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Thread: Bring Back The Iowa Class Discussion And Debate

  1. #481
    Resident Curmudgeon Military Professional Gun Grape's Avatar
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    Also understand that the North Carolina and the South Dakota class ships were rode hard during WW2. They were not the low mileage ships that the Iowas were.
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    Yes that's true, the North Carolina logged over 300,000 miles.

  3. #483
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    Quote Originally Posted by BBSupporter View Post
    Yes that's true, the North Carolina logged over 300,000 miles.
    Most decorated BB of the war. She was at every major operation in the Pacific. That requires some scooting around, no doubt.


    As to whether and old ship COULD be used again, like Massachusetts or NC....yes, they "could". Whether it's even remotely practical isn't debatable...it isn't. But yes, if the Navy for some reason decided that they were going to sail those two again no matter what, sure...it could be done.

    In fact, I'd love to see a thread about a hypothetical recall of North Carolina, just what it'd take.

    A lot of the "polished part of the turd" that SWO referred to, I believe, would be stripped off anyway. They've been painting over stuff for years on those two ships, but a lot of the equipment that they just keep "prettied up" would get discarded in a reactivation. All the Bofors and Oerliken guns, gone. They'd strip out the bridge, probably the conning tower, and other positions of obsolete equipment.
    So a lot that isn't feasible to work again...really wouldn't need to be.
    On NC....Turret 1 and 3, the lower levels have been sealed off. Nobody can get in them. You can get in the upper part of 2 and 3, IIRC. Nobody can get to the breeches.
    They did cut a hole in #2 so people could get into the Mezzanine level and the powder/shell rooms. The piece they removed is still on the ship, I was told. Lots of still caged off, though. Most of the ship is locked up. Nobody but staff has been in those parts for decades, and I guess Rusty and his crew when they were pillaging her in the 80's.

    Not cost effective at all, I guess, but whether technically possible...it is.

  4. #484
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pacfanweb View Post
    Most decorated BB of the war. She was at every major operation in the Pacific. That requires some scooting around, no doubt.


    As to whether and old ship COULD be used again, like Massachusetts or NC....yes, they "could". Whether it's even remotely practical isn't debatable...it isn't. But yes, if the Navy for some reason decided that they were going to sail those two again no matter what, sure...it could be done.

    In fact, I'd love to see a thread about a hypothetical recall of North Carolina, just what it'd take.

    A lot of the "polished part of the turd" that SWO referred to, I believe, would be stripped off anyway. They've been painting over stuff for years on those two ships, but a lot of the equipment that they just keep "prettied up" would get discarded in a reactivation. All the Bofors and Oerliken guns, gone. They'd strip out the bridge, probably the conning tower, and other positions of obsolete equipment.
    So a lot that isn't feasible to work again...really wouldn't need to be.
    On NC....Turret 1 and 3, the lower levels have been sealed off. Nobody can get in them. You can get in the upper part of 2 and 3, IIRC. Nobody can get to the breeches.
    They did cut a hole in #2 so people could get into the Mezzanine level and the powder/shell rooms. The piece they removed is still on the ship, I was told. Lots of still caged off, though. Most of the ship is locked up. Nobody but staff has been in those parts for decades, and I guess Rusty and his crew when they were pillaging her in the 80's.

    Not cost effective at all, I guess, but whether technically possible...it is.

    Where you going to get all the 600PSI main steam valves that were ground out of both Alabama and Massachusetts, and probably North Carolina, et al., as well?I've toured both and noted their absence in both. I was told later that they were to replace their counterparts in the Iowa-class that had been found to be in too great a state of disrepair to operate. Rusty can talk to this better than I. Whether those valves ended up there, I don't know. I just know that they are gone. That's not an insignificant item right there.

    All that is a minor detail compared to the real issue, to wit: Where are you going to get all of the Machinist's Mates, especially those qualified as boiler technicians? When Iowa and her sisters were reactivated there were plenty of MMs and BTs around as we were still a predominantly steam powered Navy. No more, and those talents are gone, gone, gone. You going to invite me back? I'd go, but the price would be that when I punch out again, it will be at that basic pay and not the one I retired under in 2003. Patriotism is a wonderful thing, but it doesn't put meat on the table.

  5. #485
    Senior Contributor Stitch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by desertswo View Post
    Where you going to get all the 600PSI main steam valves that were ground out of both Alabama and Massachusetts, and probably North Carolina, et al., as well?I've toured both and noted their absence in both. I was told later that they were to replace their counterparts in the Iowa-class that had been found to be in too great a state of disrepair to operate. Rusty can talk to this better than I. Whether those valves ended up there, I don't know. I just know that they are gone. That's not an insignificant item right there.

    All that is a minor detail compared to the real issue, to wit: Where are you going to get all of the Machinist's Mates, especially those qualified as boiler technicians? When Iowa and her sisters were reactivated there were plenty of MMs and BTs around as we were still a predominantly steam powered Navy. No more, and those talents are gone, gone, gone. You going to invite me back? I'd go, but the price would be that when I punch out again, it will be at that basic pay and not the one I retired under in 2003. Patriotism is a wonderful thing, but it doesn't put meat on the table.
    desertswo - As I know you mentioned in another thread, those ships (ALL of the BB's) were personnel hogs; they required a prohibitive amount of personnel to keep them running efficiently. And, even WITH the more automated systems they acquired in the '80's, that only represented a (more or less) 10% reduction in the required personnel.

    Today's Navy is all about a reduced workforce, and the re-activation of the BB's, no matter their utility, runs counter to where the Navy is headed strategically in the 21st Century.

    Unfortunately, as much as I like the Iowa-class BB's, there simply is no place for them in the 21st century force-structure of the US Navy.
    "There is never enough time to do or say all the things that we would wish. The thing is to try to do as much as you can in the time that you have. Remember Scrooge, time is short, and suddenly, you're not there any more." -Ghost of Christmas Present, Scrooge

  6. #486
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    Quote Originally Posted by desertswo View Post
    Where you going to get all the 600PSI main steam valves that were ground out of both Alabama and Massachusetts, and probably North Carolina, et al., as well?I've toured both and noted their absence in both. I was told later that they were to replace their counterparts in the Iowa-class that had been found to be in too great a state of disrepair to operate. Rusty can talk to this better than I. Whether those valves ended up there, I don't know. I just know that they are gone. That's not an insignificant item right there.

    All that is a minor detail compared to the real issue, to wit: Where are you going to get all of the Machinist's Mates, especially those qualified as boiler technicians? When Iowa and her sisters were reactivated there were plenty of MMs and BTs around as we were still a predominantly steam powered Navy. No more, and those talents are gone, gone, gone. You going to invite me back? I'd go, but the price would be that when I punch out again, it will be at that basic pay and not the one I retired under in 2003. Patriotism is a wonderful thing, but it doesn't put meat on the table.
    Well, that's what I meant when I said it "could" be done, but wasn't cost-efficient. You "could" remanufacture all that stuff....but that will never happen. You "could" have people re-learn how to run the boilers....there are still plenty of ex-Iowa class sailors out that that could be used as resources....but again, cost-prohibitive.

    Restoring the NC or Mass to operating condition is in one way similar to rescuing a vintage car from a salvage yard, and then not similar at all at the same time.

    Similar in that, it's steel. It can be repaired, replaced, renewed. Different in that, unlike that 65 GTO you find in someone's barn, you can't find many of the parts you'll need to replace for a Battleship. You can find another engine for the Goat, or transmission, trim or anything else. If not, it can be made. Not so easy with a BB.

    So I agree with you. While it "could" be done....it'd be difficult and expensive, therefore, it will not be done.

  7. #487
    Contributor 85 gt kid's Avatar
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    Change the car to a Dusenberg then you have a closer analogy . I always thought of it this was if we did it before we can do it again. Just because we don't have boiler mates (??) doesn't mean we couldn't again. It just all comes down to money. Throw some LM2500+G4 turbines and be done with it

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    Quote Originally Posted by 85 gt kid View Post
    Change the car to a Dusenberg then you have a closer analogy . I always thought of it this was if we did it before we can do it again. Just because we don't have boiler mates (??) doesn't mean we couldn't again. It just all comes down to money. Throw some LM2500+G4 turbines and be done with it
    The rating to which you are alluding is "Boiler Technician." They were all rolled into the Machinist's Mate rating in the late '90s. There are now only Machinist's Mates; some of whom carry the NEC as "boiler technician" with small 'b' and 't'.

  9. #489
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    My great mind threw them together . Thank you again sir .

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    Quote Originally Posted by 85 gt kid View Post
    My great mind threw them together . Thank you again sir .
    No es problema!

  11. #491
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    Quote Originally Posted by desertswo View Post
    Where you going to get all the 600PSI main steam valves that were ground out of both Alabama and Massachusetts, and probably North Carolina, et al., as well?I've toured both and noted their absence in both. I was told later that they were to replace their counterparts in the Iowa-class that had been found to be in too great a state of disrepair to operate. Rusty can talk to this better than I. Whether those valves ended up there, I don't know. I just know that they are gone. That's not an insignificant item right there.

    All that is a minor detail compared to the real issue, to wit: Where are you going to get all of the Machinist's Mates, especially those qualified as boiler technicians? When Iowa and her sisters were reactivated there were plenty of MMs and BTs around as we were still a predominantly steam powered Navy. No more, and those talents are gone, gone, gone. You going to invite me back? I'd go, but the price would be that when I punch out again, it will be at that basic pay and not the one I retired under in 2003. Patriotism is a wonderful thing, but it doesn't put meat on the table.
    Well, there are still a few ships in the Navy that have boilers and steam propulsion as their means of going through the water, so the Navy still has the schools and training required to bring the Iowa's (or other boiler fired ships back if required)..

    (of course, I'm thinking that the Wasp class Amphibs will have their lives cut short, since they are the only large class left with steam propulsion.)

    USS Wasp LHD-1
    USS Essex LHD-2
    USS Kearsarge LHD-3
    USS Boxer LHD-4
    USS Bataan LHD-5
    USS BonHomme Richard LHD-6
    USS Iwo Jima LHD-7

    USS Peleliu LHA-5 (just returned from her last deployment, and will be decommissioned soon)

    USS Blue Ridge LCC-19
    USS Mount Whitney LCC-20

    USS Ponce AFSB(I) 15

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    Quote Originally Posted by dundonrl View Post
    Well, there are still a few ships in the Navy that have boilers and steam propulsion as their means of going through the water, so the Navy still has the schools and training required to bring the Iowa's (or other boiler fired ships back if required)..

    (of course, I'm thinking that the Wasp class Amphibs will have their lives cut short, since they are the only large class left with steam propulsion.)

    USS Wasp LHD-1
    USS Essex LHD-2
    USS Kearsarge LHD-3
    USS Boxer LHD-4
    USS Bataan LHD-5
    USS BonHomme Richard LHD-6
    USS Iwo Jima LHD-7

    USS Peleliu LHA-5 (just returned from her last deployment, and will be decommissioned soon)

    USS Blue Ridge LCC-19
    USS Mount Whitney LCC-20

    USS Ponce AFSB(I) 15
    I've been told that civilian contractors are serving in many of those steam propulsion billets, and the schools and hot plants, just ain't what they used to be,

  13. #493
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    How much would it cost to build a BB from scratch using the latest naval technological advances and gunnery advancements? Would tonnage increase or decrease? Would we need to get 12 guns for 3 guns per turret? Do we need to get armor belt?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blademaster View Post
    How much would it cost to build a BB from scratch using the latest naval technological advances and gunnery advancements? Would tonnage increase or decrease? Would we need to get 12 guns for 3 guns per turret? Do we need to get armor belt?
    Hitesh, you cannot be that far behind! A single flight of a B52 Squadron can deliver more accurate firepower than an Iowa can do ... and without a target on station.
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    The only way the B52 can do that is with GPS guided bombs otherwise it's just a plane. Same holds true for the Iowa's all they've really ever had were dumb shells but they were working on 100 mile sabot rounds that err GPS guided . Now they still wouldn't have the range of a B-52 BUT because they're on station 100 miles away they're safer and can constantly pound the crap out of the enemy.

    But Blademaster asked about a modern "BB" so this point is moot. Honestly i don't think it'd be a true BB unless other countries adopted the idea it would be more of a "shore bombardment" ship instead. 16" guns would be nice with some kind of safer liquid propellant in an automated, rapid fire mount but my money is on the new rail guns (if they even pan out). 3 or 4 of those, 4 or 6 CIWS/SeaRAM mounts, newer armor and in a heavy cruiser size hull (WWII BB hull would be too big for congress to spend on). It's not a 16"/50 but it'll do .
    RIP Charles "Bob" Spence. 1936-2014.

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