Seacat Missile System, which is now out of service, was a
short range sub-sonic guided missile for use on ships in self
defence of low level air attack. It was fitted to all of our
Type 12 Frigates (later designated River Class Destroyer Escorts)
now all decommissioned and out of service, and brought the
RAN into the 'Missile Age'.
system was controlled by a visual command link method involving
the use of a human operator (aimer). The operator acquired the target
in his field of binocular view and guided the missile into co-incidence
with the target by means of signals transmitted over a radio link.
principle of the operation is that after the target is acquired
in the conventional manner either through the Gun Direction System
or independently, the missile is launched into the field of binocular
view of the Seacat Missile Aimer sitting in the Seacat Director
who is looking along the Line Of Sight to the target.
the missile is 'gathered' by the aimer he steers it to the target
by manipulating a small joystick (or "tit"), with his
thumb by applying left, right and up, down demands on the joystick.
(via a UHF Radio Control Link).
flare at the rear of the missile assists the Aimer to keep the missile
in sight. When the missile approaches within range of the target
a proximity fuse explodes the 40 LB CE Rod Warhead.The missile's
powered Time Of Flight (TOF) is approx. 15 seconds, with a further
'coasting' control of approx 5 seconds.
one missile can be controlled at a time.
Seacat Aimers were provided by members of the RAN Gunnery Branch
and each qualified sailor war a Cuff Rate on their sleeve. Some
well known RAN Seacat Aimers were - 'Lucky' Logan, 'Hoss' Potter,
Paul Rowan, Dave Crockford, 'Gus' Ridley, Bobby Wass.
above photo was taken and sent in by Paul Campbell, a Weapons Systems
Electrician, and it was a quite famous shot for its day appearing
in many well known publications and magazines.
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