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

RN Nuclear NIGS ship

zen

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2007
Messages
939
Reaction score
16
Fascenating stuff, and provokes quite some pondering on this.
 

JFC Fuller

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
Apr 22, 2012
Messages
3,148
Reaction score
35
I suspect that any County class derivative with NIGS would have had as much in common with the original County class as HMS Bristol had with the Leander class. In 1957 the plan was for the RN to be centred around four fleet carriers (with three air-groups); each fleet carrier would be escorted by four guided missile destroyers and four frigates and there were sixteen guided missile destroyers in the programme. It did not take long for this number to slip to ten. Sea Dart (CF.299) was a direct result of a long standing requirement (since 1948) for a guided missile system to replace the 4.5 inch gun and MRS-3 on frigates. The best way of thinking of RN post war missile programmes, I find, is this:

Close range: 40mm bofors - DACR - Sea Cat - Sea Wolf

Medium range: 4.5 inch - 3 inch - Sea Dart (with various studies between the 3 inch and Sea Dart, such as Popsy)

Long range: 6 inch - 5 inch - Sea Slug - NIGS

As for naval PT.428 (which we have discussed elsewhere), it was considered for the small ship system (that became CF.299) but primarily because the RN was told to study it by the various ministries involved- there was a big push for joint missile programmes (one of the things that hobbled NIGS was the RAF were, not unsurprisingly, uninterested) and someone realised that both the Navy and the Army were looking at new SAM programmes on similar time-scales. The Navy seems to have ruled out PT.428 very quickly (in all its variants) as having insufficient range and warhead to meet the small ship guided weapon requirement. Though they did praise the missile they also made it clear that it fell into the short-range category where they were currently committed to Sea Cat. In the early 1960s there was only one pot on money for a new naval SAM and it went to CF.299.
 

zen

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2007
Messages
939
Reaction score
16
3000tons is not that far from the displacement of the Type 42 (I think around 4,000tons), which is very much more a CF.299 focused ship than the Type 82.


So it would not seem unreasonable for a estimate of 6,000tons to end up becoming say 7-8,000tons for a NIGS focused ship.


Post attempt2
 

JFC Fuller

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
Apr 22, 2012
Messages
3,148
Reaction score
35
Zen,

That is certainly a good point though I would be careful about using the T42 example, the T42 Batch 1 ships were designed to 3,500 tons: it was believed by the Chief Constructor that they should have been designed to 4,100 tons- ultimately they still came out over 4,000 tons. That is a view point born out by the number of remarkable weight saving measures undertaken in the design. The T42 Batch 1 also deleted almost half the Seadart capacity (22 compared to 40) in Bristol (and the original Small Ship Missile system requirement) and the 3D radar also originally associated with the requirement. Bristol is probably more instructive as she was designed with the full small ship missile system outfit and was originally a frigate (Leander) follow-on. I would suggest that a 64 missile NIGS ship would come out at 8,000 tons at the very least and probably closer to 10,000 tons.
 

zen

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2007
Messages
939
Reaction score
16
well considering the stability needs of Type 985 sets, I would be inclined to agree that displacement is going to be higher than 6,000tons. factor in the weight, power and volume needs for NIGS and yes 10,000tons is certainly plausable.


Might we agree that a figure around 8,000tons is the 'light' version of the system, with perhaps one launcher and maybe just two TIRs?


Thinking as I am of how this might have played out if it carried on.
 

JFC Fuller

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
Apr 22, 2012
Messages
3,148
Reaction score
35
I concur, a single ended NIGS ship could probably be done on about 6,000 tons. I have also been musing about the idea of the escort cruisers being designed with NIGS. The escort cruisers are on my schedule for my next Kew visit, along with the original 90,000 man fleet composition proposed by the RN in 1957 (I now have the final 88,000 fleet composition).
 

uk 75

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
Sep 27, 2006
Messages
1,272
Reaction score
26
Did someone say Escort Cruiser (makes Homer Simpson donut relishing noises)?

JFC If you were able to unearth some more about this ship it would be another major triumph. As mentioned on many occasions sources leave us guessing as to what the 10,000 ton design with 2 Seadart/CF 299 and 1 Ikara launchers dropped in 1962 actually looked like.

Unlike the CVA 01 design which I assume was never considered for NIGS (lack of space?) the Escort Cruiser would seem to offer excellent possibilities as a platform.

Some additional musings/questions about this period?

Although the drawings you have found show the configuration of launchers and magazines for NIGS we are still left guessing as to how a Batch 2 County with NIGS would have been configured.
The simplest guess is simply a straightforward replacement of Seaslug aft. The forward launcher would have been very cramped and risked being washed over unless the hull was lengthened. The forward launcher config might thus relate to the Escort Cruiser or another large hull platform.

We know that the RN looked at the costly alternatives to a Carrier fleet in this period. Is there any evidence to suggest that NIGS was the system that would have equipped a large hull. To my non technical eye it looks suitable as the basis of the antiship and shore bombardment weapons that the studies thought would be necessary to replace carrier airpower. The Escort Cruiser beame the ASW/Command platform (and later anti-snooper) for the RN. Perhaps with NIGS it might have been the basis for a Soviet style carrierless RN.

You have looked at the studies for a larger RN which I think envisaged extra Commando ships (LPH) and Landing Ship Docks. I presume that these never got anywhere as I have never read anything about more than 2 Fearless/Intrepid ever being considered. Extra Commando Ships were easier (Centaur, Leviathan and eventually Hermes).

Good hunting!
UK 75
 

JFC Fuller

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
Apr 22, 2012
Messages
3,148
Reaction score
35
UK75,

The 88 fleet adopted in 1957 was the basic fleet structure used through to the implosion of that fleet structure in 1965/6; all of the the various replacement programmes discussed in that period fitted into that paradigm. Apart from a study done in 1961 looking at required RN strength if the UK lost access to all its bases EoS except for Australia I am not aware of any other post Sandy's thought to enlarging any part of the RN. though various alterations within the confines of the 88 plan were considered.

I have not seen any evidence that the RN took the prospect of large missile ships seriously, the idea was studied but seemingly rejected without much thought, more a case of going through the motions rather than it being a serious proposition.

If you look carefully at the NIGS drawings I posted earlier you can actually see a fair amount of detail that would have to be included in any NIGS hull. For instance it looks like one could place a helo hangar aft of the aft launcher and a 4.5" forward of the forward launcher due to how the length of the missile and its vertical stowage means that each launcher actually seems to be mounted one deck above the main deck.

starviking,

I have yet to find a specific reference to a Type 985 radar. The study in which these drawings came from included a description of a radar with fixed phased arrays of which I gave some of the dimensional details above. There is an earlier ASRE project for a 3D frequency scanning radar dating to 1957 but this was to use a rotating array- it is interesting because various parts of this earlier radar had been prototyped and progressively larger prototypes of the array were being built. I have no idea what happened to it though.
 

Hood

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2006
Messages
1,241
Reaction score
116
This is a great bit of research JFC Fuller. Finally we get to see the NIGS.

I can't see this being used on the County Batch II, the totally different loading system would require a redesign of the aft end of the ship, the missile development time would have been too long and by then the DNC is going to have been faced with all kinds of additional 'latest kit' wants plus the new radars and the new Type 985 which seems to imply a fairly substantial blockhouse array somewhere on the ship for 360 coverage with four arrays. This would mean a new design and by then the Escort Cruiser is probably the favoured NIGS-carrier option. The Type 985 is the final piece of the jigsaw, its power requirements, size and volume requirements are going to dictate the ship to a large extent.

One thing that strikes me about the launcher and magazine system is that the missiles are well above the main deck in a blockhouse. The early Sea Slug magazines also used such above-decks magazines, they had been rejected for proposed Fiji class conversions in part because they needed at least splinter protection. These designs would seem to be very vulnerable to splinter damage but the sheer size of the missiles would seem to dictate this layout. Topweight would also be an issue, especially with the Type 985 as well. County could not accept 984 without other removals of armament so a NIGS County seems very unlikely.
 

zen

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2007
Messages
939
Reaction score
16
It would seem reasonable to take a look at some of the USN's Typhon warship designs to get some clue to the likely shape of a ship designed for NIGS and Type 985.


I think as far as a County goes, it likely involves stripping everything down to the hull and powerplant and redesigning upwards. Even then power requirements might yet preclude this, and drive even more changes.


One option might be dispersing the system, placing Type 985 on a seperate ship from the actual NIGS armed vessels.
 

uk 75

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
Sep 27, 2006
Messages
1,272
Reaction score
26
Zen

Mentioning US systems. It would be interesting to know how much the UK (if at all) refers to US Navy experience in the documents at Kew. After all the US Navy had by 1961 deployed Talos on converted cruisers and the nuclear Long Beach, as well as beginning development on Typhon (Super Talos). The power requirements of these systems would have been relevant to designers here.
The Countys have considerable space (there was a proposal in the 70s to convert one ship into a minelayer using the room left by the Seaslug magazine) but as you say power would have been a problem.
We know that by 1963 the US has given up on Talos in favour of a "get well"programme and development of the Tartar/Terrier family. New build ships for the USN have a standard launcher for this system, which is similar to the evolution of Seadart/CF 299. In fact the US also replaces its single armed launcher with a twin launcher (the UK considered a single arm CF 299 launcher-seadaws).
The Talos system gave the USN amazing long range reach, as demonstrated over Vietnam, but was only available on one or sometimes two platforms in a task force.
 

JFC Fuller

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
Apr 22, 2012
Messages
3,148
Reaction score
35
Zen and uk75,

I hope the attached photo goes some way to answering your question.

Hood,

By mid-1962 the Escort cruiser was being reconsidered as a concept. A combination of CF.299, a new generation helicopters (Chinooks), and an enlarging of CVA-01 feeds a belief that it is now possible for enough ASW helicopters and medium range AA missiles to be carried by the fleet without having to build the escort cruiser. It seemingly survives (though without a formal staff requirement being raised- it just stays as a concept) because it is believed that now it carries CF.299 instead of Seaslug and only 5 helicopters instead of 8 (the Chinook to Wessex replacement ratio) that it will be smaller and thus affordable. In the meantime, March 1962, NIGS is being described as a potential cruiser weapon for new cruisers to be built in the 1970s (not escort cruisers)- however that is just a discussion point, there does not seem to be any formal programme or planning. Indeed so good is CF.299 regarded that there is actually serious discussion about abandoning Sea Slug MkII and stopping the county class at six or even four units; that being rejected on grounds that the fleet needed guided missile ships on a faster schedule than CF.299 development and production would allow and that money would have to be spent on improving Sea Slug MkI anyway. Interestingly, in its first incarnation (1959) the escort cruiser is seen as a destroyer (we know courtesy of Friedman and D.K.Browne that the earliest designs were much smaller and to destroyer standards) with six proposed to replace 8 Ca class within the 88 fleet. It did not take long for them to be scaled-up and regarded as one-for-one replacements for the five cruisers in the 88 fleet. The real problem was the escalation in the costs of the new escorts which was progressively making the 88 fleet composition unaffordable to maintain.
 

uk 75

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
Sep 27, 2006
Messages
1,272
Reaction score
26
JFC

Thanks for the comparision chart with the USN.

Consideration of a NIGS cruiser style platform in the 70s seems reasonable given the US Navy's planned Typhon ships which are cruisers in all but name. It is a real shame that we have no contact with the people who worked on these plans as their knowledge would fill in many gaps.

I wonder if Professor Grove follows this discussion, as it stems from his seminal works in my case at least.
 

CJGibson

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
May 26, 2011
Messages
1,193
Reaction score
59
This might not be relevant to NIGS, apart from the same time period, but I recently turned up a reference in DEFE 10/382 (minutes of the Defence Research Policy Committee from March 1960) to a guided weapon-related research project called VOKSTARTAR.

The entry reads "Vokstartar - It is understood that the project is at a stand-still except that the Applied Physics Laboratory is continuing a feasibility study which is unlikely to be complete before the end of the year."

I assume the APL is Johns Hopkins University (who have form for GW development) and that this is a US project. The next entry on the list is Sea Cat.

No doubt the RN would keep an eye on US SAM development, but I've never come across the term/name Vokstartar. Typo? Tartar variant? Development name for Tartar?

Chris
 

JFC Fuller

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
Apr 22, 2012
Messages
3,148
Reaction score
35
Hi Chris,

I have never heard of Vokstartar before but the Applied Physics Laboratory does make an appearance in the NIGS file in terms of information exchange (the final report was sent all over the place). I have recently been looking for any information I can on actual research undertaken to support the NIGS radars and thus far I am coming up short. Annoyingly, a detailed description of the surveillance radar was not included in the 1960 report because it had not changed since the 1959 report (which I have been unable to locate). The surveillance radars seem to have been through two designations:

FSR: Frequency Scanning Radar
NSR: New Surveillance Radar

I have not found either outside of the NIGS files, ASRE and then ASWE did spend a lot of time looking at Frequency Scanning radars with work stretching all the way from at least 1955 through to 1961 and built multiple prototypes but these all seem to have been rotating rather than fixed sets.
 

zen

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2007
Messages
939
Reaction score
16
A musing thought, ciukd 985 have evolved from rotating to fixed?
 

Sea Skimmer

CLEARANCE: Secret
Joined
Jul 13, 2008
Messages
394
Reaction score
11
I think you mean 984? That was the huge rotating 3D set. Type 985 was supposed to be fixed but it was all new. Type 984 was such limited technology that it would make little sense to invest further in it. It was more or less the most ultimate 1940s radar ever. You would end up designing a completely new radar system in ordered to adapt it to a fixed position.
 

zen

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2007
Messages
939
Reaction score
16
No.
Rather I think they first realised they could scan in one dimension and thought along lines of the 984 being succeeded by this. Then realising they might achieve scanning electricaly in two dimensions, they move to fixed arrays.


Curious to ponder how much work they seem to put into the FSR in rotating form.


How defined was Type 985 I wonder? Where they undecided about the merits of fixed to rotating arrays?
 

Sea Skimmer

CLEARANCE: Secret
Joined
Jul 13, 2008
Messages
394
Reaction score
11
They might well have realized that, but I would not call it a design evolution, its a complete evolution of technology. Nothing from 984 would carry over into a fixed array radar.
 

JFC Fuller

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
Apr 22, 2012
Messages
3,148
Reaction score
35
Zen,

I think part of the issue is that NIGS was more of a conceptual exercise than an actual programme, the radars being suggested for it were (this is my reading anyway) theoretical rather than actual. However, there was a whole series of research done into 3D frequency scanning radars that seems to have been independent of the NIGS effort. Thus far, the only reference to the Type 985 designation I have found is a typo that was corrected to Type 984. As ever, there is whole load of material that I currently can not find that would shed more light on this.
 

zen

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2007
Messages
939
Reaction score
16
It strikes me it might be possible to mount a rotating FSR on some heavily revised County type with NIGS. Once we start talking of fixed arrays I think this gets too difficult.


Certainly makes sense they researched into the concept of such 3D FSR systems as a successor to the 984. Probing what can and cannot be achieved with the state of the art of the day.


Then again from the way I've read my meagre information the successor to 984 is just that, not some intigrated big bang NIGS. More like seperate systems that then get drawn together. (words failing me at the mo')
 

Hood

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2006
Messages
1,241
Reaction score
116
Just going over some notes I made on NIGS during my last Kew visit.
I'll focus on the early stages here rather than the in-depth posts JFC Fuller has done on the later iterations of NIGS around 1960-61.

The First Admiralty/ MoA Working Party Meeting in Feb 1959 discussed the surveillance radar, a four fixed array system (20ft sq each) as mentioned earlier. The required performance was to detect a 1m sq target at 125nm.

The Fourth Meeting discussed possible launchers and estimated ship sizes.
6,000 tons was the desired size of the ship, with 40-50 missiles. No studies had been made at that time, but it was roughly working out at 8,000 tons and 30ft longer than County at that stage. If no guns were fitted then 2 launchers might fit on 6-7,000 tons.
It was thought the loading blast doors would need to withstand 100 tons loading! Rate of fire was an issue, especially with both launchers aft. The firing arcs were restricted 45 degrees either side of the beam due to likely blast. VLS was considered but would require a bigger ship.
The best launcher, on weight, would be a single-barrel horizontally loaded. The firing interval would be 20 secs per missile. Four illuminators would be carried, three as a minimum fit.
The Working Party even wondered if they should consider separate LA and HA launchers.

The Sixth Meeting in November 1959 had the ship classified as a destroyer of 6,000tons and even possibly as small as 3,000 tons.
The report makes mention of the ASWE Small Ship Surveillance Radar, a scaled down 4 aerial fixed array with inferior performance, no full use of 50+ mile capability, especially in ECM environments.

A Preliminary Report on a visit to the USA in June 1960 stated the 985 was comparable to the SPG-59 (specs 296kW, 3,400 elements, 2.5MW power required) but that the NIGS system would need four illuminators of 5kW each (this seems very low power to me).


Regarding Type 985, I tend to agree with Zen's last post that Type 985 might have been initially unrelated to the NIGS concept. As Friedman points out, the existence of 985 inspired the development of ADAWS to cope with the data 985 would produce. He dates the development of ADAWS and frequency and phase scanning radars as 1957 and implies both were running side be side until the radar was cancelled. He notes it took 4.5 years to develop ADAWS and trials began aboard HMS Fife in 1967 so that would put the cancellation of 985 around 1962. Trials with Fife and Glamorgan showed the system could not handle clutter very well and the Mk.2 was more manually based. Probably integration with 985 would have been an even trickier business and very costly.
 

JFC Fuller

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
Apr 22, 2012
Messages
3,148
Reaction score
35
Hood,

Can you message me the references for those files?

Re Type 985, I have yet to find any evidence that it existed as anything other than a series of theoretical studies. My last visit was last weekend and I read one document thats stated that work on 3D radars (post 984) had been going on for three years and that it was now time to think about raising a staff requirement. This was into 1960 which which leaves very little time left in the life of NIGs, or before the selection of the type 988, for anything real to have happened. In one of my earlier replies, I have found evidence of ASRE work on frequency scanning radars going back to at least 1955.

The Small Ship Surveillance Radar you mentioned is very interesting to me, I previously saw a file relating to a programme called WAIR (around 1956/7) which was for exactly that- a small ship surveillance radar, but this was a rotating array as far as I recall, I have never been able to track down what happened to it. Rather like the NIGS missile project I wonder whether the 984 replacement had two lives, the first rotating and the second fixed.
 

pf matthews

CLEARANCE: Confidential
Joined
Jul 25, 2007
Messages
107
Reaction score
7
The following is from Friedmans book on Naval Radar - an aged tome now I know, but apart from odd snippets in passing, it's the only thing about the proposed Type 985 radar for the RN that I've managed to find. (No longer have the book now though :-\ )
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.
 

JFC Fuller

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
Apr 22, 2012
Messages
3,148
Reaction score
35
pf matthews,

The problem is the word "design" covers all manner of evils and I can find no evidence that even a staff requirement was ever raised at the moment.
 

zen

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2007
Messages
939
Reaction score
16
This might be thread necromancy, but I did enjoy this topic and it still sets me pondering.


however if Hood's statement is correct
Preliminary Report on a visit to the USA in June 1960 stated the 985 was comparable to the SPG-59 (specs 296kW, 3,400 elements, 2.5MW power required) but that the NIGS system would need four illuminators of 5kW each (this seems very low power to me).
Then Type 985 is not a PESA system like the SPS-32/33, but 'like' the ill-fated SPG-59, luneburg lense and all.
In this then the use of four arrays makes sense, one on the top for illumination and three around the superstructure for reception.
It also explains the very low reception area of 20 sqft. This in turn implies a 5ft diameter sphere.
It also explains the low power figure, likely each transmitter is boosted by multiple TWT units. It also implies by that figure, that we may be looking at an x-band system?

This does alter the concenptual design requirements for a Type 985 equipped ship from what I was thinking.
 

Hood

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2006
Messages
1,241
Reaction score
116
I find this thread fascinating too.

I'm glad my brief snippet of info makes sense and indeed it does seem to fit some of the jigsaw pieces together from what we know of the meagre information we have.

This means the contemporary ASWE Small Ship Surveillance Radar, a scaled down 4 aerial fixed array (or rotating single array) with inferior performance to 985 could be a different system entirely. Perhaps this is the transistorised 984 we thought 985 might have been? Just speculation of course.
 

zen

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2007
Messages
939
Reaction score
16
Hmmm.....


There are several possibilities with that.
1. It is a scaled down (reduced elements) Type 985, much as the US SPG-59 came in different scales and like that was an attempt to squeeze it down to Frigate/Destroyer sized ships, and like that ultimately a flawed effort.
2. It is a more 'normal' PESA type system. perhaps due to using something like small supported arrays that might 'just' be do-able with the state of the art of the day. In this then perhaps more like SCANFAR.


AH!!!


A third option is a single rotating system as in the US FRESCAN SPS-26 type system.


And finally... yes it could be possible to produce a transistorised Type 984, but to get the range performance out of it, it needs must be the size of dish/lens it has.
Conceptually one might scale that down for a reduced performance. But 'as is' the total package would be much smaller and lighter and use less power.
 

zen

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2007
Messages
939
Reaction score
16
Hang on....

How can it be comparable to SPG59 if it is using 20sqft arrays of square from?
Something doesn't add up here.
I mean if it is like SCANFAR, thee area is too small. Too low for any s-band system! Could be x-band?
 

Hood

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2006
Messages
1,241
Reaction score
116
I'm going to the TNA next week, so I'll recheck the file. I wrote those notes a few years ago and need to refresh my memory.
I'm sure it was 20sq ft but I'll check.
 

Hood

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2006
Messages
1,241
Reaction score
116
I've been through the file again and its obvious things were in a state of flux during this time.
My previous post only touched on the early meetings. I've consolidated everything here.


The First Admiralty/ MoA Working Party Meeting in Feb 1959 discussed the surveillance radar, a four fixed array system (20ft sq each [double-checked, this is correct]) of "very high power". The required performance was to detect a 1m sq target at 125nm at line of sight of 60-70 degrees.

The Fourth Meeting discussed possible launchers and estimated ship sizes.
6,000 tons was the desired size of the ship, with 40-50 missiles. No studies had been made at that time, but it was roughly working out at 8,000 tons and 30ft longer than County at that stage. If no guns were fitted then 2 launchers might fit on 6-7,000 tons.
It was thought the loading blast doors would need to withstand 100 tons loading! Rate of fire was an issue, especially with both launchers aft. The firing arcs were restricted 45 degrees either side of the beam due to likely blast. VLS was considered but would require a bigger ship.
The best launcher, on weight, would be a single-barrel horizontally loaded. The firing interval would be 20 secs per missile. Four illuminators would be carried, three as a minimum fit.
The Working Party even wondered if they should consider separate LA and HA launchers.

The Sixth Meeting in November 1959 had the ship classified as a destroyer of 6,000tons and even possibly as small as 3,000 tons.
The report makes mention of the ASWE Small Ship Surveillance Radar, a scaled down 4 aerial fixed array with inferior performance, no full use of 50+ mile capability, especially in ECM environments.

At the Seventh Meeting in December 1959 the ASWE outlines the radar choices, a fixed 4-array system or the NSR which is described as a scaled down NIGS radar.

At the Eighth Meeting in February 1960 the ASWE outlines the likely radar will be a fixed array frequency scan radar with integral guidance facilities.

A Preliminary Report on a visit to the USA in June 1960 stated the scaled Advanced Weapon System version SPG-59 had specs of 96kW mean power for scanning plus 96kW for illumination, 3,400 elements, 2.5MW power required. In comparison the NIGS system would need four illuminators of 5kW mean power each.

At the Twelfth Meeting (the last one?) the ASWE estimated the radar installation would require 600-800kW electrical power but thought asking for 1MW was advisable. In comparison the US scaled down Advanced Weapon System needed 2.5MW and would be impossible to fit in a 6,000 tons hull. ASWE also said the hull design changes could not be done within the timeframe which suggests some design work must have begun on the ships by mid-1960. However the surveillance radar design had not been chosen at that time, the choices being the FSR or a less ambitious 'fan-beam' type.
The NIGS missile was described as having a homing dish which required less powerful illuminators (which might explain the 5kW power?) and better able to deal with smaller targets than Typhon. However the pencil-beam homing with the RANTEC system just tested in Tartar seemed a possible alternative.

Interestingly, in January 1961 a copy of the NIGS Report was sent to Australia as part of the prep for the delayed Australian Royal Artillery Mission visit to the UK.
 

starviking

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2006
Messages
946
Reaction score
14
Hood said:
The Fourth Meeting discussed possible launchers and estimated ship sizes.
6,000 tons was the desired size of the ship, with 40-50 missiles. No studies had been made at that time, but it was roughly working out at 8,000 tons and 30ft longer than County at that stage. If no guns were fitted then 2 launchers might fit on 6-7,000 tons.
It was thought the loading blast doors would need to withstand 100 tons loading! Rate of fire was an issue, especially with both launchers aft. The firing arcs were restricted 45 degrees either side of the beam due to likely blast. VLS was considered but would require a bigger ship.
The best launcher, on weight, would be a single-barrel horizontally loaded. The firing interval would be 20 secs per missile. Four illuminators would be carried, three as a minimum fit.
The Working Party even wondered if they should consider separate LA and HA launchers.

Page 190 of Friedman's British Destroyers and Frigates mentions a steam-powered ship of over 8000 tons, to cruiser standard, being briefly pushed as the succesors to the Batch 1 Counties. Perhaps related?
 

JFC Fuller

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
Apr 22, 2012
Messages
3,148
Reaction score
35
NIGS was a theoretical paper exercise, I have yet to seen any evidence that any real hardware work was done, the working party was basically just taking mildly informed stabs in the dark as to what they should try and develop. Trying to find certainty in it is pointless.
 

Abraham Gubler

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2008
Messages
3,559
Reaction score
13
Hood said:
I've been through the file again and its obvious things were in a state of flux during this time.
My previous post only touched on the early meetings. I've consolidated everything here.
Thanks for the summary, its much appreciated.
 

phil gollin

CLEARANCE: Confidential
Joined
Sep 19, 2007
Messages
199
Reaction score
1
.


Ah ..... 20 sq ft versus 20 ft square - a considerable difference.


.
 

Hood

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2006
Messages
1,241
Reaction score
116
As JFC Fuller says, NIGS was a collection of ideas, cutting edge but with little firm decisions on missile, radar or ship.

These progress meeting reports indicate whatever research project the NIGS radar was, it was not NSR or FSR because both are mentioned as possible alternatives, FSR may be a slightly later design (1960) than NSR (1959). The "fan-beam" system seems to be another project. Looking through the TNA files I can across another interesting radar project, a within-pulse electronic scanning radar using a fixed circular array. A frequency planar array C-band prototype was made in 1968. I'm sure there are many other projects.

Coincidently, just got hold of Warship 2014 and flicked through the CVA-01 article. It seems the initial 1963 sketch design had an unnamed smaller surveillance radar than Type 988. I wonder if this radar was FSR or related off-shoot? More conjecture but there does seem to be many loose ends in this area.
 

JFC Fuller

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
Apr 22, 2012
Messages
3,148
Reaction score
35
Hood,

I have spent some time going through the ASWE/ASRE files and I can find no trace of any of the stuff mentioned in the NIGS working group files. There are various technical demonstrations (I saw the circular array you mentioned) but nothing that seems to directly correlate with the NIGS file. Based on other programmes I have looked at I currently suspect that NIGS was literally a paper exercise, a theoretical study that relied on mathematical equations based on then known or assumed performance parameters for certain technologies.
 
Top