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JohnPJones

Top Gun...for ships

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Maybe I’ve mentioned this thought here before, maybe not.

i also know the idea of ships gun fighting is a controversial topic for many. If you’re one those let’s do a suspension of disbelief for the topic.

 

heres my view, should the US or any major naval power go to war with another major naval power I think there will be at least one engagement that ends up with significant gun play. Whether it’s a 1v1 chance encounter or a SAG/battle group specifically hunting down another group of ships doesn’t really matter (though most likely would be closer to a 1v1 situation imho opinion)

either one side will engage with guns and the other won’t and will disengage,  or both sides will(obvious right?) 

if one side does and the other tries to retreat I think it will be because one side trained to use guns and the other side ‘trained’ to use their guns. My experience as a GM on a Burke I’d say the US ‘trains’ to use its guns.

so I propose a school like top gun for ships, or at least for TAO qualified officers. It would cover everything from gunfighting a cyclone up to a Tico (and eventually the LSC when they’re designed)

how long should the school be? Should it be just officers of a certain rank or qualification level, or should an entire ship and crew be sent? Thus diffusing knowledge as the sailors spread to other commands enabling them to pass on what they learned after completion?

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Unless technology changes drastically any gun fights will be minor littoral combat and even then missiles will still be a big part of any fight. If mass drivers become viable armor and gun battles may come back.

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4 minutes ago, BrushWolf said:

Unless technology changes drastically any gun fights will be minor littoral combat and even then missiles will still be a big part of any fight. If mass drivers become viable armor and gun battles may come back.

1. You clearly don’t understand what suspension of disbelief means.

2. No combat is minor to the soldiers, sailors, airmen, or marines who fight the combat.

3. There’s plenty of reason to believe guns will play a role worth noting in the next naval conflict, and no one said missiles wouldn’t play a role and no one said they wouldn’t play a major or the leading role so why you brought that up is beyond me.

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1) I missed that but modern naval warfare is planes and missiles and if you look at the ships of the world navies guns are pretty much a second thought. The navies of the world learned from our air to air experience in Vietnam for the need for guns in air combat realizing that not having them is worse than having them and not needing them.

2) Very true but history looks at things differently.

3) Any fleet action in the near future is going to be planes and missiles as I pointed out in number 1.

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44 minutes ago, JohnPJones said:

Maybe I’ve mentioned this thought here before, maybe not.

i also know the idea of ships gun fighting is a controversial topic for many. If you’re one those let’s do a suspension of disbelief for the topic.

 

heres my view, should the US or any major naval power go to war with another major naval power I think there will be at least one engagement that ends up with significant gun play. Whether it’s a 1v1 chance encounter or a SAG/battle group specifically hunting down another group of ships doesn’t really matter (though most likely would be closer to a 1v1 situation imho opinion)

either one side will engage with guns and the other won’t and will disengage,  or both sides will(obvious right?) 

if one side does and the other tries to retreat I think it will be because one side trained to use guns and the other side ‘trained’ to use their guns. My experience as a GM on a Burke I’d say the US ‘trains’ to use its guns.

so I propose a school like top gun for ships, or at least for TAO qualified officers. It would cover everything from gunfighting a cyclone up to a Tico (and eventually the LSC when they’re designed)

how long should the school be? Should it be just officers of a certain rank or qualification level, or should an entire ship and crew be sent? Thus diffusing knowledge as the sailors spread to other commands enabling them to pass on what they learned after completion?

A theoretical single engagement is not enough to justifying building an an entire school for.  Maybe when the time comes to train crews for the next generation of rail guns but an entire school for just a future 1v1 duel?  That's a waste.

You'd probably get more mileage out of a school used to train the future crews of the USS Constitution on how to man the guns properly.

Edited by Royeaux

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I'd settle for the USN bringing back the SWO school instead of using a collection of CDs that the Officer has to use their own free time to watch.

  • Cool 1

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18 hours ago, Royeaux said:

A theoretical single engagement is not enough to justifying building an an entire school for.  Maybe when the time comes to train crews for the next generation of rail guns but an entire school for just a future 1v1 duel?  That's a waste.

You'd probably get more mileage out of a school used to train the future crews of the USS Constitution on how to man the guns properly.

The sailors who might rely on that training probably wouldn't think it was a waste, nor their families and loved ones.

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18 hours ago, BrushWolf said:

1) I missed that but modern naval warfare is planes and missiles and if you look at the ships of the world navies guns are pretty much a second thought. The navies of the world learned from our air to air experience in Vietnam for the need for guns in air combat realizing that not having them is worse than having them and not needing them.

2) Very true but history looks at things differently.

3) Any fleet action in the near future is going to be planes and missiles as I pointed out in number 1.

point 1 and 3 hinge on the missiles not being destroyed, or decoyed.
real life missiles haven't fared to well against defended targets...and most ships carry a limited number of ASMs.

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If it's literally just a case of guns on guns - it'll depend on the systems, given how many are automatic.

 

Level of training is somewhat hard to quantify - as far as I know any navy that trains significantly, does train with its guns - but in this case the systems might make more of a difference.

 

For example;

Any ship relying on a 57mm Mk.3 against an enemy ship is simply screwed - they lack the punching power to be very effective, as well as effective range. The 76mm caliber is probably your minimum - the Huron sinkex demonstrated that when a ship with a 76mm gun had to be brought in to finish her when the 57mm couldn't.

As far as 76mm guns, comparing the most widely used (Compact and Super Rapido) - the SR is clearly superior, not only in the higher rate of fire, but also in its greater accuracy. With normal anti-ship mentions, range is 16-20 km, but with the Vulcano ammunition (unguided) this is extended to 40 km.  

 

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28 minutes ago, Phoenix_jz said:

If it's literally just a case of guns on guns - it'll depend on the systems, given how many are automatic.

 

Level of training is somewhat hard to quantify - as far as I know any navy that trains significantly, does train with its guns - but in this case the systems might make more of a difference.

 

For example;

Any ship relying on a 57mm Mk.3 against an enemy ship is simply screwed - they lack the punching power to be very effective, as well as effective range. The 76mm caliber is probably your minimum - the Huron sinkex demonstrated that when a ship with a 76mm gun had to be brought in to finish her when the 57mm couldn't.

As far as 76mm guns, comparing the most widely used (Compact and Super Rapido) - the SR is clearly superior, not only in the higher rate of fire, but also in its greater accuracy. With normal anti-ship mentions, range is 16-20 km, but with the Vulcano ammunition (unguided) this is extended to 40 km.  

 

thats why i specified trained vs 'trained'
one of the issues with the USN for example is (at least in my experience) we never shoot enough rounds to empty the ready ammo, and force the magazine crew to pass ammo, so the magazine crew could being inexperienced, and honestly too out of shape for the job could easily be a hindrance. we pretend to shoot guns at simulated enemies with the OOD going over the radio saying 'gulf, gulf, gulf' but thats pretty [edited] training...

but yes, a 57mm against something like type 052 would be a [edited] losing proposing for the ship with the 57mm and they're better off running(like a DD trying to fight a CA with guns for example), but against something else with a similar caliber, you need to know how to gun fight if it comes down to it.

personally i think 2-4 ships per coast taking part 'competing' against each other similar how students compete against instructors in top gun (but you can't man entire ships with experienced personnel and have entire ships just for this purpose, so use student ships to compete.) now how that competition would be scored for a winner, who knows, needs more thought put in to it.

 

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If this brings back gunnery training islands like the good ole days, I'm already sold.

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14 minutes ago, JohnPJones said:

I remember an episode of Magnum PI where the cast were stranded on the Hawaiian Island of Kahoʻolawe which the USN used for live-fire gunnery training and as a bombing range.  Mock-ups of airfields, military camps, and vehicles were constructed on Kahoʻolawe, and while pilots were preparing for war at Barbers Point Naval Air Station on Oʻahu, they practiced spotting and hitting the mock-ups at Kahoʻolawe. Similar training took place throughout the Cold War and during the War in Vietnam, with mock-ups of aircraft, radar installations, gun mounts, and surface-to-air missile sites being placed across this island for pilots and bombardiers to use in their training.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kahoolawe#Training_grounds

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how much would it cost to build a very cheap/flimsy USV approx. the size of a modern corvette-ffg using primarily plywood or other cheap materials that could be easily fixed/repaired as long as they weren't flat out sunk?

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While this is WW 2, they took practice far more seriously back then:

Muroc_Maru_with_B-25.jpg

That's the "Muroc Maru" a wooden mock up of a Japanese cruiser that was used to teach air crew how to bomb and strafe ships.  It was on Muroc Dry Lake (now Edwards AFB) in California.

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7 minutes ago, Royeaux said:

I remember an episode of Magnum PI where the cast were stranded on the Hawaiian Island of Kahoʻolawe which the USN used for live-fire gunnery training and as a bombing range.  Mock-ups of airfields, military camps, and vehicles were constructed on Kahoʻolawe, and while pilots were preparing for war at Barbers Point Naval Air Station on Oʻahu, they practiced spotting and hitting the mock-ups at Kahoʻolawe. Similar training took place throughout the Cold War and during the War in Vietnam, with mock-ups of aircraft, radar installations, gun mounts, and surface-to-air missile sites being placed across this island for pilots and bombardiers to use in their training.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kahoolawe#Training_grounds

you're showing your age lol.

i think i've seen 2 or 3 rereuns of magnum PI back in the 90s and early 00s

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Just now, Murotsu said:

While this is WW 2, they took practice far more seriously back then:

Muroc_Maru_with_B-25.jpg

That's the "Muroc Maru" a wooden mock up of a Japanese cruiser that was used to teach air crew how to bomb and strafe ships.  It was on Muroc Dry Lake (now Edwards AFB) in California.

lol as i was typing my previous post.

how much do you think something like that would cost to cover it up up so it's water tight and slap an engine in it, and make it into a USV that could be easily/cheaply repaired for  reuse? (assuming it's not sunk)

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7 minutes ago, JohnPJones said:

lol as i was typing my previous post.

how much do you think something like that would cost to cover it up up so it's water tight and slap an engine in it, and make it into a USV that could be easily/cheaply repaired for  reuse? (assuming it's not sunk)

The Navy has simulators for submarines.  I know, I manufactured some cables for them one time.  Major PITA to make too.  Had to withstand water pressure at 2000 feet deep (you use a heavy wall section of pipe with caps and the cable connected up inside then pressurize it to test that).

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16 minutes ago, Murotsu said:

The Navy has simulators for submarines.  I know, I manufactured some cables for them one time.  Major PITA to make too.  Had to withstand water pressure at 2000 feet deep (you use a heavy wall section of pipe with caps and the cable connected up inside then pressurize it to test that).

i'm just thinking how to build cheap targets that could be used for such a gunnery school. hitting a stationary cutout is great and all, but a moving target would be much better.

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Well it’s not just one person that fights the ship unlike fighter aircraft.  So you wouldn’t send just one person to the surface “top gun” school.

As you know the ship fights with its CIC watch team, the OSs, GMs, FC, STs, EWs (or whatever they call them these days) 

You have your GQ watchteam, but you’re not at GQ all the time, so you have your Condition III watch teams, ideally you’d have four condition III watch teams to man up CIC, but I’ve never been able to field any more than 3 full condition 3 watch teams on any one of my ships.

 

TAOs do go thru some sort of “tactics” school in Department Head school in Newport,  but it’s generic and not class specific.  You’re not using the actual TAO console that you have aboard ship, it’s just some PC with software emulating the watchstanders consoles onboard a notional warship (and we (the TAO/DH students ) have no idea what the FCs or EWs do on their consoles.)

 

The ship itself can use its CIC as a simulator/trainer.  It can run simulations in port or underway under supervision of the CSTT.

What would be needed instead of the current system of a single ship running a scenario that lasts during a 4 hour watch period, would be multiple ships each running a single scenario networked across all of the ships over multiple watches,  under supervision of a designated DESRON or CRUDESGRU that is responsible for certifying the strike group for deployment.

it would be nice to network all the ships in the strike group together, so that when one ship does something, it also shows up on all of the other ships in the strike group and they can react accordingly.  , I.e. a ship assigned to take a track experiences a MK-41launcher malfunction so it can’t take the track, so another ship has to scramble to take the track.

so the DESRON is responsible for the tactical training of the deploying strike group, and the ships’ watch teams learn to work together as a watch team fighting the ship as part of a strike group.

Anyways didn’t know if that’s what you were after.

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21 hours ago, wtfovr said:

Well it’s not just one person that fights the ship unlike fighter aircraft.  So you wouldn’t send just one person to the surface “top gun” school.

As you know the ship fights with its CIC watch team, the OSs, GMs, FC, STs, EWs (or whatever they call them these days) 

You have your GQ watchteam, but you’re not at GQ all the time, so you have your Condition III watch teams, ideally you’d have four condition III watch teams to man up CIC, but I’ve never been able to field any more than 3 full condition 3 watch teams on any one of my ships.

 

TAOs do go thru some sort of “tactics” school in Department Head school in Newport,  but it’s generic and not class specific.  You’re not using the actual TAO console that you have aboard ship, it’s just some PC with software emulating the watchstanders consoles onboard a notional warship (and we (the TAO/DH students ) have no idea what the FCs or EWs do on their consoles.)

 

The ship itself can use its CIC as a simulator/trainer.  It can run simulations in port or underway under supervision of the CSTT.

What would be needed instead of the current system of a single ship running a scenario that lasts during a 4 hour watch period, would be multiple ships each running a single scenario networked across all of the ships over multiple watches,  under supervision of a designated DESRON or CRUDESGRU that is responsible for certifying the strike group for deployment.

it would be nice to network all the ships in the strike group together, so that when one ship does something, it also shows up on all of the other ships in the strike group and they can react accordingly.  , I.e. a ship assigned to take a track experiences a MK-41launcher malfunction so it can’t take the track, so another ship has to scramble to take the track.

so the DESRON is responsible for the tactical training of the deploying strike group, and the ships’ watch teams learn to work together as a watch team fighting the ship as part of a strike group.

Anyways didn’t know if that’s what you were after.

yep, like i said i ideally would like to see the whole ship sent to such a school.

for me i envision using the consoles to sem-simulate a fight...if that's possible.

you'd track the actual movements of the OPFOR ship in real time so you're actually 'fighting' an enemy,  but that information would be superimposed on a simulation type map  that both vessels are using (like how we super impose a fake SoH when doing exercises) but out of range of guns to ensure no one accidentally takes a shot while 'firing on each other' if what i'm envisioning makes any sense to you.

but for me i'm looking at a focus on guns, maybe not a solo focus on guns. i don't like the reliance on missiles, and the USN doesn't do nearly enough live fire gunnery training with actual targets.

Edited by JohnPJones

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