Phalanx CIWS: The Last Defense, On Ship and Ashore
August 10/18: Taiwan up-next? Taiwan wants to procure Phalanx style systems to protect its air force bases. The government’s public solicitation for the “Near Force Air Defense Fast Propeller System” requires the air-defense weapon to have high-precision, a high rate of fire, to be mobile and to operate automatically. It must be able to counter a number of airborne threats ranging from subsonic missiles to UAVs. The US military has used the Phalanx Centurion in Iraq to protect FOB Kalsu from incoming rockets, artillery shells and mortars. The Centurion can reach beyond its own array and use other target acquisition sensors to detect and track fired rounds. The Air Force plans to install the land-based Phalanx Centurion at the Jiashan, the Hualienjia and the Taidong Zhihang bases where large stockpiles of AMRAAM missiles are stored.
The radar-guided, rapid-firing MK 15 Phalanx Close-In Weapons System (CIWS, pron. “see-whiz”) can fire between 3,000-4,500 20mm cannon rounds per minute, either autonomously or under manual command, as a last-ditch defense against incoming missiles and other targets. Phalanx uses closed-loop spotting with advanced radar and computer technology to locate, identify and direct a stream of armor piercing projectiles toward the target. These capabilities have made the Phalanx CIWS a critical bolt-on sub-system for naval vessels around the world, and led to the C-RAM/Centurion, a land-based system designed to defend against incoming artillery and mortars.
This DID Spotlight article offers updated, in-depth coverage that describes ongoing deployment and research projects within the Phalanx family of weapons, the new land-based system’s new technologies and roles, and international contracts from FY 2005 onward. As of Feb 28/07, more than 895 Phalanx systems had been built and deployed in the navies of 22 nations.
The Phalanx Platform: Competition, Upgrades & Developments
Phalanx: New Frontiers
Phalanx Contracts and Key Events
FY 2014 – 2018
FY 2012 – 2013
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