Determination of Naval Gun System Firing Patterns to Combat Manoeuvring Surface Targets


  1. Young, P.J.
Corporate Authors
Defence Research and Development Canada, Centre for Operational Research and Analysis, Ottawa ON (CAN)
Small attack boats pose a significant threat to naval ships due to their fast approach speeds, manoeuvrability and ability to deploy in numbers that may overwhelm ship defences. Naval gun systems, such as the 57 mm gun on the Halifax class frigates, can engage such targets by firing salvos of fragmenting rounds. Salvo kill probabilities may be maximised through employment of firing patterns designed to disperse rounds over the projected movement zone of a manoeuvring target. This paper summarises computational methods developed to determine salvo kill probabilities against manoeuvring surface targets. Discrete probability distributions are constructed for the warhead lethal zone and the projected target movement zone, these taking into account dispersion errors for warhead ballistics and target tracking errors. Numerical methods are then employed to determine aim point offsets for individual rounds of a salvo so that salvo kill probability can be maximised. Results are presented illustrating the range dependence of optimised firing patterns against manoeuvring surface targets. The work is supporting development of gun system firing patterns for the Royal Canadian Navy through further Monte Carlo simulation of warhead fly-out/detonation, live firing field trials and multi-threat engagement analysis.
naval gunfire;ballistics;salvo;firing pattern;kill assessment;probability distribution
Report Number
DRDC-RDDC-2017-P044 — External Literature
Date of publication
12 Oct 2017
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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