Club-K Container Missile System video

Hat tip to the ELP Defens(c) Blog.
Eric Palmer hates this video, I love it.
We seem to see different things in it. ;)

To me this is a great marketing video. It shows the elegance of the covert approach to survivability better than anything else ever before.

Cruiser missiles have been launched by warships, launched by bombers, launched by submarines and launched by camouflaged military trucks before. There were efforts to create dedicated "Arsenal ships" with designs both from France and the U.S., laden to the max with missiles and striving for radar stealth.

Even the most expensive, ridiculously expensive, in my opinion outright idiotic installation of cruise missiles in dedicated nuclear submarines (SSGN) has been realised.

Meanwhile, the simple dispersion of covert containers on civilian transportation platforms has been neglected as a means to achieve survivability. I assume this method does simply not provide enough command slots for the military and not enough ship hulls to the navy.

The idea is not totally new, of course. Trucks, rail and transport ships have been used as firing platforms for decades. There were rail-mobile ICBMs, for example. The use of standardised containers has spread in the military as well.

The impressive thing about the video is how it emphasises the simplicity and elegance of the approach (in part by by ignoring the whole necessity of target detection and identification).

We're living in an age of overwhelming firepower. They keys to success are survivability against such firepower and the abilty to find & identify the enemy. The destruction of known & identified targets is relatively simple nowadays.

The covert approach to survivabiliy is an important and neglected one. There's no convention that forces us to paint all military equipment in camouflage colours (as far as I know). Sometimes it's best to hide things in plain sight because the noise:target ratio is too high for their identification.

Sven Ortmann


  1. Hmm, it has a bitter taste to hide weapons among civil constructions.
    I think that would raise the civil casualties in a war.
    And isnt that what the western world is blaming the terrorist to do, to hide among civilians?

  2. The noise:target ratio (civilian containers to covert containers) would turn attacks on civilian containers into quite a waste.

    The advantage of the covert approach is furthermore that the enemy may be unaware of the threat.

  3. afaik it is still considered a war crime to use civilian structures and vehicles as launch point or weapons ..

  4. Feel free to tell me the treaty nd article that says so.
    I don't recall such a thing from the research I did for the "human shields" blog text.

    I do recall that at some time early in the 20th century it was iirc forbidden to equip a civilian ship with a bigger gun than I think 57mm calibre, but that's only a problem until you simply re-flag the ship.

  5. Another copy of this video can be found here