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Naval Weapons

IDAS partners look to re-plan submarine development firing

27 June 2017
The Interactive Defence and Attack System for Submarines (IDAS) Concept of Operations. Source: Diehl Defence/thyssenkrupp Marine Systems

The IDAS Consortium of Diehl Defence and thyssenkrupp Marine Systems (tkMS) is working to reschedule an engineering development firing of the IDAS (Interactive Defence and Attack System for Submarines) missile system from a submarine before the end of 2017.

This follows the identification of a technical problem which stopped a development firing and flight test from the Royal Norwegian Navy (RNoN) submarine KNM Uredd in May this year.

Designed for a range in excess of 10 km, IDAS is a submarine-launched guided weapon system designed to provide close-range protection against anti-submarine warfare helicopters. The system is also designed to have a secondary offensive capability against surface and coastal targets.

Launched through the submarine torpedo tube, the IDAS missile uses operator-in-the-loop (OITL) control for high precision and direct control. This is enabled through the combination of an imaging infrared seeker (IIR), and a fibre-optic link to relay seeker imagery back to the submarine.

After discharge from the submarine, the IDAS rocket boost motor fires while the missile is still submerged. During the underwater 'flight' phase, the missile manoeuvres into the direction of the target before broaching, accelerating to cruise speed (200 m/sec), and flying out towards the target area.

The operator onboard the submarine maintains full OITL control over the missile so as to provide the option to re-target in flight or abort the mission. In the event that the fibre-optic link is broken, the IDAS missile switches to an autonomous mode based on the existing engagement parameters.

The IDAS Consortium was formed by the two industry partners in 2012 to complete industrially financed system development after the German government stopped funding in 2010. Diehl Defence is responsible for the IDAS missile itself, the fibre-optic system, and the missile control system, while tkMS is performing submarine integration and the ejection container system (four IDAS missiles are housed in each container, with a thrust piston system used to eject each missile separately out of the torpedo tube).

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