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Subject: MONARC - Pzh 2000 turrent and gun on a frigate - what do you think?
reefdiver    4/27/2007 2:22:54 PM
DefenseIndustryDaily had a blurb about this. What do you think of this idea - taking the turret and gun from the PzH 2000 and putting it on a frigate class vessel? DID mentioned they've had recoil and sea environment corrosion issues. Nonetheless, it seems to have potential and can certainly provide cost savings. MONARC info:
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B.Smitty       4/27/2007 2:42:40 PM
I think it's a hack.  The Germans apparently do too.  They just chose the OTO 127mm LW gun for their F125 frigates, instead of MONARC.

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reefdiver       4/27/2007 3:12:49 PM
kinda ends that story...
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B.Smitty       4/27/2007 3:33:24 PM
I think it's still under development.  Just not for the F125.
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Yimmy       4/27/2007 6:46:04 PM
What with the new focus away from Cold War technoligical "Jutland" type battles in the North Sea, and towards the litorials, why not build a frigate with its primary argument consisting of 3-4 of these turrets?
Using extended range precision-guided munitions they would be highly capable at surface warfare action and naval gunfire support.
Or perhaps a more reasonable idea, would be to fix such a turret on LPD's Albion and Bulwark, in a similar fashion to the twin 3 inch mount seen on numerous Russian LPD's.
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B.Smitty       4/28/2007 10:23:14 AM
Missiles and air power are more effective at ASuW than guns. 

Helo or fixed-wing launched AShMs and Hellfires/Mavericks/LGBs can cover an area far faster, and new, smaller missiles like Netfires allows you to pack a large number of rounds in a small, lightweight package. 

Plus, the guided gun rounds under development aren't meant to hit moving targets.  Excalibur, LRLAP and ERM are INS/GPS only. 

Guns are valuable for supporting forces ashore, but, unless they use the aforementioned, expensive, guided munitions, they don't have sufficient range to keep the warship out of harm's way. 

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Yimmy       4/28/2007 10:27:20 AM
True, but missiles don't offer the same sustainability of operations that guns do.
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doggtag       4/28/2007 11:19:29 AM
I remember discussing MONARC on threads here numerous times.
(there was a pdf or ppt I posted up from somewhere over on the DTIC.Mil/NDIA symposiums site, I'll see if I can find it...)
What with the developments of the South Afrikan VLAP ammunition family that, months ago, ArtyEngineer or somebody reported fired to 75km,
naval gunfire has the potential to reach new levels.
But so far, 5" guns seem to be the max (that includes Russian 130mm sized), save in the few-will-even-be-built DDG1000.
I suppose then that currently people see the MONARC as comparable to that USN Mk71 Major Caliber LightWeight Gun, the 8" turret tested on the USS Hull way back whenever (12 rpm to 25km?).
I'm not going to get into a 6 vs 8 battle (gun caliber), but points have been put forth that, without guidance capable of hitting moving targets, these INS&GPS guided long range LRLAP-type (include Excalibur) will only ever be suitable for fixed static targets (which, some might ask, why can't they be hit with stand-off bombs like SDB, which already carries a larger explosive content than any 155 shell).
Now with that Lockheed Martin P44 "GMLRS Jr" that's under development (14- or 28-pound warhead to 70km, multimode seeker offering, hopefully, capability to hit moving targets), that system offers a potential competitor to any non-AGS large caliber ship guns (non-AGS, because its LRLAP is hoped to reach 180km).
Current 5" guided & boosted shell attempts have yielded ranges pushing 62 nautical miles, which outranges the 75km of the unguided VLAP (which is technically a boosted artillery shell, not a dedicated PGM).
Depending on your usable deck space and volume determines what you can carry: yeah sure, 155mm is a good surface support gun.
But for all the work necessary to install it in a ship, support it (maintenance and ammunition) and integrate it into accepting ship's sensor input, podded P44 types bolted onto the deck in a poor man's VLS configuration might offer just as effective a support system, especially if the ship carrying it can more quickly discard the launchers after use and more quickly convert back to its originally-intended roles.
We've addressed numerous times our general approvals that we think NetFires PAM is ideal for surface strike, but its range isn't really leaps and bounds beyond what 5" can already achieve. (Still up in the air what the production cost for a Precision Attack Missile will be: will it come cheaper than any 5" gun fired PGMs? It will need to to be competive with naval offerings.)
So I still nominate the P44, even ifit hasn't even been officially mentioned by LM as a naval launch system (which it should be readily adaptable to, even if we can't use the 10-rd MLRS pod variant launcher- a more VLS-cell-friendly square form launch pod may be more favorable, perhaps in a 9 round config, 3x3 of a 7" diameter missile, if the 10" diameter ESSM can quadpack in a 2x2 configuration).
Time will tell.
But with the minimum number of Zummwalts the USN is going to get (despite wishful thinking), they're either going to have to face facts and adopt 5" PGMs for all those other ships still carrying 127mm guns, or develop a MONARC-type turret they can rapidly install in place of the 5", or adopt NetFires PAMs and P44s by the masses.
Would a single 6" gun be beneficial? Sure.
But I think we're not going to see 4+ turret ships with these new long range guns (or even twin gun turrets), not when VLS arrays will take less overall resources (cost, maintenance, material, ship's structural strength) to install P44 types and PAMs into the few hundreds per ship if we need them.
A 5" gun has the advantage that its mounting can traverse quickly enough to track many fast-moving surface threats (FACs, etc), that a heavier 6" turret like MONARC may not be able to (so we'd need those PGM shells with the ability to steer into moving targets...which we'd need in the 5" guns anyway to guarantee direct hits).
I'll give it this though: if 6" ship guns do make a comeback, the Royal Navy may well wish it had a few of those Tiger-cass cruisers with their forward twin 6" automated turret. Something like that could prove very useful, even if "only" with 75km range instead of 180 w/ LRLAP.
But smaller vessels armed with an abundance of P44 types could overwhelm much larger vessels: CIWS and antimissiles may become overwhelmed by swarm attacks of small long range multi-attack-vector PGMs (some coming in ballistically, others seaskimming).
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reefdiver       4/28/2007 2:54:06 PM
The US Navy is designing the 155mm Advanced Gun System. How much less capable is the PzH 2000?  Rate of fire is about the same, but the Pzh's  60 round magazine is considerably smaller than the AGS's 750 round magazine. I'm curious about other major differences and capabilities exist between the two.  The cost savings of an almost off-the-shelf solution - if possible - would seem enormous.
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doggtag       4/28/2007 5:34:56 PM

The US Navy is designing the 155mm Advanced Gun System. How much less capable is the PzH 2000?  Rate of fire is about the same, but the Pzh's  60 round magazine is considerably smaller than the AGS's 750 round magazine. I'm curious about other major differences and capabilities exist between the two.  The cost savings of an almost off-the-shelf solution - if possible - would seem enormous.

I think the biggest difference between the two will be their physical size: AGS and all its associated equipment will be considerably heavier, and take up more volume, than a MONARC type turret.
MONARC's smaller size means any vessel that can mount a 5 inch gun can now have access to 6 inch firepower (good luck trying to refit an AGS to a Burke).
And although MONARC won't have a comparable sustained rate of fire as other naval mounts, the 75km range achievable alone might make some navies take note of the capability (nations with detroyers and large frigates who'll spend most of their time patrolling sea lanes and policing maritime traffic may not need them as much as someone who may need to support inland operations).
I'd also be curious of the MRSI capabilities of the MONARC (or anything similar firing a 6/52 gun), although  MRSI means absolutely nothing without the precision capability to put all the shells in the same place (scattering half a dozen shells over a several hundred square meters areas in an attempt to hit a stationary target 40+km away is pointless).
One of the biggest deficiencies (depends how you look at it, really) of the MONARC is that a portion of its ammo is contained within the turret (in its current configuration with the PzH2000 turret).
So without an effective autoloader/indexer system developed, the turret will have to be manned.
And also without some sort of ammunition hoists, reloading of the 60-rd PzH 2000 magazine will have to be done manually, as opposed to the more favorable reloading via hoists from within the hull, under the turret.
Still, it is doubtful the ship would need all 60 rounds ready to use in rapid succession.
We do have another option: there was that Artillery Gun Module system," width=400 align=left border=0>
...built also by Krauss-Maffei Wegmann,
which has a different turret design but may prove it has potential, just for the fact its turret can be fully automated.
This may prove a better alternative, providing a minimal-intrusion (into the ship hull) shell hoist/feeder can be installed directly under the turret, perhaps fed via a large carousel-type magazine (the minimal distance we dip into the hull for ammo, the quicker it gets to the gun and the higher sustained rate of fire we can achieve).
As with many other naval guns, I could certainly see a water cooling jacket being integrated on any ship-mounted system, if just to allow for greater sustained rates (we don't necessarily need a fancy barrel like the Crusader tried to use).
And not being part of an AFV susceptible to ground fire, there's the possibility a ship turret may not need to be as heavily armored (if we're going to refit it to 5" gunned vessels, we don't want something 3-4 times as heavy as a 5" turret, because we don't want to upset the ship's seakeeping abilities any more than we have to).
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reefdiver       5/1/2007 11:44:43 AM
I rather like the idea of using the AGM system on ships - seems a better idea than using the Pzh 2000.  My understanding is that neither of these systems are stabilized turrets designed to fire on the move. As such, won't there be considerable fire control system interface issues with these or is that what the ship's turrent mounting system overcame along with recoil issues?
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