Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A Fighting Small Boat Swarms Idea

Raytheon photo
Robert Wall, an Aviation Week reporter blogs from the Dubai Air Show on an approach to fighting small boat swarms here:
Raytheon and Emirates Advanced Research and Technology Holding (Earth), its UAE partner, see potential application of the Talon laser-guided rocket to take on small boats.
Raytheon's TALON Laser Guided Rocket site:
AH-64D Apache (Boeing photo)
TALON is a low-cost, semi-active laser guidance and control kit that connects directly to the front of 2.75-inch unguided rockets currently in U.S. and international inventories. It has been designed to fill the critical operational gap between unguided rockets and guided heavy anti-tank missiles.

TALON provides an effective weapon against soft to lightly armored point targets while reducing potential collateral damage. Moreover, its precision standoff range results in improved platform survivability.
Cessna Grand Caravan
These rockets were designed for the AH-64 Apache, but it seems that Raytheon and its partner are thinking it could work on other platforms, too, as well as being capable of targeting small boats instead of just armor and land stuff.

See here where the Cessna Caravan and the AT-802U Air Tractor are mentioned. The latter is an interesting aircraft for anti-small boat ops - long linger time, reasonable pay load. As the Air Tractor site says:
Air Tractor photo of AT-802U
Particularly well suited for force application and situational awareness roles in asymmetrical warfare theatres of operation, the AT-802U is both economical and effective. Like a truck, the aircraft is utilitarian in nature: tough, powerful, and configurable to simply get the job done. It can maintain very long endurance over target and can employ a wide range of weapons simultaneously, with a high degree of accuracy to minimize collateral damage.

With its balloon tires and rugged landing gear, the AT-802U is built to land and operate off unimproved airstrips – even dirt roads – providing unprecedented direct support and coordination with ground troops. The AT-802U can fly in extreme heat and dust conditions and with its massive fuel reserves, loiter over target to find, fix and finish when other fighters have to return to the tanker.
Pilot and sensor operator on the AT-802U. Wonder how they'd do off and on a small flight deck?

Advertising from Air Tractor (and no, I don't own any shares in it or Raytheon or Cessna):
Air Tractor At-802u Brochure


  1. Looks a little like an IL-2 Sturmovik.

    Lots of places we could use second string assets to handle third rate enemies.

    This could make a great escort for the V-22 Osprey.

  2. There are several programs to add laser guidance to the 70 mm Hydra rockets.

    The Advanced Precision Kill Weapons System (APKWS) is being developed in the US.


  3. Anonymous11:30 PM


    I would think that some sort of long-range, rapid-fire mortar with a variant of cluster munitions would be a great idea. Launch patterns like the old hedge-hog ASW rockets, but instead have them airburst and saturate the area with fragments and white phosphorus.

    That could provide kinetic fragments against crews and small boats, as well as a smoke screen to disrupt their point of aim.

    Support that with multiple mounts of .50 cals and perhaps 20mm, with crews trained to operate them.