Author Topic: RCN conducts first ever land attack with a Block II Harpoon missile  (Read 37773 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Oldgateboatdriver

  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 132,615
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 3,486
Lumber:

I think the winner for smallest size of ship for a 76 mm gun has got to be the Italian Sparviero  class:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sparviero-class_patrol_boat

However, you have to keep in mind that the reason these small ships can have a 76 mm gun (or put it in a sea can) is that they are only composed of the gun and its handling system (on the deck immediately below). It also means that they are restricted to what's in the ready use automatic loader. No magazine to reload from in action.

That may be fine when you are on a small local patrol vessel and can go back in harbour to reload after any encounter, but not so good on a frigate/destroyer doing mid-ocean escort work. The Flyvefisken with the sea can could not reload. The Iver Huitfled have a 76 mm magazine, but the reloading from the elevator to the loader inside the sea can has to be done by hand from the service door, and its a cramped can to work in.

Anyway, it would have been just as easy to put a 76 mm on the HAL as a 57 mm. Just as we could have kept the 5 inch Otto Melara on the IRO instead of replacing them with the 76 mm. The choice is not based on design constraints but on operational use.

Modern warships fight one another at long range with missiles these days, not at short range with guns. So the guns serve one of three basic purpose: fighting asymmetric threats, Anti Air warfare or ground support. The larger guns, from the French 100 mm up in size are considered primarily ground support guns. The smaller guns of 57 mm and lesser calibers are primarily for asymmetric/AA work. And the 76 mm is a weird animal that is neither fish nor fowl right in the middle. It does it all, but none of them as well as the other smaller or larger "dedicated" calibers.

So the choice of the 57 mm for the HAL's was not a design decision (as in: it's the biggest we can carry) but an operational decision: what is the most likely threat that this class of ship will encounter that require a gun: lets maximize that use. AA/asymmetric won and we got the 57 mm.

The choice is not that bad when you think of it. The last time the RCN did ground support with guns was during the Korean War to do train busting. It required the destroyers to rush inshore, and thus expose themselves to battery fire from the shore, so they could fire from inside the gun's range. Nowadays, with land attack missiles, why would you want to do that? And otherwise, what are the chances of Canada needing to carry out ground support with guns of Canadian troops? Pretty damn near zero. So, good choice, people!

Offline Underway

  • Donor
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • 19,520
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 863
Lumber:

I think the winner for smallest size of ship for a 76 mm gun has got to be the Italian Sparviero  class:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sparviero-class_patrol_boat

However, you have to keep in mind that the reason these small ships can have a 76 mm gun (or put it in a sea can) is that they are only composed of the gun and its handling system (on the deck immediately below). It also means that they are restricted to what's in the ready use automatic loader. No magazine to reload from in action.

That may be fine when you are on a small local patrol vessel and can go back in harbour to reload after any encounter, but not so good on a frigate/destroyer doing mid-ocean escort work. The Flyvefisken with the sea can could not reload. The Iver Huitfled have a 76 mm magazine, but the reloading from the elevator to the loader inside the sea can has to be done by hand from the service door, and its a cramped can to work in.

Anyway, it would have been just as easy to put a 76 mm on the HAL as a 57 mm. Just as we could have kept the 5 inch Otto Melara on the IRO instead of replacing them with the 76 mm. The choice is not based on design constraints but on operational use.

Modern warships fight one another at long range with missiles these days, not at short range with guns. So the guns serve one of three basic purpose: fighting asymmetric threats, Anti Air warfare or ground support. The larger guns, from the French 100 mm up in size are considered primarily ground support guns. The smaller guns of 57 mm and lesser calibers are primarily for asymmetric/AA work. And the 76 mm is a weird animal that is neither fish nor fowl right in the middle. It does it all, but none of them as well as the other smaller or larger "dedicated" calibers.

So the choice of the 57 mm for the HAL's was not a design decision (as in: it's the biggest we can carry) but an operational decision: what is the most likely threat that this class of ship will encounter that require a gun: lets maximize that use. AA/asymmetric won and we got the 57 mm.

The choice is not that bad when you think of it. The last time the RCN did ground support with guns was during the Korean War to do train busting. It required the destroyers to rush inshore, and thus expose themselves to battery fire from the shore, so they could fire from inside the gun's range. Nowadays, with land attack missiles, why would you want to do that? And otherwise, what are the chances of Canada needing to carry out ground support with guns of Canadian troops? Pretty damn near zero. So, good choice, people!

Completely agree.  The 57mm was chosen almost exclusively for its AA defensive capability.  Remember when the CPF's were being developed the Falklands was very fresh in everyone's mind.  57mm rate of fire and rapidity of targeting were key in that discussion.  If you wanted to shoot ships we had missiles for that.  Support to forces ashore was not in the Canadian navy toolbox at the time and not even bottom of mind.  We were an ASW navy that was going to fight subs and deal with blackjack bombers.  It also freed up space and tonnage for other things. 

Switching things up, if you want a surface fire weapons you lose the air defence and vice versa, even with intelligent rounds.  This is why some euro ships have gone with two gun systems.  If land attack is what you want the 127mm is a mature technology and the people who have brought you Excalibur rounds are working on the 127mm version.  Would make for a much cheaper option than launching harpoons.  And finally within the next 10 years we'll have rail guns and lasers as new options.

Offline Lumber

  • Donor
  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *
  • 55,624
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 1,977
Completely agree.  The 57mm was chosen almost exclusively for its AA defensive capability.  Remember when the CPF's were being developed the Falklands was very fresh in everyone's mind.  57mm rate of fire and rapidity of targeting were key in that discussion.  If you wanted to shoot ships we had missiles for that.  Support to forces ashore was not in the Canadian navy toolbox at the time and not even bottom of mind.  We were an ASW navy that was going to fight subs and deal with blackjack bombers.  It also freed up space and tonnage for other things. 

Switching things up, if you want a surface fire weapons you lose the air defence and vice versa, even with intelligent rounds.  This is why some euro ships have gone with two gun systems.  If land attack is what you want the 127mm is a mature technology and the people who have brought you Excalibur rounds are working on the 127mm version.  Would make for a much cheaper option than launching harpoons.  And finally within the next 10 years we'll have rail guns and lasers as new options.
[/size]

I'm not disagreeing with the original choice of the 57mm. However, the 57mm is essentially useless against modern missiles, and will be come even more so as newer and better anti-ship missiles are developed.

So, your requirements for a naval gun are now fighting asymmetric threats, Anti Air warfare or ground support.

As I said earlier, a 25mm remote gun is better than a 57mm against small attack craft.

For NGS, the 127mm/155mm is going to be far superior. With Excalibur rounds, our modern-train busters won't have to "rush in" as far.

The problems with Harpoon's in the land-attack role are that we only carry 8 of them, and using them in this role depletes the ship of it's anti-surface capability. It's all fine and dandy until someone else with a modern navy shows up.
"Aboard his ship, there is nothing outside a captain's control." - Captain Sir Edward Pellew

“Extremes to the right and to the left of any political dispute are always wrong.”
― Dwight D. Eisenhower

Death before dishonour! Nothing before coffee!

Offline Cloud Cover

  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 27,780
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 3,708
It's too bad the RCN removed the sub harpoon capability from the Victoria class. Carrying a half dozen of these improved missiles (if they are available in sub harpoon) would be a significant addition to the strike toolbox.
Ditto the Aurora- I think the wing stations are fitted for the weapon, but the backend processesing a targeting systems are absent. (plus there in no RCAF or RCN doctrine for air or sub surface launched strike of this type).

Offline Lumber

  • Donor
  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *
  • 55,624
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 1,977
It's too bad the RCN removed the sub harpoon capability from the Victoria class. Carrying a half dozen of these improved missiles (if they are available in sub harpoon) would be a significant addition to the strike toolbox.
Ditto the Aurora- I think the wing stations are fitted for the weapon, but the backend processesing a targeting systems are absent. (plus there in no RCAF or RCN doctrine for air or sub surface launched strike of this type).

I would love it if the Aurora carried Harpoons; not even for the land attack role, just for the ASuW capability!
"Aboard his ship, there is nothing outside a captain's control." - Captain Sir Edward Pellew

“Extremes to the right and to the left of any political dispute are always wrong.”
― Dwight D. Eisenhower

Death before dishonour! Nothing before coffee!

Offline Chris Pook

  • Army.ca Subscriber
  • Army.ca Legend
  • *
  • 198,310
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 12,347
  • Wha daur say Mass in ma lug!
...(plus there in no RCAF or RCN doctrine for air or sub surface launched strike of this type).

Well! That's it then.  There is no doctrine.  You can't do that!
 
 >:D
"Wyrd bið ful aræd"

Offline daftandbarmy

  • Army.ca Legend
  • *****
  • 219,935
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 12,647
  • The Older I Get, The Better I Was

The problems with Harpoon's in the land-attack role are that we only carry 8 of them, and using them in this role depletes the ship of it's anti-surface capability. It's all fine and dandy until someone else with a modern navy shows up.

You mean like Egypt? :)

http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/russia-to-order-french-mistral-lhds-05749/
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

Offline Lumber

  • Donor
  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *
  • 55,624
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 1,977
You mean like Egypt? :)

http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/russia-to-order-french-mistral-lhds-05749/

ASM armed helicopters are, in my opinion, a wholly under appreciated tactical asset. Come in low, pop up, launch ASMs, pop back down below the radar horizon. Now, an SM6 might be able to take care of him, but I just don't know the capabilities of the SM6 to be sure.

As for the Mistrals themselves, that's a whole other issue, but I don't feel like getting into a long discussion about salvo size and mission kill criteria. Besides, most of that is Secret anyhow.
"Aboard his ship, there is nothing outside a captain's control." - Captain Sir Edward Pellew

“Extremes to the right and to the left of any political dispute are always wrong.”
― Dwight D. Eisenhower

Death before dishonour! Nothing before coffee!

Offline Baz

  • Donor
  • Full Member
  • *
  • 13,630
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 485
ASM armed helicopters are, in my opinion, a wholly under appreciated tactical asset. Come in low, pop up, launch ASMs, pop back down below the radar horizon

Internationally my experience under appreciated in Canada, although a Cyclone ASM is on the consider list... but it will be a while!  MH as a whole is misunderstood in Canada, including in a lot of parts of 12 Wing.

Just another symptom of the fact that the RCN doesn't really understand air power, and the RCAF certainly doesn't understand maritime warfare.

Offline Oldgateboatdriver

  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 132,615
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 3,486
Maybe we could get them one of those so the RCN and RCAF figure it out :nod: :


Offline FSTO

  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 38,465
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 1,634
Maybe we could get them one of those so the RCN and RCAF figure it out :nod: :

Are those Merlins/EH101's on the flight deck?

Goddamn you Jean Chretien! :brickwall:

Offline Cloud Cover

  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 27,780
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 3,708
The Italians build sexy looking ships. Glad they have the firepower on board to swat off the gropers...

Offline Chris Pook

  • Army.ca Subscriber
  • Army.ca Legend
  • *
  • 198,310
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 12,347
  • Wha daur say Mass in ma lug!
The Italians build sexy looking ships. Glad they have the firepower on board to swat off the gropers...

I always thought that even the little 8000 tonne San Giorgios could have found a useful home over here.









http://www.jeffhead.com/worldwideaircraftcarriers/giorgio.htm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJziqh1_WXk

Entered service   1987
Crew   163 men
Sea endurance   ?
Dimensions and displacement
Length   133.3 m
Beam   20.5 m
Draught   5.3 m
Displacement, standard   7 665 tons
Displacement, full load   ?
Propulsion and speed
Speed   21 knots
Range   ?
Diesel engines   2 x ?
(16 800 shp)
Cargo
Troops   400 men
Vehicles   up to 36 APCs or 30 medium tanks
Cargo   ?
Landing craft
Landing craft   2 x LCMs,  2 - 3 LCVPs; 1 x LCPL
Aircraft
Helicopters   2 x EH 101, 2 x AB 212
Armament
Artillery   1 x OTO Melara 76-mm gun, 2 x Oerlikon 25-mm guns

http://www.military-today.com/navy/san_giorgio_class.htm

As for the gropers, I'd be most concerned about the ones between decks
"Wyrd bið ful aræd"

Offline Chris Pook

  • Army.ca Subscriber
  • Army.ca Legend
  • *
  • 198,310
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 12,347
  • Wha daur say Mass in ma lug!
Wow! Sorry about that.  Could somebody do me a favour and down-size those images?  I don't have the right ticket for that.
"Wyrd bið ful aræd"

Offline Cloud Cover

  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 27,780
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 3,708
Somehow, I think that if Irving built a ship for the RCN with a big hole in the back end like that, it would sink. But yes, they are a useful platform but I never understood which country Italy was planning a seaborne invasion against? Anyway, nice kit.

Offline Chris Pook

  • Army.ca Subscriber
  • Army.ca Legend
  • *
  • 198,310
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 12,347
  • Wha daur say Mass in ma lug!
I think they were originally just for domestic use.  Italy has a long coastline and a few islands to take care of.

No comment on ISY.
"Wyrd bið ful aræd"

Offline cupper

  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 91,015
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 2,727
  • Nuke 'em 'til they glow, then wait until dark.
I'm thinking that they have a secret plan to invade the Vatican by sea.  [:D

Don't have to imagine how big that thing is, we have full scale photos. [:p
It's hard to win an argument against a smart person, it's damned near impossible against a stupid person.

There is no God, and life is just a myth.

"He who drinks, sleeps. He who sleeps, does not sin. He who does not sin, is holy. Therefore he who drinks, is holy."

Let's Go CAPS!

Offline Chris Pook

  • Army.ca Subscriber
  • Army.ca Legend
  • *
  • 198,310
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 12,347
  • Wha daur say Mass in ma lug!
I'm thinking that they have a secret plan to invade the Vatican by sea.  [:D

Don't have to imagine how big that thing is, we have full scale photos. [:p

I thought I asked for help to reduce the dam things..... routers, I hate'em.

Can somebody minimize them?  Thanks.   [:-[  ;D
"Wyrd bið ful aræd"

Offline Colin P

  • Army.ca Fixture
  • *****
  • 126,910
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 8,918
  • Civilian
    • http://www.pacific.ccg-gcc.gc.ca
Somehow, I think that if Irving built a ship for the RCN with a big hole in the back end like that, it would sink. But yes, they are a useful platform but I never understood which country Italy was planning a seaborne invasion against? Anyway, nice kit.

North Africa to name some