AHC: Strong post-war Royal Navy?

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by King_Arthur, Dec 21, 2018.

  1. Riain Well-Known Member

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    I agree with the cruisers but my thoughts on the carriers is a touch more complex . I think it was right to complete the Hermes, but to the standard of the Albion and Bulwark would have been fine. The Victorious rebuild was way, way overdone and a more austere refit would have been better and allowed a second conversion on an armoured carrier to occur. This could have placed the decision point for a new carrier in the late 50s rather than the early 50s and mid 60s, both times being poor from the political standpoint.
     
  2. StevoJH Well-Known Member

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    A fairly basic angle deck conversion would have been much more cost effective.

    A more realistic financial expectation probably would have seen Implacable Indefatigable upgrades instead if one or two ships were to be modernised.
     
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  3. Riain Well-Known Member

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    I think the Indefatigable was structurally warped from her kamikaze hit, but the Implacable might have been a good candidate for a limited refit and a similar limited refit for Vic.

    i think the big thing is to get a new, big carrier started in the 1959-62 timeframe.
     
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  4. Zen9 Well-Known Member

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    So my understanding is in the nuclear jet age the RN was working on upto 2/3 able to fly off on an Alpha Strike. Assuming that 1/3 would be down in the hanger undergoing maintenance and checks.

    Experience is in context a mixture of what works in operation and construction.

    Malta went through so many design options. Open and closed hangers. They never resolved the peacetime drydock issue for the UK.
    DNC concluded that on cancellation, any new design would need to be a clean sheet.
    Almost no reference is made to Malta during the 1952 CV effort.

    Implacable was studied for major upgrades. But the basic design made this rather hard.
    In the end they chose to keep 3 light fleet CVs for trade protection.

    It would seem the angled deck idea is mooted in 1950....
     
  5. Riain Well-Known Member

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    Which fits the defence policy/strategy of the time, which was that WW3 would happen from 1957 and would be long like WW2.

    The challenge as I see it is to build ships in 1948-55 that are suitable for the limited war policy/strategy of 1956-71 and are able to fit into a force structure based on missile armed escorts from 1960.
     
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  6. PSL Information not passed on is lost.

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    I'd like to see examples of this savings. It always turned out to be untrue , when I dug into it. The aborting the cruisers and carriers is a good example. Vicky cost £30 million spread over the 1950s, while completing the Hermes expended £11 million from late 1940s through first half of 1950s. The Tiger class completion was £19 million spent over the same period as Vicky, plus further £19 million in the 1960s to convert the Tiger & Blake into more useful Helicopter ships.

    Through the 1950s that's about £57 million invested in these warships . If they could build a large deck carrier , the CV-52 was estimated at £105 million just to build one such ship and that says nothing of the jets needed to fly off it. Those would more than double the projected cost and operating budgets. Now it just so happens the RN had over £60 million invested in the SEA SLUG development through the 1950s plus another £90 million developing the failed Mk 20 torpedo. Cancel all that lot and you might just have enough to buy two CV-52 Carriers, but no DDG/CG to escort them.

    But don't fret , you could still cancel all the useless frigates.
    12 Blackwood total £20 million
    4 Salisbury total £13 million
    6 Whitby total £17 million
    4 Leopard total £20 million
    That's roughly £70 million ...not enough for another CV-52 but it could fund the SEA SLUG development through the 1950s or buy 70 more naval jet fighters for these carriers. Don't worry the cost of refurbished WW-II DD should only be £ ¾ to 1.5 million each.
     
  7. Zen9 Well-Known Member

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    I thought Hermes cost £18 million plus £1 million fit electronics and another £10 million for aircraft?

    That said I'd have to dig out the CV costings for the 1952 and the medium fleet carriers.

    But considering crew and costs. I think you've just made an argument for such modernised Centaurs.
    If one 1952 CV costs 105 million that's equal to about 5 Hermes types. Or 3 with their aircraft and a full airwing spare.
    3 being a good number as it allows 1 operational all through the year for the next 30 years or so.
    ---------
    Now having dug out my books.
    1952 CV cost estimate 26 million
    Medium Fleet CV 35Kton estimate 18 million

    This seems to imply a similarity with the cost of Hermes.

    Victorious estimates
    1945 £2.5 million
    1947 December £5 million
    1950 August £5.4 million
    1950 October £7.7 million
    1952 March £11 million
    1953 December £14.16 million
    This is the period when she gets angled deck, Type 984, CDS and DPT.
    Final cost 1958 £30 million.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019
  8. Riain Well-Known Member

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    105 mil in 1952 seems massive compared to ~70 million for CVA01 14 years later.
     
  9. steamboy Well-Known Member

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    Can I just thank you folks for doing all this amazing research, this is a wonderfully illuminating discussion :)
     
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  10. Mike D Well-Known Member

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    It would be interesting to see how those costs breakdown considering how much Defence spending can be played with to justify cuts.
     
  11. Zen9 Well-Known Member

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    I've dug out D.K Brown and Moore and that figure is wildly off base.
    Their estimate was £26 million (as per my updated post).
    While the 1960 estimate for such a 55kton CV was about £53 million.
    1962 estimate for 55kton CV was 58-63 million
     
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  12. Zen9 Well-Known Member

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    As I dig the numbers I found the replenishment CV debate between a Hermes or Colossus.
    The argument for Hermes/Centaur is quite convincing.
     
  13. Lord Wyclif Well-Known Member

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    Going by Wilki Francis K Manson reports the Admiralty were not enthusiastic about jet aircraft and only persued an academic interest.

    Sea Vampires and Meteors took off from ‘carriers in 1945, Sea Hawks in 1946 so they knew jet powered aviation was the way forward.

    Wartime experience showed a 65% increase in weight of aircraft during the operational life of the Illustrious class.

    Logically larger vessels are a must so no further work should be carried out on the smaller ‘carriers.

    Spec NA39 was issued in 1953 resulting in the Buccaneer, so cats and traps req’d for 62,000lbs aircraft.

    At least 3 CV52’s were needed replacing a pair of Armoured Carriers at a time. 3 of the completed Colossus used as commando carriers. On average these ships gave 25 years of service, so replacements no required until the ‘70s.
    The longest being 54 years of service, so with refits could sail easily into the 21st century. Mid life CODOG power plant could be installed.

    CV52’s should remain in service until the mid ‘80s and with refits possibly the mid twenty-teens before the need to replace them with a cat and trap CVF. FA18’s being 10,000lbs lighter than the Buccaneer should not cause any serious modifications to the ships to fly them from 1985 onwards.
     
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  14. Zen9 Well-Known Member

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    Assuming a 26 million cost estimate and overspend of 20%, the cost ought to be about 38 million.
    That would seem a reasonable figure considering the later CVA-01 estimates.
    We could assume that it will carry about twice Hermes's airwing so 20 million for aircraft.
    So some 60 million is not unreasonable all told.
    Two such would not cost 120 million. Assuming that due to limitations of production staff they are not built in parallel but in series. Then there would be savings from the experience of building the first applied to building the second.

    Applying the same to the Medium Fleet CV we go from 18 to 22 million....and a total cost of something close to 40 million. So 120 million would pay for 3.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019
  15. Riain Well-Known Member

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    Total and defence spending from 1948 when long term planning began to 1956, the last year the Defence Policy was to re-fight WW2.

    [​IMG]

    Total and Defence spending from the 1957 to 1966 white papers.

    [​IMG]

    Total and Defence spending from the 1967 devaluation of the pound to the 1971 withdrawal from East of Suez.

    [​IMG]
     
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  16. Riain Well-Known Member

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    The last estimate I can recall for CVA01 was 66 million in late 1965. At about that time the assumed number of Type 82s was down to 6, although it briefly went up to 8 again and remained there for a short while after CVA01 was cancelled.

    I'm a bit wary of the tactic of including the Type 82s in the cost of the CVA01 because although they were linked the RN had an ongoing escort design and construction programme and a requirement for Sea Dart equipped ships that was met by removing the Ikara from the ship and creating the Type 42.
     
  17. Zen9 Well-Known Member

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    I don't think the estimates I have include attendant DDG and FFG.

    I also recall reading that the Type 42 is not a Type 82 minus Ikara.

    What was problematic about the escorts was they could not fit the competing limitations of manpower and finance with the military requirements.

    So had say they'd chosen the 40,000ton option with 24 fast jets, and opted for P1154 in the longer term. Then this ought to require something like 2,400 personnel rather than the 53kton needs of 3,250.
    And instead of a projected cost of 58-63 million in 1962 it's down to 40 million.
    This releases pressure on funding attendant Type 82 by freeing 28-33 million and some 850 personnel.
    The staff for over 2 Type 82 and the funds for 2-3 at £11.25 million each.
    Enough in fact for Cruiser!
    Alternatively the projected cost of the GP Frigate DS336 was 9 million in '63-64, and needed 290 men. So enough to afford 3.

    In essence the smaller CV permits the minimum Type 82 attendant fleet of 8 and afford and man attendant FFGs.
    Assuming the cost estimate for P1154 is more accurate than the F4K (1.5 million per plane compared to 1.2 million which was nearly a third the actual cost of 3.5 million), then the affordability only improves.
     
  18. Riain Well-Known Member

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    No, but when CVA01 etc was cancelled the cost of 500 million included 8 escorts, ships that the RN had a requirement for (more or less) with or without the carriers.

    The Type 82 was the smallest ship that could have the Type 988 3D radar, Sea Dart and Ikara, she also had command facilities, limbo ASW mortar and facilities to land and refuel Wasp helicopters as well as the gun. Post 1966 it was decided that a ship could have either Sea Dart or Ikara, with Sea Dart being the highest priority; limbo was replaced with light torpedoes, the command facilities were deleted and the ability to land and refuel Wasps was expanded to a hangar for maintenance and weapons reloading as well.

    Affordability was not the real issue, the real issue was the political desire to avoid devaluation, which is why there was so much crap going on in that era. Small carriers would not have got over the line because the RAF would still have talked shit against the smaller carrier and the Treasury would still have added the Type 82s into the cost to make them seem worse.
     
  19. Zen9 Well-Known Member

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    Which is why having the carriers built in the 50's avoids this mess.

    Because once the RN has it's new CVs, it can sacrifice the older carriers to keep the new and better build vessels.

    This frees them to concentrate on other vessels.
     
  20. Riain Well-Known Member

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    I'd like the carrier issue sorted in the late 50s early 60s, maybe getting the 2nd CVA laid down by 1962. I think this would be possible with few different decisions in the late 40s early 50s with the Vic and Audacious'.
     
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