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Naval Gun Projects

TomS

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Yes, a Sprucan could have carried one Mk 71 (not two, because there's not enough height under the aft mount, supposedly). The forward VLS would have been smaller, if it was included at all.
 

thebig C

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Hey Gang
I am having a little trouble (and finding conflicting information) regarding Bofors in-house designed cupola for the 40mm L60/L70 from the 1970s/1980s. Some sources indicate that there was a cupola which resembled the 57mm turret housing.?? Others sources seem to suggest that in this era most 40mms were "uncovered" and any cupola was individually custom built (Eg Norway).??
Likewise, I believe Mauser supplied Turrets for 40mm in this era possibly for the West German and Finnish Navies?
Many thanks
C
 

TomS

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There was a stealthy cupola offered for the Trinity 40mm (also marketed as 40mm Mark 3, IIRC) that looks much like the SAK 57 Mk 3 cupola, but that would have been later -- 1990s/2000s rather than 70s/80s. That is illustrated here:

http://www.navweaps.com/Weapons/WNSweden_4cm-70_m1948_pics.htm

Before that, there were several covers, and they do seem to have varied by navy. The Germans certainly had a fairly extensive cupola, which may well have been local and was not the same as seen on other navies. The Swedish navy had a different design that looks like a cover on top of an open gun tub. Here are a couple of videos that illustrate the differences:

German: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g4CBZIA8rbA

Swedish: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ShE15zLo-Q&feature=related
 

TimothyC

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TomS said:
Yes, a Sprucan could have carried one Mk 71 (not two, because there's not enough height under the aft mount, supposedly). The forward VLS would have been smaller, if it was included at all.
It would have been a 29 cell VLS ( four 8-cell blocks minus the three for the crane) as opposed to the 61 cell ( eight 8-cell blocks, minus the three cells for the crane).
 

thebig C

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Hey TomS :)

Thanks for that additional info. I think that German cupola could be the Mauser example I referenced, which I believe was also used by the Finnish. The "Swedish" variant you show may actually be Danish as the Danes operated the Peder Skram Class frigates from the 1960s-1990s. Interestingly, the Peder Skram example does look like a "home-made" solution. This is exacly what the Norwegians did with their Oslo class frigates, namely covered the original guns with reinforced plastic covers.
I can't locate any Swedish example as even their small missile boats from the 70s/80s used 57mm. That coupled with the fact that foreign Navies were manufacturing their own gun covers and that Otomalera moved so decisively to liscence 40mm units may indicate that Bofors didn't manufacture their own version??!!

C
 

TomS

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Of course you're right about the Peder Skram being Danish -- no idea why I thought they were Swedish ships. Brain fart, I guess.


I just had a look through my old Jane's Weapon Systems books from the mid-1970s and 1980s. The 1984-85 volume says the manually operated L70 could be supplied with a plastic weather shield. There's a photo that looks very much like the Peder Skram cover above (the same photo is also in the 1974-75 edition). Given how Jane's generally works (collecting info from the manufacturers), I'd guess this actually was a factory option, not a local improvisation.
 

thebig C

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Thanks again Tom.....don't worry about the Brain-fart.....happens to the best of us:)
Your deduction based on the Janes reference would seem to make sense! I am still fairly certain that I had read that the Norwegians manufactured their own solution for the Oslo class. Also, the fact that only a plastic "weather shield" was offered indicates that there was not a more permanent alternative. I suppose in the 1970s at least some naval ships still had uncovered bridges....so an uncovered gunmount was not considered a hardship!:)
C
 

Abraham Gubler

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Coastal Forces System Mark 2

The gun armament of coastal force craft had for many years been a combination of automatic weapons up to 40 mm calibre and some larger guns such as the six pounder (57mm) and 4.5” (113 mm). The bigger weapons had greater hitting power but doubtful accuracy when used from the poor gun platform provided by a fast moving boat in a seaway. After the war attention was directed to the design of a gun mounting and control system suitable for coastal forces from which the Coastal Forces System Mark 2 (CFS2) was evolved. CFS2 was a fully stabilised, power operated mounting comprising a 3.3” (84 mm) Mk 1N gun on a Mk 1 mounting, with a combined tachometric and eye shooting sight. It was designed for surface vessel engagements and had a training arc of ±135° with a maximum elevation of 20° and maximum depression of 15°. The mounting was normally controlled by the aimer using visual aiming and joystick control. Either navigational radar range or estimated range could be used in the computing mechanism and target bearing indication could be received from either a sight or a navigation radar.

The mounting was a development from the STAAG [Stabilized Tachymetric Anti Aircraft Gun] principles and the gun carried in the standard Centurion tank (20 pounder). It was of 3.3” (84mm) calibre and had a muzzle velocity of 2,600 fps (793 mps), together with a rate of fire of 10 to 14 rounds per minute. The projectile weighed 17 lb 3 oz (7.79 kg) with a total ammunition weight of 34 lb 4 oz (15.54 kg), this being the maximum weight a man could be expected to handle when being subjected to vertical accelerations of the order of 2-3 G, likely to be experienced at the forward gun position in fast patrol boats. The maximum range was 5,000 yards (4,572 m), with an effective range of just 3,000 yards (2,743 m).

Trials of the prototype mounting in HMS Bold Pioneer demonstrated that very high accuracy and rate of fire could be maintained even at high speed in a seaway. This considerable achievement brought its penalty in weight, power, and complication. The weight of the mounting was approximately 6 tons 3 cwt (5,596 kg), excluding ammunition and the three man crew and the power requirements were 220 V DC at 8.5 kW.

Development of the CFS2 was abandoned as part of the RN’s decision not to maintain coastal forces.

From Les Brown’s http://www.smallwarshipgroup.org.uk/.
 

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zen

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Always feel its a bit of a shame more wasn't made of the CFS 2 weapon.
 

Sea Skimmer

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It is a neat weapon but the single purpose capability would have doomed it even if the RN had maintained coastal forces; they were historically abandon in 1956 right along with the last coastal artillery? Such guns would have been rapidly surpassed by weapons like SS.12 which had more range, far greater hitting power and perhaps most importantly far less ship impact. That's the conclusion reached by the USN anyway which kept up work on coastal craft for a considerable period of time to screen invasion forces against Soviet torpedo boats, and ultimately did field some armed with wire guided missiles. The French also got the weapon on a number of other platforms besides the RN using AS.12 on its helicopters ect. Surprisingly or unsurprisingly in view of the size of the target vs the size of a tank, they proved reasonably accurate when fired at sea.
 

zen

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Not sure its that simple. RN did feel that a gun is cheaper to fire off, even if its more costly to purchase and maintain. Training was simpler and well established.


Then there is the small matter that every now and again this sort of weapon raises its head. Such as the Type 19, and the Castles.
For a quick shot against fast boats, it seems more effective than the larger 4.5".


And then there is the curious proximity of 3"/70 for AAA.


And finally I note that the French used a 100mm main gun, and the Italians persevered with their own 3" albeit in a lower caliber.


And of course even today the Italians are working on the 76mm/64
 

TomS

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IMO, it's not the gun per se, it's that this specific gun was a single-purpose anti-surface mount; most of the other guns you mentioned were dual-role anti-air/anti-surface weapons. The equivalent Bofors 76mm low-angle gun never sold very well, for example.
 

Sea Skimmer

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Yeah exactly, were talking about a single purpose, non automatic, mount intended specifically for very small vessels. This is a very small niche, and one that small missiles could fill better. If you needed a gun for simple police work against say a sampan, then 40mm or even 20mm would work fine and provide AA defense which is critically lacking in small vessels of all types. The smallest vessels you see a weapon like the Italian automatic DP 76mm on are generally already in the 400+ ton range, multiple times the size of the war era motor gunboats the weapon in question seems to have been aimed at.


Wire guided missiles like SS.12 are very cheap in any case, and you could make training even cheaper by firing the smaller SS.11 which had near identical guidance. T
 

thebig C

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Interesting post Abraham.
Some cojent points made regarding its effective single use. I think the comparison to the Bofors 76mm is apt.
However, given that the Oto 76mm and indeed Bofors 76mms have undergone several upgrades and incarnations, its entirely possible that had CFS2 been proceeded with it could have developed into a true multi-role weapon.
Much has been made of the anti-air role of the 76mm however, its debatable if the majority of its users actually use it for this purpose. In fact its notable that smaller calibre weapons such as 20/25/30/35/40mm are all use for CIWS purposes and missile systems are usually used to target aircraft. In general the 76mm is now used as a primary main armament.
For example, the Irish Naval Service which is a coastguard type navy the use the 76 on their OPVs. The advantage of the 84mm, would be it could have potentially provided a more powerful main gun to smaller Navies without the expense of upgunning to 100mm and above. It could also prove more effective against land based targets.
When the Castles were being commissioned wasn't there a rumour that they would be a test platform for a new primary armament??

C
 

Sea Skimmer

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The specified shell weight is all of three pounds heavier then typical 3in weapons, this is not a measurable advantage for shore bombardment and muzzle velocity is nothing exceptional either. Inferior to the postwar 60-70cal 3in weapons and not that far ahead of a US wartime 3in 50cal. This is a tank gun put to sea, not some super powerful weapon.
Of course you might develop it into a completely different mounting, but this would then completely defeat the original point of the design by greatly increasing size and weight as well as invaliding the requirement for easily man handled ammunition. At that point it might as well get a longer barrel too, and higher velocity ammunition while you're at it. This is in any case just a validation of my assertion that CFS2 was doomed, if you think in terms of a totally different 84mm gun then sure, go ahead. As for use, I’d argue that use of the 76mm as a main armament simply reflects how marginal guns have become for any role and that the need for dedicated anti aircraft CIWS mounts shows just how serious the air threat became. Italy in any case, inventor of the OTO 76mm and earlier Allargato mount thinks very highly of it as a secondary armament. Its primary armament on a Horizon sure but with multiple guns specifically to facilitate AAW use.
Also looking around a little, navweapons claims that CFS2 was found to be too heavy for the intended coastal craft. I have no idea if this is true, but I can easily believe it would be if it was being intended for craft not much bigger then wartime motor gunboats.
 

Abraham Gubler

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The CFS2 was very different to the Oto Gun. The CFS2 was a stabilised gun mount with the same 20 pounder gun as fitted to the Centurion tank (later rebored to become the world famous 105mm L7 tank gun). It was manually loaded and aimed unlike the Oto Gun which fired automatically from an under deck carousel and needed a fire control system to find targets.

The CFS2 was to go to sea on the Brave class MTB/MGBs and the deck plan drawings above show it fitted. Those Brave class built all had 40mm Bofors guns except the three for Libya which had a heavier anti boat armament. This was SS.12 guided missile launchers which replaced the CFS2 capability. The missiles replaced the torpedos enabling these boats to retain the fore and aft 40mm guns. Each side of the bridge were racks for four SS.12s each and a stabilised sight forward of the open bridge connected to a gunner’s seat underneath in the pilot house. The SS.12 put a 63 lbs warhead onto a target out to 6,600 yards with high accuracy with a well-trained controller. This is far better performance than the CFS2 in the anti Komar/Osa role.
 

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Petrus

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Abraham Gubler said:
Each side of the bridge were racks for four SS.12s each
The racks could have taken both SS.12 and SS.11 missiles, as may be seen in the photo attached to your post. If I am not mistaken the French tried a similar system, albeit with a trainable launcher, aboard their (experimental) Combattante-class boats. And there were some, also experimental vehicle-mounted installations with the SS.12 as well as the SS.11.
It seems that both types of missiles used the same guidance system.

Piotr
 

RP1

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I've been scanning...


First up, a proposed Phalanx development with twin 25mm CTA and a big fat belly. Source: IDR 6/1990.


Secondly a land-based Phalanx with what look like twin Stingers on either side. Source: IDR 5/1987. Little additional information other than; trailer or truck carriage, intended for defence of airfields from PGM such as guided bombs, ARM and cruise missiles.


- RP1
 

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jsport

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RP1 said:
I've been scanning...


First up, a proposed Phalanx development with twin 25mm CTA and a big fat belly. Source: IDR 6/1990.


Secondly a land-based Phalanx with what look like twin Stingers on either side. Source: IDR 5/1987. Little additional information other than; trailer or truck carriage, intended for defence of airfields from PGM such as guided bombs, ARM and cruise missiles.


- RP1
WOW, thank you RP1 for the posting... :) :D ;D
 

RP1

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United Defense NG^2 155mm gun, advert that ran in USNI Proceedings in the latter part of the 1990s. No additional info other than what's on the image.


RP1


[Edited to add 3-view drawing from another advert]
 

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RP1

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FMC's 155mm Vertical Load Gun. From an advert and article in USNI Proceedings, July 1983.


The article is largely a discussion of the advantages of 155mm. From the advert, the 155mm VLG would "weigh about the same as current 5-inch lightweight guns" and have "40% fewer components".


RP1


Reference: Lt Col (Rtd) Michael L Mosbrooker & Lt Col (Rtd) John A Murray, USMC, "The Naval Gun: Encore! Encore!, USNI Proc. July 1983
 

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JFC Fuller

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BAE Third generation Maritime Fire (TMF) support gun presentation courtesy of DTIC:
 

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jsport

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RP1 said:
FMC's 155mm Vertical Load Gun. From an advert and article in USNI Proceedings, July 1983.


The article is largely a discussion of the advantages of 155mm. From the advert, the 155mm VLG would "weigh about the same as current 5-inch lightweight guns" and have "40% fewer components".


RP1


Reference: Lt Col (Rtd) Michael L Mosbrooker & Lt Col (Rtd) John A Murray, USMC, "The Naval Gun: Encore! Encore!, USNI Proc. July 1983
Thanks for posting
Seems like a great idea.
 

Matt R.

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RP1 said:
FMC's 155mm Vertical Load Gun. From an advert and article in USNI Proceedings, July 1983.

The article is largely a discussion of the advantages of 155mm. From the advert, the 155mm VLG would "weigh about the same as current 5-inch lightweight guns" and have "40% fewer components".

RP1

Reference: Lt Col (Rtd) Michael L Mosbrooker & Lt Col (Rtd) John A Murray, USMC, "The Naval Gun: Encore! Encore!, USNI Proc. July 1983
Vertical Loading System for a Gun Mount, Patent EP0058814A2, FMC Corporation, January 1982
 

Grey Havoc

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A postcard which I discovered in my files recently. It shows an exhibit in the Crystal Palace in London, probably during the Great War Exhibition of 1920. The photo’s title is:

REPLICA OF THE WORLD’S BIGGEST GUN, ITS PROJECTILES AND CHARGE

The four projectiles shown are stencilled as follows (from left to right):
18 IN MK 1A A.P.C. FUZED
18 IN MK 1A H.E. FUZED
18 IN MK 1A SHRAPNEL FUZED
18 IN MK 1A C.P.C. FUZED

The topmost of the six propellant charges stacked up is labelled: 18 IN BL 105 LB CORDITE MD SIZE 45 1/6 CHARGE

A comparison with other gun photos, plus the six charges (which represent the full charge: 6 x 105 lb = 630 lb total charge) confirm that this replica is of the 18 inch naval gun which saw RN service in WW1, not the later, less powerful, howitzer. The shrapnel shell was presumably developed for its ultimate purpose of shore bombardment. The shells weighed in at 3,320 lbs (1506 kg).

More details about the gun and its ammunition are here: http://www.navweaps.com/Weapons/WNBR_18-40_mk1.php

View attachment 616245
 

ceccherini

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Has anyone information about the WW2 era German naval gun projects above 16", such as the 48 cm and 51 cm of the late H class proposals? I vaguely remember of a Krupp 1934 project for a 45 cm/L52 gun and two 1942 projects for 45 cm and 50 cm naval guns both of 60 calibers length but I've not more information nor I ever saw any drawing related.
 

Grey Havoc

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Does anybody have any information or images on the Vickers GBN? It was a 155mm designed for naval use and was unveiled in 1983, it was a counterpart to the GBT turret that eventually evolved into the AS90, both derived from UK work on SP70. In 1991 Vickers displayed a mock-up of what they called the N155-2000, basically a 155mm version of the 4.5 inch Mk8, I assume using Vickers UFH (Ultralight Field Howitzer- eventually became M777) barrel, basically the same as what BAE has been playing with recently through the 155mm TMF before it was abandoned in 2010.

N155-2000. This concept is a private venture of VSEL
based on the 155 mm field artillery and coast defense
artillery developments, but intended purely for naval
gunfire support. No N155-2000s have actually been
produced to date. The weapon would have a 52 caliber
air-cooled barrel. The barrel length would be 8.06
meters, and the weapon would be of monobloc
construction, featuring a muzzle brake and fume
extractor. This model would be similar to the Mk 8 but
able to depress farther into enemy territory. Consequently,
the turret would have a height of only 3.3
meters. The below-decks components would be similar
to those of the N114-2000.


The N155-2000 would have the full range of rounds
currently associated with the different 155 mm
howitzers, weighing about 43.5 kilograms. The
mounting would be capable of bursts of 10 rounds per
minute and would be able to fire at a sustained rate of
3 rpm. The traverse range has been stated as 300
degrees, as opposed to the N114’s 340 degrees, while
the elevation is from -15 to +80 degrees. Mounting
weight has been quoted as 23.5 tonnes, and the muzzle
velocity as 945 mps. The projectile weight would be 43
kilograms each, and the rate of fire only 10 rpm, while
the range would be 30 km/40 km (the latter with the ER round).
 

Tony Williams

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First up, a 35mm CIWS proposal presented at the 1991 US Navy League show.

Source: Navy International, November 1991, Vol 96, No 11, Publ: Maritime World Limited

EDIT
Some information from the same source:

• GD proposal to use GE Cased Telescoped ORDALT 35mm weapon system.
• 8 barrels.
• 8000rpm.
• Balanced linkless feed holding 1200 APDS rounds.
• Nearly 6x on target energy per shot compared with 20mm Phalanx.
• Dispersion of less than 1mrad.
• MV greater than 1130m/s.
Is there any more information or illustrations of the ammunition?
 

Tzoli

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In the book
Identification of the Parameters of Naval Artillery by K. R. Crawford, N. W. Mitiukov
There is some data about other German "Gerät" cannons apart from the 53cm Gerät 36:
and 5,5cm Gerät 58:

The book mentions these weapons:
40cm SKL/35 Gerät 11, apparently intended for the Derfflinger and König classes
400mm shells with a 885m/s muzzle velocity of a 735kg mass both APC and SAP

34cm SKL/45 Gerät 10 again for the Derfflinger and König classes
337mm shells with a 835m/s muzzle velocity of a 535kg mass both APC and SAP

Do you guys know about these?
 
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