Saddam's Supergun

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by Yokel, May 30, 2013.

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  1. Project Babylon Supergun / PC-2 - Iraq Special Weapons

    I can remember the news coverage of the seizure of sections of Gun barrel. I can remember that my brother went on a school trip to the Peak District early that year, and some of them went to Sheffield Forgemasters where they saw what looked like sections of a barrel being manufactured. Of course everyone seemed to believe the cover story, that it was for a petrochemical project.

    Two questions have never been answered. Firstly, how viable would have been as a weapon? Yes, it may have ben feasible to fire rocket assisted projectiles from it, but as a weapon it would surely have suffered from a lack of mobility, meaning it could only fire at targets in a very limited arc, and once fired, the location of the gun would have been easily determined by radar, and it would have been vulnerable to air strikes, cruise missiles, special forces operations, and so on.

    Secondly, what use would firing a 2000 kg projectile in a Low Earth Orbit have been to Saddam, other than as a propaganda tool? Using it as a weapon against US spy satellites would have not been easy, as it would have needed precise tracking facilities which Saddam did not have. Apart from this use, how useful would putting a 2000 kg load into LEO have been? Much of that 2000 kg would have been taken up by a rocket motor and fuel, as achieving orbit (as opposed to a parabolic lob) would require additional acceleration to prevent it descending fast enough to strike the Earth's surface. Additionally the latitude of the launch site would have limited the orbit that could be achieved. Apart from propaganda, how much practical value would there have been, either for spying, or for applications such as communications (not much, since it would be a LEO), monitoring natural resources, and so on?
  2. Still in storage. Customs have it in a shed somewhere
  3. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    A lot of the barrel sections are on view to the public at Porchester Castle (A Palmerston Fort) owned by the Royal Armouries!
  4. There's a bit of it in Duxford... Or was it Cosford? did both inside a couple of days.

    Spent a good half-hour taking arty photos of it, really weird patina on the inside.
  5. Or was it a bit if a drainage pipe?

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  6. Nah. Says "supergun bit" on it.
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  7. Grumblegrunt

    Grumblegrunt LE Book Reviewer

    israel was the idea, a projectile too fast for interception and big enough to cause damage whether nuke or he.

    the designer guy was a bit of a nerd who just wanted to be proven right. his field gun design is still benchmark.
  8. I think you mean Fort Nelson!
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  9. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    I sit corrected!

    FORMER_FYRDMAN LE Book Reviewer

    Palmerston? I thought Porchester was Roman with a medieval castle in the corner.
  11. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    There are so many castles and forts I lose track! That and senility!
  12. Harp just wanted someone who would take his ideas on board, no different to any other military scientist really. The tubes/barrels were at the Fort atop Portsdown Hill last time we took the kids, an interesting afternoon out. Harp may have anticipated the existence of the guided shell, which can curve around advancing friendly forces to fall on enemy whilst avoiding the drop-short problem.
  13. Last edited: Apr 28, 2014
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