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The English navy at around the time of the Armada was evolving revolutionary new tactics, according to new research.
Tests on cannon recovered from an Elizabethan warship suggest it carried powerful cast iron guns, of uniform size, firing standard ammunition.
"This marked the beginning of a kind of mechanisation of war," says naval historian Professor Eric Grove of Salford University.
"The ship is now a gun platform in a way that it wasn't before."