AHC: Strong post-war Royal Navy?

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

  1. Schlock Well-Known Member

    Jul 7, 2018
    With no Olympus, wouldn't they just fall back to the larger Gyron and develop that further? You're going to hit the Mach 2.2 limit for conventional aircraft aluminium structures, so instead of using the power to go faster, go big instead. Widebody Concord? Might actually make it more attractive to airlines if it had a bigger payload.
  2. Zen9 Well-Known Member

    Nov 18, 2018
    I think the move to two spool turbojet is going to happen anyway.
    BS.30 Zeus and RR Thames will still complete for future fighters and that work will inform the future 'core' for the low bypass turbofans.

    What would be interesting to have happend is one of three options in this area.
    1. the RB.106 Thames and BS.30 Zeus for replacement of Avon/Sapphire
    2. RB.122 scaled up RB.106 replaces the Gyron or Olympus and this is the basis of a supersonic airline engine as well.
    3. the scaled down types of these are ideal for twin engined fighters being about 7-8,000lb dry and 10-14,000lb in reheat. Though that might seem low, we're talking of engines smaller than Avon/Sapphire, closer in scale to the RB.153 of about 29" or less diameter. So Avon/Sapphire power in a smaller package.

    On a puirely technical level, a super scaled up version could compete with the mighty GE.4

    Now that's what I call a big gas turbine!
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2019
  3. Zen9 Well-Known Member

    Nov 18, 2018
    If taken in conjunction with other earlier developments, then the upfront costs are less....less enough..... I don't know for sure, but if we're talking about a cheaper CV than the 60's CVA-01.......could be enough to swing it.
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2019
  4. NOMISYRRUC Putting a banging donk on it!

    Nov 7, 2014
    Talking of smaller GT engines Bristol was developing a turboshaft engine called the Janus in the late 1940s which AFAIK was abandoned for lack of resources.

    I first read about it in the Putnams Bristol Aircraft book in the chapter about the Bristol 173. IIRC the book said that the Type 173 was designed to use the Janus and they were forced to use Alvis Leonides after the Janus was abandoned.

    I thought that if BSE had been around 10 years earlier the Company might be able to continue development so that it could be used instead of the Leonides on the Bristol 173 and Whirlwind HAS Mk 7. I was also hoping that it would replace the Gazelle on the Belvedere and Wessex HAS Mk 1.

    As you have mention the Adder I also thought that a turboshaft version of the Adder-Mamba-Viper family might be possible and that it might be better than the engines that were available for British helicopters in the 1950s. I suggested it in an earlier thread and proposed the name Anaconda. However, @Just Leo poured an ocean of scorn over the idea as only he could.
  5. Zen9 Well-Known Member

    Nov 18, 2018
    Not in a position to judge that.

    Quick re-read on ASM
    Their single shaft P.176 was slated to power Avro 730.
    Company tried to keep the engine alive as a project by selling a license to Curtiss-Wright.
    But canceled in '57.....

    Sea Level static thrust was expected to be 14,000lb
  6. sonofpegasus Well-Known Member

    Mar 19, 2012
    Taking the suggestion of a all gas turbine County Class destroyer here is my little take on the possible history of the class from 1960 through to 1982. How plausible it is and how may holes you could drive a truck through there are I leave for the forum to find.

    Revised county class destroyer program

    Four ships ordered 1959/60 as batch 1, commissioned 1962/63.

    These four ships were the world’s first warships with COGAG propulsion system and were armed with the type one sea slug missile system. Ships names, Devonshire, Hampshire, Kent, Dorsetshire.

    Two ships ordered 1962 as batch 2, commissioned 1966

    These two ships w with COGAG propulsion system and were armed with the type two sea slug missile system. Ships names, Fife and Glamorgan

    Two modified Command Counties ordered 1964. commissioned 67/68

    The sale of the Three Tiger Class cruisers to a South American nation in 1964, left the RN short of Escort group leaders. The DNC proposed a modified County class destroyer to fill this role. By deleting the entire Seaslug system space was made for a full width hanger capable of handling three Wessex Helicopters for anti submarine warfare. With the flight deck extended the whole way out to the stern to provide two landing spots. The internal space formally allocated to the missile system was used for an enlarged Command Control and Communication suite with extra accommodation for the additional personnel embarked and were named London and Edinburgh.

    Two ships ordered 1965 as batch 3, commissioned 1969/70

    These two ships with COGAG propulsion system and were armed with the type two sea slug missile system controlled by an up graded radar and guidance system, which Fife and Glamorgan were to receive at their first major refit. Ships names, Antrim and Northfolk.

    One modified County/type 82 ordered 1967 commissioned 1972

    The original type 82 program ran into financial and political rough waters and in an attempt to at least get some of the technology afloat as soon as possible the Admiralty proposed a single compromise vessel. This was basically to rebuild an existing County Class hull and superstructure. Modified to take the electronic, radar and weapons systems of the Type 82 as being proposed for the Type 42. Further this vessel would also be the worlds first RN warship to deploy Seawolf SAM missile system, being trialed for the proposed Type 22 frigate. The vessel selected for this was HMS Dorsetshire.

    So starting from forward this ship would have a 4.5 inch Mark 8 naval gun in A position with a 6 cell Seawolf mount in B position forward. The forward radar being located as in the proposed Type 42 directly above the bridge. The two sea cats abaft the after funnel as shipped on the County class were deleted, Immediately aft of the funnel was a deckhouse with the aft type 902 Guidance radar. Aft of that was the twin arm Seadart launcher and then aft of that a hanger recessed one deck lower and a flight desk for a single Lynx size helicopter. Until the Lynx entered service the ship was to embark a Wasp helicopter to deliver anti submarine torpedoes at distance from the ship. A proposal to fit an Ikara missile system was vetoed in favor of getting the Seawolf VLMS to sea early to get all the wrinkles out of the system in an operational vessel prior the type 22 entering service. Getting two new missile system to sea in a single vessel was a big task but by utilizing a known and proven ship design as a host vessel eased the load considerable on the work load of the Naval constructors design team. Fitting all this new weaponry, radar and the ADAW-2 computer system into an existing hull required some shifting around of the internal spaces and stringent efforts to save top weight. This was one reason for the dropping down one deck of the hanger and flight deck, it also served to give a clearer arc of fire for the twin Seadart missile launcher.

    Due to the extensive trials and proving period this ship would require to get all it’s new systems working in Harmony the DNC suggested slightly tongue in cheek that she be re-named either HMS Experiment or HMS Hercules. The First Sealord had vetoed the name HMS Experiment, as he quipped “if she proves to be a crock of shit the sailors will nickname her HMS Excrement and that I will not have!!” so HMS Hercules she became and like the god her trials were many and hard. Her launch would be postponed and fitting out would be prolonged due to delays in the Computer system and both the missile systems but when she finally commissioned in mid 1972 she was the most advance ship in the RN with state of the art C3 and Missiles. Also she served her purpose of easing the way for the new technology that was to be used on the Type 42 and 22 frigates thereby keeping cost escalation down and minimizing delays.

    However she was never a ‘happy ship’ in naval terms and this was blamed by some on the changing of the name brining here bad luck. Sailors as from time immemorial being a superstitious lot.

    Whilst HMS Hercules was being built and the designs of the type 42 and type 22 were being finalized the Admiralty were doing battle with the treasury and attempting to maintain a fleet that could fulfill all the tasks asked of it by the Politicians whilst not reaching a completed financial impasse. To that end it was noted that the rest of the batch one Counties were already technologically obsolescent at best but there was plenty of life and use left in the hulls and machinery. So proposals were put forward to convert HMS Hampshire and HMS Devonshire into Commando Counties. Using the design of the Command County class as a template the ships had there Seaslug missile system removed and the hanger and deck layout of the Command counties built in its place. The internal space available was then configured as Barracks for an embarked force of Commandoes and their stores. The hanger would initially accommodate three Wessex class helicopters until a ‘commando’ version of the Sea King could be developed of which two could be embarked. Stowed under the deckhead of after flight deck were a dozen Rigid raiding craft and a further dozen Gemini inflatable raiding boats were stored in lockers. These ships were intended to able to ptovide fire support to an amphibious force and to be able to land their own Marine contingent where and when required whilst on detached service. The two ships names seemed appropriate as both counties hosted major Marine barracks. The Marine messes on warships were traditionally known as ‘the barracks and on HMS Hampshire the Marines mess deck was known as ‘Eastney’ after the famous barracks near Portsmouth and on HMS Devonshire they were known as ‘Stone house’ after the barracks in Plymouth .

    There had been arguments within the Admiralty and the DNC about whether the Counties were capable of handling Sea King Helicopters the argument was finally settled with the help of the Canadian navy who made their data for the redesign of the Iroquois class destroyers available to the DNC. With the Iroquois class being one hundred feet shorter and five feet narrower on the beam with a thousand tons less displacement being redesigned so as to operate two seas kings, the opinion quickly became, anything the Canadians could do could surely be done by the RN! These two ships recommissioned just in time for the Queens Silver Jubilee review in 1977.

    This still left one batch one County Class destroyer with the now obsolete type one Sea Slug. Consideration was given to selling her in the late seventies to a friendly nations navy but an alternative plan was hatched by elements of the Admiralty and the British defense industry. The CC/2 conversion had proved very expensive and the layout of the ship not that successful. The joint proposal was for HMS Kent to receive a simpler rebuild, where the two forward turrets were left in place. Aft a Hanger for two Lynx size helicopters would fitted abaft the after funnel. The Sea Slug launcher would be modified into an eight cell box launcher capable of taking Sea dart or Sea Eagle missiles with an additional eight boxes for Sea wolf missiles mounted, four a side outboard of the launcher trunnions. Even fully loaded this system was no heavier than the original. The existing Sea Slug magazines were reconfigured to hold reloads for all the missile system reloading from the front of the boxes. The radar fit was basically a clone of that fitted to the type forty two. The Sea Eagle was being adopted by the RN as a domestically produced air and ship born anti ship missile. For short range anti ship operations but further than the 4.5 inch guns could reach the Lynx could carry sea skua missiles. For anti submarine operations the Lynx would carry homing torpedoes. With the sea cat systems short range defense roll taken by the Seawolf missile the two Sea Cat launchers were removed and two Junk buster 40mm Bofors mounts substituted.

    HMS Kent completed her post refit trials be mid 198 and the results were very encouraging. She could if required fire of eight sea slugs in two salvos of four, and then reload to repeat the process quickly enough to still have time to engage with Seawolf any air threats that remained. Where there was a surface vessel threat some of the cells would be loaded with Sea Eagle in place of Seadart.

    So successful was this rebuild that the decision was taken to rebuild all the four remaining Counties to this new configuration as escorts for the new carriers that the RN was due to commission in the mid 1980’s. There was much discussion as to whether the two twin 4.5” turrets forty were of any real use or not. Retaining these mounts on the Commando Counties was integral to their role. For the others there was less certainty. On the Command Counties B mount was removed and four individually boxed Sea Eagle mounted there instead.

    When the Americans started development of the Phalanx close in weapons system the RN had been working on their own gun based close in gun defense system. This was based on using four belt fed 30mm Aiden guns on a an independent self contained mount. One criteria was that not only did it have to weigh no more than the Seacat launcher it was designed to replace. A second was that it had to have visual tracking like the Rapier Missile system (in fact in some circles Rapier it selve was touted for this role) and finally it had to have its own independent power supply capable of keeping it on line and in action for at least half an hour if all other systems are knocked out by battle damage. In 1981 the first of the ‘Full Back’ CIWS was sent to sea on HMS Norfolk.
    steamboy likes this.
  7. Zen9 Well-Known Member

    Nov 18, 2018
    If one has a COGAG County DDG design, providing for a lower crew number, what is the drive for the Type 82 as was?
    In essence one could fit all the 'new stuff' into the same hull and plant setup. Avoiding 'everything being new' syndrome which causes the RN such a headache.

    While a modified County is reasonable basis for a DD(H) it's logic is questionable without context. What is happening with carriers and Frigates?
  8. NOMISYRRUC Putting a banging donk on it!

    Nov 7, 2014
    It would be an even wider spectrum than that because de Havilland Engine Company Limited and Blackburn Engines Limited became part of Bristol Siddeley Engines in 1961 IOTL, which would work out as 1951 ITTL.

    Then I was hoping that the TTL BSE would stop some of the engines that competed with each other in the 1950s and concentrate its resources on the remainder.

    For example in the late 1950s De Havilland was working on the Gnome (licence build General Electric T-58) while Armstrong-Siddeley had the P.180 family of engines.

    ITTL Napier Aero Engines would become part of Rolls Royce in 1951 instead of 1961.
    Zen9 likes this.
  9. Riain Well-Known Member

    Feb 17, 2007
    The hull was designed around the Sea Slug, 2 gun turrets and a big ASW helicopter, the Type 82 had none of those things.

    In any case the hull design and other internal stuff wasn't thrown out with each class, it was developed and incorporated into each new class.
  10. NOMISYRRUC Putting a banging donk on it!

    Nov 7, 2014
    Although I'm not a fan of GWS-1 Seaslug could it have entered service earlier had more resources been put into its development and/or it was better managed?

    Could it have been built with a more compact system of stowage? This would be ideally so that the TTL County class could have a magazine capacity of 60 instead of 30 and that the final version of the projected 1960 cruiser could stow 128 instead of (IIRC) 64.

    Could the Type 901 radar have been smaller and lighter without degrading its performance so that the County class could have two of them instead of one and be able to engage two targets at the same time?

    Earlier in the thread I mentioned bringing forward the 1960 reorganisation of the aerospace industry to 1950 and changing the Admiralty's GT development policy so that gas turbine engines for frigate and destroyer size ships were ready for the late 1950s instead of early 1960s.

    Could some changes in Admiralty GW policy between the POD and 1950 in combination with the earlier reorganisation of the aerospace industry accelerate the development of Seaslug so that it entered service in 1957 or 1958?
    Zen9 likes this.
  11. Zen9 Well-Known Member

    Nov 18, 2018
    In theory yes.
    The missile teams were broken up after the war and the work 'sold' to aviation firms.
    But LOP/GAP formed the basis of the effort that became Sea Slug.

    However the 901 system started life as LRS.1 for gunnery and as such I suspect it's limiting in terms of how fast it can be developed as a missile guidance system.
    It was certainly a limiting factor in GWS vessels as it's production was slow.

    All that said it seems rather like the aerodynamics situation, effectively paused after '45 or run so slowly.
  12. sonofpegasus Well-Known Member

    Mar 19, 2012
    Dimensionally the County Class and HMS Bristol are very, very close, the counties are ten feet longer, one foot narrower and draw three foot less, hence my assumption that a County class Hull could be used as the basis for an alternate Type 2 technology demonstrator.
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  13. NOMISYRRUC Putting a banging donk on it!

    Nov 7, 2014
    Following on from Post 610.

    The maintenance ship Girdle Ness is converted to the Seaslug trials ship 1949-52 instead of 1953-56.

    The first pair of guided missile destroyers is ordered in the 1954-55 Navy Estimates instead of 1955-56. Furthermore they are laid down in 1955 instead of 1959 and completed 1958-59 instead of 1962-63.

    The County class continue to be ordered at the rate of 2 per year until the 1965-66 Navy Estimates so that a total of 24 ships were built. The last pair of ships was completed in 1970. The first 12 were built to the OTL Batch I design with Seaslug Mk 1 and the Comprehensive Display System. The second 12 were built to the OTL Batch 2 design with Seaslug Mk 1 and ADAWS Mk 1.

    County Class.png

    AFAIK the requirement was for 4 guided missile destroyers per aircraft carrier. IOTL the 1957 Defence Review allowed the RN 5 strike carriers, which produced a requirement for 20. ITTL the 1957 Defence Review allows the RN to maintain a force of 6 strike carriers, which produced a requirement for 24 guided missile destroyers.

    ITTL the 4 Weapon class destroyers weren't completed into interim fleet pickets in the late 1950s because the County class did that job. Similarly the 4 Battle class fleet picket conversions (of 8 planned) weren't carried out in the early 1960s. This provided some of the money needed to pay for the 8 ships that complete 1959-62. The 8 Daring class would also be paid off sooner to provide the extra crews. There might be some cost reduction because 24 ships were built instead of 8. However, all these measures would not be enough to pay the building and operating costs of 16 extra ships. Therefore there would have to be some improvement in the economic performance of the UK ITTL.

    The resources put into developing Sea Dart IOTL would be put into developing Seaslug Mk 3 system, which might have a lighter TI radar to replace the Type 901. All 24 ships would be fitted with it during the course of the 1970s. The 12 Batch 1 ships would re-commission 1971-77. They would also have had the CDS replaced by the ADAWS Mk 2 system fitted to Bristol IOTL. The Batch II ships would re-commission 1978-83. They would also have ADAWS Mk 1 replaced by a more modern system, the Type 2016 sonar replace the Type 184 and the Type 965 AKE-2 radar replaced by the Type 1022.

    HMS Bristol and the 14 Type 42 destroyers would not be built ITTL.
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2019
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  14. Riain Well-Known Member

    Feb 17, 2007
    While I agree that it would be good if Sea Slug was ready earlier I don't think it should mean stopping the Sea Dart, which is conceptually a better missile.

    My current 'hamster on wheel' thing is trying to untangle the 1965 Defence review, 66 white paper, 67 devaluation, 68 new defence review. Surely there is a reasonable way for the British to get through this without removing the strike capability from the RN in the long term. Maybe if REFORGER was thought of a bit earlier.
  15. Gunnarnz Well-Known Member

    Jan 15, 2011
    I thought you made an excellent point when you said that any of the NATO allies could have contributed an extra armoured regiment to be a nuclear tripwire in Germany, but only the UK could contribute a carrier strike capability. Perhaps if that point is made by others, early and often enough, it could shift UK defense thinking by itself.
  16. Riain Well-Known Member

    Feb 17, 2007
    I found it in Hobbs' book The British Carrier Strike Fleet After 1945 and it made sense to me, when the delta between OTL force levels and having CVA01 & 02 is equivalent to about a Brigade and a couple of RAF squadrons that used ex-RN aircraft.
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  17. steamboy Well-Known Member

    May 11, 2015
    RE close in weapons, did the RN ever look at mounting the Rapier aboard ships as a short ranged anti-fighter defence?
  18. Zen9 Well-Known Member

    Nov 18, 2018
    Of one is evolving Sea Slug, one path forward is the dual configuration rocket nozzle from the Blue Water SRBM effort.
    In theory this could remove the need for boosters when coupled with the improvements in fuels. Cutting out separation issues.
    Phase I could use existing launcher and magazines
    Phase II replacIng the launcher with something closer to the Sea Dart type.

    A Next Generation guidance set is possible, but rather than weight saving it's more likely to completely seperate MGR from TTR to permit engagement of crossing targets. Giving a much greater Area Defence capability.
    That or a much higher fidelity set and a move to Command Guidance.

    A move to Sea Dart / NIGS guidance is a more extreme change since the missile needs completely redesigning.
  19. Zen9 Well-Known Member

    Nov 18, 2018
    Yes and thought it lacked enough Warhead for the role.
    They also wanted better guidance.

    Hence SIGS, PT.428, Sea Mauler and ultimately PX.430 Sea Wolf.

    If you want a light self Defence system Shield using SRAAM was quite interesting.
  20. StevoJH Well-Known Member

    Sep 3, 2008
    Newcastle, NSW
    To be honest i’ve Always wondered at the rational for having both Rapier and Sea Wolf in service.

    Or is there commonality between the two that i’ve just never seen.