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Royal Navy missile battleships

uk 75

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This one is so improbable that no artwork can be found (except for one dull 1979 version of a King George V with Exocet!).
But I think it offers a fun bit of alternate history.
The naughty Soviet Union was rumoured to be building a class of rocket equipped battleship
In our padded alternative world cell this nightmare becomes real and the first vessel sets to sea.
The Royal Navy embarks on a hasty programme to equip its remaining battleships with missiles.
What could these be? Regulus? a rushed Seaslug? a US missile like Corporal?
 

zen

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This one is so improbable that no artwork can be found (except for one dull 1979 version of a King George V with Exocet!).
But I think it offers a fun bit of alternate history.
The naughty Soviet Union was rumoured to be building a class of rocket equipped battleship
In our padded alternative world cell this nightmare becomes real and the first vessel sets to sea.
The Royal Navy embarks on a hasty programme to equip its remaining battleships with missiles.
What could these be? Regulus? a rushed Seaslug? a US missile like Corporal?
Blue Slug, a modified Sea Slug missile with a Red Dean seeker, and a Red Angel warhead.
Alternatively a boosted Green Cheese.
Or Fairey Sea Skimmer.
 

1Big Rich

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This one is so improbable that no artwork can be found (except for one dull 1979 version of a King George V with Exocet!).
But I think it offers a fun bit of alternate history.
The naughty Soviet Union was rumoured to be building a class of rocket equipped battleship
In our padded alternative world cell this nightmare becomes real and the first vessel sets to sea.
The Royal Navy embarks on a hasty programme to equip its remaining battleships with missiles.
What could these be? Regulus? a rushed Seaslug? a US missile like Corporal?
You might find this thread


Over on the Warships1/NavWeaps Design board interesting....

Regards,
 

uk 75

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The US looked at finishing the incomplete Kentucky with surface to air missiles (Terrier or Tartar) and even tubes for Polaris. This is reflected in the ideas above.
Although the K1000 was mythical it was a reasonable idea given the later Kirov nuclear battlecruiser (which helped the USN get 4 Tomahawk toting New Jerseys back into service)
 

Grey Havoc

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Well, there is evidence to suggest that the K1000 was originally a real program which was turned into a disinformation effort when Khrushchev rather ill-advisably killed off all new large warship projects. If he had fallen from power earlier, or been edged out for the top job in the first place, it is more than likely we would have seen at least one Soviet missile battleship class in that time period.
 

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Just hacked this together for a bit of lighthearted fun...
Only copy and paste (hence the mis-match of colours). Apologies to Bombhead and Hood over on the Shipbucket site for abusing their hard work. Vanguard BBG file copy.png
 

A Tentative Fleet Plan

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Just hacked this together for a bit of lighthearted fun...
Only copy and paste (hence the mis-match of colours). Apologies to Bombhead and Hood over on the Shipbucket site for abusing their hard work.View attachment 636520
There is no way that the superstructure of Vanguard has enough volume for a Sea Slug Magazine.

Maybe an alternative approach would be getting the 1945 Lions laid down (in a hypothetical post-war Britain with considerably more resources), before having work being suspended on them for several years (like the Tiger class). The emphasis on high seakeeping speed, and high armoured freeboard, might provide them with enough volume for possibly an double-end Sea Slug arrangement, although the requirement for the necessary numbers of Type 901 directors and other radars (Type 972 or 974 Surface search sets will be necessary as will a Type 992 TI Set. The are a number of radar combinations for air search/ direction, including Type 960 and at least o e Type 982/983 combination, or instead use Type 277 as a hightfeinder if your radar fit is more austere. Two Type 984 sets would be ideal, but impossible due to mutual interference).

Other high volume hulls include carrier conversions (including proposed designs for Light-Fleet and Illustrious conversions). Closed hangar ships may be required to protect the magazines, so any hypothetical surging Malta hulls are ruled out unless they are laid down as/or developed from 1943s Design Bii and Design C.

Of course this presupposes the use of Blue Slug as an anti-ship missile. If you want to be even more ambitious Expert (Ship-to-Ship with Low trajectory with underwater terminal phase), Yodel (Ship-to-Ship with high trajectory, for plunging fire) (Source for both- Warship 2015) or Zonal, (a ship-launched sea skimmer flying at 500 knots propelled by a ducted propellor with range of 50,000yds , before entering the sea to home at 55 knots with a range of 5000yds) would offer interesting (although given the technology available in the 40s and 50s technically unfeasible) possibilities.

Interestingly Friedman's the British Battleship mentions weapons X, (a low trajectory weapon entering the sea just short of the target) Y, (a high trajectory weapon to attack an enemy's deck) and Z (a flying torpedo, diving into the sea 5000yds short of the target) which are clearly descriptions for Expert, Yodel and Zonal.
 
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Dilandu

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There is no way that the superstructure of Vanguard has enough volume for a Sea Slug Magazine.
Easy. You are thinking about magazines of County-type - long and narrow single-layered. But "Vanguard", if refitted, would probably use magazines close to the HMS "Girdle Ness" test ship ones; relatively short and wide, multi-layered under-deck magazines.
 

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An extract from an Admiralty memorandum of 1953:

"2. A ship launched Ballistic Weapon might well be half the size of a land-based weapon for the same warhead weight, if the range to the target could be halved by taking the launching platform half the way to that target.

3. If the study contracts are to be placed by the Ministry of Supply, this point should be taken note of at the beginning of such a study, and DGD should therefore agree with DOR that Admiralty interest should be declared by means of a Staff Target.

4. Preparation of a broad Staff Target will await DNO's comments and the outcome of DOR's discussions with SAGE.

5. DGD considers that the suggestion for using a submersible launching platform is probably in the realms of fantasy, even beyond the next 20 years, but furtherance of this project with a Naval application may imply the preservation of the KG V hulls for many years to come."

Note paragraph 5.

ADM 1/26924.
 

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The French Navy had similar projects for Richelieu and Jean Bart... what might have been... 6*Iowa class, 4*KGV and 2*Richelieu missile battleships pounding K-1000s into submission... that would be even more exciting that Clancy "Red Storm Rising" - kind of "Dance of vampires" fought with guns rather than Tomcat, Badgers, and Crusaders...
 

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I did only put this together as an "illustration". Indeed, the County style continuous tunnel style loading system would not work here, although as Dilandu said, a Girdle Ness type system would be more suitable.
The following is from Friedman's Postwar Naval Revolution (previously posted in the Seaslug discussion elsewhere on these forums. Seaslug Loading System.png Seaslug Loading Text.png
 

Dilandu

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"2. A ship launched Ballistic Weapon might well be half the size of a land-based weapon for the same warhead weight, if the range to the target could be halved by taking the launching platform half the way to that target.

3. If the study contracts are to be placed by the Ministry of Supply, this point should be taken note of at the beginning of such a study, and DGD should therefore agree with DOR that Admiralty interest should be declared by means of a Staff Target.

4. Preparation of a broad Staff Target will await DNO's comments and the outcome of DOR's discussions with SAGE.

5. DGD considers that the suggestion for using a submersible launching platform is probably in the realms of fantasy, even beyond the next 20 years, but furtherance of this project with a Naval application may imply the preservation of the KG V hulls for many years to come."
Seems like their major mistake was concentrating too much on ballistic missiles, instead of exploring cruise missiles as emergency capability...
 

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Seems like their major mistake was concentrating too much on ballistic missiles, instead of exploring cruise missiles as emergency capability...
We're talking 1953 here ...
 

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MGM-1 Matador was already operational by this time...
But not for naval use.

I think the Admiralty were already thinking in terms of strategic long range ballistic missiles - 1953 was when the UK began the chain of thinking that led to Blue Streak.
 

uk 75

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The Soviets had both cruise missiles and the early members of the Scud family. The RN might have adopted a solution similar to that used for Regulus.
 

Dilandu

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I still think that the best possible way for RN to obtain a missile battleships - is to recognize that long-range ballistics is a far future, and they needed something "strategic" to offset the RAF fleet of V-bombers.

Que the long-range naval-launched cruise missiles. They are significantly simple to design and develop, than ballistics, since they are much close to usual planes. Also, they could be made mobile much easier - which is important for Britain, since it does not have much space to disperse nuclear forces.

So, the idea; in early 1950s, the RN came with the idea of a strategic cruise missiles (with navalized version of American "Matador" as backup, in case of domestic development problems), launched from refitted hulls of KGV-class battleships. The advantages are:

* Battleships are mobile platforms - i.e. the probability of them being caught by enemy surprise attack is much lower than for land-based missiles.
* Battleships are rather durable - i.e. in case they would be attacked, they would not be easy to kill.
* Battleships are large surface ships - i.e. it would be easier to implement strategic cruise missiles on them, than on submarines.

P.S. Several years ago, I worked on short AU fiction story (unfinished, unfortunately), set in early 1960s, in which HMS "Victoria" - the fictional member of KGV-class - was presented as strategic missile battleship in Mediterranean. She have all her main turrets replaced with a bow & stern Seaslug systems (triple launcher configuration, Gridle Ness type magazines, four fire control radars), and middle part of the hull was given to a (fictional) "Blue Star" strategic nuclear missiles; 1500 nm max range, subsonic speed, 2-megaton warhead, ATRAN-type low altitude approach system, vertical launch with boosters.
 

zen

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Stand off cruise missiles/robot bombers...
Blue Moon?
Red Rapier?
 

Dilandu

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Stand off cruise missiles/robot bombers...
Blue Moon?
Red Rapier?
Something like that, yes, but fictional naval model. I do not recall exactly how I described her, only that it launched vertically, and have ATRAN-type low altitude approach system to penetrate air defenses.
 

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Regulus seemed to have worked well. And Regulus II was terrific, although grossly oversized.
 
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