Thursday, July 06, 2017

Missiles in a Box on a Ship

I've argued for using container ships to make modularized auxiliary cruisers equipped with weapons and systems in armored shipping containers on their decks. Israel has added to the arming options.

Israel offers for sale missiles in a shipping container:

Israel recently announced a successful test of a new version of its LORA (Long Range Artillery Rocket) system that can be mounted and fired from standard shipping containers. The test involved a truck hauling a shipping container parked on a ship deck. The containerized LORA uses a minimum of two containers; one containing four missiles each in the standard sealed container, and the standard electric (not hydraulic) system to point the missile skyward so it will be fired without the rocket blast damaging the ship. Another container contains the control center and some maintenance and test equipment. In the original ship launched version the launch center electronics were installed in the ship CIC (Combat Information Center) like other fire control equipment. A ship could carry four or more containers with launchers and the container version could also be used on land with the containers mounted on any heavy truck or tractor trailer designed to carry those containers. The new container system also makes it easier to add more firepower to existing warships or even unarmed naval support vessels.

The AFRICOM Queen could use these rocket systems.

UPDATE: In somewhat related (but welcome) news, the Navy plans to make our vertical launch cells on our ships reloadable at sea:

After discussing the means by which the Navy seeks to ensure its forward-deployed naval forces remain survivable and up-to-date with the latest tactical and technological innovation, Admiral Richardson said in reference to vertical launch system (VLS) underway replenishment, “we’re bringing that back.”

Right now the ships have to return to port to reload. That both takes a ship out of action for quite some time depending on the distance to a suitable port and risks the ship being attacked while sitting pier-side.

We don't have so many ships that we can afford those temporary and potentially permanent losses during a major war when we are flinging lots of missiles skyward.