Phalanx Cwis

The warships of today's navies, current naval events, ships in the news, etc.
jazsa80
Member
Posts: 59
Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2008 8:51 pm

Phalanx Cwis

Postby jazsa80 » Thu Sep 25, 2008 1:36 pm

I was reading up on the USS Stark and it gives mention to the Cwis not detecting the incoming exocets. Did a little looking on the net and couldnt find anything that suggested that system had actually proved itself in combat.

Anyone know if the Phalanx has actually stopped an incoming missile in a conflict (not an exercise).

lwd
Senior Member
Posts: 3810
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 2:15 am
Location: Southfield, USA

Re: Phalanx Cwis

Postby lwd » Thu Sep 25, 2008 1:50 pm

I think I recall it working in ODS but that's from my far from infallible memory. I also seam to recall that Stark's was not turned on.

User avatar
marcelo_malara
Senior Member
Posts: 1072
Joined: Sun Oct 02, 2005 11:14 pm
Location: buenos aires

Re: Phalanx Cwis

Postby marcelo_malara » Thu Sep 25, 2008 4:59 pm


Bgile
Senior Member
Posts: 3658
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 7:33 pm
Location: Portland, OR, USA

Re: Phalanx Cwis

Postby Bgile » Thu Sep 25, 2008 7:08 pm

The US Army has used it to shoot down mortar rounds, but as far as I know it's never shot down a missile except in exercises. If you think that means it won't work in actual combat, you are sure entitled to your opinion.

The system on Stark was disabled. Because it is fully autonomous, its impossible to have it on all the time or you will shoot down friendlies. That's an inherent weakness with a system like that.

Incidentally, the newest mods allow it to be fired at surface targets such as small boat attacks. It is directed from the ship's CIC in such a situation.

Obviously if you have to use it at all it means your other defenses have failed.

User avatar
marcelo_malara
Senior Member
Posts: 1072
Joined: Sun Oct 02, 2005 11:14 pm
Location: buenos aires

Re: Phalanx Cwis

Postby marcelo_malara » Thu Sep 25, 2008 10:19 pm

Hi Bgile:

Do you know if the test managed to destroy a missile head on?

Bgile
Senior Member
Posts: 3658
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 7:33 pm
Location: Portland, OR, USA

Re: Phalanx Cwis

Postby Bgile » Thu Sep 25, 2008 11:56 pm

I don't know marcello. I have heard that it's standard practice to periodically launch hi speed targets in such a fashion that they will fly over the ship if it fails to destroy the drone, but I can't point to statistics. I'm sure that kind of detail is classified.

My opinion is that the US Navy wouldn't be buying thousands of them over the years and equipping every ship with them if they didn't work. There was a recent scandal where some Burke class destroyers were being commissioned without them because the Army needed them in a combat zone.

User avatar
marcelo_malara
Senior Member
Posts: 1072
Joined: Sun Oct 02, 2005 11:14 pm
Location: buenos aires

Re: Phalanx Cwis

Postby marcelo_malara » Fri Sep 26, 2008 12:12 am

"My opinion is that the US Navy wouldn't be buying thousands of them over the years and equipping every ship with them if they didn't work. "

Well, the US Army bought thousands of M-16 rifles back in the 60´s and they were nowhere ready to combat. They bought the M-60 tank too and thanks God they weren´t used in combat (well, may be they were used in Vietnam but not in a Kursk battle scale).

jazsa80
Member
Posts: 59
Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2008 8:51 pm

Re: Phalanx Cwis

Postby jazsa80 » Fri Sep 26, 2008 1:37 am

No doubt the thing works, but so far its record aint to good.

No missiles, and four hits to the mighty Mo!

Wonder why it was off in the Gulf onboard the Stark. Thats one stretch of water that i would have all defences switched on and the hull sand-bagged!

From the videos of seen the system is fantastic, definatly proven with regards to practise targets. Are these rolling airframe missiles set to succeed the phalanx or just complement it?

lwd
Senior Member
Posts: 3810
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 2:15 am
Location: Southfield, USA

Re: Phalanx Cwis

Postby lwd » Fri Sep 26, 2008 1:00 pm

Bgile wrote:I don't know marcello. I have heard that it's standard practice to periodically launch hi speed targets in such a fashion that they will fly over the ship if it fails to destroy the drone, ....

I remember hearing of one such test where they got an airframe kill. Unfortunaly said airframe kill caused the target missile to impact well short of it's intended point. Said impact point instead of being well beyond the test ship was the test ship. It did make the point to at least one junior engineer (from what I heard anyway) as to why the target vessels were unmanned during the test.

lwd
Senior Member
Posts: 3810
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 2:15 am
Location: Southfield, USA

Re: Phalanx Cwis

Postby lwd » Fri Sep 26, 2008 1:02 pm

jazsa80 wrote:...Wonder why it was off in the Gulf onboard the Stark....

We were not at war with anyone at the time and there was a fair amount of commercial and neutral air craft flying around the gulf at that time. Wouldn't want it to say lock onto and shoot down a RN helicopter or a air liner.

jazsa80
Member
Posts: 59
Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2008 8:51 pm

Re: Phalanx Cwis

Postby jazsa80 » Sat Sep 27, 2008 12:52 am

I thought that all military vessels always kept there defences up even in times of peace. To counter surprise attacks etc.

Do they keep systems such as the phalanx offline till a specific order to activate them is recieved?

Bgile
Senior Member
Posts: 3658
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 7:33 pm
Location: Portland, OR, USA

Re: Phalanx Cwis

Postby Bgile » Sat Sep 27, 2008 1:06 am

marcelo_malara wrote:"My opinion is that the US Navy wouldn't be buying thousands of them over the years and equipping every ship with them if they didn't work. "

Well, the US Army bought thousands of M-16 rifles back in the 60´s and they were nowhere ready to combat. They bought the M-60 tank too and thanks God they weren´t used in combat (well, may be they were used in Vietnam but not in a Kursk battle scale).


You seem to have some anti-us equipment stance, for some reason. The M-16 has been upgraded a number of times since Viet Nam. The weapon I carried in the 80's was fine.

The M-60 tank sure killed a lot of T-62's in the Yom Kippur war for a useless tank. It went through a series of modifications over the years.

The M-1 tank, like most US equipment, had lots of teething problems and went through a series of mods. It seems to have worked out OK, but you probably feel differently.

Likewise, the CWIS has undergone a lot of mods since it was first introduced.

The USS Stark was attacked by an erstwhile ally by mistake. They had identified the Iraqi jet and had no reason to expect it was going to fire on them.

As far as I know, USS Missouri was not hit by anything during the gulf war.

It seems fashionable to think that if something was made in the USA it isn't worth anything. I'm no fan of US foreign policy, but I am an American and I don't understand this seeming prejudice.

User avatar
marcelo_malara
Senior Member
Posts: 1072
Joined: Sun Oct 02, 2005 11:14 pm
Location: buenos aires

Re: Phalanx Cwis

Postby marcelo_malara » Sat Sep 27, 2008 4:15 pm

Hi Bgile:

Sorry if you misunderstood me, I have no problem with US equipment. In fact some of them are the best in their categories, the M-1 Garand rifle (best semiauto rifle of WWII), the Colt M-1911 pistol (best pistol for many many years, widely copied) and the B-29 bomber (best heavy bomber of WWII, some problems but very advanced for her days) come quickly to my mind.

But there too some instances of faulty equipment taken into service, the M-16 rifle, the F-14 and the F-111 are the most recent cases I think. Some of them passed almost unnoticed (the F-14 for example) because they were not used in action (except for the combat with the Lybian fighters), while other received full media attention (the M-16 in Vietnam).

So that a piece of equipment is adopted doesn´t mean that it would function as-designed perse, there could be teething problems that would only show up in the heat of prolonged combat, which the Phalanx had not seen.

Regards

lwd
Senior Member
Posts: 3810
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 2:15 am
Location: Southfield, USA

Re: Phalanx Cwis

Postby lwd » Sat Sep 27, 2008 4:22 pm

jazsa80 wrote:I thought that all military vessels always kept there defences up even in times of peace. To counter surprise attacks etc.

Do they keep systems such as the phalanx offline till a specific order to activate them is recieved?

The latter is correct. The navy really hates shooting up friendly and neutral vessels, ships, and people by accident. You can have a very low error rate but if you are up 24 7 you will have problems. Thus multiple safeties. Some of these systems represent potential hazards to crew as well. Consider if you are walking near it and it suddenly slews to a different orientation. Can you duck fast enough. Then there's the radiation from the radar.

An example for the USAF. Caution this is third hand but ... On Guam during the Vietnam war a mechanic is walking on the tarmac at the airport. He here's a rapid clicking noise and looks over at a B-52 and notices the rear gun is tracking him. He pitches his tool box one way and runs the other. Fortunatly the tool box had been in the sun and the infrared sensor tracks and engages it rather than him. Someone for got to safe a system. Neither the mechanic or the base commander were amused.

lwd
Senior Member
Posts: 3810
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 2:15 am
Location: Southfield, USA

Re: Phalanx Cwis

Postby lwd » Sat Sep 27, 2008 4:26 pm

marcelo_malara wrote:...
But there too some instances of faulty equipment taken into service, the M-16 rifle, ..., while other received full media attention (the M-16 in Vietnam)....

The M-16 is rather a more complicated case than that. As originally designed it was a fine weapon. Some modifications were made just as it was initially being deployed which meant that early M-16's had problems. These have been for the most part corrected and it and it's decedents are among the best military rifles available now. The M-60 was at worst on a par with all other MBTs of it's generation what's your problem with it?


Return to “World Navies Today”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests