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post #24 of (permalink) Old 04-24-14, 12:06 AM
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maximus2467's Flag is: United Kingdom
Join Date: Jun 2007
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I've been in the navy for 15 years now so I'm going to throw my tuppence worth in here. I can't see rail guns being used on a platform anytime soon, the type 45 destroyer, a world class destroyer and up to the point of me typing this is the most advanced warship in the world has not been designed with this in mind for the future, the type 26 frigate which will be even more impressive when it's launched has not been designed with this in mind, solid shot munitions aren't really what the navy do anymore, granted we still have a big gun strapped to the front of our ships but this is mainly for naval gunfire support reasons, the primary weapon of every Royal Navy warship is now (and has been since the start of the Cold War) the helicopter on the back, they can pass on radar returns much greater than the range of the ships radar, hunt and kill submarines in a much greater range, target enemy surface returns and help with humanitarian tasking, if your close enough that you can hit another ship with your main gun nowadays then something has gone terribly wrong and chances are that your already sinking due to the other ship nailing you with missiles and it's helo from hundreds of miles away, something you cannot do with a gun or rail gun, yes you may have range but all you can do is point and shoot, you can't alter the projectiles course mid flight and if the enemy is that far away there is no way you will hit it. Having said all that, the Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carrier HAS been built with rail gun technology in mind, the steam catapults of old are gone and it has scope to be fitted with an electragnetic catapult to launch aircraft, the very same tech as a rail gun. She was due to be launched with this fitted but when the Tories came into power they scrapped it but left the compartments everything it needed to be fitted at a later date (maybe they're expecting to come into some money? I don't know) then again they also scrapped VSTOL capabilities for our new aircraft and then had to go back and ask for it to be fitted after all or the planes wouldn't be able to take off or land, genius. Btw someone mentioned small aluminium ships? You find this more commonplace now as aluminium has a higher tolerance for sea water than steel, it tends to corrode less and though it offers little protection from missiles one of the lessons we found from the Falklands was that if you have a thin skinned warship missiles can pass through them rather than bursting through one layer of armour then detonating. Your not going to find yourself under small arms fire at sea, it's just not likely. I know you get pirate skiffs but they generally won't be fitted with anything greater than a 7.62 gpmg at absolute best and the helo has already turned that into a smoking mess before your anywhere near it
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