[gundam] [OT] US Naval Battleships

Mark Nguyen (mnguyen@hotmail.com)
Tue, 16 Feb 1999 12:17:33 PST

>They've got two being converted to museums and another two in
>currently. I think that is idiotic, we should have at least one
>still. What are the Marines supposed to rely on for shore bombardment?
>Missles? Rockets?

Well, yeah. :) Remember that when the Iowas were recommisioned in the
early 80s, they were done so *specifically* to be able to mount 32
Tomahawk missiles. IIRC, they added on 16 Sea Sparrow missiles almost as
an afterthought, and the Vulcan CIWS as standard (mind you, the Iowas
had the best defensive arcs for those guns, IMO!).

With the advent of high-altitude, laser-guided bombing, super-accurate
Tomahawk strikes, and more, big guns like those the Iowas carried were
almost redundant, despite their impressive boom. :P New Arleigh Burke
class destroyers carry 192 Tomahawks, making for six times the anti-land
missile firepower in a ship half an Iowa's size.

And then there's the operating cost. A Tomohawk costs about $1M, and is
targetted, armed, fired, and controlled by a crew of two. Meanwhile, an
Iowa turret has (IIRC) 37 people in it to work, to shove three oil
barrel-sized gunpowder bags behind a steel slug, rotate the barrel, aim,
fire, and do it all over again...

> Christ, the Navy had, at last count, 35 brand new
>barrels for the 16 inch rifles as replacements. They should have those
>two ships still in the fleet for the next time a coastal town needs its
>streets and buildings plowed over.

Well, the barrels could be used as smokestacks! Or Haro-sized

Haro... Genki? Whee! :)

But then, I'm biased. Serving on
>the Wisconsin would have been the one thing to make me enlist, if she
>been around when I got out of high school.

It's always been the class ship for me. Don't get me wrong, I *love*
battleships. They look far better than those floating monstrosities some
call carriers. But depite their faults and outdatedness, they


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