Although the Interactive Defence and Attack system for submarines (IDAS) was not shown on the TKMS stand during UDT 2023, Naval News talked to Peter Hauschildt for an update on the program and to learn how the missile system could be a game changer in Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW).
“ASW helicopters are probably submarines’ worst enemy,” Peter Hauschildt, Head of Research and Technology at TKMS, told Naval News.
“While a submarine can relatively easily evade or hit a frigate, a helicopter’s agility makes it impossible for a submarine to react on time to save itself.”
Peter Hauschildt, Head of Research and Technology at TKMS
That is why TKMS has been working on IDAS, a missile intended to fight against ASW helicopters.
IDAS is fired from a standard torpedo tube out of an ejection container the size of a standard heavyweight torpedo, which means it could easily be fitted onto any existing submarine. It features an imaging Infra-Red (IR) seeker, based on a technology that has already been extensively proven on the IRIS-T medium range IR homing missile, and a fiber optic link.
“The fibre optic link is key in a stand-off between a submarine and an ASW helicopter,” Hauschildt explained, “it has the critical benefit of allowing high data transfer and, consequently, allows the transmission of video from the missile to the console.” This means IDAS is continually transmitting information to the operator who is able to verify the target, edit the flight parameters and controls the missile until the endgame starts, once the missile is in the air. “In other words, the second benefit of the fibre optic cable is that IDAS can be redirected at any time, or the mission may simply be aborted,” Hauschildt added.
TKMS has been working on the development of IDAS in cooperation with Diehl Defence in the IDAS Consortium: while the latter is responsible for the missile technology partly based on IRIS-T (which it produces) the former is in charge of submarine integration with an ejection container and the onboard system.
The IDAS Consortium is planning to enter the final stages of development qualification within the next year. Several Navies worldwide have already shown a strong interest in acquiring the technology.