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Portsmouth Bill
Post subject: Proposed conversion of Majestic classPosted: October 15th, 2010, 6:23 pm
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This is how far I've got with my interpretation of the proposed conversion of the Majestic class light carrier into a missile ship. The story is given in Freidman's 'The Postwar Naval Revolution', where three stages of conversion are given on the Majestic hull. the one I'm working on would have been the most radical, with the hull cut down to the gallery deck.
Stowage of Sealug (Blueslug?) would be 90 forward and 80 aft. Two 984's would be carried, but the crude drawing show's only two 901's. I've 'developed' the design to four 901's, so in theory four missile could be directed in flight. The twin 3-in automatics are in the original sketch, and for the rest its light bofors (later Seacat with upgrading):

[ img ]

As anyone can see, I've borrowed from other projects (thanks shipmates); but also, this is very early days - lots to add - so please don't offer a critique of the state of the drawing (which I'll ignore); but on the concept I'll take it on the chin :lol: What I'm proposing here is a 'rocket ship', with dual sam and ssm, good command facilities, and a comodious hull able to carry the weaponry and the large crew. As for speed, it was proposed to utilise the Daring machiney, to give a top speed of 28.5 knots. I also show a helicopter deck, maybe playing with a below deck hangar for two Wessex (aka the Des Moines concept).

Lots to do and this is a slow burn as I've got other project on the hob. :)


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ALVAMA
Post subject: Re: Proposed conversion of Majestic classPosted: October 15th, 2010, 6:38 pm
Looks fantastic. Now I want to make a Dutch one :P


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Bombhead
Post subject: Re: Proposed conversion of Majestic classPosted: October 15th, 2010, 9:08 pm
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Oh yes,can't wait to see this one finished,one small suggestion I would use the triple Seaslug from Girdle Ness trials ship.


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Novice
Post subject: Re: Proposed conversion of Majestic classPosted: October 15th, 2010, 9:29 pm
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A good concept, and nicely drawn. Hope to see it completed, and maybe even the less radicl versions as well.

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klagldsf
Post subject: Re: Proposed conversion of Majestic classPosted: October 16th, 2010, 5:56 am
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Hmmm...cutting down all the way to the galley deck...this really would be a true conversion of a carrier to a cruiser, which I'm pretty sure would've been quite unique!


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Bombhead
Post subject: Re: Proposed conversion of Majestic classPosted: October 16th, 2010, 8:23 am
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Klags at that time we had plenty of new/nearly complete carrier hulls,and no cruiser large enough to ship Seaslug. It was a serious proposal,limited by the usual British post war problem of being shafted financially. :cry:


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Portsmouth Bill
Post subject: Re: Proposed conversion of Majestic classPosted: October 16th, 2010, 10:45 am
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Yes, it may strike some of us as odd: that the Brits would go to the lengths of modifying aircraft carrier hulls, but as Bombhead says, they had the choice of several incomplete classes Centaur/Majestic/Colossus. It goes back to the fact that they had no really suitable cruiser hulls into which to place the projected Seaslug system.

Paraphrasing the blessed Freidman again: the volume available in a Tiger by removing the after 6-in turret and magazine would be just under one-third of that used in the American ships Boston and Canberra for missile magazines alone; the US magazines could accomodate 72 Terriers, the Tiger would be limited to about 20 such weapons, in a magazine which would moreover, extend above deck. And Seaslug, designed for horizontal stowage, would not even fit.

The root of the problem can be traced back to the Washington treaty, and the decision taken by Gt Britain to continue building smaller cruisers (compared to other navies) as these would add the numbers, and also avoiding designing all-new ships. The U.S. started with the Brooklyn's and moved progessively through the Cleveland, Baltimore, Des Moines, Worcester
classes; with the Des Moines probably being the best ever gun cruiser ever built.

The R.N. only had the old Counties with hulls suitable - all worn out postwar. The answer would have been an earlier (wartime) all-new design, with either multiple 6-in or twin 8-in mounts, on a hull well in excess of the Counties. This would make a very interesting project for somone here, and I'll glady adapt it postwar to take Seaslug. And another problem was that the British ships all suffered poor electrical generating - one reason why non of the Battleships could have been converted into missile ships.

of course, what we have here is a flight of fancy, though a lot less that some we see. Given the funds there could have been carriers converted into missile ships. Colombamike has kindly sent me a scan of the alternative Majestic conversion, which I'll add here later. And I'd forgotten that Hood had already visited this project earlier, with the projected Centaur conversion:

[ img ]


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klagldsf
Post subject: Re: Proposed conversion of Majestic classPosted: October 16th, 2010, 4:55 pm
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Bombhead wrote:
Klags at that time we had plenty of new/nearly complete carrier hulls,and no cruiser large enough to ship Seaslug. It was a serious proposal,limited by the usual British post war problem of being shafted financially. :cry:
Ummm...I don't understand the crying face but ok....

I'm also aware of the less radical conversion scheme too, though it really could and deserves an update redraw.

But what really impresses me about the OP drawing is how radical it is - it's very hard to tell it even started as an aircraft carrier when it's been rebuilt from the galley deck! And there is a lot of sense to it too as these ships were getting small for jet operations (though many were used as copter carriers).


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TurretHead
Post subject: Re: Proposed conversion of Majestic classPosted: October 17th, 2010, 12:42 am
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You may not be able to cut down these carriers by a deck. British carriers at this time were built with the hangar and flight deck incorporated into the ship’s hull as part of the strength structure. This means in effect that all of the ship up to the flight deck is part of the hull. If you cut a deck out the hull will not have enough strength to stay intact in a seaway. I had a leaf through “From Vanguard to Trident” a few months ago and it has a drawing of this proposed conversion showing the same configuration as that second drawing. That is a light carrier with a super structure built in the flight deck.


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Portsmouth Bill
Post subject: Re: Proposed conversion of Majestic classPosted: October 17th, 2010, 10:26 am
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Quote:
British carriers at this time were built with the hangar and flight deck incorporated into the ship’s hull as part of the strength structure. This means in effect that all of the ship up to the flight deck is part of the hull. If you cut a deck out the hull will not have enough strength to stay intact in a seaway.
A good point. To quote Freidman:

"All structure above the gallery deck would be removed, and a new strength deck,the new upper deck, built at the gallery deck level."

He goes on to describe the situation of the magazines and then the proposed upgrading of the machinery to 30,000shp each from the Y100 frigate, instead of the existing 20,000shp units - this giving a speed of 28.5 knots deep loaded. On the highly unlikely event of these ships ever being built, I'm assuming they would have been taken in hand while still building, rather than converted (as in the Victorious). The earlier proposal, similar to the one above but on the Majestic hull would keep the flight deck in place but cutting through it for the missile launchers and loading system. the problem with that design was (apart from the reduced number of missiles) it would have been top heavy, without a reserve of stability.

Apart from the feasibility of any of these conversions; the other factor was cost, and the radical version above would have been very costly. But would it have cost more that the Victorious conversion? And the rebuild of the three Tigers? Then the cost (more that actual rebuild) of converting the same into 'half baked' helicopter carriers (aft). I haven't even considered the cost of the other carrier projects: getting the Ark Royal/Eagle modernised, the Hermes and the other finished builds. The British seemed to have spent a lot of money on these when (probably) new builds would have served better at some stage of decsion making. My suspicion is that politics figured in these costly exercises, when they could be justified politically on rebuilds, but not on new designs.

So if we take my original design, it might make more sense to throw away the existing Majestic hull, and instead design a new hull to match the new upper works!! Now I know why I've avoided anything but real-life for so long: there is no end to procrastination :lol:


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