SIGS Alternative


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15 July 2007
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So this is a thread to examine alternatives to the real world SIGS outcome.

A potential option is for a UK developed 3D radar and again this could either be a cut down version of NSR that may be evolved from it's reduced capability SSSR small ships surveillance radar.
This being a phased array radar system.
However it could also be a FMICW system.

The potential of ADAWS does leave open the option of using illuminators only if the 3D surveillance and tracking set is sufficiently accurate. This transfers the cost and weight from complex TIRs to this element.

The consequences of success here could alleviate top weight issues on the Type 82 HMS Bristol and may....I stress....may even see the system used on at least the Invincible class carriers. Thought costs and the specifics may exclude the Type 42s.
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It occurs to me that electrically scanned radar was proposed to Admiralty for AEW in 1963.
Now while there are differences between such systems, there is lot of common research effort to achieve them.

A third option would be to take Type 984 and achieve a sort of Type 984.5 type system. Replacing mechanically scanned elements with electrically scanned ones. Which in this context is vertically while retaining the mechanical sweep horizontally.
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So thinking about this.
The ASWE C-band radar is just 8.5ft by 8.5ft and 3tons.
Should this mate with SIGS-16 instead of the Bristol offering then potentially the system as a whole becomes applicable to ships that officially start at 3,000tons.
However in reality this is pretty certain to grow to 4,500tons.
But it seems clear that shorn of County type mixed propulsion COSAG, and going COGAG, the ship even with Ikara is unlikely to spiral up to 6,000tons as the Type 82 HMS Bristol did.

Could it be that with a lighter AD system the multi role Type 82 would become affordable?
This being a COGAG ship.
Whilst I am of the view that the adoption of the much larger, heavier and more power hungry Dutch radar was a major driver of Type 82 size and cost there are other factors at play. For instance, the Ikara system originally intended for the type had a two deck missile magazine and a deep storage magazine for nuclear warheads along with associated transfer systems. This was never installed and the magazine was simplified but the ship remained sized for the original configuration and the structural elements remained in place. There were also two, rather than one, Ikara guidance radars. The addition of the 4.5" Mk.8, whilst relatively minor in the grand scheme of things, appears to have been an additional weapons system over the original requirement.

The Type 42 shows what was possible, even if it did go too far with some of the details. The reduced size magazine (seemingly intended for 26 rounds) and lightweight launcher saved weight and the COGOG plant weight and personnel. If you imagine the aft hangar and helicopter deck replaced with a simpler Ikara magazine and the main gun removed it is probably quite close, albeit with GT rather than steam propulsion, to what was originally wanted. Similarly the Australian Ikara arrangement gives an indication of how much more compact it could be. An enlarged Leander (e.g. 45ft beam, 400 ft length with 40,000 SHP) as originally conceived feels possible, perhaps with some limited size growth, if there is no main gun, a much simpler Ikara launcher without the nuclear requirement and a 3 ton surveillance radar on a hull with an accepted 28 knot speed. The replacement of MATCH and the 4.5" Mk.6 with Ikara and CF.299 respectively and the addition of ADAWS was always going to be more expensive than the earlier frigates though.

The DS.381 design from September 1964 is an interesting concept for a few reasons. Having looked at drawings in Friedman I think the Ikara arrangement is simply that then planned for the Type 82, thus likely a two deck magazine and deep nuclear warhead storage as the drawing has a near identical arrangement forward of the bridge to the Type 82. Similarly the DS.382 design looks like the Type 82 Sea Dart configuration shoehorned into the DS.381 hull. However, both designs have a full 10ft less beam than the Type 82 had at the time, which again hints at what was possible with a bit of restraint.

In relation to Sea Dart, 26 is an interesting number in that it appears a few times. Friedman references it as the magazine capacity originally thought of as being able to replace the 4.5" Mk.6 on a one for one basis, which I interpret as if you took the space used by the shell and powder magazines of that weapon in a frigate hull you would be able to put 26 missiles in it. It is also the stated capacity of the 1966 DS.392 study and seems to have been the originally planned capacity of the Type 42.
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24 is a nice digital number, but say you add in two inert training rounds.....
So assuming it went ahead would take Type 96- series number or a 98- series ?

Presumably the numbers Type 966 and 967 might be available though it's difficult to imagine this getting Type 986 or 987.

Another alternative is some development of the PT.428 system. Presumably a larger missile.
If costs are shared with the Army, this increases the potential for likes of DS381 and DS382.
Closer to an earlier Sea Wolf, than Sea Dart, but closer also to Orange Nell as well.

One wonders if the Jones Report on missiles could have further strengthened this.....
So the way forward here is likely to not get bogged down in NIGS, which obviously spiralled into a system fit for ships above 8,000tons and nuclear power.
Putting that effort into the much more relevant Orange Nell and attendant ASWE C-band SSSR, and and scaled ADAWS for such ships.

Perhaps sticking with the original FSR for Type 985 for next generation carriers?

This means no Broomstick. No Sea Dart, no Sea Wolf possibly and no Bristol Type 82 being a 6,000ton Destroyer.(Sloop).

This being that Frigates, Sloops, and Destroyers were always going to be cheaper than Cruisers even if said Cruisers were designed and built to Destroyer standards. Thus were always going to be built in larger numbers and needing defence for themselves and of relevance to protecting other assets.

I'll even suggest that had it been possible to shoehorn Command Guidance into Orange Nell, then this gets even more relevant by '68.
The size of the missile and handling gear would leave room for growth in range, speed, and performance for area defense.
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So looking at Orange Nell and then considering how NIGS seems to suck up capacity to no success. One cannot but wonder that had the establishment focused on this short range weapon instead, that a proto-SIGS would become the result.

That this was always of more relevance for the UK to fund such development.

Consider how ASWE ought to have focused on that C-band FSR for Frigates and Destroyers.
Consider how this would greatly ease development of ADAWS.
And how this would be installed on a much wider variety of ships.
One might go further and suggest that it could migrate onto land based usage too.
Being lighter, and more compact than Thunderbird for example.
So in refinements.

GD.45 Orange Nell is cancelled in 1957.
Only for Fleet Requirements Committee of 1958 to state ships needed missiles to stay relevant in ten years time.
SIGS paper circulated Oct 1960.
Program approved 5 Dec 1960.
Candidates were CF.299 and an 'enhanced' version of PT.428.

So chief departure points are:-
1. Continue with Orange Nell and program will be invigorated by end of 1960 to NMBR.11 and SIGS. Theoretically the result could be a 10ft long two stage SAM of under 600lb.
Or in grabbing Blue Water's two phase motor and scaling to 10-12 inches diameter, weight increases in the actual missile being offset by no need for boosters and the drag penalty they bring.

2. Funding PT.428 and an alternative enhanced missile for anti-anti-ship applications. Essentially a bigger missile to carry a larger warhead and posses greater range. Possibly at the cost of Blue Water.
However this option is certainly going to be longer than Orange Nell, it's also certain to be thinner. Since PT.428's booster is just over 7 inches diameter.
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Further refinements in thinking.

Option 1.predates Sea Sparrow and Sea Dragon (Chaparral), it also predates Sea Wolf and Sea Indigo.
Assuming the RN fits this to it's Frigates and Destroyers others are likely to follow
Possibly the Dutch and French, the Italians might want license too.
But could this even sway the mighty USN?

Option 2.
A shift from sophistcated version of Beam Riding to Command Guidance is quite plausible. It's arguably possible that VLS options could be trialled and the enhanced missile form the basis of GAST1216? Succeeding Thunderbird MkII and delivering both SAM.72 and battlefield area defense.

In either case assuming that IS Mauler system continues to the same failure.
Yes. His meddling was a total disaster for the program (as indeed many others).
In either case assuming that IS Mauler system continues to the same failure.

Given that said failure was primarily one Robert Strange McNamara...
It would be unjust to blame everything on McNamara.
¨The Soviets are our adversary. Our enemy is the Navy" - Curtis LeMay
Sea Mauler
Certainly a true option for a SeaCat replacement, and rational in a Frigate under 4,500tons. Including a Type 82, but not as we know it.
But again as with other assessed landbased SAM systems, it needs a bigger warhead which drives up missile size.
If you dont develop CF299 into Seadart you simply buy Tartar, as that allows you to fit a medium area SAM on a frigate sized hull.
Seacat(derived from Malkara?) was a private sector Bofors replacement.
Mauler/PT428 are too advanced for available technology. A Seawolf style missile before 1975 just is not feasible.
I hate Ikara. It belonged to the same idea as Nuke Asroc and Subroc. The solution to killing Sov subs was US and UK subs not nuking the ocean.
Fit some Leanders with Tartar as the French were not too proud to do with their destroyers.
The ship that needs designing and building earlier is the Type 22. Better launchers for Seawolf. Seakings instead of Lynx, anti ship Martel instead of Sea Skua. Get Broadsword on trials in 1974 instead of Type 82. They replace Leanders 1 for 1 ( no Type 21s).
An Area Defence Type 22 gets the Leander Tartar launchers with Standard (8 ships).
Job done
No RN won't buy Tartar, but it might buy Q-band Tartar.
However CF.299 is developed to NMBR.11 which specifies higher performance than Tartar. So Tartar 'as is' doesn't cut it, unless requirements are relaxed and once you do that why opt for a 15ft long, 13.5" diameter, 1,310lb missile, when you believe it can be done on a 9.75ft long 10" diameter, 540lb missile?
Or to put it another way, a missile two thirds the length of Tartar and less than half the weight.

Mauler and PT.428 (Mongoose?) Are not beyond the state of the art, though Mauler's use of SARH in a 5" diameter body able to cope with clutter returns is certainly challenging.
But PT.428 using beam riding is definitely achievable.

However it's Orange Nell that really holds the strongest case.
Ironically it's 30lb warhead is very close to Sea Wolf.

And PX.430 goes back to the early 60's.

So no, I think you're off there.

And frankly it's irrelevant if a notional Type 82 uses Ikara or ASROC. What matters is an affordable Frigate/Sloop able to be built in numbers.
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I agree that CF299 is a better buy than Tartar as it proves to haveTerrier capability
I dont have a view on Orange Nell but given the long gestation period for British missiles I cant see it arriving soon enough.
My simple Seacat solution is Seacat 2 for Leanders. I would rather put a Sea King on a Leander than Ikara orAsroc.
Type 82 if you take away the gun, Ikara and Limbo could be a valid dounle ended CF299 ship.
Seawolf is proven decent missile. If Type 22 and decent launch system could be brought into servicr by 1975 you avoid the Type 21 altogether and go straight from building Leanders to build 22s
If I have CF299 i service by 1975 as well, I can replace the Countys with double ended 82s on a 1 for 1 basis. By 1982 they and at least 8 t22s would be in service. The Leanders would run on as gun/Sea King ships replacing Tribals, early 12a. Production of T82 andT22 would run on through the 80s to a max of 14 and 26.
Not convinced at utility of double ended T82. It still only had 2 directors - where to put more? Another launcher doesn’t add much except magazine capacity, but sacrifices a lot for that. Still an extremely large and expensive ship, COSAG as RN moved to all GT. The gun as falklands showed was vital - not least they could fire chaff (iirc) and illum plus GP tasks. All Sea Dart gives a very niche ship. T42 although cramped proved pretty good - once Sea Dart was improved and the B3s lengthened. As a Daring/Battle/Picket successor it seems ideal.

Perhaps not hoping they could squeeze County capabilities onto a frigate sized hull would have been a better plan? Accepting DLGs were here to stay?

T21 although less utility than T22 came from the T19 corvette/gunboat (itself a 60’s LCS... lots of USUK parallels between these times...) and thus had its own momentum. It also derisked all GT ahead of core T22.

Sea King on Leander?? arguably yes on T22 but then 2 Lynx have a value in offering endurance and redundancy.

To go back - british weapons development (and taking to sea on finished designs) needs to be “sped up” really to offer viable alternatives, the time taken for sea slug crowds out a better medium/long range system.

The sheer number of Leanders points to the issue - as frequently referenced, they knew they were building obsolete armed ships for all the broad-beamed, but had nothing better. That seems the area to revisit - by the time you get T21/22 you seem as OTL.
Type 82 used the lighter ASWE C-band radar instead of Broomstick.
AND said system permits Target had been implied.

THEN even if using CF.299, the system doesn't need big heavy TIR sets like Type 909.

Resulting in much smaller, lighter, cheaper, Illuminating Radar sets.

Resulting in turn that either you get the Sea Dart system on a smaller, lighter, cheaper ship.
OR you can fit more Illuminating Radar sets on the structure of a ship of roughly 6,000-8,000tons like HMS Bristol.

However the point is really that you can get the smaller, lighter, cheaper Type 82, which is then more affordable.

And in turn time and effort is not spent trying to square the circle of cost and personnel that left the RN tying itself in knots until '66 killed the whole plan.

Which means even if CVA-01 and the CV Fleet is still run down and only replaced by Invincible like 'through deck Cruisers', then there is not much need to waste time, money and resources on something like Type 42. These alternative Type 82s are good enough and not expensive enough to exclude them.

What Orange Nell delivers is not quite Sea Dart, but it is well ahead of Sea Sparrow and smaller, and lighter than Tartar.
And notably something applicable to Leander type Frigates if not Type 81s.
Making things a lot neater, and cheaper to progress from Leander Type 12 to a conceptual lighter smaller cheaper and very Frigate-like Type 82.
I agree that possibly a better technical solution for the radar was possible and that has significant implications - but the T82 is still a long way from ideal as a GP combatant. Making it feasible to be double ended doesn’t seem an advantage as the RN wanted multi-role ships not even more specialised.(debate over S.Dart mags/launchers sharin weapons excepted).

The lack of organic helicopter, and the COSAG plant are both things that even then should have raised concerns for the next gen ship. What was needed was not Ikara, but Sea King. That kind of thinking is missing in the T82 history. yet despite awkward aspects, the helo on the Counties was seen as far superior to the alternative of Limbo.

The T42 you seem to slate, but truth is it was a very useful ship and probably why we had so many as the crewing requirement in an era of massive manpower challenge came significantly from the GT plant.

T82 literally is a one trick pony - CVA escort. It is very hard to imagine how it would have done the other 99% of tasks expected of RN destroyers through to final retirement circa 2010.
The problem with the real world Type 21/22/42 is that by 1980 you only have the Type 21s and the first 2 T42s im service, so that in high risk years from 1970 to 80 (fortunately the RN was not tested much in these years but war with the USSR was more likely post 1968 and despite detente 1973 showed US/ Sov war cd always threaten at short notice).
My 4 double ended Type 82s (Seadart had some SSM cap) were intended to escort Ark/Invincible in the N Atlantic. T22 is the key ASW platform which should have arrived earlier. The hull could then have been used for an air defence version ( like the Spruances).
Apart from the Falklands does the RN really need guns in its NATO role. The Leanders could have served in GP roles. They could then be replaced by a T22 export gunboat version.
Strictly the RN was coming to the conclusion that the Type 82 as we know it was a bit of a inefficient use of resources and that a Cruiser was a better escort.

However the Type 82 was the quickest way forward with Sea Dart, Ikara and ADAWS.

That said the logic of a cruiser really favours NIGS.
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The RN was getting rid of Ark, why spend anything escorting it? A County could do that. Ark only lasted as long in contrast to the expectations of the late 60s so zero appetite to have escorting it as a planning assumption, let alone a fortune on ships that in every other way were unsound.

Invincible didnt rock up til the end of the decade either. It could also escort itself as it was always expected to.

Double ended makes T82 AAW only, kind of pointless really. A massive investment for something very specialised. See T42 and T45 for what the RN actually wanted - AAW and GP in an efficient platform.

NIGS is interesting but despite reading all the stuff on here I still don’t have a good feel for it.

I also note even SIGS/CF299/Sea Dart as evolved had a lot of issues that were fundamental to UK electronics and missile systems - valves, complex launchers/switches, radar development as well as supply/reliability and upgrades. So it seems reasonable they would have plagued an earlier/more ambitious system too.
Purpletrouble You are right of course, as you are describing what happened in fact.
The what-if I proposed was only an alternate that assumed getting the Type 22 early would be worth just keeping 4 T82s and not building T42 and T21 which were less essential in the key NATO ASW role. For reasons I gave I would have not bothered with Ikara and gone for Sea Kings instead.
The double ended Type 82 seemed the best Area Defence ship option for the 70s, with or without a CV. The T42 was not available in numbers until 1982.
I am guilty of intruding on the more interesting radar and SIS alternate discussions so will give way to those.
Future of the CV Fleet was still alive until '66, and semi-resurected a few year afterwards. Despite finding an excuse to retire Victorious early. Until the 70's the 2 Audacious class were still operating. Wilson had no desire to divest the UK of power projection.

However if SIGS can be met by Orange Nell and enter service earlier, say by '62-64. Then it's no longer a key driver for continuing with Type 82.
So if the ship still spirals upwards in tonnage and cost, it can be dropped in favour of ASW focused Type 17 or the Escort Cruiser. The Orange Nell system being implemented on modernisations or other new ships.

However if NIGS in some form continues, Type 82 is too small and a Cruiser offers a better platform for it. As it would for helicopters.
As was this seems to include Chinook but that might be chinook-like helicopters rather than that specific machine.
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Again, I'm curious about NIGS, but as you say it seems a cruiser level weapon, hence the number of hulls inevitably too small. Rebuilding the RN? / Post-war Naval Revolution talks a lot about plans in this period - what comes out is they wanted 14 odd Sea Dart ships just for East of Suez (1x carrier group, 1x amphibious group, 1x underway replen group), allowing for refits that made 30. I don't think they actually counted Home/Med in that!

There is no way we could have done that with a larger system, and all their plans always refer to needing long range / area SAMs in the core and screen.

I suspect this is why we ended with Sea Dart as the best compromise to achieve that?

I'm also very doubtful of the ability of the UK to actually bring either of those systems to fruition given the issues it had with the ones it did. Especially if something 10 years ahead of Sea Dart is supposed to offer some of it's capabilities to cover the fleet.

Chinooks at sea is just weird, given the success of the Sea King. Although it can operate on water, but a massive maintenance burden if you do!

My preference has always been a Type 82 that was a GP ship, a true DLG successor to Counties and accepted as such from the outset, gun & Sea Dart forward, Ikara (more sensible amidships) and hangar + pad aft. The launcher not liking wetness is alleviated on the larger hull (as is space for mag) and it woud be a HVA escort. Still only 4-8 ships in line with County plans. In parallel, two smaller programs, T42 as was, gun/s.dart (simpler?), light helo and a GP/ASW ship ideally T22 earlier but would accept T21 as interim (since it replaced the 8 T41/61 ships of no ASW capability) to get the T82 production over. T42 would be fewer than planned. T82 manning would still be an issue unless the RN went all GT earlier which to be frank, it could and should have done.

Then into the late 70s/early 80s, Type 43 replacing Counties, just a less weird design with the helopad where every (?) other ship with a helo has put it even when that space woud be great for say a VLS or weapon system or boat deck or whatever!
So on NIGS.....the problem with this is people get easily blinded by the big ticket elements like the huge missile and PAR system and miss the implications of some of the smaller or less sexy components, like Command Guidance or ADAWS and it's computer architecture.
In essence once you remove a nuclear warhead the question ought to be asked.....if you are Command Guidance most of the way out to a maximum distance of 150nm (dictated by land users) and need only a 9" dish for terminal SARH or ARH, then why use a 14" diameter missile 'dart'?
Since that big missile is scaled around a potential nuclear warhead, and that is driving up total size.

Even I was blindsided by it's last hurrah that may well be RP.21 a 20.5" diameter ramjet and might well have looked like a scaled up Sea Dart....and missed the fact the mission can be done with a much smaller missile 'Dart'.

And then I measured SIGS-16......which is curiously made of materials that cut costs but thermally limits its potential range....about 9.5"........

Could it be SIGS-16 is that very smaller Dart with a cheap light short booster that's had it's fusilage cheapened?

Shades of how Tychon-MR became Standard.......

Anyway enough of NIGS for the moment and back to the plot.... could the UK develop Orange Nell?
Of course it could.
Several Q-band seekers were designed and reached various levels of prototype. Though for AAMs, this is the body of knowledge that would feed into such a seeker.
The missile itself is no major development since it's roots in various RTV test vehicles is clear. Right down to the booster options.
And as for the warhead....well that likely is the root of both SIGS-16's and CF.299's warhead.....
Guidance Set is well within capability, various Q-band radars were offered up as additional systems for aircraft and ultimately some of this may have fed into late 60's civilian navigation radars.

Rocket motors....certainly as a boosted missile the boosters are no major leap, nor it's main sustainer motor.
Though achieving a Tartar-like unity missile with combined boost and sustain motor is unclear. Apparently there are sketches and calculations for such options. Though whether it can be achieved is less certain. But the payoff would be immense.
Zen - really interesting stuff, certainly expands my knowledge.

It does feel, having read the NIGS nuclear powered ship options, that this was a far too big a system for the UK, shades of Blue Envoy. Scaling it down, well that basically produces SIGS/CF299 and what becomes Sea Dart, slightly earlier surely?

I'm am very cautious about saying the UK could have, 10 years before it did, and with about 15 years of subsequent problems when it did! introduce something this advanced. Orange Nell, which I think isn't the same order of capability, doesn't cover Sea Dart so we still need Sea Dart ships in numbers, as I illustrated by bolding "screen" in that they wanted them everywhere just as the USN did with its Standard equipped DDGs to push the engagements further out and offer larger kill zones and arcs of interlocking fire around the screen and core.

It seems also too advanced to bring into reliable service - given at the time we had Sea Cat, and Sea Wolf ended up as a much larger system requiring a large ship as it went from Concept to In-Service - a process I'm familiar with (not missiles though) and where complete changes are usually the norm not the exception! It doesn't feel right something as good/better would be smaller and easier earlier...

Throw in the lack of capacity in the UK system, i.e. we couldn't even consider 2x 901 for the Counties as they built in the 60s because industry couldn't have produced more components - and again, all nice on paper but nothing appeared in reality? I like to look back at what-ifs, hence this forum, but I also feel that history went the way it did for reasons - it feels a bit defeatist but I read DK Brown and get a very strong feeling Sea Slug 2 didn't actually work and they just gave up with it as Sea Dart ships were in build. The fact it wasn't used at all in a SAM role in the Falkland's, even in open ocean against snoopers (exactly its target parameters) and the ships were so quickly binned (unlike everything else which was refitted or staged on over 3 decades), suggests there was a major bluff going on. If that was our actual real world ability, then it doesn't feel we had
Bear in mind that Sea Dart is originally developed to meet SIGS/NMBR.11, interception of missiles and aircraft out to 30,000yards at high altitudes and 20,000yards at low altitudes.

The fact people talk about a range of 50nm is describing it's absolute range not it's effective range. Though Friedman describes its early limits as 39nm....

Though to be fair the 909 sets that guide it seem to need not much to guide it out to 80nm or more.

Whereas NIGS is only sustainable if it encompasses land defence as well to replace Bloodhound (in fact to succeed the cancelled Blue Envoy). Hence it balloons from a Sea Slug successor to essentially a naval Blue Envoy.

I can6 finish this reply now
Perhaps 909’s capability came from seperate R&D / earlier or different spec but easier to keep that capability and in cass Sea Dart was developed/replaced? i’m guessing - but a common enough decision for one part of a system to have much more capability than other bits actually use. In fact, very much true of my current system, in this case because the more capable component is cheaper by virtue of being used elsewhere (as part of a more capable system), than a bespoke one limited to what is needed for this one.

Always difficult on range, what’s important is the kill zone, the area (range/alt) that a given target cant escape from once the missile is fired. That will always be necessarily well within max range - firing at max range is a poor idea as the target (assuming it has sensors looking at you to pick you up) just needs to “hop out” a bit and you exhaust your missiles. These numbers rarely seem public, and public ones I have seen bear no obvious link to them for the systems I know well, so I’m always rather sceptical on what the truth is/was.
So in terms of the 901 radar, this is not your average's a complex nightmare of a system.
With restricted flow of components to assemble it. From the large valves to the ammonia spray de-icing components, to the precision cut rotating disc and on and on.....
No wonder production was so slow and so costly!

All this delivers astonishing accuracy for a beam riding missile out to 15nm and ultimately 30nm. Frankly it ought to be far more and probably was in target tracking. But at what cost!

Whereas a Q-band TIR for engagement ranges between 2nm and 9nm is frankly a much more achievable and affordable system. Tracking would only need to reach out to 25nm to the horizon.
Orange Nell being SARH takes some of the cost and complexity out of the TIR.

As for's a bit confusing as online accounts suggest it won the contract almost out of the blue and had to deliver in quite a tight timeframe with no real prototype.
Does suggest something more was envisaged? even if just by the designers?

I've wondered if Sea Dart could have been given more range with a bigger booster, i.e. a kind of SM1MR and ER type thing with a larger (entirely fictional RN!) ship having the latter.

Issues I guess are it increases min range, the booster is really just for acceleration and so if you want range you need a longer missile with more fuel for ramjet. Which then gets wider and becomes something else entirely. I note Sea Dart 2 didn't do that, opting for autopilot allowing more efficient flight path, something SM1 already had.

Ok - but with 9nm how does the RN provide the area coverage if it has Orange Nell ? - the RN still needs S.Dart equivalent, and in reality was struggling to get that done, plus bring S.Slug fully into service (i.e. make it work...) and had what became S.Wolf as a development activity. Is there really capacity for a 3rd system? If it replaces S.Wolf, are we really able to bring an equivalent into service a decade and a half earlier, and wont it lack in capability vs. S.Wolf (which was good, but not always) by the 1980s?

I read one (well, all) of your posts on 988 and that history - really interesting. It really seems the UK has great technical ability with radars, until it gets to the point of actually building them. A bit like 988, I can't help but think we persistently either lose, or spend a fortune on something over specialised, because we never seem to accept that the best is the enemy of good enough - yet look at British military history and very rarely did we have the best kit (French 74s superior, WW2 tanks and so on), but yet we do seem to do very well in outcomes which I attribute more to culture and the moral component. Of course Napoleon, no mere lightweight warrior (in any sense) said the moral component was to the physical as 3 is to 1. Although look what happened to him!

Looking at the late 60s/early 70s, we should have stuck with Dutch cooperation - outstanding electronics, very pragmatic, practical and war fighting ethos with a shared culture in terms of ships being actually capable vs say shiney toys with lots of guns but not the combat system, sensors that actually give capability. We lost them to Franco/German pairing yet they are probably the most like us in Europe in many "anglo-saxon" aspects, especially weapons. I know they were trying to steal a march, but compare the Tromp DLGs with T82 and ask which you'd rather have. Or even Kortenaer/M class against T21, well, ok, T22.
Well I do wonder on Sea Dart, if at some early stage a Typhon-LR variant was sort of presumed.....after all compare with Typhon-LR and thosecmissiles are not that different dimensionally.
Some of that extra range would be down to speed of ramjet operation. Sea Dart was I think optimised for Mach 2.5 to 3.5, but it's certainly possible to optimise the ramjet for Mach 4-5 at the expense of a larger booster.
The result would be a much longer minimum range limit, but a also a much h longer range.
There was the Seadaws100, a reduced capability version. Most projects have variants that drift in/out over time, sometimes becoming something big, more often not - but that overall meme of a variant is usually there at the outset. With limited resources and still a big ship/small ship split very much in doctrine and mind, Sea Dart and 909 could have at several points been conceived or considered for multiple variants, especially as the project evolved out of others and probably had other projects also in parallel which just disappeared into time.

It would be interesting to know from the files - one day I'll have to learn how to go and see them and read them - those that do add a huge amount of value. I suspect their future equivalents will be very disappointed, as very little goes to file these days.
There was the Seadaws100, a reduced capability version. Most projects have variants that drift in/out over time, sometimes becoming something big, more often not - but that overall meme of a variant is usually there at the outset. With limited resources and still a big ship/small ship split very much in doctrine and mind, Sea Dart and 909 could have at several points been conceived or considered for multiple variants, especially as the project evolved out of others and probably had other projects also in parallel which just disappeared into time.

It would be interesting to know from the files - one day I'll have to learn how to go and see them and read them - those that do add a huge amount of value. I suspect their future equivalents will be very disappointed, as very little goes to file these days.
That's pretty much my thinking.
Sea Dart was integrated into ADAWS, and ADAWS began life as a way to cope with NSR and Type 985 radar picture. NSR seems to be the heart of NIGS......
Yes - especially as I get the impression Sea Dart ended up much more capable than was originally expected due to the success of ramjet technology and the booster - hence that variant crowding out other options that had been expected (possibly even dominant ones at the outset) and perhaps had driven the design of other parts of the system, e.g. 909s and as you say, ADAWS. After-all the same thing happened with Tartar/Terrier in effect crowding out Talos as they proved able to become much better.

It is easy to be critical, but the pace of technology was so incredible it was very difficult to "pick a winner", and also very easy to think the numbers (speed/altitude/size) would keep increasing at the rate they were. It is interesting that now, the systems are about the same as nominal 1960s systems in raw parameters, but vastly more capable (a) reliability, and (b) integration of information. A T45 is so much more of an AAW asset than a T42 or T82 in capability that it does actually cover the hull numbers (in a very niche sense). Of course the threat is the same - similar nominal performance but reliable and integrated, except for example the hypersonics stuff where I suspect they are still a bit more like the 60s/70s weapons.
Probably the wrong place to raise this, but based on whatever area SAM system we can get to succeed the Seaslug/County combination in the late 60s-early70s
we need a different ship from either the T82 or T42
A twin arm launcher (aft if possible) and supporting radar fit.
Full gas turbine propulsion (though this pushes first ship into the 70s)
Then the vexed question of the remaining armament.
I am not convinced that an air defence ship needs a full 4.5 in.
ASW is the big problem.A helo aft as in T42 forces the missile launcher fwd.
I really dislike IKARA so the ASW fit is a problem.
The Dutch Tromp and AD Koertenaers are the best European designs.
Why, T42 all GT, good manning (for time). Fitted everything on and when they fixed the inherent issues with Sea Dart it performed well. The 80% solution, but good enough, just.

T82 large, but comfortable, sea worthy and space for stuff such as growth (CIWS, SSMs, new radars, sonars) if it hadn't been a one off these would have gone on. Very much showed if you wanted a GP/AAW destroyer it was a DLG as County had been and T45 is. Just the crew and powerplant, which of course are linked.

Launcher aft is not a massive deal, plenty of US and other nations had it forward. It just needs a hull that supports that. With an alternative of ideal aft vs adding helo, latter wins hands down every time.

Gun, 4.5" is key as Falklands showed when all sorts went on gunline. Once you have a gun, the actual size doesn't actually matter much to a ship big enough to fit Sea Dart anyway. The calibre also allows chaff and illum rounds to be fired, former part of AA defence, latter all sorts of GP tasks from Commando Raids to Search and Rescue.

Ikara would be fine if we didn't gold plate the thing with silly nuclear ideas.

An organic helo has become an absolute must-have for any naval ship, including auxiliaries now. Best ASW asset, best ASuW asset, best communications/transport asset, best surveillance asset, best "decoy incoming missile from ship asset", best SAR asset and so on.

I agree the Dutch ships are good and better than we produced and probably for less cost, but lack of an organic helo means I wouldn't want many Tromps or the AAW Kortenaers or I'd want them redesigned with a helo. At which point they are something else!

A GT T4282 combo perhaps ideal, i.e. a T62 !! I still think it is a pity we didn't go for the 5" cruiser -destroyer, the sensible gun choice, a DLG hull which could have evolved both powerplant and weapons, incorporating COSAG, Sea Slug and then perhaps all GT and Sea Dart.

The obsession with keeping everything small I think was a real weakness - the cost for postwar warships was (a) the electronics, (b) building anything at all, (c) integrating (a) into output of (b). Trying to keep it small just made it all harder, requiring more effort to overcome otherwise avoidable problems. Hence scaling T82 up from Leander when the County DLG and US DLG clearly showed a Task Force Escort, capable of AAW, ASW, NGFS plus margin - was daft as the requirement, regardless of the tech could never be a small frigate.

I'm not really convinced the pre-war obsession with size was cost effective, i.e. the effort spent redesigning destroyers and agonising over guns and torpedo tubes, all for a few 10s of weight as to whether it as 1760 or 1850, made any difference. The manpower and maintenance cost still far exceeded the build one anyway. We tried to save pennies at the expense of maintenance and ability to do job (especially when war showed needed new kit).
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