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US Navy Submarine Extendible Turret System (SETS)

Triton

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Submarine Extendible Turret System by CR Wallin, DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY WASHINGTON DC (Dec 30, 1996)

Disclosed is an armored, turret like module configured for axial extension from a stowed position within the hull of a submarine. The turret would mount one or more remote controlled guns, as well as communications devices and sensors to support short range engagement with surface or air contacts. A complete, gun based weapon system concept, including command and combat control elements within the submarine control room, is intended. Other useful applications of this extendible turret system are also disclosed. For example, by such means personnel may also be transferred from within the ship to the outside world, via the turret while submerged.

Handle / proxy Url:http://handle.dtic.mil/100.2/ADD018404
 

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Nik

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My initial thought was that this notion dated from 'Cold War' and recently thawed. But, no, it reads as 'modern'...

And turret is too big for a laser comm 'ground-station', though I suppose it might hold something like the 'airborne laser' system...

Um, the prospect of one of these popping up alongside pirate or smuggler is like something out of a 'Bond' movie...
 

Triton

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The Clinton Administration's Nuclear Posture Review, circa 1994, recommended that the Trident nuclear force be adjusted from 18 submarines to 14. Because the Submarine Extended Turret System (SETS) is designed to use an existing ballastic missile tube and was patented in 1996, I presume that it was an idea for a possible conversion of USS Ohio (SSBN-726), USS Michigan (SSBN-727), USS Florida (SSBN-728) and/or USS Georgia (SSBN-729). All four of these submarines underwent conversion to guided missile submarines (SSGN).
 

ouroboros

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There is a presentation PDF or slides floating around the forum here for a SSGN tube module for a VGS/AGS system to put a 155mm vertical gun tube in a SSGN missile tube firing advances guided projectiles for long range dispatchable guided strike, ostensibly to support special forces teams inserted by the SSGN. I suppose the difference between SETS and the VGS module is that SETS provides the potential for direct fire application (though you have to be in a strange situation to really need that using conventional rounds), and the lower cost of ammunition as conventional rounds could be used (copperhead rounds are pretty expensive, since they essentially have a missile's seeker and steering mechanism, and have to survive gun launch). That would come at the price of reduced magazine size because of the turret mechanism itself, or a complex side reload capability by using a matched ammo module in the missile tube on the opposite side.

Though if people were serious about using missile tube gun modules, wouldn't it be better to a wait a little for the Navy railgun work to finish, since the SSGN's have a nuke to trickle charge the powerbank/homopolar generators for the railgun? VGS style module would be simpler and better matched to the kinetics of a railgun especially since you can dial the muzzle velocity to get a multiple round simultaneous strike. Though a turret also has attractive properties if time to strike is important.
 

Brickmuppet

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Regards firing AGS from a boomer.
I've seen that powerpoint. It is not actually for the AGS but the 5" vertical gun prototype. It has IIRC 96-100 rounds per gun in a helical feed magazine that fit around the barrel in the missile tube. The round (IIRC) was actually to be ERGM...making it academic at this point.
I think it was lost when my home was destroyed last month, however, if I find it I'll post it.
 

JohnR

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Seem's like a stupid way to loose an expensive submarine to me!
 

sabbers

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a newbie, so be gentle with me

It's not such a mad idea

The big buzzword for US naval warfare is Littoral warfare, fighting in the narrow waters that are close to the coast, ie good old fashioned naval bombardment.
In the past this was done by monitors - typicly the biggest turret you could get with the biggest gun you could get from a scrapped batteleship and placed on a shallow draft hull. Ger right up to the beaxh and blow the sh*t out of anyone stupid enough to get close to it on the land.


In the 1930's the French built this

Surcouf1000.jpg
 

JohnR

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Yes but the point of a Monitor was that it was CHEAP.

They hull's were designed to be easy to build and relatively inexpensive. As you say many did have gun mounts taken from scrapped battleships - there were then the Monitors which used the 14" guns for the Salamis and purchased from Bethlehem Steel or spare 15" guns or the 18" gun from Furious.

Ultimately they were disposable ships, in much the same way as a destroyer, frigate or corvette.

This proposal puts a multi million dollar vessel into littoral waters where they could be more easily discovered. One of the design strengths of the Ohio class is that they are hard to find in deep water, to put them into shallow littoral waters would be stupid if not criminal.
 

TomS

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The proposed design (VGAS, not SETS) had a range of something around 100 miles, IIRC, so it wouldn't necessarily put the shooting platform all that close to shore.

And of course, the Ohios SSGNs are also being used for SEAL support, which takes them relatively close to shore as well. So either the USN is stupid or they know things about submarine operations in the littoral that you don't.
 

Grey Havoc

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Might be worth developing further for those US 'export SSK' proposals that have been floating around for the last decade or so. Although I doubt there is currently the political will to actually start cutting any metal. Mustn't annoy Russia and the PRC at any cost you know...
 

Grey Havoc

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Abraham Gubler said:
On VGAS the barrels are fixed and do not elevate or train. The system is designed to only fire guided rounds like the BAE Systems 155mm Long Range Land Attack Projectiles (LRLAP). These rounds only need to be fired straight up and into the air and will turn and guide themselves to targets on any bearing (360 degrees).

It was a great disaster for the US Navy and allies that VGAS was turned into AGS on the whim of an Admiral. Just so the new 155mm gun could fire conventional ammunition, of course the cost of developing a trainable turret meant there was no money to develop the conventional ammunition it could fire and the resulting system (AGS) was so big and heavy you needed a special ship to carry it.

You can read more about how VGAS works in this paper on a submarine mounted version: the Compact Vertical Gun System (CVGS) proposal for the Ohio SSGN conversion.

www.dtic.mil/ndia/gun/martin.pdf

Paper not currently available online at DTIC; Here's a saved version that Abraham provided: http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=689.0;attach=80643
 

Graham1973

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Interesting, I've seen a similar concept in fiction.

In Douglas Reeman's 'The Greatest Enemy' (1970) the climactic battle involves a Chinese submarine with a retractable rocket launcher mounted ahead of the conning tower. The submarine is sunk because damage to the launcher prevents them from retracting it into the hull, giving time for the frigate it is fighting to ram it.

Also for a more pulpish idea there is the submarine drawn by the late Peter Elson in this thread:

http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,16075.0.html

Which has a Phalanx gatling gun mounted aft of the conning tower.
 

Grey Havoc

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Triton said:
The Clinton Administration's Nuclear Posture Review, circa 1994, recommended that the Trident nuclear force be adjusted from 18 submarines to 14. Because the Submarine Extended Turret System (SETS) is designed to use an existing ballistic missile tube and was patented in 1996, I presume that it was an idea for a possible conversion of USS Ohio (SSBN-726), USS Michigan (SSBN-727), USS Florida (SSBN-728) and/or USS Georgia (SSBN-729). All four of these submarines underwent conversion to guided missile submarines (SSGN).

SETS was probably in direct competition with the SLATACMS proposal in that regard.
 

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