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Iran tests underwater missile

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Old Partner, Apr 2, 2006.

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  1. Old Partner

    Old Partner Member

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    Might not be gun related but at the least is asinine. right up there with "There are no american troops in Baghdad".


    TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Iran announced its second major new missile test within days, saying Sunday it has successfully fired a high-speed underwater missile capable of destroying huge warships and submarines.

    The tests came during war games that Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards have been holding in the Gulf and the Arabian Sea since Friday at a time of increased tensions with the United States over Tehran's nuclear program.

    The Iranian-made underwater missile has a speed of 223 miles per hour, said Gen. Ali Fadavi, deputy head of the Revolutionary Guards' Navy.

    That would make it about three or four times faster than a torpedo and as fast as the world's fastest known underwater missile, the Russian-made VA-111 Shkval, developed in 1995. It was not immediately known if the Iranian missile, which has not yet been named, was based on the Shkval.

    "It has a very powerful warhead designed to hit big submarines. Even if enemy warship sensors identify the missile, no warship can escape from this missile because of its high speed," Fadavi told state-run television.
     
  2. K-Romulus

    K-Romulus Member

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    That's underwater? :confused:

    What is the propulsion for this thing? Wouldn't the drag of the water cause it to disintegrate, or veer off course unless guided, or make it hard to change direction?
     
  3. beerslurpy

    beerslurpy member

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    It is based off of some sort of sheath of bubbles thing that cuts down drag. It basically flies through the water like a regular missle flies through the air, just slower.

    And yeah, it is pretty obvious the russkies are selling their technology to anyone with cash.
     
  4. Manedwolf

    Manedwolf member

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    No, unfortunately it's real. :uhoh: It just means they bought a couple of Russian Shkval torpedoes and copied them. REALLY bad news for us, if so. Not only do we not have them, but we have no defense against them. If they have them, if we get into a scuffle, we're going to lose some ships, maybe some of the SEAL-carrying refitted former missile subs we undoubtedly have in the area.

    Russia sold China about 40, I don't doubt Iran bought some too.

    -----------------------------------------

    The Shkval("squall") is a high-speed supercavitating rocket-propelled torpedo designed to be a rapid-reaction defense against U.S. submarines undetected by sonar. It can also be used as a countermeasure to an incoming torpedo, forcing the hostile projectile to abruptly change course and possibly break its guidance wires.

    The solid-rocket propelled torpedo achieves a high velocity of 230 mph (386 kmh) by producing an envelope of supercavitating bubbles from its nose and skin, which coat the entire weapon surface in a thin layer of gas. This causes the metal skin of the weapon to avoid contact with the water, significantly reducing drag and friction.

    The Shkval is fired from the standard 533-mm torpedo tube at a depth of up to 328 ft (100 m). The rocket-powered torpedo exits the tube at 50 knots (93 kmh) and then ignites the rocket motor, propelling the weapon to speeds four to five times faster than other conventional torpedoes. The weapon reportedly has an 80 percent kill probability at a range of 7,655 yd (7,000 m).

    The torpedo is guided by an autopilot rather than by a homing head as on most torpedoes. The initial version was unguided. However, the Russians have indicated there is a homing version that starts at the higher speed but slows and enters a search mode.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Biker

    Biker Member

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    This combined with the Sunburn missile spells real trouble for our Navy.
    Biker
     
  6. rbernie
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    rbernie Member

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    Looks like the land-based launchers would be pretty easy to spot, no?
     
  7. Third_Rail

    Third_Rail Member

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    I've always loved that kind of underwater projectile... too bad it'll probably be used against us, yes?
     
  8. Maxwell

    Maxwell Member

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    Iran's navy isint much of a challenge, and if they shoot form long distance then a depth charge should be able to deal with it. The shkval dosnt turn too well anyway.
    Its just a threat to sound good, the weapon wont do them much good.

    As far as nukes goes, that seriously ups the anti in this game.
    Unless they are 100% suicidal then I dont see them using these kinds of weapons in combat.
    Its more to goad the US into a fight figuring that with enough fronts on a middle east war they can either a) split our forces in the hope we lose both iraq and iran, or b) continue to flip off the world community and get nukes anyway, securing themselves from direct attack in any future war.

    To use the RKBA argument, nukes wont do em much good in the longrun. Everyone has em so whoever they attack will probly shoot back twice as many.
     
  9. geekWithA.45

    geekWithA.45 Moderator Emeritus

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    Actually, this is more gun related than you'd think. One of the defenses proposed against the supercavitating torpedo is a below the water line cannon firing a supercavitating round. :)
     
  10. Manedwolf

    Manedwolf member

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    Underestimating an enemy is the surest path to defeat.

    Since these can come from STANDARD tubes, patrol boats or old freighters and tankers, even fishing trawlers with hidden below-the-waterline tubes could be, to US ships, the equivalent of a sniper hidden in jungle foliage. It hits you before you can react.

    Don't think conventional naval warfare, or old-style battleships slugging it out. It isn't that anymore.
     
  11. Bartholomew Roberts

    Bartholomew Roberts Moderator Emeritus

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    The problem with a really fast torpedo using supercavitation to attain its speed is that it cannot guide itself (sonar doesn't work through bubbles and noise) and it cannot be guided externally (really wide turn radius, how do you send it commands underwater without a wire?). There are several other limitations on the weapon as well, particularly the fact that using one pretty well gives away your position.
     
  12. Manedwolf

    Manedwolf member

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    Thus making it a much more ideal weapon for suicidal jihadis in a trawler than just ramming a boat with a raft, no? Each converted boat gets one torpedo.

    A single, simple torpedo tube mounted on....anything could take a fast shot at and possibly cause catastrophic damage to a passing US frigate or smaller guided missile cruiser. Multiple boats, most certainly.

    How do you effectively patrol an area when any of the ships NEEDED for world oil trade and commerce could be concealing something that could kill your vessel?

    I also wonder at it being used at SEAL subs trying to come in. A Shkval hitting a submerged nuclear sub would be very bad.
     
  13. Bartholomew Roberts

    Bartholomew Roberts Moderator Emeritus

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    Well, the article states a range of 7k yards. That is a pretty big limitation right there. You aren't going to enter the protective bubble around a carrier with that kind of range on any kind of surface ship. You might get that close to a picket ship; but then you have another issue...

    Modern torpedos are effective because they explode under the keel creating forces that snap the keel and sink the ship. I'm not a torpedo expert; but I can see some problems making the Shkval do the same thing since it is blind and unguided.
     
  14. Maxwell

    Maxwell Member

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    They could just use standard rockets, I dont think these are intended for suicide boat attacks.

    You could depth charge a sub with stadard weapons if you knew it was there, so far they have not shown that kind of ability.

    This torpedo concept was originaly concieved by the russians to ferry a nuke into blast range of a carrier. I would think that if iran gets nukes, they could deny carrier groups access to the gulf pretty easily with this.
    Carriers would be our primary response to a pre-emptive strike on iraq, and would also be present before an invasion of iran. Their also big political targets.

    What they are not counting on is M.A.D. or the ramifications of sinking a ship. It prettymuch demands we respond in kind, and the UN wouldnt be able to stop the allieds from charging in after that kind of provocations.
     
  15. G36-UK

    G36-UK Member

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    Didn't they say they had a missile that avoids radar and other detection?

    Can someone explain how ICBMs are conventionally detected? Just thinking of something.
     
  16. Biker

    Biker Member

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    G36...

    Google the Sunburn Missile. An impressive weapon it is and Iran likely has it.

    Biker
     
  17. Burt Blade

    Burt Blade Member

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    Folks,

    Since this is decades old Soviet tech, do you suppose that we have developed something to counter it?

    Also, if Iran uses one of these in a sneak attack, what will they use to keep our aircraft from reducing their oil infrastructure to smoldering rubble?

    Iraq and Iran tried to close the gulf to each other's shipping in the eighties. It was called "the tanker war". Various other nations got involved.

    Iran may be betting that this "new" weapon and the possibility of nuke-tipped missiles may make them too much of a porcupine for the USA, or anyone else, to get involved this time. Bad bet, I think. If we focused our efforts on military and control targets alone, the Iranian regime is going to be hard pressed to feel in control of their own people, let alone the Gulf.

    Then again, if we wind up electing another "Jimmy" of a President, the Iranians might feel a bit more adventuresome.
     
  18. tom barthel

    tom barthel Member

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    undersea rocket torpedo

    Rumer is the russian sub in the news last year was testing one of these. The story was there was a malfunction that caused the loss of the sub. The russians denied it. Americans are the most inovative people. If push comes to shove, America will counter it. There are devices in our inventory we may never hear about. There are things only discussed on a NEED TO KNOW basis. Those with high clearences who don't need to know may at best suspect. The dificult can be done immediately, The impossible may take a little longer. If they start something, they will lose. Don't sweat the small stuff.
     
  19. Manedwolf

    Manedwolf member

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    Nope.

    The Navy lost or discontinued funding to develop their own sometime back in the 80s, and as for countermeasures, I think an unhealthy bit of superiority hubris has resulted in decades of heads-in-sand about it.

    As in famous last words, "Aw, they couldn't hit the broadside of a barn..."

    I hope corrective action to develop countermeasures doesn't have to come only AFTER a speech at the dedication to the memorial for a lost warship's crew. :(
     
  20. Manedwolf

    Manedwolf member

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    Actually, it's more like that there's a tremendous bureaucracy and resistance to field new ideas, while at the same time trying to hang onto horribly flawed ones. (Like the V-22 Osprey). And people being people, and defense constractors wanting to increase investor interest, we DO hear about most things "in the inventory". If this weren't the case, we'd not have been losing so many troops and vehicles to IEDs in Iraq. They'd have a magic solution, some unbeatable anti-IED ray powered by unobtanium crystals. They didn't. It's a war, stuff gets fielded slowly, bureaucrats drag their feet, and other stuff that shouldn't be on a battlefield yet gets sent out before it's ready (early M-16).

    With all due respect, the real world defense situation is not a Tom Clancy novel.
     
  21. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

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    Mostly infrared. We have early warning satellites with IR sensors that detect the booster's launch plume (that exhaust trail is HOT), also high-powered radars (the DEW line) that detect anything coming our way once it gets on our side of the world. Even after booster shutoff and RV separation, the warheads are warm enough to be detected by IR means against the VERY cold background of space (the background blackbody temperature for a space-based sensor is around -269 degrees Celsius, so a recently launched warhead at a few degrees above freezing is very hot compared to background).

    RV's shine like little suns during reentry (like a really bright meteor, visible even in strong daylight), due to the very steep reentry angles and high speeds (Mach 20-ish for a typical intercontinental shot, as I recall). The warheads are ablatively shielded, and the surface gets white hot and then some, plus a trail.
     
  22. Malone LaVeigh

    Malone LaVeigh Member

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    I'm with those who can't imagine the Iranian Navy being able to get anything close enough to a battle group to use this thing.

    OTOH, I understand the Iranian Navy makes a lot of use of Boston whalers, and those are mighty fine boats.

    Seriously, though, the trouble with Iran, like the trouble with Iraq, will come after we declare victory. I just hope our political leaders aren't stupid enough to step into it a second time.
     
  23. cslinger

    cslinger Member

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    Me thinks that Iran probably has it's share of old Soviet Diesal/Electric boats which may be louder then a drunk neighbor when running diesal but when running electric are quiet as a church mouse.

    Chris
     
  24. 30Cal

    30Cal Member

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    7000yds is up close and personal for the Navy. It doesn't sound like an offensive weapon at all. As I see it, it would be fired back down the bearing of an incoming torpedo, in which case, yes, in a sub, you'd be in for an interesting afternoon (but then again, the ship that fired it is already SOL as well). To shoot it at a sub, you'd pretty much need to know it was there (which is a pretty far stretch in peacetime).

    There's probably not an effective countermeasure anywhere in the near future, but I think this one could easily be overcome by tactics (aircraft, surface ships, etc). Again, you aren't going to get a ship within 7000yds of a battlegroup in a shooting war. A sub could probably drive around the platform carrying it or even under it without being detected. The ability to destroy a sub is totally dependent on the ability to first detect, then localize it.

    Being that submarines don't communicate all that well with anything, they generally don't know exactly where their own subs are and would probably be very weary of firing it unless they picked up an incoming torpedo. I don't know how well a surface ship can do that.

    It might also be the kind of weapon that would bite at a 21" countermeasure--a second torpedo fired a little bit after the first one. Or one modified to project submarine accoustic signatures (which we use all the time in exercises).

    Interesting, but certainly not the end of the world.

    Ty
     
  25. Oleg Volk

    Oleg Volk Moderator Emeritus

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    Maybe the same way olf naval mines worked, by detecting the magnetic signature of a ship?
     
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