Showing posts from June, 2018

Missile Loadouts: Arleigh Burke (1991-2018)

The Arleigh Burke -class guided missile destroyer was the first of a new generation. Although designed and designated as destroyers, the size and capability of these ships meant that they ended up effectively filling the role previously occupied by the missile cruisers. As the years have passed, the modular nature of their combat systems has allowed them to easily accomodate new weapons and missions, until today they stand alone as the most capable multimission surface combatants afloat. Arleigh Burke commissioned in 1991 with just three missiles: SM-2MR, the conventional land attack Tomahawk, and Harpoon. Although it is almost certain that she was she was designed for the nuclear and antiship versions of Tomahawk, those were withdrawn from service with the end of the Cold War and were likely never carried. Further, delays with the Vertically Launched ASROC program meant that that weapons also was not available when Arleigh Burke joined the fleet. While VLA was declared operational

Modern Naval Battles: US Naval Gunfire in Lebanon (1983-1984)

Lebanon. The engagements mentioned below all occurred within 35 kilometers of Beirut. The 1982-1984 multinational intervention in the Lebanese Civil War has largely disappeared from the pages of history. When it is remembered at all, it is for the 1983 Beirut barracks bombing. In many ways this neglect is understandable as the mission was both a complete failure and was overshadowed by the many high profile events of that period. However, this little-known conflict marked the most extensive use of naval gunfire since Vietnam, with at least eight warships conducting some fourteen missions and expended well over one thousand five hundred rounds of ammunition Today, the 5" deck gun on American warships is widely regarded as a relic, but in the early 1980's it was the only land attack weapon available. Tomahawk was not declared operational until March 1983, and for the duration of the Lebanon intervention there were just two active Tomahawk ships - the test ship Merrill  a

WWII Submarine Effectiveness by Nation (1939-1945)

A few months ago I posted an  overview  of the five largest submarine forces of WWII. That was intended as background for this post and I would suggest reading it before continuing. As mentioned in my previous post, the focus on the German submarines is only natural given their massive numbers. The growing interest in the American submarine campaign can also be largely explained by the fact that the United States had the second largest submarine fleet by a farily significant margin. However, while larger numbers almost certainly allowed for a greater influence on the course of the war, they say little about the quality of the forces involved. So here are some figures to assist in determining which nation actually had the best submarine force during the war. Since the most well known contribution of submarines to the war was in sinking merchant ships, we will turn there first. Gross registered tonnage sunk by each nation's submarines As can be seen, the German sub