April 04, 2008

China and Iran are following Mr Miyagi's advice with new anti-ship missile

As Mr Miyagi said in Karate Kid.. If do right, no can defence

The U.S. Navy can't stop China's most sophisticated anti-ship missile (purchased from Russia) -- and won't even start testing a defense until 2014. I don't think it is an issue between China and the USA because I do not believe they will be fighting. More relevant is if Iran gets the missile. Then it would be important for the USA to use spies, satellites and other means to find any missiles and destroy them before putting the navy within range. If Iran got it then it would change the tactics in any Iran/USA war. A war over Taiwan is not in the offing as the Taiwan presidential and legislative election has placed pro-Chinese politicians in Taiwan. They are going to moving to a common market. If Taiwan and China move to a European Union type situation then there will not be war.

UPDATE:
It was pointed out to me that the US tactics would not be that greatly effected.
1) Pound them using air force. Air craft carriers are used because US does not have enough landbased friends. B52's do most of the damage. Navy is for precision attacks. In the Iran case, airforce from Iraq, Afganistan, Dubai, and Suadi would mash them into stone age.
2) Drive army in from a friend. In this case, Iraq and Afganistan. [if wanting a land assault which the US probably does not except for some kind of smash and dash]
3) Navy would sit well offshore and cheer them on.

However, the US military pumping up its enemies would get the Admirals desired project or pet weapon system funded.

The Sizzler starts at subsonic speeds. Within 10 nautical miles of its target, a rocket-propelled warhead separates and accelerates to three times the speed of sound, flying no more than 10 meters (33 feet) above sea level. On final approach, the missile 'has the potential to perform very high defensive maneuvers,' including sharp-angled dodges, the Office of Naval Intelligence said in a manual on worldwide maritime threats.


The U.S. Navy, after nearly six years of warnings from Pentagon testers, still lacks a plan for defending aircraft carriers against a supersonic Russian-built missile, according to current and former officials and Defense Department documents.



Air power australia has photos of the Sizzler supersonic missile

Hat tip to Wired defense blog


The missile, known in the West as the ``Sizzler,'' has been deployed by China and may be purchased by Iran.

The Defense Department's weapons-testing office judges the threat so serious that its director, Charles McQueary, warned the Pentagon's chief weapons-buyer in a memo that he would move to stall production of multibillion-dollar ship and missile programs until the issue was addressed.

``This is a carrier-destroying weapon,'' said Orville Hanson, who evaluated weapons systems for 38 years with the Navy. ``That's its purpose.''

FURTHER READING
China's off the shelf air defense

Sino defence forum discusses the Sizzler missile and the Sunburn (supersonic all the time)

The Sizzler is smaller in size and lighter. I think the main difference is that the sunburn travels at supersonic speeds all the time, therefore requiering a big load of fuel, wich in turn makes the missile big and heavy. The Sizzler cruises at subsonic speeds and goes supersonic in terminal phase. But there are different versions of the "Club" some are "conventional" subsonic CMs over the entire flight. The Sizzlers range is longer than the Sunburn's.

And I think the Sizzlers also have the capability of interoperability. Meaning they can exchange info. One "lead" missiles flies at high altitude searching for targets with it's radar, while the other missiles of a barrage stay low and recieve info from the lead-missile.


Sino Defence has info on the missile

For political reasons, China may get small indigenous air craft carriers around 2013 (not nuclear powered, competitive with non-USA aircraft carriers other than the expected future French aircraft carrier

Here is a more complete list of arsenal of China's navy.

3M-54E (SS-N-27) Anti-Ship Cruise Missile
Sunburn 3M-80E (SS-N-22) Ship-to-ship Missile

The purchase of the 3M-54E1 with 300 kilometer (180 mile) range back in 2005

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