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PostPosted: Fri Dec 25, 2009 1:09 am 
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Hey guys,

Does anyone have any ideas for a modernized (2006) version of the USS Des Moines-class heavy cruiser? I would greatly like to know. Keith Bener's recent USS Salem was a real inspiration. I have to say, I am highly inspired to conquer the version of the USS Des Moines on which I collaborated with NAVSEA (before Des Moines was contracted for scrap).

I think most of the regulars recognize that I am a believer the Des Moines should have been reactivated and modernized instead of scrapped or made a museum.

The Des Moines design at least offers so much to the United States Navy. As reactivated (or as built as new construction as a modernized repeat of the USS Des Moines) would offer the US Navy a considerable class of ships.

The US Navy is currently suffering a HUGE void in NSFS and capital ship capability. Because battleships are far too controversial for new construction, the heavy cruiser offers far more potential. Does anyone have anyone have ideas as far as a modernized version of the Des Moines heavy cruiser?

Please Keep in Mind the Following:
- Maximum 8" battery

- Helo capability (consider there is already one supplied by the below-decks hanger. Since this might be new construction the hanger maybe expanded to accommodate more than 1 or 2 SH/HH-60 Helos below decks).

- Considerable secondary battery [Mk110 (?)( 57mm battery) or M45/Mod4 5"/62caliber gunnery]

- Passive armor protection (keep in mind that Kevlar is in direct contact with salt water so steel might be the best).

- CIWS both Phalanx Block 1B and RAM or possibly SEA RAM

I am interested to what you guys come up with. If you guys have any kinds of drawings, that would be wonderful!
-navydave

Merry Christmas!

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 25, 2009 1:29 am 
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I've got some drawings/ideas already Dave. Let me compile some over the next few days after Christmas is over and I'll post my sketches. I've had several ranging from an Iowa-esc conversion, a 1970's conversion to a CAG, to a modern one with Mk-13s/Mk-26s. I believe I'm going to order one of Iron Shipwrights Des Moines kits soon as well. Think I'll do one as built first and then do a whiff for the side-by-side comparison value :big_grin:

Side note: should this be in the Whiff section? We could keep track of all of these thought experiment threads better in that section I think. Just an idea.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 25, 2009 2:25 am 
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Stretch an LPD and mount a twin gun unarmored turret on the bow. The ultimate Gator Freighter.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 25, 2009 2:41 am 
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d
Cliffy B wrote:
I've got some drawings/ideas already Dave. Let me compile some over the next few days after Christmas is over and I'll post my sketches. I've had several ranging from an Iowa-esc conversion, a 1970's conversion to a CAG, to a modern one with Mk-13s/Mk-26s. I believe I'm going to order one of Iron Shipwrights Des Moines kits soon as well. Think I'll do one as built first and then do a whiff for the side-by-side comparison value :big_grin:

Side note: should this be in the Whiff section? We could keep track of all of these thought experiment threads better in that section I think. Just an idea.

The Wiff secion indeed. I apologize. I looked for it but apparently not hard enough!!! I apologize.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 25, 2009 1:44 pm 
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Hey

I think more about a design similar to the British WW1/2 monitors.

Short, bulky hull, heavily bulged and with extra-deep mine/torpedo protection, moderate armor (to stop field gun shots), a twin or triple heavy gun mount on the bow (8-16 inch..) with a large supply of ammunition, a few heavy universal mounts (5-6 inch, both AA and surface capable, something like one on each side, with large firing arcs), a few phalanx or similar light AA modules, a number of SAMs, and a pair of helos in the rear. A mine sonar, good radar suite, ECM systems and AEGIS integration. Preferably suited as amphibious command ship. Speed is not too vital, running 10-12 knots would be adequate with modern diesels and good range.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 26, 2009 11:53 pm 
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My thoughts ring out similar to the concept of some of the CGNs along these concepts.

Centerline 5" guns - Remove and Replace with Mk13 fore and aft. Maybe a Mod 2 concept with a deeper magazine to support RIM-67 or SLAM?

Wing 5" guns - Mk45 Mod 4 sound about right on these positions for the enhanced secondary battery.

Inner 40mm tubs - elevate and bring inboard a little more. Remove wing Mk37 mounts, use for CIWS/RAM positions. Potentially, Mk29 for Defensive mounting.

Outer 40mm tubs - Mk110 positions would look good here for additional defensive layering.

GFCS - could replace with modern systems, pull the centerline directors and replace with SPG-51 options. NTU suite is most likely, as to modify and mount a Diet AEGIS might be pointless for lack of missile firepower.

Aft Deck - helo sounds about right in thought.


Just a couple ideas there.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:24 pm 
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I thought the same thing when I was very young ensign in early 80's going thru damage control school at philly Navy ship yard. They where mothballed at Philly and the time the Iowa's where coming back online. My thoughts are very simple, for pure NGFS nothing says "watchout or opening a major can of whoop a_ _" as the ablity to stay on station and duration of fire. So, if the 8" could be replaced and upgrade to rapidfire mode similar that is found on the older 5"/mk45 guns. I would also forgot aboutthe MK13 or MK26 missile systems stay with a smaller VLS makes parts and maintaince easier. Helo support could be the unmanned drones they want to add to the burkes,or even better hellfire to sh-60b. The biggest problem I see is the propulsion systems, I have been out of the loop for a few years but to my knowledge they don't have BT's (bolier Tech) ratings anymore, so this class would have to be converted to gas turbine. Your thoughts...


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2009 6:18 pm 
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My thoughts are very simple, for pure NGFS nothing says "watchout or opening a major can of whoop a_ _" as the ablity to stay on station and duration of fire.

Well, that's one of the biggest and indomitable reasons to reactivate. They out-perform aircraft in the vast majority of situations.

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So, if the 8" could be replaced and upgrade to rapidfire mode similar that is found on the older 5"/mk45 guns.

That's one of the cool things about the Des Moines-class. They are rapid fire guns. 10 RPM instead of the 2 to 3 as in the earlier heavy cruisers. 90 rounds on target in a single minute.

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Helo support could be the unmanned drones they want to add to the burkes,or even better hellfire to sh-60b.

They had aircraft hangers inside their sterns, and they were big enough to hold an SH-60 Seahawk. UAVs would fit great.

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The biggest problem I see is the propulsion systems, I have been out of the loop for a few years but to my knowledge they don't have BT's (bolier Tech) ratings anymore, so this class would have to be converted to gas turbine.Your thoughts...

Well, really think about that. Which do you think the Navy would rather do, teach people on the existing systems or tear the ship apart, install a gas turbine system, and put it all back together? I think to save $500million if not more, they would just hold OJT. But we have to keep in mind, it does not matter if we have any BTs or not. BTs were merged with MMs, MMs are trained on boilers, and we still have quite a few boiler driven ships. So, the knowledge is in the fleet right now. The boilers in the heavy cruisers are extremely reliable and out-perform gas turbines in all areas except one. Boilers are not push-start. The boilers in heavy cruiser and battleships are the only long endurance propulsion systems other than nuclear.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2009 6:28 pm 
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The Wasps still have boilers don't they? Only Makin Isle is gas turbine, the others in the class are all steam turbine right? Don't they still need some boiler techs for those or have they rolled that rating into another one and consolidated?


Ok a hypothetical question for you gents, I've been toying with the idea of a stretched Des Moines class CA. I want to add a 4th triple 8"/55, 2 twin 5"/38s amidships, and maybe 2-4 more twin 3"/50s. It would have to be lengthened hence the extra room for the extra secondary and tertiary guns, but how much? I'm guessing she'd need an extra oh...100', 150'? You'd have to extend the armor belt, armor more of the deck so more weight. Add in the extra gun turrets, ammo, and personnel and you have a significant weight increase. Would the power plant have to be beefed up to maintain 35 knots? If so by how much? They were built with 150,000 SHP steam plants.

Anyone have any insights? I'm going to get 2 1/700 Salems after I build my little WEM Starling, and I wanted to make one a whiff. Any naval engineers on here? :big_grin:

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 12:09 am 
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You should not have to add that much footage to a strecthed version of the Des Moines. The Iowa is like 888' and the Montana w/ an extra turret was only suppose to be around 922'. That's only a difference of 34' for a Battleship and adding the 16" gun turret.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 4:55 pm 
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FYI guys,

I just found a rather lengthy article on the reactivation of New Jersey, Iowa, and ship checks for Des Moines reactivation. The actual modifications Des Moines seem are listed as the same missile battery aboard them as the Iowas. So, they would have gotten 8 Mk-143 Tomahawk ABLs and 4 Mk-141 Harpoon launchers. I wonder if in this configuration they would have received NSSM as they would have if converted as helo consort ships for the Iowas. I have only been able to read the abstract, but I am trying to get it all. I can't fugure out how much it actually costs. Here's the link to the abstract:

http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/jour ... 1&SRETRY=0

If anyone can figure it out, I'd appreciate it. There is also the article about the Spruances CAPT Potter has referred to on here, I just can't access it yet.

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Last edited by navydavesof on Thu Dec 31, 2009 6:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 5:33 pm 
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Hey Dave, the link is to an error.

Is there a drawing or description of WHERE the missiles were to go? Wonder where/how they found the room.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 6:38 pm 
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Cliffy B wrote:
Hey Dave, the link is to an error.

Is there a drawing or description of WHERE the missiles were to go? Wonder where/how they found the room.

No, there are no drawings, but I have replaced the link. I opened it several times to make sure it works. Here it is again:
http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/jour ... 1&SRETRY=0

I believe the set up would look something like this. A friend of mine built this for the Newport News foundation as what he thought the CAs would have looked like reativated in the '80s.

http://www.uss-newport-news.com/model/grubbs1.htm

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 9:47 pm 
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Here's the abstract I was talking about. There is a great point made here that ties up some of the things stated on the Modernized USS Iowa and USS Wisconsin thread. Just like was made clear to me by NAVSEA, some people think of problems as "disasterous" or "project-stopping". Others think of them as challenges. It's people who think of problems as challenges who actually solve problems.

Quote:
ABSTRACT
In reactivating the battleship New Jersey, the Navy faced three major problems. The baseline data on the ship was not readily available or reliable, a new generation cruise missile armament was proposed, and the ship delivery schedule was very tight. After doing a feasibility study, system design engineers were taken onboard the mothballed ship to resolve the design problems. Being on the ship allowed an intensive effort and immediate reference to the actual ship configuration. The tools used to control this effort were a ship check plan, a ship check form and the master arrangement drawing. Simultaneously with the design effort, a repair scoping effort was conducted. The design evolution and solutions to the major problems are described. The results of the New Jersey effort are shown with sample documentation, the ship characteristics and the downstream design effort.

The Iowa was the next ship to be modernized. The top level requirements were the same as New Jersey's but new problems were encountered. More options were investigated which diverted attention from the basic effort. A fundamental difference was the Iowa had not had a 1968 reactivation as the New Jersey had, so items that were repair and reactivation on the New Jersey in 1968 had to be part of the Iowa modernization. A major influence on the Iowa design process was that a complete set of specifications for a private yard bid had to be developed.

The next effort was to install the same New Jersey modernization payload on a Des Moines class heavy cruiser. Heavy cruisers are large ships but significantly smaller than battleships and much closer to their naval architectural limits of weight and center of gravity. They have much less topside area than the battleships, and the new payload was very topside space consuming. The cruisers are also much more restricted in internal volume. Two feasibility studies were conducted. One resolved volume problems but approached the weight and center of gravity limits. The second lessened the weight and center of gravity problem but increased the volume tightness. The design shipcheck resulted in a compromise configuration that was within the engineering limits. The resulting layout and characteristics are described.

The design effort described is primarily useful in reactivation and modernization efforts. It requires first string personnel but results in an adequate design in a short time frame.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 7:21 am 
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Dave, I say that just lives up to the truth of the point that many places in the world require people who can think outside the omnipresent box. Those who look at problems as "project killers" are a little too inside-the-box to get the concept - no problem is without a solution, you just have to be creative in thinking your way around the problem. It's not impossible, it just hasn't been done.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 6:08 pm 
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Here is Steven Grubbs's Des Moines-class as if modernized in the 1980s with the same modernization payload as New Jersey received.

Rather inspirational.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 6:16 pm 
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I've seen those shots before and I really like the idea but the one thing that seems odd is the forward CIWS mounts. They're wedged level right between a twin 5"/38 and a quad Harpoon canister. Wouldn't the CIWS mount get destroyed with the use of either mount given the close proximity? Shouldn't the amidships Mk-37s be raised as well? Just wondering.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 6:23 pm 
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I really like the idea but the one thing that seems odd is the forward CIWS mounts. They're wedged level right between a twin 5"/38 and a quad Harpoon canister. Wouldn't the CIWS mount get destroyed with the use of either mount given the close proximity?


I agree! I don't think the forward Phalanx would be there, either. Not only might it be damaged by the other weapons, it does not even have that much of an arc of fire. I am pretty sure there would be a platform much higher up offering a much better coverage. I will post pictures of mine when I get it fabricated. It's too cold and wet at the moment for me to be paining the DDG-963, so I am doing fabricating on a couple other models, including Des Moines.

I hope to be able to post some of my stuff, too!

The concept is very interesting, though. I really want to know what the arrangement would have been. Like you read in that abstract, there was an arrangement produced in the feasibility study.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 8:12 pm 
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I remember seeing this one Ship Bucket. Couldn't find the exact links but they're over there.

For comparison purposes.
Image

Image

I don't really see the need to pull the after 8"/55 turret and severely mess up the ship's trim settings just for FOUR ABLs.... But whatever. Give me a week or so and I'll post my sketches, working on some others at the moment.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 10:19 pm 
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If you notice, all the ABLs are facing the same direction - I have a feeling they're double-stacked off the broadside like the midship Iowa position. As to trying to justify it, well, let's just say that Shipbucket's forum is populated with 95% Carrier Humpers, 4.5% Sub humpers, and me as probably the Only Gun Club member when it comes to warships. They all think carriers are the greatest thing since sliced bread, sipping the wrong koolaid. It's gotten to the point I don't even bother posting on half the stuff there, since they can't wrap their heads around the reality of a true, armored gunship in the modern world.

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