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Chu-SAM (Type-03)

Chu-SAM (Type-03) was adopted by the Japanese Self-Defense Forces in 2005.Development of Chu-SAM(KAI) is aimed at increasing the capability against threats such as cruise missile. By applying advanced sensor and network technologies, Chu-SAM (KAI) increases a defense area against cruise missile, while reduces acquisition cost. The New Medium Range Surface-to-Air MissileSystem (Chu-SAM), as the replacement of the Improved Hawk System, will provide overall air defense coverage over army operation areas to protect units and facilities. This missile is precisely guided to the target by the combination of pre-programmed navigation, up-to-date command link, and active radar homing.

Chu-SAM SAM is designed to replace obsolete systems "Hawk", the air defense system in Japan complements complexes "Patriot PAC-3" and Tan-SAM. The Hawk had been used for more than 30 years with a succession of model changes. In 1990, the Research Institute TRDI Defense Agency of Japan decided to develop a new anti-aircraft missile system to replace outdated systems «Hawk». Development of complex began in 1990 in the Research Institute TRDI (Technical Research and Development Institute) Japan Defense Agency in conjunction with "Mitsubishi Electronics Corporation". Complex development program was worth about 10.7 billion dollars for a completion test SAM Chu-SAM in 1999, and deployment of the complex in 2002. The first samples were to be presented in 1999, but due to the problems of financing the project, the first prototypes were produced only in 2001. Within two years, the complex was constantly perfected, only then started its mass production. Complexity of the tasks and funding problems led to delays in development time. After the test, the complex began only in 2001 at White Sands (U.S. units. New Mexico). In 2003 the complex was put into production. In 2005, under the designation SAM Chu-SAM Type-03 entered service with the Japanese army.

Japanese forces successfully test fired the Chu-SAM Kai surface-to-air missile system at White Sand Missile Range by late 2015, firing the system ten times, including an interception of a supersonic target. The medium range system received a perfect score in downing cruise missile targets, with the tests also validating the US Navy’s GQM-163A Coyote supersonic cruise missile target. The Chu-SAM Kai is an improved version of the Japanese-designed Chu-SAM, incorporating improved sensors and networking to improve the system’s range and engage more advanced targets.

The new Chu-SAM is intended to feature a balance of such interconnected elements as a strong warhead to destroy aircraft, air-to-surface missiles [ASM], and cruise missiles, a launch system allowing its use anywhere, automation to reduce greatly the number of operators required, compact size made possible by high integration technology and a good life-cycle cost. The major technologies will include jamming-resistant radar to play the role of multiple eyes with a single unit applying the special signal processing being implemented in the field of communications and a guidance method with which the missile tracks its target by emitting its own radio signals. In addition, as one of the most important features, the new Chu-SAM should have the capability to deal with over-the-horizon [OTH] firing, which is suitable for Japan's mountainous topography, instantaneously predicting the location of a target that has disappeared behind a mountain based on topographic information and guiding the missile to the position where the target should be.

SAM Type-03 consists of a launcher, transport-charging machines, point of fire control, as well as multi-function radar. The Chu-SAM missile are installed on motor-road chassis (8x8). Multifunction radar is an active phased array antenna. Radar can search and simultaneous tracking of up to 100 air targets, which allows us to estimate the degree of threat and to ensure fire 12 of them.

The SAM is equipped with active radar homing missiles borrowed from the Type-99 air-to-air. Weight of the rocket - 580kg, length - 4900mm, body diameter - 300mm. The presence of the thrust vector control system and developed front and rear aerodynamic control surfaces provide rocket Chu-SAM high maneuverability. The Chu-SAM is designed to engage medium-range tactical ballistic missile threats, and contains a total of six missiles per launching station. The JGSDF appear to have taken the basic components of the Patriot Missile System while they were designing the Chu-SAM and improved upon aspects of efficiency and portability. Similar to Patriot, the Chu-SAM has individual vehicles for its radar, electronic power plant (EPP), and engagement control station (ECS). The system also includes a combined battery command post with an antenna mast group.

The display fire control station receives information about the traffic situation, the technical condition of elements of the complex and the availability of ready-to-launch missiles. Modern software of the complex makes it possible to carry out fire-horizon, as well as to predict the location of the target, taking into account pre-loaded topographic information about the topography of the theater of military operations and withdraw missiles in the projected point of the meeting. At SAM installed hardware interface connection with the AWACS aircraft and management, as well as with the ships that are equipped with multi-functional weapon system «Aegis».

The launcher mounts a package of six transport-launch container (TPK) rectangular with rockets. Before the start launcher gorizontiruetsya using four hydraulic jacks, TPK package is installed vertically. The launch of the container - is hot. At the bottom of the container package is a special exhaust which facilitates extraction engine jet launch the missile from the launcher.

The Rocket is a single-stage solid-fuel SAM with installed active radar homing head, which was borrowed from the Type-99 rockets "air-to-air." The missile is equipped with vector control system thrust. Also, the missile has developed all-moving front and rear aerodynamic control surfaces that deliver Chu-SAM high maneuverability. The missile is launched vertically with the subsequent decline in the direction of the target using SUVT. Before the capture target homing missile inertial control system is operated according to the primary target designation, which had been referred to the rocket. The data line is used to transmit commands to the missile correction in the middle portion of the trajectory to capture target homing. The whole cycle of combat work has a high level of automation, reducing the number of calculations.

However similar the Chu-SAM is to the Patriot System, it also contains several significant changes that would better adapt it to the needs of the JGSDF. One notable difference is that all of the vehicles are smaller and more compact than their Patriot counterpart. For example the Chu-SAM ECS was about the size of a High-Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV), compared to the Patriot ECS that sits on the larger M1096 frame. The smaller size allows many of the vehicles to be self powered, with the exception of the radar. This allows the EPP to provide power to the radar only, with cables that are noticeably thinner than those on a Patriot EPP. Another modification that seems to have a great effect on the maneuverability of the Chu-SAM is the lack of any vehicle trailers for its radar or launching stations. Combined with the smaller size of the vehicles the entire system would be more maneuverable for islands with narrow roads and vegetation such as those here on Okinawa. A benefit Patriot has over a trailer-less system is flexibility. If a Patriot truck were to break down, another could be substituted to relocate the trailer.

The vehicles operate with only a slight electric hum, compared to the loud gasoline generators of a Patriot launching station. The only other sounds were the commands of the signal and the occasional alert from a safety that they were ready to proceed to the next step in the drill. It was in stark contrast to the shouts heard from the signal, crew safety, and two guide tags during a Patriot guided-missile transport reload. The lack of noise could have safety benefits as all crew members would be less likely to be distracted or mishear a command.

A Chu- SAM launcher station consists of a single truck with no trailer. This configuration sacrifices some of the flexibility of the Patriot’s trailer based setup. The benefit of having no trailer was that the two man mobility crew was able to utilize a computerized leveling system which was able to level the entire truck automatically. The emplacement drill ended with the missile canisters positioned vertically with a blast shield lowered beneath them. The emplacement drill took approximately 7 minutes compared to an average time of 15 minutes to complete a Patriot mobility drill. There are a number of features of the Chu-SAM system that if adapted for Patriot could affect the ease of use, and more importantly, the safety of its operators. For instance the Chu-SAM radar is able to search for and engage targets in a 360 degree radius. This adds a valuable battle capability to the system, and the launchers and radar would never require rotation during operation. This eliminates the risk of a soldier being injured while the equipment is being moved.





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