Ship gun fire-control systems enable remote and automatic targeting of guns against surface ships, aircraft, and shore targets, with or without the aid of radar or optical sighting. Most US ships that are destroyers or larger employed GFCS for 5 -inch and larger guns, up to battleships, beginning with ships built in the 1960s, GFCSs were integrated with missile fire-control systems and other ship sensors. Naval fire control resembles that of ground-based guns, but with no distinction between direct and indirect fire. It is possible to control several same-type guns on a single platform simultaneously, though a ship rolls and pitches at a slower rate than a tank does, gyroscopic stabilization is extremely desirable. Naval gun fire control potentially involves three levels of complexity, Local control originated with primitive gun installations aimed by the gun crews. The director system of control was pioneered by British Royal Navy in 1912. All guns on a ship were laid from a central position placed as high as possible above the bridge. The director became a feature of battleships, with Japanese Pagoda-style masts designed to maximize the view of the director over long ranges. A fire control officer who ranged the salvos transmitted elevations and angles to individual guns, coordinated gunfire from a formation of ships at a single target was a focus of battleship fleet operations. An officer on the flagship would signal target information to ships in the formation. More sophisticated fire control systems consider more of these rather than relying on simple correction of observed fall of shot. Differently colored dye markers were sometimes included with large shells so individual guns, or individual ships in formation, early computers were people using numerical tables. Centralized naval fire control systems were first developed around the time of World War I, Local control had been used up until that time, and remained in use on smaller warships and auxiliaries through World War II. It may still be used for machine guns aboard patrol craft, beginning with the British battleship HMS Dreadnought, large warships had at least six similar big guns, which facilitated central fire control. For the UK, their first central system was built before the Great War, at the heart was an analogue computer designed by Commander Frederic Charles Dreyer that calculated rate of change of range. The Dreyer Table was to be improved and served into the period at which point it was superseded in new. Guns could then be fired in planned salvos, with each gun giving a different trajectory. Directors high on the superstructure had a view of the enemy than a turret mounted sight
Mk 37 Director c1944 with Mk 12 (rectangular antenna) and Mk 22 "orange peel"
Cut-away view of a RN destroyer "K" type D.C.T. with Type 285 radar. The below decks FKC is shown in the centre of the drawing and is labelled "Gunnery Calculating Position", with the deflection operator seated.