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Tank designs [and battleships]

From: Adrian Johnson <ajohnson@i...>
Date: Tue, 17 Nov 1998 16:30:59 -0500
Subject: Tank designs [and battleships]

>On Tue, 17 Nov 1998, John M. Atkinson wrote:
>> Thomas Anderson wrote:
>> > ever hear of economies of scale? this is why ten million pounds
>> > of battleship will beat ten million pounds sterling of destroyers.
>> Not nowdays.
>yes nowadays, as i will attempt to demonstrate.
>>  How many destroyers firing how many SSMs do we get for
>> that?
>oodles. but they still mount less SSMs in total than the battleship
>and have less thickness of armour, and can't see as far with their
>(although airborne radars negate this disadvantage), and don't have the
>same concentration of point defence or fire control.

We invented decentralization 'cause in cases like this it's a good
A battleship puts all the eggs in one basket.  It only takes one missile
sneak through the point defense, and the battleship has a really bad
Yes, they have lots of armour, yes they carry lots of ordnance, yes they
have a tall radar mast - but it still only takes one modern torpedo or
or mine to kill one, or at least damage it lots.  If you have the same
weaponry spread over four or five destroyers with effective fleet
systems, you have the same offensive effectiveness and better defense,
'cause you have to get five hits to sink them all.

>>  That might be why nobody has battleships anymore,
>they do; it's just that these days, battleships mount aircraft not
>carriers are just battleships with a different weapons fit, if you see
>what i mean. i know it's stretching the point, sorry.

And carriers have a huge screen of destroyers, frigates, and subs 'cause
they are VULNERABLE.  

>anyway, carriers replaced the battleship when the only battleship
>was guns; now we have missiles, who's to say it won't make a comeback?
>more risking valuable - and media-sensitive - lives over foreign
>countries, just missile them. this is already a preferred tactic in
>cases; witness the US attack on that aspirin factory in Khartoum. i
>that tomahawk and harpoon have neither the range nor the striking power
>an F/A-18, but trident does. twelve conventional warheads with an
>range, anyone? i know they currently have a CEP of 120m, but bung in
>active terminal guidance and you're laughing.

So use destroyers, frigates and subs with conventionally armed ballistic

>> but everyone
>> from the RN and USN down to thrid-world countries with 6 feet of
>> coastline and a military budget measured in quarters has destroyers.
>actually, a lot of navies don't have destroyers. many just have
>and missile boats. for instance iraq, which is why the navy was wiped
>totally in the war. i think the norwegian navy is a bit thin on the
>in this respect, if not as badly as some.

Iraq's navy was wiped out 'cause it had zero air support, not 'cause it
just had missile boats.  Also, the Iraqis were stupid.	  Remember, it
takes one small 150ton fast millile boat armed with four exocet missiles
and a clever commander to sink a battleship (or carrier, or cruiser, or
destroyer, etc...).  The great thing about missiles is that they are the
great equalizer - launch platforms can be inexpensive, and the big
defenses can be overwhealmed if you do it right.


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