Patrol boat mounted anti tank guided missiles

May 10, 2009 · Posted in ASuW, Littoral Warfare, Missile, Uncategorized 

Nothing more exciting to think about than antitank guided missiles mounted on small agile patrol boats for that littoral fight. Particularly on a sportless Sunday morning! Remember to call Ma though, it’s Mother’s Day!

I’ve found three somewhat current examples of ATGM’s mounted on Patrol boats of which one seems truly operational. Check out these vids

Norwegian test of CB-90 mounted Hellfire.


Russian Mirage with Shturm/Ataka (4 minute mark shows the firing)



Finally, the operational Israeli Super Dvora III with Typhoon mounted Spike ER Missiles.


After watching these videos you get the sense that the key ingredient for these weapons to be effective at sea is they need to have good opticsdesignation and a stabilized mount.

In terms of modeling these weapon systems in simulation or game there a probably some things to think about.

  • What impact does smoke and other battlefield have on the chance of a hit? Land armies use chemical smoke extensively to mask their movements from ATGM sites. Could this translate to the littoral fight?
  • Within the context of a real brown water environment what are the likely obstructions based on the flight characteristics of guidance of the missile? Will SS Minnow find itself between missile and target. How different is SS Minnow’s profile compared to your average pirate mothership etc.
  • If the weapons are as precise as the videos make them out to be, isn’t the chance of a critical hit significantly higher if not almost a certainty particularly in the realm of little ship vs. big slow ship? How does this impact damage and critical hit models. Think about hits designated at the water line or critical areas like engine or bridge.
  • Do current ships defensive weapon systems have any reasonable chance to engage these weapons at all? If not an active defense such as phalanx or a navalized Arena is their an electronic defense?
  • In terms of a small patrol boat vs. small patrol boat fight is there a point where a target is too close and too fast to be a valid target, particular as gun warfare comes into play with boats trying to unmask various systems by aggressive maneuver?

Anyways just some thoughts….what do you think?



7 Responses to “Patrol boat mounted anti tank guided missiles”

  1. Tukey on May 10th, 2009 1:59 pm

    Think Arena stands a good chance of improving things in calm seas only. Another item here is a set of optical countermeasures (smoke, dazzler).

    Electronic defense doesn’t work, optronic does (although have no sources to confirm the POV, again hampered by high seas).

    Would like a wider choice of warheads (can’t be sure whether thermobaric/FAE or a dual one should do more damage).

    For a skilled operator it is indeed possible to score a mission-critical hit (bridge, fire radars or weapon mounts).

  2. Dimitris on May 10th, 2009 3:29 pm

    Small-combatant warfare will become increasingly important to model right in sims & wargames, not least because of the emphasis given by the USN (LCS etc.).

    Agreed on the intricacies of damage modelling, things are not as clear-cut as will larger ships here.

    I think it is particularly crucial to increase terrain fidelity (most combat is likely to take place in the extreme litoral, perhaps mere meters from the shore) and also better model the sensor clutter effects that really come into play. The Norwegians place an IR (rather than radar) seeker on most of their ASMs for good reason.

  3. Bundy on May 10th, 2009 6:40 pm


    Looks like VLQ-6, VLQ-8, MUSS and Cerebus type systems might have some application.

    Don’t know enough about these systems though to know good they actually are and if they could/should be mounted on a ship.

    I can’t think of one game they are actually modeled in either….

  4. Bundy on May 10th, 2009 6:53 pm

    Ah Russian system is Shtora-1 EOCMDAS

    Israeli is Arpan

  5. Tukey on May 11th, 2009 2:12 am

    Yes, these are the ones I was talking about. But what we don’t know is whether any state has paid for navalization of the pack and possibly the smoke stuff. Which brings out another difficulty: sea spray may interfere with targeting for the ATGM.

  6. Dagooz on May 11th, 2009 3:44 am

    It’s a good thing those somali pirates haven’t gotten their hands on anything like this…

  7. Tukey on May 11th, 2009 4:38 pm

    Large vessels can absorb a whole lot of ATGM hits unless they hit something critical (causing fire and mayhem at the bridge) or the crew decides to capitulate. As an extra, handling ATGMs requires a bit of training and Somali warlords would probably pay more for an ATGM operator on land.

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