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PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2009 2:53 pm 
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It looks like there are two options for the missile armement for a modernized Iowa. The biggest limiting factor is the armored main deck. The other is: how much structure are you going to cut away to fit more stuff in?

I have been talking with an engineer who worked heavily on the battleships during the '80s, and it sounds like the maximum missile tubes we could put in their structure would be 128 cells but a likely number of 96. If you have seen the USNFSA
proposal, that is the arrangment he agrees to unless they were ordered to accomodate more, making 128 an unlikely possibility.

The deck would be raised to the O4 level, and there would be a pretty easy armor arrangement. Since the battleship can receive a "significant increase" in its topside weight, most of the deck house that would house the VLS tubes would be constructed of HY80 steel, the closest thing today to STS (specially treated steel). This would be the deck where the hatches are and the outside bulkheads, and the interior bulkheads would be armored.

As far as a model goes, they deck house would just be taller than what it is now with a VLS arrangement on it.

That's all for now, guys.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 14, 2009 11:56 am 
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My quotes for today:

You can always better your best.

Training your body trains your mind. Being functionally fit makes a big difference. The fitter you are, the less you suffer, the less prone to injury, the stronger the mind is. It is an upward spiral.

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Last edited by navydavesof on Sat Nov 14, 2009 12:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 14, 2009 11:59 am 
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You know, making masts is a real time-consumer. It's bad. Maintaining a high standard of work is what takes so long. No compromise on the quality you want to make. This mast took all night last night, probably 3 or 4 hours...a good time.

I want you guys to give your input if you would. There will be a number of sensors on this mast. The big ones are: on the top, a SPS-48E forward most and SPQ-1B on the back of the platform. The cross bars will have all the small antenas on them. The platform forward will be for another SPS-67 surface search or the UAV antena in a dome. I still don't know if multiple antenas will be needed to control mroe than 2 RPVs at a time, but if so, another cross bar will be added underneath the forward platform with the antenas on either side.

I have also included the Phalanx Block 1B and RAM mounts I have modified from Veteran models. That aft CIWS deck house is going to be for two RAM launchers.


Attachments:
small350BBG 004.jpg
small350BBG 004.jpg [ 67.81 KiB | Viewed 993 times ]
small350BBG 005.jpg
small350BBG 005.jpg [ 64.61 KiB | Viewed 992 times ]
File comment: Sorry the mast is a little off kilter.

But here are the CIWS fittings, Phalanx Block 1B and RAM.

small350BBG 008.jpg
small350BBG 008.jpg [ 118.43 KiB | Viewed 990 times ]
small350BBG 002.jpg
small350BBG 002.jpg [ 65.57 KiB | Viewed 989 times ]

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 14, 2009 3:15 pm 
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I say she's looking good, Dave, and coming along nicely. Good way to start your project.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2009 11:51 pm 
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Mounted forward of the forward fire control tower in place of the old SPQ-9 system will be the SPQ-9B. The aft mast will hold the SPS-48J and SYS-2 mid-course directors. The aft missile deck will hold two 32-cell VLS pads right between the aft stack and the aft fire control radar on a platform raised 1 deck.

No SPG-60 at all. The battleships would be equipped with the Mk160 (which was originally designed in 1988 for full battery control of the battleships' batteries) Mod 11+. Instead, more RPV antenas and other arrays.

The main deck will receive the permanent RPV facilities. I have been told by the original deisgner that the RPV facilities were to be actual stuctures in place of temprary Conex Boxes and would be removable if more than 2 battleships were reactivated. Only two RPV facilities were ordered, and they would be swapped between the two battleships on each coast (Iowa and Wisconsin on the East and New Jersey and Missiouri on the West). Talking about cheaping out. Holy crap. The Navy is so....so dumb sometimes. But anyway, the BBG model will reflect such modifications.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2009 2:32 pm 
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Dave, the model is lookng good.

I don't want to rehash anything on the practicality of reactivation, but I seem to remember an issue surfacing a couple years after the Iowa turret explosion. I seem to recall some discussion that the fineness of the hull lines at the bow left the Iowas vulnerable to a modern missle/torpedo attack in that area of the ship due to the proximity of the forward magazines. I didn't see that in this thread. If that's already been analyzed and discarded, then score one for us. Have you ever heard of that risk?

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2009 3:43 pm 
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dbmoens wrote:
Dave, the model is lookng good.

I don't want to rehash anything on the practicality of reactivation, but I seem to remember an issue surfacing a couple years after the Iowa turret explosion. I seem to recall some discussion that the fineness of the hull lines at the bow left the Iowas vulnerable to a modern missle/torpedo attack in that area of the ship due to the proximity of the forward magazines. I didn't see that in this thread. If that's already been analyzed and discarded, then score one for us. Have you ever heard of that risk?

Dave

Thank you kindly. I think I will be able to get to her after I wrap up the DDG-963 (reactivated and modernized Spruance-class) I am working on.

Excellent point. Yes, I have. The issue is a structural one, and as you pointed out, there is not a whole lot of hull between the mag of Turret 1 and the exterior of the ship. One way or the other, the magazine is armored. It's not wrapped in the 17" armor signature to the battleships, but it is well protected.

So, concerning this potential issue, there was a SHIPALT that was proposed, and may have been part of the Warfighting Improvement Plan for 1993, to add a bow torpedo blister on each side by practically drawing a straight line from very near the bow to amidships. Supposedly this would greatly increase the protection to the area without reducing its speed. So, there's the fix to that problem.

Now, concerning the threat, with modern torpedoes and missiles, they don't look for particular parts of the ship necessarily. Missiles usually go toward larger parts of the ship, center water-line, or the pop-up/pop-down maneuver where it hits the deck of the ship. Some times, the missiles don’t evn hit the ship. There is a HUGE risk of a super dangerous missile like the SS-N-22 over-shooting the ship, because it’s going so, so, so fast. Torpedoes are the most accurate, however, and they only go for bigger magnetic signatures, louder acoustic blooms, or where the wake is coming from. Wake homers are some of the creepiest and PFM technologies out there. Talk about cool.

What sucks is that the Turret 1 area of the ship is where the wake is usually coming off the ship, so what may be an issue is a high-power wake homing torpedo is coming in, Russian 21-inch 800lb warhead-er fired from some exported SS/SSN. To detonate the magazine, a fireball or a lot of heat has to be introduced to the magazine, and that's not usually what happens to a ship upon strike, nor is it how they deliver their destructive affect. Instead, it's the shock of the explosion hammering the ship though the water which is the big pain in the @$$.

So, blowing the ship up, not a lot of worry, damaging the bow more than we'd like, yes. The hull is so strong and supported that it would likely have to get hammered LOTS to break the bow off like the Washington did. It was determined in the '80s that an Iowa would have to eat 6 Mk48s to put her in danger.

That is a most excellent point that a lot of people are not conscious of.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2009 4:17 pm 
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Just to play Devil's Advocate for a minute guys, you said 6 Mk-48s before an Iowa is in danger correct? I'm not all that up to date on the world's torpedo inventory but what would that be equivalent too? How many comparable Russian, Chinese, etc... torpedoes would that be? Since we're talking Mk-48 ADCAPs, we're talking sub torpedoes (if a ship is close enough to launch torpedoes you might as well right off the Iowa :big_grin:). Aren't the majority of Chinese torpedoes Russian stock/copies? Either way anyone got an idea on an equivalent torpedo to the Mk-48? It'd be interesting to see how many of "their torpedoes" it would take.

Discuss!

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2009 5:06 pm 
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Cliffy B wrote:
Just to play Devil's Advocate for a minute guys, you said 6 Mk-48s before an Iowa is in danger correct? I'm not all that up to date on the world's torpedo inventory but what would that be equivalent too? How many comparable Russian, Chinese, etc... torpedoes would that be? Since we're talking Mk-48 ADCAPs, we're talking sub torpedoes (if a ship is close enough to launch torpedoes you might as well right off the Iowa :big_grin:). Aren't the majority of Chinese torpedoes Russian stock/copies? Either way anyone got an idea on an equivalent torpedo to the Mk-48? It'd be interesting to see how many of "their torpedoes" it would take.

Discuss!



An intersting thread. I loved the Iowa Class and I wish they were still in service.

I had the oportunity to sail on New Jersey when I was a Midshippman in 1984. The speculation then was that an Iowa would not take more than 3 torpedoes of the day using the exposion under the hull to create a giant bubble and lift the ship out of the water to crack it in half. No amount of WWII armor belt helps with that kind of an attack and the heavier the ship, the more the affect at cracking the keel. WWII armor was designed to protect the sides, not the bottom. That was 1984. The torpedoes of today are better.

As I said, an interesting thread indeed.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2009 6:06 pm 
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It IS an interesting point - the Mk48 is one thing, but a Type 65? That's even bigger and meaner than the Long Lance, owing to new guidance and the like, but it's still got a One Ton Warhead to it.

The torpedo argument often comes up when Battleships are mentioned, often from the tin-can sailors or the carrier humpers, and pointing out the weakness against an ADCAP is moot - even a Carrier is defenseless against an ADCAP or six. So the lean is more towards detection and engagement of the sub before he can get the shot off.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2009 6:37 pm 
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An excellent point and the topic of the fianl moments of USS America when they found out how many torpedoes it takes to sink a carrier.

I think that the biggest argument against bringing back the BB's is that without the 16" guns, it is a much less capable ship than an Aegis CG or DDG and much more expensive to operate.

So the argument is all about the guns. Not missiles, radars or even purchase cost. An Arleigh Burke is about $1 Billion which I would guess is about what it would take to bring back a BB to an operating state. So what are you willing to spend to bring back a platform with 16" Guns?

So we ask, what is the mission? I can not imagine that we would ever assault a Hot Beach with Marines "Tarawa" style. That is what you would want the guns for. With guided weapons on the beach, it would be a very unsavory event. The Big Guns failed to silent any of the Marine Landings where there was a fortified beach and the Army landings in Normandy as well. Imagine the outcome of those battles if the enemy forces possesed guided weapons with IR/Lasor Designation Technology!

So if you have no mission then there is no reason to activate them. A sad but harsh reality I am afraid. I can tell you from personal experience that there was nothing more cool than standing officer of the deck taking New Jersey out of Long Beach or pulling into San Diego with the 16" pointed skyward with a brass band on the Focs'le!

But it gets worse my friends. Now we are trading our sexy little fighter jets for robots!

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2009 7:38 pm 
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Yes, this is true, the next stage of the debate tends to come to the whole "Naval gunnery is dead!" commentary, and I can't help but shake my head that that one.

Naval gunnery, specifically the Artillery, hasn't changed since the last big guns were built, really. Modern gun barrels are longer - the 5"/62 is an example, very nice, but let's face it. Not much range, and even then, when it gets there, it hits like a girl. A Three year old girl at that.

Modern Artillery is rather different, and underwent somewhat of a revolution and rennaisance in the 90's, thanks to but one man - Gerald Bull. Let us take a moment and remember - the man's first major gun project was the High Altitude Advanced Research Project. For this gun, he used nothing less than, ironically, a Naval 16" gun. He re-bored it, and extended the barrel, and with the full extension and the new, tighter sealed barrel - without driving bands might I add - and the higher-yield propellants he could use, let's remember just the spectacular results for altitude and range he could reach with the package. Now, the gun as it was, is rather long for the purposes of artillery, but it no less proves that it could be done.

In addition to changing the barrel, and giving it a better seal, and stronger propellants, there was another development - Electro-Thermal Chemical Ignition. What does this do? It burns the propellant hotter and faster, and burns it more completely, generating more energy in the barrel and behind the round - more energy means more velocity means more range.

You're now looking at a gun that could reach out a hundred plus kilometers, which is about the range of a number of anti-shipping rounds, with a much smaller cross section than a missile of similar warhead size, with more explosive, owing to the redesign of the round, that will hit the target with rather sizable kinetic force, and detonate with more warhead power than just about any missile the US Navy has - let's face it, the US Navy has rather anemic anti-shipping missiles - it's so bad they use SM-2's now instead of Harpoons, owing to the better guidance package - and leave a rather sizable smoking, burning, devastated hole in the target. Mission Kill nothing, you hit anything less than a Carrier, you have succeeded in one thing - Kill.

Now, you package this round from hell, with a guided munitions package - in the event of a beach assault, you are now firing rounds from way down range, against targets that are either being lit up by the assaulting forces, or GPS, onto the enemy fortified positions, with relative impunity, because they only thing they can throw at you are anti-shipping missiles which can be intercepted.


Seriously, the US navy these days suffers from very much a large case of Kruschev-esque thinking - let us remember, this is the man who thought that a tank armed with nothing but guided missiles was a good idea.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2009 7:54 pm 
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Quote:
Alright, some comments on the battleships, capability, armament, and mission, but first:

Quote:
An excellent point and the topic of the fianl moments of USS America when they found out how many torpedoes it takes to sink a carrier.

Here's a secret for your. It was a Sidewinder that ruined the ex-USS America weapons test. There were no torpedoes shot at her. Several crews tried for 3 days to de-water the ship so they could continue testing, but to no avail. So was reported from the crew of the host ship, the majority of the weapons tests were stopped, because she was no longer under any kind of ideal conditions.

Quote:
I think that the biggest argument against bringing back the BB's is that without the 16" guns, it is a much less capable ship than an Aegis CG or DDG and much more expensive to operate.

I would agree to a point. NSFS is the major block to battleship reactivation and the other is mission accomplishment in reduction of cost. The battleship does more than a carrier within its gun range and can thus take the carrier's place. The BEST and most economical thing about this is that the battleship then replaces the carrier so the carrier can go to a more important area that really does need a carrier. The guns are extremely important, yes, but so is her protection from shore-based threats.

Everyone seems to forget. No one, not me at least, is saying the battleship is impervious. It's just harder to sink than anything else on the water, and that is a remarkable quality to have when you are expected to be heavily engaged with a hostile beach. That makes it good to have a battleship instead of a barge with 16" guns or an unarmored monitor like was discussed heavily in the '70s.


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So we ask, what is the mission? I can not imagine that we would ever assault a Hot Beach with Marines "Tarawa" style. That is what you would want the guns for
.
Well, I disagree. As soon as we enter a real war again, and to expect that there will not be another is not very realistic. Otherwise, the battleship is equipped with a number of weapons that do a better job at a lower cost than those of an aircraft carrier or a cruise missile. Remember, the battleships are always the most cost-effective capital ships in peace-time and the most cost-effective of any ship in war time. Guided weapons only make it better. Unless you are willing to drop guided weapons on everything, you need volume of fire. ...and you cannot drop guided bombs on everything. Only with planning can you drop GPS weapons on targets, and even laser guided bombs need people on the ground usually. Ship based UAVs would be one of the battleship's principle target designators along with men on the ground.

Quote:
With guided weapons on the beach, it would be a very unsavory event. The Big Guns failed to silent any of the Marine Landings where there was a fortified beach and the Army landings in Normandy as well. Imagine the outcome of those battles if the enemy forces possesed guided weapons with IR/Lasor Designation Technology!

Well, that is not true. Some of the pill boxes were left. Any one of them that took a direct hit were absolutely destroyed. Both the Germans and Japanese said that anywhere we went, our battleships and cruisers would take the beach, and there was nothing they could o about it. There was nothing they could do but out-range the guns and wait for the main force of the landed to arrive and fight. Today with the Barrel Launched Adaptive munition fuse developed in 1986, every ballistic 16" round we have on the shelf could be a precision laser-guided or GPS round. The nose maneuvers so it can make little adjustments to account for the finer points in the fire-control solution that are not totally know, only approximated. These include the real wind, earth's magnetic field in the local geography, humidity in the air, etc. between the ship and the target.

Quote:
So if you have no mission then there is no reason to activate them. A sad but harsh reality I am afraid.

Well, there are lots and lots of mission for a battleship to perform, some of which ONLY a battleship can perform. Seeing how the battleship is economical at $71 million versus $320-$380 annually for a carrier, they are automatically practical. The only ones a carrier performs that a battleship in its current configuration does not are ASW, AAW, and deep support. Everything else a battleship does, sometimes better than a carrier.
So, here are at least 16 missions a battleship would perform today:
1. Operate as the center piece of a Battleship Strike Group in order to ease deployment stress on CVN’s thus increase personnel retention
2. Arm with 96-128 Mk41 VLS tubes in order to conduct TLAM strikes and a mass CVN equivalent “Alpha Strike” with TLAM 1,000+ miles inland (100 TLAM strike)
3. Perform surgical gun strikes with precision weapons and UAV support.
4. Provide pre-landing bombardment and NSFS
5. Operate in conjunction with MEUs in theater of amphibious interest
6. Sea Control/Anti-shipping
7. MIO basing
8. SOF basing and support
9. Provide Command/Control Flag facilities
10. Provide AAW for itself and act as integral piece in AAW of group
11. Air denial within range of weapons
12. Control aircraft
13. Refuel its escorts
14. Provide meaningful presence/show flag
15. Land and operate all types of US helicopters
16. Operate and Support shipboard UAV operations

Navy SEALs and Marines have told me personally there is nothing better than reliable NSFS for men on the ground, and battleships are the best for providing NSFS. That is the argument stopper right there. Some may say, “well TACAIR does the same”. Combat veterans see their TACAIR get shot down as it’s coming in to help them. What’s better is that with the practical upgrades I have listed here, we can make the battleships even better.

Battleships can let carriers go where they need to. Somalia does not need a carrier group off its coast, but it needs far more than a group of cruisers and destroyers can provide. It needs a battleship group.

In big war, the battleships and carriers compliment each other’s capabilities. Individually, a carrier’s and battleship’s capabilities can be defeated. Together, they present a force that is nearly unbeatable.

I hope this provides a little more insight into why I think the battleships are practical and not romantic.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2009 5:44 pm 
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The Iowas are too old and too out of date. The Iowas have nice capabilities but they simply provide them at to great a cost. The crew requirements for an Iowa is equivelent 10 ten Arleigh Burke Flight IIA DDG.

1. Operate as the center piece of a Battleship Strike Group in order to ease deployment stress on CVN’s thus increase personnel retention.
--Even before the end of the Cold War the USN found that the Surface Action Groups [SAG] weren't as valueable as projected in 1981. The SAG put enormous stress on the avalibility of escorts. The number of SAG was reduced from 4 to 2 in 1987 to make more escorts avalible for Carrier and Amphibious groups. This was with the 600 ship fleet at 600 ships. There was a high transfer rate off of battleships. Sailors looking to make a long term career in the USN felt that developing skills on the Iowas's older equipment would leave them at a disadvantage in gaining promotions.

2. Arm with 96-128 Mk41 VLS tubes in order to conduct TLAM strikes and a mass CVN equivalent “Alpha Strike” with TLAM 1,000+ miles inland (100 TLAM strike)

The USN already has enough VLS cells to accomplish this. Adding that number of VLS cells to an Iowa would be expensive and would require that the armored deck be cut through or the cells be placed high upsetting the ships weights and likely cutting remaining service life due to metal fatigue.

3. Perform surgical gun strikes with precision weapons and UAV support.

-- They didn't do that very well in Operation Desert Storm [OID]. Wisconsin was recalled south so her crew could be used to sort mail. A regular hornet with 4 500 pound JDAM bombs can perform any of the fire missions performed by the Wisconsin and Missouri in OID.

4. Provide pre-landing bombardment and NSFS
-- Prelanding bombardments didn't prove very effective in WW2.

6. Sea Control/Anti-shipping
-- Already done by aircraft carriers.

9. Provide Command/Control Flag facilities
-- Already performed by a variety of ships.

10. Provide AAW for itself and act as integral piece in AAW of group

-- Not without modern AAW weapons, all of which are very suceptable to damage from the over-pressure from a 16 inch gun fire. All Ticonderoga CG and CVN can easily perform this function, and there is no shortage of ships with this capability.

12. Control aircraft

-- Done more efficiently by E-2C/D and E-3 aircraft.

13. Refuel its escorts
The USN is rapidly comissioning Lewis and Clark T-AKE-1 class vessels which have capasity to refuel vessels. The USN really needs more AO and AOE both of which are comming.

The Iowa class has no hangers for helecoptors and during their reactivation the embarked helecoptors returned with excessive corrosion due to exposier to sea water.

Fire support was provided very effectivly using 127mm/54 Mk42 and Mk45 guns. In Afganistan mortors have been found to be the most flexable for fast reactions in quickly changing combat situations. Land based 155mm guns have provided very good support in Afganistan and Iraq.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2009 3:32 am 
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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

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2009 11:33 pm 
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The Navy and GAO came up with this graph in the 1990s:
http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/ship/images/051213-fires2.gif

The Iowas were retired because of their rather mediocre performance in Operation Desert Storm. Before the Gulf war the plan was to keep two Iowas in service and two in catagory B reserve. In his report to Congress the Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney stated that the vessels had "under performed". Under performing means that the system performed as required but were not cost effective in doing so. The gun fire support they provided could have just as easily been provided by the MLRS system. Each Iowa deployed with 32 Tomahawks, each Spruance DD with the VLS modification could deploy with 61 Tomahawks for less cost, a Ticonderoga CG with VLS deployed with up to 80 tomahawks. Neither the Spruance or Ticonderoga needed near the amount of escorting and support.

The incident where the Iraqi navy attacked the USS Missouri with two Exocets:

Two Exocet missiles were fired from ashore at the USS Missouri, the missiles had had the range set incorrectly and their active homing did not activate until they had passed the USS Missouri. While the Missouri and a nearby Oliver Hazard Perry frigate both detected the missiles neither was able to attack them. The Perry firgate's ECM system jammed the homing frequency of the missiles and fired chaff to confuse it. One of the Missouri's Phalanx guns turned and opened fire on the chaff launched by the frigate. Both Exocets were shot-down, down range from the Missouri as they approached a Royal Navy Type 42 DDG. After this both the Missouri and Wisconsin were pulled back to sort mail.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2009 1:34 am 
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Thanks for the response, Seasick. First, the missions I laid out are the missions I would give a battleship to accomplish. They are not missions unique to a battleship. They were based on a modernized look at the original 11 missions provided to the battleships in the 1980s. You have already made your view clear that the missions unique to battleships are either not all that important or can most of the time be accomplished by carrier based aircraft, but that’s not the point at all. Please understand many of the missions stated are missions a battleship can accomplish in addition to its own unique abilities, of which there are many.

Chief of Naval Operations Roughead and former CNO Mike Mullen and I had conversations when I met both of them, one at a Surface Warfare Semiar and the other aboard Wisconsin, both complimented me on my ability to “think outside the box” in utilizing gunfire in third-world country situations. Roughead’s head of the Strategic Studies Group, his personal R&D group, offered me a billet with them because of my realistic and unconventional view on the subject of NSFS. So, I would only ask you consideration of the material listed.

I am sorry to hear, however, that you are not up to date on the posts here, nor are you up to date on the facts surrounding the battleships. You do a good job of making the case for battleship employment very well in your responses. When you say "carriers do that already" what you are really saying is, "a battleship can do that for a lot cheaper than a carrier can." For instance, fueling an F/A-18 once is $50,000. They consume at least 2 loads of fuel per mission ($100,000). They take a VERY long time to get on station (too long). They take a VERY long time (too long) to respond to calls for fire. They can get shot down ($750-100million per plane). I mean, with only 13 lost aircraft you can reactivate AND modernize two battleships. Also, once the F/A-18 is out of ordnance, it’s out, and the guys on the ground are left on their own. This has happened LOTS of times before, an irresponsible amount of times.

Everything about a battleship is cheaper than an aircraft carrier. It costs less to operate, to man, to repair, to maintain, to arm...everything about a battleship is cheaper, and a lot of the time better at accomplishing the mission. It delivers a higher volume of ordnance, can sustain more damage and perform its mission, etc, etc.

Like I have said, the argument is not decommissioning a carrier so you can have multiple battleships. The argument is reactivating battleships, because you are forced to get rid of a carrier/multiple carriers. Carriers are the gold-plated way of doing the job. Battleships are the economical way. If you don't realize that, I must say that you must do more research. All of the facts support battleship economy over carriers, either conventional or nuclear powered. It also looks like a lot of your information is based on the theory I am saying replace a carrier with a battleship, and as is stated above, that's not the case. You seem to be operating with surprisingly inaccurate data. For instance, Burkes require FAR more than 80 people to operate (340+). If a battleship were reactivated today, her propulsion plant would be automated, and her five-inch guns would be replaced with Mk45 Mod2 refurbished to 5"/62caliber guns. I have already talked to NAVSEA about this. You can ride the following facts to the bank. This is the real deal.

If USS Wisconsin were reactivated today, she would have an 860 man crew, so she would have 2.5 times the manning of a Burke DDG, not 10 times. 10 times would be 3,400 people! Not even in WWII did an Iowa have THAT many people! Gosh!

Like I said, I have spoken with BAE Systems, Lockheed, Newport News, and most importantly NAVSEA, during a 6 hour ship-check of Wisconsin, and the Iowa-class project and structural engineer from Longbeach Naval Shipyard who managed the battleship program from reactivation to lay up on the West coast about this. I am going to present you with the actual facts, not “IIRC” or “from what I read”. These are the actual facts of the matter.

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The Iowas are too old and too out of date. The Iowas have nice capabilities but they simply provide them at to great a cost. The crew requirements for an Iowa is equivelent 10 ten Arleigh Burke Flight IIA DDG.

-Already discussed. The ONLY things “out of date” about a modernized battleship is the Babcox-Wilcox 600-lbs boilers, main battery directors, and the main guns. Almost everything else is modern, and everything that is not is trainable. Training is no problem.

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1. Operate as the center piece of a Battleship Strike Group in order to ease deployment stress on CVN’s thus increase personnel retention.
--Even before the end of the Cold War the USN found that the Surface Action Groups [SAG] weren't as valueable as projected in 1981. The SAG put enormous stress on the avalibility of escorts. The number of SAG was reduced from 4 to 2 in 1987 to make more escorts avalible for Carrier and Amphibious groups. This was with the 600 ship fleet at 600 ships. There was a high transfer rate off of battleships. Sailors looking to make a long term career in the USN felt that developing skills on the Iowas's older equipment would leave them at a disadvantage in gaining promotions.

Not true. Regardless of if groups of ships were assigned a capital ship or not (which they were not, they were instead part of a cruiser-destroyer group which was then designated two capital ships, some included battleships), every battleship deployment after 1986 was as a BBBG. The “extra strain” is not exhibited on the modern maritime environment. With the suspension or decommissioning of CVN 65, 71, and 72, (NAVSEA and Naval Nuclear Support Structure) that is three carriers out of the rotation until AT LEAST 2012, there are still three carriers worth of escorts left. So, with 2 battleships reactivated, there is a whole extra set of escort ships left. But, that’s not how the escort ships work anyway. Like I said, cruiser/destroyer groups with capital ships assigned. A battleship would be in place of a suspended/decommissioned carrier.

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2. Arm with 96-128 Mk41 VLS tubes in order to conduct TLAM strikes and a mass CVN equivalent “Alpha Strike” with TLAM 1,000+ miles inland (100 TLAM strike)

The USN already has enough VLS cells to accomplish this. Adding that number of VLS cells to an Iowa would be expensive and would require that the armored deck be cut through or the cells be placed high upsetting the ships weights and likely cutting remaining service life due to metal fatigue.

Full reactivation and modernization of an Iowa would be in the neighborhood of $700million with a full VLS suite, repair of Iowa’s Turret 2, and a complete electronic modernization. That’s not expensive AT ALL for what you get. That’s straight from NAVSEA.

The armor deck would not be touched. The VLS arrangement would be above it in the super structure. There would be NO metal fatigue issues. The cell casings and support structure would run to the exterior of the super structure and would be built of HY-80 and armored with thicker pieces or HY-110. Neither mild-ship building steel nor would high-yield elastic steel be used. Concerning weight, the top-side weight would NOT be upset at all. The battleships can see 8,000 tones at the O4 level before there are considerable stability issues. VLS, armor, and a fully stocked aft mast does not approach that.

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3. Perform surgical gun strikes with precision weapons and UAV support.

-- They didn't do that very well in Operation Desert Storm [OID]. Wisconsin was recalled south so her crew could be used to sort mail. A regular hornet with 4 500 pound JDAM bombs can perform any of the fire missions performed by the Wisconsin and Missouri in OID.

I don’t know where you got this information. Wisconsin and Missouri rotated gunfire duty on a set basis. They were taking out so many targets they had to budget their ammunition. You can find this in both from Shield to Storm and Shield and Sword. The Wisconsin fired the last shots of Desert Storm (precluding any main duties you have heard about) on the last day of the operation and had 3 more fire missions planned for the next 24 hours. She was told to cease fire with rounds in the barrels, ready to engage in her next fire mission. She had to drive out to sea and clear her barrels or warshot 16” rounds. She was not pulled from the gun line to do mail stuff. For the accuracy of the gunfire, I have seen lots and lots of the Wisconsin’s actual RPV footage. After her first 3 fire missions, she was hitting the targets after the second round. If Iowa had been there, she would have been hitting the target first time every time. Training is key. Oh, by the way, in the ranking of effective weapons during Operation Desert Storm, the top three were: F-117 Nighthawk, Tomahawk land attack cruise missile, and 16” gun mounted aboard WWII-era Iowa-class battleships. That’s from “From Shield to Storm”.

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4. Provide pre-landing bombardment and NSFS
-- Prelanding bombardments didn't prove very effective in WW2.

Again, not sure where you get this information. It is highly inaccurate. Pre-landing bombardment made the difference between taking a beach and being repelled. Like I posted earlier, both the Germans and Japanese both said where ever the US went with its cruisers and battleships, it would take the beach no matter what defenses were mounted. Don’t forget, the Paris Peace Talks in 1969 were visited by the North Vietnamese with ONE message. They did not worry about the super carriers off their coast, nor did they worry about the B-52 carpet bombing runs, nor the SEALs taking the Vietnames’ own deltas away from them. The Vietnamese came with one message: “get that New Jersey thing away from our coast or we will never come back [to the peace talks].” The Marine Corps credited the New Jersey’s SINGLE deployment with saving over 1,000 Marines lives. There’s not a lot of arguing with that.

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6. Sea Control/Anti-shipping

-- Already done by aircraft carriers.

Sure, at incredible expense. Like I said, tasking carriers with everything is not realistic and highly irresponsible. In the end, you can’t do everything with carriers anyway. When we have only 7-9 operational carriers, which IS what we are looking at in less than 2 years (NAVSEA) we cannot have them doing everything. The carriers need to be elsewhere where they are actually needed. Again, this is where battleships pick up the slack with minimal cost.

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9. Provide Command/Control Flag facilities
-- Already performed by a variety of ships.

Of course, but battleships can do it, too and do it better, because of sheer extra space for equipment, accommodations, electronics, protection, etc.

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10. Provide AAW for itself and act as integral piece in AAW of group

-- Not without modern AAW weapons, all of which are very suceptable to damage from the over-pressure from a 16 inch gun fire. All Ticonderoga CG and CVN can easily perform this function, and there is no shortage of ships with this capability.

Ah, interesting point you make. The SPS-48, SPS-49, and SPG-51 are all fully capable of handling the over pressure of the 16”guns. That means the New Threat Upgraded Mk74 Tartar-D WDS (one of the best the US has ever produced) can give the battleship an AAW capability that is only inferior to Aegis in one single way, rotating versus static radar arrays (NAVSEA, US Destroyers). Keep in mind, NTU is the only electronics package in any Navy that is peer with Aegis. Like I said, this is only one of the extra missions a battleship can perform. NTU AAW is remarkable at its shockingly low cost of $52 million in 1999 dollars.

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12. Control aircraft

-- Done more efficiently by E-2C/D and E-3 aircraft.

Not when a carrier’s not around. I thought you would have said that it’s performed by an Aegis ship. Like I said, this is yet another mission a battleship can perform…especially when a carrier is NOT around.

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13. Refuel its escorts
The USN is rapidly comissioning Lewis and Clark T-AKE-1 class vessels which have capasity to refuel vessels. The USN really needs more AO and AOE both of which are comming.

Like I said, like in the 1980s, this is yet another mission a battleship can perform. Also, I think you missed the concept. The COOLEST thing about this is that now, you don’t need a replenishment ship. The battleship and its escorts can make way for over 5,000 miles without a refueler nearby. That is a shocking capability. The battleship ALONE can steam at 33 knots (faster than any escort) for 14 days at a time. Anyone who knows anything about real ships knows this is a very rare capability. For instance, the Wisconsin and Saratoga departed Norfolk at the same time for Desert Storm. Wisconsin arrived and was able to accomplish missions 2 weeks earlier than Saratoga.

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The Iowa class has no hangers for helecoptors and during their reactivation the embarked helecoptors returned with excessive corrosion due to exposier to sea water.

While this is partly true, the requirement is not to EMBARK helos, it’s to OPERATE all kinds of helos. You forget, the escorts carry helos. The helos would live on the escorts but operate with and off the back of the battleship. We’re talking SOF stuff now. I know actual special operations is foreign knowledge to most of you guys, but being able to operate everything up to an CH-53 or 46 off the stern of a battleship is incredible and priceless. You would do this by borrowing it from an LHD, etc. or it living on such a platform and simply being able to land it on the stern of the battleship so the SOF can get on or get off.

Without getting into classified mission data, please understand this, a battleship is in every single way the best available platform for special operations. The BEST is a heavy cruiser with its aircraft hanger capable of housing and maintaining an SH/HH-60. It was foolish to scrap the Des Moines instead of reactivating and modernizing her.

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Fire support was provided very effectivly using 127mm/54 Mk42 and Mk45 guns. In Afganistan mortors have been found to be the most flexable for fast reactions in quickly changing combat situations. Land based 155mm guns have provided very good support in Afganistan and Iraq.

First, it has been known since 1940 that the 5” round is useless in shore bombardment missions (GAO report Future of Naval Gunfire Support 1986). So, unfortunately, you are wrong, sir, in the belief that 5” guns are reliable for NSFS. The 5” round sucks all around. It is good for killing boat but useless for range, accuracy, or payload under any circumstances. The ONLY way they can be is if the rounds are laser guided. If you have that tiny round making physical contact with the target, then you actually have an effective hit. Unfortunately, there are none such in service. We need to fix that, though.

Like I said, this only supports the argument for battleships. Any kind of operations within gun range of battleships is key. Don’t forget 86% of the Third World countries in our interest are within 21 miles of the coast.

Consider this:
Syria, Lebanon, Columbia, and Somalia amongst many others are not worth a carrier but needs heavy ordnance support. We have been SO desperate for support that DDGs have had to fire their 5” guns into Somalia with little affect. Trust me. This is the fact. If a battleship (or heavy cruiser) were off that coast, it could provide the gunfire support the SOF needed so badly. Keep in mind these are REAL situations, not theoretical. academic, sit behind a computer and postulate situations. These are real. People have died.

The Navy has an OBLIGATION, not an option, to provide NSFS. There is no denying or getting away from this fact. It is a mission of the Navy. Like I said last time, even with the F/A-18E Hornets and the UAVs and the super carriers, and the awesomeness some of you guys are talking about, the special forces and Marine Corps both currently state that the Iowa-class battleships are the best at providing them the support they need. Being that the cost of reactivation, modernization, manning, and annual operating, is so much lower than any other option, there is no reason to oppose battleships, other than prejudice.

So what the whole battleship debate boils down to is NOT battleships. It is gunships. Gunships are the key to a reliable, responsible support force for troops a shore. If not reactivating the battleships, converting and modernizing the Spruance-class DDs to DDGs and arming them with the Mk71 Mod1 8”/60caliber guns and 5”/62caliber guns would have been a remarkable boost in capability. There would be no NSFS gap at all. Understand also, there are 8” ERGM rounds on the shelf now, and the 155mm can easily be adapted to the 8” bore. But what happened? They were all sunk. Like I said before, it was a negligent mistake to scrap the Des Moines instead of reactivating and modernizing her. The reason why people bark battleships is because those are the only ships left!


They are also the best.

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Last edited by navydavesof on Wed Dec 23, 2009 9:51 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2009 1:38 am 
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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.

Another thing is that people seem to be operating on the belief that battleships are invulnerable. They are not. Battleships are just tougher than anything else, and they are really hard to "mission kill". That's all.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 24, 2009 5:02 am 
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Thanks, for starting this thread, I've really been enjoying it. I'm getting the feeling that the mail sorting statment is one of those "urban legends" that was started by those that hated the Iowa's being back in service and in theater. All your points make sense, and many of them were the original reason they were reactivated, but there are many that hate these ships and will never be convinced no matter what. The counter arguments from these same detractors like a Burke DDG only needing a crew of 80, is a good example of not have a clue about the facts. I sometimes think the Navy is embarrassed to have been forced to keep the Iowa's around despite their capabilities. They want new toys, not old ships despite the fact they can still perform missions that the new toys never will. The Air Force doesn't seem to have a problem keeping the ancient B-52's in service , but the Navy has been trying to rid themselves of the Iowa's for 15 years. The statement about NGFS during WW2 being ineffective is laughable. I'm just a humble Great Lakes Coastie, but I'd love to see them back in service. The Navy turning over the USS Wisconsin this week would seem to seal the deal. JMO


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 24, 2009 8:18 am 
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TKO, these are the same people who like to try and tell you that RIMPAC '91 was an urban legend, and not a documented case, where Mo evaded the Constellation's search, Day And Night, for THREE DAYS, and then proceeded to wipe the floor with a Wasp Group in a Night Defense position.

These are the kinds of people that Dave and I have come to acknowledge under the term "Carrier Humper" because they just can't stop getting off to the thought of Carriers, the biggest liability in a fleet, doing all the work, and just keep stroking to their reality, and waving Slanted data in the face of Battleship Proponents. These same delusional morons refuse to accept the true fact that there is no actual real documented data to support their case against the Battleships, as their wet dream situations either never happened, or were in a slanted situation.

Of course, I can only imagine just how many Jutland Dead are rolling over in their graves, at the fact that few if any warships in this day and age have any actual Protection. I will laugh with sadistic glee if I manage to live to see a true fight in the modern paradigm, where a CV Task Force, as they don't even deserve the term BATTLE Group, gets hit with a mix of Active and Passive Radar Homing Anti-Ship Missiles, a real nice hail of the ones that go fast enough you only have a hair's split of reaction time before you're getting sodomized by a half ton of RDX going off in your hull because you have no Actual protection. I will laugh with sadistic glee when I hear the results, because there will be a day of reckoning for all those people who say "we don't need armor suites."

Equally to the point, I like how some people point out that the British demonstrated a SAM taking down a 4.5" shell. Very nice, yes, very nice. Now, how fast can you fire those SAMs? How MANY do you have? Consider, a Battleship has somewhere around a HUNDRED ROUNDS PER TUBE. You'll exhaust your SAM supply intercepting rounds and STILL have a rain of pain coming your way afterwards, and they hit a whole lot harder than an Anti Ship Missile.

Seriously, I would love to be the man in a think tank considering the threat of a US CVTF - the Battleship is THE answer, because they don't have enough firepower to stop a true armored juggernaut like that. What're you going to do, hit it with a STANDARD? the Blast Frag or Continuous Rod warhead might work against some modern DDG, but against a target with a couple inches of reinforced Deck Plating? Not a snowball's Chance. A Tomahawk? Oo, it's so slow, it's laughable, you can shoot it down with CIWS. A Harpoon? Again, I think I've seen 80 year olds that go faster and hit harder than those. A Plane? You trying to tell me I can't hit it with a SAM or CIWS, if it tries to get close enough to bomb me? A Sub? ASW isn't Impossible, let's remember, the Kirovs are that frigging big, and they have an ASW suite. Going to close with a DDG and use the gun? Please, don't make me laugh, there isn't a ship in the US Navy that has enough gun power to scare a proper Battleship.

This concludes the lesson. Any more dumb questions, Mister Carrier Humper, or shall I let you go back to your girlfriend, who is built like the ships you love - Big, Flat, and Featureless.

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