Arleigh Burke: Modification for the Black Sea – It is interesting when discoveries in the military field are made by journalists, not intelligence officers.
Arleigh Burke: Modification for the Black Sea
MilitaryEzyInfo.com – There is no doubt, where it is necessary and who it is necessary knows, but usually, intelligence agencies around the world are in no hurry to shout about their super victories and share information with the general public. Yes, intelligence agencies are like that.
We will not know who was too curious in the area of the Bosporus Strait. However, Drive had evidence that the destroyers Porter and Donald Cook, which entered the Black Sea, were somewhat different in appearance from ordinary ships.
Naturally, it took some pains to get confirmation, but if American journalists want to find information, they find it.
So, there were found antenna modules, placed on the wings of the bridge, the origin of which leaves no other interpretations. These are the antennas of the upgraded AN/SLQ-32(V)6 SEWIP Block II.
There are, however, statements that these antennas are from Block II, but behind them the equipment of the next generation is hidden, that is, Block III. The U.S. sources have been talking about this upgrade for a long time, and now the corresponding editions are discussing this news with all their might.
There is no direct evidence. There is only indirect evidence, and it is worth talking about.
And, in addition, there is another innovation on the destroyers: the photos show that instead of aft ZAC Mk 15 Phalanx SAM system SeaRAM is installed.
U.S. experts say the SeaRAM will significantly improve the defense capabilities of the ship against modern anti-ship missiles. The Black Sea, Yellow Sea, East China Sea, and the South China Sea are “suddenly” considered to be high-risk areas.
However, the last three water areas are a matter of the future, and not very far away. But we are primarily interested in the Black Sea. And here is why.
The first four “Arleigh Burke” destroyers, which received SeaRAM and AN/SLQ-32(V)6 SEWIP Block II are based in Spain, in a port in the small town of Rota, not far from Cadiz. It is close to Gibraltar and about 4,000 km to the Black Sea, the cruising speed of 20 knots “Arleigh Berk” is just over 4 days.
It is clear that there is no need to talk about combat missions off the coast of China in Rota. But the Black Sea, whose coastline is really stuffed with anti-ship missiles and other unpleasant things from the arsenal of Russian hospitality.
All four ships based at Rota have been upgraded. They are the Russian-famous Donald Cook, the Porter, the Carney, and the Ross.
So, the naval version of the RAM (Rolling Airframe Missile), a short-range anti-aircraft missile. Designed to defend ships in the close air defense zone against massive attacks by low-flying cruise missiles. Nothing so supernatural, just a fine compilation based on the time-tested Stinger, Sidewinder, and other products. It was assembled by Raytheon of the United States and RAMSYS of Germany. So far, SeaRAM has been installed on more than 100 warships of different classes in the Navy of the USA, Germany, Greece, Korea, Egypt, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates.
Presumably, the upgraded destroyers are equipped with the latest version of the RAM Block 2 missile, which features increased range and maneuverability.
A variant of the SAM MK 15 MOD 31 SeaRAM is installed instead of the aft SAM MK 15 Phalanx, on the same gun carriage, but with a slightly smaller total of 42 missiles compared with the RAM.
As for the AN/SLQ-32(V)6, this system has come a long way from the passive early warning, identification, and target detection system versions 1 and 2 to version 6.
Moreover, the passive and therefore almost invisible detection and tracking system work together with an active Sidcik-type jamming system. This makes the AN/SLQ-32(V)6, which is deployed on destroyers and frigates, one of the most important and effective systems in the world.
And this despite the fact that the AN/SLQ-32(V) has been in service with the U.S. Navy since 1980. The age-old American principle of “modernize while you can” played here in the best possible way. Taking the successful AN/SLQ-32(V)1 and 2 as a platform, adding to it new developments in the field of electronic warfare, the result was a very impressive combat system.
AN/SLQ-32(V)6 has a range of 360 degrees and can operate in a very wide frequency band. The system is distinguished by the ultra-fast response, instant azimuth coverage, virtually 100% probability of target signal interception, and, importantly, simultaneous detection and tracking of several targets with assigning them a degree of importance.
The system can detect and classify aircraft radars, coastal systems, and various search radars long before they detect a ship thanks to its passive part.
The active jamming station is “confined” to anti-ship missile homing radar heads and onboard radars of their carriers. The operating frequency range is from 8 to 20 GHz. The system can simultaneously track up to 80 targets and jam in four bands. To do this, use four phased array antennas, each capable of working in a 90-degree sector and in independent frequency mode.
The station is able to provide the maximum effectiveness of jamming due to the precise detection of target type, so-called jamming optimization.
In addition, AN/SLQ (V)6 works in the mode of creating false targets, masking, and diverting by the range and angle jamming. There are automatic and semi-automatic active jamming modes.
The jamming power can be up to 1 MW.
The AN/SLQ-32(V)6 includes an online transmitter type library for quick identification, which the system communicates with via satellite Internet from almost any part of the globe.
The latest development by Raytheon and Lockheed Martin should further improve the attack capabilities of the Block 3 version, specifically in terms of defeating anti-ship missiles with electronic warheads.
Elements of the AN/SLQ-62 TEWM-STF (Transportable Electronic Warfare Module-Speed To Fleet) system, another new electronic warfare system reportedly in service with the US Navy since 2015, were also spotted on the destroyers.
This system is also designed to work against anti-ship missiles such as SS-N-26 “Strobile,” which is the NATO classification for our P-800 “Onyx.
In general, the Americans pay a lot of attention to Onyx and other anti-ship missiles. There is a reason for this, of course.
There’s the launch of the Nulka active electronic warfare decoys and the Mk59 passive decoys and, of course, the AN/SLQ-62. This does not mean that the complex AN/SLQ-62 is used exclusively to neutralize the Russian PKMs, it is just one of the possible applications.
By the way, the Yakhonts, which are the export version of the Onyx and which Russia supplied to Syria at one time, also arouse interest. Given that Syria is on its way to the Black Sea, the crews of U.S. ships should consider having these missiles in their path in case of international complications.
So, we have four destroyers with the original modification aimed at fighting exactly against anti-ship missiles, and in the immediate vicinity of the Black Sea.
Now the visits of American destroyers from Rota to the Black Sea waters are not surprising at all. This is more than logical, because where else can it be completely free, that is, for free, to calibrate their radio-electronic systems and test them, so to speak, in conditions close to combat.
It is quite natural that all movements in the Black Sea will be carried out under the radar of the Russian radars, including the newest Bal complexes, which are of certain interest to NATO countries.
So the US destroyers enter the Black Sea with quite definite purposes, practicing first of all the work of their radio-electronic posts and combat crews exactly when they are near the Russian coast.
Unfortunately, you can’t call it a positive thing, but that’s the essence of it. Unfortunately, we are not able to conduct such operations near American shores; our navy is not capable of such operations.
The Americans take advantage of the moment to train their calculations, calibrate their systems, and saturate their radio-electronic libraries. It remains for us to respond in the same way to the best of our abilities.
In general, it is absolutely in Russia’s power to create an anti-ship zone out of the entire Black Sea coast. “Balls”, “Bastions”, airborne anti-ship missiles, “Kalibras” – all this can turn the Black Sea into a zone of absolute inaccessibility and without the presence of large ships in it. A small missile ship would be no less effective than a missile cruiser. Perhaps even more so.
And here, of course, for some of their tasks in the Mediterranean and Black Seas, U.S. destroyers simply have to be protected to the maximum. The other question is how effective that defense might be.
I think I will not surprise anyone with the conclusion that the 2017 modernization carried out on four Arleigh Berks will sooner or later, but will be continued and AN/SLQ-62 will appear on other U.S. warships.
At the same time the Navy is preparing for the delivery of the SEWIP Block III complex, which will represent another increase in electronic warfare capabilities and capabilities of modern technology.
The Americans have high expectations for the complex, and it is not quite clear yet whether SEWIP Block III with its AN/SLQ-62 active jamming technology will replace it, or whether the systems will exist in parallel on different ships, configuring the same destroyers for different missions.
These are all elements of a strategy based on huge investments in radio-electronic armament. And whoever invests in the development of radio-electronic systems today can clearly gain an undeniable advantage tomorrow.
Today, American destroyers, which are based in Rota, thanks to AN/SLQ-62 can be considered the most protected ships of the U.S. Navy. Appetite, as you know, comes with food. If the half-combat tests in the Black Sea are successful, it is quite possible that these radio-electronic systems will appear on other ships of the U.S. Navy as well.