The last modernization plan of the Iowas

Tzoli

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My friend provided me information on a plan which aimed to further modernize the Iowas after the First Gulf War in the mid 1990's!
Here is what he provided me:

Warship Improvement Plan (FY1993-1996)
Mk-41 VLS:
Replacement of Mk-143 Tomahawk ABLs with 96 Mk-41 Mod 1 vertical launch cells. They would have been arranged in 2 x 16 clusters amidships and 2 x 32 aft. Both structures would have been raised by about 1 deck to accommodate the lengths of the tubes. HY-80 would have been used to raise the decks and protect the VLS cells.

5"/54 caliber guns:
NAVSEA sent the plans for the Montana-class twin 5"/54caliber manually operated guns to the Iowa-class Program Managers at Long Beach Naval Shipyard and to Crane Indiana for construction. They would have been manually operated just like the 5"/38s. While the upper handling rooms would have remained in the same place, the base rings would have been moved outboard by 1' to add a greater walking clearance and clearance for the spent casings to accumulate between the back of the mount (when faced outboard) and the super structure. Mts 53, 54, 57, and 58 would have been replaced with the new mounts, providing the ship with 4 5"/54caliber guns per side and 8 total.

NATO Sea Sparrow Missile Upgrade:
Mts 51 and 52 would have been replaced by Mk-29 eight-cell NATO Sea Sparrow missile launchers. The launchers would have been on top of the upper handling rooms. The decks would have been extended all the way to the rail of the ship (platforms built over the main deck and the O-2 level) to provide a place to load the missiles into the launcher. The barrels of the 5"/54 caliber guns would have been 2' (I believe) over the tops of the platforms when trained forward.

There would have been 4 Mk-95 "bug eye" illuminators. Two would have been in place of the port and starboard Mk-37 secondary battery directors. The other two would have been on either side of the after main battery director providing 2 per side.

Radar:
The SPS-49 would have remained where it is, and there would not have been a SPS-48. A main mast would have been built for the TAS-23 radar for the Sea Sparrows.

Aircraft:
A removable hangar would have been built for the Pioneer RPVs and placed just aft of the spillway behind Turret 3. Its roof would have been 1' under the barrels of Turret 3.

Fire Control:
The main battery would have received a Mk-160 Mod 5 GFCS to manage the direction of 16" long range rounds (11" and 13" discarding sabot, and RAP). I do not have any information on what kind of GFCS they would have had for the new 5"/54 guns. To my knowledge, they would have had to get a new one, because the existing one is only good for 5"/38 caliber gun ranges and ballistics.
And such I've made a line drawing based on these aspects:
 

Matt R.

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Very nice drawing, but I cannot see the Mark-23 TAS.

Attached is a drawing showing the Phase 1 upgrade with Sea Sparrow launchers, Mk-95 FCR and Mk-23 TAS (aft mainmast) :

According to this GAO report, "the NATO Sea Sparrow Air Defense System was deleted from the initial configuration because preliminary analysis indicated the system could not withstand the shock blast produced from the firing of the ship's 16-inch guns." (page 5)

It's not clear what specific part of the system was incriminated at the time (FC radars ? Missiles ?)

Last but not least, you'll find some more tidbits on the so-called "modest upgrade" of the early 1990s in Garzke & Dulin US Battleships.
 

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Tzoli

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Let's see:
1st: Yes you cannot see that Target Acquisition System Radars as I don't know how they look, but nor can see on your drawing as well!

2nd: My drawing have the 4x Mark 95 "Bug Eye" Illuminator Radars (Aft around the main gun rangefinder and front in place of the old secondary gun rangefinders) while due to the low quality of your drawing I cannot! But I do see some small platforms between the two rangefinders aft on both sides.

3rd: The document as well as the drawing you posted clearly talking about and shows the 1980's modernization plan, hence the 4 secondary range finders for the remaining 4 secondary turrets (2 would be plenty), Armoured Box Launchers for the Tomahawks, (but true I did not know Sea Sparrow was considered this early) but my drawing shows the 2nd proposed modernization between 1993-96, hence the VLS system for Tomahawks, Aft removable hanger for the Pioneer UAV's, longer guns and slightly larger gunhouses for the 5inch Mark 16, 54 Calibre guns (old ones are the Mark 12, 38 calibre ones), Sea Sparrow missile launchers with their Illuminator radars.

4th: The only event the missile launchers would be damaged if the 2nd turret would fire at high angle aft directly next to the superstructure, and such event would only occour if the main guns would be used against a moving surface target, which is quite unlikely, so the launchers would be safe if the guns used for bombardment which was their role in this age, so only 90degrees port or starboard.
 

Grey Havoc

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Matt R. said:
According to this GAO report, "the NATO Sea Sparrow Air Defense System was deleted from the initial configuration because preliminary analysis indicated the system could not withstand the shock blast produced from the firing of the ship's 16-inch guns." (page 5)

It's not clear what specific part of the system was incriminated at the time (FC radars ? Missiles ?)
The Mark 29 box launchers, if I'm not mistaken.
 

Matt R.

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Tzoli said:
Let's see:
1st: Yes you cannot see that Target Acquisition System Radars as I don't know how they look, but nor can see on your drawing as well!
1) Attached below is a pic of the TAS Mk23 antenna (from Friedman's Naval Weapons, 1st edition).

Dimensions are :
* height : 129 inch / 3.28 meters (including pedestal)
* width : 231 inch / 5.87 meters
* depth : 76 inch / 1.93 meters

You'll find a couple of pics showing the Mk23 TAS on a Spruance here

According to the drawing I posted earlier and some sketches from G&D, the Mk23 TAS was apparently supposed to be mounted on a new mainmast (aft) located atop the aft stack. It's not clear what they intended to do with the RPV antenna (IIRC the Mk23 TAS could also provide aircraft control capability).
 

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Matt R.

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Tzoli said:
2nd: My drawing have the 4x Mark 95 "Bug Eye" Illuminator Radars (Aft around the main gun rangefinder and front in place of the old secondary gun rangefinders) while due to the low quality of your drawing I cannot! But I do see some small platforms between the two rangefinders aft on both sides.

3rd: The document as well as the drawing you posted clearly talking about and shows the 1980's modernization plan, hence the 4 secondary range finders for the remaining 4 secondary turrets (2 would be plenty), Armoured Box Launchers for the Tomahawks, (but true I did not know Sea Sparrow was considered this early) but my drawing shows the 2nd proposed modernization between 1993-96, hence the VLS system for Tomahawks, Aft removable hanger for the Pioneer UAV's, longer guns and slightly larger gunhouses for the 5inch Mark 16, 54 Calibre guns (old ones are the Mark 12, 38 calibre ones), Sea Sparrow missile launchers with their Illuminator radars.
2) I've updated the sketch I posted earlier : in the red squares, you have the Mk95 FCRs (4 of them) and in the blue square the Mk23 TAS.

3) Phase 1 is indeed, as you've correctly stated, the modernization of the early 1980s. As mentioned in the GAO report, installation of NATO Sea Sparrow was supposed to be part of Phase 1, but presumably cancelled due to "technical reasons" (as stated in the GAO report) and (most likely) financial considerations.

The Phase 1 drawing posted earlier was meant to show the locations of the Mk23 TAS and Mk95 FCRs envisioned at the time.

While Phase 1 is clearly distinct from the so-called "modest upgrade" envisioned in the early 1990s, my guess is that the Phase 1 locations would have been retained for the placement of the Mk23 TAS (not depicted in your sketch), the Mk95 FCRs and the Mk29 box launchers.

On a sidenote, your drawings show the 3rd proposed modernization, since Phase 1 was followed by the never-implemented Phase 2 (which included proposals for Turret III to be removed and a flight deck to be installed instead).

Hope this clarifies the situation.
 

Matt R.

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Grey Havoc said:
Matt R. said:
According to this GAO report, "the NATO Sea Sparrow Air Defense System was deleted from the initial configuration because preliminary analysis indicated the system could not withstand the shock blast produced from the firing of the ship's 16-inch guns." (page 5)

It's not clear what specific part of the system was incriminated at the time (FC radars ? Missiles ?)
The Mark 29 box launchers, if I'm not mistaken.
Would you have a source for the problem being related to the Mk29 box launchers ?

Thanks in advance.
 

Tzoli

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You only mentioned these two modernizations, the actual 1980's one, and the proposed conversion one with either into an assault support ship for marines, with reworked superstructures to carry and dispatch marines or the 2 flightdeck variant, version 1 where the 3rd turret remained but jumpdecks would be built at the aft or version 2 where the entire aft would be dedicated for a flight deck.






But my drawing as I've said the 2nd modernization, which you seem don't really know much as you do not mentions the removable hanger, VLS and long barrel 5inch guns.
 

Matt R.

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Tzoli said:





But my drawing as I've said the 2nd modernization, which you seem don't really know much as you do not mentions the removable hanger, VLS and long barrel 5inch guns.
Let's try again :

a) Phase 1 : as modernized in the early 1980s (NATO Sea Sparrow omitted)

b) Phase 2 : studies initiated in 1982-83, with nine modification concepts advanced (flight deck aft being just one of these concepts). Deemed too expensive and set aside.

reference : Garzke & Dulin US Battleships 1935-92 (pp.255-263)

c) Modest Upgrade (per G&D) / WIP (per your friend) : studies initiated in the late 1980s, to be implemented in the first half of the 1990s as funding became available. All for ships were to receive these upgrades, of which you'll find a list in Garzke & Dulin's US BBs (see below).

reference : Garzke & Dulin US Battleships 1935-92 (pp.263-264)

I am reasonably well aware of a large number of details involved in this so-called modest upgrade scheme, and I actually used to have some parts of the plans made by JJMA (IIRC).

BTW, none of the pics you posted are Phase 2 designs. The first pic is a fantasy design imagined by Mike Sparks (aka the world's most rabbid M113 lover). The second pic ("USS Tinian") is actually based on a proposal made by Howard Pulver in the July 1980 issue of Proceedings.

More details can be found in Layman & McLaughlin's Hybrid Warship, pp.159-163. A while ago, Ryan Crierie also posted some low-res pics depicted a Phase 2 design with Turret III removed and flight deck aft.

I am delighted to see the great work that you've done on the Modest Upgrade / WIP design, but as it currently stands, the Mk23 TAS radar (listed by your friend as part of the mods to be implemented) is missing. You may (or may not) alter your drawings to correct this omission. FYI, there's no point adding NATO Sea Sparrow and Mk95 FCRs without adding the Mk23 TAS as well.

Hope this helps.
 

F-14D

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One other thing being worked on was updated shells for the 16" guns. These would include rocket assisted shells extending their "reach" out to 120m or so. Additional proposals included shells with terminal homing (probably laser guided) and the ability to deliver submunitions when the shell arrived in the target area. The problem of the shock of the firing was taken into account, but then they only had to work once. Sort of like the "wooden round" concept the Navy started applying to missiles.

At least some of these would be sabots.
 

Tzoli

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If I read right these proposals the RAS ones are actually modified 12inch ones, with the extra 4 inch diameter allocated for the rockets. So I assume the submunition ones too were actually smaller calibre ones but adjusted to the 16inch barrels with probably more protective layers or such.


As for the drawings I've updated them, and included the Target Acquisition Radar System above the aft funnel
 

Sea Skimmer

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Full caliber APICM and DPICM cluster shells were test fired, so was a 13 inch sabot round. An extended range full caliber HC shell was also test fired and ready for adaption but appears not to have gotten mass produced. All of these were fairly straightforward designs, the sabot round being based on sabot work done in the Vietnam War.


The ultra long range shell was a very exotic 11 inch sabot shell with rocket assist that would have required GPS guidance and thus far more developmental work. It was never much more then a paper proposal. Both sabot designs used DPICM warheads. The rocket assist is inside the back of the shell body, considerably reducing warhead space as is the case with most rocket assisted artillery projectiles.
 

TomS

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There's a lot of disinformation out there about the extended range shells for the Iowas. Rocket assist was talked about, but never done, as far as I know. There were several different sabot rounds, however.


1) There were a couple of tests of saboted 11-inch (280mm) rounds in the late 1960s. The shells were conventional rounds left over from the Army's Atomic Cannon program. Range was up to around 84,000 yards (77 km) but that used the HARP test rig with two 16"/45 barrels welded end to end.


2) The HE-ER Mk 148, a 13-inch sabot round that was tested in the late 1980s, cancelled in 1991. Range was 70,000 yards (64 km).


3) There may have been another HE-ER type with an 11-inch projectile, also cancelled in 1991.


Distrust any data from the US Naval Fire Support Association (USNFSA) or G2Mil -- these are not trustworthy resources. They invent some data, exaggerate others, and misinterpret most of the rest.
 

Sea Skimmer

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I've seen US government documents that mention the 11 inch project. It isn't made up, just very obscure because it was never more then a proposal. I've been aware of USNFSA's BS for fourteen years now, don't get me started.


Its scary though that it appears the proposal for a scramshell actually was real too, just basically a one page proposal someone made that was never given serious consideration. This was coming after considerable serious work on ramjet shells in smaller calibers.
 

TomS

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Sorry Skimmer, my comment was really intended for Tizoli.
 

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There was appparently a Vietnam-era proposal under Project Gunfighter for full-bore rocket-assisted projectiles; a "high mass fraction spin-stabilised rocket assisted projectile" with a 540 pound warhead could reach a range of 278 nautical miles, but was 14" too long for the handling gear. Shortening it would bring the range down to about 200 nautical miles.
 

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Grey Havoc said:
On a tangent, found some info on the Navy's original plans circa 1988 for deployment of the AAI/Mazlat Pioneer RPV on the Iowa class.

As a result of a demonstration proving the RPV's capabilities, Naval Air
Systems Command was directed in July 1985 by former Secretary of the Navy John
Lehman to implement a RPV program using off-the-shelf technology. Doing so
would enable an RPV unit to be deployed to the fleet as soon as possible for
intelligence gathering and fleet support.

In order to find the most effective and efficient technology being used,
competitive tests were conducted from October through December of 1985. The
conclusion drawn upon the completion of these test was that the Pioneer, an
unmanned air vehicle marketed by AAI Corporation/Mazlat LTD was the best
suited for the Navy's needs. [Ref. 5:pp. 15-16]

The Pioneer air vehicle has a wing span of 16.9 feet and a maximum gross
weight of 419 pounds. The vehicle is propelled to its maximum speed of 115 miles
per hour by a Sachs SF2-350 (26HP) horizontally-opposed twin cylinder, two stroke
engine. Several payload packages can be employed within the 100 pound
payload limit. Options currently available include the gyro stabilized MKD-200
high-resolution daylight TV camera or the MKD-400 FLIR for night or reduced
visibility operations. [Ref. 5:p. 16]

Mission success in a high-threat environment is very much dependent on the
survivability attributes of the vehicle conducting the mission. Survivability of the
Pioneer is enhanced by its small size, low visual signature, jam resistant data link,
and low radar/IR signature. In addition, the Pioneer's endurance time and altitude
capability make it a viable option for many Naval applications.

Installation of the RPV system aboard the USS Iowa (BB-61) began in April
1986. A rocket-assisted takeoff capability was introduced as the battleship's answer
to catapult launches and a net was designed for shipboard recovery. However, the
Pioneer's introduction has not been without casualty. During the system's first
deployment aboard the Iowa in 1986, four out of five air vehicles were lost. After
the first cruise, the Navy and AAI formed so-called "tiger teams" of specialists to
work on the problems which had been identified, and air operations resumed
shortly thereafter. The Pioneer was deployed aboard the Iowa again in July 1987
and has been flying ashore and afloat ever since. To date the system has acquired
over 600 flight hours of which more than 60 hours have been at night. The first
U. S. Marine Corps companies have been formed and have conducted night fire
support exercises with the optional thermal imager. During the latest trials
onboard the battleship Iowa, the RPV logged more than 110 flight hours, 20 of
which were flown at night employing the forward-looking infrared sensor.
[Ref. 5:p. 16 & Ref. 6:p. 10251]

A Navy baseline review of the AAI/Mazlat Pioneer remotely piloted vehicle
program has endorsed the concept of a short-range unmanned vehicle for over-the
horizon surveillance and targeting and recommended procuring the system in
quantity.

Pending Department of Defense approval, the Navy will pick up its option to
procure four more Pioneer systems to support an operational evaluation in 1989.
Each system consists of eight RPVs, one ground control station and a tracking
control unit. A full-scale production decision is scheduled in Fiscal 1989.
Eventually, the Navy wants to procure 43 systems, including 344 RPVs, for over the-
horizon targeting, surveillance, and support of amphibious operations.

The base line review follows extensive field testing of the system by the Navy
and the Marine Corps that was intended to determine whether there was an
operational need for a short-range RPV system and what the final configuration
should be. [Ref. 7:p. 251]

The Pioneer RPV system has performed remarkably well and has proven quite
cost effective considering it was an off-the-shelf system that was intended to be a
stop-gap solution to an existing problem and that it was employed without the usual
operational test and evaluation required of major Navy systems. There have been
several problem areas identified, however, and work is presently being done to
correct these deficiencies and to implement improvements. Some of the critical
issues include finding an alternative-fuel engine capable of running on JP-5 or
diesel fuel to replace the current engine. A command/control data link needs to be
developed that will expand the effective control range beyond the 100 nautical mile
limit. It is considered by some that the Pioneer air vehicle is slightly deficient in
pitch authority, requiring a rather lengthy and flat glide slope be used during
recovery, thereby increasing the time spent in a critical transition region. Such a
deficiency also necessitates that a higher approach speed be utilized which in turn
increases the danger of the recovery to personnel and to the air vehicle.

The Navy has identified several low Reynolds number airfoils, such as the
Wortmann FX 63-137 airfoil, which might offer superior performance over those
currently in use, especially at conditions of high lift encountered in the landing
mode. 1 With the use of such an airfoil and some "fine tuning " of the stability
parameters, the handling qualities of the Pioneer RPV or a similarly configured
vehicle could possibly be improved upon.
http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a201884.pdf
 
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