To multirole or not...RN Warships from the 1960s?

zen

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So I'm in two minds here on whether this should be a alternative history thread or a hypothetical one?

In essence it could be classed as truly hypothetical, but some of the subsystems and even 'alternative' weapons are in fact clearly alternative history. So it's a bit 50/50 on which section. So I call ramble a bit here but hope to meander to a point.

Nevertheless, the question stands can it be achieved? A multirole warship, as the Type 82 was intended to be or more role specific as the Type 42 was.

Points to consider firstly. In no particular order.
1. the Type 42 with helicopter and 4.5" gun possesses quite a bit of multirole capability. Type 82's claim to this is really centred on its datalinks, combat system and Type 988 3D radar, sonar, Ikara being just the 'teeth' of the capability.

2. Type 82 lacking helicopter facilities lacked that flexibility. True a helicopter could land on it, but had to fly to a hanger equipped ship for maintenence and my understanding is that the helicopter was stored on a ship with a hanger, in effect not much more than a 'visitor' to the Type 82.

3. removing the 4.5" gun and helicopter facilities would certainly open up scope to either further reduce the size/cost of the Type 42 or design the ship to be less 'densely packed'.

4. the Type 42 was so densely packed that when it came to upgrading Sea Dart and the Type 42, the ship was quickly dropped and a new design sought. Type 43 and later Type 44 (reusing the Type 22 hull/propulsion design). This in turn, thanks to the likely parsimony of the Sea Dart II option being considered, was undermined and the whole issue even after the Falklands ended up being sucked into NFR-90, NAAWS, FAAMS, FUN, FUNGI and 'Horizon'.

5. In the light of the rising costs of the Type 82 design, 'cheap' ships were sought, and this (which ended up being the Type 19 prior to the basis of the future fleet being changed) was subject to lots of studies and lots of compromises.
Consider the desire for Sea Mauler, a far more capable system and Sea Cat, but the US dropping the Mauler program left the UK with the nearterm option of Sea Cat and a longterm effort to develop their own weapon. Ultimately Sea Wolf, but this proved to exert notable costs on the warship in terms of the space and weight to cope with the computers and sensors.

So in this light.....
conceptually one can see that various components raised the costs of multirole and left the idea of a large force of multirole warships floundering.
But in truth the very concept of multirole was more open and fluid than the one represented by the Type 82.

Yet in turn it is possible to design and build a multirole warship and the costs of production and standardisation drive down the costs such that the warship can be bought in larger numbers.
Strictly speaking for a given limit on personnel numbers, ships which are multirole are more efficient crew-wise, since the addition of extra crew for a system is less than the crew required for a separate new ship. If a multirole ship needs 400 crew, and a more role specific ship needs say 250, then the achievement of covering all roles assuming it takes two such ships demands a total personnel force of 500. Thus the multirole ship actually 'saves' 100 personnel.
Factoring up to a force of 10 multirole ships, you'd need 20 specific role ships and the difference between 4000 and 5000 is enough to crew another 2 multirole ships and still have 200 personnel left over.
I keep the figures the same because this avoids the 'scale of production' isssues, where ordering more of something brings down the purchase and operational costs, enabling more to be bought and used.

But this again masques the deeper matter, that for a given peacetime operation, one might not ever need a specific system and it's associated staff.

In fact for a lot of operations, in peacetime most of the wartime systems are utterly superfluous and a waste of space, crew and ultimately money.

SO what was needed?

Clearly a cheaper 3D radar if that is deemed necessary. Type 988 was a wasted effort, and ultimately only two sets of the Dutch system ever went to sea.
A common medium range SAM that is as common as possible between services, as this brings down the costs to each service. Sea Dart did not deliver this, either across UK forces or across other allies navies (as the tripartite effort over what led to Sea Wolf shows).
And that takes us to the short range SAM, again commonality and scale of production was lacking.
A common gun for the same reasons.
By sticking with the 4.5" gun, the RN excluded itself from the USN, MN, and the UK Army from compatibility or use of something being ordered in bulk by others.

So to fix this....?
Either Sea Dart should have been ordered to replace Bloodhound, or some other weapon that could be used across services developed.
Either Mauler or PT.428 developed and neither Rapier or Sea Wolf pursued.
Either a 105mm gun, a 5" or a 6" gun pursued. Ideally being a common development at least in ammunition terms with the Army, or in total system terms with other navies.

And the what seems the correct choice was to focus on helicopters for ASW rather than Ikara, but this should have happend earlier.

In propulsion terms the use of COSAG was really too cautious a step on the Type 82 (especially considering both the success of the County's and the fact the reuse of this plant was dropped), and going 'all GT'.

While such a ship might be termed a Type 82, it would share little with HMS Bristol as she became.
 

uk 75

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Interesting stuff.
The RN's dilemma is shared by the US Navy, despite its greater resources.
The Spruance class was originally intended to be two classes, one of air defence and one of ASW ships. The Type 82 tried to pack both capabilities on a smaller hull.
The Type 42 is similar to the Perry class as a lower cost air defence ship alongside the AEGIS Spruance variant.
Apart from the RN and USN other Western navies can only deploy 2 to 4 air defence ships.
The US Navy does not develop a system as effective as Seawolf and Seadart compares reasonably with Tartar Standard..
 

zen

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Belknap class of the USN is approximately the same era, not Ticonderoga which is very much a 70s origin.

IF.....PT428 system had been chosen instead of Sea Dart potential commonality between 'light' and 'heavy' SAM systems would save lot. Scale of system production would drive down cost and expand ability to afford more.
IF.....Sea Dart was more of a success in exports. .....and in cooperation with the Dutch. Then Type 988 continues.
Really do need a lighter launcher and cheaper too for that.

IF.....105mm developed from Vickers 4"...for example. Or just buy French 100mm.

IF....Spey or Medway marine power plants developed earlier. ...
That said always struck me as odd not to look at Avon....


Of course had Sea Wolf been say Option C instead, keeping the French onboard. ...Potentially development of this for longer ranges (medium ranges) is more favourable than Sea Dart's development for successor AAW vessels.
 

Pirate Pete

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uk 75 said:
Apart from the RN and USN other Western navies can only deploy 2 to 4 air defence ships.
The US Navy does not develop a system as effective as Seawolf and Seadart compares reasonably with Tartar Standard..

'Part' quote.....

I know it's out-of-timeline for this discussion generally, but regarding your comment about the USN & the RN deploying air defence ships.

From Sky News 30th July....

The entire fleet of the Royal Navy's most advanced warships are currently in port and not on operations, the Ministry of Defence has confirmed.

A photograph showing the vessels docked in Portsmouth was published by the website UK Defence Journal.

A source told Sky News that the ships had either "just got back from operations, are about to go on operations, or are having planned maintenance done".

But another senior figure said it was "almost unprecedented" that all the ships should be in port and "it either showed a gross lack of planning or was indicative of something more serious".


The article goes on to quote from Official and 'non-official sources.....

Does make a mockery of the amount of money spent on these ships!!
 

uk 75

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Zen

Enjoy your thoughts. I had meant the Perry and Tico as comparisons with the Type 42 rather than
Type 82. The USN ships are always out of sync with the RN equivalents:

County Adams and Coontz Class

Type 82 Belknap Leahy

Type 42 Spruance (then Tico) Perry

The British missiles always seem to be better missiles than the US versions, but have more footprint
and heavier launchers.

Seaslug 1 seems to have compared okayish with early Terrier

Seadart is better than Tartar but perhaps not as good as later Standard

Ikara is better than ASROC but takes up too much room

PT428 and Mauler who knows

Seawolf is better than BPDMS but has more footprint
 

zen

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uk75.

Certainly it's not a simple business to compare the USN and RN. Though in the context of multirole, the presence of the Arleigh Burkes proves multirole is both possible and affordable, maybe, just maybe now the AB's success is actually a problem for the USN. But we can only dream of such a problem for the RN.

Well If we're moving forward to the 1970's and 80's the comparison is a little harder.
We do have the concept of the Type 43 to compare with the Ticonderoga Cruisers....not quite comparable though unless we're talking of the Aegis system fitted to the Type 43.

Going the other way in the argument one can see that it is possible to build more role specific ships than the Type 42, and if the process that lead to the Type 82 had been constrained to just a 'CF.299 Frigate', something not a million miles away from the Type 42 could have been the result.

Strictly the application of 4.5" gun for a AAW ship tasked with defending the carrier is questionable. A 3" would be more appropriate in the anti-aircraft role and if the anti-ship function is handed to missiles...again had a single 3" 70 gun been developed, it would be applicable to a lot more platforms down to Corvettes/Sloops.

Going further off base, but in a related way, developing Thunderbird and Bloodhound as well as Sea Slug was wasteful and kept Service's seperate. Not a good outcome and part of the problem with Sea Dart is the unwillingness to throw away the Bloodhound system.
Buying more Slugs for landbased use as well as the RN considering the timeframe that was possible, would alleviate part of this and the scales of production would accrue benefits. Plues tie the two Services needs together.

Developing the ramjet missile concept of CF.299 (Sea Dart) to a slightly larger and longer ranged weapon would aid it being Bloodhounds replacement.

Conceptually....
Gunboat/Patrol = 105mm L60, PT.428?
Sloop = 105mm L60, PT.428, CAST, ADAWS?, Match (Wasp, later Lynx).
Frigate = 105mm L60, PT.428, CAST, ADAWS, Sea King, Ikara & Womba (anti-ship Ikara derivative).
Destroyer = 105mm L60, PT.428-L (long range with booster), ADAWS, 3D radar, Sea king
Cruiser = multiple 105mm L60, Sea Dart-type Long range SAM, CAST, ADAWS, 3D radar, Ikara & Womba, Sea Kings (6?).
CV = PT.428 and PT.428-L, 3D radar(s), ADAWS, Sea kings.

Provides a near uniform set of systems.
Factor in the Army using PT.428 and possibly the longer range version as well...plus the potential for exports/cooperation.
Factor in the Army possibly using this 105mm L60 for a SPG (in the 60's remember not now), as well as possible cooperation with the French in this, and maybe the Dutch...

Strictly speaking the 3" is better for anti-aircraft and FAC, and the 6" is better for anti-ship and striking land targets.
 

RLBH

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uk 75 said:
Interesting stuff.
The RN's dilemma is shared by the US Navy, despite its greater resources.
The Spruance class was originally intended to be two classes, one of air defence and one of ASW ships. The Type 82 tried to pack both capabilities on a smaller hull.
The Type 42 is similar to the Perry class as a lower cost air defence ship alongside the AEGIS Spruance variant.
Apart from the RN and USN other Western navies can only deploy 2 to 4 air defence ships.
The US Navy does not develop a system as effective as Seawolf and Seadart compares reasonably with Tartar Standard..
The Type 82 actually compares directly with the USN's FY66/FY67 DDGs, which were about the same size, with Tartar, ASROC, and two 5" guns - FY66 was a steam ship, FY67 was all GT. All three are similar size and (lacking a helicopter) capability, apart from the better gun armament on the American ships and the notional advantages of Ikara over ASROC. That's suggestive to me that for the desired level of capability, that's roughly the size and cost of ship you're looking at.
 

JohnR

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IMHO the T82 is more comparable to the Farragut/Coontz class DLG, in terms of both size and armament.

As for your excellent drawing's Hood, I would have thought that the helicopter arrangements would have been reversed, having the Sea Kings on the ASW ships and Wasp/Lynx on the AAW variant, although I would size the hangar to be able to take one Sea King, so it could be used in much the same way as the T45 has been with either a single Merlin or a single or a duo of Lynx.

Regards
 

uk 75

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The Aussies had an effective destroyer based on the US Adams class with IKARA insted of ASROC and which served right up to the end of the Cold War.
8 ships like this for the RN instead of the Countys and then Perry class instead of the Type 42 could have allowed Britain to focus on getting the Type 22 frigate into service as a key programme unmatched elsewhere.
 

Abraham Gubler

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uk 75 said:
The British missiles always seem to be better missiles than the US versions, but have more footprint
and heavier launchers.

This is the a key difference between RN and USN ships. Sea Dart is a much bigger system than Tartar (aka Standard SM-1MR and SM-2MR). It also has a lot better range and a ship so equipped is more resilient to battle damage. The RN also tends to design ships that are more habitable and seaworthy requiring more displacement to go into 'unseen' capability that doesn't go "pew, pew".

An interesting 'what if' that demonstrates this is the Australian request for a customised County class. This ship was to have the Mk 13 GMLS with 40 Tartars and two fire control channels, three (!) Wessex helicopters, two 4.5" twin gun Mk 8 mounts (one of which could be replaced with the Ikara system with 24 missiles when it was ready), two Seacats, hull and towed sonars, ADAWS with LINK 11, hull stabilisers and all steam propulsion (28 knots max while deep n dirty in tropical waters and 5000 NM at 18 knots) (Friedman, Brit DD m FF, pp195).

While no sketch has surfaced I would expect such a design would have the guns fore and aft (A and Y positions). The RAN made a big deal about having this configuration in all gunboats after Korean War experience 'Up the Yalu' (actually the Han River but it sounds so much better a bit further north) until it was an issue of any boat or no boat (mid 1970s). Also it would make sense to locate the Mk 13 forward in B position with the flight deck aft in X position (as it is in the RN County) so as deconflict the whirly things with the wooshy things.

First two were to be built in the UK but DNC didn't have the design staff to meet the effort required. A shame they didn't try and work a PPP arrangement with Vickers or Yarrow to complete the design. Would have been better for everyone in Oz and Pommieland if these ships plus two local builds had gone ahead. The sight of one of these with a brace or two (ie x4) of RAN Huey gunships on the SEA DRAGON gunline would have been something special.
 

JFC Fuller

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I forget where I had this discussion but basically a Type 42, if made slightly larger (far from ridiculous as the design seems to have been larger for at least a period prior to construction) it actually compares well to an OHP or a Tromp in terms weapons load out and hull size.
 

zen

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Yes, within the constraints of the systems chosen, a slightly larger Type 42 would resolve a number of issues and the fact the later ones were slightly larger rather proves the point.
Though it would have helped had they been slightly larger yet still and from the first batch.

Type 82 looks more like the problem, not the solution, the alternative of larger ships...cruisers seemed a strong one. Especially once factoring in the decreasing number of Type 82 affordable.
 

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Abraham Gubler said:
uk 75 said:
The British missiles always seem to be better missiles than the US versions, but have more footprint
and heavier launchers.

This is the a key difference between RN and USN ships. Sea Dart is a much bigger system than Tartar (aka Standard SM-1MR and SM-2MR). It also has a lot better range and a ship so equipped is more resilient to battle damage. The RN also tends to design ships that are more habitable and seaworthy requiring more displacement to go into 'unseen' capability that doesn't go "pew, pew".

An interesting 'what if' that demonstrates this is the Australian request for a customised County class. This ship was to have the Mk 13 GMLS with 40 Tartars and two fire control channels, three (!) Wessex helicopters, two 4.5" twin gun Mk 8 mounts (one of which could be replaced with the Ikara system with 24 missiles when it was ready), two Seacats, hull and towed sonars, ADAWS with LINK 11, hull stabilisers and all steam propulsion (28 knots max while deep n dirty in tropical waters and 5000 NM at 18 knots) (Friedman, Brit DD m FF, pp195).

While no sketch has surfaced I would expect such a design would have the guns fore and aft (A and Y positions). The RAN made a big deal about having this configuration in all gunboats after Korean War experience 'Up the Yalu' (actually the Han River but it sounds so much better a bit further north) until it was an issue of any boat or no boat (mid 1970s). Also it would make sense to locate the Mk 13 forward in B position with the flight deck aft in X position (as it is in the RN County) so as deconflict the whirly things with the wooshy things.

First two were to be built in the UK but DNC didn't have the design staff to meet the effort required. A shame they didn't try and work a PPP arrangement with Vickers or Yarrow to complete the design. Would have been better for everyone in Oz and Pommieland if these ships plus two local builds had gone ahead. The sight of one of these with a brace or two (ie x4) of RAN Huey gunships on the SEA DRAGON gunline would have been something special.

Very interesting on the disposition of guns and why, does that mean that the proposed Daring Tartar conversion for the RAN would have had the Mk-13/22 in B position instead of X?
 

Abraham Gubler

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JFC Fuller said:
I forget where I had this discussion but basically a Type 42, if made slightly larger (far from ridiculous as the design seems to have been larger for at least a period prior to construction) it actually compares well to an OHP or a Tromp in terms weapons load out and hull size.

The RAN DDL options paper looked at a Type 42 fitted with American systems and basically said it was similar in capability to the Tromp but because of the extra design cost involved in converting the T42 would not save any money from building a greenfield design (DDL Ev4*).
 

Abraham Gubler

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Volkodav said:
Very interesting on the disposition of guns and why, does that mean that the proposed Daring Tartar conversion for the RAN would have had the Mk-13/22 in B position instead of X?

The Daring has far less stability margins and beam than the County class so I doubt they would want to mount the Mk 13/22 in a high position like B Mount. Also being a much tighter design modification wouldn't have the kind of space and weight margins available like a County class to have double ended guns. They would probably have to go to a single gun mount in a DDG Daring to make more space and weight availble for the combat management system and radars needed to support Tartar.

I don't know if it was part of the RAN upgrade studies but the RN did look at rebuilding their Darings with flush decks like in the Type 15 conversions as part of one of their upgrade plans. Such a modification would enable the Mk 13 to be fitted aft and still allow access fore and aft past it (under the new weather deck). And it would look much cooler!
 

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So to fix this....?
Either Sea Dart should have been ordered to replace Bloodhound, or some other weapon that could be used across services developed.
Either Mauler or PT.428 developed and neither Rapier or Sea Wolf pursued.
Either a 105mm gun, a 5" or a 6" gun pursued. Ideally being a common development at least in ammunition terms with the Army, or in total system terms with other navies.

So more like the Soviet system and mentality, where they would have a given weapon say a SAM systems - developed for use by army and navy alike! Makes sense to me!!

Regards
Pioneer
 
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