View Full Version : 5 inch "shot gun round " deployed on Navy ships to stop small boats

10-03-2009, 06:54 PM
Shotgun-style rounds designed to stop small-boat threat

By Andrew Scutro


As small boats in the Persian Gulf continue to pose a potential threat to surface warships, the Navy has quietly fielded a potential equalizer.

Four years ago, ships began deploying with the MK 182 Kinetic Energy-Electronic Time round, which is fired from a cruiser or destroyer ’s 5-inch gun and amounts to a giant shotgun shell that can shred an incoming small boat — and the people on it — far from the ship.

“It puts out a circular spray of BBs,” said Kevin LaPointe, program manager for the Naval Gunnery Project Office at Naval Sea Systems Command. “We never really have had a projectile like this.” Although the standard 5-inch round has a 13-mile range, the KEET round is intended for use within five nautical miles. Fielded since 2005, the round was borne from Task Force Hip Pocket, the effort to quickly arm surface combatants against small-boat threats, such as the attack that crip*pled the destroyer Cole on Oct. 12, 2000, in Yemen.

A NavSea spokesperson would not disclose how many of the new rounds have been fielded, though a destroyer ’s typical deployment load-out of 5-inch rounds of all types is 500 and a cruiser’s is 1,000.

A key feature of the KE-ET round is the electronic fuse, which LaPointe said allows accuracy to 100th of a second against a moving small-boat threat.

When the round unleashes its payload, 9,000 tungsten pellets fly out the back of the projectile in what’s called a “rear expulsion” method, forming a cone of BBs.

“Tungsten is more than twice as dense as steel, which allows it to hold its momentum longer,” according to a NavSea statement. “The result is tungsten flies farther, faster, and creates a larger lethal pattern providing greater lethal effects on the target.” Fielded with the KE-ET round is a separate High Explosive-Electronic Time round, or HE-ET, which puts an electronic fuse on a fragmentation round that disperses shrapnel, not BBs, in a wide fan-like pattern. “The HE-ET round acts like a grenade exploding shrapnel from its projectile toward its target,” said Ensign Carlos Roe, assistant weapons officer aboard the cruiser Chancellorsville.

Though fired regularly for demonstration and practice, the munitions have not been put to the test. “The U.S., to my knowledge, has not used them in real world circumstances,” LaPointe said.

Another element of Task Force Hip Pocket reached a milestone in July, when the 100th Mk 38 Mod 2 remotely operated gyro-stabilized 25mm chain gun was installed on a Navy warship. Fittingly, it was the Cole. The weapon is an improvement over previous deck mounted chain guns because it can be operated from inside the ship and is more accurate because of its stabilized mount.

Roe said its Electro-Optical Sight is popular because it can be used independently as a scope in daylight and at night to examine contacts without swinging the barrel.

“We are continuing to investigate better ways to engage the small boat threat,” LaPointe said


10-03-2009, 11:54 PM
Nice. Time to test it out on the pirates.

10-04-2009, 12:15 AM
The more things change, the more they stay the same. This is just a 21st century spin on the old grapeshot/canister load from the days of wooden ships and iron men.

10-04-2009, 11:17 AM
The more things change, the more they stay the same. This is just a 21st century spin on the old grapeshot/canister load from the days of wooden ships and iron men.

How true it is.