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Hermes Multi Purpose Missile    General Military Discussion

Started 29-Aug by gatnerd; 1009 views.
gatnerd

From: gatnerd

29-Aug

Russia has recently debuted a very promising multi purpose missile system known as Hermes. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8vVKcg9SgaQ

https://tass.com/defense/1194307

 

Essentially, its a precision guided Mini-MLRS, with a 100km range, and 30kg warhead. The warhead is described as a multi purpose blast/fragmentation warhead suitable for anti-tank, anti-vehicle, anti fortification / fire support. The overall 6 shot launcher can be mounted onto trucks or armored vehicles, and the containerized missiles are small and light enough that they could be reloaded by 3-4 soldiers.

This alone is pretty cool, but what makes it really interesting is that it is designed from the outset to be paired with multiple small, ground launched (no airstrip) surveillance and targeting drones. The drones both identify and then laze the target. Presumably, a ground based laser designator would also work. 

The video shows a dedicated drone truck, which both launches the drones and then serves as the area for the pilots. The video also shows a 'armory' truck that stores other missiles and drones and has a small crane for quickly loading more missiles.

Overall its a really promising system - much more promising then the ground based APKWS. With a 100km range, 30kg warhead, a single one of these launcher teams can provide precision fire support over a wide area. The warhead is powerful enough to take out a wide variety of targets, yet not so powerful that it would be prohibitively destructive for use in urban areas or for close in fire support. 

And with multiple small drones commanded by a truck, it could provide fire support in multiple directions, supporting multiple units dispersed with a 100km radius from the truck. Which is actually a pretty huge area for such a small system to cover. 

I wish the US would look into such a system for precision fire support. It would require less crew and less weight then artillery, offers more range, and also doubles as a local system of drone surveillance and support. 

In reply toRe: msg 1
Mr. T (MrT4)

From: Mr. T (MrT4)

29-Aug

Its interesting that its kinda a spin of from anti aircraft missiles not a Grad with an added guidance package , originaly i remember Hermes was touted as extra long range ATGM at the concept presentation in 2013

Pantsir-S  , Hermes-S and Pantsir-SM

Red7272

From: Red7272

29-Aug

I was somewhat at a loss to see the point to it when it was first announced, but as a more effective equivalent of the often proposed Hellfire on the back of a truck but with a better warhead and 15 times the range, it is looking like a very practical support weapon for dispersed infantry. Ideal for places like Libya, Dagestan and Georgia. 

gatnerd

From: gatnerd

29-Aug

Mr. T (MrT4) said:

ts interesting that its kinda a spin of from anti aircraft missiles not a Grad with an added guidance package

Yeah, its a really cool system. 

Hermes: 100km range, 30kg warhead, 110kg missile weight 

Grad 9MF22: 37km range, 25kg warhead, 70kg rocket weight 

US Guided MLRS: 70km range; 90kg warhead, ~300kg missile weight 

US Excallibur Guided 155mm: 40km range; 22kg warhead, 48kg shell weight 

Hermes occupies a sort of Godlilocks zone of missile weight, warhead size, accuracy,  and effective range. 

More broadly, 100km ground launched PGM's really revolutionize the capability of small drones. 

Previously drone strikes were limited to a finite number of large, armed UAV's (Predator, Reaper, etc) that require an airstrip.

With a system like Hermes, now small, vehicle launched drones like Blackjack (135lb, 95km range, launched from catapult) can now laze targets for ground based 'drone strikes. With good communications, even small infantry launched drones / quad copters could call in precision strikes. 

This could potentially allow any infantry unit within 100km of a Hermes launcher to have on demand drone strikes within 100 secconds.

  • Edited 29 August 2020 21:31  by  gatnerd
EmericD

From: EmericD

29-Aug

gatnerd said:

Hermes: 100km range, 30kg warhead, 110kg missile weight 

I do really wonder what is the missile trajectory to be able to reach 100 km, with a claimed maximum velocity of 1000 m/s... too much data simply do not fit the physical realm.

gatnerd

From: gatnerd

30-Aug

EmericD said:

I do really wonder what is the missile trajectory to be able to reach 100 km, with a claimed maximum velocity of 1000 m/s... too much data simply do not fit the physical realm.

Thats a good question. 

It seems that the Hermes Ground to Ground is a 2-stage missile. Theres a booster (the big, wider part on the bottom) which then discards, leaving just the top, smaller projectile to actually travel to the target. 

As Mr. T pointed out quite helpfully, it looks to be based on the Panstir SAM:

Pantsir-S1 carries up to twelve 57E6 (export designation ) 57E6-E(export enhanced designation )two-stage solid fuel radio/optical command-guided surface-to-air missiles in sealed ready-to-launch container tubes. Missiles are arranged into two six-tube groups on the turret. The missile has a bicalibre body, consisting of two stages in a tandem configuration. The first stage is a booster, providing rapid acceleration within the first 2 seconds of flight, after which it is separated from the sustainer-stage. The sustainer is highly agile and contains the high explosive multiple continuous-rod/fragmentation warhead, as well as the contact and proximity fuses, guidance flare and radio transponder.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pantsir_missile_system#Missiles

My guess is that the booster blasts the guided warhead to a high speed and high altitude. Then the warhead is essentially in a kinetic guided glide configuration on its way back to earth. 

So sort of a cross between guided missile and guided artillery? 

155mm Excallibur has a muzzle velocity of 827m/s, and a 40km range.

If Hermes is hitting 1000-1300m/s at booster separation, and then the projectile flies kinetic from that trajectory, would that explain the greater 100km range?

Mr. T (MrT4)

From: Mr. T (MrT4)

30-Aug

I think its really a glider after the booster falls a way. Original concept was for 3 models an air launched for helicopters with 15-20km range  a 40km range naval missile and a 100km range. 

Old chart on velocity(Blue) and trajectory(red) 

EmericD

From: EmericD

30-Aug

Yes, this kind of trajectory was expected, so that means that during most of he trajectory the missile is running on an inertial course above cloud ceiling (most trajectory is above 10 km), and will acquire its target in the last fraction of it's flight, if the target is still there.

So, as Gatnerd said, a cross between guided missile and guided artillery, but in this use a 30 kg warhead is on the light side to defeat infrastructures.

gatnerd

From: gatnerd

30-Aug

EmericD said:

Yes, this kind of trajectory was expected, so that means that during most of he trajectory the missile is running on an inertial course above cloud ceiling (most trajectory is above 10 km), and will acquire its target in the last fraction of it's flight, if the target is still there.

That should be fine so long as the drone is covering the target throughout, no?

From my understanding, the drone identifies and calls in the strike, and then stays over the target. The missile then flies toward the drone, and when in range the drone lazes the target for the warhead to follow. 

"a 30 kg warhead is on the light side to defeat infrastructures."

The advantage though is that its small enough that it could be used in urban areas or places where collateral damage would be problematic. Whereas something like the US GMLRS - 90kg warhead - would be much less likely to be authorized for fire support in a dense urban area. 

At the same time, the warhead is 3x the size of the Hellfire missile - itself pretty proven over the last 20 years - and the HE content is reportedly 18-20kg, which is a good bit of bang considering the reported 0.5m accuracy. 

  • Edited 30 August 2020 4:11  by  gatnerd
EmericD

From: EmericD

30-Aug

That should be fine so long as the drone is covering the target throughout, no?

From my understanding, the drone identifies and calls in the strike, and then stays over the target. The missile then flies toward the drone, and when in range the drone lazes the target for the warhead to follow. 

Yes, but in this case the missile needs course correction in addition to inertial guidance + final guidance. And communications between a drone loitering at low -medium altitude and a supersonic missile  trying to reach a 20+ km peak trajectory.

I don't want to imply that it's impossible, but simply that supporting troops with this kind of missile will have some strong tactical consequences.

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