Thursday, November 2, 2023

What’s Old is New Again

The cruiser’s six 8” guns trained and elevated, aimed at an uninhabited piece of rock rising from the ocean.  The guns paused, ever so briefly, and then roared as a salvo of six 260 lb high capacity (HC) shells exploded out of the barrels and arced towards the rocky target some 30,000 yds (17 miles) away. This was just a routine daily function check but within the next 24 hours it would be real.
8" Guns of the USS Des Moines

The US and China were at war after China had initiated the long anticipated ‘reunification’ assault on Taiwan.  The two sides were now locked in an ongoing battle for Taiwan that was eerily reminiscent of Guadalcanal as both sides sought to reinforce the island.  While it might not be Ironbottom Sound, the waters to the east and west of the island were littered with the sunken hulks of dozens of naval vessels of both sides.
As part of the invasion, China had seized the large northern Philippine island of Luzon and established naval and air bases on the northern Philippine islands, thereby protecting the southern flank of their Taiwan assault.
The US was determined to eliminate the Philippine bases and sites so as to open the southern flank of the Taiwan invasion to counterattacks.  The mission cried out for massive cruise missile strikes but the US cruise missile inventory had been severely depleted during the first four weeks of the war.  Though it should have been easily anticipated, it had come as a shock to the Navy that much of the missile inventory depletion had been the result of ships being sunk with most of their inventory still aboard and so it was that much of the Navy’s cruise missile inventory was sitting at the bottom of the ocean in unexpended VLS cells on sunken ships.  Any available cruise missiles were dedicated to the main Taiwan defensive effort and, as a result, there were none available for the Philippine operation.
The Chinese bases in the Philippines were heavily defended by SAM batteries and aircraft and the few US aircraft attacks had been failures.  As with the cruise missiles, the bulk of available US aircraft were dedicated to the immediate Taiwan action and only an occasional raid could be mounted against the Philippine bases.  China was managing to rebuild and repair the bases almost as quickly as the US could inflict minor damage.
With insufficient cruise missiles, and industry being unable to supply new stocks in any useful time frame, the US decided to attack the Chinese forces in the Philippines using the old fashioned method of large caliber naval guns, an option made possible by the recent – and much maligned - construction program of a small class of 8” gunned cruisers.
A task force of 8” gunned cruisers and Burke escorts was assigned to approach the Philippines from the southeast while a carrier group provided an electromagnetic ‘beacon’ to the northeast as a diversion.  By working its way up the Philippine islands, the cruiser task force was hidden, to an extent, in the electromagnetic shadow of the islands.  Along with strict EMCON, the cruiser group was as well hidden as was possible.
The task force cut across the Philippines south of Leyte, through the Surigao Strait, then north into the Visayan Sea and then west to emerge around the southern tip of Mindoro, 150 miles south of Manila where the Chinese were operating a large logistics and naval base.  The group then headed north, hugging the coast of Mindoro until reaching the small island of Lubang and rounded it on the eastern side, finally emerging just 60 miles south of Manila.
At this point, the escorting Burkes split off from the cruisers and proceeded at full speed for Manila, tasked with shooting up the various port facilities and ships and, most importantly, to act as bait for the main Chinese naval force tasked with protecting the Taiwan assault’s southern flank.
About 30 minutes into the Burke’s high speed dash for Manila, they were finally spotted by a patrolling plane which was approaching Manila to land after returning from a patrol.  Having finally succeeded in attracting the Chinese attention, one of the Burkes promptly activated its radar and shot the plane down with a Standard SM-6.  The entire group then began radiating and shooting any aircraft that appeared, thereby ensuring that the Chinese would take notice and respond.

The Chinese task force protecting the Philippines and the southern Taiwan flank and operating about 300 miles to the northwest of Manila, was surprised at the reported appearance of a US surface group closing on Manila.  They immediately turned south, racing to meet the US destroyer group but it would be about two hours before the Chinese group would be close enough to launch their few anti-ship cruise missiles.  China was suffering from the same shortage as the US although superior industrial production allowed them to allocate at least a few cruise missiles to the Philippine portion of the invasion operation.
Arriving at Manila, the Burkes sailed into Manila Bay.  A Chinese Type 052D destroyer (roughly equivalent to a smaller Burke) was docked, undergoing emergency repairs from damage received supporting the Taiwan assault.  The Burkes spent about ten minutes concentrating their 5” fire on the helpless destroyer but had no weapons capable of quickly sinking the ship, however, their concentrated fire did leave the ship a blazing hulk.  Having accomplished that, they quickly shifted their focus to other targets.
Dozens of merchant ships of various types lined the docks and piers but, again, lacking heavy torpedoes or large caliber guns, the Burkes could not do serious damage to them and opted, instead, to concentrate on the shore facilities.  The facilities, being largely ‘soft’ targets were susceptible to 5” gunfire but the fact that the Burkes only had a single 5” gun each severely limited the amount of damage they could do.  Nevertheless, the Burkes moved as close as possible to the shore, shooting targets of opportunity with their 5” guns at near zero range. 
As the Chinese task force reached its maximum launch range of around 250 miles the commander faced a difficult tactical choice:  should he shoot his limited supply of anti-ship cruise missiles first with a good general location of the targets but no precise targeting or wait until he had precise targeting and risk the US getting in the first shot?
The commander opted to shoot first, believing that the missile’s on-board intelligence would find and prioritize the targets.  Better, he thought, to get in the first shot, even if it was less effective than it might be if he waited. 
About three dozen of YJ-18 anti-ship cruise missiles were quickly launched and began their 20 minute, Mach 0.8 cruise toward the US ships in Manila.
Having received a near real time launch warning from one of the few remaining dedicated surveillance satellites, the Burkes used the intervening fifteen minutes to release floating decoys into the harbor and then, literally, sailed up against port facilities, physically touching docks and shore facilities as they waited for the incoming missiles to arrive.
As the attacking missiles reached the target area and began their Mach 2+ terminal sprint, their electronic brains were confused and overwhelmed by the many dozens of decoys and ships of all types in their fields of view.  Worse, their IR and Electro-optical sensors were overwhelmed by the sheer number of heat sources and large, potentially valid images presented by the burning buildings and port facilities.  The terminal Mach 2+ speed worked against the missiles by hugely reducing the amount of time the missile’s onboard processors had to discriminate the intended targets.  In the handful of seconds the missiles had to find a target, only one missile locked on to a Burke (probably just by random chance).  The missiles began impacting on merchant ships and dock facilities.  The single targeted Burke launched two ESSM defensive missiles, one of which exploded near enough to deflect the attacking missile into the water.
After launching their anti-ship missiles, the Chinese task force continued at high speed towards Manila to mop up whatever US destroyers survived the initial attack.  Having survived the Chinese attack unscathed, the US destroyer group opted to remain in the harbor rather than emerge to meet the on-coming Chinese task force.  This denied the Chinese ships any clear targeting and forced them to close to visual distance for identification and targeting for both anti-ship missiles and the Chinese 130mm (5.1”) guns.
As this was happening, the US cruiser group had been sprinting up from the south at maximum speed.  The Chinese commander, his attention completely focused on the US destroyers and the battle in front of him, did not detect the cruisers approaching from his rear.  His sensors, helos, and UAVs were all directed towards the destroyers he believed were now trapped in Manila harbor.  The first inkling he had of the presence of the US cruisers was the sudden sprouting of enormous water columns as the initial 8” salvos arrived from about 20 miles away.
The Chinese group was now caught between the rapidly closing cruiser group to the south and the island to the north.  There was nowhere to run and any attempt to do so would only grant the US cruisers, with their longer ranged guns, a sustained range advantage.  The Chinese commander turned toward the cruisers, attempting to close to within gun range of his ship’s 130 mm guns.  Outranged and having expended all their anti-ship missiles in the failed attack on the Burkes, the Chinese ships were reduced to firing surface to air missiles in surface mode until they could close the range.
A few of the missiles got through the ship’s defenses but the cruiser’s extensive armor and redundant systems mitigated damage to little more than an annoyance.  The cruiser’s fire control sensors, in particular, were redundant several times over and the loss of an occasional sensor caused no problem.  The Chinese would get no easy mission kill by disabling the cruiser’s sensors.
As the opposing groups continued to close, the naval gun battle that the US Navy (and, to be fair, the rest of the world) believed could never occur, took place.  Each US cruiser was armed with three dual 8” gun mounts totaling 6 guns per ship.  Each cruiser, firing 10 rds per minute per gun, rained 60 shells per minute on its selected target.  Within minutes, 8” hits were carving out huge chunks from the thin-skinned Chinese destroyers.  The Chinese, firing at extreme range, registered hits but, as was the case with the missiles, the 5” shells did little significant damage to the heavily armored US ships.  In contrast, the Chinese ship’s unarmored 130 mm guns, protected only by thin weather shields, were quickly put out of action by simple shrapnel and the Chinese ships were rapidly rendered toothless.
The US destroyers, by remaining inside the harbor, eliminated the possibility of friendly fire concerns and the cruisers were free to fire at any target they could detect.  This kind of simple battle plan eliminated the otherwise certain confusion of identification in battle and ensured the cruiser’s maximum effectiveness.
By the time the cruisers closed to within a few miles, there was nothing left of the Chinese task force except a few burning, sinking hulks.
With the Chinese task force eliminated, the Burkes rejoined the cruisers and the task force began its main mission of shelling the various Chinese bases, weapons, and sensors in the area, to devastating effect.
Using numerous, small cruiser-launched UAVs for reconnaissance, the task force deliberately trolled for shots from the Chinese thereby enabling the cruiser’s counter-battery radars to pinpoint any sites that were previously unknown.  The sites, both artillery and missile, that attempted to fire on the task force were quickly silenced by the cruiser’s counter-battery capabilities which almost instantly dropped a rain of 8” shells on the offending sites. 
While the cruisers were kept busy methodically eliminating Chinese sites, the escorting Burke AAW destroyers provided a protective anti-missile umbrella for the group. 
For thirty hours, the group rampaged along the various coastlines, expending their nearly 1000 shells per cruiser and opening the southern flank for US forces to counterattack the Taiwan assault.


Disclaimer:  As always (and always ignored!), this is not a true combat simulation.  It is simply a more entertaining way to illustrate various points.
Points of discussion:
  • Depletion of cruise missile inventory in the first few weeks of war and the inability to replenish in any useful time frame is a vital aspect of any future war and one that is ignored by the Navy and overlooked by most analysts and yet will have profound impacts on strategy, operations, and tactics.  This story attempts to illustrate the issue and provide one consequence and adaptation.
  • Missile inventory loss due to sunken ships is another factor that is ignored by the Navy.  How many VLS cells should a ship have?  Where’s the balance between enough missiles for operations and too many, leading to inventory loss on sinking?  WWII ships were generally sunk with most of their shells unexpended in their magazines but the cost of replacement was low and the time required was short so the inventory loss due to sinking was acceptable.  Is that the case today?
  • In the story, guided gun rounds were ignored which, if they existed, would make the naval guns all that much more effective though at an increased cost.  Is guidance worth it?  We’ve seen we can’t maintain a sufficient guided missile inventory due to cost so why would we think we can maintain a sufficient guided, large caliber, naval shell production rate?  In the story, most rounds were expended against area targets which, again, leads one to question the value of guided rounds.  Guided shells specifically for anti-ship use might be warranted although one has to wonder what form of guidance would be practical during ship-to-ship combat?
  • The tactics presented in the story are a sharp departure from anything the Navy practices in its set-piece, worthless exercises.  We must begin exercising our tactical minds and expanding our tactical thinking.  Of course, this requires realistic exercises with free-thinking participants instead of exercises whose sole purpose is checking a box on a pre-deployment workup sheet or validating a pre-determined outcome and conclusion.


  1. "Where’s the balance between enough missiles for operations and too many, leading to inventory loss on sinking?"

    You showcased Burkes and gun cruisers as ships with separate missions. Your story might be another reinforcement of single purpose ships, where sunken ships only take their focused inventory to the bottom, and in their individual circumstances, mightve used much of their inventory doing their mission before loss. (For instance, AAW ships being saturated and lost wouldnt be carrying a heavy load of cruise missiles)
    On a lighter more personal note, love your fiction and I always get a warm fuzzy feeling when major caliber guns make a return and prove their worth... :)

    1. "I always get a warm fuzzy feeling when major caliber guns make a return"

      Warm and fuzzy ... high explosives! Yeah!

  2. A second thought in relation to shipboard inventory: im not sure if theres a "standard" loadout for the Burkes. But it seems that each time a VLS is loaded it should be mission-specific. How much of that the Navy does or will do is an important question. But its one that makes it clear that the return of destroyer tenders and/or other means of reloading ships in a forward area, and the means to have a varied inventory on hand to properly (re)arm them appropriately is somthing that needs more attention...

  3. What a terrific illustration of one way that ships with heavy artillery would be useful.

    For a real world example; how handy would it be to have modernized Des Moines class cruisers with 8" guns, or updated Iowa class with their 16" guns right now?

    They could be sitting off the coast Lebanon/Israel to dampen Hezbollah's enthusiasm for offensive operations, or cruising the Persian Gulf and threatening to blast Iranian coastal oil facilities.

    What useful assets those ships would be.


    1. "threatening to blast Iranian coastal oil facilities."

      Of course, threats are only effective if someone believes you'll carry out those threats. No one believes we'll do that so our threats are pointless. We could have every carrier we have parked off the coast of Iran and it wouldn't accomplish anything because they know we won't act.

      In order to be taken seriously, you have to occasionally follow through on a threat. When was the last time we followed through on a threat?

    2. "When was the last time we followed through on a threat?"

      Cue crickets chirping...


    3. When was the last time we followed through on a threat?

      Ugh...brain strain...
      Preying Mantis???
      Good point though. All the best hardware is useless if theres no will to use it. Danger-close fly-bys, unsafe navigation, etc...All things that should be handled in a more lethal way. And if theres escalation, so be it. We should be prepared to be the ones to act/shoot last. Those that are hand-wringing about escalation and keeping our responses meek or non-existent are doing us a great disservice.

    4. "Those that are hand-wringing about escalation and keeping our responses meek or non-existent are doing us a great disservice."

      Oh, they're doing far more damage than 'disservice'. Appeasement - which is what we're talking about - only encourages more aggression, as history has shown with 100% certainty. Our meek or non-existent responses only ensure future conflict.

  4. Absolutely. In spite of the Navy not owning the Iowas any more, its still an exciting daydream!!!
    But i will say that CNO nailed it with a modern twin 8" mount!!! Those are what I envision in pretty much every cruiser/DD design doodle...

  5. There are so many chunks of solid gold in this story:

    - shore bombardment of coastal facilities w/ naval artillery
    - destroying enemy ships with naval artillery
    - gaining tactical advantage via EMCON
    - economically using cruise missiles
    - not risking pilots unnecessarily
    - tactical consequences of running out of missiles
    - masking radar/EO/IR signatures through tactics
    - tradeoff disadvantage of supersonic missiles during terminal phase
    - the strategic value of the Philippines
    - missile inventories 'going down with the ship'
    - ship launched UAV recon assets
    - value of armor on warship
    - importance of redundancy in critical systems
    - single (or limited) purpose warships
    - recognizing that we will lose ships in a real shooting war
    - gunnery practice
    - value of outside-the-box thinking
    - value of surprise

    That's just off the top of my head.


  6. I like the stories, the bit about satellites felt optimistic but it still was a very interesting read.
    And it emphasizes the risks of sending a bunch of missiles to Ukraine/Israel/Elbonia/whomever when production rates are so low and stockpiles scarce even in peacetime.

  7. "Having received a near real time launch warning from one of the few remaining dedicated surveillance satellites, . . ."

    I realize this is a vignette, but whatever happened to our "surveillance technology is highly unreliable and ineffective"?

    1. "whatever happened to our "surveillance technology is highly unreliable and ineffective"

      Really??? You can't imagine a single surviving satellite being tasked to support an important mission?

      Or, maybe it's a submarine or a UAV or a B-2 stealth bomber or a combat canoe paddling after the Chinese fleet. Or, maybe it's a simple case of being able to predict where/when the enemy would attack.

      With all the great, discussion-worthy aspects of this scenario, that's what you choose to comment on? Arguably, the least important aspect?

      Come on ... do better. Contribute something worthwhile!

    2. I would envision that like UAV's, starlink will revolutionize the way surveillance is conducted. Why be reliant on one satellite when a constellation of cheap/easily replaced always present overhead small not easily targeted satellites

  8. the only criticism I have of the thesis is that your missing any interactions with aircraft or UAV. They most likely would be present in some way or another.

    1. " missing any interactions with aircraft or UAV."

      What type of aircraft/UAV do you envision and where would it come from given that Guam will almost certainly be rendered inoperable in the opening minutes of a conflict, Japan would be fighting for its life and have no aircraft to spare, and there are no carriers in this scenario?

      "They most likely would be present in some way or another."

      Well, that's a nice, completely vague statement. Now, support it with some details. What aircraft? Where would they come from? How would they get there?

    2. I would envision that if the cruisers were targeting Chinese airfields with gunfire, small and medium sized UAV's and a limited number of aircraft would still be available to them for attacks or surveillance.

      This scenario was plausible up until 2020 but today, i think that UAV's and that are relatively cheap and easy to build will lend themselves to being used in ways we haven't thought of yet.

  9. Alternative scenario
    The Chinese large constellation of 60 LEO radar satellites which had been launched specifically to cover the Philippines and Taiwan picked out the USN surface force, to confirm they used one of their limited numbers of high altitude pseudo satellites, by that time the gun cruisers had split off from the Burkes, the pseudo satellite which hadn't registered on the US ships in EMCON mode and Chinese using the targeting info from the pseudo satellite fired DF-17s at both groups, the gun cruisers were all sunk as not fitted with EW or missiles but the Burkes with EW, SM-6s and SM-3 Blk 1A managed to defend against the DF-17s and only one Burke was hit and the Admiral decided withdrew due to limited numbers of SM-6 and SM-3 remaining.

    1. "...the gun cruisers were all sunk as not fitted with EW or missiles..."

      What makes you think that the cruisers wouldn't have EW or missiles or any kind of defensive capability?


    2. "not fitted with EW or missiles"

      That would be an exceedingly poor design!

    3. Where do you draw the line in deciding what you fit to a single mission ship before it becomes an expensive multi-mission gold plated ship, would the CONOPS require the gun cruisers to fit Aegis, SPY-6, RAM, ESSM, SM-2, SM-6 and SM-3 Blk 1 plus SEWIP Blk 3 etc to defend against DF-17s etc

    4. "Where do you draw the line in deciding what you fit to a single mission ship before it becomes an expensive multi-mission gold plated ship"

      For starters, read this post:
      Single Versus Multi-Function Ships

      That should help you understand the distinction but, if still have questions, feel free to ask.

  10. "The Burkes spent about ten minutes concentrating their 5” fire on the helpless destroyer but had no weapons capable of quickly sinking the ship, . . ."

    We've used SMs to sink ships. Though expensive and risky, a few SM-6s would probably work. And, the ships in this story would not have had to close in and risk attack by shore defenses.

    1. "We've used SMs to sink ships. Though expensive and risky, a few SM-6s would probably work."

      Serious question; is an SM-6 enough missile to sink a ship?


    2. "We've used SMs to sink ships."

      Not that I'm aware of. The example of firing SMs at a vessel that I can think of is the attack on the Joshan (Kaman class patrol boat) during Operation Praying Mantis. The patrol boat was reportedly hit by five SMs and did not sink. A subsequent Harpoon missed and the boat was eventually sunk by naval gunfire.

      Five SMs failed to sink a patrol boat. SMs are not going to sink a ship.

      Do you know of an additional example?

    3. About a year ago, the fired an SM-6 as part of a sink exercise of the former USS Boone. True, other weapons were used, but an SM-6 is a lot bigger than the SM-2.

      But, why get close to shore and expose your gun cruisers to all sorts of threats when you can strike from afar?

    4. "part of a sink exercise"

      Do you understand what a SinkEx is??? The ship is prepared to sink with all watertight doors open, no working damage control measures, and no crew for damage control. Further, the ship is subjected to a series of weapons progressing from lightest to heaviest. By the time a missile hits, the ship has been hit many times by many weapons. From the Wiki description of the SinkEx,

      "... she was struck by two Harpoon anti-ship missiles fired by HMS Westminster and an SM-6 from USS Arleigh Burke. Meanwhile, from the air, she was struck by two Paveway IV laser-guided bombs from Royal Air Force Typhoon fighters, two JDAMs from US Air Force F-15 Eagles, a Martlet missile from Westminster's Wildcat helicopter and a Harpoon anti-ship missile from a US Navy P-8 Poseidon."

      The SM-6 contributed nothing to the sinking. It is ridiculous on your part to even attempt to offer that as an example of an SM as a ship-sinker.

      "when you can strike from afar?"

      Strike how? In the post scenario, there are no cruise missiles and Standard missiles have no land attack capability that I'm aware of.

      You need to significantly increase the quality of your comments.

    5. SM-6 has a 141-lb warhead, the SM-2 a 137-lb warhead. Not exactly a vast difference.

  11. Strong argument for at least two things:
    1) Restructuring the USN fleet from the numbers and types of ships that the Navy is currently proposing, and
    2) Return of the Fleet Problem exercises to test and develop tactics and strategies for operations such as this.

  12. "In the story, guided gun rounds were ignored which, if they existed, would make the naval guns all that much more effective though at an increased cost. Is guidance worth it?"

    We could install a Mk 71 8-inch gun on a Burke-class destroyer and fire guided and unguided shells against remote-controlled barges mocked up to resemble an enemy warship, under various conditions. Would we then be able to determine how much more effective a ship with six 8-inch guns would be?

    To protect the fleet against small threats, I'd like to see ship-mounted weapons tested against remote-controlled speedboats, again under various conditions. Weapons would include the 5-inch Mk 45 with the Mark 172 HE-ICM Cargo Round, Oto Melara Super Rapid 76 mm with Strales/DART, Bofors 57 mm (if it can be used with radar and/or thermal aiming systems, give it a chance), DARDO 40 mm, Oto Breda 40 mm two-barrel Fast Forty, Bushmaster 30 mm and 25 mm chain guns, M2 Browning, dual M2 Brownings, the GAU-19/A, and even the original GECAL 50. I'd also test radar-guided Hellfire missiles, and Carlton Meyer's NAVROC concept. I do not suggest there is a one size, fits all solution. Rather, this would be to identify the best solutions for different types of ship.

    "Where’s the balance between enough missiles for operations and too many, leading to inventory loss on sinking?"

    I suggest that all VLS modules be installed in an armored pocket so if the enemy gets lucky and the top of the module is struck, the blast goes up to the sky instead of into the hull. And if (for example) a guided missile cruiser absolutely, positively must have 128 VLS cells, it would be better to have four 32-cell modules than two 64-cell modules.

    This post proposes a relatively inexpensive AAW frigate with four 16-cell VLS modules.

    This post proposes a modern gun cruiser with 32 to 64 VLS modules.

    A heavy cruiser could accommodate a lot more than 64 cells. But after reading this blog for a while, I think if we are going to use VLS and the added vulnerability it brings, we may have to sacrifice some firepower to get more survivability. (Admittedly, that AAW frigate still has a lot of firepower and probably would be an excellent ship for its purpose.)

    1. "I suggest that all VLS modules be installed in an armored pocket so if the enemy gets lucky and the top of the module is struck, the blast goes up to the sky instead of into the hull."

      This is already the standard arrangement.

    2. "This is already the standard arrangement."

      I had hoped so. Good to know.

  13. Excellent post, the scenario is very believable and reminds me of other perfectly executed naval battles, with unique tactics. This is what the USA could still accomplish if it had good leadership and motivated sailors. You mentioned the Chinese having superior industry. This was a deciding factor in Japan's total defeat to the USA, so does that put the current USA in a similar position to Japan, where, despite starting the war with an equal force and an even stronger carrier fleet, there is only a limited time window for victory before attrition allows China to have an overwhelming advantage in numbers? Does that also mean an aggressive first trike strategy is more viable than a defensive strategy?

    1. "does that put the current USA in a similar position to Japan"

      No. For starters, the US was almost immeasurably larger than Japan in terms of size, resources, economy, population, industry, etc. China has a few advantages but even those are marginal and fundamentally weak.

      As one example, it is important to keep in mind that the US has the resources of the entire western/free world to call on in the event of war. China has almost no such 'reserve' capacity in the event of war.

    2. That seems like we would be the WW2 equivalent of the UK. We would win the war but lose the empire. Right now debt as percentage of GDP is similar to post WW2. I don't see how after the war we don't go bankrupt.

  14. On guided rounds - the cheapest we've been able to get guidance packages for moving targets is around $50,000. Probably not worth it for the 8" rounds. GPS or laser guidance alone can be as low as $10,000 extra, but they are much easier to fool. A middle ground might be a half decent inertial guidance kit/fancy fuse adding $5000-$10,000 that significantly reduces the circular error probability but isn't "guided" per se. If you halve the CEP radius then you need 1/4 the shells theoretically and can put more shells on target in the early barrages.

    Whether this actually is worth it depends on how you are engaging. These won't help much if the tactic is shooting enemy ships with relatively low trajectory shots to improve accuracy, but would if trying to engage at maximum range with a higher arc. Cluster munitions are probably better suited for most land targets, but the more accurate shells would be good for strong points.

    Not a clear cut case to me.

  15. Guided rounds for 8" would probably need a combo of GPS/IR or thermal so they can't be spoofed and don't need a targeting source either that will be within corresponding range. As the 8" range is not that great, it may also need to look at the ramjet work going on by Nammo for the Army currently. But even 100k$ per round and 3 to 4 rounds would render a modern warship greatly degraded is much cheaper than even a block V tomahawk, and let's face it, tomahawks are not exactly the stealth king out there (a topic not discussed much, but there is nothing to suggest a tomahawk over water is going to have great survival skills once it loses its nap of earth/water range to hide in). Get the range to exceed what the 155 mm shells the army are looking to get out, which is 100 to 150 km, and you may have a cost effective winner. Course you need 8" guns again and maybe someone should look at upgrading the tico's (what's a billion per ship when you'd spend that much on a frigate, or better yet, just put 8" guns on any ship that can support them).

    1. "don't need a targeting source either that will be within corresponding range."

      How do you taget without a targeting (I assume you mean, sensor) source? Without targeting, that only leaves known, fixed targets or area bombardment.

      "As the 8" range is not that great, it may also need to look at the ramjet"

      Why? What is this obsession with making every weapon a do-everything weapon? Why can't we leave the naval gun as the short range, high firepower weapon it is? We have lots of other long range weapons. Why do we need to spend a fortune trying to make the naval gun into something it isn't?

      "upgrading the tico's"

      A decidedly non-stealthy, aluminum superstructure, worn out ship is not a candidate for upgrades.

      "just put 8" guns on any ship that can support them"

      The Navy doesn't have any ship that can support them. We need a new design.

  16. The below video link(of WW2 footage I have not seen before) gives some credence to your message of the absolute brutal efficiency of naval GUNS/cannon. Sometimes in the end, a winning procurement strategy is not complicated......procure whatever brings the most guns to a gunfight. Hope you can open the link. The shockwaves are sobering. Almost felt sorry for the Japanese.


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