USS Wilkinson

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VTOL | Rank 5 USA
AV-8A Harrier Pack
USS Wilkinson
us_destroyer_mitscher_wilkinson.png
GarageImage USS Wilkinson.jpg
USS Wilkinson
AB RB SB
4.7 4.7 4.7
Purchase:1 150 Specs-Card-Eagle.png
Show in game

Description

The Mitscher-class, USS Wilkinson (DL-5), 1958 was a Mitscher-class destroyer. She was laid down on 1st February 1950 and commissioned on 29th July 1954. Initially built and classified as a destroyer, she was reclassified as a destroyer escort. Her main armament consisted of 5 inch/54 Mark 18 cannons in two single turrets, with one located on the bow and the second aft. Secondary armament was made up of two 3 inch/50 Mk.34 twin mounts with one on the bow behind the 5 inch turret, and the second one located aft between the radar mast and the 5 inch turret. Four twin 20 mm Oerlikon Mk. II autocannons were also present for short range protection. The ship was also outfitted with surface-to-air and surface-to-surface search radars. Wilkinson's size rivalled several light cruisers of the WWII-era. She spent her entire career exercising in the Atlantic. She was decommissioned due to budget cuts on 19th December 1969, and sold for scrap on 13th June 1975.

Introduced in Update "Winged Lions", the Wilkinson benefits from Cold War-era electronics in the form of an anti-aircraft radar and very fast fire control adjustment. The radar allows the Wilkinson to maximise the AA power of the dual-purpose automatic 127 mm cannons, which can compensate for the otherwise very low number of anti-aircraft mounts on the vessel. The fire control assists fighting surface combatants, with a low computation time of 8 seconds and 4 seconds to update. This will allow the Wilkinson to better aim at longer distances, and provides a valuable tool for newer players.

General info

Survivability and armour

Armourfront / side / back
Main fire tower3 / 3 / 3 mm
Hull16 mm (steel)
Superstructure4 mm (steel)
Number of section7
Displacement4 855 t
Crew403 people

As a Cold War "Destroyer Leader", the Wilkinson is significantly larger than other destroyers, and additionally has a very high crew count, even higher than the tech tree equivalent of the USS Mitscher; it's more fair to compare the Wilkinson with early light cruisers than it is to compare with conventional destroyers in terms of pure size and crew count.

However, the Wilkinson lacks any hull armour and has unprotected internal components, making the Wilkinson have less survivability than a light cruiser. Particularly in a gun duel, the Wilkinson can be sunk as quickly as any other destroyer if the internals and weapons are targeted by the opponent. On top of that, the two main turrets are easily destroyed by HE fire due to the very low amount of armour protecting the mounts, making the Wilkinson both easily disabled and easily destroyed.

However, the large crew and spacious design of the Wilkinson uniquely affects interaction with torpedoes; typically a single torpedo will not instantly destroy the Wilkinson, and may not necessarily cause complete incapacitation either. When facing a torpedo salvo, if it is impossible to completely dodge the torpedoes, it is recommended to only let the torpedoes hit the very front or very end of the ship to minimise internal damage. This will only result in flooding, a much smaller issue than instant destruction or complete incapacitation.

Mobility

Speedforward / back
AB83 / 35 km/h
RB68 / 29 km/h

The mobility of the Wilkinson is sufficient, with a respectable top speed, but has somewhat limited manoeuvrability compared to other destroyers due to the Wilkinson's large size. Dodging incoming fire and torpedoes will be difficult for the Wilkinson, but this is somewhat offset by the high crew count of the ship.

Mobility Characteristics
Game Mode Upgrade Status Maximum Speed (km/h) Turn Time (s) Turn Radius (m)
Forward Reverse
AB Stock ___ ___
Upgraded 83 35
RB/SB Stock ___ ___
Upgraded 68 29

Modifications and economy

Repair cost
AB1 216 Sl icon.png
RB1 980 Sl icon.png
Crew training6 900 Sl icon.png
Experts46 000 Sl icon.png
Aces320 Ge icon.png
Research Aces500 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
Talisman.png 2 × 160 / 400 / 50 % Sl icon.png
Talisman.png 2 × 130 / 130 / 130 % Rp icon.png
Modifications
Seakeeping Unsinkability Firepower
Mods new ship hull.png
Dry-Docking
Mods new ship rudder.png
Rudder Replacement
Mods new ship screw.png
Propeller Replacement
Mods new ship engine.png
Engine Maintenance
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Damage Control Division
Mods ship fire control crew.png
Fire Division
Mods engine smoke screen system.png
Smokescreen
Mods ship anti fragmentation protection.png
Shrapnel Protection
Mods ship venting.png
Ventilation
Mods new ship pumps.png
New Pumps
Mods ship ammo wetting.png
Ammo Wetting
Mods tank ammo.png
5-inch Common SP Mk.42
Mods he frag proxi fuze ship.png
5-inch HC-VT Mk.41
Mods he frag proxi fuze ship.png
76 mm HE-VT
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Auxiliary Armament Targeting
Mods rocket launcher.png
Rocket Launcher
Mods ship rangefinder.png
Improved Rangefinder
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Primary Armament Targeting

Armament

Primary armament

2 х Turret127 mm/54 Mark 18 cannon
Ammunition350 rounds
Vertical guidance-15° / 85°

The Wilkinson is armed with two single-mount 127 mm/54 Mark 18 cannons, positioned with one turret at the front of the ship, and one at the back of the ship. While the number of guns on the Wilkinson is significantly limited, the performance and damage output of these cannons compensates for the low number of guns; these cannons have a number of advantages over other destroyer-calibre guns. These guns have an exceedingly high fire rate, at 40 shells per minute. This is nearly twice as much as an American 5"/38 gun, for comparison.

The turrets are fully traversable over 360 degrees and have a high maximum elevation of 85 degrees, allowing for efficient targeting of surface vessels as well as good tracking of air targets as well. However, the 127 mm/54 cannons do not have particularly good ballistics nor accuracy, so precise aiming and long range sniping is somewhat difficult despite the excellent traverse and fire rate of the guns.

These cannons have a shell choice of HE, SP Common, and HE-VT shells. Individually, these munitions are heavier than other 127 mm guns and pack a bigger punch. The SP Common is the most notable shell type available, possessing both an adequate explosive filler of 970 g and a stellar penetration of 206 mm at 1,000 m. Also worth mentioning is the HE-VT shell, which has very good explosive filler and works very nicely with the rest of the Wilkinson's kit, including the high fire rate of the guns, the superb targeting angles of the turrets, and the anti-air radar.

Penetration statistics
Ammunition Type of
warhead
Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)
1,000 m 2,500 m 5,000 m 7,500 m 10,000 m 15,000 m
HC Mk.41 HE 36 36 36 36 36 36
SP Common Mk.42 SP Common 204 177 140 112 92 70
Mark 41 HC-VT HE-VT 36 36 36 36 36 36
Shell details
Ammunition Type of
warhead
Velocity
(m/s)
Projectile
mass (kg)
Fuse delay
(s)
Fuse sensitivity
(mm)
Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
Ricochet
0% 50% 100%
HC Mk.41 HE 810 31.75 0 0.1 3,440 79° 80° 81°
SP Common Mk.42 SP Common 810 31.75 0.01 6 970 48° 63° 71°
Proximity-fused shell details
Ammunition Type of
warhead
Velocity
(m/s)
Projectile
mass (kg)
Fuse delay
(m)
Fuse sensitivity
(mm)
Arming
distance (m)
Trigger
radius (m)
Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
Ricochet
0% 50% 100%
Mark 41 HC-VT HE-VT 810 31.75 0 0.1 457 23 3,440 79° 80° 81°

Secondary armament

2 х Turret2 x 3-inch/70 Mk.37 cannon
Ammunition2000 rounds

The secondary armament of the Wilkinson consists of two twin-mounted 3"/70 Mark 37 cannons. These guns are fully automatic and do not overheat nor require a burst reload; they will fire at an astounding 100 shells per minute until the ready-rack of 144 shells is depleted. Additionally, the dispersion and accuracy of these cannons is quite good when player-controlled. Performance against air targets and coastal vessels is sublime, with the 3"/70 guns excelling at destroying light and fast targets. The secondary armament can also be used quite well to disable external components of destroyers, although these cannons lack armour penetrating ammunition and therefore cannot damage destroyer internals.

The shell choice on the 3"/70 guns is straightforward, with a potential choice between HE and HE-VT shells. Both shells have the same explosive filler of 480 g of TNT, so these isn't any disadvantage for only choosing HE-VT over HE. Compared to similar post-WW2 76 mm cannons, these shells have relatively poor filler, with stiff competition with the 668 g of the OTO-Melara and 739 g of the AK-726, but are still more than sufficient at their role.

Penetration statistics
Ammunition Type of
warhead
Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)
100 m 1,000 m 2,000 m 3,000 m 4,000 m 5,000 m
Mk.34 HE HE 8 8 8 8 8 8
Mk.34 HE-VT HE-VT 8 8 8 8 8 8
Shell details
Ammunition Type of
warhead
Velocity
(m/s)
Projectile
mass (kg)
Fuse delay
(m)
Fuse sensitivity
(mm)
Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
Ricochet
0% 50% 100%
Mk.34 HE HE 1,036 6.8 0 0.1 480 79° 80° 81°
Proximity-fused shell details
Ammunition Type of
warhead
Velocity
(m/s)
Projectile
mass (kg)
Fuse delay
(m)
Fuse sensitivity
(mm)
Arming
distance (m)
Trigger
radius (m)
Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
Ricochet
0% 50% 100%
Mk.34 HE-VT HE-VT 1,036 6.8 0 0.1 270 10 480 79° 80° 81°

Additional armament

Setup 14 x 533 mm Mark 35 torpedo
Setup 222 x 320 mm Mark 108 Weapon alfa antisubmarine rocket launcher
Setup 322 x 320 mm Mark 108 Weapon alfa antisubmarine rocket launcher
2 x 533 mm Mark 35 torpedo

The Wilkinson can be equipped with four 533 mm Mark 35 torpedoes in fixed mounts. These torpedoes are not powerful compared to contemporary torpedoes, nor are they particularly fast, but still retain sufficient explosive power at the Wilkinson's battle rating. The primary limiting factor for these torpedoes are the fixed firing mounts, which means these torpedoes cannot be used with the same level of utility as on other destroyers.

In addition, the Wilkinson has access to two 320 mm Alfa antisubmarine rocket launchers. These rockets are very powerful, with an explosive mass of 113kg of TNT, but are heavily limited by a range of 600 m. These mounts have very exposed ammunition storages which deal a significant amount of damage to the Wilkinson when detonated. However, the relatively high crew count and large size of the Wilkinson means that the damage inflicted by a detonation of these rockets will not critically damage or wholly incapacitate the ship. Overall, the Alfa antisubmarine rockets are not recommended in general, but can be taken in some close-range maps.

Usage in battles

The Wilkinson can be a very capable vessel, if its strengths are capitalised on. The high crew count and rapid-firing main armament lends itself to a close-ranged brawler playstyle. At close distance, the poor accuracy of the main guns is negated and the high fire rate can be used to efficiently disable or destroy enemy vessels. A prime strategy is to target the ammunition storages of destroyers and cruisers at mid- to close-range, which can be easily detonated thanks to the substantial penetration and explosive filler of the 5" main guns.

Another role that the Wilkinson excels at is anti-aircraft. Although the secondary armament may be limited, and the tertiary armament non-existent, the few guns on the Wilkinson are very powerful against air targets, especially against bombers or strike aircraft. HE-VT rounds in conjunction with an anti-aircraft radar ensures that the Wilkinson is capable of detecting, engaging, and eliminating aerial threats if the need arises. The only issue with this playstyle is that there are no low-calibre anti-aircraft weapons on the Wilkinson, so passive destruction of faster aircraft is less of a possibility than on other ships.

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Rapid-firing 127 mm autocannons capable of delivering continuous damage
  • Main turrets have good coverage and are fully traversable
  • 76 mm autocannons are very effective at destroying boats or aircraft
  • Rockets can be devastating at close range
  • Has access to AA radar and very fast fire control system

Cons:

  • Massive size, is easily targeted
  • Virtually no armour, HE shells can penetrate the hull
  • Only two main guns, its effectiveness is significantly decreased when one is disabled
  • Very poor burst damage
  • Rocket and auxiliary ammo racks can be easily detonated
  • Fixed torpedoes require ship to be almost perpendicular to its target to launch

History

Describe the history of the creation and combat usage of the ship in more detail than in the introduction. If the historical reference turns out to be too long, take it to a separate article, taking a link to the article about the ship and adding a block "/History" (example: https://wiki.warthunder.com/(Ship-name)/History) and add a link to it here using the main template. Be sure to reference text and sources by using <ref></ref>, as well as adding them at the end of the article with <references />. This section may also include the ship's dev blog entry (if applicable) and the in-game encyclopedia description (under === In-game description ===, also if applicable).

Media

Skins

See also

Links to articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:

  • reference to the series of the ship;
  • links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.

External links

Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:

  • topic on the official game forum;
  • other literature.


Bethlehem Steel Corporation
Gun Destroyers (DD) 
Porter-class  USS Phelps · USS Moffett
Fletcher-class  USS Cowell
Destroyer Leaders (DL) 
Mitscher-class  USS Wilkinson
Cruiser, Light (CL) 
Omaha-class  USS Raleigh · USS Detroit
Heavy Cruisers (CA) 
Northampton-class  USS Northampton
Portland-class  USS Portland
Baltimore-class  USS Baltimore · USS Pittsburgh
Des Moines-class  USS Des Moines

USA destroyers
Clemson-class  USS Welborn C. Wood · USS Barker · USS Litchfield
Farragut-class  USS Aylwin
Porter-class  USS Porter · USS Phelps · USS Moffett
Somers-class  USS Somers · USS Davis
Fletcher-class  USS Fletcher · USS Bennion · USS Cowell
Allen M. Sumner-class  USS Sumner
Gearing-class  USS Gearing · USS Frank Knox
Mitscher-class  USS Mitscher · USS Wilkinson

USA premium ships
Motor torpedo boats  PT-3 · PT-109 · PT-174 · Thunderbolt (PT-556) · PT-658 · PT-811
Motor gun boats  LCM(6) Zippo · USS Douglas
Sub-chasers  Carmi (PC-466)
Destroyers  USS Welborn C. Wood · USS Wilkinson · USS Bennion · USS Cowell · USS Davis · USS Moffett · USS Phelps · USS Frank Knox
Light cruisers  USS Detroit · USS Helena
Heavy cruisers  USS Des Moines
Battleships  USS Arkansas