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Posted: 3/6/2006 8:24:39 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/6/2006 8:28:38 PM EDT by COLE-CARBINE]
BAE Producing Scaled-Down Rail Gun Naval Weapon?



BAE Armament Systems Division in Minneapolis, MN received a $5.5 million cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for the design and production of the 32 MJ Laboratory Launcher for the U.S. Navy. The design and fabrication of the 32 MJ Lab Launcher will be a major step toward development of a full scale tactical 64 MJ EM (electro-magnetic) Gun weapon system for the U.S. Navy. Work will be performed in Minneapolis, MN (66%) and Dayton, OH (37%), and is expected to be complete by August 2007. The contract was competitively procured and advertised via Federal Business Opportunities site, with three offers received. The Naval Surface Weapons Center, Dahlgren Division in Dahlgren, VA issued the contract (N00178-06-C-1008).

Some hint of what they are talking about can be gleaned from the name....

Jane's reports that UT-IAT (University of Texas - Institute of Advanced Technology) has devised a common low-cost projectile concept for both naval surface-fire support and army non line-of-sight (NLOS) engagements using an EM rail gun launcher. The projectile has a flight mass of 15 kg and contains either multiple kinetic-energy flechettes (darts) or a smaller number of sub penetrators made of tungsten. In its naval guise it has a muzzle energy of 64 MJ (mega-joules); a muzzle velocity of 2,500 m/s; a maximum range in excess of 500 km and an impact velocity of 1,600 m/s. That effort was part of a 2003 US Navy contract worth up to $10 million over five years, as part of a $100 million research package in the Navy's 2004 budget.

The DD (X) destroyer in particular is envisaged as possibly mounting EM weapons in future, though any platform with sufficient space and power (the size of the capacitor is apparently a key limiting issue right now) could be configured to mount them.

Link Posted: 3/6/2006 8:25:49 PM EDT
EM gun on the brink of fruition for land and sea applications

After more than two decades of research, the science and technology behind electromagnetic (EM) rail guns has now advanced sufficiently to allow practical exploration of novel military applications, according to Dr Harry Fair, director of the Institute of Advanced Technology (IAT) at the University of Texas (UT).

Speaking at the IQPC Future Artillery 2005 conference held in London in March, he told delegates that in the field of pulsed-power supplies, capacitor technology can now be considered mature, but still requires an excessive volume for land applications. Pulsed alternators are therefore emerging as the preferred option at relatively low risk and (particularly in the context of a ship) ensure a very large volume magazine. For shore bombardment, the high terminal velocities achieved allow small kinetic-energy penetrators to put as much energy on target as larger explosive-filled projectiles and at greater ranges.

The US Navy is initiating what Dr Fair characterised as "a significant science and technology programme for ultra long-range artillery", noting however that "gun life and high-acceleration tolerant guidance, navigation and control (GNC) will be critical issues". He added: "When successful, EM guns will provide overwhelming lethality and significantly improved survivability and logistics at unprecedented ranges."

UT-IAT has devised a common low-cost projectile concept for both naval surface-fire support and army non line-of-sight (NLOS) engagements using an EM gun launcher. It has a flight mass of 15 kg and contains either multiple kinetic-energy flechettes or a smaller number of sub penetrators made of tungsten. In its naval guise it has a muzzle energy of 64 MJ; a muzzle velocity of 2,500 m/s; a maximum range in excess of 500 km and an impact velocity of 1,600 m/s. From a more size-constrained land tactical platform it would be expected to have a muzzle energy of 20 MJ; a muzzle velocity of 1,400 m/s and an impact velocity of 700 m/s out to ranges in excess of 100 km.

(freebie article fron janes.com)
Link Posted: 3/6/2006 8:29:44 PM EDT
Note that the pic at the beginning is actually a rendering of the 155mm AGS, but I thought it was cool so threw it in.
Link Posted: 3/6/2006 9:01:29 PM EDT
Gawd this stuff gives me grins...
Link Posted: 3/6/2006 9:57:33 PM EDT

UT-IAT has devised a common low-cost projectile concept for both naval surface-fire support and army non line-of-sight (NLOS) engagements using an EM gun launcher. It has a flight mass of 15 kg and contains either multiple kinetic-energy flechettes or a smaller number of sub penetrators made of tungsten.


I thought this line was particularly interesting. I'm assuming this is not an airbursting munition, so with no explosive fill how does it release the flechettes or sub-penetators reliably?
Link Posted: 3/6/2006 11:16:11 PM EDT
An EM gun launcher...interesting.
Wonder if they'll keep a powder backup system with it.....I'd hate for somebody to drop a fork in the toaster in the galley and short out all the defenses.

There's nothing like a good ol'fashioned 9 barrel 16" broadside that says: "Greetings from the USA"

Link Posted: 3/6/2006 11:39:05 PM EDT
NOW THAT IS A BAD ASS PIC.
Link Posted: 3/6/2006 11:45:20 PM EDT

Originally Posted By COLE-CARBINE:

UT-IAT has devised a common low-cost projectile concept for both naval surface-fire support and army non line-of-sight (NLOS) engagements using an EM gun launcher. It has a flight mass of 15 kg and contains either multiple kinetic-energy flechettes or a smaller number of sub penetrators made of tungsten.


I thought this line was particularly interesting. I'm assuming this is not an airbursting munition, so with no explosive fill how does it release the flechettes or sub-penetators reliably?



They could just seperate when the sabot comes off. Since they are fast and finned they will stay flying parallel to each other with very little spread.
Link Posted: 3/7/2006 9:02:38 AM EDT
day crew bump
Link Posted: 3/7/2006 12:29:24 PM EDT
I wonder how long it will be before they develop a navalized version of the Tactical high energy laser (THEL)?
Link Posted: 3/7/2006 12:30:53 PM EDT
I wonder what the rate of fire is for a rail gun vs. the AGS? I also wonder if it would be capable of MRSI(Multiple-Rounds-Simultaneous-Impact)? That would be a lot of whoop-ass if possible.
Link Posted: 3/7/2006 12:35:02 PM EDT

Originally Posted By GoVol98:
An EM gun launcher...interesting.
Wonder if they'll keep a powder backup system with it.....I'd hate for somebody to drop a fork in the toaster in the galley and short out all the defenses.

There's nothing like a good ol'fashioned 9 barrel 16" broadside that says: "Greetings from the USA"

www.angelfire.com/cantina/que_pasa/BB-61.jpg


And just how do you suppose they aimed those guns? Could it be reliant on electrical power?
Link Posted: 3/7/2006 12:37:20 PM EDT

Originally Posted By arbob:
I wonder how long it will be before they develop a navalized version of the Tactical high energy laser (THEL)?



They'd still need the rail gun, because the laser, being line of sight, would only be good to the horizon (great for AAW and great for ASuW close in)
Link Posted: 3/7/2006 12:43:29 PM EDT
I'm just guessing but if the DDX wanted to do MRSI it would be basically just increasing and decreasing voltage to get the required timing and range? I guess the limiting factors would be barrel cooling and power?
Link Posted: 3/7/2006 12:54:45 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Lert:

Originally Posted By arbob:
I wonder how long it will be before they develop a navalized version of the Tactical high energy laser (THEL)?



They'd still need the rail gun, because the laser, being line of sight, would only be good to the horizon (great for AAW and great for ASuW close in)



They don`t need to be mutually exclusive. A navalized THEL could be developed as a future close in weapon system.
Link Posted: 3/7/2006 1:00:49 PM EDT

Originally Posted By arbob:

Originally Posted By Lert:

Originally Posted By arbob:
I wonder how long it will be before they develop a navalized version of the Tactical high energy laser (THEL)?



They'd still need the rail gun, because the laser, being line of sight, would only be good to the horizon (great for AAW and great for ASuW close in)



They don`t need to be mutually exclusive. A navalized THEL could be developed as a future close in weapon system.



If I remember correctly the USN is working on lasers for defense, they are also working on electric armor for ships like what the Army is working on for the Future Combat System. I think the DDX's current anti-air defense besides it's missile tubes is the 57mm gun that is going on LCS and the new Coast Guard cutter.
Link Posted: 3/7/2006 1:05:57 PM EDT
United Defense's Mk110 Gun To Arm LCS and New Destroyer


United Defense Industries Inc. is becoming the provider of choice for close-in naval gun systems for future U.S. surface combatants. The company is positioned to arm at least three types of ships for the Navy and Coast Guard, and potentially two more.

The Navy has selected the 57mm Mk110 Close-in Gun System (CIGS) for the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) and for the baseline design of its DD(X) next-generation destroyer. The Mk110 is a rapid-fire automatic cannon designed to defend against attacks from swarms of small boats, as well as counter air and surface targets, and support maritime interdiction operations.

Steven Kelly, director of launching systems and LCS program manager for United Defense, told Seapower that "both [LCS] teams are showing it as the baseline selection" to arm the LCS.

"Raytheon [the DD(X) systems integrator] and United Defense conducted an exhaustive study before recommending the 57mm gun as the best solution for the DD(X) CIGS mission," said Jim Schoppenhorst, United Defense program director for the DD(X). United Defense also is developing the 155mm Advanced Gun System and the Mk57 vertical launching system for the new destroyer.

The Mk100 (formerly LX-57) is an export derivative of the Mk3 gun built by Bofors Defence of Sweden, a subsidiary of United Defense. The Mk110 will use Bofors Mk295 Mod O 3P ammunition. Using this programmable, rapid-switchover ammunition for maritime intercept operations, the gun can fire warning shots, then nonexplosive disabling shots and then lethal explosive shots, if necessary.

The Mk110 was selected by the Coast Guard last December to arm the new Large Maritime security Cutter (formerly National security Cutter), eight of which are planned under the service's Integrated Deepwater Program. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, arranged for the appropriation of $13.1 million in fiscal year 2004 for the Navy to test the gun for the Deepwater program. United Defense estimates that the Deepwater contracts for the gun could reach $79 million.

Testing of the Mk110 at the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Dahlgren, Va., was to be completed by December, Kelly said.

He said the Mk110 is also under consideration for the Coast Guard's Medium Maritime security Cutter, another component of the Deepwater program. Kelly said it is too early to predict whether the gun also will arm the Navy's next-generation cruiser, CG(X).

By RICHARD R. BURGESS, Managing Editor

Copyright Navy League of the United States Dec 2004

Link Posted: 3/7/2006 1:22:36 PM EDT
Mk110 is not a CIWS.
Link Posted: 3/7/2006 1:27:49 PM EDT
Is that the Merrimac or the Monitor in the background? I get them confused.
Link Posted: 3/7/2006 1:28:13 PM EDT

Originally Posted By dport:
Mk110 is not a CIWS.




The Navy has selected the 57mm Mk110 Close-in Gun System (CIGS) for the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) and for the baseline design of its DD(X) next-generation destroyer. The Mk110 is a rapid-fire automatic cannon designed to defend against attacks from swarms of small boats, as well as counter air and surface targets, and support maritime interdiction operations.


I was under the impression that 57mm was a self-defense gun with more capability than the 20mm CIWS. Will the DDX also be armed with a CIWS in addition to the 57mm?
Link Posted: 3/7/2006 1:30:39 PM EDT

Originally Posted By COLE-CARBINE:

Originally Posted By dport:
Mk110 is not a CIWS.




The Navy has selected the 57mm Mk110 Close-in Gun System (CIGS) for the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) and for the baseline design of its DD(X) next-generation destroyer. The Mk110 is a rapid-fire automatic cannon designed to defend against attacks from swarms of small boats, as well as counter air and surface targets, and support maritime interdiction operations.


I was under the impression that 57mm was a self-defense gun with more capability than the 20mm CIWS. Will the DDX also be armed with a CIWS in addition to the 57mm?

Likely it will be armed with ESSM. LCS has RAM.

The 57mm is no more a CIWS than the 76mm is. It's just the Navy's newest "pop gun." And oh by the way the Mk45 can defend against small boat attacks, counter air and surface targets, etc.
Link Posted: 3/7/2006 1:37:12 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/7/2006 1:42:05 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/7/2006 1:42:43 PM EDT by COLE-CARBINE]

Originally Posted By dport:

I was under the impression that 57mm was a self-defense gun with more capability than the 20mm CIWS. Will the DDX also be armed with a CIWS in addition to the 57mm?




Likely it will be armed with ESSM. LCS has RAM.

The 57mm is no more a CIWS than the 76mm is. It's just the Navy's newest "pop gun." And oh by the way the Mk45 can defend against small boat attacks, counter air and surface targets, etc.



I got the impression it was a self-defense gun for the DDX since it is supposed to be armed with 3 MK110's. My bad. What will the DDX use for close in protection besides it's stealth and the ESSM?
Link Posted: 3/7/2006 1:44:43 PM EDT

Originally Posted By vito113:
That's the wrong 57mm mount…

This one, and the 57mm has a fearsome CIWS capability...

img.photobucket.com/albums/v133/macandy/57MM-MK-110-2_hi.gif


We need to define our terms. CIWS is Close in Weapons System. The only weapon system that really fits that bill in US service is the Mk15 Phalanx.

The 57 and 76 mm guns are not "close in" weapon systems in that they actually have an offensive capability.
They are truly minor caliber naval guns, where minor is defined at less than 5" and major 5" and up.

They are, in fact, the main gun on LCS and the USCGs new cutter. Just as the 76mm was the main gun on the FFG and the WHEC and WMEC. I won't get into why they decided to put it on DDX.

That being said, LWilde and I were having a conversation the other day. We both like the idea of more gun mounts on surface vessels. Specifically, I like the addition of minor caliber/rapid fire guns because the range of a 5" gun is wasted against certain threats and the 5" gun we use isn't the fastest in the world, IIRC that honor goes to the Oto Malera.
Link Posted: 3/7/2006 1:47:01 PM EDT

Originally Posted By COLE-CARBINE:

Originally Posted By dport:

]Likely it will be armed with ESSM. LCS has RAM.

The 57mm is no more a CIWS than the 76mm is. It's just the Navy's newest "pop gun." And oh by the way the Mk45 can defend against small boat attacks, counter air and surface targets, etc.



I got the impression it was a self-defense gun for the DDX since it is supposed to be armed with 3 MK110's. My bad. What will the DDX use for close in protection besides it's stealth and the ESSM?


Define "close in protection." Notice the article calls it a "close in gun system?" That's because #1 it's a minor caliber gun and #2 it is not a self-contained weapon system like Mk15.

The fact of the matter is the 57mm is not a defense only weapon. It has an offensive capablity.
Link Posted: 3/7/2006 2:17:43 PM EDT

Originally Posted By dport:

Originally Posted By COLE-CARBINE:

Originally Posted By dport:

]Likely it will be armed with ESSM. LCS has RAM.

The 57mm is no more a CIWS than the 76mm is. It's just the Navy's newest "pop gun." And oh by the way the Mk45 can defend against small boat attacks, counter air and surface targets, etc.



I got the impression it was a self-defense gun for the DDX since it is supposed to be armed with 3 MK110's. My bad. What will the DDX use for close in protection besides it's stealth and the ESSM?


Define "close in protection." Notice the article calls it a "close in gun system?" That's because #1 it's a minor caliber gun and #2 it is not a self-contained weapon system like Mk15.

The fact of the matter is the 57mm is not a defense only weapon. It has an offensive capablity.



I think you're saying tomato and I'm saying tomatoe. In your opinion is the 57mm a good fit for DDX?
Link Posted: 3/7/2006 2:21:24 PM EDT

Originally Posted By COLE-CARBINE:

Originally Posted By dport:

Originally Posted By COLE-CARBINE:

Originally Posted By dport:

]Likely it will be armed with ESSM. LCS has RAM.

The 57mm is no more a CIWS than the 76mm is. It's just the Navy's newest "pop gun." And oh by the way the Mk45 can defend against small boat attacks, counter air and surface targets, etc.



I got the impression it was a self-defense gun for the DDX since it is supposed to be armed with 3 MK110's. My bad. What will the DDX use for close in protection besides it's stealth and the ESSM?


Define "close in protection." Notice the article calls it a "close in gun system?" That's because #1 it's a minor caliber gun and #2 it is not a self-contained weapon system like Mk15.

The fact of the matter is the 57mm is not a defense only weapon. It has an offensive capablity.



I think you're saying tomato and I'm saying tomatoe. In your opinion is the 57mm a good fit for DDX?


It is a fine line for sure! I just don't want these guns being labeled as a defensive system only. They have merit in the offense.

Yes, I think we need to pack ships with guns, if we can get away with it.
Link Posted: 3/7/2006 2:21:42 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/7/2006 2:23:05 PM EDT

Originally Posted By vito113:

I merely alluded to ONE of it's capabilities.
ANdy


You already highlighted the point I was trying to make. Thank you.

These are excellent gun systems. I don't want them being pigeon-holed.
Link Posted: 3/7/2006 2:53:33 PM EDT
Since I've managed to hijack my own thread...

Is the railgun funded under a different program or is it part of DDX funding? I've always figured the 155mm AGS is just a stop gap until the rail gun comes online. I wonder if the rail gun tech is more mature then they thought it would be at this time, thus the reason the DDX continues to get funded.
Link Posted: 3/7/2006 2:55:32 PM EDT

Originally Posted By COLE-CARBINE:
Since I've managed to hijack my own thread...

Is the railgun funded under a different program or is it part of DDX funding? I've always figured the 155mm AGS is just a stop gap until the rail gun comes online. I wonder if the rail gun tech is more mature then they thought it would be at this time, thus the reason the DDX continues to get funded.


My understanding is they've combined all the rail gun work now that the research stuff is done and it's in the developmental stage.
Link Posted: 3/7/2006 4:42:14 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/8/2006 1:15:27 PM EDT

Originally Posted By dport:

Originally Posted By COLE-CARBINE:
Since I've managed to hijack my own thread...

Is the railgun funded under a different program or is it part of DDX funding? I've always figured the 155mm AGS is just a stop gap until the rail gun comes online. I wonder if the rail gun tech is more mature then they thought it would be at this time, thus the reason the DDX continues to get funded.


My understanding is they've combined all the rail gun work now that the research stuff is done and it's in the developmental stage.



Any idea if they've moved the time table up on the rail gun? I wonder if any of our competitors are even close to something like this?
Link Posted: 3/8/2006 1:20:28 PM EDT

Originally Posted By COLE-CARBINE:
Any idea if they've moved the time table up on the rail gun? I wonder if any of our competitors are even close to something like this?


I don't know any more than you do on either question, unfortunately. I'd love to know.
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