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BAE Systems' stealth ship concept to operate unmanned systems
Flight International ^ | 18/09/07 | Craig Hoyle

Posted on 09/18/2007 5:07:58 AM PDT by sukhoi-30mki

BAE Systems' stealth ship concept to operate unmanned systems at sea

By Craig Hoyle

BAE Systems has revealed a conceptual design for a future stealthy naval vessel optimised for the launch, operation and recovery of unmanned systems - potentially including operational unmanned combat air vehicles - which it says could enter service in the post-2020 timeframe.

Drawing heavily from the design of BAE's new Type 45 destroyer for the UK Royal Navy, the notional UXB Combatant is pictured configured with twin flight decks suitable for helicopter and unmanned air vehicle operations, including one with a variable pitch ski jump to deploy short take-off systems.

BAE, which has researched the concept in partnership with companies including Rolls-Royce, says the 8,000t UXV design could provide a "cost-effective solution" to naval customers seeking the ability to operate "large numbers of small unmanned vehicles for extended periods".

The UK's Taranis UCAV demonstration project has, meanwhile, moved a step closer, with BAE having released CAD models of the design to suppliers ahead of first metal being cut in late September. Assembly activities will commence before year-end.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: aerospace; baesystems; navy; stealth
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

© BAE Systems

1 posted on 09/18/2007 5:08:03 AM PDT by sukhoi-30mki
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To: sukhoi-30mki

I wonder how an unmanned system would survive in a hostile environment. A ship is remarkably robust given damage control, the ability to quickly change yoke conditions and respond to hasty repairs to keep afloat. Even if all the hatches were remote controlled, it doesn’t take much to damage remote controls.


2 posted on 09/18/2007 5:12:55 AM PDT by Cvengr (The violence of evil is met with the violence of righteousness, justice, love and grace.)
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To: Cvengr

I’m a bit more concerned about the link to type 45. I have serious reservations about that class, which I hope will be unfounded.


3 posted on 09/18/2007 5:18:51 AM PDT by Vanders9
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To: Cvengr

I, for one, am wondering how effective UAVs would be against sophisticated opponents. I mean, how hard can it be to jam the telemetry links?


4 posted on 09/18/2007 5:20:36 AM PDT by Ronin (Bushed out!!! Another tragic victim of BDS.)
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To: Cvengr
At only 8,000 tons, prolly wouldn’t take much to blow it out of the water, so damage control may be moot. On the other hand, its size may make it a difficult target. I think ‘expend-ability’ may be the key here.
5 posted on 09/18/2007 5:25:23 AM PDT by Roccus (Hillary........brought to you by the PRC)
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To: Cvengr
...it doesn’t take much to damage remote controls.

Something that engineers never seem to remember when they remain cosseted in the ivory tower long enough.

Theoretical systems do NOTHING.

6 posted on 09/18/2007 5:27:00 AM PDT by papertyger
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To: Cvengr

“...it doesn’t take much to damage remote controls.”

I hear ya bro, my wife’s always sitting on ours..


7 posted on 09/18/2007 5:27:20 AM PDT by Dave Elias
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To: Cvengr
I don't think the ship is unmanned. It's a UCAV-carrier.
8 posted on 09/18/2007 5:28:45 AM PDT by agere_contra
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To: papertyger

Theoretically speaking, they do everything


9 posted on 09/18/2007 5:29:42 AM PDT by Hegewisch Dupa
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To: Cvengr

The unmanned systems that they’re talking about are the Predator-type aircraft that the ship would launch. The ship itself is manned.


10 posted on 09/18/2007 5:30:32 AM PDT by Non-Sequitur (Save Fredericksburg. Support CVBT.)
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To: Ronin

“how hard can it be to jam the telemetry links?”

It depends. It isn’t necessarily a trivial task, so the premise of your question is, I think, unfounded.


11 posted on 09/18/2007 5:32:52 AM PDT by RFEngineer
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To: agere_contra

‘I don’t think the ship is unmanned. It’s a UCAV-carrier.’

Some of the posters on here must’ve thought the windows were for the computers to see out of! :D


12 posted on 09/18/2007 5:33:28 AM PDT by britemp
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To: Cvengr

Maybe I’m misreading the article, but I don’t think the ship is unmanned. I think it’s just intended for the deployment and retrieval of other unmanned systems (UAVs and the like). But then, it’s early, and I’m under caffeinated so I might be way off.


13 posted on 09/18/2007 5:33:33 AM PDT by faloi
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To: Vanders9

‘I have serious reservations about that class, which I hope will be unfounded.’

What are those reservations?


14 posted on 09/18/2007 5:33:59 AM PDT by britemp
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To: Roccus; Cvengr

I read 8,000 tons and I typed 8,000 tons, but my mind saw 800 tons!

Need more coffee!!!!


15 posted on 09/18/2007 5:38:01 AM PDT by Roccus (Hillary........brought to you by the PRC)
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To: Hegewisch Dupa
Theoretically speaking, they do everything

Amen FRiend.

I never tire of telling the engineers at my papermill "if people could wipe their a$$ with 'theoretical paper,' you guys wouldn't need us."

16 posted on 09/18/2007 5:39:31 AM PDT by papertyger
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To: Roccus
"I read 8,000 tons and I typed 8,000 tons, but my mind saw 800 tons!

Need more coffee!!!!


Could be worse. Last week, I opened our freezer and saw a container labeled "Lime Ice", which I promptly read as "Live Mice". Imagine my confusion!
17 posted on 09/18/2007 5:42:34 AM PDT by LIConFem (Thompson 2008. Lifetime ACU Rating: 86 -- Hunter 2008 (VP) Lifetime ACU Rating: 92)
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To: sukhoi-30mki
I don't know why they call it a "stealth" ship - it's pretty easy to spot in this picture:

;->
18 posted on 09/18/2007 5:52:37 AM PDT by Izzy Dunne (Hello, I'm a TAGLINE virus. Please help me spread by copying me into YOUR tag line.)
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To: Izzy Dunne

‘I don’t know why they call it a “stealth” ship - it’s pretty easy to spot in this picture:’

Ah, but there are two ships in the picture - the one at the front has it’s stealth systems turned off, whereas the one at the back. . . . . . :)


19 posted on 09/18/2007 6:02:05 AM PDT by britemp
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To: britemp
but there are two ships in the picture - the one at the front has it’s stealth systems turned off, whereas the one at the back. . . . . . :)

< slaps head > D'oh!

Guess I flunked my military analyst's exam, huh?

20 posted on 09/18/2007 6:31:44 AM PDT by Izzy Dunne (Hello, I'm a TAGLINE virus. Please help me spread by copying me into YOUR tag line.)
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To: Cvengr

How does a ship with a small crew repel borders?


21 posted on 09/18/2007 6:34:00 AM PDT by SampleMan (Islamic tolerance is practiced by killing you last.)
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To: agere_contra

Hey, come on! Don’t mess with their imaginary outrage source!


22 posted on 09/18/2007 6:37:33 AM PDT by Redleg Duke ("All gave some, and some gave all!")
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To: britemp

Well, its a very large ship (twice the displacement of the type 42’s it is replacing). That makes it less maneouverable, less fuel efficient, and more costly and time-consuming to build. None of that would matter if it had a fighting capacity to match, but there is an undercurrent of feeling that we are not getting that much fighting power per tonnage of ship.
Like the type 42, its built around the principal weapon system, in this case the Aster 15/30 SAM with the Samson guidance system. (This is why it is so large. To see air targets as far as possible you need the radar guidance system as high as possible, which means the mast has to be high, which in turn means the beam of the ship needs to be large to keep the whole ship stable). Now Aster is looking very good, but it doesn’t have a great range and Samson is very much a poor man’s solution - its a dual rotating radar system, which I think might prove too delicate in service. Its certainly no match for the US AEGIS system. Aster is Vertically launched, but theres only a 32 missile magazine.
Built around the SAM, the original intention was not to fit the class with sonar systems or mid size guns! This of course is lunacy. Without a sonar system the thing would be a sitting duck for subs and a medium calibre gun has long been proven essential in the Falklands and elsewhere. The naval architects talked the navy out of that and there is a mod 1 4.5” gun, but type 45’s still have just bow mounted sonar, not towed array, and there’s no intrinsic anti sub weapons. They are dependent for sub hunting on the on-board helicopter, which is a Lynx incidentally, instead of the much larger and better Merlin.
The only other weapon systems are a couple of Phalanx gatling cannon, and I’ve heard they are only going to provide space for them, not actually fit them. Phalanx is not as good a point defence system as is made out anyway.
So, what has the thing got? Well the crew accomodation fills two whole decks, in spite of the actual size of the crew being reduced over the type 42’s. The modern jolly jack tar won’t put up with a mess deck...they all went single or at most double cabins.
Type 45’s are quieted and “stealthy” (radar reflective sloping sides and so on) but their large size must nullify a lot of the effect of that. After all, its much easier to hide a small ship than a large one.


23 posted on 09/18/2007 7:20:54 AM PDT by Vanders9
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To: Vanders9

The Type- 45 was designed keeping in mind the capability to add more systems to it when funding becomes available.The issue is less about technology.It can theoritically take on a 16 cell VLS in addition to the 48 already installed.

You’re the first person I’ve heard say that the SAMPSON is a poor man’s solution.Most resources seem to suggest that it’s ahead of the Spy-1D in some areas,esp when combined with the dedicated variant of the Thales SMART-L long range radar.The Aster series is just at the begining of it’s development curve & can be improved to take on the theatre missile defense role.


24 posted on 09/18/2007 7:35:52 AM PDT by sukhoi-30mki
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To: sukhoi-30mki

“The Type- 45 was designed keeping in mind the capability to add more systems to it when funding becomes available.”

Thats true of all ships these days. The operative phrase is the last one “when funding becomes available”. Unless there is an emergency, funding is never available, and by then of course, it is too late.

As for Sampson, I shall check my contacts, but at the moment I am sticking to my guns (or radars, in this case). Aster is, as I said, very good, but if its going to try theatre missile defence it certainly wont be carrying 48 missiles.


25 posted on 09/18/2007 7:47:10 AM PDT by Vanders9
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To: Vanders9

Well,common sense suggests that the RN wouldn’t ask for something “inferior” when other solutions were around!!

http://navy-matters.beedall.com/sampson.htm


26 posted on 09/18/2007 7:54:44 AM PDT by sukhoi-30mki
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To: sukhoi-30mki

Heh...well I think your statement contains its own answers!

Common sense may well suggest, but common sense is in short supply when it comes to procurement of military equipment!

The RN wouldnt ask for something “inferior”, but it might be foisted on them for political and/or economic reasons.


27 posted on 09/18/2007 8:21:07 AM PDT by Vanders9
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To: Vanders9

Whilst I respect your opinion on the 45’s, I can find no sources which agree with your conclusions. I would greatly appreciate some links to sources so i can see how you reached your point of view.


28 posted on 09/18/2007 8:23:19 AM PDT by britemp
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To: sukhoi-30mki

Excellent link to the pictures of the radar testing at Cowes. I can see the AMS site where the testing takes place from my office window. There is one spinning round as we speak, which I suspect is interfering with my mobile phone reception! :)


29 posted on 09/18/2007 8:25:13 AM PDT by britemp
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To: SampleMan

‘How does a ship with a small crew repel borders?’

Lock the doors? :)

Where does it say how big or small the crew is?


30 posted on 09/18/2007 8:26:56 AM PDT by britemp
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To: sukhoi-30mki
Codenamed: SUPERMARIONATION

;-)

31 posted on 09/18/2007 8:28:04 AM PDT by Jonah Hex ("How'd you get that scar, mister?" "Nicked myself shaving.")
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To: Vanders9

This article seems to suggest that the RN was not too keen on the SM-2/AEGIS given that it was primarily focussed on countering sea skimming weapons.

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3738/is_199704/ai_n8769221

The SM-2 block-IV was cancelled a few years ago.


32 posted on 09/18/2007 8:36:59 AM PDT by sukhoi-30mki
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To: britemp

Are you talking about Alenia Marconi Systems??I think that name is no longer in existence now.


33 posted on 09/18/2007 8:38:12 AM PDT by sukhoi-30mki
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To: sukhoi-30mki

‘Are you talking about Alenia Marconi Systems??I think that name is no longer in existence now.’

It still says AMS on the buildings and the locals know it as AMS Systems, but it is now part of BAE. It always makes me laugh when I drive past as they use a herd of sheep to keep the grass short and the masts are a few hundred yards from a primary school. If those test masts aren’t going to damage your kids, they should be OK with a mobile phone! :)


34 posted on 09/18/2007 8:53:23 AM PDT by britemp
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To: sukhoi-30mki

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3738/is_199704/ai_n8769221

Thanks for that, but I’m not sure how you reached your negative conclusions from a short speculative article written ten years ago when the MESAR 2 system that became Sampson was still being developed and over a decade away from delivery. I guess time will tell whether it performs or not.


35 posted on 09/18/2007 9:02:59 AM PDT by britemp
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To: britemp
Where does it say how big or small the crew is? Doesn't. Mine was a side point to #2. I could have been more clear. Its a general concern of mine as ship crew sizes shrink, which is taking place everywhere. When you start talking about a crew of 10-20 on a DDG, I think it becomes likely that someone will realize that they can simply take the ship with a special forces raid.
36 posted on 09/18/2007 9:16:30 AM PDT by SampleMan (Islamic tolerance is practiced by killing you last.)
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To: britemp

Umm,well I haven’t said anything negative about the SAMPSON,yet!!I was just pointing out,using that article that the RN was not keen on the AEGIS/SM-2 combo.


37 posted on 09/18/2007 10:37:12 AM PDT by sukhoi-30mki
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To: sukhoi-30mki

I would have thought that it being focussed on countering sea skimmers was a reason FOR going for it....


38 posted on 09/24/2007 8:32:09 AM PDT by Vanders9
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To: britemp

Well, most of my arguments come from known facts. Type 45 IS a large ship. It does not have towed array sonar, nor intrinsic as weapons. It does use lynx and not Merlin. It does have an enormous crew accomodation, in spite of a much smaller crew. Aster is very good, but it doesnt have a great range. These are all known facts.

The conclusion is that considering the size of the thing, and its expense, there isn’t a lot of actual fighting power.


39 posted on 09/24/2007 8:39:55 AM PDT by Vanders9
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