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The Great Naval Gunfire Support debate

Kroanon

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Why is the US Navy so adamant about not putting some sort of warship dedicated to Naval Gunfire Support (NGFS), even when mandated by Congress to do so, and when it creates friction between the Marines and the Navy, and to a lesser extent between the Army and the Navy? Do they think we'll never be attacking a defended beach again, meaning we don't need NGFS? What are some viable replacements to the combined firepower that the arguably outdated big-gun battleships that are currently sitting idly in the mothball fleet once provided?

 
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Hoplite

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The age of naval battles is pretty well passed. Our fleet may be somewhat out-dated, but it's more than capable of handling pretty much any naval threat we could face and we have plenty of ways to deliver ordinance from sea to shore. Seems like an un-necessary piece of equipment.
 

deltabtry

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The age of naval battles is pretty well passed. Our fleet may be somewhat out-dated, but it's more than capable of handling pretty much any naval threat we could face and we have plenty of ways to deliver ordinance from sea to shore. Seems like an un-necessary piece of equipment.
Good point there Hoplite , the days of battleships passed after Pearl Harbor and with the sinking of the HMS Repulse and Prince of wales on the high seas by aircraft. Ordinance delivered by air is more optimal and cheaper. Battleships taking damage could cost hundreds of lives especially in the days of Excosite(sp) missles during the Falkland war.
 

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In the age of heavy lift cargo planes which can drop a large battery of artillery, and cruisers which can carry dozens of missiles, a battleship is not needed. They are still impressive though
 

deltabtry

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In the age of heavy lift cargo planes which can drop a large battery of artillery, and cruisers which can carry dozens of missiles, a battleship is not needed. They are still impressive though
This is true and with the U.S. now opting for self propelled artillery and phasing out towed artillery the response time will now be every quicker, even after a beach landing or air drop.
 

rathi

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Naval fire support still has its uses, but guns are not the way to go. The simplest solution would be to mount a few MLRS rocket pods along with a fire-control system on already existing ships. For a more advanced and expensive system, creating a land-attack rocket that can fit in the standard Vertical Launch System would also work. Going with the MLRS system, you only need five 16 rocket modules to deliver more than an Iowa broadside with a 50% longer range. The only real development costs would be in the mounting system for the pod, and probably some blast protection from the rocket motor.
 

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They are not smart munitions, that's why.
 

mac

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Why is the US Navy so adamant about not putting some sort of warship dedicated to Naval Gunfire Support (NGFS), even when mandated by Congress to do so, and when it creates friction between the Marines and the Navy, and to a lesser extent between the Army and the Navy? Do they think we'll never be attacking a defended beach again, meaning we don't need NGFS? What are some viable replacements to the combined firepower that the arguably outdated big-gun battleships that are currently sitting idly in the mothball fleet once provided?

Battleships were incredible vessels. However, the job can now be done better with guided missiles and carrier based aircraft. Sad but true. I've toured South Carolina and Iowa, and they were awesome ships!
 

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Here is vid clips..awesome display and demo's.

 

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Battleships are neat, but I assume the Carrier has made them obsolete. Wars these days, I believe, are conducted with the support of allies so we would have a point to transport troops and equipment too. It's easier to ship equipment to a port. I can't really see a situation where we would need to take a beach, is there one where we would need the NGFS?
 

mac

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Battleships are neat, but I assume the Carrier has made them obsolete. Wars these days, I believe, are conducted with the support of allies so we would have a point to transport troops and equipment too. It's easier to ship equipment to a port. I can't really see a situation where we would need to take a beach, is there one where we would need the NGFS?
Well, there are plenty of situations where securing a beach would be necessary, but it can be better done with guided missiles than guns.
 

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Well, there are plenty of situations where securing a beach would be necessary, but it can be better done with guided missiles than guns.
Can you name one, I can't think of one. I assume aircraft conducting targeted bombing raids along with guided missiles would be better than guns.
 

deltabtry

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Battleships are neat, but I assume the Carrier has made them obsolete. Wars these days, I believe, are conducted with the support of allies so we would have a point to transport troops and equipment too. It's easier to ship equipment to a port. I can't really see a situation where we would need to take a beach, is there one where we would need the NGFS?
As far as taking on a major military power this ships would be obsolete, but taking on a country with a mediocre military with no air power but massive armies with conscripts, these ships may have a purpose although alternatives would be considered first IMO.
 

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The ships themselves could be easily modified to serve as a platform for modern weaponry, and actually already have for past wars. The big guns are pretty much obsolete but the hull is still very impressive.
I am in favor of converting at least 2 to nuclear power propulsion, one for each major ocean.
 

mac

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Can you name one, I can't think of one. I assume aircraft conducting targeted bombing raids along with guided missiles would be better than guns.
If there were no reason to take a beach we wouldn't have LCACs or other landing craft in our OOB. Say we invade Japan, New Zealand, Madagascar or any other island nation. Say we had to in an occupied South Korea....we're not going through China or North Korea to get there.....
 

mac

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The ships themselves could be easily modified to serve as a platform for modern weaponry, and actually already have for past wars. The big guns are pretty much obsolete but the hull is still very impressive.
I am in favor of converting at least 2 to nuclear power propulsion, one for each major ocean.
I think the major concern is the amount of money it would cost to convert pre-wwII designed ships to modern electronics and weapons. Not too mention the huge crew size of those things. They had nearly the same ship's company as a modern Nimitz class carrier. Smaller faster ships can do it better, with modern weaponry. I think it all boils down to cost.
 

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If there were no reason to take a beach we wouldn't have LCACs or other landing craft in our OOB. Say we invade Japan, New Zealand, Madagascar or any other island nation. Say we had to in an occupied South Korea....we're not going through China or North Korea to get there.....
I see. In Korea, I'm thinking we could probably respond in time to have a friendly point of entry. Something like Taiwan, I guess, could be invaded easily. But I'm thinking that it would be better to capture a port or an airfield and use it as an entry point rather than landing on a beach. I guess limited beach landings could be used at some time, though.
 

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I think the major concern is the amount of money it would cost to convert pre-wwII designed ships to modern electronics and weapons. Not too mention the huge crew size of those things. They had nearly the same ship's company as a modern Nimitz class carrier. Smaller faster ships can do it better, with modern weaponry. I think it all boils down to cost.
Actually, modernized battleships need less crew, ....when the New Jersey was taken out of mothballs and rebuilt for duty off Lebanon, the modern equipment took up less room and the air conditioning load was significantly reduced. A fellow in my reserve unit went back on active duty just to serve on the NJ.
 

UtahBill

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If there were no reason to take a beach we wouldn't have LCACs or other landing craft in our OOB. Say we invade Japan, New Zealand, Madagascar or any other island nation. Say we had to in an occupied South Korea....we're not going through China or North Korea to get there.....
I think it would be a major act of stupidity to attack North Korea on land. Better to just lob cruise missles until they can't fight so much anymore. Disrupt their already meager food supply chain, and they will be fighting themselves in short order. If ground troops are needed, most likely it will be if NK crosses the DMZ.
 

rathi

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The ships themselves could be easily modified to serve as a platform for modern weaponry, and actually already have for past wars. The big guns are pretty much obsolete but the hull is still very impressive.
I am in favor of converting at least 2 to nuclear power propulsion, one for each major ocean.
What role could they usefully play? Armor is of minimal usefulness against modern weapons. You would spend a fortune capable of purchasing a super-carrier for a vessel that is less effective than the newest destroyer class.
 

UtahBill

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What role could they usefully play? Armor is of minimal usefulness against modern weapons. You would spend a fortune capable of purchasing a super-carrier for a vessel that is less effective than the newest destroyer class.
Newer ships have almost no armor compared to a battleship. If you are going to have a platform for lots of weapons, you want lots of armor....
 

rathi

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Newer ships have almost no armor compared to a battleship. If you are going to have a platform for lots of weapons, you want lots of armor....
There is a reason modern ships aren't built with armor, it isn't worth the weight and cost. Iowa's armor is useful against other battleships shooting shells from the surface, but not keel-breaker torpedoes or anti-ship missiles that hit below the waterline.
 

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One thing for sure, these Battle Ships are very impressive and if the day comes when we have to administer Gun Boat diplomacy, these ships are built to suit to a tee. Having a Battleship just outside a enemies harbor or just off the horizon is a comforting feeling for those on shore. Although Utah Bill converting these ships to Nuclear power and perhaps a new high power turbine engine, now that's a idea. Of course keeping the 16 and 5 inch guns in service is also a must.
 

samsmart

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Why is the US Navy so adamant about not putting some sort of warship dedicated to Naval Gunfire Support (NGFS), even when mandated by Congress to do so, and when it creates friction between the Marines and the Navy, and to a lesser extent between the Army and the Navy? Do they think we'll never be attacking a defended beach again, meaning we don't need NGFS? What are some viable replacements to the combined firepower that the arguably outdated big-gun battleships that are currently sitting idly in the mothball fleet once provided?
Well, I've never been in the military, but I would make an educated guess that the Marines and the Army would rather try to use artillery units under their direct control for fire support than have to ask the Navy for it. I know the U.S. military is all about joint operations, but even so that could be a factor. I'm not in the military, however, so I don't know how much of a factor that is.
 

mac

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I see. In Korea, I'm thinking we could probably respond in time to have a friendly point of entry. Something like Taiwan, I guess, could be invaded easily. But I'm thinking that it would be better to capture a port or an airfield and use it as an entry point rather than landing on a beach. I guess limited beach landings could be used at some time, though.
Maybe, maybe not. China is a lot closer than we are. The port still has to be taken before we can launch from there. Strategic ports are the best defended spots on a countries coastline. Easier to take a beachead, then move on the port from land.
 
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