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You'd think they'd know better...

 What's not to like?

That said... the Admiral just said on national television, "Stupid stuff, dumbstuff, mind-bogglingly stupid stuff."

Making absolute claims like that is simply asinine.

Nobel said that about dynamite, the Brits said that about Dreadnoughts, Douhet said that about bombers. Just... dumb. Even if the system is a great leap forward. Sigh. Of course, "This time it will be different!"

Navy railgun could revolutionize the way US fights wars.

9 Comments

We old fogeys just don't understand revolutionary things. :-) Having said the silly stuff, no one knows what the results would be if we were able to put rail guns on ships. With Tanks they'd simply replace the main gun, which is a direct fire weapon. For a Naval Gun, however, what would happen is anyone's guess. Tanks deal in distances like 1-2 klicks. Navies have to do other things, and the actual capabilities that would result will have to wait until we field the things and turn a few "operators" minds onto the subject. Frankly, I think "innovation" is a far better word then "revolution" in this case. Calculators replaced slide rules, for example. Calculators could do things faster, and with greater precision, but I think anyone saying they were revolutionary needs to look at how much was done with slide rules. I still have a slide rule and once a raced a kid, who had a calculator, back in the mid 70s when the transition was on. He lost, but I only keep the slip stick as a bit of memorabilia. I'm sure you know that it was a French Gunner that invented the Slide Rule. Others may not.
 
Direct Fire projectile with a range of 50 nautical miles. What about that curvature of the Earth thingy?
 
John, did he say "revolutionary", or did he mean to say, plain old "revolting"? -Yeah, just as *cranky*, as ever, Grumpy.
 
A "revolutionary" weapon would be one that destroyed your enemy's will to wage war without firing a shot.
 
So, it might reach the fleet in 2018. At that time the fleet will consist of a handful of ships, mostly old, and many of them the worthless LCS.

How many ships will the rail gun be mounted on?  As someone noted, quantity has a quality all its own, so a handful of gee-whiz rail guns are not much of a threat.  And, what capabilities will be thrown away as we lust after the new whore on the block with the fake b00bs and shiny lipstick [on a pig?]?   Just about every warfare specialty is teetering on being mission capable at all, and many already sacrificed to pay for the F-35 boondoggle and Crappy Little Ships.

And will the rail gun ships be survivable, or can some raghead in a skiff with a RPG take them out?  What other capabilities will the rail gun ships have- ASW, for instance?  ANd will they be hard capabilities, or more fantasy "mission modules?"

How will targets be identified and acquired at the impressive OTH ranges? 

Will that go-fast projectile that smashes things to smithereens have any terminal guidance or proximity fuzing, or must it get a ballistic trajectory kinetic hit for a kill?  If that is the case, Mr. Jink and evasive action will negate all the hype.  "One shot, one kill" is pretty optimistic when countering ballistic missiles that are inbound.

i recall all the hype about the USS Vesuvius and its battery of dynamite guns in the Spanish American War.  It turned out to be nearly,  well, actually totally, worthless.  Technologically impressive for its time, but not really useful in any military role.

Also I get a bit worried when we have some brown show aviator telling the surface navy about great new guns it will be getting.

But, the bottom line is, Congress is not really funding any military modernization, and unless this wet dream is super cheap, I don't see it getting installed in any sort of numbers.

Chinese.  Learn Chinese. 
 
I think the most fundamental issue even if this weapon system is widely deployed, and works as advertised, would we use its "beyond visual range" ability. What would be the rules of engagement? Would our future Capt Swenson calling in the target actually get fire support? US Miltiary history is repleat with "futuristic" weapon systems our enemy hasn't mangated to steal yet, but wasn't used because of some idiotic rule (early air to air missles, etc).
Jerry


 
And when the power goes out; you are going to fire this with??? The power will never go out. We are invincible....boom! Why do I see spaceballs written all over this?
 
Hmmm, I can see this be real useful in an orbiting battle station, kinda as an adjunct to the "Rods from God".  At least then LOS will have some real meaning.  Should that time come the real entertainment will come from the jockeying between the Air Force and Navy on who's it will be. 

Beyond that, I'm always up for new stuff, who knows where it will really end up once it's shown to be possible.
 
qmcorps, how well does a regular gun fire from a Navy ship when it loses power?