5"/54 caliber Mark 45 gun
|Mark 45 5-inch/54-caliber lightweight gun|
|Place of origin||United States|
|Used by||See Operators|
|Manufacturer||United Defense (now BAE Systems Land & Armaments)|
|Specifications (Mod 2)|
|Mass||21,691 kg (47,820.5 lb)|
|Length||8.992 m (29 ft 6.0 in)|
|Barrel length||6.858 m (22 ft 6.0 in)|
Rifling: 5.82 m (19 ft 1 in)
|Shell||127 x 835mm .R |
Conventional: 31.75 kg (70.0 lb)
|Rate of fire||16–20 rounds per minute automatic|
|Effective firing range||13 nmi (24.1 km) or 20 nmi (37.0 km) (Mod 4)|
The 127 mm (5")/54 caliber (Mk 45) lightweight gun is a U.S. naval artillery gun mount consisting of a 127 mm (5 in) L54 Mark 19 gun on the Mark 45 mount. It was designed and built by United Defense, a company later acquired by BAE Systems Land & Armaments, which continued manufacture.
The latest 62-calibre-long version consists of a longer-barrel L62 Mark 36 gun fitted on the same Mark 45 mount. The gun is designed for use against surface warships, anti-aircraft and shore bombardment to support amphibious operations. The gun mount features an automatic loader with a capacity of 20 rounds. These can be fired under full automatic control, taking a little over a minute to exhaust those rounds at maximum fire rate. For sustained use, the gun mount would be occupied by a six-person crew (gun captain, panel operator, and four ammunition loaders) below deck to keep the gun continuously supplied with ammunition.
Development started in the 1960s as a replacement for the 127 mm (5")/54 caliber Mark 42 gun system that had debuted in 1953 with a new, lighter, and easier-to-maintain gun mounting. The United States Navy use the Mark 45 with either the Mk 86 Gun Fire Control System or the Mk 160 Gun Computing System. Since before World War II, 127 mm (5 inches) has been the standard gun caliber for U.S. Naval ships. Its rate of fire is lower than the British 4.5 in (114 mm) gun, but it fires a heavier 127 mm (5-inch) shell which carries a larger burst charge that increases its effectiveness against aircraft.
- Mod 0: used mechanical fuze setter. Two-piece rifled construction, with replaceable liner
- Mod 1: electronic fuze setter replaces the mechanical one. Made with a unitary construction barrel, which has a life span approximately twice that of the Mark 42 gun.
- Mod 2: export version of Mod 1, but now used in the US Navy
- Mod 3: same gun with a new control system; never put into production
- Mod 4: longer 62-caliber barrel (versus Mod 1 and 2's 54 caliber) for more complete propellant combustion and higher velocity and thus more utility for land attack. The Mk 45 mod 4 uses a modified flat-panel gun turret, designed to reduce its radar signature.
In sustained firing operations (Mode III), the gun is operated by a six-person crew: a gun captain, a panel operator, and four ammunition loaders, all located below decks. In fully automatic non-sustained firing operations (Mode IV), 20 rounds can be fired without any personnel inside the mount, using an automatic loader.
On 9 May 2014, the U.S. Navy released a request for information (RFI) for a guided 127 mm (5-inch) round that could be fired from Mark 45 guns on Navy destroyers and cruisers. The thinking is that if the technology worked in the 155 mm (6 in) Long Range Land Attack Projectile (LRLAP) for the Advanced Gun System on Zumwalt-class destroyers, it can be applied to a 127 mm (5-inch) mount. This RFI comes six years after the cancellation of the Raytheon Extended Range Guided Munition. The shell must have at least double the range of unguided shells for missions including Naval Surface Fire Support (NSFS)/Land Attack, and increasing anti-surface warfare (ASuW) capabilities against fast attack craft (FAC) and fast inshore attack craft (FIAC); the main purpose is to destroy incoming small boats at a greater range with a proximity fuse airburst blast fragmentation warhead to spray shrapnel over swarms.
Naval Sea Systems Command is also looking to fire a version of the hyper-velocity projectile (HVP) developed for Navy electromagnetic railguns from conventional 5-inch deck guns. Using the HVP could give existing destroyers and cruisers better ability to engage land, air, and missile threats and allow more time to refine the railgun. The HVP would be a cheaper solution to intercepting incoming missiles than a missile interceptor costing hundreds of thousands of dollars. Converting the HVP to fire from conventional guns was not a program of record as of 2015[update]. HVP shells fired from 5-inch deck guns would travel at Mach 3, half the speed of a railgun but twice the speed of conventional rounds. The rounds would be more expensive than unguided shells but cheaper than missile interceptors, and engage air and missile targets out to 10–30 nautical miles (12–35 mi; 19–56 km). During 2018 RIMPAC exercises, the USS Dewey (DDG-105) fired 20 HVPs from a standard Mk 45 deck gun; an HVP shell could cost US$75,000-$100,000, compared to $1-$2 million for missiles.
- Absalon-class frigate: Mod 2
- Mogami-class frigate: Mod 4
- Atago-class guided missile destroyers: Mod 4
- Maya-class destroyerguided missile destroyers: Mod 4
- Akizuki-class destroyers: Mod 4
- Asahi-class destroyer: Mod 4
- Sejong the Great-class guided missile destroyer: Mod 4
- Chungmugong Yi Sun-sin-class guided missile destroyer: Mod 4
- Incheon-class frigate : Mod 4
- Anzac-class frigates: Mod 2
- Kee Lung-class guided missile destroyers
- Naresuan-class frigates: Mod 2 being upgraded Mod 4
- Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruisers: Mod 2
- CG-52-73: Mod 4 after receiving the cruiser modernization
- Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer:
- California-class cruisers
- Kidd-class destroyers
- Spruance-class destroyers
- Tarawa-class amphibious assault ships (later removed)
- Virginia-class cruisers
- Type 26 frigate: 8 ships planned, 3 ships ordered with the remaining 5 to negotiated, 2 in build (Mod 4)
- TF2000-class frigate: 7 in planned
- Extended Range Guided Munition: long range (~60 nautical miles (110 km; 69 mi)) precision guided projectile program by Raytheon for the Mark 45 gun, canceled in 2008.
- Advanced Gun System: The 155 mm (6 in) gun on Zumwalt-class destroyers. (Unusable, no ammunition)
Weapons of comparable role, performance and era
- Otobreda 127/54 Compact and Otobreda 127/64: contemporary 127 mm naval gun from Italian manufacturer Oto Melara
- 4.5 inch Mark 8 naval gun: contemporary standard naval gun for British ships
- AK-130: contemporary 130 mm twin standard naval gun mounting for Russian ships
- French 100 mm naval gun: contemporary standard naval gun for French ships
- Norman Polmar, pp. 492–493
- "United States of America 5"/54 (12.7 cm) Mark 45 Mod 4". NavWeaps.Com. 18 April 2010. Archived from the original on 2 January 2015. Retrieved 24 October 2010.
- "United States of America 5"/54 (12.7 cm) Mark 45 Mods 0–2". NavWeaps.Com. 18 September 2007. Archived from the original on 3 January 2015. Retrieved 24 October 2010.
- "The US Navy Fact File: 5-inch Mark 45 54-caliber lightweight gun". United States Navy. 20 February 2009. Archived from the original on 5 December 2010. Retrieved 24 October 2010.
- "Mk 45 Mod 4 Naval Gun System". BAE Systems. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
- "5-inch 62-Caliber Mk 45 Mod 4 Naval Gun System" (PDF). Brochure. BAE Systems. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 April 2012. Retrieved 5 October 2011.
- Navy Taking a Second Look at A Five-Inch Guided Round Archived 9 June 2014 at the Wayback Machine – News.USNI.org, 3 June 2014
- Navy seeks guided deck-gun shell – Navytimes.com, 4 June 2014
- Navy Researching Firing Mach 3 Guided Round from Standard Deck Guns Archived 1 June 2015 at the Wayback Machine – News.USNI.org, 1 June 2015
- The Future of the Navy's Electromagnetic Railgun Could Be a Big Step Backwards Archived 16 July 2016 at the Wayback Machine - Popularmechanics.com, 6 June 2016
- Pentagon: New Rounds For Old Guns Could Change Missile Defense for Navy, Army Archived 19 July 2016 at the Wayback Machine - News.USNI.org, 18 July 2016
- Navy Quietly Fires 20 Hyper Velocity Projectiles Through Destroyer’s Deckgun Archived 9 January 2019 at the Wayback Machine. USNI News. 8 January 2019.
- "Australia's Hunter class Type 26 frigates explained". news.com.au. Archived from the original on 1 March 2019. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
- Norman, Polmar (2005). The Naval Institute guide to the ships and aircraft of the U.S. fleet (18th ed.). Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press. pp. 492–493. ISBN 978-1-59114-685-8.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to 5"/54 caliber Mark 45 gun.|
- US Navy Fact File – 5"/54 caliber Mark 45 gun
- BAE Systems: Mk 45 Mod 4 Naval Gun System
- BAE Systems: Mk 45 Naval Gun Overhaul and Upgrade
- NavWeaps.Com: 5"/54 (12.7 cm) Mark 45 Mods 0 – 2
- NavWeaps.Com: 5"/62 (12.7 cm) Mark 45 Mod 4
- FAS: Gunner officer information sheet
- on YouTube