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Thread: USN Admiral Responds.....

  1. #1
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    09 Aug 03

    USN Admiral Responds.....

    to a USNFSA piece that I have reposted below the current essay which is posted below my comments which are lengthier than I intended. LOL What else is new? LOL

    Well sort of responds to it. Doesn't really address some of Reilly's more hysterical and derogatory statements. For good reason. Those will be taken up privately to further erode the USNFSA credibility as regards reality. And they have alieninated ALOT of people and there are consequences to be paid.

    But notice how he brings up the cost issue right from the beginning and over and over and over. The USN is mandated by DOD and Rumsfeld to hit a certain budget target. Which of course the USN knows is inadequate. What they have done this year is cut things out like the JFK and shipbuilding funds.

    Then let Congress ADD funding. LOL Its perfect.

    The same strategy seems to be at work here as the USN to my knowledge has never directly, publicly responded to any USNFSA offering before.

    They state just like with the JFK that they are too costly to have in-servivce.

    And let Congress decide. Again perfect.

    AS Ive said for alonggggggggg time if you want something convince Congress because they have, can, do and will fund anything THEY WANT.

    I said about a year ago that the FY 2006 budget needed to be the time to either get the Battleships back or bury the issue. Looks like belatedly this may happen.
    Awful late in the game though for the proponents.

    Its do or die time. IMHO

    A coupla other thoughts:

    1.) Nothing new in the USNFSA piece.

    2.) The Admiral didnt address forced-entry operations(Amphibious) (Interesting no?)

    You can thank the USMC's OMFTS for that I think. But then thats a whole nother subject. LOL

    3.) The Admiral devotes a paragraph to magazine limitations, resupply annd safety.

    He also mentions safety elsewhere. The USN has previously down-played the safety issue. But I was told beginning fifteen years ago(after the IOWA incident) and continuing to this very day by certain people with considerable USN experience that this was if not the most important issue then certainly in the top two. Cost of course being the most often stated reasoning.

    June 13, 2005

    Building a new Navy

    By Charles S. Hamilton

    Passionate advocates of returning our Nation's two battleships to service maintain that these two ships could be brought back into service quickly, safely and economically to meet Marine Corps requirements for long-range, precise firepower ashore.

    The battleships and the Sailors who manned them served our Nation with pride and distinction through some of the darkest days of the Republic. We must continue to honor that service and recognize their achievements, but we should not confuse our fondness for those ships with an assumption of their appropriateness for the task at hand.

    If reactivated, the battleships would not be able to fire munitions "as far as 115 miles in a life-saving time of only three minutes." Such munitions just do not exist, nor could they be quickly developed, tested and fielded within the next few years. The current range of an unguided 16-inch round is only 20 nautical miles ? half the distance the Navy has fired the latest generations of smart rounds for our new naval guns. The notion that super long-range 16-inch gun rounds are within our grasp is illusory.

    And given today's battlefields, particularly the densely populated urban jungles in which our Marines and Soldiers currently fight, it would be folly to assume that a battlefield commander would employ a high-yield "dumb" weapon at long ranges without the utmost confidence that it would not inflict massive collateral damage. Without that confidence, such a weapon would have dubious utility. Developing a hardened guidance and control system that could withstand the punishing muzzle energy of the 16-inch guns, if at all possible, would not be a simple or cheap two-to-three-year effort.

    The Navy's solution is the next-generation destroyer, DD(X), with its two fully automated 155mm guns capable of firing 10 Global Positioning System-guided rounds per minute up to 83 nautical miles from an expandable 920-round magazine. To provide sustained fire for major combat operations, DD(X) can employ imaginative new feature called an unlimited magazine. Because of DD(X)'s design, with its two forward-mounted guns and expansive flight deck aft, the ship can simultaneously conduct fire missions while being resupplied. Pre-loaded pallets are brought aboard and quickly placed directly into the fully automated magazine, much like a clip is used to reload a semi-automatic handgun or rifle. At no point do sailors have to labor with loading or assembling the ammunition, which increases the firing rate, reloading time and safety to the crew.

    DD(X) will use a devastating new tactic called "multiple simultaneously round impact" in which the ship fires six to eight rounds at different trajectories depending on the range of the target. Each round steers to precise aim points, landing in a particular pattern at the same time in a no-notice, lethal salvo that catches targets unaware and unprepared from the very first shot. Hostile forces will no longer be able to hunker down in bunkers or flee an area during the time it currently takes our spotters find the proper range, adjust their shots and fire for effect. DD(X) will deliver this powerful firepower at more than four times the range and with more than 20 times the accuracy of a battleship.

    The Navy's current strategy will outfit its current world-class ships with the best weapons possible and develop a long-term solution, DD(X). This approach is designed to spread capability throughout the Fleet, rather than concentrate it in two ships that cannot be everywhere at once. Given the current resource-constrained wartime budget, spending the billions of dollars to reactivate the battleships, develop advanced munitions, and pay the very high costs to operate them would come at the expense of other vital programs.

    The mighty ships of the Iowa Class served this nation well in the 20th century. It is now time to build the ships that will do so in the 21st.

    Rear Adm. Charles S. Hamilton is the Navy's Program Executive Officer for Ships.

    Heres the original USNFSA piece that is refered to in the above offering:

    June 6, 2005

    Battleships fit for duty

    By Dennis Reilly

    The 2006 National Defense Authorization Act would strike the battleships USS Iowa and Wisconsin from the Navy register and turn them into museums. This sounds attractive, but it would in fact erect monuments to folly, placing the lives of thousands of our Marines at risk. It would void the previous law, PL104-106, that instructed the Navy to keep two Iowa-class battleships readily available until the Navy certifies to Congress that it has fire-support capability that equals or exceeds that of the Iowa-class battleships. The Navy is unable to do this. Instead, it has taken steps detrimental to reactivation of these ships.

    Why this reaction? Simply put, there has been a failure of strategic insight on the part of leadership. A July 2002 meeting between then Navy Secretary Gordon England -- now up for confirmation as deputy secretary of defense -- and the U.S. Naval Surface Fire Support Association focused on reactivating the battleships to provide the fire support that was then and is now missing. Mr. England stated that there was no need for that kind of firepower, as the only remaining threat was terrorism. When I brought up North Korea, China, Iran, and the impending war with Iraq, the Secretary replied: "We do not regard such scenarios as realistic." Iraq is now history. Fortunately we did not have to fight our way ashore.

    The world, however, remains a dangerous place, and the threat of terrorism is still but one head on the hydra. While North Korea continues to churn out nuclear weapons, some 12,000 well-dug-in artillery tubes along the DMZ hold Seoul hostage with the threat of overnight obliteration. China's rapidly escalating military capabilities, alliances and thinly veiled threats are alarming. China clearly feels free to choose the time and means -- including force -- to resolve the Taiwan issue. How events will unfold in these places and in others, such as Iran, is anyone's guess. But one thing is sure. Should there be conflict in these areas, the Marines will be involved, and it will not be an antiterrorist action.

    Based on its vision, the Navy has focused on the development of a destroyer, the DD(X), equipped with two long range guns. No doubt this would be useful in breaking up terrorist camps scattered about the Pacific littorals, but it is not the gun you would want to bring to a major conflict. The small mass delivered to target makes these rounds ineffective against hardened positions. The cost per round forces the Navy to admit that high-volume fire is unaffordable. Lacking armor, the ship is highly vulnerable, despite its low-radar cross section. The cost -- Congress demands a cap of $1.7 billion per ship -- is out of proportion to its usefulness.

    What can a supposedly antiquated battleship bring to the fight? During the Vietnam War, the New Jersey was on station for 6 months. It wreaked havoc on the DMZ and in the North, including destruction of the deeply buried North Vietnamese Army (NVA) command headquarters. Had this ship been deployed throughout that war, a fair fraction of the 2,000 aviators killed, missing in action or captured as prisoners of war would have been spared. No statistic conveys the impact of the New Jersey's assault on the NVA better than the fact that North Vietnam demanded the withdrawal of the ship -- not the B-52s -- before it would continue with the Paris peace talks.

    Technology now allows battleships to do far better. GPS guidance will ensure one-shot, one-kill of hard targets such as the North Korean gun emplacements and Chinese missile batteries. Shells weighing 525 pounds can reach as far as 115 miles in a life-saving time of only 3 minutes. Over the longer term, the battleship's potential is truly revolutionary. Studies show that its massive firepower could be projected to at least 460 miles. With enhanced firepower and the ability to steam between Inchon and the Formosan Straits in less than a day and a half, two modernized battleships would have a chilling deterrent effect on aggressive designs by either the Chinese or the North Koreans.

    The Navy has misled Congress regarding the battleship's firepower, costs, survivability -- the Nevada survived two atom bombs -- and condition of equipment. The reality is that these ships could meet Marine Corps fire-support requirements in the near future. Nothing else can. Cost effective? Each battleship, with a reactivation and modernization cost of only $1.5 billion, has firepower equivalent to two aircraft carriers using only one-eighththemanpower. Moreover, the battleships' response is all-weather, is generally faster and is impervious to air defenses.

    As Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld famously said, you go to war with the army you have. If in the future our brave Marines are getting butchered because of insufficient fire support, "the Army we have" then will be a result of the actions taken today. What should be done? Reactivate the battleships now. Would you rather have a museum or a live Marine?

    Dennis Reilly, a physicist, serves as science advisor to the U.S. Naval Fire Support Association.

  2. #2
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    "The notion that super long-range 16-inch gun rounds are within our grasp is illusory. "

    That's a flat lie, only a few paragraphs into the Admirals comments.

    No need to even finish the rest.

    Let me guess, this jackass was a carrier admiral, right?

    As far as alienating the USN....they NEED to be alienated. They need to be embarassed, grilled, and taken behind the woodshed and have the living spit kicked out of them. The sooner the better.

  3. #3
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    LOL Time will tell it always does. LOL

    Here is some info on DDX progress. Doesnt read good to me. LOL But then I never thought DDX, DD 21 or whatever you want to call it was/is the answer to anything. LOL

    Gotta admit though Sniper you sure do lighten up my day!!!!!!!!!!

    I think there is a book out there called and I paraphrase " How to influence people etc etc". I never read it either. LOL

    Should we ????? LOL
    Last edited by rickusn; 14 Jun 05, at 22:11.

  4. #4
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    Now you know why i declined USNFSAs offer.

    Can you see me in a briefing with an Admiral and a bunch of beancounters diplomatically listening to a pack of lies?

    Nope, me either...

    I should be sleeping dammit. This website is worse than heroin sometimes...

  5. #5
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    09 Aug 03
    LOL Yep.

  6. #6
    Resident Curmudgeon Military Professional Gun Grape's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M21Sniper
    "The notion that super long-range 16-inch gun rounds are within our grasp is illusory. "

    That's a flat lie, only a few paragraphs into the Admirals comments.

    No need to even finish the rest.

    Then I'm sure you can provide an example of these super long range rounds.
    One that isn't at USNFSA or uses them as a reference. And since we want it to be useable on a ship no HARP references.

    Preferably one from a company that builds them. Such as Boeing, P&W, NASA.

    We have had ramjet rockets, no need for BB if you want to use those. The first scramjet only flew a little over a year ago. And look at the support the X-43a needed to get to speed. Its USNFSA that should be accused of lying not the Navy.

    After 40+ years of trying, we have finally made a working scramjet. Well it worked for a few seconds. And all it took was a B-52 to take a Pegasus rocket with the scramjet attached to 40 thous ft altitude, than release, have the Pegasus go up to 100 thous feet to reach Mach 5. Then released the X-43a.

    What will boost this scramjet round to workable speed?

    Since there must be a massive flow of air and a combustion chamber and only a limited space in a 16" projectile.

    How much explosives/payload has to be given up for the combustion chamber?

    Where will the Silane and hydrogen fuel be stored on the projectile?

    Since the pressure will be firing forces will be higher. Round must be fired at where it will reach Mach 5-6 before the scramjet will ignite. And it will be heavier. Heavier round + higher velocity= much higher firing forces.

    Will the 16"/50 mk 7 mounts, turret and recoil system be able to handle those forces?

    A friend of mine submitted these and other questions to the USNFSA. The only answeer he got was "Scramjets 16" rounds were fired during HARP. "
    Which is BS. And dosn't answer any questions about incorporating the required stuff in the limited size of the round or BB ability to withstand the recoil forces.

    On your side is that Allied Aero is working on a 120mm scramjet tank round. In 2001 they claimed they would have a firable demonstrator round ready this year.
    Last edited by Gun Grape; 15 Jun 05, at 02:23.

  7. #7
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    Just because there is no advanced 16" round in service or production, does NOT mean that they are not easily achievable. The technology is not just proven to make them, but very old.

    As far as proving the existance of a 13" saboted projectile, i did, as directly quoted from the official GAO report. There was also an 'advanced' 16" RAP projectile that was fired in the late 1960s that achieved a range of 38 nautical miles....almost 40 years ago.

    We've been making base-bleed, RAP, Sabot, and SALH projectiles for decades, this is very old technology.

    If we can make a base-bleed SALH 81mm shell(Merlin), we can sure as hell make a 16" version. It would actually be much EASIER because as i've said many times, the level of required miniturization is far less demanding for a 16" shell than it is for a 155mm, let alone a 127 or 81mm projectile.

    The USN has wasted, flat wasted, 5 billion dollars on the 127mm ERGM program. Now THAT program is an example of tossing good money after bad on something that is technologically unfeasible. Not only that, even if it DID meet it's specified requirements(which it does not by a longshot), it is still extremely limited for direct support because of it's excessively slow flight speed of 500kts, it's very low ROF(6rpm), and it's very small explosive warhead. All those reasons and it's lack to perform to even those inadequate specifications are exactly is why it's now facing cancellation.

    LRLAP is a bit less ambitious because it will be easier to fit the required components in a 155mm shell, but it looks like the platform that the AGS was scheduled to live on is gonna go bye bye now too(and at 3.1 billion per, it SHOULD).

    The USN and USA also jointly developed the Excalibur 155mm shell with MMW terminal radar guidance. MMWTH would also be an extremely useful capability if mated with the 16" projectile.

    A 16" RAP GIF/GAINS or SALH saboted projectile would be a very straightforward engineering proposition(MMW would be harder and more expensive, but still feasible) right now, and we already have electronics that can both survive the firing shock, and physically fit inside the existing 16" projectile. We also already have numerous steering systems that can be directly adapted to it(such as those used by copperhead, Merlin, Excalibur, LRLAP, and ERGM, Paveway, etc).

    You're also confusing the SCRAMJET proposals with the rounds i've been talking about all along. I've been talking about a legacy projectile based on the designs(which still exist) for the EX-148 and EX-149 DARPA projectiles from the 1980s. Those munitions would be in the 180km range class and feature simple GIF/GAINS or SALH guidance.

    They would be the first rounds developed if the Iowas were brought back into service, and are a straightforward proposal that could be brought into service with a minimum expenditure of $$$ and a minimum of time.

    A SCRAMJET round would have a range of 5-800 nautical miles, and a peak flight speed of Mach 8+(about 2+ KPS). That is an entirely different animal altogether, and WOULD represent a high risk munitions program(as far as cost and technical difficulty).

    Of course if a 16" scramshell could be made to work it would instantly render Carriers obsolete for surface and land strike in one bold stroke, leaving them to only provide deep strike(beyond the range of scramshells, whatever caliber they may be), and fleet air defense.

    You don't think that the Carrier Admirals know this?

    They'll do anything to protect the sanctity of their floating airbases, up to and including lying about another system to get their way. The US military has a LONG tradition of doing exactly that going all the way back to the USA Horse Cavalry days...

    The logical place to start with an operational scramshell would be with a very large projectile that offered the greatest payload for electronics, engine, and fuel(warhead would be largely irrelevant because of the sheer KE of a large 16" shells impact), and one that required a minimum of miniturization.
    That makes the 16" the obvious logical choice, which is exactly why P&W is going that route. There is a US Army controlled 16" test gun assy. that is going to be used for the testing(I think it's at Picitanny arsenal, but i may be mistaken as to it's location).

    At the moment scramjets are at the cutting edge of the things we're trying to do, but they will become feasible eventually, and when they do, they will be feasible first in large packages. As we all know, a 16" shell is a very large package indeed...

    As far as your specific questions:

    " What will boost this scramjet round to workable speed?"

    The intial velocity for scramjet ignition will be provided by the guns propellant charge, just as in the proposed 120mm tank munition.

    "Since there must be a massive flow of air and a combustion chamber and only a limited space in a 16" projectile."

    Same as the tank munition. You'll have a fixed inlet nosecone that would look very similar to the nose of say a Mig-21 or an SR-71 inlet(but of course made of a very hard penetrator. That section is what would effectively become the munitions deep penetrator on impact).

    "How much explosives/payload has to be given up for the combustion chamber?'

    Explosive warhead content will be irrelevant because of the sheer KE of impact, a scramshell will cause a damage footprint roughly equivelant to many thousands of pounds of HE, well into the hundreds of megajoules.(this is the same concept that has lead the USAF to propose a KE conventional penetrator warhead for Minuteman III missiles recently).

    "Where will the Silane and hydrogen fuel be stored on the projectile?"

    Inside, in separate chambers, as per the typical binary chemical warheads we already use. The contents would be stored under pressure, and that pressure would provide for a direct fixed mechanical injection system with only two soleniods as moving parts(one solenoid per fuel tank).

    "Since the pressure will be firing forces will be higher. Round must be fired at where it will reach Mach 5-6 before the scramjet will ignite."

    Right now that's the major technical hurdle. Science has been succesful at lowering the ignition speed for a scramjet, but it still needs to get lower. If you consider a 11.5" saboted projectile(such as the proposed EX-149), we can get pretty close to the required ignition speed with already existing powder bags. More work on that front will certainly be required though(i figure a 11.5 sabot projectile could achieve a Mv in the high Mach 4 range, but mid Mach 5 is probably required for ignition- this is all very classified data, and obviously, none of us has any access to the currently required velocity for SJ ignition).

    "And it will be heavier. Heavier round + higher velocity= much higher firing forces."

    The round itself will actually be much lighter because A), it will have a much smaller overall diameter(11.5" vs 16"), and B), a scramjet engine by neccesity must be made of superlight highstrength alloys to survive the atmospheric heating it will be subjected to(such as titanium, which conveniently is also an excellent material for a penetrator). The actual fuel content will likely weigh no more than the already existing explosive content of a Mk13 projectile(About 150lbs or so). A reasonable guess as to the working weight of a 11.5" saboted scramshell is probably around 700-900lbs which should provide enough fuel for at least a 500nm range, and perhaps more(this will only be determined as time goes by and the technology is improved).

    "Will the 16"/50 mk 7 mounts, turret and recoil system be able to handle those forces?"

    The Mk7 16"/50 gun system handles the firing of the 2700lb Mk8 just fine. A 11.5" 700-900lb scramshell would actually have a far less severe recoil impulse.

    "A friend of mine submitted these and other questions to the USNFSA. The only answeer he got was "Scramjets 16" rounds were fired during HARP. ""

    They weren't, so either he misunderstood them, whoever answered the question misunderstood his question, or he's misrepresenting what he was told.

    "And dosn't answer any questions about incorporating the required stuff in the limited size of the round or BB ability to withstand the recoil forces."

    Well hopefully i just answered those questions reasonably well enough for your taste.
    Last edited by Bill; 15 Jun 05, at 16:49.

  8. #8
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    Here's some data i worked out in response to statements that a Minuteman III ICBM KE penetrator would pack insufficient punch to overcome it's CEP on another board.

    These can be used to determine the approxomate KE of a saboted 16" SCRAMJET projectile if so desired, and they provide a good clear idea of the kinds of energy we're talking about here:

    In the below thread i an comparing the German Dora gun to a purpose designed Minuteman III KE penetrator:

    "It(the MMIII's KE) would actually be about 4x higher(your Dora gun produces a tad under1.7 million Mj of muzzle energy- 891m/s Mv and a 4272kg HE projectile. Actual impact KE would be much lower as the round slowed downrange, probably about 1.1 or 1.2 million Mj).

    A purpose designed Minuteman III KE warheads terminal velocity is not even remotely comparable to an early Soviet ICBM. The reason the early Soviet warheads had such low terminal velocity is because they had inferior(even for the time) heatshielding technology, and therefore the Sovs had to design a very low BC RV to minimize heating. Ie they were intentionally 'draggy' RVs, whereas a purpose designed ICBM penetrator would have an extremely high BC to intentionally maximize impact velocity. Indeed a nearly solid high BC titanium warhead would have a tremendous capacity to survive extreme re-entry speeds.

    A Minuteman III warhead re-enters the atmosphere at about 6kps. A purpose designed KE warhead would have an extremely high BC and extremely low CD to maximize retained velocity. That would result in a very BIG bang when the KE warhead hits.

    Assuming a 1000kg penetrating warhead(Minuteman III has an unclassified throw weight of 2450lbs, or about 1200Kg) and a 3kps impact velocity(WELL within the realm of todays heat shielding and aerodynamic technology) you're talking 4.5 MILLION Megajoules of impact energy(for comparison an M-829A3 120mm APFSDSDU round produces approx 7.5Mj of impact energy). Just for comparative purposes, the USN SM-3 has an atmospheric flight speed of 2.4+ Kps, so a purpose designed KE solid warhead/RV should realisticly achieve an impact velocity in the vicinity of 3kps. The resultant KE levels are sufficient to compensate for a miss of over 100 meters against a semi-hardened target. With the current guidance package of the Minuteman III it has a listed CEP of 120 meters. With GPS and a gimballed nosecone a FAR higher degree of accuracy should be entirely possible.

    NOTE: I am not personally endorsing this idea, i am only pointing out that it's entirely feasible. It would however be extremely expensive(probably on the order of 5 to 10 million $ a shot)."

    Here's some figures for KE of a 11.5" sabot that impacted at 2kps and had a nominal impact weight of 300kg(just a reasonable guess on my part of what a 11.5" sabot would weigh after all it's fuel was expended. The motor itself is only designed to burn for about 5-10 seconds).

    Projectile mass: 300kg
    Impact velocity: 2kps
    KE, in Megajoules: 600,000

    That is roughly half the impact energy of the tremendously destructive German Dora gun, but delivered within a CEP of about 10m(GAINS), or perhaps as low as 5 meters(MMWTH). SALH would result in an even smaller CEP, but would require 'boots on the ground' to provide designation(or a UAV, any with a laser designator such as a predator would do the job nicely).

    A 600 megajoule impact would create an immense crater soley as a result of the impact and resultant energy release. Unhardened structures would be flattened in a couple hundred meter radius. Likewise unprotected personnel in a very large area would be instantly killed from the concussion.
    The hardened penetrator element of the munition would obviously penetrate much deeper than the actual crater, probably as much as 90 feet of steel reinforced concrete(or the equivelant to the warhead penetration of a Pershing II IRBM before initiation of the fusion sequence). If an explosive charge were to be used at all it would be in the penetrator(the nosecone of the scramjet), and it would be very small(even 10lbs of HE in an enclosed space is extremely destructive, just ask OOE).

    With either SALH or MMWTH the 11.5" munition would utterly destroy main battle a theoretical rate of one per 7 seconds until the Iowa ran out of shells(or targets). In practice that rate would be much lower, probably more like 3 targets a minute(figure delays in UAV designations of targets unless a large number of UAVs were over the battlefield).
    Assuming an Iowa carried a mixed assortment of shells, you're still talking about hundreds of precision hardened targets being engaged from 500+ miles away in a few hours time. A scramshells time to target as compared to a TACTOM would be approx. 10 times faster. It would also be far, far, far more destructive against hardened targets.
    Such a shell would be a tremendous capability to possess.

    It would be technically challenging(read that expensive) to get such a system operational, but of all the gun systems that exist in the world, the Mk7/50 16" is obviously the best choice for initial development because it's projectiles can hold the most fuel and would require the least amount of miniturization. Also, becuase of an Iowa BB's immense magazine capacity, it would offer the equivelant strike power to several carrier groups dropping conventional munitions to a range of 500+ NM in the form of an extremely well protected vessel with excellent speed in all sea states and very long range and on station time.

    That's why USNFSA is such a strong proponent of the concept, but to is just a concept and privately funded Pratt & Whitney R&D venture, and nothing more.

    But of course i am not basing my rationale for reactivation of the Iowas on scramshells, that is just a potential long range technology that could transform Iowas into another level of lethality entirely. Potential icing on the cake as it were.
    Last edited by Bill; 15 Jun 05, at 20:49.

  9. #9
    Resident Curmudgeon Military Professional Gun Grape's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M21Sniper

    "A friend of mine submitted these and other questions to the USNFSA. The only answeer he got was "Scramjets 16" rounds were fired during HARP. ""

    They weren't, so either he misunderstood them, whoever answered the question misunderstood his question, or he's misrepresenting what he was told.

    Yea It couldn be that he could get confused. Seeing how the below linked page is titled:

    Project HARP Scramjet Pictures

    Now whos misrepresenting their case? As RickUSN said " further erode the USNFSA credibility as regards reality"

  10. #10
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    All i see is a bunch of pictures of various experimental USN scramjet missiles(which the USN did test in the 1970s).

    I just read the entire document on the "History of USN ramjet, scramjet, and mixed propulsion engines" on their site, and it never once references a 16" scramshell ever being developed, let alone tested(though it is extremely detailed and informative, ie- good reading).

    The USN DID extensively research Scramshells for decades, but cut funding in 1986. The document makes no mention whatsover of them ever being testfired with conventional hydrocarbon fuels. It does however state that the project SCRAM engine was succesfully tested with pyrophoric and corrosive fuels unsuitable for any sort of production weapon. SCRAM was a missile however, but it was succesfully tested in the 1970s according to that document, which is the only one i found on the USNFSA site that talks about scramjets in any detail.

    Like i said, it appears your friend misunderstood what he was told. It happens.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gun Grape
    ...Project HARP Scramjet Pictures
    It does say that, alright, but those sure as hell don't look like any scramjet I've ever seen. The nose is all wrong for an intake. The fat part is just a sabot. Those are unpowered projectiles.
    Project HARP, short for High Altitude Research Project, was a joint project of The Pentagon and the Canadian Department of National Defence created with the goal of studying ballistics of re-entry vehicles at low cost; whereas most such projects used expensive (and failure-prone) rockets, HARP used a very large gun to fire the models to high altitudes and speeds.

    Started in 1961, it was created largely due to lobbying from Gerald Bull, a controversial but highly successful ballistics engineer who went on to head the project. His ultimate goal was to fire a payload into space from a gun, and many have suggested that the ballistics study was offered up simply to gain funding. The project received just over 10 million dollars during its lifetime.

    The project was based on a flight range in Barbados, from which shells were fired eastward toward the Atlantic. Using an old US Navy 16 inch (40.6 cm) 50 caliber gun (20 meters), (later extended to 100 calibers, or 40 meters), the team was able to fire a 180kg slug at 3600 m/s, reaching an altitude of 180 kilometers. While the speed was not nearly enough to reach orbit, it was a major achievement given a budget dwarfed by most ballistic missile programs.

    The program was cancelled shortly after this. Most of the criticism was focused upon Bull and whether a ballistically-fired payload could ever reach orbit, although the politics of the Vietnam War and soured Canadian/US relations played their role as well.

    While it is questionable whether projectiles could ever be directly fired as a single stage from Earth without the use of exotic materials in construction, HARP demonstrated an efficient way to launch a projectile part of the way. Additionally, it showed that electronics could survive such a launch, making it possible that a sabot-fired rocket could launch once it reaches its peak altitude, and continue the rest of the way into orbit.
    I do see a gun, no doubt about that, some of the pics clearly show the breechblock during loading, etc.

    The bottom pic, "The man behind Iraq's Supergun" is apparently Gerald Bull.
    A second incarnation of the HARP project, also conducted by Gerald Bull, was done in Iraq under the patronage of Saddam Hussein. The March 1990 assassination of Bull (allegedly at the hands of the Mossad) in his Brussels apartment, and the 1991 Gulf War ended the project partway through development.
    Also this from a usenet archive (this does support the concept of a scramshell, assuming the fuel system could withstand the launch forces):
    From: Bruce Dunn <>
    Subject: Re: Cannon Launch? (Very cheap access to space)
    Date: Fri, 26 Jul 1996 06:30:17 -0700

    Using ordinary cannon propellants and a slightly modified naval cannon,
    muzzle velocities of 1500 to 2500 m/sec for projectiles of several
    hundred kg have been achieved back in the 1960s. Using a cannon to
    launch solid rockets makes it possible to orbit payloads on the order of
    a few 10s of kilograms, with peak accelerations of no more than 5000 g.
    I reproduce below some technical information project HARP using such

    Gun Launch for Orbital Vehicles

    Bruce Dunn, January 1995

    In the 1960s, project HARP (High Altitude Research Project), was
    run out of McGill University in Montreal, with U.S. Army funding.
    Project HARP involved the use of large guns to fire instrumented
    ballistic projectiles and rockets to high altitudes. The HARP program
    was terminated in approximately the mid 1960s before the group's
    ultimate goal of launching an orbital vehicle was achieved. This
    message gives some otherwise hard to get information about project HARP
    from two older papers in the Canadian Aeronautics and Space Journal.
    Material in quotation marks is from the cited papers.

    Paper 1: Bull, G.V. (1964) Development of Gun Launched Vertical Probes
    for Upper Atmosphere Studies. Canadian Aeronautics and Space Journal
    10:236-247. This paper was written to accompany a speech made by Bull in
    Toronto in May 1964. In the Introduction to the paper, Bull writes:

    "During the past several years, both theoretical and experimental
    investigations have been undertaken to determine the applicability of
    guns to scientific studies of the ionosphere. Such possibilities have
    intrigued ordnance workers for many years, but involve a complex mixing
    of advanced gunnery techniques, scientific experiment considerations and
    economics....In late 1961, with material support from the US Army,
    McGill University undertook the development of a 16 inch gun system. In
    early 1962 this program came under full support of the US Army through
    the Army Research Office and the Ballistic Research Laboratories"

    In a section on sub-calibre ballistic projectiles, Bull says:

    "For example, in the case of a 16 inch naval gun which normally fires
    shells in the 3,000 lb. class at velocities of 2,800 fps, velocities as
    high as 6,000 fps can be obtained with shot weights of the order of 400
    lbs., the sub-caliber vehicle in this case having a ballistic
    coefficient considerably higher than the normal shell. By re-design of
    the gun (i.e. extending the chamber and barrel) to optimize at this
    lighter shot weight, velocities approaching 7,000 fps are possible."

    A series of sub-calibre "Martlet 2" vehicles were built, which were
    sub-calibre and rode the barrel in a fall-away sabot. Canted fins on
    the projectile maintained aerodynamic stability, and spun the projectile
    up so that it was stable once leaving the atmosphere.
    These were fired
    at elevations of from 60 to 90 degrees from a 16 inch naval gun (on loan
    from the U.S.) which was located in Barbados. The gun was bored out to
    16.5 inches and made into a smooth-bore cannon. Altitudes of
    approximately 500,000 to 600,000 feet (100 miles, 160 km) were projected
    for this arrangement, and early trial reported in the reference cited
    went as high as 112 km. Martlet vehicles carried instruments made from
    discrete solid-state electronics - they were potted in a mix of epoxy
    and sand (!) and the designers did not seem to have any real trouble
    getting the electronic to survive the launch acceleration which peaked
    at approximately 20,000 g.
    Martlet vehicles also routinely carried a
    liquid mixture of trimethyl-aluminum and triethyl-aluminum to be
    released at high altitudes for ionosphere studies. Another option was
    to carry sodium-thermite mixes which when ignited would release sodium
    vapor. If projectiles of a similar weight were fired for range rather
    than height then ranges of up to 150 to 200 miles were calculated,
    depending on the ballistic coefficient. Shots from the gun were routine
    and relatively inexpensive. Bull states:

    "Normally, loading of the gun can be accomplished in under one half
    hour, allowing a firing rate of one an hour....Standard service
    propellant available as surplus (WM/.245) has been used, and the gun
    geometry has not been modified. Firing programs are planned for the
    summer and fall of this year [1964] when the gun barrel will be extended
    and lighter sabots used with propellant designed to match the light
    projectiles, which should extend the Martlet 2A apogee to 200 km....The
    economics of the gun launched probe has been as predicted, with the
    Martlet 2A airframes loaded with TMA/TEA and a flare in the nose cone
    varying in price between $2500 and $3500, with gun launch costs
    (propellant and gun wear) included."

    After having discussed ballistic projectiles, Bull discusses
    gun-launched rockets:

    "Gun fired artillery rockets have been developed extensively since World
    War II and normally must withstand barrel acceleration loads of the
    order of 30,000 g along with the rotational loads superposed by shell
    spin. The performance of this type of rocket is only of marginal
    interest in the vertical probe application where non-spinning (from a
    stress viewpoint) vehicles are flown at acceleration levels of less than
    10,000 g and relatively very large rocket motors are desired with high
    mass fractions....In May of 1963, work was started on what was
    designated as the Martlet 3A rocket assist vehicle as part of the HARP
    program. The objective of this activity was the development of a 16
    inch gun launched probe which would carry some 40 lbs. of payload to
    altitudes in the 500 km range."

    The Martlet 3A and later 3B rocket vehicles were sub-calibre and
    used various solid propellants in various configurations. The main
    problem with gun launched rockets is supporting the solid propellant
    during the launch acceleration so that it does not collapse into the
    internal cavities molded into the propellant grain, and a lot of
    development work was performed to investigate the performance of various
    solid propellant grains. From their knowledge of the performance of the
    16 inch gun system and general information about the specific impulse
    and mass fraction of solid fuel rockets, it was calculated that it would
    be fairly easy to put a payload into orbit using the HARP gun and a
    multistage solid fuel rocket.

    Orbital Launch Vehicle Characteristics from Figure 31 in the Bull paper:

    Total launch weight: 2000 lbs
    Stage 1 weight: 1440 lbs
    Stage 2 weight: 403 lbs
    Stage 3 weight: 117 lbs
    Payload: 40 lbs

    Muzzle velocity 4500 fps
    Mass fraction 0.8
    Specific impulse 300 sec (vacuum)

    The first and second stages were to be fired at relatively low
    altitude, but clear of the atmosphere. The third stage was to
    circularize the orbit, and would be fired horizontally at orbital
    altitude. Such a vehicle was never built before the program was shut
    down, although motors of the first stage size were developed. The HARP
    group was also involved in exploring the possibilities of launching
    liquid fueled rockets from the gun. These could be thin-shelled as long
    as they had no gas spaces in them (you can accelerate a balloon full of
    water at any g force you like, as long is it is fully supported during
    the acceleration).

    Paper 2: Eyre, F.W. (1966) The Development of Large Bore Gun Launched
    Rockets. Canadian Aeronautics and Space Journal 12:143-149.

    "The concept of a rocket launched from a gun is not new. It will
    suffice to affirm in this paper that the gun launched artillery rocket
    was in full development during the Second World War and this
    investigation still continues. Like so much work in allied fields, a
    great deal of what has been done and is being done is classified and
    cannot here be repeated....The conventional solid propellant gun, firing
    meaningful projectiles, currently appears able to develop a maximum
    muzzle velocity of some 6000 to 9000 fps. Allowing an 80% recovery of
    muzzle kinetic energy as potential energy, this corresponds to a ceiling
    for sounding work of some 800,000 to 1,000,000 ft. (say 160 to 200
    statute miles). Significant improvements beyond this level must come
    either from use of a different type of gun or from rocket boost during
    vehicle flight, which is here considered."

    "Figure 3 shows muzzle velocity vs. shot weight for the Barbados gun.

    "Assumed conditions: Max. pressure 60000 psi
    Fixed charge, 1000 lbs M8M propellant
    Web size optimized."

    [some approximate data points from Figure 3 graph, and from Figure 4
    showing acceleration vs. shot weight]

    Shot weight Muzzle velocity Max. acceleration
    500 lbs 7700 fps 13,000 g
    1000 lbs 6400 fps 9,000 g
    1500 lbs 5700 fps 6,500 g
    2000 lbs 5200 fps 5,000 g

    Eyre then goes into a long technical discussion related to how
    to support propellants of various types in a solid fuel rocket during
    the gun acceleration. Perhaps the neatest concept is to simply fill all
    empty spaces in the rocket with a fluid which then can support the
    propellant grain hydrostatically during launch (sort of a rocket
    water-bed). The rocket is then accelerated using some form of pusher
    plate, which seals the liquid in. The plate drops away after launch,
    and the fluid is then vented or drained before ignition. With regard to
    practicality and performance, Eyre writes:

    "It has transpired in design studies that although structural problems
    do arise due to the acceleration loads, and additional problems are
    posed by the necessity to use a folding stabilizer assembly, mass
    fractions almost as high as conventional rockets can be achieved and the
    design problems are partially alleviated by an all supersonic flight
    regime.....Given this condition the advantage of the gun can be seen in
    that a typical vehicle of mass fraction 0.8 would have an apogee of 176
    miles used conventionally, 257 miles at 1000 fps launch, 342 miles at
    2000 fps, 435 miles at 3000 fps, 529 miles at 4000 fps and so on."

    Eyre then discusses the fabrication of a full-scale, full bore (16
    inch) motor with a weight of 1450 lbs., designated the Martlet 4A and
    designed for the Barbados gun. At the time of writing of the paper, it
    does not appear as if this had yet been test launched - I do not know
    how far the program was carried before it was cancelled.

    "Current work is directed towards development and application of a thin
    plastic wear resistant coating [they were worried about excessive wear
    on the rocket casing], and launching of 16 inch motors to investigate
    scale factor effects. At the time of writing [1966] full bore Aerojet
    General Corp. grains are awaiting launch. ... At the present time a
    heavy test program is about to commence with many agencies participating
    and for the most part full scale hardware ready for launch."

    In summary, up until the time of writing of the later of the two
    quoted papers in the mid 1960s, HARP under Dr. Bull appeared to have
    been highly successful using a surplus 16 inch naval cannon in firing
    projectiles to high altitudes and in firing solid fueled rockets.. Bull
    has been called the most brilliant gun designer of this century. His
    comment on vehicle design for guns of different scales is interesting:

    "Obviously since launch weight (ie payload) is increasing roughly as the
    cube of the scale, while peak accelerations are decreasing linearly, the
    larger the gun the simpler the vehicle engineering problem."
    Last edited by highsea; 18 Jun 05, at 11:25.
    "We will go through our federal budget – page by page, line by line – eliminating those programs we don’t need, and insisting that those we do operate in a sensible cost-effective way." -President Barack Obama 11/25/2008

  12. #12
    Staff Emeritus
    Join Date
    03 Aug 03
    Excellent data Highseas, thanx for posting it.

  13. #13
    Ex-Wabber Defense Professional
    Join Date
    10 Dec 04
    Your welcome, snipe. It's pretty interesting stuff, too bad it wasn't developed further.
    "We will go through our federal budget – page by page, line by line – eliminating those programs we don’t need, and insisting that those we do operate in a sensible cost-effective way." -President Barack Obama 11/25/2008

  14. #14
    Staff Emeritus
    Join Date
    03 Aug 03
    Yeah, but all the data is still there, so none of it was 'wasted', the info gleaned can be used as a basis for a new program(s).

  15. #15
    Resident Curmudgeon Military Professional Gun Grape's Avatar
    Join Date
    12 Mar 05
    Panama City Fl
    Quote Originally Posted by M21Sniper
    Yeah, but all the data is still there, so none of it was 'wasted', the info gleaned can be used as a basis for a new program(s).

    Wasted as far as 16"/50 goes. Maybe if we wanted to do another HARP project maybe. A bored out 16.5"/100 that has a vacume system to decrease the air pressure in the bore doesn't give any info that is useable by a 16/50 rifled tube without an air evacuator.

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