Wednesday, March 09, 2022

How Do You Punch a Ship in the Mouth?


Did the Ukrainians manage to hit a Russian navy patrol boat with Grad rockets?

I'm sure regulars here have been tracking this for a few days;
You need to be careful in this war and when something sounds too good to be true, often it is. Sometimes, it isn't.  Hard to tell;
One of two Russian warships made famous for its attack on Snake Island in the Black Sea last month has been destroyed, according to Ukrainian military officials.

A patrol corvette, identified as the Vasily Bykov, appears to have been hit during a battle early Monday morning near the port city of Odessa. The destruction of the ship, which was commissioned in 2018, has not been independently verified.

As of today, you can find reports that it did and that it did not happen. As for me, I will assume that it did not until we have something a bit more firm ... and if I had to bet $20 I'd say we'll see Vasily floating pretty as can be sooner or later.

That being said, as we are all looking for ways to attack surface ships from shore west of Wake with what we have at hand - smart people were scratching their head if such a cheap and mobile system may be worth looking at...not after this, but years ago.

Back in 2020 we already experimented with the concept with our HIMARS in ... the Black Sea of all places;

“U.S. and Romanian Forces gather in the staging area after the firing of a U.S. High Mobility Artillery Rocket System and Romanian Multiple Launch Rocket System into the Black Sea as part of Exercise Rapid Falcon Nov. 19, 2020 [see photo above]. This was 1st Battalion, 77th Field Artillery Regiment’s second live fire event since reactivation just 90 days ago and was the first time U.S. forces ever fired HIMARS from land into the Black Sea in cooperation with Romanian allies.”
Was that against a surface ship target? Does not seem so, however...the equipment ...
Two U.S. Army M142 6×6 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) flew from Ramstein Air Force Base, Germany, on Thursday, November 19, 2020, aboard two U.S. Air Force Special Operations Forces (SOF) Commando II MC-130Js, the stretched version of the venerable C-130, and the HIMARS fired their rockets off the coast of the Black Sea that same day. 
If you need to get things on an off small islands, a C-130 is the way to do it.

But is the HIMARS rocket what we're looking for? No, not really - something a bit more, well, you remember...NavalNews sniffed it out too;
With future land-based Anti-Ship Precision Guided Weapons in development and available now, such as the Naval Strike Missile, the U.S. Army’s tracked MLRS, 6×6 HIMARS, and 8×8 Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck (HEMTT), and the U.S. Marines’ 8×8 Logistic Vehicle System Replacement (LVSR) and HIMARS, when modified and outfitted as Anti-Shipping rocket or missile launchers, are poised to become the “Go to” system for LBASM and LRPFs to prevent enemy ships and amphibious assaults on allied-protected islands and shores.

That was 5-yrs ago. Perfect? No, but something beats nothing and these sure are something. One problem I have is I'm not sure the LVSR in the above pic can fit on a C-130. If we want to have the maximum ability to make every island a porcupine and to have the flexibility to use USA or allied transport to move what we need where it is needed - I would think we would want it C-130 transportable. 

Marines don't have C-17s...

Fix that problem. Find a way to marry NSM to the Army's M142 and I'll take as many as you can produce. Those we don't need, we can sell at cost to our friends.

Time is short...and you know the Ukrainians wish they had a half dozen or so.

UPDATE: A helpful fan of the blog just knocked me on the back of the head with something from just 6-months ago...this. Yes this.
In August, the service was able to demonstrate NMESIS — full name Navy Marine Expeditionary Ship Interdiction System — during the Navy’s Large Scale Exercise off the coast of Kauai in Hawaii. Marines twice fired and hit a decommissioned vessel, as well as practiced loading and unloading NMESIS aboard a C-130 aircraft, according to Joe McPherson, program manager for long range fires at Marine Corps Systems Command.
NMESIS is a combination of several proven capabilities, a key reason why the service has managed to bring it online so quickly. The weapon itself uses the anti-ship Naval Strike Missile made by Kongsberg; a control system operated remotely, dubbed ROGUE-Fires; and the chassis of a Joint Light Tactical Vehicle. 

 “Marines can control the ROGUE-Fires with a game-like remote controller or command multiple launchers to autonomously follow behind a leader vehicle,” according to a recent Marine Corps statement. “The ROGUE-Fires vehicle, built on a Joint Light Tactical Vehicle platform, provides the Corps with a robust expeditionary system capable of operating anywhere.”
I've been told you can only get 1 JLTV in a C-130 at a time due to weight. I wonder if it can take the missiles in the same 130, or you need a second?

Anyway, this will work as MOD-0. 

Faster please.

UPDATE: Looks like Vasiliy is OK.

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