Remember when battleships ruled the sea? There may be hope for them yet, as a brand-new technology sets the maximum range at more than a staggering THOUSAND Miles.
Imagine a scenario where a ship sitting behind the coast of Japan could shell a target in Beijing. Or drop shells on Moscow from North Sea.
It’s not so far-fetched as you might think.
The Army has been working on something that will be able to fire a shell 1150 miles.
— 笑脸男人 (@lfx160219) February 21, 2020
It’s pretty badass (albeit limited in mobility) if operating on land. But if you mount that same platform on a ship, that opens up whole OTHER possibilities.
Stealth or loss of a pilot isn’t an issue in hitting a target. anti-missile batteries aren’t designed to protect against shells. It’s a whole new ballgame.
Here’s a little about what Popular Mechanics had to say about the project.
The U.S. Army is working on a new, long-range cannon it claims can reach out and strike targets at up to 1,150 miles. If the technology works, the Strategic Long Range Cannon (SLRC) promises the ability to fire 50 times farther than existing guns. But the new gun also has the potential to bring back a dormant class of big-gun warships once thought gone for good: the mighty battleship.
…The Army hasn’t explained how it will reach such a mind-bending range, but it seems confident the gun will work as planned. A committee formed by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine is currently taking a look at the technology to determine its feasibility, and the service plans to test a prototype in 2023. The Army envisions the SLRC as a towed gun pulled by a heavy truck, using its range to blast a hole in enemy air and sea defenses big enough for U.S. forces to squeeze through.
SLRC faces limitations as a wholly land-based system. The Army would need to gather permission from countries such as the Philippines, Germany, Norway, or Japan to locate the weapon on their soil, and as a truck-based weapon, it would be restricted to paved roads. Just getting the gun to the battlefield would require nearby airfields, secure airspace, and enough Air Force transports to lug the big guns around.
The solution, then, is to base at least some of the cannons on ships.
A single ship could carry the entire four-gun battery the Army envisioned deploying SLRC abroad, plus shells to keep the guns firing. A warship could relocate the guns at sea without asking anyone for permission, and would be more difficult for enemy forces to target. It would also have greater flexibility, deploying into areas where local allies might not be willing to host big guns. –Popular Mechanics
But what would that look like in real terms?
The authors us ‘Montana Class’ as a placeholder name for these new ships, since that’s the name that would have been used for the next generation fo battleships if they hadn’t been made obsolete by aircraft carriers.
The Montana class might well be stealthy, like the Zumwalt-class ships, retracting the gun barrels within the ship’s deck when not in use. A heavy belt of armor probably wouldn’t be necessary, as the Montana wouldn’t engage in the sort of titanic ship-vs-ship battleship duels of the early 20th century. Alternatively, the Navy could choose to put the guns on cheaper commercial hulls, like the Mercy-class hospital ships.
A Montana-class battleship could give the U.S. Navy the ability to strike targets at unprecedented ranges. From the North Sea, a Montana could bombard targets in western Russia and even Moscow itself. A single Montana in the Indian Ocean could target most of Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Yemen, and Somalia. In the Pacific, a Montana sailing relative safely behind Japan could bombard all of North Korea and as far west as Beijing and Shanghai. –Popular Mechanics
What about cruise missiles?
In theory, they could be armed with both, and make defending against an attack a real nightmare for whoever’s on the receiving end of it.