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Friday, April 06, 2012

Well, at least it served some purpose.

Finding it to be a floating hazard, the US Coast Guard decided to sink the tsunami-dislodged Japanese "ghost ship" Ryou-Un Maru, yesterday.

To see the video, it looks like they needed the gunnery practice.

Interesting that they decided to use the 25mm cannon. I would have thought that a 5" gun would have been more appropriate for sinking a 200' vessel, but perhaps the USCG ship Anna Kappa hasn't got such armament. Or perhaps they wanted to let everyone get a shot. I'm guessing probably it was a Mk 38 that they used?


The depths of my ignorance about such things naval have not yet begun to be plumbed, I tell you.

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10 Comments:

At Friday, April 06, 2012 12:14:00 PM, Blogger Old NFO said...

They only had a 25mm, no 5 in/54 on the little USCG vessels. AND they were shooting for the waterline, which is why they were skipping em in... :-)

 
At Friday, April 06, 2012 2:29:00 PM, Blogger Boyd said...

USCGC Anacapa (WPB 1335), named for the island off the coast of Port Hueneme, CA, does indeed have a Mk 38 chain gun, as well as two .50 cals, but nothing bigger than that.

 
At Friday, April 06, 2012 7:20:00 PM, Blogger Matt G said...

So the intent was to shoot at the water at mid-point, and skip them in at the waterline, NFO? I figured that they would aim directly at the waterline, using it as an aiming point and letting the natural drop descend below it. Also, you know-- gunnery practice.

I'm surprised that a USCGC of that size would have nothing bigger than one-inch bores.

 
At Friday, April 06, 2012 8:18:00 PM, Anonymous Ross said...

Watch the comments at http://cgblog.org/2012/04/06/what-does-it-take-to-sink-a-ship-illustrated/, they should be interesting. The 110' WPB class of cutters were a quick fix to go bust drug smugglers in the Caribbean when we ramped up the war on drugs in the 80's and are about to be replaced. They were built to stop small craft, not ships of any size.

 
At Friday, April 06, 2012 8:54:00 PM, Blogger Boyd said...

She's only 110'. I would think any sizable gun would likely cause problems. I'd bet a 5" gun would make her do backflips.

 
At Friday, April 06, 2012 10:49:00 PM, Blogger Matt G said...

You're kidding, right, Boyd?

Check out the weight of any mobile howitzer, and then check out the displacement in tonnes of the average 110' ship. (What do we call those? Cutters? Or is this too small for a cutter? Again, I don't know jack about naval stuff.)

 
At Friday, April 06, 2012 11:24:00 PM, Blogger Boyd said...

Well, I suppose the backflip part was a joke, but even the Perry class frigates, ships that are several times larger than the Island class cutters, don't even carry the 5"/54.

In fact, now that they've taken the missile launchers off of the Perrys, their big gun is...the Mk 38!

 
At Sunday, April 08, 2012 6:35:00 PM, Anonymous Les @ LPN Salary said...

Saw this in the news too. Junk down the ocean again.

 
At Monday, April 16, 2012 7:59:00 PM, Blogger Paul, Dammit! said...

110'feet is a teeny, tiny boat for anything that operates out of sight of land.


Matt, the 110-footers are VERY light, to make them faster. The problem with a 5 inch gun wouldn't be the weight, but the placement. A deck gun, mounted above deck level (obviously) would have a deeply exaggerated effect on roll- the 110' footers have a tall mast to raise the metacentric height (the vertical distance between the center of buoyancy and the center of gravity), which is a measurement of stability- too much stability and the boat will snap roll stiffly, and tear itself apart. Too little, and it rolls over. A big deck gun firing on a small boat would be like when a big crane overextends while carrying a load- it'll lean a bit, and then keep going.

One other thought- the shock loading of a 5' gun on the stress points of a steel hull would require heavy reinforcement- the boat would squat, so there would be less room for fuel, stores, and people. There are too many negatives, and not enough reasons to stock a large bore rifle on too small a boat.

 
At Tuesday, April 17, 2012 11:25:00 AM, Blogger Kristopher said...

The Coast Guard runs rescue vessels and revenue cutters. They need to be able to catch smugglers, not take on enemy navies.

A 25mm is plenty big enough to wreck a smuggler.

If something they can't handle shows up, they request help from the nearest state Air National Guard. The Portland ANG base spends a lot of time scrambling jets for this kind of interdiction.

 

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