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Posted: Jan 6 2008, 06:13 PM
82% Armaments Designer
Member No.: 11
Joined: 10-April 07
Mark 55 Imperator Close In Weapons System
The Mark 55 Imperator Close-In Weapons System, or CIWS for short, is the newest development from the Cottish naval warfare industry, designed to protect Cottish warships against the threat of not only sea-skimming supersonic anti-shipping missiles, but also against anti-radar missiles, guided bombs, and other similar high precision weapons. The Imperator can also be used against low-flying helicopters and aircraft, other vessels such as fast patrol boats, and even against shore targets, although engaging shore targets will have limited success at best.
The Imperator is based on the Russian Kashtan CIWS system, which combines the traditional CIWS design of having a fast-firing cannon with the relatively recently arrived idea of point-defense missiles. However, while the Kashtan has two fast-firing 30mm Gatling guns, the Imperator has a single M253A2 35x228 millimeter chaingun cannon loaded with 2,000 rounds of AHEAD ammunition per mount. The M253A2 has a rate of fire of 1,000 rounds per minute, firing a 0.85 kilogram AHEAD projectile to an altitude of up to 3,850 meters and a range of up to 4,200 meters. When at the correct position (as programmed into the shell automatically by the targeting software in the Imperator), each AHEAD projectile is detonated into 152 metal fragments flying at extreme velocities that create a physical barrier that the incoming piece of munition has to get past in order to reach its target. The kinetic energy of this impact is often sufficient to stop the incoming munition, which in turn means that the Imperator CIWS has done its job.
In terms of missiles, the Imperator has two four-cell launchers loaded with four BLM.34A Grumpy point-defense missiles. These launchers are reloadable from an automated missile magazine located directly below the Imperator mount, holding an additional four reloads, or thirty-two missiles, ready to fire. The reload time for the Imperatorís missiles is roughly fifteen seconds.
The BLM.34A Grumpy point-defense missile is a 3.15 meter long, 0.13 meter wide missile with a wingspan of 0.45 meters weighing 80 kilograms, of which 10.25 kilograms make up the missileís blast-fragmentation warhead. The Grumpy missile has a maximum range of twelve kilometres and a maximum ceiling of four thousand meters, enabling the missile to cover an area forty-eight square kilometres large. The missile has a speed of Mach 2.5, or 2 980 kilometres per hour. The ideal target for the Grumpy are cruise missiles and anti-shipping missiles, which it excels in intercepting and destroying. The Grumpy is developed from the venerable RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM), and it retains some of the RAMís key features, such as rolling during its flight in order to stabilize its flight path. The Grumpy gets its guidance from the mother shipís ANDOSS sensor suite and the Imperatorís own guidance prior to launch, but after it has been launched, its own Imaging Infrared and Passive Radar Frequency/Infrared Homing takes over and guides the missile to its target.
Primary guidance for the Imperator CIWS comes through a direct link to the mother shipís ANDOSS combat sensor suite, which consist of several Inverse Synthetic Aperture Radars (ISAR) which are mounted throughout the ship and provides precise and accurate data on anything in the air or on the surface. One of the features of the ANDOSS is that the use of the ISAR defeats the stealth of most aircraft and missiles by burning through the stealth, allowing the Imperator CIWS to engage and destroy them when they come within range. A backup guidance is through a small Millimetre Wave radar (MMW) mounted on top of the Imperator mount.
The Imperator mount weighs a total of 5,000 kilograms, and cost $15.5 million. It is being deployed on almost all Cottish surface combatants.
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