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Thread: Bring Back The Iowa Class Discussion And Debate

  1. #61
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    The hulls are actually in excellent shape. The propulsion plants, while old, have powered the AOE Sacramento class ships continuously for the past 30 years.(the boilers for the Sacramentos came from the scrapped Kentucky BB).

    It would be extremely expensive to build new battleships, but far cheaper to modernize the couple we have left.

    As far as the guns, the key would be new ammuniton, the Mk7 16"/50 guns are still very capable systems.

  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by M21Sniper
    As far as the guns, the key would be new ammuniton, the Mk7 16"/50 guns are still very capable systems.
    Described as the finest heavy gun ever put to sea. Nothing has replaced it in all particulars, especially the amount of steel it can put out in a single salvo.
    Far better it is to dare mighty things, than to take rank with those poor, timid spirits who know neither victory nor defeat ~ Theodore Roosevelt

  3. #63
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    I absolutely love the Iowas, and would love to see Iowa and Wisconsin reactivated. But...

    I refer you to "A Glimpse of Hell" by Charles Thompson, the book on the Iowa turret explosion. These ships have problems. Most of the money spent on them in the 80's was in electronics and weapons. They will need massive work on powerplants and general infrastructure (wiring, etc). I personally think its worth the billions it will take (and it will be billions), but others may not agree. They are also very manpower intensive. Where will we get experienced BTs and Gunners Mates? They had to get retired WWII, Korea, and VN gunners to train the kids in the 80's. A lot of information on practical 16" gunnery was passed on orally and those guys are largely dead now.
    Also, new powder will have to be made, as the poor storage and blending of powder lots has effectively ruined the existing stock. That's why the New Jersey couldn't hit a dang thing in Lebanon in '84.
    A study done in the early 80's when they were upgraded found that an Iowa can put more ordinance on a target faster, cheaper, and with less risk than a carrier alfa strike. This may no longer be true, perhaps the airedales can enlighten us?

    No doubt the USMC will push for them hard again,like they did in the 80's, since there are no other real NGFS platforms left. But the old WWII rocket barge idea might be a cheaper way to go.

    Again, I hope to see them back in commission, but it will take a real committment by the navy, and I don't really see that happening in the current political climate.
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  4. #64
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    I helped Ted Yablonski from the USNFSA association a bit with their Iowa BBG conversion plans(primarily reviewing the weapons fit). The Iowa's are in much better shape then their critics allow for.

    Check out the USNFSA website for the full scoop. It's all in black and white.

    BTW, the Jersey in Lebannon destroyed a command bunker 5 stories underground that had resisted numerous US airstrikes previously.

    Lots of disinformation floating around thanx to the many Iowa critics. It's a shame.

  5. #65
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    I am neither an ardent supporter or an unrelenting critic.

    But the issue does have to be looked at practically, reasonably, pragmatically and realistically. The BB' reativation issue cant be looked at in a vaccuum as its supporters seem to want to happen.

    The question for most people of the very,very few even interested is : "What is the overriding need?"

    For me that is the wrong question but BB supporters have to answer that question before they have any hope of success.

    "Lots of disinformation floating around thanx to the many Iowa critics."

    Such as? AFAIK critics have brought up concerns which may be specious but I dont remember any disinformation.

    Please refresh my memory.

    Many people dont like the USNFSA and it shows in the limited support they have gotten over the years from those with power and influence.

    In fact AFAIK any grassroot support is non-existent also. I would be but I have pointed out errors of their own some years ago now and was summarily dismissed.

    Arrogance irks me especially when combined with ignorance.

    But then I dont have Snipers expertise in naval matters. LOL

    Disinformation isnt confined to BB critics and like Sniper said I encourage everyone to go to their site where "its all in black and white".

    Me?

    If they are going to reactivate them now is the time. The window of opportunity is about to slam shut.

    All last year BB reactivation proponemts said this would (2005) be their year. In fact according to them they had MANY powerful and influential people in the Pentagon and Congress all lined up.

    So far that does not seem to be the case. In fact some of the most ardent supporters have conveniently disappeared from view. LOL

    And with plans to cut carriers as the #2 issue behind the dearth of new shipbuilding the BB issue wont get much airplay barring a situation where they are needed and not available happening.

    And the oods on that?

    Even the F/A -22 and the Army's new brigade plan will take attention away from the BB issue.

    Not to mention a myriad other programs with ardent supporters. I can think of so many I lose track.

    Also dont forget BRAC is back further pushing the BB issue probably not only off the stage and out of the building but out of town.

    Ive encouraged all to write their Congressmen on the issue

    I have. The replies? Neither my Senators or Represenative were aware of the issue. Of course that isnt true as this wasnt the first time Ive writtten. LOL

    And while they said they might consider the issue they implied that there were much more pressing and urgent matters to consider.

    As they said " as you well know".

    Ive been getting that "as you well know" cop-out from alot of people lately come to think of it. LOL

    I never knew I knew so much. LOL

  6. #66
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    "Such as? AFAIK critics have brought up concerns which may be specious but I dont remember any disinformation.

    Please refresh my memory."

    'The guns aren't accurate.'
    'The hull is beat'
    'The boilers are shot'
    'The armor package of the Iowa cannot protect vs most modern AShMs.'

    All three of those are flat incorrect.

  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by M21Sniper
    "Such as? AFAIK critics have brought up concerns which may be specious but I dont remember any disinformation.

    Please refresh my memory."

    'The guns aren't accurate.'
    'The hull is beat'
    'The boilers are shot'
    'The armor package of the Iowa cannot protect vs most modern AShMs.'

    All three of those are flat incorrect.

    Hey!!! You got four there. Is one correct? Just kidding LOL.

    Ive never heard these two used by anyone in 10 years of discussing reactivartion. Thank God!!! LOL Because Id probably come unglued.:

    'The hull is beat'
    'The boilers are shot'

    At least not for the two in CAT B. If you know of anyone using them tell them to look up CAT B preservation techniques and the fact that they have been in this state of preservation when not in-service starting in 1948. And have been reactivated quite nicely when needed.


    I have heard this about being mission killed by AShMs but never by a credible critic as regards actual missle vs armor :

    'The armor package of the Iowa cannot protect vs most modern AShMs.'

    In any event no credible critic has used this as a reason against reactivation AFAIK because no other other warship is protected as well as the BB's.


    Then we come to the third er I mean fourth:

    'The guns aren't accurate.'

    The argument as I understand it revolves around: Do the 16" guns meet ALL of the requirements set forth by the USMC?

    The answer is no.

    OTOH we have nothing better. Thats why they are still in CAT B at least.

    My conclusion is that if thats all the disinformation youve come across we are quite lucky.

    As none of that would pass the scrutiny of anyone serious about the reactivation issue especially as regards anyone with the power and influence to make it happen.

  8. #68
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    "Hey!!! You got four there. Is one correct? Just kidding LOL."

    They only teach us to count to three in the infantry. My humblest...

    "Ive never heard these two used by anyone in 10 years of discussing reactivartion. Thank God!!! LOL Because Id probably come unglued.:

    'The hull is beat'
    'The boilers are shot'"

    The post that i responded to was to refute exactly those two claims. Pan up and check it out.


    "At least not for the two in CAT B. If you know of anyone using them tell them to look up CAT B preservation techniques and the fact that they have been in this state of preservation when not in-service starting in 1948. And have been reactivated quite nicely when needed."

    Agreed 100%(probably because that's the actual truth too, lol).

    "In any event no credible critic has used this as a reason against reactivation AFAIK because no other other warship is protected as well as the BB's."

    Don't you remember all the 'experts' at Warships1 that made exactly that argument ad nauseum?

    "The argument as I understand it revolves around: Do the 16" guns meet ALL of the requirements set forth by the USMC?"

    Again, look at the post i was responding to. The poster directly said the guns performed with poor accuracy in Lebannon, when in reality, the exact opposite is true.

  9. #69
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    I didnt considered SW 55 a critic. Just asking questions which I thought you answered well enough.

    I posted what I remembered on the armor issue. There were no "experts" either way at "Warships1" as far as I was concerned. LOL There were some relatively informed, serious and concerned and some not. But mostly just a bunch of people who wanted to be right at all costs on both sides. LOL

    As for Lebanon the New Jersey wasnt as effective as would have been liked if I remember correctly
    .
    There were some accuracy issues. I cant remember the reason but I dont believe it was inherent or unsolvable. I also remember something about ineffectiveness for destroying targets on reverse slopes.

    Am on my way now to track down the skinny on this issue.

    Either way its not a deal breaker.

    And I still stand by this:

    "My conclusion is that if thats all the disinformation youve come across we are quite lucky. "


    "As none of that would pass the scrutiny of anyone serious about the reactivation issue especially as regards anyone with the power and influence to make it happen."

    The real issues of which none are actually deal breakers either as I have refuted or mitigated them all in the past:

    Dont meet ALL of the USMC NSFS requirements(which I discussed above)

    Dont fit the USMC's OMFTS concept

    Single-mission

    Require extra escorts(thus adding to reactivation costs)

    Labor intensive

    Modernization/Reactivation costs prohibitive

    Dont fit the new Transformation paradigm

    BUT THE REAL REASON IS THAT THE USN & DoD(In General) DOESNT WANT THEM AND CONGRESS DOESNT WANT TO SHELL OUT THE MONEY TO MAKE THE USN REACTIVATE THEM.

    Thats the bottom line. Period. Nothing else matters unless you can change the above.

    Look at the SSGN Conversion program and compare/contrast it to my list of issues and you should be able see how the USN, DoD & Congress went for that!!!!!!

    Notice I didnt say AGREE with it which is different from understanding it.
    Last edited by rickusn; 20 Mar 05, at 18:55.

  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickusn
    In any event no credible critic has used this as a reason against reactivation AFAIK because no other other warship is protected as well as the BB's.
    I reacall reading that Dale Bumpers and Barry Goldwater making that assertion.
    Bumpers was a fool, but Goldwater should have known better.
    Far better it is to dare mighty things, than to take rank with those poor, timid spirits who know neither victory nor defeat ~ Theodore Roosevelt

  11. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by TopHatter
    I reacall reading that Dale Bumpers and Barry Goldwater making that assertion.
    Bumpers was a fool, but Goldwater should have known better.

    When was this? Goldwater retired in 1986, had a stroke in 1996 and died in 1998.

    Dont see how anything he said would be either pertinent or credible to the reactivation issue of the last 10 years.


    Bumpers? About as credible as the devil at a church service. LOL And hes been gone from Congress since 1999.

    First Id like to see what they actually said. Did they say the battleships were suceptible to damage from modern weapons or that AShM could penetrate their armor?

    Second Youll have to do better than those two. LOL

    Third Its not even an important issue as no other ship is impervious to AShM.

    Once again if this is all then we are quite lucky and there should be no problem reactivating them. But thats not the case.

    Now Sen. Edward Kennedy is a supporter except when it comes to paying for them and then he suddenly shuts up and disappears from view. LOL

    Who in Congress stands to gain from their reactivation? No one and thats a real issue BB supporters need to overcome. Not armor vs AShMs. LOL

  12. #72
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    Darn it, I should have prefaced that post by saying it was in relation to the 80's reactivation. My apologies for the confusion
    Let's see what I find on their "expertise". These are paraphrased from a neat little (160 pages) book by Malcom Muir. No copyright infringement nor plagarization is intended...or anything else that'll get me sued.

    OK, first up is Democrat Dale Bumpers (former Governor of Arkansas and then Senator from Arkansas). Yes, he was a Democrat, but also a Marine during WWII and like Goldwater, he ought to have known better

    "[USS New Jersey is an] expensive, highly vulnerable vessel of questionable military utility which would simply siphon off very scarce Navy manpower..."
    He added that USS Arkansas, a totally unarmored ship was "perhaps more survivable than the New Jersey, and (among other anti-battleship rants) claimed that they were too slow to keep up with a CVBG.

    Barry Goldwater
    "Reviving old battleships is like trying to revitalise the army by digging up old General Custer"

    There were several caustic remark from former SECNAV John Chafee, including this one that Muir accurately describes as absurd: "All the Russians have to do is lob a missile into one of those battleships and they'd knock it out of commission."

    Finally, we have a comment from naval expert Norman Polmar. He claimed that the reactivation of the Iowas was "ridiculous, principally because of the manning problem."
    Personally, I'd dearly love to jack-slap Mr Polmar a few times just for being a smarmy SOB.
    Far better it is to dare mighty things, than to take rank with those poor, timid spirits who know neither victory nor defeat ~ Theodore Roosevelt

  13. #73
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    Thanks for the clarification.

    Polmar doesnt impress me. He is too often a mouthpiece for the spin handed out by those in power. LOL

    BTW you dont have to be worried about being sued using copyrighted material on these boards as it is covered under the "fair use" concept AFAIK. Although it should always be acknowledged whose work it is and where it was taken from. And certainly should never be passed off as our own work.


    There is some truth to all of those statements. LOL

    The Battleships were then and still could be relatively easily mission killed by AShMs. Sunk may be a different story.

    But Chaffee wanted more carriers the real reason for his remark.

    Manpower has always been an issue but it isnt an insurmountable one. Although it will continue to be used by those not wanting the Battleships.

    Bumpers thought all military hardware was too expensive.

    The battleships at the time had no defense passive or hard kill for any AAW or ASW threat. Thats where the CGN being "perhaps" more survivable comment was alluding to.

    Even now theyhave little organic self-defense systems although more than then.

    Another point was at the time they were being envisioned as the centerpiece of Surface Action Groups replacing Carrier Battle Groups rather than as NSFS assets.
    The Tomahawks originally envisioned for them were ship attack vice land attack.
    The USN cane to the conclusion that AshM's are very hard to target and discontinued the tactical Tomahawk.

    A huge difference in employment.

    All those remarks were semi-valid for there time and must be taken in context of the situation at the time.

    But 30 years later the situation is different. Although self-defense and survivability of the Batttleships is a concern but it is to some extent for all ships.

    And for manpower Ive shown over and over how to overcome that over the years.

    Right now we are decommissioning four old AOE's manned by 650-750 personnel each w/o replacement. Thes have similar propulsion and in fact two of them are outfitted with the turbines from the incomplete BB 66 USS Kentucky.

    If the USN and Congress wanted them to be they would be in-service. This all stems from Lehman canceling their further mods 20 years ago. And now hes supposedly a reactivation supporter?

  14. #74
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    True enough, those remarks were made in a different era. Still and all, some of them smacked of sheer ignorance.

    Polmar.....*Lurch-like shudder of disgust* Like fingernails on the chalkboard.
    Far better it is to dare mighty things, than to take rank with those poor, timid spirits who know neither victory nor defeat ~ Theodore Roosevelt

  15. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by TopHatter
    True enough, those remarks were made in a different era. Still and all, some of them smacked of sheer ignorance.

    Polmar.....*Lurch-like shudder of disgust* Like fingernails on the chalkboard.

    No doubt.

    Expand a little on Polmar please. Because you seem to know more about the guy than I.

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