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New 130mm Guided Anti-Ship Rocket for South Korean navy

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  • New 130mm Guided Anti-Ship Rocket for South Korean navy

    New Anti-ship 130mm Guided Anti-Ship Rocket for South Korean Navy

    Intro and background info on PKX-B was written by me by combining things I've read online to explain why the 130mm Guided Anti-Ship Rocket was developed for ROKN.

    The rest of the text is translation of, Korean wiki on the new 130mm rocket system.

    == Intro ==
    ROKN is starting to field 130mm Guided Anti-Ship Rocket system which was developed to be installed on new ROKN PKX-B Patrol boats in ROKN. PKX-B is also known as PKMR (Patrol boat Killer Medium, Rocket) and the lead ship was launched in 2016.

    Originally the 130mm rocket was unguided version used by ROK Army, meaning ROK has a large stockpile of these available. This new 130mm Guided Anti-Ship Rocket is essentially modified version of the unguided 130mm rocket. From the front to back, the rocket includes thermal-imager = guidance-system = moving-fins = warhead = propellant.

    The 130mm Guided Anti-Ship Rocket is guided to general target area (presumably by the launching ship) with live location updates and than the thermal imager on the rocket itself takes over terminal guidance to the target ship. Range was disclosed to be above 20km.

    == Background on PKX-B ==
    (1) The sinking of Chamsuri-class patrol boat (PKM-357) by North Korean patrol craft in 2002 was due to 85 mm gun on the North Korean patrol craft (believed to be aimed manually). The real reason for the sinking was of course the ridiculous 6-step procedure ROKN was to ordered to follow when confronting encroaching North Korean patrol boats. This procedure included a FULL stop of the ROKN patrol craft, which allowed North Korean boat to score the initial hit with manually aimed 85 mm main gun. The 6-step procedure was presumably ordered from the then president of South Korea.

    Obviously such nonsensical procedure has been scrapped but ROKN realized it needed weapons with enough power/range on their patrol boats to counter the North Korean 85 mm guns (76 mm Iranian guns since 2013). ROKN Chamsuri-class patrol boat has 40 mm and 20 mm guns, plus a few machines guns.

    The new PKX-B is armed with 76 mm main gun (44 rounds on board, max 100 shots per min, range: 16km), 130 mm Guided Rocket launcher (12 rockets, range: 20km), and two RCWS K-6 12.7mm HMG. PKX-B will supplement/replace the Chamsuri-class patrol boats. PKX-B was originally going to be armed with 57 mm main gun but in 2013 it was discovered North Korean patrol crafts were being armed with Iranian 76 mm main guns (and presumably with more modern fire control system). So ROKN decided on installing 76 mm main guns on PKX-B class boats.

    It's expected that the RCWS K-6 HMG will be used for warning shots (if necessary) and the 76 mm main gun will be reserved for actual combat situation.

    IMHO, installing largest possible main gun makes sense as longer range and greater punch allows landing first hit, which almost always seems to decide the winner in naval engagements.

    And with the 130mm Guided Anti-Ship Rocket with 20km range on board, I think it's pretty safe to assume PKX-B will have better weapon system, without breaking the bank, than their main opponents, North Korean patrol boats.

    Note that ROK Army's 130mm unguided rocket system which this naval 130mm guided version is based on, has 2 types of rokcets. The K30 has a maximum range of 23 km and improved K33 has a range of 36 km. So ROKN could possibly increase the range of the naval version to as high as 36km, almost double that of a 76 mm main gun.

    If the new naval version of the 130mm rocket works as advertised, it would be a very effective and also cost effective weapon system.

    Source of text below. Pictures are there.

    == Project background ==
    The 130mm Guided Anti-Ship Rocket was one of projects that were conceived by South Korean government in response to the Yeonpyeong Island shelling by North Korean artillery on 2010.11.23. During the planning phase, it was decided 130mm Guided Rocket system (unguided version in service with ROK Army since 1980s) could be effective, especially against fast, small patrol crafts that North Korean navy employs around the sea. South Korea had developed and issued (2) K136 Kooryong multiple launch rocket systems with 130mm unguided rockets in 1980s to ROK Army. Total of 150 launcher systems were built. So ROK already has large a stockpile of 130mm unguided rockets.

    ROKN did not want to waste SSM-700K Haeseong ($2 million each) missiles against small patrol crafts of North Korea. So it was decided to adopt the ground-to-ground 130mm unguided rocket and turn it into ship-to-ship guided rockets.

    The project was officially launched in 2013. ROKN's requirements included length of the rocket to be less than 10m long and have the ability to hit small vessels moving faster than 40 knots, doing evasive maneuvers. They also asked for tracking and guidance system similar to that of Spike NLOS missiles.

    == Search capability ==
    Because the 130mm rocket was going to be adopted for ship-to-ship use, search capability could be simplified, versus when it's for land-to-land use. This is because floating vessels stand out from the ocean quite a lot due to very noticeable temperature difference. The 130mm Guided Anti-Ship Rocket uses same thermal imaging, inertial guidance, and guidance algorithm that were developed for the (3) LOGIR rockets.

    Due to longer range of the 130mm rockets compared to LOGIR system (5-7km), GPS guidance and target command location system information need to be transmitted to the 130mm guided rocket for increased accuracy. This command is transmitted using the datalink system initially developed for (4) K-SAAM (ship-to-air). So the 130mm Guided Anti-Ship Rocket is more similar to K-SAAM.

    == Capability ==
    It travels at Mach 2. Its war head is optimized for anti-semi-armor and delayed fuse capability. It is capable of completely disabling combat effectiveness a vessel weighing less than 200ton with 1 hit. The rocket also has limited capability against coastal battery installations.

    == Misc ==
    Dec 2013: LIGNex1 was selected as primary development contractor.
    2016.07.28: Chamsuri 211 (lead of PKX-B series patrol crafts for ROKN) was launched with the 130mm Guided Anti-Ship Rocket launcher system (12 rockets, non-reloadable at sea).