Following extensive evaluations of competing systems, the Indonesian Army earlier this year inked a US$35 million contract with the state-owned China National Precision Machinery Import Export Corp (CPMIEC) under which two TD-2000B combined gun-missile short-range air defence systems (SHORADS) are being acquired as replacements for existing BAE Systems-built Rapier Mk1 SHORADS. Deliveries will be completed by 2009. Prior to contract signature the Indonesian Army had shortlisted two competing systems from China: CPMIEC’s TD-2000B comprising QW-3 laser-guided missiles (four missiles per launcher) and NORINCO-built Type 80 57mm anti-aircraft guns; and China North Industries Corp’s (NORINCO) Giant Bow-2 twin-barrelled 23mm guns (already in service with the Indonesian Air Force) and TY-90 infra-red missiles. This is the second major weapon system of Chinese origin to have been ordered by the Indonesian armed forces. Previously, the Air Force had ordered the QW-3 shoulder-launched VSHORADS incorporating infra-red seekers, and Giant Bow-2s for base air defence operations.
The laser-guided Qian Wei-3 (QW-3, or Vanguard 3) is a 8km-range missile (that is also known as the FL-2000B) first revealed during the 2002 Zhuhai Air Show. Unlike other manportable air defence missiles that commonly use the passive IR-homing guidance, the QW-3 comes fitted with a unique nose-mounted semi-active laser guidance seeker. This enables the QW-3 to be almost immune to infra-red countermeasures. The nose-mounted laser guidance sensor has a relatively low rate of tracking (15 degrees/second) in comparison to conventional IR-homing surface-to-air missiles. However, this disadvantage is compensated by the fact that the targeted airborne aircraft is also much less manoeuvrable when flying at ultra-low altitudes. The QW-3’s missile body resembles the basic design of the earlier QW-1, but comers fitted with a second-stage booster at the missile’s rear end. This enables the missile to fly a much longer range (8km) at high-speed (750 metres/second) and also deliver a heavier, expanding-rod high-explosive fragmentation warhead with a killing-zone radius of 3 metres. The missile has a length of 2.1 metres, weighs 23kg, and has an engagement altitude of 5km.
TD-2000B comprise of : missile launcher, battery command post, tracked radar, and artillery gun (photo : Army Recognition)
The TD-2000B’s target acquisition and fire-control system comprises both a low-level search radar as well as an optronic sensor, both of which are mounted on wheeled vehicles. The OT-3 gimballed optronic sensor package mounted on the forward part of a revolving turret includes a TV tracking camera, infra-red tracking camera and a laser rangefinder, which feeds information to the onboard fire-control computer. This calculates the weapon-laying data, and when the target is within range the 57mm gun’s gunner opens fire. The gunner also has a joystick with which to lay the weapons onto the target. The TV tracker has a maximum automatic tracking range of 6km, while the infra-red tracking camera has a maximum range of 5km. The laser rangefinder has a minimum range of 500 metres, maximum range of 5.5km and is accurate to +/-5 metres. System reaction time depends on a number of factors. According to CPMIEC, in the radar search mode this is 10 seconds while in the optronic mode it is about 6 seconds. The wheeled Battery Command Post vehicle also houses the airspace surveillance radar with a maximum range of 45km and a maximum altitude of up to 4.5km. The radar was developed by the China National Electronics Import & Export Corp-oration (CEIEC). The search radar feeds information to the data processing system that in turn allocates target information to the individual QW-2/Type 80 units. Communications equipment installed in the Battery Command Post allows it to transmit information in a digital form up to 5km, by standard radio up to 15km and by wire up to 500 metres. The Command Post vehicle is also provided with an autonomous land navigation system and an auxiliary power unit needed to power the additional electronics mounted in the vehicle. The commander is seated to the rear of the driver. A bank of four electrically-operated smoke grenade launchers is mounted either side of the forward part of the vehicle.
For ultra-low-level air defence, NORINCO is now offering to select Southeast Asian countries two distinct solutions : the LD 2000 close-in weapon system (CIWS); and the YitianVSHORADS. The LD-2000, derived from the Type 730 naval CIWS is mounted on locally developed cross-country 8x8 truck. To provide a more stable firing platform, four stabilisers are lowered to the ground. Mounted at the rear is the remote controlled turret armed with a 30mm seven-barrel cannon. Twoamunition boxes each hold 500 rounds of ready-to-use ammunition. One magazine holds armour-piercing discarding-sabot and the other high-explosive rounds. The 30mm cannon has a cyclic rate of fire 0f 4.000 rounds/minute out to 3km, but airborne targets will be engaged between 1km and 1.5km. The power-operated mount is unmanned and laid onto the target by a gunner who is seated in a fully enclosed module to the rear of the cab. Mounted on the top of the 30mm gun mount is a wide band tracking and an optronic fire-control system, which also incorporates a laser rangefinder. Target information comes from a wheeled command/control vehicle fitted with a surveillance radar, which controls between three and six LD-2000 firing units. Another version of the LD-2000 comes equipped with the gun plus six TY-90 very short-range surface-to-air missiles.
The Yitian VSHORADS is mounted on NORINCO’s WZ-551 series 6x6 armoured personnel carrier (APC). A turret, armed with four TY-90 aurface-to-air missiles located either side of the sensor package, is mounted on the upper part of the WZ-551’s chassis. The sensor package comprises an optronic system, above which is mounted new 3-D radar that can be folded down into a horizontal position while traveling. The 3-D radar has a detection range of 18km and a tracking range of 10km. Targets can be tracked either in the optronic mode or in the radar mode, with the engagement capability and can engage targets with a maximum velocity of up to 400 metres/second, with a claimed reaction time of six to eight seconds. The TY-90 solid-propellant missile has a maximum effective range between 300 metres and 6km, with altitude coverage from 15 metres up to 4km. The fire and forget missile is transported and launched from a box-type container and has four fins at the rear and four control surfaces at the front. Once the missiles have been fitted new missiles are reloaded using a support vehicle. The WZ-551 chassis includes a nuclear/biological/chemical warfare protection system, and a central tyre pressure regulation system that allows the driver to adjust the tyre pressure to suite the terrain being crossed. A 12.7mm machine gun is mounted at the front right side of the vehicle for local defence, with a bank of three electrically operated smoke grenade launchers mounted either side of the turret. Optional equipment includes an identification friend-or-foe capability.
In another development, the Indonesian navy has zeroed in on the CPMIEC-built C-802A anti-ship cruise missile, which will be retrofitted on to some of the Navy’s existing principal surface combatants. The 180km-range C-802A is currently in service wih the navies of Bangladesh, China, Pakistan and Thailand, and is also being offered to Malaysia as replacement for the existing MBDA-built MM-38 Exocet anti-ship missiles that are nearing the end of their service lives. The latest test-firing of the C-802A took place on May 12 when the Bangladesh Navy’s BNS Osman (a Jianghu IV-class-guided-missile frigate) successfully test-fired a C-802A in the Bay of Bengal, following an upgrade to the missile system with the assistance of a Chinese technical team, officials said. The BNS Osman, commissioned on May 4, 1989 into the Bangladesh Navy, used to be 556 Xiangtan of the PLA Navy’s South Sea Fleet beforeshe was decommissioned and sold to Bangladesh about 20 years ago.