Monday, December 03, 2007

Looking Directly at SSNs May Blind You

First Rule of Submarining: Never reveal your latest defensive weaponry in a public arena.

Translation: IDAS based on IRIS (InfraRed Imaging System ) is certainly very cool, but it ain't the latest and greatest ...

IDAS (Interactive Defence and Attack System for Submarines) is a short-range missile developed for the German Navy's Type 212 submarines. IDAS remains in contact with the firing submarine via fibre-optic wire.

The IDAS system is the world's first missile claimed to provide submarines with anti-aircraft capability, and the first tube-launched missile fired directly from Type 212 torpedo tubes. IDAS has attracted great interest from other countries after successfully completing initial flight trials in late 2006.

The history of air defense weaponry for submarines goes back to WWI and was improved by early development of 1960's vintage, surface launched missiles: SAM (Russia), Redeye (US), Blowpipe (UK), POLYPHEM (FR), LASERs (Israel and China). but the use of guided missiles launched from submerged subs is far more recent and made public some time ago. Yes, some may certainly be deployed on submarines if only to promote sales to friendly countries like Chavezuela.

But suppose SSNs with all their nuclear power devoted a pittance to generate a tactical laser beam conducted through the hull to a floating, high-power firing head. Line of sight, speed of light - goodbye helicopters. Cost of beam: relatively cheap. Cost of laser: available now. Shhh!
I mean, not really ready yet. Of course not!

Submarines are always silent and strange. Here's the Royal Norwegian Air Force - IRIS missile:

InfraRed Imaging System ...



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