Why Indian Navy Needs The 127 mm MK 45 Naval Guns For Destroyers & Frigates

DefenceXP Author / 23 November 2019

Hello Defence Lovres, As we all know that recently US approves sale of 13 Mk 45 naval guns to Indian Navy for an estimated USD1.021 billion via the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) route. we had also cover this news on our Youtube Channel Defence Squad. So with this article we will talk about Importance of these Naval Guns in Indian Navy fleet because some may wonder why the Navy actually needs guns in this day and age of missiles, the guns actually play an important role in naval ships and are integral to the force’s artillery.

  • Mk 45 is a lightweight 5-inch/54 caliber U.S. naval artillery gun mount consisting of a 127 mm (5 in) L54 Mark 19 gun on the Mark 45 mount. Originally designed and built by United Defense, it is now manufactured by BAE Systems Land & Armaments after the former was acquired.
  • The MK 45 is a naval artillery gun 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 that can be fired under full automatic control, taking a little over a minute to exhaust those rounds at maximum fire rate.
  • 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-man crew (gun captain, panel operator, and four ammunition loaders) below deck to keep the gun continuously supplied with ammunition.
Importance of Naval Guns:
  • Every military vessel in the world, including the aircraft carriers, are equipped with different types of guns. Except for the 30 mm Close in Weapon System (CIWS), all these guns form part of naval artillery.
  • The missiles and torpedoes on board the vessels are not part of the naval artillery. The biggest advantage of a naval gun is that it is cheaper than firing a missile. Besides this, there are a number of tasks and operations that only naval guns can carry out.
  • The gun plays a dual role as they are both anti-surface and anti-air weapons. This means they can take on the vessels in the sea or targets on shore as well as incoming enemy aircraft.
  • Besides this, the guns are very useful for area domination or taking out a fast patrol vessel advancing towards the ship. The guns are also used for sending out warnings as well as taking out smaller ships out in the sea.
  • Other than obvious anti-aircraft task, they are also used in what is known as naval gunfire support or breaching operations. These guns are used to help the military in carrying out landing or amphibious operations on the shore.
  • The idea is to cause heavy damage to enemy positions and assets without causing such huge damage that one’s own soldiers can’t operate there.
Different types of guns on board Indian Navy ships :
  • Depending on the category of ships, each vessel comes equipped with different types of guns. The common element on all the ships are the CIWS. These are meant to take out closer threats.
  • There are also the medium range guns which are of 76 mm and 100 mm calibre. These guns are capable of taking out smaller vessels or disabling them.
  • Interestingly, India’s only aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya is equipped only with the CIWS. But then, it moves with a Battle Group that consists of different ships and a submarine.
Jai Hind
Source- The Print
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