The battleship: phoenix or Museum Piece?

Polmar, Norman
August 2005
U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings;Aug2005, Vol. 131 Issue 8, p84
Conference Proceeding
This article reports that partisans are calling for reactivation of the two Iowa-class battleships still owned by the U.S. Navy. Their latest ploy is to propose the two Iowas as alternatives to new-construction DD(X) destroyers. Within the Navy there is no advocate for reactivating the Iowa BB61 and Wisconsin BB-64 in this period of austere funding. The DD(X) is being designed for combat in the 21st century. The Iowa-class battleships were built in the 1940s for ship-to-ship combat, although they found limited use as gunfire support ships into the early 1990s. To return the battleships to active service would be expensive and would provide virtually no useful military capability. There are no active duty U.S. Navy personnel trained in the 600-pound steam plant and the weapons and fire control systems of a battleship.


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