Military Guns and Ammunition

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This is intended for people interested in the subject of military guns and their ammunition, with emphasis on automatic weapons.

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Importance of Naval Guns on a Modern Warship   Naval Guns

Started 19/8/20 by Greg (N9NWO); 15793 views.

From: Red7272


Jeff (Jefffar) said:

We haven't seen a real fleet battle between peer adversaries in 75 years. We know AShMs are great against individual ships, but we haven't seen what happens when two fleets equipped with high end CIWS, ECM, SAMs and AShMs go head to head.   I fully expect that when the missiles are done, there's still going to be ships from both sides. 

Ships don't fight to the death, they fight for objectives. Defend a convoy, defend against a landing, or occasionally destroy the enemy's warships. They will meet, fight and then run away trying to avoid enemy air and submarines. Damaged ships withdraw to port  for repairs and the undamaged underway replenish their ammunition fuel and stores. Same as it's always been. 


From: gatnerd


Jeff (Jefffar) said:

I'm not saying they are comparable.  The fact that they aren't comparable is what makes them useful.  When the AShMs are jammed/shot down/expended then a ship with a good gun is in a better position than a ship with weak or no guns.  We haven't seen a real fleet battle between peer adversaries in 75 years. We know AShMs are great against individual ships, but we haven't seen what happens when two fleets equipped with high end CIWS, ECM, SAMs and AShMs go head to head.   I fully expect that when the missiles are done, there's still going to be ships from both sides. 

Thats certainly possible. 

Its just that, after Day 1 of the War, we would expect enemy warships to fire at each other as soon as they are within missile / attack aircraft range. 

Modern Anti Ship missiles have a 500-1600km range. 

A 127mm/5" has a range of 37km. 

It seems kinda crazy to imagine that after both warships survive a mutual long range missile attack, they're then going to sail 500-1600km, essentially unarmed, to then try and finish each other off with their 5" pop guns. 

It would probably be more prudent to instead sail that 500-1600km to a friendly base to be rearmed. 

In reply toRe: msg 23

From: autogun


What needs to be borne in mind is that actual performance does not necessarily match up with what the fancy presentations suggest. The gap between theory and practice is liable to trip up over human factors.

A note I put together about the performance of Phalanx:

Anti-ship missiles have been fired at Phalanx-equipped ships on only a handful of occasions. On 17 May 1987, the destroyer USS Stark was hit by two Exocet missiles while patrolling in the Persian Gulf; the Phalanx system was not switched on. On 14 July 2006 the Israeli corvette INS Hanit was hit by a missile. Again, the Phalanx system was not switched on. In February 1991 during the Persian Gulf War an Iraqi Silkworm missile was fired at the battleship USS Missouri, which was being escorted by HMS London and HMS Gloucester (both Type 42 destroyers carrying Sea Dart). The missile was destroyed by a Sea Dart fired from Gloucester, the first time a SAM had successfully engaged an enemy missile during combat at sea. The Missouri did have Phalanx systems but these did not engage as the missile was destroyed before getting close. A few weeks later, Missouri was involved in another incident in which a (mistaken) warning of a missile attack was given. The Phalanx system of the escorting frigate USS Jarrett was switched on, and fired at defensive chaff launched by Missouri.

In reply toRe: msg 20
Mr. T (MrT4)

From: Mr. T (MrT4)


As tech progreses and programambe and even guided rounds are becoming a norm the gun is far more versatile than ever

I particularly like how Italians chose to have 2x 76/62 mm Super Rapid guns on their STOVL carrier .

Russian AU220 naval munt with 'stealth garage' , 5T total weight

In reply toRe: msg 26

From: gatnerd


Thought this might be relevant.

L3 / DARPA have developed and plan to field a guided 57mm shell. This would be employed on the new FGGX Frigate and LCS.

This would give the 57mm potential capability against UAS and missiles, and a very good capability against rapidly moving small boats.

If effective, this would prove a very useful Naval Gun indeed. 

  • Edited 07 September 2020 5:58  by  gatnerd

From: Farmplinker


Then add in work on 76 and 127mm rounds of similar capabilities, and we'll have naval artillery for a long, long time.

In reply toRe: msg 27
Mr. T (MrT4)

From: Mr. T (MrT4)



From: gatnerd


From what I could see, ORKA was first (and more similar to what DARPA envisioned - a sort of cannon fired 'glide missile'). This would probably be a better option for highly maneuverable targets like missiles.

L3's H4 is a simpler, likely cheaper option. It appears from the video to be a shell, with some sort of internal rotor that helps course correct the shell / counter the natural dispersion of the gun on a moving ship. 

Both options - and the future ability to scale for 76mm and 5" guns - point to a continuing utility for Naval guns. Especially as a last line of defense against incoming anti-ship missile threats. 

Also makes me wonder about the potential for a 57mm armed Tank/IFV that could provide both ground attack and air defense capability...

In reply toRe: msg 30

From: gatnerd


It seems the Naval Gun is about to get a lot more useful:

BAE's HVP projectile is $86k for a guided, Hypervelocity projectile capable of shooting down missiles.

A 155mm version of the HVP was recently fired from an Army Howitzer to shoot down a Cruise Missile in training:

Given the cost of Patriot Missile or Standard 6 missile interceptor is $3 million, 35 HVP's could be fired for the same cost. And a ship can carry far more HVP shells then it can carry Missile Interceptors, making it a very compelling last line of defense.

These shells have already been fired from Naval 5" guns.


From: taschoene


There are three 57mm guided rounds that were being offered for the USN.

ORKA from BAE has an IR seeker and pop-out fin steering.  It seems fairly conventional but with a flexible seeker that combines autonomous imaging IR and a semi-active laser receiver in one unit.

ALaMO from L3 had some unspecified guidance mode (something RF to judge by the lack of a glass seeker nose) and a fairly unusual mass counterweight course correction system.  It apparently has 4 "bolts" that can be ejected laterally to redirect the round, like the side thrusters in PAC-3.

These two are primarily anti-surface rounds for small boat targets, though both are said to have some anti-air capacity against UAVs and helicopters. ALaMO won a USN competition and is on the way to being type classified and deployed.

MAD-FIRES from Raytheon is a different beast.  It's primarily intended for antiship cruise missile raid defense.  Again, they're being cadgey about guidance, but it seems to be some sort of semi-active radar.  Big selling point seems to be the ability to redirect following rounds in flight to reengage targets that survive a first intercept attempt.  The technology may also have application to Army guns in either 50mm or 30mm.