A Modest Proposal for a Containerized Weapon System

Leonardo DRS has been chosen to provide the mission equipment package (rendering pictured) atop a Stryker combat vehicle to serve as the Interim Maneuver-Short-Range Air Defense system for the U.S. Army. (Courtesy of Leonardo DRS)

     After the recent report of Russia containerizing anti-air missile systems I got to thinking about containerized systems the Coast Guard might use. There are many systems that might be containerized–sonars, torpedo countermeasures, cruise missiles, drones, 120mm mortars, medical facilities, but there is one combination I found particularly appealing.
     We could tie into the Army’s attempt to develop a new short range air defense system (SHORAD) by mounting a marinized version of the SHORAD turret on a container.  The systems are meant to fire on the move, so they should be able to deal with ship’s movement. The container might be armored to some extent to protect it from splinters and small arms. The container could be equipped to provide power (external connection, generator, and battery), air conditioning, air filtration, etc as the supporting vehicle would have in the Army system.  It looks like the planned interim SHORAD system will include Stinger, Hellfire, an M230 30mm gun and a 7.62mm coaxial machine gun. If we could mount some additional vertical launch Hellfire in the container, so much the better.
     For the Coast Guard these might be used on icebreakers and buoy tenders when they go into contested areas. They might be mounted on the stern of FRCs in lieu of the over the horizon boat using an adapter over the stern ramp, when additional firepower is required. 
     The Army and Marines might also use these containerized systems as prefab base defense systems. As fixed ground defenses, the containers might be buried leaving only the turret above ground level.
     They could also be used on Military Sealift Command and Merchant ships to provide a degree of self defense.

11 thoughts on “A Modest Proposal for a Containerized Weapon System

  1. Leonardo DRS is the prime on the IM-SHORAD system, I believe they it is based on the JLTV weapons platform from Moog. I remember reading the key for Leonard winning was that their solution was far easier to implement than the Boeing solution. Boeing weapons platform would have required a new or significantly modified turret for the Styker, while Leonardo weapon’s platform can be plugged into existing turret.

    Click to access RIwP_datasheet.pdf

  2. Yes, the Leonardo DRS RiWP turret would be an ideal “Force Multiplier” for OPCs, NSCs, FRCs, and USSOCOM small boats if it can be weatherproofed against the salt air and should replace the MK38 25mm on the hangar roof of OPCs. It would be ideal as a replacement for the LCS’s 30mm turrets if they can enclose the top against the elements.

    Mounting 2.75″ APKWS rockets, a Javelin ATGM, two Hellfires, or four-Stinger pod would give it some longer range guided punch. Great selection, Chuck!

  3. A M1126 weighs 18 tons. An empty container about 5K lbs. I suspect that the SHORAD system, when firing ordnance, packs a kick (recoil) so you would need a “mount” (the container) that could handle the recoil. Putting extra weight like that on a ship would affect stability. Probably have to reduce weight elsewhere on the ship to support the system

    • Certainly this system, even with some armor, would weigh less than an M1126, but even that would have little effect on an icebreaker or large buoy tender. In the case of the Webber class it might have more effect, but removal of the boat to make room for it would provide some compensation.

  4. Pingback: A Modest Proposal for a Containerized Weapon System — Chuck Hill’s CG Blog – Energy Power Systems

    • Off-topic to the Coast Guard, but the best part of the IM-SHORADS with RiWP is that it adds some small radars to the M1126 Stryker. The HMMWV Avenger and M6 Bradley Linebacker depended on eye-tracking FLIR to target, lock, and fire, which seems near-impossible against “Fast Movers” crossing beyond the FLIR’s field of view.

      At least with small 360-degree radars, the IM-SHORADS can ID, track, lock, and target aerial threats independent on the frontal view of the FLIR turret. The U.S. Army was scared of Anti-Radiation missiles, but it seems that in order to have effective Air Defense in the 2020s, radar is required.

  5. Containerized Weapon System is a good idea that could fairly easily and quickly upgrade the defensive and offensive capabilities of our cutters and MSC ships. An idea that the CG should be experimenting with and texting. But beyond this the NSC need to be backfitted with more permanent defensive and offensive systems, especially if they are going to be continually tasked to operate in the Asia Pacific including the South China Sea. I understand they were build with space and weight to add a vls behind the main gun. HII Sea Control Frigate design shows both the MK-56 and MK-41. Giving that I had a thought of adding a vls that would be a cheaper, lighter and possibly easiler to installation. Lockheed’s ExLS could be good choice to add to the NSC. Adding 9-12 cells quad-packed with Hellfire and RAM/CAMM would give the cutters a notable increase in defensive and offensive capabilities. Choosing the CAMM would the NSC’s give a good short to medium range AAW capabilities, considerably better then RAM. (I realize that choosing CAMM system is a stretch since it is not a system US employs and manufactures). And with this vls system installed the Phalanx CIWS on top of the hanger could be removed and replaced with BAE’s MK4 40mm giving the NSC an additional defensive and offensive punch. Now the Hertiage Class are also being build with space and weight for additional weapon system. I’m not sure what systems they are referring to but ExLS could be manageable fit, even if it is just 3 or 6 cells. https://www.lockheedmartin.com/content/dam/lockheed-martin/rms/documents/naval-launchers-and-munitiLons/VLS_Host_ExLS_Launcher_Product_Card_8.5x11_042419.pdf

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