Could be in the Curragh because of Ordnance?
Nope they have their own ordnance attached in Haulbowline.
For courses etc. its handier to be able to fire the guns under such controlled circumstances.
As Goldie mentioned weather is a factor , also there may not be a ship available to do a training/qualification shoot.Shooting these ashore is far handier, the RN do it the whole time at Whale Island.
Some years ago it was considered firing the old L40/60 training mount from the old gunnery bay with break up shot, but it was reckoned the noise levels would be unaccetable,the mount had a 'rolling' feature fitted and was a great training tool...until the autoloader had to be sacrificed to Deirdre due to a major fcuk up which damaged its gun!
I think Whale Island is a different kettle of fish than mounting a gun on a DROPS platform, tieing up the use of a specialist truck, taking said gun a hundred miles or more from it's home base (where it's trained repairmen are based, and all it's spares) and then firing it in a land-based position that bears no resemblance to a moving ship, not to mind the transport costs and personnel costs, for a hundred mile round trip. As for butt stops not being available at sea, then that logic disallows the use of the main gun. Surely going to Kilworth would save time and money? Apart from that, is it absolutely necessary to fire it with live ammunition, just to prove that it can be cocked, fired, emptied and can train and elevate?
Not allowed even fire 84mm, 12.7 0r 60m mortar in KIlworth any more!Surely going to Kilworth would save time and money?
each module has its own firing, 20 mm s may not coincide with 40/57/76....
76mm is fired remotely not physicaly. 57 mm gnr courses is a completely seperate animal.....and aimer and cpy of mount i 40/70...can be an O /sea...
Like i said, if all you need to do is prove that a ship's small gun can cycle ammunition, you don't need to haul it hundreds of miles away from a naval dockyard. If you really need to fire projectiles, put it on a temporary platform on a smaller boat and take it out of the lovely big harbour it normally lives in and blaze away. It seems to me that this is someone's pet project that has grown legs from a clever idea(engineering-wise) to becoming policy.
How much will that cost?
Its slapped on the back of a drops. These are two a penny nowdays.
You over estimate how specialised a truck with a hook lift is.
As you have previously pointed out in other threads, every gas/oil field in the world has such boats and qualified crews on hand which meet those criteria and even the Cork harbour tugs could carry that DROPs platform with those guns aboard in a pinch. Rig service vessels with flat rear cargo decks, as i have been on, could easily do the job and are no strangers to Cork harbour. As for the availability of DROPs trucks, they are in continuous use in every unit that has them and there are not enough to meet basic demand. My opinion of this method of testing serviced guns is that it is a roundabout solution to a problem that should be solved closer to home.
Rig service vessel vs a tank of diesel in a truck to a presecured range?!
This particular engineering delight seems to have disproportionally gotten on your nerves...
Maybe they could drop into you in Wicklow on the return journey from Gormo and sort out your Air Corps navigational problems...I think those pesky choppers are making you grumpy!
Last edited by Jetjock; 15th October 2012 at 02:28.
There's a good bit more to it, costwise, than a couple of tanks of diesel. The diesel is only part of the equation...... I have a big back garden so they can drop the guns off at my gaff and that'll sort out the heli problem (hint: I'm on nights)..... If it's okay for the Army to fire 30mm and bigger in the Glen, then let the Navy do the same. I still think it's illogical and expensive and pointless to drag two guns on a cross-country tour when they have all they need to do it at home. It smells of "sub run" to me, if not "Eng Officer's pet project". As an employee of a pillar of the private sector yourself, you would be horrified at the potential waste of tax euros, just to make a couple of small guns go bang
Ah sure now I get it . Charter a Offshore Supply Vessel , that should cost less . Or get the Naval Dockyard to lash together a few 50 gal oil drums with some buckshee wodden pallets as a deck and have it paddled out to sea by a recruit class . I think we have all seen the Safehaven Video as to what to expect at the mouth of the harbour but It might work .
Don't spit in my Bouillabaisse .
Who's to say that these weapons weren't part of a new delivery ??
Not the issueMy opinion of this method of testing serviced guns is that it is a roundabout solution to a problem that should be solved closer to home.
Its about qualifying gunners of ranks to fire weapons under controlled conditions. From eons ago I remember one young man who needed to fire to pass his SG3..and was so sea sick on the day of the shoot he spent the day in the sick bay. Shooting to qualify should be under controlled conditions to ensure all aspects of training and safety are applied properly and are abled to be monitored without having to factor in factors as mentioned.
Its cheaper to bring two guns ona rig to the Glen or Gormanstown than it is to have to have ship put to sea to do it.
me!Who's to say that these weapons weren't part of a new delivery ??
They aren't, they were bought as part of a job lot from the Germans about four years ago, thus all the ships bar Eithne were re equiped with Rh202's. There were also a couple extra which were retained for training.
Last edited by hptmurphy; 15th October 2012 at 17:04.
Slightly related story . Not long after Eithne had been commissioned the two Rhinos onboard had to undergo some sort of test . So off we went for a half day trip in the harbour between Spike and Whitegate with a techie from the manufactuer on board . At this time Spike was in the hands of the Prison Service and some gouger who no longer liked the terms and conditions of his imprisonment legged it up the mast of the navagational aid on the shoreline of Spike and refused to come down . The test took place and many loud bangs later the terrified escapee changed his mind and desended back to earth . He thought the Eithne was sent to shoot him down .
Don't spit in my Bouillabaisse .
Well, laners, given how past naval recruits were treated, back when civvie prisoners had better accomodation and the head of Prison Service had more pull than the FOCNS, then i'm sure a raft to escape Haulbowline wouldn't be a bad idea and as you know perfectly well, it is often quite calm at the mouth of the harbour. I've been there plenty of times myself. Like i said, if all you want to do is prove that a gun can cycle ammunition, you don't even need to leave the harbour, or the basin for that matter. No gun manufacturer in the world would tolerate a need to move guns hundreds of miles to test his weapons. If, as Hpt says, you need to qualify or requalify gunners, then you permanently base a gun at the appropriate range instead of dragging it around the country.
How do permanently base a gun that works from a fixed mount on a range?
I must remind you of the saga regarding the tank that broke down on Cemetary hill many years ago. It was considered too expensive to repair, but as the gun was functioning, it was decided to leave it in situ for crew training. Of course a security detail had to remain with the tank at all times to prevent the gun being stolen.
Eventually this was considered too expensive to continue. The DF at the time had no means available to move the tank so they decided to dig a large hole, and pushed(or dragged) the immovile armoured vehicle into it.
The Hole was then covered over.
Would it not be better perhaps to bolt the gun on some sort of flatbed arrangement and move it to the appropriate range when it needs to be test fired?
A test firing is a test firing. It is not the cycling of ammo. Worth noting that there is a similar rig in place to test fire Pilatus mounted weapons, without needing to mount them on the aircraft and fire them at the proper range on the day of the year when weather permits. Or do you think it would be better to lash it onto the back of an aircraft tug and fire it down the ramp?
As a whitegate Nimby I will object vigourously to any further wargames taking place in my neighbourhood. I'm sure Philips 66 would have one or two things to say about people test firing cannons at the harmour mouth too, with all the petroleum products and gas pipelines nearby.
What happened in the NS of the 1980s is nothing like what happens today, where everyone is treated with the same level of respect, regardless of rank.
Would make sense only if said guns are not being swapped in and out of ships for maintenance etc, which I assume is the case. I also assume they are being used as instructional aids pre firing for qualification. Putting them permanently at a range would necessitate moving an entire class there for course duration. Still sounds cheaper for a day trip.
It actually looks like a better overall solution if they are indeed a dual purpose calibration/training aid.
store a weapon permanently?
build a garage in the armoury in gormo
store the weapon, the mount and its trailer there?
Just suggesting like...
but what do i know, im just a rock ape.
"He is an enemy officer taken in battle and entitled to fair treatment."
"No, sir. He's a sergeant, and they don't deserve no respect at all, sir. I should know. They're cunning and artful, if they're any good. I wouldn't mind if he was an officer, sir. But sergeants are clever."
routine maintainence is carried out aboread by the Ships Gunners, the Leading Gunner being primarily responsible for the operational availability of the weapon.Would make sense only if said guns are not being swapped in and out of ships for maintenance etc, which I assume is the case.
In the case of the 20mms the weapons are simplistic and straight forward and the only thing prone to wear being the barrels, the high rate of fire being the primary cause.
Break Up shot on the barrels reduces the life time significantly.
The guns themselves , given Eithnes were in place 20 years before the 'newbies' were acquired don't ever have to be removed, not saying they haven't been but the Rhino is a different kettle of Fish to the oerlikon which could be just 'popped out'
If a gun can spend twenty years on a ship being pummeled about inn the worst weather conditions known to man, a few hundred miles on a truck won't hurt it.
Some of the oerlikons in stores were built in 1938 and were still operational in 1986....and were still in operational conditions on retirement, which wasn't down to the gun, but the magazines!
they don't come in boxes marked fragile...life time of the gun is incalculable......if that was the case no one would ever bring a rifle to the range!
I am mildly amused at all of us trying to second guess naval command using supposition, conjecture and rumour. I am very sure that the navy costed the operation and arrived at the best course of action using the facts
Last edited by Flintstone; 18th October 2012 at 19:45.
very good replies all round. Flintstone, I am too cynical by half and I love the tireless optimism of the last line of your post. that cheered me up no end
Based on my experience, quite often, the cheapest or most useful or most sensible solution to a problem was not taken up because it originated from an enlisted person or a non-Officer or a non-pilot. Quite often, the only way to get things done was to get an Officer on side and let him claim the credit for it. There were several times when I, and others like me, met outright refusal to adopt a course of action or prevent a course of action because the idea came from the shop floor, so to speak. It wasn't only confined to Officers but it was a prevailing attitude. When you operated in a hierarchy where the pilot officer was the dominating force above all, including fellow non-pilot officers, it could be very difficult to get things done. As any NCO will tell you, it was often easier to circumvent the system to achieve a task.
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