First question is for Gun Grape. If the shells were capable of going out to 350NM or further would you be in support of the proposed ship that Maximus has come up with? I would, even if it is 100 NM.
In case you do not know, I do support the current reactivation of the Battleships. That has been a debate that has been around forever, and has been debated as such. However, my views for reactivation have been a little different, although I do agree with many of the views of some pro reactivation folks, and have weighed what the anti reactivation crowd has said, I do agree with some of their feelings and have learned a lot from both sides. The Iowa's have their pro's and con's, as does every ship afloat. To say they offer nothing at all is simply not true, as is saying bringing them back will be an end all, which is simply not true as well.
A chief advantage if brought back now is what they would do for the current rotations of today. I did post in another thread about rotations and how they would be substantially improved if the Battleships were added to the fleet. That is just one of the reasons for my support of their reactivations. You can not do that with a Tin can, nor a straw bottom cruiser or any ship that is currently on the drawing board. If we are to ever bring them back, I feel all four should be brought back, instead of just two like the USNFSA was pushing for. If you are going to do it, do it right, not half *****.
Other reasons include their outstanding plant redundancy and reliability, and their ability to aid the fleet in churning out parts. To add to that, our repair ships are not what they used to be (as far as numbers go) and we could sure use some more ships that have a machine shop that can not only support their needs, but that of other ships also. We lost 4 AOE's, which were prematurely retired.....well, except maybe USS Detroit:P. The only way we should have kept her around was with a thorough SLEP. So a ship that can carry that extra fuel for her escorts is a plus.
Her firepower. That is another plus for the fleet. It can and should be improved upon. VLS and improved 5" guns along with extended range 16" projectiles, Goalkeeper CIWS, among other things. Gun grape, help me out on this one, There is a radar, I can not remember the designation, but it is able to track multiple targets like AEGIS is able to, and would be able to be installed on the Iowa's. I heard of the MK 160 (improved fire control), but it is not the one that is on my mind.
The pork barrel projects, cost plus fee nightmares, LRLAP, DDX, ERGM, LPD overruns and so on. Battleship reactivation and the costs associated with implementing the 16" extended range munition program would be a drop in the bucket compared to the above mentioned.
Take it easy for now.