MK-23 16 In. Naval Shell (Most Powerful Naval Shell Ever)

Guns, torpedoes, mines, bombs, missiles, ammunition, fire control, radars, and electronic warfare.
User avatar
Senior Member
Posts: 1528
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2004 4:19 pm
Location: Arizona

Re: MK-23 16 In. Naval Shell (Most Powerful Naval Shell Ever)

Post by tommy303 » Mon Sep 28, 2009 11:46 pm

You probably would not want it to have too much yield or your own firing platform would be at risk--one would not want to be hoist with one's own petard, as it were.

Their shoulders held the sky suspended;
They stood and Earth's foundations stay;
What God abandoned these defended;
And saved the sum of things for pay.

Junior Member
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Jun 22, 2008 8:03 am

Re: MK-23 16 In. Naval Shell (Most Powerful Naval Shell Ever)

Post by nathanokun » Mon Oct 26, 2009 1:49 am

From the look of it, the shell is based on the outer shape and weight of the standard 1900-lb 16" High Capacity (HC) Projectile Mark 13 (pre-VT) or 14 (VT-capable with the nose fuze adaptor altered to allow the addition of a thin metal cover over the fuze for electromagnetic shielding during storage prior to firing and for a smaller Auxiliary Detonating Fuze -- safety fuze only armed by spin -- under the nose fuze, since a vacuum-tube-and-battery-element VT fuze was much longer than the standard nose fuzes -- mechanical time and point detonating -- then in use). The inside of the shell was probably completely different, of course. It also probably used a special "super-charge" (extra-high velocity) gun propellant loadout (same as used with the regular 2700-lb Mark 8 AP round?) to get it as far away as possible when it went off!!

Unless the shell nose fuze had a super-long delay to allow the shell to sink deeply underwater (which would have to be used ONLY for shooting at water, since the nose fuze would otherwise be instantaneous on impact or, if a VT or time fuze, explode in the air just before impact -- this last is more reliable since it precludes impact causing fuze damage that prevents the shell from going off, unless it had an internal/base impact fuze, as the regular HC shells did, as a backup), a water impact wouldn't be much different from an air blast, considering the size of the explosion and the shallow depth the shell is at when it goes off from regular impact fuzes (couple of feet or so only; a few feet more if an impact base fuze was used). The BAKER tests had the bomb rather deep underwater, so it displaced upward and sideways a LOT of water, hence its big effect.

Post Reply