From the 17th century to 1941, battleships were considered the main striking force at sea, and weapons - large-caliber guns.
The Russian-Japanese war showed a lack of effectiveness of small-caliber guns, and from 1906 onwards they began to install guns with a caliber of at least 120 mm. No smaller-caliber guns were used on the cruisers under construction, and the old, the same Aurora, 75-, 47- and 37-mm guns were removed.
With the advent of the air enemy on the Russian ships in 1915 – 1917. 37- and 40-mm Vickers and Obukhovsky anti-aircraft guns appeared, and the old 37-75-mm ship-guns were remade for anti-aircraft fire.
At the same time, the main gauge of the battleships in 1914 – 1918. gradually grew: 343 mm, 356 mm and finally 381 mm. Well, the Washington Agreement 1922, the main caliber of battleships was limited to 406 mm.
Nevertheless, the Japanese slowly put into operation in 1941 – 1942. two battleships - the Yamato and Musashi, armed with nine 457-mm guns. And the Germans in 1939 produced a 53-cm cannon Gerät 36, firing 2,2 tons of shells at a distance of 47,5 km. The gun was intended for promising battleships of the project "H 44" displacement 140 thousand tons. Each of them had to have 4 two-gun turrets with 53-cm cannons.
In 1943, the Americans achieved multiple superiority in the air in the Pacific, and the duel of large artillery ships ceased. Battleships were used exclusively for artillery support of the landings. In 1945, the era of fundamentally new weapons systems began - guided missiles, jet aviation and atomic bombs.
It seemed that the song of the ship artillery of both medium and large caliber was already sung. Indeed, aircraft carriers become the main striking force of the leading maritime powers of the West, and the main task of the large surface ships of the other classes is air defense and anti-submarine defense.
As a result, by the beginning of the XXI century in the West the 127-mm Mk 45 tower installation became the most powerful naval gun. Its first modification was created in the 1969 year, and the batch production of the 0 modification began in the 1973 year. Compared to other 127-mm installations, the Mk 45 is very light - 24 tons versus 60 tons for 127-mm installations Mk 42, produced from 1955 of the year. This is achieved primarily through the use of reinforced aluminum instead of steel in the construction of the installation and its armor. True, aluminum burns well, which was shown by the death of the frigate Sheffield during the Falklands War.
The drum magazine accommodates 20 unitary cartridges with conventional ballistic projectiles or 10 dual-cartridge loading shots with Dedai active-projectile projectiles.
Thus, setting up for a minute can release 20 conventional or 10 “Deday” guided missiles, and then another drum loading takes place and the barrel cools at the same time.
Since 1983, the Mk 45 Mod has been in production. 1 capable of shooting six types of shots. Moreover, the choice of the type of ammunition was made by simply pressing a button on the remote operator, located outside the tower.
The weight of the 127-mm high-explosive fragmentation projectile was 31,3 kg, the initial speed was 830 m / s, the horizontal range was 24 km, the ceiling was 14,8 km.
Unlike the Western world, which refused to build large artillery ships and design artillery systems of a caliber over 127 mm, Stalin decided to build a "balanced fleet." It should have found a place for rocket submarines and surface ships, as well as for aircraft carriers and large artillery ships.
Accordingly, in the USSR, work was carried out on the creation of super-powerful naval guns. The 220-mm SM-6 three-gun turret was designed for 22 23 heavy cruisers with 500 tonnes and 66 30 heavy cruisers with X-numbers. 750 tonnes on both cruisers.
In 1953 – 1954 Tests were carried out on an experienced 220-mm gun manufactured by Barricades.
The same plant began production of the 305-mm swinging parts of the CM-33 for the three-gun tower SM-31 built heavy cruisers of the type "Stalingrad" Ave 82.
The ballistic data of CM-33 has not been surpassed until now. A high-explosive projectile weighing 467 kg with an initial speed of 950 m / s had a range of 53 km, and a long-range projectile drawing 5219 weighing 230,5 kg with an initial speed of 1300 m / s had a range of 127,35 km. The most curious thing is that by 1954, long-range projectiles with an “adjustment” were designed.
I note that so far the test materials for the 220-mm SM-6 and 305-mm CM-33 installations are secret.
Work on battleships and heavy cruisers at the end of March 1953 was stopped by Lawrence Beria, who sought to redirect funds to the nuclear and missile projects he oversees.
Then Nikita Sergeevich was not up to the super-linkors and super-guns - he was preparing a conspiracy to seize power. Only in 1959-1960. the rocket lobby managed to convince Khrushchev that large surface ships and naval artillery were an anachronism. Khrushchev, without further ado, stopped working on several types of missile cruisers, and ordered the caliber of new ship artillery systems to be limited initially to 57 mm, and later to 76 mm. Of course, the 57-mm AK-725 and 76-mm AK-726 were automatic, but the initial velocity of the shells and the firing range were not much better than the 75/50-mm Kane guns, armed with Russian fleet since 1891 and removed from warships after Tsushima.
The design of medium-caliber ship artillery systems resumed only after Khrushchev was removed from power. 29 June 1967 was issued a decree of the USSR Council of Ministers on the commencement of work on a single-gun X-NUMX automatic turret A-130 turret. In the Arsenal design bureau, she received a factory index of ZIF-217 (the Frunze plant).
The prototype was manufactured at the PO Arsenal and passed field tests at Rzhevka near Leningrad. Get the specified rate of fire 60 shots / min. failed for a variety of reasons. The weight of the sample exceeded the target by almost 10 tons. This did not allow to install it on the ships of the 1135 project, as a result of which the work on the ZIF-92 was stopped.
Ballistics of the barrel, ammunition and most of the design of the ZIF-92 were used to create a two-gun installation A-218 (factory index of the ZIF-94).
The artillery unit was controlled by the Lev-218 system (MP-184), created in Amethyst Design Bureau. The composition of the MP-184 includes dual-band radar target tracking, TV, laser rangefinder, equipment for the selection of moving targets and noise protection. Instrumental range of the system - 75 km. The weight of the system MP-184 – 8 tons.
Shooting is unitary ammunition. Ammunition, ready to fire, is placed in three drums. This allows you to have three different types of ammunition ready to fire, used depending on the tactical tasks to be solved, and to feed during the firing of drums that are not involved in the shooting.
The prototype ZIF-94 was produced by the Arsenal software in 1976, however, mass production was transferred to the Barricades factory. After lengthy ground tests and almost five years of operation on the destroyer of the 956 “Modern” project, the USSR Council of Ministers decree of 1 in November 1985. The ZIF-94 unit was put into service under the symbol AK-130 (А-218). In addition to the 956 project destroyers, it was installed on the 1144 project cruisers (except for Admiral Ushakov), as well as the 1164 project. Serial production of AK-130 units was carried out at the Yurgmashzavod production plant in the city of Yurga.
Comparison of tactical and technical data shows that our designers were guided by the 127-mm American artillery set Mk 45.0. At the same range with an ordinary projectile, the firing rate of the AK-130 is 2,5 times higher. But its weight in 4,5 times more than the Mk 45.0.
In the second half of the 1980-s, the development of the X-NUMX-mm single-gun A-130 M Armata turret automated complex A-192 M-192 P-5 began at the Arsenal Design Bureau. The ballistic data and the rate of fire of the new installation remained unchanged compared with the AK-10. The weight of the artillery was reduced to 130 t. The new unit’s radar system, Puma, was to control the installation’s fire. The ammunition was supposed to include at least two guided projectile - "Crossbow" and "Aurora". Installations A-24 M planned to arm the new destroyers of the project "Anchar" and other ships.
Layout of the installation A-192 "Armat"
In 1991, 98 shots from the Armata unit were made at the Rzhevka training ground, and state tests were scheduled to be held in 1992. However, the collapse of the USSR buried Anchar and other ship projects with new artworks, and work on the A-192 M was mothballed .
In the autumn of 2011, the media reported that the installation A-192 M was fired off at the Rzhevka training ground, which should be installed on the head skr of 22350 Ave. “Sergey Gorshkov. The control system is already known to the Puma 5 P10 specialists. The weight of the projectile 33,4 kg, firing range to 22 km. Thus, the installation has the same ballistics and the same ammunition as the AK-130.
Now in the domestic media very vague hints of the use of guided projectiles in A-192 M are published, but not only their tactical and technical data, but even names or indices.
In 1983 – 1984 a project of a truly fantastic instrument was developed. Imagine a ship, in the bow of which vertically sticks a certain pipe with a height of 4,9 m and a thickness of about half a meter. Suddenly the pipe leans in and crashes out of it ... whatever! No, I'm not joking. For example, our ship is attacked by an airplane or a cruise missile, and the installation launches an anti-aircraft missile. Somewhere over the horizon an enemy ship was found, and a cruise missile was flying out of a pipe at a distance of up to 250 km. A submarine appeared, and a projectile bursts out of the pipe, which, after landing, becomes a depth charge bomb with a special charge.
It is required to support the troops with fire - and 110-kilogram shells are already flying at a distance of 42 km. But the enemy sat down near the coast in concrete forts or sturdy stone buildings. 406-mm heavy-duty high-explosive shells of 1,2 tonnes, capable of destroying the target at a distance of up to 10 km, are immediately applied to it.
The setup had an 10 firing rate per min. guided missiles and 15 – 20 shots / min. - shells. Changing the type of ammunition took no more than 4 seconds. The weight of the installation with a single-tier slug cellar was 32 t, and with a two-tier - 60 t. Calculation of the installation 4 – 5 people. Such 406-mm guns could easily be installed even on small ships with a displacement of 2 – 3 thousand tons. But the first ship with such an installation was to be the destroyer of the 956 project.
What is the highlight of this gun? The main feature of the installation was the limitation of the angle of descent to 30 °, which made it possible to deepen the axle of the trunnions below the deck by 500 mm and exclude the tower from the design. The swinging part is placed under the combat table and passes through the embrasure of the dome.
Due to the low (howitzer) ballistics, the thickness of the barrel walls is reduced. Barrel lined with muzzle brake.
Charging was carried out at an elevation angle 90 ° directly from the cellar with an “elevator-rammer” located coaxially of the rotating part.
The shot consisted of ammunition (projectile or rocket) and a pallet in which the propelling charge was located.
The pan for all types of ammunition was the same. He moved along with the ammunition along the bore and separated after departure from the canal. All operations on submission and shipment were made automatically.
The design of this super versatile cannon was very interesting and original. But the leadership resolution did not differ in originality: the caliber 406 mm is not provided for by the standards of the Russian Navy.
In the middle of the 1970-ies, the design of the 203-mm shipboard installation "Pion-M" began (not to be confused with the ACS "Pion-M", 2 С7 M, obtained in 1983 by upgrading 2 С7) based on the swinging part of 203-mm 2 А44 guns SAU "Peony". This was the Soviet response to the Mk 71. Even the number of ready-to-fire ammunition for both systems was the same - 75 shots are separate-sleeve loading. However, the Pion’s rate of fire was higher than the Mk 71. The Piona-M shooting control system was a modification of the Lion system for AK-130. In 1976 – 1979 Several reasonably substantiated justifications of the benefits of the 203-mm gun were sent to the Navy's leadership. So, for example, the size of the high-explosive projectile funnel from AK-130 was 1,6 m, and that of the Pion-M was 3,2 m. 203-mm active-reactive, cluster and guided projectiles had much greater capabilities compared to 130 mm. So, the Pion-M active-missile projectile had a range of 50 km.
Or maybe Khrushchev and his admirals were right, that after the end of the Second World War, the guns of a caliber above 127 – 130 mm are not needed for the fleet? Alas, all local wars have denied this claim. According to no one disputed claims by the American admirals, the most effective ship weapons of the Korean, Vietnamese and Lebanese wars were the American battleships 406-mm guns.
The Yankees, with the emergence of serious local conflicts, made the re-entry and modernization of their Iowa-type battleships and actively used them to bombard enemy coastal targets.
The last time the 406-mm guns of the battleship Missouri fired on Iraqi territory in 1991.
The beginning of the XXI century battleship "Iowa" met in a reserved state, although three of its "Sister Spike" turned into maritime museums.
Actively involved in local conflicts and 15 American heavy cruisers built 1943 – 1948, armed with nine 203-mm guns. The last of these, the Des Moines, was excluded from the lists of the American fleet only on July 9 1991.
As we see, the Yankees act reasonably enough - why create new large-caliber artillery systems and build ships when dozens of heavy artillery ships from World War II are in reserve.
The Soviet Navy was not actively involved in the local wars of the second half of the twentieth century. But the ships of the 5 th operational squadron from 1965 to 1991 "restrained" the American 6 th fleet in the whole area of the Mediterranean Sea. Our cruisers kept the aircraft carriers under the sights of their 152-mm guns.
Here, for example, in the 1965, the cruiser "Dzerzhinsky" "pass" the US aircraft carrier "Franklin Roosevelt". According to the memoirs of the participants of the campaign, the distance to the aircraft carrier reached 500. The Yankees were nervous, and the aircraft carrier lifted the planes into the air. Fighter-bombers began to unfold on the horizon and at a height of several tens of meters rush over the "Dzerzhinsky". Moreover, the speed of the aircraft during the passage increased so that the capture of the sound barrier took place just above the Soviet cruiser. From each such air strike "Dzerzhinsky" flinched, as when firing the main caliber. To top it off, the American cruiser “Boston” began dangerous maneuvering and sharply cut the Dzerzhinsky course once.
Then the Soviet sailors decided to hold a exercise with a show of force. A training alert was announced. The bells of the loud battle rang out, and the personnel occupied their combat positions according to the combat schedule. Unexpectedly for the Americans, the Dzerzhinsky launched a volley of two bow towers of the main caliber. Shooting was carried out directly on the course without turning the towers. The provocative "attacks" of American aircraft ceased immediately.
By 1969, the Soviet command banned cruisers from approaching aircraft carriers a distance closer than the 70 cable (about 13 km). Closer our cruisers were suitable only for carrying out any reconnaissance operations. Naturally, aircraft carriers by all means strove to get away from our cruisers. So, in 1969, the aircraft carrier “Saratoga” took shelter from the cruiser “Dzerzhinsky” in the territorial waters of Italy, and then began to park in Venice.
The Americans watched closely when low-speed transport supplies were suitable for our cruisers. And as soon as the overload of fuel began, the aircraft carrier was in full swing and disappeared over the horizon.
I am sure that many people have a question: what is the use of old cannons when our fleet was armed with first-class anti-ship guided missiles (ASM). Alas, as the commander of the 2 warhead of one of the 5 squadron ships told me, their first-strike weapons against American aircraft carriers and cruisers were ... Volna anti-aircraft missiles, and not anti-ship missiles. Why? The reaction time of the CRP is several times longer than that of the Zour. Well, about the "pukalki" 57-and 76-mm calibers and there was no speech.
Of course, the power of the 152-mm projectile is insufficient to penetrate the armored deck of an aircraft carrier - thanks to Nikita Sergeyevich, who eliminated the 305 and 220-mm superguns. Nevertheless, on the hunt for aircraft carriers, our 68 cruisers were constantly on alert No. 2 and even No. 1, which made it possible to open fire on aircraft carriers no later than 15 seconds after receiving the order.
Our sailors were well aware that they would not have to fire for more than 5 minutes due to the fire of the aircraft carriers and attack attackers if they managed to take off. There, they are both morally and physically ready to open fire.
I note that in 1964, in the USSR, the design of a projectile with a nuclear warhead (PUD) 3 BV 3 for the 152-mm howitzer "Acacia" began. Needless to say, a direct hit or close gap at the side of an aircraft carrier of such a projectile would surely eliminate the need for a further cruiser to fire.
I note that the first shells with YABCh were introduced by the Americans into the ship's artillery. In 1956, for the 406-mm guns of battleships, the M-23 Kati projectile with 20 kt power was adopted, and in 1957, the M-422 projectile with 5 kt projectile for 203-mm cruisers guns.
In the future, neither in the USSR nor in the USA, no matter how much they fought, failed to create 130-mm and 127-mm nuclear weapons. The maximum caliber from the 1960-s to this day remains the 152 mm.
Needless to say, the admirals of the United States and other leading powers understand the significance of large-caliber ship guns in modern warfare? As a result, from the middle of the 1960-ies, the design of naval artillery systems of caliber 152 mm and above proceeded almost continuously. So, at the very end of the 1960-s in the United States, in the strictest secrecy, they began to work on the 203-mm single-gun Mk 71 turret. It was the world's first fully automated installation of this caliber. It was controlled by one person. The setup could provide the pace of 12 shots per minute and fire at that pace 6 minutes. In total 75 shots of six different types were ready for shooting.
The 203-mm gun Mk 71 in 1971 was installed on the nose of the DD 945 “Hell” destroyer with the full displacement of 4200 t instead of the 127-mm Mk 42 unit.
According to the American press, the tests of the Mk 71 were successful, and the 203-mm gun before 1979 was in service with the DD 945. However, the Mk 71 installation did not enter mass production.
Shooting 203-mm installation MK.71 on the destroyer "Hell" 17 April 1975 g.
In December, the Germans on the frigate F-2002 "Hamburg" instead of the nasal 220-mm installation of the GTR set up a tower from the 76-mm SAU PzH-155. The length of the howitzer barrel 2000 caliber. Semi automatic wedge valve. Charging separately-sleeve. Feed is fully automated. During the first minute of howitzer fire at the SAU at the landfill in 52, 1997 fired shells, but then the rate of fire dropped significantly due to the warming up of the barrel and recoil devices.
155-mm howitzer on the frigate "Hamburg"
Testing 155-mm howitzers on the "Hamburg" were conducted before 2005 g. In the course of them revealed periodic failures in the mechanisms of supply of ammunition. The purpose of the test was to create a MONARC (Modular Naval Artillery Concept) 155 mm shipboard installation. MONARC units planned to equip the 4 of the new German frigates of the F-125 Ave. with a displacement of about 7,2 KT.
2 November 2011, the head frigate of the F-125 Avenue "Baden-Wuerttemberg" was founded in Hamburg. The estimated date of entry into the fleet - 2016 year. However, at the last moment, it was decided to equip it not with 155-mm guns, but with an 127-mm LW installation from Oto-Meller. The company has already received an order for 5 of such installations, one of which will be training.
Barrel length 127-mm installation LW 64 caliber, weight 25 t, rate of fire 25 rds / min. The new sub-caliber fired shells Vulcano should be its highlight.
127-mm long-range shells
The Vulcano projectile is designed in three versions: 1) unmanaged with a range of 70 km; 2) with homing heads for firing at surface ships; 3) with inertial control system with GPS correction for shooting at coastal targets at a distance of up to 120 km.
According to foreign media reports, the Vulcano unmanaged projectiles entered production in 2007, and the production of guided projectiles was supposed to start in 2011. However, apparently, the Vulcano guided projectiles have not yet been brought to mind. It is not difficult to guess that the firing of unguided projectiles with a range of 70 km will give a huge dispersion. Of course, the media does not write about this.
Back at the beginning of the XIX century, gunners found that the larger the caliber, the more stable the flight of the projectile and accuracy at the same distance.
Nevertheless, the United States and NATO are persistently creating ultra-long shells for ship guns of medium caliber 127 – 155 mm.
So, in the United States is the development of 155-mm installation AGS. It is a tower weighing 87,5 T with an under-deck loading system. In this case, the loading is performed with a vertical arrangement of the trunk. Vertical guidance angle from –5 ° to 70 °. Shots separate-sleeve. 102 kg weight Length 2,224 m. Explosive weight 11 kg. As you can see, by the weight of explosives, the projectile is intermediate between 152-mm and 203-mm shells from the Second World War. In the nose of the projectile 4 "control" of the wing, and in the tail section - 8 blade stabilizers. Inertial control system using GPS. The quadratic probable deviation (CEP) of the projectile is 20 – 50 m. The cost of one projectile is 35 thousand dollars.
155-mm installation AGS
In October 2001, the prototype passed the first test shooting. On tests of 16 June 2005, the projectile flew the distance 110 km in 280 seconds, completing a series of maneuvers.
31 August 2005. 45 shots for 8 seconds.
September 30 2011 AGS guns were carried out two shots with guided projectiles with GPS correction, which allegedly hit targets at a distance of 81 km.
The first copy of the 155-mm AGS installation was delivered to the US Navy 25 in May 2010.
In the United States, work is underway to create ship-type electromagnetic guns (EMOs) of the rail type.
The US Navy planned to create a prototype of such an installation for 2012, and to make a completely ready system in 2015 with its adoption by the fleet for 2018. In parallel with the development of the system itself, research on this project was carried out in the directions of creating a projectile and energy source.
According to the project, the barrel of an electromagnetic rail gun, in which rail guides are placed, will have a length of 12 m, be made of composite materials and ensure durability up to 5000 shots.
The guides are connected to a powerful current source that can convert the stored energy into a pulse with an active period of 10 ms.
Equipped ammunition and directional armature are laid between the rails in the breech of the gun. At the moment of activation (shot), the flow of energy runs through one rail and returns differently, creating a powerful electromagnetic pulse between them. The impulse acts on the guide (sliding) reinforcement located perpendicular to the rail conductor, which, under the influence of Lorentz force, accelerates along the barrel at hypersonic speed and pushes the loaded ammunition in front of it. Immediately at the moment of departure of the projectile from the barrel, the armature is separated from the projectile.
The alleged view of the American electromagnetic gun
However, according to media reports, the developers of the electromagnetic gun in the United States met with great difficulties, and the time of its adoption was not determined.
In conclusion, it should be said about the use of the GPS system for targeting shells. This is quite a promising direction, and, apparently, Russian designers should think about it. Another issue is that on a ship or onshore facility there may be a source of GPS interference. Well, in the case of using nuclear weapons, it is easy to create a field of particles in Earth orbit that interferes with the use of GPS. Recall the effect GPS has on solar activity, etc.
So, the answer to the question of whether the battleships will return in the 21st century is more positive than negative. Now the full displacement of cruisers in the US and Japanese fleets reaches 10 thousand tons, that is, corresponds to the displacement of the battleships of the early twentieth century. But new American cruisers of the type CG (X), the laying of which is already to take place, have a displacement of 16 thousand tons, that is, in this parameter they approach the famous Dreadnought. And trends in the development of naval artillery, it is likely, will lead to an increase in the caliber of guns to 203 mm and more.
From our dossier
Battleship (abbreviated from “battleship”) is a class of armored artillery warships with a displacement from 20 to 70 thousand tons, length from 150 to 280 m, armed with guns of the main caliber from 280 to 460 mm, with a crew of 1500 — 2800 people. Battleships were used in the 20th century to destroy enemy ships as part of a combat unit and artillery support for land operations. It was an evolutionary development of battleships of the second half of the nineteenth century.