The Naval Gun Factory

Today, when the Navy wishes to buy a gun or other weapon for the fleet, it goes shopping among various defense contractors, either buying what is already offered, or starting a competition to chose from among several proposed weapons.

In the old day, when the Navy wanted a new gun, they designed it, and built it. Only if the numbers needed were too great did they call upon industry to produce the weapons. And even then, the Navy would provide the tooling, pattern and jigs for industry to build what the Navy developed.

This clip has some nice shots of the old 3”/50 gun being fired, but also has some fascinating bits on pouring and machining complex metal shapes in an era before computer controlled milling was even an idea.

Links of Interest

Just stuff I found poking around the web.

An homage to the 27C modified Essex class aircraft carriers. The author has some great pics, and some interesting notes.


For my money, Jay Nordlinger is the best writer at NRO. He he gives a little fuller context of Eisenhower’s “military-industrial complex” speech.


Even as the war in Afghanistan winds down, and as we pivot to the Pacific, the Army still remains critically important. Forbes has a post on why that is.

There might not be an immediate role for the combat brigade teams, but so much of what the rest of the Army provides makes operations by the other services possible.

Bryan McGrath at ID provides a counterpoint for each bullet point.

But I’d like to swipe a comment from that post that I think gets to the core of what the Army provides outside of merely pumping BCTs:

As far as #2 goes, although it’s a fair point to say that the Army’s “joint sustenance” mission is dependent on sea and air power, we should also recognize that sea and air power are in many ways dependent on the Army’s “joint sustenance” mission. After all, the Army still provides the backbone of theater logistics, signals, engineering, force protection, and other critical combat service support functions for the joint force, especially overseas. These sorts of bedrock capabilities are in many ways the Army’s most important contribution to US military effectiveness, and their continued operation is essential for the projection of American power on land, sea, and air.

Emphasis mine.