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More on BB vs DD(X)

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

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  1. Bartholomew Roberts

    Bartholomew Roberts Moderator Emeritus

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    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.

    Here is a pic of an ordinary subsonic Tomahawk attacking an F4 Phantom through several feet of hardened reinforced concrete 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?
     
  2. richyoung

    richyoung Member

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    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?


    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?

    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.

    ...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...

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

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

    ...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...


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


    (

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

    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.

    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.

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

    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
     
  3. richyoung

    richyoung Member

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

    richyoung Member

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    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.
     
  5. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

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    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...
     
  6. richyoung

    richyoung Member

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


    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.




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

    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:




    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"

    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.



    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.




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

    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.

    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!

    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:


    Quote:
    Who fed you this nonsense?

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

    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.

    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.


    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"



    Which is inside all of the other layers...

    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...



    ..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.
     
  7. richyoung

    richyoung Member

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    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!
     
  8. Bartholomew Roberts

    Bartholomew Roberts Moderator Emeritus

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    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?

    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?
     
  9. Bartholomew Roberts

    Bartholomew Roberts Moderator Emeritus

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

    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.

    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.

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

    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?
     
  10. Preacherman

    Preacherman Member

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    A couple of quick technical points:
    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!
    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.
     
  11. 280PLUS

    280PLUS Member

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    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.
     

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  12. Correia

    Correia Moderator Emeritus

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    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
     
  13. 280PLUS

    280PLUS Member

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    What about me...

    :cuss:

    :D
     
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  14. richyoung

    richyoung Member

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    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.



    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.


    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 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.



    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.




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

    ..or two maybe...

    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.

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

    richyoung Member

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    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...


    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.


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

    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...

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





    Lucky we got the USAF on OUR side...
     
  16. richyoung

    richyoung Member

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    Much love and respect to 20+ & everybody - peace out for now...
     
  17. Bartholomew Roberts

    Bartholomew Roberts Moderator Emeritus

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    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.

    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...

    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.
     
  18. Gewehr98

    Gewehr98 Member

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    An interesting and entertaining thread.

    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?
     
  19. Lee Woiteshek

    Lee Woiteshek Member

    Joined:
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    Suffolk Va.
    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.
     
  20. 280PLUS

    280PLUS Member

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    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.
     
  21. Cellar Dweller

    Cellar Dweller Member

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    Apparently not far enough outside Emperor Daley's
    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.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    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
     
  22. Silent-Snail

    Silent-Snail Member

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    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:
     
  23. GEM

    GEM Moderator Staff Member

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    TX
    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?
     
  24. Preacherman

    Preacherman Member

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    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 and click on the "Products" link for some of the armored vehicles available. Pretty impressive stuff.
     
  25. Mikul

    Mikul Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    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.
     
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