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County Class Destroyers: Alternative options for development

uk 75

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In his book on British Frigates and Destroyers Norman Friedman lists in great detail alternatives for the County class destroyer which were never built.

These include:

a version with Type 984 (the huge radar carried on Eagle, Hermes and Victorious) instead of the guns.

numerous double ended versions with Seaslug

versions with alternative magazines and loaders for Seaslug

a nuclear development similar to the US Bainbridge

Friedman also explains that a new frigate/destroyer to carry the
NIGS (Nest generation long range missile) was sketched and describes it in some detail as well.

There must be drawings or at least rough sketches of these designs somewhere. Perhaps someone knows more?

UK 75
 
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JFC Fuller

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A question I would love to know the answer to, I am also intrigued by the idea of one with two Sea Slug directors.
 
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smurf

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Try George Moore's articles in
Warship 2005, p111 "From Daring to Devonshire"
Warship 2006, p38 "Post-war cruiser designs for the Royal Navy 1946-1956"
there should be some at least of what you seek in them, with references to the original papers at TNA, where there may be other drawings, as space in Warship may not have allowed all the diagrams to have been published (but then again, all available may be there - you'd need to ask the editor, as I believe George Moore died suddenly last year)
 

JFC Fuller

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I have a similar set of questions. The way I read the options all involved sacrificing something but I think it would have been possible to have built a purist AAW version, remove the 4.5inch guns and fit a single twin 3inch forward, extend the super structure forward and fit a Type 984, delete the helicopter and fit a second Sea Slug director aft.
 
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PMN1

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Possible County class development repleis here

http://warships1discussionboards.yuku.com/topic/7669?page=1

and here

http://warships1discussionboards.yuku.com/topic/4223

Putting the boosters in-line rather than wrap around may have helped development of the ship
 
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PMN1

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Bumping this as i'm currently looking through the book now and wondered if anyone had found anything regarding the alternate missile stowage and whether there were any drawings of the two helicopter possibility done?


British Destroyers and Frigates: The Second World War and After Norman Friedman

P190
(by 1958?) A proposal to add a second helicopter died because it would have required a complete revision of superstructure arrangements in the building drawings.

There was considerable interest in modifying the missile stowage. The tube magazine arrangement, called Phase 1, used 290ft of the ship, from the centreline of the missile launcher to the fore end of the magazine at the foremast. Phase II envisaged a forward launcher and a total capacity of sixty-two missiles, including fourteen on an endless-chain loader. Phase III, as envisaged in 1959, would use a US style twin revolver loader (as in the Mk10 system on the Leahy and Belknap cases) carrying twelve missiles on each revolver. Presumably they were a projected further development of Seaslug with an integral booster, the NIGS or SIGS mentioned below. Forward of the revolvers would have been further stowage for thirty-six missiles, for a total of sixty in a space only 129ft long. There were several other proposed arrangements.
 
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JFC Fuller

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PMN1 said:
Bumping this as i'm currently looking through the book now and wondered if anyone had found anything regarding the alternate missile stowage and whether there were any drawings of the two helicopter possibility done?


British Destroyers and Frigates: The Second World War and After Norman Friedman

P190
(by 1958?) A proposal to add a second helicopter died because it would have required a complete revision of superstructure arrangements in the building drawings.

There was considerable interest in modifying the missile stowage. The tube magazine arrangement, called Phase 1, used 290ft of the ship, from the centreline of the missile launcher to the fore end of the magazine at the foremast. Phase II envisaged a forward launcher and a total capacity of sixty-two missiles, including fourteen on an endless-chain loader. Phase III, as envisaged in 1959, would use a US style twin revolver loader (as in the Mk10 system on the Leahy and Belknap cases) carrying twelve missiles on each revolver. Presumably they were a projected further development of Seaslug with an integral booster, the NIGS or SIGS mentioned below. Forward of the revolvers would have been further stowage for thirty-six missiles, for a total of sixty in a space only 129ft long. There were several other proposed arrangements.
PMN1,

I have read the same piece with interest myself. However I am of the opinion that most (if not all) of these configurations relate to NIGS rather than Sea Slug.
 
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PMN1

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sealordlawrence said:
I have read the same piece with interest myself. However I am of the opinion that most (if not all) of these configurations relate to NIGS rather than Sea Slug.
Be interesting to know how much depth and therefore volume the proposals would have taken up.
 
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Antonio

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I don't know if this design fits here. It is a flotilla leader adaptation for the Spanish Navy published in a Spanish Magazine from 1984. I'll try to get more info.
 

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Please get more info! That design looks VERY interesting.
 

Abraham Gubler

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The caption says "a possible aspect of destroyer type County role tailored to group control". It would appear that this is just a conjecture based drawing for converting a second hand ex Royal Navy County class to the then needs of the Spanish Navy.
 

Hood

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Well at first I thought it was fan art of some kind. While some of the features are possible it seems unlikely that the forward Merkora CIWS would fit there, the radars are updated but the MRS-3 director is still present too. The ASROC aft seems unlikely as well (though part of the Sea Slug magazine could be used for ASROC rounds I guess). Generally a very odd configuration and probably unlikely to work, it would be easier and better to just build a new ship.
 

Jemiba

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Maybe the launcher aft should be Sea Sparrow ?
 

CNH

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The problem is that the Counties were designed around the Seaslug missile, and missiles become obsolete much faster than warships. Seaslug was very much first generation, and much better alternatives came along fairly quickly.

So what to do with the Counties? Not a lot. You could have rebuilt them to take much more modern missiles, but that would have been expensive, and they were very large vessels for their role.

You would be better off starting again from scratch.
 

uk 75

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There was a proposal to convert at least one into a minelayer. The RN had the old minelayer Manxman for years and then the training ship Abdiel. I am not sure why NATO had got interested, but it never got anywhere.
Ironically, since the never-built Escort Cruiser replaced Countys 9 an 10, there was a proposal to make the aft half into a helicopter deck. Chile did with at least one.
 

JFC Fuller

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The proposal was for a rebuilt ex-RN County for Egypt.
Friedman references this but I have also seen the Conversion of HMS Devonshire for Egypt as being intended to provide operating capability for six Lynx; of course one does not preclude the other, such was the space arrangement taken up by the Seaslug launcher, magazine and illuminator.

However, I have seen multiple references to HMS Glamorgan, HMS Devonshire and HMS Antrim having been proposed for conversions, at various times, to Dartmouth training ships with secondary minelaying roles. One description goes as far as to describe a role laying ASW mines on the GIUK line, I am not sure the specific mission sounds credible but there is definitely something to the minelayer role that requires further interrogation. Several of the ships were used in the training role.
 
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uk 75

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Perhaps a separate thread on RN Minelayers.I will start one.
 

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As the Counties were the byproduct of the GW series (Actually County was GW54A ) so a Talos or Terrier missile conversion seems feasable as the Talos was considered for at least one design (GW 51) and the early USN Missile cruiser conversions featured a similar long horizontal storage and loading areas as installed on the Counties.
The sextuple box launcher of the Sea Wolf Seems a good replacement for the Seacat as well.
I'm not sure it would be cost efficient to replace the Sea Slug with Sea Dart.
 

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I could be badly wrong about this, but I think there was a plan for a NATO mine warfare fleet at one time during the 1970s, similar in some ways to how the NATO AWACS fleet was later put together. Some of the proposals mentioned could have been related to this.
 

Nick Sumner

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They were going to replace the Sea Slug with Sea Dart? Why was that?
 

TomS

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As the Counties were the byproduct of the GW series (Actually County was GW54A ) so a Talos or Terrier missile conversion seems feasable as the Talos was considered for at least one design (GW 51) and the early USN Missile cruiser conversions featured a similar long horizontal storage and loading areas as installed on the Counties.
The sextuple box launcher of the Sea Wolf Seems a good replacement for the Seacat as well.
I'm not sure it would be cost efficient to replace the Sea Slug with Sea Dart.
Most of the proposed mods in that Aviation & Marine drawing would have been technically difficult and/or very expensive, except bolting SSMs on in lieu of the B mount, which was actually done to the RN ships.

The sextuple Sea Wolf ended up being considerably bigger and heavier than Sea Cat and was not a direct replacement . The four-round Lightweight Sea Wolf was considered as more of a drop-in replacement. The two-tube Sea Wolf shown here had belowdeck automatic reloads, which might be hard to retrofit, depending on what actually sat below Sea Cat in these ships.

Retrofitting Sea Dart as shown would require a totally different horizontal-loading magazine, which might require missile changes if Sea Dart was designed only to take shock loads while standing upright, not horizontally, in the magazine (some missiles care, some don't).

Retrofitting Terrier seems like it would make sense, but it could end up being very expensive. I have no idea whether the Terrier loading and handling rooms would actually fit inside the Sea Slug "tunnel." It's a fairly precise layout it fit inside an existing space. US ships either built all new deckhouses (for conversions) or wrapped the ship design around the missile spaces (new designs).

They were going to replace the Sea Slug with Sea Dart? Why was that?
That was a hypothetical for the possible sale of Devonshire to Egypt.
 

Tzoli

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The sextuple Sea Wolf ended up being considerably bigger and heavier than Sea Cat and was not a direct replacement . The four-round Lightweight Sea Wolf was considered as more of a drop-in replacement. The two-tube Sea Wolf shown here had belowdeck automatic reloads, which might be hard to retrofit, depending on what actually sat below Sea Cat in these ships.

That was a hypothetical for the possible sale of Devonshire to Egypt.
Seems like regular crew space:
 
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Arjen

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Nice. Reading the text in the image, that's from a Royal Navy recruitment drive. Where did you find it?
 
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