This May Be the Launcher We Need

Navy MkVI patrol boat. It it can fit on this, it can probably fit on any cutter WPB or larger. (Sorry I could not grab a photo of the launchers–you have to follow the link.)

Lockheed has new vertical launchers for JAGM, the missile that is replacing the Hellfire. Presumably it can also use the Hellfire. They seem particularly appropriate for Coast Guard applications, being small enough to mount 16 missiles atop the deckhouse of the Navy’s 85 foot MkVI patrol boat. They have a small foot print and are probably pretty light. They can be mounted in multiples of quad missile launchers; each quad launcher appears to be no more than 2′ x 3′ x 8′ tall. (That is my estimate, but I think if anything they are probably smaller. The missile itself is 7.1″ in diameter and 71″ long. For reference beam of the MkVI is only 20’6″.)

The Hellfire/JASM can successfully engage a large spectrum of potential maritime terrorist threats from small fast highly maneuverable craft (with one hit) to larger ships (assuming multiple hits), helicopters, drones, and some fixed wing aircraft.

There are two naval versions, one for mounting directly on deck and one for mounting below decks with just the muzzles above deck.

These would be an excellent addition to the Webber class being sent to replace the 110s in PATFORSWA. Probably could fit one or two quad launchers forward of the deckhouse on the Webber class on either side of the 25mm Mk38.

Thanks to Malph for brining this to my attention. 

 

22 thoughts on “This May Be the Launcher We Need

    • It is a good idea and has a role. The SSMM module for LCS isn’t weather proof and doesn’t have all up rounds in canisters whereas this suggests that solution. My bet is the assembly is 8.2′ to match the height of the LCS weapon module height. I think Lockheed also took some engineering liberty in the proposed uses. The missiles alone would weigh 1728lb in the Mk VI installation and the boats only have a 10,000 lb payload. Plus assume at least 4 x 145lb as that’s what an M299 launcher weighs. Its like their Mk VI concept mounting 4 LRASMs at the trade show, concept not reality. I think anyone would be fine dropping the rear Mk 38 for missiles down on the mission deck.

      • @Andy, using the weights you suggested that is still only 2308 pounds. Locating high up might be a problem, but if mounted on the mission deck they might be able to retain the second Mk38 and maybe mount more than 16 Hellfire/JASM. Reportedly the Mk38 mod3 weighs 2300 pounds. That should be close to the weight of a 16 round installation. The two Mk49 mod0 remote weapon stations equipped with .50 cal. machine guns, mounted on the top of the superstructure each weigh about 370 pounds. So two 25mm Mk38 Mod3s, two .50 cal. Mk49 Mod0, and 16 missiles in their mounts should weigh on the order of 7648 pounds.

      • I agree with you Andy that Lockheed’s mockups of uparmed Mk VIs might be a little…over optimistic but the idea of a scaled down VLS to accommodate Hellfire-sized missiles is still a good one.

        I could see these things finding their way onto FRCs, Mk VIs, MUSVs and even OPCs and NSCs deployed to higher threat areas.

        I’ve lost track of the JAGM road map as the program has gone through many revisions but I think the first cut leverages the existing Hellfire body with a next generation seeker.

        Things like a new airframe and motor with greater range may come later.

  1. Correct me but neither JASM or Hellfire have turn over charges to boost and quickly flip the missile from the vertical to the horizontal so what would vertical launch to to range?

  2. If implemented properly, JQL could be the “Great solution” to uparming all these Cutters and small naval boats that lack a guided missile, in this case ATGMs. Griffin ATGM is too light an Anti-Ship weapon with just a 13 lb warhead compared to the 100+ pound JAGM/Hellfire.

    What JAGM lacks in range and warhead, JAGM/Hellfire can make up for in JQL quantity as Chuck stated.

    • Hellfire warhead is only 20 pounds, but that is a lot more explosive than a 57mm projectile which weighs less than 6 pounds and has a bursting charge of less than a pound.

      Even several Hellfire hits might not stop a larger vessel, but should work against anything under 1,000 tons. Maybe larger if you get lucky. Ability to specifically target bridge, engine room, and steering using laser could be very significant.

    • It is mainly a weapon for dealing with smaller craft in congested waters. It is a quick reaction weapon which can be fire-and-forget and launched in quick salvos.

      No, it is not what you want when taking on the Kirov but would be a useful capability and a decided upgrade for vessels operating where asymmetric and smaller craft threats are possible.

      • Yes. On another blog a few thought with the US adopting the 57mm that it would have a large range of natures. They took some convincing that the 76mm has the advantage.

      • The Navy is heavily investing in the 57mm though.

        ALAMO and Madfires are both attempts to increase the utility and effective range of the 57mm.

        The Navy seems committed to getting what utility they can from the gun.

  3. @ Malph

    I fan of both systems and guns in general.

    For me 76mm is the minimum for a medium gun.

    ALAMO and Madfires are fantastic technologies.

  4. Pingback: JQL Could be the “Game Changing Force Multiplier” for Small Naval Boats and Littoral Warfare Ships | taktik(z) GDI

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