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Iowa's reactivation, again....

Foo Fighter

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https://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/should-the-navy-take-second-look-its-iowa-class-battleships-22982

I take it this is a joke?
 

Grey Havoc

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Well, NSFS is an unholy mess at the present time...
 

Grey Havoc

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The problem is that there is still no replacement for them. On the other hand, thanks in part to Rumsfeld and Gates, there is no infrastructure or stored material left to actually even try to reactivate them...
 

kaiserd

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The answer is “No”.
Nostalgiaic fantasy verging into fetishized irrationally, unfortunately.
God help you if you think this possible or wise.
 

TomS

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Grey Havoc said:
The problem is that there is still no replacement for them. On the other hand, thanks in part to Rumsfeld and Gates, there is no infrastructure or stored material left to actually even try to reactivate them...
There isn't much mission for them either. The fleet is full of TLAM shooters with much deeper potential magazines. There is quite little interest in guns (big or little) that can only reach a few miles inland once you build in a reasonable stand-off range. (Sure, sure, hard targets. If you're thinking about a conventional amphibious landing, you need air superiority, in which scenario you can put GBU-24s or -28s through those hard targets much more readily than you can hit them with battleship shells.) And of course there is no appetite at all for ships that require nearly 2000 people each to crew and aren't multi-mission Swiss army aircraft carriers.

If there was serious interest in spending huge piles of money on a small number of NSFS platforms, the DDG 1000s would have actual main gun ammo already. Buying out LRLAP (and fielding LASM or an equivalent) would be cheaper than reactivating the IOWAs again -- and more useful too.
 

jsport

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VGAS
Vertical Gun for Advanced Ships

Description: VGAS is a 155mm Gun Weapon System being planned for DD-21 Maritime Dominance Destroyers to provide volume and sustainable fires in support of a land attack warfare campaign. VGAS is a fully integrated gun weapon system (GWS), which includes dual 52 caliber 155mm guns in a fixed vertical orientation, fully integrated gun and fire control systems, and test and fault isolation functions. Each gun will be capable of independently firing up to 12 rounds per minute from an automated magazine storing as many as 1,500 rounds. The VGAS program also includes development of the 155mm Extended Range Guided Munition (ERGM; see separate program summary). VGAS will be designed to the size of a 64-cell Mk 41 Vertical Launching System (VLS) launcher and will meet the reduced manning and low radar signature requirements of DD-21.
Program Status: The program is scheduled for an FY 1999 start, delivering a prototype gun in FY 2002 for extensive land-based testing. First delivery to DD-21 is scheduled for FY 2006.
Developer/Manufacturer: To be determined.

Why was this not pursued rather than a "government capturing Major"? A small company was originally involved. More governing disaster.
 

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TomS

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VGAS was transformed into the trainable AGS almost entirely at the behest of Congress, which demanded that the gun be capable of firing non-guided rounds (and then failed to fund development of said rounds...)
 

Colonial-Marine

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I think the switch to AGS was a reasonable one as there are certainly advantages a conventional gun mount could provide. Through the wonders of mismanagement, cutbacks, and stupidity it turned into the mess we have now with three DDG-1000 destroyers with no ammunition for their grand total of six 155mm guns.

As for reactivating the Iowas it has been pretty much assured it won't happen now. They've scrapped most of the spare barrels and the 16" shells minus those kept for display purposes. National Interest is a publication that likes to repeat the same articles a lot and will probably be asking the same question a decade from now. I suppose theoretically you could rebuild everything required to manufacture new guns, shells, and anything else needed to reactive them. But they are roughly 75 years old and have huge crew requirements.

If the Iowas received a "second stage" modernization perhaps they could have served out to 2010 or so in a world where we didn't chase after the mythical post Cold War peace dividend. But even so there is no way they could be kept indefinitely in service or in condition to be reactivated.

If I were in charge I'd say bring back the 8" Mk.71 and put it on the next destroyer and cruiser classes. Personally I think the utility of naval artillery is underestimated and I wouldn't mind seeing a bit more of it on our ships. Guns as large as the 16" however aren't really needed if we have the right sort of missiles around.

Wasn't there some congressional decree about keeping the Iowas in a reserve status until NGFS requirements could be met by other ships? Is that just flat out ignored by everyone or did the Navy say the requirement has been fulfilled despite nothing being added to their arsenal?
 

jsport

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Low cost GPS and now low cost non-GPS dependent guided rds render a Vertical Gun a superior solution even against small targets very close. Larger diameter especially EMTC guns only make sense in a Vertical configuration.
More rounds necessary for genuine bombardment-- vertical guns. Take these rds to near space and bring em down wherever you want. overwhelming IADS Gerald Bull style.
 

AN/AWW-14(V)

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Fluff

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VULNERABILITY OF THE IOWA CLASS

China - we build huge stealth strike aircraft to launch 2000lbs missile - destroy yankee aircraft carriers - we will be victorious!!!!
US - we are sending our old battleships, with 20 inch armour, 500 AA guns, 200 cruise missiles - we will be victorious!!!

If a zero at 400 mph couldnt dent it, what will your missile do to it??

I imagine in weeks time we will see a huge hull laid down in China, looking something like a Yamoto…..
 

DWG

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People forget that the heavy armour of battleships is only on the waterline belt, with a considerably lesser thickness on the deck, and those only within the citadel area defined by the machinery, magazines and barbettes, and with the armoured deck comparatively low in the ship. And all the weight and volume invested in Torpedo Defence Systems is completely wasted against today's under-keel detonating weapons (and there were questions about the Iowa's TDS even in WWII, with a different pattern planned for the Montanas).

Iowa had a internal 12" belt inclined at 19.5deg to increase its effective width, and a 6" main deck with 1.5" above and 0.63" below as initiator and splinter protecting layers. With the exception of the turrets and conning tower (useless in modern warfare), everything above the armoured deck isn't particularly better protected than on a modern vessel, and that's the 'everything' that allows the ship to fight. A modern ship can be rendered useless just by destroying its sensors with shrapnel, and the Iowa's armour does nothing to protect the ship. Even in WWII there were worries about the effectiveness of armoured decks against AP bombs, and the only saving then was that it was difficult to hit an evading target. Modern guided bombs make that simple, and even sea skimmers may bunt to allow a terminal dive into the target. Meanwhile initiator decks are useless against modern void counting fuses.

So torpedoes will break her back without encountering her armour. Sea-skimmers with a horizontal terminal attack will target either the hull or the superstructure, so even if they can't penetrate the belt the potential to mission-kill the ship through superstructure damage still exists. Sea-skimmers with a terminal bunt, high flyers with a terminal dive, and guided bombs will likely hit the superstructure or deck; those with blast frag warheads will definitely shred the superstructure, those with penetrator warhead can potentially penetrate the armoured deck, those with shaped charges will easily defeat it. If they hit the belt, they're still going to rip the side of the ship open to the sea (as the belt is internal), and some of the big Russian missiles might be moving fast enough to penetrate it.
 

Desertfox

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Shaped charges should have no problem penetrating her armor belts.

If you want their firepower a better, cheaper solution would be to just reactivate their turrets (if it was even possible) and drop them in new built monitor hulls. Or simply build new monitors on new hulls with new ~8in guns.
 

Foo Fighter

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The monitor idea would seem to be a non starter for mobility reasons if nothing else. That and taking up additional time from already stretched escort assets.
 

stealthflanker

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an addition. a NavWeaps article. It's really interesting tho to see how complicated actually to change the turret into something else.


These things are why making major changes to hulls is so fraught with danger. We've had a lot of proposed modifications to battleships on these boards, mostly directed to the Iowa's (for example, removing turrets to allow for flight decks or VLS systems).

The most elementary of these are gee-whiz modifications (wouldn't it be great if....) that do not make any allowances for weight and trim changes. Some of these would have changed trim by so much that the bows would have gone right under (I do work these things out you know!!!). As for the topweight......

The next group try to make the weights add up so that the net total comes out the same. These look more convincing but usually fall foul of stability and stress calculations. A large area of weight carried high will not compensate for a small area carried lower even though the totals add up to the same. Stress is a real swine to accommodate, especially with the BBs. The weight of those turrets was so great that the hull was virtually designed around the stress loadings they imposed.

If a conversion system is going to work, not only have the weights got to add up but they have to do so in roughly the same places. If the pressure waves around the hull are distorted, they cease to interact properly and the wave-making resistance shoots up. Suddenly, there is an acute loss of speed.

Another nasty point about gun turrets and their weight. The weight of the turret and its barbette are carried by the ship's keel - its the only thing strong enough to do it. There has to be the correct level of buoyancy at those points to support the turrets. Now, take the turret out, that added buoyancy arches that part of the ship's spine upwards and CRACK - gurgle gurgle.
 

Desertfox

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The monitor idea would seem to be a non starter for mobility reasons if nothing else. That and taking up additional time from already stretched escort assets.
The monitors wouldn't have to be old school 10 knot ships, 20 knots should allow them to move with the amphibs without issue, while not requiring the machinery of the 33 knot Iowas. The amphibs already require escorts (as did the Iowas), adding another ship wouldn't change the requirements much and these hypothetical monitors shouldn't be operating alone.
 

kaiserd

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an addition. a NavWeaps article. It's really interesting tho to see how complicated actually to change the turret into something else.


These things are why making major changes to hulls is so fraught with danger. We've had a lot of proposed modifications to battleships on these boards, mostly directed to the Iowa's (for example, removing turrets to allow for flight decks or VLS systems).

The most elementary of these are gee-whiz modifications (wouldn't it be great if....) that do not make any allowances for weight and trim changes. Some of these would have changed trim by so much that the bows would have gone right under (I do work these things out you know!!!). As for the topweight......

The next group try to make the weights add up so that the net total comes out the same. These look more convincing but usually fall foul of stability and stress calculations. A large area of weight carried high will not compensate for a small area carried lower even though the totals add up to the same. Stress is a real swine to accommodate, especially with the BBs. The weight of those turrets was so great that the hull was virtually designed around the stress loadings they imposed.

If a conversion system is going to work, not only have the weights got to add up but they have to do so in roughly the same places. If the pressure waves around the hull are distorted, they cease to interact properly and the wave-making resistance shoots up. Suddenly, there is an acute loss of speed.

Another nasty point about gun turrets and their weight. The weight of the turret and its barbette are carried by the ship's keel - its the only thing strong enough to do it. There has to be the correct level of buoyancy at those points to support the turrets. Now, take the turret out, that added buoyancy arches that part of the ship's spine upwards and CRACK - gurgle gurgle.
These ships are 70 year old plus.
Hopefully they will survive a long time as museums but realistically has now been decades since returning them to service has been anything but a pipe dream.
Hence while above is fascinating now only of academic interest
 

RanulfC

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These ships are 70 year old plus.
Hopefully they will survive a long time as museums but realistically has now been decades since returning them to service has been anything but a pipe dream.
Hence while above is fascinating now only of academic interest
Wait... Are you implying that the Navy isn't going to take my nuclear powered, hydrofoil Iowa redesign seriously because the ships are OLD?!?!? I am SHOCKED, yes SHOCKED that they would take such an offensive attitude towards my obvioulsy superior idea... Shocked I say!

What's next? Tearing apart my idea of mounting 5 inch gun turrets on Strykers for amphibious operations? PHfft, some people have no imaginations....

Randy :)
 

Foo Fighter

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Well, my bread pudding body armour was denied so I suppose it was inevitable.
 

kaiserd

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If anyone knows a military looking to buy some “throwing-rocks” (tm) I know a guy...
 

Foo Fighter

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Rocks, the UAV of the future. Cheap and literally throwaway....
 
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