This is intended for people interested in the subject of military guns and their ammunition, with emphasis on automatic weapons, particularly in larger calibres (12.7+mm).
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I'm not losing sleep about strike missiles being crowded out of magazines, because the enduring problem has been finding enough missiles to fill VLS magazines, not the other way around. Even the most aggressive projected buys of missiles like SM-3 and SM-6 don't even come close to filling up the available VLS cells.
Good grief. So we're building more ships, without adequately arming/protecting the ones we already have?
When you say shortages, is that primarily AA/ABM, or are we also short on 'Hawks as well, and sailing with some empty VLS cells?
"It's just a slight modification of our current ammunition, Congressman".
They're operating on the fact you can get new missiles faster than new ships.
Also, at least one guy who has done serious wargaming says SM-6 and ESSM for anti-ship usage have more kill chain vulnerabilities than dedicated ASMs. Don't know if he's right, but he would have inside info we don't.
Also, at least one guy who has done serious wargaming says SM-6 and ESSM for anti-ship usage have more kill chain vulnerabilities than dedicated ASMs. Don't know if he's right, but he would have inside info we don't
Thats interesting. I wonder why that would be the case? You'd think hitting a ship would be a hell of a lot easier then hitting an incoming supersonic missile, which is what both are designed for.
Perhaps its because the ASM's have infared image seekers vs radar for SM6?
A bunch of SAMs had a rudimentary ground attack capability already 5+ decades ago, but as the SAM is meant to deal with rather fragile airborne targets the warhead is hardly something that would sink ships. Particularly if you follow SAM developments, much of the height/range increases in modern SAM systems come from ever smaller/lighter warheads courtesy of precise guidance that now days aims for hard kill hit or at least close proximity vs not so close proximity hit when huge 200kg fragmentation warheads are in play . Particularly with size limitations of VLS cells.
The second thing is the flight profile, considering the booster and motor are designed for really high speed i hardly expect these to be flying in sea-skimming profile of a conventional AShM
gatnerd said: Reportedly to have a mix of 57mm and 40mm guns, which seems a bit odd caliber mix. That may have something to do with the fact that Bofors, who make both the 40mm and 57mm guns, is owned by BAE Systems...and guess who won the contract for supplying the frigate? Actually, I don't think that a formal decision about the armament has yet been made. It would indeed seem odd if two new gun calibres were introduced for a handful of new ships.
I am most surprised to read that, according to BAE, the 57 mm and 40 mm Bofors guns are indeed to be fitted to the Type 31:
BAE Systems will produce and deliver Bofors 40 Mk4 and Bofors 57 Mk3 naval guns for the U.K. Ministry of Defence’s Type 31 general purpose frigate program.
The agreement, through a contract with Babcock International, will supply the Royal Navy with a set of advanced, multi-purpose gun systems for its fleet of five ships, with the first ship expected to go into service in 2027.
The contract includes five Bofors 57 Mk3 medium caliber guns and 10 Bofors 40 Mk4 small caliber guns. Both close-in weapon systems are designed to protect the ships against modern and future complex threats. The guns also offer the Royal Navy optimized ammunition types, including the cost-efficient programmable Bofors 3P all-target munition.
I don't know that it's all that surprising when you kinda look forward at the potential threats and potential hotzones that there's a likelihood of the UK being involved in going forward.
There's a lot of constrained waters and potential foes who have lots of smaller zippier craft etc that could get close and be problematic as well as quite a few places where you could also come under observation from persistent small uav's launched both from naval assets and from shore.
To an extent I can see why you might want to do a bit of layering so that you can dedicate 40's to one threat and 57 to another.
When you look at what navies are actually being used for mostly these days it does make sense.
Especially in light of the way proportional escalation is the rule not the exception now and we see all kinds of actions all over where people just outright Don't use their biggest and best toys unless absolutely necessary.
Having the ability to do an escalation of force ladder with potential threats is definitely an advantage currently and will likely be critical going forward
I'm not complaining about the use of the Bofors guns - both 40mm and 57mm systems appear to be useful and effective. I am surprised because it is much more typical of the RN to select a small number of systems and fit them to everything. So the current automatic cannon is the 30 mm MK 44 (which replaced the 30 mm Oerlikon KCB), and/or the 20 mm Phalanx. While in larger calibres the 4.5" Mk 8 is due to be replaced by the US 5" in new ships.
It doesn't look as if many Type 31 will be built, so to choose new systems in different calibres (with consequences for training, maintenance, ammunition supply chains etc) seems an odd departure from their normal procurement practice.
Possibly this is because BAE has been given a wide latitude to outfit the ships, without a looser control by the MoD, but that's just my speculation.
Fielding multiple weapon systems instead of standardization on a few is kind of a hallmark of the RN, no?