QF 4-inch naval gun Mk XVI

The QF 4 inch Mk XVI gun[note 1] was the standard British Commonwealth naval anti-aircraft and dual-purpose gun of World War II.

Ordnance QF 4 inch gun Mk XVI
Twin Mk XVI on HMCS Haida
TypeNaval gun
Naval anti-aircraft gun
Place of originUnited Kingdom
Service history
In service1936-[1]-1950s
Used byRoyal Navy
Royal Canadian Navy
Royal Australian Navy
South African Navy Royal Malaysian Navy
WarsWorld War II
Korean War
Production history
No. built2,555
VariantsMk XVI* and Mk XXI[2]
Specifications
MassBarrel & breech 4,495 lb (2,039 kg)
Barrel length180 inches (4,572 mm) (45 cal)

ShellFixed QF 35 pounds (15.88 kg) HE
38.25 pounds (17.35 kg) S.A.P.
Calibre4-inch (101.6 mm)
Breechvertical sliding-block
Recoilhydro - pneumatic 831 millimetres (33 in)
Elevationmounting dependent (-10 to 80 deg on H.A. twin mark XIX mount)[3]
Traversemounting dependent
Rate of fire15–20 rounds per minute[4]
Muzzle velocity2,660 feet per second (811 m/s)
Maximum firing range19,850 yards (18,150 m) at 45 degrees elevation
AA Range: 39,000 feet (11,890 m) at 80 degrees elevation[4]
Filling weight9 pounds (4.08 kg)

Service

The Mk XVI superseded the earlier QF 4 inch Mk V naval gun on many Royal Naval ships during the late 1930s and early 1940s. The ammunition fired by the Mk V gun and the Mk XVI guns was different. The Mk V ammunition was 44.3 inches (1.13 m) long and weighed 56 pounds (25 kg), while the ammunition fired by the Mk XVI gun was 42.1 inches (1.07 m) long and weighed 66.75 pounds (30.28 kg). The weight of the high-explosive projectile grew from 31 pounds (14 kg) for the Mk V to 35 pounds (16 kg) for the Mk XVI.

There were three variants of the gun produced with differing construction methods. The original Mk XVI had an A tube, jacket to 63.5 inches (1.61 m) from the muzzle and a removable breech ring. The Mk XVI* replaced the A tube with an autofretted loose barrel with a sealing collar at the front of the jacket. The Mk XXI was a lighter version with an autofretted monobloc barrel and a removable breech ring. The total number of Mk XVI and XVI* guns produced was 2,555 while there were 238 Mk XXI guns produced. Of those totals 604 Mk XVI* and 135 of the Mk XXI guns were produced in Canada and 45 of the Mk XVI* were produced in Australia. These guns were usually mounted on HA/LA Mark XIX twin mountings, although several Australian frigates and corvettes had single-gun Mk XX mountings.[2]

The last Royal Navy ship to operate with a Mark XIX twin mounting was HMS Mermaid (F76), which had originally been designed for the Ghana Navy and so required a simple and inexpensive main armament. Acquired by the British Government in 1972, she served until 1977 when she was purchased by the Royal Malaysian Navy and renamed KD Hang Tuah.[5]

List of equipped vessels

As secondary armament (list not complete)

As main armament (list not complete)

Allied ships modified in the United Kingdom

The South African Navy Loch-class frigates (HMSAS Good Hope, HMSAS Natal and HMSAS Transvaal) each had two of these guns mounted on a twin Mark XIX on their foredeck between 1944 and 1976.

Ammunition

See also

Surviving examples

  • On HMCS Haida, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
  • Naval Museum of Alberta, Canada
  • Trenton Park, Trenton, Nova Scotia, Canada
  • On HMS Belfast, London, which retains four twin guns.
  • Explosion! Museum of Naval Firepower, Gosport, Hampshire, UK
  • On ORP Błyskawica, Gdynia (re-bored to 100 mm).
  • A pair at South African National Museum of Military History, Johannesburg
  • A pair in a turret from INS Haifa (K-38), at Clandestine Immigration and Naval Museum, Haifa, Israel.
  • Two single guns on HMAS Diamantina, Brisbane, Australia
  • One twin gun at the Marinemuseet, Horten, Norway.
  • One twin gun in the Aldhurst military vehicles collection, Surrey England. Further research has proven the left gun was installed on the heavy cruiser HMS Devonshire from 1943 till she was scrapped in 1954.

Notes

  1. Mk XVI = Mark 16. Britain used Roman numerals to denote marks (models) of ordnance until after World War II. Mark XVI indicates this was the sixteenth model of QF 4 inch gun.

References

  1. "British 4"/45 (10.2 cm) QF HA Marks XVI, XVII, XVIII and XXI". NavWeaps. Retrieved 25 August 2008.
  2. Campbell, Naval Weapons of WWII, p.56.
  3. "THE 4-in. Q.F. MARK XVI* GUNS ON THE H.A. TWIN MARK XIX MOUNTING". maritime.org. Retrieved 25 August 2008.
  4. Britain: 4"/45 (10.2 cm) QF Mark XVI and Mark XVI* NavWeapons. Updated 21 September 2014. Retrieved 21 September 2015.
  5. Marriott, Leo (1990). Royal Navy Frigates since 1945, Second Edition. London: Ian Allan Ltd. p. 102. ISBN 0-7110-1915-0.

Bibliography

  • Campbell, John (1985). Naval Weapons of World War Two. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-459-4.

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