Indranil wrote:It's not easy to defeat a maneuvering missile traveling at Mach 2.5 to Mach 3.
Correct. It requires highly capable radars, networking, electronic attack capability, interceptors and crew. The idea with layering is to have long range OTH AAW so that you can go after the shooters and the missile during its higher altitude cruise phase and then take multiple within horizon shots with different types of weapons (medium ranged and point defense).
Indranil wrote:I don't think anybody but the Israelis have demonstrably shown a counter with MRSAM.
The USN routinely utilizes, and successfully intercepts the GQM-163A
during testing utilizing its interceptors (ESSM, SM2, SM6 etc) and the same has been used by the French, Australian and the Japanese (publicly available records point to 5 targets used by Japan to validate performance of its interceptors) armed forces to test their own systems and crews. Same with the AQM-37C
which is slightly faster than the 163A but flies and simulates a different trajectory (and is air-launched).
Below is a picture of the GQM-163A being launched from the Direction générale de l'armement Essais de missiles range in France, the only non US test site/range that it has been integrated with till date (Japan used the White Sands MR facility). The French successfully intercepted the target with an Aster 30.
The only missile onboard AEGIS vessels that had not been validated for Supersonic sea-skimming targets has been upgraded and validated against the threat :-
Rolling Airframe Missile Passes Fire Control Test -The Block 2 missile successfully engaged and destroyed a pair of supersonic, maneuvering, sea-skimming targets designed to represent current anti-ship missile threats, [Navsea] says. The test was the second successful integrated combat systems firing event against this surrogate threat accomplished by the shipboard air search radars and surface-to-air missiles found on U.S. Navy amphibious ships, Navsea says. Aerospace Daily & Defense Report May/2016
The Block 2 IOC declaration follows an extensive maritime co-operative developmental and operational testing [DT/OT] programme at the Pacific Missile Range Center at Point Mugu, California, between May 2013 and March 2015, during which the missile completed a number of live fire events achieving successful intercepts against stressing target sets.
This included a number of tests from the navy's Self-Defense Test Ship (EDD-964) in which dual salvos of Block 2 missiles defeated 'stream raid' scenarios representative of supersonic, high-maneuvering, and low-level threats. Block 2 earlier completed two successful over-water guided test vehicle flights in December 2011 to demonstrate the systems upgraded kinematic performance guidance systems. IHS Jane's Missiles and Rockets July,2015
SSST intercepts are staple development and operational test parameters for the USN AEGIS or non-AEGIS interceptors and have been for decades.
They take this seriously as their adversaries have used supersonic sea skimming missiles for many years now, and are constantly evolving their SSST capability to keep up with technology. The 163A itself is now even getting chaff/Flare dispensers in the coming years and already has the near vertical top-attack capability fielded for testing. A new air-launched higher supersonic program is now being launched to replace the AQM-37C and another program to develop a Mach 5+ Hypersonic Target Missile is going to start development soon as well.
I'm not sure what target/surrogate missile the Israelis have used over the years or use now to simulate a high supersonic sea-skimming and maneuvering missile (to the best of my knowledge the GQM-163A is the only known Mach 3+ target system that can execute terminal maneuvers) but it is possible they have something.