Gears of war: When mechanical analog computers ruled the waves

The Advanced Gun System, left, is intended to take on the role of the battleship's 16-inch guns, right. Aside from its GPS-guided shell, the digital technology of the AGS's fire control system does exactly what the USS Iowa's Rangekeeper Mark 8 did—just with fewer people and less weight.

The Advanced Gun System, left, is intended to take on the role
of the battleship’s 16-inch guns, right. Aside from its GPS-guided
shell, the digital technology of the AGS’s fire control system does
exactly what the USS Iowa’s Rangekeeper Mark 8 did—just with
fewer people and less weight. (credit: US Navy)

We are resurfacing this feature from 2014 for your reading
pleasure on this holiday weekend.

The USS Zumwalt, the latest destroyer now undergoing acceptance
trials, comes with a new type of naval artillery: the Advanced Gun
System (AGS). The automated AGS can fire 10 rocket-assisted,
precision-guided projectiles per minute at targets over 100 miles
away.

Those projectiles use GPS and inertial guidance to improve the
gun’s accuracy to a 50 meter (164 feet) circle of probable
error—meaning that half of its GPS-guided shells will fall within
that distance from the target. But take away the fancy GPS shells,
and the AGS and its digital fire control system are no more
accurate than mechanical analog technology that is nearly a century
old.

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Source: FS – All – Science – News
Gears of war: When mechanical analog computers ruled the
waves