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  • bbvet
    replied
    Originally posted by Pacfanweb View Post
    But I would think that the Iowas are almost 100% intact, at least all the running gear and ship systems. Obviously the CIWS, missiles...stuff like that isn't there, but all that equipment would be part of the job is they were to be reactivated anyway.
    That statement is not quite true - NEW JERSEY has had Turret 2 barbette altered by physically removing portions of the circular projectile handling areas below the turret in order to provide a space for visitors to see the loading procedures for the turret. This has permanently altered the integrity of these spaces rendering (for all intents and purposes) the turret useless. In addition, IOWA has never had her Turret 2 rebuilt after the 1989 turret explosion.

    The other limiting factor in any recomm of IOWAs is the simple fact that very few experienced crewmen are available today to man these ships. We were lucky in 1967-68 to be able to find without any trouble IOWA class veterans from the mid-50s who were either still in the Navy or were willing to re-enlist. That was a bit harder in the '80s for recomm of all 4 IOWAs and I dare say now would be quite difficult.

    While the museum alterations are probably reversible (plumbing/elec/HVAC etc) the turret conditions (mentioned above) are not. Theoretically speaking, I could only slightly see IOWA or WISCONSIN being even remotely considered for reactivation, in spite of IOWAs Turret 2 condition. NEW JERSEY would require major machinery overhaul in addition to her Turret 2 conditions. I doubt MISSOURI would be considered as her political position in Pearl Harbor outweighs any usefulness at this point.

    Just an opinion, nothing more. I seriously doubt any IOWAs will ever taste blue water again.

    H. M. Strub
    exPN3, USN, USS NEW JERSEY (BB-62)
    X Division 09/68-12/69
    Last edited by bbvet; 19 Jun 17,, 11:05. Reason: adding signature

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  • Pacfanweb
    replied
    Originally posted by ArmorPiercing88 View Post
    Have you all seen the articles about the Navy possibly reactivating some ships from the mothball fleet? They're talking about how difficult it would be to modernize Perry class frigates that were decommed less than 5 years ago, and how the Ticonderogas sitting in Philly would be harder still, and how the Kitty Hawk (retired in 2009) would be nearly impossible.

    I guess that kills any lingering fantasies of the BB's coming back, even though Trump did call for recomissioning when he gave his speech on the Iowa.
    One of the big reasons they say the Kittyhawk and the other ships you mentioned would be hard to bring back is parts. They've been scavenged for parts while they sat. And Kittyhawk is reputed to have been a floating junkpile WHILE she was still in service, much less now.

    There are only 4 Iowas. Nobody's been robbing them constantly all this time to keep other ships running. They didn't put 2 out of service and use them to keep the other 2 running a few more years. The older BB's that are museums....they were scavenged for years, even by other ships. But I would think that the Iowas are almost 100% intact, at least all the running gear and ship systems. Obviously the CIWS, missiles...stuff like that isn't there, but all that equipment would be part of the job is they were to be reactivated anyway.

    Leave a comment:


  • Michigan_Guy
    replied
    Originally posted by ArmorPiercing88 View Post
    Have you all seen the articles about the Navy possibly reactivating some ships from the mothball fleet? They're talking about how difficult it would be to modernize Perry class frigates that were decommed less than 5 years ago, and how the Ticonderogas sitting in Philly would be harder still, and how the Kitty Hawk (retired in 2009) would be nearly impossible.

    I guess that kills any lingering fantasies of the BB's coming back, even though Trump did call for recomissioning when he gave his speech on the Iowa.
    Yes, I think we can all forget about the BB's ever coming back. The Kitty Hawk won't be coming back, it just wouldn't make any sense. The Perry's might have a slim chance of a limited return, but I wouldn't hold my breath. It's not like it used to be. In the 80's bringing a ship up to date wasn't like it is today. The expense to do anything like that today is overwhelmingly prohibitive. Today it's better to build new from scratch then try to bring older ships up to date.

    Why do we need a larger navy right now, anyway?

    Leave a comment:


  • ArmorPiercing88
    replied
    Have you all seen the articles about the Navy possibly reactivating some ships from the mothball fleet? They're talking about how difficult it would be to modernize Perry class frigates that were decommed less than 5 years ago, and how the Ticonderogas sitting in Philly would be harder still, and how the Kitty Hawk (retired in 2009) would be nearly impossible.

    I guess that kills any lingering fantasies of the BB's coming back, even though Trump did call for recomissioning when he gave his speech on the Iowa.

    Leave a comment:


  • RustyBattleship
    replied
    Originally posted by Frediter View Post
    Hello All,

    I'm new here just signed up..
    Here is a question, does anyone know what happened to the 5" turrets that were removed from the four Iowa class Battleships when they were reactivated? were any saved or repurposed? Perhaps they are sitting in a warehouse somewhere>
    Thanks
    They all went to Crane, Indiana that has acres of old artillery and artillery parts. By the way, each 5"/38 mount with barrels, armor shield, roller path and center "king post" with all its wiring weighed 85 tons each. We left the upper handling rooms in place, welded 1 1/2" thick HY-80 armor over the gun foundations and turned them into Tomahawk equipment rooms. Well, 3 of them anyway. The fourth was turned into a deck gear "locker". Yeah. A "locker" for brooms, mops swab buckets, etc. with 2 1/2-inch thick Special Treated Steel (Class B) armored bulkheads.

    Well, no biggie for weight. I still led the design of adding an extra 400 tons of HY-80 armor ABOVE the main deck for Tomahawks, Elex spaces, CEC, etc.

    Ahhhh. The good old days.

    Leave a comment:


  • ChrisV71
    replied
    Originally posted by Frediter View Post
    Hello All,

    I'm new here just signed up..
    Here is a question, does anyone know what happened to the 5" turrets that were removed from the four Iowa class Battleships when they were reactivated? were any saved or repurposed? Perhaps they are sitting in a warehouse somewhere>
    Thanks
    They were probably shipped to Crane, IN. I'd be really surprised if they still exist now. The Navy did a big purge of battleship parts years ago.

    Leave a comment:


  • Frediter
    replied
    Hello All,

    I'm new here just signed up..
    Here is a question, does anyone know what happened to the 5" turrets that were removed from the four Iowa class Battleships when they were reactivated? were any saved or repurposed? Perhaps they are sitting in a warehouse somewhere>
    Thanks

    Leave a comment:


  • RustyBattleship
    replied
    Originally posted by Archdude View Post
    A novice question to the experts;

    How much more effective were the Iowa's 16 inch 50 cal as compared to the North Carolina's and South Dakota class 16 inch 45 cal? Where there any studies on this topic and was there any thought about replacing the 16 inch 45 cal on the North Carolina and South Dakota classes?
    Basically the 50 caliber guns had a bit more range. Also, at the start of their tours of duty, the projectiles were heavier. The Hi-Caps were 1900 lbs (though I have seen 1,950 lb rounds also in 1968) against the original 1,720 pounders used by the 45 caliber class ships. Plus the Armor Piercing rounds were 2,700 lbs compared to the earlier 2,100 pounders.

    However, the hoist mechanisms were basically identical in all three classes of ships. So it didn't take too long for the South Dakota and North Carolina ships to load their racks with the heavier projectiles. Range might suffer a bit, but what's 3 to 5 miles between friends?

    Leave a comment:


  • Pacfanweb
    replied
    ^Don't know about any studies to replace the 45's with the 50's, but in general: The 50's had more muzzle velocity, therefore more side armor penetration and of course, more range. The 45's were actually better deck penetrators. Both were excellent weapons.

    Leave a comment:


  • Archdude
    replied
    A novice question to the experts;

    How much more effective were the Iowa's 16 inch 50 cal as compared to the North Carolina's and South Dakota class 16 inch 45 cal? Where there any studies on this topic and was there any thought about replacing the 16 inch 45 cal on the North Carolina and South Dakota classes?

    Leave a comment:


  • SW4U
    replied
    Originally posted by Gun Grape View Post
    In regards to the barrels, A few years ago I was in a discussion about 8" howitzer tubes.

    The US no longer has the capability of making anything larger than a 155mm tube at Watervliet Arsenal. The US Naval Gun Factory, where the 16" guns were manufactured, is long gone.
    1) The existing 4-hammer radial forging machine (SX-55 by GFM of Austria) and heat treatment facility at Watervliet is capable of producing M201A1 cannons (8-inch bore with 39.5-cal long barrel), as they did until the second half of the 1980s. All the necessary tooling have been kept in storage and still exists today.

    To produce these guns, you'd nevertheless have to reset the complete assembly line, which would require a significant investment.

    2) Producing brand-new 16"/50 guns at Watervliet would be a radically different story. You'd have to invest in a new radial forging machine (probably SMX-1100/200 by SMS Meer of Germany) with suitable manipulators and invest in a brand new heat treatment facility capable of accepting tubes up to 800 inches in length (about 2.5 times the current limit), not to mention all the required tooling for machining.
    Last edited by SW4U; 31 Dec 16,, 03:18.

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  • Gun Grape
    replied
    In regards to the barrels, A few years ago I was in a discussion about 8" howitzer tubes.

    The US no longer has the capability of making anything larger than a 155mm tube at Watervliet Arsenal. The US Naval Gun Factory, where the 16" guns were manufactured, is long gone.

    Leave a comment:


  • SW4U
    replied
    Originally posted by Pacfanweb View Post
    If we were truly interested to bringing back the BB's and committed to doing it right and not just say, running 1 or 2 of them and scavenging the rest for parts, then it's totally possible.
    Money as usual is the limiting factor of "how far back" you bring them. Do you bring them back in their 80's config, with updated electronics? Or do you rethink their missile suite?

    As far as spares: With today's world where everyone and their uncle has a CNC machine in their garage, I don't see spares as being much of a problem. Need a valve of some sort? Make it.

    It's the big parts that would be problematic, like barrels...as mentioned. Could those still be made? I'm sure they could. To do such a task today, it might not take a foundry that's as big as a Battleship itself, like it used to. But as mentioned, the barrels have some life left still.

    Not trying to make like it's "no big deal" to reproduce some of these smaller parts....but it's not as big a deal as it might have been 30 years ago. Still, it'd be somewhat of a big undertaking if again, we truly decided that we were going to operate these ships again.

    Then you get into the "for how long"? Last I read about the Navy's plan for suitable fire support replacement ships, it was going to be near 2030 before they were designed and started joining the fleet. So IF the Iowas were going to be back, IMO you have to specify a service period. 10 years. 15 years. Whatever. Then back to the museum fleet for good. You do that first, then tool up your spares industry to support that time period. You don't just reactivate them with no end of service goal in mind.
    I posted some of my thoughts in the other thread (posts #551, 552, 553, 554, 556 & 557). To keep a long story short :

    1) Steam plant automation is feasible and has been implemented on a number of merchant vessels & naval auxiliaries. On a BB, you'd nevertheless have make sure you don't compromise on DC, which would limit the manpower savings that could be achieved through automation.

    2) As far as new 16"/50 guns are concerned, Lehigh Heavy Forge can probably provide the forgings. Machining & appropriate Heat Treatment(s) would be more problematic, so cannibalization is most likely the way to go.

    3) Without new projectiles, the 16"/50 guns are next to useless. You'd want such new projectiles to meet the USMC range requirements (i.e. at least 41 NM) and remain affordable enough to avoid the LRLAP fiasco. You'd also want them to be available yesterday, which excludes exotic R&D stuff (Ramjet, Scramjet and the likes) once promoted by the much regretted USNFSA. As a result, the best (only ?) option would be low-drag projectiles. Given the constraints imposed by the ammos handling system in terms of projectiles length, my feeling is that the best-suited projectile design would be something along the lines of HVP.

    4) New projectiles imply new propellant, which would also have to be designed and tested. You'd have to cope with potentially conflicting requirements, e.g. IM compliance (to avoid another USS Iowa disaster), high impetus (to achieve high MV) and low erosivity / flame temperature (to preserve barrel life). The US Navy is working on various formulations colloquially known as NILE (Navy Insensitive Low Erosion), but these are not yet ready for the show (except for the M1 replacement).

    5) You'd also have to deal with such things as fuze programming (because long-range projectiles are worthless without guidance) and (perhaps) charge ignition (again, to avoid another another USS Iowa disaster).

    The bottom line is that I wouldn't even bother trying to add a fancy missile suite and would rather put the priority on rejuvenating the 16"/50 guns which are the BBs raison d'Ítre.

    And finally, I would invite those involved in such an exciting but difficult challenge to reflect on the lessons learned during the 1980s : the technical side may not be the most problematic. It's the people side that more often than not ends up being a major stumbling block.

    Steam plant automation aside, I'd for instance inactivate Turret III as part of an overall effort to avoid draining excessive resources away from the rest of the fleet and limit the number of sailors to be trained on *exotic* skills. With On The Job Training being the name of the game, this is probably the only way to keep things somewhat manageable. As a side benefit, inactivating Turret III would create a much needed source for spare parts and facilitate aviation ops.

    Just my 2 cents...

    Leave a comment:


  • Michigan_Guy
    replied
    Originally posted by Pacfanweb View Post
    If we were truly interested to bringing back the BB's and committed to doing it right and not just say, running 1 or 2 of them and scavenging the rest for parts, then it's totally possible.
    Money as usual is the limiting factor of "how far back" you bring them. Do you bring them back in their 80's config, with updated electronics? Or do you rethink their missile suite?

    As far as spares: With today's world where everyone and their uncle has a CNC machine in their garage, I don't see spares as being much of a problem. Need a valve of some sort? Make it.

    It's the big parts that would be problematic, like barrels...as mentioned. Could those still be made? I'm sure they could. To do such a task today, it might not take a foundry that's as big as a Battleship itself, like it used to. But as mentioned, the barrels have some life left still.

    Not trying to make like it's "no big deal" to reproduce some of these smaller parts....but it's not as big a deal as it might have been 30 years ago. Still, it'd be somewhat of a big undertaking if again, we truly decided that we were going to operate these ships again.

    Then you get into the "for how long"? Last I read about the Navy's plan for suitable fire support replacement ships, it was going to be near 2030 before they were designed and started joining the fleet. So IF the Iowas were going to be back, IMO you have to specify a service period. 10 years. 15 years. Whatever. Then back to the museum fleet for good. You do that first, then tool up your spares industry to support that time period. You don't just reactivate them with no end of service goal in mind.
    You make a good point there and got me thinking about the whole "automation" proposal that people make. A couple years ago I'd think it would have been quite an accomplishment and quite expensive to automate the boilers, but today we have cars that can drive themselves...

    Leave a comment:


  • Pacfanweb
    replied
    If we were truly interested to bringing back the BB's and committed to doing it right and not just say, running 1 or 2 of them and scavenging the rest for parts, then it's totally possible.
    Money as usual is the limiting factor of "how far back" you bring them. Do you bring them back in their 80's config, with updated electronics? Or do you rethink their missile suite?

    As far as spares: With today's world where everyone and their uncle has a CNC machine in their garage, I don't see spares as being much of a problem. Need a valve of some sort? Make it.

    It's the big parts that would be problematic, like barrels...as mentioned. Could those still be made? I'm sure they could. To do such a task today, it might not take a foundry that's as big as a Battleship itself, like it used to. But as mentioned, the barrels have some life left still.

    Not trying to make like it's "no big deal" to reproduce some of these smaller parts....but it's not as big a deal as it might have been 30 years ago. Still, it'd be somewhat of a big undertaking if again, we truly decided that we were going to operate these ships again.

    Then you get into the "for how long"? Last I read about the Navy's plan for suitable fire support replacement ships, it was going to be near 2030 before they were designed and started joining the fleet. So IF the Iowas were going to be back, IMO you have to specify a service period. 10 years. 15 years. Whatever. Then back to the museum fleet for good. You do that first, then tool up your spares industry to support that time period. You don't just reactivate them with no end of service goal in mind.

    Leave a comment:

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