What happen to the guns of warships?


Back then big turrets and big calibers ruels the seas, but now even with more advance technology, ship guns are becoming smaller and smaller, why is that?

In: 2

The role of the big gun was to shoot far. With the development of aircraft carriers and missiles, boats no longer need to shoot far. Instead, the guns need to be able to stop swarm attacks of many small ships. So they’ve been turned into 40mm autocannons to shoot many boat fast

Turns out a guided missile is a much more efficient way to transfer a trashcan full of boom to your neighbours, on the order of 10-300 times the range and precision. Current warship guns are mostly just a backup sidearm or something to use when they don’t want to blow the whole thing they are aiming at sky high.

Guided missiles and aircraft carriers happened.

The trend is going to precision and stealth. If a tomahawk missile can take out a warship in a hit or two precisely.. same way with aircraft. If a modern jet can just take out / cripple uss iowa sized targets with single missiles.. you much rather have lots of missile based ships that excel in stealth that potentially guard aircraft carriers.

The age of the battleship died in ww2 with yamato getting swarmed by like 600 planes. Nowadays the yamato would be taken out with a handful of modern aircraft or a few tomahawks…which **vastly** outrange warship guns.

Smaller guns work against smaller vehicles/ bombardements, can be cased munition and so it can fire a lot faster thanks to being autoloaders

Near the end of ww2 we had the uss des moines.. that ship only has 203mm guns but they are autoloading, it can lay waste to more stuff than a battleship because it fires more weight downrange in the same time… this trend just continued with main guns… so most guns you find are something like 75mm-150mm guns…due to them being capable of autoloading without a breech charge like a battleship gun needs..larger guns basically cannot be fired like a normal rifle with a cased munition but more like a cannonball.

Additionally: you beat armor with speed. Not caliber. Those guns are really capable…which is why some research and development goes towards railguns..hence why 406mm uss iowa guns and bismarcks 380mm gunsand yamatos 460mm guns. are pretty similar in danger, iowas shells are about as lethal as yamatos shells were… longer barrels, speedier shell.

Cruise missiles like the Tomahawk or Kalibr can do far more damage far more accurately much further away than any oversized cannon. The Missile Cruiser replaced the Battleship, and then missiles got even more efficient to the point where we don’t even need large cruisers anymore, destroyer and frigate sized warships can get the job done. At this point, the cannons are primarily for the ships own defense against smaller targets that are hard to hit with big missiles that can’t turn very tightly, and you don’t need a very big gun to destroy those.

Missiles take up less space and have a longer range and do more damage than guns, so the big guns are generally no longer of much use, smaller guns can be used for shooting down aircraft or missiles as they have a higher rate of fire and can be moved rapidly, in addition these weapons can be used against small fast moving missile or torpedo boats and can additionally be used in shore bombardment.