Showing posts from April, 2018

Missile Loadouts: American Cold War Missile Destroyers (1956-1999)

Gyatt (DDG-1) The United States Navy’s first guided missile destroyer was the converted  Gearing -class destroyer  Gyatt (originally given the designation DDG-712 during her conversion, she was renumbered DDG-1 five months after recommissioning). Gyatt rejoined the fleet in 1956 with a Mk8 twin arm Terrier launcher and a fourteen round magazine replacing her torpedoes and aft 5" mount. However, she was always something of a test platform to determine the practicality of putting missiles on destroyers and in 1962, just six years after recommissioning, the Terrier launcher was removed and Gyatt reverted to her original destroyer designation Gyatt (DDG-712) in 1956: 14x Terrier The Charles F Adams-class While Gyatt conversion had tried to put too big a missile on too small a ship, the Navy still desired guided missile destroyers and the development of the smaller Tartar missile made it possible. The first purpose built guided missile destroyers were the Charles F. Adams -class,

France Joins the Club

In flurry of articles surrounding last night's strikes on Syria, I noticed that a fairly important point has been largely missing from the coverage - it marked the first time France has fired naval land attack missiles in anger. Although the French naval contribution of just three missiles fired from the frigate Languedoc was rather small when compared to the dozens of Tomahawks fired from multiple American ships, it was still a major landmark for both the Marine Nationale and naval warfare as a whole. Despite the fact that the United States Navy first used land attack missiles to devastating effect during the Gulf War back in 1991, the rest of the world's navies have been remarkably slow to obtain this revolutionary capability. The Royal Navy was the second to do so, and fired land attack missiles at Kosovo in 1999. However, its capability has always been limited to a small number of submarine launched Tomahawks purchased from the United States. It was not until 2015, and

Procurement Perspective: F-35C Lightning vs F/A-18E/F Super Hornet

The F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter is certainly one of today's most controversial procurement programs and is widely criticized for its extreme cost. In contrast, the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet is widely touted as an example of cost management and military procurement done right. But what happens if you dig a little deeper into the history of these two programs? The first thing that must be done is to understand the timelines of the two programs. Because both aircraft are currently being procured (the FY2019 Navy budget requests twenty four Super Hornets and nine Lightnings), there is a tendency to think of the two planes as near contemporaries. However, this is far from true. The first F/A-18E/F prototype was ordered in 1992 and made its first flight in 1995, while for the F-35C those dates were 2007 and 2010. Procurement of both aircraft began in the same year that the prototype first flew. To put this into perspective, fifteen years separated the first flights of the Sup

Mapping US Submarine Losses in WWII (1941-1945)

While researching the next part of my "WWII Submarine Forces" series, I needed information on the location of American submarine losses during the war. Since the only map I could find was low quality and made shortly after the war, I decided to create an updated version. The losses are color-coded by year: Red - 1941/1942 Green - 1943 Blue - 1944 Purple - 1945 The black house markers are the bases that directly supported submarines on their war patrols. If you click on a submarine marker, you will have see an estimated date of loss, while a base marker will usually display the general period during which the base was established. I might come back at a later date and add further details. Also note that the vast majority of these positions are merely best guesses. Submarines often operated alone and commonly went down with all hands, leaving their failures to check in as the only indication of their loss. Further, unlike German submarines, American boats were not kep