HMS Liverpool Delivers the News

I know this is a few days old but it’s a good story anyway.

From the MoD

The Commanding Officer of Royal Navy destroyer HMS Liverpool has praised his ‘cool and professional’ crew after they silenced a Libyan shore battery this week which had opened fire on the ship and its helicopter.

HMS Liverpool is a Type 42 Destroyer and therefore principally tasked with air defence duties but of course, all frigates and destroyers are multi purpose flexible assets and in this role she was supporting Operation Ellamy. When fired upon by a battery of rockets she returned fire with her 4.5″ main gun, destroying the target. She was originally tasked with intercepting a small boat heading for Misrata, only a few days ago inflatable boats were used to lay mines.

Although these videos aren’t of HMS Liverpool its the same kind of weapon used.

We were only discussing naval gunfire a few days ago but I think this underscores its flexibility and usefulness.

Cracking stuff I think you will agree




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May 14, 2011 10:11 am

The sand-box wars of the 2000s have been exceptional because both happened in landlocked states (well nearly landlocked in Iraq’s case!)

Being able to exploit the sea flank is one of the West’s major advantages.

May 14, 2011 6:51 pm

…you could have got an up to date picture of her TD! ;-)

May 14, 2011 7:07 pm


He’s back to showing us floaty things that don’t visibly have containers on them. Baby steps :)


Agreed on the potential for ASM “swarms” (really what it is, is the rebirth of coastal artillery for the missile age. Lots of the missiles in question are quite “dumb” by the standards we purportedly fear now, even by comparison to the Exocets of ’82, but if you fire off enough of the bar stewards some may get through.) In response, since everything new is old again (shore ASM swarms = coastal arty), we need “torpedo boat guns” to swat down the dangers. Because it’s not just NGS for its own sake one endangers then, it’s controlling coastal waterways to prevent enemy movement, and most vitally securing the beachheads and SLOCs for the only way to get outside intervention in force (force larger than battlegroup-size) to, well, anywhere including the more vulnerable bits of NATO territory (Baltic states, Finnmark, etc.) which is by sea entry. So, the 45s and 26s (or whatever the combo is) and the “C3” sloops all need them. The bigger ships need *both* SeaRAM plugged into those Phalanx slots and either something jerry-rigged in the DS30 MK2 emplacements to fire AHEAD rounds with some primitive tracking control as a last ditch, or to work on a 40mm mount from CTA that will fit in a modified version on the same space in that role. Then you have a missile/gun combo expressly designed to handle close in dangers. The C3s should have at least one or the other. (Really, I’d forget the CAMM setup because you’re starting from scratch w/ fewer missiles rather than taking the SeaRAM upgrade which is good for missiles and small boats and light aircraft, have them mount the 40mm amidships at all times, and have plug-ins for two SeaRAM, amid or fore/aft for active-service missions.)

And it wouldn’t hurt to have the added range and punch (if fewer rpm; you make some of it up in wieght of shell) of the cancelled 155mm. Right up there with Sentinel for “Daft as a Brush” in SDSR ….

May 14, 2011 7:20 pm

TD, perhaps because the shore bases anti-ship missiles were already destroyed by air-strike/Tomahawks?

Either way, old school stuff! Always pays to have a big gun on the tub.
Shame the 155mm was cancelled :/

John Hartley
John Hartley
May 14, 2011 8:03 pm

A common electro thermal 135-140mm naval/tank/spg gun would show NATO & the West is not resting on its laurels.
Anti ship missiles are a threat if the enemy has trained operators, working radar, etc. Libya is too damaged for that. So will be many other scenarios. As long as the deck gun has reasonable range, using sabots on 155mm/8 inch guns or new tech like electro thermal, then they are out of range of most small missiles likely to be fired by irregular shore forces.

May 15, 2011 8:23 am

I agree with JackStaff. The RN should be looking at what the “gun” can offer across the board not just shore bombardment. Specialist volcano type ammo could provide a range of capabilities that would be too expensive to install individually on a C3 light frigate or even the T26. AA ammo with a gun with a high rpm would give a good level of protection especially combined with CIWS; a gun based ‘harpoon’ replacement is probably in-achievable but would be great if it was…

El Sid
El Sid
May 18, 2011 10:13 pm

The successes are great, but I’ve also seen frustration expressed that a lot of the time they can’t use NGS in Misrata because of the risk of civilian casualties. Guided munitions would be a big help.

Which means going to a more mainstream calibre. And I’ve already whinged enough about the cancellation of 155 TMF….

Tony Williams
Tony Williams
May 19, 2011 4:47 am


If you’re using guided AA ammo like the OTO 76mm DART you no longer need a high rate of fire – it shouldn’t be necessary to fire more than a couple of shots at each target, just as you would with missiles.