06 November 2014
VL MICA system (image MBDA)
European guided weapons house MBDA (Hall D, Stand 261) has proposed a twin-track approach to meet the ship self-defence needs of the Indonesian Navy’s (TNI-AL’s) two newest surface combatant classes. The company is pitching its VL Mica point defence missile system for the two SIGMA 10514 Perusak Kawal Rudal (PKR) guided missile frigates being built by Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding (DSNS) in partnership with PT PAL (Persero). In parallel, the company sees its new Sea Ceptor local area anti-air missile system as an ideal fit for the three recently acquired Bung Tomo-class corvettes.
VL Mica uses the existing Mica air-to-air missile, available with active radar or infrared seekers, fired in a lock-on-after-launch mode to provide ship protection out to a maximum range of 20km. Vertical launch and the absence of dedicated target trackers provides for a 360° engagement capability against multiple simultaneous targets.
The full tactical VL Mica ammunition integrates a single missile all-up round with a single-use autonomous firing and storage canister; this is a sealed and pressurised dual-chamber enclosure designed with an integral duct to vent motor efflux upwards on launch.
Along with the ammunition canisters, below decks is the sequencer cabinet (containing power supplies and processing electronics), which links the VL Mica missiles with the ship combat management system, receives inputs from the ship’s inertial system and provides the link to the ship missile datalink.
MBDA CAMM (photo : MBDA)
Space and weight have already been reserved in the PKR design for a 12-cell VL Mica installation.
DSNS and its combat system supplier Thales Nederland have previously integrated VL Mica on the SIGMA 10513 frigate Tarik Ben Ziad and the SIGMA 9813 frigates Sultan Moulay Ismail and Allal Ben Abdellah delivered to the Royal Moroccan Navy.
MBDA is taking a different approach to the Bung Tomo-class ships, these 95m vessels having originally been designed to receive the VL Seawolf point defence missile system. With VL Seawolf no longer in production, MBDA is proposing to equip the three corvettes with the successor Sea Ceptor local area anti-air defence system.
Based on the new Common Antiair Modular Missile (CAMM) effector, Sea Ceptor has been ordered by the UK Ministry of Defence to replace VL Seawolf on the Royal Navy’s Type 23 frigates. Earlier this year, the New Zealand Ministry of Defence became the first export customer for the system, ordering Sea Ceptor as a key component of its ANZAC Frigate Systems Upgrade programme.
Capable of ranges of more than 25km, CAMM uses an active radar seeker (supported by mid-course guidance updates) to deliver an all-weather engagement capability against multiple targets simultaneously. It also features novel ‘soft launch’ technology, where a gas-powered piston propels the missile away from the ship before thrusters orientate it in the required direction of flight. Once the low-speed/low-energy turnover is complete, the missile fires its main rocket motor.