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rickusn
31 May 05,, 02:36
http://www.navalinstitute.com.au/journal/article_vol_109.htm

Naval Gunfire Support for the Assault of the Al Faw Peninsular
By Lieutenant Commander Ivan Ingham, RAN

The purpose of this article is to provide a brief insight into events leading up to and the NGS firings conducted by HMAS Anzac during Operation Falconer.

Anzac departed Fleet Base West for passage to the Middle East Area of Operations (MEAO) and a second deployment to Operation Slipper at the end of October last year (2002). Following our return to the Gulf theatre, it was soon obvious that the nature and conduct of these Maritime Interdiction Operations (MIO) against Iraq had changed. Whilst the surveillance and boarding tasks undertaken by the RAN, RN and the USN in the Northern Arabian Gulf (NAG) remained broadly the same, the types of vessels, traffic patterns and the tactics employed had continued to evolve. As such, Anzac and the other vessels involved in Boarding and MIO were kept extremely busy during the harsh Gulf winter through Ramadan, Christmas and the New Year. Shortly thereafter, it soon became evident that significant developments were occurring on the international stage and that the political and military landscape was about to undergo some fundamental changes. This led to a flurry of attempts by vessels to trade (whilst some of this was authorised, the vast majority of this activity was illegal trafficking) and a sharp increase in Iraqi and Iranian naval movements. This challenging level of MIO activity was tackled concurrently with unit preparations for an impending conflict with Iraq and whilst countering a developing threat from asymmetric attack and sea-mines.

Table-top tactic sessions and contingency planning in January led to a busy internal training programme during February and early March. Designed to ensure that all our final organisational, materiel and personnel preparations were tested and correct. Individual training covered a wide variety of activities. NGS, Close Range, Small Arms firings, Damage Control, First Aid, Rules of Engagement, International Law, the Geneva Convention and countering the increasing risk of Biological and Chemical Attack were all key areas for our focus.

In early March, our expectation of NGS tasking in the event of conflict increased with a visit by Major Peter Boyce RA(V). Appointed as the UK Naval Gunfire Liaison Officer (NGLO) from 148 Forward Observation Battery, Peter was attached to 3 Commando Brigade (UK) for Operation Telic (the UK codename for our Operation Falconer). Arriving by Lynx helicopter from the Type 22 frigate HMS Chatham, we discovered that he had come to provide us with a detailed brief on the UK concept for future land operations and outline the over-arching Artillery Plan and their requirements for NGS. Afterwards, we took the opportunity to highlight the strengths and advantages of the Anzac class frigate in NGS. Gun reliability, weight of ordnance (NEQ), and maximum effective range were all obvious significant advantages our 5 inch system enjoyed over the RN Vickers 4.5 inch gun. Additionally, Anzac had a greater magazine capacity than HM Ships Marlborough and Richmond, the two RN Type 23 frigates already earmarked for NGS tasking, and a shallower draught than the Type 22 frigate Chatham (the other RN unit identified to participate) and both Type 23 frigates. I believe it is fair to say that although Peter was unfamiliar with our Gun and Combat System, he was soon impressed by our fine ship and its people and after spending a few periods with us soon became a great supporter and friend of Anzac.

As March drew on, we practiced our drills, refined our procedures and spent a great deal of time proving our communication nets, paths and equipment. The maintainers progressed with important fine-tuning and some lengthy negotiations resulted in the resupply of a quantity of 5 inch HEPD war-stock ammunition from the USN which ensured that our magazines were optimised at their maximum capacity.

We also took the opportunity to host an overnight visit by a team of five specialist spotters who had been embarked with elements of the Amphibious Forces in the RN aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal. These spotters, also from 148 Battery had been assigned to 3 Commando Brigade and would provide the interface between bombing aircraft, artillery units from shore and naval bombardment units at sea. For the next 24 hours, we conducted a variety of NGS drills whilst we conducted boardings and patrolled the mouth of the KAA. This period practising advanced training provided us with the ideal opportunity to demonstrate our skills and allowed to us to make strong bonds with this specialist team.

On Thursday 13 March, we departed the northern most patrol area and returned to the UN stop and search area COMISKEY to assist with UNSCR 986 compliant boardings of large merchantmen. Two days later on Saturday 15 March we departed COMISKEY to rendezvous with the UK tanker RFA Orangeleaf for what was likely to be our last opportunity to replenish fuel and water prior to conflict. Afterwards, we passed through ‘the Dugout’ live firing area to conduct a final live NGS and Alarm Barrage practice firing.

Further signs of the impending conflict occurred on the afternoon of Monday 17 March when 40 cargo dhows responding to reports from the BBC and CNN that offensive action was about to commence, attempted a mass-breakout from Iraqi territorial waters. The Indian crews later told our Boarding Teams that they were escaping Iraq in fear for their lives. Our task for the next 24-36 hours was to check all these vessels to ensure that none were carrying Iraqi military personnel or contraband (particularly mines, weapons, ammunition and explosives). Once boarded and deemed clear, the vessels were instructed to proceed south and clear of the NAG.

During the morning of 18 March we learned that our Prime Minister had announced the Government had authorised CDF to activate those ADF units already deployed to the Gulf, as part of any future US-led coalition operation against Iraq. Later that day, the Navigating Officer (LEUT Brendan Horn), NGLO and I visited Marlborough to call on Captain Anderson RN and his warfare team to discuss the conduct of any NGS tasking. (Although Anzac was considered the primary NGS unit, Marlborough had national communication paths vital for connectivity with UK Land and thus not available in Anzac. Therefore as the senior UK ship, Marlborough was nominated as the lead unit for any NGS tasking). The meeting allowed ideas to be exchanged and plans for the transit north-west through the KAA waterway into the Fire Support Areas (FSA) to be finalised. The meeting also proved crucial for determining our plan with respect to the timeline and tactical aspects including command, control and communications.

On Wednesday 19 March Anzac was directed to conduct a surveillance patrol of Iraq’s two large installations, the Min Al Baker Oil Terminal (MABOT) and the Khawr Al Amaya Oil Terminal (KAAOT). This was an important task, as it was believed that Iraq had placed a sabotage team, probably Special Forces, onboard the terminals. (Sabotage of these platforms would almost certainly lead to a massive environmental disaster that would affect world opinion and impact adversely on coalition maritime operations). Anzac remained between the terminals until late on 20 March when we witnessed coalition Special Forces successfully assault and secure these installations. During this period we also witnessed the start of the Tomahawk land attacks and return Scud missile firings from Iraq towards Kuwait. Against this background the NGLO provided a final brief for the Command team on the plan to capture the Al Faw Peninsular by 40 and 42 Commando Royal Marines (UK).

At approximately 2100 we were informed that H-Hour (the start of the pre-planned timeline) was at 2200 when we were to be at 30 minutes notice for NGS. A few hours later at 0050 on Friday 21 March we were detached to rendezvous with Malborough, Chatham and Richmond. Shortly after, at 0130, a sitrep pipe informed the Ships Company that we would soon be closing up our Cable Party, SSD and assuming Action Stations before starting our transit into the KAA for our passage up to Fire Support Area Juno.

By 0240 we were in NBC State One, Condition Patrol Alpha and had taken up a station 1000 yards astern of Marlborough who was employing her mine avoidance sonar. Both units then started to creep slowly north. Earlier, Chatham and Richmond had begun their journey up to the nearest FSA, Sword. A third and most northerly FSA called Gold was also available for activation if required. (Historians will recognise the names Sword, Juno and Gold from the D-Day Normandy landings of WWII).


Shortly afterward, at approximately 0330, an AC130 Gunship reported that it had detected an Iraqi PB90 patrol craft tracking south in the KAA towards us, which it subsequently engaged and sunk. We arrived in Juno at 0436 and after establishing communications with Spotter Number 1 from B Coy 40 Commando RM, who was located very close to the oil installation on the south-eastern tip of the Al Faw Peninsular, passed ship on station, guns up, ready for call for fire. In response, the spotter reported that Bravo Company had Good eyes on the area, that little resistance had been encountered, no movement on the military installation had been observed and that they had 2 Iraqi dead and taken 13 enemy prisoners of war.

At 0558 Anzac received the first ‘call for fire’ against a military installation with ‘own troops danger close’ to the south of the target. We fired 6 ranging salvoes followed by a burst of 5 rounds for effect. Afterwards, the spotter reported ‘Good Shooting’ and that ‘all rounds had landed effectively inside the installation’. About thirty minutes later, we were directed to conduct a ‘Re-fire’ mission at our previous target. We immediately re-engaged this target with a burst of 3 rounds which was also reported as ‘successful’.

Shortly afterwards, Chatham received a fire mission at another target inside the same military installation. However, this mission was interrupted at 0655 when she experienced a stoppage resulting from a misfire. As we had been monitoring and shadowing this mission we had taken the precaution of entering and processing Chatham’s target data and with our gun already assigned were able to immediately report ‘ready on target’. We then followed with two bursts of 5 rounds when we were told to engage at 0656. Again, the spotter reported ‘good shooting with the target successfully engaged’.

For the remainder of the day we remained on station in Juno with the Officer of the Watch working hard to provide weapon arcs across the bombardment area so that we could provide immediate back up to missions allocated to Chatham and Marlborough. Meanwhile, a large number of LUGM and Manta mines had been discovered in a tug and barge lying about two miles to our north-west, so we were ideally placed to act as a staging point for helicopters and RHIBs carrying EOD and boarding teams.

Shortly after sunset, the spotters reported that the marines were preparing their defensive positions and would only call upon us if they were attacked overnight. They informed us that they were going to secure their radios to save their batteries but asked us to maintain a good listening watch and requested that we stay at short notice to respond and be at immediate notice by first light the next day.

Early on the morning of Saturday 22 March we again closed up at Action Stations after receiving a report that three very fast moving contacts were closing from the north. Later, we learned that the contacts were US Special Forces and so we reverted to our modified defence watch manning. Later at approximately 1050, we were again called upon to provide fire support. This time the target was an Iraqi Type 59-1 field artillery piece that we engaged with 1 ranging salvo and a single burst of 3 rounds before receiving a report that we had destroyed the gun. Number 2 Spotter who was supporting D Company on the western side of the Al Faw Peninsular reported that ‘Anzac's rounds were again very accurate and very effective’.

Later that afternoon we received notice that the elements of 3 Commando Brigade were moving in very close to the main part of the Iraqi military installation and requested that we be ready to provide further fire support. Then at 1514, we were allocated a target in the Iraqi bunker complex, which we fired 7 single salvoes against before recording our data for future engagements. About fifteen minutes later, we were given a ‘New Target’ which we engaged by applying a correction from our previous target. A total of 3 ranging salvoes followed by a burst of 3 rounds were fired for effect. We then received notice that the Royal Marines were moving into position in readiness for a final assault on to the military installation.

Soon after we received instructions to Re-Fire against the bunker complex. However, after our first burst of 5 salvoes for effect, an error in the loading procedure resulted in a stoppage and a short interruption to our engagement. Nevertheless, the marines were able to continue advancing on to the target position, which they secured quickly and effectively without the requirement for any follow on bombardment. As the bunker complex was now secure, no further tasking was received and thus, Anzac had completed her last firing and the final NGS engagement of the conflict.


At 2150 that night the OC of the troops ashore sent the following message to Anzac and the three RN frigates:

Callsign P7O, Q0V and my manoeuvre callsign have now completed all initial tasks. The Al Faw Vegetation Belt has now been successfully cleared of all enemy and the Airfield and Military Installation are now both secure with no enemy resistance. Success was largely due to aggressive use of Indirect Fire assets and swift response of respective units that had a huge impact on the ground and shattered the enemy will to fight. Elsewhere on the Peninsular, friendly forces have achieved similar success although resistance was greater than anticipated from isolated pockets of enemy. On behalf of my C/S and P70, thank you for your swift response to 'Calls For Fire' and accurate shooting. Best Wishes to you all for a safe transit home. Bravo Zulu and Bon Voyage.

In order to have a unit available for any contingent tasking, Anzac was asked to remain on-call in Juno overnight whilst Marlborough, Chatham and Richmond departed their respective FSAs and headed south. We remained on the Gun-Line for a second night before departing the next day to rejoin the coalition task force. Firing the first and final NGS rounds of this conflict, Anzac also fired the most missions and remained on the gun-line in the Fire Support Area for the longest period.





About the Author
Lieutenant Commander Ingham is the Gunnery Officer and AWO aboard HMAS Anzac.

Franco Lolan
31 May 05,, 02:41
Didn't know about this. Thank you.

Bill
31 May 05,, 03:50
Kinda illustrates the shortcomings of small caliber single mount NGFS ships, eh?

rickusn
31 May 05,, 04:15
Good observation Sniper.

I find it kind of funny he points up the shortcomings of the 4.5" and down plays their own snafus and shortcomings. And if he thinks the 4.5" is inadequate that should tell everyone that 3" guns are useless. I mention this because some think this is a fine wepon for NGFS.

But I also find it interesting that three nations(US, UK & Germany) are looking at 6" guns when the Korean War experience clearly showed this type as ineffective.

Another observation: Looking at the map(youll have to use the link) I dont see the USN bringing either the Burkes or Ticonderogas into such relatively confined waters. Do you?

Bill
31 May 05,, 07:13
"Another observation: Looking at the map(youll have to use the link) I dont see the USN bringing either the Burkes or Ticonderogas into such relatively confined waters. Do you?"

Definitely not.

We already know all to well how vulnerable Burkes are(and honestly, by todays standards a Burke IS a very well armored ship), and as you say, they are very expensive warships with very limited NGFS capabilities to begin with.

SM-4 would've gone a very long way toward solving so many of the USNs NSFS shortcomings...it still amazes me that they cancelled it after it was almost ready for service. It's range, accuracy, large warhead, and time to target were all just about ideal for the entire OMFTS doctrine, and just about every ship in the fleet could've embarked SM-4 in quite large numbers.

Baffling...

So....no battleships, no SM-4, almost certainly no ERGM, half-full carrier flight decks, and at most 5 DD-X is the USN's grand strategy for effective NGFS eh?

I'm glad i wasn't a Marine.

As for the 76mm, according to Kevin at David's board, the 76mm lacks a mode for effective NGFS engagements. Even dismissing that, it is not the most accurate system(the 76 suffers from very high dispersion at 'longer' ranges), and it's range/payload are definitely lacking against ANY sort of hardened target or bunker complex.

An 81mm mortar has a larger explosive payload than a 76mm naval gun for god's sakes.

troung
31 May 05,, 07:36
Maybe it is time for a modern 203mm gun ship... :confused:

rickusn
31 May 05,, 09:53
Sniper to you mean LASM?:

"However, the LASM program was cancelled by the Navy in 2002, because the RGM-165 missile would have had only very limited capabilities against mobile or hardened targets. "

smilingassassin
31 May 05,, 09:57
8" to 12" range is perfect, desent shell weight and good rate of fire.

Franco Lolan
31 May 05,, 18:53
SM-4? Aren't the SM-3 and SM-2 going to provide fleet cover?

FlyingCaddy
31 May 05,, 19:30
Someone get me the Sec of the Navy's e mail.
Gentlemen we need to write that man a letter for a new BC class, one that can be a Flagship and be a sufficent ASW, AAW, ASuW, and NSFS, system.

Perhaps a ship with 3x2 12", using a RAP, or an 8" sabot could do the trick. They were able to build the Alaska in WWII at 27.5 K ton displacements, using a hull made of composites (would it be possible to give a ship Chobbam?) perhaps the displacement will be 25 K ton. Certainly sinc ehte navy is bulding the ship from scratch all the most advanced systems could be integrated. Also the ship can be given a unmanned flying aircraft to act as its spotter plane helping the guns improve accuracy when giving NSFS. Moreover creating such a super ship would be a great deterrent toward the PRC for any naval action in the Taiwan Straits since it would be something close to a floating fortress.

Bill
31 May 05,, 22:01
Yeah, SM-4 is LASM.

And if they think THAT munition has limited hard target capabilities, what's their excuse for 127mm being the primary NGFS asset in the fleet?

rickusn
31 May 05,, 23:24
You are correct of course. My Combat Fleets has a typo and confused me momentarilly. LOL


5" Its what fits best on a destroyer. Rememeber the Ticos are actually only destroyers. Although highly capable and therefore quite expensive.

Also AFAIK 6" guns are not effective against reinforced-concrete structures such as bridges(at least not during the Korean War) much less hardened targets.

Maybe they their good against mobile targets?

I usually dont get into technical stuff if I can help it. Gives me a headache sorta like the battleship debate and pinning down costs.. LOL

Gun Grape
31 May 05,, 23:39
The reason no Tico/Burkes is that they were not tasked with that mission.
It was a UK/Commonwealth show.

TacTom is what took the place of what LASM was suppose to do.

Something I don’t get . When ever the pro BB group talks about the need for 16” guns and how “Inadequate” the 5” are, they never say anything about the standard indirect fire support after. How is 5”/127mm lacking in punch but once ashore and out of NGF range (or in the Army), but 81mm, 105mm, 120mm and 155mm seem to do the trick everywhere else?

Another note, the targets mentioned would not have received a 16” round. Danger close for Adjusted 16” is 2000 meters.

rickusn
31 May 05,, 23:47
Notice "hardened targets" arent mentioned:


= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
UD Wins $376M Contract for DD(X) Gun (May 30)

United Defense L.P., Armament Systems Division, Minneapolis, Minn., is being awarded a not to exceed ceiling $376,000,000 cost-plus-award-fee contract for continuation of design, development and test of the Advanced Gun System (AGS), including the fully automated gun, magazine and the Long Range Land Attack Projectile (LRLAP), in support of the DD(X) Program.

The AGS is a fully automated, single barrel, 155-mm, vertically loaded, stabilized gun mount that is capable of storing, programming, loading, and firing LRLAP. Its primary mission is Land Attack Warfare in support of ground and expeditionary forces beyond the line-of-sight in the DD(X) System's littoral engagement area where precise, rapid-response, high-volume, long-range fire support are required.

Work will be performed in Minneapolis, Minn. (55 percent) and Orlando, Fla. (45 percent), and is expected to be completed by September 2010. The contract was not competitively procured. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.


LASM probably couldnt provide "high-volume"? Ive seen reference to both 800 and 1200 surplus missles to be converted. With over 80 VLS warships to outfit that would be if all were continually available only 10 -15 missles per ship.

And maybe not "rapid-response"? Reference the "mobile target" notation.

Enlighten me!!!!!!!!!

troung
01 Jun 05,, 01:13
Something I don’t get . When ever the pro BB group talks about the need for 16” guns and how “Inadequate” the 5” are, they never say anything about the standard indirect fire support after. How is 5”/127mm lacking in punch but once ashore and out of NGF range (or in the Army), but 81mm, 105mm, 120mm and 155mm seem to do the trick everywhere else?

A 406mm shell is about 1900lbs
A 203mm shell is about 204lbs (M-110)
A 155mm shell is about 96lbs (towed)
A 152mm shell is about 110.2lbs (Russian Cruiser)
A 127mm shell is about 70lbs
A 114.3mm shell is about 46.3lbs
A 105mm shell is about 46.4lbs (M-56)
A 76mm shell is about 13.9lbs (OTO)

(HE shells but wieght differs depending on shell type on user)

For what its worth I think we should keep the BBs as musuems if possible (or sink/scrap them and rap up this debate). Putting them back to sea and soaking up a lot of money to make non pilot trained men into Admirals on the off chance that one day they might have to fire a salvo at a beach is a waste of money. In our last three conflicts they would have brought nothing into the game that couldn't be brought by smaller ships.

Maybe a rapid fire 127mm gun like the OTO modernized to be be able to put out something like 50-60 rounds per minute could be good to provide supporting fires on and near the beach until artillery comes ashore.

rickusn
01 Jun 05,, 03:38
Troung:

Thanks for the handy weights list!!!!

As for the rest of your post the less said the better.

Are you related to Franco? Or just the same age?

Bill
01 Jun 05,, 04:08
"The reason no Tico/Burkes is that they were not tasked with that mission.
It was a UK/Commonwealth show."

No one said it wasn't. What was said was that if the USN were tasked with the mission, could we see a Burke being used that close to shore. To which i answered, "No".

"TacTom is what took the place of what LASM was suppose to do."

TACTOM does nothing LASM does except explode. ;)
Two totally different animals, for two totally different missions.

"Something I don’t get . When ever the pro BB group talks about the need for 16” guns and how “Inadequate” the 5” are, they never say anything about the standard indirect fire support after. How is 5”/127mm lacking in punch but once ashore and out of NGF range (or in the Army), but 81mm, 105mm, 120mm and 155mm seem to do the trick everywhere else?"

Would you use 127mm guns to take out hardened targets(like tanks for instance), bridges, or a bunker complex?

Nope...me either.

"Another note, the targets mentioned would not have received a 16” round. Danger close for Adjusted 16” is 2000 meters."

500 meters is DC for the Mk13BD munition(approx, i dont have access to the exact figures at the moment).
750 meters is DC for the Mk13PD munition.
2000 meters is DC for the Mk13VVT munition(because it has such a massive lethal radius, more than 3x larger than the Mk13BC munition).

Lethal Radius for various Mk13HC munitions:

The Mk13PD 16" HC develops a lethal radius of 2,778 sq yds(yes, that's one shell).

The Mk13 VVT fuzed HC projectile has a lethal radius of 10,240 sq meters vs exposed troops(again, one shell.).

The Mk13BD fuzed projectile creates a crater 25-35 feet in diameter, and 10 to 20 feet deep. Lethal radius is approx 1,000sq yards.

NOTE: The only difference between the 3 rounds is the fuzing.

The Mk8AP 2700lb shell has penetrated as much as 36 feet of reinforced concrete in tests, and is capable of penetrating 18 feet of reinforced concrete beyond 30,000yds(try that with a 155mm gun, lol).

The Mk8AP projectile is a sub MOA munition, which is accurate even by rifle standards(the current US Army M-24 sniper rifle is just under 1 MOA with M-118 ammunition).

http://www.usnfsa.org/Technical%20Documents/16%20standard

Bill
01 Jun 05,, 04:14
"LASM probably couldnt provide "high-volume"?"

Nope, not unless they actually built them in the 10,000 range. Then it would be fine for high volume fires, though very pricey for the role.

"And maybe not "rapid-response"? Reference the "mobile target" notation."

The SM-4 was a GAINS guided munition(as per JDAM), with a flight speed of Mach 3.5(much faster than any conventional artillery munition), so it would actually be better than standard arty rounds assuming you had enough of them to saturate the target area. Arty isn't really ideal for moving targets either, but with the proper arithmetic it is possible. Arty is greatly helped by it's high volume of fire.
Still, SM-4 in it's stillborn form would not be what you'd want to use for moving targets. You'd want an IIR or SALH version for that, and a cluster warhead. Even just a cluster warhead would aid greatly, but that would remove any semblance of hard target engagement capability.

Such a missile is certainly well within the technology of the US, but again, it would be quite pricey.

troung
01 Jun 05,, 05:39
Thanks for the handy weights list!!!!

No problem... I assume that is sarcism...


Are you related to Franco?

No...


Or just the same age?

Is that an insult?

Bill
01 Jun 05,, 08:46
No offense Troung, but i have to agree with rick in this one instance.

Sorry dude.

The shell weight chart is actually kinda cool though. ;)

Rick, there was also a "Block II" version of LASM that had 9 SADARM submunitions, that would've been IDEAL for engaging moving targets. I completely forgot about it until now, for whatever reason, lol.

rickusn
01 Jun 05,, 09:57
Troung:

Not sarcasm on the weights list. Really like it.

No insult.

You just show a general lack of knowledge in particular & specifically but not confined to the non-pilot Admiral comment.

troung
01 Jun 05,, 19:52
No offense Troung, but i have to agree with rick in this one instance.

No problem... :frown:


Not sarcasm on the weights list. Really like it.

Ok...

Some more shells...

180mm - 185.4lbs (Russian towed)
175mm - 147lbs (American M-107)
152mm - 95.9lbs (Russian towed)
130mm - 73.63lbs (Russian M-46)
130mm - 59.5lbs (Chinese B-13-2C)
120mm - 77.2mm (Sweden)
100mm - 52lbs (French)
100mm - 29.8lbs (Chinese Bu-34)
57mm - 6.2lbs (Sweden)

A 127mm can hack it. Maybe look at a gun with a higher rate of fire but a 70lb projectile is nothing to sneeze at. Italy has a 127mm naval gun with a 45 RPM ROF. It does have a shorter range yet I think the barrel is also shorter.

Bill
01 Jun 05,, 20:17
Yeah, Italy's OTO Melara guns are very good designs. The USN uses their 76mm gun on the OHP class frigates.

But at the same time, 127mm is really just too small for many hardened targets. Remember, in Vietnam, the VC had hardened all their tunnel complexes to withstand the impacts of 500lb bombs, and in some cases, even 750lb bombs.

A 16" Mk8 AP Projectile has about 500% greater penetration than a 127mm delayed fuze munition.

troung
01 Jun 05,, 21:21
The USN uses their 76mm gun on the OHP class frigates.

Yeah and maybe we should look at a rapid fire system. The American 127mm puts out about 20 rounds a minute compared to the OTO which puts out around 45.


But at the same time, 127mm is really just too small for many hardened targets. Remember, in Vietnam, the VC had hardened all their tunnel complexes to withstand the impacts of 500lb bombs, and in some cases, even 750lb bombs.

For single 500lbs yes many could take it, for the scores of B-52 drops would crush the tunnels and modern day bunker busters can kill parts of the tunnels. Yes a 406mm shell can also crush tunnels.

Looking at wieghts a 2000lb guided bomb probably has similar killing power as the 1900lb 406mm and has people who know not only how to use them but how to call them in. Yes the 406mm shell is nice within 38kms but is it that much better then guided bombs which there are people who know how to use to jusifity the 406mms use? (god I am sounding like one of those air power avocates... :frown: )

About BB NGFS...

How many men are trained to use the guns and are still in the navy? Not that they used the guns back in 1995 but still can target and operate them.

How many men on the ground are trained to spot for the guns?

How many rounds are in storage? What type of shape are they in?

And do the Marines actually plan to take a heavily defended beach?
----
Personally I have liked the idea of a much smaller ship using big bore and modern guns with a much smaller crew then the BBs.

Maybe I should just stick to shell wieghts...

914mm - 3700lbs (American WW-2)
355mm - 1275lbs (German rail WW-2)
240mm - 360lbs (WW-2 American)
240mm - 335.78 (WW-2 German)
220mm - 282.19lbs - (Czech WW-2)
210mm - 293.2lbs (Italy towed WW-2)
203mm - 220.46lbs (Russian towed WW-2)
183mm - 202lbs (British towed WW-2)
170mm - 149.9lbs (German WW-2)
87.6mm - 25lbs (British WW-2)
76.2mm - 13.7lbs (Russian WW-2)
75mm - 13.66lbs (French WW-1/WW-2)

I was wrong on the French 100mm the shell is 29.8lbs and the entire thing is 52lbs...

Bill
01 Jun 05,, 22:07
"Looking at wieghts a 2000lb guided bomb probably has similar killing power as the 1900lb 406mm and has people who know not only how to use them but how to call them in. Yes the 406mm shell is nice within 38kms but is it that much better then guided bombs which there are people who know how to use to jusifity the 406mms use? (god I am sounding like one of those air power avocates... )"

Now imagine shells that aren't based on WWII technology, with RAP, Saboted penetrators, modern HE, and modern hardened cases, with either simple SALH or GAINS guidance.

Kinda makes one's mouth water, no?

I'll answer the rest tonight. I have a date in about 5 mins. ;)

troung
01 Jun 05,, 22:11
Now imagine shells that aren't based on WWII technology, with RAP, Saboted penetrators, modern HE, and modern hardened cases, with either simple SALH or GAINS guidance. Kinda makes one's mouth water, no?

Ok that is sounding good.


I'll answer the rest tonight.

No problem.


I have a date in about 5 mins

Be good... ;)

Bill
01 Jun 05,, 23:32
LOL, i bailed ASAP.

Chick looked MUCH better in pictures.

Blind dates....ugh.

LOL.

Bill
01 Jun 05,, 23:39
"How many men are trained to use the guns and are still in the navy? Not that they used the guns back in 1995 but still can target and operate them."

More now than there were the last time the Iowas were reactivated, as a matter of fact.(They've only been deactivated for about a decade. The last time they were taken out of mothballs, they'd been deactivated for much longer, and they had to find 4 ships worth of gunners mates. This time, they'd only need enough to man 2)

"How many men on the ground are trained to spot for the guns?"

It's the same as calling for any other type of fire, just bigger bullets with a coorespondingly larger DC exclusion zone. Besides, the Iowa has numerous on-board UAVs to provide it with an organic spotting/adjusting/BDA capability.

"How many rounds are in storage? What type of shape are they in?"

5000(at least). They're demilled, but the shell cases are intact. They'd just need their explosive filler put back in. There is also no reason why we couldn't make more(As we did in the 60s when they returned to service, and again in the 80s). Same for the powder bags.

The only legitimate concern wrt the guns is the lack of 16" barrel liners, of which only 18 are known to exist. But, we could make those too if we wanted. Just a matter of spending the $.

"And do the Marines actually plan to take a heavily defended beach?"

I highly doubt it given their total inability to take a heavily defended beach without mind numbing casualty figures. They've therefore worked their doctrine around the lack of a credible NGFS presence. The fact that said doctrine(OMFTS) is a total cluster-fuuck is besides the point. ;)

"Personally I have liked the idea of a much smaller ship using big bore and modern guns with a much smaller crew then the BBs."

It was tried in the 70s with an 8" mount on a Destroyer sized vessel. The vessel developed severe stress cracks along it's superstructure as a result of firing the guns. Besides, any vessel we build today will have NOWHERE NEAR the level of protection as an Iowa. It would cost about 10 billion dollars to build a 30,000 ton heavily armed modern gun cruiser....vs about 1 bn a piece to fully modernize and reactivate each of the two remaining Iowas(which are much larger, and MUCH more heavily armed than any 30,000 ton vessel could ever hope to be).

Hence their appeal. ;)

troung
02 Jun 05,, 00:45
LOL, i bailed ASAP. Chick looked MUCH better in pictures. Blind dates....ugh. LOL.

We have all I'm sure had blind dates where things would be better if you were blind... :frown:


highly doubt it given their total inability to take a heavily defended beach without mind numbing casualty figures. They've therefore worked their doctrine around the lack of a credible NGFS presence. The fact that said doctrine(OMFTS) is a total cluster-fuuck is besides the point.

Looking at the public comsomption stuff it looks like the beaches would be rather empty. I guess I would rather take an empty beach with no enemy for miles without NGFS then a defended one with NGFS.

Well I also wonder if they train with say a real mobile, well equipped and trained enemy in mind? So not like training againist the Iraqis/Grenadans in mind but say a mobile enemy force. So that just wouldn't be getting onto the beach but then fighting off real counter attacks from a mobile heavliy armed force.

Can you post more on the OMFTS?


It was tried in the 70s with an 8" mount on a Destroyer sized vessel. The vessel developed severe stress cracks along it's superstructure as a result of firing the guns.

What about a softer recoil system?


Same for the powder bags.

Ehh if they got put back into service I would hope for maybe liquid propellent.


It's the same as calling for any other type of fire, just bigger bullets with a coorespondingly larger DC exclusion zone.

What is it like a 2000 meter or something?


which are much larger, and MUCH more heavily armed than any 30,000 ton vessel could ever hope to be

And have much larger crews then modern ships do. Of course putting an Aegis cruiser off the coast is not my idea of good either.

I am just wondering if the 1900lb 406mm shell is better enough then a 2000lb JDAM/GBU to warrant using them. And that is leaving out accuracy of the shells compared to bombs.

Having them in reserve with no one training with them in mind or training on them might put a question mark to their ability if for some reason they were needed in a hurry. I mean if we are going to keep them around might as well train with them and if we won't train with them in mind...

This topic is an area of interest to me not my special area and I know it is showing... :redface:

Bill
02 Jun 05,, 01:05
"We have all I'm sure had blind dates where things would be better if you were blind..."

Unfortunately i have excellent eyesight. :(

"Looking at the public comsomption stuff it looks like the beaches would be rather empty. I guess I would rather take an empty beach with no enemy for miles without NGFS then a defended one with NGFS."

Now all we need is an enemy that won't defend the best beaches for amphibious ops. Easy, right? ;)

""Well I also wonder if they train with say a real mobile, well equipped and trained enemy in mind?"

LOL....no.

"Can you post more on the OMFTS?"

There is actually an excellent discussion on OMFTS on another board i post at, but it's an EZBoard, and they just lost a slew of data due to a hacker attack in the last 24 hours. Try Google...there's bound to be tons of pro-con info on OMFTS out there on the web.

"What about a softer recoil system?"

The USN is into the 155mm AGS system for a couple billion dollars. Who knows what it would cost to develop a modern 8" system(that would be far less effective than the 16" guns anyway). One thing's for sure...it would cost a lot more than reactivating the two Iowas would.

"Ehh if they got put back into service I would hope for maybe liquid propellent."

Nah, that would just create technical hurdles that we have no need to confront. The DARPA 13" Sabot rounds developed and tested in the 80s had a 75 mile range, and the 11" sabots had a 90 mile range. That's plenty enough for me.

"What is it like a 2000 meter or something?"

Depends on the fuzing. VVT= 2000. QT= 750, BD= 500.(all in meters)

"And have much larger crews then modern ships do."

Yes, but as i've said many times, yank the 5"/38 gun systems and you've just reduced crewsize by over 15%. Automate the boilers to the same standards as commercial vessels, and you just saved another 10% in manning needs.

Figure a modernized Iowa BBG to have about a 900 man crew, give or take a few dozen. That's pretty favorable compared to the 5000+ men needed to man a supercarrier.
Considering just how much firepower an Iowa BBG could bring to bear, it's also extremely favorable compared to an Arliegh Burke as well(the entire fleet of Burke DDGs cannot match the sheer firepower of a modernized Iowa).

"Of course putting an Aegis cruiser off the coast is not my idea of good either."

I'm with you on that one. ;)

"I am just wondering if the 1900lb 406mm shell is better enough then a 2000lb JDAM/GBU to warrant using them. And that is leaving out accuracy of the shells compared to bombs."

Don't forget just how easily a 16" shell could be converted to semi-active laser Homing(SALH). That's very old technology, and it has been succesfully implemented in shells as small as 81mm(Merlin System).

Also, the 2700lb Mk8 AP munition is already a sub MOA system, and it already penetrates roughly 40% more reinforced concrete than the 2000lb BLU-109 deep penetrator. The Mk13 VVT fuzed HC projectile has a 10,000+ sq yard lethal radius...just one shell. A nine gun salvo can utterly saturate an entire grid square every 30 seconds, for two hours straight.

You'd need about 1000 tactical fighters to match that level of killing power.(The contents of an Iowas 16" magazines are roughly equivelant to a 1.5kt nuclear device in sheer killing power, lol)

"Having them in reserve with no one training with them in mind or training on them might put a question mark to their ability if for some reason they were needed in a hurry."

There are still a lot of old sailors that are experienced with them. In fact, in the 80s, there were so many volunteers to man them that the USN had to turn ex sailors away. No reason to expect it would be any different this time. Service on a real life Battleship is any sailors dream.

"I mean if we are going to keep them around might as well train with them and if we won't train with them in mind..."

Agreed, but it's not me you have to convince. ;)

"This topic is an area of interest to me not my special area and I know it is showing... "

We can fix that. ;)

troung
02 Jun 05,, 01:41
Unfortunately i have excellent eyesight

Don't you hate that. I have more then once stayed around because I didn't want to be rude... :frown:

((( What I am not commenting on I pretty much concede )))


You'd need about 1000 tactical fighters to match that level of killing power.(The contents of an Iowas 16" magazines are roughly equivelant to a 1.5kt nuclear device in sheer killing power, lol)

I guess carpet bombing the beach could give them same effect in the short term.


Agreed, but it's not me you have to convince.

Yeah. With them having them but not doing anything with them is pretty much keeping them around because they can.

What is the cost to run a year compared to a AB DDG?


Now all we need is an enemy that won't defend the best beaches for amphibious ops. Easy, right?

Hell yeah it is. Find people with long coasts and crappy armies. So while Iran might be a little too much (too many soldiers, tanks and AShMs) maybe we could do Tanzania. And looking from Iraq we also want to find a nation not fully of armed nuts. I have always wanted to annex Palua... or maybe we could take the Spartlys for ourselves just kind of shock everyone there... but not Natuna as it is defended...


There is actually an excellent discussion on OMFTS on another board i post at, but it's an EZBoard, and they just lost a slew of data due to a hacker attack in the last 24 hours. Try Google...there's bound to be tons of pro-con info on OMFTS out there on the web.

Yeah I'm looking at things. 6 EMBs of 15,000 men each (!) for a total of 90,000 men out of a 173,000 man branch... Well look on the bright side they will never actually do it in the face of an enemy... just show off for mail call...

"The Navy is developing long-range naval guns and missiles that will be capable of supporting ground forces widely dispersed ashore. Figure 2.2 shows that planned naval guns are expected to have maximum ranges up to about 100 nautical miles, the land-attack standard missile up to 150 nautical miles, and the Tomahawk and close air support over 200 nautical miles. The OMFTS concept for advanced expeditionary fire support, however, does not call for abandoning current artillery. In fact, the concept is explicit in stating that ground forces will have their own organic fire support, and the Marines Corps is developing a new lightweight howitzer.2 Since artillery is the ground force's highest consumer of ammunition and the trucks that move the ammunition are large consumers of fuel and maintenance services, a decision to include or exclude artillery from future force structure has a large impact on logistics requirements. (That decision, of course, would not be independent of others shaping the combat capability.)"

"The elimination of tanks and a reduced purchase of AAAVs will lighten up the Corps and reduce its operating and support costs.11 Resources could then be used to introduce enhanced light armored and fast attack vehicles sooner. Capabilities lost through conventional artillery reductions are more than offset by enhanced Marine aviation and naval surface fire support, as well as the 120 mm mortar and rocket systems."

So keeping back 25-50 miles from the beach... I guess these beaches will be undefended... I guess that is what they want to jusitfy other budget items... :rolleyes:


We can fix that.

I am working on it. Make me finally a balanced person...

Bill
02 Jun 05,, 02:04
I would tear into that OMFTS description you posted, but the stupidity it represents is so blatantly obvious, that i highly doubt you need me to point out the inherent flaws.

It amuses me that half the systems they mention in the article are either cancelled or wildly over budget though, lol. ;)

troung
02 Jun 05,, 02:08
:) maybe a topic all its own is needed here...

Bill
02 Jun 05,, 02:15
To be titled: "OMFTS: Why it's a cluster fucck."

LOL...

troung
02 Jun 05,, 02:53
At the very least the pretty and expensive ships will not be hurt being 50 miles from shore.

And the USMC will get new toys to play with along with the navy... and the best part is they will never have to do it againist a compentent OPFOR...

Gun Grape
02 Jun 05,, 03:10
(Sniper)
No one said it wasn't. What was said was that if the USN were tasked with the mission, could we see a Burke being used that close to shore. To which i answered, "No".

(Gun Grape)
That’s an opinion. I know that they had no hesitation bringing them into the restricted maneuver waters off Sierra Leon..


(Sniper)
TACTOM does nothing LASM does except explode.
Two totally different animals, for two totally different missions.


(Gun Grape)
I’m afraid you are wrong here. TacTom is part of the NSFS suite. But you are right in there isn’t much in common. LASM is a blast warhead designed for airburst. Can only be sent to one target, like a regular gun round.
TacTom can be reprogrammed in flight via an UHF satellite link to divert to any one of 15 pre-programmed alternate targets or to an arbitrary location defined by GPS coordinates. It can also loiter over the target area for some time while transmitting imagery from its on-board TV camera via the satellite link. The image can be used to assess battle damage and/or to retarget the missile.
Has 2 different versions in production, a blast and a deep penetration, In the works is a sub munitions version like TLAM-D. All for the same cost (400Thous ) as a SM-2.


(Sniper)
Would you use 127mm guns to take out hardened targets(like tanks for instance), bridges, or a bunker complex?

Nope...me either.

(Gun Grape)
No, not until a DPICM round is developed for it, like the ERGM. But in reality, I would use one of the other weapons that are part of NSFS. F/A-18 with PGM, or Cobra with Tow or if I’m already ashore, Jav or TOW., maybe one of my M-1s. You want to make the “All or nothing” argument but that’s not how fire support works

(Sniper)
500 meters is DC for the Mk13BD.
(approx, i dont have access to the exact figures at the moment).
750 meters is DC for the Mk13PD munition.
2000 meters is DC for the Mk13VVT munition(because it has such a massive lethal radius, more than 3x larger than the Mk13BC munition).

Lethal Radius for various Mk13HC munitions:

The Mk13PD 16" HC develops a lethal radius of 2,778 sq yds(yes, that's one shell).

The Mk13 VVT fuzed HC projectile has a lethal radius of 10,240 sq meters vs exposed troops(again, one shell.).

The Mk13BD fuzed projectile creates a crater 25-35 feet in diameter, and 10 to 20 feet deep. Lethal radius is approx 1,000sq yards.

(Gun Grape)

Where the heck did you get those numbers from? Because they are BS.
According to my Fire Support handbook danger close is 2000 meters for adjusted 16in.
If you have info from either USAFATS or NGF Spotters course that changes that please post. Its been 9 yrs since I attended the course.



(Sniper)
NOTE: The only difference between the 3 rounds is the fuzing.

The Mk8AP 2700lb shell has penetrated as much as 36 feet of reinforced concrete in tests, and is capable of penetrating 18 feet of reinforced concrete beyond 30,000yds(try that with a 155mm gun, lol).

The Mk8AP projectile is a sub MOA munition, which is accurate even by rifle standards(the current US Army M-24 sniper rifle is just under 1 MOA with M-118 ammunition).

(Gun Grape)

I’m betting you got this info from the USNFSA group. They are the same that say the DARPA round was test fired. It actually never got off the drawing board. There is a lot of disinformation on that site. Especially anything talking about Scramjet rounds. They are real good about mixing fact and fiction.

Like the accuracy statement. One BB at one shot put their rounds in an area the size of the Puzzle Palace. Oh wow. Let me see it consistantly. Because that isn't what I've seen with my own eyes. And I'll quote from Naval weapons web site:
"For example, during test shoots off Crete in 1987, fifteen shells were fired from 34,000 yards (31,900 m), five from the right gun of each turret. The pattern size was 220 yards (200 m), 0.64% of the total range. 14 out of the 15 landed within 250 yards (230 m) of the center of the pattern and 8 were within 150 yards (140 m). Shell-to-shell dispersion was 123 yards (112 m), 0.36% of total range."

When targeting a bunker, 230 yds is still a miss. Pop a JDAM and be done with it.

No tell me the difference between a saboted 16” round with DPICM rounds and TLAM-D or MLRS. None in penetration, others have better accuracy, why bring back BB s if you are using them as expensive DPICM launchers?


(Sniper)
Arty isn't really ideal for moving targets either, but with the proper arithmetic it is possible. Arty is greatly helped by it's high volume of fire.

(Gun Grape)
And things like Copperhead, SADARM, DPICM, FSCAM to name a few. This isn't your dads arty.

(Sniper)
Still, SM-4 in it's stillborn form would not be what you'd want to use for moving targets. You'd want an IIR or SALH version for that, and a cluster warhead. Even just a cluster warhead would aid greatly, but that would remove any semblance of hard target engagement capability.

Such a missile is certainly well within the technology of the US, but again, it would be quite pricey.


Rick, there was also a "Block II" version of LASM that had 9 SADARM submunitions, that would've been IDEAL for engaging moving targets. I completely forgot about it until now, for whatever reason, lol

(Gun Grape)
No you couldn’t develop a high speed carrier round.. Either for DPICM, and especially not for SADARM. You have bad info.
A high speed deployment of SADARM would shred the parachute.
The round that’s within tech of US is already deployed. Its called TacTom

(Sniper)
"How many men on the ground are trained to spot for the guns?"

It's the same as calling for any other type of fire, just bigger bullets with a coorespondingly larger DC exclusion zone. Besides, the Iowa has numerous on-board UAVs to provide it with an organic spotting/adjusting/BDA capability.

(Gun Grape)

No it isn’t. That’s why they have a separate school for it. Much different.

Why not start a thread about why you disagree with the tenants of OMFTS? I would be interested in your take on it.

(Troung)
Well I also wonder if they train with say a real mobile, well equipped and trained enemy in mind? So not like training against the Iraqis/Grenadans in mind but say a mobile enemy force. So that just wouldn't be getting onto the beach but then fighting off real counter attacks from a mobile heavliy armed force.

(Gun Grape)

Yes we do.

rickusn
02 Jun 05,, 03:19
Sniper: "More now than there were the last time the Iowas were reactivated, as a matter of fact.(They've only been deactivated for about a decade. The last time they were taken out of mothballs, they'd been deactivated for much longer, and they had to find 4 ships worth of gunners mates. This time, they'd only need enough to man 2)"


Heres a little clarification of dates for you.

USS New Jersey was decommissioned 17DEC69 and recommissioned 28DEC82 almost exactly 13 years.

USS Missouri was decommissioned on 31March92 just over 13 years ago.

But that doesnt tell the whole story she was to decommission by 30SEPT91(getting close to 14 years ago) just like the Wisconsin but was kept in service with a skeleton crew so she could take part in the 50th Anniversary of the Pearl Harbor Attack. Many parts of the ship already stripped and sealed up if I understand correctly.

This is still amazing to me coming so soon after GWI.

Here is a statement that says it all by AD Baker III (former editor of Combat Fleets) at the time:

"The ships have been decommissioned to reserve because of the expense of operating them, leaving the US Navy without a significant shore bombardment capability, despite the excellent work carried out by these ships in the Persian Gulf in 1991"

At the time of their reactivation the USN had somewhere around 200,000 more sailors than now(I havent checked exactly) relying on my fallible memory. GMs are certainly many fewer then than now by any measure. But they arent really the issue. Unrated Seaman and Fireman are. As they make up the vast majority of a battleship crew.

And the USN has been drastically reducing their #s over the last 15 years.

In fact outgoing CNO Clark is on record as saying he doesnt want any!!!!!

Having said that I would still think that after having four battleships in-commission over the course of nearly a decade that there would be more people with battleship experience now than then.

Of course if the last 15 years of downsizing(which is continuing at this very moment) targeted that group..........well........

AS for OMFTS well dont get me started. LOL

Remember this though:

"The Operational Maneuver from the Sea concept was published 4 January 1996 by the 31st commandant, General Charles C. Krulak."

and look at what hasnt been realized in addition to NSFS:

"OMFTS fuses amphibious ship and landing force maneuver to create and exploit opportunities in time and space to project amphibious power ashore as seamlessly as possible. The impact of this kind of maneuver warfare was foreshadowed in Operation Enduring Freedom, when Marines seized a forward operating base in Afghanistan, approximately 400 miles inland from their seabase in the Arabian Sea. However, though the Marines successfully demonstrated the viability of these new warfighting concepts with current platforms, they will not be truly realized until they are married with the future elements of the "mobility triad" - the Advanced Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAAV), the MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft, and the Landing Craft, Air Cushion (LCAC). "

Only the LCAC has and its getting old waiting for the other two.