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Thread: Question about how naval artillery hit totals are "counted"

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    Question about how naval artillery hit totals are "counted"

    Been wondering about this for awhile:

    We'll use BB's since this is the Battleships Board.

    When you see statistics of the firing accuracy of Battleships (or cruisers, anything that fires multi-gun salvos), you typically see "# of rounds fired vs. # of hits.

    So if say, a US BB is firing 9 gun salvos, and gets a hit on the third salvo, most folks count that as one hit in 27 shots.

    My question is, is that really the correct way to score the hits? Reason why....since all 9 barrels are not actually aimed at the exact same spot...they are fired in a spread, and even staggered a bit.....shouldn't a BB salvo be considered more like a shotgun round, and one 9 gun full salvo counts as ONE shot? And therefore, 3 salvos with one hit would be 3 firing attempts, with 1 hit in 3, and not 1 hit in 27 attempts?

    Yeah, there were 9 shells in each "turn", but unless you are individually aiming and firing each barrel, it doesn't seem right to me that you count one salvo, fired at the same solution but with the barrels all aimed slightly differently, as 9 separate shots.

    What say the experts? Am I off here?

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    Resident Curmudgeon Military Professional Gun Grape's Avatar
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    Yes.

    My question is, is that really the correct way to score the hits? Reason why....since all 9 barrels are not actually aimed at the exact same spot...they are fired in a spread, and even staggered a bit.....shouldn't a BB salvo be considered more like a shotgun round, and one 9 gun full salvo counts as ONE shot? And therefore, 3 salvos with one hit would be 3 firing attempts, with 1 hit in 3, and not 1 hit in 27 attempts?
    Here is where you are getting confused.

    All three turrets are trained to the same aim point. There is 20ft between the center of the left tube to the center of the right tube in the turret of an Iowa class ship. So in the theoretical world with all things being the same. If you were to fire a turret (3 guns) at say a M925 truck, aiming center of the vehicle , all three rounds would impact the truck. M-923 truck being 25.58 feel in length.

    To counter the effects of tube wear, and other variables that effect MV, each tube within the turret is capable of independent movement. So if you have a tube that is a "Long (or short) shooter" you can adjust the elevation of that tube so that the round strikes at the same range as the others.

    Scoring hits from a ship is no different that scoring hits from a battery of howitzers. Where each gun is set at a distance from the other, not in a straight line and at various elevations.
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    To make it simpler, regardless of how many rounds are fired, a hit is a hit. Often the first spotting round is the only one needed, especially from a 16-incher. Hit confirmation is almost always visual by ground spotters, air spotters or even from the ship's plot. The only time the number of shots required to make the hit would only be of concern if there was suspicion of a serious error (human, mechanical or electrical) in range designation.

    The number of rounds fired are recorded regardless if they hit anything or not. That way they can assess their inventory of rounds needed for resupply. Such an inventory is alos provided on powder bags, primer cartridges ---- and oh yes ---- resupply of canned strawberries that were snitched out of the reefers by the Mess stewards.
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    My experience was all with the MK56 and MK68, and vicariously, the MK86 gunfire control systems. MK56 was very old school and mated to the 5"/38 that was installed in the Brooke- and Garcia-class frigates. Not terribly capable against the newer air threats, but still capable in NGFS and against surface targets. The MK68 and MK86 on the other hand were pretty capable against air targets, but REALLY good at NGFS, and also against surface targets. We once had to shoot for demonstration of the MK68 capabilities for the Egyptian Navy officers who were riding us in Jesse L. Brown (FF 1089). We stood off about five miles from a "Killer Tomato" like so:

    Attachment 33614

    Attachment 33615

    Normally you fire a round for spotting purposes, and then adjust according to what the spotter or the Fire Control Officer up in the Gunfire Director sees and says: "Long, 20 left. Drop 100, Right 130," or whatever (there's a lot that goes into what he, or the people in gun plot, says; I'm making it sound simple); and you fire another round based on that adjustment. Well, our spotting round landed square on top of the Killer Tomato and the thing just disappeared. I believe the round passing through the material that makes up the tomato created sort of a vacuum in its wake that sucked the whole thing down with it, because there was nothing left, and it was a BLNP round, not HE. Just gone in an instant. Had it just been holed, it would have floated around a bit, but it was gone, period.

    Regardless, the Egyptians were impressed. They were interested in anything that could his an Israeli patrol boat; which the MK68 could. The MK86 is basically the same as the MK68, only it's digital, vice mostly vacuum tube technology as in the MK68. You could drop rounds on top of whatever you were aiming at. Marvelously accurate. The king of accuracy though goes to the Aegis ships. Why? Because they can track their own rounds. Hell, they can track everyone else's rounds too. They can track anything in the sky. I've seen print outs of the tracks of .50 Cal. bullets tracked by a Ticonderoga-class cruiser. With the Aegis system and their GFCS, they can do a closed-loop thing, where they walk the rounds into the path of the target if it's moving. The target doesn't stand a chance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by desertswo View Post
    With the Aegis system and their GFCS, they can do a closed-loop thing, where they walk the rounds into the path of the target if it's moving. The target doesn't stand a chance.
    desertswo, I don't mean to contradict you, but combat situations have proven that Aegis ships are not good at the anti-boat portion of ASuW, and recent calls for fire have proven they are pretty bad at NSFS.

    This boils down to two things:

    1) The 5" is no good at holding trajectory beyond 9 miles. Despite the inputs provided by either the SPQ-9A, SPQ-9B, or SPY-1, the round's deflection and dispersion defeats what accurate solution the Mk86 or Mk160 GFCS provides. The 5" round does not hold a reliable ballistic path at long ranges.

    2) Just like ASW, Aegis ships do not get enough practice at NSFS/NGFS or anti-boat to get good at it. it is no secret that they do not get nearly the training they need to be proficient. I have been told first hand accounts of how 5" fire missions in the past 12 years have resulted in dozens of rounds being fired with very lackluster performance. Unfortunately, this has branded in NSW's minds that NGFS does nothing to add to the fight and is useless at best and dangerous at worst.

    There is a technology on the horizon right now that offers a GPS and laser guided capability to the 5" round. It's the Excalibur GPS/SAL projectile guidance package. With the use of a SOFLAM, the garbage performance of the 5" gun can become precision guided in both stationary GPS guidance and able to engage moving targets with the semi-active laser ability.

    I am willing to bet that if the Mk71 Mod1/2 8"/60caliber gun had been adopted in 1992 into all new DDG-51 construction, that NSFS/NGFS would have become a far more effective capability for three reasons:

    1) The ballistics of the 270-330lb projectiles at a 22nm range are far more stable than that of the 5"

    2) The Mk71 already came with proven 8" Paveway extended range precision guided munitions.

    3) ERGM research concluded that 5" projectiles are simply too small to produce long range super high G-force PGMs. The tremendous reduction in G-forces experienced by projectiles with a diameter of 155mm or 8" makes implementation of PGM technology much easier and 100% feasible.

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    Just one example but it will relate a glimpse of accuracy from the "recieving end" of 5" gunfire "walk ins".

    Many dont realize that even with training rounds, the velocity alone is enough to sink or destroy a target even if it doesn't go "bang" in the end.

    I edited this in the interest of fairness. Full story available from link.



    Fishing crew details mistaken attack by DDG
    Oct. 4, 2011 - 09:57AM | Last Updated: Oct. 4, 2011 - 09:57AM | 0Comments

    Jimmy Eady's 35-food fishing boat was rocked by 5-inch gun rounds fired Aug. 17 by the destroyer The Sullivans off the North Carolina coast. (John Bretschneider / Staff)

    Fisherman Jimmie Eady was packing the afternoon's catch of red grouper and triggerfish into the hold of his 35-foot-long boat on Aug. 17 when he heard the first round hit.

    It landed with a thunderclap in the Atlantic Ocean about 75 feet from Zig-Zag, Eady's commercial fishing boat, which had been fishing roughly 48 miles off the North Carolina coast. The round kicked up a splash large enough to soak Zig-Zag's deck and canopy. The impact jarred the boat.

    Then, moments later, came another roar. This one splashed closer. And another.

    The hits encircled the boat, raising a shroud of spray. After a momentary shock, Eady and his two crew members realized they were being bombarded by the deck gun of one of the Navy warships about eight miles away.

    "Cease fire! Cease fire!" Eady shouted into his VHF radio as more 5-inch gun rounds pounded the water. "You're gonna kill us!"

    A round landed 20 feet off the bow, Eady recalled, right as the warships began to repeat "cease fire" on bridge-to-bridge channel 16. The gun fell silent. Fourteen inert rounds had been fired. Zig-Zag wasn't damaged and no one was hurt — the immediate aftermath was "just some shook-up fishermen," Eady later recounted. The 49-year-old fisherman pulled up the anchor and gunned the motor, steering away from the warships.

    Eady and his crew had become the inadvertent target of the destroyer The Sullivans, which was conducting a gunnery exercise against what it thought was a towed target in the Cherry Point Operating Area off North Carolina. After an investigation into the incident, the destroyer's commanding officer was fired Sept. 7 — which was to be the ship's deployment date — and the ship was ordered to recertify under a new CO. The new requirement delayed the ship's deployment, forcing the Navy to extend the deployment of the cruiser Monterey, a ballistic-missile defense ship in 6th Fleet that has already been deployed for six months.

    Exercise gone wrong
    Around 4 p.m. that day, the training support vessel Prevail had hailed Zig-Zag on the radio to say that live-fire exercises would be conducted in the area and to find out Zig-Zag's intentions, Eady recalled in a phone interview Sept. 8.

    At the time, Zig-Zag was about to anchor in a fishing spot. Eady replied, "We're going to make one stop here and go off to the northeast and get out of your way," he recalled saying.

    Eady said Prevail concurred with this plan, although he couldn't recall exactly what was said. Prevail passed about two miles away and headed south. The fishermen noticed four warships about eight miles west of them, on the horizon.

    This differs from Navy officials' accounts. Officials said they understood from the conversation that Eady would leave shortly.

    The Sullivans' intended target was a 15-foot-long fiberglass boat, minus an engine, brightened with a large orange reflective screen. This target, in turn, was towed by a remotely controlled vessel. The other ships participating in the exercise were the destroyers Donald Cook and James E. Williams, and the dock landing ship Oak Hill.

    Prevail, which was remotely controlling the target from five miles away, told Zig-Zag over the radio that the gunnery exercise was about to commence and to head east. According to Smith, the Zig-Zag replied that they "had a fish on the line" and would head east soon.

    After the radio exchange, Eady and his crew dropped the hook and began fishing in the 23-fathom water with their four hydraulic fishing reels.

    "It was calm, it was pretty," Eady recalled of that afternoon, adding that there was some haze near the horizon from high humidity.

    Eady was accustomed to fishing in these waters. After leaving the Coast Guard in the early 1980s, he began fishing off the North Carolina coast in 1982 and has been running his own boat for 15 years.

    About an hour and a half later, the unmanned towing vessel and the towed target were about eight miles south-southwest and the fishermen were packing their catch into the refrigerated hold when they heard the first boom, Eady said.

    James Lowe, Zig-Zag's 45-year-old first mate, had been working the reels that afternoon and hadn't paid much attention to the warships. Seeing the huge splash and roar, he was startled. His first thought: "Was that a warning shot telling us that we were in the wrong area?"

    Eady said they were bombarded for two minutes, although Lowe recalled it happening over less than a minute, with the pace of the shots coming in quicker after the first one.

    "After the first one landed, it was like three seconds and they were like a second-and-a-half apart then, and then they were going all the way around the boat," Lowe told Navy Times. Referring to Eady, Lowe continued, "I told him, ‘If we don't go, the next one's going to be right in the fish box!'"

    "He got on the radio and hollered, and they stopped firing," Lowe added.

    Afterward, Eady and his crew pulled up the anchor and drove away from the warships at their best speed, about 16 knots. A Navy helicopter flew over Zig-Zag, making sure everything was all right. The Coast Guard contacted them and called the fishermen's families later, letting them know that they had been involved in an accident with the Navy and telling the families that they were unharmed. Eady and his crew stayed out to catch more fish and returned to Beaufort, N.C., two days later.

    Smith confirmed that 14 5-inch rounds had been fired, landing within 50 feet of Zig-Zag. However, it was unclear what errors onboard The Sullivans led to the accident.

    The Coast Guard, which had been required to broadcast Notice to Mariner messages, is conducting an administrative investigation into the handling of these messages for the gunnery exercise. It wasn't clear whether required messages were broadcast.

    Lt. Mike Patterson, a spokesman for Coast Guard District 5, was unable to say whether the required messages were sent, due to the continuing investigation.

    Range safety
    Gunnery exercises are typically preceded by checks and double checks. The range must be clear of contacts. The target track must be properly identified. The gun must slew to the right target. These and other safety measures don't appear to have been conducted properly, the two former ship captains said.

    A bedrock check is a simple visual verification of the target, said retired Cmdr. Bryan McGrath, who commanded the destroyer Bulkeley.

    "If your radar is saying it's 010 [degrees] at 12,000 yards, you look out there and you say, ‘Yes, that looks like the target,'" said McGrath, who retired in 2008 and is the director of consulting, studies and analysis with defense contractor Delex Systems.

    In cases involving a towed target, McGrath said, it's essential to be in constant communication with the towing vessel or the vessel controlling it. The vessel provides a "Whiskey report," with the target's latitude and longitude, which are plotted by the warship and compared to a sighted target and the radar track.

    "If you don't have good communications with that vessel, generally not a good idea to shoot at it," McGrath said.

    He then ticked off other safety checks. The towing vessel should be identified as a friend — preventing it from being assigned an engagement order by the Aegis weapons system. The reported course and speed of the vessel should be compared with the radar track.

    Safety measures involve both bridge watchstanders and those in the combat information center. At any point, a crew member calling out "check fire" would have halted the gun shoot.


    Etc..........

    http://www.navytimes.com/article/201...-attack-by-DDG
    Last edited by Dreadnought; 20 Aug 13, at 06:11.
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    Quote Originally Posted by navydavesor View Post
    desertswo, I don't mean to contradict you, but combat situations have proven that Aegis ships are not good at the anti-boat portion of ASuW, and recent calls for fire have proven they are pretty bad at NSFS.

    This boils down to two things:

    1) The 5" is no good at holding trajectory beyond 9 miles. Despite the inputs provided by either the SPQ-9A, SPQ-9B, or SPY-1, the round's deflection and dispersion defeats what accurate solution the Mk86 or Mk160 GFCS provides. The 5" round does not hold a reliable ballistic path at long ranges.

    2) Just like ASW, Aegis ships do not get enough practice at NSFS/NGFS or anti-boat to get good at it. it is no secret that they do not get nearly the training they need to be proficient. I have been told first hand accounts of how 5" fire missions in the past 12 years have resulted in dozens of rounds being fired with very lackluster performance. Unfortunately, this has branded in NSW's minds that NGFS does nothing to add to the fight and is useless at best and dangerous at worst.

    There is a technology on the horizon right now that offers a GPS and laser guided capability to the 5" round. It's the Excalibur GPS/SAL projectile guidance package. With the use of a SOFLAM, the garbage performance of the 5" gun can become precision guided in both stationary GPS guidance and able to engage moving targets with the semi-active laser ability.

    I am willing to bet that if the Mk71 Mod1/2 8"/60caliber gun had been adopted in 1992 into all new DDG-51 construction, that NSFS/NGFS would have become a far more effective capability for three reasons:

    1) The ballistics of the 270-330lb projectiles at a 22nm range are far more stable than that of the 5"

    2) The Mk71 already came with proven 8" Paveway extended range precision guided munitions.

    3) ERGM research concluded that 5" projectiles are simply too small to produce long range super high G-force PGMs. The tremendous reduction in G-forces experienced by projectiles with a diameter of 155mm or 8" makes implementation of PGM technology much easier and 100% feasible.
    OK, you've said there are limitations to the round . . . yes, known about since before WWII. And you've identified training shortfalls, further highlighted in Dreadnought's timely post. I'm not sure why the CO of The Sullivans was fired; for screwing up and shooting at a craft that clearly was not the target, or the fact that in 14 rounds, he couldn't hit him once?

    Obviously I'm being facietious, but I'll stand by my original assertion based on my own first hand observations doing NGFS back in the 90s alongside ships like USS Thomas S. Gates (CG 51). She and others like her had no problems whatsoever with either NGFS or hitting a moving surface target. The Aegis ships are well equipped for the mission; if they Navy is not seeing to the proper training of the crews, that is an entirely different issue, and one I'm not presently able to address for obvious reasons.

    By the way, we (USS Jesse L. Brown) were the last MK68 ship to shoot NGFS at Vieques . . . with a perfect score too.

    One last note; I'm not dismissing the errors in judgement on the part of the CO of The Sullivans and other members of her crew, but that master of the Zig-Zag ought to have his license pulled too. To say he's got "fish on the line" when he hasn't even started fishing created a situation that put his crew in jeopardy. He was cutting corners, and he almost had his cut for good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by desertswo View Post
    OK, you've said there are limitations to the round . . . yes, known about since before WWII. And you've identified training shortfalls, further highlighted in Dreadnought's timely post. I'm not sure why the CO of The Sullivans was fired; for screwing up and shooting at a craft that clearly was not the target, or the fact that in 14 rounds, he couldn't hit him once?

    Obviously I'm being facietious, but I'll stand by my original assertion based on my own first hand observations doing NGFS back in the 90s alongside ships like USS Thomas S. Gates (CG 51). She and others like her had no problems whatsoever with either NGFS or hitting a moving surface target. The Aegis ships are well equipped for the mission; if they Navy is not seeing to the proper training of the crews, that is an entirely different issue, and one I'm not presently able to address for obvious reasons.

    By the way, we (USS Jesse L. Brown) were the last MK68 ship to shoot NGFS at Vieques . . . with a perfect score too.

    One last note; I'm not dismissing the errors in judgement on the part of the CO of The Sullivans and other members of her crew, but that master of the Zig-Zag ought to have his license pulled too. To say he's got "fish on the line" when he hasn't even started fishing created a situation that put his crew in jeopardy. He was cutting corners, and he almost had his cut for good.
    Surely Captain, You have seen this ship before.The killer tomatoes are great for at sea practice but nothing better then the real thing. P.S. No hitting below or at the waterline.
    Last edited by Dreadnought; 20 Aug 13, at 17:37.
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    Tiger Day and Firepower demo. You can see the hits up close from 5:30 on in this video from both the ship and ofcoarse the airpower demo. Note the F-14's in the flyover. Although the narration isint "exactly" accurate.
    The BB's dont get pushed sideways under full broadside.

    Last edited by Dreadnought; 20 Aug 13, at 17:51.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dreadnought View Post
    Surely Captain, You have seen this ship before.The killer tomatoes are great for at sea practice but nothing better then the real thing. P.S. No hitting below or at the waterline.
    Nope. Never had the pleasure of Holland Island. Most of my seagoing experience was West Coast which meant San Clemente, to include remote controlled moving targets, and to a much lesser extent because it's use as a gunfire practice range ended only nine years or so into career, Kahoolawe in Hawaii. I had one, and only one experience at Vieques and it was a good one. Successful completion of that Shoot-ex was required for us to escort ex-USS Triton (SSN 586) and ex-USS Ray (SSN 653) under tow to Rodman, Panama, where they were turned over to a PACFLT ship for further transfer to Bremerton, WA.

    I had real world "shoot 'em up" experience with Iranian Boghammers in the 1980s during the "Tanker Wars." A good time was had by all.

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    Desert Two, being a SWO, what do you think would be a minimum number of projectiles needed for a main battery gun? One of the reasons why the Mk71 was decided against in the 1992 DDG-51 study was that it only afforded 204 rounds in the magazine and 75 in the ready service loader. While 279 is nothing to scoff at, as a SWO would that be enough for you?

    With how sonar spaces are being rearranged in the bows of DDG-51s these days a further 32 long stick rounds (Paveway laser guided rounds) or another cage of 56 standard length projectiles and the associated overhead lateral transfer system could be added on the 2nd deck. Just the above numbers and existing types of projectiles, to you, would 331 (32 more long range laser guided rounds) or 335 standard length 8" rounds be a more desirable weapon than the current 5" battery aboard a DDG?

    Perhaps also we could also talk about adapting the Increment 1b Excalibur GPS/SAL guidance package into HERA bodies making them into longer range GPS/SAL precision 8" munitions?

    Thanks for your attention!
    Last edited by navydavesor; 21 Aug 13, at 21:02.

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