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PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2009 8:58 pm 
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Alright guys, I have written a book about how the battleships would be used in the current world climate. I am always looking for new information. A lot of people have the same, old, incorrect arguments and complaints against battleships. I will address them if people want to bing them up like "cracked armor" or "old propulsion plant" or "it's so hard to regain the knowledge base", etc. These are all old and defeated arguments. So, if you want, I can address them if you want, but they've been addressed many, many times before in everything from congressional hearings and Senate reports to articles and speeches.

So, what do you guys think the missions for a battleship SHOULD/COULD be today?

What upgrades would you suggest the battleship retain in a BUDGETARY sense? We're NOT talking about removal of the aft turret or flight decks, Aegis integration, a million VLS tubes everywhere, or propulsion plant replacement. We're talking bringing the Iowa-class battleships up to modern standards and capabilities within a budgetary upgrade without mutilating the ship. They are already 80% there, the extra 20 is what we can do with electronics, VLS, and Mk45 5" guns.

Electronics:

Weapons upgrades:
16" guns
5" guns
VLS
ETC

Close-in defense upgrades:
Phalanx:
RAM:

Missions:
NSFS
Gun strikes
Showing the flag
ETC

Efficiency increase:
Boiler upgrades
Automation
New Propellant
New projectiles
New missile systems

UAV support

Helo support

Weapon and Gunnery Direction System

Paint Job

I look forward to what you guys have to say. I will keep my configurations to myself for now so I don't put words into your mouths before you can express your own uprades.

So, let's go guys!

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2009 9:19 pm 
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I would take turret #2 out and use the space for VLS. Possibly remove the aft Mk38 director & superstructure and build up a helo hangar in its place. If the equipment could take the hammering and blast pressure, Aegis on the hangar structure and maybe some way to have an array forward. If this could be done I would see the ships as much more self sufficient and needing fewer escorts, decreasing their total operating costs. Modern comm equipment all around so they could converse with military voice & data networks.

Oh yes, blue antifouling :big_grin:

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2009 9:33 pm 
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LOL, okay, nice. I am thinking without cutting the ship up too badly. An Aegis upgrade is not economical at all. SPY cannot take the 16" overpressure, and the $600+ million bucks for the system is way out of the relm. Helos are out of the question, too unless you replace the aft 5" guns with hanger facilities. I would recommend that any HUGE super structual changes would would come with a conversion to nuclear or Makin Island-style propulsion system.

so...GO!

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2009 10:15 pm 
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I'd include Missouri and the Big J. If they are really needed I don't think the navy or government would think twice about pulling them from museum duty.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2009 10:48 pm 
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May be over the top but would suggest removing the main guns and installing into multiple new construction hulls optimized for shore bombardment. Similar to a 21st century british monitor. Would address concerns with the propulsion plant and allow optimization of space to support current equipment and needs.
Friends that served these vessels during the final commission stated propulsion plant was major PITA to maintain.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2009 12:30 am 
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SSN wrote:
May be over the top but would suggest removing the main guns and installing into multiple new construction hulls optimized for shore bombardment. Similar to a 21st century british monitor. Would address concerns with the propulsion plant and allow optimization of space to support current equipment and needs.
Friends that served these vessels during the final commission stated propulsion plant was major PITA to maintain.


I have heard this before. The only "hard part" about building battleships was the armor. That stuff is so rediculously well treated that we can not do it today. Everything else we can re-do, even new guns. We can manufacture new 16" or smaller gun barrels with existing equipment, so there is no reason to cannibalize the battleships to use their parts on new ships. We can construct new parts for new ships.

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instaling into new construction hulls optimized for shore bombardment.

Battleships and heavy cruisers are optimized for shore bombardment. Any ship that is going to shoot inland is going to have to get close to the shore the further it wants to shoot inland, so it has to have deck and side armor protection. Battleships and heavy crusiers are set and ready to go. You don't get any better than battleships for protection.

The reason to use battleships is because the already exist, and reactivating and maintaining them costs nothing compared to building new ones or anything comparable (CVNs). This is not saying we should not apply ourselves to building new battleships, but it's so much easier to use the ones that exist, because they are in such shockingly good condition.

"Holy s#!t. This ship (USS Wisconsin) is in better condition than a single one of the carriers that came through us (Newport News)."
- Newport New Shipbuilding representative on tour during NAVSEA material condition evaluation of USS Wisconsin 2008

"I don't know why this ship isn't in commission."
- BAE Systems representative on tour during NAVSEA material condition evaluation of USS Wisconsin 2008

"The Navy was crazy to decommission these ships in the '90s."
- NAVSEA host during material condtion evaluation of USS Wisconsin 2008

So, there's not a lot of reason to cut the ship apart to use the guns on new construction. It's easier to replace the propulsion plants on the Iowas (the only protential draw-back to battleships) than to design a new, small ship that can take the recoil forces from the 16" guns.

Just thought I would throw that out there.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2009 12:34 am 
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I know I'm a bit biased, (being from NJ) but if I hit the mega millions I'd donate it all to make sure that ships reactivated :thumbs_up_1: I just don't see why battleships should have been decomissioned. They could easily replace the need for 4 Nimitz class, and they provide equal firepower. They should develop nuclear tipped 16" shells (maybe they already have them?).

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2009 1:30 am 
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They should develop nuclear tipped 16" shells (maybe they already have them?).


They sure did. They're sweet little girls named Katie.

By the way, battleships deliver 4-8 times the ordnance than that of a carrier. A battleship can deliver 22 tones of laser guided ordnance on a target in a single minute and over 800 tones in a single 30-minute gun strike. That dwarfs the best efforts of a carrier.

Whatever is in the battleship's range is vulnerable.

16" rounds can't be shot down, either.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2009 1:31 am 
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Are there any anti-torp systems/defences that would need/could be done? How effective would a modern torpedo be on an Iowa class hull?

Timothy


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2009 2:17 am 
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Hi Guys,
While we're dreaming, I'd suggest that a new study be done to bring back Wisconsin as is. Here's the real deal. What capabilities would the Navy need from a BB that our current fleet does not already posess?
Here's one good point:
COOL FACTOR!!!
Reality check. Why were the Iowa's de-activated? I'm sure operating costs were very high and the benefits of such vessels to the Navy were outweighed by these costs.
Here's another good point:
Weaponry. 16" shells are unstoppable. A single broadside brings a minimum of 18,000 lbs of armor piercings shells. In one minute, better than 36,000 pounds of armor piercing shells could be rocketing toward their target at better than 2500 fps. Why negate this capability by removal of any turrets? If you need a BB, it's large caliber guns are considered, (by most), as its' main assett.
Missiles. Harpoon anti-ship missiles have longer range than the 16" projectiles.
Cruise missiles. The long arm of the weapons array with a solid hit traveling many miles inland.
Yet another good point:
SPEED!!
I've once heard that the only ships in the USN that could truly maintain high speed with our CVN's was am Iowa BB. Refueling every so many days would be an issue though. How about a nuclear powerplant? Too expensive? Probably. No need to refuel and cruising at sustained high speeds would be offered this way.
WI could conceivably replace a number of older Aegis ships. Why not cannabalize a still serviceable Aegis system for WI? VLS would not be necessary so long as the ABL's are still serviceable.
5"38's????
CIWS???

I'm out of gas....
Well, that was fun!
Tony

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2009 2:41 am 
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Well, I hate to do this (sort of) but I'm going to stick in the craw of everyone here...

I completely approve of the decommissioning of the Iowa Class Battleships. More than that, I think they ought to remain decommissioned. Indefinitely. I agree with everything everyone here is saying, and that is why I think they should NOT be reactivated.

If there is anything it would be difficult to replace, it's one of these ships. Fact is, we don't have anything like them, and neither does anyone else. Should America find itself in a real war anytime in the next seventy five years, we're going to need these ships. It just doesn't make sense to expend their usefulness in the current military climate. We're not 'at peace', of course, we're at war with the Taliban, Al-Qaeda and all of the other Islamic Terrorists, but this is not a situation that requires the Iowas. As great as these ships are they are ships. They're made out of steel, they rust, they stress, they fall apart like everything else. But if we take care of them then we'll have them when we need them, and not wear them out prematurely.

Why are these ships out of commission?
Because we need them.

The only scenario I can envision in which recommissioning them makes sense is if we do indeed plan to build more Battleships, which I for one do not think is out of the question. I've long envisioned something like say, a water-cooled single barrel automatic turret firing rocket propelled shells over hundreds of miles. Should we have a real naval war in the near future it might emerge from the conflict that any guided weapon, no matter how effective, has an equally effective countermeasure, and the only munition you can't fool is the one that doesn't have any brain. It's possibly a zero sum equation. If that scenario does indeed play out, two things will become abundantly clear; 1. Armor makes sense (and always has) and 2. shells still work. Something like a Battleship might possibly emerge once again, perhaps bearing little or no resemblance to her forebearers, but never the less, an ordnance armed capitol ship.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2009 12:59 pm 
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If there is anything it would be difficult to replace, it's one of these ships. Fact is, we don't have anything like them, and neither does anyone else. Should America find itself in a real war anytime in the next seventy five years, we're going to need these ships.

Like I stated earlier, the only thing difficult is the armor. They will not be available to be reactivated in the next 75 years. They are very close to being gone now. If they are to be reactivated, they need to be now. Maintaining them is not a problem. As they are, and as long as we don't sea-swap them, they have an easy 25 years left in them not them 10-15 like some have claimed.

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we're at war with the Taliban, Al-Qaeda and all of the other Islamic Terrorists, but this is not a situation that requires the Iowas.

Oh, the reality is quite to the contrary. Laser guided ordnance fired from up to 120 miles away is really necessary. Refitted Mk8 AP rounds reaching out to 33nm is very necesssary. Battleships are terrorist killers. Laser guided ordnace able to literally "shock and awe" with 22 tones of ordnance per minute is very much necessary when dealing with everything from terrorists to a super power. Forced entry from the sea will always be a HUGE use for these, but even the "low-intensity" stuff is right up their alley. Littoral combat is what a battleship is all about. Sure, it can and will dominate a sea battle, but where it is better than anything else is delivering ordnance onto the shore anywhere within its gun range.

Crep proficiency is a is just as important as having them. Even though New Jersey did an outstanding job after being reactivated for only a few months off the coast of Vietnam, but it took Iowa from 1984-1987 to become the best shooting battleship in history. So, for the ships to be really effective in the scenario you're talking about, the ships have to be in commission and very proficient to even really be effective.

Wisconsin was terrible on the gun-line off Kuwait, because since theri reactivation in 1988, they focused on cleaning the ship instead of learning how to shoot all the time. It was not until they had shot over 100 rounds did Wisconsin start to measure up to Iowa's worst performance.

Constant training to proficiency is critical.

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As great as these ships are they are ships. They're made out of steel, they rust, they stress, they fall apart like everything else.

nothing else is built with the same alloy as an Iowa. The rate at which they rust, stress, and fall apart is nothing like "normal" ships. The battleships, even unprotected will last several times longer than any other ship. "Mild ship-building steel or aluminum" used on modern ships is nothing like "battleship grade hull steel".

Quote:
But if we take care of them then we'll have them when we need them, and not wear them out prematurely.

While that is true, they are already over 60 years old. The chance of getting them back is very slim now, and as every year passes, the chance, even in an "all out war" will be even less. It's the political thought that keeps them out of service, not ineffectiveness like some believe. They were scheduled for a SLEP to begin with New Jersey in 1993 to give them another 25 years on top of what they already have. Wearing them out is not too much of a concern. Their military utility outweighs the wear we might put on them in the mean time.

Quote:
Why are these ships out of commission?
Because we need them.

Maybe to you---and from a strategic point of view---but they are out of commission because their funding was going to be secured through 2000 by the decommissioning of the USS Saratoga, which wound up going out anyway. Yes, the survival of a single carrier was what pulled the money plug for all 4 battleship and their SLEPs and 96 cell VLS upgrades.

Your thought about the newer 16" gun is cool, but there was a design for a new mono-barrel 16" gun for if we wanted to use a new barrel or not. We had 36 spare 16" barrels at the time, but we designed a new monobarrel to replace the multiple piece-liner barrels if we wanted new barrels.

Your point about RAP rounds is good and has already been achieved. We designed, and Pratt&Whittney already produced and tested, RAP and SCRAM jet rounds. Guidance is already achieved, and if we wanted to make laser or GPS guided 16" RAP rounds, we could crank them out very quickly.

I would say after 10 years of all 4 being back in service, we would need to start laying keels for either re-do Iowas (with a new propulsion system) or Montanas. By the time the first reactivated Iowa is decommissioned, we would have at least one new construction battleship in the water.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2009 6:45 pm 
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Tell me more about the range we can get out of these guns now. Rocket boosters I hear... what does that do to the destructive power, etc.? Or are we talking the same range as before?

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2009 10:18 pm 
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Tracy White wrote:
Tell me more about the range we can get out of these guns now. Rocket boosters I hear... what does that do to the destructive power, etc.? Or are we talking the same range as before?

Well, there is a trade off with the longer-range stuff.

The boat-tailed/base-bleed round is a simple conversion for all the existing 16" rounds. A boat-tailed base-bleed is installed onto the bottom of the round, extending it by one caliber (16"), reducing the round's drag. That increases the round's range by as much as 30% taking the round out to approx 33nm. A large number of these would be equipped with the barrel launched adapted munition (BLAM) fuse that is a gimble laser guidance package. Exactly like the nose on a Paveway laser guided bomb, it moves around in flight and alters the course of the shell. This package is not like the Excalibur rounds that you can point in the wrong direction and have it come in on target. These you have to fire with a fire solution like you were going to shoot normally, but now you can shoot 33nm without the deflection and dispersion problems any ballistic projectile experiences. The round will land right on target with a full HC/HE or AP charge.

A RAP round is the same round like the one above but has a rocket inside of it, so some of the payload area is taken up but not very much. The empty space that is the wind-shield nose-cone houses the guidance package. There is one RAP round with a discarding sabot that results in an 11inch round with a rocket sending this thing 120nm with either a solid high explosive or submunition payload. This is why the Mk160 GFC computer was designed. It's now being used by all but the newest DDGs, because it's so good. So, onto the battleships this GFC system would go.

The SCRAM jet round with the 460nm range is a completely different model. If I remember right, it arrives on target at about Mack 3 so it delivers a HUGE amount of kinetic energy. The round would carry a payload of either a hyper explosive or a kinetic-energy (KE) penetrator rod.

Long Range Organic Support:
The laser guidance package would be for organic support all the way out to 120nm. The GPS stuff can be used as well, but the target has to be pretty stationary for GPS to be effective. So as long as the bad guys have run into a building, and you think they might be there for a few minutes, like they're holed up, you can drop some of these SCRAM jet rounds onto a target from as far as 460nm away in as little as 12 minutes!!! The huge value of this is that there is no waiting a half hour for aircraft or missiles to respond, and this is CRITICAL.

The whole thing with battleships and their unique capability is time. TIME, TIME, TIME. Time is critical. That extra twenty minutes to hours it takes an aircraft to show up if at all makes all the difference. Organic, rapid response of the battleship with very long range now is what makes it so critical that all four battleships should be in the fleet NOW.

Back to the standard rounds for a second. The standard rounds can receive GPS guidance packages added just like the laser seeker head. With that, the battleship would be able to deliver 22 tones of GPS guided ordnance per minute on individually identified targets just like tomahawks but for a tiny fraction of the cost. With this technology, the battleship can literally reduce a shore's capabilities rapidly all by itself with a huge magazine left for support and all of its missiles ready to be used for targets deep inland. After the GPS targets are neutralized, the guys on the ground OR your very own UAV "laze" the targets of opportunity they see, and one shot, one kill at a time. This reduces the need to walk rounds in for targets of opportunity. Saturation and harassment fire, which is still needed, can be executed with standard unguided rounds just like it always has been.

What sucks is that not very many people know these facts, and very notable peopl elike Norman Polmar simply have a prejudice against battleships and literally ignore these facts. They IGNORE facts. I mean, it's really weird and concerning

I hope this clears a few more things up.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2009 10:28 pm 
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I love the idea of a modern BB as much as anyone, but IMHO it's the propulsion system that kills the idea ( on a semi-related thought, it boggles me that B-52s still run their old powerplants- by now they couldn't come up with a new setup with four newer more powerful engines?). Labor and maintenance intensive.

Also, it seems to me they'd need as much escort as a CVN. They are certainly not immune to modern torps, no ship is. And without AEGIS escorts they'd stand a good chance of being overwhelmed in a waterfall airborne strike.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2009 10:47 pm 
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Quote:
IMHO

What? I not too good with the OBEMENAs.

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...it's the propulsion system that kills the idea ( on a semi-related thought, it boggles me that B-52s still run their old powerplants- by now they couldn't come up with a new setup with four newer more powerful engines?). Labor and maintenance intensive.

The boilers are fine. The 600lb Babcock/Wilcox plant is the most reliable propulsion plant we ever had. We know how to automate them to where they would chop the ship's crew down to 950 men [BAE systems quote].

On the reduction note, the Mk45 Mod4 installation would take the crewing down by another 132 people.

Quote:
Also, it seems to me they'd need as much escort as a CVN. They are certainly not immune to modern torps, no ship is. And without AEGIS escorts they'd stand a good chance of being overwhelmed in a waterfall airborne strike.

Of course. It's a center-piece ship. It's a capital ship. It runs around with escorts and forms a Battleship Strike Group. It is best this way. It could be made autonomous, but that's rediculous. You should never have ships by themselves regardless of capability.

Remember, the battleship is a strike platform. We can expand it's capabilities to make it super capable of defending itself and other ships with VLS, NTU, and four SPG-51D+ directors, but a battleship is an offensive ship, not an escort of any kind. Its escort duties left it when SAMs were created, and its purpose as a purely offensive capital ship was returned.

Battleships have the best torpedo defense system ever built. Immune to modern torpedoes, no, but it would take 6 Mk48 ADCAPS detonating alond the ship's entire length to put it in jeopardy. That's pretty damn good protection, dude. Only a carrier comes close...and that's just because it's so big.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2009 10:51 pm 
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IMHO = In my humble opinion

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2009 10:54 pm 
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Timmy C wrote:
IMHO = In my humble opinion


AH-HA! Thank you. Who ever said a moderator was useless?

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2009 10:58 pm 
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Hi Guys,
Alright.
NavyDave,
Sounds compelling, but I have a few logic based questions.
How do you guide a 16" round with no fins and no manner to shift its' weight?
If we'd still be using the standard rounds as needed, then the rifling would/must remain unchanged, correct?
Or? Are we talking using the turrets 1. 2 and 3 with different barrels for different jobs?
Would'nt the cost for producing these limited use projectiles be ridiculous?
How would you guide a finless, spinning projectile anyway?
BTW, whom are you trying to convince that we need these ships back in service?
For my own selfish reasons, You had me at IOWA!
faithfully submitted, Tony Bunch
Iowa Fan

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2009 12:36 am 
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navydavesof wrote:
The SCRAM jet round with the 460nm range is a completely different model. If I remember right, it arrives on target at about Mack 3 so it delivers a HUGE amount of kinetic energy. The round would carry a payload of either a hyper explosive or a kinetic-energy (KE) penetrator rod.


That sounds pretty useless for anything other than fixed facilities. How much lethality does that round have to a platoon or company of soldiers, for example, or a group of insurgents holed up in a building? What is its final ballistics trajectory; I.E. is it going to still have a large horizontal component that might cause it to pass through the targeted building or can we give it a highly vertical trajectory so that it isn't a massive PR disaster?

12 minutes.... too long. Can't be used in fluid situations. That's why aircraft are tasked to loiter overhead. They also provide better deterrent due to the noise and presence they have; if you could set up a rolling barrage from a close ship that kept a constant boom-boom then yes, you can keep their heads down, but a 12 minute lag in control just does not provide for good support.

Gerard, in response to your B-52 question:
http://www.airliners.net/aviation-forum ... ain/43470/

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