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Should we have recommisioned and modernized the Iowa class battleships?

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posted on Apr, 10 2007 @ 05:37 PM
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It wouldnt operate by itself of course, it would be part of a BBG to protect from subs.




posted on Apr, 11 2007 @ 08:48 AM
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The concept of providing a BB with an escort opens up an entirely new dilema. Presumably you want the battleships because they either provide a capability or posess an attribute that is otherwise lacking with current USN assets. Since there is no capability they have that another asset cannot provide (Missiles or precision-guided free-fall munitions are more accurate and more powerful than the 16" guns, 5" guns far more efficient than the 5"/38's are on every destroyer and cruiser in the fleet), then the only reason to have a battleship would be some unique attribute. The only unique attribute they have is thick armor, which presumably equates to superior survivability.

Here's the 'escort dilema':
If your tactical situation requires the heavy armor and survivability of a battleship, the escorts can't survive the environment. If the unarmored escorts *can* survive the tactical environment, then a battleship's heavy armor isn't required...which implies strongly that the battleship isn't needed either.



posted on Apr, 11 2007 @ 01:30 PM
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Those were truly wonderful ships ( for their time) but if wanted a cold war 'battleship' the following is basically what you would have ended up with. Surprisingly , or in my opinion not at all, it's the RF that now operates the battleships...

en.wikipedia.org...

Look at the air defenses

Stellar



posted on Apr, 12 2007 @ 05:20 AM
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Originally posted by Brother Stormhammer
Removing the turrets from the Iowa takes away the only unique thing they bring to a force mix (the 16" gun). Replacing one or more of the turrets with VLS systems has some really ugly effects on the ship's trim and stability, as well as requiring major structural renovation. Those turrets are, for all practical purposes, the 'penthouses' at the top of four story structures that go almost down to the ship's keel. Here's a good drawing to show what I mean:

Turret and Barbette cutaway


Howdy Brother Stormhammer:

In my first post I stated that the damaged number 2 turret should be removed, not all of them, because the remaining 16" would still be great for ground support. As far as the VLS having ugly effects on the trim, I would say that removing the weight of the turret above, and moving it down to the bottom would increase the stability of the ship. The VLS system that I am talking about would use all of the space that the turret, and shells, and the powder room for that turret used, which is quite sizeable, and the system would be automatic loading, with what you need at the time. The main reason I myself would want a system like this is that some anti ship missiles that the Russians launch are launched in mass, and I believe the sunburst is one of them (but don't quote me on that), and I don't know of any system that we have that could respond to that, so it would be good to have a system that you can unload in mass also, before you are hit. Any way that MHO.

[edit on 4/12/2007 by Invader]



posted on Apr, 12 2007 @ 07:22 AM
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I have one question, how many Iowa class ships should we put back into service? I think that 1 is too little, but there is also a chance that they may never see action. So we need to find a perfect number.



posted on Apr, 12 2007 @ 08:23 AM
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I know the marines wouldnt complain about having an Iowa or two to support amphibious landings, not to mention they can fire cruise missiles and harpoon anti-ship missiles now after a refit in the 80's. Could still be useful if the situation called for them, but they should stay mothballed, but in condition to be recommissioned if necessary.



posted on Apr, 12 2007 @ 10:45 AM
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I wasn't terribly concerned with the Iowas becoming top-heavy with a turret (or turrets) removed. The ships' armor is designed and applied with a certain draught in mind. If the ship gets too heavy, the top of her belt is too close to the waterline, providing very little protection. If she gets too light, the belt (along with the rest of the hull) 'rides up', exposing thinner armor to enemy fire (The belt isn't a uniforn thickness from top to bottom). Also, there's the effect of removing all that weight forward (shifing the CG aft). That will impact speed, handling, and possibly pitch stability.

I'm also not sure you could get a very large VLS array in place of the gun turret.

Accordong to OP - 769, the Iowa-class main gun barbettes are 37', 3" in diameter (this jibes with the dimensions in Norman Friedman's "U.S. Battleships: An Illustrated Design History).

NAVORD-OP-769

According to United Defense, by way of GlobalSecurity, a 4-module VLS pack is 103" x 249"

VLS Fact Sheet

So...if you're very careful, you *might* be able to get a total of 8 modules (of 8 missiles each) into the deck footprint of a 16" gun turret. That's half the missile firepower of a Ticonderoga-class missile cruiser. That's also a 1,800 *ton* shift in the ship's weight. Of course, you'll gain some of that weight back running the feed lines for 225psi compressed air (once you've installed the 225psi system, of course), the water mains for the VLS fire-suppression system, and, of course, some rather massive ventilation systems to eject the gasses from a missile launch.

In short, the idea of swapping a turret for a VLS array runs into the same problems that every scheme for using the Iowas seems to beach on...huge direct cost, even more massive infrastructure costs, and massive manpower cost, all to obtain a capability that we already have with existing units that are less expensive, more modern, and better supported.



posted on Apr, 13 2007 @ 06:59 AM
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Originally posted by Brother Stormhammer
I'm also not sure you could get a very large VLS array in place of the gun turret.

According to OP - 769, the Iowa-class main gun barbettes are 37', 3" in diameter (this jibes with the dimensions in Norman Friedman's "U.S. Battleships: An Illustrated Design History).

NAVORD-OP-769

According to United Defense, by way of Global Security, a 4-module VLS pack is 103" x 249"

VLS Fact Sheet

So...if you're very careful, you *might* be able to get a total of 8 modules (of 8 missiles each) into the deck footprint of a 16" gun turret. That's half the missile firepower of a Ticonderoga-class missile cruiser. That's also a 1,800 *ton* shift in the ship's weight. Of course, you'll gain some of that weight back running the feed lines for 225psi compressed air (once you've installed the 225psi system, of course), the water mains for the VLS fire-suppression system, and, of course, some rather massive ventilation systems to eject the gasses from a missile launch.


The idea is to be able to reload the VLF, and there should be room below for several reloads, and you should be able to vary the munitions for the required strike. I don't know about the ventilation on the system you are talking about, but the system I'm thinking of would vent gasses vertically during launch, and as far as the NAVORD-OP-769 goes, your trying to fit a square peg in a round hole, a custom design would be more efficient. I don't think that I would bring any more battle ships out of mothballs though, I was just thinking that the Iowa needs repair, so add a system that could give it more flexibility, and just use it for now. There would be a problem with rotation, but it could be used just to open a beach. operation, and then sent home, and called back when needed, or rotated back.

[edit on 4/13/2007 by Invader]



posted on Apr, 13 2007 @ 09:19 AM
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It's more of a modular peg into a round hole. The Mk 41 VLS is a modular 'pack' of 8 launch cells, designed to be combined in clusters (8 cells on either end of a Ticonderoga, for example). Given the barbette diameter of an Iowa, your best fit would be a row an 8x8 block in the center of the barbette, with two extra modules on each side. Picture a 12 x 12 block, with a 2x2 removed at each corner to leave a cross shape. Those 'corner' spaces would be needed for support systems (the Mk. 41 needs 225psi air, which the Iowa doesn't provide, and tankage for on-mount fire suppression gear, among other goodies).

As for ventilation, the Mk. 41 is designed to vent all the gasses from a launch upward through the cell...but as a safety precaution, the mount is designed to contain any leaking gasses and ventilate them through a dedicated evacuation system...also handy in the event of a fire in the mount. You'd need something similar in the Iowa's hypothetical mounting.


The bottom-loading VLS makes things really 'interesting'. There's plenty of room below decks on the Iowa, but the current system is designed to load from the top...and even that procedure was considered dangerous for a ship at sea...so dangerous, in fact, that the 'strikedown' module (with five cells and a reloading crane, rather than eight cells) was removed from the Ticonderoga class cruisers. That's why some of the older references to the ships will list their armament as '2x61 cell VLS', but later ones will list '2x64 cell VLS'. A bottom-loading system is going to require the design of an entirely new VLS, complicated by the need to have seals that can remain gas-tight under the thermal and physical stress of a launch, without weighing as much as a gun breech.

As a complete alternative to the Iowa conversion, let me toss this out as a 'missile age battleship', just as food for thought. Take the systems from a Block-III Ticonderoga, but drop them into a hull that's about 180' longer, and about 20' wider. Use the extra space to mount a 3rd Mk 41 VLS (2 forward, 1 aft), keep the pair of 5"/54 guns, but roughly double the magazine capacity, and add a pair of navalized MLRS mountings on the centerline amidships to provide fire support. Upgrade the helicopter facilities to provide full accomodation for four, rather than two birds. The rest of the added hull goes to subdivision, torpedo / mine protective systems, and increased habitability. Lay down thick layers of Kevlar to minimize splinter and spalling effects, and you're done.




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