Author Topic: Rusty's Naval/Military History thread  (Read 57695 times)

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Offline E_T

Re: Rusty's Naval/Military History thread
« Reply #390 on: October 16, 2016, 01:10:43 PM »
I am curious as to what Johnson would say about responses to unprovoked attacks like this...
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Offline Rusty Edge

Re: Rusty's Naval/Military History thread
« Reply #391 on: October 16, 2016, 08:35:18 PM »
It gets messier- before the stuff this week, there was other activity. 
http://al-bab.com/blog/2016/10/yemen-questions-over-civilian-ship-attacked-red-sea

So the US destroyer was sent there as a response.

But now there is concern that these rebel-launched Iranian missiles are just probing the destroyer in preparation for an attack using Chinese built missiles.


I suspect Johnson, being the skeptic on foreign intervention might ask what's the national security interest in the eternal Sunni-Shia conflict.

Offline Rusty Edge

Re: Rusty's Naval/Military History thread
« Reply #392 on: November 19, 2016, 07:20:46 PM »
http://www.fool.com/investing/2016/11/19/lockheed-loses-and-raytheon-could-gain-as-navy-dis.aspx?source=yahoo-2&utm_campaign=article&utm_medium=feed&utm_source=yahoo-2&yptr=yahoo

Lockheed Loses, and Raytheon Could Gain, as Navy Disarms the USS Zumwalt
Guns without bullets don't shoot very well. Companies without contracts don't do much better.

Rich Smith
(TMFDitty)
Nov 19, 2016 at 10:13AM
On Oct. 15, 2016, the U.S. Navy commissioned its largest gun-toting surface warship since battleships prowled the seas: the USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000).

Technically a destroyer, Zumwalt is actually bigger than the Navy's current fleet of Ticonderoga-class cruisers -- weighing in at 14,800 tons to the Tico's 9,800. It also carries more powerful guns than the Navy's big cruisers: two 155-mm Advanced Guns System (AGS) cannon, each capable of firing a 225-lb. Long Range Land-Attack Projectile (LRLAP) and striking a target 80 miles distant with pinpoint accuracy. There is, however, one small problem with these guns...
They have no bullets.

Bullets for battleships

Well, they have almost no bullets. Although in 2015, Congress approved $113 million in funding for 150 rounds of LRLAP ammunition for the Zumwalt and her two sister ships (not yet commissioned), as of today only 90 rounds  have actually been purchased -- and some of those have already been used in testing. Worse news for Zumwalt: Earlier this month the Navy confirmed that it has decided to halt purchases of LRLAP ammunition entirely.

The reason: While by all accounts, LRLAP has worked admirably in testing, the fact is that it was designed to be produced in bulk to arm a fleet of more than two dozen Zumwalt-class destroyers. As plans evolved, though, the Navy ultimately cut its anticipated purchases of Zumwalts to just three ships.

The corresponding reduction in volume of ammunition needed means that LRLAP producer Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) is unable to produce the ammunition at scale, unable to cut prices accordingly, and must charge the Navy somewhere between $800,000 and $1 million per each round of ammunition.
Million-dollar bullets

$1 million. That's nearly as much as the Navy pays to buy Harpoon missiles from Boeing -- and Boeing's Harpoons carry 500-pound warheads, 20 times the size of the 24 pounds contained in the LRLAP. This being the case, the Navy is probably making the right decision to cancel further purchases of the LRLAP. It does, however, leave open the question of what to load into those big, beautiful AGS cannon instead.

Desperately seeking ammunition
What's the alternative? And which company might ride to the Navy's rescue (from what's looking like a real PR nightmare) to suggest this alternative?

Currently, two options seem most likely. Given that accuracy was the defining characteristic that made LRLAP so attractive to the Navy, Raytheon's (NYSE:RTN) uber-accurate Excalibur howitzer round might make for a good substitute.
True, at $70,000 a pop, Excalibur is not what you'd call a "cheap" bullet. But it's a durned sight cheaper than $1 million, and Raytheon has proven in real-world testing that Excalibur can strike targets 30 miles distant -- and hit within two meters of what it was aiming at. Even better, as a 155-mm round, Excalibur should slide right into the AGS' borehole -- albeit its smaller size will probably necessitate changes to other aspects of the weapons system (such as for loading).

A second alternative, and one that's been talked about for years, is the Hyper Velocity Projectile (HVP) that BAE Systems (NASDAQOTH:BAESY) has been developing for use in the Navy's experimental electromagnetic railgun program. BAE says that HVP is the right size for use in Zumwalt's AGS cannon. What's more, its potential use as the projectile of choice for future railguns, and its suitability for firing from the 5-inch guns mounted on Navy Arleigh Burke-class destroyers (of which we have dozens), means that manufacturing HVPs in volume and at low cost should never be a problem.
Who will win?

Which alternative the Navy ultimately will elect on remains to be seen. Ultimately, though, if the Navy has decided not to buy Lockheed Martin's LRLAP for its AGS, it simply must choose a different bullet -- or render the AGS useless, and its Zumwalt-class destroyers disarmed. One way or another, Lockheed Martin's loss must turn into Raytheon's or BAE Systems' gain.

-----------------------------

Well, the railgun is the future, and the Zumwalt is basically the best, and almost the only platform for it. I think the logical choice is to adapt it to railgun bullets. It's what they'll be storing/handling/using in the future.

Offline Rusty Edge

Re: Rusty's Naval/Military History thread
« Reply #393 on: November 23, 2016, 10:29:37 PM »
http://www.popularmechanics.com/military/navy-ships/a24015/zumwalt-breakdown-panama-canal/

The Navy's New Stealth Destroyer Broke Down in the Panama Canal
The USS Zumwalt experienced an "engineering casualty" and collided with the canal walls.
By Kyle Mizokami
Nov 22, 2016
 
 The US Navy's newest destroyer broke down while transiting the Panama Canal, colliding with the Canal lock walls and forcing the $4 billion dollar ship to resort to a tow from a tugboat. The USS Zumwalt was towed to a former U.S. naval station in Panama where it will undergo emergency repairs. This is just months after a similar incident in September.

According to U.S. Naval Institute News:
USS Zumwalt lost propulsion in its port shaft during the transit and the crew saw water intrusion in two of the four bearings that connect to Zumwalt's port and starboard Advanced Induction Motors (AIMs) to the drive shafts.

The Advanced Induction Motors are huge electrical motors driven by the ship's gas turbine engines, providing power to the ship's weapons, sensors, navigation systems and propellers. The Zumwalt is capable of generating 78 megawatts of electrical power, enough to power lasers and railguns.

After losing propulsion, Zumwalt collided with the walls of the Panama Canal, which was described as "minor contact" resulting in "minor cosmetic damage." Current plans are to repair the Zumwalt in Panama, a process expected to take up to 10 days. The ship was headed to homeport in San Diego when the incident took place.
The Zumwalt was commissioned into the U.S. Navy on October 15th. The first of three Zumwalt-class guided missile destroyers, the ships were built around two 155-millimeter guns designed to fire the new Long Range Land Attack Projectile (LRLAP). On November 7th the Navy announced it would not be buying the LRLAP, citing the cost, and was exploring cheaper alternatives.

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Re: Rusty's Naval/Military History thread
« Reply #394 on: November 23, 2016, 10:31:38 PM »
-Poor Captain Kirk...

Offline Rusty Edge

Re: Rusty's Naval/Military History thread
« Reply #395 on: November 23, 2016, 10:46:44 PM »
Missed this article in the course of political things-

http://www.popularmechanics.com/military/navy-ships/a23440/zumwalt-destroyer-railgun/

The Zumwalt Destroyer Is Here, Now What About the Railgun?
The U.S. Navy has said the destroyer could be the first equipped with railguns. Where are they?

By Kyle Mizokami
Oct 19, 2016

 
 The USS Zumwalt, lead ship of a new class of advanced stealth destroyers, was commissioned on Saturday, October 15th with great fanfare. The knifelike ship, armed with two 155-millimeter guns and 80 vertical launch silos, has no shortage of firepower.
The Navy hopes to install a railgun in place of the one of the main guns of the third Zumwalt, USS Lyndon B. Johnson. The railgun prototype was scheduled to be tested aboard the USNS Trenton right around now, but there hasn't been any news on the tests. As the Zumwalt ships enter the fleet it raises the obvious question: When, if ever, will we see these futuristic weapons at sea?

Railguns use electricity and magnetism to accelerate projectiles along rails to extreme speeds. And like lasers, they are the kind of energy-intensive weapons that have always been on the cusp of development but have hit a number of unexpected hurdles on the way to operational status. When it comes to the railguns, the chief issue is their mammoth energy requirements.

The U.S. Navy's prototype railgun requires 25 megawatts to function properly. That's enough electricity to power 25,000 American homes. But the USS Zumwalt can generate 78 megawatts, which, after onboard systems and propulsion, leaves an excess 58 megawatts. So, if the U.S. Navy wanted to replace the Zumwalt's twin 155-millimeter long range guns, the power is there.

The question is less whether it's possible, but whether its worth it, at least with railguns in their current form. For the moment, there are several problems with the idea, not all of which are the railgun's fault.
According to The National Interest, the railgun projectile is a fairly paltry 20 kilograms, or approximately 40 pounds. The projectile is non-explosive and does damage solely by transferring its kinetic energy to the target—which is not inconsiderable when you're traveling at Mach 6. Still, while a kinetic energy round traveling at Mach 6 is devastating, it likely does a lot less damage than the new Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) which packs a 1,000 pound high explosive warhead.

The second problem is that, even at Mach 6, it might be difficult for railgun rounds to hit a moving ship. Let's say that a railgun-equipped ship is firing on an enemy ship at maximum range—111 miles. The railgun projectile travels at 1.26 miles per second, so it will reach its target in 88 seconds. The enemy ship, however, is traveling 49 feet per second, and in 88 seconds will have traveled 4,312 feet—the better part of a mile. The problem becomes even worse if the enemy ship is zig-zagging.

The railgun's rounds are guided, but only in the sense that they can home in on a fixed location, adjusting their direction in flight. They do not seem guided in the sense that they can pick out moving targets at the destination and adjust course to hit them—a method that is critical towards giving them an anti-ship capability.

LRASM, by contrast, is a guided missile that can avoid air defenses, home in specific targets, and at 580 miles has a much longer range than the railgun. In punch, accuracy and range, the LRASM beats the railgun every time.

The railgun is also envisioned as a missile-killer, downing anti-ship missiles before they can hit the Zumwalts. The problem is that the Zumwalts already have a layered anti-missile system for self-protection, starting with the Standard SM-2MR missile for longer range threats and Evolved Sea Sparrow missiles for closer range threats. A railgun would just provide the backup defensive capability that the U.S. Navy apparently does not believe it needs.

So is that it for the railgun-on-Zumwalt combination? Not necessarily. If the Navy can build a ship-hitting guided round for the railgun, one that can detect enemy ships and steer itself into the ship's path, that could overcome the weapon's issues hitting distant moving targets.

Another possible scenario that saves the railgun is that if the U.S. Navy does adopt LRASM, it will need somewhere to put it. The Zumwalt class destroyers will have 80 vertical launch tubes, each of which can carry one LRASM, one SM-2MR, Tomahawk, or four ESSM missiles. The Zumwalt can carry LRASMs only at the expense of its air defense missile inventory. So, it might make sense for railguns to take on the anti-missile role, opening up space in the silos for anti-ship missiles.

Whatever the case, in this era of fiscal austerity, the U.S. Navy must do railguns right or risk losing funding and enthusiasm—particularly congressional enthusiasm—for the technology. The U.S. seems to have a commanding lead in the technology, with little news about parallel programs in Russia or China so there isn't much chance the Navy will fall behind her peers. We may see railguns entering Navy service within five years, or the technology may go back in the oven.

Offline Rusty Edge

Re: Rusty's Naval/Military History thread
« Reply #396 on: November 23, 2016, 10:59:36 PM »
-Poor Captain Kirk...

;-)

Certainly an indignity, but it's kind of the point of a shakedown cruise, to find the flaws and train the crew on the job. Even in WWII, bringing a ship or sub ( that had been built scores of times before)  from the construction yards on the East Coast to the West was likely to uncover problems.

Being Captain of a first in it's class warship is a mixed blessing. It's a prestigious vote of confidence and a major headache. He could end up a hero or a scape goat.

Offline gwillybj

Re: Rusty's Naval/Military History thread
« Reply #397 on: November 23, 2016, 11:20:52 PM »
Would a ground-based railgun be likely, or does the power requirement quash that?
Two possibilities exist: Either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying. ― Arthur C. Clarke
I am on a mission to see how much coffee it takes to actually achieve time travel. :wave:

Offline Rusty Edge

Re: Rusty's Naval/Military History thread
« Reply #398 on: November 24, 2016, 01:27:38 AM »
Would a ground-based railgun be likely, or does the power requirement quash that?

Well,  the test models have been ground mounted. This is the limitation- "The U.S. Navy's prototype railgun requires 25 megawatts to function properly. That's enough electricity to power 25,000 American homes." Very few current USN ships have the spare power to operate it.

The gun itself could be truck mounted. It's just a matter of power outlets. I don't think anybody would permit a railway-based nuclear power plant, unless somebody was shooting nukes at their city and they actually needed a rail gun. There could be coastal installations, for example. I think the prime application is mounted on a ship in the Sea of Japan for when North Korea has nuclear weapons that actually work.

Offline E_T

Re: Rusty's Naval/Military History thread
« Reply #399 on: November 26, 2016, 01:41:29 PM »
Missed this article in the course of political things-

http://www.popularmechanics.com/military/navy-ships/a23440/zumwalt-destroyer-railgun/

The Zumwalt Destroyer Is Here, Now What About the Railgun?
The U.S. Navy has said the destroyer could be the first equipped with railguns. Where are they?

By Kyle Mizokami
Oct 19, 2016

 
 The USS Zumwalt, lead ship of a new class of advanced stealth destroyers, was commissioned on Saturday, October 15th with great fanfare. The knifelike ship, armed with two 155-millimeter guns and 80 vertical launch silos, has no shortage of firepower.
The Navy hopes to install a railgun in place of the one of the main guns of the third Zumwalt, USS Lyndon B. Johnson. The railgun prototype was scheduled to be tested aboard the USNS Trenton right around now, but there hasn't been any news on the tests. As the Zumwalt ships enter the fleet it raises the obvious question: When, if ever, will we see these futuristic weapons at sea?

Railguns use electricity and magnetism to accelerate projectiles along rails to extreme speeds. And like lasers, they are the kind of energy-intensive weapons that have always been on the cusp of development but have hit a number of unexpected hurdles on the way to operational status. When it comes to the railguns, the chief issue is their mammoth energy requirements.

The U.S. Navy's prototype railgun requires 25 megawatts to function properly. That's enough electricity to power 25,000 American homes. But the USS Zumwalt can generate 78 megawatts, which, after onboard systems and propulsion, leaves an excess 58 megawatts. So, if the U.S. Navy wanted to replace the Zumwalt's twin 155-millimeter long range guns, the power is there.

The question is less whether it's possible, but whether its worth it, at least with railguns in their current form. For the moment, there are several problems with the idea, not all of which are the railgun's fault.
According to The National Interest, the railgun projectile is a fairly paltry 20 kilograms, or approximately 40 pounds. The projectile is non-explosive and does damage solely by transferring its kinetic energy to the target—which is not inconsiderable when you're traveling at Mach 6. Still, while a kinetic energy round traveling at Mach 6 is devastating, it likely does a lot less damage than the new Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) which packs a 1,000 pound high explosive warhead.

The second problem is that, even at Mach 6, it might be difficult for railgun rounds to hit a moving ship. Let's say that a railgun-equipped ship is firing on an enemy ship at maximum range—111 miles. The railgun projectile travels at 1.26 miles per second, so it will reach its target in 88 seconds. The enemy ship, however, is traveling 49 feet per second, and in 88 seconds will have traveled 4,312 feet—the better part of a mile. The problem becomes even worse if the enemy ship is zig-zagging.

The railgun's rounds are guided, but only in the sense that they can home in on a fixed location, adjusting their direction in flight. They do not seem guided in the sense that they can pick out moving targets at the destination and adjust course to hit them—a method that is critical towards giving them an anti-ship capability.

LRASM, by contrast, is a guided missile that can avoid air defenses, home in specific targets, and at 580 miles has a much longer range than the railgun. In punch, accuracy and range, the LRASM beats the railgun every time.

The railgun is also envisioned as a missile-killer, downing anti-ship missiles before they can hit the Zumwalts. The problem is that the Zumwalts already have a layered anti-missile system for self-protection, starting with the Standard SM-2MR missile for longer range threats and Evolved Sea Sparrow missiles for closer range threats. A railgun would just provide the backup defensive capability that the U.S. Navy apparently does not believe it needs.

So is that it for the railgun-on-Zumwalt combination? Not necessarily. If the Navy can build a ship-hitting guided round for the railgun, one that can detect enemy ships and steer itself into the ship's path, that could overcome the weapon's issues hitting distant moving targets.

Another possible scenario that saves the railgun is that if the U.S. Navy does adopt LRASM, it will need somewhere to put it. The Zumwalt class destroyers will have 80 vertical launch tubes, each of which can carry one LRASM, one SM-2MR, Tomahawk, or four ESSM missiles. The Zumwalt can carry LRASMs only at the expense of its air defense missile inventory. So, it might make sense for railguns to take on the anti-missile role, opening up space in the silos for anti-ship missiles.

Whatever the case, in this era of fiscal austerity, the U.S. Navy must do railguns right or risk losing funding and enthusiasm—particularly congressional enthusiasm—for the technology. The U.S. seems to have a commanding lead in the technology, with little news about parallel programs in Russia or China so there isn't much chance the Navy will fall behind her peers. We may see railguns entering Navy service within five years, or the technology may go back in the oven.


The Russians and Chinese are waiting for the Taiwanese version...   :D
Three time Hugo Award Winning http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php
Worship the Comic here
Get your schlock mercenary fix here

Offline E_T

Re: Rusty's Naval/Military History thread
« Reply #400 on: November 26, 2016, 01:44:04 PM »
-Poor Captain Kirk...

;-)

Certainly an indignity, but it's kind of the point of a shakedown cruise, to find the flaws and train the crew on the job. Even in WWII, bringing a ship or sub ( that had been built scores of times before)  from the construction yards on the East Coast to the West was likely to uncover problems.

Being Captain of a first in it's class warship is a mixed blessing. It's a prestigious vote of confidence and a major headache. He could end up a hero or a scape goat.

Either way, he is still a Plank Holder/Owner...  Can't take that away...
Three time Hugo Award Winning http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php
Worship the Comic here
Get your schlock mercenary fix here

Offline E_T

Re: Rusty's Naval/Military History thread
« Reply #401 on: November 26, 2016, 01:54:55 PM »
Would a ground-based railgun be likely, or does the power requirement quash that?

Well,  the test models have been ground mounted. This is the limitation- "The U.S. Navy's prototype railgun requires 25 megawatts to function properly. That's enough electricity to power 25,000 American homes." Very few current USN ships have the spare power to operate it.

The gun itself could be truck mounted. It's just a matter of power outlets. I don't think anybody would permit a railway-based nuclear power plant, unless somebody was shooting nukes at their city and they actually needed a rail gun. There could be coastal installations, for example. I think the prime application is mounted on a ship in the Sea of Japan for when North Korea has nuclear weapons that actually work.

No, but what about a railway based gas or diesel turbine version?  Camouflage as a Freight train, even attach to a real one... 
Three time Hugo Award Winning http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php
Worship the Comic here
Get your schlock mercenary fix here

Offline Rusty Edge

Re: Rusty's Naval/Military History thread
« Reply #402 on: November 26, 2016, 08:00:12 PM »
I tried to look some stuff up and do some calculations, and a dozen dedicated locomotives should provide enough power if they aren't used for pulling. So, I don't see why that couldn't work. You could disguise the appearance easily enough, the noise and heat  when powering up would be hard to conceal. It also occurs to me that there is the matter of electrification in the Northeast corridor, from Harrisburg to Philadelphia, and north to New Haven and south to DC. Plenty of power there. The trouble is that the overhead cables would cramp the ability of a 30 foot barrel to elevate and swing.

Offline Bearu

Re: Rusty's Naval/Military History thread
« Reply #403 on: November 27, 2016, 05:11:39 AM »
Would a ground-based railgun be likely, or does the power requirement quash that?

Well,  the test models have been ground mounted. This is the limitation- "The U.S. Navy's prototype railgun requires 25 megawatts to function properly. That's enough electricity to power 25,000 American homes." Very few current USN ships have the spare power to operate it.

The gun itself could be truck mounted. It's just a matter of power outlets. I don't think anybody would permit a railway-based nuclear power plant, unless somebody was shooting nukes at their city and they actually needed a rail gun. There could be coastal installations, for example. I think the prime application is mounted on a ship in the Sea of Japan for when North Korea has nuclear weapons that actually work.
The creation of a nuclear arsenal in the country of North Korea remains a frightening concept for the civilian populations. The peremptory dictatorship would employ the weapons in a brash manner when the foreign nations attempt to coerce the country into a negotiation or seizure.
The capitalists exploit the workers without any desire beyond the reproduction of profits.
A Roman Slave Market, Jean Gerome.

Offline E_T

Re: Rusty's Naval/Military History thread
« Reply #404 on: November 27, 2016, 05:30:33 PM »
I tried to look some stuff up and do some calculations, and a dozen dedicated locomotives should provide enough power if they aren't used for pulling. So, I don't see why that couldn't work. You could disguise the appearance easily enough, the noise and heat  when powering up would be hard to conceal. It also occurs to me that there is the matter of electrification in the Northeast corridor, from Harrisburg to Philadelphia, and north to New Haven and south to DC. Plenty of power there. The trouble is that the overhead cables would cramp the ability of a 30 foot barrel to elevate and swing.

If you ever have the need to elevate and swing one of them, the temporary loss of a few overhead cables and such is not really going to be a real issue, IMVHO...
Three time Hugo Award Winning http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php
Worship the Comic here
Get your schlock mercenary fix here

 

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