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Author Topic: The last modernization plan of the Iowas  (Read 15567 times)

Offline TomS

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Re: The last modernization plan of the Iowas
« Reply #15 on: March 26, 2014, 02:01:28 am »
Sorry Skimmer, my comment was really intended for Tizoli. 

Offline RLBH

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Re: The last modernization plan of the Iowas
« Reply #16 on: March 26, 2014, 11:08:43 am »
There was appparently a Vietnam-era proposal under Project Gunfighter for full-bore rocket-assisted projectiles; a "high mass fraction spin-stabilised rocket assisted projectile" with a 540 pound warhead could reach a range of 278 nautical miles, but was 14" too long for the handling gear. Shortening it would bring the range down to about 200 nautical miles.

Offline Grey Havoc

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Re: The last modernization plan of the Iowas
« Reply #17 on: October 02, 2018, 03:03:13 am »
On a tangent, found some info on the Navy's original plans circa 1988 for deployment of the AAI/Mazlat Pioneer RPV on the Iowa class.

As a result of a demonstration proving the RPV's capabilities, Naval Air
Systems Command was directed in July 1985 by former Secretary of the Navy John
Lehman to implement a RPV program using off-the-shelf technology. Doing so
would enable an RPV unit to be deployed to the fleet as soon as possible for
intelligence gathering and fleet support.

In order to find the most effective and efficient technology being used,
competitive tests were conducted from October through December of 1985. The
conclusion drawn upon the completion of these test was that the Pioneer, an
unmanned air vehicle marketed by AAI Corporation/Mazlat LTD was the best
suited for the Navy's needs. [Ref. 5:pp. 15-16]

The Pioneer air vehicle has a wing span of 16.9 feet and a maximum gross
weight of 419 pounds. The vehicle is propelled to its maximum speed of 115 miles
per hour by a Sachs SF2-350 (26HP) horizontally-opposed twin cylinder, two stroke
engine. Several payload packages can be employed within the 100 pound
payload limit. Options currently available include the gyro stabilized MKD-200
high-resolution daylight TV camera or the MKD-400 FLIR for night or reduced
visibility operations. [Ref. 5:p. 16]

Mission success in a high-threat environment is very much dependent on the
survivability attributes of the vehicle conducting the mission. Survivability of the
Pioneer is enhanced by its small size, low visual signature, jam resistant data link,
and low radar/IR signature. In addition, the Pioneer's endurance time and altitude
capability make it a viable option for many Naval applications.

Installation of the RPV system aboard the USS Iowa (BB-61) began in April
1986. A rocket-assisted takeoff capability was introduced as the battleship's answer
to catapult launches and a net was designed for shipboard recovery. However, the
Pioneer's introduction has not been without casualty. During the system's first
deployment aboard the Iowa in 1986, four out of five air vehicles were lost. After
the first cruise, the Navy and AAI formed so-called "tiger teams" of specialists to
work on the problems which had been identified, and air operations resumed
shortly thereafter. The Pioneer was deployed aboard the Iowa again in July 1987
and has been flying ashore and afloat ever since. To date the system has acquired
over 600 flight hours of which more than 60 hours have been at night. The first
U. S. Marine Corps companies have been formed and have conducted night fire
support exercises with the optional thermal imager. During the latest trials
onboard the battleship Iowa, the RPV logged more than 110 flight hours, 20 of
which were flown at night employing the forward-looking infrared sensor.
[Ref. 5:p. 16 & Ref. 6:p. 10251]

A Navy baseline review of the AAI/Mazlat Pioneer remotely piloted vehicle
program has endorsed the concept of a short-range unmanned vehicle for over-the
horizon surveillance and targeting and recommended procuring the system in

Pending Department of Defense approval, the Navy will pick up its option to
procure four more Pioneer systems to support an operational evaluation in 1989.
Each system consists of eight RPVs, one ground control station and a tracking
control unit. A full-scale production decision is scheduled in Fiscal 1989.
Eventually, the Navy wants to procure 43 systems, including 344 RPVs, for over the-
horizon targeting, surveillance, and support of amphibious operations.

The base line review follows extensive field testing of the system by the Navy
and the Marine Corps that was intended to determine whether there was an
operational need for a short-range RPV system and what the final configuration
should be. [Ref. 7:p. 251]

The Pioneer RPV system has performed remarkably well and has proven quite
cost effective considering it was an off-the-shelf system that was intended to be a
stop-gap solution to an existing problem and that it was employed without the usual
operational test and evaluation required of major Navy systems. There have been
several problem areas identified, however, and work is presently being done to
correct these deficiencies and to implement improvements. Some of the critical
issues include finding an alternative-fuel engine capable of running on JP-5 or
diesel fuel to replace the current engine. A command/control data link needs to be
developed that will expand the effective control range beyond the 100 nautical mile
limit. It is considered by some that the Pioneer air vehicle is slightly deficient in
pitch authority, requiring a rather lengthy and flat glide slope be used during
recovery, thereby increasing the time spent in a critical transition region. Such a
deficiency also necessitates that a higher approach speed be utilized which in turn
increases the danger of the recovery to personnel and to the air vehicle.

The Navy has identified several low Reynolds number airfoils, such as the
Wortmann FX 63-137 airfoil, which might offer superior performance over those
currently in use, especially at conditions of high lift encountered in the landing
mode. 1 With the use of such an airfoil and some "fine tuning " of the stability
parameters, the handling qualities of the Pioneer RPV or a similarly configured
vehicle could possibly be improved upon.
The sole imperative of a government, once instituted, is to survive.

Offline lastdingo

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Re: The last modernization plan of the Iowas
« Reply #18 on: October 02, 2018, 09:14:02 am »
Some of the VLS tubes are way too close to the funnel.