Five Inch Boom

ATLANTIC OCEAN (Jan. 22, 2011) The guided-missile destroyer USS Mitscher (DDG 57) fires its MK-45 5-inch/54-caliber lightweight gun during a gun exercise. Mitscher is conducting a composite training unit exercise as part of the George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group to prepare for an upcoming combat deployment. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Deven B. King/Released)

ATLANTIC OCEAN (Jan. 22, 2011) The guided-missile destroyer USS Mitscher (DDG 57) fires its MK-45 5-inch/54-caliber lightweight gun during a gun exercise. Mitscher is conducting a composite training unit exercise as part of the George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group to prepare for an upcoming combat deployment. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Deven B. King/Released)

Note the brass falling to the deck below the smoke. Does that get ejected out of the red port above the barrel?

Newer destroyers (DDG 81 and up) use the newer Mod 4 5″/62 caliber Mk 45 gun. In naval cannon, “calibers” refer to the length of the barrel compared to its diameter. A 54 caliber gun (pictured here) has a length of 270 inches (5″ x 54 calibers). The Mod 4 62 caliber gun has a barrel length of 310 inches which provides an extra 150 feet per second of muzzle velocity.

I don’t know if there are plans to upgrade existing ships to the Mod 4 or even if it’s really worth the cost.

Comments

  1. A shame that 155mm AGS never got far. Yeah they will be on those three DDG-1000 class ships but those seem to be more technology demonstrators than anything else.

      1. I can’t tell if you have already discussed this on previous posts about the Des Moines, but here is a 1949 Popular Science article on this ship and her guns. Just advance to page 121.

  2. Yep, thats a forward ejecting system. I wonder how similar the extraction/ejection cycle is to my FS2000….It ejects over the barrel too.

  3. I know we were told during the first Gulf War that the 5″/54 guns of our task force were outranged by at least 10,000 meters by any Iraqi artillery piece we would have gone up against in trying to land against Kuwait City. I don’t think the newer guns are going to be that much better, at least in the naval bombardment role. Basically the Navy cannot carry out that mission any more unless going up against a country with no artillery for counterbattery fire.

    1. That would have been the 130mm M-46 Field Gun. Its original range was 22.5km, which was improved to 27km. The Russian had an extended range shell with a range of 38km, but that was not a shell commonly available.

      The PzH-2000 is good for 35km plus from a L52 barrel; the M777 does 30km with a L39 barrel. Extended range (ER & ERBB) or rocket assist will add 10km to their ranges.

      Cheers

      1. If we are looking for a lower cost “conventional” option (compared to the 155mm AGS) why not a 175mm naval gun? The M107 had remarkable range and in Vietnam even outranged the best Soviet Guns.

        True the 155mm AGS would have them all beat in range, but it is rather complex and costly.

    2. Counter-battery fire at 17km against a target moving at 30 knots at (probably nearly) full value across your field of fire? From Iraq? I mean, I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s not a threat, but…

  4. WE definitely need a MCLWG option. Putting a puny 5 incher on ships is not vary smart. Either put smaller auto cannons for antimissile and small craft fire up front or go to 8 inch and.
    Im sure our DDG’s and CG’s can handle bigger guns.

    1. The 8/55 RF Mk71 tested on the Kidd will definitely fit on the TiCos as it’s the same hull. The Burkes are 60′ shorter so things might be different there. If I were a Burke skipper I’m not sure I’d be willing to give up VLS cells for the 8″ on the bow.

  5. The proble with VLS cells is that they cannot be reloaded at sea. Since the VLS contained the majority of a destroyers weapon options the destroyer can either have a good air/missle defense oe have a land attack capability but not both. A good cannon system is needed for the land/surface attack since the priority for most escorts is air/ missile defense.

  6. On a 155mm howitzer, depending on the particulars, a single meter-per-second increase can cause an increase in range approaching 30 meters, so if you’re getting an extra 150 m/s, you’re looking at a range increase measured in thousands of meters. I guess it’s for the Navy to decide if it’s “worth it”, but it’s definitely nothing to sneeze at. Too bad the Navy has all but given up on their guns. Naval gunfire is quite a potent weapon. Well, was.

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