4.5 inch Mark 8 naval gun
|4.5 inch Mark 8 naval gun|
|Place of origin||United Kingdom|
|In service||1972 - present|
Invasion of Iraq 2003
2011 military intervention in Libya
|Designer||Mod 0 : Royal Armament Research and Development Establishment
Mod 1 : Royal Ordnance Defence
|Variants||Mod 0, Mod 1|
|Barrel length||244.75 inches (6.217 m) bore (55 calibres)|
|Shell||Fixed QF 46 pounds (21 kg) HE|
|Calibre||4.45-inch (113 mm)|
|Maximum range||22 kilometres (24,000 yd)|
The 4.5 inch gun has been the standard medium-gun calibre of the Royal Navy for use against surface, aircraft and shore targets since 1938. The current 55-calibre Mark 8 gun replaced the World War II era 45-calibre QF 4.5 inch Mk I - V naval guns. Like all British 4.5 inch naval guns, it actually has a calibre of 4.45 inches (113 mm).
A completely new type of 4.5 inch gun with a longer 55-calibre barrel, it was designed in the 1960s for the Royal Navy's new classes of frigates and destroyers. The new weapon, built by Vickers, was developed by the Royal Armament Research and Development Establishment using the Ordnance, QF 105 mm L13 of the Abbot self-propelled gun as a starting point (it used electrical primers). The outer shell of the gunhouse is built from glass-reinforced plastic (GRP).
The new weapon emphasised reliability over a high rate of fire, allowing a switch to a lighter, single barrel mounting and ammunition of a one-piece design.
The gun system has a combination of electrical and hydraulic components and the full system penetrates up to three deck levels below the weather deck; deep magazine, gun control room and power room, gunbay and the gunhouse.
The weapon is semi-automatic and can be operated by a smaller crew than its predecessors. With no personnel in the gunhouse, loading is supported by personnel in the gunbay to load the feed ring and in the deep-magazine to pass ammunition to the gunbay. The captain of the gun in the control room ensures continued weapon readiness and the gun controller in the operations room operates the aiming and firing process. The weapon has a rate of fire of about 25 rounds per minute and a range of 12 nm (22 km; 27.5 km with the newer High Explosive Extended Range round).
These guns proved to be less reliable than the older 4.5 inch Mark V gun (redesignated Mark 6 gun mounting) during the Falklands War, being forced to cease fire on several occasions due to faults.
The first major modification to the mounting, the Mod 1, was developed in 1998 in two tranches; replacing the gunhouse with a reduced radar cross section assembly and replacing the hydraulic loading mechanism with an all electric system. This particular gun has been nicknamed the "Kryten gun" by members of Royal Navy, after the odd shaped head of a robot from the British Sci-fi comedy series Red Dwarf. Babcock upgraded 13 guns to Mod 1 standard between 2005 and 2012.
155 mm variant
The Ministry of Defence investigated a proposal from BAE Systems to "up gun" the 4.5 inch to accept the 155 mm (6.1 inch) gun barrel and breech from the AS-90 self-propelled gun. This "155mm Third Generation Maritime Fire Support" (155 TMF) would introduce a common gun calibre with the British Army and Royal Navy, helping with ammunition logistics, and encouraging joint Army-Navy development of extended range and precision guided shells. A £4m contract has been awarded to develop a prototype, and firing trials were scheduled for 2009 with delivery in 2014 but the project was cancelled in the 2010 SDSR. Future RN warships will have a 127mm gun from either Oto Melara or BAE.
- Type 45 Daring-class air defence destroyer
- Type 23 Duke-class frigate
- Type 22 Broadsword-class frigate
- Type 21 Amazon-class frigate
- Type 42 Sheffield-class guided missile destroyer
- Type 82 destroyer, Bristol
- Niteroi class (Brazil)
- Inhauma class (Brazil)
- Alvand class (Iran)
- Dat Assawari (Libyan Navy)
- HTMS Makut Rajakumarn (Royal Thai Navy)
- KD Rahmat (Malaysian Navy)
HMS Sutherland's Mod 0 gun
HMS Grafton's Mod 0 gun
4.5 inch Mk 8 Mod 1 naval gun on HMS Northumberland.
- QF 4.5 inch Mk I - V naval gun - British predecessor
- 5"/54 caliber Mark 45 gun - American equivalent to the Mark 8
- Advanced Gun System - BAE's new 155 mm long-range gun system for the US Navy's Zumwalt class destroyers
- Jane's Ammunition Handbook, 1999-2000 Edition. http://www.janes.com
- McClure, Robert. "155 Third Generation Maritime Fire Support (155 TMF)". BAE Systems Global Combat Systems.
- Photo Gallery : HMS Richmond : Type 23 Frigates : Surface Fleet : Operations and Support : Royal Navy
- Navy News - News Desk - News - From South Wales to the West Indies
- "Gun contract completes". DESider (Ministry of Defence). September 2012. p. 10.
- 155MM Study Looks To Pack More Punch Into The Royal Navy's Fleet BAe Systems Press release, 14 December 2007
- Army to get new precision "search and destroy" anti-armour weapon MoD Press release, 20 November 2007
- "Royal Navy Prepares to Roll out the Big Guns". Royal Navy. 2008-08-28.
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