Last month the U.S. 7th Fleet and the Navy Warfare Development Command tested how radar-absorbing, carbon-fiber clouds can prevent a missile from detecting and striking its target.
The Navy tested these manmade clouds, called maritime obscurant generator prototypes, to assess their tactical effectiveness for anti-ship missile defence. The systems and tactics were tested under a variety of at-sea conditions using assets from the U.S Army, Navy, and Air Force to evaluate how the radar-absorbing, carbon fibre clouds can protect naval assets as part of a layered defence.
Antonio Siordia, U.S. 7th Fleet’s science advisor said;
Pandarra Fog showed the value of quickly bringing together scientific and joint forces to tackle our hardest war fighting problems, this isn’t just smoke or chaff, this is high-tech obscurant which can be effective against an array of missile homing systems.
A shipboard device generated the carbon fibre particles which were suspended in a cloud of smoke. These clouds can absorb or defuse radar waves emanating from the seekers of incoming missiles and potentially obscure friendly ships from those missiles.
The experiment demonstrated how maritime obscurant generation can be a key enabler of offensive manoeuvre of the Fleet despite the global proliferation of anti-ship cruise and ballistic missiles.
In addition to having a significant level of effectiveness, the systems are relatively inexpensive when compared to other countermeasures and can be tactically employed through typical Fleet manoeuvres. The materials are environmentally friendly and sized to maximise operational effectiveness.