MIL Return of the Battleships....(possibly)

Discussion in 'On Topic' started by Sharkticon, Sep 8, 2005.

  1. Sharkticon

    Sharkticon The safest place in combat is on an AEGIS Class Gu

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    BATTLESHIP SAILORS! There's hope..... [​IMG]


    Save The Battleships

    The Iowa and Wisconsin are essential

    By William L. Stearman

    By denigrating the battleships through a misinformation campaign on Capitol Hill, the Navy has convinced both Armed Services Committee to donate our two reserve battleships, Iowa and Wisconsin, as museums. Should this maneuver succeed, our Marines will have no essential, lifesaving naval surface fire support (NSFS) for the foreseeable future.

    This could cost us substantial American lives in inevitable future conflicts in the littorals where most of the world's population lives. As Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Michael W. Hagee once testified, the absence of NSFS places his troops "at considerable risk."

    According to the Navy, the annual cost of keeping each battleship in reserve is only $250,000. In other words, there is no valid reason whatsoever for getting rid of these invaluable, unique and irreplaceable ships.

    So, why is the Navy trying so hard to effect this? A Nov. 19, 2004, GAO report on NSFS revealed that battleships are, in effect, the only potential sources of NSFS in sight.(This was reinforced by subsequent developments.) Moreover, in the report, following the Navy's arguments against reactivation came the statement: "Marine Corps supports the strategic purpose of reactivating two battleships" in accordance with Public Law 104-106, requiring the Navy to maintain these ships in reserve until it has within the fleet an NSFS capability equaling or exceeding that of the battleships. Since the Navy cannot possibly meet this standard, it is asking Congress to repeal the law.

    The GAO report came out as the Navy was (and still is) engaging in a full-court press promoting its pet project, the futuristic and very expensive DD(X) destroyer. One can imagine that the Navy feared that eventually logic might well dictate reactivating the battleships, thus diverting funds from the DD(X). The safe thing to do, then, was to get Congress to take them completely off the board, so neither the Marines nor anyone else could ever get them brought into active service, no matter how badly they are needed. (Probably in the face of congressional support for the Navy, Marine Corps leadership has, sadly, given up.) Our good fighting Marines certainly deserve better than this.

    The Navy anti-battleship campaign on the Hill probably began on March 15, with a Navy briefing of Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, Maryland Republican, chairman of the House Projection Forces Subcommittee (which handles naval issues). This briefing was replete with anti-battleship arguments that were untrue or misleading, even, for example, exaggerating the "vulnerabilities" of this, the world's least vulnerable ship. My associates and I, who were present, objected to this Navy view of the battleships, so Mr. Bartlett asked us to prepare a rebuttal. Our well-documented rebuttal can be read on http://www.usnfsa.org.
    For example, the Navy always harps on the battleship's being too costly and manpower intensive, but as a former chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, the late Bob Stump, Arizona Republican, quite accurately stated: "Measured against their capabilities, [battleships] are the most cost-effective and least manpower intensive warships we have." For example, delivering a given weight of ordnance on target in a given period with DD(X)s or with carriers would require much more manpower and use far more costly platforms than would the battleship, which could deliver a far greater variety of ordnance out to over 100 miles.

    The Navy is touting the DD(X) as the ultimate in a land-attack ship-providing NSFS; however, the first ship won't be fielded until 2015, if then. On July 20, a Congressional Budget Office rep testified that the first DD(X) could cost $4.7 billion. The Navy's estimated $3.3 billion for one DD(X) could, in less that two years, reactivate, thoroughlymodernize (adding to each 96 vertical missile cells) and support both battleships. For NSFS, this buys us 18 16-inch guns with accurized projectiles — from 2,700-lb. AP deep penetrators, which can take out most hardened targets in North Korea, down to already well-tested 530-lb. 115-mile-range-guided 11-inch sabot rounds, plus 24 five-inch guns. One DD(X) has for NSFS only two 155-mm (6.1-inch) guns firing an advanced round that weighs only 63 lbs. on impact. This could not meet Marines' NSFS requirements.

    The battleship is our only ship that can risk a visible show of force in high threat areas, important in the war on terrorism. With vast storage and fuel capabilities and extensive workshops and medical facilities, it is an ideal securelogisticsbase. Modernized, these ships can steam over 30 years and make 33 knots.

    "I would hate to see a premature demise of the battleships USS Iowa and USS Wisconsin without a suitable replacement on station. In my personal experience in combat, the battleship is the most effective naval fire-support platform in the history of naval warfare" retired Marine Commandant .P.X. Kelley said in June.
     
  2. Sharkticon

    Sharkticon The safest place in combat is on an AEGIS Class Gu

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    Name another ship that can steam by itself and provide sustained fire support? Aircraft carriers are vulnerable and rely solely on their aircraft and other support ships to protect it.

    Outdated? Battleships can run faster than most modern ships. The last time I checked, the only outdated thing about the battleships were the use of the old launch systems for the Tomahawk cruise missiles. It still has Harpoon ship2ship missiles and CIWS Phalanx system. Oh yeah, and the old systems still in place that were good enough up until the 90s. ;)

    BTW, I decommissioned the USS IOWA BB-61. ;)

    Did you say DEPTH CHARGES? :rofl: Ummm.... the Navy hasn't used DCs in a LOOOOOOOONG damn time.

    As for cost, I do not believe, (from earlier reports after the last BB was decom'd), that the battleships cost as much as a carrier to operate. There's no way. A carrier is only more efficient (because of it's nuclear power plant).
     
  3. Sharkticon

    Sharkticon The safest place in combat is on an AEGIS Class Gu

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    Nah you don't sound stupid. You just don't sound Navy. :bigthumb:

    Yes, the Battleships are pigs when it comes to fuel consumption. Gas turbine engines would be more efficient or even nuclear power. Those big guns could be applied to modern warfare, especially if new munitions are developed. 100+ mile range? That would come in very handy in case the North Koreans get froggy.

    Having support ships may be inefficient but necessary in an Carrier Battlegroup. Without cruisers, destroyers, suppliers and submarines, carriers are extremely vulnerable. Even the new DDX is limited by its capability. It can't steam by itself. I guess that is the one endearing characteristic about Battleships; they can steam alone and remain relatively safe. The only thing it's missing is ASW (anti-submarine warfare) capability. Nothing a few Mk-48 torpedo launchers couldn't fix.
     
  4. Jason H

    Jason H Active Member

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    Against any modern enemy a battleship can and would be needed. They have insane range and they would be invaulable to any landing party.

    I say keep them.
     
  5. sannozay

    sannozay I'll deal with you later

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    the Navy will always need the Frigate to catch torpedoes!
     
  6. sannozay

    sannozay I'll deal with you later

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    did battleships ever run tails?
     
  7. Ivy Mike

    Ivy Mike New Member

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    The nice thing is that battleships are large enough to support a few helos and smaller boats.

    They have plenty of room.

    A friends father, a 20yr navy vet, was never happy about losing the battleships and had a good chuckle when the Navy called up the Missouri to kick ass in the Persian Gulf.
     
  8. Rodthrower18

    Rodthrower18 New Member

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    If anyone can get vids of a battleship firing its guns in anger...DAMN it is a sight to see the area of water directly under the guns get pushed into that little miniscus looking shape not to mention the miniature sun that they call a muzzle flash. AMAZING.
     
  9. Rodthrower18

    Rodthrower18 New Member

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    YA SEE!?!?!? Look at that and tell me its not fucking awesome. Now if someone could just find some video of it :x:
     
  10. TheNewMonaro

    TheNewMonaro New Member

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    The cost to refit them to be anything other than a target would be massive, the cost to crew the thing would be over 6 and a half Arleigh Burkes and they're considered manpower intensive. As an indication the RANs news AWDs have a target crew of 180 and will probably end up with ~230. They're going to be a modified AB design and apparently the USN is watching closely to see if any lessons can be applied to their future designs.

    It'd be a horrible waste of money, especially when the main guns only have a range of 30 odd miles.

    In the meantime last I heard only one was in a fit state to possibly be refitted anyway.
     
  11. TheNewMonaro

    TheNewMonaro New Member

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    They'd actually be more useful against an easy enemy. Sitting off the coast and banging away at Iraq is one thing, having to go up against someone that can actually reach out and touch you is another. That is unless you either spend a fortune rearming them or dump them in the middle of a carrier group and restrict where and when the planes fly.
     
  12. Sharkticon

    Sharkticon The safest place in combat is on an AEGIS Class Gu

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    I've been on two 6-month deployments on the USS IOWA and we always steamed by ourself. BUT, there was always a supply ship/oiler within a day of us for refueling and replenishment. The ship does have the capability to land and store a helo and it had several motor whale boats, (which would probably be replaced by RHIBs).

    A Battleship would not be a part of a carrier battlegroup, IMO. It would serve no purpose. A carrier battlegroup has task-specific ships with it, (destroyer, guided missile cruisers, subs, suppliers, etc). The Battleships main purpose is a show of force and power and sustained fire support.

    As the article stated, it is estimated that the cost of 1 DDX could cover the cost to recommission BOTH battleships. And if the new munitions pan out, it could be capable of hitting targets with its guns over 100 miles away.
     
  13. crucial_fiction

    crucial_fiction Active Member

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    Hey Shark you weren't on the Iowa by chance when she had her 'incident' were you? If so you may know my ETC.

    Also, harpoons are gone. The cost to retrofit a BB would be insane. (though I'm all for it...those babies are an FCs wet dream.)

    But comparing BBs to DDGs/CGs/FFGs serves no purpose each ship is valuable to the mission at hand.

    With the lack of recent amphibious landings people have pretty much forgotten about Naval Support for these types of operations.
     
  14. Diesel66

    Diesel66 My standards for women is like rent-a-centers stan OT Supporter

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    Iowa is on the way to Stockton as a museum,
     
  15. Sharkticon

    Sharkticon The safest place in combat is on an AEGIS Class Gu

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    Yes, I was there. I was in Turret One as Lower Level Powder Elevator Operator. My memory is kinda fuzzy from that day:

    Turret One had fired and myself and the rest of the crew were pretty much asleep waiting for Turret Two to shoot. With the ether or whatever smell from the gunpowder, one usually dozes pretty quick. I was in the elevator control. We heard a muffled "boom" and the ship rocked a bit just like normal but then smoke came down the shoot and filled the space. We lost communication. Finally someone opened to hatch to the powder room and we started heading up and out through the turret. By the time we got out fire fighting efforts were in full swing. Practically all hoses were pouring down on Turret 2. There are other details of that day and the days following I'd rather not go into. Even after all these years, I still get choked up talking about it.

    What's being uses for anti-ship missiles now?

    Even so, just the display of power by the Battleships is awesome. When they fire, it scared me every time. I can't imagine the sound of a 2700 pound HE shell whizzing over head. Especially if you are on the receiving end.
     

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