Military History | How To Make War | Wars Around the World Rules of Use How to Behave on an Internet Forum
Surface Forces Discussion Board
   Return to Topic Page
Subject: Battleship Yamato
AThousandYoung    12/15/2010 9:49:55 PM
What would be the minimum modern surface force needed to take this bad boy out? Could an LCS with surface warfare kit do it? An Arleigh Burke could almost certainly take her out...no?
 
Quote    Reply

Show Only Poster Name and Title     Newest to Oldest
Pages: 1 2 3 4   NEXT
USN-MID       12/15/2010 10:45:05 PM
Actually, a "working" Slava or Kirov cruiser has the best shot at cracking a BB without taking any damage. The big Russian AShMs warheads have enough punch and range to do the job, and the lack of missile defense means each one of those shots is getting through.
 
A Burke's max of 8 Harpoons is not likely to do the job, and everything else either lacks the necessary punch or puts it in the Yamatos ~20nm range. If they brought back TASM or worked ASuW into TLAMs, that would be a different story. 
 
Quote    Reply

mabie       12/16/2010 2:38:41 AM
60 PAMs fired from a LCS would ruin Yamato's day. It couldn't sink her but would no doubt rearrange its superstructure. Forget the 30mm guns. 
 
Quote    Reply

heraldabc       12/16/2010 5:29:55 PM

Actually, a "working" Slava or Kirov cruiser has the best shot at cracking a BB without taking any damage. The big Russian AShMs warheads have enough punch and range to do the job, and the lack of missile defense means each one of those shots is getting through.

 

A Burke's max of 8 Harpoons is not likely to do the job, and everything else either lacks the necessary punch or puts it in the Yamatos ~20nm range. If they brought back TASM or worked ASuW into TLAMs, that would be a different story. 

Arleigh Burke carries STANDARD, USN MID, one half tonne at Mach 4? 

KE = 1/2 (M * (V * V))
       =1/2 500kg (1360m/s x 1360m/s)      
       = 462,400,000 joules

Standard missile powered envelope end SMASH 
 
KE = 1/2 (M * (V * V))
      = 1/2 1227kg (850m/s x 850m/s) 
      =  442,531,250 joules
 
Impact energy of a 16' US super-heavy shell at the MUZZLE. 
 
The point is that in surface to surface missile mode the STANDARD packs quite a wallop. I would dare say thirty or so impacts is a Yamoto mission kill. AZn d given the known weak fantail armor?
 
H.

 
 
Quote    Reply

mabie       12/16/2010 5:50:56 PM
Check out the ArcLight program being managed by DARPA. 
 
Quote    Reply

USN-MID       12/16/2010 7:37:50 PM
From what I've seen of SM-2 use results in SINKEX photos, combined with its parabolic trajectory and proximity fusing, I'm not entirely convinced it has the required punch to take out a BB.
Good damage on contemporary ships, but you only really see frag shredding the superstructure. Not exactly armor piercing qualities. 
 
 Granted, I'm not familiar with the Yamato's design, but I figure the same principles used on an Iowa BB regarding armoring up the magazines, critical machinery, big guns, and conning tower applied when she was built. 
 
Quote    Reply

Arbalest       12/16/2010 9:35:32 PM
I see that this topic has reappeared.

I assume that submarines are excluded, since 6 modern heavyweight torpedos (your choice) should be enough.

Without checking, my recollection is that the Yamato was sunk by having a bunch of USN torpedo planes put
about 16 torpedos into one side, during one atack, causing the ship to flood heavily, roll over and go under.

I'm not sure that the Harpoon can be set to dive just before hitting the target, to strike about 2m below the waterline;
there would be no point in doing this today against modern ships.

Herald: your calculations are correct, but you're missing three essential ingredients.

1. The KE of a 16" Mark 8 is carried by 1200kg of heat-treated alloy steel projectile (I'm guessing 1000kg of body
    150kg of cap and 50 kg of aerodynamic nose)
   The KE of a Standard missile is carried by 500kg, of which perhaps 20kg is heat-treated steel, and more of a cap
    than a real AP projectile

2. Steel projectiles (striking steel armor that does not buckle) start having a problem around 3200ft/sec
    (about 2180mph; ~M3.2) impact velocity: they shatter.

3. For a local impact, ships and tanks can be represented by a steel plate at some impact angle. In the case of the
   Yamato, starting about 2m below the waterline and going up, that plate is heat-treated steel, usually face-hardened,
   and (perhaps most importantly) at least 25cm (10") thick; buckling is unlkely. This is a very different target than
   modern ships.

But for what it's worth, I think you're correct: 30 harpoon strikes on the superstructure would effectively put the ship
out of operation, requiring major repairs.


I think that modern surface ships would have a difficult time sinking a Yamato-class BB. The various missiles that have
some sort of kinetic-energy AP capability (Sunburn) are set up to penetrate US Carrier armor; thick, but not even
WW1 BB level. Replacing the warhead with a real 12" or 14" round would require a major redesign.  FWIW, I'd look
for something along these lines to appear in the not-too-distant future.

HEAT rounds are a possibility, and even though penetrating 25" of RHA is easily possible, going another 3 or so meters
to poke another steel wall, and usually at least one more before hitting something real valuable, is tough for the HEAT
fragment; they last maybe 10-30m, assuming free air. The Miznay-Schardin devices (or similar --> Iranian IEDs) show
that they have the range (~100m), but the 10" initial target is a problem.  No one seems to have adapted the tandem RPG
warhead concept to naval weapons (although I do need to do a checkup).

A low-altitude high-speed strafing run using a 2000lb AP bomb is a possibility, but even assuming satisfactory targeting
capability, a 900mph pass is about the same effect as regular 16" shell at maximum range, except it's against the 20" belt
armor, not the 10"deck.  Perhaps a 900mph dive bomb run?

That leaves burning the superstructure and turrets.  Several hits with napalm from carrier planes. I think this would kill the
crew by burning up available ship interior oxygen. I had a very similar discussion here several years ago, where I chose to
take the long way to showing that burning a ship was less effective than a sufficiently-large internal detonation.  I should
have just pointed to the evidence. In this thread's particular case, there seems to be very little chance of achieving an
internal detonation, due to lots of armor, so fire is a good option.
 
Quote    Reply

USN-MID       12/16/2010 10:46:09 PM

I think that modern surface ships would have a difficult time sinking a Yamato-class BB. The various missiles that have
some sort of kinetic-energy AP capability (Sunburn) are set up to penetrate US Carrier armor; thick, but not even
WW1 BB level. Replacing the warhead with a real 12" or 14" round would require a major redesign.  FWIW, I'd look
for something along these lines to appear in the not-too-distant future.

P-500s hit at M2, with a 1000kg WARHEAD. Slavas carry 16 of these missiles. That'll do the job.

HEAT rounds are a possibility, and even though penetrating 25" of RHA is easily possible, going another 3 or so meters
to poke another steel wall, and usually at least one more before hitting something real valuable, is tough for the HEAT
fragment; they last maybe 10-30m, assuming free air. The Miznay-Schardin devices (or similar --> Iranian IEDs) show
that they have the range (~100m), but the 10" initial target is a problem.  No one seems to have adapted the tandem RPG
warhead concept to naval weapons (although I do need to do a checkup).

That's because tandem warheads are designed for reactive armor. Ships don't use ERA.

A low-altitude high-speed strafing run using a 2000lb AP bomb is a possibility, but even assuming satisfactory targeting
capability, a 900mph pass is about the same effect as regular 16" shell at maximum range, except it's against the 20" belt
armor, not the 10"deck.  Perhaps a 900mph dive bomb run?
 
900mph dive bomb runs are a great way to commit suicide. 
 
That leaves burning the superstructure and turrets.  Several hits with napalm from carrier planes. I think this would kill the
crew by burning up available ship interior oxygen. I had a very similar discussion here several years ago, where I chose to
take the long way to showing that burning a ship was less effective than a sufficiently-large internal detonation.  I should
have just pointed to the evidence. In this thread's particular case, there seems to be very little chance of achieving an
internal detonation, due to lots of armor, so fire is a good option.
 
Instead of doing all this convoluted stuff, if you want to use aircraft, you could just load up some Hornets with 2000lb LGBs and hit known vital areas...the turrets, magazines, etc. 

 
Quote    Reply

Arbalest       12/17/2010 12:33:54 AM
We need to partition the discussion into "Disable" ("take this bad boy out v.1") and "Sink" ("take this bad boy out v.2").

"P-500s hit at M2, with a 1000kg WARHEAD. Slavas carry 16 of these missiles. That'll do the job."

Disable: I agree (with my Harpoon comment); I think that 10 could put the ship out of commission. This represents very much more damage than the South Dakota received, even though the Yamato is about 75% larger.

Sink: Getting through 10" of face-hardened armor via KE is tough. These aren't long-rod penetrators, and the armor plates are usually rather large and a few tons; I don't see these weapons getting through, so a sinking seems very unlikely.  If they can be set to hit and detonate like torpedoes (but at M2?) all on the same side, then there's a good chance.


"That's because tandem warheads are designed for reactive armor. Ships don't use ERA."

True, but the purpose of the first charge is to remove (specifically detonate) the first layer of armor (the ERA).  BBs, since WW1, typically have thick external armor, then usually some sort of armored bulkhead  a couple of meters behind.  Then there are other walls; not necessarily armor, but steel anyway. For these reasons, my suggestion of a tandem warhead.  There was at least one tandem warhead design attempt in WW2, so the thought is not new.


"900mph dive bomb runs are a great way to commit suicide."

Yes, but see next.


"Instead of doing all this convoluted stuff, if you want to use aircraft, you could just load up some Hornets with 2000lb LGBs and hit known vital areas...the turrets, magazines, etc."

The problem is penetrating the armor.

Disable: Agreed. See above.

Sink: Problematical.  The thinnest above-water armor on the Yamato is 10" (deck).  Navweaps.com lists some useful data for the Colorado class BB 16"/45 AP Mark 5 shell: 2,240 lbs, will penetrate 11.39" of deck armor at an impact velocity of 1,586 fps (1081mph).  This is the maximum range of the weapon, bu the important data is the performance and impact velocity.  A 2000lb LGBS (I'm assuming a bunker buster design, something close to a real naval APC shell) is 10% lighter, so reduce the performance by 10%: 10.26" ... assuming the same impact velocity.  The side armor is 20" ......

How "right" are these numbers?  I think that just about everyone believes they're close; beyond that ..... ?

 
Quote    Reply

heraldabc    I like the cointer argument.   12/17/2010 2:07:16 AM

From what I've seen of SM-2 use results in SINKEX photos, combined with its parabolic trajectory and proximity fusing, I'm not entirely convinced it has the required punch to take out a BB.

Good damage on contemporary ships, but you only really see frag shredding the superstructure. Not exactly armor piercing qualities. 


 

 Granted, I'm not familiar with the Yamato's design, but I figure the same principles used on an Iowa BB regarding armoring up the magazines, critical machinery, big guns, and conning tower applied when she was built. 

There are radars and and optical aiming devices, exposed ready ammunition, exposed crew, 155 mm gun turrets with thin roof armor, a hugely vulnerable bow and stern with just deck plating and a plunging trajectory.missile  At Mach 4 even a piece of stiffened cardboard can smash steel deck-plate to ruin.  
 
It'll still float, but it will be on fire with holes in her and with her fire control smashed to ruin She will not be able to hit anything. At that point the helos show up and drop light weight torpedoes: Granted those will only blow Yamato's props into scrap, but I did say mission kill, not sink. Remember how Yamato sank? She was ripped open by Mark-13 torpedoes from bow and stern hits. 
 
     
 
 
   
 
Quote    Reply

heraldabc    I like the cointer argument.   12/17/2010 2:47:29 AM

I see that this topic has reappeared.

I assume that submarines are excluded, since 6 modern heavyweight torpedos (your choice) should be enough.

Without checking, my recollection is that the Yamato was sunk by having a bunch of USN torpedo planes put
about 16 torpedos into one side, during one atack, causing the ship to flood heavily, roll over and go under.

I'm not sure that the Harpoon can be set to dive just before hitting the target, to strike about 2m below the waterline;
there would be no point in doing this today against modern ships.

Herald: your calculations are correct, but you're missing three essential ingredients.

1. The KE of a 16" Mark 8 is carried by 1200kg of heat-treated alloy steel projectile (I'm guessing 1000kg of body
    150kg of cap and 50 kg of aerodynamic nose)

   The KE of a Standard missile is carried by 500kg, of which perhaps 20kg is heat-treated steel, and more of a cap
    than a real AP projectile

2. Steel projectiles (striking steel armor that does not buckle) start having a problem around 3200ft/sec
    (about 2180mph; ~M3.2) impact velocity: they shatter.

3. For a local impact, ships and tanks can be represented by a steel plate at some impact angle. In the case of the
   Yamato, starting about 2m below the waterline and going up, that plate is heat-treated steel, usually face-hardened,
   and (perhaps most importantly) at least 25cm (10") thick; buckling is unlkely. This is a very different target than
   modern ships.

But for what it's worth, I think you're correct: 30 harpoon strikes on the superstructure would effectively put the ship
out of operation, requiring major repairs.

I said STANDARD strikes, but your objections are entirely physically valid and I agree with them.    


I think that modern surface ships would have a difficult time sinking a Yamato-class BB. The various missiles that have

I think that its possible to do, but it would be a scuttle event,, much like the Bismark was scuttled once her steerage was destroyed.    
 
some sort of kinetic-energy AP capability (Sunburn) are set up to penetrate US Carrier armor; thick, but not even
WW1 BB level. Replacing the warhead with a real 12" or 14" round would require a major redesign.  FWIW, I'd look
for something along these lines to appear in the not-too-distant future.

The PRCs bandits did look at a kinetic smasher for their anti-ship ballistic missile.

HEAT rounds are a possibility, and even though penetrating 25" of RHA is easily possible, going another 3 or so meters
to poke another steel wall, and usually at least one more before hitting something real valuable, is tough for the HEAT
fragment; they last maybe 10-30m, assuming free air. The Miznay-Schardin devices (or similar --> Iranian IEDs) show
that they have the range (~100m), but the 10" initial target is a problem.  No one seems to have adapted the tandem RPG
warhead concept to naval weapons (although I do need to do a checkup).

Actually they did and do use some version of the Munroe Effect in some modern torpedoes against submarines. I don't know if modern LW asw torpedoes can unzip the Yamato's flawed torpedo defense system, but I am fairly confident those will punch holes in the seam even with the puny 45 kg warheads. Those were designed to crack 75mm thick Typhoon and Akula  hulls.
         

A low-altitude high-speed strafing run using a 2000lb AP bomb is a possibility, but even assuming satisfactory targeting
capability, a 900mph pass is about the same effect as regular 16" shell at maximum range, except it's against the 20" belt
armor, not the 10"deck.  Perhaps a 900mph dive bomb run?

We award the pilot a posthumous Navy Cross and write off the Hornet? 

That leaves burning the superstructure and turrets.  Several hits with napalm from carrier planes. I think this would kill the
crew by burning up available ship in
 
Quote    Reply
1 2 3 4   NEXT



 Latest
 News
 
 Most
 Read
 
 Most
 Commented
 Hot
 Topics