RN Nuclear NIGS ship

JFC Fuller

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22 April 2012
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Firstly, this is based upon known discussions with the RN, known systems that were proposed and/or existed at one point or another and known sketch designs performed. However these have been combined together to form a single coherent platform that is representative of what could have been built had the the UK not been bankrupt. If the mods feel that this is too speculative please feel free to delete or relocate. However the platform and the systems all existed at one time or another.

In the late 50's the RN began looking at a follow on the county class destroyers, the missile system that was selected was New Naval Guided Weapons System (to become known as NIGS) NIG's. The MoA called it WA726 and it was to be developed by the Project 502 team lead by Armstrong Whitworth and including Smiths and Sperry. it was to be based on a highly evolved Sea Slug. The project was started in 1958 and by late 1959 it was envisaged as a semi-active homing dart weighing 0.64 ton with 0.83 ton booster. The ship to carry itwent through a range of sketches culminating in designs of approximately 8,000-9,000 tons carrying up to 80 missiles. Proposed powerplants were combined nuclear and steam and full nuclear. None of these platforms or systems got beyond the initial sketch and discussion stage. The ships radar was to be the Type 985 tied to the ADAWS system that first appeared on the Batch II counties. This much is known but the rest is speculation.

There appears to have been no consideration for a helicopter, in keeping with the Bristol class, however had it been pursued to its full potential a HTP powered and wire guided version of the Mk-20E torpedo fired from tubes with an amidships magazine is not inconceivable based on planned configurations for the destroyer reconstructions of the time. Further with ASW in mind, it had always been planned to use the Type-2001 sonar developed for nuclear submarines in surface ships but it proved prohibitively expensive until the Type-42/22 generation. In addition, the large Type 192 towed VDS set (development started in 1954 under the code name Project Beta) survived until approximately 1960 before cancellation and is therefore also a possible ASW candidate for this vessel as is a digitised version of the Project Cambria (Automatic Surface Plot, or ASP) that was effectively an ASW version of CDS (Comprehensive display system associated with the Type 984 radar and Sea Slug MkII. Whilst working in the region of 8,000 ton + nuclear powered RN vessels one may as well consider this a possibility.

I appreciate that this combination is largely speculative (although based on actual considerations undertaken by the RN) but every element was under consideration or development during the relevant timeframe and it is an area of RN 'secret projects' that tends to get lost in the haze of aircraft carriers and other fancy systems.

I would be interested to know peoples thoughts on this???
During those discussions, was there any recorded mention of proposed gun fits? Or were they thinking along the lines of a all missile ship as was in vouge in the USN for a time? Also, do you know if there was any consideration given to using some of the systems that were being fitted to HMS Tiger at around this time? I'm thinking in particular of some of her self-defense systems.
Grey Havoc,

Various configurations were suggested, some fitted with 4.5 inch guns others not. As a rule of thumb the more missiles the design had the less likely it was to have had guns, the key element appears to have been evolving the counties to NIGS. As for self defence systems, one can only guess but most likely they would have been considered and at least temporarily included had a detailed design phase been reached.
Now if memory serves, the yanks had a great deal of trouble and effort producing working systems of this sort, so we have some indication of the sort of effort the UK would have to achieve here.

Type 985 is the electricaly scanned 3D array, and a successor to Type 984. I presume it would actualy be matched with ADA as that was orriginated at the correct time, and actualy fitted on HMS Eagle in the 1960's. ADAWS seems a little later.

The missile is a problem, since the RN really should've opted for Green Flax earlier, instead of the well developed but already out of date SeaSlug and thus would be in a better state to develope the guidance, command and other shipboard systems.
Complicated by musings on Bloodhound, Blue Envoy and the horror of trying to handle such weapons onboard a ship, which must have affected the RN Admiralty.
The most promising option is surely the scaled up PT428, "large PT428" missile with a new SARH homing seeker.
Quite what the naval illuminator was to be is not clear from what I've read.

But is it enough? Because in the end the US eletricaly scanned radars on Long Beach and Enterprise where dropped, and from what I've read they where maintenence hogs which is the reason.
Typhon was dropped too, for political reasons, can we say the UK would not be tempted down the same road?

However the US effort is what set the scene for Aegis, so if the UK manages the effort right, it too might produce its own system similar to Aegis later on.....?

Say for a moment the UK does persue this, it would have implications for the carrier fleet, since it looks tempting to go down the route of the missile fleet, that was part of the carrier debate during CVA-01.
Whats lacking there is the large Anti-ship missile, but certainly there must have been musings on such, as the debate mentions a 22inch diameter ramjet missile launchable from ship and the problems of targetting it.
Thanks. I was wondering if they considered among other things the Vickers 3"/70 Mk.6 AA gun as shown here:


It is absolutely true that such an exercise was extremely risky with a greater prospect of failure than success, I do not dispute that.

ADAW's was essentially just ADA with weapons control, the W denoting Weapon, they were essentially the same thing. And they were intended to be tied together with the Type 985, Freidman states that ADA/ADAW's was initiated because CDS would not have been able to cope with Type 985.

There is a real issue with the missile history, Bill Gunston has done a great disservice by focussing his NIGS piece not on what seems to have been the actually proposed system but on Bristol's efforts to hijack it. Sea Slug was not the atrocious missile that it has been made out to be, certainly not in its MkII variant and is not difficult to see how the Project 502 team could have evolved it into something much more capable. The history of Sea Slug and NIGS as a whole is highly confused.

The carriers would stay as the Buccaneer's retained the land attack and anti surface role, CVA-01 was intended to provide power projection in the far east by supporting amphibious forces in an environment where the Soviets had supplied the latest weapons. CVA-01 was tied to the East of Suez commitment and not so much to fighting the Soviets in the North Atlantic.
Grey Havoc said:
Thanks. I was wondering if they considered among other things the Vickers 3"/70 Mk.6 AA gun as shown here:


This appears not to have been considered for NIGS vessels, in fact the 3 inch dissapears in the late 50s. It was planned for AAW frigates earlier in the decade in conjunction with CDS but then the AAW frigate was abandoned and missiles took over.
As a gun armament I would suggest the 4.5" MK5* as fitted to the Tribal Class Frigates. It was proposed as the gun for the Type 82 prior to the development of the Mk8. Maybe two sided mounts in the manner of the Long Beach and Albanies.

Speaking of USN nuclear powered ships, given the timeframe do you think it's possible a successful NIGS design might have ended up using a couple of the USN's D2G reactors?
Was the CONAD based around an existing reactor design or was it totally notational? And do you have any idea who proposed it in the first place? Was it a Naval office, Government Department or company proposal?
sealordlawrence said:
Grey Havoc said:
Thanks. I was wondering if they considered among other things the Vickers 3"/70 Mk.6 AA gun as shown here:


This appears not to have been considered for NIGS vessels, in fact the 3 inch dissapears in the late 50s. It was planned for AAW frigates earlier in the decade in conjunction with CDS but then the AAW frigate was abandoned and missiles took over.

I guess Seacat's obvious potential was the nail in coffin of the 3"/70.
It needs to be born in mind that the debate over the carriers was one where the alternative was a guided missile fleet, not a million miles from what the USSR persued, and in fact no cheaper than the persute of carriers and aircraft instead.
In the end both options where dropped and they focused on the ASW fleet, with anti-fleet shadowers for aircraft.

The scale of costs and the sort of systems developed for the NIGS cruiser, would make the guided missile fleet option more achievable and attractive, but it would be developed instead of the carriers.
Its possible the combat system the RN developed might be more complete and capable than the USN one.

We know the UK was working on compact nuclear powerplants, so it depends. We could see the first of class completed with a US reactor much as the first SSN was.

The issue of the main guns seems logical, but its likely that lighter guns will be fitted only with a cobweb sight, much as they where, throwing away all the integrated fire control developed since WWII for them.

All this said, one can imagine a maximal RN perusing both these NIGS cruisers and its own supercarriers. Both of which would provide considerable potential for the future.

Their successors would be most interesting, since the whole system will be far more compact.
Grey Havoc,

To my knowledge the nuclear plant was entirely notional however the UK was working on SSN propulsion plants in this timeframe that would have likely been used as a baseline. I will pull out the additional details I have this evening but it is not much more than suggested horsepower figures. The USN D1G powerplant was sketched into a county class hull and a new double ended design. However there seems to have been a preference for what is described as a combined nuclear-steam plant (CONAD).


The Mk-5's were the weapons considered where gun armament was included. The 3inch seems to have dies for two reasons, it was heavy and maintenance heavy / not overly reliable. Its development was delayed so that by the time it came round it was starting to compete with Sea Cat (note Victorious got US 3 inch guns Eagle got Sea Cat).


There are a number of issues here, the carriers were always planned as were the heavy missile ships, however the latter die in 1957 with the end of the cruiser programme. Money was certainly the primary driver but one consideration may have been the sudden slowing in the Soviet shipbuilding programme that occurred after Stalin's death and that would have been apparent to the UK by 1957. With the end of Soviet heavy Unit construction (until the late 70s) the heavy (AShM) missile fleet was no longer a requirement. CVA-01 and the associated fleet structure is intertwined with the East of Suez presence. The ASW frigate force comes about when CVA-01 is cancelled and the RN puts its entire focus on Soviet SSN's in the GIUK gap. It MIGHT have also had something to do with relative failure of the Corsair system, this was a basically a less sophisticated UK version of the SOSUS network that was to have allowed RAF aircraft to have been cued towards Soviet Submarines (and surface ships?) from the UK thus reducing the need for naval assets in home waters. It is interesting that the Valiant was one of the major platforms intended to take Green Cheese (the AShM planned for the Buccaneer), in combination with advanced Shackleton variants it would have provided a pretty comprehensive RAF counter naval capability, although obviously not a complete substitute for RN assets in home waters.

Certainly what would have followed these ships is interesting to speculate, I would suggest a CONAD powered version of the 1952 carrier, likely also carrying Type 985 (as was examined in the early days of the CVA-01 programme).
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This is a fascinating thread. I hope the Shipbucket artists are also reading.

My take on the RN in the late 50s early 60s is that it desperately wanted
US state of the art systems like Talos, Tartar and Asroc, but could not
afford them in scarce US Dollars. This did not stop the RN from using its
close ties with the USN to develop systems which matched its capabilities.

I think that the gradual evolution of the US air defense ships from the big
cruisers like the Albany and Long Beach class through the abortive Typhon
missile ships to the California and Virgina class was being watched closely
by the RN. The move from Talos to Typhon and the related systems is
matched by the demise of the big cruiser in favour of smaller destroyer ships.
Bainbridge rather than Long Beach would have been the basis for a late 50s early 60s RN nuclear air defence ship.

I have always thought that Seadart is remarkably similar to the boosterless
version of Typhon in appearance. In some ways it is a pity that the UK did not procure the Tartar/Terrier family as it could have followed the US route of evolution into Standard. Rather like Typhon/Talos Seadart (and before it
NIGS) was a dead end.

My closest guess for a serious NIGS ship would be a version of Bainbridge with UK features. Like Bainbridge it would have omitted guns, but might have had a combined launcher for Ikara and NIGS as this idea was being developed in the US with Asroc and Terrier.

Alternatively the most described NIGS ship is a version of the County destroyer with launchers fore and aft. Again this would probably have lost any large gun capability, NIGS presumably having the same surface to surface
capability as Seaslug II.

There must be some drawings of this stuff somewhere.

UK 75
Just a quick note on studied RN nuclear propulsion plants of the time.

The Director of General Engineering studied a configuration consisting of a 20,000SHP plus a 20,000SHP pressure fired boiler, there was a second study with 30,000SHP at each of the two stages.
uk 75 said:
This is a fascinating thread. I hope the Shipbucket artists are also reading.

UK 75

Although I know it isn't a real design, I did remember seeing this one, which is a take on the Long Beach using UK equipment, Type-984 CDS, NIGS, Seaslug, Orange Nell, Rapid Fire 5" gun, Fairey Ultralight.


I kept hoping they would do an upgraded vessel with Sea Dart, Ikara and Exocet.

Nice one though.
No Type984 and the CDS running on Posidon was not copying the USN, it was leading edge stuff for the time, and mightily impressed the yanks when they got to see it perform.
They where still relying on a very manural system in comparison. The RN could'nt afford to take that approach with its smaller carriers and smaller fleet. Automation was the only way forward for them, while the US took more time to decide on what it wanted.

UK radar theory was not behind the US at all in this time, and nor was computer science.
Nor could it be said that Thunderbird and Bloodhound where inferior to US work, and where certainly seperate from them in development. As was Blue Envoy.

What is happening is sharing of ideas and information, but its not a one way process, in fact Type985 seems to predate the US effort by a year or so.

What it is true to say is the UK lacked the will to finance what it could concieve of in theory and on paper. The US however did fund its own efforts.

Green cheese was dropped because it was'nt the best approach to taking down a Sverdlov, Fairy's work, was more on the money, but money was lacking all round.

Great post, absolutely correct.

There were however far more reasons for cancelling Green Cheese, it was becoming a monster of a programme with multiple design iterations and no final missile even by 1962 by which time the Sverdlov (and wider Soviet surface) threat had faded, remember that no new Soviet cruisers appeared after 1954 and the large hulls spotted under construction (Stalingrad class) vanish.
I wonder whether was there any serious consideration ever given to developing a naval version of the Bloodhound Mk.II?

I take your point on radar and ship design. You probably know that the
County class design was well regarded by the US and influenced the
Spruance class.

However, I think it is also fair to say that the greater resources of the
USN meant that it had more scope on nuclear power and missile families
than the UK. Dreadnought had a US reactor and it seems reasonable to
suppose that if in the same timescale the RN had wanted a CGN or DLGN
they would have had access to US experience. After all, the USN itself
had only Long Beach and Bainbridge in service initially in the period we
are looking at. Truxtun and the Californias come along much later.

On missiles, I can only go by the published sources. The US missiles
in the T family probably performed worse than Seaslug but they were
much easier to fit in ships, and are still in use today, whereas the RN
has had to ditch Seadart in favour of the French Aster. Talos was a
powerful weapon and even the USN found it useful until the 70s. A
lot of effort would have been needed to get Seaslug or a British missile
to do the same job. Typhon proved the limits of the technology of the
early 60s and it took another 20 years to deploy AEGIS. Seadart performed
better than Tartar and Standard until the Vertical launch versions arrived,
but it could not evolve (more for financial than technical reasons of course).

So, my first choice is a County class derivative, as that is quoted in Friedman,
but if we are talking nuclear in this period, Bainbridge would have been the
model for the DLGN, though of course with a UK designed hull and weapons
configuration (like Dreadnought).

Finally, I am sure it is no accident that Bristol has a similar weapons fit
to Belknap/Truxtun, though in a more sensible order (gun forwd, SAM aft).

The RN and USN had a good relationship and neither were afraid to learn from
the other.

UK 75
A basic airframe design still being in service does not make a missile still in service. There is little difference between SM-6 replacing arm launched SM-2-s and ASTER replacing Sea Dart.

The UK could and did design its own world class ships and system and similarities to USN vessels have as much if not more to do with common solutions to common problems over any particular transfer of technology.

The delays to UK nuclear propulsion in this time frame are largely associated with a lack of design staff and a pause in development in the early 50s rather than any financial issues.

Thank you as ever for your info and corrections.

On the ship and missile design fronts though I hate
to be pedantic but by the early 1960s the US had
successfully deployed three different types of surface
warship and the UK had not. It seems reasonable to
me that the RN would have been keen to learn
something from this experience.

On the missile point I must laugh. General Dynamics
(or whatever it may call itself nowadays)
has been in the SAM business with this family right
through from the 50s to the present. In contrast
the UK has had to shop around for a missile to replace
Seadart from the 80s on and in fact would have
preferred Standard VLSS if Europolitics and other
factors had not forced it to buy Aster. As a taxpayer
I would have been a lot happier if we had saved the
shedloads of money on dodgy British missiles and
bought decent quantities of US weapons. To see
how to do this properly look at the Japanese, who
now have AEGIS in service in quantity while we
have one defective Daring and some ancient Type 42s.

UK 75
Buying US made missiles isn't that simple, especially back in the 1950s and 60s when there were no dollars available to buy such equipment. Then you compare the equipment itself and you find that it doesn't perform as well as the few British made bits of kit and doesn't meet the RAF's or Navy's requirements for what they actually want it to do. At the same time you're effectively eliminating any chance of future homegrown development. In later decades, the choice is less clear cut (e.g. SM and Sea Dart/Sea Wolf). Cost savings would probably be made (though maybe not if still using homegrown radar) but have to be weighed against the value generated by UK missile development (e.g. jobs, exports etc.)
This discussion has strayed from the intended topic. In the absence of any further developments pertaining to the "RN Nuclear NIGS ship," it might be worthwhile to close this thread and transfer any relevant discussions to the appropriate existing threads.
Ok, to get back on topic, which British shipbuilder would, in your opinion, most likely have gotten the contract to build the first of class, say contract award in late 1961.
Historically only two nuclear building streams were ever set up in the UK; for the SSBN/SSN, Vickers at Barrow and Cammell Laird so maybe that would be the way it would go.

I personally think it would have made some sense to build such a novel first of class warship in one of the Royal Dock Yards were the process of construction could have been closely monitored.
But which option?

Do they go for the large vessel, either the early large Escort Cruiser or a successor to the Guided Weapon Cruiser canceled in 1957?

Or perhaps the medium option, say Series 9, which is less carrier-like, nor much like the gun cruisers.
Could we see the Tychon range of weapons developed to give some offensive punch from the same Seaslug launcher? That would certainly make it more multi-role and have knock on effects for the FAA and RAF.

Series 21 was the Flagship cruiser, and they where planning to order in early 1964 and deliver in mid 1967.

If we assume an order in 1961 this suggests either the early large Escort Cruiser, its design being favoured and more developed or the Series 9 version. To order the latest design like Series 21, means there is going to be delays to get the design worked up to plans.
How rapid do we expect the Type 985 radar to progress?
How rapid will the development of NIGS missile be?
Delays could create problems if CVA-01 is the carrier project and its going along to the real world schedule.
I've had another thought on this, they still had a Majestic hull uncompleted, and did think of conversion of a Colossus to the task of AAW, but it was rejected as too slow.
However the Majestic hull is there and with better machinary, either Y200 or YEAD1, they could squeeze the necessary performance out of her and have the volume to handle the size of the systems involved with ease.

I think it was Leviathan, but her hull might not be good shape by 1961. I know later it was in very poor shape.
Then we're probably talking either a County class variant or the Series 9 studies for a cruiser, as that is around 6,000tons, which is the sort of range where it would be affordable. Gut instinct is its easier to incorporate NIGS as a set of systems into the light cruiser that is a clean sheet of paper design, than try to squeeze it into the existing County design.

For nuclear propulsion, the clean sheet of paper is more favourable.

Curious thought.

Series 9 is around 6,000tons.
Type 43 is around 6,000tons.
Whats the displacement of a Type 45?

All this said Mountbatten favoured the Guided Weapon Carrier able to re-arm the Guided Weapon Destroyers. But '57 had among its conclusions the end of the cruiser/carrier hybird (shades of Kiev on that one). Though the terms seems to carry on in '59, but that might just be because the CV study had SeaCat.
Apologies for straying off the point. I am learning a lot from this
blog and can get carried away.

I am fascinated by the references in various sources to the idea
of a missile armed carrier. There seems to be a gap between the
proposed Seaslug versions of wartime carriers and the eventual
CVA 01 with CF 299 (Seadart). Looking at the designs for the
Escort Cruiser with Seaslug it seems reasonable to suppose that
somewhere there was planned an early version of CVA01 or other
UK project with stern mounted Seaslug.

It looks pretty clear that the Escort Cruiser had replaced the
proposed Missile Cruiser, presumably because it offered more
capability and the carrier was planned to carry any big missiles
and radar.

Which seems to bring us back to Friedman's detailed account
of proposed versions of the County class. Without wishing
to start up the nuclear argument again there seems enough
evidence to suggest that the UK never came close to building
a nuclear surface ship. The most likely candidates would
have been CVA 01 or later the much cited RFA nuclear supply

So I think the excellent County class platform would have been
the NIGS ship initially. Later presumably the Type 82, a similarly
well designed platform, would have been adopted. All we need
now is some more info.

UK 75
Thanks for the clarifications on detail. Does anything much happen
in the gap between 1957 and CVA 01/Escort Cruiser on the missile
ship front?

Upshot is we are still looking for more detailed info on what
a County derived NIGS ship for the 1960s

UK 75
'59 theres a CV study, 45,000tons, three ships in the long term plan. The term Guided Weapon Carrier is I think still used then.

Final iterations of the Escort Cruiser, seem to focus it more on independant operations from what I can read.

Its not precisely clear, what happend to the Medium Fleet CV, that was born after the cancelation of the 1952 CV, in 1953, they where still discussing it in 1956, no signs of it being droped.
but then records are not good for this periode, we know sketch designs where viewed at a meeting in Bristol or Bath (I forget which), no one has come forward with them or found them to my knowledge.

Yet '57 is the real birth of the Type 985 and NIGS. Taking Sandys lead.
One fact to consider in relation to fitting NIGS to the Escort Carrier is that the dual role would mean that operational compromises would need to be made as to positioning the ship to be most effective in the ASW role or the AAW role.
The medium carriers that exist between the 1952 carrier and the CVA-01 are simple over taken by the latter, no special fate at all as they were only ever long term considerations.

The escort cruiser has no relation to the 1957 cruiser and the two are based on completely different concepts. The 1957 cruiser is designed as a heavy anti-surface unit designed to engage Soviet surface units with 6inch guns and Blue Slug nuclear tipped AShM's whilst also providing area air defence and fighter control. By 1957 she is unaffordable and and increasingly not needed as Stalin's massive naval build-up is all but abandoned after his death. The escort cruiser comes about alongside CVA-01 and is designed to provide a platform for ASW helicopters that could defend itself and contribute to the overall AAW capability of a task force. The idea being that she added another AAW missile launcher and long range radar to an East of Suez carrier battle group and enabled the CVA-01 to focus on fixed wing operations. In many ways this is a product of the unaffordable nature of the CVA-01 that by 1966 was causing ever more innovative ships being created in order to create a working battle group (Type 19 for instance). The only two concepts that are left after 1966 are the medium quality frigate and the escort cruiser and these evolve into the excellent Type 22 and Invincible classes.

NIGS/Type 985 has no relation to Sandys, it is pure coincidence that it turns up then, it was just part of the natural process to replace Sea Slug.
NIGS/Type 985 has no relation to Sandys, it is pure coincidence that it turns up then, it was just part of the natural process to replace Sea Dart.

I think you mean SeaSlug, although they had considered Thunderbird II (Green Flax), Bloodhound and even Blue Envoy, prior to NIGS.
And Sandys missile based ideas are certainly in tune with the idea of loosing DLI to NIGS.....The CAP fighter rules their thinking once they start musing on new carriers afterwards.

However......Controller Air, in Feb 1957 specificaly rules out reliance on missiles to replace naval aircraft, ruling out the hybrid missile/carrier concept that had gotten as far as outline drawings shown in Bath that year, so its clear not everyone is singing from Sandys hymsheet. Apparently the hybrid ship is still on the longterm plan in 1958!

Now if we're being honest here, any cruiser study with NIGS and type 985 will not have gone far, and any study with nuclear propulsion would be even less developed. Timewise it will exist somewhere between 1958 and 1961.
NIGs must surely have among its aims the get the sort of interception capablities they thought they needed, but lost due to the cut of the DLI fighter P.177 to NA47. Presumably for a similar range of 60nm.

Medium Fleet CV is delayed, because the RN is taking its time quite rightly to assess what its going to operate from them, and then dropped seemingly because of the defence squeeze of '57, which also pulls the plug on the DLI fighter, that forms part of the air defence airwing of the vessel.
Norman Friedman: British Carrier Aviation.

Page 336, to page 337 and page 340.

Controllers conclusions are in the ships covers for the 1952 effort, as is refences to the Medium Fleet studies.

There is also reference to a Ships Cover for the Guided Weapon Cruiser.

Early 1956 DNC is developing a 30,000ton hybrid missile/carrier design, Sketch B is chosen in March that year by the Sea Lords with the launcher mounted at the stern of the ship, leaving the flightdeck free for two catapults.
This to use the 1 and 3/4 missile.
Lord Mountbatten asks for the missile stowage to be increased to thirty or fourty weapons.
Ship is figured in the ten year building plan adopted that year and survived until 1960 in long range plans.

Outlines for both pure carrier and hybrid ship shown at a NARC meeting in Bath in 1957.

Seems I remembered the wrong place for the meeting, still Bath and Bristol are close.

1958 Plan called for three of the Hybrid ships, one each 1964-65, 1965-66 and 1966-67. Shift to conventional carriers actualy inceased the requisite numbers, as the minimum number of operational ships was set at three. Meaning a fleet of five is really needed, and the '57 white paper approves just such a fleet of five carriers.

Sandys plans cut the intended quick reaction fighters, P.177 and Delta III, their SARH missile Red Hebe, as well as the supersonic bomber. Of these, the P.177 is the most dubious to persue, since it's really needing a major overhaul into a pure jet fighter with a decent sized radar and SARH missile.
Delta III is a highly potent system, and the supersonic bomber was actualy a lot more survivable than Sandys thought.
I must say I find this thread fascinating.

I've nothing technical to add to this discussion but certainly I share UK 75's hope that images of some of these systems come to light.

As one of the shipbucket artists (and the artist of the huge fictional cruiser posted earlier on) I would need much more visual clues before attempting to draw one of this ideas. The Type 985 could look like anything and details of Orange Nell and NIGS launchers and guidance radars are scarce if not non-existant even if the missiles have been illustrated. Perhaps its all languishing under the 30-year rule somewhere?

I think its safe to assume an American reactor built under licence and also that the costs would have killed the whole project whatever happened, CVA would have been the prime project of the 1960s alongside Polaris and as the Type 82 shows other designs with conventional machinery were being prepared and were as capable.

Sandys killed as many missile programmes as he did aircraft projects, he was a cost-cutter but certainly favoured missiles from his experiences (during the war he was involved with countering the V-1 and making reports about them).

The hybrid carriers I'm assuming are not hybrids in the traditional sense but carriers with self-protection systems like the US Self-Protecting Carrier concept of the 1950s as illustrated in 'The Hybrid Warship' be Layman and McLaughlin. This would have compromised the airgroup capability in favour of defence but certainly CVA-01 with Sea Dart and Ikara would have been the most heavily armed postwar carriers (most US carriers never recieved planned SAM batteries).
Not happy, lost my post. :mad:

Equaly having all sorts of troubles when typing text much beyond the size of the window, can scroll down to see, but the minute I start typing, it all shoots back and I'm typing blind. :eek:

If NIGS is derived from SeaSlug, then presumably the same launcher applies. Scaling up the SeaDart launcher is not a trivial matter as Violent Friend showed.

UK reactor work was ahead of the US in some areas in the 1950s, but the slow pace of progress meant the UK bought a US reactor for its first SSN. Presumably something similar would attend the effort to produce a nuclear powered cruiser or destroyer. Complete the first type with a US reactor, until the UK design and production can fullfill the task.

Lets not turn this into a debate on the aircraft Sandys cut, but I will say I do not agree with your statement on that matter sealordlawrence. However lets leave that for the proper place for such a debate.
I will post this now hoping it gets through and not type more.
However any NIGS vessels would be following a timeline closer to Valiant than to Dreadnought suggesting that a UK plant is entirely plausible.

Regarding the launcher, my suggestion was not that the Sea Dart launcher would be scaled up, simply that in general appearance they would likely be similar. The one description I have seen for NIG's talks of a single dart and a single booster rather than the wrap around configuration that required the sea slug launcher.
Interesting, and it does make sense, since the power requirements for a single round launcher could be more achievable.

If this modernised SeaSlug had a single booster, its certainly going to be one very long and unwieldy weapon. Much like Bristols Bloodhound derivative (or should we call it more a Blue Envoy deriviative?). No wonder they ended up developing SIGS requirements!

The odd thing about this all, is how major a step it all seems from Type 984, CDS and SeaSlug.
Had they opted for a transistorised 984, ADAWS and Thunderbird, the whole thing would've been far more achievable for the early 1960s.

But then if we add the nuclear powerplant into the mix, even assuming Core A is used, then yes, the project is'nt going to see fruition until the late 60s. Core B would only push it back even further.

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