Friday, December 30, 2005

NSFS - What could have been - MK71, 8"


I have a feeling I may regret this, because the 16-inch fetish folks will come out of the woodwork. I don't want to argue that. Like the BBs, those could-of-would-of-should-of are better left in the grave. I would love to talk about building a Graff Spee like pocket BB or something like that.....but we have a good answer already out there - and not a PowerPoint weapon like the 155mm for the DDX. May be a fine gun, but probably good to have another option in the fleet. There is some bad gouge about the MK-71 8" that John Lehman killed. So go for some good debunking here to do your research. Also, you can download and view the entire handout page by page: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, and 13 (go to 10 & 12 for you engineers, warfighters 6 & 7). OK, I will throw a bone to you BB guys out there. Ready to go old school? Fill up your pipe, crack open the single malt, and read the following declassified, Vietnam era document (click it):

To help out the non-Navy types; I scratched something out that, though not perfect, I think help tell the story to a wider audience. Let's comparison shop the common Navy guns of the last 50 years. Main gun sizes on the left and transliteration to rifle rounds the right.

---MM--Inches--Caliber-Metric--Caliber-US--Weapon
---57----2.25-----------5.7mm--223/22-250--M16/Varmint gun
---76----3--------------7.6mm--30-06/308---M1 Garand/M14
--127----5-------------12.7mm--50 cal------Ma Deuce/Barrett
--203----8-------------20.3mm--20mm Cannon-M61A1
--406---16-------------40.6mm--40mm Cannon-Bofors

Though the math is inexact, the parallels are stunning and helpful to translate NSFS to the unititiated who may have some firearms experience. There is a reason Marines and warfighters like the larger caliber weapons. If you are about to put you and your men's life on the line and you find yourself outgunned in a tough spot, how do you want backing you up? A guy with a varmint gun (LCS), a guy with a deer rifle (FF/FFG), a 50 cal (DDG/CG), a F/A-18 with a 20mm cannon (MK-71), or an AC-130 (16-in).

Size matters, discuss.
UPDATE: Head on over to the Bowramp for a bit of history about NSFS, the Inshore Fire Ship like the USS Carronade (IFS-1) from Vietnam.

I am a huge believer in diversity; diversity in your fleet. 40 years ago we had a small, inexpensive, (what a great LCDR Command! That is how you grow leaders BTW) ship that could put 250 rounds a minute ashore. Imagine an updated version using off-the-shelf technology. Perchance to dream...


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