Hsiung Feng III

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Hsiung Feng III Anti-Ship Missile Display in Chengkungling.

The Hsiung Feng III (HF-3; Chinese: 雄風三型, "Brave Wind III") is the third in the Hsiung Feng series of anti-ship missiles developed by the Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology (CSIST) in Taiwan. Very little is known about the HF-3, except that it is a Mach 2 class supersonic anti-ship missile designed to target People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) surface vessels, including its Sovremenny class destroyers and its new aircraft carrier. It has been speculated that the anti-ship variant is designed to outperform the Russian-made Sunburn anti-ship missile possessed by the PLAN.

Development[edit]

The CSIST is believed to have started a ramjet test vehicle program in 1990s, and this project was later merged with the Hsiung Feng (anti-ship missile systems) program. Flight testing of the definitive HF-3 prototype started in 7/2001. Operational testing and evaluation was started in late-2004 and was completed by 7/2005, on board the PFG-1101.[1] According to Taiwan Defense Review, the supersonic HF-3 missile will dramatically reduce the reaction time available to the target. The typical reaction time against a high-subsonic anti-ship (Mach 0.85) missile like the Harpoon or HF-2, when it is detected by the target vessel's onboard radar, is about 2 minutes. An HF-3 missile, flying at just above Mach 2 at comparable sea-skimming altitude during the attack phase could cover the same distance in less than 35 seconds.

The HF-3 missile uses a rocket-ramjet propulsion system, with two side-by-side solid-propellant jettisonable strap-on rocket boosters for initial acceleration and a liquid-fueled ramjet (believed to be using JP-10 fuel) for sustained supersonic cruise. The missile features a wingless design with four strake intakes and four clipped delta control surfaces aft. The air intake design arrangement was reported to have been optimized for evasive maneuvering at terminal sea-skimming altitudes. The missile is designed to be capable of way-pointing and can be programmed to fly offset attack axes to saturate defenses. It is also capable of high-G lateral terminal "random weaving" maneuvers to evade close-in defenses.[1]

The HF-3 missile uses an X-band monopulse planar array active radar seeker evolved from that utilized by the HF-2 anti-ship missile series, but with improved digital signal processing and data-handling capabilities that address the shorter reaction time requirements available to a supersonic anti-ship missile. The missile ECCM's includes resistance to range gate pull-off (RGPO), and the missile's maximum speed at low alttudes is reported to be in the range of Mach 2.3-2.7, with higher cruising speed at greater altitudes. The HF-3 uses a Self-Forging Fragment/SFF (i.e., Explosively-Formed Projectile/EFP) warhead reported to be in the 225 kg weight class and designed to be triggered by a smart fuze that directs most of the explosive energy downward once it has detected that the missile is inside the target ship's hull.[1]

Its minimum effective range is reported to be around 16 nm, due to the time and distance needed for the missile to transition to a stable, supersonic flight and attain the attack profile following target acquisition.[1]

According to a Liberty Times article on May 10, 2005, the basic R&D phase of the HF-3 was mostly complete by that time, and the system was to under-go various countermeasure tests before entering service. According to the article, the main difficulty in designing the HF-3 involved violent trans-sonic vibrations damaging missile parts; advances in materials science and orbiting welding technology allowed extensive weight lightening of the HF-3 system. It is deployed aboard the ROC Navy's Lafayette/Kang Ding class and Perry/Cheng Kung class frigates, and may possibly be deployed on the Kwang Hwa VI class missile boats.

The missile was officially revealed on Oct. 10, 2007 at a military parade.[2][3]

Two versions of HF-3 exist so far, a land based and a shipborne version that might be shorter in range in order to fit on board Taiwan's naval ships, as seen of 4 such HF-3 boxes (with 4 other HF-2 AShM) on board ROCN frigate PFG-1101 Cheng Kung as of 2006 and PFG-1105 was seen with 4 HF-3 boxes as of June 2009 with new launchers that can launch both HF-2 and HF-3. It is expected remaining ships of the class will be backfitted with HF-3 SSMs when they undergo their major overhaul. The HF-3 missile is expected to be deployed in the same mixed configuration (i.e., 4xHF-2s and 4xHF-3s) similar to that seen on the PFG-1101. This mixed (HF-2/HF-3) installation provides a unique and interesting capability, combining the low-signature characteristics of the subsonic, sea-skimming HF-2 with the high-speed penetration capability of the HF-3 missile.[1] Also DDG-1802 (a Kidd-class destroyer) was spotted on December 2008, carrying 8 HF-3 SSMs in original Harpoon SSM position midship at Suao naval base. Ching Chiang class patrol ship (total 12 built) also are undergoing the same upgrade to carry 2x2 HF-2/3 anti-ship missiles with the new launchers that can carry both types of anti-ship missiles.

On Sept 7th, 2009, it was speculated by the media ROC Navy is completing a new class of missile craft that will carry 8 HF-3 SSM, besides small-waterplane-area twin hull design.

HF-3 is currently in volume production under project Chase Wind (追風), and is in found on most fleet ship missile boats.[4]

General characteristics[edit]

  • Type: Anti-ship missile
  • Range: 130 Kilometers
  • Flight altitude: 125 m – 250 m
  • Power Plant: Rocket-Ramjet
  • Top Speed: 2300 km/h
  • Length: Approx. 6.096 m[1]
  • Diameter: .4572 m[1] Missile Body Only
  • Weight: 3,000-3,300 lbs[1]
  • Guidance: Inertial with terminal active (X-Band) radar homing[1]
  • Date Deployed: 12/2007 250 Units – approved for official low rate production as of 1/2008

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

External links[edit]