FYI: Navy Lasers, Railgun, and Hypervelocity Projectile: Background and Issues

Discussion in 'Warfare / Military' started by APACHERAT, Sep 10, 2015.

  1. Mushroom

    Mushroom Well-Known Member

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    They were mostly used against bunkers and pillboxes, or targets danger close to civilians.

    While the Copperhead is a bit expensive compared to regular artillery, it's precision is awesome. However, the one drawback to using it is that there has to be a person on the ground to manually target where they want it to hit.

    I wish the PGMs for the BB class ships had been finished, it might have saved 1 or 2 of them. I consider the capabilities of combining 16" rounds with rocket assist and a PGM tracking package, and it could be used as a much cheaper version of the Tomahawk at 100 mile ranges.

    And with the pressure from North Korea heating up again, that would have been a perfect weapon to pull out of the arsenal. Steaming an Iowa class ship just outside of National Waters would be as clear of a middle finger as could be sent. Quite literally there is nothing that North Korea could have done against such a ship, short of actually sending a nuke against it.

    But politicians never think of such things until it is far to late.
     
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  2. Questerr

    Questerr Well-Known Member

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    It would have still been cheaper in operational and manpower costs to build a monitor with one or two 16" guns than to keep the Iowa's in service.
     
  3. Kash

    Kash Member

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    It is not that awesome at all. It is basically a sort of a failure.
    Copperhead was 30k in 1982. Depending on how you calculate USD purchasing power, via gold, of hamburger, current cost of Copperhead should be doubled or tripled, as you wish.
    According to Iraq, two copperheads give 90% hit probability. This means that at a cost of two copperheads you can have 120 - 300 Regular 155mm HEs depending on what prices you use.
    Copperhead might seem reasonable for a distant fire base, where logistic costs grow exponentially, where you have to carry the ammo by a helicopter. But Copperhead also demands really strict lasing procedures, nothing like a point and click of a TOW. And you never know, will it lock, will it not lock, why the hell it failed to lock, will it lock tomorrow…

    Fleet actually received its guided shell, with 80+ km of range, GPS and probably lasing. For a cost of 800k per one… Simpler to send the enemy half the cost in cash, and ask him to burn the tank by himself, this concept will be much more productive… GPS and Lasing and fire control radar is the future, but not today and not tomorrow probably.

    Leave the girl be! :)
     
  4. Strasser

    Strasser Well-Known Member

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    Maybe in a hundred years, if ever. Makes for almost interesting science fiction stories for teenagers, though.
     
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  5. Strasser

    Strasser Well-Known Member

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    Not nearly the big drawback it's made out to be, especially ones dense enough to throw off targeting. I suppose somebody might develop a fog that remains in place indefinitely and permanently or something, but I won't hold my breath; even smoke doesn't help unless you know long enough ahead of time where the threat is, what exactly is going to be targeted, and how much time is needed to deploy it, and which way the wind is going to blow it, so no, fog isn't much of argument; maybe in some micro-climates. In such cases, we still have area saturation tactics and the like to fall back on, but as you say there will be redundancy. Even with lasers there multiple wavelengths that can, and are, being used that can overcome the fog issue to varying degrees. IR sighting works, too.

    Yep. If you have it, no point in not using it and only training for one type.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2017
  6. Mushroom

    Mushroom Well-Known Member

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    It has nothing to do with targeting, and everything to do with weapon power.

    Think of it as shining a flashlight through layers of pantyhose material. Except at each layer of fabric (smoke, fog, rain, etc) you actually have some of the energy absorbed and have heat and possible plasma result. This is known as "thermal blooming". And as you pass through even more layers, even more of the energy is siphoned away. And it can happen even faster, because this thermal blooming itself dissipates the energy even faster.

    This is just one of the problems the Soviets spent billions of rubles trying to solve during the Cold War. And they never could really do it. In a lab, LASER weapons are awesome. In the real world with such contaminations, they are not so good.

    Oh, and the interaction of such particles also throws off the energy into almost random directions, in addition to enlarging it's area and diminishing it's energy at the target. So even if the targeting is 100% pinpoint accurate to the micron, thermal blooming will still throw it off.

    Thermal blooming is indeed a big problem, and one that has yet to be solved in the field. And scientists have been experimenting with different optics and the LASER element for half a century so far, with no real luck.
     
  7. Strasser

    Strasser Well-Known Member

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    Well, I was talking about them, so yes, my post has to do with targeting, and some applies to lasers as weapons as well. Thermal blooming has always been a problem, but the research is not been stick in the 1970's, it moves on and many work-arounds have been devised since then. I already posted on chirping in another thread here somewhere in this forum, and your info on the latest research is dated.

    Edison began trying to develop vacuum systems to increase the life of his light bulbs in the late 1800's, and vacuum systems capable of allowing electronic and digital chip manufacturers to cram ever more and more transistors and other components was still extremely crude in the early 1950's when micro-electronics became an infant industry, and now we're some 60 years along, so yes, applied advances take lots of years, especially when several sciences have to advance together. The vast majority of our 'modern' tech is over a hundred years old and still being tweaked as we speak.

    Here are a couple of papers available to the public and aren't secret, one is working on methods using ground based lasers to eliminate space debris, the other on issues with high power lasers and blooming you and others might find interesting. Back in the early 1990's I was building master oscillators for laser systems that were drilling 4 inch deep holes in steel through smoke clouds at 100 meters with a portable power supply the size of a 1960's color TV set; nowadays they are quite a bit smaller, and far more powerful.

    Light self-focusing in the atmosphere: thin window model | Scientific Reports

    https://www.nature.com/articles/srep30697

    Mitigation of thermal blooming and diffraction effects with high-power laser beams

    https://www.researchgate.net/public...ffraction_effects_with_high-power_laser_beams

    this is just a little sample of stuff that is no longer classified and has been released to commercial development and use. The military stuff is further along, the primary obstacle being money, as usual. Other methods include drone delivery systems, self-contained artillery fired lasers, missile delivery systems, and anything else some engineers somewhere can design.

    I worked extensively with lasers, as well as industrial sized vacuum systems, so no need to give me the Jr. High home room speech on them and how they work. thermal blooming is not the huge deal it once was, and it is fast becoming even less of a deal.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2017
  8. Mushroom

    Mushroom Well-Known Member

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    Well, when we are able to get one that will work at Fort Ignorance more than 4 days in 7, let me know. I have been in more dust storms there than I care to think about. Or maybe in even a moderate typhoon or a typical autumn day in Panama.

    I also have worked with LASERs, and talk to those who have been testing them. Specifically military systems, and some of the Navy personnel that have been working on both ship based LASERs, as well as the electromagnetic guns.

    And yea, they are still having problems with the blooming. Anything more than a couple of miles at the surface and it is not really of weapon's grade strength anymore. To much energy stripped away enroute to the target.

    Upper atmosphere that is less of a problem, as we saw in Air Force tests a decade ago. But on the surface it is still a problem, which is why they are testing it at White Sands.
     
  9. Kash

    Kash Member

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    The guided 16’’ shell will be around 1.5mill, roughly same as a tomahawk
    The monitor will cost us around 1bill, that’s 666 tomahawks.
    New Iowa or refurbishing the old Iowa will cost roughly the same - as two modern carriers (comparing prices from ww2)

    While the Tomahawk is operational, there are not many weapons that can surpass it in terms of effectiveness. First you need to somehow remove Tomahawk from the fleet, than you can think about big spending’s… I mean really big spending which are necessary to make a weapon out of rail gun or a laser.
     
  10. APACHERAT

    APACHERAT Well-Known Member Donor

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    Actually the cost of a naval 16" projectile being converted to a guided shell would cost $20 K. So the total cost of a laser guided 16" round would be $20,500.

    All AP and HE 16" projectiles were manufactured during WW ll and cost around $500 each. All have been kept in storage at Hawthorne Nv. and other Naval / Army Weapons Depts around the country.

    Hawthorne Nv. Naval Weapons Depot < http://www.hartshorn.us/Navy/navy-18.htm > now under Army control known as Hawthorne Army Ammunition Plant, < http://www.jmc.army.mil/Installations.aspx?id=Hawthorne > is the largest ammunition depot in the world.
    [​IMG]

    Army looking to scrap 15,000 16-inch shells


    10/03/16
    The Army for the past couple months has been looking for vendors interested in getting rid of possibly the largest cache of battleship food still in existence.

    While it would seem like the Navy would take point on this one, the U.S. Army Contracting Command in Rock Island, Ill., in as part of the Joint Munitions Command is announced in August they were looking for potential sources who possess the expertise in demilling and disposing of 15,595 surplus 16″/50 caliber shells currently being stored at the Crane Army Ammunition Activity in Indiana.

    The shells are all for the Iowa-class battleships, commissioned in World War II and brought back by popular request for Korea, Vietnam, Lebanon and the Persian Gulf wars.

    Decommissioned at the end of the Cold War, by 2012 all four ships of the class (Iowa, New Jersey, Missouri and Wisconsin) were transferred to various museums around the country. Some shells belonged to even older North Carolina and South Dakota-class ships.

    However their huge shells, some weighing as much as 2,700-pounds each– or about as much as a compact car–remain in the arsenal. While these behemoths were propelled by 110-pound silk bags of smokeless powder (up to six at a time for maximum range), the shells themselves were filled with tracer (for practice), as many as 666 Comp A5/RDX grenades (for armor piercing rounds) or as much as 154-pounds of Explosive D (for bursting).

    “Methods and degree range from removal and destruction of critical features to total destruction by cutting, crushing, shredding, melting, burning, etc,” reads the request. “Demil is required to prevent property from being used for its originally intended purpose and to prevent the release of inherent design information that could be used against the United States.”

    The period for those interested in the work ended last week, but the Army cautions that the “research is for planning purposes only…”

    The largest gun in current service is 155mm (6-inches) which is relatively puny compared to the 16 inchers of the battlewagons.

    Below is the last time a 16-inch gun salvo was fired, that of the USS Wisconsin (BB-64) on May 16th, 1991.







     
  11. Kash

    Kash Member

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    Normal acceleration for a 50caliber 800m\s gun, should be considered around 10000-16000G. Due to a fact that propellant burns unevenly (slow in the beginning, fast in the middle, slowly in the end), a safe maximum acceleration should be considered around 20000G. Personally I do not know if a 16’’ gun is any different to M4, it could have different burn characteristics. So lets accept 10000G to be on the safe side.

    Anyhow, first, you need to survive the shot. This is 10000G acceleration (possibly 20000), 3000 degrees Celsius, 2000 atmospheres of pressure.

    Warhead – that’s simple.
    Guidance system – that’s tricky, you can guess what will happen to your cellular phone if we will apply 10000G for 0.002 sec.
    The gas generator – more or less simple, but basically it is sitting on 5 large bags of gunpowder. Might be issues. I mean there are going to be issues, big big issues :)
    The fins – these you need to hide during the shot and deploy in flight.
    The fins control and guidance mechanisms of a very heavy shell. This might not have a solution at all.

    So basically using old shell or modifying old shell is out of the question completely. Using old 16” guns is a question, they might not fit a longer shell.

    Copperhead, Excalibur, Santimiter, Krasnopol, Whalehunter, ADC, BOSS, they all cost way above 20k.

    LRLAP costs 800-1200k.

    A heavier, much more complicated shell that is never going to be mass produced will cost 40000times less?
     
  12. Questerr

    Questerr Well-Known Member

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    Have you never heard of inflation?
     
  13. APACHERAT

    APACHERAT Well-Known Member Donor

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    Yes...back during WW ll it only cost $500 to manufacture a 16" gun projectile.

    All of the Navy's AP and HC 16" projectiles in storage were manufactured during WW ll.

    In Vietnam every evening we were told what ships would be on the gun line for the next day to provide NSFS.

    We were given the name of the ship, the class of ship, it's call sign, how many rounds were on board for each type (HC, HE, AP, WP, Ill.) and how many of each fuses were available ( FQ, FD, FT or VT) VT being proximity fuses. And if the VT fuses were manufactured during WW ll we were warned since the VT fuses from WW ll weren't as reliable as the recent manufactured VT fuses.

    During the 1980's all kinds of new 16" gun projectiles were introduced, rocket assist giving the guns a 90 mile range, sabot rounds, laser guided, sub munitions. A new gun powder came on line doubling the life of the gun barrels so they could fire twice as many rounds before having to be re-gunned.

    There were even nuclear 16" gun projectiles, the Nuclear Mark 23 - W23 warhead, about 15-20 kilotons manufactured during the late 1950's.

    [​IMG]

    In theory the Mk 23 nuclear 16" rounds would give each Iowa class Battleship capable of delivering 135-180 kilotons worth of explosives in one salvo. An unique capability that would have proved decisive in any conflict on sea or on land. The nuclear tests with the Mk-9 (11in Army shell) had the shell detonated as an aerial burst. The nuclear tests at the ABLE detonation showed an air burst detonation did little structural damage to battleships.
     
  14. Questerr

    Questerr Well-Known Member

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    If you understand that those rounds cost $500 DURING WW2 and you understand inflation exists, then you should know that guided 16" rounds would take a hell of a lot more than $20000 dollars to manufacture.

    You also knowthe Able test showed that any structural damage would be pointless given that the entire crews would be killed from radiation and having the oxygen sucked out of their lungs by the fireball right?

    You seem totally hung up on their idea that the only way to kill a battleship is to sink it. A mission kill is just as much a kill.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2017 at 5:14 PM
  15. APACHERAT

    APACHERAT Well-Known Member Donor

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    Where do I start ?

    Sounds like you never been aboard an Iowa class battleship.

    Except for the gunners mates who would be manning the 5"/38 guns all of the crew is well protected from gunfire, fireballs and radiation.

    [​IMG]

    Through those blast proof doors where the ship's crews are located. It's where all of the fighting takes place.
    17" thick of nickle armor plating. The Hull armor belt with 12"of armor plating and the conning tower and 16" gun turrets 17" thick.

    [​IMG]

    There will never be another battleship that could be compared to the Iowa's.

    No infrastructure to build them.

    Those who knew how to build them are in their 90's if still alive.

    The 27 X 16"/50 guns that exist today are all in museums.

    The Clinton administration ignored Congress and broke the law and cut up all of the Navy's spare 16" barrels. There were enough spare barrels to regun all four Iowas three times.

    And the 15,000 16" rounds in storage are going to be “demilled" that is required to prevent property from being used for its originally intended purpose and to prevent the release of inherent design information that could be used against the United States.

    Only one Naval Ship Yard exist today that can regun a battleship, Bremerton NSY.

    Under President Clinton and BRAC the only other NSY that were capable of regunning a battleship are no more. Mare Island NSY, Long Beach NSY, Philadelphia NSY.

    Regunning a 16" barrel is replacing the liner of the gun barrel.
    [​IMG]
    excerpt:

    Excerpt from Strafford Morss and Iowa Class Survivability


     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2017 at 6:23 PM
  16. Questerr

    Questerr Well-Known Member

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    Those battleships can't be sealed air tight and don't have an internal independent oxygen supply. The fireball would consume all the oxygen on board no different from a thermobaric weapon used on a bunker.

    And the entire surface of the ship would be radioactive. All the air being drawn into the ship's ventilation system would be radioactive.

    Let's say the crew beneath the heavier layers of armor or within the turrets survive. Great. They are now blind and dumb. The bridge crew are dead. The radars are destroyed. The guys in the observation masts are dead. What are the turrets and engines going to do? Run in circles firing the guns blindly?

    At the very least, a nuked battleship would be mission killed and need months of scrubbing a refitting combined with an entirely new crew as the previous ones spend their last weeks literally ******** their guts out.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2017 at 8:03 PM
  17. APACHERAT

    APACHERAT Well-Known Member Donor

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    Don't know what you have been reading or how much training you received in the military during the Cold War on fighting on the nuclear battlefield.

    But first lets start with the thermobaric weapon. True that it will suck the oxygen out of the air just like napalm but it only happens for a few seconds. Nobody dies from asphyxiation, it's the over pressure that kills.

    Now napalm kills by turning people into crispy critters or by asphyxiation if you happen to be a Jap in a cave or Charley in a tunnel.

    Have no idea how close you ever been to a danger close napalm CAS mission ? You can use napalm with in 110 meters of friendly troops.

    But there are two types of napalm...
    Napalm (A) which burns for 15 to 30 seconds.

    The good stuff like we used in Vietnam, Napalm (B) that can burn for up too 10 minutes that creates its own weather pattern because it's sucking the oxygen right out of the air that it changes the direction of the wind, oxygen being sucked towards the burning napalm. But the oxygen that is sucked towards the burning napalm is replace with new oxygen unless your in a cave or a tunnel complex.

    Now lets get to the nukes. Any sucking of the oxygen out of the air you are dealing with a few milliseconds. In fact not even the military paid any attention to it during all of the nuclear test that were conducted.

    So what are you dealing with during the initial nuclear detonation ? Gamma rays that all happens with in 3 milliseconds, the over pressure (blast) and the fireball that where the heat is that keeps going up and up and up really fast.

    How does one protect themselves from those gamma rays ?

    Lead is the best protection. The Iowas's 17" of armor plating is a pretty good protection, armor plating is denser than steel.

    Protection Factor
    A radiation shield is characterized by its total ‘protection factor’. For example, a shield that only lets 1/1,000 (one one-thousandth) of the gamma rays through, has a protection factor of 1000 (the modern day standard).



    RADIATION SHIELDING MATERIALS
    To achieve a protection factor of 1,000 the following chart of materials and thicknesses must be used. We’ve saved you the trouble and have factored the proper ‘halving thickness’ values of each material in order to achieve a protection factor of 1,000.

    Material Thickness (inches)
    Lead 4"
    Steel 10"
    Concrete 24"
    Packed Dirt 36"
    Water 72"
    Wood 110"


    It all can be found hear. -> https://fas.org/nuke/guide/usa/doctrine/dod/fm8-9/1toc.htm

    Now there's the second kind of radiation that is formed with in the fire ball which becomes fallout.

    Now ships are on the water not sitting on dirt. No such thing as a dirty bomb under, upon or over the water. The only radioactive fallout would be down wind in the form of water droplets.

    Going back to the 60's most U.S. Navy warships including the Iowas have a counter measures for NBC attacks, they can perform their own decontamination while at sea.

    [​IMG]

    Holly Green Amphibious ****...It's an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer. The USS Barry (DDG 52) conducting an operational check of the countermeasure wash down sprinkler system. The countermeasure wash down system washes the ships exterior in case of chemical, biological or radiological contamination.
     
  18. APACHERAT

    APACHERAT Well-Known Member Donor

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    I'm sure glad I was to young to have served in the Marines when they used real nuclear bombs to train you for fighting on the nuclear battlefield back during the 1950's.

    [​IMG]


     
  19. Kash

    Kash Member

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    500 USD in 1940s is a considerable sum for military budget. Could it be that you are mistaken?
    In the beginning of the war, one P40 tomahwk – would cost you around 14k USD. A shell should not cost 1/28 of a modern fighter. F18 is 60million. Calculated in slightly outdated fighters, 500 USD in 1941, equals 2million in 2017.

    You are missing the Flash,
    Loss of sight for observers, dead optics, optical channels, burning damage to radar plates, wiring, e.t.c. Possible fires around the ship.
    You are missing EMI
    Loss of electronics, communication, wiring will act like antennas, possible loss of elecro engines, lifts, all stuff with long conductors.
    You are missing G shock in case of underwater detonation. Lift a ship up by 15 meters, and the crew will be dead or disabled before it will fall back…
    Nothing lives in fireball, millions of degrees, thousands of tons of earth evaporate, left aside water. 17 inch of steel is nothing

    Battleship is a strategic weapon, which lost its superiority in distance. Extremely expensive strategic weapon. For its price you can build a much more potent fleet. Basically a barge with Tomahawks is outperformed by a battleship at a distance below 30km only, and that’s it, on all other distances you will prefer a missile barge.
     
  20. APACHERAT

    APACHERAT Well-Known Member Donor

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    I use to think about ships and EMP but Iearn that all important electronics, generators, etc. are protected from EMP.

    Easy to do.

    I was working on a project at the China Lake NWTC back during the 80's and crossed paths with someone. Asked him what he was working on ?
    He had a really cool job, he travels all around the world EMP proofing communication centers on U.S. military installations.

    Battle ships are only a strategic weapon when used in geoplitics (gun boat diplomacy.)


    Since WW ll, battleships have been classified as Fire Support Ships.

    Last Friday I was unpacking some boxes and one box had my collection of "Janes- Fighting Ships."
    One of my favorites is "Janes Fighting Ships 1968 - 69.

    Back when I served we had 900 commissioned ship on active duty. A 900 ship navy.
    25 aircraft carriers
    342 Fleet Escort ships
    41 Strategic Warfare ships
    9 Fire Support ships
    128 Submarines
    160 Amphibious ships
    96 Replenishment ships
    99 Mine Warfare ships
    And a couple hundred auxiliaries and support ships.

    In the U.S. Navy section of "Janes"all ships have a classification, Strategic Warfare Ships, Air Craft Carriers, Command and Communication Ships, Fleet Escort Ships, Fire Support Ships, Submarines, Amphibious Ships, and a dozen other classifications for ships.

    Under Fire Support ships the Iowa class BB USS New Jersey and 8 other heavy and light gun cruisers are listed while 11 8" and 6"gun cruisers are listed as Fleet Escort ships.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2017 at 2:46 PM

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