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PostPosted: Thu Dec 24, 2009 8:41 am 
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navydavesof wrote:
P is for Politics.
Like I just posted, from everything I have read, the sorting the mail thing is completely wrong. The battleships were not incidental tools. They were used until the last hour of the war.


I believe that you are correct on that one. They were pulled out right before the ground war ended, probably because the Marines had secured the area under the BB's range of fire. I seem to recall that they passed us on the way out of the Gulf when we ( Nimitz Battlegroup) arrived to relieve Ranger.

As far as NGFS goes, I did not say that it was ineffective, I said that there were a lot of weapons firing at troops wading ashore after a thourough bombardment and that modern weapons would make a defended beach a no-go. If we were ever stupid enough to assault a defended beach, I would demand the Iowa's on the Battle Line! As a military planner it is obvious that the casulaty rate of that kind of an operation would be unacceptable. Hopefully, we will never see another Tarawa or Iwo Jima.

Your passion for these beautiful ships is admirable indeed! I miss them as well and I also would have loved to see them stay on the line. I thought that they were the most impresive statement the navy could make in a foriegn port. When I was a junior officer I gave a presentation to a group of Veterans which included a Senator and a couple of Congressmen that the Congress was racing to retire these ships before their time. Maybe if there had been more people as passionale as you in the mid 90's, they might still be around.

I do think that it is difficult to justify the cost of these ships but I think that is not the point. I disagree with the bean counters about fighting a war on a budget. That almost never works out well for the warfighter. I do not think that the navy retired them becaust they hated them. I have never met anyone in 23 years of Naval Service that did not love these ships. I have been on the budget side and you get to a point that you have to cut stuff, even if it hurts when the Congress says this is all you get. I think that the manning issue was the biggest one though. It is my understanding from some of my Bupers Buddies that 83 cents of every dollar the navy spends is on people. Pay, allowances, benefits and retirements. I was astonished by that figure! That is why the Ford Class Cariers are about 2/3 rds the manning of the Nimitz Class. I worry about a ship doing damage control when we try to automate our warships. I do not think that the Capabilities of the Iowa's were ever in question. I think that the only thing that you would have to have is a modern AAW suite. I do remember the Exocet shot at Missouri scared the hell out of the surface navy. Of course, Missouri would have taken it better than any other ship.

I am trying to figure out how to get this scanner to work so I can post some pics of my Middy Cruise on New Jersey. I got a nice shot of a 16" shell leaving the barrel from the bridge area. I also have some photos of Holly Stoning the deck, which is a lot like work. Not too many people left in the navy who have ever done that!

Well, you make a compelling argument my friend! As much as I would like to see them in service again, I think that they are done. I read on another thread that Iowa may find a home in the L.A. area. I hope that they treat her well. The 4 Iowa's are the last true warships.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 24, 2009 1:20 pm 
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Amen to the last two guys, AMEN!!!

Just thought I should add this little bit of info. It should shed some let and SHOULD set off some major alarm bells...

My dad works for Northrop-Grumman and for ATGLANT since '95. Before then he was a Weapons/ASW Officer on Destroyers and Frigates for 20 years. You should hear some of the stories he tells about crews these days. He and his training team are responsible for writing scenarios to train the CGs and DDGs on how to operate Harpoons and Tomahawks. Just to keep them on their toes during a Tomahawk scenario they'll throw in a Harpoon shot or two as a curve ball. Sounds simple enough right? WRONG!!!!

They see an enemy surface contact and they completely FORGET then even HAVE Harpoons!!! They constantly want to shoot SM-3s or close the range and shoot the 5" pop gun :doh_1: :Mad_5: :Mad_6: Are you kidding me?! And it has nothing to do with collateral damage or civilian traffic close to the target or any of that.

Everything is so darn automated these days that the sailors can't even think creatively. "Well the book says to do this, it doesn't work, we're stumped." Gee...if a sailor said that 20-30 years ago they'd be strung up on a yardarm. Sailors these days are apparently being sent out to ships to learn from their Chiefs. Ok, nothing wrong with that, the Chiefs know their stuff and are supposed the coach the younger guys. But its gotten to the point that the Chiefs don't even know what they're doing anymore it seems. The Navy has taken so many shortcuts due to money or manning or whatever that the fleet doesn't have nearly as many qualified people running the ships.

I've heard it several times that if we ever get into a shooting war with somebody we're going to lose ships and it won't be pretty. I love the armor argument; "Well you need BB style armor to really stop an SSM so we're not going to armor any of our ships because its not financially feasible." Gee and an inch or two of Kevlar is a compromise?! The Navy finally learned its fault with Aluminum superstructures when the Belknap and JFK collided that one night. Aluminum BURNS!!! Great cost saving feature there guys! The Burkes reverted to steel thank God.

Everyone is so darned worried about MONEY these days that the Navy is royally suffering. The fact that we haven't gotten into a shooting war since WWII doesn't give anyone any ammo to argue for better ships so the friggin bean counters always win out. It's really sad... it really is.


I'm just a humble civilian so please forgive me if the above rant is full of errors. But unlike the majority of my generation I actually care about our armed forces and history and hate to see what has happened to it in last few decades.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 24, 2009 6:33 pm 
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Since the end of the Cold War the USN has been working on a much reduced budget. The USN has to make due with what money they can get from Congress and the executive branch. To reactivate the Iowas you have to show that they have a capability that no other platform can provide, and nobody has shown me that.

1. Right now the USN has more VLS cells than missiles to put in them. Spending money to tear up the Iowas and fit strike length VLS cells above the armored deck doesn't make sence.

2. To be reactivated the Iowas will need to be brought up to current habitibility standards. New officers berthings, new berthings for all of the enlisted, berthings for women. New food service, new N.B.C. protection, new medical facilities, and some more.

3. Combat systems: The armored box launcher for the Tomahawk has not been supported in USN computer architecture since 1996. You'll need to write new software from scratch to get them working. It will also need to be written in the Ada programming language so the old source code can't be used (it was written in C). Fitting the Tartar air defense system to the ship is cost prohibitive just like it was back in the 1980s when they were reacivated last. New Threat Upgrade [NTU] (for Tartar the Mk74 mod15/16 guided missile fire control system) is supported for export customers but is no longer used by the USN. In 1992 NTU like Aegis was determined to be vulnerable to the latest generation of anti-ship missiles. Aegis has had several system upgrades to deal with this, NTU hasn't. NTU was also found to be very vulnerable in the near shore (littorial) enviornment. New computers will be needed along with air conditioning and electrical support.

4. Communications are also a problem. The Wisconsin was fit with a very extensive communicaations and control systems, but they were removed in in the 1990s. You'll need to design and build a system for the battleships. I'm sure you'll get money from Congress to do this, after all the Iowas have 10 to 15 years of hull life left.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 24, 2009 8:27 pm 
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Thanks for the posts on the thread, guys. Cliffy, I hear you on the lack of unconventional thinking. It is tragic. I think for sure that any people who would be put in the Commanding Officer's position of one of my DDG-963s or a BBG-61 would have to be an out-of-the-box thinker with so many different technologies systems at his disposal. Regular UAV operations, gunnery and SLAM drills, knowing which to use for the mission at hand, the 5" or the 8", etc.; the battleship would be even more of a study. You can have great guys like Captain Larry Seaquist who are battleship captains in their souls (a statement the "carrier humpers" as Saurgmnon has put it would not understand), and then you have guys like Moosally who thought it would not be able idea if the big guns were never to fire again.

I have to qualify the statement about Moosally in that it sounds like he was a bad captain and one who should never have been put in command of a battleship, the man did weather one of the worst events in the modern US Navy. First, he lost 47 of his sailors. Without saying, that sucks...really, really badly. Second, he was the commanding officer of a crew that was persecuted by a horrifically slanted NCIS who had an ulterior motive to besmirch a sailor. Neither Moosally nor his crew ever got their just due. Instead the crew of the Iowa was gang raped by NCIS and left to bleed in the shower. NCIS dishonored itself, and they have yet to redeem themselves. Even the TV show follows the same type of lawless ulterior attitude.

I agree with the statements in the last few posts. I have been researching the battleships almost every day since 2001. What I have come to discover is that many of the battleship opponents operate on incorrect information, already refuted information, and a lot of the time straight fabrications. No other subject or type of ship it seems has ever had to face this kind of unwarranted prejudice. Well, maybe it is warranted, because the battleships have out-performed aircraft carriers more times than not, especially modern aircraft carriers, and that is awfully embarrassing to the carrier fleet. The battleships were supposed to have been made obsolete at Pearl. The facts, however, do not support that case at all.

I understand that the carrier guys need to protect the top-of-the-food-chain status the carriers enjoy, because they are so very, very expensive. Distorting the facts about the battleships is right in line with pushing out all competition. As soon as there is another option, the carrier is put in jeopardy. I, on the other hand, am not interested in competition for the top rung on the latter or being the king of the hill. I am interested in troops being able to call for fire and have a reliable support craft able to support them. That is not aircraft carriers. I have had many conversations with SOF personnel telling me how TACAIR is most of the time not up to the job, and they have to take care of things on their own...or wait some times HOURS for a support aircraft to be in place to support them. The most reliable aircraft have been AC-130 gunships and A-10 Warthogs. As you can tell, neither one of these is based from an aircraft carrier.

The deep ranges involved in Iraq and Afghanastan are rather unique to our anti-terror Third-World interests. Like I stated before a minimum of 86% of the targets in Third-World countries are within 21 miles of the coast. With extended range rounds and a $16,000 adaptive fuse, GPS or laser-guided 46nm ranges are available right now. All rounds in inventory can be extended to 33nm and precision guided. We're talking about Syria, Lebanon, Somalia, of course North Korea, the whole coast of Iran, all of Iran's assets in the Persian Gulf, Yemen...86% of all targets of interest...86%...that's an awful lot of opportunity for battleship employment so carriers can be elsewhere, where they are needed.

It became clear to me a few years ago that the battleships fall into the category of “unconventional assets”. Conventional minds do not understand unconventional operations. The Navy SEALs suffered the same thing for the longest time. They were always being incorrectly utilized and a lot of the time paid with their lives for being incorrectly employed. That is why Special Operations Command was established; to get special operations forces (SOF) away from conventional minds…because conventional minds just don’t understand. Battleships are much the same. It seems like they cannot be understood by a conventional mind and thus need to be treated as unconventional assets.

The comment earlier about the it being hard to justify the costs of the battleships...if I take your statement as literal value, which I believe is how you meant it, concerns the modernization and yearly costs of a battleship. Well, the numbers for today would be $71 million per year operating costs. I believe that is with the ships modernized to the "Warfighting Improvement Program" settled and directed for implementation in 1993. This would have modernized the ships with 96 Mk41 Mod0 VLS tubes, Sea Sparrow, the Mk-160 GFCS, ERGM rounds, TAS-23, the full NTDS suite, SLEP, twin 5"/54 caliber gun mounts like those that would have been installed aboard the Montanas, flag facilities, and several other upgrades. I believe a certain amount of automation would have been incorporated into the propulsion plant as well. The plans for the twin 5"/54s were already at Crane, Indiana to begin production of the mount, four per ship. They would have required the same amount of manning. Mk45 Mod2 or 4, on the other hand, would have dropped their manning from 44 men per mount to 6, a massive reduction if you can’t tell.

$71million per year for a heavily armed capital ship...a true bargain, and any bean-counter would be happy for such an option. However, one of the things that got them on the chopping block was that they were being directly compared with VLS armed CGs, DDs, and DDGs, all as “equals”. "They" (the "carrier humpers") were trying to say that the battleship was an escort ship and that another escort ship like a CG could perform the same mission as a battleship, saying that the “only usable weapons” on the ship were the 32 tomahawks. Even someone as esteemed as Normam Polmar, publisher of US Ships and Aircraft of the US Fleet, takes the same position and ignores a whole host of information making a very partisan case against battleships in his books. Anyone who knows anything about the battleship program knows that a CG could never compare to a battleship. A Des Moines CA could, especially if modernized, but never a Ticonderoga. The guns on a battleship enjoy such incredible stocked ammunition and potential for precision munitions that they are the principle armament to be considered. Tomahawk missiles are an extra capability, and with a 96 or 128 missile capacity, the battleship alone could launch a full CVN alpha-strike as far as 1,000 miles inland; quite an extra capability. Tomahawks are not even the ship’s principle capability or mission.
The earlier comment about the fleet not needing any more VLS tubes is kind of off the wall. I guess I understand a little bit where Seasick is coming from being that theoretically we just need to assemble a bunch of VLS armed ships to meet the requirement, and we have a bunch of ships with VLS in them, but that’s not the case at all. It’s about arming “a” ship. If what he said was true, then none of the new DDGs would have VLS on them at all. The requirement is not that the “Navy” as a whole needs more VLS tubes so we buy more of them, the requirement is that individual ships need VLS tubes. Individual ships need VLS tubes, because they will be going into situations where they need the stuff you put in VLS tubes such as SM-2s, Tomahawks, and ASROCs. So, instead of sending a battleship with only 32 TLAMs arranged in ABLs and scraping together 4 escorts and 2 ships armed with nothing but tomahawks to augment the number of tomahawks you need on station, you equip the battleship with VLS so the escorts only have to be escorts, not consort ships, reducing the number of ships in the group. So, but not equipping the battleships with VLS, all that is suggested is costing the Navy more money by deploying more ships than is necessary.

For sure, all of the facts support battleship employment in today's modern Navy, especially since we have moved to a littoral environment where most of our interests are in Third-World countries whose capabilities are near the shore. Sighting only one of many examples, being that I know the locations of camps and bases in Somalia, the world for the foreseeable future that the US Navy fights in is perfect for the battleship.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 24, 2009 9:30 pm 
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To reactivate the Iowas you have to show that they have a capability that no other platform can provide, and nobody has shown me that.

I can only repeat myself so many times. The Enterprise and Roosevelt are both out of action and soon to be Lincoln. Enterprise is on her way out. Roosevelt and soon Lincoln will be out until we can get money to refuel them. That IS TWO CARRIERS DOWN. We cannot afford such a drastic loss in capability. A compensation for that loss that will let us continue our mission is replacing those lost carriers with an equal number of battleships. The number of battleships reactivated to replace those lost carriers justifies it. Filling the NSFS void justifies it. If you don't recognize those as facts, there's not a lot else to be said.

Specifically concerning support, the carrier cannot compete with a battleship's support capability in time on station, cost of ordnance, ordnance on target, response time, yearly operating costs, manning, etc. With three carriers, Enterprise, Roosevelt, and soon to be Lincoln out of action, we need capital ships to replace them. The only thing that can measure up to a carrier's capability is a battleship.

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1. Right now the USN has more VLS cells than missiles to put in them. Spending money to tear up the Iowas and fit strike length VLS cells above the armored deck doesn't make sence.

See the post I posted immediately after you posted yours. You have a fundamental misunderstanding of why the Navy buys missile tubes. It's not a Navy requirement; it's an individual ship requirement. That's why new ships are still getting VLS tubes installed in them. Individual ships need to be armed when going into theater. VLS tubes are how we do that.

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2. To be reactivated the Iowas will need to be brought up to current habitibility standards. New officers berthings, new berthings for all of the enlisted, berthings for women. New food service, new N.B.C. protection, new medical facilities, and some more.

This is not a concern. I mean, really, it's not at all. This is the kind of thing that is done in any major over haul of a ship. This is the type of thing that was included in the New Threat Upgrade that was given to a minimum of 35 ships and was scheduled for 55. NTU involved a major SLEP, HM&E, habilitation, NBC, etc upgrade. The ships that got NTU got a whole lot, not just an upgrade in the Mk74 and Mk86 WDS and associated radars.


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3. Combat systems: The armored box launcher for the Tomahawk has not been supported in USN computer architecture since 1996. You'll need to write new software from scratch to get them working. It will also need to be written in the Ada programming language so the old source code can't be used (it was written in C).

VLS would be installed. When ships are reactivated, all the old gear that is not mission essential to the weapon systems you are keeping is removed and replaced with modern stuff. There is no reason to keep the ABLs other than to save 40 million bucks (chump change in a modernization). All this about rewirting code and new language is not necessary. About all the computers and all the cabling would be removed and replaced with fiber optics and new wiring, not even UYK computers would be involved. For instance, CIC would be completely rebuilt. CIC and Strike would be joined together, bulkheads would be cut out for larger compartments and armored in an HY80 encasement with armored hatches and everything. Like I said, this is standard major over-haul stuff, nothing impossible---or even challenging. As far as the hard stuff, they are doing the same modernization on the Ticonderogas right now as the battleships would receive. The battleship would just get VLS tubes and the Mk-74 with NTU WDS. As far as being "cost-prohibitive,” like I said before $700million for everything. That is not prohibitive at all.

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Fitting the Tartar air defense system to the ship is cost prohibitive just like it was back in the 1980s when they were reacivated last. New Threat Upgrade [NTU] (for Tartar the Mk74 mod15/16 guided missile fire control system) is supported for export customers but is no longer used by the USN. In 1992 NTU like Aegis was determined to be vulnerable to the latest generation of anti-ship missiles. Aegis has had several system upgrades to deal with this, NTU hasn't. NTU was also found to be very vulnerable in the near shore (littorial) enviornment. New computers will be needed along with air conditioning and electrical support.

You are correct, it is supported for foreign customers (Taiwan). That means it is supported. NTU operators have told me that it worked in littoral environments better than anything they had worked wtih before. In all situations under 100,000 feet NTU worked better than Aegis. The only issue was that the radars only covered lanes 1/4 of the time Aegis did because of the SPY-1 fixed arrays. The founders of BecTec are the ones who headed and supervised the installation and proofing of ever NTU system. Their results always out performed Aegis in every actual shoot. Employment over littorals was one of the best areas for NTU. So, I don't know where you get your information about NTU, but mine comes directly from the source.

NTU was upgraded to deal with the SS-N-22 Sunburn for the Kidd-class sold to Taiwan. I have heard it works very well. Once the SPG-51s acquire the missile, they don’t lose it, even though its jinking maneuvers.

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4. Communications are also a problem. The Wisconsin was fit with a very extensive communicaations and control systems, but they were removed in in the 1990s. You'll need to design and build a system for the battleships.

A new design will not be necessary. They said the same thing in 1981. “Well, you're going to need to design a new radar and communications suite for the New Jersey." No, not really. They just took the exact same thing they were putting on the CGNs and put it on the battleship. There is no need to reinvent the wheel. Being that a CVN is a command and control ship, the same suite will fill the bill fine. Antenna arrays, and such will fit easily on both masts and the sides of the forward fire-control tower.

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I'm sure you'll get money from Congress to do this, after all the Iowas have 10 to 15 years of hull life left.

Well, not really. The "hull life" is hundreds of years. The ship will physically stay floating for 20,000 years. The equipment inside is the issue though. NAVSEA has plotted a reconditioning that includes rebricking the boilers, reconditioning the reduction gears, replacing critical plumbing in the propulsion plant, etc that would extend them to 20 years and a SLEP to take them to 30+ years with a standard over haul schedule.

Read the last post, and you will observe a lot of this. Everything I have stated here is supported either by publications by Norman Friedman, the foremost authority on Naval reference, or by NAVSEA itself. Please read and consider the facts of the matter here. I have presented the facts that refute your assertions one by one as best I can. I apologize if I missed any. I understand that a lot of what I bring to the table concerning NAVSEA is insider information and not readily accessible, so please consider it. Like I said, there is a lot more accurate data than it seems you have been pervy to. I have just assembled it.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 24, 2009 9:44 pm 
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To reactivate the Iowas you have to show that they have a capability that no other platform can provide, and nobody has shown me that.

Please read my last post from Wed Dec 23, 2009 1:34 am. It's clear you have not. That post is full of real-life reasons to reactivate and operate the battleships. If you disagree with parts, specifically innumerate them and counter them.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 24, 2009 11:31 pm 
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Scale Shipyard / W.L.U. wrote:
A Burke class Flt 2A only requires 149 crew to man???? BB-61 class can be operated efectivly with 1490 Crew with Officers.
We can no longer make the 16" gun barrels but there have been 3 or 4 extra sets of barrels in storage until recently, and back in 1990 they still had a couple hundred liners for the barrels. I do not know what has become of those.
The armor as it is on the battleships cannot be made any longer without tooling up an industry at very high cost. But it would be better to make the armor in several spaced layers instead.

IMO, These ships were decommissioned because of the incident on the Iowa which I Lay at the feet of GMG Chief Skully

Oh, I've heard of you, my dear sir! A mutual friend whose name starts with an "R" and ends with an "usty Battleship" has spoken highly of you. I am pleased to hear you are still in the battleship business.

You're right on the liners. NNSY has a lot inside of a shed next to the battleship crane, and there are lost out there. Re-tooling to make new barrels would be a month-long project for Newport News Ship Building.

To FCCM Skelly, the tests he was performing on the gunnery of Iowa only exceeded the standard pressures of the barrels by 10%. While I don't condone this at all, I don't think anything he was doing, concerning the extended range project trying to get the 2,700lb round to go further, had to do anything with the explosion. The issue at hand was increasing the chamber pressure by using high-capacity propellant with the heavier projectile in order to get the projectile to travel further. We all know this is a no-no. After the Turret 2 accident aboard Iowa, brass plaques were made and installed in each gun-room on each battleship saying "do not use HC powder with AP rounds". It was even stenciled on the AP rounds.
...Instead, the accident seemed to be just that. Poor training, something I have personally suffered, was the demise of Turret 2 on board the USS Iowa and the loss of 47 cewmen.

Other than that, sir, could you elaborate on your point that layered armor would be a suitable replacement to the solid plate armor that the battleships enjoy today?

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 25, 2009 10:37 am 
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His comment on spaced layers makes some sense, and if they vary in density/composition even better. The majority of heavy AShM's are a shaped charge warhead, and a spaced gap between two layered plates of differing density means the charge's blast likes to vent off into the space - explosives really do love the Law of Conservation of Energy - they're lazy bastards, so they like to take the path of least resistance, and if there's a gap between the plate they just punched a hole through, and another heavy plate, they'll just burn out in that space, leaving a large portion of the armor intact.

Granted, overall, it would be more likely something to be employed on a new-build warship, as that intensive of a rebuild would be insanely cost prohibitive, or else it would be employed in a repair situation. "Crap, we can't replace the armor plating on the belt - we'll just build a new belt with a different layout!"

I had a thought come to me last night, that I find amusing and have to share. Did somebody forget to tell US Ship Builders that Aluminum is used in Flash Powder, and that when it actually gets lit, it doesn't like to go out? That'll just add more to my sadistic glee when I see a US Fleet get into a real fight.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 26, 2009 10:36 am 
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The funny thing about battleship armor is that we still have some laying around. Large portions of Illinois' barbette armor are kept together at Norfolk Naval Shipyard. I am really curious how much we really have. I am willing to bet if Iowa had returned from a fight with Kirov having eaten two SS-N-19 Shipwrecks on her port side deck or water-line, NNSY or Long Beach engineers would have looked at the damage and said:

"Aawww, man. How are we going to replace this armor?" A dude would lean over his shoulder and ask, "hey, what parts do you need?"

And three days later, a train would arrive with what they needed. One must remember, for every battleship hull made there were about 2 1/2 sets of armor produced; the incomplete set for testing and two complete sets for installation and replacement. I am sure we scrapped a lot of it between the '50s and now, but seeing how there is spare barbette armor, some of the least likely armor to be damaged in a battle, I am willing to bet there are other pieces left.

Designing a new scheme based on countering shaped charges carried by cruise missiles on the other hand is an interesting proposition. As it is, the Iowas' decapping plates on the outsides of the main armor belt and act as the outer hull would detonate the warhead early so the inner armor would see less impact. The main belt on the sides of the Montanas, however, was going to be treated differently and thick enough to perform the same function better. Even then, behind the main armor belt would be another set of armor. That was concerning 16” AP rounds, which deliver more energy than the warheads on most anti-ship missiles today. The SS-N-19 is so far the only exception.

So a question would be, if these ships were built (Montanas) and a heavy amount of armor was requested, would the original arrangement be an appropriate, or would we want to put the main belt on the inside with a thinner decapping (detonating) plate on the outside as on the Iowas?

I know a cost the Iowa-class project had to absorb was the extra cost of having an interior armor arrangement instead of an exterior one. If Montana were built today with a heavy armor arrangement, an interior arrangement would be a heavy cost burden. I guess the question is, would that interior arrangement be worth the extra cost involved for pre-detonating the warheads or would the alterations they made to the armor design when they designed the Montanas be suitable for repelling shaped charge armed cruise missiles.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2009 10:06 am 
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Here is a huge thing about battleships. A battleship delivers 4-8 times the ordnance as a carrier within its gun range (33nm). In that range (not including the ERGM range of 120nm) why not utilize battleships? Thirty-three nautical miles is within more than 86% of the third world (the real concern) targets of concern for the US Navy. That is the ABSOLUTE MINIMUM. Seeing how that many of our nation's concerns are within 16" gunnery range, why not use battleships?

We are looking at a significantly reduced carrier fleet (by 1/3---Yikes!). A problem the Navy is facing is that in the near term, it's looking at four carriers down hard (CVNs 65, 71,72, and 77) with 65 decommissioning and 71 and 72 both possibly being deactivated; long term 3 down. That takes us below 10 carriers. The Navy can't even do it's job at 10 carriers. A mssive stress on man power and ships is demanding that carriers be used for everything, including demands we don't need a carrier for. Why not utilize battleships at a remarkably reduced cost and reduced manpower while filling most of a CVN's roles at less than 1/4 the cost? There's no reason to make the carriers do everything.

The issue is providing presence while maintaining as much power-projection capability as possible. Battleships provide the biggest projection as possible at the lowest price possible, especially when you are not allowed to spend all the money you need to to refuel and operate a carrier.

The rest is threats persented by North Korea, Iran, Somalia, Yemen, etc . Somalia and Yemen alone are individually worth the reactivation and support of the Iowa-class battleships.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 4:25 am 
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Here at the turn of the new year, I am making some good progress with the BBG-61 model. Photo etch is very intimidating but really cool.

What do people recommend for which PE company to use? I have done limited PE work, but Gold Metal Models seems to be the best so far. They offer a thick brass base as opposed to some of the others that offer really thin pieces. The thicker ones are stronger and hold their shape whereas the opposite is true for the thinner ones.

What suggestions do you guys have for the BBG-61 for me to consider? I am very curious what left-over suggestions there might be. Now is the time!

navydave

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 7:20 am 
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I have just heard last night from a retired BMC with friends in high places the the city of Norfolk has taken complete possesion of the Wisconsin. Has anybody heard this

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2010 2:01 pm 
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OS1880 wrote:
I have just heard last night from a retired BMC with friends in high places the the city of Norfolk has taken complete possesion of the Wisconsin. Has anybody heard this

Yes, that is true. Certain compartments are being prepared for opening. Most of the ship is going to stay sealed and preserved. She is still being maintained as a mobilization asset; she is not being de-militarized. I believe CIC is being mocked up, Broadway, and a few other compartments are being prepared for display!

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2010 11:07 pm 
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Here are a few more updates. These are the main structural modifications to make Tamiya's 1/350 scale 1980s refit USS New Jersey toa 2006-2009 modernized version of the ship.

Here's a decent view of the new Phalanx equipment and maintenance chairs, the ECM house built around the forward fire-control tower unique to Iowa, Missouri, and Wisconsin, the amidships elevated VLS facilities. The white rectangles the 5" guns are sitting on are the box that the 5" gun comes in. It's an entire assembly including the Mk45 Mod2 (modified to Mod4 except for the gun shield), loading assembly, and magazine.
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Here is the custom designed aft mast, the cleared off CIWS platform, and aft VLS arrangement. You see the SPS-48 and the rest of the platform is for an aft SPQ-9B. The aft CIWS platform has been cleared for the installation of a pair of RAM mounts where the Phalanx used to be.
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Here is the deck left where the aft ABLs used to be. Just think, this one arrangement you see here is as many missiles as the Iowa had in the '80s. Incredible. This simple VLS upgrade that was scheduled for USS Iowa in 1993 would have quadrupled her Tomahawk missile capability.
So, in this aft decking, what would you guys recommend be put here? I am thinking a second battery of SRBOC and NULKA counter measure launchers.
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And now, the rest of the pictures:


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:44 am 
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There have been several intelligent claims brought up against the battleships, and I must repsond to them. First, as the physical model is being constructed, the audience can observe what the ship would look like. While this is taking place, I feel it necessary to permanently put down a lot of the mis-conceptions and concerns about the battleships. Unlike the Global Warming crowd, even though the actual, real-life facts have been established about the battleships, the debate is never over. So, here are some responses to concerns about the battleships in addition to the progress on the battleship:

- "Carriers already do that." Indeed a carrier perform the roles that a battleship performs, but it performs these roles at a much greater cost and less reliability than a battleship. Essentially, if you want to perform the job of a battleship as expensively as possible, you have a CVN do it.

- "The battleship Propulsion Plants are Unreliable. There are no BTs left in the fleet." This is a misknomer, also known as a lie. The propulsion plants on the Iowa-class battleships are the most reliable propulsion plants ever employed by the USN (Bapcox Wilcox 600lb boilers NAVSEA).

- "A battleship requires 3400 people or operate." No it does not. In the 1980s it was a maximum of 1500 men, usually 1200. As BAE systems has stated, an Iowa-class battleship's manning can be reduced to 860 personnel with reductions in propulsion automation and secondary battery replacement with Mk45 guns.

- "The knowledge base is gone, so no one can be trained on the old systems." This is as much of an un-truth as it gets. Some people would call this a "lie." There is a huge pot of battleship sailors that would be more than willing and ready to come out of retirement or still serving sailors would be more than happy to request orders to a battleship or to man a C-school than a critic an imagine. Training is not a myth and not a problem.

-"The battleships have boilers, and there are not any BTs left." While there are no BTs left, they were merged with MMs. To give the benefit of the doubt, the critics just don't understand the fundamentals of propulsion in the USN. The Wasp-class are full of steam driven ships. To claim that there are no boiler driven ships left in the fleet is either a lie or ignorance on the subject.

-The Navy does not need any more VLS tubes. It has more VLS tubes than it does missiles." Such a statement is the result of a fundamental misunderstanding of the purpose of numbers of VLS tubes “in the fleet”. This assumption assumes that the Navy wants a total number of VLS tubes for the entire fleet. This is a very puzzling belief. One questions where one would ever come up with such a belief. The Navy, on the other hand, counts it VLS tubes in total numbers of tubes on a single ship. The philosophy is a that ship needs "X" number of VLS tubes, not the "Navy needs 'x' number o tubes". Such a misunderstanding is unfortunate for the believer. It significantly mis-directs the person's understanding of USN strategy.

“The battleships don’t meet the Navy’s range requirements”. At 120nm, the battleships are the only ships that can actually meet the Navy/USMC’s NSFS requirements. No other platform can reach to 120nm. However, the Navy needs to re-evaluate its range requirement significantly to a more reasonable (and responsible range) or 40-60nm. While this range is currently within 16” sub-caliber gun range, this range would be achieved quickly by the 5”/62caliber gun utilizing the “Dead-eye” laser guided system and a GPS homer. Such developments would provide escort ships with an NSFS capability.

Please offer any ideas or counters if they have not already been answered in this thread already!

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:55 am 
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Regarding range: 40-60nm, yes, but only if you park right on the beach. If you want even a modicum of distance from the shore for protection and maneuvering purposes, you'll have to reduce that number depending on the type of weapon the ship is likely to face (suicide boats, RPGs, Katyushas, mortars, etc.).

The enemy only has to pull out of the guns' range before bunkering down. Land troops cannot proceed further unless they want to lose the umbrella of the ship's guns. They'll have to rely solely on their mobile armour and artillery with no air support other than helis and V/STOLs.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 1:50 pm 
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Your point of "only if you park on the beach" unfortunately falls short - a Battleship has at least 100 rounds per gun for the main battery, you think they can't shell the closer stuff at long range as they ingress to the support position? Even then, once there, they can still sustain supporting or suppressing fire in the necessity of such even more so with Mk45's to suppress any softer forces that close to the beach that haven't already had the crap beat out of them by the BFGs. This is also not to forget the use of surface to surface missiles in the same stretch.

Of course, the inclusion of VLS Cells would also allow systems like SM-2 to be used, which would extend the ability to reach out and strike down enemy air assets or AShM's that are thrown in your direction.

Also to note, this is limited in some degree to the upgrade and modernization of the Iowas, which in essence is limited to a degree by the hulls of the Iowas - a new-build Battleship would be even scarier, considering that you would have integration of newer weapons systems as well.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:47 pm 
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Timmy C wrote:
Regarding range: 40-60nm, yes, but only if you park right on the beach. If you want even a modicum of distance from the shore for protection and maneuvering purposes, you'll have to reduce that number depending on the type of weapon the ship is likely to face (suicide boats, RPGs, Katyushas, mortars, etc.).

Well, the statement about 40-60nm is just that 40-60nm is a more reasonable range requirement for gunnery to have. It’s technically impossible so far for any navy guns to shoot 120nm other than a 16” gun. The range requirement is ridiculous. We can achieve 40-60nm easily with 5-inch and up.
Now, for the rest of your concern about getting too close to the shore, of course if you want to shoot further inland, you move closer to the shore. If you can shoot 120nm and you want to hit something 119nm inland, you have to move to 1 mile off the coast. I know a lot of people like to use this argument quite often like it's some sort of deal-stopper. So, the only time this would matter is if you want to start engaging targets further inland. Again, 86% of the targets of interest in Third World countries are within 21 miles of the coast. So, with a requirement of 40-60nm, you cover the vast, vast majority of what you might want to hit without even getting within 10 miles of the coast. But that's not going to stop anyone from getting as close to the coast as possible so you can shoot as far inland as possible. So, if you can cover such a huge majority of the targets your interested in with the low cost of a battleship, why not use it?

Also, we can’t concern ourselves with everything as far in-land as people apparently want to go. There’s no reason to keep going and going and going. The 16” SCRAM jet goes 460nm, but big deal. It takes 12 minutes to get there, and it’s GPS guided. GPS does not provide a dynamic approach at all; it lands on a single programmed point so unless the bad guys are staying in one place GPS is not going to help you too well. That just means it’s limited to a strike weapon, and that’s cool as long as it’s cheaper than other stuff. The battleship technology lets you deliver the desired ordnance on a significant number of targets of interest at a low cost.

So, what do I mean by Third World Countries and their targets of interest? Yemen, Somalia, Syria, Lebanon, these are the big boys, and we have had issues with them consistently over the last few years, and we will for the foreseeable future. These are the places where the SOF dudes are being chased around, and they really, really need rounds on target. It has already happened several times in Somalia where a DDG was forced to performs NSFS.

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The enemy only has to pull out of the guns' range before bunkering down. Land troops cannot proceed further unless they want to lose the umbrella of the ship's guns. They'll have to rely solely on their mobile armour and artillery with no air support other than helis and V/STOLs.

Well, I mean if we are talking a campaign. That would certainly be in the battleship's job requirement, but not the main purpose. I am talking about ongoing operations within the gun’s range, which is the vast majority of the situations. Heavy endurance 24 hour, real all-weather support.

Now, concerning pulling out of the gun range before they bunker down, this is something everyone has to deal with. Even in places that are only 5 miles from the coast, there is no air cover so a DDG has do run to the scene and try to perform NSFS. In the world of SPECWAR, you don't even have air cover a lot of time. So, this does not only apply to gunnery. It applies to everything. Gunnery gives you the advantages of filling the gaps in air cover: 24 hour availability, especially when aircraft physically cannot be in the theater, and in places where the AAW threat is awfully high.

I think you’d find it interesting that in Lebanon 100% of our forces were within 16" gun range, and the enemy stayed there, inside New Jersey’s gun range. New Jersey sailed 3-5 miles off the shore when it was time to hit deep inland on artillery positions and Druz safe havens. That's why you need a heavily armored ship. If you're going to get close, which no matter how far your guns reach you will always want to reach further, you will have to have a protected platform, unless you're cool with losing a ship. Losing ships is unacceptable when we have so few and when we are working with thin ships that are susceptible to weapons that would not affect a battleship or heavy cruiser.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 12:38 am 
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Hey, guys! Here are sone updates to the Iowa.

Here is the addition of the vestibules that were going to be built on Wisconsin, and I assume back fitted to the others, that provided a way to get to the bridge without going outside. Appatenly going thorugh the conning tower was out of the question, so you had to go outside to get to the bridge. These fixed that!

Also, the cabling that runs around the outside of the bridge, additions to the fire control tower.
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More of the bridge work
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Here are some accuracies that were missed by Tamiya. In the '80s, shrapnel proof exhaust vents were installed to the 5" magazines.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2010 11:29 pm 
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Here are some updates. One inaccuracy most people see when making the Tamiya 1/350 Battleship New Jersey is her helicopter pad is not elevated and ramped down to the main deck. Here I have made an elevated deck with a lip running all the way around it.

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The main amidshipswith a bunch of mods. Here I have the SPQ-9B on the platform where the original SPQ-9 was originally mounted.
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I am fortunate to be one of the last guys to have the Veteran Models SPG-51 illuminators. So, they are mounted where the Mk37s used to be.
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