More Precision for Navy Guns

U.S. Navy combat ships equipped with 5-inch guns are about to get more lethal. Next fall, ATK will begin delivering the new Multi-Option Fuze, Navy, or MOFN, for ammunition fired from MK 45 weapon systems.

Army Contracting Command just awarded ATK a five-year contract worth $84 million to produce the MK 437 MOFN for the Navy. The Army’s Joint Products Office manages the program for the Navy.

These specialized fuzes provide proximity, precision time, delay and point detonating impact options in a single fuze, ATK officials maintain. The inductive fuze setting feature also optimizes MOFN for use with automated ammunition handling equipment.  MOFN will be used on projectiles fired in the MK 45 Single Lightweight Gun Mount on Navy cruisers and destroyers.

“ATK is pleased to add MOFN to our portfolio of fuze production programs.  MOFN leverages ATK’s design, development and production experience, providing the U.S. Navy with an affordable, reliable fuze for its 5/54 caliber ammunition,” said Dave Fine, ATK’s Director of Fuzing and Warhead programs, in a recent ATK press release.

The first order on this contract is for approximately $13 million; deliveries are scheduled to begin in November 2013.

Production of this fuze will occur at the Allegany Ballistics Laboratory facility in Rocket Center, W. Va.  The lab is a U.S. Navy-owned, ATK-operated facility specializing in advanced manufacturing technologies for a variety of programs supporting current and future U.S. industrial base needs in advanced fuzing and integration, conventional munitions assemblies, solid rocket motor propulsion, and advanced material structures.

24 Comments on "More Precision for Navy Guns"

  1. Good for having new high tech aiming system. But why stick with such small 5 inch guns?? If we must invest into guns how about a bit larger 10 or 14 inch gun??

  2. Will make the Navy's new Zumwalt gunships even more powerful………

  3. Do we expect to do a lot of navy shore fire support missions?

  4. Still using 5-inch popguns after all these years? Wow. I sure hope they are more reliable than they were when I was on the USS Virginia (CGN-38) back in the 80s. If they were fired more than a handful of times, they seemed to break down pretty often. My recollection is that we didn't have a lot of confidence in them at all.

    Not only that, but what happened to plans to upgrade to 155mm, something with some real bang? Seems to me that the Navy has always gotten the short end of the fiscal stick when it comes to funding.

  5. could these be put to any use against swarms of small ships/fast boats?

  6. I always wondered how electrothermal gun would work on ships, without severe size and power restrictions of a tank. For me, this seems like reasonable stop-gap before railguns.

  7. The real use for a fused round like this would probably be anti small boat swarm work. The HEAT and KEET rounds were specifically for that. If I can set it for timed fused (burst over a group) or prox fused so I just need to get close to a small boat that really improves my odds when fighting a 100+ of IRGN suicide boats. Plus the time delay means I might be able to drop a 5" shell in the water by a midget sub periscope and really ruin their day.

  8. there's a need for both
    -ships can carry lots and lots of shells if they wish
    -gun are much better for close in action <12 miles
    -guns and shells are much cheaper than missiles
    -shells cannot be spoofed, once they are fire there's nothing that can stop them
    -you don't waste missiles on smaller or less value targets
    -shells can be reloaded at sea
    -guns systems are still more common than missile systems on the world's navies

    -are best for over the horizon/long range attacks
    -are best for high value targets
    -missiles can be used to disable an enemy ship beyond their range to strike you, then you can move in close and finish them off with cheaper shells
    -but numbers are limited on board and you can't reload at ship

  9. George Gauthier | December 6, 2012 at 11:46 pm | Reply

    Why complain now about five inch guns when the story is about how this standard naval rifle has become even more effective with a triple threat fuze that can be set by automatic loading equipment.
    Groan, if you must, about the lack of 8 inch cruisers or battleships with larger calibers,
    but not in the context of what seems to this old (Army) artilleryman a significant improvement in naval gunfire for the ships we now have at sea.

  10. 16" guns were needed because targets were protected by a foot of class B armour plate. Now they aren't.

    As a tactical artillery piece, a modern 5" gun is still a bloody good weapon.

  11. I think it’s funny how proud they are over a modified M739A.

  12. This is nothing new artillery has had a MOFA fuse in the works for years. Go 155mm with the vast array of different artillery projectiles and now we are talking. Add liquid propellant or just the new MACS charge and you wood have a system that is DOD wide. How about naval MRLS. Cut costs and standerdise. There won't be any ships left soon too put them on.

  13. I don't get all this starry-eyed nostalgia for shore bombardment. In WW2– sure it created enemy casualties– but huge US fleets pounded the s*** out of small Pacific islands for days, but in every case, when the Marines finally landed, the Japanese sprang up and offered tough, organized defense. Digging in is a cheap, effective defense against bombardment.

  14. Any next land battle requiring fire support will be in Korea. We'll be facing either the North Koreans OR the North Koreans and Chinese.
    Any surprise attack launched by China against Kadena, Guam and assorted carrier groups would likely be preceded by a North Korean invasion of the South.
    After a few months, when the U.S. and allies have depleted ammo stocks and equipment, then the Chinese will attack on all fronts: land-sea-air-space.
    Bet on it within 15 years. That's why we need REAL guns for REAL shore support.

  15. So, your dream is US and China fighting a full scale conventional war in 15 yrs?

  16. There are some scenarios that show China's economy having grown to the point where China is in direct conflict with the USA for resources. That is the point where predictions of hostilities arise from.

  17. the concept of war with china within 15 years is interesting. do you think china will let the banks have enough money to participate in a confrontation with them or does a confrontation with china make the USA have to borrow more money from them (with a higher interest rate) ? i do not see a confrontation with china in the future, it could happen, anything is possible. the 5" gun does some great work and needs to be kept around especially the 5/54, hope all the 5/38 are gone.

  18. I still say the Navy should bring back the USS Iowa and USS Wisconsin battleships with there big 16 inch guns!!!

  19. I would want 16" guns cause they don't make 17's! :-)

  20. I worked on the Mk45 Mod 0 Gun System the last half of my Naval career. The system was pretty reliable.The Mod 1 was being set up for trainning when I transfered from Naval Gunnery School,Great Lakes,Il. in 1984.The 5" was ok, but I believe the 8"/55 Light Weight system should have been kept and further developed.The Spruance class ships were set up for the 8" forward and the 5" aft.would have been a much better platform,but had to play nice,and not build any Cruisers at the time.
    The Iowa class battleships are a no brainner on bringing them back.With the current

  21. The mystery question behind it is will it sink the enemy ship by one bullet?

  22. The title is mis-leading. These fuzes will do nothing for precision fires, but will allow for better effects on target, if it manages to hit the target.

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