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Tartar/Standard: The RN's missed opportunity

uk 75

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As the Tartar-derived Standard family continues to thrive
I am going to re-visit another Hobbyhorse of mine.
The Dutch took close look at CF299/Seadart and dropped it in favour of Tartar/Standard for its two Tromp class destroyers.
The Tromps with their Standard plus Sea Sparrow point defence and the later Witt class with Goalkeeper always struck me as what the T82 and T42 should have been.
When the time came to replace them the Dutch again chose a no-nonsense design.


If the RN had been allowed similar choices it could have had more capable ships sooner.
 

zen

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As the Tartar-derived Standard family continues to thrive
I am going to re-visit another Hobbyhorse of mine.
The Dutch took close look at CF299/Seadart and dropped it in favour of Tartar/Standard for its two Tromp class destroyers.
The Tromps with their Standard plus Sea Sparrow point defence and the later Witt class with Goalkeeper always struck me as what the T82 and T42 should have been.
When the time came to replace them the Dutch again chose a no-nonsense design.


If the RN had been allowed similar choices it could have had more capable ships sooner.
And what US products, paid for in precious dollars, are you willing to sacrifice for Tartar?
And why do you think the RN was wrong on wanting different guidance band than the US?
 

uk 75

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Tartar/Standard was used by France, Germany, Italy and Japan with considerable success.
Only the UK felt the need to develop its own
missile with its cumbersome launcher and radars.
I suspect the UK could have got very favourable terms for adopting Tartar/Standard.
The savings in ease of fitting launchers and radars would have made designing and building our warships cheaper and faster.
A modern class of SAM equipped destroyers could have entered service in the 60s instead of the 70s.
 

NOMISYRRUC

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It could be built under licence which would avoid spending Dollars.

Westland did well with its Sikorsky derived helicopters that were often fitted with DH Gnome engines which were it's version of the GE T-58.

The licencing agreement might include the right to sell it in certain territories like Westland's agreement did.

I quite like the idea of a County sized guided missile destroyer with all gas-turbine propulsion, a Mk 10 launcher fed by a 60-round magazine holding a mix of Terrier and ASCROCs with and 2 target indicator radars. It might be bigger than the real County and need a bigger crew, but it would be worth modernising in the 1970s.
 

uk 75

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The large hangar magazine in the Countys could have been used for Terrier/ASROC. A larger County with double ended Terrier would have been a formidable ship.
 

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Tartar was developed by the US under some urging of the UK RN.
Yet despite that, the USN focus for the missile wasn't the same as the RN.
Hence the divergence in guidance bands.
The UK preferred Q-band SARH for precise pickup of low level and small (missile-sized not launch aircraft-sized) targets. It also had some benefits in the face of jamming. As this was the focus , forsight of expected developments in Anti-ship missiles.
In this matter RN and USN had diverged from common experiences in WWII.
Including the development of SAMs.
Thus the US had a different view of how Popsy and later Mopsy would be used.

UK assessment of the likely missile to do the job, become Orange Nell.
Critical to the Divergence, is that ON weighs about half that of Tartar and is more compact. Sea Wolf is the institutional successor to this line of reasoning.
USN ended up with a big heavy missile and had to ultimately piggyback on Mauler. Which was cancelled and a Basic Point Defence Missile System was cobbled together using Sparrow.
 

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My understanding is the UK saw the Tartar as a replacement for the Mk6 3/70 twin on the proposed missile cruises and potentially other platforms while Seacat and successor programs were replacements for the various multiple Bofors mounts.

A continuing theme seems to be that the RN had a better understanding of future needs/requirements but lacked the financial capacity to deliver in a timely fashion, while the US had grand plans that often collapsed under their own weight, before bodging something together and spending on fixing and improving it until they had viable.

The ideal would have been a joint USN / UK project for Tartar as a point defence, then area air defence missile with a point defence capability. UK involvement gives them a foot in the door and makes Tartar affordable with local production, but also give Tartar potentially better capability earlier. This means Tartar would be more likely to be retrofitted to some Battle and Daring Class destroyers, perhaps the Tigers as well as future frigates, while Sea Dart could proceed, maybe with an expanded envelope, as a Seaslug replacement for future destroyers.
 

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There is probably nothing in what-if land to stop Britain producing Tartar under licence and developing its own Q-band SARH.
But there is no doubt that such a move would have probably wasted 2-3 additional years of R&D and trials and increased costs.

Britain had three R&D problems for GW:
The rocket - propulsion
The fire-control and seeker
The launching system and 'packaging'

Britain had little problem in designing and building rocket motors for boost and sustainers and indeed ramjets too.
Fire-control was a myriad of systems and types for AAMs, SAMs etc., certainly no shortage of ideas or prototypes, but a lack of rational effort and resources to build to mass scale and avoid duplication and R&D cash flowing like mad all over the place.
Packaging was a big problem until SIGS came along. Bloodhound and Thunderbird were big draggy beasts, Sea Slug was a mass of struttery and the launching system even more cumbersome than anything the Soviets built. Orange William was fine if you had a tank to lug it around. Dreams of getting stuff like Blue Envoy aboard a ship was bordering on insanity.

So Tartar would help with compactness, the missile itself was within British capabilities, the guidance could have been improved but really the money would mean seriously cutting back - means writing off all the R&D in Sea Slug since 1946 and no tinkering with Orange Nell (which was largely just paperwork anyway).
Probably means no SIGS until a decade or so later, but Tartar could have been upgraded, the RN might have just stuck with building SM-1s instead as a successor and from there SM-2, maybe even leading one day to Mrs Thatcher saying "Dear Mr Reagan, could you please chuck in AEGIS with your Trident D5 offer" and a Burke analogue as a Type 43 (British Atago-class anyone?).
 

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There is probably nothing in what-if land to stop Britain producing Tartar under licence and developing its own Q-band SARH...
That sounds perfectly feasible to me.

There are some precedents. Westland's helicopters (which I have already mentioned), turning the Sparrow into Sky Flash and basing Blue Streak & the Rolls Royce RZ series of rocket engines on Atlas & the S-3D spring to mind.
But there is no doubt that such a move would have probably wasted 2-3 additional years of R&D and trials and increased costs.
That depends upon the point of departure. As far as I know Sea Dart was developed because the Treasury didn't have the Dollars to pay for Tatar. If the point of departure is that the Admiralty gets permission to have Hawker Siddeley build Tatar under licence instead of developing Sea Dart none of the time and money would be wasted and if the first ships are Tatar armed versions of Types 42 and 82 it's really Standard SM-1MR not Tatar.
 
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NOMISYRRUC

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My understanding is the UK saw the Tartar as a replacement for the Mk6 3/70 twin on the proposed missile cruises and potentially other platforms while Seacat and successor programs were replacements for the various multiple Bofors mounts.
If I remember from Friedman (as usual) Tatar was intended to take the same space as one twin 5" 38 calibre turret or one single 5" 54 turret and was considerably lighter. That's the equivalent of the British twin 3" Mk 6 and twin 4.5" Mk 6 turrets.
A continuing theme seems to be that the RN had a better understanding of future needs/requirements but lacked the financial capacity to deliver in a timely fashion, while the US had grand plans that often collapsed under their own weight, before bodging something together and spending on fixing and improving it until they had viable.
Again from Friedman the problem with the first generation of USN missiles was the unreliability of the vacuum tube electronics. When they were replaced with solid state components (transistors and early silicone chips) reliability vastly improved and so did performance.

I don't remember where I read it but I recall reading that the replacing the valves on the Scanfar radars on Enterprise and Long Beach reduced a considerable amount of top weight as well as making them more reliable.

As far as I know Seaslug, the Type 984 radar and the Comprehensive Display systems were just as unreliable and for the same reasons. The Ferranti Poseidon computers used by Eagle's ADA and the Batch II Counties ADAWS Mk 1 used transistors as far as I know and I think (but cannot prove) that Eagle's Type 984 was a Type 984M with transistors instead of valves. Can anyone confirm or deny that?
The ideal would have been a joint USN / UK project for Tartar as a point defence, then area air defence missile with a point defence capability. UK involvement gives them a foot in the door and makes Tartar affordable with local production, but also give Tartar potentially better capability earlier.
And while they're at it include Terrier/Standard ER.
This means Tartar would be more likely to be retrofitted to some Battle and Daring Class destroyers, perhaps the Tigers as well as future frigates, while Sea Dart could proceed, maybe with an expanded envelope, as a Seaslug replacement for future destroyers.
I do know from Friedman that the British DNC's Department did study Daring class destroyers refitted with Tatar for the RAN and a Tatar armed version of the County for the RAN before the Australians decided to buy Adams class DDGs built in the USA. It might have studied a Tatar armed Battle for the Australians as well.

However, I very much doubt that any British Battle or Daring class destroyers would receive it. That's because they'd realise that the cost wasn't worth the benefit. They'd learn from the USN that the cost of Tatar made new ships with the same armament are a better investment.
 

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From another of my threads.
"
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?
"
 

uk 75

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From another of my threads.
"
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?
"
The nub of this is whether a T42 with Seadart resulted in a more capable ship than a Perry or Witt class frigate of similar size. No way of knowing?
 

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It's not the missile (Tartar or Sea Dart),
It's not the CMS,
It's the failure of not funding the ASWRE C-band 3D radar that lets the RN down.
It's that which results in piling funds to Decca to develop the 909 Desertcar. When had ASWRE got it's way, much simpler TIR sets would be all that's needed.

The lure of international projects, sharing costs led to adoption of the Dutch Broomstick. A horse trade (you buy Sea Dart and we will buy Broomstick) that they subsequently broke over the cost, not performance of Sea Dart.

At the time Sea Dart was the higher performance missile than Standard or Tartar.
 

Zoo Tycoon

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Hind sight is a wonderful thing.

In the sixties, smaller rockets were a quick squirt followed by a long coast. The thing is it’s high lethality is only while the propulsion system is providing thrust thus enabling the missile to pull much more g than it’s prey. During coast lethality was worse still by use of proportional navigation whereby the missile must maintain a constant collision course....kinetic energy sapping. Hence a rocket powered missile’s no escape zone was during the short squirt phase followed by a rapidly diminishing kill probably while coasting in the missile engagement zone. At the time, the small rockets were pretty hopeless for area defence, as was the Tarter/Terrier. So what you do is use a ramjet, which largely switches the whole lethal zones around;- a long power phase hence a large no escape zone and then, if collision course guided, loads of drag from the intake means a short coast phase;- a smaller missile engagement zone. However overall this is a much better for area defence solution;- enter the Sea Dart. But one drawback for the first mile or two it’s useless because it’s only priority is getting the ramjet fired up.

So in the Seventies to Eighties the ability to share fire control data between systems and miniature auto pilots arrives at a spectacular rate. This permits both rockets and ramjets to fly optimised trajectories, ballistic lobs, diving upon the target during the terminal phase. But the small rocket still offers a relatively smaller defended area;- hence a lower aggregate kill probability.

What kills Sea Dart future is that this offers a very low cost performance improvement option, nearly doubled its range. Hence the real next system capability step, ie Sea Dart 2 gets cancelled in a favour of a quick’n’cheap improvement program, called ADIMP. This very modest development, while effective, saw the disbandment of the experienced and schooled Sea Dart technical team;- most were not required because their technical offering didn’t evolve. So now any further development following ADIMP (VLS. Phased array radar integration) lacks the broad experience hence is fundamentally expensive and risky, so was unappealing.

By contrast, the US Tarter/Terrior to Standard had a considerable performance improvement to address. The response was a big program which draws on better propellant, more of it, phased array radar, and vertical launch from multi silos. After that further improvements went in and it just got better and better.

Could this have been foreseen when the key project go ahead were made, not a chance.

Edit - to correct ADIMP
 
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zen

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Therein lurks an irony. That the old beam rider allows a crude command guidance.
And command guidance, allows a system to loft a missile along a much more efficient flightpath. Diving onto the target.
All of which sits in NIGS territory.

It also puts a lot of the flightpath prediction onto shipboard computers.
Hence for local area defence the incoming attacker's flightpath can be predicted. Which puts the bulk of maneuvering for the interceptor into the squirt phase of flight.
Which is why PT.428 as a system had potential.

But...all of that depends on accurate sensors. Feeding into the system accurate target data.
 

uk 75

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Seadart has the advantage over Standard MR that it has been used in anger in the Falklands and 1991 Gulf War. AEGIS Standard downed an Iranian airliner, thats all I can think of.
However, the USN has more chances to target drone shoot. Anyone know what the results have been?
 

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What kills Sea Dart future is that this offers a very low cost performance improvement option, nearly doubled its range. Hence the real next system capability step, ie Sea Dart 2 gets cancelled in a favour of a quick’n’cheap improvement program, called ADAWs. This very modest development, while effective, saw the disbandment of the experienced and schooled Sea Dart technical team;- most were not required because their technical offering didn’t evolve. So now any further development following ADAWS (VLS. Phased array radar integration) lacks the broad experience hence is fundamentally expensive and risky, so was unappealing.
Is this ADAWS the same as Action Data Automated Weapons System (ADAWS) which was the British equivalent to the American NTDS, Dutch SEWACO and French SENIT systems?
 

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It's not the missile (Tartar or Sea Dart),
It's not the CMS,
It's the failure of not funding the ASWRE C-band 3D radar that lets the RN down.
It's that which results in piling funds to Decca to develop the 909 Desertcar. When had ASWRE got it's way, much simpler TIR sets would be all that's needed.

The lure of international projects, sharing costs led to adoption of the Dutch Broomstick. A horse trade (you buy Sea Dart and we will buy Broomstick) that they subsequently broke over the cost, not performance of Sea Dart.

At the time Sea Dart was the higher performance missile than Standard or Tartar.
Would it help if the licencing agreement for Tatar included making the SPS-48 radar? Would that be better than the Type 965 and fill the gap until Type 1022 was ready?
 

zen

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It's not the missile (Tartar or Sea Dart),
It's not the CMS,
It's the failure of not funding the ASWRE C-band 3D radar that lets the RN down.
It's that which results in piling funds to Decca to develop the 909 Desertcar. When had ASWRE got it's way, much simpler TIR sets would be all that's needed.

The lure of international projects, sharing costs led to adoption of the Dutch Broomstick. A horse trade (you buy Sea Dart and we will buy Broomstick) that they subsequently broke over the cost, not performance of Sea Dart.

At the time Sea Dart was the higher performance missile than Standard or Tartar.
Would it help if the licencing agreement for Tatar included making the SPS-48 radar? Would that be better than the Type 965 and fill the gap until Type 1022 was ready?
Perhaps you should have a read

And this.
 

pathology_doc

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Seadart has the advantage over Standard MR that it has been used in anger in the Falklands and 1991 Gulf War. AEGIS Standard downed an Iranian airliner, thats all I can think of.
Standard MR is a descendant of Terrier, which IIRC had aircraft kills (and possibly one SSM) to its credit in Vietnam. Not all the US guided missile cruiser kills were TALOS kills, although the most spectacular ones certainly were.
 

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I was flicking through a copy of Jane's the other day and looking up the US cruiser and destroyers classes.
It struck me how, had the RN acquired Tartar and possibly US launcher systems how that could have opened up future options for Harpoon to be carried in the magazines instead of purchasing Exocet, though there might have been a slightly delayed deployment of SSMs on RN ships in this case.
It would probably have still not tipped the balance in favour of ASROC over Ikara, but had the RN been pleased enough with Tartar to purchase SM-2, then its possible the use of Mk.41 might have allowed ASROCVL to replace Ikara in the 1990s.
A Type 42 refitted with a 32 or 61-cell VLS like the Spruances were is a tasty AH idea. Chuck in some Tomahawks and the results for the surface fleet could be fantastic.

It also shows the dangers, it could have been all too easy to fall into dependence on US missiles in the longer-term, which was probably another reason why home-grown alternatives looked attractive to the Admiralty and Ministries.
 

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It struck me how, had the RN acquired Tartar and possibly US launcher systems how that could have opened up future options for Harpoon to be carried in the magazines instead of purchasing Exocet, though there might have been a slightly delayed deployment of SSMs on RN ships in this case.
It would probably have still not tipped the balance in favour of ASROC over Ikara, but had the RN been pleased enough with Tartar to purchase SM-2, then its possible the use of Mk.41 might have allowed ASROCVL to replace Ikara in the 1990s.
Have in the past wondered about an 'in-line' rather than 'over-under' design for Ikara, IIRC it looked like you could get it into something roughly Harpoon-sized. Magazines and arm launchers that could mix and match surface-to-air, anti-ship, and anti-submarine weapons as needed would seem to be a boon for the Royal Navy. One of the problems however might be weapons with nuclear warheads and storage access.
 
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NOMISYRRUC

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It's not the missile (Tartar or Sea Dart),
It's not the CMS,
It's the failure of not funding the ASWRE C-band 3D radar that lets the RN down.
It's that which results in piling funds to Decca to develop the 909 Desertcar. When had ASWRE got it's way, much simpler TIR sets would be all that's needed.

The lure of international projects, sharing costs led to adoption of the Dutch Broomstick. A horse trade (you buy Sea Dart and we will buy Broomstick) that they subsequently broke over the cost, not performance of Sea Dart.

At the time Sea Dart was the higher performance missile than Standard or Tartar.
Would it help if the licencing agreement for Tatar included making the SPS-48 radar? Would that be better than the Type 965 and fill the gap until Type 1022 was ready?
Perhaps you should have a read

And this.
I've read both of them... twice and neither of them tell me whether SPS-48 would have been better or worse than Type 965.
 

alertken

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DoD Offer of Terrier (to be USN opnl '53) was declined 7/51 because of the “bad effect (on) GW industry”S.R.Twigge,Early Devt of UK GW,'40-60,H’wood,93,P164 +“desire not to be dependent on foreign supplies” EJ Grove,Vanguard to Trident,Bodley H,1987,P121. At the time UK had no GW industry and for its Defence was already utterly inter-dependent. Talos (USN opnl 1958) was offered 1956, declined at Nassau as "unsuited for RN ships" and again in 1958 in hope the mollusc would get a grip. G.Hartcup,The Silent Revolution, Brassey,93,P252.

It was a culpable scandal to waste all these scarce UK technological resources to duplicate US kit for a max. feasible production run of few or less. No-Oz was likely to buy onto a few Brit-builds at vague cost/time, when flotillas of US kit would be on offer at firm price/date. What a waste of all those resources at AWA/Ansty for an entire career, 1947-83, to build/support 8 ship sets.

One reason for this debacle was the electronics industry worked this out and under-resourced their workshare.

I know more applications for Seaslug were doodled, but would never have reached US volume. We have painfully learned and now work in collaboration and/or licence.

Always, always, adjust your bespoke Spec to fit proven Off-the-Shelf. See: any and all UK Govt Big IT programmes.
 

zen

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No UK GW broken up in '45, and reassembled and hawked to aviation firms. It existed.

Timing for sensitive technologies and industries post '45 is obviously dependent on perception of US support/friendship/hostility. Not really resolved until 1960s.

Remind us all how much larger AAW ship with Terrier is, or do you just want US warships built in the US to US standards. Crewed to USN standards perhaps you just prefer US crew?
Delian League here we go......Just Pay Athens for 'protection'

Besides, where are the dollars coming from?
Pound expenditure ultimately permits flexibility.

Just because product X from country Y is available at a known cost/time doesn't invalidate a divergence in requirements that drives search for alternatives.

Requirements not wrong, not flawed.
Hence Mauler, and cobbled together Sea Sparrow BPDMS. Because threat existed, solution needed.
 

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If the British had obtained a licence to build Standard MR (and the SPS-48 radar) instead of developing Sea Dart there'd be a lot less difference between Type 42 and the Australian Light Destroyer.

It's possible that the licencing agreement would include the right to sell it to certain territories and if so one of them is likely to be Australia. Therefore, the DDLs (had they been built) might have had British-built Standard systems in much the same way that the RAN bought Sea Kings built in the UK by Westland instead of Sea Kings built in the USA by Sikorsky.

If the DDL project is still cancelled (and I think it's probable that it will) Type 42 might be selected to replace it (instead of the American Patrol Frigate) because it is armed with Standard MR instead of Sea Dart.
 

zen

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It's not the missile (Tartar or Sea Dart),
It's not the CMS,
It's the failure of not funding the ASWRE C-band 3D radar that lets the RN down.
It's that which results in piling funds to Decca to develop the 909 Desertcar. When had ASWRE got it's way, much simpler TIR sets would be all that's needed.

The lure of international projects, sharing costs led to adoption of the Dutch Broomstick. A horse trade (you buy Sea Dart and we will buy Broomstick) that they subsequently broke over the cost, not performance of Sea Dart.

At the time Sea Dart was the higher performance missile than Standard or Tartar.
Would it help if the licencing agreement for Tatar included making the SPS-48 radar? Would that be better than the Type 965 and fill the gap until Type 1022 was ready?
Perhaps you should have a read

And this.
I've read both of them... twice and neither of them tell me whether SPS-48 would have been better or worse than Type 965.
So if SPS-48 is E/F band.
While Type 965 is P band
And ASWRE C-band is....guess ;)

In SPS-48 precision is 690ft and 1/6 of a degree.

Unsurprisingly Type 965 is less precise.

However the P band will have good range, slightly better than the SPS-48 at 280nm in it's Type 965P version.
At a cost of interference with TV signals.....

That said SPS-48 is a properly 3D system, while Type 965 isn't.

While the ASWRE C-band set is going to obviously be more precise. Though it may pay for this in absolute range. But it's definitely a 3D system.
 

Hood

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In my view there was a fine line between dependence and building a sustainable British GW industry.

Whether or not leaving aircraft manufacturers as lead contractors for missiles was a good idea is open to question, its hard to imagine the electronics firms could have handled the aerodynamics alone or integrating the rockets/ramjet without outside help. Companies like Vickers-Armstrong and English Electric or Vickers-Metropolitan with wider engineering prowess might have been able to integrate everything, and indeed did get into the GW business and got a slice of the action.

But it does seem that early designs were conservative, presumably the RAE had a hand in the early research of layouts; for example the Mach 2 interceptor studies of straight-wing and podded engines was laughably conservative to what industry proposed and this hampered the selection process for F.155T, another example is the mini-me Sea Slug postulated as a possible contender for Orange Nell.

The timeline of British GW is very much like the Big Bang theory, wartime efforts that trickled on into 1946-49 suddenly explode in 1950 with air-to-air, air-to-ground, surface-to-air, naval surface-to-air, anti-tank, anti-aircraft & anti-tank combined, and at least one or two duplicates for each plus at least two generations with Mk.1s and Mk.2 and more Rainbow codes than there are colours in a rainbow. Tony Wilson's Lightning book touches on the multiplicity of AAMs offered up to the P.1A, variants and sub-variants that came and went almost monthly, this rather parallels Avro's efforts on Blue Steel when they probably spent more time doodling new versions than getting the first one right. Then we have to consider the electronics industry is not only developing the electronics and seekers for the missiles but control systems, associated fire-control and search radars, fuses etc. They could be making TVs and other consumer goods while the HP boom is red hot, but instead Ferranti is keeping a line open for Bloodhound when he doesn't even know if it will be ordered.

By 1955-56 the weakest missiles are being cancelled or superseded, for Blue Slug ships are being built around them so cancellation is unthinkable, far easier to swap and change missiles hanging off a fighter wing than one an entire ship is built around. Enter Mac the Knife who looks at the bill of all this effort and serious attempts are made to reign in the spending.

What does this produce? Paradoxically more advanced kit! Blue Water, Blue Streak, PT.428, Vigilant. Mac is still not happy, the cuts come again, GW industry told there won't be enough work in future for two teams so its probably death to one of them. English Electric complains they only got into the GW racket because the MoS begged them and promised them big orders for ever in the missile age. There is a memo at Kew where an MoA civil servant touring Stevenage in 1961 notes how well built and fancy the facilities are and then promptly complains EE spent too much building their facilities for what was a quickly doomed industry and mused if that's where a lot of the R&D money went - into bricks and mortar. Which shows how short sighted the Ministries were.

After the 1962 cuts the industry was slimmed right down, but success came with Rapier, Sea Dart, warmed-up Sparrow, Martel, Sea Skua, Sea Wolf, ALARM and now MBDA lives on at Stevenage - GW got through its growing pains and sustained a home-grown industry. But I think there was a case for judicial use of buying US-missile systems during 1950-56 to simply ease the congestion and panic around R&D timescales and costs and allow the industry to mature instead of trying to build everything from shoulder-launched SAMs to IRBMs from little or no suitable industrial base. Bullpup seems to have been the only exception. As to Dollar costs, well the Air Ministry happily forked out for US radars for its all-weather fighters (in fairness, MDAP largesse helped here).
 

zen

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So probably the chief folly was breaking up the team behind Brakemine in '45. As this was very close to being a service ready SAM.

A lot could have been learned from this had it entered service, from operations to production and beyond.

But as this thread touches on, UK radar efforts (or should we say radar and computer) were not folly or a waste of resources. They had profound benefits from the military to civil sectors.
Only a very narrow minded view would ignore this holistic effect.

But to drag this right back to topic.
We can see from Brakemine, to Popsy A, Popsy B, to Mopsy to Orange Nell and Tartar. An effort to develop a self defence SAM that can be fitted to warships without the all consuming impact that systems like Talos, Terrier, and Sea Slug imposed.
The RN was right on this matter, and the USN travelled off for a while into realms of almost Soviet-style fantasy in wanting a SAM commanded and guided by a distant warship and not the vessel it was fitted to.....shades of the culture around computers before the coming of the PC, what we might call Thin Clients or just Terminal Users.
Tartar us developed at quite some urging of the RN, but the USN.
We can see this underpin the basics of NMBR.11.
We can see this drive PT.428, Sea Mauler, Sea Indigo, Sea Sparrow BPDMS, Sea Dragon (Chaparral for ships), Cotral, Aspide, and Sea Wolf....ultimately Sea RAM, MICA VL, and Sea Ceptor.
Are we saying Sea Wolf is a wasted effort?
Are we saying the Italians wasted effort?
Are we saying the French wasted effort?
Or us this wasted effort meme just reserved for the UK?


On Q-band, it needs be remembered that this is a good option for very narrow beams able to quite precisely pick out a target at ranges upto 20km or so.
The essence of interception of an incoming AShM in a fleet.
 

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Rocketman Sandys drove the formation of a UK GW industry, starting by extracting US Intellectual Property. He warded off US lures, and secured Seaslug and Bloodhound. His rewards were:

- Seaslug: BAC NXD Sir R.Verdon-Smith: “effective financial control (at) no stage (of Seaslug, a) completely sorry story” 59/60 Commons Public Accounts Committee at Twigge,P225
(BAC was then in competition with HSAL/AWA...but what cheek! The same was to apply to BAC's founding programme); and:
PAC criticised rejection of firm-price Talos for cost-plus Seaslug, whose “cost exceeded initial estimates by a factor of 19” Sir R.Way,MoS in J.Bruce-Gardyne/N.Lawson,Power Game,Mac.,76,P25. DS had been the responsible Minister for much of that.

- Bloodhound: geriatrics here will remember 1962's Ferranti Affair, involving the firm repaying over-charges (£4Mn - then, a lot) on Bloodhound 1 guidance. DS was again the responsible Minister.

GW has not been a sector conforming to investment norms - hurdle rates, risk: reward. There were good reasons for BAe, Daimler, Alenia, Matra to spin Dynamics into a bespoke vehicle, MBDA and then for Defence Procurers to grant it monopoly status (aka Long Term Partnership Agreements).

Wasted effort
: not UK-centric. All unnecessary weapons duplication is wasted and costs the Buyer twice - in nugatory cash, and in the lost opportunity to do something else. UK's 1964 Wilson Govt. saw lots of that in UK Aero, so tried to chop White Elephants to liberate resources for more employment, longer, elsewhere. The macro-logic was, e.g.: by vacuuming up the brightest from college into a short-run SAM, the W.Midlands manufacturing heartland, prosperous, could recruit only the curdled dregs to design its mass autos...so Austin All-Agro, which destroyed jobs.

On zen's Q-band point: the core reason Tornado, Typhoon have been successful collaborations (in my view) is exactly there - my good course A is better than your useless course B: so talk to consensus. The only bits of kit on Tornado (1970 original fit) that were allowed to be non-common (so expensively slowing R&D) were inventoried standard items like radio, weapons. So, starting with UK's preference for 2-man crew, alien to others in the Tornado-Definition room: prove it!
 

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Talos.....you remember how big that system is right? How many on a County type DDG?

Cost overrun, unsurprising considering it's the first service SAM. Unrealistic expectations a common theme here. RAF though Lightning needed no more maintenance hours than a Hunter......

Alegro.....not bad really but for the lack of a hatchback boot door and the plastic window handles.

Prove what? Two seater needed for low level strike with complex navigation and weapon system?
A6 Intruder
A5 Vigilante
F111
TSR.2
AFVG
UKVG
Su-24
Case proved.

Q-band used on BAMSE, operational now on Gotland Island.
Ku and Ka band used.
 

A Tentative Fleet Plan

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Prove what? Two seater needed for low level strike with complex navigation and weapon system?
A6 Intruder
A5 Vigilante
F111
TSR.2
AFVG
UKVG
Su-24
Case proved.
The Vigilante was very much optimised for high-altitude.
 

zen

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Prove what? Two seater needed for low level strike with complex navigation and weapon system?
A6 Intruder
A5 Vigilante
F111
TSR.2
AFVG
UKVG
Su-24
Case proved.
The Vigilante was very much optimised for high-altitude.
True but as a complex weapon system a crew of two made things a lot more manageable.
Which is the point.
 

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So probably the chief folly was breaking up the team behind Brakemine in '45. As this was very close to being a service ready SAM.

A lot could have been learned from this had it entered service, from operations to production and beyond.
Yeah, but what are you going to shoot down with Brakemine? In 1945 post-war, your only possible enemy is the USSR. Anything the USSR has in 1945 isn't going to get to the UK, and anything that can get to the UK is probably going to have performance beyond Brakemine's capabilities. No wonder someone saw fit to pull the plug, as misguided a decision as that might have been.

If you aren't going to keep Brakemine, then you have to look at weaponizing one or more of the test vehicles which sprang up in the late 40's/early 50's. IIRC at least one of these WAS fitted with a warhead and proved itself capable of destroying a target. That's another point at which a test vehicle could have been diverted immediately into becoming a weapon and sorting out all the issues attached to service use.

The real missed opportunity comes from the RAF's insistence on fire-and-forget, which robs British industry of the impetus to design and build an AI radar with inbuilt illuminator capability from the very start (as opposed to failed efforts to cobble something onto AI-18 later). And having a package of that size in existence might lead in turn to a SARH SAM and illuminator (possibly even multiple channels of fire) for small ships (frigates, corvettes) to rival or swiftly replace Sea Cat and anticipate Sparrow BPDMS, especially if it goes into the noses of early FAA Sea Vixens to guide Blue Dolphin or whatever else it is that our hypothetical SARH Firestreak ends up getting called (and is consequently visible to constructors, admirals and the like as a relatively self-contained package, needing only a mount and the associated power umbilicals).
 
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uk 75

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I always get a bit confused in trying to compare UK naval guided weapons with their US counterparts but will have a go here.
Seaslug is closer to Terrier than Tartar or Talos. If you take the Terrier twin launcher
and its horizontal assembly magazine and put them on a County with supporting radar systems they take up about the same space. The problem comes with evolution. Standard ER is a better weapon system than Seaslug 2 and the US Coontz/Leahy/Belknap classes built around the same time as the Countys are in service longer with more capable weapons.
Tartar on the single arm launcher used on the Adams, Brooke and Perry classes has no British analogue. CF299/Seadart is closest to the twin arm Tartar fit on the early Adams class. A single armed Seadart launcher was proposed but never adopted.
Whereas the US still uses the Tartar/Terrier evolved Standard system with its AEGIS ships Seadart stopped evolving in the 80s and the UK now has a French missile in this role.
Seaslug/County was too far along to be abandoned in favour of Terrier.
Talos/Blue Envoy required the sort of big cruiser which the RN had abandoned in 1957.
In the early 60s France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands plus Australia, Japan and (nearly) Canada all adopted Tartar. Only the UK despite the apalling record described by Alertken was pig headed enough to build CF299/Seadart.
This might not have mattered if a Seadart derivative was now in service on T45. But instead France, who still uses Tartar/Standard on 2 warships today, beat the UK with PAAMS. So much for Zen's national independent capability.
A similar fate met Seawolf with its ghastly 6 box launcher which proved so heavy it had to replace a 4.5" turret on T12s and early T22s. The final 4 T22s with guns were larger than some destroyers!
Needless to say noone chose Seawolf over Sea Sparrow except those like Brazil and Chile who bought ex RN ships.
Sensible licence built partnership with the US would have allowed more ships to be built and better export prospects.
Sadly we also got lumbered with Ikara and Exocet. When we did get Harpoon instead it was too late to arm the T12s and T21s and early T22s.. T42s with Tartar/Standard could have added Harpoons to their magazines.
 

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So on the AAM SAM front, it's a valid point that vaulting ambition of an all aspect ARH guided missile doomed Red Hawk and only delayed more practical efforts.
Similar process did occur in the US.

As an aside it seems odd there wasn't a Pink Hawk/ Fireflash SAM brochure cobbled together. Ironic considering what was...

On the Seaslug issue, it was looked at to shift over to Green Flax a.k.a Thunderbird II. What you loose in increased missile size you gain in lighter TIR sets.

Had a licenced Q-band Tartar resulted, this has interesting consequences. Since the actual SAM could be scaled down in future to deliver a superior capability to Sea Sparrow BPDMS and potentially timed to provide both an alternative to Sea Mauler and fulfill the tripartite Local Area Defence System that otherwise led to Sea Wolf, Cotral, and Aspide.

But such an outcome doesn't bode well for SIGS. It undermines Sea Dart's origins as a Tartar successor and the shadow of NIGS hangs over Seaslug III or a Longer Ranged Sea Dart.

Of course the problem with giving up on SAMs and trying again later effectively means building the industry out of nothing.

US industry and success rather hides the myriad failures and cost overruns. Because learning to do it takes time and mistakes.
 

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Bloodhound: geriatrics here will remember 1962's Ferranti Affair, involving the firm repaying over-charges (£4Mn - then, a lot) on Bloodhound 1 guidance. DS was again the responsible Minister.
I did some research into this for my thesis.
I think that Ferranti was largely innocent of any wrong-doing, but Mr Ferranti's refusal to fully testfiy in front of the PAC was a public-relations disaster and potentially lost him his case.

The Comptroller and Auditor General's report claimed the excess profit had been £5,722,964 on its Bloodhound I components contract, which they estimated was 82% profit on costs. Meanwhile the MoA estimated Ferranti's profit to have been 70%.
But the C&GA report had included all of Ferranti's GW contracts, once the 18 Bloodhound contracts were separated the figure dropped to 72%. Then it was realised the material costs had been overlooked and it dropped to 63%. Ferranti however never released the true figure so all anyone had was estimates.
The same C&GA report had claimed de Havilland Propellers had been overpaid by £1.36M but this proved to be incorrect too, the MoA said the true figure was £300,000.

The fixed price contracts the MoA favoured and forced onto the Bloodhound contracts allowed a 15% profit, they felt this encouraged the firms to limit costs to increase the profit share, though industry tended to see it the other way (even so, by 1961 only 23% of all MoA contracts were fixed price).

The real point was that to work, the MoA and industry both needed accurate cost estimates. It was discovered that the MoA had failed to realise their estimated direct labour costs were based on inflated overhead rates and were five times too high. Worse, figures proving the mistake were then overlooked before the contracts were signed.
The Technical Cost Officers had lacked the experience of the electronics to provide the necessary checks and accepted Ferranti's claims of potential difficulties at face value in the absence of any other evidence. Ferranti later claimed the estimates were not necessarily wrong, they had simply performed better than estimated. Its interesting to note the Blue Streak contracts were not even put out to tender due to limited choice of contractors.
The Admiralty had frequent dealings with Ferranti and they had more accurate overhead forecasts, but these were never shared with the MoA.
The MoA accountants were criticised for their 4% error in the overestimated labour and overhead costs, even though their estimates actually proved more accurate than the C&GA's original estimates! The Technical Cost Officers' 200% error was even greater.

The Director of Contracts actually had the more accurate accountant's estimates (4% error) on his desk a fortnight before the Ferranti contracts were awarded, he should have spotted that the TTO's estimates were widely off the mark yet he did nothing. Who got the official reprimand for the failure? The accountants and TTOs of course!

The Lang Committee recognised the MoA was short of qualified manpower and many had been promoted outside the contracts division so losing vital expertise. Focusing limited staff time on one set of contracts meant that others were rushed through and inaccurate.
Reforms did come; TTO estimates were routinely checked by accountants and the Directorate of Accountancy Services was transferred to the contracts division. The TTO posts were increased from 347 to 435 but even by 1964-65 there were still a hundred vacancies and when TSR.2 began the shortage of TTOs meant they visited the contractors only monthly or quarterly. Sub-contracts were only checked if the TTOs had doubts, so only 10-15% of sub-contracts during this period were ever checked and no records were kept!
Staff shortages also meant contract delays, this affected Lightning production orders twice (affecting the factory), TSR.2 development contracts were over a year late, TSR.2 production contract negotiations began in October 1965 but were never concluded before the cancellation in April 1965.

There was one last twist!
The TTOs obviously visited the factories to study their production plans and financial records and invoices etc. The MoA thereby acquired the real overhead costs from Ferranti's records. Ferranti thought the MoA would use the data to correct the original estimates. But the MoA did not use the data. Why? Because under the 1939 Ministry of Supply Act, they were entitled to the right to 'estimate or ascertain' but the MoA's legal interpretation of the act was so cautious that they took it mean they could either 'estimate' or 'ascertain' but not do both simultaneously! Therefore they dared not to use the Ferranti figures and stuck with their estimates for fear of legal complications.

Ferranti then clamed up in front of the PAC and refused to release the true profits and everyone in the media and politics had a field day at the company's expense despite having done nothing illegal but were penalised for increased efficiency on the contract which was the very purpose why the MoA favoured fixed-price contracts!
Ferranti had spent £1.3M keeping the Bloodhound team together until the production contract was finally issued and lost an estimated £1M annually from lost TV and radio production lines. Fearing Bloodhound Mk.2 would be cancelled, they repeated the inflated bid for the second round of Mk.1 contracts to ensure they made some money - for as Ferranti said a contract was no longer "a reliable indication that they would go into production."

The MoA wrote it off as an isolated example and Ferranti of course didn't lose any MoA business. Then in 1963 it transpired Bristol Siddeley had been sending in inflated quotes since 1959 to boost its profits...
Even so this was small fry - poor estimates had seen the 1955 £15M estimate for Blue Steel to skyrocket to £60M by 1960, the MoA hadn't even questioned Avro's lack of cost or timescale estimates in the feasibility study and did not conduct their own technical cost programme until 1960. At least 100 MoS projects 1950-1958 had cost increases up to five times the initial estimates.
The MoA later wanted to implement equality of information between industry and the Ministry to solve these issues but industry feared the loss of profits and potential loss of commercially sensitive data - but it was an admission the MoA were just guessing in the dark on cost estimates.

Apologies for the long post, but its something that I feel is important - a lot of GW failures and cancellations were not all due to sexy high-tech gizmos, some poor overworked civil servant hunched over an adding machine had just as much an impact on the failures.
It also shows how Britain was feeling around in the dark in GW in all spheres.
 

zen

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Bloodhound: geriatrics here will remember 1962's Ferranti Affair, involving the firm repaying over-charges (£4Mn - then, a lot) on Bloodhound 1 guidance. DS was again the responsible Minister.
I did some research into this for my thesis.
I think that Ferranti was largely innocent of any wrong-doing, but Mr Ferranti's refusal to fully testfiy in front of the PAC was a public-relations disaster and potentially lost him his case.

The Comptroller and Auditor General's report claimed the excess profit had been £5,722,964 on its Bloodhound I components contract, which they estimated was 82% profit on costs. Meanwhile the MoA estimated Ferranti's profit to have been 70%.
But the C&GA report had included all of Ferranti's GW contracts, once the 18 Bloodhound contracts were separated the figure dropped to 72%. Then it was realised the material costs had been overlooked and it dropped to 63%. Ferranti however never released the true figure so all anyone had was estimates.
The same C&GA report had claimed de Havilland Propellers had been overpaid by £1.36M but this proved to be incorrect too, the MoA said the true figure was £300,000.

The fixed price contracts the MoA favoured and forced onto the Bloodhound contracts allowed a 15% profit, they felt this encouraged the firms to limit costs to increase the profit share, though industry tended to see it the other way (even so, by 1961 only 23% of all MoA contracts were fixed price).

The real point was that to work, the MoA and industry both needed accurate cost estimates. It was discovered that the MoA had failed to realise their estimated direct labour costs were based on inflated overhead rates and were five times too high. Worse, figures proving the mistake were then overlooked before the contracts were signed.
The Technical Cost Officers had lacked the experience of the electronics to provide the necessary checks and accepted Ferranti's claims of potential difficulties at face value in the absence of any other evidence. Ferranti later claimed the estimates were not necessarily wrong, they had simply performed better than estimated. Its interesting to note the Blue Streak contracts were not even put out to tender due to limited choice of contractors.
The Admiralty had frequent dealings with Ferranti and they had more accurate overhead forecasts, but these were never shared with the MoA.
The MoA accountants were criticised for their 4% error in the overestimated labour and overhead costs, even though their estimates actually proved more accurate than the C&GA's original estimates! The Technical Cost Officers' 200% error was even greater.

The Director of Contracts actually had the more accurate accountant's estimates (4% error) on his desk a fortnight before the Ferranti contracts were awarded, he should have spotted that the TTO's estimates were widely off the mark yet he did nothing. Who got the official reprimand for the failure? The accountants and TTOs of course!

The Lang Committee recognised the MoA was short of qualified manpower and many had been promoted outside the contracts division so losing vital expertise. Focusing limited staff time on one set of contracts meant that others were rushed through and inaccurate.
Reforms did come; TTO estimates were routinely checked by accountants and the Directorate of Accountancy Services was transferred to the contracts division. The TTO posts were increased from 347 to 435 but even by 1964-65 there were still a hundred vacancies and when TSR.2 began the shortage of TTOs meant they visited the contractors only monthly or quarterly. Sub-contracts were only checked if the TTOs had doubts, so only 10-15% of sub-contracts during this period were ever checked and no records were kept!
Staff shortages also meant contract delays, this affected Lightning production orders twice (affecting the factory), TSR.2 development contracts were over a year late, TSR.2 production contract negotiations began in October 1965 but were never concluded before the cancellation in April 1965.

There was one last twist!
The TTOs obviously visited the factories to study their production plans and financial records and invoices etc. The MoA thereby acquired the real overhead costs from Ferranti's records. Ferranti thought the MoA would use the data to correct the original estimates. But the MoA did not use the data. Why? Because under the 1939 Ministry of Supply Act, they were entitled to the right to 'estimate or ascertain' but the MoA's legal interpretation of the act was so cautious that they took it mean they could either 'estimate' or 'ascertain' but not do both simultaneously! Therefore they dared not to use the Ferranti figures and stuck with their estimates for fear of legal complications.

Ferranti then clamed up in front of the PAC and refused to release the true profits and everyone in the media and politics had a field day at the company's expense despite having done nothing illegal but were penalised for increased efficiency on the contract which was the very purpose why the MoA favoured fixed-price contracts!
Ferranti had spent £1.3M keeping the Bloodhound team together until the production contract was finally issued and lost an estimated £1M annually from lost TV and radio production lines. Fearing Bloodhound Mk.2 would be cancelled, they repeated the inflated bid for the second round of Mk.1 contracts to ensure they made some money - for as Ferranti said a contract was no longer "a reliable indication that they would go into production."

The MoA wrote it off as an isolated example and Ferranti of course didn't lose any MoA business. Then in 1963 it transpired Bristol Siddeley had been sending in inflated quotes since 1959 to boost its profits...
Even so this was small fry - poor estimates had seen the 1955 £15M estimate for Blue Steel to skyrocket to £60M by 1960, the MoA hadn't even questioned Avro's lack of cost or timescale estimates in the feasibility study and did not conduct their own technical cost programme until 1960. At least 100 MoS projects 1950-1958 had cost increases up to five times the initial estimates.
The MoA later wanted to implement equality of information between industry and the Ministry to solve these issues but industry feared the loss of profits and potential loss of commercially sensitive data - but it was an admission the MoA were just guessing in the dark on cost estimates.

Apologies for the long post, but its something that I feel is important - a lot of GW failures and cancellations were not all due to sexy high-tech gizmos, some poor overworked civil servant hunched over an adding machine had just as much an impact on the failures.
It also shows how Britain was feeling around in the dark in GW in all spheres.

I don't know whether to laugh or cry reading that!
Nicely put though.
 
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