Navy Seeks Longer-Range, Guided Rounds for Deck Guns

The guided-missile destroyer USS Mason (DDG 87) fires an MK 45 five-inch gun during a Naval Surface Fire Support (NSFS) Exercise on April 5, 2016, in the Atlantic Ocean. (Photo by Janweb B. Lagazo/U.S. Navy)The guided-missile destroyer USS Mason (DDG 87) fires an MK 45 five-inch gun during a Naval Surface Fire Support (NSFS) Exercise on April 5, 2016, in the Atlantic Ocean. (Photo by Janweb B. Lagazo/U.S. Navy)

The Navy is seeking longer-range precision weapons for its deck-mounted guns to better destroy enemy targets, defend maritime forces on the move in combat and support amphibious operations.

Every Navy cruiser and destroyer is armed with five-inch guns to attack land and sea targets from the deck. In existence since the 1970s, the weapon can be used to attack enemy targets or lay down suppressive fire so that maritime forces can better maneuver or re-position while in battle.

However, the guns, called Mk 45, have a maximum effective range of only about eight or nine miles. In addition, the current munitions lack the precision of guided weapons, so crews must fire numerous rounds to ensure that targets are destroyed.

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About the Author

Kris Osborn
Kris Osborn is the managing editor of Scout Warrior.