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usna2k
Post subject: What-if: Des Moines CA was reactivated instead of Iowa BBPosted: May 19th, 2014, 3:54 pm
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Have not posted here in a long time. What if the US had modernized the Des Moines class CAs instead of (or in addition to) the Iowa BBs? Here is what it might have looked like.

I used Midnightnova's Salem drawing that is posted here and modified it as such:

- Aft 8" and centerline 5" removed to install dual hangars for H-3 type helo (likely type that the ship would use in a flagship role ca. 1980).
- All 3" removed
- Aft 8" rangefinder removed, SPQ-9 installed in its place
- Removed all 5" rangefinders except forward unit
- Installed SLQ-32(v)3
- Installed OE-82 SATCOM
- Installed two Mod 0 CIWS amidships (p/s)
- Installed two quad Harpoon launchers (p/s)
- Installed four quad ABLs (two aft and two amidships)
- Removed all masts and replaced foremast with 1980s era lattice mast, with SPS-49 and SPS-67
- Installed NATO Sea Sparrow atop hangar (this assumes they can handle the 8" overpressure - which is why they were not installed on the BBs).
- Other minor updates and cleanup (i.e. aircraft crane, old style lifeboats, etc.)

It is a pretty straightforward conversion.

[ img ]


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klagldsf
Post subject: Re: What-if: Des Moines CA was reactivated instead of Iowa BPosted: May 19th, 2014, 4:04 pm
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Hmmm, I suppose it's reasonable. In a lot of ways more practical than the actual Iowa conversions.


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erik_t
Post subject: Re: What-if: Des Moines CA was reactivated instead of Iowa BPosted: May 19th, 2014, 4:12 pm
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In fact, Des Moines was studied as a reactivation asset in that era.

[ img ]

That doesn't mean, of course, that this isn't an interesting thought exercise. What you've done seems pretty reasonable at a Shipbucket level of detail (ie I have no idea about weight and balance, etc). Unfortunately, Midnightnova's Des Moines is not terribly accurate IIRC. Your refit seems mostly complete as-is; I'd love to see a re-do when and if we ever see a new and improved Des Moines drawing.

My only complaints, such as they are, is that you're losing so much length to the helo setup when the real ship could likely already hangar two SH-2s in the fantail (as did CG-10). I'm not really in love with the location of the Phalanx, either. One thing you're definitely missing is loads and loads of SATCOM; this would be a good use for the huge deck above the helo hangar. Weight and balance permitting, I'd try to move the forward ABLs either forward (replacing Mount 51) or aft (alongside the other pair). A cruiser just doesn't have as much internal volume as a battleship; I think you'd want to replace the current forward ABLs with an enlarged deckhouse for command staff. Your boat complement is also woefully inadequate, IMHO. I very much like the current Sea Sparrow arrangement.

Things might be improved markedly if you went for a three-helo-wide hangar, recovering a lot of free length. You might lose the aft 5/38 mounts for this. I don't think any USN ship in actual service has ever hangared more than two helos, outside of 'phibs and carriers.

I'd probably be willing to end up with only two remaining 5/38 turrets. This would save on manning and, IIRC, the turrets were really only kept for starshell and such.


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TimothyC
Post subject: Re: What-if: Des Moines CA was reactivated instead of Iowa BPosted: May 19th, 2014, 4:16 pm
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Nice drawing, and much more reasonable than a lot of what-if reactivation ideas I have seen. If you don't mind, I would recommend the following:
  • I'd move up the Sea Sparrow to where the missile line should be, and add the Tomahawks and Harpoons as needed
  • I will be releasing shortly (later today) V.6 of the USN post-war radar sheet - it will have updated versions of all of the radars (the SPS-67 and SPS-49 have updated versions)
  • I'd consider removing one, maybe two more 5" mounts to further reduce crew levels.
  • I'd rotate the forward tomahawks out (using the version you have aft) and have the aft ones fire over the beams.
Edit: Erik sniped a lot of the concepts my brain was working on *shakes fist*.

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Rodondo
Post subject: Re: What-if: Des Moines CA was reactivated instead of Iowa BPosted: May 19th, 2014, 4:19 pm
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One thing strikes me, unless its an actual cutout,why retain the gun shields on the transom

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usna2k
Post subject: Re: What-if: Des Moines CA was reactivated instead of Iowa BPosted: May 19th, 2014, 4:24 pm
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I knew I'd left some things out (the other missiles being shown - oops)...I always knew this class had been considered for reactivation, but don't remember seeing that study drawing before. I don't think Freidman's cruisers volume had that. Very interesting. I think the whole below decks hangar concept was already dead, because there were lots of water intrusion issues with the CGNs that had it...hence why they replaced it with ABLs eventually.

I like the 3-wide hangar idea and think it definitely warrants a closer look. I think I also agree with you on reducing further the 5" mounts and moving other stuff around. Let me work a rev 2 and see where I get with it.


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Colosseum
Post subject: Re: What-if: Des Moines CA was reactivated instead of Iowa BPosted: May 19th, 2014, 4:26 pm
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On the BB-61 class (at least), the aft tubs (originally for quad Bofors in a more civilized age) were used to store fuelling equipment for helicopters.

You can see the cutout made in the tub in this photo of BB-63: http://www.navsource.org/archives/01/016350d.jpg

It's interesting to note how it was placed on a small cart that could be quickly jettisoned overboard in the event of a fire or other emergency.

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Rodondo
Post subject: Re: What-if: Des Moines CA was reactivated instead of Iowa BPosted: May 19th, 2014, 4:29 pm
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Fair enough, I suppose if you have it, use it.

Wonder when they installed that idea? (Post USS Forrestal Fire?)

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erik_t
Post subject: Re: What-if: Des Moines CA was reactivated instead of Iowa BPosted: May 19th, 2014, 4:32 pm
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The Virginia hangars certainly leaked like a sieve, but I'm not aware of the severity of the situation on the gun cruisers. Just spitballing, I would expect them to be rather dryer since it's a similarly sized cutout in a much beefier hull. Less flexure and whatnot.

Actually, now that I think about it, the door was entirely different. Virginia had an odd elevator-door arrangement that was, as far as I know, unique to her class. All of the gun cruisers had a very straightforward sliding door (1) (2 - note 12mb PDF!).
Rodondo wrote:
One thing strikes me, unless its an actual cutout,why retain the gun shields on the transom
The Iowas retained their 40mm gun tubs on the stern, even though the mounts themselves were long since landed. It might just be more trouble than it's worth to remove them. What do you really gain?

Maybe you could use one as a swimming pool.


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usna2k
Post subject: Re: What-if: Des Moines CA was reactivated instead of Iowa BPosted: May 20th, 2014, 4:56 pm
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Ok - here is revision 1 - I took to heart much of what has been mentioned as follows:

- I was not happy with the height of the flight deck, so I raised it several feet. Also extended the hangar itself a few feet since it seemed a bit cramped.
- Implemented the "three-wide" hangar and flight deck, now extends the full beam width
- Removed three more 5" mounts, leaving just the p/s forward mounts. Doing this allowed me to mount a third CIWS and add the much-needed small boats back aft.
- Added some more antennae for SATCOM/NTDS
- Reconfigured the ABLs - now there are three aft, firing over the beam, and four forward, two on each side.

Other minor fixes. I am much happier with this iteration.

[ img ]


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