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Iowa and Alaska Class Conversion Projects

Foo Fighter

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Thanks for posting those but I cannot make a thing out detail wise.
 

Archibald

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From Global Security:
In 1979 the Navy proposed reactivating the Iowa Class under a two-phase program. Under Phase I the battleships would be brought back into service quickly with a minimum of new modifications. This was done, and all four ships rejoined the fleet. The initial plan also envisioned a Phase II, under which the aft turret was to be deleted and a hanger and flight deck added in its place. The hanger would accommodate 12 AV-8B Harrier STOVL jumpjets. The Martin Marietta version for Phase II had a V-shaped flight deck with two ski jumps on the forward edges, on either side of the main superstructure. The flight decks would measure 330 feet by 150 feet. However, by 1984 the plans for these "Battlecarriers" had been dropped.
Line drawing of Iowa-class aviation conversion circa 1981.

Sources:
http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/ship/bb-61-av.htm
Proceedings July 1981
How would you call that ? a battlecarrier ? CVBG ? pretty ugly ship, by the way...
 

Tzoli

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And here is the other, H variant:
 

Tzoli

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Friedman's US Battleships has this vertical of a 1959 proposal to convert an Iowa class to a missile armed battleship. Low res image attached. Was to have Talos and Polaris. The dome to aft was to be a radio star tracker for precise navigation (1960s GPS).
I'm currently making this drawing and I have no idea what is that dome stated being a Radio Star Tracker Array!
Does anybody knows what this could be?
 

TomS

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Friedman's US Battleships has this vertical of a 1959 proposal to convert an Iowa class to a missile armed battleship. Low res image attached. Was to have Talos and Polaris. The dome to aft was to be a radio star tracker for precise navigation (1960s GPS).
I'm currently making this drawing and I have no idea what is that dome stated being a Radio Star Tracker Array!
Does anybody knows what this could be?
"Radio star" was an early term for navigation satellites. This radio star tracker has to be a Transit satellite navigation receiver antenna. Transit was closely associated with Polaris, ensuring that ships had good location data to program the Polaris flight path.

Edit: the dome probably isn't the Transit antenna, BTW. All Transit needed was a whip or rod antenna, since it wasn't directional. But in 1959, they might not have known this.
 
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Tzoli

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I see! Thank you!
Based on description in Friedman's US BB's book there was 4 designs of the last BBG series, 2x single ended and two double ended (as the sketch drawing shows) the single ended as the text says had it's forward main guns retained and either have two Regulus II launchers with 6 missiles (Not sure if per launcher or altogether) or 16x Polaris VLS launch tubes.
Same goes for the double ended with either 2x1 Regulus or 16x Polaris.

I assume this Dome isn't really required for the Regulus version but it's good to have?
Other missile armament apart from Talos isn't really stated except that early versions had a single tartar (Not stating if single or twin version) and I guess the later Scheme II's had two Tartar (I assume twin) launchers.
Without the Dome array there would be more space for the Tartar launcher and associated radar. If anybody know more about these last 1958/59 BBG conversion proposals especially about missile armament that would be nice.

Am I asking too much for a photo let alone a drawing of the abortive AN/SPG-56 radar? This site states that the only one made was used at the missile range at White Sands:
 

Tzoli

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For the time being here is the 1955 incarnation of the Iowa class BBG:



I hope I put the right sensor equipment on her.
The Talos missile reloading could be done via simple cranes

Armaments:
2x2 16"/50 (406mm/50) Mark 7 Cannons,
6x1 5"/54 (127mm/54) Mark 16 DP-AA Guns,
10x2 3"/50 (76mm/50) Mark 22 AA Guns,
2x2 RIM-8 Talos SAM,
1x1 RGM-15 Regulus II ASM
Sensors:
SPS-12 - Surveillance radar
SPS-30 - Height finder radar
SPS-43 - Air search radar
4x SPG-49 - Talos Illumination/tracking radars
8x SPW-2 - Talos gudance radars
10x Mark 56 Gun Directors
3x Mark 37 Gun Directors with SPG-25 fire control radars
1x Mark 38 Main Gun Director with Mk 8 fire control radar
 

Tzoli

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For this proposal at least 8 Regulus missiles was stated but no number for the Talos. a Later version with 4 Talos launchers states 80 missiles per launcher so I assume a similar number would had been applied here as well.
 

Tzoli

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And the other Iowa BBG conversion at this time, the 1956 Kentucky BBG proposal:


And the sensors:
SPS-12 - Surveillance radar
SPS-30 - Height finder radar
SPS-43 - Air search radar
12x SPG-51 - Tartar Illumination/tracking radars
8x SPG-49 - Talos Illumination/tracking radars
4x SPS-32 SCANFAR Search radars
4x SPS-33 SCANFAR Tracking radars
 

Tzoli

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I've chosen single arm because in Friedman's book 20 radars are stated, 12 for the Tartar and 8 for the Talos. Though he did not mention of one side or total, also it was easier to arrange the SPG-51 radars for siungle launchers. 12x SPG-51's for each side would be quite messy!

Depends on what you mean existence. Used on ships or not designed at all?
The Charles F. Adams (Berkeley Group) class designed in around 1959 (to my knowledge) carried single Tartar launchers.
The 1958 DDG studies too designed with single launchers.
Norfolk conversion proposal of 1959 too would call for a single Tartar.
 

Tzoli

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Does anybody have any more info then in Friedman's US battleship book about the Single ended and Double ended Iowa conversions of 1958?
What I understand that both versions had two schemes, one for Regulus II the other for vertical Polaris A1. I wish to know how many Tartar launchers these designs had, because Friedman states that early versions had a single Tartar. No idea if one launcher altogether or one per side (either single or twin).

Wayne Scarpacy's impression for the single and double ended (I think Polaris armed ones) versions features two twin Tartar per side:


 

Tzoli

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And the first Single ended design based on the description in Friedman's USN Battleships book:

This was the Regulus armed version
The Sensors:
SPS-10 - Surface search radar
SPS-30 - Height finder radar
SPS-34 - Height finder search radar (modified SPS-2)
SPS-43 - Air search radar
2x SPG-49 - Talos Illumination/tracking radars
2x SPG-51 - Tartar Illumination/tracking radars
2x SPW-2 - Talos gudance radars
2x Mark 37 Gun Directors with SPG-25 fire control radars
1x Mark 38 Main Gun Director with Mk 8 fire control radar
1x Radio Star Tracker Dome containing a Transit satellite navigation receiver antenna
1x TACAN - TACtical Air Navigation system
 
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Tzoli

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And the second, Polaris armed variant in my representation:
 

Foo Fighter

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The problem with turning a surface ship of any kind into a Polaris carrier is one of being easily pinned to a location where destruction is quite assured. The major fleets of the world went down the correct direction with submiersable assets imho.
 

RLBH

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I can't help but wonder if at least some proposals for Polaris on surface ships were based on an assumption that it could be a theatre weapons system, rather than a purely strategic one.
 

Tzoli

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There were proposals for Polaris equipped designs in the 1950's for the USN and there was the Italian Giuseppe Garibaldi ex light cruiser then Missile cruiser which did carry them and test fired them!
So it isn't that alien from the navies to use such weapons on surface warships.

 

Tzoli

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Next is the Regulus version of the Double-ended conversion scheme:
 

Hood

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I can't help but wonder if at least some proposals for Polaris on surface ships were based on an assumption that it could be a theatre weapons system, rather than a purely strategic one.
The USN saw the Regulus II as a strategic weapon (although its more realistically an intermediate-range weapon) and they also had in mind the Naval Jupiter IRBM for ships, which of course was surpassed by Polaris. I think the USN not only saw in Polaris an ideal submarine-launched missile but also a more practical replacement for the Regulus II aboard the ships planned to use it. It removed the hazards of the Regulus' liquid fuel and removed the need for assembly and loading the rail launchers etc. and Polaris was less demanding on space. So it probably seemed a no-brainer like-for-like replacement. But of course in the event the role quite sensibly reverted to submarines.
 

Dilandu

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The USN saw the Regulus II as a strategic weapon (although its more realistically an intermediate-range weapon) and they also had in mind the Naval Jupiter IRBM for ships, which of course was surpassed by Polaris. I think the USN not only saw in Polaris an ideal submarine-launched missile but also a more practical replacement for the Regulus II aboard the ships planned to use it. It removed the hazards of the Regulus' liquid fuel and removed the need for assembly and loading the rail launchers etc. and Polaris was less demanding on space. So it probably seemed a no-brainer like-for-like replacement. But of course in the event the role quite sensibly reverted to submarines.
Well, the initial design for what-would-become "Polaris" was a derivative of liquid-fueled "Jupiter" missile. And it was supposed to be used on surface ships exactly because Navy was very concerned about the idea of putting liquid-fueled missiles onboard submarines.

"Regulus II" hardly wasn't very dangerous - it used just the average jet fuel, not the rocket fuel/oxidizer mix.
 

Tzoli

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And the last BBG conversion scheme of the Iowas (that of until the 1980's reactivation designs) the double ended Polaris version:
 

Archibald

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There were proposals for Polaris equipped designs in the 1950's for the USN and there was the Italian Giuseppe Garibaldi ex light cruiser then Missile cruiser which did carry them and test fired them!
So it isn't that alien from the navies to use such weapons on surface warships.

Wait, I always assume you italians never got Polaris onboard that cruiser, only the empty tubes. Looks like I was completely wrong - is the above picture a Polaris firing from the Garibaldi ?
 

Dilandu

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Wait, I always assume you italians never got Polaris onboard that cruiser, only the empty tubes. Looks like I was completely wrong - is the above picture a Polaris firing from the Garibaldi ?
It is mentioned that the launch systems were tested several times in 1961-1962 - presumably, with dummy missiles. If you look at the photo, you would notice that there is very little smoke behind the missile. Seems like all the smoke is from steam & gas ejector system of the launcher.

P.S. If I recall correctly, all subsequent Italian missile cruisers - two of "Andrea Doria"-class and "Vittorio Venetto" - were also "fitted for but not with" provisions for four "Polaris" launchers, to be installed quickly in case of situation change.
 

Tzoli

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And the last so far the Phase II Scheme 1 version the Battlecarrier proposals of the Iowas:

 

Tzoli

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That is a WW2 proposal not a Cold War / Modern one that is one thing I did not posted it here, the second that I've only posted it yesterday.
 

TomS

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And the last so far the Phase II Scheme 1 version the Battlecarrier proposals of the Iowas:

Those VLS arrangements are driving me a little nuts.

The actual Martin Marietta BB(V) design proposal had only the single large VLS block aft of the island structure. They modeled it with 320 cells, keeping the standard 2x4 8-cell module size. That was probably optimistically large, but any design that abandons the 8-cell module is equally unrealistic because new modules would have to be extensively reengineered. A 3x3 module in particular would have problems such as where the exhaust plenum goes (in 2x4 it vents up between the two rows of cells).

There are also, I believe, blast overpressure problems with the 16-inch guns that precluded fitting Sea Sparrow. The Mk29 launcher just isn't very hardened, since the cell caps are frangible to launch the missiles through them.

Naval History has a recent article with interesting photos of the Martin Marietta model. It shows some odd domed shapes that may represent a version of CIWS before the Phalanx design was known . The drawing shows a more realistic set of four CIWS. To the extent that a BB(V) was feasible at all, this is probably the best configuration.
 

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Foo Fighter

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Just a thought but, would the ability to support aviation be very limited? How much avgas for example could the hull carry and would it not be better to beef up the battle group anti submarine warfare division?
 

Tzoli

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I've got my infos from Dulin & Garzke's US Battleships though it did not mentions VLS layouts only that 4-6 vacant space of the 5" gun turrets to be used for such VLS cells.
Will post the relevant table later, but getting info about these designs are quite difficult!
I've mostly taken the best of all designs I could find and included my ideas as well
 
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Tzoli

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Also that model has several issues.
While except New Jersey most Bofors guns were still intact on the Iowas (New Jersey lost them in the 1967-68 refit to my knowledge while the model still shows her full layout) before the Phase I Modernisation, all of them got removed in the 1980's reconstruction.
They were also too old weapons to have any useful effect on aerial defence around the ship.
Same goes for the 20mm Oerlikons with all got removed by the 1950's.
If the ship have no aft turret and the secondary guns too could not fire directly aft due to the flight deck, then why retain the aft director and on top of that put a crane just forward of it to hamper it's effectiveness, both radar and optical wise?

Either the modeller was very sloppy detail wise or this is just a cheap remake.
 

TomS

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Yeah, I was looking at the model again and it's definitely questionable. I suspect the base model was a commercial kit, which would explain the poorly detailed 40mm tubs and the floatplane crane.
 

Arjen

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I concentrated on the model's stern, looking at the model closely doesn't do it any favours.
Still: nice to see a model of a converted New Jersey.

Didn't notice until a few seconds ago: Sea Harriers in Tzoli's drawing of Phase II scheme 1. Nice touch.
 
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