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Shipping and Modeling


The Work in Progress Battleship (yet to be given a name)


Part of the Spring 2020 semester project was to make portfolio - ready pieces. Due to limited hardware capabilities at home and the labs being shutdown for the virus, this is the best textured version of the Battleship thus far.


The Hull


Taking inspiration from the USS Montana project, the ship has a large, long hull. Good for sailing in straight lines, but due to lateral water resistance, she's not good at turning. The width of the hull is just slightly under 110ft, making sure it can fit through the locks of the Panama Canal. Another inspiration comes Russia in the form of the bow's shape.

The "Bull Nose" so called due to the holes in the nose made for anchor chains and the bulbous shape resembling a bull's nose, the holes being where the ring pierced


While the "Bull Nose" of the Iowa's and Montana are nice, for now I've gone with more streamlined style similar to the Kirov-class battlecruiser. This may change in the future with some SOLIDWORKS testing.


A port view of the Soviet nuclear-powered guided missile cruiser KIROV at anchor. In the background is a Soviet Krivak I-class guided missile frigate.



The ship is similar to the 1982 retrofit of the Iowa-class fast battleships. I'm currently working on the model and the placement of the Close-In Weapon System (CWIS) and the box launchers for anti-ship and land attack missiles (most likely to be based on the quad cell Harpoon and Tomahawk launchers found on the Iowa-class).

Harpoon launcher (left & center),Phalnax CIWS (center & right), Tomahawk Launcher (Right)


I've gone against the retrofit's removal of the aft set of twin 5in guns and kept the number to 8 turrets. The reason being that, with lessons learned in the most recent forms of naval combat (ref Iranian attack boats and Pirate attacks in the south Atlantic and Western Indian oceans) where small gunboats were used, with great effect, against large surface warships. It is in a ship, especially of this size, to have as many small caliber guns as possible. Spaces for the WWII era 20mm and 40mm anti-air guns might be used for other things such as: CWIS, SAM batteries, or some other form of autocannon. (This is still a WiP).


The Guns


Back to the US Navy for inspiration, but first a bit of history:


In 1937, the upper echelons of the United States Navy began receiving unsettling reports of Japan’s plans to construct the Yamato-class super-battleship. American, British, and French intelligence gathered that the new Japanese capital ships were set to displace more than the limit of 35,000 tons, and wield a caliber larger than the 356 mm imposed by the 1936 Second London Naval Treaty, of which Japan was not a signatory. In response, the three future Allied nations invoked the so-called Escalator Clause of the treaty: a contingency measure for just such an occasion which pushed the self-imposed limits up to 45,000 tons and 406 mm, respectively. (which is what became the mainstay for the USN's Battleships. The South Dakota's, North Carolina's and Iowa's all had 16in guns, and the Montana was planned to have the same guns and turrets of the Iowa, but with 4 instead of the Iowa's 3). If the war had broken out earlier, without the prevalence of aircraft and aircraft carriers, there was a plan set forth to arm the Iowa's, and a new class of battleship, with 457 mm (18in) guns.


A display at the U.S. Navy Dahlgren Naval Weapons Facility (now Dahlgren Naval Surface Warfare Center) in Virginia (USA), showing the 18 inch/47 (45.7 cm) Mark "A" (far left), and a 16 inch/50 (40.6 cm) Mark 7 gun, as used on theIowa-class, is just to its right. Both of these weapons fired projectiles heavier than the Volkswagen Beetle next to it. Just to the right of these guns is a 8 inch/55 (20.3 cm) Mark 16 used on the Des Moines-class heavy cruisers. Further to the right is one of the 20.3 cm/60 SK C/34 guns taken from the forward turret of the German heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen, which was allocated to the USA as a war prize at the end of the Second World War.
A display at the U.S. Navy Dahlgren Naval Weapons Facility (now Dahlgren Naval Surface Warfare Center) in Virginia (USA), showing the 18 inch/47 (45.7 cm) Mark "A" (far left), and a 16 inch/50 (40.6 cm) Mark 7 gun, as used on the Iowa-class, is just to its right. Both of these weapons fired projectiles heavier than the Volkswagen Beetle next to it. Just to the right of these guns is a 8 inch/55 (20.3 cm) Mark 16 used on the Des Moines-class heavy cruisers. Further to the right is one of the 20.3 cm/60 SK C/34 guns taken from the forward turret of the German heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen, which was allocated to the USA as a war prize at the end of the Second World War.

I've based the main battery off the 457 mm/47 Mk 1 prototype. The Montana's were also planned to have this type of turret and gun installed, but with the domination of aircraft carriers growing ever stronger, the Montana was never built and the 18in gun design saw only two built, and they never saw combat.


The reason for the large main gun has nothing to do with the awesome power of the 406 mm/50 Mk 7 found on the Iowa's that did see combat (and to astounding effect). The reason being is an idea that I have brewing.


Nowadays the US army uses an artillery round called the M982 Excalibur.

The M982 "Excalibur" 155mm guided artillery shell
The M982 "Excalibur" 155mm guided artillery shell

It is a GPS guided 155mm shell that can make course adjustments mid-flight (thanks to a built-in guidance system and fins/stabilizers that deploy once the shell has left the barrel. This allows the shell to not only be accurate, but to be accurate/effective at extreme range (25 miles or 40km). The legendary accuracy of the Iowa-class's fire control computer and guns combined with this technology, scaled up to a massive 18in shell would be incredible at not only ship-to-ship but to shore bombardment as well. On top of that, some tanks today have guns that can fire anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM) from their barrels as well as normal munitions. If this can be achieved on the scale of a battleship caliber gun with a modified cruise missile, the range would be enormous.


The delivery of a sub-caliber munition with the help of a sabot. The sabot holds the pressure of the propellant as the round travels down the barrel. Once clear of the barrel, the sabot breaks away from the projectile. This is used to get massive amounts of energy behind smaller projectiles.

The missile packed into a sabot style hold with powder charges behind it would be fired like a normal shell. Once the missile reaches its peak of flight, the fins/stabilizers deploy and the rocket motor takes control. This would validate the use of a gun system of this caliber in the era of missiles. Not only would missiles have extended range, but standard artillery, made with the M982 style of internal guidance and GPS, would almost be impossible to pickup on an anti-missile system's radar, let alone be shot down.


Refinement/Redesign Ideas


The current 18in caliber of the design may change to 16in. Reasons include: existing use of 16in guns (The Iowa's were finally removed from the USN's registrar in 2012, and were used in combat as late as the 1990's and early 2000's), 18in shells are notorious for being heavy and not being able to break certain velocity barriers (for instance; The issue with the Yamato's 18.1in (460mm) guns was that, no matter how much propellant they put in, it could not get the shells to go above 800mps reliably), the "Super Heavy" (50 calibers long vs the standard 45, hence 406 mm/50) 16in shells used on the Iowa class had about the same amount of penetration and damage potential but were faster traveling.


Last, but certainly not least, there may not be a need for 4 turrets if the caliber is reduced to 16in. The question, "Why not use the triple turrets like the Iowa's then and have 3 of them, vs the 4 twin turrets of the current design?" Which is true, why not save space and weight by having 3 turrets with 3 guns each for less weight and one more gun of the 4x2. If the design is reworked to have 16in guns then I may switch to the 3x3 16in guns (two forward, on aft) and add a helipad like the Iowa had (thanks to the removal of the second aft turret).


Final Note


This project will be worked on throughout the summer. I wish that I could have done more, but my home hardware limits my ability to render at high quality (the first image took almost an hour to render with minimal settings on 1080p).




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