Close-in weapon system

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A close-in weapon system (CIWS), often pronounced "sea-whiz",[1] is a point-defense weapon system for detecting and destroying short-range incoming missiles and enemy aircraft which have penetrated the outer defenses, typically mounted shipboard in a naval capacity. Nearly all classes of modern warships are equipped with some kind of CIWS device.

There are two types of CIWS systems. A gun-based CIWS usually consists of a combination of radars, computers, and multiple-barrel, rotary rapid-fire cannons placed on a rotating gun mount. Missile systems use infra-red, passive radar/ESM or semi-active radar terminal guidance to guide missiles to the targeted enemy aircraft or other threats. In some cases, CIWS are used on land to protect military bases. In this case, the CIWS can also protect the base from shell and rocket fire.

Gun systems[edit]

A gun-based CIWS usually consists of a combination of radars, computers and rotary or revolver cannon placed on a rotating, automatically-aimed gun mount. Examples of gun-based CIWS products in operation are:

Limitations of gun systems[edit]

  • Short range: the maximum effective range of 20 mm (0.79 in) gun systems is about 4,500 metres (14,800 ft); systems with lighter projectiles have even shorter range. The expected real-world kill-distance of an incoming anti-ship missile is about 500 m (1,600 ft) or less,[4] still close enough to cause damage to the ship's sensor or communication arrays, or to wound or kill exposed personnel.
  • Limited kill probability: even if the missile is hit and damaged, this may not be enough to destroy it entirely or to alter its course enough to prevent the missile, or fragments from it, from hitting its intended target, particularly as the interception distance is short. This is especially true if the gun fires kinetic-energy-only projectiles.[5]

Comparison of some current CIWS[edit]

Comparison of some modern CIWS
China Type 730 CIWS[6] Russia AK-630[7] United States Phalanx CIWS[8] Netherlands Goalkeeper CIWS Italy DARDO[9] Switzerland Millennium[10]
Weight 9,800 kg (21,600 lb) 9,114 kg (20,093 lb) 6,200 kg (13,700 lb) 9,902 kg (21,830 lb) 5,500 kg (12,100 lb) 3,300 kg (7,300 lb)
Armament 30 mm (1.2 in) 7 barreled Gatling Gun 30 mm (1.2 in) 6 barreled GSh-6-30 Gatling Gun 20 mm (0.79 in) 6 barreled M61 Vulcan Gatling Gun 30 mm (1.2 in) 7 barreled GAU-8 Gatling Gun 40 mm (1.6 in) 2 barreled Bofors 40 mm 35 mm (1.4 in) 1 barreled Oerlikon Millennium 35 mm Naval Revolver Gun System
Rate of Fire 7,000 rounds per minute 5,000 rounds per minute 4,500 rounds per minute 4,200 rounds per minute 600/900 rounds per minute 200/1000 rounds per minute
(effective/ flat-trajectory) Range 3,000 m (9,800 ft) 4,000 m (13,000 ft) 2,000 m (6,600 ft) 3,600 m (11,800 ft) 4,000 m (13,000 ft) 3,500 m (11,500 ft)
Ammunition storage 2,560 rounds 2,000 rounds 1,550 rounds 1,190 rounds 736 rounds 252 rounds
Muzzle velocity 1,100 m (3,600 ft) per second 900 m (3,000 ft) per second 1,100 m (3,600 ft) per second 1,109 m (3,638 ft) per second 1,000 m (3,300 ft) per second 1,050 m (3,440 ft) per second / 1,175 m (3,855 ft) per second
Elevation -25 to +85 degrees -12 to +88 degrees -25 to +85 degrees -25 to +85 degrees -13 to +85 degrees -15 to +85 degrees
Speed in Elevation 100 degrees per second 50 degrees per second 115 degrees per second 100 degrees per second 60 degrees per second 70 degrees per second
Traverse 360 degrees 360 degrees 360 degrees 360 degrees 360 degrees 360 degrees
Speed in Traverse 100 degrees per second 70 degrees per second 115 degrees per second 100 degrees per second 90 degrees per second 120 degrees per second
In service 2007 1976 1980 1980  ? 2003

Land-based CIWS[edit]

CIWS are also used in a land-based anti-mortar and missile defense role to protect fixed and temporary bases and other facilities.[11]

On a smaller scale, active protection systems are used in some tanks, and several are in development. The Drozd system was deployed on Soviet Naval Infantry tanks in the early 1980s, but later replaced by explosive reactive armour. Other systems that are available or under development are the Russian (Arena), Israeli (Trophy), American (Quick Kill) and the South African-Swedish (LEDS-150).

Laser CIWS Systems[edit]

Laser based CIWS systems are being researched. In August 2014 an operational prototype was deployed to the Persian Gulf aboard USS Ponce.[12]

The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (Turkish: Türkiye Bilimsel ve Teknolojik Araştırma Kurumu, TÜBİTAK) is the second organisation after the US to have developed and tested a High Power Laser CIWS prototype System which is intended to be used on the TF-2000 class frigate and on Turkish airborne systems.[13][14][15]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Friedman, Norman (1991). The Naval Institute guide to world naval weapons systems, 1991/92. Annapolis, Md.: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0870212885. Retrieved 13 February 2017. 
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-09-23. Retrieved 2008-08-16. 
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-09-27. 
  4. ^ Wachsberger, Christian; Lucas, Michael; Krstic, Alexander (June 2004), Limitations of Guns as a Defence against Manoeuvring Air Weapons (PDF), DSTO Systems Sciences Laboratory, p. 36 
  5. ^ Discovery Channel Discovery Channel Science Top 10 Weapon: Fire Power
  6. ^ "偶军航母上的蜂窝制造者是国产11管近防炮,射速可达每分钟1万发......偶早在2009年就知道鸟 - 飞扬军事 - 信息资讯 - 军事主题 - 骑鲸蹈海". 兄弟 (in Chinese). May 18, 2011. Archived from the original on 12 November 2013. Retrieved 13 February 2017.  (Chinese)
  7. ^ "AK-630 Gatling Gun Close in Weapon System". Indian Military. November 13, 2009. Archived from the original on 22 January 2010. Retrieved 13 February 2017. 
  8. ^ Dan Petty. "The US Navy - Fact File:". Navy.mil. Retrieved 2013-05-18. 
  9. ^ Tony DiGiulian. "Italy 40 mm/70 (1.57") Breda". Navweaps.com. Retrieved 2013-05-18. 
  10. ^ Oerlikon Millennium 35 mm Naval Revolver Gun System
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-03-05. Retrieved 2009-12-02. 
  12. ^ U.S. Navy Deploys Its First Laser Weapon in the Persian Gulf - Bloomberg.com, 14 November 2014
  13. ^ Insinna, Valerie (2015-02-14). "turkey-laser-weapon-indigenous-tubitak-test". Defensenews.com. Retrieved 2016-12-03. 
  14. ^ "Turkey creates laser weapon". Times.am. Retrieved 2016-12-03. 
  15. ^ "Turkey aims to second US in using laser as military weapon | General | Worldbulletin News". Worldbulletin.net. 2015-01-19. Retrieved 2016-12-03.