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Surface Vessel Weapon System
Mk-15 Phalanx close-in weapon system (CIWS)
mk-15 phalanx close in weapon system ciws mod. 31 sea ram

Mk-15 Phalanx CIWS:

Mk-15 Phalanx CIWS provides ships with an inner layer point defense capability against Anti Ship Missiles (ASM), aircraft, and littoral warfare threats that have penetrated other fleet defenses. Phalanx automatically detects, evaluates, tracks, engages, and performs kill assessment against ASM and high speed aircraft threats. The current Phalanx variant (Block 1B) adds the ability to counter asymmetric warfare threats through the addition of an integrated, stabilized, Electro Optic sensor. These improvements give Phalanx the added ability to counter small high speed surface craft, aircraft, helicopters, and Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS). Phalanx is the only deployed close-in weapon system capable of autonomously performing its own search, detect, evaluation, track, engage and kill assessment functions. Phalanx also can be integrated into existing ship combat control systems to provide additional sensor and fire-control support to other installed ship weapon systems.

Phalanx production started in 1978 with the Block 0 configuration, and was first installed in 1980 on the USS Coral Sea. The Block 1 configuration was installed on USS Wisconsin in 1988. The first Block 1B installation was on board the USS Underwood in 1999. The Phalanx program has had an active and continuous production, upgrade, and overhaul program since 1978.

Due to the continuing evolution of both threats and computer technology, the Phalanx system has, like most military systems, been developed through a number of different configurations. The basic (original) style is the Block 0, equipped with first generation solid state electronics and with marginal capability against surface targets. The Block 1 (1988) upgrade offered various improvements in radar, ammunition, rate of fire, increasing engagement elevation to +70 degrees, and computing. These improvements were intended to increase the system's capability against emerging Russian supersonic anti-ship missiles. Block 1A introduced a new computer system to counter more maneuverable targets. The Block 1B PSuM (Phalanx Surface Mode, 1999) adds a forward looking infrared (FLIR) sensor to allow the weapon to be used against surface targets. This addition was developed to provide ship defense against small vessel threats and other "floaters" in littoral waters and to improve the weapon's performance against slower low-flying aircraft. The FLIR's capability is also of use against low-observability missiles and can be linked with the RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) system to increase RAM engagement range and accuracy. The Block 1B also allows for an operator to visually identify and target threats.

The U.S. is in the process of upgrading all their Phalanx systems to the Block 1B configuration. The Block 1B is also used by other navies such as Canada, Portugal, Japan, Egypt, Bahrain and the UK.

In May 2009 the US Navy awarded a $260 million contract to Raytheon Missile Systems to perform upgrades and other work on the Phalanx. The work is to be completed by September 2012.

General characteristics:
Contractor: Raytheon Systems Company
(preceded by Hughes Missile Systems Company and purchased from General Dynamics Pomona Division in 1992)

Primary Function: Fast-reaction, detect-thrugh-engage, radar guided 20-millimeter gun weapon system.

Date Deployed:
Block 0: 1980 (aboard USS Coral Sea)
Block 1: 1988 (aboard USS Wisconsin)
Block 1B: 1999 (aboard USS Underwood)

Weight: (Block 1B): 13,600 pounds (6120 kg) / earlier systems: 5500 kg
Height: 4,7 meters
Barrel lenght: Block 0+1 1520mm (59.8 inches) = L76 | Block 1B 1981mm (78 inches) = L99
Rate of fire: 3000 to 4500 rounds/min (selectable)
Muzzle velocity: 1100 m/s (3600 ft/s)
Magazine Capacity: 1,550 rounds
Caliber: 20mm (20x102mm)
Ammunition: Armor Piercing Discarding Sabot (APDS)
Ammunition stowage: 1550 rounds
Gun: M-61A1 6-barreled Gatling Gun
Elevation: Block 0 = -10° / + 80° | Block 1 = -20° / + 80° | Block 1B = -25° / + 85°
Traverse: -150° to + 150°
Effective range: 3600 meters
Guidance system: Ku-band radar and FLIR

Used on:
- most US Navy surface combatants
- various international Navy’s ships

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Mk-15 Mod.31 SeaRAM CIWS:

SeaRAM is a Mk-15 CIWS variant consisting of the combination of two Fleet proven weapon systems: Block 1B Phalanx CIWS and the RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) Guided Missile Weapon System. SeaRAM combines the Phalanx CIWS Block 1B search-and-track radar and Electro-Optic sensors, along with its inherent threat evaluation and weapon designation capability, with a RAM 11-round launcher assembly missile system on a single mount. The SeaRAM CIWS is a complete combat weapon system that automatically detects, evaluates, tracks, engages, and performs kill assessment against ASM and high speed aircraft threats in an extended self defense battle space envelope around the ship.

Contractor: Raytheon Systems Company
Missiles: 11 x RIM-116 rolling airframe missiles (RAM)

Used on:
Independence class LCS


mk-15 ciws close-in weapon system phalanx
Mk-15 Block 1B - with FLIR

mk-15 ciws

mk-15 phalanx close in weapon system ciws

mk-15 ciws phalanx

two Mk-15 CIWS aboard the Battleship USS Iowa (BB 61)

mk-15 mod. 31 sea ram ciws
MK-15 Mod.31 SeaRAM aboard USS Porter (DDG 78)

mk-15 mod. 31 sea ram close in weapon system ciws
sailors loading RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missiles (RAM) into a Mk-15 Mod.31 Sea RAM CIWS aboard USS Coronado (LCS 4) - August 2015

mk-15 mod. 31 sea ram close in weapon system ciws rim-116 rolling airframe missile ram
sailors loading RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missiles (RAM) into a Mk-15 Mod.31 Sea RAM CIWS aboard USS Coronado (LCS 4) - August 2015

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