Iowa-class battleship vs. Kirov-class battlecruiser


Mysterre

Banned Idiot
The Russian's feared the Iowa class. But they are gone now.

A good question would be the Kirovs vs either a Tico or one of the South Korean Cruiser sized KDX-III AEGES Destroyers.

Lots of Tomohawk capability on both vessels, and lots of very good anti-missile defense.

The Kirov's 20 shipwrecks are a potent threat, but the Tonmohawks outrange them...and if the Tico or KDX III is outfitted for anti surface with 32+ ASMs, then it would be a tough fight if the AEGIS vessel found the Kirov first.

But the Kirov's have decent anti-missile defense too...it would be a test for the systems for sure.
Very interesting thread. However, the Iowa's 32 Tomahawks would have absolutely no role in an antiship engagement. The TASM stockpile was entirely retired or converted to TLAM's after the end of the Cold War. There is not a single Tomahawk in the US inventory that could target a moving ship right now. If an Iowa were reactivated, there is no reason to believe that they would not mount TLAM's as this would be consistent with their presumed shore bombardment mission. In a theoretical 1 on 1 engagement vs a Kirov, it would have use of 16 Harpoons. That's it. The Kirov would never allow itself to get within visual range of the Iowa, so the Iowa's 16-inchers and 5-inchers are all useless. Besides the Harpoons the only other thing of relevance in an antiship engagement is the Iowa's 4 Phalanx CIWS, only two of which would likely be facing. I submit that the Kirov, with a more relevant antiship and antimissile design, would have the advantage.
 

jacks

Just Hatched
Registered Member
Actually, you are forgetting a crucial factor. The Iowa was retrofitted with Phalanx anti missle systems and if activated today would be fitted with proven missles for anti misle defence. Most of the missles would not hit their mark. The same for the battle cruiser. One on one the ships would cancel eachothers missles out. Neither of us can deny that. Now it is a slug match and even at 25 miles the Iowa can fire 16 inch cannons at the battle cruiser. The battle cruiser has to get closer. It would either be a draw where both ships leave the battle at the stand off or a slug match if both sides needed a victory. I have to disagree with you because of missle defence systems. The Iowa class battleship wound have a very large advantage. Much thicker armor and much bigger shells.
 

i.e.

Senior Member
You guys forgot about torpedos.

CBs are notoriously vulnerable to torpedos.
I would not be surprised that a Mk48 can split a CB's keel. or just simply blew apart its steering and props.

and those deck armours aren't that thicktoo so a 1000 lb dive bomb could do some damage. a shipwreck AShCM do a popup dive manuever? possible.
 

jacks

Just Hatched
Registered Member
You guys forgot about torpedos.

CBs are notoriously vulnerable to torpedos.
I would not be surprised that a Mk48 can split a CB's keel. or just simply blew apart its steering and props.

and those deck armours aren't that thicktoo so a 1000 lb dive bomb could do some damage. a shipwreck AShCM do a popup dive manuever? possible.
Different Battlship. Lessons learned a Pearl Harbor changed the top and armor designs. And again, defense systems Any torpedo, or any missle can be intercepted. And 1 on 1means once you run out, it time to slug it out or withdraw. In a fleet to fleet, strategy will win the day. But one on one is different. The cruiser does have enough fire power to do the job, but you actually have to hit your target. Missle and torpedo defences on both ships would be enough to stop almost if not every incoming when it comes to missles and torpedoes. If you don't think so look it up. And American shipbuilders are fanatical about ship defence systems. You are looking at it from just an attack point of view. In an actual battle, you have to use all of your recorces including defence. I'm sorry but the odds would be in the battleships side.
 

jacks

Just Hatched
Registered Member
Different Battlship. Lessons learned a Pearl Harbor changed the top and armor designs. And again, defense systems Any torpedo, or any missle can be intercepted. And 1 on 1means once you run out, it time to slug it out or withdraw. In a fleet to fleet, strategy will win the day. But one on one is different. The cruiser does have enough fire power to do the job, but you actually have to hit your target. Missle and torpedo defences on both ships would be enough to stop almost if not every incoming when it comes to missles and torpedoes. If you don't think so look it up. And American shipbuilders are fanatical about ship defence systems. You are looking at it from just an attack point of view. In an actual battle, you have to use all of your recorces including defence. I'm sorry but the odds would be in the battleships side.
One last thing. Defensive and offensive technology has gotten so advanced, that the more I think of it the more I think that whoever thinks " outside the box" better will win. No matter witch side it would be, or what ships are used.
 

Jeff Head

General
Staff member
Super Moderator
I find it difficult to imaging that Kirov was designed as an answer to Iowa class battle ships. USN carriers were much more important targets.
Then Kirov class was not designed with an Iowa battleship in mind. The battleships were brought back on line under Reagan after all the design work on the Kirov had been completed. Once the Iowa's came back on line with their 16 Harpoons and TASMs, the Russians feared them because they were not sure that their missiles, if they got through, would cripple or sink them.

As to the TASMs being out of service, that is true, but that occurred at the end of and after the Cold War, not long before the Iowas were retired again. Through their 1980s and 1990s surface, they were available.

The new Tactical Tomahawk will have the ability to target surface vessels.
 

Vini_Vidi_Vici

Junior Member
Iowa class is too old and too difficult to upgrade to latest electronics. Even if you put Aegis style radars on it, the ship generators still wouldn't be able to power it. Kirov for sure will have a tough time cracking open the armour on Iowa, but the bottomline is, due to the antiquity of Iowa's electronics, Kirov could continuously bombard Iowa with hundreds of missiles at 100km distance, without Iowa being able to fight back.

Sure the new Tomahawks are lethal, but they probably cannot be guided by Iowa on its own, it would require modern Aegis style Ticonderoga or Arleigh Burke to assist. But if so, it is then a totally different topic.

It is not reasonable to compare these two classes of ships, one is the most bad-ass of the canon-shell dumping era and the other is the most bad-ass of the missile dumping era. Comparing the two would be like comparing a musket to a post US civil war rifle, two fundamentally different weapons. If the further upgrades took place as suggested by the members, then the Iowa is no longer the true Iowa. It is then like strapping the shell of a 1930s Bugatti Type 57 onto the chassis and engine of a Veyron, then claiming that it can smoke your neighbour's Mustang, which is ridiculous to began with.
 

jacks

Just Hatched
Registered Member
Iowa class is too old and too difficult to upgrade to latest electronics. Even if you put Aegis style radars on it, the ship generators still wouldn't be able to power it. Kirov for sure will have a tough time cracking open the armour on Iowa, but the bottomline is, due to the antiquity of Iowa's electronics, Kirov could continuously bombard Iowa with hundreds of missiles at 100km distance, without Iowa being able to fight back.

Sure the new Tomahawks are lethal, but they probably cannot be guided by Iowa on its own, it would require modern Aegis style Ticonderoga or Arleigh Burke to assist. But if so, it is then a totally different topic.

It is not reasonable to compare these two classes of ships, one is the most bad-ass of the canon-shell dumping era and the other is the most bad-ass of the missile dumping era. Comparing the two would be like comparing a musket to a post US civil war rifle, two fundamentally different weapons. If the further upgrades took place as suggested by the members, then the Iowa is no longer the true Iowa. It is then like strapping the shell of a 1930s Bugatti Type 57 onto the chassis and engine of a Veyron, then claiming that it can smoke your neighbour's Mustang, which is ridiculous to began with.

Any ship can be upgrated. And the battleships have room for both the advanced computers and older ones. So mIf you knock out their main computer frame, the smaller ones would take over. Advancements can be added to any ship, as long as the designer of the systems takes their time.
I have enjoyed the discussion, but, lets be honest. The only way battleships would come back into service is a major war where nukes are not being used. The battleship was made to take a pounding and still fight. And has room to put in all the advanced systems needed. And in a slug fest has an advantage over any 3 ships or more in the world today. But, I don't think we will ever see the battleships of the United States put back on the active rouster. Maybe in the future a new battleship will be designed, but for now, the battleship is a wonderful memory and has a kind of romantic sound and legend to it.
Having said that, I do enjoy talks and different views and hope that we can discuss other situations in the future. I like good conversation with a person who is intelligent, insightful and has an opinion. Too many people today go with the common thought. It is good to talk and discuss questioned matters with a person who thinks and uses intelligence. I hope to hear more thoughts.
 

joshuatree

Captain
....The battleship was made to take a pounding and still fight....
Yes but the parameters have long changed. Today, it's about being able to fire first and being out of sight and range to the enemy. Unless you overhaul a battleship so much to the point that it's not a battleship anymore, the hull is non-stealthy. Just like the likelihood of aerial dogfights are next to zero today. If it did happen, the F-22 won't fair much better than fighters out there.
 

i.e.

Senior Member
One last thing. Defensive and offensive technology has gotten so advanced, that the more I think of it the more I think that whoever thinks " outside the box" better will win. No matter witch side it would be, or what ships are used.
I think you look at the brochures too much.
 

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