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Importance of Naval Guns on a Modern Warship   Naval Guns

Started 19-Aug by Greg (N9NWO); 9617 views.
QuintusO

From: QuintusO

20-Aug

None of this is anything you don't get from a standard missile.

RovingPedant

From: RovingPedant

21-Aug

jxexqx said...

That's a bold statement considering Sea Wolf demonstrated its ability to intercept 4.5" shells 40 years ago - one would hope that things have moved on since then. 
 

A shell, guided or not, has to follow a ballistic trajectory that will be both predictable and high above the horizon. Compared to a sea skimming missile it will be an easily tracked target and can be seen and engaged at a longer range.

While you can shoot down shells with a missile, it’s unlikely that you would have enough missiles to shoot down enough shells to make a difference.

roguetechie

From: roguetechie

21-Aug

To my mind, a little of both is probably the best option.

That said, the claims being made about naval guns in this thread are pretty wild entertaining and not very connected to reality.

I say this as someone whose a rabid fan of the combustion light gas gun technology that got tossed aside in favor of railgun research directly contributing to the ddg1000 winding up with a stupid 155 that had so few projectiles manufactured for it that the guns on the zumwalt class will end up being useless in a few years because there's no more million dollar projectiles left in inventory.

Oh, did I mention that the not all that impressive range smart projectiles cost well over $900,000 each?

It seems like maybe the guy who authored this thread should have looked into that since it kinda directly refutes his idea that going back to guns would save money.

Compared to something like ATACM'S the zumwalt classes shells Actually cost more per shot even before you factor in the extra maintenance and manning requirements, for people to do that maintaining at sea, naval guns require above and beyond what it costs and the number of crew members necessary to keep a single VLS cell up and running during a cruise of similar duration.

This is one thing that the go back to guns people tend to leave out of their theses, which is pretty understandable considering that personnel costs are by percentage the biggest chunk of the budgets of moderned military branches.

Once you factor that part in, combined with the fact that naval encounters requiring the tossing of anything resembling a full magazine from more than a relatively few vessels has happened possibly less than 10 times since ww2.

You realize just how much sense it makes to have sealed VLS cells and etc combined with one to three 76 or larger guns per vessel.

gatnerd

From: gatnerd

22-Aug

I'm thinking most of those applications (Warning Shots, close defense, anti piracy) could be handled pretty well by the CIWS 20mm Gatling Gun. 

Close Range Anti-Air / Anti Missile seems like it would be better handled with small, high capacity missile pods similar to the Rolling Airframe:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RIM-116_Rolling_Airframe_Missile

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/27/RIM-116_Rolling_Airframe_Missile_Launcher_Practice_device.jpg

These hold between 11-21 missiles, and work in sync with the CIWS 20mm cannon sensor. 

That said, for ships working Anti-Piracy (or for ships running a Naval Blockade against commercial shipping) I do like something like this - 30mm AC + Missile Pod:

I'd like to see something like that, paired with a ~30 shot APKWS launcher.

Farmplinker

From: Farmplinker

22-Aug

A lot of ships only have 4-8 ASCMs. Once those get used up, it's close with guns or get the hell out of Dodge.

Red7272

From: Red7272

22-Aug

Farmplinker said:

A lot of ships only have 4-8 ASCMs. Once those get used up, it's close with guns or get the hell out of Dodge.

Yes, I can see how a bofors could be considered a solid counter to a 300 km anti ship missile with 500 kg warhead.

In reply toRe: msg 17
Jeff (Jefffar)

From: Jeff (Jefffar)

23-Aug

To me it comes down to the same reason why fighter aircraft and attack helicopters still have guns in this era of highly accurate and highly reliable guided missiles.  There are times when a missile just isn't the best weapon for the circumstances, or isn't available.  You need an alternative weapon in those times.



So yes, guns on warships are redundant in the modern era.  But that redundancy is a feature, not a bug.  You could put more missiles on the ship, but whatever makes the missiles you already had unusable or inappropriate to the situation makes those extra missiles just as ineffective. 

In reply toRe: msg 18
TonyDiG

From: TonyDiG

23-Aug

About 25 years ago I was at a Naval Air show near my house.  The same base also had a squadron of ANG A-10 Warthogs which were also on display.  A group of us were talking to one of the A-10 pilots and someone asked him why they had the 30mm cannon as an anti-tank weapon, why wouldn't he want to use an anti-tank missile instead.  The pilot responded that they used both against tanks, but that there was a big advantage when using the gun while engaging SAM batteries.  The bullets from the gun were much faster than the SAMs.  So, if they did a pop-up maneuver, there was an excellent chance that they could destroy the missile control van before it would have a chance to lock on the A-10.

His point was that guns are nice, missiles are nice, but what's really nice is having both as it gives you more options.

Jeff (Jefffar)

From: Jeff (Jefffar)

23-Aug

Precisely.

A modern Infantry platoon has rifles, machineguns, grenade launchers and anti-tank weapons because the rifle can't do it all in the normal spectrum of combat.

A modern warship needs a mixture of offensive missiles, defensive missiles, offensive guns, defensive guns and anti-submarine weapons. Each helps in circumstances where one of the other weapons is not ideal. 

I expect, if and when there is an actual fleet versus fleet action between top tier peer naval forces, we will see several large volleys of anti-ship missiles fired.  Most of these missiles will be diverted via ECM or shot down via defensive systems, but more than a few will strike home.    The surviving ships, now that missiles are expended, will have the choice of pushing forward into gun range or departing the battle.  A ship with even a 57mm can at least continue the fight in these circumstances, whereas one with only CIWS cannot.  Those rare ships with 4 to 5 inch pieces will have a distinct advantage. 

Red7272

From: Red7272

24-Aug

Jeff (Jefffar) said:

I expect, if and when there is an actual fleet versus fleet action between top tier peer naval forces, we will see several large volleys of anti-ship missiles fired.  Most of these missiles will be diverted via ECM or shot down via defensive systems, but more than a few will strike home.    The surviving ships, now that missiles are expended, will have the choice of pushing forward into gun range or departing the battle.  A ship with even a 57mm can at least continue the fight in these circumstances, whereas one with only CIWS cannot.  Those rare ships with 4 to 5 inch pieces will have a distinct advantage. 

Except that they are hundreds of km apart and have a speed difference of a few knots at best. Guns are awesome, but they are not in any way comparable to ASM. 

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