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Iowa-class battleship vs. Kirov-class battlecruiser

This is a discussion on Iowa-class battleship vs. Kirov-class battlecruiser within the World Armed Forces forums, part of the World Strategic Defence Area category; With the exception of aircraft carriers, Kirov-class battlecruiser are the largest and probably the most powerful surface combatant in the ...

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    F40Racer is offline New Member
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    Iowa-class battleship vs. Kirov-class battlecruiser

    With the exception of aircraft carriers, Kirov-class battlecruiser are the largest and probably the most powerful surface combatant in the world currently in active service. Iowa-class is believed by most experts as the ultimate battleship, and despite it's age, it had proven itself to be a extremely powerful warship during several post-WWII battle scenarios. If the Iowa-class re-enters service today, and with proper modifications in electronics and weapon systems, it would still be an outstanding ship.
    Which one of these two ships is more powerful overall?

    In my opinion, the Iowa has advantage in durability because of its larger displacement. It's actually not a lot bigger than Kirov in term of exterior dimensions, but it has nearly twice the displacement. Which means a big portion of its weight are from the armors. Iowa can definitely take a lot more damage than Kirov

    I think Kirov has advantage over Iowa in term of firepower because of its large numbers of VLS that can launch large variety of missiles. Iowa may have massive 16-inch guns and has been modified with missile launchers that can launch Tomahawks, but I doubt it can match the firepower of the largest missile cruiser in the world that is equipped with VLS.

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    adeptitus is offline Senior Member
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    Re: Iowa-class battleship vs. Kirov-class battlecruiser

    Quote Originally Posted by F40Racer View Post
    With the exception of aircraft carriers, Kirov-class battlecruiser are the largest and probably the most powerful surface combatant in the world currently in active service. Iowa-class is believed by most experts as the ultimate battleship, and despite it's age, it had proven itself to be a extremely powerful warship during several post-WWII battle scenarios. If the Iowa-class re-enters service today, and with proper modifications in electronics and weapon systems, it would still be an outstanding ship.
    Which one of these two ships is more powerful overall?

    In my opinion, the Iowa has advantage in durability because of its larger displacement. It's actually not a lot bigger than Kirov in term of exterior dimensions, but it has nearly twice the displacement. Which means a big portion of its weight are from the armors. Iowa can definitely take a lot more damage than Kirov

    I think Kirov has advantage over Iowa in term of firepower because of its large numbers of VLS that can launch large variety of missiles. Iowa may have massive 16-inch guns and has been modified with missile launchers that can launch Tomahawks, but I doubt it can match the firepower of the largest missile cruiser in the world that is equipped with VLS.

    The Iowa class is almost twice the tonnage of Kirov-class.

    If we were to compare the munitions on these ships in late Cold-War era, the Kirov has an advantage on-paper with its long-range, supersonic anti-ship missiles. The Kirov also has superior missile defense systems. The Iowa has better armor but I doubt it'd have survived a barrage of P-700 missiles without being mission-killed.

    I doubt the original Iowa-class BB's would've been suitable (or cost effective) for a complete conversion to modern "guided missile BB". But if both the US and Russia were to construct brand new ships today and equip them with their best hardware, the US would have an edge in sensors and AAW systems.

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    IDonT is offline Junior Member
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    Re: Iowa-class battleship vs. Kirov-class battlecruiser

    The kirov has the advantage in that it can shoot down the Iowa's snooping Helos. Once all four are destroyed, Iowa is basically relegated to a within the horizon fight.

    The Kirov CO will just park his OTH helo about 10-15 miles from the Iowa to gain better firing solution for the Kirov's shipwreck. To obtain massive damage, the Kirov should be within 60-100 miles from the Iowa, so that the Shipwreck will have a lot of fuel left when it hits the Iowa (more fire). The Kirov CO will then allocate 1-2 shipwreck to hit the unarmored bow, to blow off that beauticful clipper bow and slow her down significantly. Another 4-5 Shipwreck will target her relatively low armored harpoon and Tomahawk lanchers which will cause massive a massive fire. The rest of the ship wreck will aim for only one of the 16 inch turrets/barbetts.

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    Pointblank is offline Senior Member
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    Re: Iowa-class battleship vs. Kirov-class battlecruiser

    Quote Originally Posted by IDonT View Post
    The kirov has the advantage in that it can shoot down the Iowa's snooping Helos. Once all four are destroyed, Iowa is basically relegated to a within the horizon fight.

    The Kirov CO will just park his OTH helo about 10-15 miles from the Iowa to gain better firing solution for the Kirov's shipwreck. To obtain massive damage, the Kirov should be within 60-100 miles from the Iowa, so that the Shipwreck will have a lot of fuel left when it hits the Iowa (more fire). The Kirov CO will then allocate 1-2 shipwreck to hit the unarmored bow, to blow off that beauticful clipper bow and slow her down significantly. Another 4-5 Shipwreck will target her relatively low armored harpoon and Tomahawk lanchers which will cause massive a massive fire. The rest of the ship wreck will aim for only one of the 16 inch turrets/barbetts.
    Later in the service life of the Iowa class battleships, they carried UAV's.

    Furthermore, it is highly unlikely the missiles would be able to penetrate the armour. Remember that the Iowa class battleships were designed in the age of dodging hundreds of heavy naval shells, heavy armour piercing aircraft bombs, and many torpedoes. Remember that the much less armoured German battleship Bismark was still afloat and was scuttled by its own crew even though the Bismark took a terrible pounding, but remained afloat, and the interior remained undamaged. The Iowa class battleships is built to take severe punishment. Ships built after the Korean War tend to be built much less lightly, and place more of a emphasis on intercepting the threat, rather than being able to absorb damage. At most, you would give a Iowa class battleship a very bloody nose, but it would still be able to steam away.

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    IDonT is offline Junior Member
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    Re: Iowa-class battleship vs. Kirov-class battlecruiser

    Quote Originally Posted by Pointblank View Post
    Later in the service life of the Iowa class battleships, they carried UAV's.

    Furthermore, it is highly unlikely the missiles would be able to penetrate the armour. Remember that the Iowa class battleships were designed in the age of dodging hundreds of heavy naval shells, heavy armour piercing aircraft bombs, and many torpedoes. Remember that the much less armoured German battleship Bismark was still afloat and was scuttled by its own crew even though the Bismark took a terrible pounding, but remained afloat, and the interior remained undamaged. The Iowa class battleships is built to take severe punishment. Ships built after the Korean War tend to be built much less lightly, and place more of a emphasis on intercepting the threat, rather than being able to absorb damage. At most, you would give a Iowa class battleship a very bloody nose, but it would still be able to steam away.
    Point taken, however, 20 shipwreck missiles with 1 ton of HE and 2/3 full of rocket fuel will burn the ship severely. In addition, secondary explosions from her Tomahawks and Harpoons, which are not armored, will also caused massive fire damage and horrendous casualties. Fire is the bane of all ships, I do not have to damage Iowa's water tight integrity in order to force her CO to abandon ship do to fire.

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    adeptitus is offline Senior Member
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    Re: Iowa-class battleship vs. Kirov-class battlecruiser

    I doubt all 20 would hit, or if you even need 20 to mission-kill an Iowa-class BB. Just a couple of direct hits will do it I think. Ship might not sink but it'd be taken out of action for lengthy repair or even scrapping.

    The Mk 141 Harpoon launchers have light armor, and the Mk 143 Armored Box launchers (for Tomahawks) have thicker armor. Won't survive a direct hit but would at least fend off shrapnel and fire. American navy is excellent with its damage control.


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    IDonT is offline Junior Member
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    Re: Iowa-class battleship vs. Kirov-class battlecruiser

    Quote Originally Posted by adeptitus View Post
    I doubt all 20 would hit, or if you even need 20 to mission-kill an Iowa-class BB. Just a couple of direct hits will do it I think. Ship might not sink but it'd be taken out of action for lengthy repair or even scrapping.

    The Mk 141 Harpoon launchers have light armor, and the Mk 143 Armored Box launchers (for Tomahawks) have thicker armor. Won't survive a direct hit but would at least fend off shrapnel and fire. American navy is excellent with its damage control.
    US Navy certainly does have excellent damage control but the Shipwreck will hit with 2/3 full of jet fuel not to mention the 1 ton warhead. (Remember, If I was the Kirov CO I would launched them at close range ~ 60-100 miles) That fuel will go many places, like the Harpoon and Tomahawk lanchers (assuming they were not hit) igniting them. If more than 5 hit in rapid succession than you have lots of fire in your hands.

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    Pointblank is offline Senior Member
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    Re: Iowa-class battleship vs. Kirov-class battlecruiser

    Quote Originally Posted by IDonT View Post
    US Navy certainly does have excellent damage control but the Shipwreck will hit with 2/3 full of jet fuel not to mention the 1 ton warhead. (Remember, If I was the Kirov CO I would launched them at close range ~ 60-100 miles) That fuel will go many places, like the Harpoon and Tomahawk lanchers (assuming they were not hit) igniting them. If more than 5 hit in rapid succession than you have lots of fire in your hands.
    At that close of range, the Iowa class BB's would be able to shoot first with TASM and Harpoon, if the escorts don't already shoot first...

    For a ship to get that close to a capital asset would require a major malfunction in the situational awareness. Most likely, the Kirov would have been detected earlier and dealt with.

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    IDonT is offline Junior Member
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    Re: Iowa-class battleship vs. Kirov-class battlecruiser

    Quote Originally Posted by Pointblank View Post
    At that close of range, the Iowa class BB's would be able to shoot first with TASM and Harpoon, if the escorts don't already shoot first...

    For a ship to get that close to a capital asset would require a major malfunction in the situational awareness. Most likely, the Kirov would have been detected earlier and dealt with.
    Your right of course if we are assuming real world scenario. But in a hypothetical 1 vs 1 scenario, Iowa is at a severe disadvantage. In a real world scenario, a US surface strike group would be more than a match for a Kirov centered surface action group. In a straight up surface engagement, the Iowa is not needed.

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    chevy-guy is offline New Member
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    Re: Iowa-class battleship vs. Kirov-class battlecruiser

    Quote Originally Posted by F40Racer View Post
    With the exception of aircraft carriers, Kirov-class battlecruiser are the largest and probably the most powerful surface combatant in the world currently in active service. Iowa-class is believed by most experts as the ultimate battleship, and despite it's age, it had proven itself to be a extremely powerful warship during several post-WWII battle scenarios. If the Iowa-class re-enters service today, and with proper modifications in electronics and weapon systems, it would still be an outstanding ship.
    Which one of these two ships is more powerful overall?

    In my opinion, the Iowa has advantage in durability because of its larger displacement. It's actually not a lot bigger than Kirov in term of exterior dimensions, but it has nearly twice the displacement. Which means a big portion of its weight are from the armors. Iowa can definitely take a lot more damage than Kirov

    I think Kirov has advantage over Iowa in term of firepower because of its large numbers of VLS that can launch large variety of missiles. Iowa may have massive 16-inch guns and has been modified with missile launchers that can launch Tomahawks, but I doubt it can match the firepower of the largest missile cruiser in the world that is equipped with VLS.
    Currently the Iowas has 32 Tomahawks and 16 harpoons which gives it longer range and more missiles than its Russian counterpart(20-shipwreck and 14-silex). The Kirovs have better missile defense, but if recommisioned the Iowa would most likely have upgraded missile defense. The Iowa is only one not slower than the Kirovs without any upgrades to it propulsion. If missile attacks were successful the Kirov would sink while the Iowa would be able to limp her crew home. If missile attacks failed and the fight came down to a close in fight the Iowa would obviously have an advantage. The WWII technology of the Iowa class battleship has survived encounters with Russian weapons systems in Korea, Vietnam, and the Persian Gulf. Lets not forget the Russian Navy has never had a successful naval engagement against another blue water fleet. The fighting spirit of the United States navy was proven at the Battle of Leyte Gulf. If an Iowa was sunk by anything, but an aircraft carrier it would take the other ship with it.

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    chevy-guy is offline New Member
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    Re: Iowa-class battleship vs. Kirov-class battlecruiser

    Quote Originally Posted by chevy-guy View Post
    Currently the Iowas has 32 Tomahawks and 16 harpoons which gives it longer range and more missiles than its Russian counterpart(20-shipwreck and 14-silex). The Kirovs have better missile defense, but if recommisioned the Iowa would most likely have upgraded missile defense. The Iowa is only one not slower than the Kirovs without any upgrades to it propulsion. If missile attacks were successful the Kirov would sink while the Iowa would be able to limp her crew home. If missile attacks failed and the fight came down to a close in fight the Iowa would obviously have an advantage. The WWII technology of the Iowa class battleship has survived encounters with Russian weapons systems in Korea, Vietnam, and the Persian Gulf. Lets not forget the Russian Navy has never had a successful naval engagement against another blue water fleet. The fighting spirit of the United States navy was proven at the Battle of Leyte Gulf. If an Iowa was sunk by anything, but an aircraft carrier it would take the other ship with it.
    Lets also not forget that only one American battleship has ever been destroyed do to enemy action. This minor footnote in history occurred on the morning of Dec. 7 1941. The victim's name was the USS Arizona. So the obsolete arguement is highly dependant on how the ship and overall fleet are operated. The damage obsorbing ability of a battleship is incredible. The West Virginia obsorbed 7 torpedoes during the Pearl Harbor attack and was able to return the punishment at the Battle of Surigao.

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    Jeff Head's Avatar
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    Re: Iowa-class battleship vs. Kirov-class battlecruiser

    Quote Originally Posted by IDonT View Post
    The kirov has the advantage in that it can shoot down the Iowa's snooping Helos. Once all four are destroyed, Iowa is basically relegated to a within the horizon fight.

    The Kirov CO will just park his OTH helo about 10-15 miles from the Iowa to gain better firing solution for the Kirov's shipwreck. To obtain massive damage, the Kirov should be within 60-100 miles from the Iowa, so that the Shipwreck will have a lot of fuel left when it hits the Iowa (more fire). The Kirov CO will then allocate 1-2 shipwreck to hit the unarmored bow, to blow off that beauticful clipper bow and slow her down significantly. Another 4-5 Shipwreck will target her relatively low armored harpoon and Tomahawk lanchers which will cause massive a massive fire. The rest of the ship wreck will aim for only one of the 16 inch turrets/barbetts.
    No assurance that they would be able to shoot down the helos...or the UAVs. And if the Iwoa helos or UAVs found the Kirov before she came into shipwreck range, the advatage would be to the Iowa.Also, the Iowa would benefit from sat intelligence.

    That would be because the Iowa has a longer range and larger offensive punch in missiles. 32 Tomohawks and 16 harpoons.

    If the Iowa found the Kirov, I believe a large Tomohawk strike would overwhelm her defenses. If they had to get in closer with the harpoons, then the advantage would go to the Kirov because her shipwrecks have a much longer range than the harpoons.

    At the next stage, I believe the harpoons hold the advantage.

    If they expended their missiles and had to get close enough for other weapons...then the Iowa wins hands down. The Kirov would never sail within range of those nine 16" guns.

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    Pointblank is offline Senior Member
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    Re: Iowa-class battleship vs. Kirov-class battlecruiser

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Head View Post
    If they expended their missiles and had to get close enough for other weapons...then the Iowa wins hands down. The Kirov would never sail within range of those nine 16" guns.
    Yep... with 2,700 lbs. (1,224.7 kg) AP Mark 8, those guns can hit targets around 42,345 yards (38,720 m) away, with a total flight time of around 80.0 seconds, can fire two rounds a minute, and will penetrate 9.51" (241 mm) of side armour, 14.05" (357 mm) of deck armour. And since the Kirov's aren't armoured, the ship will be turned into Swiss cheese very quickly, if the Iowa's didn't use their HC Mark 13 rounds, which would be blowing large sections off the Kirov's...

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    scubafreak is offline New Member
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    Re: Iowa-class battleship vs. Kirov-class battlecruiser

    The simple fact of the matter is that neither ship went anywhere unescorted. I know, I was assigned to Surfron 1 out of Long Beach when the Missouri and the New Jersey were stationed there, so we got a large part of the duty for them.

    In an Iowa vs Kirov scenario, barring the possibility of the Iowa's escorting Submarine picking off the Kirov with Mk. 48s, Initial shots would have gone to the Kirov, with it's Shipwreck missiles. Now, since Russian Missile factories have a ho-hum attitude about quality control, count on a certain percentage of failures at launch or in flight.

    Parking a helix at about 15-20 miles is an iffy proposition at best, because usually at least one of the BB's escorts was a Ticonderoga Class cruiser, which would have picked them off like skeet pucks. this leaves the Shipwrecks in master-Slave configuration, with one missile up high scouting and linking data to the rest of the flight, or depending entirely on an ESM solution on the U.S. radars (and the U.S. formation will likely have the same data on the Russians if they are radiating). This would give the U.S. formation plenty of time to prep countermeasures, such as CIWS, Super-RBOC decoys and Sidekick ECM suites, as well as defensive fire from the Tico. A fair portion of the missiles would get within detection range at low level, but the Tico could pick off the Master unit whenever one climbed, frequently requiring another to climb to take its place.

    Say maybe 5 will track the BB, most will be lost in the Chaff and ECM, CIWS would handle the most threatening, so maybe a chance of 1 or 2 striking the armor belts.

    Had they remained in service to today, the CIWS would likely have been upgraded to the RAM missile system, with 4 21 round launchers. Those things simply don't miss.

    If the U.S. formation can get UAV's or Helicopters to link target data, the Tomohawk missiles could likely do some damage, but frankley, being subsonic, they would be much easier for the Russians to intercept.

    It would then come down to whether the Russian commander had the Huevos to close with the US formation, at which time it would be a matter of US harpoons, STANDARD missiles, 16" shells and 5" - 3" shells vs russian SAMS, 130mm, 100mm cannons and 21" torpedoes. In that case, the U.S. formation would likely win.
    Last edited by scubafreak; 11-24-2009 at 09:17 PM. Reason: adding info

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    Re: Iowa-class battleship vs. Kirov-class battlecruiser

    Quote Originally Posted by scubafreak View Post
    The simple fact of the matter is that neither ship went anywhere unescorted. I know, I was assigned to Surfron 1 out of Long Beach when the Missouri and the New Jersey were stationed there, so we got a large part of the duty for them.

    In an Iowa vs Kirov scenario, barring the possibility of the Iowa's escorting Submarine picking off the Kirov with Mk. 48s, Initial shots would have gone to the Kirov, with it's Shipwreck missiles. Now, since Russian Missile factories have a ho-hum attitude about quality control, count on a certain percentage of failures at launch or in flight.

    Parking a helix at about 15-20 miles is an iffy proposition at best, because usually at least one of the BB's escorts was a Ticonderoga Class cruiser, which would have picked them off like skeet pucks. this leaves the Shipwrecks in master-Slave configuration, with one missile up high scouting and linking data to the rest of the flight, or depending entirely on an ESM solution on the U.S. radars (and the U.S. formation will likely have the same data on the Russians if they are radiating). This would give the U.S. formation plenty of time to prep countermeasures, such as CIWS, Super-RBOC decoys and Sidekick ECM suites, as well as defensive fire from the Tico. A fair portion of the missiles would get within detection range at low level, but the Tico could pick off the Master unit whenever one climbed, frequently requiring another to climb to take its place.

    Say maybe 5 will track the BB, most will be lost in the Chaff and ECM, CIWS would handle the most threatening, so maybe a chance of 1 or 2 striking the armor belts.

    Had they remained in service to today, the CIWS would likely have been upgraded to the RAM missile system, with 4 21 round launchers. Those things simply don't miss.

    If the U.S. formation can get UAV's or Helicopters to link target data, the Tomohawk missiles could likely do some damage, but frankley, being subsonic, they would be much easier for the Russians to intercept.

    It would then come down to whether the Russian commander had the Huevos to close with the US formation, at which time it would be a matter of US harpoons, STANDARD missiles, 16" shells and 5" - 3" shells vs russian SAMS, 130mm, 100mm cannons and 21" torpedoes. In that case, the U.S. formation would likely win.
    I agree with u to a certain aspect. But while u had said that the US would have some escort for her Iowa class batteship, wouldn't the Russian also have escort for their Kirov.

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