The Return of the Battleship? It's possible.

Gomez Adams

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This issue of Popular Mechanics talks about the U.S. Army's new Super Long Range Cannon (SLRC). It's been in development for a few years now and is supposed to enter testing by 2023.

The estimated range is going to be 1,500 miles. For those keeping score, that's about 1,470 miles further than the most powerful battleship guns ever fired.

The problem with the cannon, according to Popular Mechanics, is that it is a towed gun so large that it requires paved roads (and pretty good ones at that) to be positioned. This isn't like a field Howitzer you can set up pretty much anywhere.

So that opens up a question: How could you best position this cannon on a global scale?

In a word: Battleships.

Of course, it wont be a battleship like the Iowa class or anything like that. It'll probably be a long, low profile ship along the lines of a stealth destroyer or missile frigate and carry 4 to 6 of these SLRC's.

You'd be able to park that battleship in international waters and hit pretty much any target you wanted with impunity.

It'll be interesting to see if it happens.
 

Hugo Stiglitz

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First off I'll believe a 1500 mile range cannon when I see it. Those big assed railway guns of Germany didn't even have a fraction of that range. The only thing I can think of would be one of those rail guns they've been working on for years that haven't amounted to anything. Even if they make those work there's no warhead. It's a projectile only so there's very limited bang for your buck per shell. I just don't see it happening.
 

Zeedox

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First off I'll believe a 1500 mile range cannon when I see it. Those big assed railway guns of Germany didn't even have a fraction of that range. The only thing I can think of would be one of those rail guns they've been working on for years that haven't amounted to anything. Even if they make those work there's no warhead. It's a projectile only so there's very limited bang for your buck per shell. I just don't see it happening.

Rocket assisted round or hyper-sonic rail-gun with ballistic trajectory capability. Canadians developed a cement laden 'bomb' which when delivered from a high enough altitude had huge penetration with minimal non-combatant engagement (that's right, drop a big enough piece of concrete and viola).

Then there's always 'anything travelling at hyper-sonic speeds is very dangerous' - even Styrofoam.
 

Grimhogun

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I don't see the point. If you have missles that already do that why do you need a gun? It's just another way to waste money on weapons we'll never use.
 

Zeedox

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Treaties on missiles, ballistic and cruise.
Besides those types of weapons have an ongoing thermal radiation for at least part of their flight (need power to fly). So they can be spotted by satellites in the right place.

Artillery (except perhaps any nuclear arty shells) is not covered under most non-proliferation treaties as it wasn't seen as a threatening weapon.

Making artillery that uses rail-gun propulsion that can send a round/weapon your enemies way with almost no launch signature, no flight signature (unless you are already actively listening for hyper-sonic signatures) and possibly with a one-minute (or less) flight time is a scary weapon to have available. Most (if not all) projectiles from these systems are obliterated.

Now imagine having a building in downtown Nashville suddenly evaporate/collapse with no residual evidence - who do you blame?
 

Hugo Stiglitz

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Artillery (except perhaps any nuclear arty shells) is not covered under most non-proliferation treaties as it wasn't seen as a threatening weapon.
I had never considered that.

Making artillery that uses rail-gun propulsion that can send a round/weapon your enemies way with almost no launch signature, no flight signature (unless you are already actively listening for hyper-sonic signatures) and possibly with a one-minute (or less) flight time is a scary weapon to have available. Most (if not all) projectiles from these systems are obliterated.
I had never thought about that either. Not a military guy. Sometimes you gotta spell shit out for us civilian lackies. ;)