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What would you put on a modernized IOWA class BB

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posted on Jan, 13 2006 @ 04:20 PM
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What would you put on a modernized IOWA class BB

Much has been written about why the BBs should be retained on the active list – and not downgraded to museum status as they are currently scheduled

So far most “arguments “ I have read for their retention have been emotional appeals to sentiment and tradition .

If we want to be traditional we should cut Kevlar sails for the USS constitution and put some guns on her  , joking aside lets see if we can deny ignorance and lay out the pros and cons of an iowa refit

IMHO the only “ advantage “ the IOWAs possess is their size and the fact that their hull is paid for

True – they offer an Extremely stable , very large platform , but their boilers , turbines and gear boxes are now over 60 years old – should they be retained – at the risk of catastrophic failure or spiraling servicing costs ?

Do we still have the skils to maintain such plants at sea – sure we can train up a new cadre – but that takes time and money

or replaced : with nuclear plans – at massive cost and the fact that several natioins will not allow nuclear power ships in their waters ?

or with modern plants – do diesel electric drives offer the required acceleration and stamina ? and how much would they cost


the 16”/50 naval rifles of WWII vintage required barrel servicing after each 150 rounds – would modern ammo and propellants extend this – could we even make such barrels econoically in 2006 ?

each triple turret has a crew of 47 – and more below in the projectile and powder magazines

could a 16” gun be fitted with an autoloader ??? – what works for a 5” mounting may be unfeasible when each shell weighs more than the entire mount of a ligher gun

So lets have at it , what should go into a refit designed to bring an IOWA back upto status of a 1st line warship

Please consider , that it Has to be feasible , economical and hopefully reduce crew size and ops costs

Hopefully we will soon have a nice list of what will or wil not work – and more important the reasons why – not the bickering of “ battleships suck “ or “ retire ioa over my dead body “ rhetoric that plagues other forums I frequent

Heres an example :


Claim :

The IOWAS would make a 1st class UAV carrier [ this is a rough draft – intended as an example only ]

Yes on the face of it they would – they have scads of room – and could be fitted with both launch and recovery facilities for a large range of drones -

Rebuttal : again only a rough draft – as an example onky

The launch and catch systems – will take large areas of deck space – impinging weapons systems arcs of fire – blocking sensors and communications

Would need a work shop to service , repair and fuel them

This would increase crew size

The C3 Band width for operating multiple UAVs would require bulky and expensive avionics systems

OTHER IDEAS :


Torpedo tubes –

Modern torpedo tubes are some of the highest volume weapons employed and due to the size and weight of the ammunition reloads

Lesser vessels cannot afford the massive magazines and complex ammo handling / roloading gear required to have the luxury of multiple reloads

ASROC –

Multiple launchers for stand off ASW rockets and missiles are generally large – and have poor ammo capacity

Again the size and mass would impact naught on an IOWA , and unlike lesser platforms – the vast volume below decks would allow a respectable capacity magazine

Also it could be protected behind the armour belt

There are lots of neat ideas that would fit on an IOWA platform , but If they are manned – that means a bloated crew – exactly what the keep them advocates claim a refit would reduce

If fully automated – the price tag soars – again defeating the object of the bought and paid for argument

Anyway – enough of my ramblings , I throw the topic open to the floor .




posted on Jan, 13 2006 @ 05:26 PM
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I'll throw in my 2 cents, I guess.

Pro:
Even in the last configuration, an Iowa class Battleship is far more than a match for any other class of ship in the world, and can provide NGFS up to (theoreticly) 50-60 miles with ERGM rounds.

Con: Large crew size, out dated technology, and less residual free space than most people believe. (trust me, warships are crowded inside!)

Rebuttle (pro):
Yes, the Iowa class Battleship over matches any other surface combatant in the world. So much so it's like using a nuclear plant on a private yacht to ensure you have plenty of power. Purpose built ships able to engage and defeat the most powerful warships practicle, instead of all out most powerful warships imaginable, can be run cheaper and in greater numbers.

Rebuttle (con)
A large crew size means plenty of extra bodies to go do VBSS work. Also, BAttleship crews are not larger than Aircraft carrier crews. The biggest supply of 'free space' available is in the magazines, which are precicely what most arguments lean towards updating anyhow.



posted on Jan, 13 2006 @ 05:39 PM
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Now, I am no naval engineer ... but have wondered is say the basic ship structure was kept (as in the hull and fundemental supports) ... with the main guns removed ... and with a redesign of the above deck superstructure to optimize for radar signature and a new role as say super missile platform with Aigis+ level fire control along with enhanced sonar and asw capabilities to help protect from below so to speak. While expensive, I would think that total costs would fall significantly below constructing a vessel this size and "robustness" from scratch.

I guess, I am envisioning something like an AEGIS cruiser scaled up to dreadnaught proportions ... with corresponding increase in payload/offensive output capability.

LCKob



posted on Jan, 13 2006 @ 07:56 PM
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Originally posted by Travellar
I'll throw in my 2 cents, I guess.

Pro:
Even in the last configuration, an Iowa class Battleship is far more than a match for any other class of ship in the world, and can provide NGFS up to (theoreticly) 50-60 miles with ERGM rounds.

Con: Large crew size, out dated technology, and less residual free space than most people believe. (trust me, warships are crowded inside!)

Rebuttle (pro):
Yes, the Iowa class Battleship over matches any other surface combatant in the world. So much so it's like using a nuclear plant on a private yacht to ensure you have plenty of power. Purpose built ships able to engage and defeat the most powerful warships practicle, instead of all out most powerful warships imaginable, can be run cheaper and in greater numbers.

Rebuttle (con)
A large crew size means plenty of extra bodies to go do VBSS work. Also, BAttleship crews are not larger than Aircraft carrier crews. The biggest supply of 'free space' available is in the magazines, which are precicely what most arguments lean towards updating anyhow.


Do you mean it's more powerful in terms of simple firepower? I agree that it's last configuration was outstanding for simply pounding real estate flat, but it wasn't really good for much else.
IIRC, it also had not ASW measures or a helo deck, which also negates the VBSS possibilities.

And I don't believe it will really overmatch any vaguely comparable modern combatant. An Arleigh Burke or Tico is well defended against what the Iowa can dish out, while the Iowa has no missile defense IIRC.

The only thing it offers is NGFS, which is why DDX is supposed to be getting AGS or a railgun. Quite frankly, I'm of the opinion that if we need a BB's NGFS to support Marines, we probably shouldn't be trying to put the Marines there.



posted on Jan, 13 2006 @ 08:41 PM
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Originally posted by ignorant_ape
So far most “arguments “ I have read for their retention have been emotional appeals to sentiment and tradition .


This argument has come up elsewhere:

www.abovetopsecret.com...

The Commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. Michael W. Hagee, contends that the role of the battleship as supporting fire for ground troops is far from over.

www.cnn.com...

Also, regard the following:



Naval Gunfire Support Through The 21st Century

CSC 1993

SUBJECT AREA - Artillery

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY


Title: NAVAL GUNFIRE SUPPORT THROUGH THE 21ST CENTURY.

Author: Major Robert E. Hellar CG #2

Thesis:
There remains a need for naval gunfire, and the Iowa
class battleships are ready and able to fill the need through the
21st century.

Background: As the soviet threat disappears, the United States
Navy has adopted a strategy called "FROM THE SEA. This strategy
calls for a shift in priorities from blue water to littoral
operations and amphibious support. However, the recent
decommissioning of the battleship fleet has left the navy without
adequate naval gunfire support. While air-power has proven to be
a formidable supporting arm, there still exist a need for naval
gunfire. Technological developements have greatly improved the
effectiveness of the battleships. Naval plans are to develope a
naval gunfire alternative to the battleship. The cost of these
programs is estimated at 1 billion dollars or more, and may not
be available until the turn of the century. World events may not
wait until the year 2000. The Iowa class battleships are ready
and able to to fill the naval gunfire support role through the
21st century.

Recommendation: Recommision the Iowa class battleships, to
provide naval gunfire support until a suitable replacement is
developed.

www.globalsecurity.org...



Edit for clarity


[edit on 2006/1/13 by GradyPhilpott]



posted on Jan, 13 2006 @ 08:52 PM
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Originally posted by LCKob
...along with enhanced sonar and asw capabilities to help protect from below so to speak.

well, gutting the whole thing just to use the hull and armor belt seems a bit odd. As for sonar and ASW capabilities, the hull design has a lot to do with that. (and isn't very well designed for it)

Pounding real estate flat is one of three things Battleships do well. The Second is blowing up other ships (As soon as a Battleship puts one round on target, no combatant on earth gets to keep playing. Cruisers and Destroyers will simply go away under the impact of one of those shells) The third thing Battleships do well is scaring the bejeebees out of any potential adversaries. Carriers and ARGS also do this very well.



posted on Jan, 13 2006 @ 09:20 PM
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Originally posted by Travellar

Originally posted by LCKob
...along with enhanced sonar and asw capabilities to help protect from below so to speak.

well, gutting the whole thing just to use the hull and armor belt seems a bit odd. As for sonar and ASW capabilities, the hull design has a lot to do with that. (and isn't very well designed for it)

Pounding real estate flat is one of three things Battleships do well. The Second is blowing up other ships (As soon as a Battleship puts one round on target, no combatant on earth gets to keep playing. Cruisers and Destroyers will simply go away under the impact of one of those shells) The third thing Battleships do well is scaring the bejeebees out of any potential adversaries. Carriers and ARGS also do this very well.


Well, gutting it in the sense of using what can be used and replacing materials and technologies to support a biased missile platform configuration.

I suppose my concern revolves around the nature of a large gun platform ... very formidable within 50 - 60 miles ... but with an anti shipping missile designed for heavy armour ... I am thinking that a high missile saturation attack would prove a cost effective (and deadly) counter for even the heaviest or most highly armoured battleship. ... and in terms of return, trading missiles for capital ships is a positive investment IMO in bang for the buck. Thus if a battleship were to be optimized for such a role, adding great durability and enhanced munitions capacity ... it would have the offensive/defensive range of a missile cruiser, the armour of a battleship, and reasonably good cost effectiveness (I am guessing).



[edit on 13-1-2006 by LCKob]



posted on Jan, 13 2006 @ 09:34 PM
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There are other hulls which a proper refit can turn into effective missile platforms.

Beginning in 2007–2010, 22 of the 24 88-inch (2.2 m) diameter Trident missile tubes will be modified to contain large vertical launch systems (VLS), one configuration of which will be a cluster of seven Tomahawk missiles. If the maximum of 154 Tomahawks were loaded, one Ohio-class SSGN would carry an entire Battle Group's equivalent of cruise missiles.

and they're a little harder to find so you can try shooting at them. Heck, if you're a little despot island, doing "I hate the US" things, can you be sure there isn't one out there right now?



posted on Jan, 13 2006 @ 09:43 PM
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Originally posted by Travellar
There are other hulls which a proper refit can turn into effective missile platforms.

Beginning in 2007–2010, 22 of the 24 88-inch (2.2 m) diameter Trident missile tubes will be modified to contain large vertical launch systems (VLS), one configuration of which will be a cluster of seven Tomahawk missiles. If the maximum of 154 Tomahawks were loaded, one Ohio-class SSGN would carry an entire Battle Group's equivalent of cruise missiles.

and they're a little harder to find so you can try shooting at them. Heck, if you're a little despot island, doing "I hate the US" things, can you be sure there isn't one out there right now?


Haha ... good point ... a submarine if properly fitted would be a terror no doubt ... in fact, based upon this line of reasoning, would not a larger submarine fleet with such offensive capacity be more effective than surface vessels in principle? ... and if this is the case, then I would say retire the Battleships in favor of a larger (and stealthier) submarine force with surface ship forces concentrating on carrier/carrier support or Littoral Navy Requirements.

LCKob

[edit on 13-1-2006 by LCKob]



posted on Jan, 13 2006 @ 09:55 PM
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Ahem. There are many things a battleship can do, but the thing it does do, it does better than anything that can be deployed ASAP and no, submarines cannot provide the kind of support required by the US Marine Corps. In fact, the only argument for keeping battleships in the fleet is to provide naval gunfire for Marines. If the nation finds that need unworthy of being filled, then forget it. They'll be tourist attractions. Everything else is just prattle.



posted on Jan, 13 2006 @ 10:02 PM
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Originally posted by GradyPhilpott
Ahem. There are many things a battleship can do, but the thing it does do, it does better than anything that can be deployed ASAP and no, submarines cannot provide the kind of support required by the US Marine Corps. In fact, the only argument for keeping battleships in the fleet is to provide naval gunfire for Marines. If the nation finds that need unworthy of being filled, then forget it. They'll be tourist attractions. Everything else is just prattle.


Facinating! So in your opinion, does the marines need such support? ... or are there viable alternatives besides the big guns?



posted on Jan, 13 2006 @ 10:24 PM
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I have to defer to the opinion of the Commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. Hagee. The Marine Corps has been on the cutting edge of warfighting technology for its entire history, even when it was relegated to using hand-me-down weaponry from the Navy and the Army. If the Marine Corps thought that there was a rational alternative to the battleship at this time, then they would be the first to say so.

I can say this, however, from my experience. When you hear two-thousand pounds of steel and high explosives passing overhead and you feel the earth tremble beneath you, you know something significant has occurred. I'm glad my experience is only to such an extent.



posted on Jan, 13 2006 @ 10:54 PM
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Ideally, a BB would have to approach fairly close to a shoreline to provide NGFS. Unfortunately, it cannot protect itself very well(no modern ASW/AAW systems), and would need escorts. Doing this places will place the escorting destroyer crews at significant risk. And we the frigates we need for such littoral work are rapidly aging and do not deploy anymore with the CSFs. This puts an entire BBBG at significant risk.

In contrast, a force of a few DDXs can provide significant NGFS support as each AGS mounted on a DDX averages as much firepower as a Marine battalions organic fire support assets. AND, this asset is very stealthy(to both radar AND sonar), survivable, and is much more survivable. And you don't put all your eggs in one basket...



posted on Jan, 14 2006 @ 12:46 AM
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You drive a hard bargain, but I'm willing to bet that the CMC places a very high value on those 16" guns, otherwise he'd be willing to leave the job to the destroyers. The Marine Corps is the most parsimonious of the services, sometimes to a fault. If the battleships weren't needed, they wouldn't press the point.

Personally, I think the Corps backed itself into an artillery corner when it moved to using 155mm howitzers to the exclusion of 8" howitzers, 105mm howitzers and 4.2 in. mortars, but the fact remains that even when the Corps had such flexibility of fire support, it still needed what the battleships had to deliver.

It is my conclusion that the Corps does not disagree that there are alternatives to the dreadnoughts. The issue is that there are none at this time and even those alternative, which are not yet available, are not as cost effective as the battleship.

Consider the following:



In 1969, Captain Edward Snyder of the New Jersey was quoted as saying that the AP shell is capable of penetrating up to 32 feet of reinforced concrete. The HC round carries a high-explosive charge of 154 pounds. The maximum rang eis 41,622 yards when fired with the normal propelling charge of 660 pounds, with a muzzle velocity of 2,690 feet per second.

Typical armor penetration of the 2,700 pound Mk 7 AP projectile is 14.5 inches of horizontal armor at a range of 42,300 yards (angle of fall is 53.25 degrees and a striking velocity of 1,686 feet per second.) At "point blank" range, with a striking velocity of 2,500 feet per second, the vertical armor penetration is 32.62 inches.

www.battleship.org...



[edit on 2006/1/14 by GradyPhilpott]



posted on Jan, 14 2006 @ 05:28 AM
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back on topic:

what would i add?

I would remove either one of the front turrets in its place will be the brand new rail/extended range 12" inside the old 16" barrels with a small nuclear ractor to power the battleship and the rail gun.

research new types of ammo that can be fired including extended range 16", missiles and torpedos.

The extra space would used for housing of uavs uwv and other rounds.

Give it new targeting and radar for defense and offense, that includes the best aa aviable maybe some metal storm tech.

or

go DD(x) and complete overhaul BB(x) style shealth replace all the guns with langer range rail guns



posted on Jan, 14 2006 @ 11:19 AM
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If the only reason to keep the BBs is to support marines, wouldn't it be cheaper to actually give marines proper organic fire support (155m field gun battery in every regiment and an arty regiment in every division)...
Initial landing can be covered by smaller vessels and aircraft since the time frame of that is very short... '

(note: I'm not a Navy boy, but an Recon Cpl, so i'm looking at this from the point of the ground troops)



posted on Jan, 14 2006 @ 01:47 PM
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The Marine Corps has it's own artillery.

It's strengths and weaknesses are discussed here.

Still, there is no ground based fire support that can deliver the support of the battleship in all kinds of weather.



posted on Jan, 15 2006 @ 12:29 PM
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What would I put on it?

Lots and lots of spare parts. If you can find the 1940's vintage parts at all...

I love the Iowa's, but trying to use them as active combat vessels these days presents a whole set of expensive problems.



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