NIGS and Typhon: Massive, impractical but fun...

uk 75

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Now that BSPB 4 has revealed that the RN's NIGS programme was looking at massive missiles similar to the USN Typhon system in the very early 60s, it would be fun to imagine what these systems might have looked like if they had gone into service.

The USN had more or less settled on a nuclear destroyer leader (missile cruiser in European terms) similar in appearance to the Bainbridge, but with bigger missiles and radar. The RN probably wanted a similar vessel, and it is unlikely that the RN could have developed this size of system without the US, though it might have just gone for one or two systems on the CVA 01 platform (again like the big US carriers of the time).

We are unlikely to ever see artwork for an RN NIGS vessel, so maybe the Shipbucket community can help here as in other forums.

UK 75
 

sferrin

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Typhon was actually relatively small compared to the big daddies: Talos and Guideline (SA-N-2)
 

JFC Fuller

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Frankly I dont think that the RN ever had a hope in hell of a NIGS vessel and I think that they went down the right route with sea dart (just a shame that the land based version came to nothing and the later improvements all got canned). One thing that I have always wondered is how on earth NIGS would have been guided, I am told that the Type-909 director was the limiting factor on sea dart so I dread to think what would have been needed for NIGS. If their are any details about proposed NIGS ships out there i would love to hear about them?
 

CJGibson

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NIGS was only supposed to arm the CVA 01 carriers, presumably due to size, which was also a factor in the cancellation of the naval Blue Envoy.

KB
 

JFC Fuller

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Time for an update here.

After some research I have come to up with the following information.

NIG's only ever got as far as the concept stage with the missile itself never entering the design phase. Its origins appear to come from about 1955 and by about 1959 the weapon was envisaged as a semi-active radar homer using a 0.64 ton dart with a 0.83 ton booster fired from a twin arm launcher. By early 1960 the missile was being credited with a range of 150nm (how practical is this really?). This description comes from the Friedman book 'British Destroyers and Frigates' and the it includes a curious statement that I must confess i dont really understand. The author states that a NIGS Frigate would have carried 4 surveillance radars, 4 guidance radars and 4 illuminators for the NIGS system.

My question is, why four of everything?
And why both illuminators and guidance radars?
I think when he states four guidance radars he may be referring to the four arrays that would likely have been required by the Type-985 radar mentioned below.

The Type 985 electronically scanned array radar with fixed arrays seems to have come about to support this missile system, however it too was abandoned. It would likely have fed into a version of the Action Data Automation (ADA) system.
 

starviking

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sealordlawrence said:
Time for an update here.

After some research I have come to up with the following information.

NIG's only ever got as far as the concept stage with the missile itself never entering the design phase. Its origins appear to come from about 1955 and by about 1959 the weapon was envisaged as a semi-active radar homer using a 0.64 ton dart with a 0.83 ton booster fired from a twin arm launcher. By early 1960 the missile was being credited with a range of 150nm (how practical is this really?). This description comes from the Friedman book 'British Destroyers and Frigates' and the it includes a curious statement that I must confess i dont really understand. The author states that a NIGS Frigate would have carried 4 surveillance radars, 4 guidance radars and 4 illuminators for the NIGS system.

My question is, why four of everything?
And why both illuminators and guidance radars?
I think when he states four guidance radars he may be referring to the four arrays that would likely have been required by the Type-985 radar mentioned below.

The Type 985 electronically scanned array radar with fixed arrays seems to have come about to support this missile system, however it too was abandoned. It would likely have fed into a version of the Action Data Automation (ADA) system.

I wonder if some of this is inspired by the USS Long Beach, which was building at that time? 4 Phased arrays. IIRC correctly the NIGS Frigate was just a 'sketch' design according to Friedman - musings of a Naval Constructor perhaps?

The guidance radars and illuminator separation seems strange - perhaps the NIGS was intended to be dual mode. If you consider the range stated, perhaps the missile was to be guided towards the target (guidance radar or ?datalink?) then a splash of high-power illumination in the terminal phase. I'd guess the power requirements for that would be huge.

@KJ The Friedman book doesn't have any pics of the NIGS frigate. If such a picture appears I'm sure it'd be trumpeted here to high heaven;)
 

zen

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If the missile concept starts in the mid 50's then its likely tied to the Type 984 and CDS.

But my impresssion is NIGS moved on to the Type 985 which seems to have been a electricaly scanned array ch like the US efforts for Typhoon and parts of said system where onboard USS Enterprise and..... I forget the name of the cruiser?
Certainly there is a degree of parallelism on the timelines for US radars and the 985, (late 1950's, the UK effort may even predate the US one by a year or so) though it seems that the British effort might have ended up with just two such plates on moving tables....shades of the later Russian efforts. Certainly in the early 60's prior to its cancelation in favour of the 988 (whatever happened to 986 and 987?), it was just a two plate set up on the early CVA-01 concepts.

Assuming that it explaines the idea of four radars, a set of fixed panel search and possibly they where being ambitious and looking at fixed panel TIRs as well. Though pragmatism would push the use of four mechanicaly moving TIRs, but it does giver four channels of fire.

ADA is linked to the Type 985 during its life, and seen as the successor to the paring of 984 and CDS.
 

JFC Fuller

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Zen, what are your sources for the Type 985? I am intrigued by the two plate comment on the early CVA-01 studies. The only reference I have ever seen for the Type 985 fitted to these studies describes the system as fixd (Norman Friedmen's British Carrier Aviation I believe?). Do you have any images of this set-up or know where they may be found?

Thank you in advance sealordlawrence.
 

zen

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Sources?

Well the first if Friedmans book on RN CVs in which it specificaly references to 985 as being a two set system for the early CVA-01 studies upto, and this is from memory even though the book is right next to me thanks to limited time, 1962.

Now the other reference is from a book which I was able to peruse online, that covers the subject of the Type 984 and 985 and 988 radars among other things. Some sort of online free peek at certain pages. Now even IF I'd made a physical note of the book (name ISBN etc) I certainly could'nt find it right now. But I can tell you that if you search you will find it, in which case do post the book details as I for one (feeling extravagent) will buy the damn thing for future references.

Now connecting 985 to NIGS and ADA seems on the face of it strange, but looking at the dates and the thinking of the times, it seems clear to me that its no coincidence these systems all have the sort of potential the US efforts have.
Now quite how far along the UK got is not clear, but its certain that the 985 radar was abandonded most likely due to the sheer cost of making the theory work in the real world. As it was the US efforts where very expensive and not that reliable.
But their efforts did lay the groundwork for Aegis.

NIGs is so big and heavy it screams the sort of potential to deal with the ABM mission much as the US efforts (which themselves in the form of a ABM warship never came about shows how big an effort that was).

ADA was part of the upgrade of HMS Eagle, and I suspect she was slated for it as the start of the development of the whole shebang.

Pictures I have none.
 

starviking

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zen said:
Sources?

Now the other reference is from a book which I was able to peruse online, that covers the subject of the Type 984 and 985 and 988 radars among other things. Some sort of online free peek at certain pages. Now even IF I'd made a physical note of the book (name ISBN etc) I certainly could'nt find it right now. But I can tell you that if you search you will find it, in which case do post the book details as I for one (feeling extravagent) will buy the damn thing for future references.

I think you're talking about: The Royal Navy, 1930-2000 by Richard Harding. Friedman's chapter on Electronics covers those radars (and also reads across in part to his Destroyer and Frigate books). It's at: http://books.google.com/books?id=bw46M1qI9gMC&pg


zen said:
Pictures I have none.

Noooooo! :'(
 

JFC Fuller

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The reason I ask is that the only Friedmen refernecs I have seen have described a fixed system. I know it was originally planned for the CVA-01 to take two Type-988's and I wonder whether there has been some confusion along those lines. Would it be possible for you to qoute the relevent passages here when you have time?

Friedman states in British Destroyers and Frigates that the two were to be paired as CDS would not have been able to handle the Type-985.

I have taken this from the available online Google books version of British carrier Aviation: 'Aside from aircraft, the main features of the new carrier would be a new fixed-array frequency-scanning radar, Type 985'

Furthermore I should add that development apprently began about 1957 not 1955, as I stated earlier, according the Friedmen section in 'the Royal Navy 1930-2000'.
 

PMN1

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I think you're talking about: The Royal Navy, 1930-2000 by Richard Harding. Friedman's chapter on Electronics covers those radars (and also reads across in part to his Destroyer and Frigate books). It's at: http://books.google.com/books?id=bw46M1qI9gMC&pg


[/quote]

mmhh £85.50 from Amazon.co.uk......
 

JFC Fuller

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I have been doing further wondering on this subject and after some relentless googling I found the following in the Skomer page.

BS.1001

Bristol Siddeley M2.4 - 4.2 ramjet.

Developed for NIGS. Used external compression intake and R.1 / R.2 combustor. Controllable thrust.

Ø = 13in (32.6cm)


Thoughts?

Ps. Zen, when you have time I would love to see the Friedman Typw 985 reference you have!

I found the following in the flight global archive (from a 1962 edition): http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1962/1962 - 2057.html?search=sea bloodhound

The Ministry of Defence recently stated that "'further work" is
to be carried out on Bloodhound 2; "this will facilitate the eventual
development of a third-generation large surface-to-air guided
weapon which might be required by all three Services." This sug-
gests that the Bloodhound family, which has already achieved
great success both in RAF service and in export to Sweden, Swit-
zerland and Australia, may fairly be regarded as the most important
in the entire field of British defensive weapons. At the same time,
it is certainly premature to suggest that the "large" weapon en-
visaged will replace Seaslug and Thunderbird. in the Royal Navy and Army respectively.


This has given me another idea, perhaps when Friedman is referring to four illumination radars and 4 guidance radars he is describing a system with four illuminators similar to the AEI Scorpion (Type 87) used with the Bloodhound II system that has two seperate dishes?
 
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Pirate Pete

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With regards to the Type 985 radar, members might be interested in the following over on Warship Projects Discussion....

http://www.phpbbplanet.com/warshipprojects/viewtopic.php?t=2967&mforum=warshipprojects

I am aware that it doesn't just cover th 985, but does give some background...

Pete
 

zen

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OK in re-reading the Friedmans book, the section on the 1952 Cv and CVA-01 I find only a reference to 985 being a fixed electricaly scanned array (page 341), which is odd.....damn sure remember reading about two radars prior to the move to 988.

However I'm slightly worse the wear for alcohol so I may be missing something there.

There is two tables and one from '62 does refer to two radars, but perhaps this is after the move to 988?

As for access to a closed forum, while its tempting for the subject I have no idea what is in there or its standards. Being paranoid one does not just jump blindly into somewhere one knows nothing about. Perhaps it would be better to have that information revealed here if its of any use.

Tony Butlers book rather implies the favoured solution to NIGS was "large PT428", essentialy scaled up aerodynamic form of the PT428 missile with SARH guidance and its curious to note that when thoughts turned to a new medium range SAM under SAM.72 studies, PT428's successor PX430 (Sea Wolf) was scaled up as an option XPX430, though the guidance is not clearified.

On reflection and reading some fascenating material about the US efforts, it may even be arugable that dropping 985 and NIGS was a major mistake. Aegis has apparently a more direct connection to earlier efforts.

Although perhaps a little OT, RN discussions seem to include a large ramjet missile for a cruiser alternative to the CV in their debate on the validity of persuing carriers. But no mention of such a anti-ship weapon is forthcomming from Mr Butlers otherwise excellent book.
Was that a variant of some landbased or air-launched design?
 

Pirate Pete

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PARANOID????

I can fuly understand (some) members reluctance to venture into unfamiliar territory, so here are "dumps" from the original forum articles.....

"Posted: Sun Dec 28, 2008 2:39 pm Post subject: The Type 984 radar.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Type 984 is the radar that was famously only fitted to Hermes, Eagle and Victorious. The system is credited with being one of the most advanced systems of its day as a true 3D radar with a range of 180 miles. It was associated with the Comprehensive Display System used on the Batch 1 County class destroyers and the 3 carriers that took the Type 984. There was some discussion out installing the Type 984 on the County class destroyers (Batch 1) however this would have required the sacrifice of at least one of the gun mounts and would have pushed up the cost of the county class programme. Instead the destroyers were data linked to the carriers they were escorting, whilst this was not ideal world solution one must regard the Type 984 equipped carrier in comany with county class destroyers as one of the most effective AAW capabilities to have ever put to sea at that time.

This is supported by an exercise undertaken between the USN and HMS Victorious during which the American side was astonished when the radarless Scimitars were credited with shooting down 22 of 23 attackers and driving off the 23rd. The aircraft were directed by the then relatively inexperienced fighter directors aboard Victorious.

Other vessels planned to be fitted with the Type 984 include the cancelled 6 inch cruisers that were to ultimately have been fitted with two Sea Slug Launchers when the Blue Slug nuclear tipped AShM was fielded, the Majestic class missile cruiser conversions and likely also the 1952 carrier. The latter two offer the most interesting examples as they are the only vessels that I know of that would have been equipped with a 'full' Type 984/CDS set. The system was intended to use two antennae's and only the Majestic class conversion was for certain planned to be thus fitted and I suspect the 1952 carrier of also being planned for this. HMS Eagle came closest to getting a 'full' fit with the use of a Type 965 radar in addition to her Type 984. Eagle also used another innovation, in place of her CDS she took the Action Data Automation (ADA) system.

ADA was evolved into ADAWS1 (Action Data Automation Weapon System 1) for the Batch 2 County Class, mostly through the addition of weapons calculation capability. At least one source states that this system was to have been associated with the Type 985 radar that was to have been an electronically as opposed to mechanically scanned array follow on to the Type 984 however this seems to have been abandoned and the Type 988 Broomstick of Dutch origin selected for the next generation of warships. Interestingly the carrier studies undertaken prior to the CVA-01 design process included the Type-985. This time it was planned from the start to shoehorn the massive primary radar onto both the carrier and the escort. Both the Type 82 and CVA-01 were intended to get this radar, however the British withdrew from the project and the Dutch cancelled it. However the associated ADAWS 2 survived and made it into HMS Bristol whilst the ADAWS-3 died with the carrier meant to carry it. ADAWS 4 became the system used for the Type 42 destroyer.

A brief summary of radars, systems and weapons associations:

1st Generation: Type 984 - CDS/ADA - Sea Slug Mk1
2nd Generation: Type 985 - ADAWS 1 - Sea Slug Mk2
3rd Generation: Type 988 - ADAWS 2/3 Sea Dart

Sources used have been:

Vanguard to Trident
Cold War Hot Science
Rebuilding the Royal Navy
British Destroyers and Frigates

An excellent online source for the Type 984 is http://www.rnmuseumradarandcommunications2006.org.uk/984.htm
+++"

"Posted: Fri Jan 02, 2009 10:17 pm Post subject: Type 984

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

As promised, here is extrct from "Naval Radar":-

Type 984:
A very complex and ambitious three-dimensional radar, contemporary with the U.S. SPS-2. It was designed from the first to support fighter control, and therefore emphasized data rate and accurate continuous height-finding.
Design requirements included effective tracking of a fighter out to 75nm, and warning at twice that range. Type 960 had better range (e.g. 175nm on a DeHavilland Mosquito at 35,000-40,000ft) but was considered easily jammable; moreover, it gave no precision tracking or height-finding. The original limits imposed on the design were a turning circle of less than 25ft, and a weight not too much more than existing sets (i.e. about 15 tons, which was considerably exceeded in practice).
Many projects of the early post-war period, such as carrier reconstruction and the Fleet Air Defence Escort (FADE), showed pairs of 984, although in fact only single sets were fitted to the three carriers (Victorious, Hermes, and Eagle) which installed it. S-band was chosen as a compromise between X-band, (compact, but power would be insufficient) and L-band (which would make range easier to obtain, but which would provide insufficient precision given practicable lens sizes). Multiple, simultaneously scanning beams were chosen in favour of a stacked-beam system to give higher precision and slightly better range, with greater simplicity. As the beams swept up simultaneously they could cover a full 25* of elevation (five 1.7* beams, each scanning a 5* sector at 16 cycles per second) quite rapidly; the use of five separate scanners was justified on the grounds that the antenna could then rotate five times as fast for the same number of pulses on target (6rpm). The top feed was a fixed horn (1.7* beam) which scanned the horizon for long-range search. The entire system was roll-stabilized, using trunnions at either side. In order to avoid high-power rotary joints, the transmitter was mounted on the carriage proper, connected directly to the scanners. Net peak power was comparable to that of the SPS-2, but three separate water-cooled magnetrons, each generating about 3MW, were used.
Given the complexity of the scanning system, it was natural to use a lens antenna; sources differ as to whether it was 14ft or 14ft 6in in diameter. Lens design was a major problem, as conventional dielectric lenses could not be used given their immense weight and thickness. Instead a waveguide lens (i.e. with a refractive index dependent on frequency) was used, and the restriction in bandwidth (2-3 percent) accepted.
Development began in the late 1940’s at the Admiralty Surface Weapons Establishment, and was transferred to Marconi about 1950. The first installation was made in HMS Victorious in 1958, and Type 984 made a great impression as a fighter control radar in HMS Eagle the following year during a visit to the United States. It was specially designed for integration with the Comprehensive Display System (CDS) developed by the Royal Navy and, in effect, replaced the combination of Types 960, 982 and 983 characteristic of British carrier practice.

The following are also mentioned:-

The later Type 985 was a fixed-array radar system for carriers, in the design stage about 1959, and thus a rough equivalent of the contemporary US SPS-32/33 system. Development of this system was later cancelled. The new carrier CVA-01 was intended to be equipped with Type 988, which was the planned Anglo-Dutch three-dimensional radar, also intended for the Type 82 “frigate” HMS Bristol. Although this was also cancelled, its design probably survived in the Dutch MTTR radar which was fitted to the Dutch destroyers De Ruyter and Tromp.

- Sorry it goes on a bit, but thought I should reproduce the complete item."

Hopefully this answers your questions and helps with those members who don't like searching "unknown" sites.

Pete
 

zen

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Thankyou for the 'dump', though it just reiterates what should be well known here.

My information suggested the 985 starts its life in 1957, which is an intriging date, and another source says the US started on its work in '58. I do wonder how much cross pollination there was going on over this stuff.

RN moves where driven to automate manned processes due to space and numbers being limited, but the automation with CDS and 984 seems to have improved operations in terms of precision and speed.
Thus the results during an exercise with radarless Scimitars.
USN seems to want to gain that and jump to a more advanced system.
 

starviking

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zen said:
Tony Butlers book rather implies the favoured solution to NIGS was "large PT428", essentialy scaled up aerodynamic form of the PT428 missile with SARH guidance and its curious to note that when thoughts turned to a new medium range SAM under SAM.72 studies, PT428's successor PX430 (Sea Wolf) was scaled up as an option XPX430, though the guidance is not clearified.

I had a quick re-read of the relevant sections of Tony's book and the large PT428 had its range extended by adding a large booster. Even this could not reach the minimum range required - which is why something larger levering Blue Envoy was submitted. It's interesting to note that this would have used command guidance - requiring an illuminator, missile tracker, and datalink for each missile - maybe why the NIGS Frigate has both illuminator and guidance radars.

Any info on XPX430?

Also - any info on the Armstrong Whitworth NIGS submission from team 502?

zen said:
On reflection and reading some fascenating material about the US efforts, it may even be arugable that dropping 985 and NIGS was a major mistake. Aegis has apparently a more direct connection to earlier efforts.

That call could be made on 985 - but for NIGS the problem was that it had a large minimum range - thus limiting its effectiveness against SSMs.

zen said:
Although perhaps a little OT, RN discussions seem to include a large ramjet missile for a cruiser alternative to the CV in their debate on the validity of persuing carriers. But no mention of such a anti-ship weapon is forthcomming from Mr Butlers otherwise excellent book.
Was that a variant of some landbased or air-launched design?

Where'd you get the info on the cruiser alternative Zen?

As for variants - IIRC Tony's book implies a stong link between Blue Envoy and NIGS. Given the predominance of Bristol GW in UK Ramjet work it'd be a safe call to suggest this cruiser missile has some family link to Blue Envoy.
 

zen

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I had a quick re-read of the relevant sections of Tony's book and the large PT428 had its range extended by adding a large booster.

My reading was that PT428 was even with a booster not upto the task,due ot lack of range and the beam rider guidance not being ideal for longrange engagements. But theres nothing about large PT428 save its about twice the size of the other and the RN favoured it as a solution, with some implication its a SARH guidance system.
Nothing about it not being upto scratch due to lack of range.

I have nothing on SAM.72 studies bar Tony Butlers reference to it which is that one submission was XPX430 and it was an enlarge PX430 (SeaWolf) missile with possibly SARH guidance. But my gut feeling is we missed an opportunity there for a common SAM for RN, RAF and Army.

I have nothing on 502, but have read elsewhere somewhere (don't ask for the reference I've forgotten it) about AWA working on a improved SeaSlug.

I think NIGS is less important than the 985 and ADA. A missile of some sort could be integrated with this, but the work on 985 and ADA could've put us in a far more favourable position for the future and even now had we bitten the bullet then.
Imagine for instance if we had a few AESA equipped ships during the Falklands how much better the defence of the fleet would've been. Indeed even with 984s for their 3D capabilities would've proved very useful for fighter direction compared to the sets in use. Much as the old Gannet AEWs would've proved so useful as well.

As for the cruiser studies, its mentioned in passing as part of the debate over whether the RN should have CVs or missile cruisers during the 60's. So I imagine theres various references in Admiralty records of those meetings.
 

JFC Fuller

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My own reading of BSP4 is that Bristol made two submissions but only after hearing about the NIGS programme through non-official channels. The first was the Bloodhound/Blue Envoy derivative that took the basic concept of these two missiles but rolled the rocket motors into a single tandem booster with the missile on top. this was rejected as too large. Bristol then offered the enlarged PT.428. However no indication is given that the RN gave any response to this design other than that requirements had shifted towards SIGS.

However all the Bristol descriptions seem tangental, after all before them Butler states that the preferred bidder for WA.726 (NIGS) was the Project 502 team consisting of Armstrong Whitworth, Sperry and Smiths, essentially the Sea Slug team. Interestingly Butler puts the 1957 requirements at a range of 50 miles able to engage a Mach 3 target at 70,000ft, this is considerably less the design envisaged in 1962 according to Friedman. In many ways Butler has simply skirted around the central player in the NIGS programme and has left out considerable details.
 

uk 75

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After the cancellation of the big RN cruiser, which was presumably intended to have space
to fit a successor system to Seaslug such as Blue Envoy, the only large platform for such a
system was a carrier. Mention of a missile equipped carrier does crop up after the original
idea of connverting an old ship.
The only drawings available of CVA 01 only show CF299 (Seadart), but presumably in the early
stages of the ship design, the larger missile (Stage whatever) must have been look at.
The other ship that emerges in the late 50s early 60s is the helicopter carrying cruiser. Perhaps a version of this might originally have been intended to carry a non-Seadart Seaslug replacement?
The subject is still shrouded in some mystery despite the apparently comprehensive books available.

UK 75
 

JFC Fuller

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UK75; NIGS falls into a grey area, the cruiser programme was killed in 1957 and those vessels were only ever designed to take Sea Slug. There were very vague studies for NIGs ships (approaching 8000 tons max) after this but no images seem to have come to light. Some of these proposals used nuclear power.

It is entirely plausible that the weapon described by Friedman could have been evolved from Sea Slug. A switch to semi-active radar homing and the relocation of the booster motors into a single unit at the tail would soon have turned into such a concept.
 

uk 75

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Sealord

Many thanks for the info. Something new to get on the track of.

UK 75
 

starviking

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sealordlawrence said:
I have been doing further wondering on this subject and after some relentless googling I found the following in the Skomer page.

BS.1001

Bristol Siddeley M2.4 - 4.2 ramjet.

Developed for NIGS. Used external compression intake and R.1 / R.2 combustor. Controllable thrust.

Ø = 13in (32.6cm)


Thoughts?

Ps. Zen, when you have time I would love to see the Friedman Typw 985 reference you have!

Thanks in advance sealordlawrence.

Page 63 Of BSP4 states that the BS.1001 was used on the initial Bristol GW Submission for SIGS, page 155 of the same book mentions that it was initially for the NIGS missile.
 

JFC Fuller

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Your right it does, however i am more prepared to believe page 155 as a 13 inch ramjet looks too small for the RP.25 mentioned earlier and page 155 gives greater detail. That however raises another question, what is the RP.21 that was intended to be powered by the 20inch BS.1004 that is mentioned on page 156?

The Skomer site states that it was a Mach 4 surface to air missile powered by a BS.1004. This combined with the 20 inch diameter of the BS.1004 this suggests a single ramjet meaning that this missile could have been configured as an enlarged Sea Dart?

Thanks in advance sealordlawrence.

Ps. What was the diameter of the BS.1003/Odin used in Sea Dart?
 

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