Tag Archives: coastal defense

Anti-Ship Missiles for more than just the surface combat Navy

EXOCET MOBILE COASTAL battery uses four vehicles: a TOC, sensor unit, and two four-missile firing units, to put 8 AShMs on shore. It requires just 16 men. A similar concept could be used for the Naval Strike Missile or others. 

One of the facets of the current reboot of the Marines is that they are hanging up all of their armored (tank) battalions and a lot of their (tube) artillery batteries to field small and highly mobile expeditionary warfare missile batteries that would subtly appear on, say a forgotten backwater atoll, and control the sea around it for 100 miles or more in every direction. The nascent Marine Littoral Regiments are still being fleshed out, with an experimental unit formed in Hawaii last year. Nonetheless, LBASMs, or Land-Based Anti-Ship Missiles, are on the menu.

Moving forward with the concept of more (anti-ship) missiles in more places, Big Blue is also weighing putting containerized Naval Strike Missiles on otherwise lightly armed ‘phibs of the “Gator Navy.”

“We have these magnificent 600-foot-long, highly survivable, highly LPD 17s,” said MGen Tracy W. King, director of expeditionary warfare in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations. “The LPDs need the ability to reach out and defend themselves and sink another ship. It’s not from the aspect of using them as a strike platform; it will drastically increase their survivability if the enemy has to honor that threat. My intent is to ensure that my desire to increase the lethality of LPDs doesn’t interfere with [Director of Surface Warfare Rear Adm. Paul] Schlise’s efforts to increase lethality on LCSs.”

Finally, there is the concept (thanks for the tip, Philip), recently covered in the USNI’s Blog by LT. Andrew W. Corwell, U.S. Coast Guard, of the puddle pirates adding some batteries of coastal defense cruise missiles to their mix.

Fielding CDCMs provides the Coast Guard with a one-two punch as the service pivots to counter near-peer threats. First, CDCMs would provide the Coast Guard with a credible deterrent to potentially adversarial naval forces. Strategically located near major ports on each coast, a battery of U.S. Coast Guard CDCM Transporter Erector Launchers (TEL) could defend against naval surface threats and be postured to respond to emergent homeland defense missions requiring more firepower than typically found aboard Cutters. Being road mobile would complicate adversarial targeting during a major conflict by enabling the CDCM batteries to operate from both prepared and field expedient positions along the coast while simultaneously providing the ability to surge additional missiles and launchers along anticipated threat vectors.

Second, the CDCMs would offer the Coast Guard an organic, rapidly deployable option to increase the lethality of cutters supporting combatant commanders. Designing the TELs to fit inside the hangers of Legend-class national security cutters (NSC), or the soon to be delivered Heritage-class offshore patrol cutters, integrate with the cutter’s fire-control systems, and fire from their flight deck would greatly increase the ability for cutters to contribute in a war-at-sea scenario, offset shortcomings in desired increases to U.S. fleet strength, and align with distributed lethality concepts.

And to tell you the truth, it all makes sense. The porcupine theory.

And just like that, it was gone

Below is a 10-inch (254mm) Watervliet M1888MI rifle on an M1896 disappearing carriage at Battery Jasper on Fort Moultrie Sullivan’s Island during World War II, as manned by the U.S. Army’s Coastal Artillery. The battery was named after SGT. William Jasper, 2nd South Carolina Regiment, who, during the attack of the British fleet on Fort Sullivan in 1776, heroically restored to the fort the flag which had been shot away by a ball from a RN ship.

Per Ft. Moultrie NPS:

Battery Jasper on Sullivan’s Island was completed in 1898 and boasted four 10-inch guns mounted on “disappearing” carriages. A 55-ton counterweight moved the gun to its firing position en barbette. The recoil from firing the 571-pound shell lowered the gun behind the protective, 80-foot thick embankment where it could safely be serviced and reloaded. Though it took 43 men to load and fire a gun, a skilled crew could aim and fire it every 30 seconds. The 10-inch disappearing could fire an armor-piercing shot 8.5 miles.

Today, there are no 10-inch guns at Battery Jasper. They were taken out of service and scrapped for the war effort in 1943. However, visitors can tour one of the gun positions and follow the steps the crew would have taken to fire one of these impressive guns.

Old Finn 12-inch guns still work…

Shots were fired with last week with 305mm Obuhov cannon (305/52 O) to honor Helsinki being capital of Finland for 200 years. The guns were retired from use in 1982, but one has been kept in shape for these special occasions. The gun was loaded with 80kg of gunpowder and 500l of seawater, leaving some 400m long trail of steam.

These guns, almost 100-years old could fire an amazing 50,285 yards with small diameter 692-pound coastal defense rounds. Thats 45kms or about 23-nautical miles. Now thats impressive.


Designation     12″/52 (30.5 cm) Pattern 1907
305 mm/52 (12″) Pattern 1907
Ship Class Used On     Gangut, Imperatritsa Maria and Imperator Nikolai I classes
Coast defense mountings and TM-1-12 railroad guns
Date Of Design     1907
Date In Service     1910
Gun Weight     49.9 tons (50.7 mt)
Gun Length oa     624 in (15.850 m)
Bore Length     607.1 in (14.420 m)
Rifling Length     508.4 in (12.912 m)
Grooves     (72) 0.079 in deep x 0.354 in (2.0 mm x 9.0 mm)
Lands     0.169 in (4.3 mm)
Twist     Uniform RH 1 in 30
Chamber Volume
(see Note)     13,710 in3 (224.6 dm3)
Rate Of Fire     Gangut: 1.8 rounds per minute
Imperatritsa Maria:  3 rounds per minute
Sevastopol after modernization in 1940: 2.2 rounds per minute

Twin coast defense turrets (1914):  1.5 rounds per minute
Twin coast defense turrets (1941):  2 rounds per minute
MB-3-12FM Coast defense turret:  2.25 rounds per minute
Open Coast Defense Mount:  2 rounds per minute