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Modern missile cruiser vs Iowa battleship ?

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  • Modern missile cruiser vs Iowa battleship ?

    There are some topics out there that discuss how a missile cruiser would do against large battleships like Iowa class battleship. What do you guys think ? Who would win ?

    How many harpoon missiles do you think are needed to mission kill or sink that huge battleship ? Can they even penetrate the hull of Iowa battleship ?
    Also, how effective would modern bomber-fighters be if they used guided bombs to attack the battleship's deck ?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Hurricane93 View Post
    There are some topics out there that discuss how a missile cruiser would do against large battleships like Iowa class battleship. What do you guys think ? Who would win ?

    How many harpoon missiles do you think are needed to mission kill or sink that huge battleship ? Can they even penetrate the hull of Iowa battleship ?
    Also, how effective would modern bomber-fighters be if they used guided bombs to attack the battleship's deck ?
    The missile cruiser would sink the Iowa. Harpoon or Tomahawk would demolish the top sides, do sufficent damage for the boilers to lose air suction and go out from a combination of blast and fire. The electrical system would fail. The result would be the ship having uncontrollable fires that largely gut it. And, the Iowa wouldn't even see it coming....

    Guided bombs? Even worse. Using modern penetrators like bunker buster bombs these would plunge deep into the ship and detonate. They are accurate enough that within the first two or three a magazine is hit and the battleship sinks. It has zero defense against this.

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    • #3
      This being a what if belongs in AH.
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      • #4
        If the BB has been modernized, it would be just as difficult to take out as any carrier in a battle group, possibly more so due to its armor. However, one guided penetrater bomb into a magazine, if an aircraft could get close enough to launch and guide it to the target, and it is the Arizona in Pearl Harbor. Such a hit would take out anything from a modern cruiser to possibly a super carrier.

        As far as returning fire with the 16 inch guns, such an attack would be conducted far out of range of those guns.

        Other then using them for gun platforms against shore based targets, they have become obsolete and too expensive to operate for the mission at hand. This is why they have all been retired.
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        • #5
          Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
          The missile cruiser would sink the Iowa. Harpoon or Tomahawk would demolish the top sides, do sufficent damage for the boilers to lose air suction and go out from a combination of blast and fire. The electrical system would fail. The result would be the ship having uncontrollable fires that largely gut it. And, the Iowa wouldn't even see it coming....

          Guided bombs? Even worse. Using modern penetrators like bunker buster bombs these would plunge deep into the ship and detonate. They are accurate enough that within the first two or three a magazine is hit and the battleship sinks. It has zero defense against this.
          Maybe, maybe not. Tomahawks would do damage, but the Harpoons, not much. With the CIWS, they'd even have problems.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by johns624 View Post
            Maybe, maybe not. Tomahawks would do damage, but the Harpoons, not much. With the CIWS, they'd even have problems.
            IIRC the Phalanx at that time held enough ammo for about six engagements depending on how lucky the first burst was. So the BB's CWIS are going to go dry right around the middle of the first incoming salvo of missiles, probably the Harpoons as those are faster are they not?
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            • #7
              Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
              The missile cruiser would sink the Iowa. Harpoon or Tomahawk would demolish the top sides, do sufficent damage for the boilers to lose air suction and go out from a combination of blast and fire. The electrical system would fail. The result would be the ship having uncontrollable fires that largely gut it. And, the Iowa wouldn't even see it coming....

              Guided bombs? Even worse. Using modern penetrators like bunker buster bombs these would plunge deep into the ship and detonate. They are accurate enough that within the first two or three a magazine is hit and the battleship sinks. It has zero defense against this.
              Ok, now I have a question. the Tinconderoga class cruiser has 8 Harpoons missile as stated on wikipedia, so does that mean that if it fires the 8 Harpoons then it will not have any anti-ship missiles left ? or there are some Harpoons stored in the lower deck that are not counted in these 8 ?
              Also are there any anti-ship tomahawks in active service now ?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
                Guided bombs? Even worse. Using modern penetrators like bunker buster bombs these would plunge deep into the ship and detonate.
                For penetration, you would not even need modern LGBs. The guided bombs employed by the Germans near the end of WW2 would have been adequate. Their problem was primarily poor guidance and control and not penetration.
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Hurricane93 View Post
                  Ok, now I have a question. the Tinconderoga class cruiser has 8 Harpoons missile as stated on wikipedia, so does that mean that if it fires the 8 Harpoons then it will not have any anti-ship missiles left ? or there are some Harpoons stored in the lower deck that are not counted in these 8 ?
                  Also are there any anti-ship tomahawks in active service now ?
                  It wouldn't take eight. As for the loadout and tomahawks, that depends on the ship's mission. Those vertical launch cells can take a variety of missiles Tomahawk among them.
                  One variant warhead I know was at least tested, and I'm fairly sure would be available is the linear shaped charge. That one will bore right through the turret armor or belt and then wreck everything to the far side of the ship in its path.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
                    It wouldn't take eight. As for the loadout and tomahawks, that depends on the ship's mission. Those vertical launch cells can take a variety of missiles Tomahawk among them.
                    One variant warhead I know was at least tested, and I'm fairly sure would be available is the linear shaped charge. That one will bore right through the turret armor or belt and then wreck everything to the far side of the ship in its path.
                    Sorry I couldn't understand what you exactly meant by "It wouldn't take eight", did you mean the number of the required harpoons to sink the Iowa or the number of the loaded harpoons ?
                    Either way, can the ship have missiles onboard more than the number of the VLS cells ?

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Hurricane93 View Post
                      Sorry I couldn't understand what you exactly meant by "It wouldn't take eight", did you mean the number of the required harpoons to sink the Iowa or the number of the loaded harpoons ?
                      Either way, can the ship have missiles onboard more than the number of the VLS cells ?
                      It wouldn't take 8 Harpoon to cripple / wreck an Iowa class battleship. I'd say 3 or 4 would do the job nicely. That might not outright sink it but it'd be so wrecked as to be rendered hors d'combat.

                      As for reloads, no, what is in the VLS launchers is it. Missiles are big volume-wise. They take up alot of space. So, what's in the launcher is it. But, with the accuracy of modern weapons that is usually enough as there will be few misses.

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                      • #12
                        Anyone know what the terminal flight profile of a Harpoon or Tomahawk is?

                        The Iowa's side armour is pretty robust, and I can't see either missile defeating the armour. However, the deck armour is much weaker, and a missile "popping up" and then diving onto the deck - as many Russian missiles did - would have a much better chance of causing critical damage to magazines or engines.
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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Hurricane93 View Post
                          Ok, now I have a question. the Tinconderoga class cruiser has 8 Harpoons missile as stated on wikipedia, so does that mean that if it fires the 8 Harpoons then it will not have any anti-ship missiles left ? or there are some Harpoons stored in the lower deck that are not counted in these 8 ?
                          Also are there any anti-ship tomahawks in active service now ?
                          If the Ticonderoga is outfitted to fight the Iowa, then it will carry more than just harpoons. Without AAW threat, the Tico's entire VLS could be loaded with Tactical Tomahawk, which have an anti-ship capability.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by The Land View Post
                            Anyone know what the terminal flight profile of a Harpoon or Tomahawk is?

                            The Iowa's side armour is pretty robust, and I can't see either missile defeating the armour. However, the deck armour is much weaker, and a missile "popping up" and then diving onto the deck - as many Russian missiles did - would have a much better chance of causing critical damage to magazines or engines.
                            Thanks to network centric warfare, the tactical tomahawk can be re-targeted during flight, loiter, and pretty much communicate with the commader in real time.

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                            • #15
                              If we are talking about a modern 2012 missile cruiser and WW2 era Iwoa then it is no contest, the Iwoa sinks.

                              But lets assume we get say the USS Iwoa and put her into dry dock and spend several billion on her to upgrade her with all the modern capabilities to defend herself to 2012 standards, then it is a totally different ballgame.

                              It is like say how would WW1 SMS Seydlitz compete against WW2 USS Chicago, it couldn't

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