That rate of fire, though
*Thump Thump Thump*
I know, right! I love the sound of artillery in the morning.
You get flooded living quarters, broken lights, things dislodged from their mounts. Please design your ships with the gun in mind, like the A-10 was.
It's real enjoyable stuff.
I've always wondered with modern destroyers and cruisers being simply missile boats, with anti-ship, anti-ground, anti-air missiles and ciws to protect them from other missiles, what exactly are the point of these direct fire guns? What are they used on, theoretically or practically?
Ship-borne missiles are generally a long-ranged affair nowadays (discounting SAMs for PD), so when missile-armed ships have to resort to using their guns in blue water...usually you are in some sort of predicament. I guess you probably already know that, so I'll pull out some rather stingy effective weapon ranges
out of my ass.
Anti-air, Anti-ship missile defense
CAP: ~400nm (interceptor) + ~30nm (AAMs) [ASMD starts by killing the enemy before he throws bulldogs and bruisers at you, it is very hard to intercept sea-skimming things]
LR SAM: ~80nm (again, killing the enemy before you get time on target'd)
SR/PD SAM: ~3-15nm (SR SAMs and anti-missile missiles live here)
AA-capable naval gun: ~4.5nm
Softkill (spectrum decoys i.e. chaff, flares, smoke, radar): ~You're in.deep ****nm
If somehow, someone manages to get past your CAP or LR SAMs (in case of aircraft) and launches ASMs at your fleet that somehow your PD SAMs fail to intercept, having a medium-caliber naval gun brings up your volume of fire, range of AA fire, gives you precious, precious additional seconds
to hardkill missiles further away, rather than only relying on CIWS (like humans, ships don't like things that explode nearby) because
sub/supersonic debris can **** your ship up
even small things hurt when you get hit by them.
Take into example, that Oto Melara 76mm Super Rapid Gun Mount, you can fire prox. fused HE rounds with tiny tungsten bits inside of them every 0.5 seconds to blanket the space in between that anti-ship missile and you with tens of thousands of tungsten fragments. Hopefully those clouds of death you're making kills the missile.
---------------Green/Brown water warfare
Well that aside, when the war shifts over to landing your people on/fighting within someone else's islands, missiles start to become less and less effective. Radar clutter, jammers, being in range of enemy AAA (they're gonna shoot down your cruise missiles), enemies inside the missile's minimum engagement zone, NOE attack aircraft, helicopters, fast attack crafts (gunboats), shoot-and-scoot rocket artillery, counter-battery fire, pounding the hell out of the enemy's entrenchment, getting rid of their natural/urban camouflage...you need naval artillery for this if you haven't put boots on the ground.
Naval artillery can rival an entire SPG battery by themselves with rate of fire, magazine size, mobility, self-defense, chefs (arguably the most important point). The gunnery crew has to keep the gun magazine topped up for sustained naval gunfire support...if you're nuts enough you can deplete an 80-round magazine faster than they can get rounds out of the ammo store. To top it off, you also have to shoot at things. They are in essence, the Fusion Mortars/Maxims of FreeSpace.
Imagine you're a Deimos fighting within a tight cluster of GTI Arcadias. The crew of your multi-part turrets with Fusion Mortars/Maxims (yes it's a missile but the Deimos uses VLS) will save your stern from getting kicked when Shivan transports ambush you from all the nooks and crannies, armed with Shivan Megafunk Turrets.
Whereas if you only had missile launchers with Cyclops torpedoes...they will funk your day up. It's a hilarious scenario, honestly.