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"A New Battleship for the US Navy? Why This Could Be" Topic


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Tango0114 May 2018 9:21 p.m. PST

… China's Biggest Military Nightmare.

"The U.S. Navy will never again be a dreadnought fleet of big-gun battleships. But it is time to reexamine the role of armor in naval architecture. Even the most forward-leaning offensive operation needs a few tough linesmen who can take a beating and stay in the game. A future battleship would give the Navy— and by extension the president—warfighting options other than the total annihilation of the enemy. Regular FONOPs already demonstrate the need for such options. The A2/AD threat will likely generate even more dangerous missions that only a durable battleship of the future can safely perform.

In World War II, the Japanese super-battleships Yamato and Musahi each mounted nine 18.1-inch guns, the largest naval guns ever deployed, but they never sank a single American ship. In a conflict decided by naval aviation, Yamato and Musahi were used mainly as flagships and troop transports. Despite their huge armaments, they were steel dinosaurs from an earlier strategic age…."
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Amicalement
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Personal logo StoneMtnMinis Supporting Member of TMP15 May 2018 6:52 a.m. PST

What was old is new again.

PrivateSnafu15 May 2018 7:28 a.m. PST

For this to ever get a congressional appropriation would be a moon shot. Its debatable in so many ways that I can't see this happening.

Personal logo SBminisguy Supporting Member of TMP15 May 2018 9:36 a.m. PST

Not likely, but we have a couple of great steel hulls that could be used. The Iowa had an upgrade planned for the 1990s that got canceled, so key off of that concept.

* Replace diesel with nuclear power
* Remove the rear turret and replace with a large number VLS cells
* Adds a helicopter/VTOL hangar bay and pad
* Beef up EW, AA and ASW defenses
* Additional close defense systems
* Modernized radar, sonar and communications systems
* Layer in additional ballistic and fire protection systems
* Modern computer control systems

Now you could also:
1. Replace the forward turrets with Rail guns
2. Add lasers to the point defense system
3. Add drone swarms for local detection, recon, etc.

That would make for a tough son of a gun…

Lion in the Stars15 May 2018 3:06 p.m. PST

The Iowas are far too short between decks. They were built in a time when a tall man was 5'8" (my grandpa was 5'4" and average for his age), and now the entire upper third of a boot camp cycle is over 6' tall.

Plus, you do NOT want to know how much it'd cost to refit a nuc plant into the Iowas. (Give you a hint: about as much as building a new carrier)

Not to mention that the US can't make new ammo for the big guns, let alone new gun tubes. I think 8"/203mm is as big as we can make, and I'm not sure about that!


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If I was going to build an armored ship to go sail in harm's way, in an intense A2AD environment, I'd build something along the lines of a Worchester (680ft long, 12x6" guns in 6x turrets) or a Des Moines (716ft long, 9x8" guns in 3x turrets). Maybe as big as an Alaska (808ft long, 9x12" guns in 3x turrets), but that would need a clean-sheet design, the Alaskas were lacking in underwater protection.

I would only use nuclear power if we were installing a bigass antimissile laser (or two), it's much easier to run gas turbines. Nuclear power is designed for each class specifically, there's not a whole lot of cross-compatibility between classes. Even for submarines.

A Free-electron laser that puts 100megawatts on target needs 165MW electrical power input (and has to dissipate 65MW of waste heat!) That's an entire nuclear plant all by itself, so you'd need a second plant to run the ship. Why so big? Because unclassified SDI testing in the 1980s showed that you needed to dump 25MW of energy onto a missile to kill it. It took the 5MW laser 5 seconds to kill a TOW missile, it took that same laser 5 seconds to kill a Titan missile. You need a laser that can deliver the required energy in a fraction of a second in order to deal with Soviet/Chinese-sized missile swarms. At 100MW beam energy, you can kill 2-3 missiles a second, in 0.25sec pulses.

Hull wise, only the Alaska-class CBs had more than 8" of armor, but again, they were lacking in underwater protection and modern torpedoes are much nastier than WW2 torps. So it'd take a lot of re-designing to make them better.

I'd probably build a Des Moines, replace the 8" guns with railguns, the centerline 5"/38 guns with 5"/62s (the same guns as on modern ships), the flank 3" guns with VLS, but the bow and stern 3" guns get replaced with 57mm Bofors. The flank 5" guns would get replaced with CIWS mounts (because the only better spots are taken by the gun directors for the main battery!) A possible modification would be to remove the after turret and install a helo hangar, instead of having any helo(s) always exposed on the fantail. An alternative would be to cut down the fantail like on the Burke-class DDGs and re-locate the stern 57mm guns to the top of the hangar. This might require raising the after turrets, however.

Personal logo Patrick R Supporting Member of TMP16 May 2018 1:55 a.m. PST

picture

bsrlee16 May 2018 3:40 a.m. PST

As well as the lack of capacity for large caliber ammunition, you are going to hit a really big hurdle when you get to armor – no one has the rolling mill capacity to make anything like armor plate more than an inch or two thick, all the machinery that could handle those jobs was scrapped 70 or more years ago.

PrivateSnafu16 May 2018 12:39 p.m. PST

We can just have the Chinese build it for us.

Lion in the Stars16 May 2018 9:43 p.m. PST

Those cruisers only had 8" armor in places, so if there's a rolling mill still capable of 4" armor plate we're OK. There are mills capable of rolling HY140 in 4+" thick pieces for submarines, so it will work.

(Not sure what the base steel plate is on an Abrams)

0.5" AR500 is enough to ignore 7.62mm standard ammo, and 0.375" will ignore any pistol ammo.

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