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Iowa and Alaska Class Conversion Projects

RLBH

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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

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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  • Two Mk 26 launchers (which would certainly have been replaced by VLS if the design had been seriously considered)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.
 

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Tzoli

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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And here's USS Mississippi again, in her first general configuration as a test ship:

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.
 

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Colonial-Marine

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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.
 
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Kingpin6100

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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

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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
 

uk 75

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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

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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
 
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Tzoli

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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
 
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