More on BB vs DD(X)


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280PLUS
June 21, 2005, 06:24 AM
Washington Times
June 17, 2005
Pg. 21
Distortions About Ships
Look toward 21st-century armed forces
By James F. O'Bryon
Rear Adm. Charles Hamilton's June 13 Op-Ed article on battleships left me confused and somewhat angry, not so much because of his bias toward building the DD(X) and against retaining the two venerable battleships (BBs) still in our mothball fleet, but the apparent distortions in the data he presented to make his case, relegating these two ships to permanent museum status.

The 15 years I spent in the Pentagon was providing independent oversight of nearly 100 major Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps systems assessing their lethalities, vulnerabilities and survivabilities. The one thing that we fought hard to achieve was to ensure that competing systems were assessed on a level playing field.

I'm writing because I don't believe that Adm. Hamilton's Op-Ed has placed the DD(X) and BB on a level playing field for comparison.

First, the DD(X) features two 155mm guns launching projectiles that contain 24 pounds of explosives each, roughly the amount that a suicide bomber might carry. In contrast, each battleship contains nine 16-inch guns, each capable of launching full caliber projectiles the size of Volkswagens, capable of attacking both surface and buried hard targets or saboted rounds traveling much farther. Furthermore, the battleship's guns already exist. The DD(X)'s don't.

Adm. Hamilton claims that the 16-inch rounds couldn't be given precision guidance, claiming "punishing muzzle energy." In Project HARP over 30 years ago, delicate instrumentation packages were launched from such guns to altitudes of more than 50 miles. While the admiral claims that "super-long-range 16-inch gun rounds are illusory," Pratt & Whitney's design studies, backed by laboratory scramjet experiments, concluded that such shells were feasible, reaching 460 miles in only nine minutes and could be fielded in seven years, well before the first DD(X) joins the fleet in 2014.

Another issue that needs to be addressed is the comparative survivabilities of the battleship and DD(X). I have overseen a number of ship vulnerability programs over the years and, in my opinion, there is no tougher ship than the BB. While I believe that the DD(X)'s focus on hit avoidance is desirable, sometimes you cannot avoid the fight.

When I hear the argument that the "passionate advocates" of battleships are uninformed or just plain nostalgic, I'm reminded of the way that the B-52 has repeatedly been upgraded over the past 50 years with improved fire control, avionics, propulsion, improved munitions and a host of other upgrades that put this workhorse of the Air Force at the center of much of our strategic and tactical defense. Is this nostalgia? No, it's recognition of the huge benefits and low risks that retrofitting new technologies can bring to a proven platform. In fact, there are 31 B-52 modification programs currently underway allowing this aircraft to contribute to the nation's defense at least through 2040.

The same can be done for the battleships. The DD(X) continues to be plagued by increasing cost and system complications with cost estimates ranging from $3.3 billion up to $7 billion per ship. Projection Forces Subcommittee Chairman Roscoe Bartlett recently referred to it as a "technology demonstration program." The admiral claimed that "spending the billions of dollars to reactivate the battleships, develop advanced munitions, and pay the very high costs to operate them would come at the expense of other vital programs." Is several billion dollars for a destroyer also not a high cost? In fact, the fiscal 2006 defense budget allocates 1.47 billion just to refuel the Vinson carrier. Why would $1.5 billion be to costly to reactivate/modernize a battleship with much more firepower and survivability than the DD(X) and be done in less than half the time at lower risk?

The nation's two remaining battleships have proven themselves over the years and, as the B-52s aptly demonstrate, were not only effective at their introduction but can be retrofitted with the latest technology to allow them to provide the fire support that the Marine Corps continues to require.

Allowing these ships to become museums in the defense bill will be irreversible and place our Marines at risk for the foreseeable future. My hope is that any decision on the future of the DD(X) and the battleships be based on a solid analytical footing.

James F. O'Bryon is chairman of Mobius Business Solutions and owner of the O'Bryon Group. He is also former director of the Defense Department's Live Fire Testing.

Editor's Note: The article referred to appeared in the Current News Early Bird, June 13, 2005.

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misANTHrope
June 21, 2005, 06:46 AM
Yeah, DD(X) is bloated as all hell. Yes, the BBs are tough ships which performed well recently suppllmenting the fleet. However, two BBs cannot in any way hope to do the job of the rapidly aging CGs and DDGs- they have nowhere near the versatility of a VLS-equipped ships, unless they're really going to do a lot with guided 16" projectiles. I'd like to see the program that can use 16" PGMs for anti-air applications. Sea Sparrows and RAMs could maybe be retrofitted using existing standalone launchers, but how much money are we gonna spend to make the BB move into the next century?

And we're not even addressing the long-term costs of manning BBs. A crew of 2000+ vs. maybe 300 is significant.

Finally, comparing the modernizing of the BBs to the long life of the B-52 is kinda invalid; retrofitting combat systems in an aircraft is hardly comparable to trying to add the antiair capability of a DD to an old BB.

In short, the littoral combat/ shore attack capabilities of the gun systems may be comparable, but to base the favorability of two options on that single combat role is short-sighted at best.

280PLUS
June 21, 2005, 07:51 AM
Maybe we need to design a DD type ship around a nice automatic 16" gun or two, kind of like the old dynamite gun boats where the gun was pretty much the boat. Then the rest of the platform could be used for the anti air capabilities you are talking about. Imagine a destroyer sized ship with a 500 mile range 16" gun plus anti air and anti sub too. I'm thinking anti sub rounds coming out of the same barrel. :eek:

BTW todays "destroyers" are the size of what were called, in my day, cruisers. They are much bigger today. And then, a WWII destroyer was much smaller than what WE called a destroyer in 1975-80. Right now I don't believe we have any ships capable of one important job a destroyer was originally meant to do. Close in gunfire support along the shore. Sneaking into those small places with some big guns to wreak a little havoc. So when we say "destroyer" exactly what size ship are we refering to?

misANTHrope
June 21, 2005, 08:31 AM
I think that if anything will come close to the shore support role of the destroyers of yore, it'll be the littoral combat ship (LCS). Keep in mind that DD(X) has grown into a family of ships- the DD(X), CG(X), and the LCS. However, I haven't been able to find any specific info on LCS armament- there's lots of mention of the modular concept to adapt to different missions, but overall the ship seems more oriented towards SpecOps insertion and other somewhat covert missions than outright combat work. I assume it'll be armed with a gun of some type (yeah, I know what assuming does)... who knows? But it definitely satisfies the shallow-draft, near-shore duties. And the purported top speed of 50 knots is kinda :eek:

Really, the DD(X) family will be the first major combatants designed from the get-go to deal with the post-Cold War mission. Fleet engagements have all but been relegated to the history books; if it weren't for the aircraft carrier's high value as a floating shore assault base, along with the versatility of the Tomahawk, the Navy'd be all but irrelevant today. But I still think that DD(X) is similar to what would happen if someone gave me an unlimited loan and sent me to a car lot. I'd end up justifying every option possible, and maybe having them install a mobile coffee maker or something.

As for the 16" gunboat- that's a lot of fun to think about. I wonder just how far the recoil would relocate the ship in the water? :evil: Then we've just gotta figure out how to adapt ASROC to a 16-incher... muzzle-load maybe? Really, though, helos are much better sub-hunters than surface combatants IMO. Of course, as a prospective aviator, I may be biased! :D

280PLUS
June 21, 2005, 08:47 AM
I figured we'd just design a whole new round and scrap asroc :evil:

Cellar Dweller
June 21, 2005, 09:36 AM
Sunk by magazine explosion: Vanguard , Mutsu , Maine, Indefatigable , Audacious , BC Queen Mary , BC Hood, BC Invincible , Semi-Dreadnought Kawachi , Semi-Battlecruiser Tsukuba .

Sunk by mine: Guilio Cesare (in 1955!!!) .

Sunk by submarine: CV Eagle (converted Canada-class BB) , Barham, Royal Oak , CV Shinano (converted Yamato-class BB) , BC Kongo .

Now I realize the "haters" are gonna say, "oh, mostly WWI BBs, BCs don't count, old armor, no effective damage control back then, ASW is much more effective now, etc. etc." Torpedo and submarine technology hasn't improved since 1945? Mines are no better either? Some of the magazine explosions occured while in port , and the Iowa has been removed from service for that reason - #2 turret was only partially repaired.

capable of launching full caliber projectiles the size of Volkswagens
I don't know of any Volkswagens that can fit into a 16" gun without going to the crusher first :p Mass maybe, but not the size of Volkswagens...but how is it effectively different than 2000lb iron bombs?

Convieniently omitted: those "460 mile" range projectiles ain't gonna be the "size of Volkswagens" unless the laws of physics have been revoked (shell size is fixed by breech length, propulsion + fuel takes space!); the "precision guidance" projectiles can/will be jammed.

Building a totally new BB, like a supersized Kirov , designed with modern electronics and propulsion with VLS and 16" guns, is a much better idea - but the expense!

armoredman
June 21, 2005, 10:05 AM
As much as I love the old battlewagons, (rearmed the New Jersey at sea once), their day is long done. Sure, I'd love to see them reactivated, rebuilt, re armed, and steamed into harms way with the best rear end kicking stuff we can pack in, but there is one major limitation no one has addressed - there are only two, and never any more. Can you imagine the horror on The Hill if we proposed new BBs? That's what I'd love to see - a real new design - BBs with railguns, missle packages built in, etc. Do it, do it right.
The old Iowa class could be rebuilt again, but do remember, these grand dames of the high seas are getting ooooold.
The explosive weight of a standard 16 inch shell is 1,900 pounds, max range 26+ miles, with RAP rounds - where the BLANK do they come up with 460 miles? Do they think those 70 years old rifles will withstand whatever it is they're going to try? My Mosins will withstand my reloads, but I am not loading to shoot across a state or two.....

Owen
June 21, 2005, 10:17 AM
460 miles? In the article they mentioned scramjets...

2nd Amendment
June 21, 2005, 10:21 AM
Nice to see a rational article on the BB's. Too bad the naysayers all have to rush in with the usual modern navy propaganda.

misANTHrope
June 21, 2005, 01:27 PM
The explosive weight of a standard 16 inch shell is 1,900 pounds, max range 26+ miles, with RAP rounds - where the BLANK do they come up with 460 miles? Do they think those 70 years old rifles will withstand whatever it is they're going to try? My Mosins will withstand my reloads, but I am not loading to shoot across a state or two.....

Well, they're not gonna do it by just stuffing more powder in the pipes- like you said, those rifles can only withstand so much pressure, especially when you consider their age. Instead, you fire a rocket-propelled projectile, and that's how you achieve those big increases in range. I'm guessing that the scramjet technology they refer to might use some kind of subcaliber saboted round or something... So maybe you increase the size/weight of the shell, and/or reduce the explosive charge, but you gain a lot of versatility. In a world of Tomahawks, the 26-mile range of 16/50s without RAP projectiles is practically in the enemy's face.

With the use of RAP projectiles, the BBs become a highly effective land attack platform. Between the 16/50s and 32 Tomahawks, it's got lots of littoral firepower. The downside is that single-mission combatants are relatively inefficient uses of resources. The cost to reactivate the two BBs would be relatively low, but the cost to maintain and man them would be the hamstring. Sure, they could supplement the fleet. But there is no way that 2 BBs can possibly work as an alternative to 60-70 ships from the DD(X) program. The anti-air CVBG defense aspect simply doesn't exist. The ASW aspect doesn't exist. The SpecOps capability of the LCS isn't there.

richyoung
June 21, 2005, 02:03 PM
...ships don't go around by themselves - they travel as part of a fleet. Surely, an Aegis cruiser and a dedicated ASW platform can be spared to be part of the task force, considering the increased gunfire capability of a BB. The fact of the matter is, no one gets a star (or hired by a major defense contractor) by reccommending re-use of an existing system - they get one (or the other) by proposing a new, multi-year, multi-company 'weapons system" which may or may not work at the end...(Crusader? Sgt. York? Anyone?) Myself, I say bring back the BBs.

280PLUS
June 21, 2005, 02:05 PM
Washington Times
June 21, 2005
Pg. 19
Battling For Battleships
By Dennis Reilly
This week a critical decision will be made regarding the defense of the United States as the 2006 Defense Authorization bill goes to conference.

The June 6th Op-Ed "Battleships fit for duty", made the case that our nation needs to have the battleships Wisconsin and Iowa modernized and reactivated. The Nov. 19, 2004 GAO report states "Marine Corps supports the strategic purpose of reactivating two battleships in accordance with the National Defense Authorization Act of 1996...". The Pombo bill, would turn those ships irretrievably into museums. Irretrievably, because, within days after that bill passes, the Navy will be all over those ships with cutting torches to make sure that they never again can serve.

Should we have to move against threats as North Korea, Iran or China, most of whom have or will have sophisticated air defenses, battleships can provide superior support for landing or air inserted Marines.

The Navy, in the June 13 Op-Ed, "Building a new navy" tried to counter these assertions. However, the Navy's position supporting the DD(X) destroyer was thoroughly refuted in the June 17 Op-Ed, "Distortions about ships" by James O'Bryon, the official who recently bore the responsibility in the Office of the Secretary of Defense for evaluating the vulnerability and lethality of weapons systems.

O'Bryon also affirmed that development of precision guided extended range projectiles for the battleships 16" guns was a practical near-to-mid-term goal.

On May 19 the House Armed Services Committee abandoned the DD(X), a ship that never could have supplied the necessary fire support.

Now the question is, "Which is more suited to the mission, battleships, more carriers, or an even longer delayed DD(X)-derivative?" They have complementary capabilities, but within the range of targets that will be available to the battleship's guns, out to 115 miles in the near term, there are some notable differences. Long range shells will reach as far 115 miles in a life-saving time of only 3.2 min, clearly faster than aircraft response. Aircraft could loiter over the battlefield, but that is probably not wise in the face of strong enemy air defenses.

Now that the troubled Joint Standoff Weapon, which would have allowed aircraft to safely stay outside of kill zones, is in danger of being cancelled, another option for the aircraft is about to close. When battleships do the job, there are no lost airplanes, and, of utmost importance, no lost airmen, no Hanoi Hilton.

Another significant advantage for the battleships is the cost in terms of both manpower and dollars for adding additional firepower (measured in pounds of ordnance delivered on target per day) to the fleet in support of the mission.

According to the Navy, a modernized battleship would require a crew of only 1100 men. A carrier, with its aircrew, requires 5500 men. The Navy does not dispute the assertion that a battleship has firepower (weight of ordinance deliverable per day) equivalent to two carriers for targets within the 29 mile range of existing heavy one ton projectiles.

This works out to the battleship (for a given level of firepower) being 10 times as manpower efficient as the carrier. It should be noted that North Korea and the coast of China opposite Taiwan have numerous targets within that 29 mile range.

In terms of adding firepower to the fleet, the cost of modernizing and reactivating a battleship is $1.5B. The cost of building the two carriers with aircraft is about $22B, a cost advantage of fifteen to one in favor of the battleships.

The Marines are also looking for naval surface fire support to protect deep incursions into enemy territory via the V22 "Osprey" tilt rotor aircraft. The battleship's reach out to 115 miles exceeds the Marine's 72 mile objective by 60 percent.

Necessarily, the mass of a round that can be delivered to this longer range is markedly less than that of a round that travels 29 miles, but it is still a substantial 525 lb. At this range, the advantage in the number of ships required reverses; one carrier has the firepower of two battleships.

But, battleships retain an advantage in manpower per unit of firepower and cost per unit of additional firepower. The manpower advantage becomes to 2.5 to 1, and the cost advantage becomes to 3.7 to 1, still very significant figures.

In this time of strained defense budgets Senator Warner and Rep. Hunter, respectively Chairmen of the Senate and House Armed Services Committee, should not ignore such economic figures. If uncertainty remains, the issue should be put before the Defense Science Board, but the Pombo Bill should be removed from the 2006 Defense Authorization Bill.

After all, there is no imminent crisis due to a shortage of battleship museums. Then, six months from now, when work on reactivation begins, the Nation can be assured that our Marines will be getting the support that is their due.

Dennis Reilly is a physicist, who serves as science advisor to the United States Naval Fire Support

TheEgg
June 21, 2005, 03:12 PM
I have no expertise in this area, but it seems to me that every time we are ready to get rid of BB's altogther, someing happens that makes us happy we have some that we can dig out of mothballs and use again.

I would not be in any hurry to cut the rest of them up.

WT
June 21, 2005, 03:26 PM
The NEW JERSEY is ready to go. All it needs is a new hull, complete rewiring, new boilers, new engines, new 16" guns and a new fire protection system. Some day we'll wake up and find it sitting on the bottom of the Delaware River when its rusty, paper thin hull gives way. The other BB's are probably in similar shape.

A BB close to shore will be chop meat for a diesel sub with 4 torpedoes. We've 'unlearned' anti-submarine warfare. We can't find the new, super quiet diesel subs. (Heck, recently the Japanese looked for an old, noisy Chinese sub and couldn't find it for days.) The Germans have admitted that their new diesel subs with air independent propulsion can remain submerged for 'at least' 2 weeks - in actual tests. The Chinese have ordered a bunch of Russian super quiet diesel subs.

We don't need the DD(X) either. Another waste of taxpayers money. The designs I've seen have little freeboard and a ram bow. Do we really need 'stealth' destroyers to invade Somalia or Iran or other 3rd world countries?

richyoung
June 21, 2005, 03:34 PM
...one of the problems of having independent services - you have to be a carrier commander (or submarine guy) to get to the upper levels - Joint Chiefs levels. Therefor the navy brass has no enthusiasm for: fast RORO ships, mine/antimine warfare, shore bombardment, etc. In the AF, you have to be a fighter jock, (or at least a bomber guy) to make it - hence you have to twist their arm to make them keep and fly a dedicated CAS platform like the Spectre or Warthog, and they have little to no interest in providing airlift to the Army, no matter how light and useless the vehicles involved, as they wish to use their transports to support forward-deployed fighter wings! The Army is a little better, but it is still a rareity for anyone other than a cavalry commander (or at least armor or infantry)to claw up into the upper ranks, (on the theory that a Cavalry unit has all three major combat branches - armor, infantry, & artillery....) - you get the occasional artillery officer, but aviation or logistics branches really get squeezed out.

richyoung
June 21, 2005, 03:36 PM
The NEW JERSEY is ready to go. All it needs is a new hull, complete rewiring, new boilers, new engines, new 16" guns and a new fire protection system. Some day we'll wake up and find it sitting on the bottom of the Delaware River when its rusty, paper thin hull gives way. The other BB's are probably in similar shape.


I'm fascinated - you have documantation of her sorry state, I assume?

misANTHrope
June 21, 2005, 03:47 PM
I don't think the BBs should be stricken- I think they should stay in the reserve fleet at least for the foreseeable future. Given their firepower and fire support abilities, they'd be a valuable asset should the S ever HTF. I even think that they'd make a worthy addition to the fleet, even though I have reservations about spending a significant amount of money on what's essentially a single-mission platform.

But the tone of the original argument, as I understood it, was that BBs could do the job of DD(X). Looking back, perhaps I misunderstood it, and instead it's simply arguing that the BBs shouldn't be stricken just because of DD(X). That I agree with- if we're talking about keeping/restoring the BBs and continuing work on the next generation of highly flexible, multi-mission capable ships oriented towards littoral operations as opposed to fleet actions against the USSR.

My opinion is that DD(X) needs to happen regardless of what happens with the BBs. I do think the program could benefit from intense scrutiny to keep the cost under control, though- that will ultimately yield a better end product.

So, in the end, BBs can serve well in a niche role. The operative question is whether it's worth the modernization costs to put two niche weapons in the fleet? Frankly, I'm not equipped to answer that definitively.

Finally comparing a BB to a CVN in terms of cost-efficiency is at best apples to oranges.

According to the Navy, a modernized battleship would require a crew of only 1100 men. A carrier, with its aircrew, requires 5500 men. The Navy does not dispute the assertion that a battleship has firepower (weight of ordinance deliverable per day) equivalent to two carriers for targets within the 29 mile range of existing heavy one ton projectiles. (emphasis added)

What happens outside that 29 mile range, or even outside the 115-mile range of near-term extended-range munitions? A Super Hornet has a strike combat radius of 350 miles, discounting aerial refueling. A BB is far more efficient for destroying targets within its range, but we need the air power to hit targets further inland. To pose a BB and a CVN as equal alternatives is absurd.

WT
June 21, 2005, 03:54 PM
richyoung - it is widely documented in PROCEEDINGS OF THE US NAVAL INSTITUTE. Over the years they have published numerous articles on the condition of our battleships.

The BIG J's 16" guns were poorly preserved in Bremerton. They are wrecked, useless. The ship now sits in the Delaware River, fresh water, because they fear that it could no longer take salt water damage. The fire protection system is rotted away from years of salt water. The wiring, especially the connections, is also pretty well shot. The boilers are 60 years old and the tubes, steam drums, and mud drums are shot. The fire brick and asbestos ......

I could go on about how the Navy destroyed all the spare 16" guns they had stored at Long Beach but that's another story.

Heck, a containership could carry more firepower than a BB.

Preacherman
June 21, 2005, 04:11 PM
The big problem with ship survivability today is not the level of armor protection, or the size of the ship - it's the proliferation of accurate, relatively cheap anti-ship missiles.

You can, today, buy a Silkworm anti-ship missile from China for the equivalent of $250,000. Others available (at somewhat higher cost) include Exocet, the Israeli Gabriel, several varieties of Russian missiles (including supersonic models), etc. Many countries have developed stand-off weapons that can be launched from even training aircraft, with a range of over 100 miles, that could target a ship.

So, your 29-mile-range battleship now has to come within that distance of a coastline to do its job. Arrayed on that coastline can be literally dozens, if not hundreds, of missiles, each with a warhead of several hundred pounds of high explosive. Sure, the BB and its escorts are capable of destroying many of those missiles with their defensive systems, but that's precisely why the Russians developed the concept of massed missile attack. If you launch ten missiles, seven or eight might be shot down, and only one or two get through, and a BB is highly likely to survive those hits with minimal damage. Launch 100 missiles in the same time period, and even if the BB and its escorts destroy 50 (a highly optimistic prediction), the remaining 50 will hit - and no ship in the world can take that many high-explosive impacts.

If you increase the range of the BB's guns with sub-caliber "smart" projectiles, you might be able to put it much further out to sea: but then the impact of those projectiles will be significantly less than the full-caliber shells, probably putting them into the same class as the 155mm. projectiles planned for future warships. Also, you have not removed the danger from missiles: you've simply made it necessary to put the missiles on mobile platforms that can get out to within range of the BB. Sure, your defensive forces will be able to sink some of those platforms, but others will get close enough to launch multiple missiles, and then you're back to the previous bad-news scenario.

Finally, you're ignoring the real threat from land-based artillery systems. There are artillery pieces like the South African G5 and G6 cannon which, in their 52-caliber versions, can launch rocket-assisted projectiles to a greater range than can be achieved by the BB's standard 16-inch guns. If you have a couple of batteries of these cannon defending the coast, they can put down a hellacious weight of fire on the BB long before it can be within range to reply. Carrier-based air can try to interdict the batteries, of course: but if these are well defended (and in a country like China, they will be, by massed AA artillery and missiles) you might have to expend so many aircraft to get the sites that it won't be cost-effective to do so.

No, the BB's day is done, I'm afraid.

Bartholomew Roberts
June 21, 2005, 04:51 PM
The vulnerablities of 1980s technology riding on 1930s ships is pretty well documented. The BB is no longer capable of defending itself from any modern ASUW threat. It relies on its armor entirely and many of the more prominent threats bypass that armor protection by attacking the keel or simply overwhelming it with a 1,000lb warhead travelling at supersonic speeds.

The main argument for the BB seems to be that it provides a massive weight of ordnance with a short time-to-target. Now my question would be, what are we targeting that can't be killed with a 155mm gun, can be killed with a 16" gun, and is so mobile that it won't be there by the time a longer-ranged, cheaper and already in use Tomahawk arrives? Because these are the only targets where the BB shows a clear advantage in providing fire support. My next question is how many of these targets are within 26 miles of the shoreline? How many are within 115nm of the shoreline and is the now-reduced payload of the 16" shell a factor since the target can apparently withstand 5" and 155mm shells? Can any of these targets be attacked more cheaply than $1.5 billion per ship + manpower costs for 1,100 sailors using existing weapons platforms?

O'Bryon makes a point about the weight of ordnance the BBs can deliver; but what targets require that kind of ordnance delivery? More importantly, what kind of target will be clustered close enough together that they can all be hit without moving the BB to a new firing position - because unless they are spaced pretty close, the BB will spend more time moving to a new position than it will actually firing and that is a factor in real-life delivery of ordnance that I don't think this editorial gives much credence. Sure, you can turn big rocks into fine sand with a BB much more cheaply than with aircraft; but whether you hit it with 100 16" shells or 100 2,000lb bombs, there isn't going to be much left to target after that. At this point, the on-paper superiority of the BB to keep on pounding the same rubble doesn't really give you much in the way of practical use.

For that matter, in an urban battlefield where the enemy long ago learned to "hug" American forces for their own protection, what is the "danger close" range of a 16" shell compared to a 155mm shell?

richyoung
June 21, 2005, 05:29 PM
The BIG J's 16" guns were poorly preserved in Bremerton. They are wrecked, useless. The ship now sits in the Delaware River, fresh water, because they fear that it could no longer take salt water damage. The fire protection system is rotted away from years of salt water. The wiring, especially the connections, is also pretty well shot. The boilers are 60 years old and the tubes, steam drums, and mud drums are shot. The fire brick and asbestos ......

I presume that the liners are what you are talking about - and if we could make them in 1944, we can make them now, or cannabilize them off of a museum ship, substituting the defective one for "show". Whether you rebuild NJ's powerplant, or build a new ship - you still have that cost. Clad-welding and other techniques can repair the hull - we do it when we SLEP carriers - we expect to get almost 50 years out of a carrier, & the BBs haven't seen NEAR that amount of continuous steaming.


__________________

richyoung
June 21, 2005, 05:50 PM
The big problem with ship survivability today is not the level of armor protection, or the size of the ship - it's the proliferation of accurate, relatively cheap anti-ship missiles.

...almost all of which pack warheads too small to hurt a BB that can shrug off a direct hit from a kamikaze with a 1000 lb bomb..

You can, today, buy a Silkworm anti-ship missile from China for the equivalent of $250,000.

speed subsonic, warhead about 1000lbs, max range 80 km, (thats about 48 miles) - a scourge to unarmed, slow tankers. Not a problem even for Korean-era BBs, not to mention thats what the Aegis cruisers are for...


Others available (at somewhat higher cost) include Exocet, the Israeli Gabriel, several varieties of Russian missiles (including supersonic models), etc. Many countries have developed stand-off weapons that can be launched from even training aircraft, with a range of over 100 miles, that could target a ship.

NOE of which have a warhead anywhere NEAR the size of the Silkworm, and against which the BBs have already proven to withstand.

So, your 29-mile-range battleship now has to come within that distance of a coastline to do its job. Arrayed on that coastline can be literally dozens, if not hundreds, of missiles, each with a warhead of several hundred pounds of high explosive. Sure, the BB and its escorts are capable of destroying many of those missiles with their defensive systems, but that's precisely why the Russians developed the concept of massed missile attack. If you launch ten missiles, seven or eight might be shot down, and only one or two get through, and a BB is highly likely to survive those hits with minimal damage. Launch 100 missiles in the same time period, and even if the BB and its escorts destroy 50 (a highly optimistic prediction), the remaining 50 will hit - and no ship in the world can take that many high-explosive impacts.

100 pound warhead is equivalent to a 155mm (six inch) round - and there are NUMEROUS instances of BB-class ships withstanding more than 100 six-inch rounds.

If you increase the range of the BB's guns with sub-caliber "smart" projectiles, you might be able to put it much further out to sea: but then the impact of those projectiles will be significantly less than the full-caliber shells, probably putting them into the same class as the 155mm.

THATS an awfully pessimistic assessment - more likely, they will still be equivalent to 8" rounds - 200 pounds of explosive or more.

projectiles planned for future warships.

...future CANCELLED warships, you mean...bird in hand, and all that...

Also, you have not removed the danger from missiles: you've simply made it necessary to put the missiles on mobile platforms that can get out to within range of the BB.

..if the BB will LET you...

Sure, your defensive forces will be able to sink some of those platforms, but others will get close enough to launch multiple missiles, and then you're back to the previous bad-news scenario.

You can't get there fast enough with enough launchers to throw enough warhead weight to get the job done. The ships were built to withstand 16" AP!


Finally, you're ignoring the real threat from land-based artillery systems. There are artillery pieces like the South African G5 and G6 cannon which, in their 52-caliber versions, can launch rocket-assisted projectiles to a greater range than can be achieved by the BB's standard 16-inch guns.

MAX range of 155 class guns with rap - 39 kilometers - thats about 23.4 miles, or LESS thant the 29 mile max range of the BB with standard ammo. The BB has an almost 6 mile range advantage, not the other way around.And how much explosive is left in those RAP rounds - about the same as a 105mm howitzer or 106mm mortar. If you think a ship hard enough to take 16" AP has anything to fear from that, you are mistaken

If you have a couple of batteries of these cannon defending the coast, they can put down a hellacious weight of fire on the BB long before it can be within range to reply.

Sorry - BB 29 miles, 155mm - 23.4 miles - its the other way around! Plus, RAP is notoriously inaccurate - I seriously doubt they could HIT a moving battleship - they are hard-pressed to hit a RUNWAY at 40k, and it's bigger, and ain't moving! Not to mention most batteries only have a limited number of RAP rounds and charges for them.


Carrier-based air can try to interdict the batteries, of course: but if these are well defended (and in a country like China, they will be, by massed AA artillery and missiles) you might have to expend so many aircraft to get the sites that it won't be cost-effective to do so.


Thats why you stay 3 miles outside of their range, and 2 miles inside of your range, and lob 16" HE shells at them - I know who's gonna win that fight!

No, the BB's day is done, I'm afraid.

Time for some more research on your part...

richyoung
June 21, 2005, 06:01 PM
The vulnerablities of 1980s technology riding on 1930s ships is pretty well documented.

Really? 'Cause I was under the impression that hull-wise, little has changed in naval architecture....

The BB is no longer capable of defending itself from any modern ASUW threat. It relies on its armor entirely and many of the more prominent threats bypass that armor protection by attacking the keel or simply overwhelming it with a 1,000lb warhead travelling at supersonic speeds.

A new ship with LESS armor will be AS or More vulnerable at the keel, and MUCH MORE vulnerable than turrets and deck armored to withstand 16" AP.

The main argument for the BB seems to be that it provides a massive weight of ordnance with a short time-to-target. Now my question would be, what are we targeting that can't be killed with a 155mm gun, can be killed with a 16" gun, and is so mobile that it won't be there by the time a longer-ranged, cheaper and already in use Tomahawk arrives?

CHeaper? You don't use million dollar Tomahawks that we are already short on for shore bombardment. Since the max range of the 16" is almost 50km, whereas max range for a 155mm is around 18km - 23km with conventional rounds, how about tank or mech battalions 25km or more from the proposed marine landing beach?



Because these are the only targets where the BB shows a clear advantage in providing fire support.

I submit existing 16" guns have a CLEAR ADVANTAGE over non-existent, cancelled 155mms.

My next question is how many of these targets are within 26 miles of the shoreline? How many are within 115nm of the shoreline and is the now-reduced payload of the 16" shell a factor since the target can apparently withstand 5" and 155mm shells? Can any of these targets be attacked more cheaply than $1.5 billion per ship + manpower costs for 1,100 sailors using existing weapons platforms?


By the time you factor in the cost of airplanes and the aircrew's training - NO.

O'Bryon makes a point about the weight of ordnance the BBs can deliver; but what targets require that kind of ordnance delivery?


Oh, I dunno - BUNKERS, maybe?

More importantly, what kind of target will be clustered close enough together that they can all be hit without moving the BB to a new firing position - because unless they are spaced pretty close, the BB will spend more time moving to a new position than it will actually firing and that is a factor in real-life delivery of ordnance that I don't think this editorial gives much credence.


OOH, I know, lets put an ENGINE in the BB so it can MOVE!

Sure, you can turn big rocks into fine sand with a BB much more cheaply than with aircraft; but whether you hit it with 100 16" shells or 100 2,000lb bombs, there isn't going to be much left to target after that.

...but you haven't risked any planes or pilots to do it!


For that matter, in an urban battlefield where the enemy long ago learned to "hug" American forces for their own protection, what is the "danger close" range of a 16" shell compared to a 155mm shell?

What is the role of the 155mm in a MOUT fight? The fact is - all artillery is useless in a MOUT fight - that's not an argument against BBS for shore bombardment BEFORE the MOUT fight begins.

Old Dog
June 21, 2005, 06:10 PM
Forget the debate about the material condition of the BBs ... look at the direction the Navy's going with its personnel. No more Boiler Technicians (BTs); that rating is gone -- who's gonna run the engineering plants? ... The few remaining Machinist's Mates (MMs) with steam plant experience are getting ready to retire ... and we're drawing down another 40 to 60 thousand sailors. Going to the "optimal manning" plan, reducing billets at sea (no more admin, personnel, few supply billets on ships), contracting out and outsourcing all our admin, personnel, supply, food service and many, many training billets on shore duty ... Bringing back the battleships is a pipe dream.

Preacherman
June 21, 2005, 08:27 PM
Rich, your facts are wrong in many areas. Just as an example, the G5/52 with RAP has an effective range of 52,000 meters - not the 39,000 you posit. Even the G5/45 can exceed 45,000 meters with RAP.

Also, the point at issue isn't whether a BB can withstand one or two hits from anti-ship missiles - of course it can. The point is that in a mass missile attack, it's going to be dealing with dozens of hits simultaneously. If you look at the average BB formation, you'd have the BB, one Aegis ship of cruiser size, one of destroyer size, and a couple of other escorts. These can do pretty well against a massive assault, but they can't handle an attack by a hundred or more missiles simultaneously. Their "window" of engagement for low-level missiles is from about 20 miles out, when they can detect them on their fire-control radar and lock on to them. For missiles travelling even at subsonic speeds (let's assume 600 mph), they'll cover that 20 miles in two minutes. The defending ships would have to launch, control, and track onto target all their defensive missiles, get the Phalanx systems to deal with leakers, etc. in 120 seconds. I concede they may get a third of the targets; if they're very good indeed, they may get half; but they won't get more, not if the attacking missiles are all coming in within 30 seconds or so (as can easily be arranged prior to launch). If you're dealing with supersonic missiles, the problem becomes almost impossible, as the same number of missiles will arrive within a minute (or less) of maximum lock-on range being reached.

Another factor is electronic counter-measures. Most anti-ship missiles today can be equipped with any one (sometimes more than one) of three types of homing: radar (active or passive), infra-red, or home-on-jam. Many modern missiles are active-homing, with jam-resistant radar, and have a backup mode where if the jamming becomes severe, they go into a home-on-jamming-transmitter mode that guides them straight into the ship broadcasting the jamming. Not a very healthy prospect if you're on the ship... Furthermore, modern missiles carry their own ECM and EW transmitters, so that they can markedly increase the "targets" seen by defensive radars. This greatly complicates the defensive picture, as you have to make sure you're not wasting missiles or a Phalanx burst on a decoy.

No, the BB is not a survivable option in today's naval battle theater.

WT
June 21, 2005, 08:35 PM
Preacherman - it they can get a BB, they can get a CVN.

Slater
June 21, 2005, 08:41 PM
I dunno. Kind of looks like a Confederate ironclad :D :

http://www.ddxnationalteam.com/overview/

rwc
June 21, 2005, 09:37 PM
I had the same thought Preacherman did. Has anyone studied the Falklands war? That was the last serious naval engagement I can recall. The Brits did all right, but it cost them as I recall.

I know almost nothing about modern naval engagements, but it would seem that you wouldn't want to take a carrier group or any large ship anywhere near a shore that had a large number of dispersed anti-ship missles. Think Falluja for ships. To heck with controlling the shore, how do you keep every jihadi with an Avon, an Evinrude, and an Exocet from toasting your ship? I don't know the answer, just asking the question.

As for CAS, I had friends in the A-10 squadron at DMAFB outside Tucson. Their planes were slated for transfer "across the street" to the bone yard when GWI started. I've not heard anyone talk about ditching the Warthogs since. I imagine they'll be upgrading that platform until someone figures out how to give a Gunny control over a small squadron of UAVs that he can use to provide his own CAS. As I understand it the Marines are using UAVs now for scouting. Seems like just a medium step in budget and scale to rig an A-10 as a UAV and substitute more 20mm for the "bathtub."

Preacherman
June 21, 2005, 09:52 PM
Preacherman - it they can get a BB, they can get a CVN.
Amen! Indeed they can - which is why CVN's and their battle groups don't get within a few hundred miles of an enemy shore, and try to keep their distance from naval opposition as well...

misANTHrope
June 21, 2005, 10:54 PM
Forget the debate about the material condition of the BBs ... look at the direction the Navy's going with its personnel. No more Boiler Technicians (BTs); that rating is gone -- who's gonna run the engineering plants? ... The few remaining Machinist's Mates (MMs) with steam plant experience are getting ready to retire ... and we're drawing down another 40 to 60 thousand sailors. Going to the "optimal manning" plan, reducing billets at sea (no more admin, personnel, few supply billets on ships), contracting out and outsourcing all our admin, personnel, supply, food service and many, many training billets on shore duty ... Bringing back the battleships is a pipe dream.

I have a feeling there are plenty of MMs around with steam plant experience who are nowhere near retirement. After all, someone's got to be running the plants on the LHA, LHD, and LCC-class ships, as well as the couple of CVs left running around. You could make the argument that most of those ships are older; indeed, the remaining CVs won't be around much longer. I can't find any prospective decomission info on the LCCs, but the Navy plans to SLEP the LHAs out to 2025-2030, and the LHDs are even newer and will last at least as long as the LHAs. LHD-7 was just commissioned in 2001, and will be around for awhile. Having spent some time on LHD-6, Bonhomme Richard, last summer, I can say with finality that there are plenty of young sailors about who can operate and maintain a oil-fired steam plant, and even play some pranks on clueless midshipmen while on duty. :D

280PLUS
June 22, 2005, 06:30 AM
I can say with finality that there are plenty of young sailors about who can operate and maintain a oil-fired steam plant, and even play some pranks on clueless midshipmen while on duty.

Yes, I believe there is a bucket of steam and some relative bearing grease in #1 fireroom waiting for you...

:evil:

and could you pick up some batteries for the sound powered phones too, while you're at it?

:neener:

oo-oo and some bulkhead remover and a SKY HOOK!

:p

Just watch out for those pesky Sea bats! :eek:

Oh and most important of all! Beware those who are not Wogs! :what:

on a more serious note, I recall seeing a film of an Exocet hitting a destroyer midships, afterward there was no midships the thing kept floating though... :D

armoredman
June 22, 2005, 09:49 AM
You're a wog? Sorry....got my shellback in 88.... :cool:

misANTHrope
June 22, 2005, 12:34 PM
Yeah, I went out thinking I was ready for the pranks, expecting the mail bouy watch, the ID-10-T form, the relative bearing grease, etc. I thought I was prepared, and my superior situational awareness and engineering knowledge would protect me from any novel pranks.

Wrong.

I and two other mids are down in forward MMR (main machinery room) one day with a crusty old CWO doing safety checks, when he mentions in the most offhand manner that they got a new steam blanket in, had we seen it? Uh, no. Now, I'd never heard of such a thing, even during my shipoboard engineering classes, but for some reason I can't explain, I took it hook, line, and sinker. Oh, well the steam blanket is in the after MMR, and CWO needs it in forward, so we head back there. This involves climbing up four decks and back down again.

Back in after MMR, we're given this rolled-up piece of fiberglass matting. I'm starting to get a bit suspicious, but there's nothing to do now but roll with it. My suspicions grow tenfold when a petty officer down there takes a photo of the three clueless mids holding some random fiberglass matting. Eventually, we head back to forward MMR with the "steam blanket." Four decks up, four decks down. Hmm, CWO isn't present, but there is a general air of merriment. Oh, says a grinning fireman; he's up in the E-div office. Six decks up, we trek to the office, and there he is.

After a good round of laughter, it was all over. :D

280PLUS
June 22, 2005, 12:44 PM
All I can tell you is that I am not a Wog...

;)

Steam Blanket?

Actually that's one I don't recall, hmmmm

:D

richyoung
June 22, 2005, 01:26 PM
Rich, your facts are wrong in many areas. Just as an example, the G5/52 with RAP has an effective range of 52,000 meters - not the 39,000 you posit. Even the G5/45 can exceed 45,000 meters with RAP.

A TOWED system? You've got to be kidding! It's life expectancy in a shooting war is minutes. I play OPFOR in an Army sim center, and the first thing that happens is I take out half of the M198s. Why only half? Because we are teaching artillery officers, and the exercise controllers stop me from killing the other half. Jane's Armor and Artillery 2004-2005 gives max range for the G5/52 with base-bleed as 40K (about a 20 pound explosive charge), with VLAP 50K. That VLAP projectile has a mere 8.3 kg explosive charge - not enough to hurt a BB, even if you could hit at max range, which you can't. There IS an experimental rocket-assisted VLAP round that WILL shoot to the 52k you reference...BUT it only has a 4.3 Kg charge - I'm sure you aren't seriously considering this as an anti-BB round??? The biggest round you can throw, the base-bleed at 40K, has only 20 pounds or so of TNT - equivalent to a 105mm howitzer or similar diameter mortar round. The rest are even less. The BB an sling its 16" rounds out to 48K+ -0 - FULL SIZE rounds. I know who's gonna win that counter-battery fight.


Also, the point at issue isn't whether a BB can withstand one or two hits from anti-ship missiles - of course it can. The point is that in a mass missile attack, it's going to be dealing with dozens of hits simultaneously.

The beauty of a BB is it doesn't MATTER how many marshmallows you hurl at it - they have ALREADY demonstrated the ability to take a direct hit from an airplane travelling 400 MPH carrying a 1000lb bomb, with little damage. Nobody can aford to make "dozens of hits" with anything big enough to hurt a BB - you just aren't going to get "dozens of hits" with Silkworm class ASMs, and anything less, like an Exocet, isn;t going to do the job no matter how many you send.



If you look at the average BB formation, you'd have the BB, one Aegis ship of cruiser size, one of destroyer size, and a couple of other escorts. These can do pretty well against a massive assault, but they can't handle an attack by a hundred or more missiles simultaneously. Their "window" of engagement for low-level missiles is from about 20 miles out, when they can detect them on their fire-control radar and lock on to them. For missiles travelling even at subsonic speeds (let's assume 600 mph), they'll cover that 20 miles in two minutes. The defending ships would have to launch, control, and track onto target all their defensive missiles, get the Phalanx systems to deal with leakers, etc. in 120 seconds. I concede they may get a third of the targets; if they're very good indeed, they may get half; but they won't get more, not if the attacking missiles are all coming in within 30 seconds or so (as can easily be arranged prior to launch). If you're dealing with supersonic missiles, the problem becomes almost impossible, as the same number of missiles will arrive within a minute (or less) of maximum lock-on range being reached.

...so we should scrap all those amphibious landing ships, etc? IF (and its a big if) we had to operate in such an environment, obviously some other system would have to suppressthe ASM sights,...hmmm, might be a good target for those Tomahawks, backed up by whatever extended range main gun ammo is adopted. If the Soviets can shoot down incoming ATGMS with active defense systems on tanks, a BB can carry an even more effective counter-system.

Another factor is electronic counter-measures. Most anti-ship missiles today can be equipped with any one (sometimes more than one) of three types of homing: radar (active or passive), infra-red, or home-on-jam. Many modern missiles are active-homing, with jam-resistant radar, and have a backup mode where if the jamming becomes severe, they go into a home-on-jamming-transmitter mode that guides them straight into the ship broadcasting the jamming. Not a very healthy prospect if you're on the ship... Furthermore, modern missiles carry their own ECM and EW transmitters, so that they can markedly increase the "targets" seen by defensive radars. This greatly complicates the defensive picture, as you have to make sure you're not wasting missiles or a Phalanx burst on a decoy.

...and just WHO has this stuff fielded in the numbers you are talking about? I notice neither we nor any other navy is giving up their amphibious capability - under your scenario, such units also would be wipe dout.


No, the BB is not a survivable option in today's naval battle theater.

If not the BB, then nobody. We lost a LOT more carriers in WWII than BBs.

roo_ster
June 22, 2005, 01:37 PM
I think the either/or BB/DDX debate is somewhat miscast. They are different ships with different capabilities, some of which have been called out, and some of which overlap. A case can be made for both capability sets. Actual implementation of the BB' capabilities (and proposed BB capabilities) are relatively low-cost and low-risk.

The technologies being introduced for other arty systems could be used for the 16" guns
- GPS guidance
- Tri-mode seeker
- In-filght updates on target loc (for moving targets)/re-tasking
- Multiple, independant, guided, sub-munitions

There are some misconceptions:

Tomahawks ( & guided missiles in general)
Tomahawks for shore bombardment is a non-starter, as are Tomahawks for in an anti-personnel role. Also, Tomahawks are not going to crack open any tough bunkers.

155mm vs BB
SA produces an awesome 155mm howitzer...that is only a 155mm howitzer. Not exactly a fearsome adversary for a BB (unless it has a nuke warhead). The BB gets to move about pretty easily and the howitzer, if SP, can move out, too, though WHERE it can move is more resticted. If the howitzer is towed, shoot & scoot impairs how it can service the BB...or it stays in place and gets ready for a 16" diameter present. CB radar give the advantage to the constantly-moving platform.

We saw what happens to battleships & their smaller counterparts at Jutland. The battleships shrugged off most hits by smaller rounds and were in danger primarily from other battleships. The smaller ships were in extreme danger from both battleships as well as other smaller ships. Lesson: if you're using guns vs BB, they'd best be BIG guns. If you're a smaller ship, avoid close-in gun battles.

A couple of other SA howizer ques:
- How widespread are SA's howitzers?
- Any guided munitions?
- If so, what method?

Most opfor howitzers will be the 152mm & 122mm varieties from Russia, not SA 's howitzers. The RUskie howiters would be much less a threat than SA's tubes.

Preacherman
June 22, 2005, 02:16 PM
Rich, I'm afraid your facts (some of them) are still wrong, and you're still missing the point. I'm not talking about combat exercises here, but the real world.

First, your figures on the G5 are still wrong. The ranges you cite are for the G5/45 with base-bleed ammo, and that's been available since the early 1980's. The G5/52 is a new development, not yet fielded except for trials, and the RAP's to go with it are also new. Check out Denel's specs on the weapon for yourself - they're on the Web. Also, bear in mind that the same technology used for the G5 in its various incarnations is in use by other countries: India has the Austrian version of the weapon, China is using it to develop longer-ranged artillery (to go with their already-longer-ranged MRL systems), etc. It's not limited to one country by any means.

Second, the damage resistance of BB's. I have already agreed with you that a BB could take one or two major hits without a problem. In the scenario I posited, the BB is likely to take dozens of hits... and no BB in history has ever taken damage like that before. The scenario is not unlikely, either: China could mount such a mass missile attack anytime, and so could Russia, as they've both got these missiles by the hundreds, if not thousands. The BB is much more vulnerable to such attacks than CV's, AA ships, etc., because the BB must come within range of the coast to provide fire support - certainly within visual range, if they're to cover (say) 5 to 10 miles inland.

Another thing: the BB (and the other ships of the force) use missile launchers, Phalanx systems, etc. for defence. Get in just one or two good hits on any ship, and the odds are very good that radars, launchers and guns used for anti-missile defence will be either degraded or destroyed - leaving that much less interference for the remainder of the incoming missiles to deal with.

I'd point out that these scenarios have been "wargamed" by countless navies, NATO, etc. over the years. In every such scenario over the past 20 years or so, the fleet units within range of such a missile attack have lost, and lost comprehensively. This is why current CVN doctrine calls for deployment well outside the coastal missile envelope, and why amphibious capabilities are being developed to allow the dispatch of a landing force from more than 100 miles away from the proposed beachhead. Distance is one's only safety - and the BB, with its limited range, just can't get far enough away to be safe.

For that matter, with the ongoing development of energy weapons, the future is very interesting, as aircraft, missiles and even conventional artillery and MRL systems are likely to become obsolete by 2050 if current predictions pan out. There is a school of thought that says that with the development of light-speed laser and charged-particle-beam weapons, anything - anything - that comes over the horizon, at whatever altitude or speed, is dead right there. This would mean the end of close air support, missiles, even satellites, if long-range beams were developed for extra-atmospheric use. This is no longer science fiction, as laboratory developments have demonstrated such weapons already. At present, disruptive beam weapons are under development to scramble a missile's electronics from several miles away. Right now, Phalanx systems are being deployed to Iraq to deal with incoming artillery munitions - this was announced a few weeks ago, and these upgraded systems are claimed to be able to hit a 155mm. shell in flight. (See here (http://www.strategypage.com//fyeo/howtomakewar/default.asp?target=HTADA.HTM) for info on both these developments.) Let these guidance systems be further improved, and mated with a beam weapon, and we've got a whole new ball game, where ships, aircraft, and even tanks (in open country, without cover) are dead meat.

richyoung
June 22, 2005, 03:16 PM
Rich, I'm afraid your facts (some of them) are still wrong, and you're still missing the point. I'm not talking about combat exercises here, but the real world.

Our data bases for weapons vulnerability and performance are as close to "real world" as declassification allows (we train foreign officers, as well)


First, your figures on the G5 are still wrong. The ranges you cite are for the G5/45 with base-bleed ammo, and that's been available since the early 1980's.

Jane's Armor and Artillery 2005-2005, page 814, refering to the Denel Ordinance G5-52:

"Max range:
(base-bleed) 40,000 m
(VLAP) 50,000 m


Since you feel you have better sources, mind telling us who they are?



The G5/52 is a new development, not yet fielded except for trials, and the RAP's to go with it are also new. Check out Denel's specs on the weapon for yourself - they're on the Web.

Ah yes, the difference between advertising, and what the system will actually do...been there, done that, it still can't HIT or HURT a BB...

Also, bear in mind that the same technology used for the G5 in its various incarnations is in use by other countries: India has the Austrian version of the weapon, China is using it to develop longer-ranged artillery (to go with their already-longer-ranged MRL systems), etc. It's not limited to one country by any means.

By your own admission , "not yet fielded except for trials"...and STILL not a threat to BBs!


Second, the damage resistance of BB's. I have already agreed with you that a BB could take one or two major hits without a problem. In the scenario I posited, the BB is likely to take dozens of hits... and no BB in history has ever taken damage like that before.

Wrong - how many hits did the Bismark take before it was scuttled by its own crew? How many did the Yamato class? I'm sorry, but your statement reveals a gaping hole in your knowledge about these ships

The scenario is not unlikely, either: China could mount such a mass missile attack anytime, and so could Russia, as they've both got these missiles by the hundreds, if not thousands. The BB is much more vulnerable to such attacks than CV's, AA ships, etc., because the BB must come within range of the coast to provide fire support - certainly within visual range, if they're to cover (say) 5 to 10 miles inland.

Only warheads of Silkworm size or larger are a threat, anything smaller is useless against a BB. Where, prey tell, on planet Earth is there any ONE area defended byy "hundreds" much less "thousands" of Silkworm class missles, which BTW are big slow targets and only have an 80K range? Hmm, might be good Tomahawk or 16" extended range targets...


Another thing: the BB (and the other ships of the force) use missile launchers, Phalanx systems, etc. for defence. Get in just one or two good hits on any ship, and the odds are very good that radars, launchers and guns used for anti-missile defence will be either degraded or destroyed - leaving that much less interference for the remainder of the incoming missiles to deal with.


A problem that ANY ship filling this role, old or new would have...


I'd point out that these scenarios have been "wargamed" by countless navies, NATO, etc. over the years.


Refresh my memory, aren't YOU the one that said,"I'm not talking about combat exercises here, but the real world." Right back atcha... :neener:

In every such scenario over the past 20 years or so, the fleet units within range of such a missile attack have lost, and lost comprehensively. This is why current CVN doctrine calls for deployment well outside the coastal missile envelope, and why amphibious capabilities are being developed to allow the dispatch of a landing force from more than 100 miles away from the proposed beachhead. Distance is one's only safety - and the BB, with its limited range, just can't get far enough away to be safe.

If we can make base-bleed and rocket-boosted 155mm rounds, we can make the same in 16", giving the old girls plenty of range.

For that matter, with the ongoing development of energy weapons, the future is very interesting, as aircraft, missiles and even conventional artillery and MRL systems are likely to become obsolete by 2050 if current predictions pan out.

Right - I'm supposed to be flying to work in a bubble-top air car with a personal robot slave by now..."current predictions" didn't pan out - they never do. Even if they do, thats still 45 years away - we have to get from here to there in the mean time, not to mention those things can be ADDED to the BB, just like the cruise missles were...


There is a school of thought that says that with the development of light-speed laser and charged-particle-beam weapons, anything - anything - that comes over the horizon, at whatever altitude or speed, is dead right there.

There WAS a school of thought that said since we had nukes, we didn't need large conventional forces - not ALL schools of thought are right, Obi-Wan...

This would mean the end of close air support, missiles, even satellites, if long-range beams were developed for extra-atmospheric use. This is no longer science fiction, as laboratory developments have demonstrated such weapons already. At present, disruptive beam weapons are under development to scramble a missile's electronics from several miles away.

All the more reason to be able to sling a 2000 lb shell, guided only by the laws of physics, and darned hard to destroy vis-a-vis a fragile missle and delicate guidance systems....plus might make a good anti-missle defense for the BB


Right now, Phalanx systems are being deployed to Iraq to deal with incoming artillery munitions - this was announced a few weeks ago, and these upgraded systems are claimed to be able to hit a 155mm. shell in flight. (See here for info on both these developments.) Let these guidance systems be further improved, and mated with a beam weapon, and we've got a whole new ball game, where ships, aircraft, and even tanks (in open country, without cover) are dead meat._


Ah, predicting the "death of the tank" again, yet it just keeps clanking along, doing its job. Destroying a 6" round, and destroying a 16" round, are two drastically different problems..._________________

Bartholomew Roberts
June 22, 2005, 03:29 PM
Time for some more research on your part...

richyoung, you are packing a lot of attitude for someone who has their basic facts incorrect.

The SS-N-19 is a supersonic missile with a 750kg warhead and a range of 625km (300kg in excess of the Silkworm).

The SS-N-22 travels at Mach 2.2 in its low-altitude profile and has a warhead of 320kg over a 250km range.

Advanced Chinese anti-ship missiles such as SAWHORSE sport a semi-armor piercing 500kg warhead, a Mach 2 speed and a 100km range.

The smallest of these missiles weighs 3,400kg and travels at Mach 2. Think about that for a second, this is a missile that weighs as much as a WWII kamikaze but instead of carrying a 250kg ventral bomb in the nose, is carrying a 500kg semi-AP warhead and travelling at Mach 2. That is a big difference to consider. In addition, the shorter the range the missile has to travel, the more the onboard fuel will contribute to the chaos.

A new ship with LESS armor will be AS or More vulnerable at the keel, and MUCH MORE vulnerable than turrets and deck armored to withstand 16" AP.

Both ships will see serious damage and loss of life if struck by a single missile. If struck by two, both ships are likely to sink. The first difference is that the modern ship actually has the low radar signature, anti-air defense net, and modern electronics to avoid getting hit in the first place. The second difference is that the modern ship will sink with about 400 crewmembers on board and one 5" or 155mm gun. The BB will sink with 1,100 crewmembers on board and half of your fleetwide naval gunfire support.

Also, let's not mistake "surviving" a hit with actually being useful in a continued fight. Because the battleship has the thick armored belt, almost all of its 1980s technology is mounted externally - any significant hit on a BB will disbale most of its electronics and radar suite and many datalinks and comms as well. You don't even need a giant warhead on a supersonic missile to do it. You can render a BB combat ineffective just by stripping off the radars and datalinks with several Sparrow AAW missiles in surface-targeting mode.

CHeaper? You don't use million dollar Tomahawks that we are already short on for shore bombardment.

Current unit production cost is $569,000 for a Tomahawk. This means you can buy 2,639 of them for the cost of simply reactivating a single BB (and this is before we add manpower costs or powder, shells, etc.). But you are right, you wouldn't use Tomahawks for shore bombardment, you would use the 5" guns the Navy already has on most ships.

Since the max range of the 16" is almost 50km, whereas max range for a 155mm is around 18km - 23km with conventional rounds, how about tank or mech battalions 25km or more from the proposed marine landing beach?

So we have a beachhead of 23km but nowhere to put the organic artillery of a MEU?

By the time you factor in the cost of airplanes and the aircrew's training - NO.

Tomahawk - airplane cost $569,000. Aircrew training - minimal. Aircrew risk - zero. Number of Tomahawks you can buy for one BB - 2,639

Oh, I dunno - BUNKERS, maybe?

So what is a better way to attack a fixed hard target like a bunker? A $1.5 billion BB with 1,100 crew that must close within missile range of the shore in order to attack or a $569,000 Tomahawk launched from way offshore by a submerged SSN?

Tomahawk not tough enough for the really hardened bunkers? OK, how about a GBU-28 that penetrates 20' of concrete or 100' of earth and costs only $149k per unit? Even better it can be delivered by platforms that are a fraction of the cost even after you consider manpower and training requirements.

OOH, I know, lets put an ENGINE in the BB so it can MOVE!

Rich, my point was that when you calculate the weight of ordnance on target that can be delivered daily by a BB, you do yourself a disservice if you simply multiply how many rounds a BB can fire in a day and say "That is how much weight we can deliver on target". Chances are in a real war, the BB will have to move quite a bit to acquire new targets and while it is moving it is not delivering ordnance, so the real numbers would be much lower than what O'Bryon suggested.

How about in the future, we both assume that we are basically have the same interests at heart and assume a certain level of goodwill rather than willfully misconstruing a point in order to throw out sarcastic witticisms?

The beauty of a BB is it doesn't MATTER how many marshmallows you hurl at it - they have ALREADY demonstrated the ability to take a direct hit from an airplane travelling 400 MPH carrying a 1000lb bomb, with little damage.

1. I have been unable to find any documented instance of a BB taking multiple kamikaze hits.

2. They took these hits in a WWII environment where radar was still relatively new, surface engagements were in visual range, and torpedos attacked at the waterline rather than underneath the keel. Those days are over. See the earlier comments about how even modest hits would severely affect the onboard systems of a BB.

As far as amphib landings, all of the points against a BB also apply to amphibs. Amphib landings are extremely dangerous in a contested maritime environment. The difference is you can achieve temporary superiority by concentrating forces in a small area in order to achieve the landing. After that, the expansion of the beachhead serves to remove the threat of attack.

The proposed use of the BB is to cruise up and down the coast attacking the shore (unlike an amphib group). So what do you do? Concentrate the same resources to protect the BB?

richyoung
June 22, 2005, 04:09 PM
Time for some more research on your part...

richyoung, you are packing a lot of attitude for someone who has their basic facts incorrect.

The SS-N-19 is a supersonic missile with a 750kg warhead and a range of 625km (300kg in excess of the Silkworm).

The SS-N-22 travels at Mach 2.2 in its low-altitude profile and has a warhead of 320kg over a 250km range.

Advanced Chinese anti-ship missiles such as SAWHORSE sport a semi-armor piercing 500kg warhead, a Mach 2 speed and a 100km range.

The smallest of these missiles weighs 3,400kg and travels at Mach 2. Think about that for a second, this is a missile that weighs as much as a WWII kamikaze but instead of carrying a 250kg ventral bomb in the nose, is carrying a 500kg semi-AP warhead and travelling at Mach 2. That is a big difference to consider. In addition, the shorter the range the missile has to travel, the more the onboard fuel will contribute to the chaos.

ALL of these are the size of fighters, and just as easy to shoot down. NONE of them hit as hard as a 16" AP, which the Iowa class was built to take. Numerous kamikaze hits, some with 500kg bombs, struck American BBs in the Pacific, and none were even knocked out of the fight. Not to mention the very cost and complexity of the weapons you reference makes them scarce and widely dispersed.


A new ship with LESS armor will be AS or More vulnerable at the keel, and MUCH MORE vulnerable than turrets and deck armored to withstand 16" AP.

Both ships will see serious damage and loss of life if struck by a single missile. If struck by two, both ships are likely to sink.

Have you a CLUE as to how much pounding a BB can withstand?


The first difference is that the modern ship actually has the low radar signature, anti-air defense net, and modern electronics to avoid getting hit in the first place. The second difference is that the modern ship will sink with about 400 crewmembers on board and one 5" or 155mm gun. The BB will sink with 1,100 crewmembers on board and half of your fleetwide naval gunfire support.


You aint sinking a BB with one or two hits - they were built to duke it out with a Yamato class...and win.
Also, let's not mistake "surviving" a hit w

ith actually being useful in a continued fight. Because the battleship has the thick armored belt, almost all of its 1980s technology is mounted externally - any significant hit on a BB will disbale most of its electronics and radar suite and many datalinks and comms as well. You don't even need a giant warhead on a supersonic missile to do it. You can render a BB combat ineffective just by stripping off the radars and datalinks with several Sparrow AAW missiles in surface-targeting mode.

You DO know that there are optical fire directors as well, right? That battleships were slinging big lead and hitting targets long before radar even existed?


CHeaper? You don't use million dollar Tomahawks that we are already short on for shore bombardment.

Current unit production cost is $569,000 for a Tomahawk. This means you can buy 2,639 of them for the cost of simply reactivating a single BB (and this is before we add manpower costs or powder, shells, etc.). But you are right, you wouldn't use Tomahawks for shore bombardment, you would use the 5" guns the Navy already has on most ships.

5" is too short-ranged and too small a payload - thats why the LCS was considered - but a reactivated BB is better!


Since the max range of the 16" is almost 50km, whereas max range for a 155mm is around 18km - 23km with conventional rounds, how about tank or mech battalions 25km or more from the proposed marine landing beach?

So we have a beachhead of 23km but nowhere to put the organic artillery of a MEU?

I am refering to the enemies mobile forces BEFORE the marines hit the sand - that is the "best time" to attrite them, don't you think?

By the time you factor in the cost of airplanes and the aircrew's training - NO.

Tomahawk - airplane cost $569,000. Aircrew training - minimal. Aircrew risk - zero. Number of Tomahawks you can buy for one BB - 2,639

Oh, I dunno - BUNKERS, maybe?

So what is a better way to attack a fixed hard target like a bunker? A $1.5 billion BB with 1,100 crew that must close within missile range of the shore in order to attack or a $569,000 Tomahawk launched from way offshore by a submerged SSN?



You forget that unlike the Tomahawk, the BB can shoot thousands of rounds over its lifetime, and SUSTAINED fire is lots better at suppressing the enemy, which is why the Marines want the BBs back so badly they have volunteered to fund the manning of them.

Tomahawk not tough enough for the really hardened bunkers? OK, how about a GBU-28 that penetrates 20' of concrete or 100' of earth and costs only $149k per unit?

You are neglecting the risk to the airplane and crew, neither of which are cheap.

Even better it can be delivered by platforms that are a fraction of the cost even after you consider manpower and training requirements.

That's just plain wrong - I see you haven't priced a B-2 wing lately...


OOH, I know, lets put an ENGINE in the BB so it can MOVE!

Rich, my point was that when you calculate the weight of ordnance on target that can be delivered daily by a BB, you do yourself a disservice if you simply multiply how many rounds a BB can fire in a day and say "That is how much weight we can deliver on target". Chances are in a real war, the BB will have to move quite a bit to acquire new targets and while it is moving it is not delivering ordnance,

This would be news to all those sailors from WWII, Korea, and Vietnam that had NO PROBLEM shooting Iowa-class 16" guns while moving....


so the real numbers would be much lower than what O'Bryon suggested.

50Km range AND can steam at 33+ knots - you can hit a lot of targets.

How about in the future, we both assume that we are basically have the same interests at heart and assume a certain level of goodwill rather than willfully misconstruing a point in order to throw out sarcastic witticisms?

I din't misconstue anything - the BBs mobility is a plus - why anyone questions its ability to move in range is beyond me.

The beauty of a BB is it doesn't MATTER how many marshmallows you hurl at it - they have ALREADY demonstrated the ability to take a direct hit from an airplane travelling 400 MPH carrying a 1000lb bomb, with little damage.

1. I have been unable to find any documented instance of a BB taking multiple kamikaze hits.

Glad to help...U.S. BBs hit by Kamikaze:
"This damage could be considered similar to numerous Kamikaze hits sustained by “Standard Type” ships (including Nevada once, New Mexico twice, Mississippi twice, Idaho once, Tennessee once, California once, Colorado twice, Maryland twice and West Virginia once), all of which were largely shrugged off as all of the “Standards” remained in the battle zone for extended periods before departing for repairs."


fromA Survey of the American Standard Type Battleship (www.navweaps.com/index_tech/tech-071.htm)

2. They took these hits in a WWII environment where radar was still relatively new, surface engagements were in visual range, and torpedos attacked at the waterline rather than underneath the keel.

You are wrong again - most navies had "influence" (magnetic) detonators in use during or at the start of the war - they were designed to explode beneath a ship's keel.

Those days are over. See the earlier comments about how even modest hits would severely affect the onboard systems of a BB.

And yet we consider building a new ship to do the same jobe less capably, with the same if not more vulnerabbilities. Not an argument against the BB, I'm afraid...

As far as amphib landings, all of the points against a BB also apply to amphibs. Amphib landings are extremely dangerous in a contested maritime environment. The difference is you can achieve temporary superiority by concentrating forces in a small area in order to achieve the landing. After that, the expansion of the beachhead serves to remove the threat of attack.

The proposed use of the BB is to cruise up and down the coast attacking the shore (unlike an amphib group).

NO, you are wrong again. The proposed use of the BB is to provide fire support for an amphibious landing, the Marines understandably less than enthusiastic about 5" shells being the largest currently available. Since the BB will be supporting a landing, the same defenses protecting the amphib ships will be protecting it.

So what do you do? Concentrate the same resources to protect the BB?

Yes - it is going to be in the same place anyway.

280PLUS
June 22, 2005, 04:13 PM
Just because I know it's there, here is a link to a Sinkex done a while ago on a destroyer I know very well. Take a look at the pix and you'll see what effect some of these missles have. It may be relevant somehow to the conversation taking place here, I don't know.

http://sinkex.uss-buchanan-ddg14.org/

If you do more searxches on Buchanan you may find a more comprehensive file of pix, I know there are more than what is shown here. Plus I think theres a video!

richyoung
June 22, 2005, 04:17 PM
I've seen the pictures - a BB is a much harder target than a destroyer.

(They are cool pic tho...) :what:

280PLUS
June 22, 2005, 04:22 PM
A couple others here...

http://united-states-navy.com/dd/ddg14.htm

Preacherman
June 22, 2005, 04:27 PM
Rich, you're spouting a lot of information, but you're missing the point completely. The US navy, and ALL OTHER NAVIES in the world, have been working on these scenarios for decades. In the face of modern anti-shipping weapons, no vessel, including a BB, is survivable in a littoral zone. That's why stealth and distance are major factors in new warship design. This is not conjecture or theory, but established fact.

To pick up a few of your points:
ALL of these are the size of fighters, and just as easy to shoot down.
Er, no, they're not the size of fighters, and they are also MUCH faster than fighters. No fighter can sustain much more than Mach 1.1 or 1.2 at low levels. These sea-skimming missiles can sustain Mach 2 plus at altitudes of less than 100 feet. Smaller and faster - much harder target, particularly if they number in the dozens, or scores, or even hundreds.
Have you a CLUE as to how much pounding a BB can withstand?
Yes, I do, and so does the Navy. A 350 mph impact from a lightly-built Japanese World War 2 fighter with a 500-pound or 1,000-pound bomb strapped underneath is nothing like the impact of a Mach 2 missile with an armor-piercing warhead containing explosive compounds far, far more powerful that standard WW2 explosives. The speed of impact alone, even without an explosion, will probably put the missile through-and-through a BB. The explosion (inside the vessel, rather than on the external armor) will be devastating. These missiles are built for precisely this purpose, and they work.
You DO know that there are optical fire directors as well, right? That battleships were slinging big lead and hitting targets long before radar even existed?
Try optically picking up and tracking a Mach 2 missile at ultra low level when your time of sight before impact is measured in seconds, not minutes. Now try the same with an incoming flight of dozens of them. No way, Jose.
You are wrong again - most navies had "influence" (magnetic) detonators in use during or at the start of the war - they were designed to explode beneath a ship's keel.
Yes, and all navies - I repeat, ALL navies - that had them discontinued their use due to their unreliability, and went back to contact pistols for their torpedo warheads. The first reliable magnetic exploders date from the 1950's, and current exploders also use a variety of other sensors to ensure correct positioning. No major warship (i.e CV or BB size) has ever been tested with a modern torpedo strike beneath the keel - until now, when the Navy is planning to use the USS America as a test vehicle to assess the impact of modern weapons on a CV size ship. I assume this will include a below-the-keel warshot from a torpedo... should be interesting!

Rich, I appreciate your enthusiasm, and you obviously know more than a little about the subject of artillery: but please bear in mind that others know as much, or more, and the professionals in the Navy (and in navies around the world) are unanimous in their verdict: no warship, let alone a BB, is a survivable proposition in close-in littoral combat today. The threat from high-speed missiles, long-range artillery and MRLS systems (many of which now incorporate terminal guidance or homing), torpedoes and mines, etc. is just way, way too great. Ever since the Russians developed the missiles and tactics to take on such vessels, they've been effectively useless for such purposes. The US Navy has adapted by moving its strike forces way, way offshore, developing long-range landing assets such as hovercraft and the new LVT series (capable of over 30 knots for long periods), so that it can land amphibious forces without putting their transports and support ships in mortal danger. Increasingly, airpower is going to be the dominant fire-support for such landings, with ultra-long-range guns backing this up, using precision-guided rounds. The BB is an anachronism in such an environment, besides being an awfully costly asset both to use and to lose. It ain't coming back...

280PLUS
June 22, 2005, 04:48 PM
I know now why I thought those pics were relevant, it takes me a while sometimes :rolleyes:

Look at the damage done by the GBU-24 to the bridge area, the bridge is gone antennas are gone. IIRC that's where the gun director is/was located. So granted the hull is still relatively intact but, as someone else mentioned, her guidance is down rendering her useless. Same thing on a BB. Yes the structure is very strong and can withstand a lot of punishment but the electronics etc are not and if those are lost the fighting capabilities of the ship are severely diminished.

Incidentally, the hole in the bow is where my little bed used to be, for a while.

:what:

AND IT LOOKS LIKE THEY GOT THE TV!! :cuss:

richyoung
June 22, 2005, 05:03 PM
Rich, you're spouting a lot of information, but you're missing the point completely. The US navy, and ALL OTHER NAVIES in the world, have been working on these scenarios for decades. In the face of modern anti-shipping weapons, no vessel, including a BB, is survivable in a littoral zone. That's why stealth and distance are major factors in new warship design. This is not conjecture or theory, but established fact.

NO it won't be ESTABLISHED fact until and if it happens, until then it is computer based conjecture - said computers being programmed by people with a vested interest in supporting a new weapons program vs. refitting the BBS - kinda like the "global warming" simulations are rigged. We still spend billions on amphibious control ships, amphibious mother ships, marine units - all a complete waste - UNLESS some means have been found to deal with these issues.


To pick up a few of your points:

Quote:
ALL of these are the size of fighters, and just as easy to shoot down.


Er, no, they're not the size of fighters,

SS-N-19 - length 10 meters
SS-N-22 - length 9.38 meters
F-5 Tiger - length 48 feet (approximaely 14.7 meters)

They are still pretty big - close to fighter size, and not much harder to bring down.

and they are also MUCH faster than fighters. No fighter can sustain much more than Mach 1.1 or 1.2 at low levels. These sea-skimming missiles can sustain Mach 2 plus at altitudes of less than 100 feet. Smaller and faster - much harder target, particularly if they number in the dozens, or scores, or even hundreds.

which they don't, much less in the hands of those we would be likely to launch a sea-born invasion of -

Quote:
Have you a CLUE as to how much pounding a BB can withstand?


Yes, I do, and so does the Navy. A 350 mph impact from a lightly-built Japanese World War 2 fighter with a 500-pound or 1,000-pound bomb strapped underneath is nothing like the impact of a Mach 2 missile with an armor-piercing warhead containing explosive compounds far, far more powerful that standard WW2 explosives.

The only explosives we have signifigantly more powerful than WWII-era ones are nuclear, (excepting hyperbaric warheads, which aren't suitable for this use anyway). The only major change in our explosives formulae since then has been to reduce the risk of cook-off in a fire, (this after a couple of carrier fires...) Those missles aren't very heavily built, nor are they designed or are they capable of, penetrating a BB turret or deck, much less armor belt. They will positively shred tankers, carriers full of munitions and fuel, and lightly built destroyers and cruisers, which they WERE designed to kill.

The speed of impact alone, even without an explosion, will probably put the missile through-and-through a BB.

Not happening. Even battleship AP didn't always get through. The missle isn't fast enough and doesn't have enough sectional density. BBs have armor comparable to the fromt of a main battle tank - DU and tunsten steel rods traveling at Mach 7 don't always get through.

The explosion (inside the vessel, rather than on the external armor) will be devastating. These missiles are built for precisely this purpose, and they work.

They were built to blackmail tanker traffic. They would fail against a hard target.

Quote:
You DO know that there are optical fire directors as well, right? That battleships were slinging big lead and hitting targets long before radar even existed?


Try optically picking up and tracking a Mach 2 missile at ultra low level when your time of sight before impact is measured in seconds, not minutes. Now try the same with an incoming flight of dozens of them. No way, Jose.

The same defenses the amphib ships will be using will be effective for the BB

Quote:
You are wrong again - most navies had "influence" (magnetic) detonators in use during or at the start of the war - they were designed to explode beneath a ship's keel.


Yes, and all navies - I repeat, ALL navies - that had them discontinued their use due to their unreliability, and went back to contact pistols for their torpedo warheads.

The POINT is that the BBs are already designed with this threat in mind.
(edited to add: altho, I wouldn't be playing fair if I didn't point out that Pennsylvania's carreer was ended by a torpedo strike - she was essentially "bent", and nothing could be done to fix her. Minimal repairs were done to her, and she finished out the war..but that was the end.)


The first reliable magnetic exploders date from the 1950's, and current exploders also use a variety of other sensors to ensure correct positioning. No major warship (i.e CV or BB size) has ever been tested with a modern torpedo strike beneath the keel - until now, when the Navy is planning to use the USS America as a test vehicle to assess the impact of modern weapons on a CV size ship. I assume this will include a below-the-keel warshot from a torpedo... should be interesting!

Will be looking forward to it...



Rich, I appreciate your enthusiasm, and you obviously know more than a little about the subject of artillery: but please bear in mind that others know as much, or more, and the professionals in the Navy (and in navies around the world) are unanimous in their verdict: no warship, let alone a BB, is a survivable proposition in close-in littoral combat today. The threat from high-speed missiles, long-range artillery and MRLS systems (many of which now incorporate terminal guidance or homing), torpedoes and mines, etc. is just way, way too great. Ever since the Russians developed the missiles and tactics to take on such vessels, they've been effectively useless for such purposes. The US Navy has adapted by moving its strike forces way, way offshore, developing long-range landing assets such as hovercraft and the new LVT series (capable of over 30 knots for long periods), so that it can land amphibious forces without putting their transports and support ships in mortal danger. Increasingly, airpower is going to be the dominant fire-support for such landings, with ultra-long-range guns backing this up, using precision-guided rounds. The BB is an anachronism in such an environment, besides being an awfully costly asset both to use and to lose. It ain't coming back...


Hope you are wrong - I see no reason the BB can't benfit from the same extended-range technology. Not to mention, sometimes you have to go in harm's way - I would rather do so inside all of that armor. Somethings going to have to provide the fires - planes are too expensive, the LCS has the same vulnerabilities as the BB, the BB can do more, longer, for less.

richyoung
June 22, 2005, 05:35 PM
If I've come across too ascerbic, please forgive me - sometimes stuff comes out "sounding" different typed than it would if I spoke it - no insults intended! I'm sure we all want whats best for the grunts... :)

Bartholomew Roberts
June 22, 2005, 06:00 PM
ALL of these are the size of fighters, and just as easy to shoot down.

And you base that conclusion on what? Do some quick math on travel times and ranges of these missiles at supersonic velocities. Assuming you detect a mach 2-capable missile at launch and the missile is launched from its maximum range, you have about 120 seconds to do something about it. If the missile is hidden by the curvature of the earth/sea-skimming terminal approach, your first notice of its approach will be when it is with 20-30 seconds of your picket.

You aint sinking a BB with one or two hits - they were built to duke it out with a Yamato class...and win.

Speaking of the Yamato, the Yamato capsized and sunk after 10 torpedo hits and "several" bomb hits (http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/sh-fornv/japan/japsh-xz/yamato-n.htm). Let's assume the torpedoes were the most advanced Allied torpedos and carried the 600lb Torpex warhead. Let's also assume that the bombs were 2,000lb bombs.

This means the total amount of explosives expended on the Yamato was in the neighborhood of 12,000lbs - all of it delivered at the armored portions of the ship.

That is about 7 SS-N-19s (assuming of course that the fact the missile is travelling Mach 2 and packed with fuel adds no extra damage).

This is about 11 C-301 SAWHORSE missiles (the least capable of the missiles we discussed). Of course, the SAWHORSE has primarliy been outclassed by the Russian missiles that the Chinese have been buying instead.

After the first missile, the BB will be completely blind to any additional incoming missiles since it will likely no longer have an SPS-49 to detect the threats and no data link to other ships. This doesn't matter much since it couldn't really do much about them even if it did detect them as all it has to defend itself with is 4 CIWS. The range of CIWS is classified; but with a missile travelling around Mach 2, CIWS will have a very short window to detect and engage the threat. So while you are probably correct that a BB will survive the first hit, you'd have to be pretty optimistic to like its chances beyond that hit.

You DO know that there are optical fire directors as well, right? That battleships were slinging big lead and hitting targets long before radar even existed?

So what is the engagement range on an optical fire director? Perhaps if we were still fighting WWII, having only an optical fire director as your sole surviving combat sensor might not be a bad situation.

In the meantime, are you suggesting a hit by a 500kg Mach 2 anti-ship missile will be so insiginificant that the BB will be able to continue naval gunfire support?

5" is too short-ranged and too small a payload - thats why the LCS was considered - but a reactivated BB is better!

Well, the BB can't defend itself from air attack. It cannot defend itself from ASUW attack. It cannot defend itself from submarine attack. Since the BB is basically a defenseless floating gun base that will need escort to be effective, why not just tow a giant MRLS barge into place?

You forget that unlike the Tomahawk, the BB can shoot thousands of rounds over its lifetime, and SUSTAINED fire is lots better at suppressing the enemy

Any naval warship with a gun can provide sustained fire and fire support. The only thing the Iowa-class BB does that is not already done is provide fires out to 26nm and provide a larger explosives package. I know of no targets that are able to withstand a 5" shell but are still so mobile that they will be gone by the time a Tomahawk arrives, so the larger explosives package is irrelevant unless you have more than 2,639 such targets on hand. At this point, the BB may start to be more cost effective.

50Km range AND can steam at 33+ knots - you can hit a lot of targets.

AND

Since the BB will be supporting a landing, the same defenses protecting the amphib ships will be protecting it.

See any conflict between those two statements Rich?

from A Survey of the American Standard Type Battleship (http://www.navweaps.com/index_tech/tech-071.htm)

A few other comments from this link that you seem to have missed:

There was also Warspite’s subsequent encounter with a German guided missile-bomb (FX1400) which hit midships and left the ship drifting helplessly. Warspite was left permanently lamed and with X-turret inoperative.

The final insult to Warspite’s honored hull came in the form of an influence mine, which left her permanently “bent.” In this regard, Pennsylvania performed as badly when hit by a torpedo off Okinawa and was similarly written off with minimal repairs.

Both Barham and Malaya suffered single torpedo hits that put them out of action for three months at a time. In contrast, Maryland suffered a single torpedo hit in June 1944. After transiting from Saipan to Pearl Harbor before being repaired, Maryland was back in action in August 1944.

Resolution suffered a single torpedo hit and was left drifting and helpless in September 1940. This strike was in the widest part of the anti-torpedo blister, and not in way of the propeller shafts like the Pennsylvania, giving Resolution little excuse for having to be towed to port.

These are BBs being put out of action by prehistoric cruise missiles and single hits from WWII-era torpedos. While the Iowa-class BBs are admittedly a much better designed BB than any of those mentioned, the threat has also seen a much larger upgrade.

This is what modern torpedoes do to surface vessels (http://www.ssbn622.homestead.com/Sinkex.html).

armoredman
June 22, 2005, 06:32 PM
May I point out two things? One, the armor belt of the BB is approx 16 inches of cold rolled steel, not a hybrid like M1 Abrams armor, or anything special, just a huge chunk of 75 year old steel. I don't know what the penetration of a modern missile would be against such a belt, except for one other thing - are there not several anti ship missiles that use pop-up kill strategy? I could indeed see a wave of missles out to kill the single most impressive target afloat, for both battle usefullness, and propaganda.
I love the old battlewagons, but perhaps it would behoove us to design and build a new type of BB, BC, or such.

Hardware
June 23, 2005, 05:02 AM
In one of the night naval battle around Guadalcanal the USS South Dakota lost power and was illuminated and pummelled by 5 Japanese ships. She was struck 27 times by various caliber naval rifles including 14 inch shells from the Kirishima. She still had working radar after this raking and none of her armor was breached, although her fire directors and radios were out.

The South Dakota was an earlier class than the Iowa and you can expect her survivability to be greater since she benefitted from lessons learned in the earlier days of the war. Those 14 inch shells weight over 1100 pounds and were armor piercing, something they don't make missiles with. In the battle of Leyte Gulf the Japanese battleship Kongo's 14 inch shells perforated the destroyer USS Hoel and passed through without exploding.

Another destroyer the USS Aaron Ward survived 10 (!?!? :what: ) kamikaze hits during the invasion of Okinawa. I think our BBs could probably survive more, for those who are equating a missile with a kamikaze.

And the pictures of the DD used for a target may be a class that has an aluminum alloy superstructure. The command tower on the Massachusetts is over 12 inches thick of armor. She's the same class as the South Dakota so again, the Iowas are probably different. I don't think anything short of a bunker busting bomb is going to penetrate that.

280PLUS
June 23, 2005, 07:05 AM
And the pictures of the DD used for a target may be a class that has an aluminum alloy superstructure.

Absolutely correct! (Except thats a DDG - Adams Class to be exact. :) )

But I question whether any ship's guidance capabilities would remain 100%after multiple hits with something such as the GBU-24. It sounds to me like the type of attack these guys are talking about would, even if the hull and superstructure stayed relatively intact, wipe anything not covered in armor right off the deck.

Of course the best way to prove / disprove all this is to take one out and take a few shots at it. :eek:



They're worn out, are they worth salvaging? Is it worth it to spend the $ on new ones of similar design? Would it be better to spend the money on smaller ships and put our eggs in a few more baskets? 460 mile range on a 16" projectile sounds great until you reduce the projectile weight down to 500 Lbs. That negates the effectiveness of the gun. You're no longer throwing a "Volkswagen's worth of explosives" out there. A long while back here at THR we figured out the ft-lb for a 16" projectile weighing 2000 lbs IIRC. It would be interesting to compare the difference between that and the energy produced by a 500 Lb shell.

Edited to add this:

She still had working radar after this raking and none of her armor was breached, although her fire directors and radios were out.

Rendering her useless, or pretty near anyway.


Interesting arguments here!

:D

spartacus2002
June 23, 2005, 07:27 AM
How about pulling an old carrier from mothballs and parking a bunch of Paladins and MLRS on the deck?

:evil:

Bartholomew Roberts
June 23, 2005, 09:04 AM
Another destroyer the USS Aaron Ward survived 10 (!?!? ) kamikaze hits during the invasion of Okinawa. I think our BBs could probably survive more, for those who are equating a missile with a kamikaze.

I think it is more likely that this argues that a WWII kamikaze is in no way equal to a modern anti-ship missile in destructiveness; because there is no way something the size of a WWII-era destroyer would survive ten hits from a modern anti-ship missile.

The HMS Sheffield was destroyed by a single Exocet missile during the Falklands war and this was a modern destroyer with 4,100 tons displacement.

The USS Aaron Ward had a displacement of only 1,630 tons and survived ten kamikaze hits but later in the war was sunk from a single hit from a dive bomber combined with several near misses.

More than anything, this suggests to me that the kamikaze is probably just not an effective weapon and should not be used as a proxy for modern anti-ship missiles.

richyoung
June 23, 2005, 01:24 PM
Speaking of the Yamato, the Yamato capsized and sunk after 10 torpedo hits and "several" bomb hits. Let's assume the torpedoes were the most advanced Allied torpedos and carried the 600lb Torpex warhead. Let's also assume that the bombs were 2,000lb bombs.

This means the total amount of explosives expended on the Yamato was in the neighborhood of 12,000lbs - all of it delivered at the armored portions of the ship.


Musashi, Yamato's sister ship, took 20 torpedos and 17 bombs - by your math, thats 29,000 pounds of explosive. Yamato took 11 confirmed torpedoes and 2 probables with 8 confirmed bomb hits. Also many near miss bombs most certainly did some damage and the fact the second bomb hit killed the entire aft damage control team sped things up and prevented the fire in the aft 155MM turret that was so devastating and eventually led to the magazine explosion. So she went down, (by your math) to 15,800 lbs hitting + who knows how many near-misses that hurt as well + what can only be described as "bad luck" resulting in the mag explosion. But thats not the WHOLE story - as I'm sure you know, the torpedo hits were probably the most damaging - the depths were set to 20 feet, so as to strike beneath the armor belt - a trick I'm sure you will agree that no current ASM can pull off, seeing as Mach 2 missles tend to disintegrate on contact with water. The OTHER thing you are ignoring, is that the bombs were AP - designed to punch through the decks of armored ships - NO current ASM , even if it is described as "armor penetrating", is going to be as powerful.

After the first missile, the BB will be completely blind to any additional incoming missiles since it will likely no longer have an SPS-49 to detect the threats and no data link to other ships. This doesn't matter much since it couldn't really do much about them even if it did detect them as all it has to defend itself with is 4 CIWS. The range of CIWS is classified; but with a missile travelling around Mach 2, CIWS will have a very short window to detect and engage the threat. So while you are probably correct that a BB will survive the first hit, you'd have to be pretty optimistic to like its chances beyond that hit.

Experience from WWII indicates otherwise - nonetheless, the bulk of the heavy AA lifting I expect to be done by the Aegis systems attached to the fleet for just such a purpose.

In the meantime, are you suggesting a hit by a 500kg Mach 2 anti-ship missile will be so insiginificant that the BB will be able to continue naval gunfire support?

The closest thing we can analyze is older American BBs struck by Kamikaze at 400+ MPH with a heavier airframe, more gas, and 500Kg AP bombs - this set-up I would expect to do MORE damage to a BB than a modern ASM - the bomb is designed (as best as it can be) to penetrate an armored target (UNLIKE the ASM), and your smacking a whole airplane rather than a missle low on fuel into the target. NONE of the American BBS so struck lost the ability to fire or manuver - one was struck right on the turret, and it didn't even stop shooting that turret. The ones we have left are even MORE heavily armored and protected. You DO know that during the A-bomb trials, even a NUKE failed to sink the old BBs used as targets - some only a thousand meters away!

Well, the BB can't defend itself from air attack. It cannot defend itself from ASUW attack. It cannot defend itself from submarine attack. Since the BB is basically a defenseless floating gun base that will need escort to be effective, why not just tow a giant MRLS barge into place?

Ignoring the aircraft compliment, the same things apply to a CV, or just about any ship - handling ASMS and enemy air is the job of the fleet CAP and Aegis systems (augmented by whatever firepower is aboard for close-in), handling ASW is the job of those dedicated ships, aircraft, and the 1 to 3 attack subs that are attached to each task force for just such a purpose. To call a BB "defenseless" reveals how little you know about them. MLRS can't shoot from a moving platform, much less one that is moving AND rocking about all three axis of motion. Plus all it can do is sling a lot of ICM bomblets around - there are no mine or HE rounds for it. (If you get to put new rounds in the 155s and MLRS, I get to put new rounds in the 16's... :neener: )


Any naval warship with a gun can provide sustained fire and fire support. The only thing the Iowa-class BB does that is not already done is provide fires out to 26nm and provide a larger explosives package. I know of no targets that are able to withstand a 5" shell but are still so mobile that they will be gone by the time a Tomahawk arrives, so the larger explosives package is irrelevant unless you have more than 2,639 such targets on hand. At this point, the BB may start to be more cost effective.

Your lack of knowledge and experience is showing. The people who have to do the landings, the Marines, obviously feel that the 5" is inadequate in both range and effects - thats why they are volunteering to fund manning the two remaining BBs. The Navy also knows that they need something - just google "littoral" and "surface combatant", and you will see the hoops they have been trying to jump through to AVOID reactivating the BBs - unfortunately, all the alternatives cost more, do less, and are less survivable.


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50Km range AND can steam at 33+ knots - you can hit a lot of targets.



AND

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Since the BB will be supporting a landing, the same defenses protecting the amphib ships will be protecting it.



See any conflict between those two statements Rich?

No - the BB can be almost 50K away WITH THE ROUNDS WE HAVE NOW and still shoot in support of the landing beach...from what I have read of the Aegis system - it can still protect the BB at that distance.

These are BBs being put out of action by prehistoric cruise missiles and single hits from WWII-era torpedos. While the Iowa-class BBs are admittedly a much better designed BB than any of those mentioned, the threat has also seen a much larger upgrade.

You either didn't read the whole site, or you are being deliberately disenginuous. The examples of the Brittish ships were included to illustrate how much better our OLDER BBs before the Iowa class performed under similar hits - the new ones are even BETTER, and the threat, interms of hurting a BB is NOT upgraded, but actually less effective. The proximate cause of almost all the disablings were torpedos, attacking under the armor belt - something an ASM can't do.

richyoung
June 23, 2005, 01:27 PM
280plus, they don't have NEAR the years on them that carriers with similar size hulls and power plants have achieved.

Rendering her useless, or pretty near anyway.

Not so. BBs can and do fire based solely on radar. Thats how we fought at night in the Pacific. Not to mention all the suff that was knocked out back then was vacuum tube - modern electronics are MUCH harder.

richyoung
June 23, 2005, 01:30 PM
And you base that conclusion on what? Do some quick math on travel times and ranges of these missiles at supersonic velocities. Assuming you detect a mach 2-capable missile at launch and the missile is launched from its maximum range, you have about 120 seconds to do something about it.

A problem that computers and radar have no trouble solving. Please google "2S6", or any similar AA system

JPL
June 23, 2005, 01:42 PM
"launching full caliber projectiles the size of Volkswagens"

The SIZE of VWs?

I don't think so.

The weight of a VW maybe, but none of my VWs were ever 16" in diameter.

richyoung
June 23, 2005, 01:47 PM
May I point out two things? One, the armor belt of the BB is approx 16 inches of cold rolled steel, not a hybrid like M1 Abrams armor, or anything special, just a huge chunk of 75 year old steel. I don't know what the penetration of a modern missile would be against such a belt,

The strenght of armor is measured in units called RHA - the equivalent depth of Rolled Homogenius Armor that would provide the same protection as whatever combination of matrix/spacing is being tested/appraised. The numbers are different for kinetic energy penetration (WWII AP shells, long rod penetrators), and shaped charge (HEAT rounds, SOME anti-ship missles). For kinetic energy, at 0 degrees, (a perfect case which you never get), and giving no credit for armor sloping or the strength that the underlying structer adds to resist deformation/pentration, the BB's belt would be "16 inches (406mm) RHA Equiv - actually better, because of the special alloys used, and roughly equivalent to a M60/T-72 tank. HOWEVER, kinetic energy isn't what ASMs use, they use either a plain charge of explosive, either with a contact or slight delay fuse (this isn't going to penetrate a BB), or a shaped charge warhead. For shaped charges, once the charge is activated, air is as good as armor - a shaped charge will only penetrate a certain multiple of its diameter, usually 5 times unless real expensive liners like gold or platinum are used, and those are too expensive for large rounds like an ASM uses. So against an ASM with a shaped charge, all the water and fuel tanks, void spaces, storage areas, etc, that BY DESIGN are next to the armor, get added in as armor, resulting in an effective armor thickness several yards or more. I know of NO ASM with a shaped charge large enough around to penetrate past belt AND the sacrificial tanks and spaces behind it. Zip. Zero. Nada. Why would anyone build such a weapon? There are NO ships currently active anywhere near as hard to kill as a BB.



except for one other thing - are there not several anti ship missiles that use pop-up kill strategy?

True - but the BBs decks and turrets are armed to withstand arial bombs and AP shells - the ASMs aren't engineered to attack such targets - carriers are the hardest thing they will be shot at, & all you need to mess up one of them is to ignite a fuel A/C.

I could indeed see a wave of missles out to kill the single most impressive target afloat, for both battle usefullness, and propaganda.
I love the old battlewagons, but perhaps it would behoove us to design and build a new type of BB, BC, or such.

The Littoral Combat Ship, or Littoral Surface Comabatant, or Naval Gunfire Support Vessle, (the names keep changing!) seems to be a dead duck - it's reactivate the BBs, or nothing....

richyoung
June 23, 2005, 01:50 PM
How about pulling an old carrier from mothballs and parking a bunch of Paladins and MLRS on the deck?

I actually like this idea - I think the America should be reconfigured as a Roll-on/Roll-off transport ship for as much of a tank or mech division they can get onboard, with the arty on top. One would have to develope fire control software that would allow the 155s and MLRS to shoot from a moving rolling platform, but that seems doable... the arty could fire in support of the landing from the flight deck, and then disembark...Good idea.

richyoung
June 23, 2005, 01:58 PM
I think it is more likely that this argues that a WWII kamikaze is in no way equal to a modern anti-ship missile in destructiveness; because there is no way something the size of a WWII-era destroyer would survive ten hits from a modern anti-ship missile.


AHA, but we aren't arguing about their effectiveness on destroyers - we are talking BBS - a whole nother ball game. Plus we don't KNOW one wouldn't survive until we try it...

The HMS Sheffield was destroyed by a single Exocet missile during the Falklands war and this was a modern destroyer with 4,100 tons displacement.

The Exocet was the Cadillac of ASMs at the time, and anyone with web access can easily discover the fatal compromises in the Sheffield's materials and design - aparently they never thought they would take her into an actual shooting war - and even then, it was the FIRE that did her in, not the warhead. BBs DON'T have aluminum uppers, and have much bigger and better damage control parties.

The USS Aaron Wad had a displacement of only 1,630 tons and survived ten kamikaze hits but later in the war was sunk from a single hit from a dive bomber combined with several near misses.
More than anything, this suggests to me that the kamikaze is probably just not an effective weapon and should not be used as a proxy for modern anti-ship missiles.

It suggest to ME that one lucky hit in the right spot of a soft target can do damage all out of proportion to the warhead - fortunately, the Iowas HAVE no such soft spot. The Kamikaze is the best (and only) analogue, and a superior weapon against a BB, for reasons I've already detailed.

richyoung
June 23, 2005, 02:22 PM
But I question whether any ship's guidance capabilities would remain 100%after multiple hits with something such as the GBU-24. It sounds to me like the type of attack these guys are talking about would, even if the hull and superstructure stayed relatively intact, wipe anything not covered in armor right off the deck.

Everything on the deck is designed to ROUTINELY withstand the wrap-around concussion of 9 16" guns firing at once - that's why I dismiss 155 RAP as a threat to them. GBU-24 can currently pentrate 6 feet of concrete, with a model in development to go through 20 feet. Penetration in armor will be a small fraction of that, if possible at all. Its essentially a PG 1000Kg arial ap bomb - the best way to defend against it is to keep enemy air outside of its ten mile range. That being said, the BBs were designed to withstand 1000kg airial bombs specifically designed to pentrate armor, with the Iowa's having the best layout - certainly more armor than any other ship built since, which kind of renders the "survivability" issue moot.

Of course the best way to prove / disprove all this is to take one out and take a few shots at it.

Any volunteers?... :what:


They're worn out, are they worth salvaging? Is it worth it to spend the $ on new ones of similar design? Would it be better to spend the money on smaller ships and put our eggs in a few more baskets? 460 mile range on a 16" projectile sounds great until you reduce the projectile weight down to 500 Lbs. That negates the effectiveness of the gun.

That's still 2 1/2 times the size of the old 8" round, and THAT round has occasionally caused the "recieving team" to falsly conclude they were being nuked! Its 5 times the payload of a 155mm round.

You're no longer throwing a "Volkswagen's worth of explosives" out there.

True, but think of it the same as 500 lb bombs, WITHOUT risking A/C or crew, for further than the unrefueled combat radius of an FA-18

Bartholomew Roberts
June 23, 2005, 02:31 PM
Musashi, Yamato's sister ship, took 20 torpedos and 17 bombs - by your math, thats 29,000 pounds of explosive.

Yes, if we assume that every torpedo used the most powerful aerial torpedo developed during WWII and every bomb was the largest bomb that could be carried by a WWII era torpedo or dive bomber. More likely, the bombs were 500lbs or 250lbs.

Yamato took 11 confirmed torpedoes and 2 probables with 8 confirmed bomb hits.

That isn't what the U.S. Navy Historical Center reports (http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/sh-fornv/japan/japsh-xz/yamato.htm). It reports 10 torpedo hits and "several" bombs.

nonetheless, the bulk of the heavy AA lifting I expect to be done by the Aegis systems attached to the fleet for just such a purpose.

So which are you proposing we do, add the cost of an Arleigh Burke DDG and Ticonderoga class CG in order to provide ASW and AAW escort for the BB or divert existing ships from their current escort duties (leaving which ships unescorted?) to support a BB?

You DO know that during the A-bomb trials, even a NUKE failed to sink the old BBs used as targets - some only a thousand meters away!

And you DO know that without any enemy action at all one of the modern BBs we are discussing for naval gunfire support rendered itself combat ineffective through a turret explosion that the Navy still hasn't adequately explained?

To call a BB "defenseless" reveals how little you know about them.

I know enough to know that alone they are dogmeat in any modern naval combat. Of course you can surround them with exclusion zones and escorts like a CVN group; but then your battleship won't be able to get close enough to the coast to actually provide NGFS even with the currently non-existent 115nm 16" shells and certainly not with the 26nm shells.

The closest thing we can analyze is older American BBs struck by Kamikaze at 400+ MPH with a heavier airframe, more gas, and 500Kg AP bombs - this set-up I would expect to do MORE damage to a BB than a modern ASM

See some of the historical examples I've posted earlier in the thread regarding this assumption. 10 kamikaze hits failing to sink a 1,600 ton DD? For another example look at the WWII-era DD-772, this is the same destroyer class as the one mentioned above (Gleaves) but with a greater displacement due to modern naval systems. This 2,200 ton DD was eventually decommisioned and sold to the Turkish navy and renamed Muavenet. During a NATO exercise she was accidentally struck by a single Sea Sparrow missile (90lb anti-air warhead) and the resulting damage removed her from the exercise and killed 5 sailors (http://www.destroyers.org/Dispositions/Disp700-799.htm)

10 kamikaze hits couldn't sink her sister ship; but a single Sea Sparrow, a missile whose anti-ship capabilities are limited and designed as a secondary thought for engaging small patrol boats, disabled her. Yet we seem to be using kamikazes as proxies for modern cruise missiles and I don't think that is a fair comparison.

and are less survivable.

[inigo montoya] You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.[/inigo montoya]

No - the BB can be almost 50K away WITH THE ROUNDS WE HAVE NOW and still shoot in support of the landing beach.

Rich, my original statement was that it was not fair to claim the full ordnance weight deliverable by a BB because what could be delivered and what was practical to deliver were two very different numbers. The BB can only engage targets in a 50km radius. What targets will survive multiple salvos of 16" guns? How many of them are there in a 50km radius? What will really happen is that if you could protect a BB, it would destroy all targets within its 50km radius in short order. At that point, the BB must either move (along with escorts and amphib ships) or it can no longer deliver ordnance effectively and what it is theoretically capable of doing has no practical use and isn't a useful comparison.

This is why I felt your statements were contradictory - on the one hand you are mentioning the mobility of the BB as a benefit and on the other you are claiming it can shelter under the same umbrella as the amphibs. Those are contradictions. It can't move up and down the coast attacking targets outside of that 50km radius without leaving the umbrella. So it isn't as mobile as you state since it is tied to its escorts.

The proximate cause of almost all the disablings were torpedos, attacking under the armor belt - something an ASM can't do.

No; but they can do terminal dives through the thinner deck armor and against the exposed Tomahawk box launchers and superstructure. As for the torpedoes, those torpedoes are a pale shadow of what even a second-tier Chinese produced SET-53 will do to a ship.

A problem that computers and radar have no trouble solving. Please google "2S6", or any similar AA system

Is the computer equipped to distinguish between threat and non-threat targets travelling at that speed and fire accordingly or does a human have to make a decision somewhere? Because humans have been known to freeze up in a crisis and freeze time is time you don't get to use.

As for the 2S6 integrated AAA, this is a system that claims (in advertising - remember how skeptical we are about advertising) a 65% kill probability used in conjunction with the SA-19 and assuming the target does not exceed 500m/s (Mach 2 for reference is 680.58 m/s). Let's assume the advertisers were modest and the system is good up to Mach 2. Let's assume the enemy is poor and can only lob 10 SAWHORSE missiles. How many 500kg semi-AP warheads are you going to eat? Better hope they are aiming at your BB with them; because you just lost your entire escort package if they targeted your pickets instead.

Preacherman
June 23, 2005, 02:40 PM
Bartholomew, I think we're flogging a dead horse here - Rich and buddies aren't going to change their minds based on the facts. Let's just say that every navy in the world agrees with us, and not with Rich, and leave it at that.

280PLUS
June 23, 2005, 03:02 PM
I have to ask. Weren't there a few battleships left in various stages of sunk and or destroyed after a little incident called Pearl Harbor? Or those don't count?

No Preacherman, I think he's coming around, a few thousand more words might do the trick :D J/K

I have to say I was on the fence at the start of this but I find myself leaning toward smaller ships and more eggs in our basket. I think th 16" gun may have it's place but it may be time to design a different platform for the gun. Someone mentioned gun barges, that seems almost plausible. How about remote controlled / self propelled ones? Kind of like floating self propelled artillery pieces?

richyoung
June 23, 2005, 03:29 PM
Yes, if we assume that every torpedo used the most powerful aerial torpedo developed during WWII...

The only aerial torpedo we used in quantity was the Mark XIII with a 600 pound warhead. The only other one actually used was a tiny anti-sub homing torpedo called "Homer" - you wouldn't attack any surface ship, much less a Yamato class, with it. How many different torps did you (mistakenly) THINK we had. You really aren't building up much credibility...

...and every bomb was the largest bomb that could be carried by a WWII era torpedo or dive bomber. More likely, the bombs were 500lbs or 250lbs.
They knew they were going after the biggest battleship in the world. The bombs would be the biggest AP bombs available that would fit the planes, probably 1000lb, possibly 2000lb if the Navy had any that big, and A/C rated to launch from a carrier eck with them. What would YOU load?

Quote:
Yamato took 11 confirmed torpedoes and 2 probables with 8 confirmed bomb hits.



That isn't what the U.S. Navy Historical Center reports. It reports 10 torpedo hits and "several" bombs.

The people WHO WERE ON IT and DIDN'T DIE report my figures - since they were front row center, they "ought" to know...

Quote:
nonetheless, the bulk of the heavy AA lifting I expect to be done by the Aegis systems attached to the fleet for just such a purpose.



So which are you proposing we do, add the cost of an Arleigh Burke DDG and Ticonderoga class CG in order to provide ASW and AAW escort for the BB or divert existing ships from their current escort duties (leaving which ships unescorted?) to support a BB?


Once AGAIN, they are going to be there anyway to protect the LHA, and other components of the amphibious force the BB is providing fire support for....no extra expenditure needed.

Quote:
You DO know that during the A-bomb trials, even a NUKE failed to sink the old BBs used as targets - some only a thousand meters away!



And you DO know that without any enemy action at all one of the modern BBs we are discussing for naval gunfire support rendered itself combat ineffective through a turret explosion that the Navy still hasn't adequately explained?

Using an unapproved load with 40 year old powder that hadn't been stored properly. Guess what, playing with big guns, missles, & such is DANGEROUS. Mishaps will happen. With any system.

Quote:
To call a BB "defenseless" reveals how little you know about them.



I know enough to know that alone they are dogmeat in any modern naval combat. Of course you can surround them with exclusion zones and escorts like a CVN group; but then your battleship won't be able to get close enough to the coast to actually provide NGFS even with the currently non-existent 115nm 16" shells and certainly not with the 26nm shells.

These are the most heavily armored warships ever built - if they can't take no one can.Read about Iowa class armor protection here (http://64.233.167.104/search?q=cache:0HV1U9mPWRUJ:www.battleship.org/html/Articles/IowaClass/Armor.htm+%22Iowa+class%22+deck+turret+armor&hl=en&start=1) For the record, I "build" combat systems in the databases for the simulations we use to train the free world's artilery officers and ncos here at beautiful Fort Sill, Oklahoma. I have to know how to model blast effects, penetration, armor equivalence, probabilities of hit, kill, pentration, AA aquisition, tracking, & engagement - and I've been doing it for nine years. Just what, pray tell, do YOU do for a living, (just so we can weigh your "expert opinion"), and whats the DSN number of the government office you occupy?


Quote:
The closest thing we can analyze is older American BBs struck by Kamikaze at 400+ MPH with a heavier airframe, more gas, and 500Kg AP bombs - this set-up I would expect to do MORE damage to a BB than a modern ASM



See some of the historical examples I've posted earlier in the thread regarding this assumption. 10 kamikaze hits failing to sink a 1,600 ton DD? For another example look at the WWII-era DD-772, this is the same destroyer class as the one mentioned above (Gleaves) but with a greater displacement due to modern naval systems. This 2,200 ton DD was eventually decommisioned and sold to the Turkish navy and renamed Muavenet. During a NATO exercise she was accidentally struck by a single Sea Sparrow missile (90lb anti-air warhead) and the resulting damage removed her from the exercise and killed 5 sailors

As I would expect - in a WAR, she doubtless would have continued to steam and fight. In a TRAINING EXERCISE, you stand down when something like that happens. Can you see the difference?


10 kamikaze hits couldn't sink her sister ship; but a single Sea Sparrow, a missile whose anti-ship capabilities are limited and designed as a secondary thought for engaging small patrol boats, disabled her.

Assumes facts not in evidence. After being struck, she didn't participate further in the exercise. No where have I read that she was incapable of moving, shooting, or communicating. "Not participating" in a peacetime training event is NOT the same as "disabled", especially in a live shooting war.

Yet we seem to be using kamikazes as proxies for modern cruise missiles and I don't think that is a fair comparison.

Only one we have - once again, what training and experience do you have to back up what you "think"?

Quote:
and are less survivable.



[inigo montoya] You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.[/inigo montoya]


See the link above...

Quote:
No - the BB can be almost 50K away WITH THE ROUNDS WE HAVE NOW and still shoot in support of the landing beach.



Rich, my original statement was that it was not fair to claim the full ordnance weight deliverable by a BB because what could be delivered and what was practical to deliver were two very different numbers. The BB can only engage targets in a 50km radius. What targets will survive multiple salvos of 16" guns? How many of them are there in a 50km radius? What will really happen is that if you could protect a BB, it would destroy all targets within its 50km radius in short order. At that point, the BB must either move (along with escorts and amphib ships) or it can no longer deliver ordnance effectively and what it is theoretically capable of doing has no practical use and isn't a useful comparison.

One of the things I was suprised to learn when I took this job is that DESTRUCTION isn't the only reason one fires artillery at things. You also shoot to SUPRESS things (like ASM launcers and air defense), forcing the other system or systems to shut down, button up, and/or move, INSTEAD of doing their job, Sometimes you want CONTINUOUS SUPRESSION. You don't always "know" when you have destroyed something, so some targets have to be re-engaged over and over, until manuever can get close enough to confirm destruction or deal with it themselves. Sometimes you need to shoot smoke to obscure the enemy - sometimes you need to deliver a minefield. There are even rounds with cameras in them to take TV pictures of the enemy and send them back to the HQ, there are cargo rounds to deliver ammo and supplies, (probably a bad example for the 16" :D ) illumination rounds, and even (Gd forbid) chemical rounds. Tomahawks can't do those things - planes have weather/availability/crew vulnerability issues, and thats WHY the Marines want SOMETHING to provide naval gunfire support.

This is why I felt your statements were contradictory - on the one hand you are mentioning the mobility of the BB as a benefit and on the other you are claiming it can shelter under the same umbrella as the amphibs. Those are contradictions. It can't move up and down the coast attacking targets outside of that 50km radius without leaving the umbrella. So it isn't as mobile as you state since it is tied to its escorts.

How nuch space do you think a naval task force takes up at sea when its all spread out? Aegis is supposed to prtect over a wide area - thats what it was made for. The BB moves if sae and necessary, stays with the task force if not.

Quote:
The proximate cause of almost all the disablings were torpedos, attacking under the armor belt - something an ASM can't do.



No; but they can do terminal dives through the thinner deck armor

Whats the BIGGEST warhead available on an ASM that perform such a terminal manuver? How does it compare against a 16" AP shell OR a 500KG AP aerial bomb, either of which the BBs were designed to GET HIT BY, and still be able to fight relatively unaffected?

and against the exposed Tomahawk box launchers and superstructure.

..so we loose the Tomahawk launchers - big deal. Much of the superstructure is a LOT more armored than a modern DD, as you will know after you read the link above.

As for the torpedoes, those torpedoes are a pale shadow of what even a second-tier Chinese produced SET-53 will do to a ship.

SET-53 (an anti-submarine homing torpedo - one wouldn't fire it at a BB) only has a 220 pound charge - the Iowas were built to withstand a 700 pound torpedo warhead with no ill effects, and earlier BBs suffered only slight damage from "long lance" torpedoes with almost 900 pound of explosive. Far from being a "pale shadow" they are actually much more powerful, if not as long ranged. Who fed you this nonsense?

Quote:
A problem that computers and radar have no trouble solving. Please google "2S6", or any similar AA system



Is the computer equipped to distinguish between threat and non-threat targets travelling at that speed and fire accordingly

For your googling pleasure please see "automated IFF", "air access corridor", "air control measure". I don't have time to tell you myself all that you don't know about AA systems and the means for controlling friendly air. Suffice it to say A/C are so tightly controlled that we don't even fire artillery through the airspace they are allowed to use, IF we can fire Suppresion of Enemy Air Defense missions and get them released int hte first place.

or does a human have to make a decision somewhere? Because humans have been known to freeze up in a crisis and freeze time is time you don't get to use.

As for the 2S6 integrated AAA, this is a system that claims (in advertising - remember how skeptical we are about advertising) a 65% kill probability used in conjunction with the SA-19 and assuming the target does not exceed 500m/s (Mach 2 for reference is 680.58 m/s). Let's assume the advertisers were modest and the system is good up to Mach 2. Let's assume the enemy is poor and can only lob 10 SAWHORSE missiles. How many 500kg semi-AP warheads are you going to eat?

None. It's called "layered defense", and it starts with Tomahawks, YF-117As and B-2s taking out the command and control facilities, radars, ASM launch facilities, followed by a steady stream of CAS and suppression, supplimented by the fleet CP, intermediate and close-in missle systems, (remember that mighty Sea Sparrow? If it can "disable" a destroyer, it will play hobb with a missle....), and gun systems for final defense.

Better hope they are aiming at your BB with them; because you just lost your entire escort package if they targeted your pickets instead.
_

Better the BB - it can take it. :) _________________

richyoung
June 23, 2005, 03:31 PM
Bartholomew, I think we're flogging a dead horse here - Rich and buddies aren't going to change their minds based on the facts. Let's just say that every navy in the world agrees with us, and not with Rich, and leave it at that.


Most other navies have a light cruiser or less as their biggest vessel - it is an argument applicable to only the U.S., and I have delt with all of your "facts".

richyoung
June 23, 2005, 03:35 PM
I have to ask. Weren't there a few battleships left in various stages of sunk and or destroyed after a little incident called Pearl Harbor? Or those don't count?

Slightly updated "Battle of Jutland" designs at peace with their water-tight doors open for inspection - and at that only the Oklahoma and Arizona were permanently lost. There loss has no more impplications for modern combat than the post-war scrapping of their mates does. If no one is ready to fight back - a few guys with cutting torches can take them out...


No Preacherman, I think he's coming around, a few thousand more words might do the trick J/K
NOT! :neener:

I have to say I was on the fence at the start of this but I find myself leaning toward smaller ships and more eggs in our basket. I think th 16" gun may have it's place but it may be time to design a different platform for the gun. Someone mentioned gun barges, that seems almost plausible. How about remote controlled / self propelled ones? Kind of like floating self propelled artillery pieces?

\
Cool idea - only one thing stopping it - $$$$$$$

2nd Amendment
June 23, 2005, 03:38 PM
+1 Rich, for the entire thread.

I always love it when someone winds up by saying well we won because you disagree with our "facts". :D

Preacherman
June 23, 2005, 04:28 PM
Rich, I'm pleased to know your credentials:
For the record, I "build" combat systems in the databases for the simulations we use to train the free world's artilery officers and ncos here at beautiful Fort Sill, Oklahoma. I have to know how to model blast effects, penetration, armor equivalence, probabilities of hit, kill, pentration, AA aquisition, tracking, & engagement - and I've been doing it for nine years.
They're good - for LAND artillery, etc. Unfortunately, the naval equation is rather different, as any US Navy ordnance specialist will tell you. I've had something over eleven years experience in actual Naval service and as a part of a design team building naval (and other) weapons, and have also undertaken liaison work with NATO officers examining the possibilities and probabilities of Cold War-type engagements between NATO and Warsaw Pact forces. Even in the 1980's, the unanimous opinion of all these experts was that in a mass missile engagement of a NATO or US fleet, the fleet would lose big-time. The number of missiles available would simply swamp the defences, AEGIS notwithstanding.

Also, we did very intensive studies of missile impacts, including analysis of all known missile strikes on warships (in sinkings of reserve vessels, actual warshots such as the Falklands engagement, exercise mishaps such as the Turkish DD hit by a Sea Sparrow, tests of production missiles from France, Italy, Israel, the USA and the USSR - although no-one was too specific about how we got hold of the latter country's figures... :D ). Again, it was found that a hardened missile warhead, even at subsonic speeds, would penetrate WW2 hull armor of up to 8" - and (except for a few areas) BB superstructures aren't anywhere near that well armored. When supersonic speed and larger missiles, such as used by the Russians (and, today, China, India, Iran, etc.) were factored into the equation, it was unanimously agreed that even WW2 BB armored belts would not withstand the impact. As has been pointed out, these armored belts were made of steel, not nearly as resistant to penetration as today's complex layered composite armor. (Also, with the pop-up terminal attack profiles used by anti-ship missiles today, they would never encounter the main armored belt, diving instead through the decks and superstructure, which are much, much more vulnerable to their strikes.)

I'm afraid that naval experts have nothing like your confidence in a "layered" defence in a littoral environment, because that defence is directed towards keeping opponents from getting within range of the fleet. In a littoral environment, the opposite is true - you're taking the fleet to within range of the weapons! The latter can be dug into caves, mounted on trucks, launched from ships, submarines, aircraft and helicopters, or (in the case of the extended-range larger missiles) even launched from up to several hundred miles inland.

Our calculations (aided by actual exercises involving US carrier strikes, missile launches during exercises, etc.) showed that even an AEGIS-equipped battlegroup would have immense difficulty in dealing with 50-odd missiles all arriving within striking distance within a time period of 30 to 60 seconds. (This is, of course, precisely the tactic that Russia developed for attacking our carrier battle groups, and has been similarly adopted by other navies since then.) Many of the attacking missiles would be shot down, but invariably, 20% to 30% would get through - after which (i.e. for second-flight missiles) the defences would be so seriously degraded that the fleet's vulnerability would approach 100%. In missile flights of 100 missiles, it was figured that less than half would be taken out, leaving over 50 to do their damage. Not good...

(BTW, this is one of the reasons for the development of the vertical-launch missile systems currently used on US Navy warships - quite apart from the greater efficiencies in use of space, etc. It was found that the conventional missile launchers, loaded from magazines, that were used in the 1960's and 1970's would be very easily disabled by blast, even if this were not from a direct hit. VLS missiles are sheltered by the hull and their hatches, and are less vulnerable to such damage. The same applies to conventional, rotating radar antennae - these are very easily disabled compared to fixed, flat-panel antennae as used in the AEGIS system and other, more modern radars.)

As I said before, the Navies of the world are UNANIMOUS in their verdict on the survivability of ANY ship or battle group in such an environment - and approaching a hostile coastline puts them into precisely such an environment. This is why the US navy tactics include keeping battle groups as far offshore as possible, maintaining as large an outer perimeter for defence as possible (with aircraft patrolling several hundred miles away from the ships), an intermediate perimeter for AEGIS missile engagements of targets getting past the aircraft, an inner perimeter for point defence weapons, etc. Such perimeters work well when you can keep enemy missiles and aircraft from getting within (say) 500 miles of the battle group - which you can do when out at sea. If you have to put the battle group 50 miles offshore, or closer if the BB is to provide bombardment support, you've effectively narrowed your defensive perimeter to the point where it's impossible to interdict shore-launched (and hard to detect) missiles, etc. Even smaller 155mm. rounds can quite easily take out radars, Phoenix CIWS, etc., clearing the way for larger weapons to take out the ship itself and/or its larger, better-armored weapons.

This is why proposals for DD(X) and more modern support ships emphasize stealth features: if they're hard to detect, they're hard to target. Conventional BB's are incredibly easy to detect, and just as easy to target. Given enough attacking missiles to swamp the defences, they're dead meat, with their weapons and systems disabled even if they're not sunk. Furthermore, with modern warhead developments, they'll be hit not just by conventional explosives, but by EMP warheads, etc. which will also disable their active defences.

I'm not going to continue this debate, because it's clear that you believe strongly in your facts and figures, just as I believe in mine. I will simply state that all Navies agree on the non-survivability issue, including the US Navy, and that's the way it is right now. This decision is not about to change.

Bartholomew Roberts
June 23, 2005, 05:34 PM
The only aerial torpedo we used in quantity was the Mark XIII with a 600 pound warhead. The only other one actually used was a tiny anti-sub homing torpedo called "Homer" - you wouldn't attack any surface ship, much less a Yamato class, with it. How many different torps did you (mistakenly) THINK we had. You really aren't building up much credibility...

The Mk13 aerial torpedo initially had a warhead of 451lbs of TNT (http://www.us-aircraft.com/bbs/navy_config.pl?read=745) and wasn't changed to a warhead of 600lbs of Torpex until later in the war. Not that I don't enjoy having my credibility questioned by someone ignorant of the facts mind you. ;)

Once AGAIN, they are going to be there anyway to protect the LHA, and other components of the amphibious force the BB is providing fire support for....no extra expenditure needed.

Well since you are apparently our resident expert, perhaps you can answer me whether they will be able to accomodate guarding an extra ship with their current loadout of missiles and sensor arrays? That won't present any problems?

Using an unapproved load with 40 year old powder that hadn't been stored properly.

Is newer powder available for 16" guns?

For the record, I "build" combat systems in the databases for the simulations we use to train the free world's artilery officers and ncos here at beautiful Fort Sill, Oklahoma. I have to know how to model blast effects, penetration, armor equivalence, probabilities of hit, kill, pentration, AA aquisition, tracking, & engagement - and I've been doing it for nine years. Just what, pray tell, do YOU do for a living, (just so we can weigh your "expert opinion"), and whats the DSN number of the government office you occupy?

I'm a first year law student. Prior to that however, I was a linguist and analyst for Naval Security Group serving in the 7th Fleet (the AO for most of our scenarios). In that capacity I served in both DIRSUP and watch floor roles.

These are the most heavily armored warships ever built - if they can't take no one can.

Well you are right. If a ship is planning to survive modern naval combat by just soaking up hits from incoming threats, it probably is going to fail that test. This is one of the reasons every warship built in the last 50 years has been designed around the concept of avoiding detection to begin with and engaging those threats before they can hit the ship. The idea of slugging it out and trading explosives was dying even before WWII started.

(regarding the Muavenet Sea Sparrow incident) As I would expect - in a WAR, she doubtless would have continued to steam and fight.

The Saratoga (CV 60) accidentally fired a salvo of two Seasparrow missiles at the Turkish destroyer, Mauvenet, on October 1, 1992. One of the two missiles, with a nominal 38-kg warhead, struck the ship. While the Mauvenet was not sunk, the bridge was destroyed and five crewmembers, including the captain, were killed. This damage equated to a mission kill. See The Navy's Year in Review, U. S. Naval Institute Proceedings 119, No. 5 (May 1993), p. 125.

This is one of my points about the BB - even if it survives, scoring a mission kill on it is easier still because all of the modern comm and sensor systems are outside the armored belt by necessity.

You don't always "know" when you have destroyed something, so some targets have to be re-engaged over and over, until manuever can get close enough to confirm destruction or deal with it themselves.

So which targets can be suppressed with a 16" gun; but not with a 5" gun or a 155mm?

How nuch space do you think a naval task force takes up at sea when its all spread out?

It depends on the mission, ships, environment and time available. Aegis-equipped ships may operate as pickets as far as 220nm out from the carrier. Remember, we are talking missiles that travel 25nm in a single minute, you need to control fairly large sections of space if you hope to be able to protect your escorts.

Also, most of these task forces are designed around the idea that the high-value ship stays inside the middle of the task force, not running out to the edges of the formation. An additional problem presented by this is the fact that the coastline presents a pretty impenetrable barrier for the picket ships that would normally be there to provide your missile defense. This means these ships must be in different and less ideal positions than they would be in a carrier group.

Whats the BIGGEST warhead available on an ASM that perform such a terminal manuver?

Well, there is the SS-N-19 Shipwreck which is a 7,000kg supersonic missile with a 750kg warhead and a 650km range. You would be unlikely to see that outside Russia as it is one of their premier anti-ship missiles. However, they have already sold their other premier anti-ship missile, the SS-N-22 Sunburn to China, so who can say?

How does it compare against a 16" AP shell OR a 500KG AP aerial bomb, either of which the BBs were designed to GET HIT BY, and still be able to fight relatively unaffected?

Well the U.S. was able to purchase some quantity of the commercial sale Sunburns... maybe we should put the banged up Iowa to good use and find out.

..so we loose the Tomahawk launchers - big deal. Much of the superstructure is a LOT more armored than a modern DD, as you will know after you read the link above.

Except those Tomahawks each have a 1,000lb warhead - making the four armored box launchers 8,000lbs of HE stored above decks in a single container that isn't armored anywhere near the same level as the rest of the BB. Look at naval history and see how often explosions of onboard munitions played a role in a lucky shot or hit destroying or seriously damaging a vessel.

Frankly, if NGFS is the mission, you might be better off removing them and relying on the VLS cells of escorts.

SET-53 (an anti-submarine homing torpedo - one wouldn't fire it at a BB) only has a 220 pound charge - the Iowas were built to withstand a 700 pound torpedo warhead with no ill effects, and earlier BBs suffered only slight damage from "long lance" torpedoes with almost 900 pound of explosive. Far from being a "pale shadow" they are actually much more powerful, if not as long ranged.

I assure you, the SET-53, like most of the 53 series, is a multipurpose torpedo and can be fired at a BB or any other surface ship. However, I am at fault in being imprecise as I am accustomed to referring to all Russian 533mm torpedos by that name, even though it references a specific model. The type of torpedo we might expect to see fired at a BB would be a Chinese YU-4 (Russian SAET-60). This can be fired from the same 533mm tube as the SET-53 and most subs that use them carry six in the bow tubes. Each has a 400kg warhead.

Who fed you this nonsense?

The U.S. Navy.

Here is a project for you. Find a ship that has survived a single hit from a Mk48 ADCAP 533mm torpedo. In the meantime, here is another historical comparison for you:

Here is the 14,000 ton former-LPH-3 Okinawa being sunk by a single Mk48 torpedo:
http://www.navsource.org/archives/10/10110306.jpg

For your googling pleasure please see "automated IFF", "air access corridor", "air control measure". I don't have time to tell you myself all that you don't know about AA systems and the means for controlling friendly air.

Naval Task Forces often hang out in crisis locations BEFORE war has broken out. Suprise attack is also a popular naval strategem that has won many battles. Since you don't have the time to give me an in-depth explanation, maybe you can just explain the practicality of applying these systems in a peacetime environment and what kind of compromises might need to be made. Would those effect the defense of your high-value target floating offshore?

None. It's called "layered defense"

Yeah, and the layer the BB provides is an armor belt and 4 CIWS. Everything else is provided externally. DD-X would have a lower radar signature, a VLS system that could accomodate Standard Anti-Air missiles and a phased array radar system designed to handle missile-flood attacks. It could even have a CIWS too!

Bartholomew, I think we're flogging a dead horse here - Rich and buddies aren't going to change their minds based on the facts. Let's just say that every navy in the world agrees with us, and not with Rich, and leave it at that.

Probably; but it keeps me from going insane on the Kelo vs. City of New London thread and is entertaining besides. As an added bonus, no matter how much Rich might know about modelling things blowing up or I might know about the threat environment in the 7th Fleet AO, the people who will ultimately decide this policy are more capable than either of us.

Joejojoba111
June 23, 2005, 07:26 PM
Does anyone have information on the penetration capabilities, RHA, of mose of these anti-ship missiles?

I mean the states do sound impressive, several hundred kilogram warhead, excess burning fuel, but what will that really do to thick thick thick thick steel?

As I understand it, explosives VS steel is a no-brainer, explosives lose. Bridges in Vietnam were unsuccessfully attacked with ordinary missles, and they actually left some scorch-marks on the steel... The thickness of steel sported in the belting of large BBs precludes penetration by most conventional weapons. That's why the best way to sink them was Underwater, or through the deck with AP delayed-fuse bombs. And in WW2 there had been vast strides made in underwater passive defences against torpedos, Italian systems, French systems, everyone had systems.

I think Rich makes sense, but he's pissing in the wind, no-one cares, the Dogma is already in place. Where once BBs were IT, and CVs or Subs were NOT, the situation is now reversed, practicality be damned.

Preacherman
June 23, 2005, 07:54 PM
Joe-multiple-J's ( :D ), these anti-ship missiles are designed with an armored warhead. This is so built as to be able (by design) to punch through steel armor plate, and/or multiple unarmored bulkheads, so as to put the explosive charge deep inside the target ship. The Russians were the first to develop these, as they were more likely to face very large ships. Early Western anti-ship missiles (e.g. Exocet, the Israeli Gabriel, the US Harpoon, etc.) did not have these "penetrating" warheads in their earlier generations, but I understand that later developments of these weapons do have some form of "penetrator aids" built in, although I don't know for sure.

The penetration works on three levels:

1. The sheer speed of a supersonic anti-ship missile, allied to its weight, makes for a formidable delivery of plain ol' kinetic energy, which will punch through an awful lot of steel plate or multiple bulkheads.

2. In some missiles (notably the Russian ones) there is an outer hardened layer around the warhead, of such a shape and thickness as to be able to penetrate very well, and thus get the warhead deep into a ship before it explodes.

3. Against very heavily armored targets (e.g. the side armor belt of a BB), the warhead, moving at Mach 2+, would probably blow a hole through the armor, even if it didn't manage to penetrate beyond it. This would also probably strip off a large amount of the layered armor, as happened in World War 2 to more than one battleship when an enemy shell exploded inside the layers of the armored belt.

280PLUS
June 23, 2005, 09:16 PM
Early Western anti-ship missiles (e.g. Exocet, the Israeli Gabriel, the US Harpoon, etc.) did not have these "penetrating" warheads in their earlier generations, but I understand that later developments of these weapons do have some form of "penetrator aids" built in, although I don't know for sure.

I know the Exocet hit I refered to earlier must have penetrated deep as it literally blew away amidships right down to the waterline. The only thing left connecting fore to aft was the keel from what I could tell. I looked around for the pic online today but had no luck. Granted it probably did not encounter much armor plate on the way through. I'm going to guess what I'm talking about took place circa 1979. Us destroyer boys were DULY impressed. :what: :eek:

Joejojoba111
June 23, 2005, 11:55 PM
OK, crazy stupid idea time - try not to laugh:0

What if, just what if, they put reactive tiles above the water-line? You could remove a turret to accomodate any increased weight. Reactive tiles, even 1st generation ones, ought to really mess up any hopes an ASM had, no?

Also, for my information, torpedos explode near or beneath the ship, without contacting it, right? So reactive armour their would be useless?

Oh, one more thing, I found out that when considering armor impacts, it is good to examine two points of view. One is that the projectile is hitting the target at a speed. Then, to be fair, pretend that the projectile is standing still and is suddenly struck by the target, at the same speed. It really changes some ideas. "How would the warhead work if impacted by 400mm of steel travelling 700m/s?"

Oh, and Rich, fyi aiui HEAT jets from small warheads can travel a few meters, as demonstrated by some spaced-armor tests, so I'd expect a respectable coherent distance from a big one - but the damage done to a big ship by a 3-6" hole a even 10 meters long, that's not much damage.

Also, people here minimize the impact (no pun intendet) of the bombs that miss ships in war. Those were shown to be the most devastating bombs - aside from those in the funnel.


Oh, last point, iirc the big reason why battle ships were not considered really practical for modern naval warfare was because the missiles that would be coming at American fleets in WW3, when they entered Russian waters, were not HE, but thermo-nuclear, so planning to duke it out with 'da big 'uns was a poor plan. But for supporting a landing you are already working under the basic assumption that the landing force will not be nuked! This has to be assumed, doesn't it?

280PLUS
June 24, 2005, 06:08 AM
Another thing that crossed my mind.

WOOD DECKS? How well does wood slow down one of these supersonic missles?

:D

Bartholomew Roberts
June 24, 2005, 09:02 AM
There is an armor belt beneath the wood deck. Though I doubt burning missile propellant spread all over your decks is going to be helped by a wood deck.

Does anyone have information on the penetration capabilities, RHA, of mose of these anti-ship missiles?

Here is a pic of an ordinary subsonic Tomahawk attacking an F4 Phantom through several feet of hardened reinforced concrete (http://www.nawcwpns.navy.mil/~pacrange/s1/news/2003/TTomTest.htm) using a penetrating warhead. The antiship missiles we are discussing here move at roughly 3-4x the speed of the Tomahawk and have more mass, though only the SS-N-19 and SAWHORSE have bigger warheads.

It is also worth pointing out that most warheads are described as "semi-armor piercing". In sinkexs there have been cases of missiles passing clean through the target ship without detonating which naturally does less damage to the ship. Most modern anti-ship missiles want a certain amount of penetration; but not over-penetration (sound familiar?). However, you can increase the penetration by changing the warhead - this concept is used to turn missiles like the Harpoon into hard target attack missiles like the SLAM.

Let's say Rich's estimation of the BBs missile-soaking ability is correct and it absorbs a tremendous number of missiles designed to penetrate ordinary unarmored modern warships (though many of the missiles were developed with the express purpose of attacking U.S. carrier groups and penetrating deeply enough into a carrier to at least mission kill it). Let's also assume that our ASW reigns supreme and no sub can close with a BB, even though diesel-electric subs generally dominate littoral waters.

Now the invulnerability of our $1.5 billion BB carrying 1,100 sailors rests on the ability of our enemies to come up with a more successful armor piercing warhead that can be mounted on an existing anti-ship missile. Considering the ability of the TOW II to penetrate modern complex armor (with the entire missile weighing 48lbs.), what do you think our enemies might be able to come up with given a 705lb-1,653lb payload JUST for the warhead?

richyoung
June 24, 2005, 10:28 AM
They're good - for LAND artillery, etc. Unfortunately, the naval equation is rather different, as any US Navy ordnance specialist will tell you. I've had something over eleven years experience in actual Naval service and as a part of a design team building naval (and other) weapons, and have also undertaken liaison work with NATO officers examining the possibilities and probabilities of Cold War-type engagements between NATO and Warsaw Pact forces. Even in the 1980's, the unanimous opinion of all these experts was that in a mass missile engagement of a NATO or US fleet, the fleet would lose big-time. The number of missiles available would simply swamp the defences, AEGIS notwithstanding.

It's great to hear from someone with your experience - thanks for sharing that. So you are GOING to take hits - you want to take them in something like the Sheffield, or inside of the most protected armored vessel ever made?


Also, we did very intensive studies of missile impacts, including analysis of all known missile strikes on warships (in sinkings of reserve vessels, actual warshots such as the Falklands engagement, exercise mishaps such as the Turkish DD hit by a Sea Sparrow, tests of production missiles from France, Italy, Israel, the USA and the USSR - although no-one was too specific about how we got hold of the latter country's figures... ). Again, it was found that a hardened missile warhead, even at subsonic speeds, would penetrate WW2 hull armor of up to 8" - and (except for a few areas) BB superstructures aren't anywhere near that well armored.

8" penetration won't get you through the sides, into the turrets, through the deck, or into the conning tower - sides are 12.1" inclined 19 degrees upper belt + 12.1 " tapering to 1.62" at the bottom, also at 19 degrees. In addition to the teak decking, (which could easily be replaced with ceramic armor during refit) ,the deck has a "bomb deck" of 1.5" Special Treated Steel, a space, a "main armor deck" of 4.75" of Class B armor plate laminated with 1.25" STS, and a "splinter deck" further below of .625" of STS. The "bomb deck" will detonate GP warheads and bombs, (MOST ASMs), and will arm AP warheads so that they explode before they reach the "Bomb deck". The "splinter deck" is to trap any fragments or spalling that gets by the "bomb deck", even excluding the spacing, (which is a signifigant part of the armor design), thats more than 8" of armor right there. Turret armor is constructed from a combination of Class A and Class B armor and STS plate. The faces of the turrets are 17I inches Class B armor over 2.5 inches STS plate. The side plates are 9.5 inches Class A armor on .75 inch STS plate. The back plates are 12 inches Class A armor and the turret roofs are 7.25 inches Class B armor. The only possible vulnerable point is the roof, and although the thickness is a little less than 8", CLass B armor is specially alloyed and heat treated to out-perform RHA, and again, one can add aplique armor to the turret roofs (easiest place), as is done with tanks today. The conning tower is constructed from segments of Class B armor 17.3 inches thick. BB61 is three levels and BB62 on had 2 levels (the flag level was omitted). Roof plates are 7.25 inches Class B and the floor is 4 inches STS. The conning tower is connected to the citadel by a communications tube with a wall thickness of 16 inches of Class B armor. Granted this leaves parts of the superstucture vulnerable to the most capable ASMs - but ALL of every current or new construction vessel is vulnerable! Which is better - the ability to protect SOME of the superstructer, or NONE of it?

When supersonic speed and larger missiles, such as used by the Russians (and, today, China, India, Iran, etc.) were factored into the equation, it was unanimously agreed that even WW2 BB armored belts would not withstand the impact.

Then they are in error. It's not a hard thing to test. One of the problems solid-rod penetrators have against tank armor is shattering on impact - and they are a LOT more solid than a guided missle. Without sectional density, all the extra speed does is make the wreckage splatter further, and NO ASM, Mach 2 or otherwise, has sufficient SecD to get through armor. Thats why they rely on their warhead's explosive - and even the "semi-armor peircing" rounds, (realy just a hardened delay fuse) aren't built to go though BB armor - they are, at best, designed to penetrate carriers, which are more lightly armed and have combustible planes, fuel, and munitions on the first two decks.

As has been pointed out, these armored belts were made of steel, not nearly as resistant to penetration as today's complex layered composite armor.

...but NOT just plain RHA, either. Specially alloyed, specially heat treated, and layered with different compounds. They were able to resist plunging fire from 2000 lb AP shells...and nothing prevents us from ADDING a layr of Chobham or ceramic either over, or inside, or both...

(Also, with the pop-up terminal attack profiles used by anti-ship missiles today, they would never encounter the main armored belt, diving instead through the decks and superstructure, which are much, much more vulnerable to their strikes.)

On anything othert than an Iowa clas, I would agree. Please see above description of deck armor scheme and turret armor scheme.

I'm afraid that naval experts have nothing like your confidence in a "layered" defence in a littoral environment, because that defence is directed towards keeping opponents from getting within range of the fleet. In a littoral environment, the opposite is true - you're taking the fleet to within range of the weapons! The latter can be dug into caves, mounted on trucks, launched from ships, submarines, aircraft and helicopters, or (in the case of the extended-range larger missiles) even launched from up to several hundred miles inland.

All the more reason to have, if one MUST go there, a heavily armored system capable of continuous suppression/interdiction of those systems.

Our calculations (aided by actual exercises involving US carrier strikes, missile launches during exercises, etc.) showed that even an AEGIS-equipped battlegroup would have immense difficulty in dealing with 50-odd missiles all arriving within striking distance within a time period of 30 to 60 seconds. (This is, of course, precisely the tactic that Russia developed for attacking our carrier battle groups, and has been similarly adopted by other navies since then.)

...not just navies - this is also standar OPFOR practice for launching ATGMS at tanks and IFVS, and also similar to our own Naval aviation's "alpha strike" tactics...


Many of the attacking missiles would be shot down, but invariably, 20% to 30% would get through - after which (i.e. for second-flight missiles) the defences would be so seriously degraded that the fleet's vulnerability would approach 100%. In missile flights of 100 missiles, it was figured that less than half would be taken out, leaving over 50 to do their damage. Not good...

This situation would be dealt with BEFORE the amphibious landing, I presume. Last I heard, we haven't disbanded the Marine Corps yet...


(BTW, this is one of the reasons for the development of the vertical-launch missile systems currently used on US Navy warships - quite apart from the greater efficiencies in use of space, etc. It was found that the conventional missile launchers, loaded from magazines, that were used in the 1960's and 1970's would be very easily disabled by blast, even if this were not from a direct hit. VLS missiles are sheltered by the hull and their hatches, and are less vulnerable to such damage.


None of those hulls and hatches you refer to are as thick as the armor on a BB...

The same applies to conventional, rotating radar antennae - these are very easily disabled compared to fixed, flat-panel antennae as used in the AEGIS system and other, more modern radars.)

As I said before, the Navies of the world are UNANIMOUS in their verdict on the survivability of ANY ship or battle group in such an environment - and approaching a hostile coastline puts them into precisely such an environment. This is why the US navy tactics include keeping battle groups as far offshore as possible, maintaining as large an outer perimeter for defence as possible (with aircraft patrolling several hundred miles away from the ships), an intermediate perimeter for AEGIS missile engagements of targets getting past the aircraft, an inner perimeter for point defence weapons, etc. Such perimeters work well when you can keep enemy missiles and aircraft from getting within (say) 500 miles of the battle group - which you can do when out at sea. If you have to put the battle group 50 miles offshore, or closer if the BB is to provide bombardment support, you've effectively narrowed your defensive perimeter to the point where it's impossible to interdict shore-launched (and hard to detect) missiles, etc. Even smaller 155mm. rounds can quite easily take out radars, Phoenix CIWS, etc., clearing the way for larger weapons to take out the ship itself and/or its larger, better-armored weapons.

This is why proposals for DD(X) and more modern support ships emphasize stealth features: if they're hard to detect, they're hard to target. Conventional BB's are incredibly easy to detect, and just as easy to target.

Stealthing a ship is a much different task than stealthing an airplane. The smallest ships are much bigger than the biggest airplane - not to mentionthe whole wake issue, visual guidance, IR, etc. Stealth has yet to be demonstrated as a viable approach for anything larger than a small cutter. Yes, BBs are easy to detectand easy to target - problem is, even NOW they are only slightly vulnerable to the biggest, most capable ASMS, and with minor mods, can easily defeat their warheads as well.

Given enough attacking missiles to swamp the defences, they're dead meat, with their weapons and systems disabled even if they're not sunk.

This does NOT square with WWII experience. These ships were DESIGNED to be (relatively) invulnerable to their own guns, and NOTHING out there today, short of a nuke, can hit them as hard as an AP shell.

Furthermore, with modern warhead developments, they'll be hit not just by conventional explosives, but by EMP warheads, etc. which will also disable their active defences.

...we know how to harden critical systems against EMP, and the main guns use a mechanical fire control computer, anyway.

I'm not going to continue this debate, because it's clear that you believe strongly in your facts and figures, just as I believe in mine. I will simply state that all Navies agree on the non-survivability issue, including the US Navy, and that's the way it is right now. This decision is not about to change.

I understand. I can only point out the number of times that "conventional wisdom" in such matters has been WRONG. The world's navies used to think the BB was the main component of the fleet, with the carriers relegated to scouting, correcting shell fire, ASW, etc. They used to think torpedos couldn't be dropped from airplanes at places like Pearl Harbor and Taranto. Three times already theve decided they didn't need battleships anymore, only to reactivate some of them. Unfortunatley, I fear you are right about the decision not changing - I just disagree as to why. Thanks for your input.
Rich

richyoung
June 24, 2005, 10:53 AM
WOOD DECKS? How well does wood slow down one of these supersonic missles?

Theres three spaced layers of armor underneath the wood, which does add some protection of its own, though admittedly not much.

richyoung
June 24, 2005, 10:56 AM
Now the invulnerability of our $1.5 billion BB carrying 1,100 sailors rests on the ability of our enemies to come up with a more successful armor piercing warhead that can be mounted on an existing anti-ship missile. Considering the ability of the TOW II to penetrate modern complex armor (with the entire missile weighing 48lbs.), what do you think our enemies might be able to come up with given a 705lb-1,653lb payload JUST for the warhead?

That would leave ONLY the biggest, heaviest, and most expensive weapons available to deiver a punch that at its best approaches the impact of a SINGLE 16" AP round, against a target that was designed to soak up numerous 9 gun salvos and continue to fight.

benEzra
June 24, 2005, 12:08 PM
I see a lot of reference to BB's being vulnerable to "Mach 2 missiles" as if that gave a warhead with a low SD the ability to penetrate the armor. It should be kept in mind that that armor was designed to stop hardened-steel penetrators weighing nearly a ton (i.e., battleship AP shells), traveling at Mach 2...

richyoung
June 24, 2005, 12:10 PM
The Mk13 aerial torpedo initially had a warhead of 451lbs of TNT and wasn't changed to a warhead of 600lbs of Torpex until later in the war. Not that I don't enjoy having my credibility questioned by someone ignorant of the facts mind you.


I was aware of the change in charge weight and composition - I was merely giving you the "best case" scenario for YOUR argument.


Well since you are apparently our resident expert, perhaps you can answer me whether they will be able to accomodate guarding an extra ship with their current loadout of missiles and sensor arrays? That won't present any problems?

AEGIS defends an area, not individual ships. It targets the incoming threats, regardless of the number of individual ships. It ADDS and coordinates the close-in defense of ALL the ships, so actually more ships are better. Having a heavily armored large target to take hits intended for a light-skinned AEGIS cruiser or LHA also enhances the defense. So, rather than presenting problems, it actually helps by adding guns and an almost invulnerable target.




Is newer powder available for 16" guns?

For money, anything is available. We use millions of tons of powder each year in small arms and artillery - there's no big "secret" to making it for large naval cannon - you just modify the formula and grain size accordingly. With modern propellants, its not impossible that range will even increase. Even of the powder still in inventory, not ALL of it was improperly stored, as the Iowa's was.


I'm a first year law student.

I hope you intend to be a trial lawer - formidable agruing skills such as yours would be wasted elsewhere... :)

Prior to that however, I was a linguist and analyst for Naval Security Group serving in the 7th Fleet (the AO for most of our scenarios). In that capacity I served in both DIRSUP and watch floor roles.

I may disagree with you, but I salute you and thank you for your service to our country. Are you going to come back as a JAG lawyer? From what I see, they get to fly Tomcats, go on CIA missions, order around sub and carrier commanders, date Senators, etc... :neener:




The Saratoga (CV 60) accidentally fired a salvo of two Seasparrow missiles at the Turkish destroyer, Mauvenet, on October 1, 1992. One of the two missiles, with a nominal 38-kg warhead, struck the ship. While the Mauvenet was not sunk, the bridge was destroyed and five crewmembers, including the captain, were killed. This damage equated to a mission kill. See The Navy's Year in Review, U. S. Naval Institute Proceedings 119, No. 5 (May 1993), p. 125.

I'll confess - I thought destroyers had an alternate position to be conned and fought from if the bridge was destroyed. I know the BBs have everythind inside the "armored box" to keep manuvering, navagating, firing, and (if the antennas aren't gone) communicating, even with extensive superstructer damage outside of the "box"

This is one of my points about the BB - even if it survives, scoring a mission kill on it is easier still because all of the modern comm and sensor systems are outside the armored belt by necessity.

They don't have to be - with miniaturization, what can't fit inside the conning armor can be placed below, in what used to be the magazine spaces for the secondary guns.

Quote:
You don't always "know" when you have destroyed something, so some targets have to be re-engaged over and over, until manuever can get close enough to confirm destruction or deal with it themselves.



So which targets can be suppressed with a 16" gun; but not with a 5" gun or a 155mm?

When a 16' lands it gets EVERYONE's attention: for a long ways around. In contrast, bunkers and buttoned up armored vehicles are difficult to suppress with 155, and almost impossible with 5" , esp extended range.




Well the U.S. was able to purchase some quantity of the commercial sale Sunburns... maybe we should put the banged up Iowa to good use and find out.

Bite your tounge...but if she survives, we fix her up and reactivate her - OK?

Except those Tomahawks each have a 1,000lb warhead - making the four armored box launchers 8,000lbs of HE stored above decks in a single container that isn't armored anywhere near the same level as the rest of the BB. Look at naval history and see how often explosions of onboard munitions played a role in a lucky shot or hit destroying or seriously damaging a vessel.
You raise a good point. All I can say in response is that my understanding os that ALL naval ordinace has been switched to a new explosive compound that, while actually DECREASING the explosive yield slightly, is much more resistant to "cook off" and sympathetic detonation. This change came about after a couple of bad fires on aircraft carriers that almost resulted in losing the ship. The Air Force still uses the old explosive - that's why the services have different munitions, even though the bomb case, fuse and guide vanes may be identical.

Frankly, if NGFS is the mission, you might be better off removing them and relying on the VLS cells of escorts.

Agreed - the Tomahawks were added to enhance long-range capabilities against the surface vessels they were last re-activated to counter: the four Kirov-class nuclear guided missle "cruisers" - (closer to battlecruisers). Plans exist to add 96 VLS Tomahawks under the armor decks for the Iowas. Read about that and more at this very wellconsidered and researched site about re-activation of the Iowa class:Its nto jsut me - read these guys! (http://64.233.167.104/search?q=cache:3mdiFdbgBKsJ:www.leavenworth.army.mil/milrev/English/JulAug01/ralph.htm+battleship+activation+Russian+cruiser&hl=en&start=9)

The type of torpedo we might expect to see fired at a BB would be a Chinese YU-4 (Russian SAET-60). This can be fired from the same 533mm tube as the SET-53 and most subs that use them carry six in the bow tubes. Each has a 400kg warhead.

Would you agree to the "Long Lance", with its 490 KG warhead (107% as explosive as the same weight of TNT, so equiv to a 524 kg warhead) as an analogue? An american BB with a similar protection scheme tothe Iowa class was struck by one - heres what happened:

'The side protection (torpedo defense) and the triple bottom systems provide protection against underwater threats such as torpedoes, mines and near-miss explosions. Both of these multi-layered systems are intended to absorb the energy from an underwater explosion equivalent to a 700 pound charge of TNT. The Navy derived at this amount of protection based on intelligence information gathered in the 1930’s. At that time, US Naval Intelligence was unaware of the advances the Japanese had made in torpedo technology. One of these advances was the Japanese 24 inch diameter "Long Lance" torpedo, which carried a charge equivalent to 891 pounds of TNT. A Long Lance torpedo essentially defeated the USS North Carolina’s side protective system. The ship was hit by chance at its narrowest, and therefore most vulnerable part of the side protection system. An Iowa Class battleship would have taken lighter damage from the torpedo due to an improved torpedo protection system over the North Carolina Class.' from this site! :Iowas armor protection: (http://www.battleship.org/html/Articles/IowaClass/Armor.htm+iowa+armor&hl=en&start=1)


Quote:
Who fed you this nonsense?

The U.S. Navy.

(..must not quote forrest gump...must not quote forrest gump... :banghead: )
Just kidding! :)

Here is a project for you. Find a ship that has survived a single hit from a Mk48 ADCAP 533mm torpedo.

Only actual firing I know of is the Brittish shoot of the ex-Pheonix General Belgrano, a cruiser old enough to have actually been at Pearl Harbor when it was attacked - the Iowas have better protection. Still, a Mk 48 with 650 lbs. (292.5 kg) PBXN-103 (This is equivalent to about 1,200 lbs. (544 kg) of TNT) would be a problem - I would expect damage, but not a sinking.

In the meantime, here is another historical comparison for you:

Here is the 14,000 ton former-LPH-3 Okinawa being sunk by a single Mk48 torpedo:

I think we can agree that a 14,000 carrier is a much softer target than a 56,000 ton battleship. See the above annecdote about North Carolina.


Naval Task Forces often hang out in crisis locations BEFORE war has broken out. Suprise attack is also a popular naval strategem that has won many battles. Since you don't have the time to give me an in-depth explanation, maybe you can just explain the practicality of applying these systems in a peacetime environment and what kind of compromises might need to be made. Would those effect the defense of your high-value target floating offshore?

No more so than any of the others - its either peacetime, or it isn't. Determining the imminence of hostilities is an intelligencefunction, not surface warfare.

Quote:
None. It's called "layered defense"



Yeah, and the layer the BB provides is an armor belt and 4 CIWS.

Which is inside all of the other layers...

Everything else is provided externally. DD-X would have a lower radar signature, a VLS system that could accomodate Standard Anti-Air missiles and a phased array radar system designed to handle missile-flood attacks. It could even have a CIWS too!

All except the lower radar signature can be added to the BBs during refit - and there are even things that can be done about that with active jamming and judicious use of RAM. Plus the BB still can shoot further, and live longer. Plus DD-X is DOA...


Probably; but it keeps me from going insane on the Kelo vs. City of New London thread and is entertaining besides. As an added bonus, no matter how much Rich might know about modelling things blowing up or I might know about the threat environment in the 7th Fleet AO, the people who will ultimately decide this policy are more capable than either of us.


..may they make the right decision. Glad to have entertained you. Please read the link above - it's not just crazy old Rich coming up with this by himself - there are sound, reasoned arguments for reactivating the BBs.

richyoung
June 24, 2005, 12:29 PM
I see a lot of reference to BB's being vulnerable to "Mach 2 missiles" as if that gave a warhead with a low SD the ability to penetrate the armor. It should be kept in mind that that armor was designed to stop hardened-steel penetrators weighing nearly a ton (i.e., battleship AP shells), traveling at Mach 2...

Amen, brother. BB armor can even ricochet incoming off - no other modern ship , with the possible exception of SOME PARTS of a CV or CVN, can do that. BTW, heres what (former) Secretary of the Nave Lehman says about the subject:

Former US Navy Secretary John Lehman believes this level of readiness is insufficient and that the Wisconsin and Iowa "should be kept in a ready-reserve status, manned by a cadre of regulars and a majority of drilling reservists." In this status, says Lehman, "they could do occasional show-the-flag cruises and rapidly deploy in time of crisis." He dismisses arguments that the ships are too manpower-intensive to be cost-effective: "We manned them in the 1980s with 1,400 officers and men. By manning only two of the four engine rooms, they still make 24 knots and save several hundred crew. With other sensible reductions made possible by newer technology they could be manned with fewer than 800. At whatever manning, there simply is no substitute for those 16-inch guns. On the first salvo they can be in the wrong county, but with drone or aircraft spotting the subsequent rounds have 100-yard or better accuracy."

Lehman points out that "the Exocet can penetrate only 2.75 inches of armor" and that similar missiles "would have no effect against any of the armor of the BBs." He cautions, however, that no amount of protection can prevent all casualties, particularly if hits are made on the less-armored portions of the superstructure. Still, "The only real conventional threat to the BBs," says Lehman, "is the huge under-keel Russian torpedo, but even there, the BBs have triple-layered bottoms. In short, compared to the 1/4-inch steel of the billion-dollar Aegis ships, the BBs are invulnerable."

It's kind of like the BB is your windshield - Naval AP shells are gravel and rocks thown up by truck tires, and ASMs are like bugs. The rocks will damage the windshield, and if you get hit too many times in the same place, they will get through. No matter how fast the bug is going, it just goes splat!

Bartholomew Roberts
June 24, 2005, 12:55 PM
Granted this leaves parts of the superstucture vulnerable to the most capable ASMs - but ALL of every current or new construction vessel is vulnerable! Which is better - the ability to protect SOME of the superstructer, or NONE of it?

Actually the choice is more like, how do you try to protect a vessel from a missile flood attack? Do you armor it to resist the missiles exploding on its deck or do you attempt to prevent the missiles from hitting it?

That would leave ONLY the biggest, heaviest, and most expensive weapons available to deiver a punch that at its best approaches the impact of a SINGLE 16" AP round, against a target that was designed to soak up numerous 9 gun salvos and continue to fight.

No, there are plenty of threats out there, and many common ones like Silkworm, Sawhorse, and Shipwreck all carry warheads greater than 1,000lbs. But let's just say that you are correct and these are extremely expensive missiles that each cost $2 million a piece - almost 4 times the current per-unit cost of a Tomahawk. The platforms to fire these missiles are currently operational and already exist. They don't have to be brought out of mothballs to serve, they only have to be armed.

The enemy can afford to send 750 of these special, super-expensive $2 million anti-ship cruise missiles at your BB and they'll still break even on costs. Let's assume everything you've said about the ability of the BB to soak up damage is correct. Further, let's assume that the BB has the same escort group as the entire TF70 component of COMCARGRU 5 (basically every non-CV warship in the 7th fleet will be protecting our BB). Finally let's assume that the ships are perfectly positioned and obtain a complete-fantasy land, never before seen 99% kill probability on those missiles. That means out of 350 VLS cells, which all just happen to be loaded with Standard missiles and no ASUW capability, only 3 missiles leak through.

After this you've got a problem though... because now the magazines of every warship in the Seventh Fleet have run dry and the bad guys can still afford to send 400 more missiles at you and come out ahead economically (and this is before we figure in manpower costs or the $175 million in anti-air missiles you just expended in defense).

Forget how many 9-gun salvos they are designed to soak up, how do they handle 400 1,000lb sustained ASM strikes?

Bartholomew Roberts
June 24, 2005, 01:40 PM
They don't have to be - with miniaturization, what can't fit inside the conning armor can be placed below, in what used to be the magazine spaces for the secondary guns

A radar antenna, data link or communications system isn't going to do you much good below.

Plans exist to add 96 VLS Tomahawks under the armor decks for the Iowas.

Isn't adding a VLS under the armor decks going to strip off a big chunk of the protective armor we were just discussing? Won't it also add considerable expense to a refit that proponents of the BB concept are estimating at $1.5 billion? I can't imagine that cutting through a triple layered armored deck is going to be cheap. On the bright side, if you do spend the money you can now route some of your electronic systems through the armored deck into more protected areas of the ship.

Would you agree to the "Long Lance", with its 490 KG warhead (107% as explosive as the same weight of TNT, so equiv to a 524 kg warhead) as an analogue?

No because the Long Lance, particularly the one in this incident, did not attack under the keel as most modern torpedoes do. It attacked the side of the ship, which is something that modern torpedoes bypass. This is why they are also much more effective than WWII-era torpedos.

Still, a Mk 48 with 650 lbs. (292.5 kg) PBXN-103 (This is equivalent to about 1,200 lbs. (544 kg) of TNT) would be a problem - I would expect damage, but not a sinking.

OK, that is a single torpedo from a submarine that can salvo up to six in a single launch.

All except the lower radar signature can be added to the BBs during refit - and there are even things that can be done about that with active jamming and judicious use of RAM. Plus the BB still can shoot further, and live longer.

Are there any budget constraints at all on our hypothetical refit? I've seen proponents cite a cost of $1.5 billion just to bring the BB back into service "as is"... by the time we completely disassemble and refit the BB into this fearsome new ship, what will we have spent? Would it be cheaper than building the same thing from the keel up in a brand new ship?

All of the arguments I see in support of the BB basically say that current NGFS ability is not sufficient to conduct "forced entry" style amphibious assaults - an undeniable fact that all agree on. The arguments in support of the BB are that they can fill the gap now - which is also undeniably true. There is no alternative to them that would be available anytime in the next decade. Nobody is arguing that the BB isn't vulnerable or that the BB is capable of carrying out roles besides NGFS.

So what the decision basically comes down to is what can we develop in the future, how does it compare, and how likely is the need for a "forced entry" amphibious assault in the future decade?

Preacherman
June 24, 2005, 02:33 PM
A couple of quick technical points:
I see a lot of reference to BB's being vulnerable to "Mach 2 missiles" as if that gave a warhead with a low SD the ability to penetrate the armor. It should be kept in mind that that armor was designed to stop hardened-steel penetrators weighing nearly a ton (i.e., battleship AP shells), traveling at Mach 2...
Good point - but your incoming SS-N-19 weighs a LOT more than a ton, and is still travelling at Mach 2 plus. Try a 5-ton or 6-ton projectile at that speed, and see how long your armor lasts... the kinetic energy figures alone are mind-boggling, even leaving out the explosive power of the warhead and the remaining fuel!
Only actual firing I know of is the Brittish shoot of the ex-Pheonix General Belgrano, a cruiser old enough to have actually been at Pearl Harbor when it was attacked - the Iowas have better protection.
The Conqueror didn't use Mk. 48 torpedoes on the General Belgrano - it fired two pre-World-War-II-vintage-design unguided Mk. VIII torpedoes, which were designed for side, contact-fused explosions. Two old torpedoes did the job quite satisfactorily. (Some reports state that three were actually fired, but only two hit.)

Another point - the superstructure and deck armor of the BB's is officially considered to have "significantly degraded" over their 60-odd years of life. It's estimated that they offer only about half the resistance to penetration today that they would have done in their heyday. This is due to corrosion, improper maintenance, penetration of the armor during upgrades and conversions (note that a penetration, even for construction, at any point of a homogeneous armored surface lessens the overall armored integrity of that entire surface), etc. The deck armor may have resisted plunging fire from Japanese battleships in its day, but I would guesstimate that a typical WW2 cruiser with 8" guns could penetrate it with ease today, due to this deterioration. There are many missiles that exceed this penetration standard.

For an excellent (fictional) portrayal of a missile attack by Soviet forces on a US Navy carrier battle group, see Tom Clancy's "Red Storm Rising". This is a rather mild version of what such an attack would be like - I'm reliably informed that Clancy was specifically asked by the US Navy to "tone down" his account of the damage and sinkings caused by the attack, because they didn't want their "wargamed" version (the total destruction of the group) to encourage the Soviets!

Unfortunately, due to their secret nature, I can't discuss plans by the US and other navies to counter massed missile attacks from Iran during the so-called "Tanker War" of the 1980's. However, what I can mention is that the Iranian missiles at the time were Chinese copies of the old Styx short-range missile, dating back to the 1950's. Iran had enough of these old, slow, small, relatively primitive missiles to cause a very, very serious headache to the US Navy: even an AEGIS ship attacked by a wave of over 100 of these missiles would have had a very low probability of survival. Eventually, the problem was (allegedly) solved by assuring Iran, through diplomatic channels, that any such attack would result in massive airstrikes against their overall military establishment, including their divisions and air forces currently engaged against the Iraqi's. This was probably the major reason why no such missile attack was launched.

280PLUS
June 24, 2005, 03:37 PM
A couple of notes:

I've enhanced two of the Sinkex pics to illlustrate points being made here.

In the bow shot I have circled the entrance hole from the missile that blew out the bow. Notice the sharp angle but it stll entered the hull and detonated well within the ship.

In the sink shot I cropped and enlarged it so you can see the damage to the deck a little better. It's apparent that the deck blew out at it's weakest points. The welds. Hence the very straight lines of the hole. This would show that the point about penetrating and rewelding armor would leave it with a weld line that is weaker than the original untouched armor.

I fully believe that the old ships are not worth salvaging. The 16" gun is. The question is do we want to build new ships of similar , modernized design to support the 16" or design smaller platforms around just a couple guns instead of 9.

Correia
June 24, 2005, 03:51 PM
I don't know jack about battle ships, and I know very little about naval combat.

That said, I've got to say that this has been one of the more entertaining threads that I've read on THR. Rich, Bart, Peter, thanks for the great debate. :D

280PLUS
June 24, 2005, 04:29 PM
:cuss:

:D

richyoung
June 24, 2005, 05:15 PM
Quote:
They don't have to be - with miniaturization, what can't fit inside the conning armor can be placed below, in what used to be the magazine spaces for the secondary guns



A radar antenna, data link or communications system isn't going to do you much good below.

True, and a good point - however, any proposed alternative has the same vulnerability/problem, while the BB can still move, fire main guns, do its job...


Quote:
Plans exist to add 96 VLS Tomahawks under the armor decks for the Iowas.



Isn't adding a VLS under the armor decks going to strip off a big chunk of the protective armor we were just discussing?

Depends on where they are installed, how heavily armored the hatch is, etc. Plus it's not my idea...I would just as soon do without them altogether.


Won't it also add considerable expense to a refit that proponents of the BB concept are estimating at $1.5 billion? I can't imagine that cutting through a triple layered armored deck is going to be cheap. On the bright side, if you do spend the money you can now route some of your electronic systems through the armored deck into more protected areas of the ship.

Still cheaper than any alternative, more capable, plus in service sooner - lat dates I heard for any alternative don't have them in service until 2020, at best.

Quote:
Would you agree to the "Long Lance", with its 490 KG warhead (107% as explosive as the same weight of TNT, so equiv to a 524 kg warhead) as an analogue?



No because the Long Lance, particularly the one in this incident, did not attack under the keel as most modern torpedoes do. It attacked the side of the ship, which is something that modern torpedoes bypass. This is why they are also much more effective than WWII-era torpedos.

No one had a functional influence exploder in WWII - and thats the last time anything built like aBB was hit by one. I agree a "keel shot" is more destructive if you can get it - but thereare also ways to spoof a magnetic detonator or set it off early. Regardless, any new construction ship is going to have lighter construction than an Iowa class, so any alternative suffers from the same problem.

Quote:
Still, a Mk 48 with 650 lbs. (292.5 kg) PBXN-103 (This is equivalent to about 1,200 lbs. (544 kg) of TNT) would be a problem - I would expect damage, but not a sinking.



OK, that is a single torpedo from a submarine that can salvo up to six in a single launch.

Understood - but any alternative FS ship has the same problem, and neither they or the BBs are in charge of ASW - either this is handled before the marines force a landing, or else somebody really screwed up. Either way, NOT an argument against the BBs.

Quote:
All except the lower radar signature can be added to the BBs during refit - and there are even things that can be done about that with active jamming and judicious use of RAM. Plus the BB still can shoot further, and live longer.



Are there any budget constraints at all on our hypothetical refit? I've seen proponents cite a cost of $1.5 billion just to bring the BB back into service "as is"... by the time we completely disassemble and refit the BB into this fearsome new ship, what will we have spent? Would it be cheaper than building the same thing from the keel up in a brand new ship?


Way cheaper to refit the BBs ex SecNav Lehman agrees...

All of the arguments I see in support of the BB basically say that current NGFS ability is not sufficient to conduct "forced entry" style amphibious assaults - an undeniable fact that all agree on. The arguments in support of the BB are that they can fill the gap now - which is also undeniably true. There is no alternative to them that would be available anytime in the next decade.

..or two maybe...

Nobody is arguing that the BB isn't vulnerable or that the BB is capable of carrying out roles besides NGFS.
So what the decision basically comes down to is what can we develop in the future, how does it compare,

Last I heard, all the alternatives were 86'ed for cost reasons. Even if built, the smallest, longest-ranged proposed 16" round is still bigger and more effective than a standard 155mm round, and can shoot lots further.

and how likely is the need for a "forced entry" amphibious assault in the future decade?

...North Korea, Liberia, possibly Syria or Iraq...the Marines feel the need!

richyoung
June 24, 2005, 05:32 PM
A couple of quick technical points:

Quote:
I see a lot of reference to BB's being vulnerable to "Mach 2 missiles" as if that gave a warhead with a low SD the ability to penetrate the armor. It should be kept in mind that that armor was designed to stop hardened-steel penetrators weighing nearly a ton (i.e., battleship AP shells), traveling at Mach 2...


Good point - but your incoming SS-N-19 weighs a LOT more than a ton, and is still travelling at Mach 2 plus. Try a 5-ton or 6-ton projectile at that speed, and see how long your armor lasts... the kinetic energy figures alone are mind-boggling, even leaving out the explosive power of the warhead and the remaining fuel!

also a good point but overstating the case somewhat - the SS-N-19 weighs 7,000 Kg at launch, but the two solid-rocket boosters and much of the fuel (Mach 2 eats kerosine fast, esp in Russian engines...) aren't going to be completing the trip. So we are probably looking at a 3 ton weight or so, depending on range to target...and it's still the sectional density that keeps it out. A semi-truck would weigh even more, but even at Mach 2 all you get is a smashed truck. This is partly why most experts discount Kinetic energy as a way of comparing small-arms ammunition, prefering to test on ballistics gellatin.
Quote:
Only actual firing I know of is the Brittish shoot of the ex-Pheonix General Belgrano, a cruiser old enough to have actually been at Pearl Harbor when it was attacked - the Iowas have better protection.


The Conqueror didn't use Mk. 48 torpedoes on the General Belgrano - it fired two pre-World-War-II-vintage-design unguided Mk. VIII torpedoes, which were designed for side, contact-fused explosions. Two old torpedoes did the job quite satisfactorily. (Some reports state that three were actually fired, but only two hit.)

Sorry - the few reports I had read claimed they were Mk48 TV guided..if you have better sources, I defer to you...

Another point - the superstructure and deck armor of the BB's is officially considered to have "significantly degraded" over their 60-odd years of life. It's estimated that they offer only about half the resistance to penetration today that they would have done in their heyday. This is due to corrosion, improper maintenance, penetration of the armor during upgrades and conversions (note that a penetration, even for construction, at any point of a homogeneous armored surface lessens the overall armored integrity of that entire surface), etc. The deck armor may have resisted plunging fire from Japanese battleships in its day, but I would guesstimate that a typical WW2 cruiser with 8" guns could penetrate it with ease today, due to this deterioration. There are many missiles that exceed this penetration standard.

I'm going to have to call "BS" on that one - sounds like part of the Navy's disinformation campaign - they don't want the BBs back - they want to ram a new system through - good bullet points on the OER, and a good way to get a cushy contractor job. Remeber, they originally had to have "ironclads", subs, and carriers forced on them as well...

For an excellent (fictional) portrayal of a missile attack by Soviet forces on a US Navy carrier battle group, see Tom Clancy's "Red Storm Rising". This is a rather mild version of what such an attack would be like - I'm reliably informed that Clancy was specifically asked by the US Navy to "tone down" his account of the damage and sinkings caused by the attack, because they didn't want their "wargamed" version (the total destruction of the group) to encourage the Soviets!

If the marines are goining over the beach, this problem will have been dealt with. lest the whole landing force be wiped out...



Unfortunately, due to their secret nature, I can't discuss plans by the US and other navies to counter massed missile attacks from Iran during the so-called "Tanker War" of the 1980's. However, what I can mention is that the Iranian missiles at the time were Chinese copies of the old Styx short-range missile, dating back to the 1950's. Iran had enough of these old, slow, small, relatively primitive missiles to cause a very, very serious headache to the US Navy: even an AEGIS ship attacked by a wave of over 100 of these missiles would have had a very low probability of survival. Eventually, the problem was (allegedly) solved by assuring Iran, through diplomatic channels, that any such attack would result in massive airstrikes against their overall military establishment, including their divisions and air forces currently engaged against the Iraqi's. This was probably the major reason why no such missile attack was launched.



Lucky we got the USAF on OUR side...

richyoung
June 24, 2005, 05:35 PM
Much love and respect to 20+ & everybody - peace out for now...

Bartholomew Roberts
June 24, 2005, 05:55 PM
True, and a good point - however, any proposed alternative has the same vulnerability/problem

Actually any proposed alternative would use the SPY-1/AEGIS phased array system that is less vulnerable and orders of magnitude more efficient than the SPS-49. This system cannot be refitted onto the current BBs because there is no place to put it and big chunks of the phased array antenna would be blocked by the superstructure. Antennas and datalinks can be redundant and run throughout the length of the hull because you don't have to drill through layers of armor plate to run the lines back to the CIC.

Understood - but any alternative FS ship has the same problem, and neither they or the BBs are in charge of ASW - either this is handled before the marines force a landing, or else somebody really screwed up.

Well, no surface ship is going to hide very effectively from a submarine; but the difference between even an older OHP class FFG running Prairie Masker and a Iowa BB is like the difference between a mouse scurrying across your living room and an elephant stampeding through. A DD-X type ship has least has a chance to slip by...

Way cheaper to refit the BBs ex SecNav Lehman agrees...

If I read John lehman right, he is talking about the cost of refitting them pretty much as-is... making them seaworthy, rearming their existing weapons, and adding enough modern datalinks that it can talk to the other ships in the fleet. He isn't talking about the major types of refits discussed in your link or the previous post.

A serious naval warfare scenario is going to mean ships get hit and sunk. The British and U.S. Navies are some of the best and most professional sailors in the world and both have taken hits and lost lives even when fighting against third world countries that were way overmatched. A serious naval confrontation with China, Russia, or India would be a bloody business. Even today a lot of people are uneasy about creating giant high value targets like CVNs that concentrate force into a single target - and those operate on the open ocean and we have 12 CV or CVNs with another one under construction.

Relying on BBs for an even more dangerous assignment just seems like putting all the eggs in one or two baskets. Chances are very good one or both will be sunk or mission killed and then you still have no NGFS but you spent $3 billion that could have been used somewhere else. At least the DD-X has the advantage of distributing the NGFS mission across many ships and can better defend itself without relying solely on escorts.

Gewehr98
June 24, 2005, 07:05 PM
And this panel judge gives the win to RichYoung for the style and temerity to joust with both Bartholemew and Preacherman, and not shrinking under their withering fusillade (which at times approached a full broadside). Heck, I don't care if his facts and numbers eventually pan out to be bogus. Bravo, lad!

(This 4-engine heavy recce troop does heartily appreciate the layered defense offered to his mission by a certain Aegis cruiser that's been tooling around in the Sea of Japan, too...) :D

Take a breather, but come out swinging when the bell rings, ok, guys?

Lee Woiteshek
June 24, 2005, 08:03 PM
Outstanding thread. In any other forum this would have gotten way out of hand by now. My Bonfides. In the day (1977-1981) I was an OS2 on the California. The nuclear cruiser (CGN-36), not the BB. Russian tactics were as previously explained, air, and subsurface attacks from all points of the compass, overwhelming air defense, Basic point defense missiles and CIWS. We all knew we were dead meat if it got REAL. The carrier was supposed to survive one launch of its aircraft. We fired many surface to air missles in training, and on the SPS-49 you would only see them a sweep or two. You could forget the SPS-40, or the SPS-10 radars as it wasn't happening. Our fire control radar could pick them up, but the range was short. I'm confidant by the time we would have gotten missile or gun lock we would have been hit. Wasn't unusual for the entire NTDS system to go down when we fired our 5 inch guns. I know a missile strike would have put us on the TDT's. Sadly Preacherman and others speaketh the truth. Since 1981 I have been and am currently a Norfolk Police Officer in Norfolk Va. I'm a Police Diver assigned to the Harbor Patrol. I cruise by, and can literally touch daily the USS Wisconsin. Which is a BB permently anchored here. I am not an naval authority by any means but I called a Naval ship home for several years. I am here to tell you the Wisconsin is beat. You could spend that billion somewhere else. For this ship, its time has passed. It is fit only for tours and reenlistments. If the Navy would have my 47 year old hindparts back I would cheerfully sail on an Arliegh Burke class of ship and beg to get the chance to fight her.

280PLUS
June 24, 2005, 09:36 PM
I'll confess - I thought destroyers had an alternate position to be conned and fought from if the bridge was destroyed.

The DDG-14 I've shown here DID have a Secondary Con. It was on the weather decks on maybe the O-2 / O-3 level. I don't recall exactly. I doubt anyone trying to Con the ship from that point would survive very long in an all out missle attack. They were pretty well exposed.

I also agree with the "beat" assesment. Having spent the better part of 5 years trying to keep the maintenance up on all the various deteriorating mechanical systems on that 16 - 20 Y.O. DDG I have a good idea what a refit of any of these 60 Y.O. ships would involve. I'd also have a really hard time trusting a 60 y.o. 600 lb steam plant to not come apart at any given moment. THEN, I get a kick out of only using half the propusion system to save on crew numbers. That just doesn't seem right to me. Then there's the poor guys stuck in those steam plants where ambient temperature can top 140*F. I can tell you that's definitely one reason MM's and BT's were always critical rates cause the job really took it out of you compared to a lot of the other jobs that were/are available. Retention was low in those rates. I can tell you this is ONE MM that got out for THAT reason although there were a few others. I couldn't even change rates if I reenlisted because MM's were so critical.

Cellar Dweller
June 26, 2005, 04:33 AM
Malaya took ONE torpedo in 1941, developed a 7 degree list and was out of action for four months.

Barham took ONE torpedo in 1939 and was out of action for six months; later took THREE, capsized, magazine explosion; 862 lost, 449 survivors.

New Mexico took TWO kamikazes in May 1945, 54 dead and 119 wounded; ~12% casualties which is NOT insignificant.
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Nobody really KNOWS how hard it is to kill a capital ship, you can't just plug in a formula. Kirishima was badly outclassed by South Dakota and Washington (1 BC/14" vs. 2 BB/16") , yet she was disabled and scuttled not sunk.
Scharnhorst , facing 1 BB, 4 cruisers (one 8" two 6" one I don't remember) and 8 DD, ultimately took 11 torpedoes (out of 55 fired) and "numerous" 14", 8" and 6" hits and sank - but was only 55% of Yamato's displacement.
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Deck and belt armor may withstand 16" AP, but not the superstructure. The BB doesn't have to be sunk, just rendered ineffective, which "popgun" missiles can do. Pop a couple holes in the funnels and they ain't doing 33 knots no more...knock out radar and electronic rangefinding, yes they have optical but it's no longer accurate over-the-horizon, is it? The very high probability of mines and subs mean that you're not sailing at 33 knots either. Propeller shafts don't take kindly to explosions happening around them, even from near-misses...nor do steam and water pipes.

Surviving a nuclear scenario is ludicrous - the ship may survive but it's not doing 33 knots or bombarding targets any more. The electronics are fried, a goodly portion of the crew is fried (thinking of 60-year-old ventilation system, a lot dead/dying slowly); the ship is out of the fight - probably forever. None of the ships that "survived" at Bikini were put back in service, were they? I remember doing NBC drills and decon routines (on a low-priority target that MIGHT have been worth an Exocet at most), and at that point the fight is over - it's a matter of survival.

BTW, I never had a problem killing BBs in first computer version of Harpoon, I just had to use a LOT of A-4s and F-5s... :p

Silent-Snail
June 26, 2005, 10:50 AM
Its true that I'm no naval expert, and given a choice I'd say frell the surface ships build more subs. However it seems to me that in an environment as cluttered with missiles as a serious engagment involving modern forces would
almost have to be, it just makes sense to me to have mainline warships be able to take as many hits as possable.

Ah well, let the "War of the Words" continue.

PS. To all who would post about my lack of spelling grammar or punctuation skills I give you the Farscape salute. :neener:

GEM
June 26, 2005, 02:23 PM
Wow - what an interesting thread.

Not to thread hi-jack but after so many pages, what the heck! The NYTimes today had an interesting article on the lack of armour on US vehicles in Iraq and how when the high government dudes from the US like Rumsfield arrive in Iraq, they ride in a privately owned Rhino from Halliburton.

It was made in Israel but, Preacherman, isn't it a South African design?

Interesting discussion of armoured vehicles and silly government policies.

Back to BBs - my conclusion about the Iowas, it isn't worth the effort for 2 ships. But what do I know?

Preacherman
June 26, 2005, 09:22 PM
Yes, the Rhino is a South African design. I suspect that despite the Israeli label, it was probably produced in South Africa too.

I've often wondered why the US military is spending so much on up-armoring Humvees and other vehicles when it would actually be cheaper for them to buy South African armored vehicles, that are built to take the weight, incorporate mine-resistant technology, and are designed for precisely the sort of environment found in Iraq. See here (http://www.baesystemsomc.co.za/index1.htm) and click on the "Products" link for some of the armored vehicles available. Pretty impressive stuff.

Mikul
June 27, 2005, 03:41 AM
DD(X)'s is using a lot of new technology throughout from the tumbleholme hull to ship controls and navigation. What makes you think that they forgot about armament? The plans show it to be well-armed for a Destroyer. Can it take the place of a Battleship in the firepower department? Maybe, but we're talking apples and oranges. There's no point in comparing the two.

DD(X) needs to happen because the entire fleet is a mess. The ships are floating along on 30 year-old technology and being shimmed into the 21st century with technology that is such a pain to administer, maintain, and upgrade that it would make you cry. DD(X) is trying to not just bring us in to 2005, but leave us with a modern system when the first ship floats out of drydock in 5-7 years. Working with what is "known" only leaves us with the same stuff we already have while the Chinese develop capabilities we're not prepared for.

The cost overruns are the Navy's own fault. You wouldn't believe the red, white and blue tape that has been wrapped around this project thanks to buzzword-loving project managers who wouldn't know a Destroyer from a rubber duckie. Add to this a level of mis-management previously unknown on planet earth that allows some people in the Navy to continually re-bid the project at every phase of development thus losing not only time, but valuable people which run away (with their project knowledge) to other positions in the year-long coma that the Navy enjoys putting the project into every two years. On top of all this is the fact that DD(X) employs a huge amount of software while the people in charge at the Navy still look at slide-rules as unproven technology.

richyoung
June 27, 2005, 11:28 AM
Deck and belt armor may withstand 16" AP, but not the superstructure. The BB doesn't have to be sunk, just rendered ineffective, which "popgun" missiles can do.

Former Navy Secretary john Lehman disagrees. Parts of the superstructure ARE armored, if not to 16" AP levels, more than enough to defeat an Exocet.

Pop a couple holes in the funnels and they ain't doing 33 knots no more...knock out radar and electronic rangefinding, yes they have optical but it's no longer accurate over-the-horizon, is it?

No reason you can't spot fire from an RPV, A/C, or FO - as long as one commo channel is open...

The very high probability of mines and subs mean that you're not sailing at 33 knots either.

Agreed, but AMW/ASW is NOT her job - these considerations apply to the WHOLE amphibious task force, and obviously willhave to be dealt with in some manner.

Propeller shafts don't take kindly to explosions happening around them, even from near-misses...nor do steam and water pipes.

Iowas class powerplant is far better protected and features more redundancy that any proposed alternative.

Surviving a nuclear scenario is ludicrous - the ship may survive but it's not doing 33 knots or bombarding targets any more. The electronics are fried, a goodly portion of the crew is fried (thinking of 60-year-old ventilation system, a lot dead/dying slowly);

Again, the BBs are going to fare as well or better after refit than any proposed alternative...

the ship is out of the fight - probably forever. None of the ships that "survived" at Bikini were put back in service, were they?

None of the ships at Bikini had damage control crews on them, and they STILL survived - many of them indeed COULD have moved or fired if need be: the mainreason none of them were put back into service is the cost of decontaminating them turned out to be far in excess of their utility as fleet units - almost all of them having been captured enemy units, obsolette qarships, etc.

richyoung
June 27, 2005, 11:44 AM
DD(X)'s is using a lot of new technology throughout from the tumbleholme hull to ship controls and navigation. What makes you think that they forgot about armament?

I don't. I think they forgot about armor..simply because its heavy expensive and difficult to fit. Do you have any (unclassified) figures as to what armor, if any is fitted tot he DD(X) hulls, bottm, deck, turrets, and superstructure?

The plans show it to be well-armed for a Destroyer. Can it take the place of a Battleship in the firepower department? Maybe, but we're talking apples and oranges. There's no point in comparing the two.

To rationally decide whether to allocate funds to reactivate the BBs, we need to compare the two...

DD(X) needs to happen because the entire fleet is a mess. The ships are floating along on 30 year-old technology and being shimmed into the 21st century with technology that is such a pain to administer, maintain, and upgrade that it would make you cry. DD(X) is trying to not just bring us in to 2005, but leave us with a modern system when the first ship floats out of drydock in 5-7 years. Working with what is "known" only leaves us with the same stuff we already have while the Chinese develop capabilities we're not prepared for.

My understanding, flawed though it may be, is that China is only begining to develope a "blue water" capability for its fleets - judging by their combat A/C and AFV, they are still 15-20 years behind our state of the art in everything.

Cellar Dweller
June 27, 2005, 11:19 PM
Using figures quoted throughout this thread, it's $1.5-$3B for a DD(X), $11B for a carrier and aircraft.

How much $$$ for a totally new BB, designed with the lessons learned in the 60+ years since the Iowas were first drawn up? Nuclear or gas-turbine powered, lower radar signature, lower noise signature, lower profile, VLS, modern armor, maybe three turrets arranged like a Nelson and the VLS aft.

Imagine a bigger Ticonderoga without flight deck and hangar, 5"/54 and torpedo tubes...downsize the VLS by not having ASROC, or replace ASROC tubes with more AAMs.

No need for 20mm, 40mm or 5"/38. Why didn't the Iowas get Sea Sparrows when refit? The only note I could find was because they couldn't withstand 16" recoil...is that because of the external mounting or because NO AAMs can withstand the pounding (which scraps the SM-2s in the VLS :( )

Preacherman
June 28, 2005, 02:52 AM
Actually, I've often wondered why the Navy doesn't consider a pure "missile carrier" for use in conjunction with AEGIS ships in a task force. The whole idea of the AEGIS system is that it can guide missiles fired by all ships in the force, not just the AEGIS ship itself. If you could build something like a fast merchantman hull, able to keep up with the task force, and equip it with a vast array of vertical-launch missile systems, you could probably fit several hundred - even a thousand or so - missiles onto it. They would not need their own guidance systems, as they'd be launched on command from the AEGIS ship(s), which would provide the necessary guidance. Each missile carrier would thus be purely an armament ship for AEGIS, and have a couple of CIWS for its own point defence. It'd probably be relatively cheap to build, and would help to cope with the "missile wave" attacks developed by the Soviet Union, and now standard doctrine in Chinese and other navies.

One could also use the missile-carrier as a floating helicopter platform, or stores ship, if necessary - but this would inevitably take away deck space that could otherwise be used for VLS missiles.

What say other Navy types to this idea?

280PLUS
June 28, 2005, 05:57 AM
Quite honestly and certainly nothing personal to anyone here, but the 1970's era peace loving hippie child side of me wishes there was no need for any of this crap. :(

:banghead:

Other than that wouldn't you still want to keep your eggs in many baskets? You put all your eggys in one big basket and they take out the basket, no more eggys. Are huge ships the answer?

Besides, everybody knows China's military numbers alone nearly equal the entire population of the US, so I'd to think that any true war with China would have to turn all out nuclear in a very short time because if it didn't we would probably lose and we certainly can't have that. Of course, at that point the only ones left will be the pols in their bunkers with nothing left to rule. :rolleyes: So wouldn't that make all this Navy stuff pretty well moot at this point in history? If all the industrial areas in our country were suddenly wiped out, the Navy would simply whither on the vine.

I still like cheap remote control 16" gunboats though :p

richyoung
July 7, 2005, 12:42 PM
I don't think China can hit the US, except for the extreme edge of California (LA area), and that only with about a dozen or so operational missles (another argument for "Star Wars",,,) - and they didn't vote Republican anyway, so...too bad!

WT
July 7, 2005, 01:08 PM
Preacherman - they have considered a pure missile carrier. Its called a 'container ship.' The US Navy is looking at purchasing 2 Maersk containerships to carry a plethora of VLM's.

The Royal Navy utilized a containership to launch Harriers during the Falkland War. Unfortunately, the ship was later sunk by the Argies.

carebear
July 7, 2005, 02:51 PM
280,

The Chinese are a threat only when we go into their territorial air and water. They can't muster the shipping to even take Taiwan or they would have done so under previous, weaker CinC's, nuclear threat or not.

Once we shoot down all their aircraft, sink all their subs and they run out of SRBM's, they run out of options. A million men standing on a beach with rifles are just targets.

We need the new gear though, cause they are trying to catch up. If they remain hostile AND can fix their economy, it'd be the Cold War Round 2, and no egg roll.

richyoung
July 7, 2005, 04:12 PM
Agreed - but its not an "either - or" we also need something NOW - whatever we decide to build won't be available in numbers for 10-15 years...

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