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 Post subject: Guns in modern warfare (Oliver vs Darkhorse)
Unread postPosted: 02 Aug 2013, 19:13 
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Standpoint: guns still have a place in modern warfare, and for certain applications are superior to missile systems

it would be better to arm an armoured vehicle with a gun rather than an ATGM

guns on ships, now considered outdated, still have many applications which missiles can struggle to fullfill

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 Post subject: Re: Guns in modern warfare (Oliver vs Darkhorse)
Unread postPosted: 02 Aug 2013, 20:24 
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Standpoint:

Large calibre weapons, systems larger than current artillery and naval gun systems (6.1 inches (155mm) or larger) have little to no application in modern warfare. The MBT's usefulness is dying out, although it provides a niche which advanced armies should maintain, as systems give way to lighter gun systems and missile systems.

Guns aboard naval vessels are obsolete for all but few of the many roles a modern warship has to fulfil, and their are few situations where the application of air/missile power cannot compensate for a ships firepower, and no circumstances where their would be a desire to switch from airpower to gunnery except in one possible situation, NGFS against land targets, which even then is made complicated by a number of flaws which do not limit airpower in the same way, or if they do, limit shipping as well.
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3 turn debate, white to move first.



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 Post subject: Re: Guns in modern warfare (Oliver vs Darkhorse)
Unread postPosted: 02 Aug 2013, 20:45 
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Ships
Ships can only carry a few missiles whereas they can carry hundreds of rounds of ammunition for a gun. Although guns may be less effective than a missile and less accurate, hundreds times more ammunition can be stored aboard meaning that even when a ship has used all its missiles it could continue to fight without having to withdraw from the battle, or even the war to re-arm.
In this way it would be beneficial to fit ships with larger guns, this would increase the capability of a navy in a large scale and long battle.

Tanks
The MBT either manned or unmanned, even with the advent of ever more advanced missile systems will still retain its usefulness and gun for the foreseeable future. The gun provides greater versatility being able to use a variety of shell types and takes up less space than an equivalent missile system, including quite importantly stowage of ammunition.



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 Post subject: Re: Guns in modern warfare (Oliver vs Darkhorse)
Unread postPosted: 02 Aug 2013, 23:47 
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Figure A
Figures of some modern warship armaments from around the world (these are capable nations as well, no mickey mouse navies!).

Anzac (109.5m), Australia - 1 x 125mm gun, 2 x 4 Harpoon system, 1 x 8 VLS Imp system (AA), CIWS, and 2 x 3 AS Torpedoes. Helicopter.
Iroquiois (124.5m), Canada - 1 x 57mm gun, 2 x 4 Harpoon, 2 x 8 VLS (AA), CIWS, and 2 x 2 AS Torpedoes. Helicopter.
Karel Doorman (114m), Netherlands - 1 x 76mm gun, 2 x 4 Harpoon, 2 x 8 VLS (AA), CIWS, and 2 x 2 AS Torpedoes. Helicopter.
De Zeven Provincien (130 metres), Netherlands - 1 x 127mm gun, 2 x 4 Harpoon, 1 x 40 VLS, 2 x CIWS, 2 x 2 AS Torpedoes. Helicopter.
Arleigh Burke (142m), USA - 1 x 125mm gun, 2 x 4 Harpoon, 2 x AA OR Tomahawk. Helicopter.
Kongo (150m), Japan - 1 x 125mm gun, 2 x 4 Harpoon, 2 x 90 AA, 2 x CIWC, 2 x 3 Torpedoes. Helicopter.
Type 45 (152.4m), UK - 1 x 115mm gun, will have harpoon, 1 x 16, and 1 x 32 AA VLS, 2 x 30mm, possibly Tomahawk, CIWS. Helicopter.
Cassard (129m) France - 1 x 100mm gun, 1 x AA system, 4 x Exocet. Helicopter.
Steregushhchiy (111m) Russia - 1 x 100mm gun, 2 x 30mm cannon, 8 x AS missiles, 64 x AA system, 4 x 1 Torpedoes. Helicopter.

The modern large warship now heavily relies on either missiles or aircraft to fulfil their duties. There is also a correlation between the ships size, and their armaments. Especially when considering much of the ships length is handed over to helicopter and hanger, showing the importance of the helicopter in modern warfare! Modern destroyers may carry a handful of anti-ship missiles but their helicopter(s) add a huge ASW and AS asset to these ships in place of both the gun and the missiles. ASW ships such as British frigates specialise in that role, and although some have been refitted to accommodate other roles including a boosted AA and AS capability, these are secondary to its ASW role. Refits generally include new AA defences, new ASW defences, space for helicopters, larger helicopters, drones, the addition of anti ship weapons, and perhaps even a new gun.

But it is this gun which is only really upgraded to make sure it works. Considerable improvements to the gun are rare, even the UK's new 155mm gun for ship and land artillery use, and considerably larger than the 115mm currently used has yet to be adopted. This is because the true weapon of a modern warship is it's helicopter, and that despite the provision for missile armaments intended for targets that are not aircraft or submarines, AS capabilities are clearly intended for opportunistic or emergency engagements. Not many of the ships carry weapons suited for land targets, with the exception of the gun. Ship and land targets are left to submarines, cruise missiles, and carrier aircraft, which are all far more capable at taking on those roles. And considering the modern the destroyers place as a carrier escort or fleet protection, they are never going to be far away from either a carrier or a sub in wartime. The frigate, the scout and sub hunter, carries a few AS missiles as a deterrence, as a weapon of opportunity, it is not designed to go toe to toe with other surface warships. The range of missile systems, cruise missiles, and both surveillance and strike aircraft/drones dwarf the range of the ships gun, and rivals the range of the ships AS missile systems to the extent that a cruise missile armed sub in Portsmouth can track and sink a ship in New York with ease.

In the Falklands War, firing the gun in support of ground forces was an important job, and the only dedicated task left to the ships gun (although the British gun is said to make a fine AA gun, according to a crew member aboard HMS Kent, firing a canister shell or HE) As it has been in Iraq, and Libya. However, in the Falklands, despite state of the art AA systems and air cover, the ships were forced to withdraw before dawn every day and could not provide NGFS with the gun because of the threat of Exocet and enemy aircraft. Many ships were damaged or sunk on NGFS duties in 1982 despite being in amongst a number of very capable AA vessels. Why not improve the range of the guns/rocket assistance and guided shells? Well, this could double the range of the ships gun, and even increase its accuracy. Well AFAIK a guided shell smaller than 155mm hasn't yet been developed, and regardless, NGFS support is intended to cover a landing operation until the ground forces have their own Artillery and AA systems set up. There is very little that can threaten a landing force (other than aircraft) that cannot be dealt with by missiles or aircraft that far inland, and the land forces own systems are going to be infinitely better suited for such a role anyway because they are that much closer, and that much larger.

Adding a larger gun to a ship is therefore a wasted expense, the advantages the British 155 bring are only feasible to the navy because of its use in the Army's systems spreading the cost. The extra punch and range are nice, but would not be sought after if the Army did not need a similar system. Multiple large guns were there because ships were armoured, and the guns inaccurate. Several heavy shells were required to hit, let alone damage a ship. However technology now means a round could probably be put though the captain's head (toilet!) at 15 miles. The missile removed the advantages of passive (armour) protection, as no ship (or tank for that matter) could be built to survive a missile hit. A practice round could clear the bridge with kinetic energy alone, the devastation is no longer required. Even air dropped munitions are becoming intelligence, locking on and destroying only valid targets or blowing up harmlessly in the air. If a mess is required, a cruise missile or a 500lb bomb can do that if required, and a much larger range than the ships gun.

For much of the same reasons, the tank has also had its day in a number of situations. The anti-tank missile in the hands of the infantry, the larger vehicle mounted systems, smart artillery and air dropped munitions, and ultimately the helicopter have put an end to the tanks supremacy. Passive protection has once again had its day. Hit any tank with a 120mm sabot and its done. Whilst their are still advantages to the MBT, and they will be kept in service in small numbers, modern warfare is expeditionary and smaller systems are sought, the terrain in Afghanistan did not allow for the use of heavy armour. In Iraq the tanks proved useful in the invasion, against enemy tanks, but soon many were sent home. Nations such as Belgium, Canada and the Netherlands have removed, or will remove their heavy armour from service. Stating that they are too expensive to run, too heavy to move effectively to the theatre, are too heavy to move in theatre and having too long a logistical trail, all for very little gain and no guarantee of effectiveness or invulnerability.

Tell tail signs of the decline in armour are everywhere. Russian designs have not got any heavier in recent times, placing emphasis on mobility. The French have shifted from passive to active countermeasures. The US have spent decades developing a number light expeditionary systems, culminating in the Stryker 105mm MGS. Advanced mobile rapid fire mortar systems (such as AMOS), larger cannon, ATGM systems, grenade launchers with developments such as Trophy, Arena, Electric field armour (DSTL's invention) and ERA bricks enhance the survivability of faster moving vehicles packing as much punch and their MBT cousins. The tank gun does indeed open up possibilities in terms of ammunition types, however SABOT and HE are the most commonly used. ATGM provide comparable capability in both these fields over similar ranges, and such vehicles secondary armament enchance it's capability. The automatic grenade launcher and the machine gun fitted on many light vehicles offers excellent AP capability and even some AT and AA. The gun certianly still has some advantages at present, being more difficult to stop, but new active defensive systems and faster or tandem charge missiles are beginning to reign this in!



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 Post subject: Re: Guns in modern warfare (Oliver vs Darkhorse)
Unread postPosted: 04 Aug 2013, 12:48 
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adding a larger gun to a ship is not a waste

missile countermeasure systems are becoming a real nuisance, and considering the limited number of missiles which can be carried they present a very real threat, guns could be fired at longs range to give a 'window' like effect confusing enemy systems allowing for missiles to fly freely

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I disagree about the Helicopter bit, Helicopters are very vulnerable to anti-aircraft fire, although they are unmatched in their ASW role

they are ill suited to anti-shipping roles



The tank and its gun still has its place in modern warfare, guns are versatile being able to fire barrel launched missiles, AP, HE, Sabot and a variety of other rounds, until missiles can be as small as an artillery shell the gun still has its place





another problem which faces missiles is electronic warfare which can confuse the missiles guidance, at least with a cannon shell it is going in the direction you pointed it

another possible electronic warfare scenario could be drone hacking, drones are not AI's there is a signal from the ground which they are picking up, although that is not relevant to this thread



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 Post subject: Re: Guns in modern warfare (Oliver vs Darkhorse)
Unread postPosted: 14 Oct 2013, 18:08 
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Turn II

Quote:
adding a larger gun to a ship is not a waste


Guns are added to modern ships purely on the off chance that ships:

A, are in a situation where all missile systems fail.
B, to target ships which appear out of fog at insanely close range, or to target ships of a similar size or below.
C, to assist in AA and AM capabilities.
D, rarely, used to support landings.

Each of these situations requires speed, rate of fire, and accuracy rather than a larger punch or a longer range. These guns are usually at least semi-automated or more often fully automated, such processes require an autoloading system which may not be possible with an 8 or 10 inch round. If nothing else, rate of fire and speed would all be severely compromised by having a larger round. The 5 inch gun used by the USN fires a round every 3 seconds and can hit accurately at that rate at ranges of 20miles. It would be more effective to develop more powerful shells for existing calibres (akin to the L118 105mm Light Gun round which has equal power to lower end 155mm guns) and to use rocket assistance for longer ranges.

Quote:
missile countermeasure systems are becoming a real nuisance, and considering the limited number of missiles which can be carried they present a very real threat, guns could be fired at longs range to give a 'window' like effect confusing enemy systems allowing for missiles to fly freely


On the contrary, missile systems are still a major threat. CIWS systems come in a variety of styles, gun systems from 20 to 40mm all exist, and have rates of fire from 5000rpm down to 200rpm (the slower relying on larger shells) They all have the same problems. Firstly, CIWS have very limited ammunition capacities, often only storing enough rounds for 30 seconds of fire. Secondly, a number of CIWS systems rely on an accurate prediction of the incoming missiles course to engage it. Modern AS missiles intentionally change their course prior to a hit to increase the probability of their survival. Not only this, but a missile engaged by CIWS may not be hit, and even if hit, may not be destroyed. A missile might not have its course altered and still hit the ship, this is especially true of CIWS rellying on kinetic energy projectiles. Thirdly, CWIS systems all have short ranges and rely on decent incoming data to engage. Sea skimming missiles may not be spotted and multiple missiles are a threat to ships with a single CIWS as they might be overwhelmed. The guns can only traverse, elevate, track and aim in so short a time. A missile approaching at 1500m/s needs to be picked up and engaged within 4500 metres for most 20mm systems. Most missiles are hit and killed at 500m, which still damages the ship and can even kill exposed crew members. To hit a supersonic missile travelling at the aforementioned speed, the CIWS has to do what it does in one third of a second, per missile. It can take up to one second to switch targets and retrain the CIWS to engage a second missile.

All the above means that whilst CIWS is effective (the logic being a half hit, or an explosion 50 metres from the side of the ship is better than a full impact even if it damages the vessel) missile systems are being adapted or designed to function as a CIWS role. Missile systems do not have the same limitations as gun systems and have a much greater range. Multiple targets can be engaged simultaneously, including the launch aircraft, as the missiles can be used in a dual role (they usually are AA missiles used in CIWS roles). Missiles can also be reprogrammed in flight. These guided countermeasures are more effective, especially at longer ranges, but still cannot be relied on 100%. The AS missile still has a hell of a bite.

The downside? CIWS missiles are directed by heat signatures, or various radar systems. They are effective in the CIWS role because AS missiles typically use ESM radar to hit their targets, which the AA missiles can also use. This means that a ships AA defences can be taken down by its own ECM and Chaff, where as a gun CIWS will not, neither will a wire-guided or laser guided system, and there is no guarantee that an AS missile will be fooled - and if it is, and its like Exocet, it will pick and attack another target (Atlantic Conveyor).

Certainly, a combination of gun and missile CIWS can be very effective.

Quote:
I disagree about the Helicopter bit, Helicopters are very vulnerable to anti-aircraft fire, although they are unmatched in their ASW role

they are ill suited to anti-shipping roles


I'm not going to sit here and say helicopters are the be all and end all, because they aren't. However, they are very advantageous to have. They extend the combat range of a small ship further than any gun or missile and the fact helicopters can have as diverse an armament as a ship or plane makes them very effective and they can multirole on the same mission. We live in an age where machine gun fire would probably damage a modern warship and its launches so this adds further options once missiles have been expended. They also carry AA countermeasure systems and even AA missiles. In Vietnam a helicopter shot down an aircraft (admittedly an old one) and in the Iran -Iraq war helicopters were sometimes used in the AA role, which was especially effective against other helicopters. Not to mention, Apaches can be launched from British warships, and there is probably little better for attacking a warship.

While more vulnerable to AA defences due to their slower speed, the lower height is an advantage. and navies have and do attack ships with guns and missiles from helicopters and have scored a number of successes. Firing missiles from beyond 5000m at a low height can protect the helicopter from much of a ships arsenal and yet have a similar chance of success to an aircraft attack or AS missile. British Sea Skua missiles (which have a 25km range!) launched in appalling weather against an Argentine warship had a 75% hit chance and although they did not sink the ship, they put it out of action for the rest of the war. The same missile scored hits in the First Gulf War when Lynx helicopters engaged an Iraqi naval force and kept it busy enough for Sea Kings (presumably armed with the same missile) and US carrier aircraft to engage and defeat the force.

On land the modern attack helicopter is king of the battlefield, and the formidable queen is the CAS aircraft.

Quote:
The tank and its gun still has its place in modern warfare, guns are versatile being able to fire barrel launched missiles, AP, HE, Sabot and a variety of other rounds, until missiles can be as small as an artillery shell the gun still has its place


Absolutely, the tanks gun still has a place in modern warfare for exactly the reason you described. As does artillery, although the tank in itself will not be wholly replaced, they are being partially replaced by lighter, faster, easier to deploy systems relying on active countermeasures rather than armour plate. ATGM systems both man and vehicle carried are also very effective and have all the advantages that the tank does not. This is the future, although they will be used alongside MBT's for decades to come.

As for artillery, it exists. Rocket assisted shells have been around for donkey's, as have missiles fired from tank or artillery tubes, but it's becoming even more standardised. Excalibur is the most famous guided munition, its $50k a shell, but the ability to weave a shell around a cities buildings to hit within 3 metres of the exact car you are trying to hit is a huge advantage and an excellent step in collateral damage reduction.

Quote:
The munition was co-developed by United States-based Raytheon Missile Systems (guidance system) and the Swedish BAE Systems Bofors (body, base, ballistics and payload).[4] Excalibur is used to minimize collateral damage, for targets beyond the range of standard munitions, for precise firing within 150 metres (490 ft) of friendly troops, or when firing in a straight line from the launching cannon is limited by terrain.[4][10]

Initial combat experience with Excalibur in Iraq in the summer of 2007 was highly successful, with 92% of rounds falling within 4 metres (13 ft) of the target. Its performance was so impressive that the U.S. Army planned to increase production to 150 rounds per month from the previous 18 rounds per month.[11][12] In 2012, Excalibur rounds reached new record ranges in combat of 36 kilometers.[13]


Quote:
Excalibur is compatible with the British AS-90 SPG, Swedish Archer Artillery System, South African G6 howitzer and the United States M109A6 Paladin self-propelled 155 mm howitzer, M198 howitzer and M777 Lightweight Howitzer.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M982_Excalibur

Quote:
another problem which faces missiles is electronic warfare which can confuse the missiles guidance, at least with a cannon shell it is going in the direction you pointed it


I went into countermeasures earlier so I won't repeat myself, but it is true that nothing is 100%, and yes, cannon projectiles are not only faster and less likely to be stopped. However, you need a direct line of sight, and systems to exist to prevent hits from infantry rocket weapons , such as ARENA and Trophy. CIWS in a land based format can also shoot down artillery shells and mortar rounds. It is only a matter of time until some projectiles fired from a tank gun (good luck stopping SABOT) will be stoppable in the same way.



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 Post subject: Re: Guns in modern warfare (Oliver vs Darkhorse)
Unread postPosted: 20 Oct 2013, 13:09 
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I think you won



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 Post subject: Re: Guns in modern warfare (Oliver vs Darkhorse)
Unread postPosted: 16 Nov 2015, 18:24 
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I was sure I posted this before, but apparently not.

I enjoyed this debate, maybe we can do another soon?



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