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USS Iowa lives!


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#1 ScreamingEagleMG42

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Posted 04 April 2010 - 10:51 PM

Bittersweet news today as the decision has been made to junk most of the "ghost fleet" at the Suisin Bay. However it looks like they have wisely and thankfully decided to leave "the big stick" untouched...

USS Iowa won't join junk pile - Omaha.com
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#2 OpanaPointer

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Posted 04 April 2010 - 11:04 PM

Good news. The BBs are a major piece of history despite their flaws.

Thank Buddha they parked Missouri at Pearl Harbor! I was sick of telling people why it couldn't be berthed at St. Louis.

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#3 formerjughead

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 01:57 AM

Iowa was originaly slated to move over to Pier 39 in San Fran and be tied up next to the Pampanito and the Jeremiah O'Brien. The City of San Fran put the skids to that after they resolved not to support a military that discriminates against their signature demographic.....whatever.

I personally would like to see it moored at Alameda next to the Hornet or in San Diego next to the Midway.

#4 Biak

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 02:21 AM

Now this would be a day I would mark on my calendar.
""Plans have been discussed to turn the USS Iowa into a floating museum, but the Defense Department wants the option of recommissioning it into active service if it is needed.""

Just the thought of the "Iowa" cruising off shore of (say some Middle East country) makes me smile.

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#5 T. A. Gardner

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 02:59 AM

Turn it into a museum or razor blades but, recommission it?!! Don't waste taxpayer money on that for a second.

#6 dash rip rock

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 03:33 AM

Take the 16"ers off of her, recondition them, and have a 21st century "war bond" rally so to speak.

Instead of selling bonds though, sell admission to see one of the guns fired. I'd pay $50 or even a hundred bux towards the war effort to see/hear/feel that, and I'd drive a good ways to get there.


You got nine guns, divide the country up into nine sections and each state eventually gets a gun for one blank firing a year.

I know I'm just talking out my butt, I'd just really really like to experience what one of those monsters firing would be like. I've seen the one they have on display in Aberdeen, I couldn't even comprehend how awesome that thing must have been in action.

#7 ScreamingEagleMG42

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 03:59 AM

Turn it into a museum or razor blades but, recommission it?!! Don't waste taxpayer money on that for a second.



I say recommission it for use against any possible future Somali pirates...
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#8 T. A. Gardner

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 04:14 AM

Recomissioning would be an expensive waste.

First, turret 2 is inoperable. Turret 3 is barely operable. The 5"/38 battery is in iffy shape too.
The remaining available powder for the guns is over 50 years old and there is no plan or plant to make more. Much of what does exist has been stored in poor conditions and messed with by ordinance people that don't have a clue.

Then there is the plant. It is in so-so material condition at best. Running it on DFM or marine heavy is very expensive today as the plant is very inefficent by current standards.

The required manning levels are very high making crewing it expensive. There are few people left on active duty or in the reserve that know the plant or the systems on that ship. There is a likelihood that retirees would have to be called back to service to deal with teaching the ship to the crew.

I hardly think spending literally tens, if not hundreds, of millions to reactivate the ship and crew it would be worth the effort. The Iowa is a relic of a style of naval warfare that has become obsolete.

#9 formerjughead

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 05:10 AM

The Iowa is a relic of a style of naval warfare that has become obsolete.


Well, I am a relic too and I still got some fight left.

Actually the preservation act provided that sufficient replacement parts and materials be kept in storage and condition should the need arise to bring the Iowa back.

The storage conditions on the ships in the "reserve fleet" is such that the main systems of the ship and be put back into working order in 180 days. The larger issue with the Iowa's and ships of her vintage is the asbestos remediation and technology upgrades.

This topic was discussed last spring and the concensus was that it would be an expensive albeit not impossible task.

#10 USMCPrice

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 12:24 PM

I went onboard the Battleship Wisconsin a couple years back in Norfolk. It too was supposed to be maintained in a state where it could reactivated. Because of this there were many areas that were off-limits to the public. It has since (16Dec2009) been turned over to Nauticus and the City of Norfolk, I wonder if it has the same stipulations attached as Iowa?
I visited the USS New Jersey in Camden, NJ, in I think 2006, it was a straight up memorial ship. I saw noting that would indicate she had the same stipulations as I later came across on the Wisconsin.
I know when I was a small kid we used to frequently visit the USS North Carolina and the tour guides would always tell us that it had to be maintained in a manner that allowed for recommissioning within a specified time period. I read somewhere, but don't remember where, the year they released the State of North Carolina from this stipulation.

I know the Marines that deployed to Beruit after I'd left had the New Jersey off shore and when she showed up artillery attacks on them diminished. There's nothing like 16" guns sitting offshore to get your opponents attention. Unfortunately, I think T.A. Gardner is correct. As much as I'd like to see a battleship sitting off a coast somewhere, intimidating bad guys, they're too old and worn out, too costly to operate and it would cost too much to modernize them again for their limited utility.
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#11 mikebatzel

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 02:15 PM

The cost to put these ships back into service would be very large. Here is what the Government Accountability Office said about the cost of reactivating just two of these ships back in 2004.


To reactivate two Iowa class battleships to their decommissioned capability, the Navy estimates costs in excess of $500 million. This does not include an additional $110 million needed to replenish gunpowder for the 16-inch guns because a recent survey found that it is unsafe. In terms of schedule, the Navy’s program management office estimates that reactivation would take 20 to 40 months, given the loss of corporate memory and the shipyard industrial base.

Reactivating the battleships would require a wide range of battleship modernization improvements, according to the Navy’s program management office. At a minimum, these modernization improvements include command and control, communications, computers, and intelligence equipment; environmental protection (including ozonedepleting



substances); a plastic-waste processor; pulper/shredder and

wastewater alterations; firefighting/fire safety and women-at-sea
alterations; a modernized sensor suite (air and surface search radar); and
new combat and self-defense systems. Although detailed studies would be
needed to identify the full extent of modernization needs and costs, the
Navy has no plans to conduct these studies.







The Navy’s program management office also identified other issues that would strongly discourage the Navy from reactivating and modernizing the battleships. For example, personnel needed to operate the battleships would be extensive, and the skills needed may not be available or easily


reconstituted. Other issues include the age and unreliability of the

battleships’ propulsion systems and the fact that the Navy no longer

maintains the capability to manufacture their 16-inch gun system





components and ordnance.









We also know that the distance the Iowa's range (25 miles) is nowhere near the marine requirements of 41-63 miles (or is it 43-61?). The Iowa herself is in the worst shape. I have seen reports that her entire deck must be replaced on top of the upgrades the other three ships would also receive, not to mention the never repaired damage from her turret explosion.




While also much more costly to build (3.5 Billion for the first two ships) the DDX 1000 ships should meet the marine requirements, and be much more cost effect to operate than the old BB's. This means that at the moment the marines have absolutely nothing in their inventory that meets it's fire support needs until the first DDX come on-line sometime in 2013.




Question: If it would take two to three and a half years to upgrade the Iowa's, could we upgrade shipyards and rebuild new ones at a faster pace based on the 60 year old designs?

http://www.gao.gov/n...tems/d0539r.pdf




On a personal note, someone made mention of seeing the 16 in guns firing. I personally would not mind seeing all 129 twenty and forty mm AA guns (1943 armament) firing at the same time. Preferably at night with tracers to get the full effect.




EDIT: I tried fixing the quote for ease of reading, but it simply will not comply:mad:

Edited by mikebatzel, 05 April 2010 - 07:53 PM.

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#12 Spaniard

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 04:55 PM

I think It's a great Idea to restore the USS Iowa, but the Defense Department wants the option of recommissioning it into active service if it is needed." Is Utter Nonsense a waste of Taxpayers $$$$$$$$ :rolleyes:
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#13 brndirt1

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 06:00 PM

When I was a real "kid" I went to the Seattle World's Fair in '62, and the "Mightly Mo" was at that time in mothballs in Bremmerton. For the event of the fair they had cleaned up the "A" turret, the teak foredeck, the bronze plaque which marked the "spot" of the surrender signing, the bridge, and a section of the officers quarters for tours. They were also talking about the Gillette company being their biggest purchasers of "scrap" since the armor steel of the hulls and such made the best blades. One of the tour guides even had a number of blades that could be made out of a DD, but I forget the figure.

Both my Dad and I were in awe of the size of the projectile they had set out for "lookin' at". To think of that monster flying through the air for over 20 miles and actually hitting something was amazing just to think of. There was also a great "movie" of sorts which showed the Missouri firing a full broadside, they had that set up in the "ward room" and the way they had the tours set up everybody could see the screen with ease. It wasn't too long a program, less than 15 minutes if memory serves. And no, it wouldn't "tip it over" if all 16" mains were at once. The recoil did move it sideways a number of yards while underway, which was why they staggered the firing sequences when in real combat. Was still an absolutely stunning display of "fire-power"!
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#14 Biak

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 08:01 PM

I hate to question the recoil on the 16" guns but I remember reading about the famous picture showing the "slide-slip" which is actually the blast concussion over the water. At 58,000 tons fully loaded it would take a lot of recoil to reach Newton's Law of Action-Reaction. I just found out another Uncle (by marriage) was assigned to the USS Massachusetts and 'worked' in the power room. I'll be hitting him up for stories soon. Here's a couple shot of the Iowa clearing her throat!

Category:USS Iowa (BB-61) - Wikimedia Commons

Attached Files


Edited by Biak, 05 April 2010 - 08:43 PM.

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#15 Biak

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 08:31 PM

As long as we're on the subject click on the link for more pictures:

USA 16"/50 (40.6 cm) Mark 7 Pictures

Amazing shots and one looks awfully familiar to what Clint mentioned about his visit.

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#16 OpanaPointer

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 08:41 PM

I hate to question the recoil on the 16" guns but I remember reading about the famous picture showing the "slide-slip" which is actually the blast concussion over the water. At 35,000 tons it would take a lot of recoil to reach Newton's Law of Action-Reaction. I just found out another Uncle (by marriage) was assigned to the USS Massachusetts and 'worked' in the power room. I'll be hitting him up for stories soon. Here's a couple shot of the Iowa clearing her throat!

Category:USS Iowa (BB-61) - Wikimedia Commons

The energy equations on the web same dang place, but IIRC you'd need ~45 16" projectiles being fired simultaneously to get anything like a lateral bow wave.

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#17 Biak

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 08:50 PM

The energy equations on the web same dang place, but IIRC you'd need ~45 16" projectiles being fired simultaneously to get anything like a lateral bow wave.

OpanaPointer was this what you saw?

Do Battleships move sideways when they fire?

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#18 Gromit801

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 09:11 PM

The USS Iowa sits about 50 miles from where I live.

I wouldn't place too much stock currently in the "readiness" clause of the law pertaining to her.

Right now, the most promising plans are making her a museum at Mare Island, a famous WWII landmark in it's own right. For the Iowa, is a mere 10 mile tow from Suisun Bay to Mare Island.

Mare Island has three drydocks, two of which I believe could dock the Iowa, and one very long dock. Much of the shipbuilding infrastructure is still there.

Another group wants to take her to San Pedro, but I don't see that happening.

For the $500,000 million quote to refurbish her to active duty, you could probably build a modern battleship for that. You know there are still 16"/50's in storage that came off of the Washington, Indiana, and South Dakota.

Some nice things about a 16" shell: You can't shoot it down, take it prisoner, jam it or spoof it. You can only hope that you are entirely somewhere else when it lands.
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#19 OpanaPointer

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 09:39 PM

OpanaPointer was this what you saw?

Do Battleships move sideways when they fire?

Could be. The math I saw was forwarded by a guy at the Naval Historical Center in answer to a query from one my profs. at Purdue. (This would have been ~1994.) He told me they would put the full work on the web to have available.

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#20 Gromit801

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 09:44 PM

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#21 OpanaPointer

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 09:59 PM

To further complicate the bow wave thing, they don't normally fire all three rifles at the same time, its 1 and 3 and then 2, IIRC.

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#22 OpanaPointer

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 10:20 PM

One thing about the Iowas, they were a BIG step over the WWI boats.

Posted Image

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#23 lwd

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 11:24 PM

... The recoil did move it sideways a number of yards while underway, which was why they staggered the firing sequences when in real combat. ...

See: Do Battleships move sideways when they fire?
They did on occasion fire 9 gun salvos but there was a delay coil on the middle gun I believe which caused it to fire just after the other two. This was for accuracy because the barrels were close enough that shells could disturb each others flight path if fired simultaneously.

#24 OpanaPointer

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Posted 06 April 2010 - 12:39 AM

See: Do Battleships move sideways when they fire?
They did on occasion fire 9 gun salvos but there was a delay coil on the middle gun I believe which caused it to fire just after the other two. This was for accuracy because the barrels were close enough that shells could disturb each others flight path if fired simultaneously.

You can see this clearly in the "in flight" photos taken of salvos. :cool:

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#25 Gromit801

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Posted 06 April 2010 - 01:28 AM

How did we go from Iowa as a museum, to gun recoil and sideways movement?
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