U.S. Navy’s Battleships Will Likely Never Sail Again

When reintroduced in the 1980s, the Iowa-Class battleships were oceanic beasts. 

According to 19fortyfive, the famed US Navy battleships of the Iowa class from World War II were equipped with Tomahawk missiles of various types and ranges, including nuclear-armed missiles with a maximum range of 2735 km, Tomahawks with a maximum attack range of 850 miles, and ship-to-ship maritime Tomahawks and massive 16-inch cannons.

During the Cold War in the 1980s, the US Navy revived the Iowa class ships in large part due to their devastating firepower. These ships were equipped with armor-piercing rounds and dual-purpose 5-inch cannons that could harpoon anti-ship missiles, and bombard surfaces 10 miles offshore.

During the Gulf War, two battleships from the Iowa class fired projectiles against Iraq. 

Regarding defense, there are apparent similarities between the Iowa-class ships of the Cold War period and modern warships, such as the incorporation of the Navy’s established Close-In-Weapons Systems (CIWS).

The capacity to fire defensive projectiles to blanket an area in protection or to intercept or halt incoming enemy drones and other air threats like enemy ballistic missiles has allowed CIWS to defend ships for decades.

The CIWS is designed to defend ships from the most immediate dangers by launching hundreds of missiles per second from a Phalanx weapon.

The massive 16-inch guns may be incredible, but there are superior, more technologically advanced weaponry that can fire from far greater distances, safely beyond the reach of hostile shore-based weapons.

According to Lockheed-Martin, the ship would need state-of-the-art radar, computers, and command and control systems like the Aegis Combat System.

The Aegis Combat System is the most cutting-edge surface weaponry in the Navy’s arsenal. Everything from the missile launcher to the computers running the system to the radar and the screens on which information is displayed are all engineered to function seamlessly. To protect against cutting-edge air and surface threats, the Aegis system is the first wholly integrated combat system ever created.