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More on BB vs DD(X)

Discussion in 'Legal' started by 280PLUS, Jun 21, 2005.

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  1. 280PLUS

    280PLUS Member

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    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.
     
  2. misANTHrope

    misANTHrope Member

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    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.
     
  3. 280PLUS

    280PLUS Member

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    Hmmm,,,

    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?
     
  4. misANTHrope

    misANTHrope Member

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    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
     
  5. 280PLUS

    280PLUS Member

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    I figured we'd just design a whole new round and scrap asroc :evil:
     
  6. Cellar Dweller

    Cellar Dweller Member

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    Not a comprehensive list, "cheap" kills

    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.

    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!
     
  7. armoredman

    armoredman Member

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    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.....
     
  8. Owen

    Owen Moderator Emeritus

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    460 miles? In the article they mentioned scramjets...
     
  9. 2nd Amendment

    2nd Amendment member

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    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.
     
  10. misANTHrope

    misANTHrope Member

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    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.
     
  11. richyoung

    richyoung Member

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    ...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.
     
  12. 280PLUS

    280PLUS Member

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    Here's more that just came through

    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
     
  13. TheEgg

    TheEgg Member

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    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.
     
  14. WT

    WT Member

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    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?
     
  15. richyoung

    richyoung Member

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    ...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.
     
  16. richyoung

    richyoung Member

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

    misANTHrope Member

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    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.

    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.
     
  18. WT

    WT Member

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    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.
     
  19. Preacherman

    Preacherman Member

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    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.
     
  20. Bartholomew Roberts

    Bartholomew Roberts Moderator Emeritus

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    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?
     
  21. richyoung

    richyoung Member

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    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.


    __________________
     
  22. richyoung

    richyoung Member

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    ...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..

    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...


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

    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.

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

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

    ..if the BB will LET you...

    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!


    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

    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.



    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!
    Time for some more research on your part...
     
  23. richyoung

    richyoung Member

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

    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.

    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?



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


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


    Oh, I dunno - BUNKERS, maybe?


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

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


    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.
     
  24. Old Dog

    Old Dog Member

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    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.
     
  25. Preacherman

    Preacherman Member

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    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.
     
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