A Question About Naval Gunfire Support

272

How far inland are the targets that NATO is striking in and around Misrata?

How far offshore are NATO surface combatants?

How much is it costing to to mount continuous air operations to interdict low value targets like rocket launchers and technicals?

How long between target acquisition and strike using land based or even sea based aviation, assuming it is not hanging around 24×7?

How much would this solution cost?

1. A navalised UAV that could provide persistent coverage over the target area for target acquisition and designation, launched and recovered from a frigate, amphib or similar

2. A non navalised UAV flying from land bases and able to offer the same as 1

3. A weaponised combination of 1 and/or 2

4. A navalised version of the 70km GMLRS or 300km ATACMS or simply parking the land version on a  a flight deck

 

Why does the UK not have this because when the total bill is totted up, it would be a hell of a lot cheaper than Harriers and carriers or Tornado’s and airbases.

Are we in danger of pricing ourselves out of the market?

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Fluffy Thoughts
Fluffy Thoughts

There is a bloke called swerve who has the hots for a certain stand-off recon/attack missile in the £80k price-band. They’ve been tested in Wales so why not stick a few samples on a number of Med-bound RFAs…?

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy

Hi TD,

Always for this one ” A navalised version of the 70km GMLRS” but so many people tell me it can’t be done (they might just be bleating each others’ stories, without any facts, but who am I to say).

How about the OTO 127mm Vulcano as standard on all major vessels (not flat tops, or subs mind you); even the amphib’s could take it as it is more about the ammo rather than the gun (and the strain of firing it, which then makes for a massive turret, a massive turret ring…)
=> 72 nm with precision (the literature says)

Andrew Ingham
Andrew Ingham

Aircraft are infinitely more flexible than a GMRLS system to select just one of your examples; an aircraft can carry out non-kinetic shows of force for example which are preferable to blowing things up. The main hindrance to the use of RPAS/UAV’s is the comms delay, the MQ-9’s currently utilised in Op HERRICK suffer from a 2-3 sec comms lag with their operators at Creech AFB, a lot can happen in 2-3 sec children or reports wandering into the crosshairs for example hence the use of manned aircraft that in many cases can at least deflect the weapons of a target even once it has been engaged (Paveway IV for example). My question would be why on earth are the Coalition not utilising the AH-64 Apache? It can embark on the larger remaining RN vessels reducing basing cost and time to target. Just think how much collateral damage could be avoided if its chain gun was utilised, a few rounds from that would decimate the out-dated Soviet era equipment of the Gaddafi forces and like Afghanistan would send a strong psychological message to enemy.

Dominic Johnson

And you all laughed then I said I wanted Ocean sized cruise missile carriers!

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy

Arsenal ship was a nice concept – why did the USN drop it, to go for 3bn cruisers instead (that makes 6 unique gun systems to support, – they could be anywhere across the world!)

Wstr
Wstr

POLAR (Precision Over-the-horizon Land Attack Rocket) was the US Vertical Launch GMLRS-variant that was proposed. It was intended to have a 30% bigger rocket motor and thus would have greatly exceeded the 70-90km of the, then still being developed, land version; but lost out in funding to LASM (Land Attack Standard Missile). LASM in turn was cancelled in turn in 2002.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy

Hi paul g,

The UK 155mm was a real gun, like what the army has (same, or similar ammo).

These two “The AGS-Lite uses the same gun as the full-size AGS and the same rocket-boosted, 155-mm caliber Long Range Land Attack Projectile (developed by Lockheed Martin), so it has the same 74 nm design range. ” are rocket launchers that look like a gun, and the lite has come about because there will only be three Zumwalts for the ‘heavy’ to go onto
… what a waste of R&D

JohnHartley
JohnHartley

There have been various 155mm/8 inch/MLRS proposals for naval deck mounting. None have been carried through(bar Zumwalt).
The Germans wanted a deck mounted MLRS ,but that was dropped. Then they wanted a 155mm deck gun, but that was dropped.
Modern naval ships are not armoured like their WW2 counterparts, so find it hard to take the shock of large naval guns firing.
However, the Queen Mary 2 liner was given a 50% thicker than usual hull, to cope with rough atlantic weather. Yet that was still cheap enough to build & operate comercially.
A slightly thicker hull should be adopted for future naval vessels, as it would cost peanuts, but give them a longer service life.
I would kind of like to float the idea of a common new NATO naval gun of around 135 to 140mm.
Smaller calibres end up with tiny explosive warheads, once you add guidance & base bleed, while larger 155mm+ rounds are too much for most hulls to cope with. Hence my thinking that a common 135 to 140mm gun is the sweetspot.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy

Hi JH,

Based on this ” end up with tiny explosive warheads, once you add guidance & base bleed” once my favourite OTO Vulcano 127 mm hits the target (with precision) at the same range as GMLRS, is there any ‘bang’ left in it?

Peter Arundel
Peter Arundel

I’m beginning to think that multiple rocket launchers might be the correct way forwards for ALL artillery roles not just naval ones. The great advantage that a gun has over an MRL is that it’s ammunition is cheaper, it’s dispersion at the target is (generally) less and it can change ammunition types quickly. It’s disadvantages are that the gun itself is big, heavy, expensive and requires a heavy mounting to absorb the recoil. I would argue that the days of artillery barrages are past and the era of the precision guided round is upon us. It’s a lot easier to make a precision guided rocket than it is to make a shell. The electronics don’t have the crushing g-forces of a gun launched round to deal with and once you start using guided rounds the main expense stops being the propellent and explosive filler and start being the guidance system. If the projectile is no longer cheap, the gun becomes less attractive. It’s true that rockets take up more space in your ship’s magazines but if they hit their targets more often than an unguided shell then you need fewr of them. It’s true also that an MRL is less versatile than a gun and can’t be used, as the current RN 4.5″ can, as a secondary AA weapon but I would argue that the lighter weight of an MRL system at deck level might allow for the additional mounting of a really good AA gun such as the OTO 76mm or the Bofors 57mm.
Perhaps a vertical launch MLRS could be developed? :-)

13th SPITFIRE

Not wishing to dispel the excellent commentary but I believe they UK is at the forefront of every form of UAV currently on the market. There is an awful lot going into R&D on this area not in the least by the MoD but that is matched by companies and universities. Well ahead of France that much can be said.

Peter Arundel
Peter Arundel

Oops. Didn’t spot Wstr’s POLAR reference . . .

Salvador

Peter, I have thought that a Naval MLRS would be a perfect weapon. However, it seems to be difficult to perfect. Perhaps it’s thd fact that launch vehicle us moving about too much! J have DMSO thought thd new loitering munition would be an ideal candidate for the RN

Jed

OK – first very qood question

Second – Paul G – the 155mm links your posted – your misinterpreting them. The monster 155mm AGS was designed for the Zumwalt (DDG1000). This program has been curtailed at only a couple of ships. Instead the USN is buying a new development of the current Arleigh Burke class “destroyers”, for which BAe is now suggesting this so called AGS-Lite. AGS fires rocket boosted projectiles that have nothing at all to do with any standard 155mm artillary rounds, AND, this is the killer for our ships, even “Lite” is a 50 tonne plus turret, with massive firing stresses (compared to say 115mm/127mm).

This is no way, means or form related to the suggested UK 155mm howitzer, which put the 39 calibre barrel from an AS90 into a the standard RN 4.5 turret.

AGS-Lite is still big, heavy and not cheap.

ACC might be closing to the cost effectiveness mark with the 127mm Vulcano. However the longest range land attack version is a sub-calibre projectile, so your not talking about a whole lot of HE landing on the target. However a laser guided variant with operating with manned aircraft or UAV for sparkling the target might be just what TD is looking for.

N-TACMS was supposed to be developed for USN MK41 VLS, but got cancelled, and we don’t have any ships with MK41 VLS.

GMLRS – you would need to develop a VL version OR, take the mountings of our unused heavy armoured MLRS tracks, and mount them on a ship somewhere…. (limited new life for T22B3 anyone?)

So, for a totally off the shelf, available today, retro-fittable capability I say:
1. OTO Malera 127mm gun
2. OTO Vulcano long range guided ammunition
3. MQ8B FireScout

et voila…..

Brent Smith

I’ve tried to found out why the various naval GMLRS efforts have failed for years. I read that MLRS rockets corrosive propellants that might not play well with expensive deck materials. I’ve speculated it might be related to insensitive munition issues or rocket pod handling complexity.

For the German case, it might’ve been budgetary as much as anything. Just too expensive to develop a navalized mount. But that’s also just speculation.

The Israelis did something similar with their NAVLAR system, so it doesn’t seem to be completely nuts.

Maybe it’s something more appropriate to arm a relatively inexpensive naval auxiliary (e.g. LSM(R)) dedicated to the task, rather than try to put them on warships or amphibs. Then there is less worry about corroding expensive warship decks, or installing intricate pod handling systems in confined areas.

JohnHartley
JohnHartley

ACC
I am not an expert on the OTO 127mm Vulcano. My understanding is that it shoots standard 5 inch rounds ok. For extra range it uses sabot, sub calibre rounds. The basic version of this does not have guidance or extra means of propulsion, so it still has a reasonable warhead. The guided rocket versions, may end up a very expensive way of delivering a hand grenade.

Brent Smith

Is Vulcano anywhere close to production? Last I read it’s still in development.

Adam Sugden
Adam Sugden

The MLRS’s main problem are the size of the reloads. The come in a 6 rockets per reload block if they were based on the US version. They are just to large for most ships to store.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy

Exactly “take the mountings of our unused heavy armoured MLRS tracks, and mount them on a ship somewhere…. (limited new life for T22B3 anyone?)” what I thought
– good comms to coordinate with other means to deliver the same effect,if those are available; 70 km radius, sitting 30 km off the coast…
– high manning, though: what would they all do?

I don’t know how GMLRS is guided. I seconded the AMOS idea in our LOG discussion. However, AMOS is based on GPS coordinates of both the target and the launch vehicle. I know that inland/ archipelago type of waves don’t cause too much of a problem, but how about a good sea state?

x
x

re 2 to 3 seconds

There has to be a point when the button is pressed or the trigger pedal pushed. What about the time any stand off weapon (indeed any ordnance) takes to move between launch platform and target?

I always thought SLAM would have been a good option for the RN.

Tubby
Tubby

Surely if you go for MRLS on your ship it would also be best to have UAV over the target, painting it with a laser, as I thought MRLS normally GPS/inertially guided and supposedly in Mistrata we do not have any FAC’s.

Personally I am quite keen on the idea of parking Ocean 30 – 40 km of shore, and using an UOR to covert some Lynx’s or Merlin’s into cheap gunships equipped with BAE F2 turret and CRV-7 rocket pods, and send them into turn technical’s into scrap metal.

How about this for a crazy idea, lets take all 60 of our Harrier’s, and inset UAV control systems and turn them into UCAV’s and then stick a C&C system for the UCAV’s into Illustrious, and use them as a UCAV carrier :-)

Gareth Jones
Gareth Jones

Ocean sized Cruise Missile carrier? What about a Rocket carrier?!?!

http://www.angelfire.com/art/enchanter/carronade.html

paul g

oops my bad! got confused in my defence cramming like mad for 2 IT exams and my head is full of 3 letter acronyms!!

Mark
Mark

was this not the sort of thing fire shadow was for

A Different Gareth
A Different Gareth

If you made a cruise missile sized rocket would that make it easier to integrate into existing Royal Navy weapons systems?

I’m assuming a dumb cruise missile bereft of the clever terrain following, loitering and targeting gubbins would be too slow if not also still too expensive.

They could then appear on anything that can take a cruise missile. Subs, ships, Tornados…

Brent Smith

Think Defense,

Yes, the PSV would make a great candidate for a naval rocket auxiliary. You could just move pods around via crane, rather than building a specialized handling system.

I still think you may need at least some stabilization. The guidance fins on GMLRS can only compensate for so much.

BTW, MDBA tested a extended range, 100km version of GMLRS back in 2005, i think.

And there are a couple other options,

1. IAI makes the larger, 150km EXTRA rocket that fits two per MLRS pod.

2. LockMart internally developed the 7-inch diameter P44 rocket that can fit 10 per pod and has a 70km range.

Gareth Jones
Gareth Jones

@ Tubby – Great minds think alike! I was remembering a STOVL UCAV AVPRO suggested years back – as I understand it the VTOL system for the F-35B was tested in a Harrier and is virtually automatic…

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy

Adam S is right, now that I think of the photos of reloading GMLRS.

However, TD’s ships some with 70 tonne capacity cranes (or a couple smaller ones), as in “forward presence ships (if you remember, the one based on an offshore PSV) with a massive deck areas and load up with a pair of GMLRS launchers plus reloads”
– there’s your cheap arsenal ship
– and the unitary warhead rockets, I think, are actually cheaper than the Excalibur rounds (that you can’t fire off a ship, anyway). I like the “expensive hand grenade” parallel for the OTO round. Their website is very specific about the different parts, just that I don’t know how much HE is “enough”

And the other good thing about TD’s ship design: they don’t look too warlike!

Mark
Mark

TD

I would assume scavenger will do your 2 and 3 and they wont be cheap. Point 1 nothing effective really exists yet. Fire shadow could do point 4 with a little bit of 1 or 2. I dont think there’s a cheap option to 24/7 coverage with the distances required. I think there maybe needs to be several elements to satisfy this.

Peter Arundel
Peter Arundel

An MLRS rocket is smaller and lighter than a Seadart missile so, as long as the preloaded six rocket pack is abandoned, a similar, twin arm launcher with automatic relading could probably be developed if there was a demand. A Type 42 carried upto 40 seadarts and a 4.5″ gun. Plenty of magazine space there. Of course theres nothing to say that the MLRS rocket has to be used. A new artillery rocket more suited for naval (and army, let’s keep things standard . . .) could be developed.

Mr.fred
Mr.fred

If a ship can reload a VLS, you can reload an MLRS pod. They are no more cumbersome than a ship’s boat, the launcher incorporates a crane and the pods are transportable by forklift.
Corrosive exhaust is a problem, especially in a maritime environment, regardless of where you point the launcher. If you look at videos of the MLRS firing there is plenty of efflux alles uber de platz, not just behind the launcher.

MLRS would give a flexible weapons system. GMLRS (90kg warhead to 70+km, 6 to a pod, GPS/INS), ATACMS (~250kg warhead to 300+km, 1 to a pod, GPS/INS) and P44 (Hellfire-class warhead to 70+km, 10 to a pod, Tri-mode seeker)

Tony Williams
Tony Williams

A couple of points:

The main problem with hitting Ghaddafi’s forces is recognising them, now that they have started equipping and even dressing themselves like the rebels. You can’t sort that out from the air, you need someone on the ground to tell friend from foe (and even they may have problems).

Even if you can identify the baddies, in situations where you have friend and foe all mixed up in urban areas you don’t want massive destruction, you want absolute precision in order to avoid killing innocent bystanders. A hand grenade precisely on target would probably deal with most threats.

Tony Williams
Tony Williams

A PS to my last post – the Americans have been testing 81mm mortar bombs equipped with terminal guidance, specifically for dropping from medium-sized UAVs. Should do most jobs very well…

Repulse

TW,

For me you hit the nail on the head, even in Libya the situation is different between the more open terrain in the east of the country and the suburbs of Mistrata. We therefore need access to a wide range of solutions to fit the problem. Boots on the ground is sometimes unavoidable…

However, a strong naval bombardment capability would undoubtedly give commanders more strings to their bow. It is mooted that the T26 GCS will get the 127mm medium calibre gun which would be a good start. But I would also like to see a limited number of RN vessels with a larger 155mm calibre which would be able to a larger warhead further. Perhaps a batch of 3 extended T45 cruisers anyone… :)

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy

Hi Repulse,

Now “Perhaps a batch of 3 extended T45 cruisers ” I can see where your gravatar is coming from…

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy

Hi TW,

RE “the Americans have been testing 81mm mortar bombs equipped with terminal guidance, specifically for dropping from medium-sized UAVs. Should do most jobs ”
– they just placed an order with NAMMO’s N.A. subsidiary for something like that
– but that one was developed from scratch

Tony Williams
Tony Williams

I too would have liked to see the BAE 155mm TMF proceeded with – the thing was costing peanuts by military procurement standards – but I’d settle for the 127mm as a second-best off-the-shelf purchase.

It’s not only a fair bit more powerful than the 4.5 inch but has the advantage of a huge customer base as well as the USN as primary user, which means that more advanced ammo types will continue to be developed for it.

Tubby
Tubby

I have to agree, lets go for 127mm of the shelf, but only if we are going to retro-fit it to T23’s and T45’s.

JohnHartley
JohnHartley

127mm is better than 114mm, but you still end up with very expensive, mini bangs from even guided 127mm long range rounds. Do you want to spend £50,000+ delivering a precise handgrenade?
This is why 8 inch or 155mm is better, as long as the hulls can be reinforced. If not my fantasy NATO 137mm compromise would still allow a reasonable bang once you added guidance/propulsion.

Mark
Mark

Mini bangs are the order of the day less likely to cause civilian casualties. 155mm maybe to big a shell. The French are using concrete bombs to reduce blast damage(always gd for a tabloid headline).

x
x

@ Mr Fred re MLRS

Um. If it were a permanent fixture the efflux could be vented away; have a look at the old SeaDart mounts on the Invincible.

But if we are talking about strapping an army MLRS to say the flightdeck of Ocean well surely a simple solution would be to have a “mat” for the vehicle to sit on.

JohnHartley
JohnHartley

Mark
If you want a mini bang, fine, but is it worth £50,000+(feels like I am writing for the News of the World).
X
Whether it is STOVL jets or MLRS, I do not see why we cannot cool naval decks with a fine mist spray of sea water.

IXION
IXION

JH

You would be amazed at the amount of corrosive damage boiling hot sea water and steam will do when blasted at a surface by jet/rocket efflux….

JohnHartley
JohnHartley

IXION
There must be a solution.
Off the top of my head.
Japan 1945. The armoured carrier Shinano. The deck was made of whatever the Japs had left. So concrete,saw dust & latex. It was very resistant to bomb damage. Perhaps add ground up ceramic dust for heat resistance? Perhaps swap latex for ground up old car/van tyres? We need a tough,flexible, cheap deck. There must be a way of doing it.

IXION
IXION

JH

I would suggest a scraficial deck made up of something like shets of CORTEN steel bolted to the main deck that can simmply be easily removed and scrapped when too cooroded/ blasted. they could be fitted too TD’s forwrd presence ships as part of ‘the kit’ when the MLRS is fitted to them and removed when it is.

A Different Gareth
A Different Gareth

Tony Williams said: “A PS to my last post – the Americans have been testing 81mm mortar bombs equipped with terminal guidance, specifically for dropping from medium-sized UAVs. Should do most jobs very well…”

There is a picture of one here.

Tony Williams
Tony Williams

Of course, if the NGS issue were looked at logically, it isn’t the big destroyers that should have the big guns, because the last place you want a T45 or similar is anywhere near the littoral, plinking away at land targets.

It’s a small, cheap, shallow-draught ship which can be risked close in that should be providing NGS. It would need to be designed to accept damage and be well-protected by short-range self-defence systems as well as having a big gun.

Which makes me wonder why the USN’s Littoral Combat Ships have turned out to be hugely expensive and have only a little gun…

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy

RE “the USN’s Littoral Combat Ships have turned out to be hugely expensive and have only a little gun…”
– you could take the catamaran flavour, take off all non-essential, fill the rest with ammo&feeders, and some kind of honeycomb isolating structure (to absorb and muffle incoming)in the voids… that would be a fast and stable platform (probably) for two 155mm’s

Jed

eh eh eh, Fantasy fleets time….(always rejoice at the chance….)

T22B3 Land Attack Mod

1. Replace 115mm ‘A turret’ with 127mm OTO Compact
2. Replace Sea Wolf in ‘B’ position with 127mm OTO Compact
3. Remove forward 910 tracker and the deck house / superstructure of the tracker room beneath it.
4. Replace 8 x Harpoon with 16 x NSM3 (using the space freed up by no 910 tracker room for more tubes here).
5. Replace Goalkeeper with Mk49 21 round RAM launcher.
6. Replace aft 910 tracker with MK49 21 round RAM launcher.
7. Re-fit the after Sea Wolf launcher to fire GMLRS / P44

OK this is the difficult bit really. Sea Wolf has ‘ready use’ missiles magazine at launcher deck, the missile hoist mechanism, and the ‘deep’ magazine. Could we re-engineer that setup to store GMLRS or P44 in single container/launcher tubes ??? Both are longer and thinner than Sea Wolf. I did not say it would be cheap did I …..

8. Hangar – well its big enough for 3 to 4 MQ8B FireScout ? Or a couple of MQ8 and a Lynx.

et voila – 2 guns with long range “small bang” ammo, or shorter range bigger bang. 16 ‘large’ guided missiles (for anti-ship or land attack use), but without the need for a VLS to fire something like Tomahawk or SCALP-N, 42 ready use point defence missiles, and the ability to shoot precision long range rocket fire.

Does that fit the bill ? If you think about it, the only element of fantasy about this is the cost, I am sure in pure engineering terms its absolutely do-able, and the only non-off the shelf bit of kit is the requirement for single rounds of GMLRS or LM P44 in a launcher container that could interface with the wiring of a modified 6 round Sea Wolf launcher.

ACC – I really don’t think the Aluminium hulled LCS2 design is going to take 2 x 155mm of any type, never mind the 50 tonne AGS-Lite !

Tony – LCS did not have NGS in its requirements list, thats why……

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy

Further to the several above:

RE ” makes me wonder why the USN’s Littoral Combat Ships have turned out to be hugely expensive and have only a little gun”
– the “why” in it is the cancellation of NLOS that was supposed to do the NGS-work; the little gun is just general purpose/ self defence

Jed: If Ticos have steel hull and alu superstructure, are you sure an alu hull could not support a steel deck? The stress (of firing) can be widely distributed, and partly absorbed by all kinds of engineering (that someone else, I am sure, can work out; don’t ask me, I am only a civvy!)

Jed

ACC – Ticos are much bigger, it’s the weight absorbing the vibration and shock of gun firing stresses as much as the steel of the hull. I don’t think fitting an Aluminium hulled LCS with a steel deck makes a huge difference ???

Also ref NLOS, it was not meant for NGS role per se, it was part of the Surface Warfare package for use against small surface combatants. Not saying it could not be used against shore targets, but NGS is not in the LCS mission set.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy

Jed,

RE “NGS is not in the LCS mission set” I’m sure you right, but was it not, at some stage? I remember reading that a company/ bn sized force could be landed and withdrawn, without having to put any artillery ashore (and counting on helos only as an insurance) because of the radius of targeting offered by NLOS (ship-mounted)

Dominic Johnson

GJ
Interesting concept, but I’d argue you just need to land more guns with your ground forces.
Even the cheapest ship is expensive, sticks out like a sore thumb, and cant advance over the shore line.

Sticking ha;lf a dozen SPG’s on a flat top and vbeaching it would give mega fire support, but it wouldnt last the day.

105 light guns at least have the advantage of shoot and scoot.

TBH, when drewaming up new wonder weapons, I tend to ask, “ok, how would the UK counter this.”

If the answer is, we cant, then I figure its got legs.
A “Gunship”, as in a ship with actual guns, trying to combard London would eat 30 Stormshadows or 300 brimstones within an hour,

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy

Hi DJ,

Counter-battery fire will be arriving within minites of the salvo being launched (hence, the initial rate of fire is a great advantage), but
– How can you associate this “105 light guns at least have the advantage of shoot and scoot” with a platform that is not self-propelled?

JohnHartley
JohnHartley

Me in my own little world, still likes the idea of a new 137 mm naval gun. It is 5.4 inches, the reverse of 4.5 inch the RN has now.
Had battletanks kept advancing, many were expecting them to upgun to 130-140mm guns by now. So future MBTs could share 137mm. Also 137mm light guns could replace 105mm light guns for mobile artillery.Economies of scale for shells.
Ignore/laugh at this, as you choose.

Chris.B

Ah what’s this? A spanner? I wonder what would happen if I threw this in there….

… what about a ship with no gun? But an attack Helicopter!!!

More room for missiles. More versatile attack platform? Thoughts?

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy

Hi JH,

If you search for Leopard, RE “Had battletanks kept advancing, many were expecting them to upgun to 130-140mm guns by now.” you will find a 140mm prototype.

Now, even the Chally2 120mm (unbeatable)rifled gun is out of fashion and the trend is towards commonality in ammo, not just in logistics in the field, but development, and we will probably see our remaining MBT fleet “re-gunned”.

Dominic Johnson

acc
never moved a gun myself, but the navy games led me to believe they can go a long way in 90s

i think somewhere i was argueing i wanted a 105 mounted on a cvr(t) as an assault gun. to solve mobility issues

Even with limited mobility, a battery of guns is 6 targets, a ship is one.

A cruise missile is expensive, but effective. as long as youre actualy hitting stuff with them, enhanced stormshadow is going to be cheaper than a Tnew or a bedford full of squaddies.

Dominic Johnson

chrisb
my first thought re harrier/libya was what does harrier offer that apache does not.

But choppers can still be shot down, are frightfully expensive, and need masses of mechanics.

x
x

@ DomJ re 105mm on track

This is were the Mk8’s gun started life…….

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FV433_Abbot_SPG

JohnHartley
JohnHartley

ChrisB
I would like to see Apache aboard RN ships, but to replace the main deck gun? What happens if you need to fight in rough weather with the helicopter grounded? Or if the chopper is down for maintenance?

Michael (Civ.)
Michael (Civ.)

Chris.B.

Only real problem i see to that is the downtime due to maintainance. What are cobra’s like, maintainance wise? Better than an apache or almost as bad? If Saab made one then i’d agree that you’re onto a winner :)

I’d prefer a good gun, with common ammo (127mm OTO Type), a longer range rocket launcher (either vls or gyro stabalised), then a few uav’s with hellfire and free flight rockets and good surveillance systems etc etc.

Michael (Civ.)
Michael (Civ.)

Chris.B.

How about a small vstol uav?

http://www.wipo.int/pctdb/en/wo.jsp?WO=2008099192

Or, how about a mini harrier type uav?

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2007/07/12/215478/pictures-new-damselfly-uav-configuration-unveiled.html

For me the second one looks the better prospect, scale it up a bit, fit it with sensors, comms & either a couple of weapons pods or pylons for (i dunno), maybe 4 hellfire, or 2 brimstone type weapons?

Would it work…..no idea! Have to ask an expert :)

Chris.B

“delivering smoke, illumination, IR illumination and to suppress an area”

Can’t a helicopter or UAV do the same with rockets?

My worry with guns is that their range is realtively limited for how much space they take up on a vessel.

As for good helicopters to fly off decks, wasn’t it the Rooivalk that could be refueled/armed etc by two or three ground staff?

Euan
Euan

Perhaps unsurprisingly to those who have been around here for a while I agree with Jed on this to a large extend and it’s all things that have been mentioned before a wee while ago. I would move decisively toward adopting the OTO compact as well as various ammunition types procured off the shelf but manufactured in the UK. I agree with the point made by many that getting your major surface combatants into a position to do NGFS is lunacy but with the extended range ammo types it should be less of an issue. Part of the problem is it’s extremely unlikely we will get a C3 or whatever it’s called now armed with a large 5” gun for NGFS so we are stuck with the guns on the much larger more valuable assets.

The other thing Jed mentioned was the Norwegian Naval Strike Missile something which I really like the idea of because it will be available for internal carriage by the F-35 in the JSM form and also has a land attack capability. However it is a single seeker missile and with other missile such as the RBS-15 and future US LRASM going to be appearing with dual seekers and the advantages that brings I think we should go the dual seeker route. Although the NSM would be an option that is available now or at least in the near future so it could be a case of letting better be in the way of good enough.

Other options as I seem them that I would implement elsewhere are adoption of the Israeli jumper missile as a fire support solution for the Army and Royal Marines as well as possible use against other targets at sea. With a range of around 50km with GPS/INS and terminal laser guidance it could be fired at targets designed by a UAV or nearby personnel on the ground, one thing I can’t find is the size of the warhead. The huge attractiveness of this system to me is the possibility of getting rid of all the land based artillery and replacing them with something like this allowing the hundreds if not thousands of personnel to do something else. Even although each missile would cost more than an individual dumb shell the personnel savings should more than make up for it especially as dumb shells are becoming less common. Costs per missile should also come down if it were adopted for use both at land and at sea and the reloads were mass produced with a continuing eye on finding ways to make it cheaper.

There is also the loitering munitions developed through the complex weapons team still seems like an interesting concept if it ever gets procured although the sticker shock might put some off the Javelin is not exactly cheap. What really interests me about the Fire shadow is the possibility that it could be used as a UAV for forces operating in the area to keep an eye on the area and then direct it to attack what it finds. What should make it different is that less support personnel should be needed vs a normal UAV because once it is unsealed it is launched and it’s a one shot deal so you don’t have to worry about maintaining it or retrieving it.

Brian Black
Brian Black

Re the 105 discussion.

There was a programme to stick a six pack of MLRS rockets on a 6×4 Supacat, for the RA supporting the Marines and Paras. Light enough to hang under a Chinook.

It was ready for service but the idea was shelved a few years back, money I assume.

Brian Black
Brian Black

Re above. LiMAWS(R) Lightweight Mobile Artillery Weapon System (Rocket)

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy

Hi Euan,

How good the sensor set (that you can afford to lose every time, whether a target is attacked or not)could be in ” What really interests me about the Fire shadow is the possibility that it could be used as a UAV for forces operating in the area to keep an eye on the area and then direct it to attack what it finds. “

x
x

What I don’t understand concerning the cancelled 155m gun is what was taking BAE so long? We live in age of computer aided design why can’t the “drawings” for the Mk8 (or as BAE now own it the US 5in) be up-scaled? The pressures for 155m ammunition are known. The properties of the materials are known. So why FFS did BAE never ever manage to come up with anything?

Euan
Euan

AAC yes sorry good point the sensor on Fireshadow will not be spectacular but if we are going to be allowed to use it to find and indentify targets to then fly into and go bang then it must be of half decent quality. So my hope is that it is good enough to give the people on the ground nearby some information even if it is not this man’s name is Terry he is 5’10” tall and carrying an AK47 more this is a person with an AK acting oddly and out of place.

A Question if we adopted something like Jumper or NLOS-LS would we still adopt LiMAWS or would we go for different warheads for the missile in a box rather than operate them both with similar capabilities. If are basically no longer allowed to use sub munitions then in my view the MLRS lose their headline capability of grid square removal and the capability to fire off large volleys of rockets could be done by whatever box of missiles.

Mark
Mark

X

Your falling into the program manager trap there, the computer does it for you. Drawings take time even computer aided ones the computer like a drawing board is just a tool and not just drawing but models too which need done first. Speed depends on personnel available particularly the senior ones and money. Previous guns may have been done on paper.

The difficult was that for very gd safety reasons the navy wanted the 155 shell to be a 1 piece job which changed the dynamics somewhat from what I remember reading but im not totally sure on that.

x
x

@ Mark

I know what you are saying. I know the dangers of the computer doing the “thinking.” And I know that the availability of wet resources have an affect to on how quickly something happens. It was a low priority project. But also knowing what I know about development engineering I think with 155mm I see something of Wheel 2.0 about the project.

Euan
Euan

That’s one thing that has always puzzled me about navalising the 155mm shell could we not encase it in some sort of ‘paper’ and ‘glue’ to hold the propellant and shell together for loading. Although in Euan’s world that problem would go away because we would no longer have 155mm guns in the land inventory. Another question is how do we plan to transport and replenish at sea with 155mm rounds would it be a simple case of moving propellant and shells separately but with the additional manpower needed to sort it out. One thing I like about the 5” option is that because of its commonality we should be able to pull alongside any major western nation that operates the weapon and take on board additional ammo. Or more likely we would be able to provide it via the RFA to other allied naval forces without a problem since we would also be using the same rounds on our own warships.

x
x

@ Euan

Separate rounds are hard to handle. Look at how much volume the Mk6 mount takes up compared with the Mk8. Are you advocating wrapping the propellent and shell in an expendable cartridge case? Are modern UK(NATO) 155 rounds still susceptible to HERO?

Euan
Euan

X, you’ve lost me a bit but we’ll see how lost I am. Do you mean a single round as in separate propellant and shell or are you meaning something else? (Or perhaps you think I meant moving shells and propellant separately rather than in pallets)

Anyhow if we switched to a 155mm round we would need to transfer pallets of shells and propellant then get them down into the magazine where manual labour would be needed to load propellant and shells into ready to use drums. The bit I can’t really get my head around is would the charge be varied and if so this would make the operation more complex and much slower. So yes I am proposing essentially wrapping the propellant and shell in an expendable cartridge although I’ve no idea how this would work in practice or if it would be possible.

JohnHartley
JohnHartley

Perhaps the model is that new Swedish semi auto 155mm armoured lorry. Shell is automatically loaded, then smaller or larger propellant loaded automatically depending on range.
Years ago, South of Boston, I got aboard the USS Salem. It had triple 8 inch guns in its turret. For the late 1940s it was very advanced with a high rate of fire as it was semi auto. The shells & propellant arrived at the breach seperately though.

x
x

Ammunition for artillery pieces is either fixed (shell and propellant are in a nice brass case) or separate loading (where the shell and propellent are separate discrete items.)

The Mk6 used separated ammunition. The charges were held in one magazine and the shells in another. And there was a carousel arrangement that ran around the loading room that carried both parts of the “round.” In the middle there was a chute fixtures which took the assemble rounds up to the two guns. The Mk6 was only semi-automatic as it relied on a gun crew for loading.

Have you seen this?

x
x

This is good too,

I never get ceased to be amazed by the stuff on YouTube….

Euan
Euan

It would make a ‘profit’ if it were managed by those folk who do that sort of thing for a living and that is the point in my opinion of a sovereign wealth fund it’s a shareholding and investment entity. Buying shareholdings, bonds and gilts etc is quite simple the more difficult bit would be looking out for and investing in opportunities for example if the forge masters loan in Sheffield was deemed to be sound such an entity could invest there. Although there would be profit there wouldn’t really as any and all money generated beyond running the entity would be reinvested all over the place to grow the fund year on year. That should also ideally be coupled with more money coming in at a reasonably fixed rate like I suggested keeping things expanding nicely and helping fund new additions to the portfolio.

One thing I would definitely stress is that it is a Sovereign Wealth Fund entity not a vehicle for Government investment within the UK it would operate globally across every sector with an eye on being resilient. Although anyone could argue that a healthy percentage of the annual budget from central government should be invested in the UK and I would be fine with that as long as it’s based on sound financial sense not politicians trying to keep their safe seat. So for that reason it would need near total independence from the politicians although there would be an oversight committee of some sort. Just refreshed the page and yup I agree keep the politicians away from it but not so sure about it being a public sector pension fund as that should and could be an entirely separate entity. Although if they were the same entity then that would certainly put in billions of pounds annually from top up pension contributions.

This line I have a bit of a quibble with “No one running it allowed to earn more than the Prime Minister” to get the talent to run a fund worth hundreds of billions then that is lunacy to cap the pay to what the PM gets paid. Even if you had some nice blokes who were really smart and capable they would look and think work for this lot with shite pay doing something worthwhile and for the good of the country. Or work elsewhere for megabucks and retire a young man with the wife and kids to somewhere sunny with a Yacht sorry but i know which option I would chose even if I was a really nice etc. Don’t get me wrong it would still get capped although that would be up for review every so often in general though the pay and incentives would be something that would need to be thought about. One option would be the bonuses made up of shares that can only be traded in after 10 years or other long term performance options which should focus the minds on making wise choices.

Also Royal Mail yet another mess created by the Workforce, Unions, Management and the politicians but I’m going to stay out of that one unless someone wants to talk about it.

Anyhow I like waffling on because it’s all things I’ve thought about before as being a sensible idea.

Euan
Euan

Feck sorry, Admin can you delete that for me. I type up my comments in word then copy paste them into the wee comment box so I buggered that up.

X, Ah yes I know what you were on about now but I didn’t know much about the Mk6 turret apart from that it was manned no idea that it used separate propellant and shell. The idea of going back to split ammo even with automatic loading seems like a step too far chasing reduced cost especially given what is available on the shelf. I’ve also seen those brilliant videos on YouTube those were indeed the days of NGFS with massive destructive firepower available especially with huge armour piercing shells that could punch through masses of concrete.

x
x

The Mk6 operated in the same way as the Iowa turrets but in miniature.

Tony Williams
Tony Williams

On the subject of ammo handling:

Separating the projectile from the propellant is nothing new, even in big autoloading guns. The USN’s last 8 inch cruiser gun, in the post-WW2 Des Moines class, used separate loading (and therefore presumably so did the single-barrel MK71 which has been referred to here before, since that used the same ammo).

At least one of the planned long-range projectiles for the USN’s 5 inch gun also required separate loading, because the projectile was so long that if stuck into the cartridge case the round would be too long overall for the system to handle.

For much the same reason, BAE’s 155mm TMF needed separate loading too – the intention was to use as much as possible of the 4.5 inch Mk 8’s machinery, and the 155mm projectile was so long that it had to be loaded separately.

Separate loading adds a bit of complication to the ammo handling and slows down the rate of fire, as the rammer has to make two strokes – one to load the projectile, one to load the cartridge case. That isn’t really an issue with NGS though.

The real problem any 155mm naval gun would suffer from is not that the ammo is separate, but that the propellant is not contained within a rigid brass or steel cartridge case. The RN has fireproofing requirements which prohibit the use of exposed propellant modules as used by the Royal Artillery, and would similarly prohibit a combustible cartridge case.

It was trying the modify the Army 155mm gun and ammo system to use a metal cartridge case which caused most of the problems with the TMF.

Gareth Jones
Gareth Jones

French 100mm best DP gun?

http://brickmuppet.mee.nu/weaponsnkit/quick_and_dirty_fire_support_upgrades

Which got me thinking; Could we cross a MCMV with a French Aviso, which is designed for Colonial gun boating and coastal ASW? Combine underwater warfare with NGFS (100-155MM)? The MBRL can be used for ASW or land attack. If the mount is modular then we could replace it with something like SEARAM for escort duties?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D%27Estienne_d%27Orves_class

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy

Hi GJ,

RE : your French 100mm, DelphiForums had this (TW was part of the discussion there):
“as far as range goes, the entry for the French 100mm Naval gun lists a max range of 17,500m, a max effective range against surface targets of 12,000m and a max effective anti-aircraft range of 6,000m. MV 2850fps and selectable firing rates of 90-40-10 rpm. it weighs about 15 tons and goes about 2 decks down into the ship.”

100mm is mainly interesting (to me) in the sense that the T-x, y &z tanks had that (with naval gun origins) until they were upgunned.15 t vs what a tank turret weighs is also quite interesting (of course, what is quoted for performance is quite impressive to balance that).

Some nation(s) also put the tank gun to coastal defence role, turrets dug into rock. Two problems 1. Russia was never willing to sell the original anti-ship rounds, and 2. only a 10 km range

So a land-based 130 mmm was put on its side: 30km range, with specifically developed anti-ship round; the 100 mm was left to deal with the landing waves, closer in

Back to naval guns: goes two decks down – how deep is that? Smallest reference installation 1200 t; compare that to the (now old, but automated) Bofors 120mm naval gun!

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy

Forgot to put the Bofors 120mm reference in: worked fine on 600 t vessels!

Euan
Euan

Gareth my nice wee plan in my head was always to get something like the BMT Venator, with a hangar, for the future mine countermeasures hydrographic and patrol missions which is Floreal sized. Although such ship could be fitted with anything as large as the 127/64 Lightweight mount from OTO it would be questionable as it would have extremely limited available ammunition so would have to withdraw for frequent replenishments. Although that could be made to work withdrawing to replenish ammunition and other supplies as well as to get some rest under the protection of the fleet.

Tony Williams
Tony Williams

I have an article on current medium calibre naval guns and their pros and cons on my website (although I must update it as some projects have been cancelled in the past three years): http://www.quarry.nildram.co.uk/MCG.html

The French have stopped fitting the 100mm themselves. They seem to have flogged the design to China.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy

Hi TW,

Thanks for the link. Seems that you have intentionally left the parallel developments in coastal artillery out (it is about to die out anyway, but if performance ever is better than in the ship-mounted systems, then the question “why” becomes interesting).

I understand the Chinese are active not only in naval guns but also in shore-based anti-ship developments? (The Russian source you quoted may have that information, but the link has gone out of date.)

Tony Williams
Tony Williams

ACC, thanks for the heads-up over the link. I’ll try to update the article soon (I did keep a copy of the data on the link – I hope it’s still somewhere on the PC!) but I’m busy with other updating jobs at the moment.

The Chinese seem to be busy in all aspects of military technology development, with different systems apparently doing the same job (some apparently intended for export rather than domestic use). Maybe this should be the subject of a separate thread!

Mr.fred
Mr.fred

x:
“Um. If it were a permanent fixture the efflux could be vented away; have a look at the old SeaDart mounts on the Invincible.”

Have you seen an MLRS launch? The rocket motor is burning long after it has left the tube and that efflux is going to cover everything within a good distance. Sea Dart uses a different and far less corrosive propellant and as such is an invalid comparison. The stuff coming out the back of the launch tube is easily dealt with but there is more of the same coming out of the rocket as it clears the front.

SteveD
SteveD

I’m not sure why no one has yet mentioned the T45 UAV platform concept, as it’s been around for a while.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BAE_UXV_Combatant

Although it makes a lot more sense to me to have some form of extended flightdeck on some of the later-generation T26 fitted with an electromagnetic catapult, rather then sticking entire new hulls in the water.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy

If a T42 Batch 2 is put there, close to shore, do those (HMS Liverpool, in this case) have CIWS?

x
x

@ Mr.fred

Um. A better question is have you ever been on the flight deck of a carrier underway? Clears the cobwebs I can tell you. So I am not to worried about efflux from MLRS being about to long after the pointy thing has gone whoosh. And what about the pre-wetting system? Or are the chemicals coming out of a MLRS nastier than radioactive dust? (Only jokin’)

Another thing we could factor in is Sea Dart is a tad quicker than MLRS. So yes I should imagine the cloud of crap would be around a few seconds longer.

Also if a MLRS-type system was a permanent fitting I suppose the rocket-engine and fuel could be changed to something less “active”/nasty.

No sorry I am not convinced. But as you bought it up it must be a valid concern so I will go and do some reading and try to catch up. Or re-affirm what I think. Or confuse myself further. Probably the latter……

Jed

ACC – all T42 have 2 Phalax CIWS, port and starboard amidships.

Phalanx is of course pants, a 20mm pop gun invented to in the late 70’s with technology upgrades since. It was proved in USN tests in the mid 80’s that even if its fire ripped an incoming missile to bits, or detonated the warhead, the missiles momentum would still ensure the “bits” would hit the Phalanx equipped ship, potentially causing all sorts of damage :-(

Tony Williams
Tony Williams

Jed,

Only last week the RN placed a contract for the upgrade of its Phalanx systems to 1B configuration. This involves various modifications, including longer and heavier barrels, the ability to fire the more effective MK244 APDS ammunition and electro-optical control for addressing other targets like small boats.

The first two changes will improve the range/destructive effect of the systems to some extent.

x
x

@ Jed

HMS Edinburgh for a while was fitted with just one Phalanx on her forecastle aft of the Mk8.

Dominic Johnson

Just jumping back in, a cheap gun ship has little requirement to survive many weeks of constant fireing.
Whats £100mn? Libyas already racked up far more than that.

Jed

x – fair enough, never seen a picture of that, shit weapon arc’s I suspect….

Tony, new ammo and longer barrels don’t really do that much to upgrade the system to handle, for example a supersonic maneuvering anti-ship missile, while in the anti-small boat swarm mode, there are not a lot of rounds on the mount. So I stick to my opinion that Phalanx is pretty much obsolete as a CIWS and therefore it is of course absolutely correct that we rely on them !!

x
x

@ Jed

Yes. And then there was that perennial problem for 42s (even the 3’s) that up fo’ard things got a tad soggy.

Dominic Johnson

regarding ciws
you use a shotgun to down a bird, not a machine gun.

Main guns, used as a big shotgun should be more than capable of throwing up a wall of metal.
How well armoured are control surfaces and sensors?l

Alan
Alan

That sounds quite plausable, except that shotguns are smoothbore whereas a ship’s main gun is rifled.

The rifling will throw the pattern of spread off unpredictably.

JohnHartley
JohnHartley

If the MoD insists on staying with Phalanx, then why on Earth did they not choose the 25mm Oerlikon upgrade instead? Even 25mm is a bit light these days, but far more effective than the short ranged 20mm. If we had money, I would want the 35mm Millenium instead.

Alan
Alan

Of course a canister round with a slip ring, a la the UK’s 120mm APFSDS could be developed.
That might mitigate the effect of the spin.

Alan
Alan

John please don’t talk about auto cannons, it gets me all excited! And the wife just doesn’t understand.

Dominic Johnson

alan
and i thought i’d be called mad if i mentioned a 120 cannon shotgun…

Alan
Alan

As I understand it there is a 120mm cannister round for the smoothbores used by the US Army

x
x

What became of MetalStorm?

Mark
Mark

Just a quick one. But is the RN now of the opinion that because type45 will have aster 15 and the type23/26 sea wolf/caam that these missiles are now sufficent ciws in there own right and that the phalanx is more to do with fast boat attacks. I did notice we have paid 130m to upgrade all 36 sets of phalanx.

x
x

@ Mark

A brand new 76mm cost only $5million. A brand new Bofors 57mm about $7.2million.

I know these won’t fit, just for information purposes……..

x
x

The other question I would like answer to is, where are Goalkeepers going off the T22B3 and the LPD in extend readiness?

I think a mount would fit in the space between T45’s bridge and the VLS silo.

After years of working on expensive, complicated IT systems I am all for stand alone back-up options just when the main system drops off-line. Unlike the MoD(N) it would seem……

Mark
Mark

X

I like the 57mm bofors and would install in on the C3 or whatever its called now (rebranding must cost a fortune in mod).

I would think the goal keepers will be sold with the t22 or scraped. IMO type45 doesnt need then as phalanx will be installed and it has a large missile arsenal.

JohnHartley
JohnHartley

Type 45 does not need a CIWS?
Fight a real enemy & it will run out of Aster missiles PDQ. What then? Harsh language?
Not forgetting Seawolf throwing a fit & not working at critical moments in 1982.
Having a CIWS back up seems wise.

x
x

@ Mark

Goalkeeper and Phalanx can both operate discretely; that is without cueing from the main combat system.

My point was when whatever is running SeaViper goes wrong as IT systems do the fact that Aster15 can fulfil the PDMS roll isn’t going to save your bacon. There is a need for a back-up.

30mm Goalkeeper is a far superior system to Phalanx in the AAW. “We” own it and it would dovetail well into T45’s roll as a primary AAW asset.

Not saying don’t fit the upgraded Phalanx to counter the “threat” from swarm attacks by little boats. It is damn hard to hit anything moving with just the Mk1 eyeball.

£130million is a lot though isn’t it? I mean with that and £126million (T26 design study money) the Darings could have had everything they are missing. The bits to operate Merlin. Proper sonar. etc. etc.

Crackers…….

Mark
Mark

Phalanx 1B and 2x30mm is adequate on type 45 along with decoys if all the missles fail dont work it doesnt need anything more. But in naval conflict since ww2 what is the maximum number of missiles to have been fired by any ship in the air defence environment. Is it more than 48 shots per ship? 3 type 45 with 48 missiles each would have been adequate to have destroyed the entire Argentine airforce in engagements with a 50% hit rate and thats as powerful an enemy as the uk will ever face on its own.

The RN has considered seawolf as adequate on type 23 since its entry into service without ever fitting phalanx or goalkeeper.

Tubby
Tubby

@x

I have just re-read the story on Defence Talk about the Phalanx up-grade and its $137 million for the up-grade rather than £130 million, so its more like £84 million for the upgrade or £2.3 million per Phalanx.

http://www.defencetalk.com/uk-buys-mk-15-phalanx-ciws-upgrade-kits-33838/

Mark
Mark

I think it was 130m dollars but yes still a lot. I still think its well enough armed and goalkeepers needs a structural change to fit it I believe. It may cost 10m to fit across type45 would you trade it for a bay class ship for year for example

x
x

@ Mark

Goalkeeper needs about 8feet below it; it is deck penetrating (steady there!)

Have look at the bow of Albion or Bulwark.

There is an awful lot of space between the bridge house and the VLS silo on a T45.

If there isn’t enough space and somebody can give me a source I would be grateful to learn that too.

@ Tubby

Thanks for that. Why did I just accept that figure of 130million was pounds and not dollars? I mean when do the MoD ever spend more money on rebuilding something than simply buying new? :)

x
x

@ Mark re possible reloads.

Yes. But it doesn’t matter how many missiles you have if the system goes toes up……

Mark
Mark

But is that not the point of the phalanx mount I’m not arguing for getting rid of it I just don’t see the need for anything more or indeed upgrade it to sea ram in the future is a possibility. Computer reliablity has increased significantly but the lessons of the falklands was more about robust ship design/systems and high quality damage and fire fighting skills. Which lead to sea viper system and cms1 and the gold standard of fost

Tubby
Tubby

@x

I like to pretend WRT phalanx that the MoD’s cunning plan is to buy Sea Ram once it gets into series production. The reality is we likely be buying Sea Ram upgrade kits about the time that the USN introduces point defence laser’s to intercept missiles.

Tubby
Tubby

@x

I like to pretend WRT phalanx that the MoD’s cunning plan is to buy Sea Ram once it gets into series production. The reality is we likely be buying Sea Ram upgrade kits about the time that the USN introduces point defence laser’s to intercept missiles.

x
x

@ Mark

Reading back it does seem I was saying you were questioning Phalanx. Didn’t mean it that way. It is just how it came out.

All I am saying is GoalKeeper is a very good system, if we have 5 why not get them onto Daring?

Euan
Euan

I’ve always thought that at some point down the line someone in the RN would see the sense in only using a combo of Aster 30 and CAMM in the fleet which on a Type 45 would give you a significant number of rounds. Aster 15 has always seemed to me a stupid compromise it’s only a tiny bit smaller than the Aster 30 and has a much shorter range yet there is not a massive difference in minimum engagement ranges. CAMM could also perhaps be given at some point the capability to engage small surface targets making maximum use of the missile and any ability to quad pack it into a VLS cell. Of course you’re only ever likely to get 4 shots at killing a missile attack with a Type 45 by itself IMHO and maybe 2-3 more if we are in a conflict with CVF providing air support and a sub lurking below the waves. First chance is when the aircraft tries to pop up and find you, 2 when the missile has just appeared on the radar horizon, 3 when your first attempt to shoot it down just after it crosses the horizon fails and 4 is the last ditch CIWS attempt when it’s right on you. Of course that drops down to 3 chances if the launch is blind and the first you know about it is it appearing on the radar horizon.

I agree with the other computery folk it’s better to have an independent system like Phalanx that only needs power and water in full auto mode and someone to say don’t shoot it if you want a man in the loop just in case. Sea Ram would be an excellent upgrade against missiles and the small boat threat could be covered by remote weapons stations tied into a control system that could also be semi-independent of the main CMS. As for the current effectiveness of Phalanx and its 20mm round against missiles who knows but with new armour rounds and other available ammunition it should be plenty to take care of missiles. The 20mm round may be pretty light these days but that’s comparing it to what is being used in land warfare where armour standards and technology are ever improving and anything below 30mm is not very effective. That is why we are moving toward the 40mm CTA which as Jed in particular has suggested in the past we should consider adopting it on ships and perhaps developing a CIWS out of it. Leveraging that main Think Defence theme of ruthless commonality across the armed services to reduce costs, reduce manpower whilst simplifying logistics and training.

Jed

x – absolutely no point what-so-ever of fitting Goalkeeper between the forward end of superstructure and the VLS silo on a T45 – the weapons arcs, and even the arcs available to the on-mount radar would be diabolical.

Mark – it was not that the RN considered Sea Wolf simply adequate for the T23, more that the cost benefit analysis of fitting a CIWS, i.e. Phalanx lost on the ‘cost’ element (of course !). I am sure I saw an old design drawing in a book or magazine that had a single Phalanx on the after port corner of the hanger.

Tubby – absolutely we should take out the 20mm Vulcan and put in the RAM pod making it SeaRam.

Layers people, layers !!

Fighter CAP (gone already) -> long range SAM (Sea Dart / Aster 45) -> short range SAM (Aster 15) -> Point Defence SAM (Sea Wolf / CAMM) -> CIWS (SeaRAM / Goalkeeper) plus of course soft kill measures too, just like keeping warm in a Canadian winter, it’s all about the layers…. :-)

Jed

Euan – I did suggest commonality and using the CTA 40 in place of the single 30’s we now ship, very good for the anti-small boat swarm I think, as despite its lower rate of fire it has the timed air-bursting munitions.

BUT

I think Tony (Williams – the god of guns…) has told us at some time in the past that the CTA40 shape does not lend itself a fast firing CIWS type gun. Perhaps 2 guns on the same mount, given its compact volume might mitigate this somewhat, but I am sure it would just be cheaper to buy RAM !

Chris.B

@ John. H.

“Not forgetting Seawolf throwing a fit & not working at critical moments in 1982.
Having a CIWS back up seems wise.”

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again; Seawolf is fine and has proven its capability. The problem was target acquistion, which was the fault of the radar and the tactics used.

The officers of “Coventry” and “Broadsword” were acknowledged in the Board of Inquiry as requesting permission to move to the West of the Falklands into the open waters where their radar would have the best shot at detecting targets at range and with little disturbance, but they were essentially over ruled.

That’s why things got nasty. The actual missile itself though has an excellent record.

As for the broader CIWS issue, I’d like to see a specifically designed, smoothbore weapon firing “shotgun” style rounds. Such weapons, with the aide of a Sabot, can easily fire various solid projectiles as well. A weapon designed mainly for CIWS duties should not really need the capability to do much in the way of accurate, beyond the horizon type shooting.

Tony Williams
Tony Williams

A few comments on guns and ammo:

The Oerlikon KBD 25mm upgrade to Phalanx looked good but no-one bought it. We would have been on our own with that one, at a much higher cost than simply taking the vanilla Phalanx.

Rifled guns don’t prevent the use of shrapnel-type ammo: the Oerlikon KETF (formerly AHEAD) as used in the 35mm Millennium system is exactly that.

The other alternative is a prox-fuzed fragmentation shell, as is normally used with current 76mm, 57mm and 40mm guns. Germany were working on a 155mm fragmentation shell for the C-RAM role recently, but their army has of course adopted the 35mm system for that purpose.

The Millennium is currently my favourite gun system for a combined anti-missile, anti-aircraft and anti-small boat defence. Rate of fire is important in the first two of those roles (especially against missiles) so I’d certainly take Millennium (1,000 rpm) over 40CTS (200 rpm). A high RoF not only increases the chances of a kill, it also achieves a kill more quickly, meaning that you can deal with more targets in a swarm attack.

Euan
Euan

My memory is a bit fuzzy but yes I totally agree replacing the 30mm mounts in use with the 40mm CTA would seem like the way to go eliminating the ammunition type from service should be the eventual goal. Even with the slightly lower ROF it should work just fine against small boats etc especially with the various ammo types being looked at and the goal is primarily to save money across the armed services. So we just get something else for the CIWS role which would be ok with me as that would allow for 4 auto cannons above 30mm to provide good coverage all round the ship for use on multiple targets. Although I suppose the idea behind sticking with a gun based CIWS is to only have to have 2 weapons well placed for complete coverage rather than 2 CIWS and 2 auto cannons.

On the CIWS point I’ve always liked the Millennium gun system especially since I’m an Absalon class fan which is fitted with the system and also because it’s also suited for the C-RAM role on land something which I think we should take more seriously. The problem is it would be a completely new system in UK service so to get all the surface combatants and other surface vessels would require us to invest to probably save in the long run. I do have some important niggles about the Millennium gun system for naval use and they are that we would have to install something like the Saab CEROS 200 tracking system. Also the CIWS capability would be more or less dependent on the main CMS which does not sit comfortably with me because of the reduced total redundancy which is vital in a threat environment. I don’t even think there is a suitable way to get around that problem because the tracking system will need cued onto the target by the primary radar for the gun system to work.

So taken in the round when I think about things as I know them right now I would be happiest with a Sea RAM launcher and a 40mm CTA gun on each side of the ship coupled with other small arms. Usually they would all be integrated into the main CMS but if that was unavailable the CIWS system could still function and the 40mm guns controlled via standalone consoles directly connected to the weapons mounts.

Dominic Johnson

“But in naval conflict since ww2 what is the maximum number of missiles to have been fired by any ship in the air defence environment. Is it more than 48 shots per ship? 3 type 45 with 48 missiles each would have been adequate to have destroyed the entire Argentine airforce in engagements with a 50% hit rate and thats as powerful an enemy as the uk will ever face on its own.”
The problem is what has been fired in the past might not guide us to what will be fired in the future.

Arsenal ships they are a coming, in the 128 missile submersable varient if nothing else.

Alan
Alan

@ Tony Williams, re; “Rifled guns don’t prevent the use of shrapnel-type ammo: the Oerlikon KETF (formerly AHEAD) as used in the 35mm Millennium system is exactly that.”
Thanks for pointing that out, I was thinking about older cannister rounds when I typed that.

Mr.fred
Mr.fred

If you want a revolver rate of fire without having to go to a new calibre, how about the weapon station based on the 27mm Mauser?

Commonality within our own force is good, but commonality with our allies (especially when they buy/produce much more ammunition than us) may have more value. The 30x173mm system has more ammunition types available now than the CT40 will ever have, and it is in use by many armed forces across the world so the ammunition will be cheaper (and we will not have to fork out for all of the development costs). An alternative option might be to convert phalanx to SeaRAM (+laser if we can get it) and keep goalkeeper (a more effective last-ditch than the vulcan-armed Phalanx) and the 30mm point guns.

MLRS motors are pretty dirty and even a 50 knot wind won’t stop the ship getting plastered in yucky corrosive stuff.

Tony Williams
Tony Williams

@ Euan:

“I do have some important niggles about the Millennium gun system for naval use and they are that we would have to install something like the Saab CEROS 200 tracking system. Also the CIWS capability would be more or less dependent on the main CMS which does not sit comfortably with me because of the reduced total redundancy which is vital in a threat environment. I don’t even think there is a suitable way to get around that problem because the tracking system will need cued onto the target by the primary radar for the gun system to work.”

The land-based C-RAM system has a small sensor unit to accompany the gun unit. The two together are entirely self-contained. See: http://www.quarry.nildram.co.uk/Eurosatory%202010.htm

Tubby
Tubby

RE: 40 mm CTA gun,

I am not really fussed if the remote weapon stations are 40 mm or 30 mm, but I want to see introduced the new DIS Defence’s Sigma remote weapon stations which mounts the gun alongside a 7 cell LMM launcher (variation of the current DS-30B mount). IMO LMM will be a much better killer of small boats than any cannon will be!

Tony Williams
Tony Williams

An addition to my last post: in the Oerlikon Millennium system as adopted by Germany for the C-RAM role (and known by them as MANTIS), a typical base defence system consists of two sensor units controlling six guns.

I am in favour of autocannon doing both the CIWS and anti-small-boat jobs if possible, rather than two different systems – it’s a more efficient use of resources. I would back up the 35mm Millennium system with a close-in defence network of 12.7mm guns (preferably 3-barrel GAU-19) in stabilised remote-control mountings with overlapping fields of fire.

x
x

@ Jed

One would suggest that access to both beams would be for T45 with Goalkeeper in B position as good as their current fit on T22B3. The Dutch have theirs well forward. And don’t the Burkes have a Phalanx in the B position too?

Would would also suggest that it would give more options for “junk/dhow” busting than Phalanx.

Chris.B

Screw it, lets just go the whole hog and use this thing for Close In Defence:

Dominic Johnson

phalanx has some 1000 20mm rounds.
Thats gonna shred a ship, even a big one.
Isnt it?

Jed

x – I hear what your saying, but it’s not quite that simple is it.

The Phalanx in ‘C’ position on a Burke is on a deck house which is part of the superstructure design, as such it is raised above the 127mm in A and of course the flush deck mounted VLS which is B.

I am being pedantic but you did not specify putting the Goalkeeper on a deck house, you said stuff in the space between the VLS and the superstructure. If you raised it up it above the VLS and 115mm then it would obviously have better arc’s but what would this do the the RCS of the T45 ?

The T22B3 mount is also a basterdisation, but it has clear arcs to the front, and is just in front of a narrower mast, not a major block of superstructure, so although it can’t fire aft, it probably has back a fair way on either beam.

I can’t actually find a single photo of a Seven Provinces class DDG with the forward Goalkeeper actually fitted, but I would not say its “well forward” the space is just in front of the foremast. In fact most of the piccies seem to show two satcom domes which would be in the way.

Tony – having trained to fire the old LMG (7.62 bren) from a brige wing pintle, the GPMG in buffered mount, and even the 20mm GAMB-01 I completely agree ref stabilised mounts ! 2 GAU19 per side instead of the current manually aimed 7.62 miniguns would seem to be a good investment.

Tony Williams
Tony Williams

Chris.B.

The Italians have stopped fitting the 40mm Bofors to their major warships, I believe. It’s unconvincing in the anti-missile role because the small shells aren’t effective enough: unlike Phalanx/Goalkeeper (which hit the incoming missile with large penetrators), or Millennium (which sends a concentrated group of sub-projectiles directly into the path of the missile), the 40mm’s 360 degree fragmentation pattern means than only a very small percentage of the (small) fragments will hit a missile.

The Italians are now looking to the 76mm gun fitted with the new Davide system firing a DART guided shell for the anti-missile role. In fact, this system adds a whole new capability to the 76mm and makes it a remarkably versatile gun.

Tony Williams
Tony Williams

Incidentally, I am concerned that the RN possibly made a mistake in adopting the new MSI DS 30M ‘Seahawk’ 30mm gun system. The MK44 gun only fires at 200rpm compared with 600rpm for the old 30mm Oerlikon. This means that the new mounting is not only useless in the anti-missile role, it is poor at AA as well (unlike the comparable German MLG 27, which fires at 1,700 rpm).

The Seahawk does seem an awful lot of gun and mounting just for shooting at small boats and any helicopters which might come within range.

Millennium would have been vastly more effective and versatile – I wonder how much more it would have cost?

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy

Hi TW,

RE “The Seahawk does seem an awful lot of gun and mounting…

Millennium would have been vastly more effective and versatile – I wonder how much more it would have cost?”
– I am a great fan of Millennium, but I seem to remember that the mounting for the German MLG27 is remarkably compact. Indeed, it was a photo provided by you from some exhibition, but don’t quite remember where to look for it
– Despite the fact that I believe the Germans made the right choice for their (AIR) BASE defence with Millennium, having the same ammo for planes and guns on the ground would have been an advantage

Chris.B

@ Tony. W

Could we not just, you know, load the 40mm with penetrators?

Requiem
Requiem

Talk about Naval GMLRS, not sure how many AT Sorties were flown that would’ve been strikeable by GMLRS with SMArt warheads, they’re a hell of a lot cheaper than Tonka/Tiffy sorties, Fuel and Brimstones

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