Audacious Class Trio

zen

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Good questions.....

First point, P1121 parts should all be still languishing around the factory since work stopped in (memory can't check) '57-'58?
'62 is thus a possible restart date, considering last offering was '60.

Second point, I can't give specifics because I lack the crucial information.
However a 500sqft wing area of lower than 50 degrees LE sweep ought to deliver decent Coefficient of Lift on what is quite a low drag fusilage.
From what I can estimate suggests a Coefficient of Lift at TO above 0.6, resulting in a decent probability of TO with reheat and 25kts WOD.

So yes....it ought, at 42,000lb, to launch from a 151ft stroke catapult.

The Lift Length issue is more significant. There may be a possibility to place a fold behind the cockpit....but that is....brave minister.
 

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MRI reached an available figure of 70 and fleet of 175 with 25 trainers. This is the P1154 RAF numbers and very close to the final Jaguar numbers. Both reaching 200 overall.
For what it's worth the March 1964 version of Plan P showed that there were was a front line of 99 Hunter FGA.9 and FR.10 aircraft in 9 squadrons and one independent flight. The number of aircraft per squadron varied. The squadron in Hong Kong had 3 aircraft, the pair of FR squadrons in Germany had 8 aircraft each and the rest of the squadrons had 12 aircraft each. The independent FR flight in AFME had 4 aircraft with was one more than the squadron in Hong Kong.

This force was to be maintained until the end of March 1966 when one squadron of 12 aircraft would be disbanded reducing the total to 87 aircraft in 8 squadrons and one independent flight which would be maintained from March 1967 until the P.1154 entered service. Replacement of the Hunter would begin in the 1970/71 financial year. The last aircraft would leave the front line in 1973/74 financial year.

Under this plan there would have been 96 P.1154s in 8 squadrons of 12 aircraft at 31st March 1974 and this front line would be maintained until Plan P ended which was on 31st March 1975. That is 2 squadrons in No. 38 Group of Transport Command, which was the RAF's contribution to the strategic reserve, 2 squadrons in Germany, 2 squadrons in AFME and 2 squadrons in FEAF.

A total of 162 P1154s were to be delivered in the 5 financial years from 1970/71 to 1974/75.

The planning document on the future size and shape of the RAF that I referred to in an earlier post says that the planned force of 96 FGA/FR aircraft was inadequate. It concluded that the minimum requirement was 10 squadrons not 8 and that it could be argued as 12 on the basis of effort of 2 squadrons to support each brigade group of the strategic reserve. However, the 2 extra squadrons were to be based in Germany rather than the UK.
 

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Good questions.....

First point, P1121 parts should all be still languishing around the factory since work stopped in (memory can't check) '57-'58?
'62 is thus a possible restart date, considering last offering was '60.

Second point, I can't give specifics because I lack the crucial information.
However a 500sqft wing area of lower than 50 degrees LE sweep ought to deliver decent Coefficient of Lift on what is quite a low drag fusilage.
From what I can estimate suggests a Coefficient of Lift at TO above 0.6, resulting in a decent probability of TO with reheat and 25kts WOD.

So yes....it ought, at 42,000lb, to launch from a 151ft stroke catapult.

The Lift Length issue is more significant. There may be a possibility to place a fold behind the cockpit....but that is....brave minister.
The bad news is that I've done some crude calculations using the line drawings in my copy of Project Cancelled (which is where I found the length and span) and based on them the height's between 17ft 11in and 19ft 2in.

The good news is that 500sqft is not far off the 530sqft of the F-4K. However, can they also add boundary layer control to the P.1121, can they change the angle of the engines and can they give it a longer nose wheel like the Phantom?

PS. Kudos to you for the Sir Humphrey Appleby reference!
 
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According to Geoffrey Cooper’s “Farnborough and the Fleet Air Arm” Appendices 6 and 14 the capability of the Direct Acting Arrester Gear ranged from 15,000lb at 110kts and 4.2g max to 40,000lb at 125kts with a deck pull out of 270ft.

One experimental unit, DAX.2 for a single arrester wire was fitted in Eagle as part of her 1967/69 refit. It was used for some 600 landings.

From 1970 Ark Royal was fully equipped with 4 DA.2 units. It is noted as being the only equipment capable of accepting the Phantom.

The limits for the arrester units planned for CVA01 were also to be as noted above. Ian Sturton’s article on CVA01 in Warship 2014 uses those same figures, and notes that if future aircraft required a longer pullout, No 4 wire would have to be deleted or the flight deck extended aft over the quarterdeck and modifications made around the hangar as it could not accommodate longer DAG tubes.
What's the earliest possible "in-service" date for the DA.2 arrester gear?

I ask the question because I want it to be fitted to Eagle during her 1959-64 refit to that she's "pre-Phantomised" for want of a better expression.

This is based on @uk 75 accepting my suggestion that the decision to buy the Spey-Phantom be brought forward to 1962 (when the decision to buy the P.1154 was made) rather than 1964 in the real world and 1963 in the opening post.

However, based on what you have written that's several years before the DA.2 will be ready. Can its development be brought forward 2 years in line with the earlier start on the Spey-Phantom? Or had it already been under development for a few years by 1962 and could not be speeded up?

If the third Audacious is completed in the late 1950s to the standard that I suggested in Post 73 she might be "Phantomised" 1964-67. (This refit will take the place of the 1964-66 refit of Hermes.) The existing pair of BS.4 catapults in the bow will be replace by one 151ft BS.5 in the bow and one 199ft BS.5 in the waist as in Eagle after her 1959-64 refit and Ark Royal in her 1967-70 refit. She's already got a fully angled flight deck, but the arrester gear will need to be upgraded. Will the DA.2 system be ready in time to be installed in her during this refit?

Ark Royal will still have her "real world" Phantomisation of 1967-70. That is unless CVA.01 isn't cancelled as part of the this timeline version of the February 1966 White Paper on Defence.
 
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zen

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The fin tip can always be folded.

As long as 151ft stroke catapult TO is at 15 degrees inclination (nose high) and WOD is 25kts, then assuming a Coefficient of lift at TO of 0.7 for example some 20,000lb of thrust will result in a TO weight of 41,900lb.
And a thrust of 30,000lb results in 45,600lb TO weight.

A dry thrust TO ought to possible at 43,100lb with additional natural wind of 2.5kts. Making reheated at 46,800lb.

In comparison with two Red Hebe of approximately 3,000lb combined weight, 4 Red Top are just 1,650lb.

Compared to the notional reference F4 with earlier Spey, the P1121 ought to weigh less due to simpler fusilage weight, lighter engine weight and a lighter wing.
And better aerodynamics thanks to lower Cross Sectional Area and greater length.
Wetted Area ought to be less as well.
 

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The fin tip can always be folded.

As long as 151ft stroke catapult TO is at 15 degrees inclination (nose high) and WOD is 25kts, then assuming a Coefficient of lift at TO of 0.7 for example some 20,000lb of thrust will result in a TO weight of 41,900lb.
And a thrust of 30,000lb results in 45,600lb TO weight.

A dry thrust TO ought to possible at 43,100lb with additional natural wind of 2.5kts. Making reheated at 46,800lb.

In comparison with two Red Hebe of approximately 3,000lb combined weight, 4 Red Top are just 1,650lb.

Compared to the notional reference F4 with earlier Spey, the P1121 ought to weigh less due to simpler [lower] fuselage weight, lighter engine weight and a lighter wing.
And better aerodynamics thanks to lower Cross Sectional Area and greater length.
Wetted Area ought to be less as well.
Based on what you've written above any ship that can launch and recover a Buccaneer will also be able to launch and recover a P.1121 which is all but one of the RN strike carriers that was operational in the 1960s. That is Ark Royal as completed, Eagle after her 1959-64 refit, Hermes after her 1964-66 refit and Victorious after the "great rebuild" of 1950-58.

It feels too good to be true.

When I measured the line drawings to work out the aircraft's height I also tried to work out the folded wingspan. It looks like there are two possible places. One would reduce it to 22ft 5in more than the 19ft 11in of a Buccaneer, about the same as the 22ft 3in of a Sea Vixen and less than the 27ft 7in of a F-4K Phantom. The second which is near the wing roots would produce a folded span between 9ft 6in and 10ft. However, the tail plane had a span of 19ft 7in.

Therefore, it looks as if one P.1121 consumes the same hangar and flight deck space as one Sea Vixen. That is provided that the P.1121 can be made short enough to fit the 54ft long lifts of the aircraft carriers.

That feels too good to be true too.
 

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Well there are issues.
Main gear.
Main gear doors conflicting with inner flaps.
And length......
The main gear can be resolved by podded Tuplavov style as per P1154RN.
P.1123 did just this.

But length is the big problem.
Only by folding behind the cockpit will it fit.
But having all connections, services etc cope with such a folding isn't trivial.

Might be cheaper and easier to modify the lifts for more length.
 

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According to Geoffrey Cooper’s “Farnborough and the Fleet Air Arm” Appendices 6 and 14 the capability of the Direct Acting Arrester Gear ranged from 15,000lb at 110kts and 4.2g max to 40,000lb at 125kts with a deck pull out of 270ft.

One experimental unit, DAX.2 for a single arrester wire was fitted in Eagle as part of her 1967/69 refit. It was used for some 600 landings.

From 1970 Ark Royal was fully equipped with 4 DA.2 units. It is noted as being the only equipment capable of accepting the Phantom.

The limits for the arrester units planned for CVA01 were also to be as noted above. Ian Sturton’s article on CVA01 in Warship 2014 uses those same figures, and notes that if future aircraft required a longer pullout, No 4 wire would have to be deleted or the flight deck extended aft over the quarterdeck and modifications made around the hangar as it could not accommodate longer DAG tubes.
What's the earliest possible "in-service" date for the DA.2 arrester gear?

I ask the question because I want it to be fitted to Eagle during her 1959-64 refit to that she's "pre-Phantomised" for want of a better expression.

This is based on @uk 75 accepting my suggestion that the decision to buy the Spey-Phantom be brought forward to 1962 (when the decision to buy the P.1154 was made) rather than 1964 in the real world and 1963 in the opening post.

However, based on what you have written that's several years before the DA.2 will be ready. Can its development be brought forward 2 years in line with the earlier start on the Spey-Phantom? Or had it already been under development for a few years by 1962 and could not be speeded up?

If the third Audacious is completed in the late 1950s to the standard that I suggested in Post 73 she might be "Phantomised" 1964-67. (This refit will take the place of the 1964-66 refit of Hermes.) The existing pair of BS.4 catapults in the bow will be replace by one 151ft BS.5 in the bow and one 199ft BS.5 in the waist as in Eagle after her 1959-64 refit and Ark Royal in her 1967-70 refit. She's already got a fully angled flight deck, but the arrester gear will need to be upgraded. Will the DA.2 system be ready in time to be installed in her during this refit?

Ark Royal will still have her "real world" Phantomisation of 1967-70. That is unless CVA.01 isn't cancelled as part of the this timeline version of the February 1966 White Paper on Defence.
The very first experimental arrestment, of a Canberra into a DAAG land based system, was made in August 1962. It was accompanied by an impressive display of water jets being blown 50ft in the air. So far from a system that could be fitted in a carrier.

A prototype shipboard installation for a single arrester wire was installed in Eagle during her 1967 refit.

The DA2 gear for CVA-01 was designed for 15,000-40,000lbs at 110-125 knots with 4.2g max retardation with a pull out of 270ft.
 

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According to Geoffrey Cooper’s “Farnborough and the Fleet Air Arm” Appendices 6 and 14 the capability of the Direct Acting Arrester Gear ranged from 15,000lb at 110kts and 4.2g max to 40,000lb at 125kts with a deck pull out of 270ft.

One experimental unit, DAX.2 for a single arrester wire was fitted in Eagle as part of her 1967/69 refit. It was used for some 600 landings.

From 1970 Ark Royal was fully equipped with 4 DA.2 units. It is noted as being the only equipment capable of accepting the Phantom.

The limits for the arrester units planned for CVA01 were also to be as noted above. Ian Sturton’s article on CVA01 in Warship 2014 uses those same figures, and notes that if future aircraft required a longer pullout, No 4 wire would have to be deleted or the flight deck extended aft over the quarterdeck and modifications made around the hangar as it could not accommodate longer DAG tubes.
What's the earliest possible "in-service" date for the DA.2 arrester gear?

I ask the question because I want it to be fitted to Eagle during her 1959-64 refit to that she's "pre-Phantomised" for want of a better expression.

This is based on @uk 75 accepting my suggestion that the decision to buy the Spey-Phantom be brought forward to 1962 (when the decision to buy the P.1154 was made) rather than 1964 in the real world and 1963 in the opening post.

However, based on what you have written that's several years before the DA.2 will be ready. Can its development be brought forward 2 years in line with the earlier start on the Spey-Phantom? Or had it already been under development for a few years by 1962 and could not be speeded up?

If the third Audacious is completed in the late 1950s to the standard that I suggested in Post 73 she might be "Phantomised" 1964-67. (This refit will take the place of the 1964-66 refit of Hermes.) The existing pair of BS.4 catapults in the bow will be replace by one 151ft BS.5 in the bow and one 199ft BS.5 in the waist as in Eagle after her 1959-64 refit and Ark Royal in her 1967-70 refit. She's already got a fully angled flight deck, but the arrester gear will need to be upgraded. Will the DA.2 system be ready in time to be installed in her during this refit?

Ark Royal will still have her "real world" Phantomisation of 1967-70. That is unless CVA.01 isn't cancelled as part of the this timeline version of the February 1966 White Paper on Defence.
The very first experimental arrestment, of a Canberra into a DAAG land based system, was made in August 1962. It was accompanied by an impressive display of water jets being blown 50ft in the air. So far from a system that could be fitted in a carrier.

A prototype shipboard installation for a single arrester wire was installed in Eagle during her 1967 refit.

The DA2 gear for CVA-01 was designed for 15,000-40,000lbs at 110-125 knots with 4.2g max retardation with a pull out of 270ft.
Based upon what you wrote in Posts 56 and 88 do you think that the development of DA.2 can be accelerated so that a full four-wire system can be fitted to Eagle towards the end of her 1959-64 refit and in the refit that the third Audacious might have 1964-67?

There will be a greater sense of urgency in this timeline as the development of the Phantom has begun 2 years earlier and therefore will be expected to enter service 2 years earlier.

Based on what you wrote, my opinion, is that the best that could have been done is to fit Eagle with a single prototype DAX.2 arrester wire in 1964, i.e. the last year of her 1959-64 refit. If the trials proved successful then:
  1. The third Audacious would be fitted with 4 "production" DA.2 arrester wires as part of her 1964-67 refit.
  2. Eagle would be fitted with 4 DA.2 arrester wires in 1967.
  3. Ark Royal would still receive her 4 DA.2 wires in her 1967-70 refit.
Do you agree with my opinion that it's the best that could have been done?
 

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Well there are issues.
Main gear.
Main gear doors conflicting with inner flaps.
And length......
The main gear can be resolved by podded Tuplavov style as per P1154RN.
P.1123 did just this.

But length is the big problem.
Only by folding behind the cockpit will it fit.
But having all connections, services etc cope with such a folding isn't trivial.

Might be cheaper and easier to modify the lifts for more length.
If the section ahead of the cockpit is made to fold the length is reduced to about 57 feet which is short enough to fit the 58ft lift on Victorious, but her other lift is 54ft long and so are the lifts on the 3 Audacious class and Hermes.

I'm not an expert on this but to misquote Kaiser Bill it may be easier to design an aircraft to fit the lifts than lengthen the lifts to fit the aircraft.

As you've mentioned the P.1154RN... It was designed to fit the 54ft lifts of Ark Royal and Eagle. Rolls Royce did propose Spey powered versions of P.1154RN. Perhaps a CTOL version of that aircraft would be preferable to "tinkering" with the P.1121?
 

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Well there are issues.
Main gear.
Main gear doors conflicting with inner flaps.
And length......
The main gear can be resolved by podded Tuplavov style as per P1154RN.
P.1123 did just this.

But length is the big problem.
Only by folding behind the cockpit will it fit.
But having all connections, services etc cope with such a folding isn't trivial.

Might be cheaper and easier to modify the lifts for more length.
If the section ahead of the cockpit is made to fold the length is reduced to about 57 feet which is short enough to fit the 58ft lift on Victorious, but her other lift is 54ft long and so are the lifts on the 3 Audacious class and Hermes.

I'm not an expert on this but to misquote Kaiser Bill it may be easier to design an aircraft to fit the lifts than lengthen the lifts to fit the aircraft.

As you've mentioned the P.1154RN... It was designed to fit the 54ft lifts of Ark Royal and Eagle. Rolls Royce did propose Spey powered versions of P.1154RN. Perhaps a CTOL version of that aircraft would be preferable to "tinkering" with the P.1121?
The centreline lifts and hangar structure were part of the structure of the ship. Changing them in any way after completion would be a major task involving a massive amount of reconstruction around them to ensure the hull retained its strength. In particular, unlike US carriers up to the Forrestals, the flight deck was the strength deck. Enlarging a hole in that means putting more structure into what is left around it to replace any strength lost.

Victorious could have a larger lift as her hull was reduced to the original hangar floor and then completely rebuilt above that.
 

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According to Geoffrey Cooper’s “Farnborough and the Fleet Air Arm” Appendices 6 and 14 the capability of the Direct Acting Arrester Gear ranged from 15,000lb at 110kts and 4.2g max to 40,000lb at 125kts with a deck pull out of 270ft.

One experimental unit, DAX.2 for a single arrester wire was fitted in Eagle as part of her 1967/69 refit. It was used for some 600 landings.

From 1970 Ark Royal was fully equipped with 4 DA.2 units. It is noted as being the only equipment capable of accepting the Phantom.

The limits for the arrester units planned for CVA01 were also to be as noted above. Ian Sturton’s article on CVA01 in Warship 2014 uses those same figures, and notes that if future aircraft required a longer pullout, No 4 wire would have to be deleted or the flight deck extended aft over the quarterdeck and modifications made around the hangar as it could not accommodate longer DAG tubes.
What's the earliest possible "in-service" date for the DA.2 arrester gear?

I ask the question because I want it to be fitted to Eagle during her 1959-64 refit to that she's "pre-Phantomised" for want of a better expression.

This is based on @uk 75 accepting my suggestion that the decision to buy the Spey-Phantom be brought forward to 1962 (when the decision to buy the P.1154 was made) rather than 1964 in the real world and 1963 in the opening post.

However, based on what you have written that's several years before the DA.2 will be ready. Can its development be brought forward 2 years in line with the earlier start on the Spey-Phantom? Or had it already been under development for a few years by 1962 and could not be speeded up?

If the third Audacious is completed in the late 1950s to the standard that I suggested in Post 73 she might be "Phantomised" 1964-67. (This refit will take the place of the 1964-66 refit of Hermes.) The existing pair of BS.4 catapults in the bow will be replace by one 151ft BS.5 in the bow and one 199ft BS.5 in the waist as in Eagle after her 1959-64 refit and Ark Royal in her 1967-70 refit. She's already got a fully angled flight deck, but the arrester gear will need to be upgraded. Will the DA.2 system be ready in time to be installed in her during this refit?

Ark Royal will still have her "real world" Phantomisation of 1967-70. That is unless CVA.01 isn't cancelled as part of the this timeline version of the February 1966 White Paper on Defence.
The very first experimental arrestment, of a Canberra into a DAAG land based system, was made in August 1962. It was accompanied by an impressive display of water jets being blown 50ft in the air. So far from a system that could be fitted in a carrier.

A prototype shipboard installation for a single arrester wire was installed in Eagle during her 1967 refit.

The DA2 gear for CVA-01 was designed for 15,000-40,000lbs at 110-125 knots with 4.2g max retardation with a pull out of 270ft.
Based upon what you wrote in Posts 56 and 88 do you think that the development of DA.2 can be accelerated so that a full four-wire system can be fitted to Eagle towards the end of her 1959-64 refit and in the refit that the third Audacious might have 1964-67?

There will be a greater sense of urgency in this timeline as the development of the Phantom has begun 2 years earlier and therefore will be expected to enter service 2 years earlier.

Based on what you wrote, my opinion, is that the best that could have been done is to fit Eagle with a single prototype DAX.2 arrester wire in 1964, i.e. the last year of her 1959-64 refit. If the trials proved successful then:
  1. The third Audacious would be fitted with 4 "production" DA.2 arrester wires as part of her 1964-67 refit.
  2. Eagle would be fitted with 4 DA.2 arrester wires in 1967.
  3. Ark Royal would still receive her 4 DA.2 wires in her 1967-70 refit.
Do you agree with my opinion that it's the best that could have been done?
I think it unlikely that anything would be able to be productionised much before 1967.

I don’t know when the DAAG project began. But the first system, referred to as DAX.1, was used for some 2,000 arrestments in its life starting Aug 1962. It was very much a test rig. The water used was simply expelled through holes and lost to the drains.

The refit where the DAX.2 wire was fitted to Eagle lasted from 22 Aug 1966 to 14 March 1967. X in the name still denotes experimental. But it was at least a proper shipboard setup with the water recovered.

It was Feb 1970 before Ark appeared with the full 4 wire setup.

So it seems impossible to go from a test rig running its first test in Aug 1962 to a fully installed 1 wire shipboard test setup in 21 months (Eagle completed her big refit in May 1964) compared to 55 months historically. You have to finish the tests on the test rig, design the shipboard system from scratch, contract it, build it and install it in that time. Not going to happen unless under wartime conditions.

So the next question is how much time can be cut from the development programme between Aug 1962 and Aug 1966 (assuming DAX.2 had to be ready historically to fit in Eagle when her 1966/67 refit began). What are you going to test it in in the interim? Another ship and another refit? To test it properly the only other candidate would be Ark.

We don’t know when the DAX.2 design was ready. Maybe Eagle’s 1959/64 refit is too early and her 1966/67 refit was the next convenient point to test it without pulling a ship off the line for an extra refit.

We also don’t know how much additional work was needed to move from DAX.2 to the full 4 wire system installed in Ark. Design changes? Installation changes? Etc etc.

An option would be simply take a punt, hope it worked based on the test rig alone and put a full 4 wire system into a ship in 1966/67. Risky. Not the usual way of doing things I’ll admit, but it depends on confidence levels.

I don’t think enough has been published about the development of this system to allow an informed decision to be made about just how much time could be cut from the development programme and therefore whether a full 4 wire system was in fact possible by 1967.

Frankly though, if we are talking alternative histories, there are a lot of scenarios I prefer than having 3 Audacious in the 1960s to see us into the 1980s.
 

zen

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Well there are issues.
Main gear.
Main gear doors conflicting with inner flaps.
And length......
The main gear can be resolved by podded Tuplavov style as per P1154RN.
P.1123 did just this.

But length is the big problem.
Only by folding behind the cockpit will it fit.
But having all connections, services etc cope with such a folding isn't trivial.

Might be cheaper and easier to modify the lifts for more length.
If the section ahead of the cockpit is made to fold the length is reduced to about 57 feet which is short enough to fit the 58ft lift on Victorious, but her other lift is 54ft long and so are the lifts on the 3 Audacious class and Hermes.

I'm not an expert on this but to misquote Kaiser Bill it may be easier to design an aircraft to fit the lifts than lengthen the lifts to fit the aircraft.

As you've mentioned the P.1154RN... It was designed to fit the 54ft lifts of Ark Royal and Eagle. Rolls Royce did propose Spey powered versions of P.1154RN. Perhaps a CTOL version of that aircraft would be preferable to "tinkering" with the P.1121?

So historically RR's offering of twin Speys to P1154 fell apart after it was discovered they'd removed the supersonic components to meet weight requirements.

It also should be born in mind that P1154 wasn't really designed for such.

Historically the team that was working on P1121 was retasked with P1127 and P1154. So returning to P1121 isn't beyond the bounds of possibility. 1962 isn't too far along.

There are alternatives within HSA group.

And Shorts did offer the F8 and Vought did produce a F8U-III variant using reheated Conway.
 

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Might be cheaper and easier to modify the lifts for more length.
I'm not an expert on this but to misquote Kaiser Bill it may be easier to design an aircraft to fit the lifts than lengthen the lifts to fit the aircraft.
The centreline lifts and hangar structure were part of the structure of the ship. Changing them in any way after completion would be a major task involving a massive amount of reconstruction around them to ensure the hull retained its strength. In particular, unlike US carriers up to the Forrestals, the flight deck was the strength deck. Enlarging a hole in that means putting more structure into what is left around it to replace any strength lost.
That's what I thought. However, you have written it much better than I could have done. Thank you.
Victorious could have a larger lift as her hull was reduced to the original hangar floor and then completely rebuilt above that.
And as I understand it the inside of the hull below the hangar floor was completely rebuilt too. All that appears to be left of the original ship was the shell of the lower hull (which was lengthened and had bulges added) and the turbines.

This is why I've been referring to the 1950-58 refit of Victorious as a "Great Rebuild" because it reminds me of the great rebuilds of warships during the age of sail.
 
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NOMISYRRUC

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Link to Post 92.
Thanks for you comprehensive and well written reply.

It wasn't what I wanted to hear but I have to agree with your arguments and conclusions.

As you wrote in the penultimate paragraph there isn't enough information available to make an informed decision on how quickly the system could be put into service.
We also don’t know how much additional work was needed to move from DAX.2 to the full 4 wire system installed in Ark. Design changes? Installation changes? Etc etc.
I haven't checked but as far as I can remember the estimated cost of Phantomising Eagle was £5 million and the work involved fitting blast deflectors behind the steam catapults and replacing the other three arrester wires. That's half remembered from a post on Alternatehistory.com. The post didn't say how long it was estimated to take.

However, I'm sceptical about whether it would have been completed on time and at cost if it hadn't been cancelled early in 1968. Having written that the Phantomisation of Ark Royal appears to have been completed on time and at cost.
So the next question is how much time can be cut from the development programme between Aug 1962 and Aug 1966 (assuming DAX.2 had to be ready historically to fit in Eagle when her 1966/67 refit began). What are you going to test it in in the interim? Another ship and another refit? To test it properly the only other candidate would be Ark.

We don’t know when the DAX.2 design was ready. Maybe Eagle’s 1959/64 refit is too early and her 1966/67 refit was the next convenient point to test it without pulling a ship off the line for an extra refit.
There is an alternative to Ark Royal in this timeline - the third Audacious class carrier. I have it completed in the late 1950s to a hybrid of Victorious after her 1950-58 refit and Eagle after her 1959-64 refit.

I'm assuming that Duncan Sands will still allow the Royal Navy 5 strike carriers under the 1957 Defence Review so instead of having Ark Royal, Centaur, Eagle, Hermes and Victorious in the 1960s its Ark Royal, Eagle, Hermes, Victorious and the third Audacious.

From 1960 to 1964 the third Audacious does what Centaur did in the real world. Earlier in our discussion I had her Phantomised 1964-67 occupying the "slot" that was used to refit Hermes 1964-66. However, an alternative is that she continues to do what Centaur did in the real world until the end of 1965 when she was paid off. In the real world Centaur was used as an accommodation ship. However, in our version of history the third Audacious could have been fitted with a DAX.2 in the first half of 1966.

Alternatively Sands does allow the Royal Navy to have the 6 strike carriers that it was lobbying for. Which in this timeline would be Ark Royal, Centaur, Eagle, Hermes, Victorious and the third Audacious. The extra ship would make it easier to take one of the three Audacious class carriers out of the front line for trials of the DAX.2 system.

However, doing that raises the question of can the Royal Navy recruit enough sailors for an additional aircraft carrier? That's why I stuck to 5 strike carriers. I had the third Audacious take the place of Centaur as that ship was the least capable of the 5 real world strike carriers.
 
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NOMISYRRUC

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Link to Post 92.
I accept everything that you wrote about the "real world" Spey powered P.1154.

However, the "this version of history" P.1154 won't be a VTOL aircraft designed around one BS.100 engine which Rolls Royce tried to substitute with a pair of Speys with vectoring fan nozzles on the outboard sides only and with a complex cross-over exhaust for the rear pipes so that failure of one engine did not flip the P.1154 on its back.

What I'm suggesting is that the "this version of history" P.1154 is a CTOL aircraft designed around a pair of "ordinary" Speys from day one. We know that Rolls Royce can design the engines and put them into production because the did it in the "real world" for the Spey Phantom.

I think reviving the P.1121 isn't practical because it can't be made small enough to fit the lifts of the existing Royal Navy aircraft carriers and @EwanS has explained why fitting the Audacious class aircraft carriers with longer lifts isn't practical.

The section about the attempt to fit Speys into the "real" P.1154 came from Page 32 Modern Combat Aircraft 13: Harrier by Bill Gunston. As an aside a paragraph on the same page the says that the Royal Navy withdrew from the P.1154 project in February 1964. Instead it decided to buy 60 Spey-Phantoms for £45 million and it actually got 24 at a cost of £113 million. If that's accurate the cost-per-aircraft rose from £0.75 million to £4.71 million (rounded to the nearest ten thousand Pounds). If the figures that Guston quoted are correct this may be why many authors say that the Spey-Phantom cost five times the estimate.
 

zen

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Link to Post 92.
I accept everything that you wrote about the "real world" Spey powered P.1154.

However, the "this version of history" P.1154 won't be a VTOL aircraft designed around one BS.100 engine which Rolls Royce tried to substitute with a pair of Speys with vectoring fan nozzles on the outboard sides only and with a complex cross-over exhaust for the rear pipes so that failure of one engine did not flip the P.1154 on its back.

What I'm suggesting is that the "this version of history" P.1154 is a CTOL aircraft designed around a pair of "ordinary" Speys from day one. We know that Rolls Royce can design the engines and put them into production because the did it in the "real world" for the Spey Phantom.

I think reviving the P.1121 isn't practical because it can't be made small enough to fit the lifts of the existing Royal Navy aircraft carriers and @EwanS has explained why fitting the Audacious class aircraft carriers with longer lifts isn't practical.

The section about the attempt to fit Speys into the "real" P.1154 came from Page 32 Modern Combat Aircraft 13: Harrier by Bill Gunston. As an aside a paragraph on the same page the says that the Royal Navy withdrew from the P.1154 project in February 1964. Instead it decided to buy 60 Spey-Phantoms for £45 million and it actually got 24 at a cost of £113 million. If that's accurate the cost-per-aircraft rose from £0.75 million to £4.71 million (rounded to the nearest ten thousand Pounds). If the figures that Guston quoted are correct this may be why many authors say that the Spey-Phantom cost five times the estimate.
Ok so short reply.
Synopsis.
HSA AH in which they run a concurrent STOL/CTOL 'back up' to P1154. When P1154 is cancelled, this moves to the fore, as a cheaper and more multi-service system.

In OTL P.141 NGTA post dates '64, but thry ran P.145 concurrent with P1127 Harrier (removing US licensed content from Kestrel) as a back up.
 

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Might be cheaper and easier to modify the lifts for more length.
I'm not an expert on this but to misquote Kaiser Bill it may be easier to design an aircraft to fit the lifts than lengthen the lifts to fit the aircraft.
The centreline lifts and hangar structure were part of the structure of the ship. Changing them in any way after completion would be a major task involving a massive amount of reconstruction around them to ensure the hull retained its strength. In particular, unlike US carriers up to the Forrestals, the flight deck was the strength deck. Enlarging a hole in that means putting more structure into what is left around it to replace any strength lost.
That's what I thought. However, you have written it much better than I could have done. Thank you.
Victorious could have a larger lift as her hull was reduced to the original hangar floor and then completely rebuilt above that.
And as I understand it the inside of the hull below the hangar floor was completely rebuilt too. All that appears to be left of the original ship was she shell of the lower hull (which was lengthened and had bulges added) and the turbines.

This is why I've been referring to the 1950-58 refit of Victorious as a "Great Rebuild" because it reminds me of the great rebuilds of warships during the age of sail.
With regard to her lengthening, the length between the perpendiculars remained the same before and after modernisation at 673ft. The increase in length arose due to a reshaping of bow and stern. The bulges added about 8ft to her waterline beam.
 

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Having HS Brough design the aircraft instead of Kingston would make sense because of their involvement in the Spey Phantom and their experience with high-lift devices developed for the Buccaneer would help them with the Sea Vixen replacement.
 

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With regard to her lengthening, the length between the perpendiculars remained the same before and after modernisation at 673ft. The increase in length arose due to a reshaping of bow and stern. The bulges added about 8ft to her waterline beam.
I believe that Adam Smith said something like, "When confronted with new facts I have to change my opinions".

Is it true that after being dismantled to the hangar deck what was left of the hull was cut into four pieces? That's why I though a new section of hull was inserted between the forward and stern halves/quarters.
 

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Having HS Brough design the aircraft instead of Kingston would make sense because of their involvement in the Spey Phantom and their experience with high-lift devices developed for the Buccaneer would help them with the Sea Vixen replacement.
If....
If Buccaneer MkIII is mostly avionics led then Brough may have enough staff for airframe design.

If Hawkers at Kingston share elements of design with Brough on the P1154 back up.

Ideally Brough staff are involved in elements of P1154 design.

The two could share elements of wing, inlets, nose, cockpit etc allowing a quite rational comparison between the merits of V/STOL via PCB with STOL using blow.
Even down to comparing a single big turbofan with a pair of medium turbofans.
This might appeal to the Ministry and RAE. RN would be banging the table for the back up option.

Then the transition might be fairly smooth. As soon as HSA know P1154 is doomed, they can spring back with a Brough led alternative.
 

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With regard to her lengthening, the length between the perpendiculars remained the same before and after modernisation at 673ft. The increase in length arose due to a reshaping of bow and stern. The bulges added about 8ft to her waterline beam.
I believe that Adam Smith said something like, "When confronted with new facts I have to change my opinions".

Is it true that after being dismantled to the hangar deck what was left of the hull was cut into four pieces? That's why I though a new section of hull was inserted between the forward and stern halves/quarters.
Victorious’ hull cannot have had sections inserted into it as the length between the perpendiculars remained the same before and after.

Those points would be the first frame in the ships bow and the frame where the rudder attaches to the ship. Anything spliced into the hull anywhere between those fixed points would have increased her length between the perpendiculars.

If you look at her after modernisation there is a much greater curve to the bow and the aft end of the flight deck extends much further beyond the stern, than before modernisation. The difference in overall length (furthest points forward and aft) before and after is only about 33ft.
 

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With regard to her lengthening, the length between the perpendiculars remained the same before and after modernisation at 673ft. The increase in length arose due to a reshaping of bow and stern. The bulges added about 8ft to her waterline beam.
I believe that Adam Smith said something like, "When confronted with new facts I have to change my opinions".

Is it true that after being dismantled to the hangar deck what was left of the hull was cut into four pieces? That's why I though a new section of hull was inserted between the forward and stern halves/quarters.
Victorious’ hull cannot have had sections inserted into it as the length between the perpendiculars remained the same before and after.

Those points would be the first frame in the ships bow and the frame where the rudder attaches to the ship. Anything spliced into the hull anywhere between those fixed points would have increased her length between the perpendiculars.

If you look at her after modernisation there is a much greater curve to the bow and the aft end of the flight deck extends much further beyond the stern, than before modernisation. The difference in overall length (furthest points forward and aft) before and after is only about 33ft.
I wasn't saying you were wrong.

I was asking you to confirm or refute the story that the hull of Victorious was cut into several pieces as well as being dismantled to the hangar deck.
 

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Perhaps the most tantalising what-if for the RN sees it taking a more rational approach to its postwar carrier fleet.
In particular, building three Audacious class ships and scrapping the remaining heavy carriers.
Initially the RN was right to focus on its light fleet carriers, but by building the Audacious class and disposing of Illustrious and co, it would have had the basis of a carrier force that could have operated into the 80s.
By 1964 Audacious, Ark Royal and Eagle would have been the core of the RN, and two ships would have been the basis of the F4/Buccaneer force, with the third in reserve.
A change for the Centaurs would have been their re-rolling as ASW ships in addition to Commandos. Centaur and Hermes would keep a cat so they could operate S3 Vikings provided under a NATO programme in addition to Seakings.
In this alt, the F4 replaces the P1154 in 1963 and there is no P1127RAF.
Oh and no Falklands (though by 1982 replacing the carriers would have become an issue).
What will the third Audacious class carrier be called?

From the above it looks like the first Audacious isn't renamed Eagle and is completed as HMS Audacious because the third Audacious isn't cancelled and is completed as HMS Eagle. However, that is likely to make some people think the Eagle we're referring to is the first Audacious class ship rather than the third.

Audacious and Eagle could exchange names. That is the first ship (Audacious) would still be renamed Eagle and the third ship (Eagle) would be renamed Audacious. However, I think a lot of people wouldn't be able to work out which ship was being referred to especially when comparisons between what happened in the real world and this timeline are made.

Irresistible was renamed Ark Royal after the previous Ark Royal was sunk. Therefore, renaming the third Audacious Irresistible is a possibility. However, someone will inevitably think the second Audacious wasn't renamed Ark Royal in this timeline and that this is the ship that was being referred to.

And if you thought that was hard to read, you should have tried writing it!

Therefore, I think the first ship should still be renamed Eagle and the third ship should be given a name that can't be confused with another warship of the period. Therefore, my suggestion is that the third Audacious be launched and completed as HMS Thunderchild. It's your thread. What do you think?
 

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The fourth Audacious was named Africa. She was re-ordered as a Malta, but the Maltas don't figure into this scenario so I figure Africa is probably the most logical name.
 

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I had assumed that Audacious would be the name ship. Ark Royal and Eagle follow on. Giving three ships.
 

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The fourth Audacious was named Africa. She was re-ordered as a Malta, but the Maltas don't figure into this scenario so I figure Africa is probably the most logical name.
I had assumed that Audacious would be the name ship. Ark Royal and Eagle follow on. Giving three ships.
We are talking (or should that be writing) at cross purposes.

Completing the 3 Audacious class aircraft carriers that were laid down is part of the Opening Post. If that had happened:
  • The first ship to be laid down would have been completed as Audacious instead of being renamed Eagle.
  • The second ship to be laid down would still have been completed as Ark Royal.
  • The third ship to be laid down would have been completed as Eagle.
However, for the purposes of the thread... referring to the first ship to be laid down as Audacious and the third ship to be laid down as Eagle is bound to create confusion because some people will confuse the first and third ships due to the first ship taking the name of the third ship after said third ship was cancelled in the "real world".

That's why I suggested that for the purposes of the thread we should refer to the third ship of the class by a name that couldn't be confused with another warship of the era (whether it had been completed or cancelled). Which is why I suggested Thunderchild.
 

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The fourth Audacious was named Africa. She was re-ordered as a Malta, but the Maltas don't figure into this scenario so I figure Africa is probably the most logical name.
The history of HMS Africa remains obscure. “Ephemeral” to quote Hobbs.

There are two versions of the story. The one you quote, that she was reordered as a Malta, and one that there were only ever 3 Maltas.


The 1943 Programme was to include 4 fleet carriers, one of which was to ordered from Fairfield on the Clyde, and all of which in Dec 1942 were to be repeat Audacious class. See Moore “Building for Victory”. Only from Feb 1943 did thoughts of a new design begin to emerge. When the Fairfield order was placed on 12 July 1943, no class or name was specified according to the yard’s own Board Minutes dated 11 Aug, just the Ship No 722. See Warship 2015 article “Fairfield’s Cancelled Capital Ships” in Warship Notes Section. The only other mention in those Minutes is the recording of the eventual cancellation on 13 Nov 1945.

On the order date the Admiralty hadn’t chosen a design for the Malta class, although a sketch design was submitted a few days later which was then worked on over the summer until it was approved in Oct 1943. That Design, designated C, was for a ship of length 900ft on the waterline and 950ft overall. According to Friedman in “British Carrier Aviation” all the designs being considered in that period had a waterline length of 900ft.

And on that point lies the reason, according to Moore, for the Fairfield order being for an Audacious class. Fairfield didn’t have a slip long enough to accommodate a ship of 900ft waterline length.

The Warship article includes undated yard drawings of Fairfield’s No1 slip, its longest, which are thought to date to mid-late 1943 or early 1944, that were designed to show how it could take a ship of 850ft waterline length. The comment attached is that Fairfield were working from some preliminary information provided by the Admiralty to allow them to confirm that Fairfield could actually build the ship. And based on Design C, Oct 1943, it clearly couldn’t.

In Jan 1944 the Admiralty decided that, due to pressure of work in the yards, Africa and Gibraltar should only proceed if and when they would not interfere with other work in the yard.

Then in April 1944 the open/closed hangar argument was reopened. Doubts about a 900ft long ship arose in Oct that year from a docking perspective. It was not until April 1945 that the Malta Design X1 with a waterline length of 850ft was presented to the Admiralty. But it was never approved before cancellation of all 4 Fleet Carriers from the 1943 Programme in Oct & Dec 1945 (Africa being in Oct).

Design X1 could, it seems, be accommodated by Fairfield.

All of which raises an interesting question. When, if at all, was Ship No 722 reordered as a Malta class? It seems to me that the window of opportunity to do so is very small, 6 months or so in 1945, at a time when the ship was suspended and the Admiralty didn’t itself know if it was going ahead or not with the entire project.

The other possibility is that Fairfield planned major works in the yard to accommodate the larger ship. Back in WW1 No1 slip had been slightly realigned to accommodate the planned sister to Hood to be built in the yard, but that had involved partial demolition of one of the sheds. In 1943/44 a repeat would mean moving cranes and more demolitions as well as a more major realignment to ensure that on launch Africa did not collide with the opposite bank of the river. But so far no one has produced any evidence of this.
 

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I am happy with my original idea. Audacious, Ark Royal and Eagle. But feel free to permutate as you like.
I try to keep within reasonable bounds in my alt-worlds.
The RN is not in the habit of naming its ships after fictional creations, so Thunderchild is fantasy not alt-history.
Africa is not a name that would have stuck in post-Indian independence UK.
If you scrap Victorious and Indomitable and co then one of those names would work.
 

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Whilst I can understand the 'logic' behind your naming process, there is many a precedent within the Royal Navy of changing names around within warship classes, one of the 'worst' has to be the Tiger class cruisers:
As completed...
First ship of class - originally named Bellerophon, changed to Tiger
Second Ship - Originally named Defence, changed to Lion
Third Ship - Blake - Originally named Blake, changed to Tiger, then back to Blake!

Therefore, to change the naming sequence of the three-class 'Audacious' vessels so that the last ship completed (the originally cancelled Eagle) could well be named Audacious, the first of class having had the name Eagle substituted as this had been a well know carrier name, plus, you have to remember that the second ship was re-named from Irresistible to the 'more famous' Ark Royal.
I don't think that this would have resulted i confusion as you suggest as the only name that the ships would be known by would be those that they finally commissioned with.
 

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Well just to confuse things further it can be argued that Irrestible/Ark Royal is in fact the third Audacious class (and incidentally explains why it was the named Audacious class in the first place).

In the supplementary 1940 Warship Programme a repeat Implacable was planned that came to named Irrestible then renamed Ark Royal before being ordered.

The next carriers planned were to be in the 1942 Programme and were to be of a new design. That grew into what we now know as the Audacious class with the allocated names Audacious and Eagle in due course. The latter in memory of the first carrier Eagle sunk on 11 August 1942.

In March 1942 Ark was ordered. But at this point was still intended to be a repeat Implacable.

Then in May an order was placed for the first 1942 carrier that became Audacious. That was followed on 4 August with an order for the second 1942 carrier.

Then on 14 August 1942 the Admiralty met to finalise and approve the 1942 carrier design. They also decided at that point to change the design of the 1940 carrier ordered in March to be another of the 1942 design. From Moore again.

So Ark only becomes an Audacious class after orders had been placed for the first pair. Simples really! Not!!

And I have to agree about the Minotaurs / Tigers but their history is even more complex than just the names. Look at the individual Programmes they were ordered under and then look at the beams of individual ships. So Defence was in the earliest 1941 Programme but got the wider 64ft beam and became a Tiger class postwar. While Minotaur (Cdn Ontario) and Superb both completed with Mk.VI secondary directors they were from different Programmes with different beams. And you have only mentioned the ships actually completed!!!

In terms of the renaming Defence is the odd one out as that happened in 1957 while the other changes occurred in wartime.
 

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Its amazing that in the midst of a global war that the pen pushers at the Admiralty had the time and mental agility to mess around so much with these contracts and names!
On the other hand maybe it was confusion due to churn of staff?
 

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It was all managed by the Ships Names Committee. They made recommendations which then, at least for major ships, had to be approved all the way up to the King. No change from pre war. They were just a bit busier.

So the King broke with protocol and insisted the first KGV be named after his late father instead of himself. The second was to be King Edward VIII but he refused to countenance that over the abdication row so it became PoW.

Then politics came into play and Jellicoe and Beattie were deemed to have not been dead long enough or were still too controversial.

Ark is interesting. A few weeks before Ark III was sunk she was adopted by the City of Leeds. There were funds raised for a new ships bell for the next ship named Ark Royal. Then in early 1942 There was a Warship Week to raise funds from the public. Leeds raised an amazing amount of money, £5m IIRC, and it was felt the City should be rewarded. What better way than letting them adopt a new carrier with the same name as their previous ship.

Blake reverted to Blake after the intervention of one of his descendants who thought he should be remembered.

Other name changes were made to avoid confusion in signal exchanges, that no one had initially thought of.

Some destroyers swapped names as proposed armament fits changed to keep flotillas homogeneous.

Probably many more but the Committee dealt with it all!!
 

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I appreciate this is deviating further from the original discussion…

Just to add a bit more ‘fun’ to the ships naming, the following is an amalgamation of two articles about the Ships Naming Committee and WW2 warship names…
I think the sources were articles in Warship World magazine and Ships Monthly..


WW2 Ships Names:

Prequel:


Two Fiji class cruisers cancelled at the end of September 1939, which were ordered in August 1939 under the 1939 New Construction Programme from Portsmouth and Devonport Dockyards. Two aircraft carriers, five heavy cruisers, two improved Belfast class cruisers and three Dido class cruisers, originally included in the 1940 New Construction Programme. These ships were sacrificed by the First Sea Lord, Admiral of the Fleet Sir Dudley Pound, in a vain attempt to try to preserve the battleship programme. Next four heavy cruisers authorised in the 1940 Supplementary New Construction Programme which faded away from the building programme in the Summer of 1942. There were six modified Fiji class cruisers authorised in the 1942 New Construction Programme where numbers were decimated when they were replaced in the building programme by light fleet carriers. What were the names of these planned warships, masked in anonymity at the present time?
1939 Fiji class cruisers


The 1939 New Construction Programme authorised the construction of four cruisers. The plan was to order two Fiji class cruisers in August 1939 and a second pair of the class in March 1940. In the event of war breaking out there were contingency plans to bring forward the order for the second pair of the class at the same time ordering a batch of four Dido class cruisers. When the war broke out the Admiralty ordered six Dido class cruisers which all proceeded and brought forward the order for the second pair of Fiji class cruisers. It was not until the end of September that the Board of Admiralty decided to cancel the first pair of 1939 Fiji class cruisers which had been ordered from the Dockyards. The two ships which proceeded continued the Colony class name theme becoming BERMUDA and NEWFOUNDLAND. The list of names put forward for Fiji class cruisers built under the 1938 New Construction Programme included MALTA and GIBRALTAR which later in the war were given to two very large aircraft carriers planned in the 1943 New Construction Programme. Is it possible that these two names were given to the cancelled cruisers?
The 1940 Programme


This programme as we have seen was originally to include two aircraft carriers, five heavy cruisers, two Belfast class cruisers and three Dido class cruisers. One of the heavy cruisers, as we have seen, was named BELLEROPHON. The Martin Gilbert study of the Churchill War Papers although made in November 1939 – before the 1940 New Construction Programme had evolved – indicates that BELLEROPHON and SUPERB were put forward, but for which class is not known. There were thoughts of building some very large heavy cruisers at that date. The Dido names are DEFENCE, EUROPA, PATHFINDER, ARGONAUT, BELLONA and DIADEM. Only the latter three were used in the 1939War Programme Dido class, the other three being names BLACK PRINCE, ROYALIST and SPARTAN. The name PATHFINDER was given to a “P” class destroyer. The mention of DEFENCE may give us a lead into another of the names allocation to the cruisers in the early 1940s. Six cruisers planned under the 1941 New Construction Programmes were named MINOTAUR, SWIFTSURE, BELLEROPHON, TIGER, DEFENCE and SUPERB. Utilising the doctrine of transfer of names it is possible that the five heavy cruisers in the draft 1940 Programme were named BELLEROPHON, SUPERB, MINOTAUR, SWIFTSURE and TIGER. The first name is a known fact, the second has clearly been passed forward as the name of a major ship whilst DEFENCE could have been given to one of the three Dido class.


The problem now is what were the names of the other Dido class ships? Again using the doctrine of the transfer of names could it be that APOLLO and ARIADNE were chosen? These names were given to two fast minelayers planned under the 1941 New Construction Programme and would equally have been suitable for Dido class cruisers. The name EUROPA quoted in the 1939 list does not seem to be suitable given German dominance of a large part on the Continent in the winter of 1939/40. Possible names for the three Dido class ships are thus APOLLO, ARIADNE and DEFENCE.


The names of the two Belfast class cruisers cannot be ascertained with any certainty. There was a list of ten TOWN names submitted to the King in the August 1940 list which included LANCASTER and LINCOLN, names which were given to former United States Navy destroyers acquired in the Summer of 1940. The other eight names were BEDFORD, BIRKENHEAD, BRISTOL, CHATHAM, CHESTER, DARTMOUTH, NOTTINGHAM and STAFFORD. None of these names were given to major warships in the war. LANCASTER and LINCOLN could be the names given but this surmise is on weak ground.


The two aircraft carriers would have been units of the Implacable class. One possible name is IRRESISTIBLE which was later given to the aircraft carrier of the same class ordered under the 1940 Supplementary New Construction Programme. More of her later. The second ship is possibly INVINCIBLE. A file note dated the 6 February 1940 in the 1940 New Construction file sets out the costs of the major warships including the Lion class battleships. Fascinatingly it quotes the names of the for battleships, LION, TEMERAIRE, CONQUEROR and THUNDERER and the pre-war programmed Implacable class aircraft carriers. It also quotes the name INVINCIBLE, which has been added later against the 1940 New Construction Programme aircraft carrier section. Both names conformed with aircraft carrier naming policy. Had the 1940 New Construction Programme proceeded as originally envisaged, the Implacable class could have consisted of IMPLACABLE, INDEFATIGABLE, IRRESISTIBLE and INVINCIBLE; a fine set of names.
The 1940 Supplementary Programme


This programme approved by the War Cabinet included one aircraft carrier of the Implacable class and four cruisers of an improved Belfast type. It was originally planned to mount 6” guns in the new cruisers. According the British Warship Names the first name proposed for the aircraft carrier was AUDACIOUS which was later changed to IRRESISTIBLE to conform with naming policy. Soon after the aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL was lost in November 1941 it was decided to give this name to the new aircraft carrier. She was ultimately built to a new design and became the name ship of the class.


The design of the four cruisers authorised in the 1940 Supplementary New Construction Programme was changed early in 1941 when the decision was made to give the ships 8” guns. The details of the 1941 New Construction Programme were printed for the Cabinet on the 20 April 1941, with the plans being approved by the Cabinet on the 24 April 1941. On the 30 May 1941 the First Lord of the Admiralty, A. V. Alexander, wrote to the Secretary to the King, Sir Alexander Hardinge putting forward proposals to re-name two heavy cruisers. BENBOW was to become CORNWALLIS with EFFINGHAM to be ALBERMARLE. Original names for this class were BELLEROPHON, BLAKE, HAWKE and SWIFTSURE, BELLEROPHON became BENBOW, later CORWALLIS, SWIFTSURE became EFFINGHAM, later ALBERMARLE. The changes in name were approved by the King. The timing could indicate that the names were given to the cruisers when they were first conceived in the Autumn of 1940. We seem to be of fairly safe ground in deducing that the names of the other two heavy cruisers in the class were BLAKE and HAWKE, names which were used subsequently in improved Fiji class cruisers ordered under the 1942 New Construction Programme. This assumption gives the Admiral class a nice set of homogeneous names: ALBERMARLE, BLAKE, CORNWALLIS and HAWKE.


Matters were not straight forward with the “S” and “T” class destroyers. Names submitted by the Committee included SEYMOUR, SPLENDID, STRENUOUS and TIPPERARY. SEYMOUR became SAUMAREZ, STRENUOUS became SUCCESS, SPLENDID became SPITFIRE and then SENTINEL. TIPPERARY became TEMPEST and finally TENACIOUS.


There was only one change in the suggested Black Swan class sloop names, OSTRICH became SWALLOW, and finally PEACOCK.

1941 Programme.


The suggestions for the six main warships, a monitor, three cruisers and two fast minelayers were all approved. The monitor ABERCROMBIE followed previous practice whilst the three cruiser names were BELLEROPHON, MINOTAUR and SWIFTSURE. The two minelayers APOLLO and ARIADNE bore the names of cruisers converted into minelayers in the First World War.


The only destroyer names which found disfavour were UNITY and CRUSADER from the “U” and “C” classes respectively, these were changed to URSA and COMUS. The “C” class destroyers at this point were named PELLEW (Leader), CARYSFORT, CHAMPION, COMET, CONTEST, CRESCENT, CROWN and COMUS.


1941 Supplementary Programme.


In November 1941 the three cruisers of the 1941 Supplementary Programme were named DEFENCE, SUPERB and TIGER. The Committee indicated that they would like to utilise the name LION in preference to DEFENCE if it was available. The battleship LION however was still very much a live project at this point in time for plans existed to restart the suspended ship in 1942.


For some reason, it was suggested that the “C” class destroyers were to be renamed! CARYSFORT to be PIQUE, CHAMPION = RANGER, COMET = SIBYL, CONTEST = SPITFIRE, CRESCENT = STRENUOUS and COMUS = TOURMALINE, the Leader PELLEW retained her name.


Two destroyers taken over from Turkey were to be named COSSACK and MASHONA, but as they were effectively “I” class destroyers the names chosen were ITHURIEL and INCONSTANT.
The 1942 New Construction Programme.


This programme when it was printed for the War Cabinet on the 21 April 1942 included two fleet aircraft carriers, names proposed were AUDACIOUS and TREMENDOUS the latter later became COLOSSUS, finally AUDACIOUS and EAGLE, incidentally, four light fleet carriers, named ALBION, AMPHION, DOMINION and ENDYMION, and six improved Fiji class cruisers, EDGAR, MAJESTIC, MARS, THESEUS, TRIUMPH and WARRIOR. It was also originally intended to proceed with the construction of the battleship LION which had been suspended since the outbreak of war and one of the heavy cruisers. The Cabinet approved the programme on the 27 April 1942. Events in the Pacific were soon to result in work ceasing on armaments for the LION and the heavy cruiser; work had not yet re-commenced at the shipyard on the battleship whilst the heavy cruiser was never formally ordered. In August 1942 it was decided to order another nine light fleet carriers at the expense of four of the 1942 cruisers and other ships. The Cabinet was initially unhappy at the loss of the four cruisers from the programme and a committee was set up to investigate the matter. The result of their deliberations was a recommendation to build three more light fleet carriers and retain one of the four cruisers. The remaining three cruisers were now definitely cancelled. The Cabinet approved the recommendations made by the committee on the 22 September 1942. There were now sixteen light fleet carriers on order or planned, Names suggested but discarded were ALBERMARLE, GOLIATH, MARLBOROUGH and MONARCH, these were replaced with EDGAR, OCEAN, THESEUS and WARRIOR, and three improved Fiji class cruisers. One cruiser was then cancelled in November 1942 when the 1943 New Construction Programme was being formulated, the remaining two cruisers having the names of BLAKE and HAWKE.


What can be deduced about the names of the cruisers from this set of circumstances? Firstly they would have all been named. Secondly they were unlikely to have initially had Admiral class names for the heavy cruisers, although suspended, remained in the building programme when the 1942 New Construction Programme was approved by the War Cabinet. The point when the improved Fiji class cruisers were deleted from the plans was September 1942 when the three additional light fleet carriers were authorised. The names of these three light fleet carriers were POWERFUL, TERRIBLE and MAGNIFICENT. The first two are strong old cruiser names whilst the third had belonged to a pre-dreadnought battleship. It seems likely that these are all transfers from cancelled cruisers. Two of the earlier light fleet carriers were re-named. ETHALION became EDGAR and BRAVE was renamed WARRIOR; again both the new names are fine old cruiser names from the First World War era. The sixth name is more of a problem and we need to look forward to the next class for a possible answer.


The destroyers followed the alphabetical sequence for the sixteen new fleet destroyers with the exception of the four Leaders. They were named HARMAN, HOLMES, HOSTE and LAWSON, whilst the suggestion for the destroyers were ACASTA, ACHERON, ACORN, ARDENT, ARROGANT, ATTENTIVE, BASILISK, BEAR, BLANCHE, BLAZE, BRAZEN and BRISK. The three intermediate destroyer flotilla’s again had two Leaders in each flotilla the names suggested were ODIN, OTTER, PERSEUS, PHAETON, PIONEER, POMONE, PRINCE, RAINBOW, ROB ROY, SALMON, SARACEN, SCEPTRE, SEAHORSE, SIMOON, SPITEFUL, SPLENDID, STRONGBOW, SUN, TELEMACHUS and VICTOR.


It was decided in early July that the fleet destroyers should have a distinctive set of names comparable to the Tribal class and it was agreed they should be known as the Battle class. Plans Division also requested that the names of the intermediate destroyers which were originally the 1941 “C” group should all be given names beginning with “CA”. It was also agreed that the next twenty-six vessels of the class should also be given “C” names. All the Committee suggestions for the “CA” group were approved by the King, but even now matters were not straightforward. Included in the names was CAMPANIA. Admiral Dreyer however wanted this name for an aircraft carrier. The Committee advised that as the King had already approved the names then, the Admiral would have to take his case to the First Lord. Admiral Dreyer did just that. An escort carrier was duly named CAMPANIA whilst the “CA” class destroyer previously given the name became CARRON.


The Battle class list originally included TEXEL and PORTLAND, these were replaced by ST JAMES and VIGO. Of the “C” class destroyers, CHAMPION was changed to CHEQUERS, CHARIOT, CHASE, CRESCENT and CERBERUS became CHEVRON, CHAPLET, CREOLE and CELT.
1943 Programme.


After all the vacillations which occurred in 1942 the Committee had few problems when considering names for the new programme. The four fleet aircraft carriers, AFRICA, GIBRALTAR, MALTA and NEW ZEALAND and eight light fleet carriers, ALBION, ARROGANT, BULWARK, CENTAUR, ELEPHANT, HERMES, MONMOUTH and POLYPHEMUS.


There were some changes to the Battle class destroyer names, ALGIERS became ALBUERA, LISSA became BARROSA and PLASSY became OUDENARDE.


Thirty-six “A” class names were chosen for submarines. The only one not used was ARROGANT which was already included in the light fleet carrier list.


The names selected by the Committee for a batch of “U” class submarines which were subsequently cancelled were VENETIA, VETERAN, VICIOUS, VITALITY, VOLODOR, VOLLEY, VORTIGERN and VOYAGER.

1944 Programme.

This was the last major building programme of the Second World War and included five cruisers.
The suggested names for the cruisers put forward in June 1944 were EDGAR, INVINCIBLE, MINOTAUR, NEPTUNE and RAINBOW, the names finally selected were EDGAR, CENTURION, MINOTAUR, NEPTUNE and MARS. The only name that cannot be accounted for is NEPTUNE; the previous cruiser bearing this name had been lost in December 1941. The CENTURION was an old battleship, which had become a target ship and was then sunk as a breakwater off the Normandy beaches in June 1944. EDGAR and MARS were names relinquished by light fleet carriers when they were redesigned as aircraft maintenance carriers and re-named PERSEUS and PIONEER in early 1944. MINOTAUR was still a modified Fiji class cruiser. She was not renamed until she was given to Canada in July 1944. There does seem to be quite a strong case for NEPTUNE being one of the six 1942 cruisers. The custom of transferring names from class to class as the programmes changed could quite logically have been used. The 1942 group of cruisers in the Spring of 1942 could have borne the names EDGAR, MAGNIFICENT, MARS, NEPTUNE, POWERFUL and TERRIBLE. All names fit in with the policy evident in the earlier group of six cruisers building under the 1941 programme.


Fourteen “Daring” class and eight “Gallant” class destroyers plus five sloops and twenty “A” class submarines were planned. The “Daring” class included DACOIT, which first became DECISIVE and then DOUGHTY, whilst the “Gallant” class included GRIFFIN which was replaced by GUINIVERE. The five sloops included BITTERN which was replaced by WOODPECKER, the other four vessels were named PARTRIDGE, WATERHEN, WILD SWAN and WRYNECK. The twenty “A” class submarines were to be named BAHADUR, BANNER, BANTERER, BEACON, BEAR, BLACK DOG, BLANCHE, BLONDE, BLOODHOUND, BLUEJACKET and BOUDICEA (which had replaced the original suggestion BESERK), BODYGUARD, BOREAS, BOWMAN, BRAZEN, BRISKIS, BUCKLER, BULAWAYO, BURLY and BUSHRANGER.
 
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NOMISYRRUC

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Link to Post 114.
Do you know if the pair of Lion class battleships that was planned for the 1940 Programme reached the naming stage? And if they did, do you know what names were considered? I don't mean Conqueror and Thunderer because they were in the 1939 Programme.

I've read that the first 8 of the Weapon class were intended to be a fifth flotilla of C class destroyers with Ce names. If that's true do you know the other names that were considered? The reference books that I have only name two ships that were renamed. Celt which became Sword and Centaur which was renamed Tomahawk.

Is 14 Daring class a typo for 16? Or are you not counting the 2 ships that were ordered as the 41st and 42nd Battle class on 5th June 1943 (i.e. the 1943 Programme) but re-ordered as Darings? These were Vimiera which became Danae and Yypres, which became Disdain and then Delight.
 
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NOMISYRRUC

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For what its worth and to clarify my clarification...

When I suggested referring to the third Audacious as Thunderchild, it was because I though keeping Eagle or renaming it Audacious would confuse people, I meant was that it would confuse people reading the thread. I didn't think that it would confuse people in real life in the new timeline.

I've succeeded in doing exactly the opposite of what I intended.

My suggestion was that the third Audacious be renamed Thunderchild when the first Audacious was renamed Eagle was in part a joke. I've got that sort of sense of humour.
 

Pirate Pete

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Link to Post 114.
Do you know if the pair of Lion class battleships that was planned for the 1940 Programme reached the naming stage? And if they did, do you know what names were considered? I don't mean Conqueror and Thunderer because they were in the 1939 Programme.

I've read that the first 8 of the Weapon class were intended to be a fifth flotilla of C class destroyers with Ce names. If that's true do you know the other names that were considered? The reference books that I have only name two ships that were renamed. Celt which became Sword and Centaur which was renamed Tomahawk.

Is 14 Daring class a typo for 16? Or are you not counting the 2 ships that were ordered as the 41st and 42nd Battle class on 5th June 1943 (i.e. the 1943 Programme) but re-ordered as Darings? These were Vimiera which became Danae and Yypres, which became Disdain and then Delight.
The 'compiled' document that I posted was based on original source data, and there was no reference to the name of the last two Lion class ships. However, I recall reading SOMEWHERE that the name Bellerophon was suggested for Lion class number 5, and it would be a logical extrapolation that Lion number six would have been named Vanguard...
I cannot claim any substantive evidence for this, partly because I cannot recall the book I saw the name Bellerophon listed in (it was MANY years ago), and the assumption of the name Vanguard is only based on the way that other names in the quoted document were moved between vessels. Sorry.
 

uk 75

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The RN is easier to what if for names than the USN who seem to use names all over the place so that we may soon see frigates being named after States and Presidents.
 

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The RN is easier to what if for names than the USN who seem to use names all over the place so that we may soon see frigates being named after States and Presidents.
frigates play a bigger role than you think. but it wouldnt be suprising at all. the royal navy will probably reuse names as well. like the HMS Rodney (underrated and shouldnt have been sunk).
 

uk 75

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RN frigate names are a fun place for tabloid journalists. The type 23 frigate St Albans may have been named after a Duke but the town with the same name has a rather less serious image.
The Leander frigates Greek Mythology names also have some modern twists. HMS Hermione?
I dont know about the USN but as it is likely that the RN in 2040 will have only 6 frigate/destroyers (each costing the equivalent of a WW1 Dreadnought in prices adjusted for inflation) capital ship names like Hood, Nelson and Rodney seem reasonable.
 
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