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 Post subject: Re: Below Deck hanger
PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2010 2:47 pm 
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Today in the news,
"After design snafus, test delays, and a Nunn-McCurdy or two, the AH-1Z Cobra (commonly known as the “Zulu”) has finally been found “operationally suitable and effective” by the Navy’s operational test and evaluation force." http://defensetech.org/#ixzz11VwIO2UE
Defense.org

This aircraft does have folding rotors. Therefore the stow dimensions become 45' 6" x 14' 5".

Ergo, lengthening the elevator to 47' would permit below deck stowage of an AH-1Z and 2 SH-60's, though maintenance space would be limited.


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 Post subject: Re: Below Deck hanger
PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2010 4:30 pm 
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To be honest I don't see the utility in including a single attack aircraft... Either two or none, with a stronger vote for none. The ship's guns are your main weapon; you'd be better served by using the space for drone observation aircraft for spotting.

In today's modern age it should be possible to have a data link system wherein one of the SH-60 pilots could look at a target, hit an "acquire" button, and have a rather instantaneous GPS fire mission queued on the ship and rounds out within seconds. I would throw that into the mix if you're going to be throwing so much money at a hull.

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 Post subject: Re: Below Deck hanger
PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2010 5:12 pm 
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The remarks regarding the AH-1Z are added as a result of a PM from Dave and, obliquely, to Gopher's suggestions. The AH-1 might make a nice escort for a UH-60 on an extraction mission rather than as a ship's weapon.

The question was wether or not it would be possible to do it in the available space. Whether or not it is to be done in the whiff build, is up to the whiffer.

For my build, I will have two elevators and there would be room for the -1Z. At the cost of adding one foot to the length of the elevators, you have built in the capacity to carry an additional asset if the situation warrants. Otherwise, you could carry UAV's in the space. To me it comes down to builing in options capability at a minimal cost.

Russ


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 Post subject: Re: Below Deck hanger
PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2010 5:22 pm 
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I could agree with your decisions, but I believe that doctrine is for a pair of cobras; one providing cover for the other during their attack runs and pull-outs. You might consider something similar to the Army Nightstalker's DAP:
http://www.guncopter.com/mh-60-dap/

The 160th has done quite well with them.

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 Post subject: Re: Below Deck hanger
PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2010 10:39 pm 
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Tracy,
From what you say, I get the idea that an AH-1Z could provide cover to another AH-1 as it made an attack run and pullout, but an AH-1Z couldn't provide cover to an MH-60R as it made its run in, loading and extraction??

Like I said, I don't seek to set a tactical doctrine but rather provide a ship which provides the capacity for several tactical options.

Russ


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 Post subject: Re: Below Deck hanger
PostPosted: Wed Oct 06, 2010 12:43 am 
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It could, but who covers the lone cobra when it's pulling out from its attack run while supporting the seahawk? You could, I suppose, go with a 1-1-1 force, with one conventional haww, one DAP, and one Cobra, but that to me is a poor concentration of force.

The main problem I have with this is that I don't see a BB doing any sort of missions where it would be landing such a small force. I think the helos would be used for patrol, marine interdiction/VBSS, perhaps some ASW & VERTREP. You're not going to be able to base more than a small team on a BB, and with that little hangar & deck space, if the main goal is to support a small team it'd be a lot cheaper to operate them off of a cruiser or DD. Better to pair it with a gator in those circumstances.

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 Post subject: Re: Below Deck hanger
PostPosted: Wed Oct 06, 2010 2:55 am 
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Tracy White wrote:
The main problem I have with this is that I don't see a BB doing any sort of missions where it would be landing such a small force.
It's a SEAL thing. Iowa operated as a special operations hosting, coordinating, staging, and support platform for SEALs quite a bit in the '80s. Other than accuracy of gunnery there was nothing special about Iowa to the SEALs, so it's a fair be that the other battleships probably had SEALs on them just as often. What they liked about Iowa (and probably battleships in general) was having the massive support and strike capability at their direct disposal. Keep in mind that SOF support is by no way the reason to have a battleship, but it adds an extra ordinary organic quality to the battleship's tactical situation, and the battleship adds an incredible strike resource to the SEAL's tactical situation. If they "know" a battleship is in the area or not, firing on targets up to 27 miles inland (or 47nm 11" sabot round) or up the coast catches everyone by surprise.

RPVs/UAVs can see things from the air, but the man on the ground who can identify a target entering or exiting a building or track which vehicle the particular guy got into is very unique and very valuable to the execution of a mission. That is one of the situations where our DDGs have been forced to use their 5" guns for immediate action. That's why gunnery is so important. Time is of the essence when providing fire support or executing a gun strike or "fire mission", and missiles cannot arrive on target fast enough to match that capability. It's all about "get him before he gets away" and "get him before he and his friends get me."

The way NSFS works today, with special forces at least, is not as formal as it used to be. SEALs see something they want to die, shoot a GPS coordinate off a line of bearing, find it on a satellite picture they have, virtually e-mail the picture to the ship and coordinate with the ship via that particular picture. It's exactly like this:
"Hey, um...Benfold? Is that your name?...Yeah, Benfold,"
"Negative, call sign is Dorothy,"
"Dorothy? Ha. Right. Retards. Okay, Dorothy, you see the 'L' shaped building at coordinate xxx?"
"The right side up 'L' or the sideways 'L'?"
"...what is this guy talking about?..."
"Victor 13 come back,"
"My name is Carl. Now shut up. It's the only building around that forms an 'L' at that coordinate. Anyway. That's where three tier ones are. We need you to take out that building. Can you accommodate?"
"Yes."
"Alright, be quick about it. We don't know how long they'll be in there."
SEALs loved the Iowa in the '80s. As I have talked to SEALs, they would like to have them today.

Tracy White wrote:
I think the helos would be used for patrol, marine interdiction/VBSS, perhaps some ASW & VERTREP. You're not going to be able to base more than a small team on a BB,
Right on the money, sir. It's all about being able to accommodate a small team as they come and go as necessary, and maybe even host a permanent team on board as you go and do your thing. Realistically the ship would have the capability and would wait for the team to arrive from somewhere like Bahrain.

VBSS is nice, but there are qualifications to it. What it does boil down to, is that unless you are using SEALs or Marines, your helicopter VBSS team is going to need more helicopters than a BB, CG, DDG, or FFG can carry. Only SEALs or Marines are qualled to do non-compliant boardings (where you chase people through the ship and likely use deadly force). Those teams, however usually operate in numbers small enough to only involve two birds.

I think Tracy is 100% right, Russ is probably in agreement, and like I said before, most of the time the on board helicopters would be used for utility so the battleship does not have to pull them from other ships to do stuff any more. Everything else is extra capability that's there if it's needed.
:thumbs_up_1:

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 Post subject: Re: Below Deck hanger
PostPosted: Wed Oct 06, 2010 10:19 am 
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Dave,

Yes, that's my point, additional capability or, as I put it, options.

Russ


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 Post subject: Re: Below Deck hanger
PostPosted: Wed Oct 06, 2010 10:49 am 
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Will you have capacity to leave an asset on the deck for extended periods, say an alert 5 helo or RPV? Hot refueling? I'd design it in if you haven't....

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 Post subject: Re: Below Deck hanger
PostPosted: Wed Oct 06, 2010 11:27 am 
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Tracy,

The flight deck would have all the attributes you would expect of a flight deck, including tie-down fixtures. There is sufficient space aft of the flight deck for fueling facilities, fire suppression equipment and the like. The design has the hanger overhead some 4+ feet above the main deck. The flight deck would, likewise, be the same height above the main deck. That space, 4+ feet, is available for fuel hose reels, fire fighting hose reels, foam tanks, equipment lockers, etc.

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 Post subject: Re: Below Deck hanger
PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2010 12:00 am 
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The SEALS need a ship that can go in and out of an area unseen. The favorite ship is the SSN. In the 1980s they had a Ethan Allan ex-SSBN converted for them. Late model Los Angles SSN and the new Virginia SSN have much better SEAL support facilities. The Iowas had plenty of room for the SEALS to store equipment and berth, but no hanger and no boat deck.

The number of guns on ships is low. The USN wanted two 127mm in future ships starting in the late 1960s. California and Virginia classes were both modified in the design stage to have two 127mm/54 Mk45 guns. The Spruance was designed from the outset to have two 127mm/54 Mk45 and was also equipped with the new Mk86 Gun fire control system with its AN/SPG-9A and AN/SPG-60 radars which provided the ships great gun fire control. The Arleigh Burke class ships are being built with or retrofit with the new version of the Mk45 gun the modification 4 has a lengthened barrel that is 62 calibers long compared to 54 in the earlier models of the gun. {127mmX62=7874mm or 7.8 meters from 127mmX54=6858mm or 6.8 meters} This was originally for the canceled EX-181 guided round but will increase the accuracy of all 127mm rounds that are in USN service. The 155mm gun would be great even without a guided round.

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 Post subject: Re: Below Deck hanger
PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2010 9:06 am 
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Well, Mr. Seasick, then you will like a yet to be published project: a light NSFS ship focused around three 5"/62caliber guns. The 3 guns should make up somewhat for the lack of volume of fire suffered by the light and ineffective nature of the 5" round. While it cannot take out hard targets, the 5" gun can saturate a call for fire. This deficiency was pointed out nearly 20 years ago by analysts and observed in the field multiple times by naval special operations calling in 5" fire from single-gun DDGs.

It would be a basic ship without the uber multi-mission and expensive capability but instead a focused and cheap, highly effective capability. These two are qualities critically needed in order to grow the fleet to the minimum of 313 ships :thumbs_up_1:

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 Post subject: Re: Below Deck hanger
PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2010 9:12 am 
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navydavesof wrote:
... focused and cheap, highly effective capability.

Huh?! What the ...?? Where'd that garbage come from?

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 Post subject: Re: Below Deck hanger
PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2010 10:57 pm 
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Does anyone else have pictures of the interiors of the below deck hangers? Rick E Davis posted some earlier, and they were pretty nice. Do we know of any more or where reference their interiors?

Thanks, guys! :thumbs_up_1:

And to Seasick, I was thinking about your point about the above deck hangers being better than below deck again. I understand that they are far more convenient, have been more accommodating for expansion, and are more reliable because they do not rely on an elevator, but they are at the expense of a lot of topside real-estate. If there is enough space inside the ship, such as on a battleship or heavy cruiser, to where you can accommodate helicopters without impacting the ship's weapon systems, you have the best of both worlds.

Is there anything wrong with that effort?

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 Post subject: Re: Below Deck hangar
PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 8:21 am 
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A quick question for those out there who know. Do we know how large the below deck hangars on the Baltimores were? Surprisingly, Wikipedia has an entry about their hangars:

    "The hangar had room to accommodate up to four aircraft at one time, one to port forward of the elevator, one to port abeam the elevator, one starboard abeam, and one on the elevator itself."

There are also several different unofficial sketches describing different size hangars and one of the USS Chicago after conversion to CG labeled as a "helicopter hangar".
Attachment:
CA-11hanger.jpg

Below you can see a helicopter drawin next to the elevator.
Attachment:
CA-11hanger2.jpg

Seeing how the Chicago was massively altered both inside and out, it would not surprise me if the original hangar was like that of the Miama (CL-89 below), and some of it was used to make room for the internal space lost to the massive, massive Talos magazine reducing it in size to that pictured above.

...and here is one of CL-89:
Attachment:
CL-89hanger.jpg


Wikipedia might be right, but does anyone have any better idea or a picture or drawing? Thanks, guys!


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Last edited by navydavesof on Thu Apr 05, 2012 10:25 am, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Below Deck hanger
PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 9:02 am 
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I have some photos of a Brooklyn class hangar and it's surprisingly roomy. The closest I have for a drawing is this damage plate for CL-81 Houston's (Cleveland class) damage and repair in forward areas write up. You can see why they would mention there being room for one port site and forward of the elevator...

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 Post subject: Re: Below Deck hanger
PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 3:17 pm 
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Tracy White wrote:
I have some photos of a Brooklyn class hangar and it's surprisingly roomy. The closest I have for a drawing is this damage plate for CL-81 Houston's (Cleveland class) [url=http://www.researcheratlarge.com/Ships/CL81/CL81ForwardRepair.html]
Thanks for the link, Tracy. That's really interesting. I would like to go to the Salem and see how big her hanger is. A friend of mine was on Newport News in the '70s, and he makes it sound like it was only side-to side. I am still very curious about the Baltimores. While there are pictures like I posted last time, there is also this one:
Attachment:
j-huck-ca-janes-1945a750.jpg

Like you said, Tracy, it looks to me like there is a LOT of room in there. I hope there are better pictures of the Baltimores as they were built.


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 Post subject: Re: Below Deck hangar
PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 10:03 pm 
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I was able to chase down and ask a number of members of the USS Newport News about how well the float plane hangar's hatch sealed against the elements.

The Virginia-class CGNs had elevators that would elevate all the way up to be flush with the deck, and a gasket-like seal was supposed to seal them off form the elements. That did not work well, and water often intruded into the hangar causing constant problems. Having only been designed for the SH-2 Sea Sprite, the hangar could not accommodate larger helicopters. As Seasick pointed out it is very hard to expand a below deck hangar, because it is surrounded by the hull of the ship. On those ships they wound up welding the hangar closed.

The similarity between the below decks hangars, however has led to speculation by many about the hangars on the light cruisers and heavy cruisers of WWII. Some have said that they all leaked the same, because it was a below decks hangar...and they're all the same-ish. It turns out that is an incorrect assumption.

Just from a mechanical point of view it would make sense that the raised rails that the hatch rolled on would provide a sill to channel the water away from the opening. Crewmen of the USS Newport News have said that even in "the storm of '61" where the ship struck such an intense storm that the ship's super structure and light weapons sustained damage, there was never any appreciable leaking inside the hangar. A NAVSEA representative told me that during shipchecks of the Des Moines while she laid in the mothball fleet there was no evidence of leaing at any other time.

It turns out that the sliding hatch mechanism of the CLs and CAs formed a capable seal that prevented water from entering the ship.

On a strange note, however the conversions of the Albany and Chicago, the hangar was retained and expanded to accommodate the large HSS-1 helicopter. Its mechanism was the same as on the Virginia CGNs. Here it is on the plans:

Image

The strange thing is that this hangar arrangement was retained for the ship's entire service life. It can even be seen on the Albany as she lay mothballed at Norfolk Naval Shipyard. The hangar opening was covered over in the mothballing process. This makes me wonder if there was a better sealing method being used for these Talos AAW heavy cruisers. For instance:

Image

It would not surprise me that the better method of sealing off the hangar was lost, because when BuShips was disestablished, and the Navy quit designing its own warships, they began contracting their design out, and a LOT of corporate warship knowledge was lost.

So, on my end of this (WIFing new classes of ships), if we were to design another CL or CA that employed gun and missile batteries on both sides of the ship (combat reliability) and center of gravity consideration, it may be necessary to have a below deck hangar as opposed to an above deck one. The single-ender approach (FFG and DDG where the whole stern of the ship is dedicated to a helicopter landing pad and hangar) is only good for small ships that cannot survive more than one hit. A bigger ship needs to be able to use both ends of the ship for its combat systems (mission) and find somewhere to put its helicopters (convenience). A below deck hangar answers this call very well.

Next for consideration: combat effectivness of a below deck hangar. :heh:

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 Post subject: Re: Below Deck hangar
PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 11:37 am 
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You do realize why the USN went to "flush-deck" elevator-hangar hatch don't you. They wanted a flat surface for landing/taking-off helicopters to save deck space. The pre-WWII designed hangars for seaplanes didn't meet the test. Look at how convoluted helo landing "pads" were during the 1950s for the BALTIMORE class cruisers (at least the hangar hatch moved sideways). It was far worse on the sole CLEVELAND class cruiser (hangar hatch moved forward) left active during the 1950s ... USS MANCHESTER.

A solution that could have been done on "modern" cruisers, would be to have a slightly elevated landing pad to allow for a sill around the elevator cavity. Making the pad area a grate would have allowed for water drainage away from the hangar opening.

I'm not sure that the design used with flush elevator-landing pad can be blamed on a "contractor", given that the USN was the one who designed and converted the CG-10 guided-missile cruisers in Navy Yards during about 1959-60. The USN used Gibbs-Cox as their design agent from well before WWII and from best I can tell up to about 1962 (I don't have an exact date on that) ... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gibbs_%26_Cox ... after some point total design responsibility was given to the prime.


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 Post subject: Re: Below Deck hangar
PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 2:16 pm 
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Rick,
I see a mixing of apples and oranges in terms of technology.
Gun Mounts are no longer that big.
The stern crane is no longer needed.
Helicopters are now reduceable.
Hatch covers can be made to accordian rather than slide, and perhaps both, and still maintain a watertight lip on the opening.
Ships now have landing signalman/landing signal lights to set the bird on the existing RAST system, so landings and take offs should be less of a stressor.


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