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Subject: Naval/Marine Coastal Artillery
Iano    4/29/2005 6:41:56 PM
Watching a DVD "State of Alert", which is mostly about the modern RN, there is a section on the Swedish Military where the line between land and sea forces becomes rather blurred in the dotted islands and fjords of the Sweden. Apparently the Swedes are doing something no-one else has even conceived of - they are using land forces to engage sea forces. Think about it - sea forces engage land, air and sea, air engages land, air and sea, and land can engage air and land - but there is no reverse-direction version of shore bombardment, no equivalent of the coastal artillery today. Swedish artillery units (not sure whether army or marine) train at engaging ships in coastal waters. I am thinking how hard would it be to establish a system for firing a Harpoon or other anti shipping missile, from a launching post or from a vehicle? The latest Harpoon version will be able to take on targets ashore so I cant see why it cant be used from ashore against targets at sea. In a littoral environment, like the Swedes find themselves in, or in an amphibious operation where you might find a beachead trapped between the enemies army and naval forces, the system would have its uses. Take the Gulf for example. Mine clearing work went on for a year, after the main fighting warships had done their job and been removed. Now if you have MCMVs going about their work in a coastal area with small fast boats, usual coastal merchant & shipping activity, piracy and weapons smuggling, and no, or few, escorting vessels, that must be a liability. Having a few land based Harpoons would give you a protected area over those ships without the massive cost of deploying a taskforce. Ian
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Yimmy    RE:Naval/Marine Coastal Artillery   4/29/2005 7:17:57 PM
The Middle East and China have been using Styx/Silkworm anti-ship missiles from costal batteries for decades, and I believe iran is of recent using Sunburn in a similar role. In the Falklands War Argentina fired a land based Exocet or two at us, one hitting the Type 22 Frigate Glamougan(?) in the helli hangar. I belive Norway may have a percific coastal artillery unit which use 155mm howitzers against ships.
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ret13f    RE:Naval/Marine Coastal Artillery   4/29/2005 7:34:53 PM
I think all the northern countries have specific units/doctrine for coastal defence. also the russians have developed some specific units and equipment.
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Thomas    RE:Naval/Marine Coastal Artillery   5/6/2005 6:15:57 AM
Well during the cold war the Danish forces on land agains naval targets: 1. Coastal artillery: Old German guns in deeply buried bunkers. 2. Mobile Harpoon batteries. 3. Assorted artillery pieces. 4. Leopard 1 tanks. Anywhere you have narrow waters land-forces/shore establishments should take part in engaging naval targets - especially on the moist meadows such as the internal Danish waters,
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eon    RE:Naval/Marine Coastal Artillery   5/6/2005 2:35:26 PM
Part of the Norwegian coastal defenses included old WWII German 88m/m Flak 36 AA guns; not only still effective vs. low-level air with radar control and proximity fused rounds, but lethal on light surface combatants such as torpedo or missile boats for the same reason. There are several possible weapons in the U.S. inventory that would be useful in this role, most obviously the U.S. Army's version of Tomahawk that was so controversial in liberal circles here and in Europe twenty years ago. A system based on mobile Tomahawk for long-range interdiction and Harpoon for littoral defense, with shorter-ranged gun and missile systems (ATGW and SAM) for local support, could be a thorny problem for amphibs anywhere. In close waters such as the Straits of Hormuz (or the Taiwan Strait) it could make things hazardous for even capital ships. And most up-to-date armies will probably have most of the necessary hardware in inventory already. Call it "Coast Defense On The Cheap", as it were.
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fitz    RE:Naval/Marine Coastal Artillery   5/6/2005 6:08:21 PM
Brazil employs the AVIBRAS ASTROS II multiple rocket system for coast defense. Chile until recently used ancient ex-US M1917A1 155mm guns for coastal defense. I understand these were recently replaced by modern weapons sourced from IDF surplus. China has the gamut of coastal defense guns and missiles and offers a version of the NORINCO WA 021 towed howitzer for this role. Croatia uses the Swedish RBS-15 mounted on a truck. Denmark at least until the late 1990's was still employing surplus WWII German 15cm naval guns in twin turrets salvaged from wartime capital ships in addition to truck-mounted Harpoon's. Egypt employs russian 130mm towed guns and OTOMAT Mk 1 missiles. Finland uses old T-55 tank turrets, the locally developed Vammas 130mm turret mounted coastal defense gun, old Russian 152mm and Bofors 254mm weapons and the RBS 15 missile on a truck. Giat offered for a while its 100mm Compact naval gun for coastal defense. Not sure if its still being marketed - I doubt it. Exocet in both MM40 and in older MM38 installations has been offered for export mounted on 6x6 truck chassis and believed to be used by Cyprus, Greece, Qatar and for a time the UK (MM38 - later sold to Chile). OTOBreda (no Matra BAe if I'm keeping current) offered the OTOMAT in a 6x6 truck-mounted coastal defense version in use by Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Japan mounts 6 of its local Type 88 (Harpoon class) anti-ship missiles on a 6x6 truck for coastal defense. North Korea is like China with a bit of everything, mostly old. South Korea is believed to employ Harpoon in truck-mounted form. Norway uses a variety of fixed Bofors built guns of 75 and 120mm caliber plus locally designed 20mm guns in fixed installations, mines, fixed torpedo installations and ex-German 15cm guns from the war as well as Peguin and Hellfire ASM's. Russian offers a fancy new self-propelled 130mm coast defense gun on a 8x8 chassis for export as well as a multitude of missile systems. South Africa offers the G5 as a coast defense gun for export. Spain has operated a variety of ancient heavy coastal defense guns as well as Harpoon for coastal defense. Sweden offers 75 and 120mm coast defense guns in both fixed and towed configurations as well as a towed 155mm gun, a version of the American Hellfire missile and the local RBS-15. Taiwan uses old 5" guns from retired American destroyers, 57mm AT guns, 203mm howitzers, 240mm gun-howitzers, standard 105mm and 155mm howitzers and locally developed anti-ship missiles for coast defense. Turkey operates a large assortment of obsolete fixed coast defense guns. The UK offers Sea Skua in a truck-mounted coast defense form. The United States offers Harpoon as a truck-mounted coast defense weapon.
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EW3    RE:Naval/Marine Coastal Artillery   5/6/2005 6:21:03 PM
I like the ASM approach. Hard to hit a destroyer making 35kts, zigging and zagging all over the place, with a ballistic round. Area denial munitions raise your chances of hurting the ship, but reduce the chance of sinking it. However if your guns are the destination of the ships, as in an amphibious assualt, then artillery becomes very useful.
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Yimmy    RE:Naval/Marine Coastal Artillery   5/7/2005 6:31:09 PM
As a side note, in the Falklands War a fair amount of damage was done to an Argentinian Corvet by a sniper rifle and Carl Gustav 84mm rocket round.
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blacksmith    RE:Naval/Marine Coastal Artillery   5/8/2005 12:15:12 AM
"Apparently the Swedes are doing something no-one else has even conceived of - they are using land forces to engage sea forces." Ever wonder why all those forts were built at the mouths of harbors?
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EW3    RE:Naval/Marine Coastal Artillery - Portable land fired ASMs   5/8/2005 7:11:55 AM
"Mine clearing work went on for a year, after the main fighting warships had done their job and been removed." FWIW the important channels were cleared in short order. The rest of the mine field was not bothered with for a while and was used to develop some new technology by the USN. But I am intersested in why the US does not seem to have the ability to deploy on short notice some kind of ASM. Much like the HUMRAAM, it would be handy to deploy a vehicle of some type with harpoons via a C-130. It would permit rapid deployment of an area of sea. Anyone know if there is something out there? Nothing is on the web and it seems like a silly gap. (Yes, I know other countries have these, but why not the US?)
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fitz    RE:Naval/Marine Coastal Artillery   5/8/2005 8:13:26 AM
The "corvette" in question was the Guerico, a French-built A69 type. It was hit by 3 84mm Carl Gustav projectiles and 1,200+ rounds of 7.62 ammunition - the latter suggests a rather busy sniper :). The damage was easily repaired.
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