The widespread proliferation of promising anti-ship missiles, as well as other high-precision weapons in the Armed Forces of Russia, China, Iran, had a very negative impact on the defensive capabilities of the US Navy, which, even with the most powerful ship composition, are not able to dominate in the immediate vicinity of the sea borders of the Eurasian superpowers.
It is noteworthy that the first American warship with BIUS "Aegis", the missile cruiser URO and air defense CG-47 USS "Ticonderoga", entered service on January 23, 1983, in March of the same year, the most powerful Russian SCRC P -700 "Granite" with supersonic anti-ship missiles 3M-45 with a range of 600 km. By that time, American intelligence already knew about both the Basalts and the developed Granites, so the whole concept of the Aegis system can be viewed as an asymmetric response to our anti-ship complexes with elements of advanced artificial intelligence.
But the vaunted BIUS "Aegis", developed for the AUG air defense against massive enemy air attacks in a difficult jamming environment and anti-aircraft missile defense, had serious technological shortcomings, which were retained in all further versions, which ultimately made the system vulnerable by the beginning of the XXI century. Initially, the Ticonderoga (CG 47-51) missile systems were equipped with the shipborne SM-2 air defense missile systems with dual inclined Mk26 launchers, which severely limited the fire performance and survivability of the ship as a whole. For example, one Mk26 oblique-type launcher has an extremely low rate of fire (5 s), as well as an additional 2 seconds for reloading Mk26 anti-aircraft missiles from an under-deck weapon storage. This drawback almost completely eliminated all the advantages of the high throughput of the Aegis system, which is capable of sequentially firing at 18 air targets with simultaneous illumination (accurate auto-tracking) of 2-4 of them. Two Mk26 launchers installed on the first five Ticonderoga-class cruisers made it possible to achieve a rate of fire of only about 3-4 s, which absolutely did not allow to fully reflect a massive missile strike of the Basalt and Granit type SCRCs, whose missiles fly at speeds up to 2M at fairly low altitudes.
Later, the shortcomings were smoothed out by equipping the most advanced universal embedded launchers (UVPU) Mk41. Their performance exceeds the Mk26 by about 5 times, and their rate of fire is 1 s. The bow and stern UVPU Mk41, installed on the Ticonderogs and Arley Burkes, allow up to 16 RIM-67D or RIM-156A missiles to be fired at targets in about 8-10 seconds, for two Mk26 this procedure took about 48 seconds. During this time, for example, a strike echelon of 24 anti-ship missiles 3M-45 "Granit", launched from the MAPL pr. 949A "Antey", overcomes from 21, 2 to 34 km (depending on the profile and flight speed, 1600 - 2600 km / h). It is worth noting the extremely high vulnerability of the Mark 26 when anti-ship and other WTO elements hit the ship (even if it breaks at a certain distance from the ship): guide pylons - suspension points for 2 missiles, their rotating platform, as well as the elevator drive mechanism are outside the hull of the ship, i.e. open air. All TPK modular VPU Mk41 below deck, and even if several of them are damaged, the rest will continue to function.
But although the performance and survivability of the new launcher was increased, other disadvantages of Aegis, associated with the CIUS radar architecture, made themselves felt.
The fire control subsystem of the Mk99 anti-aircraft missile systems "SM-2/3" is the basis of the anti-aircraft and anti-missile qualities of the BIUS "Aegis". The principle of its operation is based on the energy and throughput capabilities of the AN / SPY-1A / B / D radar, as well as on the accuracy of autotracking (illumination) by the AN / SPG-62 continuous radiation radars. The use of the latter is the main drawback of Aegis, which has passed from the 20th to the 21st century. Most modern shipborne radar stations use only one antenna post to track target tracks and further destroy the most priority ones. These include such multifunctional radars as the Dutch APAR and the Russian "Polyment". In the pyramidal superstructure of the European frigates of the type "Saxony", "Ivar Huitfeld", "De Zeven Provincien", as well as the Russian SC of project 22350 "Admiral Gorshkov" there is an antenna post with a four-way AFAR, which accompany and hit targets without the help of any specialized illumination stations and radar "searchlights" limiting the direct channel of the air defense missile system. Active phased arrays APAR and "Polymenta" operate in the centimeter wavelength range, and therefore another important problem is being solved - noise immunity when tracking and capturing air targets against the background of the water surface. The AN / SPY-1A decimeter radar (S-band) has serious problems in working on low-altitude targets, and therefore, when targeting SPG-62 illumination radars, errors often arise in determining the exact location of a target located near the radio horizon.
It is also known about another type of shipborne multifunctional radar. Its representative is the Japanese-Dutch FCS-3A, installed on the Japanese destroyer-helicopter carriers of the Hyuga class and the destroyers URO of the Akizuki class (“19DD”). The antenna post of this MRLS consists of 8 AFAR antenna panels (2 antenna arrays per side). The large AR operates in the C-band of decimeter waves and is designed for viewing and targeting a small multichannel on-load tap-changer. Small radar operates in the X-band, and is designed to "capture" and fire targets. But unlike the American SPG-62, the Japanese illumination radar is multi-channel and is represented by a compact AFAR. This suggests that the FCA-3A is capable of providing defense against a massive strike by low-flying anti-ship missiles.
Later, improved versions of the main radar "Aegis" - AN / SPY-1B / D / D (V) appeared, which received new software and design solutions that expanded the noise immunity and the viewing area in elevation. This made it possible to steadily track and hit some low-flying targets, as well as the WTO, diving at the AUG with angles up to 85-90 degrees. Undoubtedly, the system has improved performance, but the overall radar architecture and the principle of its operation remained the same: only 3-4 SPG-62s do not allow Aegis to hit multiple low-altitude and high-speed targets with low RCS. Therefore, the US Navy continues to search for the most correct and economically feasible solution that allows the Aegis to successfully resist modern anti-ship missiles. After all, a complete replacement of the radar complex on 102 Aegis ships will cost hundreds of billions of dollars and is unlikely to pay off, since the era of ships like the promising stealthy destroyers of the Zumwalt class will come very soon.
And one of these decisions is reflected in the topic of the recent consultations of the US Navy command with the American leader of the military shipbuilding - the company "Huntington Ingalls Industries" (HII). A meeting between naval officials and HII chief executives took place on January 15, 2016 during a symposium of the US Navy Association. The technical and organizational issues of the development and construction of a heavy missile defense ship based on the LPD-17 "San Antonio" amphibious assault helicopter dock were coordinated. The decision is quite daring, given the multibillion-dollar estimated cost of converting several existing 25,000-ton military transports into anti-missile supercruisers or building new ships, but the game is worth the candle.
Antenna post of the AMDR MRLS is located on the main superstructure of the San Antonio-class amphibious assault ship in a truncated pyramidal structure, the design of which is similar to the superstructure of the Dutch multifunctional APAR radar. As you can see, the last air defense line of the new "Aegis Giant" will be formed by an inclined self-defense SAM system RAM (Rolling Airframe Missile) with 4-fly anti-aircraft missiles of the RIM-116 type
DVKD "San Antonio" have important design features that allow: to operate in inaccessible to the "Ticonderoga" areas of the seas and oceans, "look" much further than the radio horizon adopted for the early "Aegis", maintain the combat stability of the AUG an order of magnitude longer than it could have done " Arley Burke ", look like ordinary frigates of the" Oliver Hazard Perry "class or even smaller ships on enemy radar indicators.
The ship with a length of 208.5 m and a displacement of 25 thousand tons has significantly larger internal volumes, both due to its greater length and due to the width of the hull of 32 m (2 times wider than that of the Ticonderoga, and 56% more than at Arley Burke). The huge width of the deck allows you to install 4 UVPU Mk41 of the Mk158 modification, which houses 61 TPK under the SM-2/3 missiles, RIM-162 ESSM missiles, LRASM anti-ship missiles, BGM-109C Tomahawk SKR, RUM-139B VLA PLUR complex "Asroc-VLA". Four similar Mk 41s will carry 244 missiles of various types, i.e. 2 times more than that of the "Ticonderoga" class (2 Mk 41 for 122 TPK). The ship turns into a real floating "Aegis Arsenal", adapted for prolonged combat operations under the blows of hundreds of anti-ship missiles.
The use of a specialized self-defense container Mk 25, which is a quad version of the TPK for the RIM-162A missiles, allows 2 Mk 41 488 ESSM missiles, which can be used with a significant numerical superiority of enemy air attack weapons. Add to this number another 61 long-range RIM-161A anti-missile missiles and 61 Tomahawks in the two remaining Mk 41s - no modern warship with such ammunition is known.
The anti-missile giant based on San Antonio will be controlled by the promising AMDR radar, developed on the basis of the latest AN / SPY-1D (V) modifications, integrated into the latest versions of Aegis (BMD 5.1.1. Unit 4).
Multifunctional radar station of the new generation AMDR, made in the body of the advanced EM class "Arleigh Burke Flight III". Dark violet rays - radiation of promising multichannel AFAR-RPN centimeter range, which will replace the outdated single-channel continuous radiation radars SPG-62; yellow rays - radiation of AFAR 4-way surveillance and accompanying radar of the decimeter range based on the latest AN / SPY-1
Based on the top figure with the diagram, you can see that the AMDR radar consists of two main elements, similar to the standard version of Aegis. The radar detection and tracking function is performed by 4 large S-band antenna arrays, the illumination is performed by additional 3 X-band RPNs, but these are no longer the old SPG-62, but new and powerful AFAR canvases, each of which is capable of "capturing" at least 10 goals.
The AMDR radar will surpass all versions of AN / SPY-1, APAR and Sampson in terms of performance characteristics and will catch up with the domestic Polyment, as well as the Japanese-Dutch FCS-3A. AMDR features increased energy potential and range. When used in the main superstructure "San Antonio", the AMDR antenna post will be 1.5-2 times higher than the AN / SPY-1, and therefore the radio horizon will increase by tens of kilometers. AMDR operators on the new ship will be able to detect more distant targets without relaying the tactical situation from the E-2C AWACS aircraft. In addition, the new X-band and multichannel RPNs of the new multifunctional radar, in contrast to the "ancient" SPG-62, will be able to scan the sea surface for the presence of small radio-contrast targets such as "periscope", "small landing craft", etc., which was not available for the decimeter S-band AN / SPY-1.
The new CIUS for the AMDR radar will be built on the basis of the latest supercomputers, and therefore the number of missiles guided in the air can increase from 22 (for Aegis) to 7 or more dozen. The seven-meter draft "San Antonio" will allow the ship to enter shallow water, as well as shallow seaports, which will further expand its functionality in the marine theater of operations.
The Americans have all the shipbuilding, technological and material capacities for the construction of a large series of such ships in the near future, and therefore it will be very difficult to give an adequate answer. Re-equipment of "Admiral Nakhimov" into the most powerful strike and defensive tool of the Russian Navy, of course, will make a good contribution to countering the threat from the new US Navy arsenals, but this is just a drop in the ocean, large-scale construction of frigates pr. 22350, MAPL pr. 885 "Ash" and other anti-ship surface and submarine cruisers with missiles such as "Onyx", "Caliber" and more promising products, the production of which must be urgently accelerated.