'New' 6-inch gun

Discussion in 'The Quarterdeck' started by Seaweed, Feb 26, 2008.

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  1. Seaweed

    Seaweed War Hero Book Reviewer

  2. Interesting.

    I was one of the dusties involved in reducing the amount of 6" gun spares held in stores when I served in Tiger.
    IIRC it was costed then, at over 100k's worth of spares being returned to Pompey yard.
    I believe the Gunnery bodies at the time were sure that such a large calibre gun would never be needed again - looks like they may have been a little off target (pun intended ;) )

    I do recall that they were rather deafening - as our mess was not too far under the turret, and just aft the cable pipes .... :(
  3. So we`ll be down to three type 45`s as the money will have run out after BAE have had an extra cut for R and D of this "new "gun. :dwarf:
  4. Why all this procrastinating, just park an Abbot Self Propelled Gun on the Focsle.

    Semper Strenuissima
  5. You might need to weld/bolt it to the deck, heavy seas etc. :thumright:
  6. Seaweed

    Seaweed War Hero Book Reviewer

    Whitemouse, this isn'the same gun, so all those spares - which may still be salted away somewhere - have had their day. But I'm glad to read that it actually got fired, in the 1st commission there was quite a problem getting it to do that with any regularity.
  7. They fired the damn thing quite a lot on my commission (74-76), I even recall, I hope correctly, that the gunner managed to straddle a fishing boat when shooting at an island target !

    I wasn't saying that the gun would be the same as is proposed, only that it seems that the calibre might be reintroduced.
    I wonder if they'll be considering larger calibres later - I'll bet there will be some old-time gunnery rates reminiscing then ....

  8. Only problem is last time I looked the abbot only has a 105mm gun even smaller than the 4,5. I think you meant the AS90
  9. Probably, but it has been a long time since I was involved in goonery. The programme I was thinking about was something like "Naval Gun 2000". But besause the powers to be couldn't get their sh1t together, they settled for extended range ammunition instead.

    Semper Strenuissima
  10. Basically the 6" gun will be the barrel from the AS90 - meaning comonality of ammo, and use existing ammo in NATO Stocks...

    what they are doing is investigating a proposal from BAE Systems to "up gun" the 4.5" to accept the 155mm gun barrel and breach from the AS-90 self propelled gun.

    Now this makes more sense to me as its not really a total new gun from scratch. It also allows us to use the armys shells and help joint development of shells etc.


    4.5" naval gun
    Range: 22km
    Rate of Fire: 20-26 rounds per minute
    Weight of shell (HE): 36.5kg (bursting charge 3kg)

    155mm gun:
    Range: ~25km (up to 70km with rocket assisted shell)
    Rate of fire: ~12 rounds per minute
    Weight of shell: 44.5kg
  11. As a 4.5" Maintainer, I applaud the proposed introduction into service of a 6" Gun, as extending the range of our NGS capability seems in theory to be a good idea. When it is suggested, however, that 6" ordnance be fitted to the existing mounting, alarm bells ring.

    The existing below-decks and on-mounting feed system (for both Mod 0 and Mod 1 Mountings) will need to be replaced in its entirety, due to the larger/heavier nature of the 155mm round. The recoil system will also have to be replaced to enable the mounting to deal with the increase in recoil forces with the larger round. All ammunition stowages, plus the endless chain hoist used for moving rounds between decks, will need to be replaced to accommodate the 6" ammunition. Furthermore, the associated fire control system would inevitably have to be replaced to allow the capability of the new ammunition to be realised.

    In short, my gut feeling is that the potential cost savings which might be envisaged by retaining some aspects of the existing mountings and using the same ordnance and ammunition as the AS-90 would be greatly exceeded by the re-design and re-engineering costs, and the unavoidable huge complications associated with trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.

    Lets do the job properly; put the money up front to design and manufacture a purpose built 6" Naval Gun…. or even buy and fit the US 155 mm Advanced Gun System currently under development by BAE Systems Armaments Systems!

  12. Worse than that mate. The pongo 155 ammo uses separate bagged charges (not certified for naval mags btw). Not just the size of the feed ring and loader that's going to need changing - back to separate shell rooms and magazines....
  13. Seaweed

    Seaweed War Hero Book Reviewer

    Re-enter Seaweed, who has actually served with 6" using bagged charges (6" Mk 23). This gun required a crew of fifty for a triple turret so I would expect at least 18 bodies to serve one gun on its own. Highest safe rate of fire was six rounds per minute. Weight of shell of the order of one hundredweight. It will be interesting to read how handling of soft charges can be safely automated as the existing mounting has no people init at all as I understand things. Also, one wonders what the detonation system is/will be.

    back-afty is spot on; basically if you have a much bigger bang you need a much stronger mounting and deck.

    With regard to the hype about CEP on Wikipedia, The longer the range the higher the round must go and the greater the errors due to wind. (Rhetorical question) will we have a special wind-finding round or assume that wind info will be freely available to us in wartime halfway across the globe?

    Somewhat confusing hints of answers to some of this at
  14. I think in reality this isn't going to happen. The 4.5in gun isn't just used for NGS, and has been highlighted, the 155mm uses high elevations in order to achieve range.

    Secondly anecdotal evidence suggests that this idea originated from some SO1 who was blue skying with a 1/2 star without actually thinking things through. Vickers have indeed mounted a 155 barrel in a Mk8 turret, but to my knowledge it hasn't been fired either on a test bed or a sea going platform. Add to this the fact that the 4.5 magazine on T45 is incredibly cramped, i think we would need to be recruiting small children and feeding them steroids in order to effectively hump the shells and powder bags around.

    The simpler solution would have been to mount a 5in gun as the Spanish and dutch have already done which utilises an already standard NATO naval round.

    Yet again, another wasted opportunity
  15. Seaweed

    Seaweed War Hero Book Reviewer

    1. It would seem that the primary object of this exercise is NGS and therefore it makes sense to use a round that Percy Pongo considers best for shredding Terry Taliban and whomever. With it comes the gun that uses it but that's just the barrel and presumably the breech etc. Such an ensemble would be adequate in surface fire against an enemy obliging enough to come in close enough and not stand off and pot at one with a guided missile. Medium range guns are completely useless in AA as the gun direction time cycle is too long to get the round to the target before weapon release (or at all) and this has been the case for decades, in spite of millions spent pretending otherwise. I don't think the RN or anyone else has shot down an aircraft with a medium range gun since 1945 when the aircraft were obligingly slower. Hence of course the investment in Close Range solutions, Phalanx etc.

    2. One problem for the RN is that (as far as I can see) no longer has anyone with other than a superficial knowledge of gunnery; the last specialists in this extremely complicated subject qualified in 1972, after the then obligatory twelve-month course, and so even if we wanted to resurrect the subject there cannot be anybody nowadays who knows enough to even get the syllabus started. So NO chance of development being user-led. It must not be left to the manufacturers whose only aim is to con the MoD into handing over lots of money (the loyalty of a company is entirely to its shareholders). Vickers have serially suckered the Andrew with duff armaments since (for instance) the 14" quad in PoW which packed up when she was trying to poke the Bismarck and the 6" Mk26 which, after years aboard Cumberland as trials ship, still didn't work when it went to sea for real, partly because Vickers for all their years of experience couldn't make shock-proof hydraulics.
  16. [quote="flippineck

    The simpler solution would have been to mount a 5in gun as the Spanish and dutch have already done which utilises an already standard NATO naval round.

    Yet again, another wasted opportunity[/quote]

    Yes it would, and the Defence Select Committee IIRC, even said they should, (They also said they should have bought the Mk 41 VLS as well but I digress), and BAE now own the plant that makes the rather nifty US 5" Mk 45.

    But despite report after report since 1945 saying 'switch to a 5" gun', we still **** about with a tiddler firing a bespoke sized bullet.
  17. Don't even get me started on the Mk 41 VLS, so much could have been done with that.

    I was told the other day that T45 is so big and has so much growth potential. What a sham.
  18. There's a good - though not certain - claim for HMS Avenger nailing a Skyhawk with her 4.5" in 1982.

    Meanwhile, the US certainly thinks its 5" guns have a useful AA role, if the way they stock the loading rings is any guide, and the Canadians likewise reckon their guns (admittedly smaller - 57mm and 76mm) are very handy anti-aircraft weapons.
  19. In fact, i have heard that the Frogs are modifying Stormshadow for VLS launch from the Sylver launcher - the A70 Sylver launcher. Which one did we buy? The A60 - which isn't compatible

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