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Old 08-21-2017, 01:43 PM   #1
kilen
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Default theory question: why no VLS-Stingers on modern subs ?

hey guys,
i am playing on ColdWaters since some months (played also SH4 years ago, but its already old now) and i experimented many situations where i dont undestand why "brains" of naval warfare never thought (or decide) to use short range SAMs to defend modern subs from close air threats ?
not to aim them as original purpose, of course !
their main asset is stealth, we are all agree about that...
but when u have been id, wich happens often in any significant confrontation where opponents have the assets to find u, seems me obvious we need a way to detere air threats to track u from too close or prevent them to guide reinforts on u, etc... (or even just have a way to reply and kill it if its the best solution to survive !)

i insist, its really only for cases where its already too late, when u have been detected already... in these contexts, some variant of a Stinger missile launchable by VLS or classic tubes seems a really usefull/necessary asset to have... no ?
i am intrested by subwarfare since few, i know theory just approximatly, but always fell that as a real lack of weaponery at disposal for a modern-sub...
in practice, cmdr has no way to deal with helos by himself.
and when airplane or helos are specialy equiped to hunt subs, looks like a none-sens imo to think "stealthy behaviors" is enough and must stay always the unique solution to survive...

in theory, Stealth is greatest asset, in practice, its easy to see that kind of theory have lots of limits soon as u need to show your noose to accomplish the mission, no ? really too restrictive imo, its a gift to ennemy anti-sub forces to deny SAMs on a SSN...


...and in my xps in Cold Waters (and am not the only one to think that when i read forums), its often anti-sub planes or helos who are the more threatening opponents, if not the only one able to kill u really !
of course, CW is a game, it is very fun, but still limited about realism on many aspects, etc.
but even like that, link with irl-theory has become obvious very earlier in my playtime.
and then, a kind of "depth-Stinger" should be a good investment for any submarine and a true need in many contexts/scenarios involving detection from ennemy helos...
bcoz, sure its better to not been detected ;
but, in exemple, if u need to destroy a high value convoy escorted by a strong CVs or DDs escort, wich is deploying helos soon as u fired or already patrolling around before ;
chances to stay undetected are very low, and as u are there to sunk these boats, its prio on "stay stealthy" !
so soon or later u will be detected, u cant do nothing against that...
if ennemy ships are still far of ur location, and if torps from helos just above u are the main threat for u to survive, have a Stinger there to neutralize the helo seems the obvious need, no ?

so, i wonder, why admirals/theoricians never chose to include Stingers (or any more advanced short-range SAM, but Stinger seems enough for anti-sub helos & planes i suppose) in arsenals of their sub-fleets ?

or did they... may they tried and found the experiment "not conclusive" or something like that ?
i assume they tried at one moment or an other during cold war, of course, but why they resigned to include them in standard arsenals of subs, since ?
its a lack i trully dont understand, really.
specialy such its easy to do technicaly now,
and could already exist since 80's easally, if they would have these AA defenses for their subs... and no meend to use usual VLS loader, Stingers are much more smaller than Tomahawks for exemple, just need an other smaller AA-VLS beside, nothing more, no need to resign offensive weapons for. (etc)

so, your thoughts ?
and also, may have u good links to share about articles treating of that subject in modern subwarfare ?

thx, cya

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Old 08-21-2017, 06:24 PM   #2
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I'm spitballing here but I'm going to guess that it's because you can't aim it. There are only two basic types of SAM, radar guided and heat seaking.

Radar guided would be nearly suicide as you'd be asking for death to sit at periscope with a radar mast up long enough to send off your missile. So that's a bust.

Heat seekers are a more feasible solution except for one problem. The seekers are very short range and have to be heading straight towards the target pretty well to lock on. In a submarine it is very hard to pin down a helos position to get a firing bearing. Also they are very easily distracted, the sun makes a very good target for a heat seeker.

There's also the fact that helos in perticular are usually pretty close to the surface, so your missile would have a very narrow window of time to lock on to the target and would in all likelyhood not detect the target, or find it too late to turn into it before it passes
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Old 08-22-2017, 01:05 AM   #3
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Default welcome aboard!

kilen!
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Old 08-22-2017, 06:43 AM   #4
kilen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speed150mph View Post
I'm spitballing here but I'm going to guess that it's because you can't aim it. There are only two basic types of SAM, radar guided and heat seaking.

Radar guided would be nearly suicide as you'd be asking for death to sit at periscope with a radar mast up long enough to send off your missile. So that's a bust.

Heat seekers are a more feasible solution except for one problem. The seekers are very short range and have to be heading straight towards the target pretty well to lock on. In a submarine it is very hard to pin down a helos position to get a firing bearing. Also they are very easily distracted, the sun makes a very good target for a heat seeker.

There's also the fact that helos in perticular are usually pretty close to the surface, so your missile would have a very narrow window of time to lock on to the target and would in all likelyhood not detect the target, or find it too late to turn into it before it passes
thx for answer, these are good points,
i didnt think of that...

could we imagine some kind of floatting buoys (like helos drop, but from subs), as they exist for sonar detection, but able to transmit datas from incoming helos to guide sams from subs ?
that could prevent risks for subs, and in that case, radar-guidance could be a good solution... and may even buoys dont need to be physicaly linked with subs by wire (perhaps, not totally sure under-water if there could be an efficient way beside wires ?).
or even by wire, we could imagine a 5to15kyd wire or so...
enough, in case of close range combat with an helos, to extend the tracking area to something already significant, and give sub enough delay to openfire and kill it...

but agree with issues about the mast-option, its too risky (and limited about efficency for heat seaking), it can not work.

and an other detail,
some of modern-subs already can deploy sonar buoys to participate in researchs or tracking ennemies, then create a variant of these buoys specialized in SAM-guidance could work and procure a way to use SAMs onboard, etc.

could it be a reliable option then ?
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Old 08-22-2017, 07:58 PM   #5
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you run into some big issues there too.

1: size. The sonar sets in a buoy are very compact. sound carries further in water so you don't need a large receiver or transmitter to do the job. Buoys also have a relatively short range as it is. Compare that to the size of even a portable air search set. Without some breakthrough, I doubt you'd be able to fit an air search radar into the same space.

2: power. Radars use a lot more power to transmit which means you need a lot of batteries (which adds to the size) or you have a very short battery life (possibly not enough to fire your missile.)

3: detection. A buoy mounted ASR would have a very limited range, which means if the helo is close enough to be a threat, you'd be launching the buoy right above yourself which, sitting on the surface and radiating, gives your position away just as bad as if your raised a mast.

4: cost. Can you make a radar that would get the job done that would be cheap enough that it would be disposable?

In the end, even that is not fiesable.
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Old 08-23-2017, 10:42 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speed150mph View Post
you run into some big issues there too.

1: size. The sonar sets in a buoy are very compact. sound carries further in water so you don't need a large receiver or transmitter to do the job. Buoys also have a relatively short range as it is. Compare that to the size of even a portable air search set. Without some breakthrough, I doubt you'd be able to fit an air search radar into the same space.

2: power. Radars use a lot more power to transmit which means you need a lot of batteries (which adds to the size) or you have a very short battery life (possibly not enough to fire your missile.)

3: detection. A buoy mounted ASR would have a very limited range, which means if the helo is close enough to be a threat, you'd be launching the buoy right above yourself which, sitting on the surface and radiating, gives your position away just as bad as if your raised a mast.

4: cost. Can you make a radar that would get the job done that would be cheap enough that it would be disposable?

In the end, even that is not fiesable.
oh yeah
sounds compromized...


a mini-drone then ? lol
but same issue about radar size or power there too... idk well then.
about radar size, on buoys (or eventually drone), i thought to similar sizes of what we find in 4th gen MR fighters cones (F16 maybe ? thats seems not such bigger... F15 is a bit too larger, i think, so let say any variant of fighters mounted radars taking already less space as possible in already existing variant)

note: about range of ASR, anyway, i thought only to an emergency cases radar, if helos, Tu142Bear or others similar threats are close enough to find us below, even with very low/very quiet state... maybe ~20to30kyd, even 25kyd range big max... that sounds enough for locking with radar and guide the depth-Stinger few mins later (wich could reach maybe ~10kyd range max with some adjustments of this variant compared usual FIM92 version ; its mostly for anti-sub helos threats i aim).

...IF a limited short range radar can help enough to reduce the size & make it hold on a quite larger buoy or mini-drone (not so "mini" anyway lol, but smaller than a Predator/Reaper, of course...)
i am thinking first to an hexa or quadricopter-drone, already existing now for civilians, wich can be quite big... just the question is, are they able to carry the weight of an -even smallest as possible- ASR...?
and needing also a bit complex system to be able to launch it below the surface, deploy his blades in fly next, at ~50ft alt, and taking quietly alt next to id incoming threats from optimal altitude, etc...

and anyway, in that case, not possible to use a wire to transmit datas to the sub... do any kind of high speed transmitter being able to operate below water ? i am not sure, probably with limited depth (wich could reduce intrest too, if sub must stay at something like ~100ft below surface to be able to receive target-tracking from drone, etc).

well, u probably right, its more harder than i thought first...
and thats probably main reason it never been used on subs yet.
(i thought mostly it was a matter of theory & how militaries imagined the subwarfare only, then enacting SAMs was useless in a sub by princip, etc... wich i was probably wrong. ...but yeah, seems firstly a technical issue beside, at minima, even maybe the only reason why we never seen that on modern subs...)

thanks for ur point of view, it was revelant.
cya
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Old 08-23-2017, 07:06 PM   #7
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Since these are stingers why use radar at all? Use an IRST. Infrared CCDs are consumer level cheap now a days and require far less power to use since they are inherently passive.

I still think the whole idea is impractical but there's no reason to use radar for a short ranged infrared MANPAD. Just because you get radar lock doesn't mean you get an IR signature and vice versa.

The question of taking down asw aircraft is far more difficult than just shooting one down. There are two scenarios where you could meet one. An MPA patrolling and detecting you or an asw helicopter protecting the surface ships you are attacking. In both cases the best solution is to avoid detection. Both will have radio and will be able to call in distress if attacked. Great, now we have sub and surface asw assets on your tail and converging. In the case of the fleet defense you not only gave yourself away but now you can be fired on by asroc/ssn-14s. That's the beginning of a really bad day. The fleet would spam those things and let the torpedos either kill you or flush you out of hiding. At least with the MPA there's a chance of getting away and hiding. Although now the area is on alert and people are actively searching for you when before they weren't.
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Old 08-24-2017, 06:43 PM   #8
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thereddaikon

I discussed the limitations of IR missiles in my first post. They have a narrow field of view and need to be essentially bore sighted onto the target. In a submarine, its very rare that you would have that accurate a position of the target to be able to launch a VLS stinger at. given that these are rocket fired missiles, they accelerate very quickly, and if it isn't pointed directly at the target when it exits the water, and the aircraft is close aboard, the missile will pass the aircraft before it can maneuver to hit the target. It might not even see the target. They are also fairly short ranged missiles so they have to be close enough to hit, but far enough away for the missile to be able to turn and engage. That's a very narrow engagement range. If you try to get a missile that finds its own target, it will be just as likely to chase the sun or a flare as the aircraft you aimed at.

Kilen

Yes aircraft radar sets are compact, but keep in mind that compared to a torpedo tube or missile tube on an average submarine, they are still very large. They are also A directional radar, only aiming out in a cone from the direction it is facing, it is not a 360 degree coverage radar. I'm not to familiar with whether they could be converted into one with a rotating head like a ships asr but even if it could, the rotating mechanism adds to the size. Now the radar gets its power from the aircrafts electrical system, IE the generators from the fighter. You need a stabile energy source which means a generator, or a very large battery. Add that to the size of the buoy.

Also now keep in mind that for a One time shot, you are now taking up 2 VLS tubes, one for the radar buoy and one for the missile launcher. That's two tubes that you can't use for other munitions.

Thirdly, unless you have it set up where the buoy is fired like a torpedo and runs out a ways and then pops up and radiates, your still flagging your position to an enemy. Even if you kill the helo or ASW patrol, what's going to stop the ship from which the helo came from firing a torpedo or an ASROC at you. Or relating to another aircraft, or a submarine in the area.
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