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Surface Vessel Weapon System
Goalkeeper close-in weapon system (CIWS)

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Goalkeeper is a Dutch 30mm close-in weapon system (CIWS) introduced in 1979. It is an autonomous and completely automatic weapon system for short-range defence of ships against highly maneuverable missiles, aircraft and fast maneuvering surface vessels. Once activated the system automatically undertakes the entire air defense process from surveillance and detection to destruction, including selection of the next priority target.

Development of the system began in 1975 with Hollandse Signaalapparaten B.V. or in short Hollandse Signaal or Signaal (now Thales Nederland) working with General Dynamics, which supplied the GAU-8 gun. A prototype, the EX-83, was first demonstrated to the Royal Netherlands Navy in 1979.

Target selection:
Goalkeeper has two radar sub-systems, one to find threats and another to track and engage them, which operate together to identify and prioritise targets, and engage the highest priority one.
The 2D I band search radar, which can handle up to 18 targets at once, generates a threat picture which the gun system uses to identify and prioritize threats. The system has identify friend or foe (IFF) functionality to rule out friendly traces. The tracking radar operates in both I band and K band to enable quick acquisition on the threat bearing. Data from both the I band and K band return signals indicate target range and can be used to identify, and respond to the use of, electronic countermeasures (ECM). The dual band system also reduces the effect of clutter, which can mask the target at low altitude. A camera system on the assembly provides a visual fallback for the system operator.

Target engagement:
The GAU-8/A Avenger 30 mm Gatling gun, as used by the A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft, was selected for the system. The 30x173mm cartridge has a greater projectile mass than the 20x102mm cartridge fired by the Phalanx CIWS M61 Vulcan, so it provides much greater destructive power with similar muzzle velocity but significantly increased range.

The 30x173mm MPDS cartridge has a discarding nylon sleeve (sabot) with a 21 mm sub-calibre tungsten penetrator. The nylon sabot provides a seal between penetrator and barrel, and reduces wear.

The tracking radar is capable of monitoring the line of fire and commanding minor adjustments.

Supersonic missiles that are damaged may still have enough momentum to hit the ship - the only way to ensure the protection of the ship is either to detonate the warhead of the missile or obliterate the missile.

The system's reaction time to a Mach 2 sea-skimming missile such as the Russian SS-N-22 Sunburn from automatic detection to kill is reported to be 5.5 seconds with the firing synchronized to start the engagement at a range of 1500 m and ending with a kill at 300 m.

Manufacturer: Thales Naval, Netherlands
Gun: 1 x GAU-8/A Avenger 30 mm seven-barreled rotary (Gatling) gun
Height: 3,71 m (above deck) 6,2 m (including deck penetration)
Weight: 6372 kg with 1190 rds of ammunition (above deck), 9902 kg (total)
Ammunition types:
TP (Target Practise), HEI (High-Explosive Incendiary), API (Armor Piercing Incendiary), MPDS (Missile Piercing Discarding Sabot), or FMPDS (Frangible Missile Piercing Discarding Sabot)
Shell: 30x173mm
Elevation: +85° to -25° at 80°/s
Traverse: unlimited
Muzzle velocity: 1109 m/s (MPDS round)
Rotation speed: 360° in 3.8 seconds
Rate of fire: 70 rounds/second (4200 rounds/minute)
Maximum burst size: 1000 rounds
Ammunition storage: 1190 linkless rounds in a below-deck magazine
Reload time: 9 minutes (loading is done below deck)
Effective range: 350 to between 1500 and 2000 meters dependent on ammunition
Search radar: I band/linear array. I band is X band. Beamsize 1.5 degrees horizontal, 60 degrees vertical. Rotates at 1 Hz (60 RPM). Range approx. 30 km
Engagement radar: I band and K band monopulse cassegrain
Optical system: TV, Electro-optical, Infrared

Current operators:
Belgian Navy:
Karel Doorman class Frigate

Chilean Navy:
Jacob van Heemskerck class Guided Missile Frigate
Karel Doorman class Frigate

Royal Netherlands Navy:
De Zeven Provinciën class Air-Defence and Command Frigate
Karel Doorman class Frigate
L 800 HNLMS Rotterdam Amphibious Transport Dock
L 801 HNLMS Johan de Witt Amphibious Transport Dock
A 833 HNLMS Karel Doorman Joint Support Ship

Portuguese Navy:
Karel Doorman class Frigate

Qatar Armed Forces:
Vosper Thornycroft Vita class

Republic of Korea Navy:
Gwanggaeto the Great class Destroyer
Chungmugong Yi Sun-sin class Destroyer
Sejong the Great class Guided Missile Destroyer
Dokdo class Amphibious Assault Ship

Former operators:
Royal Navy:
Invincible class Aircraft Carriers (HMS Invincible & HMS Illustrious)
Albion class LPD's
(replaced by Mk-15 Phalanx on HMS Albion, removed from HMS Bulwark while in extended readiness for eventual replacement with "Phalanx")
Type 22 Broadsword class Batch 3 Frigates


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