• Hi Guest! Forum rules have been updated. All users please read here.

Iowa and Alaska Class Conversion Projects

RLBH

ACCESS: Secret
Joined
May 5, 2007
Messages
373
Reaction score
244
The V/STOL concept skips a lot of that by putting the VLS above the original weather deck. I suppose perhaps you could do that for the forward turrets as well, but the stability implications would be interesting to say the least.
On the other hand, removing upwards of a thousand tonnes of turret will free up a good chunk of topweight. It would need a very thorough assessment, but could go either way. I'm sure it was assessed, at least at a high level.
 

TomS

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2008
Messages
4,589
Reaction score
1,725
I was debating whether this should go elsewhere, but it is vaguely related to the Iowa Phase II plans.

In November 1982, when the Iowa reactivations were just starting and the elaborate Phase II conversions still seemed possible, a naval architect by the name of Gene Anderson wrote a short article for the US Naval Institute Proceedings proposing a class of "light battleships" built around the four turrets that would be removed from the Iowas in the Phase II process. As far as I know, this was strictly a private notion, not ever seriously considered, but it's interesting to look at.

The proposed design is ~9000 tons displacement, 400 ft length (oa), 84 ft beam, 22 ft draft. Hull shape is largely inspired by contemporary merchant ships (cruise ship bow above water and bulbous bow underwater), with protection consisting of an unspecified armored box above decks around the machinery and command and control spaces and the usual torpedo blisters, voids/fuel, and a triple bottom below the water.

Propulsion would be 4-6 medium-speed diesels, for 20-25,000 bhp, giving a speed of up to 25 knots (consistent with the need to escort 20+ knot amphibs of the era).

Armament obviously gets the most attention. As described:
  • One triple 16"/50 turret, sited so it could traverse 270 degrees (blast overpressure on the superstructure would be fierce with the turret traversed fully aft...)
  • Three to five Mk 45 5-inch guns, with some possibly replaced by Mk 48 8-inch guns or 155mm/50 Vertical Load Gun Mounts firing standard Army/Marine 155mm ammunition. (The drawing has three mounts that look like VLGM, which is probably the most "reasonable" choice here. Edit: Mk 48 is a mistake -- the author probably meant the Mk 71 8-inch lightweight gun.)
  • Two Mk 26 launchers (which would certainly have been replaced by VLS if the design had been seriously considered)
  • Two Phalanx CIWS. (As with other drawings from the era, the shape of Phalanx was not yet known, and an igloo-like structure can be seen standing in for it here).
Sensors are mostly unmentioned, and the drawing shows a fairly basic radar fit. (Taking full advantage of the Standard Missiles in the Mk 26 would call for at least New Threat Upgrade, I would think.) There is supposedly hangar space (in the hull, I assume) for two helicopters as spotters and for other duties as required, including ASW.

Manning is optimistically pegged at about 100 more than an OH Perry frigate (so about 320, of which about 25-30% would be required to operate the 16-inch gun turret.)

The letters that followed this article were not kind...

I notice from that letter that there seems to have been another February 1982 article about a different (?) BB(L) concept in February 1982, but Google Books is being stubborn and won't find it for me.
 

Attachments

  • BBL (Anderson, November 1928 USNI Proceedings).PNG
    BBL (Anderson, November 1928 USNI Proceedings).PNG
    496.8 KB · Views: 428
  • VLGM.PNG
    VLGM.PNG
    609 KB · Views: 416
Last edited:

Tzoli

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2011
Messages
1,559
Reaction score
846
Hmm this looks more like a Monitor then a Light Battleship though at that time everything is possible.
Hull designation should be BBLG for Battleship, Light, Guided Missile or BMG Monitor Guided Missile.
None the less interesting idea.
Reminiscent of somewhat from the 1942 Light Battleship proposal by two University students for a full diesel BB (funnels extremely aft)
 

TomS

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2008
Messages
4,589
Reaction score
1,725
Hmm this looks more like a Monitor then a Light Battleship though at that time everything is possible.
Hull designation should be BBLG for Battleship, Light, Guided Missile or BMG Monitor Guided Missile.
None the less interesting idea.
Reminiscent of somewhat from the 1942 Light Battleship proposal by two University students for a full diesel BB (funnels extremely aft)

Definitely. I came across an Australian Navy League article based on the Anderson article that notes a striking similarity to the Abercrombie monitors of WW1 vintage. Probably would have been equally useful...
 

Tzoli

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2011
Messages
1,559
Reaction score
846
Well they could had been more economical to send for limited shore bombardment or as you said showing the flag (North Korea for example) then the Iowas.
 

TomS

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2008
Messages
4,589
Reaction score
1,725
Well they could had been more economical to send for limited shore bombardment or as you said showing the flag (North Korea for example) then the Iowas.


Maybe, but building a brand new class of only four ships seems like an expensive option. "Limited shore bombardment" was a really rare thing (just Lebanon, IIRC) and "showing the flag" generally required just about any grey hull (for presence) or an ARG or carrier battlegroup (for a meaningful threat).

What might have made a little more sense would have been to build a class of twelve monitors/fire support ships, using all of the Iowa turrets, and scrap the very expensive to run WW2 battleship hulls. That's enough ships to provide one per Amphibious Ready Group, which would up their game considerably, or provide a real stiffener for independent Surface Action Groups (assuming you could find room to shoehorn in some Harpoons). OTOH, knowing what we later learned about the material condition of the Iowa turrets, that might not have worked out so well.
 

RLBH

ACCESS: Secret
Joined
May 5, 2007
Messages
373
Reaction score
244
What might have made a little more sense would have been to build a class of twelve monitors/fire support ships, using all of the Iowa turrets, and scrap the very expensive to run WW2 battleship hulls.
I've considered before the merits of removing the 16"/50 Mark 7 guns from the IOWA turrets and putting them into a new minimally-manned gunhouse designed along modern lines. Most missions that justify 16" guns only really need one, plus a spare - probably A and Y mounts - and the smaller magazine and gunhouse would be compatible with a much smaller ship.
 

Julio Garay Terrazas

ACCESS: Restricted
Joined
Mar 24, 2020
Messages
45
Reaction score
78
And here's USS Mississippi again, in her first general configuration as a test ship:
h86646.jpg

Photo #: NH 86646

USS Mississippi (AG-128)


Photographed in 1947-48. She retains only her after 14" gun turret, but carries numerous smaller weapons and a special radar suite.

Collection of Rear Admiral Frederic S. Withington, 1975.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.


I found this lost drawings in my files. I ge it form wunderwaffe.narod.ru page in the last century.
 

Attachments

  • Missisipi BB 1949 .jpg
    Missisipi BB 1949 .jpg
    61.7 KB · Views: 298
  • Missisipi BBG 1955.jpg
    Missisipi BBG 1955.jpg
    62.9 KB · Views: 300

Colonial-Marine

Fighting the UAV mafia.
Joined
Oct 5, 2009
Messages
718
Reaction score
73
Tzoli your art is excellent, I particularly love the 1955 BBG design. I have two comments though.

On your "Scheme H" Kentucky with the four quad 8"/55 turrets it looks like the side profile still has the platform for the forward centerline 5"/54 twin mounting that is on "Scheme G".

Also I'm a bit skeptical that the Navy would have found it acceptable to remove a barrel from both of the remaining 16" turrets on the Kentucky BBG designs that kept part of the main battery. The balance of weight fore and aft is a concern but it seems to me like there are other ways weight could have been balanced. For example,

- Adding a degree of armor protection for the Talos and Regulus II missile magazines.
- Removal of the optical rangefinder on 'A' turret as was done later during the post-war careers of the completed Iowas.
- Replacement of the heavy conning tower armor with lighter armor like that on USN cruisers. I believe several of the reconstructed Pearl Harbor veterans had this done.

Due to structural reasons all of the barbette structure for 'X' turret might not be removed either so that remaining weight would have to be considered as well.
 
Last edited:

Kingpin6100

ACCESS: Confidential
Joined
Jan 30, 2020
Messages
50
Reaction score
76
Since this thread is active once again, dows anyone have any information from the mentioned book regarding the Command Cruiser Hawai'i conversion? I know a model was made, but I'm wondering if the book has a sketch?
 

Tzoli

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2011
Messages
1,559
Reaction score
846
Since this thread is active once again, dows anyone have any information from the mentioned book regarding the Command Cruiser Hawai'i conversion? I know a model was made, but I'm wondering if the book has a sketch?

Friedman'S US Cruisers book only has two photos of the model but no sketch drawing
 

Julio Garay Terrazas

ACCESS: Restricted
Joined
Mar 24, 2020
Messages
45
Reaction score
78
I have these images.... And as usual ... I don't remember where I found them.
 

Attachments

  • Hawaii conversion text 001.jpg
    Hawaii conversion text 001.jpg
    64.2 KB · Views: 199
  • USA-Alaska_PolarisTalos_Convertion_1957.png
    USA-Alaska_PolarisTalos_Convertion_1957.png
    26.6 KB · Views: 198
  • USA-Alaska_Hawai_CBG_1962.png
    USA-Alaska_Hawai_CBG_1962.png
    37.1 KB · Views: 212

Tzoli

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2011
Messages
1,559
Reaction score
846
Those are BCG / Missiel test ship conversion projects not the BCC Battle Command Cruiser plans.
 

Attachments

  • hawaii.jpg
    hawaii.jpg
    141.9 KB · Views: 211
  • hawaii 2.jpg
    hawaii 2.jpg
    109.9 KB · Views: 197

uk 75

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Sep 27, 2006
Messages
3,094
Reaction score
1,788
The Albany CG conversions were among my favourite ships
.The Macks and blocky bridges look so 60s. Shame only 3 were done
.Friedman's books are still the best sources but we really need some modern versions with the artwork we get in Shipbucket and in the various Aircraft unbuilt books
 

sferrin

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
13,754
Reaction score
1,965
The Albany CG conversions were among my favourite ships
.The Macks and blocky bridges look so 60s. Shame only 3 were done
.Friedman's books are still the best sources but we really need some modern versions with the artwork we get in Shipbucket and in the various Aircraft unbuilt books

104 Talos (some with nukes) and 80 Tartar. That's a lot of missiles.

USS_Albany_(CG-10)_firing_missiles_1963_(colour).jpg
 
Last edited:

Tzoli

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2011
Messages
1,559
Reaction score
846
The battleship book is being reworked with some additional information but I doubt the drawings will be updated.
For drawings you had to either wait, ask an artist or pay an artist to make the drawings.
A person paid me for making those Iowa drawings you seen here and I hope like
 

JohnR

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2006
Messages
790
Reaction score
231
Was is it necessary for the Terrier launcher's to be within a certain distance from the fire control radars?
 

Tzoli

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2011
Messages
1,559
Reaction score
846
Could have used more video editing like showing the original proposal drawings, artist impressions or even get a damn full overlook of the model etc other then just standing next to the model and talking about it!
 
Last edited:

lordroel

ACCESS: Confidential
Joined
Aug 1, 2020
Messages
149
Reaction score
111
Could have used more video editing like showing the original proposal drawings, artist impressions or even get a damn full overlook of the model etc other then just standing next to the model and talking about it!

It surprises me that in a different video he made about Aircraft Carrier / Battleship Conversion he did not use you nice art made by you of a Kentucky class Aircraft Carrier Design.
 

T. A. Gardner

ACCESS: Confidential
Joined
Feb 18, 2021
Messages
79
Reaction score
139
The best choice likely would have been conversion of Kentucky or an Alaska to a full missile ship early on, say in the late 50's early 60's. I would foresee this as a larger variant of the Chicago / Albany Baltimore conversions.

The resulting ship would have say,

4 x Talos twin launchers. Two fore and aft each.
2 x Terrier twin arm launchers set fore and aft
4 x Tartar twin arm or single arm launchers, two per side.
6 x 5"/54 single turrets, three per side
A Regulus II launch station replacing the catapults and storage aft for several missiles. An alternative is the ship carries anywhere from 8 to 16 Polaris IRBM's.
An ASROC launcher and associated sonar is added along with potentially space for several helicopters for ASW work.
The ship gets extensive command facilities included in the conversion.

The entirety of the original armament is gone. Armor remains only where it was already installed. There's no need for 16" guns and the 5"/38's are obsolescent.

1614652071326.png

This is one possible variant.

With 4 twin Talos missile systems aboard, this ship could engage up to 8 targets out to 100 miles or more, increasing the targeting to as much as 15 to 20 starting at about 25 NM. It would be an early version of an Aegis cruiser for all intents and the Polaris missiles would give it the offensive punch that Tomahawk does today. Adding in some ASW capacity means it has at least some self-defense against submarines of that era too.
 

Tzoli

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2011
Messages
1,559
Reaction score
846
Problem is putting a 3rd horizontal loading missile system above the Taloses on a 2nd superfiring position both aft and forward with all of the missiles would cause topweight issues even on the Iowa hull. Note that you remove all the shells and powder charges from deep the hull which could had been provided extra stability.
 

A Tentative Fleet Plan

I really should change my personal text
Joined
Apr 9, 2018
Messages
187
Reaction score
305
Not to mention you are consuming a vast amount of centerline space which you also need to use for radars, illuminators, uptakes etc.

You could possibly put all those launchers on battleship hull, but do you have enough illuminators to make use of them. There's no point in being able to launch more missiles then you can guide, at least when using beam-riding or semi-active homing missiles before the advent of Typhon or Aegis.
 

uk 75

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Sep 27, 2006
Messages
3,094
Reaction score
1,788
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).
This version of the Kentucky remains my favourite interpretation.
 

Attachments

  • SchemeII.png
    SchemeII.png
    17.6 KB · Views: 51

Tzoli

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2011
Messages
1,559
Reaction score
846
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).
This version of the Kentucky remains my favourite interpretation.
Here:
 

Tzoli

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2011
Messages
1,559
Reaction score
846
Not to mention you are consuming a vast amount of centerline space which you also need to use for radars, illuminators, uptakes etc.

You could possibly put all those launchers on battleship hull, but do you have enough illuminators to make use of them. There's no point in being able to launch more missiles then you can guide, at least when using beam-riding or semi-active homing missiles before the advent of Typhon or Aegis.
Indeed!
Look at the Kentucky version with SPS-32/33:
Even with single Tartars that is a lot of radars!
 

Archibald

ACCESS: Above Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2006
Messages
5,096
Reaction score
2,959
Polaris IRBM on a surface ship ? that was the very core of NATO MLF (because nuke submarines were too expensive for European navies) - and was thoroughly shot down as "idiotic".
 

T. A. Gardner

ACCESS: Confidential
Joined
Feb 18, 2021
Messages
79
Reaction score
139
Polaris IRBM on a surface ship ? that was the very core of NATO MLF (because nuke submarines were too expensive for European navies) - and was thoroughly shot down as "idiotic".
Say what you will, but the idea wasn't far fetched in the 1960's. Italy actually installed launch tubes on a cruiser for Polaris

1614718104381.png

That's the Giuseppi Garibaldi, a cruiser originally built in 1936 as modernized in the early 60's. The four Polaris launch tubes can be seen on the stern.
 

isayyo2

Lurker alert
Joined
Nov 24, 2011
Messages
247
Reaction score
322
Polaris IRBM on a surface ship ? that was the very core of NATO MLF (because nuke submarines were too expensive for European navies) - and was thoroughly shot down as "idiotic".
Considering all the hoopla over hypersonics and "payloads over platforms" I'd say revisiting large diameters tubes on surface ships would be a good idea. Heck I think that should be the next forum WhatIf?
 

Similar threads

Top