Russia, and now maybe Iran, has got an anti-ship missile called the “Sizzler” (SS-N-27 Sizzler called “Klub” missile by the Russians) for which the US Navy has no defense.

The Sizzler or Klub missile is a multi-stage missile that flies just above the water. It flies at a subsonic speed until it reaches the range of the enemy ship’s radar, which reportedly is about 30 to 40 miles. The part with the warhead then separates. It accelerates to a supersonic speed of Mach 2.9 and zig-zags toward the target.

It’s radar is turned off making it hard to spot. Three seconds before striking the target the Sizzler turns its radar back on to home in on the target.

Russian Supersonic Klub Anti-Ship Missile

According to a year 2007 article on Bloomberg dot com the US Navy had no defense against the Sizzler missile at that time: “Navy Lacks Plan to Defend Against `Sizzler’ Missile”

As of today’s date it appears that the US Navy still does not have a defense against the supersonic anti-ship missile.

The way to develop a defense against such a weapon is to develop a similar weapon and then find a way to defeat  the similar weapon. The US Navy is doing just that. It’s called the MSST (Multi-Stage Supersonic Target). However, the prototype will not be ready until the year 2014 according to the Janes dot com web site.

Excerpts from Janes dot com:

The MSST (Multi-Stage Supersonic Target is being developed to simulate the threat of next-generation surface to surface anti-ship cruise missiles – such as the Novator 34M-54E Klub, for example (SS-N-27, NATO reporting name ‘Sizzler’) – that cruise at subsonic speeds, initiate a separation, then make a supersonic dash to their intended target.

A final RFP (request for proposals) was issued in November 2007 and, competing with a bid from a Northrop Grumman/Orbital Sciences team, ATK was awarded a four-year, $97 million development contract by US Naval Air Systems Command (Navair) in early September 2008.

Two evaluation and seven development ZGQM-173A prototypes are to be built under this contract, with a first flight expected in the second quarter of 2011. Development completion is due by October 2012, after which a production decision will be taken with a view to service entry in 2014.

So the US government is provoking Iran and Russia. The US Navy has got fleets of ships in the Persian Gulf region where the enemy has got weapons for which there is no defense.

A scenario like the one described above is a sure way to get your navy sunk. You wonder what the US government could be thinking.