launch of the RSS Formidable in January 2004, work started on fitting the combat and platform systems. The frigate arrived at Changi Naval Base, Singapore, in August 2005 and was commissioned in May 2007. The six Formidable Class frigates were declared fully operational in January 2009.

Name Pennant
Launched Commissioned Status
RSS Formidable 68 7 January 2004 5 May 2007
RSS Intrepid 69 3 July 2004 5 February 2008
RSS Steadfast 70 28 January 2005 5 February 2008
RSS Tenacious 71 15 July 2005 5 February 2008
RSS Stalwart 72 9 December 2005 16 January 2009
RSS Supreme 73 9 May 2006 16 January 2009

Formidable Class frigates

Click to enlarge: modified photo of a Formidable class frigate prior the improvements. High resolution image here. – Source

As well as RSS Formidable (68), the class consists of: RSS Intrepid (69) launched in July 2004, RSS Steadfast (70) launched in January 2005 and RSS Tenacious (71) launched in July 2005 – all commissioned in February 2008; RSS Stalwart (72), launched in December 2005 and delivered in October 2007; and RSS Supreme (73), launched in May 2006 and delivered in August 2008. Stalwart and Supreme were commissioned in January 2009.

The frigates replace the six Sea Wolf Class missile gunboats that entered service in 1972 and are approaching the end of operational life.

Sea Wolf Class missile gunboats

The Sea Wolf class missile gunboats were acquired in 1968, based on the TNC 45 design from Fredrich Lürssen Werft. The first two gunboats were constructed in Germany, while the remaining four were constructed locally by ST Marine (then known as Singapore Shipbuilding and Engineering).

As new technology became available, these gunboats underwent a number of upgrading programmes in the 1980s and 1990s to increase their strike capability and sophistication. These gunboats became the first missile-armed naval vessels in Southeast Asia when they were upgraded to launch Boeing Harpoon (SSM) surface-to-surface missiles. On 13 May 2008, all six gunboats were retired at a sunset decommissioning ceremony held at Changi Naval Base following 33 years of service.

Length 45 metres
Beam 6.5 metres
Displacement 270 tonnes
Crew 40
Speed 30 knots (56 km/h)


La Fayette Class based frigate design

The Project Delta design is a smaller derivative of the French La Fayette Class stealth frigate with low radar, acoustic, infrared and electromagnetic signatures.

La Fayette Class Frigate: Details

(F-710) La Fayette

A high level of automation and closely integrated combat and ship management systems have been selected to allow the frigate to be operated with a crew of just 70. The overall length is 114.8m with a beam of 16.3m and draught of 6.0m. The full load displacement is 3,200t.

Command and control

The combat management system was developed by the state-owned DSTA with ST Electronics to meet the operational requirements of the Republic of Singapore Navy. DSTA also has responsibility for the combat systems integration. The standard operating common consoles, with 20in LCD displays, are supplied by Singapore Technologies Electronics, a subsidiary of ST Engineering.

Combat management system

Image: globalsecurity.orgImage:

The Integrated Communications System is also supplied by Singapore Technologies Electronics.


Formidable missiles


The frigate is armed with the Boeing Harpoon surface-to-surface anti-ship missile. The Harpoon missile has a range of 130km and uses active radar guidance. The missile is armed with a 227kg warhead.

Harpoon anti-ship missile

The Harpoon is an all weather, subsonic, over the horizon, anti-ship missile which can be launch from surface ships, submarines and aircraft. Its guidance system consists of a 3-axis integrated digital computer/ radar altimeter for midcourse guidance, and an active radar seeker for the terminal phase of the flight.

The Harpoon flies at subsonic speeds, with a sea-skimming flight trajectory for improved survivability through reduced probability of detection by enemy defenses. It was designed to strike enemy ships in an open ocean environment.

The ship launched RGM-84 Harpoon was introduced in 1977, as well as the encapsulated submarine launched UGM-84.


Diameter: 340 millimeter
Length: 4.63 meter (15.2 foot)
Wingspan: 910 millimeter
Max Range: 124 kilometer (67 nautical mile)

Top Speed: 237 mps (853 kph)
Thrust: 660 pound
Warhead: 224 kilogram (494 pound)
Weight: 691 kilogram



The frigate is fitted with the DCNS Sylver vertical launch system with MBDA Aster 15 surface-to-air missiles. There are four eight-cell SYLVER A43 launch modules with 32 missiles. The two-stage Aster missile is a high-agility and high-manoeuvrability defence missile for deployment against incoming sea skimming anti-ship missiles which use evasive terminal manoeuvres and re-attack modes. In anti-missile mode the Aster 15 has a range of 15km. Aster also provides protection against manned and unmanned aircraft to a range of 30km.

DCNS Sylver vertical launch system


The two-stage ASTER missiles are provided with two different solid propellant boosters resulting in the ASTER 15 and the ASTER 30 models. The ‘Pif-Paf’ control system enables the ASTER missile to counter high maneuverable missiles achieving a direct impact (hit-to-kill). The ‘Pif-Paf’ propulsion combines conventional aerodynamic control with control by gas jets acting through the centre of gravity of the missile. Until mid-course the guidance of an ASTER missile is based on the Inertial Navigation System (INS) updated through an uplink, in the terminal phase the guidance is provided by an active Radiofrequency seeker. The final stage of the ASTER missile is a ‘dart’ equipped with the seeker, a sustainer motor, a proximity fuze and a blast fragmentation warhead.

aster_missileThe ‘Pif-Paf’ propulsion – Image:

The ASTER 15 is a short range missile intended for self-defense (point defense) purposes against highly maneuverable threats. The ASTER 15 is integrated on the SAAM and beginning in 2006 in the PAAMS system. The SAAM is installed on French-built frigates and the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier. The PAAMS will be provided to the Horizon frigates (France and Italy) and the Type 45 destroyers (United Kingdom).

8d5494eef01f3a29564afa529825bc315d607cafThe basic structure of -ASTER 15/30 – Image:

ASTER 15 version

Diameter: 180 millimeter (7.09 inch)
Length: 4.20 meter (165 inch)
Max Range: 30,000 meter (16.2 nautical mile)
Min Range: 1,700 meter (0.92 nautical mile)
Target’s Max Altitude: 13,000 meter (8.08 mile)
Top Speed: 1,000 mps (3,601 kph)
Weight: 310 kilogram (683 pound)

ASTER 15 data Source

Launch of Aster 15 missile. Photo: Republic of Singapore Navy 


The main gun is the Oto Melara 76mm / 62 Super Rapid gun which fires 6kg shells to a range of 16km at a firing rate up to 120 rounds a minute.

Oto Melara 76mm / 62 Super Rapid gun

Technical data:

Caliber: 3 inches / 76,2 mm
Barrel lenght: 186 inches / 4,72 meters (= 62 caliber)
Weight: 7900kg, empty (Super Rapid)
Shell: 76 x 900 mm / 12,34 kilograms
Elevation: – 15° to + 85°
Traverse: 360°
Rate of fire: Compact: 85 rpm / Super Rapid: selectable from single shot up to 120 rpm
Muzzle Velocity: 925 m/s (1100 m/s – DART)
Magazine: Compact: 80 rounds / SR: 85 rounds
16 kilometers with standard ammunition
20 km with extended range ammunition
up to 40 km with VULCANO ammunition

HE (high explosive) – 6,296kg / Range 16km / effective range 8km (4km vs. air targets at elev. 85°)
MOM (multi-role OTO munition)
PFF (pre-formed fragmentation) – anti-missile ammunition
SAPOM (semi-armored piercing OTO munition) – 6,35kg / Range 16km
SAPOMER (semi-armored piercing OTO munition, extended range) – Range 20km
DART (driven ammunition reduced time of flight) – sub-calibre guided ammunition against multiple targets
(missiles and maneuvering targets at sea) 4,2kg in barrel / 3,5kg in flight / 660mm lenght / effective range >8km
VULCANO (76mm unguided and guided extended range ammunition) – under development


2 x Rafael Typhoon Mk25 naval stabilized gun

Image: David Boey

Typhoon is a family of lightweight, stabilized, remote controlled weapon systems for a full range of weapons, including:

  • Battle proven
  • Highly accurate in day and night operations
  • Lightweight
  • No deck penetration is required
  • Simple operation with high reliability
  • Cost effective
  • Modular design enable future upgrades


Toplite, highly stabilized, multi-role, multi-sensor optronic payload, is a day/night observation and targeting, configured for naval, air and ground surveillance and targeting systems.

Toplite provides the services required for precision guidance for guided weapons, day or night and under adverse weather conditions. Toplite enables observation, target detection, recognition and identification by the use of various sensors including FLIR, CCD and laser rangefinder. Toplite features both manual and automatic target tracking. The system includes the following sub-systems:

  • FLIR: 3rd GEN (3-5micron) or 8-12micron TDi
  • CCD camera B/W or color
  • Eye safe laser rangefinder
  • Laser designator (optional)
  • Advanced correlation tracker


Close-In Weapon System
  • Mount: General Motors Defence Australia (GMDA) under licence from Rafael.
  • Bushmaster Cannon: Alliant Tech Systems (formerly produced by Boeing).
Rate of Fire
200 rounds per minute
25 millimetre


12.7mm/50 MG Burst

Image: Republic of Singapore Navy
Targets: Surface Vessel, Land Structure – Soft, Mobile Target – Soft
12.7mm/50 MG Burst [10 rnds] – (Facility/Ship, No Anti-Air Capability) Gun
Surface Max: 1.9 km. Land Max: 1.9 km.


Anti-submarine warfare

The EDO Model 980 ALOFTS active low-frequency towed sonar provides long-range detection and classification capability against submarines. ALOFTS comprises a variable depth sonar (VDS) towed body with a towed array. The frigate has two triple-barrelled lightweight torpedo launchers and is armed with the Eurotorp A244S torpedo.

EDO Model 980 ALOFTS active low-frequency towed sonar

General data:
Type: VDS, Active/Passive Sonar Altitude Max: 0 m
Range Max: 74.1 km Altitude Min: 0 m
Range Min: 0 km Generation: Early 2000s
Sensors / EW:
EDO 980 ALOFTS – VDS, Active/Passive Sonar
Role: VDS, Active/Passive Variable Depth Sonar
Max Range: 74.1 km


2 x triple-barrelled lightweight torpedo launchers

RSS Tenacious. Image:

Eurotorp A244S torpedo

Image: EuroTorp
eneral data:
Type: Torpedo Weight: 254 kg
Length: 2.75 m Span: 0.324 m
Diameter: 0.324 Generation: None
Properties: Search Pattern, Bearing-Only Launch (BOL)
Targets: Submarine
Sensors / EW:
Torpedo Seeker – (A.244S [CIACIO-S]) Hull Sonar, Active/Passive
Torpedo Seeker, Active/Passive Shallow Water
Max Range: 0.5 km


Frigate aircraft capacities

The frigate has the capacity to operate a single medium-size helicopter in the 10t class. The helicopter deck at the stern, approximately 22m×16m (360m²), has a single landing spot. The hangar is fully equipped with helicopter support and maintenance systems. The frigate carries an additional 15 aircrew for helicopter flight operations.

The Republic of Singapore Air Force will fly the shipborne helicopter and helicopter mission crew will be from the Republic of Singapore Navy. In January 2005, MINDEF placed an order for six Sikorsky S-70B Seahawk helicopters to operate from the frigates.

Sikorsky S-70B Seahawk


Engine – 2 X General Electric T700-GE401C

Power – 1,911.00 Horsepower

Avionics – Rockwell Collins glass cockpit

Maximum Cruising Speed – 270.00 km per hr   167.78 mph

Service Ceiling – 3,616.15 metres   11,864.00 feets

Rate of Climb – 363.32 mpm   1,192.00 fpm

Numbers Ordered/Sold – 0

Cabin Height – 1.30 metres  4.27 feets

Cabin Width – 1.80 metres  5.91 feets

Cabin Length – 3.20 metres  10.50 feets

Exterior Length – 19.76 metres  64.83 feets

Wingspan / Rotor Diameter – 16.36 metres  53.67 feets

Fuselage Diameter – N/A   N/A

Baggage Volume – N/A   N/A

Maximum Take Off Weight – 9,927.00 kgs  21,885.06 lbs

Maximum Payload – 3,628.80 kgs  8,000.00 lbs

Fuel Tank Capacity – 594.45 gallon  2,250.00 litres

Fuel Economy – 0.29 km per litre  0.68 NM per gallon



The Herakles multi-function radar, supplied by Thales, is the frigate’s primary surveillance radar. The phased array radar is a passive, three-dimensional, search and fire control radar operating over E and F bands. The radar, installed in a radome on top of the main mast, carries out long-range air and surface surveillance and weapon control. The Herakles radar is integrated with the Aster air defence missile system.

The frigates surface search and navigation radar is the Terma Scanter 2001, operating at I-band.

Herakles 3D S-band radar

FREDA_Air_Defense_FREMM_DCNS_French_Navy_HeraklesThales’ Herakles S-band multifunction radar. Illustration: Thales

Thales Herakles is installed in a radome on top of the main mast which is a rotating 3D passive electronically scanned array multi-function radar in the E/F-band (S-band) combining air and surface surveillance and fire control radar and thus performing all functions involved in the establishment of air and surface pictures. Herakles performs target detection and tracking, environment mapping, target classification, weapon assignment and deployment and missile uplink guidance. Herakles is optimized to detect and track multiple SSM, ARM, diving missiles, fighters and helicopters in littoral environments. Herakles provides 3D surveillance for up to 250 km (200 km on aircrafts, 60 km on missiles and 20+ km for sea skimming missiles). and it has a track capacity of more than 500 air and surface targets. Each ship is equipped with two Terma SCANTER 2001 navigation radars. One of the radar systems is utilized primarily for navigation and surveillance, whereas the other guides helicopters when landing on the frigates. Source

General data:
Type: Radar Altitude Max: 30480 m
Range Max: 203.7 km Altitude Min: 0 m
Range Min: 0.2 km Generation: Late 2000s
Properties: Moving Target Indicator (MTI), Pulse Doppler Radar (Full LDSD Capability)
Sensors / EW:
Herakles 3D – Radar
Role: Radar, Air & Surface Search, 3D Medium-Range
Max Range: 203.7 km


2 x Terma SCANTER 2001 navigation radar

Terma Radar Systems

The SCANTER 2000 series is an X-band, 2D, fully coherent pulse compression radar, based on Solid State transmitter technology with digital software-defined functionality. It is especially suited for Vessel Traffic Services (VTS), river, and inner port surveillance. The outdoor transceiver unit is very small, weighs only 26 kg, and can be placed up-mast close to the antenna to minimize installation requirements and costs as well as waveguide loss between antenna and transceiver to acheive a high effecient solution. This SCANTER 2000 series provides a fully integrated solution with automated processing and low lifetime cost. Source


Terma has more than 60 years of experience in developing and manufacturing radars, and more than 2,200 radar systems are installed worldwide. Terma provides radar sensors to Vessel Traffic Services

(VTS), Coastal Surveillance Radar (CS), and Surface Movement Radar (SMR) segments. More than 85 of all major airports around the world and 65% of all coastal shores rely on Terma’s sensor technology.


  • Based on Terma’s high-quality and state-of-the-art radar technology
  • Weight only 26 kg
  • Easy integration – standard IP network
  • Low installation life-time cost


Weight 26 kg
Hxwxd 466 mm x 422 mm x 422 mm
Type Solid State power amplifier
Frequency 9.3-9.5GHz
Sector Transmission Blank/reduced tx-power
Sampling 12 bit @ 200 MHz
Dynamic range > 100 db (incl. processing)
Noise figure 2.5 dB typical
Emitter >80W peak (equivalent to 25 kw magnetron)
Min. detection range 30 m


Stir 1.2 Mk2 (Upgraded)

Sting EO Tracking system

Some of the vessels such as RSS Tenacious, RSS Stalwart and RSS Steadfast have received recently various improvements, including the Stir 1.2 Mk2 of Thales on bridge roof, a highly capable medium-to-long range tracking and illumination dual-band (I/K) radar system. A full set of electro-optic equipment (TV/IR/laser) complements the system for optimal performance in demanding environments, The system has been designed primarily to control point and area defence missile systems such as NATO Sea Sparrow, ESSM, Aster and Standard Missiles. A secondary application is the direct control of various caliber guns. Source

Image result for STING-EO Mk2Image:

STING-EO Mk2, Thales’s lightweight dual band (I and K) weapon control system, supports gun fire control, performs kill assessment and makes a valuable contribution to classification and identification of threats. In addition, the system can be used as a surveillance sensor, even under radar silence conditions.

The three data sources (I, K, EO) provide high redundancy, performance and ECCM resistance. STING EO Mk2 incorporates the latest solid-state I-band and K-band radars transmitters (low life cycle cost and high operational availability) and a new generation of electro-optical components (especially a third generation focal plane array infrared camera).

For operation in the littoral environment, STING EO Mk2 offers a list of benefits, such as: superior stealth target detection in strong (land) clutter, higher resistance against more stressing jamming scenarios and an extended EO capability for target identification and observation.

Instrumented range
– I-band : 120 km
– K-band : 36 km


*Note – seems it has no bow sonar


The vessel’s electronic support measures (ESM) system is the Rafael C-PEARL-M radar intercept. C-PEARL-M is a lightweight ESM system consisting of two line replaceable units (LRU) – an antenna unit and a receiver-processor unit – which provide automatic detection, data measurement and identification of threats.

Rafael C-PEARL-M radar intercept

C-Pearl-M on main mast – Image:

The C-Pearl-M is a ship-mounted, miniature, lightweight, cost-effective electronic support measures system that enables automatic detection, data measurement and identification of threats. It consists of two line replaceable units: an antenna unit and a receiver-processor unit. C-PEARL-M is currently in service with the Navy of Israel and was selected by Australia for integration in Perry-class frigates. The C-Pearl-M has been designed to easily interface with the ship’s combat management system and fit with many types of vessels. It features modularity, high reliability and low maintainability. A single crew member can operate the C-PEARL-M system. Source

Specification table
Corresponding frequency 2 – 18 GHz
(option: 0.5 – 18 GHz)
2 – 18 GHz
(Option: 0.5 – 40 GHz)
0.5 – 40 GHz
sensitivity -60 dBm -65 dBm
Frequency accuracy 1.5 MHz 3 MHz 2 MHz
Direction accuracy 1 degree 3 degrees 2 times


Three Sagem Défense Sécurité (formerly EADS Defence & Electronics) new-generation Dagaie systems (NGDS) are fitted. Each system consists of a pair of two-axis launchers with 12 infrared, radar or acoustic decoys.

Dagaie systems (NGDS)


Each of the vessels is equipped with three eight (8) barrel 130mm Sagem NGDS (New-Generation Dagaie System) multiple decoy launchers to counter a variety of threats such as anti-ship missiles and torpedoes. Two decoy launchers are in front of the bridge and behind the VLS while the third one is located at the top of the helicopter hangar (it seems that the third launcher has been removed from the vessels). NGDS is integrated in the ship’s combat system’s detection and warning system and can react automatically to current or emerging threats, in extremely short times. Each system is equipped with a single dual launcher including decoys (infrared, radar or acoustic) adapted to the threat to be neutralized. The NGDS system adapts to all types of munitions: electromagnetic or IR decoys, Active Offboard Decoy (AOD), Anti-Torpedo Decoy and/or laser jammer, deployed at short, medium or long range. The launchers are linked to a computer that selects the decoying best-suited technique. The Electronic Warfare Coordination Center provides the commanding officer with the ship’s tactical situation and coordinates the various Electronic Warfare (EW) tactics: threat evaluation, tactics optimization, coordination of decoys, radar jammer and more generally, electronic countermeasures Electronic Support Measures (ESM).

SAGEM NGDS II (Upgraded)


Some of the ships which were mentioned earlier, have been spotted with different decoy launchers, the SAGEM NGDS II, which are a newer version of the EADS NGDS as it is advertised on company’s website and it looks very similar with the only one photo that the system is uncovered (see photos and information here). The new configuration is two forward launching systems replacing the two previous NGDS and two WASS countermeasure launching systems atop the hangar. Source

Leonardo-Finmeccanica WASS anti-torpedo defence countermeasure launching system

The C310 represent Defence Systems Division’ high-performance anti-torpedo countermeasure system. It’s designed to resist the attacks of the most technologically advanced torpedoes, wire-guided or not (launch-and-forget)

They are realized with electronic items that generate disturbance noise for the acoustic head of the enemy torpedo.

This kind of countermeasure can both represent dummy mobile targets (MTE) and generate disturbance noise for the acoustic head of the enemy torpedo (Jammers). The combination of mobile Decoys and Jammers has the purpose of cheating the torpedo, which directs its attacks towards the dummy targets, thus allowing the ship to perform an evasive countermeasure.

The definition of optimal reaction results using a elaboration software (ORACOM) that, based on multiple parameters, elaborates the more suitable operation to maximize surviving probabilities, even against last generation torpedoes with high potentials against contermeasures. Source


Compact, lightweight and designed for applications ranging from fixed security installations to mid-sized vehicles and vessels, the LRAD 500X-RE easily mounts and transports to provide law enforcement, homeland security, and defense personnel unparalleled long-range communication and scalable non-lethal, non-kinetic Escalation of Force.

The U.S. Navy and U.S. Army’s acoustic hailing device (AHD) of choice for small vessels and vehicles, the extended frequency range of the LRAD 500X-RE ensures broadcasts are clearly heard and understood on the ground, from the air or at sea in all environments.

LRAD 500X device on RSS Intrepid – Image: cks2k22
  1. Rugged, military tested construction
  2. Low power requirements
  3. All-weather use
  4. Simple to operate
  5. Increased coverage with single operator
  6. Safer alternative to non-lethal and kinetic measures
  7. HD Camera (optional)
    • Highly intelligible communication up to 2,000 meters
    • Safely communicates beyond stand-off distances to determine intent
    • Variable beam width
    • Extended coverage
    • Clear, long-range, directional communication
    • Creates instant acoustic standoff perimeter



The frigate is powered by four MTU 20V 8000 diesel engines in a combined diesel and diesel (CODAD) configuration. Each engine is rated at 8,200kW. The engines drive two shafts with constant pitch propellers.

The cruise and maximum speeds are 18kt and 27kt and the range is 7,200km (4,000nm).

4 x MTU 20V 8000 M90 diesel engine

Engine model 20V 8000 M91
Rated power to DIN ISO 3046 ICFN
Rated power max. kW ( bhp ) 9100 (12203)
Speed max. rpm 1150
Exhaust emission 18,34
Dimensions and masses without gearbox
Length (L) mm (in) 6645 (261,6)
Width (W) mm (in) 2040 (80,3)
Height (H) mm (in) 3375 (132,9)
Mass (dry) kg (lbs) 49600.00 (109348.00)

Engine data source

4 x Isotta-Fraschini ISM V1708 diesel generators

Engine with 4-stroke diesel cycle, direct fuel injection, supercharger by one exhaust gas turbocharger type KKK with charge air cooling by see water in tube type heat exchanger; engine cooling system complete with fresh water / sea-water tube type heat exchanger incorporating make-up tank, thermostatic temperature control, exhaust gas manifold cooled by engine water.

Tipo moto:
Power (Kw):
Number of revolutions (RPM):
Frequency (Hz):
PME (bar):
Displacement (lt):
Cylinders (n°):
Bore (mm):
Stroke (mm):
Weight (kg):
Width (mm):
Length (mm):
Height (mm):
860-RINa 710-LRS




Builder: DCNS France (68) / ST Engineering Singapore (69-73)
114,8 meters (376 feet 8 inches)
Beam: 16,3 meters (53 ft 6 in)
Draft: 6 meters (19 ft 8 in)
Displacement: 3200 tons
Speed: 27 knots (50 km/h)
Range: 4200 NM (7780 km)
Complement: 71 ship / 19 aircrew

(combined diesel and diesel)
4 x
MTU 20V 8000 M90 diesel engine (4 x 9100 KW / 12200 shp = total output 48800 shp)
2 shafts, 2

1 x
DCNS Sylver A-50 Vertical Launching System (VLS) (32 cells)
for MBDA Aster 15 and/or Aster 30 SAM missiles
1 x Oto-Melara/OtoBreda 76/62 Super Rapid DP gun (3″/76mm)
2 x
Mk-141 quad missile laucher for up to 8 RGM-84 Harpoon SSM
2 x
Rafael ADS 25mm Typhoon machine gun systems
2 x
B515 12.75″ (324mm) triple torpedo tubes for EuroTorp A244/S torpedoes
Aviation: flight deck and hangar for up to 2 helicopters (Sikorsky S-70 Seahawk)

Electronic warfare & decoys:
Rafael C-PEARL-M
Sagem Defense Securite New Generation Dagaie System (2 forward / 1 aft)
Anti-Torpedo Decoys:
Leonardo Finmeccanica Morpheus anti torpedo suite with WASS C310 launchers (2 aft)

Search Radar:
Thales Herakles multi-function Passive electronically scanned array radar
Fire Control Radar:
Thales STING EO Mk2
Navigation Radar:
Terma Electronic Scanter 2001
EDO Model 980 active low frequency towed sonar
Electric power: 4x Isotta-Fraschini ISM V1708 diesel generators (860 KW / 1150 shp each)


Main material source

Updated Aug 16, 2018

Two more Russian warship head to Syria

Royal Navy frigate HMS Sutherland is today escorting two Russian warships which are expected to sail through the English Channel overnight tonight.

First published:15 April 2017

The Type 23 frigate located the two Russian ships in the early hours of Friday morning [14 Apr 17] as they sailed through the North Sea towards the Dover Straits.

The Steregushchiy-class corvettes, Soobrazitelny and Boiky, were joined later in the afternoon by a Russian support tanker and an ocean-going tug.

HMS Sutherland will continue to monitor the movements of the ships as they pass close to UK territorial waters today.

Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said:

HMS Sutherland is carefully marking these Russian ships as they pass close to UK waters. The Royal Navy maintains a vigilant watch and is always ready to keep Britain safe.

Royal Navy sailors on the Plymouth-based frigate keep watch on every movement of the ships, using state-of-the-art radars to track the course and speed of the ships as they pass close to the UK.

Commander Andrew Canale, the Commanding Officer of HMS Sutherland, said:

As one of the Royal Navy’s high readiness units, HMS Sutherland is required to escort warships that approach the UK and this task is considered routine business for us.

It is vitally important the Royal Navy demonstrates its presence and commitment to the integrity of UK territorial waters as we work around the clock to secure the seas of our island nation.

As a high-readiness unit, HMS Sutherland may be called upon at any time to help prevent arms trafficking, people smuggling, conduct counter-terrorism operations, maritime search and rescue, or escort duties like those it is undertaking today.

Original post


Soobrazitelny and Boiky are both Soobrazitelny Class Corvettes……….

Related post:

Russia will retaliate immediately if its military units in Syria attacked

Russian Black Sea Fleet’s frigate The Admiral Grigorovich ordered to Syria

Project 20381 Soobrazitel’niy Corvette: Details

US attack ISIS hits poison gas supplies and released toxins which ‘killed hundreds’ in Syria

Syria: US hit ISIS chemical weapons depot, killing hundreds

Syrian sources claim the US attack Wednesday on ISIS targets struck poison gas supplies and released toxins which ‘killed hundreds’.

Yoel Domb, 13/04/17 15:40

The Syrian army claimed that an air strike late yesterday by the US-led coalition hit poison gas supplies belonging to ISIS, and released a toxic substance that killed “hundreds including many civilians”. Syria says it has destroyed its own poison gas weapons.

The incident in the eastern Deir al-Zor province proved that ISIS and al-Qaeda-linked militants “possess chemical weapons”, a statement by the army publicized on Syrian state TV claimed, adding that these weapons had been obtained from “countries in the region which are well known.”

The report could not immediately be independently verified and the US has denied that it attacked any ISIS chemical weapons site.

Last week the US launched cruise missiles at a Syrian airbase , in response to a deadly poison gas attack in the west of the country that Washington blamed on President Bashar al-Assad’s government.

Syria and its ally Russia deny that Damascus carried out any such chemical attack. Assad even claims that the US ‘fabricated’ the chemical attack, while Moscow has said the poison gas in that incident last week in Idlib province belonged to rebels.”

Experts have said that there is no proof that Syria destroyed its chemical weapons when it promised Barack Obama it would do so and that in addition, it may be manufacturing them.

The US strike on the Syrian air base last Thursday was the first time Washington has deliberately and directly targeted the Syrian government.

Original post

Main Image: FILE PHOTO: Frame grab from video provided by the government-controlled Syrian Central Military Media, black smoke rises from an airstrike on an Islamic State group’s position, in Deir al-Zour, north – Source


Guess now it’s Russia’s turn to send some cruise missiles to US positions in Syria…………