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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, particularly in larger calibres (12.7+mm).

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Importance of Naval Guns on a Modern Warship   Naval Guns

Started 19-Aug by Greg (N9NWO); 8639 views.
taschoene

From: taschoene

17-Sep

Farmplinker said:

76mm has more range though.

Not nearly as much more as some people think.  A lot of reference books are doing apples to oranges comparisons, things like maximum range versus maximum effective range (very different) or HE versus sabot rounds.  Best I can figure, the real-world difference is about 10% in favor of 76mm.  That's not much.

gatnerd

From: gatnerd

17-Sep

Whats the shell weight / HE content of 57mm vs 76mm?

Red7272

From: Red7272

17-Sep

2.8 kg versus 6.5 kg and 300 grams versus 650 grams. 

There are more modern rounds but actual naval SAP is relatively rare and conservative. Both are kinda useless for shooting at ships, which is why the Russians have a lightweight 100 and the French have stayed with their 100 for new designs. 

gatnerd

From: gatnerd

18-Sep

autogun said:

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?

Lets hope BAE pushes forward with the 57mm, as they also make the very promising ORKA 57mm guided shell:

BAE has also developed a new, deck mounted Missile pod, which allows missiles like the Tomahawk, Standard 3, LRASM, Naval Strike Missile etc to be easily mounted on any available deck space. Previously, these Mark41 sized missiles tubes had to be launched in a VLS cell, which the ship had to be built around.

https://www.baesystems.com/en-us/product/adaptable-deck-launcher

This would allow adding some Anti-Ship (as well as surface strike) capability to the Type 31, which it seems to currently be lacking. 

The new US FGGX  frigate will use a similar deck launcher. 

autogun

From: autogun

18-Sep

I somehow doubt that they are going to be firing Orkas at 220 rpm.... scream

Incidentally, I find it hard to comprehend US designation systems. The ordinary 57 mm HE shell is the Mk 295, yet the Orka is the "Mk 295 Mod 1". That's one hell of a Mod!

taschoene

From: taschoene

18-Sep

gatnerd said:

Lets hope BAE pushes forward with the 57mm, as they also make the very promising ORKA 57mm guided shell:

Worth noting, as mentioned previously, that ORKA lost the USN's competition for a guided 57mm round in favor of the L3 ALaMO round.  I'm not sure where it stands now as a candidate for other navies, but it's probably not going to reach USN service so anyone else who wants it will probably have to pay some more development costs.  

gatnerd said:

BAE has also developed a new, deck mounted Missile pod, which allows missiles like the Tomahawk, Standard 3, LRASM, Naval Strike Missile etc to be easily mounted on any available deck space. Previously, these Mark41 sized missiles tubes had to be launched in a VLS cell, which the ship had to be built around. https://www.baesystems.com/en-us/product/adaptable-deck-launcher This would allow adding some Anti-Ship (as well as surface strike) capability to the Type 31, which it seems to currently be lacking.  The new US FGGX  frigate will use a similar deck launcher. 

It's funny to see this described as a new concept.  This same system, then called Cocoon, was offered at least 20 years ago (with the exact same picture) as a way to put Mk 41-compatible launch tubes on ships like aircraft carriers and big-deck amphibs that could not accommodate standard Mk 41s.  No takers back then, but they seem to be trying again.

The USN's new FFG(X) will NOT in fact use this type of launcher, despite BAE's advertising copy.  They will have standard Mk 41 tubes for Standard and ESSM, plus dedicated topside box launchers for NSM antiship missiles.  As a way to add antiship missiles, dedicated NSM (or Harpoon) tubes are a lot lighter and more compact.  Besides, there are no Mk-41 compatible canisters for NSM (or Harpoon) right now anyway.

gatnerd

From: gatnerd

18-Sep

taschoene said:

The USN's new FFG(X) will NOT in fact use this type of launcher, despite BAE's advertising copy.  They will have standard Mk 41 tubes for Standard and ESSM, plus dedicated topside box launchers for NSM antiship missiles.  As a way to add antiship missiles, dedicated NSM (or Harpoon) tubes are a lot lighter and more compact.  Besides, there are no Mk-41 compatible canisters for NSM (or Harpoon) right now anyway.

Good to know, thank you.

Do you know what the typical mix is for Standard 6 vs ESSM quads? Looking at the 32 cells, I had thought 12 Maritime Tomahawks, 16 Standard 6's, and 16 ESSM's would be a pretty versatile mix. 

Its a shame they wont be using a MK41 compatible canister. That would allow the use of both the LRASM (VLS being developed) as well as Tomahawk Martime. Both of which offer substantially greater range and payload vs NSM.

How much does the extra weight matter on a warship?

taschoene

From: taschoene

18-Sep

The loadouts of SM versus ESSM are variable, and almost certainly at least sensitive if not actually classified on a deployment-by-deployment basis.  The Standards won't just be SM-6, BTW.  It's likely to be mostly SM-2 Block IIIC (basically SM-6 active seeker in a single-stage missile) because SM-6 is expensive and limited in inventory. 

No Tomahawk on FFG(X) -- the ship has a constrained budget and the Tomahawk mission planning system costs millions of dollars and requires several crew billets to operate and maintain. Plus there are so many other Tomahawk shooters in the fleet that it hardly seems necessary.  The planned load of 8 (threshold) or 16 (objective) NSM is still a lot of anti-ship firepower to play with.  (Especially remembering that NSM does have a little-mentioned land-attack capability.)

I would not hold my breath on the actual deployment of a VL LRASM -- it's not funded and OASuW Increment 2, which could be filled by LRASM, is not coming quickly.  But if VL LRASM did happen, and was applied to FFG(X), it would go in the main VLS cells, not topside launchers.

Topweight can be a huge concern in warships.  Everything installed up high in a ship reduces stability, which can become critical if the ship is damaged or dealing with bad weather, or both.   

gatnerd

From: gatnerd

18-Sep

taschoene said:

The loadouts of SM versus ESSM are variable, and almost certainly at least sensitive if not actually classified on a deployment-by-deployment basis.  The Standards won't just be SM-6, BTW.  It's likely to be mostly SM-2 Block IIIC (basically SM-6 active seeker in a single-stage missile) because SM-6 is expensive and limited in inventory. 

I had figured / hoped SM-6 as its the most versatile

-Terminal anti-ballistic missile (such as the 'carrier killer' Chinese DF21/26)

-Anti Air / Anti Missile 

-Can attack naval and surface targets 

Does the SM-2 have an ABM capability?

"No Tomahawk on FFG(X) -- the ship has a constrained budget and the Tomahawk mission planning system costs millions of dollars and requires several crew billets to operate and maintain. Plus there are so many other Tomahawk shooters in the fleet that it hardly seems necessary."

Thats a bummer.

My concern is that given the increasing emphasis on Anti-Missile defense due to China's A2/AD system, most of our surface fleets Tomahawk capability may actually be occupied primarily with air defense missiles.

IE if a Carrier Battle Group has a total of 500 VLS cells in its escort fleet, less then 1/2 may actually be occupied by Tomahawks due to all the AA/ABMs. 

"The planned load of 8 (threshold) or 16 (objective) NSM is still a lot of anti-ship firepower to play with."

How good is the NSM?

I know its reportedly 'stealthy' but the rest of the specs (275lb warhead, 115mi range) didn't seem that impressive. 

Especially compared to the range and payload of the LRASM or Tomahawk Maritime, as well as longer range enemy missiles. 

taschoene

From: taschoene

18-Sep

gatnerd said:

How good is the NSM? I know its reportedly 'stealthy' but the rest of the specs (275lb warhead, 115mi range) didn't seem that impressive.  Especially compared to the range and payload of the LRASM or Tomahawk Maritime, as well as longer range enemy missiles. 

I think it's quite good.  

On the warhead size issue, it's not that much smaller than Exocet, and we know that works pretty well achieving at least a mission kill on most combatant warships smaller than a carrier.  LRASM and Maritime Strike Tomahawk have huge warheads because they inherited them from their land-attack roles, not because they need them for the anti-ship role.

On range, keep in mind that there's a significant plus behind that 115 mile+ range.  NSM's cousin Joint Strike Missile manages up to 345 miles in hi-hi-lo mode, so NSM could probably manage a good deal more than 100 miles if the mission can accept a high-level cruise phase.  And in any case, there' a lot of need to counter targets that aren't half an ocean away, for which NSM is well-suited.  

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.  

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