HMS Sutherland and the team responsible for the 4.5in main gun checked the efficacy and accuracy of the weapon at ranges recently.
“You can’t beat being on the ‘gunline’,” said Weapon Engineer Officer Lieutenant Commander George Blakeman in a news release from the Royal Navy.
“It’s always pleasing to have the smell of cordite through the ship and see brass on deck.”
According to the release, the 4.5in is a battle-proven weapon from the Falklands to Iraq, used to provide naval gunfire support to troops on the ground by softening up enemy targets.
“Whereas some of the mechanics behind the gun haven’t changed much down the years, the targeting system has improved markedly. These days, the gun relies on a computer system for pinpoint accuracy.
It can only be that accurate, however, if the data fed into it is bang on. Hence the shoot at Lulworth for muzzle velocity calibration (measuring the speed of the shell as it leaves the barrel – it should be travelling somewhere around 2,274 feet or 693 metres every second… That’s 1,550 miles per hour… or more than twice the speed of sound).”