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Thread: why the elimination of armor in modern naval ships?

  1. #16
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    Post WWII ship design

    I posted this letter on another board but it looks at the Navy and its decisions on ship design since WWII. One reason armor disappeared is that it requires a large platform if you want a true citidel form of protection and when the Navy decided to replace WWII ships they decided on an intermediate ship size. Penetration of a plate does not always mean massive damage behind the plate. WWII ships armor protection was never designed with the idea it would keep out all weapons but to limit the effects of the most common threats and contain such damage as much as possible. There are too many real life factors that can change the equation such as impact angle, location, velocity, multiple prior impacts, thickness of plates, backing plates and bulkheads, and warhead strength just to name a few. Survivability is a function of susceptability or the capability to avoid a hit, Vulnerability or the capability to survive a hit, and recovery which is a product of being able to maintain mission capability after a hit. Historically the larger the ship the better able to survive and the more difficult to mission kill or sink. The WWII ships were built to a standard of making them more capable of withstanding a hit as well as the best weapons to avoid a hit. In the case of Iowa it is her sheer size subdivision, and system redundancy that makes her much more "invulnerable" than most modern ships. Her citidel form of protection contains the level of damage inflicted thus increasing her ability to recover which is just as vital an element of survivability as avoiding a hit which can never be reduced to zero and increases the longer the ship remains in action and her magazines empty. Now "IF" CGX is built their may be a return of passive protection in some form because at 23,000 tons the size of the ship may allow it. Hopefully people will find this post interesting.


    In the battleship era the Navy organized and trained to fight as a single fighting fleet or battleline and that a single decisive battle involving the battleships would decide the outcome of the war. During this era surface ships had a basic relationship to the battleline and had a role within the battleline concepts that defined each class. Whether an armored cruiser or treaty cruiser, scout or light cruiser, or destroyer they all had a role and were considered an offensive weapon capable of taking the fight to the enemy. Each generation of ships through out this era, gained combat capabilities but were always a mixture of large, medium, or small combatants. However, as the carrier era took over these ships also served at the beginning of this new era. Though they still retained their original primary duties at night the switch from the naval gun to aircraft as ship killing weapons impacted the surface fleet that all ships were used in different roles than originally intended.

    By comparison as the carrier era grew especially when the number of carriers increased the battle fleet operated in separate task forces. They could combine their long range firepower if needed or single groups could operate separately giving the Navy a much wider range of action than the battleline could offer. So the operational tactics changed from a concentrated battleline to multiple independent strike groups capable of concentration. The carrier era also mixed with the nuclear era which also would affect surface combatants profoundly in the future.

    After WWII the Navy faced no real opposing power to challenge control of the seas until the Soviet Union built up their Navy during the Cold War. Since the war time ships were brand new there was no immediate change and the wartime ships would be modernized and effectively serve until the 1970s. This maintained a large, intermediate, small mixture of surface combatants within the fleet. The naval gun was primarily used in fire support missions and there were many WWII heavy cruisers, light cruisers, and the four Iowa class battleships which served in Korea and Vietnam. This form of combat in power projection ashore would become the most likely form of combat the Navy would undertake instead of its traditional role in killing an opposing fleet.

    As technology changed so did the challenges in jet aircraft, missiles, and nuclear submarines concerning a fleet action. The surface combatant’s new role became defensive in nature instead of offensive in the new framework of the carrier task force especially with the decline of the naval gun and the adoption of guided missiles. This defensive role was traditionally thought to be carried out in WWII by destroyer type ships or light AA cruisers even though the fast battleships also escorted the carriers and were the ultimate AA escorts. By 1975 the second generation of surface combatant during the carrier era had been reduced to small or intermediate size ships such as CGN, CG, DDG, DD, and FF with very little to separate their basic functions making class nomenclature somewhat irrelevant. In fact the Ticonderoga, Kidd, and Spruance classes all shared the same hull and power plant to standardize and reduce maintenance costs. This led to the ultimate second generation surface combatant in the Arleigh Burke class first commissioned about the 1990’s. During this time period the main offensive weapons of the Navy was carrier aviation and the attack submarines for ship killing. This placed this offensive firepower on very few hulls with only the carriers capable of power projection ashore.

    Before the Burkes came into the fleet the US Navy brought back the 4 Iowa class battleships in the early 80s to augment the then 15 carrier battle groups and gave them long range missiles to attack both land and sea targets. This was partly due to the fact that in the carrier era the separate task forces were forward deployed to respond faster in a crisis instead of concentrated close to the US which had been the case in the battleship era. Thus the carriers were operating at sea on average for 6-months and in low threat environments the battleship groups could take their place and relieve the overworked crews and allow the carriers more time for repair. The battleships also introduced to the fleet long range cruise missiles, brought back heavy caliber guns, unmanned drones, and re-introduced an offensive capability to the surface combatant fleet. In fact her armament was almost entirely offensive in nature with only CIWs and or original 5”/38 caliber guns that may have been used in a defensive way. Her size and armor protection also re-introduced a level of staying power that no other surface combatant had at the time. No longer would the offensive capability of the Navy be reserved to the 15 carriers and as VLS was introduced to the fleet originally intended to improve the defensive capability of the CG and DDG, it could be adopted by the surface ships to give them all an offensive capability spread out to about 136 surface ships and subs. This allowed the Navy to gain even more flexibility and if properly networked these independent forces could still operate as a single war fighting entity.

    Networking was key element to task force defense first developed in WWII. Combat Information Centers, long range search radars and other sensors, and communication links tracked the “large picture” and helped defeat the first long-range guided missile attacks in the form of kamikazes. A new fleet transformation was taking place. The basic concept of network centric warfare is to link up widely separated fleet sensors and defensive and offensive firepower to form joint battle networks which increase fleet situational awareness to an unprecedented level. Thus the fleet was transforming to a mixture of the battle fleet model where all ships had an offensive and defensive role to play yet could remain in separate groups or task forces. In the Gulf War the battleships UAVs did a remarkable job in sending information back to the fleet and throughout the military more interest in unmanned vehicles also marked another step that the Navy was in transition.

    Then in 1994 Admiral Boorda introduced the concept of the arsenal ship with 500 VLS cells capable of launching hundreds of cruise missiles in minutes. This quickly caught the attention of the carrier Admirals that such a ship would threaten the forward presence of an aircraft carrier which was one of the justifications for keeping carriers. The program was quickly cancelled in 1997. However it brings up the question was the carrier era ending?

    When the Berlin Wall fell and the Russian Navy collapsed, the US Navy no longer had any opposing Navy to fight and the Cold War came to an end. Hundreds of years of naval tactics based on sea control would no longer apply because there was no other Nation to contest the seas. The last time the Navy faced this situation was at the end of WWII. The only other Nation may be China but its Navy was not an open ocean Navy so fleet on fleet engagements, are the least likely combat situations to occur in the foreseeable future. Without an enemy fleet US attack subs lost their primary mission which was to sink ships. Since WWII these powerful ships have not been used for their primary purpose despite the US being engaged in Korea and Vietnam with only one mission is Desert Storm firing a few cruise missiles from the Red Sea something surface ships could have easily done. They can only be used in an un-restricted total war which at the end of the Cold War again was the least likely scenario. Their major purpose now is to act as a deterrent to total war which is more assured by nuclear weapons and mutual destruction which the boomers maintain. All the wars the US participated in post WWII can be described as limited wars. It is not in any of the major powers political interests to get involved in a major total war with another major nuclear power. Few nations today can afford a Navy or have the economy to maintain one. There will be no more “Battles of Midway”.

    After WWII the so called obsolete battleships participated in thousands of actual combat missions and earned many battle stars. So power projection ashore is now the operational mandate for the Navy. Transition is difficult especially for a Navy that has hundreds of years of tradition and learned that the large surface combatant like the battleship was obsolete missing the point in that ship killing was increasingly becoming less and less likely. It was battleline tactics and the large caliber gun for the purpose of sinking ships which became obsolete. In their new roles such as AA escort they excelled which is one reason the carrier admirals were so reluctant to give them up in the face of large scale mass attacks by aircraft or kamikazes. How do you change an existing fleet from a blue water model to a brown water model fighting close to shore? The Navy would need a third generation surface combatant which would focus on fighting close to shore but the exact requirements of such a ship, was not really known or possibly understood by the time the Navy realized this in the late 1980s and early 1990s. WWII ships such as Iowa were simply getting too old and the Navy could not reasonably keep relying on this first generation ship of the carrier era to keep filling the role of a large surface combatant capable of power projection ashore. When the Cold War ended severe budget cuts resulted in the downsizing of the fleet and the 4 Iowa class battleships were returned to the reserve fleet and eventually stricken from the Navy with three turned into museums. With their removal the naval gun was again reduce to 5-inch caliber and the staying power of surface combatants reduced back to 1970 standards. Aircraft carriers were reduced from 15 to 12. Today there is talk of reducing the carriers down to ten as they litteraly are too expensive to maintain. However more interest in large surface combatants began to develop.

    In 1988 the Navy wanted to introduce electric drive as the new propulsion system for the fleet and decided that the 3rd generation of surface combatants should introduce this system. Electric drive would improve ship survivability because it could be divided within the hull and improve system redundancy. It could also power the ships weapon systems and save on fuel costs. The new 3rd generation ship would start out as DD21 and then later DDX and the Navy hoped to significantly reduce crew size, and a tumblehome hull form that would reduce the ships radar signature. The size of the ship increased significantly to 15,000 tons and the ship was to be armed with a 155 mm gun with extended range ammunition. Survivability in the new ships was a significant factor in their design due to the more hazardous conditions close to shore. Her size approached WWII heavy crusiers and would be the largest surface combatant since WWII. The next generation ship was intended to come to the fleet approximately in the year 2010. This would be the longest gap between a new generation of surface combatants from 1975 to 2010. Norman Polmar expressed his views that the Burkes will have reached the end of their survivability when their original production line ends as it can no longer be improved on the current displacement. The gap represented a major problem for US ship yards. Most nations can not afford to build such complex ships and the United States ability to do so is a major strategic advantage.

    By re-introducing larger ships back into the fleet the Navy was changing from its prior methods of only having medium to small combatants. The Navy wanted a highly survivable platform something normally associated with armored warships but the new design would stress her susceptibility from being hit rather than her invulnerability from a hit. Her sheer size would allow her to take more damage than the second generation warships so she should be able to fight hurt if needed.

    During President Clinton’s second term the Navy surface combatants was fixed at 116 ships. The exact make up of these 116 ships was left open. Initially the Navy wanted large ships with a standard hull and machinery standardizing like the second generation of surface combatants to save on costs. The Burkes would be held to 57 ships and the new destroyers would begin in 2004. Then in 1998 Vice Admiral Cebrowski introduced the concept of small surface combatants in the Littoral Combat Ship or LCS also referred to as Street fighter. His argument was that sea control was over and that the safe delivery of goods ashore and joint operations was the way of the future. That the network capability was more important than the individual power of each separate unit because the networking allowed the firepower to be concentrated over a wide area. He argued that the Navy had to dominate the seas close to shore just like the open ocean during the Cold War. Ship speed he felt was the critical factor in allowing separate forces to concentrate or reconfigure the new battle fleet model. The new ships were to be small 400 ton ships with a 160 ton payload for either ASW or Anti-mine warfare but not both at the same time. This new approach threw the whole schedule for the DD21 into disarray as both ship types competed for the same funds as naval officers argued which was the best course to take. Admiral Murphy the commander of the 6th Fleet argued that DD21 was designed to get into a tough fight and deliver the power needed so this new course was not needed and did not believe that the carrier era had ended though he did agree that the Navy was too small in numbers.

    Vice Admiral Cebrowski continued that the fleet was unbalanced and that the fleet was turning into what he called risk aversion to even risk deterred. This meaning that the Navy was no longer willing to place their ships in harms way and if so an opponent was already in control of the littoral sea space. His logic was basically greater numbers of small ships was more favorable to larger more expensive ships if the Navy could expand to 225 ships over the current restriction of 116 ships. Like the British and German fleets of WWI would the US really place such expensive ships at risk and fear the public reaction of their loss.

    Despite these arguments war is not supposed to be fair and if the US has the ability to hit targets beyond the range of an opponent then there is no need to enter an area that is contested. Admiral Cebrowski’s arguments are largely conditional as to the situation. However lost in the debate between large or small was the question is the fleet un-balanced? Historically the force which has superior numbers is the most consistent advantage a fleet has. An un-balanced fleet arises with weak staying power or the inability of a ship or force to absorb hits and continue fighting. This is the likely cause of tactical instability. Staying power of a ship is the one design element least affected by poor tactics that may determine the outcome of a battle. Unstable tactical circumstances arise as the combat power grows relative to its survivability. Over a campaign the modern technology can quickly be depleted and magazines emptied making the fleet more susceptible to mass attacks.

    An article written in the Fall of 2001 in the Naval Engineers Journal by S. Hanson, entitled Passive Protection Vs Active Defenses showed how armor should be re-introduced back into the fleet to increase the staying power of individual surface combatants.

    He gave 6 ship types:

    A – Minimal interior protection and no exterior protection
    B – Minimal interior protection with exterior protection capable of withstanding one hit in same location
    C- Minimal interior protection with exterior protection capable of withstanding two hits in same location
    D- Full system redundancy but no exterior protection
    E- Full system redundancy and exterior protection capable of withstanding one hit in same location.
    F- Full system redundancy and exterior protection capable of withstanding two hits in same location

    As an example if a salvo of 4 anti-ship missiles was fired and active defenses scored a 60% kill ratio the following is the percent chance of ship types A-F being disabled.

    A - 81%,
    B - 7%
    C - 1%
    D - 26%
    E - 0.2%
    F – 0.0%

    In a surprise attack and active defenses fail completely the following percentages were given:

    A – 99%
    B – 38%
    C – 2%
    D – 87%
    E – 1%
    F – 0.0%

    However he noted that such protective systems must be placed in the design phase and can not be added to existing ships. Armor became a force multiplier in an age of reduced numbers. The debate however became large or small instead of the proper mix of ships and the course for the next generation of ships kept getting delayed.

    On November 1, 2001 Admiral Clark decided to proceed with the LCS program and overturn the Navies aversion to small combatants. DD-21 became DDX or future surface combatant program. Critics called LCS “little crappy ship” but it was better to accept this than have DDX cancelled. Critics proposed LCS could be overturned after Admiral Clark’s tenure was over in similar fashion to Admiral Boorda’s arsenal ship. Admiral Clark wanted joint warfare between all US services and many in the Navy were not prepared for this. The Marine Corps changed the way for conducting amphibious power projection to sea basing instead of seizing territory close to the beach and bringing in supplies to a friendly or recently taken port. Admiral Clark supported this new view completely so once again the Navy found itself in transition and change is extremely difficult to such a tradition bound force.

    Then in 2008 the Navy decided to suspend efforts on DDX and only build three such ships. They would continue to build 2nd generation Burkes for the time being and concentrate on CGX a 23,000 ton standard displacement warship for the future along with the LCS program. One important note was that CGX would have a conventional hull and I believe the tumblehome hull of DDX was really what killed the program. This hull design may give a lower radar signature but is unstable in rough seas and vulnerable to underwater attacks such as mines. Basically it increases the capability of avoiding a hit "susceptability" at the cost of decreasing the ships vulnerability due to stability issues and lack of reserve buoyancy. So was the ship really more survivable? Also what will plague CGX is that the Navy has not designed a large surface combatant since WWII. Normally designers have a past ship design in which to build from but now the Navy must start from scratch. Building large ships will severly restrict the naval budget and can the Nation afford them?

    A warship only serves as a platform to carry its weapon systems into combat. If the Navy is unsure as to what armament it wants than the warship can not be built. If ballistic missiles are indeed the most serious threat to the US this is not a mission subs and carriers will be good at defending against. This of course is open to debate but many Nations lacking a blue water fleet may choose this option in an attempt to control the seas from land.

    Passive protection and the ship propulsion plant will be based on the needs of the armament, fire control sensors, and what displacement the Navy wishes for the ship. It is not known if the Navy may apply an armored citadel system or another form of passive protection to CGX but it is possible to give a large warship a system that does protect her from the most common weapons that may be deployed today especially in a limited war scenario. If CGX is built which right now is a big IF, and it does have some form of passive protection than it would be the first armored warship since WWII. It may not be called battleship but people today refer to the Burkes as battleships. Ship nomenclature is meaningless. If such a ship has both offensive, defensive armament, the capability for power projection ashore, and some form of passive protection then the return of the battleship is well on its way. All of these attributes were expressed by the Iowa class during WWII when she was new thus the real lesson is not that battleships or large surface combatants were obsolete but a specific armament for a specific mission became obsolete. We will have to wait and see but yes the Navy in my opinion in 1975 by adopting only intermediate ship size did make a mistake and should have designed a ship to also replace the large warships of WWII. The long delay between 2nd generation and 3rd generation surface combatants in the carrier era is the price the Navy is paying and one reason the Iowa class never goes away because the Navy must still rely on her due to misunderstanding the true lessons of history.

    So the future debate is can the Navy decide if the best course is many small less capable individual platforms, many intermediate platforms, or can they decide on the proper mix of large, medium, and small platforms. What is the true mission for the Navy when sea control is already established and which platforms and armaments are best suited to deal with this mission. As to the role passive protection can play will depend on the course the Navy chooses. It will become vital if the Navy chooses few large ships over many small ships to increase the survivability of these fewer platforms. Based on what the precieved threats to the United States are "such as ballistic missiles" a large surface combatant may be the only option which can support the armament needed to deal with such a threat.
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  2. #17
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    A very good article.
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    lundgrenr:
    I find the article biased, has a bad habit of using nebulous terminology, it's logic missing, and its conclusions suspect.

    If the concern is IRBMs or ICBMs what is required is good targeting system and SM-3 like systems. Systems that if anything benefit from having launchers spaced out for better coverage, which is utterly at odds with his conclusion. If anything Armored Citadels the author favors would impair that as per the issues Rusty brought up related to top heaviness. Then there's all the meandering that doesn't seem to even go anywhere.

    The man needs an editor, plain and simple.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dreadnought View Post
    *First and foremost, the armor carried by the Iowas or any other class before them was much different armor then what they call armor today. They were pre atomic bomb armor. Not made like that today not in the last 60 years atleast. Density is much different and thats why when a ship from those days gets scrapped it (the armor thats removed) is used in scientific tests, they use it for shielding. I have posted on this before with links.
    From what I remember that was about radioactivity, and thus useful for sensors not that it used to be Gundanium.

    Honestly I'm not buying that causes a armor performance reduction of at least 30%.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dreadnought View Post
    *Maximum range you are getting out of a 5" gun these days is no more then 15 nautical miles at best.
    That's a outright lie. Don't meely mouth with me about current guns with current conventional projectiles, as I said RFP for a new system to my given specs. It's been shown to be technologically feasible with all the trials with the 5"/62 Mark 45 Mod 4 ERGM rounds to get out to 50nm with a round that delivered submunitions. I called for sabot, which should if anything go further, even without a rocket motor strapped on, and I set 5" as the low end, Dread.

    Has a Battleship ever even hit another vessel at 15nm? Nevermind a modern vessel which probably could play havoc with the current targeting systems mounted on the Iowa, nevermind reducing return signature and thus requiring Iowa to be closer to get a solid targeting solution. Splashing empty water is irrelevant aka ballistic range doesn't mean a whole lot.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dreadnought View Post
    *The Zumwalts have a long way to go and the railgun they hope to mount even further. Basically IMO you will have the Zumwalts before the railguns are perfected so IMO very doubtfull they will ever make it on time to be aboard the only two Zumwalts that were approved. The railguns penetrating power is pure kinetic energy, but getting that kind of power down to an workable size is going to be a long and hard road.
    Contract for Zumwalt gives delivery date as 2012. The contract for the railgun system delivery is shooting for 2020. The second evolution for development with BAE's contract has a delivery date is 2011. The railgun is explicitly designed to be able to be mounted on the Zumwalt, so installation shouldn't be an issue.

    You should know all of that well enough.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dreadnought View Post
    *Yes they would be in trouble, Modern tech against 65 year old tech but one thing is for sure, The Iowa's are going to take more then one hit before they are in trouble. Can you say the very same for the Zumwalt or other getting hit by a 16" shell? IMO, thats trouble on the very first hit and more then likely a kill with todays passive armor schemes.
    Given the first hits with tungsten cube or DPICM should basically poke the Iowa's eyes out, why would it not be in trouble after the first hit ala Bismarck after its rudder was jammed? At that point it's just a big animal to beat to death, by predators capable of doing so.


    Quote Originally Posted by Dreadnought View Post
    * Aiming for a magazine in a gun duel is a waste of time (and more then likely your life) when you should be systematically aiming for the bridge, communications and then turrets.
    DPICM submunitions or the tungsten cube concept I specifically mentioned is designed to be able to screw up AFVs. I really doubt the Iowas would be doing to hot in the FC department after getting hammer with that. Given I did specifically mention alternating between AP and the other at least once, why are you pretending I didn't?

    Given, if you want to push it, this can be done outside the maximum ballistic range of the 16" guns to begin with, and the Destroyers aren't going to gift wrap themselves exactly what is the 60 year old ships going to do that allows it to hit them, in a pure gun duel? Teleporting to point blank range isn't one of the Iowa's capabilities.
    Last edited by FOG3; 17 Sep 09, at 04:10.

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    That's a outright lie. Don't meely mouth with me about current guns with current conventional projectiles, as I said RFP for a new system to my given specs. It's been shown to be technologically feasible with all the trials with the 5"/62 Mark 45 Mod 4 ERGM rounds to get out to 50nm with a round that delivered submunitions. I called for sabot, which should if anything go further, even without a rocket motor strapped on, and I set 5" as the low end, Dread.

    *Really? A standard 5" gun mounted aboard any USN ship without conventional anything has a range of 15 nm. That is proven fact. Shooting saboted rounds is nice for tests and what not but thats all they are "tests" when it becomes standard then we may have this talk, until then its wishful thinking is as much as Rusty mentions the "Cylon Death Ray". In other words it will not see production outside of tests and they tested the Iowas guns as well with the same kind of "tests" but even as their last commisioning they went with standard rounds, something proven to work time and time again and magazines full of standard rounds. Even when they test saboted rounds there are few, not the standard load out of 1,000 rounds for the 5" mags. The USN is not going to waste their budgets on the 5" guns they more over want the rail gun which wont be "on time" for the Zumwalts and the Zumwalts will not make 2010. You will be lucky to see them by 2015 at best. There are several threads based upon it and much proven fact. Its there and you can read it. They wont waste their budgets, especially now. And their (Zumwalt class DD) rapid fire 5" gun has a range of only 9 miles, not even the range of an Iowas standard 5"/38 mount. If you dont believe me then you can read it right here.

    US Navy DD 21 Zumwalt class Multimission Destroyer - Naval Technology

    *Meely mouth? Outright lie

    Has a Battleship ever even hit another vessel at 15nm? Nevermind a modern vessel which probably could play havoc with the current targeting systems mounted on the Iowa, nevermind reducing return signature and thus requiring Iowa to be closer to get a solid targeting solution. Splashing empty water is irrelevant aka ballistic range doesn't mean a whole lot.

    *When was the last time you saw ship to ship battle? You havent and neither has the rest of the world in the last 60 years. The battleships FCS are analog for the most part. How do you suppose you are going to "play havoc" with that even with modern electronics. Answer: You wont.
    When you mention the Iowa, If you dont know, by the time she was pulled from service she had already proven how accurate those guns really are. The problem is the government did not want to sink money into the program with the advent of the guided missle age. And if you read history, even the New Jersey conducted some excellent gun fire strikes as far back as Vietnam. We havent even mentioned the fine shhoting Missouri and Wisconsin conducted during the opening of the Gulf War. All with analog systems aided by standard electronics with multiple redundancy. And if within her range you are looking at 15 gun broadsides 9 of the main battery and six of the 5" battery, do you know just how tight that dispersion patter is? Very very tight.

    Given the first hits with tungsten cube or DPICM should basically poke the Iowa's eyes out, why would it not be in trouble after the first hit ala Bismarck after its rudder was jammed? At that point it's just a big animal to beat to death, by predators capable of doing so.

    *Redundancy. Yep, its a big animal. and not one that will be taken out as easily as you think by any predator. If she scores even one (even if the turrets have to go to local) hit then you will have a big hole and damage unconcievable to the "predator". Basically killed unless it limps away very quickly and point be known those ships arent that slow to begin with.

    Given, if you want to push it, this can be done outside the maximum ballistic range of the 16" guns to begin with, and the Destroyers aren't going to gift wrap themselves exactly what is the 60 year old ships going to do that allows it to hit them, in a pure gun duel? Teleporting to point blank range isn't one of the Iowa's capabilities

    *Your banking on technology that is still in its infancy and never matured enough to be employed. Why? because newer and newer tecnology becomes available. By the time and if they decide to employ saboting rounds as standard through out the fleet you just may have a ship mounted rail gun in sevice. But as I stress and promise you will not see the Zumwalts outside of testing or construction by 2015. They have already been judged by the GAO as over budget, which means they will get funding but the deliver date will not hold.

    *They wont use saboted rounds on a brand new ship with a brand new design rapid fire gun, if they did they would already be admitting design failures on a brand new high dollar ship hence I strongly doubt there would be further orders placed for something they have to modify to get the projected performance out of.

    *Will they use different rounds (ERGM) to open the range? Yes they will no doubt but keep in mind one fact about your gunnery dual. If the Iowas recieved one fraction of the costs they are expending on this program they could percievably open their range just as well and with a much bigger hit factor then the 5" guns and no destroyer would hold up to even one salvo under such circumstances.

    The Iowas are of yesterday,they had their days in the sun time and time again, the DDX and CGX are of tommorow and beyond and have yet to see those days begin so speculations of gunnery duals between the two are pure fiction.
    Last edited by Dreadnought; 17 Sep 09, at 16:35.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dreadnought View Post
    When was the last time you saw ship to ship battle? You havent and neither has the rest of the world in the last 60 years.
    Not true, actually.

    Last year, there was a battle between a Georgian "Matka" and a Russian force including Moskva.

    Plus you've forgotten the Battle of Latakia in 1973 and the "Komars" that sunk an Israeli destroyer in 1967.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Silent Hunter View Post
    Not true, actually.

    Last year, there was a battle between a Georgian "Matka" and a Russian force including Moskva.

    Plus you've forgotten the Battle of Latakia in 1973 and the "Komars" that sunk an Israeli destroyer in 1967.
    *Guess I should have been more specific. Between the two were either gunnery duals?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dreadnought View Post
    *Guess I should have been more specific. Between the two were either gunnery duals?
    Well, the "Matka" fired some gun shots at Moskva (and hit), before being blown up by some SS-N-9s fired by its escorts. Doesn't really count though.

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    The Rail gun sounds like a great idea lets get this tech mature and mounted. Untill then the max effective range of mark 54 mod 3 is effectively 12ish nautical miles. Thats also really questionable for hitting another moving ship in a reasonable timeframe.

    Something I liked about the discussion so far is it seems to be sticking to hardened steel armours like on the existing Iowas. They are old museum ships at this time. Weight is deinfately an issue of armouring ships, which was a big part of why at no time were destroyers every really considered armoured ships and most cruisers were of the relatively un armoured light cruiser variety. What happens when someone tryies to apply the lighterweight composite and ceramic armours to whole ships at naval gunnery scale?

    I don't discount weight and seakeeping of ships but no one (or at least I wasn't) really talking about armouring anything other than heavy cruiser and larger sized ships up to standards to withstand their own armament. Can we go about building a heavy cruiser hull from the ground up capable of withstanding multiple Switchblades and not take appriciable hull or superstructure damage? Can it also be armed with a missile and gun battery roughly equivelent to what current ships have? Can it have decent range and crew accomidations? If it can be done what is the cost?

    I think It can be done I don't think it can be done in a manner that would be considered cost effective without a major surface combatant enemy challenging a first world navy.

    I also think that unless there was a major war on it'd get shot down because it wouldn't look particularly sexy/traditional naval floatin on the waves. That said I'm very much an amature which it comes to all things naval so take this with a grain of salt.

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by RustyBattleship
    Now, topside weight is so critical the superstructures on all ships is aluminum which is 1/3 the weight of steel but also 1/3 the strength.
    The Arleigh Burkes are all steel. They stopped doing aluminum superstructures because of the fire danger.
    I enjoy being wrong too much to change my mind.

  10. #25
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    Nah, No pro battleship slant to that post at all.



    How many times did the fast Battleships "Cross the T' in WW2? And how many Japanese capitol ships were they credited with destroying? 2 , if memory serves me. There is a reason that the battleships were canceled and more carriers built.


    No ships but carriers and the Iowas had the capability to project power ashore in the 1980s?

    Quick, name the amphibious landings since WW2 that the battleships provided Naval gunfire for. Bet you can't name one. Cause they never did it.

    Destroyers and cruisers provided all that support. They are good at it

    Do you remember where the Armored Box Launchers and the Tomahawks for the Jersey came from for the 80s recommissioning? Diverted from Sprucans.

    Or the Harpoons? Diverted from Farraguts.

    While true that she had more ABLs than any other ship in the fleet. The Jersey had the T-hawks of 4 ABL Sprucan equivalents.

    She also had the equivalent of 5 Sprucans worth of crew. And could only be in one place providing 1 mission. Where those Sprucans could be in 5 different locations executing multiple types of missions.

    BB lovers need to have a picture of John Lehman(Spit/Puke) hanging on the wall that they give thanks to every night. It it had not been for him and his Kirov envy the Iowas would have been fishing reefs by now.
    Its called Tourist Season. So why can't we shoot them?

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by FOG3 View Post
    When was a BB was hit by a missile, period? And how many of those were not "penetration high explosive blast" ala the Harpoon? The only incident I remember hearing about was the Soviet HEAT warheaded Styx against a Dreadnought that was supposed to penetrated clean through.
    Not an American Battleship but a Fritz X did a number on the Roma back in WW2.
    Its called Tourist Season. So why can't we shoot them?

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dreadnought View Post
    The US learned alot from the Able and Baker Atomic tests at Bikini, some of the BB's and a few others had to be sunk by the Navy since they would not sink on their own. They reboarded them and made detailed damage reports that would help them in the future building of warships.
    Like, ooh just about every ship there

    Only 12 ships were sunk between Able and Baker.

    1 Aircraft Carrier (USS Saratoga CV-3)

    2 Battleships (USS Arkansas BB-33, IJN Nagato)

    1 Heavy Cruiser (IJN Sakawa)

    2 Destroyers (USS Anderson DD-411 USS Lamson DD-367)

    2 Submarines (USS Apogon SS-308,USS Pilotfish SS-386)

    The others were transports, landing craft or auxilery ships
    Its called Tourist Season. So why can't we shoot them?

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dreadnought View Post

    *Yes they would be in trouble, Modern tech against 65 year old tech but one thing is for sure, The Iowa's are going to take more then one hit before they are in trouble. Can you say the very same for the Zumwalt or other getting hit by a 16" shell? IMO, thats trouble on the very first hit and more then likely a kill with todays passive armor schemes.
    It took the Jersey around 390 rounds to hit an enemy bunker (Not moving) from a Known referenced gun line in the Root.

    Chances of actually hitting a moving object like a Burke DD would be somewhere around "Snowball chance in Hadies".
    Its called Tourist Season. So why can't we shoot them?

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    Now that Zumalt is one ugly boat, looks a bit like the 'Ironclad', if I am not mistaken, well the Hull at least.

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    [QUOTE=Gun Grape;674050]Nah, No pro battleship slant to that post at all.

    *Well, It is a battleship thread and the topic has been battleships Grape so what do you expect, should we discuss LST's,LPH's instead on a battleship thread?

    How many times did the fast Battleships "Cross the T' in WW2? And how many Japanese capitol ships were they credited with destroying? 2 , if memory serves me. There is a reason that the battleships were canceled and more carriers built.

    *3, You left out Mikasa being sunk by Washington at the Battle of Savo outside the two sunk at Leyte. And she did it pretty much by herself.
    If memory serves quite a few US cruisers and DD's laying at the bottom of Iron Bottom sound from the night engagements prior.


    No ships but carriers and the Iowas had the capability to project power ashore in the 1980s?

    *Dont know where that came from so?

    Quick, name the amphibious landings since WW2 that the battleships provided Naval gunfire for. Bet you can't name one. Cause they never did it.

    *Landing none, gunfire support, plenty, Vietnam, Korea, Lebannon and the opening of the Gulf War. They softened up many places during Korea, and even dropped anchor in Wosan harbor and shelled them directly from across the harbor. They didnt pick a Cruiser or DD to sit within point blank range of shore artilliary. How many landings were made after that?

    *Quick, how many amphibious landings have even been made since WWII?

    Destroyers and cruisers provided all that support. They are good at it

    *Never posted that they were not, However they also took much damage as compared to the BB's with the exception of the cruisers such as St.Paul.

    Do you remember where the Armored Box Launchers and the Tomahawks for the Jersey came from for the 80s recommissioning? Diverted from Sprucans.

    *Yep, I remember.

    Or the Harpoons? Diverted from Farraguts.

    *Yep, I remeber that as well.

    While true that she had more ABLs than any other ship in the fleet. The Jersey had the T-hawks of 4 ABL Sprucan equivalents.

    *If each carried 8 Toms that I can agree to that. With the range of the Toms I dont see any problem with that being aboard one ship. Still had plenty of range on them.

    She also had the equivalent of 5 Sprucans worth of crew. And could only be in one place providing 1 mission. Where those Sprucans could be in 5 different locations executing multiple types of missions.

    *How many cans can a Cruiser crew man? More then three maybe 4.

    *If memory serves they were on call missions through out Korea and Vietnam (Jersey) which means not in one place but fluid. Its detailed in quite a few good books.
    I didnt write them so there is no bias from me.


    *So what would you call 5000-6000 sailors on one CVN? How many Sprunances, Ticos or other could they crew, more then five I assure you. The BB's carried just over 1500 during the 80's.

    BB lovers need to have a picture of John Lehman(Spit/Puke) hanging on the wall that they give thanks to every night. It it had not been for him and his Kirov envy the Iowas would have been fishing reefs by now.

    *Not true at all. You leave out military advisors from even the Marine Corps as well as others and its all documented. Did they have no say? Did they not play a part in keeping them from the scrappers. They most certainly did and without their input they would have never been kept in mothballs and would have gone to the torches. Blaming Lehman for returning them to service would be like blaming Ronald Reagan for living up to his campaign promises of rebuilding the USN and the 600 ship navy they wanted. Reagan as CIC could have easily over road those decisions but chose not too. Was he wrong too or just you opinion?
    Last edited by Dreadnought; 18 Sep 09, at 14:06.
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