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Re: Effectiveness of Naval Gunnery Past 20,000 YDS
The IJN estimated that the probability of hit beyond 20,000 to be 2-3%, i.e., out of one hundred rounds fired, one can expect two to three hits.
The effective range for any unguided naval gunfire is about 12 to 14 nm. The max range for the 16" guns on the Iowa BB's was about 20nm, give or take, depending on the type of round being used. I was with VC-6 flying the RQ-2 Pioneer drone during the mid to late 80's. I was the guy spotting the fall of shot for the guns. Anything past 12 miles and you couldn't hit much. The gunners were doing good if they got +/- 2% in velocity through the gun tube. If velocity = range 4% of 24,000 yds = 960 YDS which is a salvo spread of about half a mile. You needed a bit of luck to hit your target. With today's reluctance for collateral damage that really limits the scenarios when you can shoot. Near the end of my tour of duty with VC-6 the Iowa was issued sub-munition rounds which had 444 sub-munitions in each round. This greatly enhance the ability to hit a target at range but did nothing to address the collateral damage problem. They now have GPS guided rounds for the 5"/62 guns and can hit targets with precision at max range.
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