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RN Nuclear NIGS ship

JFC Fuller

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Hood,

The issue I have with SIGS is that the early requirements and offerings are all for much shorter range weapons that have more in common with Orange Nell, SIGS does not seem to become an area weapon until later.
 

Abraham Gubler

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Does anyone have a deckplan drawing of the County class? Would be interesting to see how the horizontal Sea Slug magazine is laid out.
 

Thorvic

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Abraham Gubler said:
Does anyone have a deckplan drawing of the County class? Would be interesting to see how the horizontal Sea Slug magazine is laid out.
There could be one in Friedmans British Frigates & Destroyers, however from what i can recall it ran the full length of the deck from below the hanger to the end of the flight deck, so it was quite a size.

G
 

starviking

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Thorvic said:
Abraham Gubler said:
Does anyone have a deckplan drawing of the County class? Would be interesting to see how the horizontal Sea Slug magazine is laid out.
There could be one in Friedmans British Frigates & Destroyers, however from what i can recall it ran the full length of the deck from below the hanger to the end of the flight deck, so it was quite a size.

G
There's an internal profile on page 185 - the magazine starts at just aft of the foremast, and runs almost all the way to the launcher - there being a missile loading space just forward of the launcher, and a missile checkout station around the area of the aft funnel.

There's also a plan of the missile handling and stowage spaces on page 189, though necessarily compacted for length.

Both diagrams are for the Batch II ships.

There's also a cutaway here:http://publishing.yudu.com/A9cr/navynewsapril/resources/59.htm?skipFlashCheck=true
Sadly it lacks detail of the missile storage arrangements - but might help with visualizing them given the descriptions I gave above.
 

Abraham Gubler

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starviking said:
There's an internal profile on page 185 - the magazine starts at just aft of the foremast, and runs almost all the way to the launcher - there being a missile loading space just aft of the launcher, and a missile checkout station around the area of the aft funnel.

There's also a plan of the missile handling and stowage spaces on page 189, though necessarily compacted for length.
If the magazine runs that far forward then surely it must be split to allow for the exhaust uptakes and air intakes for the engine rooms? Or do these ducts wrap around the magazine? Would love to see a scan of that page 185... even low res...
 

starviking

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Abraham Gubler said:
starviking said:
There's an internal profile on page 185 - the magazine starts at just aft of the foremast, and runs almost all the way to the launcher - there being a missile loading space just aft of the launcher, and a missile checkout station around the area of the aft funnel.

There's also a plan of the missile handling and stowage spaces on page 189, though necessarily compacted for length.
If the magazine runs that far forward then surely it must be split to allow for the exhaust uptakes and air intakes for the engine rooms? Or do these ducts wrap around the magazine? Would love to see a scan of that page 185... even low res...
I guess the ducts must bifurcate around the magazine - in the profile the ducting is shown with a dotted line from the forward funnel down to the boiler room.
 

JFC Fuller

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Friedman states that the uptakes for the propulsion systems went round the tube magazine.
 

Abraham Gubler

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Sea Slug in action...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ULvSrslNbo
 

JohnR

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starviking said:
There's an internal profile on page 185 - the magazine starts at just aft of the foremast, and runs almost all the way to the launcher - there being a missile loading space just aft of the launcher, and a missile checkout station around the area of the aft funnel.

There's also a plan of the missile handling and stowage spaces on page 189, though necessarily compacted for length.
I think you mean forward of the launcher, in either way you could be refering to loading the missiles, loading onto the launcher or loading onto the ship.
 

JFC Fuller

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The county class and there design history are also slightly mysterious. The design seems to have continued to evolve over time with requests being made for the hull to be designed to take the Type 2001 sonar (I know this was never installed but was the provision made?) consideration for a second Type 901 director and the Type 984 radar whilst thought was also given towards eolving the design into a steam powered cruiser with greater missile stowage for the Batch II ships.
 

starviking

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JohnR said:
starviking said:
There's an internal profile on page 185 - the magazine starts at just aft of the foremast, and runs almost all the way to the launcher - there being a missile loading space just aft of the launcher, and a missile checkout station around the area of the aft funnel.

There's also a plan of the missile handling and stowage spaces on page 189, though necessarily compacted for length.
I think you mean forward of the launcher, in either way you could be refering to loading the missiles, loading onto the launcher or loading onto the ship.
Doh! You're right. I shall correct the text.

Cheers
 

JFC Fuller

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Sea slug loading and launching video from British Pathe: http://www.britishpathe.com/record.php?id=69318
 

Anderman

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sealordlawrence said:
Sea slug loading and launching video from British Pathe: http://www.britishpathe.com/record.php?id=69318
Thx sealord :)
 

JFC Fuller

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After reading about some UK ballistic missile considerations I decided to take another look at this and reread this thread and whole bunch of other stuff that I have come across since. Thus I now have theory that I would like to throw to the floor for destruction!

1) Looking at BSP4 and seeing the initial Bristol NIGS offering of a what was essentially another Bloodhound/Blue Envoy derivative with a single long tandem boost. What becomes immediately apparent is that the solid motor would be able to carry the missile a considerable distance before the ramjet had to kick in. Given the work that was being undertaken on 17-24 inch motors for Blue Water in this timeframe this would be a very logical approach.

2) Having merged the 4 booster rockets into a single entity at the rear of the missile the next obvious and logical step would be to move towards a single Ramjet mounted in the fuselage like the RP.25 and the eventual Sea Dart.

3) The BS.1004 that appears to exist at the same time as the BS.1005 which was intended for the Bristol X-12. This puts the BS.1004 and its intended SAM platform the RP.21 firmly in 1960/61- right before NIGS vanishes from the scene. By this time Bristol is getting much longer ranges out of its Ramjets and suddenly it becomes plausible that with a 20 inch mach 4.5 BS.1004 powered missile mounted on top of a long tandem boost motor using RPE Westcott experience from Blue Water could plausibly (albeit expensively) produce a 150NM missile that would perfectly fit the requirement of NIGS and offer a potential replacement for Bloodhound and Thunderbird.

Thoughts?
 

zen

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Sounds good, in essence of a sort scaled up SeaDart or Typhon? The higher power of the ramjet providing for more weight of fuel carried, and presumably a larger warhead too.
All needing a socking great booster rocket to get it upto ramjet speeds.
 

Hood

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Sounds like a plausible idea. The various threads that make up the complete picture seem to be there. However given the RP.25 design, which was hardly practical for a warship, and the various other problems and issues with British rocketry development noted elsewhere on this site you have to wonder whether indeed Bristol came up with this idea themselves or whether they might not have gone down this obvious route.
Only the discovery of the actual NIGS work will ever answer our questions although this thread has made strides in pinning down the missile, the radars and the ship itself.

I'm hoping that Norman Friedman's forthcoming book on British cruisers will unearth more on these studies.
 

JFC Fuller

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Hood,

I was not aware Friedman was working on a British cruisers book, do you know the title and release date? I would be surprised if such a work covered NIGS as it seems to have been focussed on destroyers evolved from the County class. What it will hopefully do though is tie down the details of the various Sea Slug cruisers from the mid-50s.
 

JFC Fuller

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Thorvic,

Thank you very much. Looking at the description we might also get some details about the Sea Dart variant of the escort cruiser proposed prior to CVA-01 cancellation.
 

Thorvic

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No problem, its the British Cruiser Book that has been mentioned on Steel Navy forum, but they quote the Amazon date of the Naval Institute version rather than the original UK version.

The Sea Dart Escort cruiser certainly would be nice to see, he did cover the Sea Slug versions in British Carrier Aviation, but the mention in Moores "Rebuilding the Royal Navy" certainly is interesting especially with the propossed ASW Chinooks.

A D Baker seemed to think that the book will be published next month so we'll just have to wait and see.

G
 

Hood

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I am working on a NIGS shipbucket drawing, of a very speculative nature but its led to me think more about the Type 985 radar.

We have been thinking of it as being comparable in size to the SPS-32/33 as fitted to Long Beach and Enterprise. But its use on ships the Admiralty hoped would be no larger than the Type 12, or CVA-01 seems to indicate a smaller radar. CVA-01 is a case in point, being of novel layout the CVA-01's island is a fair way inboard and can't be that wide without restricting the flight deck. Anything in size like the American system would require a large sqaure island with considerable overhang. Now I've never seen any of the pre-designs to CVA-01 itself but going by other designs in Friedman's 'British Carrier Aviation' and CVA-01's eventual island layout it seems likely that approach would not be used. CVA's island is bulky but quite narrow. Therefore would we be better thinking of an array closer in size to the Soviet 'Sky Watch' or maybe slightly larger than SPY-1?
 

JFC Fuller

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Hood,

It will be fascinating to see your drawing, I am looking forward to it!

Just a couple of points, I am not aware of the Type 12 having ever been a suggested as a Type 985 platform. The vessels that were likely being considered were the large NIGS ships, about 7-9,000 tons. The preliminary design studies for CVA-01 have never been published, however, I suspect there would actually be considerable difference between them and the later designs.
 

Hood

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As Friedman says, it was thought that NIGS would be far smaller than Sea Slug and the first designs to use these systems were classified as Frigates and the starting basis was a Type 12 sized hull which rapidly (and obviously) to County size. Even a County sizes ship seems to indicate a smaller system than Typhon. The fact CONAS was more of a branch in thinking, the majority were conventional steam ships. Seems to indidcate something perhaps not as power-hungry and perhaps not as advanced as Typhon or the SPS-32/33.
 

JFC Fuller

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Hood said:
As Friedman says, it was thought that NIGS would be far smaller than Sea Slug and the first designs to use these systems were classified as Frigates and the starting basis was a Type 12 sized hull which rapidly (and obviously) to County size. Even a County sizes ship seems to indicate a smaller system than Typhon. The fact CONAS was more of a branch in thinking, the majority were conventional steam ships. Seems to indidcate something perhaps not as power-hungry and perhaps not as advanced as Typhon or the SPS-32/33.
I would agree, the idea was probably for something not as massive as Typhon / Talos (is that not how all RN missiles started out?) but I would imagine that we are looking at a Frigate sized ship in the same way Bristol was meant to be a Frigate.
 

zen

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Now I'm sure we went over this somewhee on this thread or a related one.

But its reasonably clear that Type 985 is not going to replicate the US efforts for several reasons.
The most obvioius one is its aim is to replace the Type 984 search and warning set. This means target tracking and missile tracking are to be handled by other sets and considering the time, thats not going to be AESA or PESA type arrays, but more reliable mechanicaly scanned sets.

In essence the Type 985 gives detection warning, and the low grade target 3D information, passed into ADAWS which will slave a tracker set onto it for fine grade information.

So no, Type 985 is not likely to be a C-band set trying to staddle the competing needs of different radar functions. More likely an S-band or D-band system and hence not like the US effort in size, of these S-band is the more obvious choice building on the existing sets.

So in a way the Type 984 dish size is'nt necessarily that far off the size of a 985 array.

However powerwise, nuclear still is the best option to get enough for propulsion, hydraulics and the electrics to run a NIGS ship, conventional solutions are likely to be demanding on powerplants and fuel supplies.
Remember they need to power four arrays.
 

uk 75

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Friedmans new cruiser book reconfirms that rn missile cruiser planning stops in 1957. A combination of carriers and destroyers now provide air defence. By 1960 the cruiser reappears as a helicopter ship. There never was a uk nigs or typhon cruiser (long beach). Such ships were destroyers
 

Grey Havoc

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uk 75 said:
Friedmans new cruiser book reconfirms that rn missile cruiser planning stops in 1957. A combination of carriers and destroyers now provide air defence. By 1960 the cruiser reappears as a helicopter ship. There never was a uk nigs or typhon cruiser (long beach). Such ships were destroyers
In other words, they were kidding themselves about the size of vessel necessary to take NIGS (and it's probable nuclear power source).
 

JFC Fuller

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Grey Havoc said:
In other words, they were kidding themselves about the size of vessel necessary to take NIGS (and it's probable nuclear power source).
It does not translate in any such way.
 

Grey Havoc

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sealordlawrence said:
Grey Havoc said:
In other words, they were kidding themselves about the size of vessel necessary to take NIGS (and it's probable nuclear power source).
It does not translate in any such way.
How do you think they would have gotten around the problem of fitting NIGS into a destroyer sized hull then? Separate sensor and weapons platforms, as in a co-operative Hunter-Killer concept, perhaps?
 

JFC Fuller

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Grey Havoc said:
How do you think they would have gotten around the problem of fitting NIGS into a destroyer sized hull then? Separate sensor and weapons platforms, as in a co-operative Hunter-Killer concept, perhaps?
By making a bigger destroyer hull. If you read Friedman's book he will tell you the displacements and hull sizes that were being looked at.
 

Grey Havoc

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I haven't gotten hold of that book yet. :( How big was the largest known proposal (or study) according to Friedman, and was it conventionally powered?
 

JFC Fuller

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I spent an hour or so today looking at the NIGS files at Kew and it was somewhat revelatory. I had nowhere near enough time to gather enough information to tell anything like a complete story but based on what I have seen so far this is the way it seems to have gone.

NIGS was intended as a Sea Slug successor and by September 1961 it was being schemed for the missile destroyers 07-10 (07 & 08 were eventually built as the last pair of Batch II county class ships) however, by late 1960 the small ship weapon (to be Sea Dart) was the priority and was being discussed in its PT.428 form. At the same time it had been mandated that NIGS would have to be a joint RAF/RN programme but the RAF were showing no interest. The basic proposals for the programme were outlined in a 1960 report that contains two missile designs, the second is the missile referred to in BSP4 as Bristol's first NIGS submission (according to the file this had 14.5 inch ramjets, I believe they were the BS.1001 which is also diagrammed in the report), this second missile essentially seems to be the same airframe as the first (Armstrong Whitworth) which uses a solid rocket motor instead of ramjets (rocket motor internally mounted) and that in turn looks to be an evolved Sea Slug with twist and steer for manoeuvre and the four boost rockets replaced with a single booster. It would have used a modified version of the Sea Slug warhead.

The files also contain diagrams of proposed launcher and magazine configurations (Launchers are almost identical to Sea Dart) and a narrative on the radar configuration including one interesting comment about the frequency scanning radar being likely to exit the research stage in the near future (the indecision on NIGS being a logjam to the development of the radar) and there are naval files in the right period talking about frequency scanning radar research (that i have not seen yet).

It seems that a lot of work was done on NIGS and the associated systems over a number of years (2-3) across multiple departments, some of what I have seen aligns with some of Friedman's commentary about follow-ons to the county class. There seems to have been two main stages to the programme with a major report having been produced prior to the one I found that resulted in something of refocus.

Ultimately it seems that NIGS just died as the small shop weapon became longer ranged. Anyway, I hope to be able to find the time over the coming months to really go to town on this subject.
 

Hood

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Interesting stuff, thanks for sharing. It's adding a layer of understanding on what we were trying to peice together like a jigsaw with all kinds of snippets of information.
 

uk 75

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JFC

Sorry not to have commented before but I have been doing other things and have not looked in for a while.

Your mention of actual drawings of launchers and magazines naturally has me excited. One of the gaps in the excellent Brown/Moore and Friedman books is space and time for drawings of these more obscure items to be included. The advantage of this site is the ability to fill these gaps.

Any chance of getting hold of postable copies.

The appetite is also whetted by the idea of County class ships 7-10 as NIGS ships. Whatever design had been chosen from those discussed above they would have been impressive ships, similar to the US Belknap class in armament. As I have mentioned elsewhere the NATO line up in the early 1960s included a number of platforms for Terrier (later Standard ER) launchers in European navies (Dutch cruiser De Zeven Provinzien and the Italian cruisers Garibaldi, 2 Dorias and the Vittorio Veneto). That the RN would provide NATO with additional screening ships would have been welcome. France had its own Terrier version in Masurca on two Suffrens and later the Colbert. By the 70s the Tartar had been developed sufficiently into Standard to allow the Dutch, French and Italians to join the Germans in focussing on this system as their area AD missile.

By moving to Type 82s and later Type 42s with SIGs (CF299) the UK was leading this move away from the bigger missiles, but failed to get other countries in NATO to adopt the Seadart as it could not compete the Standard on cost and supply of munitions by the US Navy.

The NIGS Countys were never to replace the Seaslug ships but they offer an interesting exercise for modellers and shipbucketeers. Sadly there was never any question of a NIGS cruiser unless more info emerges about the Escort Cruiser (later Invincible) programme in the 1961 period. By 1962-3 this ship class was programmed to get 2 CF 299 Seadart launchers instead of the earlier Seaslug. May be if NIGS had gone ahead the Escort Cruisers proposed in 1962 would (like their Italian counterparts with Terrier) have received NIGS as well.

JFC-many thanks again and good hunting.

UK 75
 

JFC Fuller

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No need for apologies uk75!

I am hoping that at some point in the next few months I can get some digital copies of the relevant diagrams, the report I found also contained details on the proposed dimensions of the radar and I have my fingers crossed that other files may contain more. I would like to get them online just to see what people come up with.

The NIGS ships were definitely designed as an extension to the County class. The post 1957 plan prior to about 1960 was for four carriers with 3 carrier air wings. Each carrier would have an escort of 4 Guided Missile destroyers (County and NIGS class) and 4 frigates so the aim was for at least 16 guided missile destroyers. This seems to predate the CVA01 force structure for Seadart ships outlined by Friedman in British destroyers and Frigates.
 

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Thanks for sharing these photos - very interesting! The 8 "special" missiles in the 82-missile versions are of note.
 

Grey Havoc

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starviking said:
Thanks for sharing these photos - very interesting! The 8 "special" missiles in the 82-missile versions are of note.
Nuke them all and let the Devil claim his own. :)

Thanks for your hard work!
 

uk 75

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JFC

You have provided a real bombshell with these images of the NIGS system. This is possibly the most significant item on this site for some time. If you stop to consider how much has been published on the Royal Navy and British missile systems but which without this information was totally incomplete.

It is now only a short step to seeing what a later County (Norfolk and Antrim) would have looked like with this system in service at the end of the 60s. Of course rather like the Cunard Q3 design of the same era it was not to be, and the Seadart CF299/frigate combination was the way ahead like Q4.

I am quite overcome..
 

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That, sir, is a magnificent find! I'm particularly impressed with the 64-round magazine configuration, purely because of the continuous-belt feed. I'm not certain, but I believe that this is the same idea as the USN's Mark 26 GMLS... except with a missile nearly twice the length!

I don't know how well it would integrate into a County, other than that the resulting ship would essentially be a new design. It would be a fascinating exercise to put the drawings of the NIGS and Sea Slug ships alongside each other - assuming that the former were ever worked up in detail - and see how much had remained the same.
 
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