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RN post war carrier conundrums

zen

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November 1945 Deputy Controller indicates that nine CVs would be needed for 1950. This being at that time the three Ark Royal Class and the other six being Illustriouses.
At wars end HMS Eagle is 23% completed.

Fifth Sea Lord considered the Illustriouses not worth modernising, the money better spent towards new ships.

Interestingly they compare a new carrier with reconstruction of the old and think its 7 million verses 2.5 million.

1946 discussions over open and closed hangers again. They wanted to avoid the Malta state of affairs.
No decision over the open/closed hanger debate, they wanted results from Bikini atoll tests to be examined before they decided one way or the other.

1947 DNC indicates the carriers have a further 20 years or life left, which would take them upto 1967. At this stage Bikini results are not thought to effect any plan to fix critical defects on the CV fleet. Indicating the plan to retain closed hangers.
Plans are laid up at the second meeting of that year for the modernisation to Hermes standard of Victorious and Formidable.
Approved in Feb 1948.

ITs clear from this that even after Malta that some musing and thought was given to the need for new carriers of larger size than Ark Royal. Finance is the problem.

-------------
1952 and the RN starts by thinking it needs to interoperate with the USN, driving a British Forrestal. Matched with the now clear issue that the Illustriouses are inadequetly sized for modern fast jets and the need to reboiler Victorious delaying her ISD and escaleting her costs further.
Slips are available to build Malta sized vessels, though of limited number.
But its the drydocks in the UK that cause the RN to accept a much smaller vessel.
While the KGV dock at southampton is certainly large enough, the concerns over its location, available staff and security mean it is excluded.
This leaves them Gladstone and Davenport No10.
Gladstone docked HMS Hood and leaves the imprtession in hat ships of not much greater length can make the turn into it. Plus facilities at the dock may impinge on any overhang.
So they are left with Davenort No10. 123.5ft wide and 850ft long.

This means the 1952 CV will be 870ft long at the Flight Deckk and is pushing things a little to do that. But the Beam is initialy restricted to 115ft in the water. LAter increased to 116 this is still being limited by the idea they might use Gladstone.
During the CVA-01 effort in the early 60's the maximum limit is 118/120ft beam in the water this produced on a comparative study, pushing what you fcan fit to its absolute limit.
_____________________

Flightdecks relate to the ship beneath by the location of the locus of minimum ship motions and the angle of the deck. Teh calculation is that the wires must be be within 72ft of the locus for maximum stability of where you want the aircraft to try to pick up the wire.

Desiging then becomes a function of the angle and the clearneces needed, along with the distance of the end of the angled deck from the bow.

In the past I checked this out on a lot of CV designs with angled decks and found that most do comforn to this if we assume the locus is 75% of waterline length from the bow and 25% from the stern.
Rechecking lately I found only the Essex modernisation violates that, either because the locus is further back or because they felt they could live with the consequences.
This does help to explain why during the 1952 effort pushed the landing are too far back to fit all the clearences in for simultanious operations. Leading to complaint and the conclusion that 1000ft was ideal and 950ft a reasonable compromise.
 

JFC Fuller

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Zen,

Thank you for your excellent post, I would just like to add a couple of intriguing elements that I have stumbled across that I find rather interesting but have not been able to follow up.

DK Brown and George Moore state in Rebuilding the Royal Navy that the building slip at Devenport was extended to 1,000ft and that land was purchased to make an extension 1,500ft possible with the specific aim of constructing large carriers. There is also the extension of Rosyth No1 to 1,017ft, which apparently occurred in early 1960s, I wonder is this is related to CVA-01 but I can not find a reference to this extension anywhere.

Either way there were definitely efforts to improve the infrastructure for larger ships but the money was just never there, the docks were too small and frequently badly located. Of course smaller carriers were also cheaper to build and man meaning that there were two financial drivers to keeping the carriers small.

Also, let us not forget resources, the 1952 carrier was only plausible through the scrapping of the Hunt class and Formidable to provide steel. Simultaneously there were concerns about a shortage of skilled labour including electricians.
 
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zen

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Indeed, I might add that theres the issue of 'graceful degredation' that would support the idea of smaller carriers to be afforded in reasonable numbers. While larger ones would be too fragile to a single loss during war or the effect of a squeeze on finances during peace.

In essence you can soldier on with a reduction if all your eggs are not in one basket. IF you have three supercarriers you've got no means to reduce costs by taking a ship out of service, without effecting availability. But if you have five ships and each is cheaper though the agregate is higher, means you can cut and still maintain one CV available.

Rosyth I forgot about but we need a beam figure really. DNC states getting a 25ft high hanger and/or gallery deck over it yet still having enough freeboard for deck edge lifts requires a minimum of 120ft beam.

However I do know the docks at Roysth prior to modernisation in the 60's where 850ft long by 110ft wide. Which supports a contention I have that the 35,000ton Medium Fleet study was between 104 to 106 feet beam in the water.
This is supportable at Gladstone and Davenport, and I think a dock at Portsmouth might fit it too (memory).
The smaller study of 28,000tons may well be not much longer than Victorious and about as beamy as she was prior to modernisation. That would fit the propulsive power of 100,000shp on two sets of Y300. In essence a cheaper ship than Victorious, the same aviation capabilities or thereabouts, but little or no armour and only 40mm AAA guns. A sort of super Hermes in fact.

Considering the propulsive power of the larger Medium Fleet study is 144,000shp, this is remarkably close to HMS Hood, though I think slightly slower indicating a shorter waterline length. My estimates make it reasonable for something about 780 to 800ft waterline lentth with regard to the flight deck (roughly 830 to 850ft long), but I have'nt a means to estimate speed to propulsive power easily to confirm my suspicions.
 

JFC Fuller

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Zen, my understanding of Roysth is that the dock is actually limited by the gate and not the overall dock width, using the ruler function in Google Earth the dock comes at at a beam of 140ft at its mid section. The dock is of course large enough to take QE class with some modifications to the internals and a widened dock gate.
 
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PMN1

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Does anyone know what the depth and width of the entrance channels to Portsmouth and Devonport are?
 
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PMN1

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The numbers for Number 9 dock at Chatham look a bit optimistic..

No. 9 800x100x33 feet

When did it get a dock that size??
 
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JFC Fuller

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Good Question PMN1, the biggest dock I can find at Chatham on Google Earth is 700ft by 110ft with a dock gate of about 80-90 feet. I am pretty sure that the one I am looking at is No9.

According to this link No9 at Chatham was built to 650ft, which matches the GE dock head to dock gate measurement.

http://www.hmsgangestoterror.org/RNB/HMDockyardChatham.htm
 
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PMN1

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IIRC, Number 9 or the last dock that was built was built to accomadate the Protected Cruisers Powerful and Terrible.

This is the Jane's listing

3 building slips, graving docks no. 1,2,3,4 light craft only,

no.5 - 460 x 80 x 33 feet,
no.6 - 456 x 80 x 33 feet,
no.7 - 456 x 82 x 33 feet,
no.8 - 456 x 82 x 33 feet,
no.9 - 650 x 84 x 33 feet
 
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PMN1

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While I an at it, these are the Janes listings for RN docks.

Following is an incomplete listing of British building and repair capacity taken for 1919 and 1948 source books.

Royal Dockyard Devonport - sorry seem to have lost this in C+P!!!! will be having a word with the trolls that exist on the FFO/APOD site

Royal Dockyard Portsmouth

1 building slip 750 feet,

graving docks
no.12 - 484 x 80 x 33 feet,
no.13 - 560 x 83 x 33 feet,
no.14 - 770 x 100 x 33 feet,
no.15 - 563 x 94 x 33 feet,
lock A - 461 x 80 x 33 feet,
lock B- 461 x 82 x 34 feet,
lock C - 850 x 110 x 40 feet,
lock D - 850 x 110 x 40 feet,
ten smaller docks

Royal Dockyard Chatham

3 building slips,
graving docks
no. 1,2,3,4 light craft only,
no.5 - 460 x 80 x 33 feet,
no.6 - 456 x 80 x 33 feet,
no.7 - 456 x 82 x 33 feet,
no. 8 - 456 x 82 x 33 feet,
no.9 - 650 x 84 x 33 feet & floating docks

Royal Dockyard Gibraltar -
graving docks
No.1 (Prince of Wales) 850 x 90 x 36 feet,
no.2 (Queen Alexandra) 550
 
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zen

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As you can see the limit is 850ft for the best of them, factoring in the curve of the prow and you have to shorten the waterline length and theres little scope for much overhang at the ends.
870 was pushing it, using the profile of HMS Eagle they could fit in a ship of 865.5ft at the flightdeck.

Some of these could be extended but its often the case theres shoreside infrastructure that would need to be moved and some rather require the filling in of bits of basin. Though I'm tempted to think the latter is an easier route than excavation.

An Essex might be dockable at the waterline but not at the fightdeck even when we're talking the orriginal design prior to its modernisations.

Of course had a number of these docks been extended to 900ft a lot of problems would've be solved. Though still not the 1000ft they wanted or the 950ft for the compromise flightdeck, it would permit reasonable arrangements for fast jet carrier.

They really would need 1000ft by 130ft for the sort of Forrestal type they intialy mused over.

All this said it is'nt beyond the bounds of design to live within the limitations they had, which would still be better than HMS Eagle.
 

JFC Fuller

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PMN1,

Thanks for the information, I am wondering whether it might be an idea to establish a dedicated thread over at the never-were warships forum to accumulate data about RN facilities and proposed enlargements and modifications. For instance I am aware that the facility built at Singapore is only a fraction of the original proposal and Rosyth looks like it had space for a 4th large dry dock.
 
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JFC Fuller

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Zen,

It is an interesting point to bear in mind that the Malta class would only have made it in to 1 dock, AFD-11, and that was a floating dock and it could only take a Malta with difficulty and it was stated that a new dry dock would have been needed for the class. Furthermore the only dock seen as reliably capable of taking Eagle and Ark Royal was No.10 at Devonport.
 

PMN1

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Might be of help when working out the position of docks

http://www.gwpda.org/naval/dkbk0000.htm

Its 1909 and Portsmouth only shows the position of C lock, D lock was built later into the fitting out basin.

Notice Rosyth is showing only the one dock originally planned and the emergency gate is in the SW corder, not alongside the main entrance as it is now.

Edit: Nor does it show the two dry-docks in the north-west corner of Devonport number 5 basin where the jetty is.
 
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PMN1

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sealordlawrence said:
PMN1,

Thanks for the information, I am wondering whether it might be an idea to establish a dedicated thread over at the never-were warships forum to accumulate data about RN facilities and proposed enlargements and modifications. For instance I am aware that the facility built at Singapore is only a fraction of the original proposal and Rosyth looks like it had space for a 4th large dry dock.
How about this?

http://www.phpbbplanet.com/warshipprojects/viewtopic.php?t=661&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=royal+dockyards&start=15&mforum=warshipprojects
 
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zen

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Now I'm working from memory here so forgive me a mo'. I seem to reccal the two locks are parallel at Portsmouth.

In theory the two locks at Portsmouth could be merged, though not providing any increase in length they'd certainly permit the beam and overhanging width desired. That said working extra length in during the same process would provide one very capable dock at some cost to the rest of the inner basins access and their existing drydocks.

Now yes, a new dock is certainly the way out of all this, and in my musings I still think Portland is the best location for large carriers to sally forth into the Atlantic.

Though Belfast has some attractions and did gain just such a large drydock in the 1960s if memory serves.
 

PMN1

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Ok, so if a new dock is built, where does it go?

If Portsmouth, could it be built alongside the outer wall for the basin, there is very little space elsewhere.

If Devonport, could it also be built alongside the outer wall of the basin or does it go into the tidal basin that seems to be occupied by the 'phibs these days in google earth images - what is the longest ship that can turn at this point to get into a dock???
 
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PMN1

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zen said:
In theory the two locks at Portsmouth could be merged, though not providing any increase in length they'd certainly permit the beam and overhanging width desired. That said working extra length in during the same process would provide one very capable dock at some cost to the rest of the inner basins access and their existing drydocks.
From looking at Google images, that would require the removal of a lot of concrete.

zen said:
Though Belfast has some attractions and did gain just such a large drydock in the 1960s if memory serves.
Its amazing what allowances being in a 'special area' gets you.....
 
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zen

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Davenport. No.5 Basin 1000ft of width by 1580ft of length. So a 950ft long (at the flight deck) vessel is rather pushing things. You'd need to get all the other ships out of that basin to clear the area for such a large vessel comming via the North Entrance.
If you extend the length of the lock then maybe a ship could enter via that and leave a lot of the basin clear for other vessels.
You could extend dock No.10 into Basin No.4.

Portsmouth looks like a longer ship could make it to the locks. No.4 Basin is over 1100ft long.
 

PMN1

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zen said:
Now yes, a new dock is certainly the way out of all this, and in my musings I still think Portland is the best location for large carriers to sally forth into the Atlantic.
A new dock is certainly the answer but what does Portland have to serve that new dock - Portsmouth, Devonport and Rosyth already have the repair infrastructure that goes with dry-docks, Portland doesn't.
 
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zen

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First thing, yes thats a lot of concret, but you could probably get a 950ft length of drydock in there.

Second point Belfast in the 1950's is not Belfast during the Troubles.

Third point Portland is a good location, but yes it lacks the supporting infrastructure and would need heavy investment.

Looks like the 'cheap' options are Davenport, Portland or Rosyth and of these No10 at Davenport is the widest to start with so it makes the most sense.
 

PMN1

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zen said:
Davenport. No.5 Basin 1000ft of width by 1580ft of length. So a 950ft long (at the flight deck) vessel is rather pushing things. You'd need to get all the other ships out of that basin to clear the area for such a large vessel comming via the North Entrance.
If you extend the length of the lock then maybe a ship could enter via that and leave a lot of the basin clear for other vessels.
You could extend dock No.10 into Basin No.4.

Portsmouth looks like a longer ship could make it to the locks. No.4 Basin is over 1100ft long.
Given the manoeuvering at Devonport, I think you would have to accept loosing the emergency lock or accept a lot of pushing and pulling equivalent to how getting the 1800's Warrior into the Queen dock (Number 2 basin, now the Frigate Complex) took.

Number 4 Basin is sacrificable if it comes down to it.


The fitting out, repairing and rigging basins at Portsmouth are now one large basin, not sure exactly when it happned but from the caption, not long after C lock was completed.
 
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JFC Fuller

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The answer is Rosyth, it was extended for one reason or another in the 1960s, I assume for CVA-01 and it is the expected major base for the Queen Elizabeth class. The question, where would it be, has been answered in the real world.
 
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zen

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Would seem so. But those are different circumstances to the 1950s and earlier. Rosyth has the benefit of being far from the continent. But it does add more transit time for deployments beyond Europe.
Its choice for CVF is somewhat more contreversial than during the CVA-01 effort.
 

zen

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Time to throw in some speculative CV designing ;D

Components first. These are taken from measurements of pictures from various sources, all are somewhat small and thus I tend to round up to the nearest foot.

Mk13 arrestor gear. Wires spacing ranges from 20ft to 30ft. Width of wire is about 80ft but safetydistance is 100ft or thereabouts.
Pull Out Distance, for the Scimitar it was planned at 220ft, thats about 28,000lb at 124kts we know the worst case is the F14 on USN equipment is 350ft.

Factoring all that together we get a angled deck from wire1 to the end of the aircraft of 350ft using the Scimitar as a baseline.
theoreticaly we can envision a 45,000lb recovery at similar speeds of 330 pullout using the same set up and getting a figure of 460ft from wire1 (25ft spacing).

BS mk IV catapult.
Here we get a lot of different measurements
Flightdeck end fore'd to track end varies from 9.5ft to 17ft
Track for a 151ft strroke is 180ft, but to center of the CALE gear it seems to be 183 to 184ft.
Center CALE to the end of the blast deflectors also varies. Shortest is 34ft, longest is 41ft. I exclude HMS Victorious due to their having to work the things around the foreward lift location.
So the 'system lenght' for the catapult is between 228t and 242ft. We'll leave the bridale catcher for another time as its later than the 50's designs.

Assuming Wire1 center is centerline of angled deck and centerline of ship (nexus of all), we can assume its within 70ft of the locus of minimum ship motions, which is 25% of waterline length from the stern.
Taking a 10 degree AD, we clear the CL of the ship at 50ft width in 280ft (this due to the 90 degree figure being 49.25ft). Everything beyond this gives the safetyline clearence width of the portside. But it seems from measurements that the Angled deck is never less than 220ft from the end of the fligthdeck.
So to clear the portside bow catapult to 50ft requires an additional 284ft, this make the center of the track some 25ft from the ships centerine. 50ft of clearnce between catapults being deemed the minimum (though they can converge near the bow on the assumtion of ripple firing rather than simultanius firing).
This makes from nexus to FD end some 806ft.
We then reduce this figure by the combination of the 70ft distance and the amount of bow overhang. Say 25ft. Leaving 711ft. Divide by three multiply by four and you get 948ft waterline length and 998ft flightdeck. But if we take the shorter catapult we get 930ft and 980ft flightdeck.

Place the bow catapult on the centerline and we need only clear 25ft or 142ft of length. So we'd get a ship of 759ft waterline and 809ft flight deck.

Drop the portside catapult or accept its not clearing the safetyline and we can squeeze everything down as much as we like so the factors there would be relating to aircraft size and number for launch and number recovered with the angled deck clear for one last plane.

Of course lower the angle and you push out the clearence lengths.
Widen the safetyline from the angle deck centerline and we push out the lengths
Space out the wires more and we push out the lengths.
Lengthen the catapult ...you can guess by now.
So push the wire1 back beyond 70ft and we can shorten things again. Thats whats being done on the modernised Essexes.
 

zen

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Then you are not aware of the politics of that. During the Major administration the plan was to focus the surface fleet at Davenport and close most of the others. There was also moves to maintain the SSN fleet there. Only the SSBN fleet would stay in Scotland.

The Labour government has been running Davenport down and handing more and more work to Rosyth. Holding off the closing of Portsmouth and Davenport due to the uproar it risked causing.
 

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PMN1 said:
zen said:
Though Belfast has some attractions and did gain just such a large drydock in the 1960s if memory serves.
Its amazing what allowances being in a 'special area' gets you.....
Or what being the premier builder of large ships in the UK gets you ;)
 
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PMN1

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Going off on a bit of a tangent, but what kind of rebuilding of dry-docks did the USN have to do to accommodate the eve increasing size of its carriers and how much allowance did it give for the overhang?
 

zen

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CVF basing has nothing to do with regional politics
Scotland is not a region, nor is England, they are in the UK.
 

uk 75

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This has been a fascinating thread, especially the info on the drydocks etc.

My interjection elsewhere on the potted history of the UK carrier force was dissed firmly
by the resident experts. I still think that the poor quality and number of the UK platforms
postwar made the aircraft manufacturers job pretty hard.

For example, Buccaneers and Phantoms were probably the best fighter/combination available
for the 70s but events had led to only one UK carrier able operate them in any quantity. The inability of the UK to deploy a force of more than 2 large carriers in this period convinced the Treasury that carriers were poor value for money. I am sure that this argument will re-emerge with CVF.

The alternative often suggested in various discussion boards of smaller Hermes sized ships to provide extra numbers of platforms was also a non-starter because the planes designed for these ships were
less capable and still too limited in number.


Hence the carrier conundrum
 

zen

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Strictly speaking there are ranges of solutions of which the Ark Royal and the F4K are but one and the one that was the outcome of a series of processes and decisions reaching back from the 1970's to the immediate post war periode.

Indeed ranges of each element that make up naval fast air. The aircraft, the carriers, the infrastructure to support them. Each is not a fixed quantity, but a spectrum in which the existing facilities produce a limit, but not a hard one.

You say the F4 was the best option, clearly not in terms of the airframes performance. In terms of the timing however it fitted in very neatly, but at some severe cost. Not just to finance but to the limitations it imposed on the carrier and visa versa on the aircrafts numbers and thus the carriers capability as a system of systems.

Type 583 seems to fit the bill most effectively, bar the timing. Operable from the Centaur to Eagle, and permissive to the design of a new ship that both operates it to the full and yet fits the infrastructure.

Which takes us obliquely to a something not yet mentioned here. A new carrier, built in the 50s or the 60's, is going to be a far better ship to keep running than the WWII vessels, by their better design, better facilities to support aircraft, better manufacture and better standards of materials. They would actualy be cheaper comparatively to run, and could be run for longer.
-----------------------------
During this periode and beyond, the prime focus was obviously on Europe and the threat of the USSR. It is also the periode of western europes economic recovery and expansion, making it more and more important to the UK in terms of trade.
This while we ejected the Empire, which was loosing money and while we found outselbes at an ever greater disadvantage to trade outside of Europe.

However while we may face a periode of financial stringency today, the enviroment we face is a very different one from any of the crucial times of the last 60 years. The threat of the USSR is gone, and Russia today is struggling to field a modern force, even if it does hark back to its 'good old days' in behaviour now and again.
Economics is utterly transformed, European growth is very sluggish, has been for some time and is set to remain so for a long periode. The UKs trade with Europe is set to remain relatively static (though it may grow relative to Europe that depends on tooo many fragile factors to guarentee), but trade with areas outside Europe is set to (indeed must) grow. Thus the ability to project power beyond Europe is now more not less important and set to become ever more important to the UK.
The alternative is to let that power projection abilty wither and with it the ability to influence events outside of Europe. The consequence of that will be felt long term on the conditions of global trade for the UK and thus has consequences for our wealth and standard of living.
 

Thorvic

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CVF basing has nothing to do with regional politics
The CVF carriers are to be bassed at Portsmouth, they are only being assembled in Rosyth ;D.

However regional politics did come into the bassing of the JSF as the then current Scottish heavy cabinet decided that they should be bassed at Lossiemouth quoting some cobblers about the only base with a suitable runway (For a STOVL aicraft designed to operate off carriers, pull the other one !!!).
 

Thorvic

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Zen

As part of the carrier conundrums, what about the aircraft issue, and their impact on the design & capabilities of the ships.
The early 50's jets were rather small (Attacker, Sea Venom, Sea hawk) and not much greater in size than the larger piston engined types they replaced, but the next generation aircraft of the late 50's & early 60's were somewhat larger & heavier (Scimitar, Sea Vixen, Buccaneer & Phantom). Thus the post war carrier modernisations initially looked quite capable with the first generation aircraft but then struggled to accommodate and operate the next generation.

Indicators of the Vickers 583 program and later BAC AFVG, show an effort to make use of the latest technology to match & exceed the capabilities of the large late 50's aircraft with more compact advanced designs.
Obviously we could not follow the USN trend for larger and heavier aircraft without going down the super carrier route as by 65 we knew the Phantom was earmarked for replacement by the TFX as a heavy VG missile armed interceptor.

Just wondered what your thoughts are on this.

Cheers

Geoff
 

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Thorvic said:
Obviously we could not follow the USN trend for larger and heavier aircraft without going down the super carrier route as by 65 we knew the Phantom was earmarked for replacement by the TFX as a heavy VG missile armed interceptor.
I think the connection between carrier size and aircraft size in relation to the post USS United States supercarriers is perhaps overblown. While of course these carriers operated some very large aircraft the majority of the air wing was of conventional size.

Perhaps the most driving reason was a large Forrestal class carrier offered a significant improvement in flight worthiness in heavy seas in the anti-Soviet operational areas (seas off north Norway, Kamatcha, etc) than an even very large Midway class carrier. By flight worthiness I mean less of a pitching deck that would close down flight ops on smaller ships. Tommy H. Thomason has some information on this issue in “Air Superiority”.

So even a navy in the 1950s and 60s with smaller aircraft like the RN would be interested in a supercarrier because they could fly them for a quarter or third more days in the high latitudes. This is of course before V/STOL when you can fly even more days than a supercarrier.
 

uk 75

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Zen

The reason I inserted the word "available" for the 60s and 70s was to exclude
the numerous "paper" projects which littered the desks of planners in the early
60s. F4s, whatever their faults, were actual metal flying aircraft, as were Buccaneers.

The various British paper designs of the period all looked great on paper, but attempts
to put big capabilities into small packages have not been very successful at the actual
aircraft stage. The end results usually disappoint (Buccaneer S1 or Jaguar M for example).

Type 583 had all the pitfalls of the HS1154 and F111B with the added problem of a smaller
airframe and complicated engineering. No aircraft with swing wings AND lift jets ever entered service.

As far as I know naval planners never took 583 or similar serious enough to include it in plans. They did with the 1154 and the F4. Thus What-if moves into the fantasy area of Mirage IIIV and other
alternatives which were flirted with.

Hence my problem with Centaur, Hermes or their modern equivalents
 

JFC Fuller

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zen said:
CVF basing has nothing to do with regional politics
Scotland is not a region, nor is England, they are in the UK.
Wow, talking about jumping on a phrase, regional is a descriptive as well as a technical term you know.
 

JFC Fuller

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Thorvic said:
CVF basing has nothing to do with regional politics
The CVF carriers are to be bassed at Portsmouth, they are only being assembled in Rosyth ;D.

However regional politics did come into the bassing of the JSF as the then current Scottish heavy cabinet decided that they should be bassed at Lossiemouth quoting some cobblers about the only base with a suitable runway (For a STOVL aicraft designed to operate off carriers, pull the other one !!!).
Funny that, as Portsmouth may not survive the SDR.
 

zen

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Well we can see something similar to the Type 583 or Type 585(early) in the form of the Mirage G. Performance is strongly indicative of being compatible with existing CVs while being competative in operations. Why the MN don't get this is a more complex matter.

Type 583 would have been available during the 70's.

We can also see that the Type 566 in the middle 50's is more competative in the 60's than the DH110. So you pays your money you makes your choice.

Type 566 would have been available during the 60's.

Of these the hardest 'real world' alternative is the Twosader actualy offered to the RN and for a moment considered by them. That was hard metal and flown. Now to AW406 it fits a lot of the bill, but being a single engined machine and being below mach2.2 in top speed, it undermines their opposition to the P1154. Rejected as much I suspect for that as for any real desire for the F4.

You say big capabilities, certianly its not easy to produce such a machine for multirole, but it is relative easy to produce variants for Fighter, and Attack.

Dissmissing paper designs is all well and good but it presumes they will not come out well and massively limits your options. Such a constraint is essentialy negative towards alternatives.

Jaguar is a success, it worked, and it came into service and stayed in service. Better machines died at the paper stage.

Brtish decision makers where working on too may decisions, under serious pressure of WWIII and concerned to get the best they could within time and cost constraints. They missed a lot of chances to do better and suffered more than one ruopture to the enviroment in which their decisions had to be made. They could have done a lot worse, they could have done a lot better. Somehow it all worked, but it was never really tested thank gods above.

Thorvic

OR.346 is their 'ultimate warplane' for the time. But studies speak of a Class II fighter, able to cut fighter numbers down and of 'advanced missile shooters' able to even further reduce fighter numbers. Presuambly this is some speculative musing on the possible capabilities along the lines of what lead to GAR-9 and AIM-54 in the US. CVA-01 could have operated the F14, in limited numbers, and this is about as close to such studies as any real hardware gets until the arrival of AMRAAM.

You are correct that the intial fast jets the RN operate are not much bigger than late prop aircaft, and the jump comes in the mid 50's to late 50's with the Sciitar, Sea Vixen and in the early 60's the Buccaneer. Had they been fielding the Super Venom, and SeaSwift, perhops it might keep the existing large CVs relevent for longer. But its only delaying the inevitable if the next generation are F4 sized or worse.

Abe
Prime factor for the supercarriers is the Bombers they expected to operate. Certainly size does bring an advantage however in rough weather. The 1952 effort is firstly driven by exactly that, starting with a notional Navalised Canberra to gague what was needed. Part of the effect of the 1952 effort is almost certainly felt in NA.39 issued in '54, as is the earlier RAF low level pathfinder bomber requirements on that same spec.
I seem to reccal in a discussion with some chap he mentioned a USN study showing the best increases in stability are when you go beyond 60,000tons and that you don't show much improvement from 20,000 - 50,000tons.
I've been given to understand too much was piled on the Midways during their modernisation and they where somewhat lacking in stable motions at sea because of it.

Lawrence
There are bars and pubs in every nation of the UK where comming out with that line will not get you out alive save for a stretcher. Calling Scotland a 'region' is not a wise choice of words, nor will it find much favour in England or Wales if you use it about them. You might be able to use in Northern Ireland, but I would say it depends on which precise part of which Irish community your in at the time. Frankly there are even people in Cornwall who will get touchy about the use of that term towards them.
It pays to remembver the UK is a union state, not a nation state. Thus the work for the carriers is a deely poltical business and rather OT for this thread save to mention on passing that it is a factor in the CVF process and far more so than during the CVA-01 or 1952 efforts. The Union is more shakey now than then.
 

uk 75

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Zen

Your points are all well taken and I have enjoyed the info generated.

I wonder if the RN would have been luckier if the Eagle design had been chosen
as the basis for all postwar carriers and the hapless Illustrious ships simply
scrapped. After Eagle and Ark Royal, additional ships could have been built
in the 50s to have a force of 4-5 broadly similar platforms in say 1962. Rather than the exxotic
CVA 01 the design could then have been allowed to evolve with each new build rather like the Nimitz class.
By 1975 if we had pulled out of East of Suez and concentrated on NATO the Eagle mods could have been left in service as a 3 ship class with Ark Royal and Eagle leaving service during the 70s. Depending on the success or otherwise of the BAC?HS? stovl fighter attacker programme, their successors might then have
been smaller cheaper vessels. This programme would also have allowed the light fleets to be sold scrapped or converted to provide money for other programmes.
UK 75
 

zen

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Its certainly one of the more concrete alternative scenarios that HMS Eagle is completed instead of scrapped in 1945. Three Ark Royal CVs by the mid 50's makes the idea of modernising the Illustrious class an even less attractive option, and might just have prompted the process for a new carrier in 1950. Likely this third ship woul be more like Eagle's modernisation than Ark Royal.
A two year lead over the 1952 process stands a chance of booking the available slip for '53 and an ISD of the very late 50's or very early 60's. With a second of class possibly laid down in Jan '55. In essence the 1952 ship but earlier.

A more consistent footing for the carrier fleet into the 60s and beyond.
Of course new ships prior to CVA-01 mean their constraints apply to any new aircraft, OR.346 as was cannot be so lax in terms of size and weight for the naval machines and will end up more like AW406 for fighters and possibly more like the early OR339 (600nm ROA)for strike.
 
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