RogerBW's Blog

One for the Brow part 3: weapons 25 April 2014

Many designers of fantasy fleets like to come up with all sorts of plausible-sounding technological developments. I'm mostly going to borrow ideas which historically worked for the Americans, and transfer them to the British with appropriate modifications.

After all, the reverse brain drain has to have some effect; all those American engineers look at the lack of military spending and decide, in much the same way that British aero-engineers did historically when the TSR-2 was cancelled, that their chances are better across the Atlantic.

The main change I want to make early on is to introduce a VLS launcher for Sea Dart (designated GWS.31). The historical Sea Dart is not at all a bad missile for its day, but the launcher mounts caused endless difficulties as late as the 1980s. Going with a vertical launch system will not only remove these problems but enable a great deal of flexibility.

As HMS Bristol is being designed, her architects look at the Sea Dart and Ikara mounts, and think: wouldn't it be better if we could fire both of these missiles from the same launcher? And, while we're at it, we could load anti-ship missiles like Exocet too.

Ikara needs to be slimmed down slightly, but can be lengthened at the same time, so performance won't change significantly; the launch/storage tubes need to hold a longer missile in order to accommodate a VL Exocet (the French obviously aren't going to redesign their missile to suit the RN, but Vickers will happily reverse-engineer it and redesign it slightly for vertical launch under the name Flying Fish).

(As a side note, while exocet in French does indeed mean flying-fish, the Greek etymology could just as well have it meaning "sleeping with foreigners". I'm sure a less polite translation will be common among the matelots.)

Sea Wolf will also be fired from its own, smaller, VLS. (This is actually historical; it was tried that way first before the switch to the relatively ineffective six-missile launcher, for reasons which are unclear.) But that's only just coming into service by 1975.

(Next: the carrier and submarine force)

Comments on this post are now closed. If you have particular grounds for adding a late comment, comment on a more recent post quoting the URL of this one.

Search
Archive
Tags 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s 3d printing action aeronautics aikakirja anecdote animation anime army astronomy audio tech base commerce battletech beer boardgaming bookmonth chain of command children chronicle church of no redeeming virtues cold war comedy computing contemporary cornish smuggler cosmic encounter coup cycling dead of winter doctor who documentary drama driving drone ecchi espionage essen 2015 essen 2016 essen 2017 existential risk falklands war fandom fantasy film firefly first world war flash point food garmin drive gazebo geodata gin gurps gurps 101 harpoon historical history horror hugo 2014 hugo 2015 hugo 2016 hugo 2017 hugo 2018 hugo-nebula reread in brief avoid instrumented life kickstarter learn to play leaving earth linux mecha museum mystery naval non-fiction one for the brow opera perl photography podcast politics powers prediction privacy project woolsack pyracantha quantum rail ranting raspberry pi reading reading boardgames social real life restaurant reviews romance rpg a day rpgs science fiction scythe second world war security shipwreck simutrans smartphone south atlantic war squaddies stationery steampunk stuarts suburbia superheroes suspense television the resistance thirsty meeples thriller tin soldier torg toys trailers travel vietnam war war wargaming weather wives and sweethearts writing about writing x-wing young adult
Special All book reviews, All film reviews
Produced by aikakirja v0.1