Iowa-class battleship vs. Kirov-class battlecruiser

Discussion in 'World Armed Forces' started by F40Racer, Jun 9, 2008.

  1. F40Racer
    Offline

    F40Racer New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    United States
    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.
     
    #1
  2. adeptitus
    Offline

    adeptitus Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2005
    Messages:
    2,138
    Likes Received:
    22

    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.
     
    #2
  3. IDonT
    Offline

    IDonT Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2005
    Messages:
    1,091
    Likes Received:
    0
    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.
     
    #3
  4. Pointblank
    Offline

    Pointblank Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2006
    Messages:
    1,766
    Likes Received:
    2
    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.
     
    #4
  5. IDonT
    Offline

    IDonT Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2005
    Messages:
    1,091
    Likes Received:
    0
    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.
     
    #5
  6. adeptitus
    Offline

    adeptitus Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2005
    Messages:
    2,138
    Likes Received:
    22
    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.

    [​IMG]
     
    #6
  7. IDonT
    Offline

    IDonT Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2005
    Messages:
    1,091
    Likes Received:
    0
    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.
     
    #7
  8. Pointblank
    Offline

    Pointblank Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2006
    Messages:
    1,766
    Likes Received:
    2
    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.
     
    #8
  9. IDonT
    Offline

    IDonT Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2005
    Messages:
    1,091
    Likes Received:
    0
    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.
     
    #9
  10. chevy-guy
    Offline

    chevy-guy Just Hatched
    Registered Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2009
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    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.
     
    #10
Loading...

Share This Page