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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.

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Importance of Naval Guns on a Modern Warship   Naval Guns

Started 19/8/20 by Greg (N9NWO); 11045 views.
gatnerd

From: gatnerd

22/8/20

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

22/8/20

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

22/8/20

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)

23/8/20

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

23/8/20

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)

23/8/20

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

24/8/20

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. 

Jeff (Jefffar)

From: Jeff (Jefffar)

24/8/20

Red7272 said:

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. 

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. 

Red7272

From: Red7272

24/8/20

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. 

gatnerd

From: gatnerd

24/8/20

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. 

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