Author Topic: Invincible Class Strike Cruiser  (Read 6802 times)

Offline Volkodav

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Invincible Class Strike Cruiser
« on: April 08, 2014, 03:00:13 PM »
Ok many alternate back stories such as RN BBGs, RN FAA retains CTOL carriers, RN modernises CLs in to CG, builds new CGs etc. replacement for any or all of these is a RN take on the USN Strike Cruiser concept based on the Invincible Class STOVL Carrier hull. 

Real story, I have a Dragon 1/700 Illustrious that is donating bits and bobs to other projects and I am thinking of turning it into a Strike Cruiser with multi-tiered gun and missile armament, retaining most of the through deck but not the ski-jump.  Looking at a variety of configurations, maybe a 5" gun in place of Sea Dart, or I think I have a Mk 26 twin 6" from a matchbox Tiger somewhere,  Oto Melara Super Rapido 76mm in place of Goal Keeper or possibly arranged differently again.  Tomahawk armoured box launchers, Harpoon, Phalanx.  If a replacement for the BBGs then maybe the some deck mounted launchers from 1/700 MLRS (if I can find the Skywave  / Pit Road kits)

May do an RAN version using US weapons and radars, i.e. Mk 26 GMLS fore and aft the bridge etc. 

All up in the air at the moment and don't know how much surgery I will be doing, had thought of sponsons port, starboard, fore and aft with guns and missiles and a wider sponsoned flight deck to offset a bulkier island structure and still provide a decent helo capacity ASW, AEW. Assault and Attack helo types.

Still toying with the exact role of the ships, Command, ASW, Commando (LPH), ASvW, Land Attack etc. escort group leader.

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: Invincible Class Strike Cruiser
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2014, 07:20:39 PM »
Angled deck?
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

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Offline Volkodav

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Re: Invincible Class Strike Cruiser
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2014, 07:38:16 PM »
No, was thinking helo only, but now you mention it I wonder how hard it would be to have a parallel deck on a sponson.  COSAG propulsion, steam cat, arrester gear, sort of the complete opposite to where I was going with this but....maybe a combo, a strike carrier partnered by a strike cruiser.  May need to buy another Invincible now.

The reason I have an Illustrious Hull and bits to turn into something else is because I am using the Ski-jump and some other stuff to turn a LHD (USS Kearsarge) into a STOVL carrier
« Last Edit: April 08, 2014, 07:55:53 PM by Volkodav »

Offline Cliffy B

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Re: Invincible Class Strike Cruiser
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2014, 09:11:04 AM »
Some of these might prove inspirational.  Found them on Secret Projects awhile back.  They're proposed successors to the Invincibles.

Click all the way through for the full size images.











"Radials growl, inlines purr, jets blow!"  -Anonymous

"Helos don't fly.  They vibrate so violently that the ground rejects them."  -Tom Clancy

"If all else fails, call in an air strike."  -Anonymous

Offline Volkodav

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Re: Invincible Class Strike Cruiser
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2014, 02:56:56 PM »
Outstanding, thanks for that.  These will be very useful for the Kearsarge project in particular and possibly (if I ever get it started) the Tarawa project.  Still looking at doing a more cruiser like Invincible but if I decide to keep it RN then there is the possibility of pairing it with another carrier.

Probably over thinking this but the Strike Cruiser would be the centre piece of an escort group of a Strike Cruiser, a DLG and 4 DDG.  This group would join a carrier (CVA/CVS/LPH/LPD/LPA), which would have its own organic support depending what it was to make a strike group, and ASW group, an Amphibious Ready Group etc.  The carrier would have a full CG or CGN as close escort, the CVS a ASW CC and some DD/FF/DE, the amphibs would have a LPD, a LSD, some gun armed DDs (fire support) and APDs.  There would also be a flotilla of GP FFGs for general escort work i.e. fleet train and the fleet train its self with a couple of AOE/AOR stores ships and logistics ships. 

A very large fleet too large for Australia, needs some more thinking but the idea is for a common GP escort group that changes role depending on what it is escorting.  I just don't know whether the Strike Cruiser is going to have Harriers or not, or should I say fighters or not.  I did have an idea years ago that I sketched that was a parallel deck carrier in STOVL, STOBAR and CTOL versions.  The parallel deck was sponsoned out to the port (with arrestor gear for the STOBAR and CTOL) and intended as a replacement for the angled deck.  Ski jump or cats were on the centreline with the deck park fore an aft the island.

Offline Volkodav

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Re: Invincible Class Strike Cruiser
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2014, 10:44:08 PM »
I am starting to reconsider my original plan.  Looking at those images and the beams of the Invincibles, vs the Wasps and the Essex classes (yes I have an Essex too) I am wondering if I could do something even more ambitious such as grafting bows and sterns, new flight decks of different plans.  Wondering what I could come up with and am open to suggestions.

Maybe using the Essex hull and the Invincible bow and stern and island superstructure new build 1970 or 80s Essex sized RN carrier could be created.  Possible use the left over centre hull with the bow and stern dock from the Wasp to create a RN type LHA/LHD and modified Essex bow and stern with the Wasp centre section to do something else, a LPH or CVE?  Was looking at minimum change for the hulls but now looking at those images I am wondering what I could mix and match to create.

Maybe minimum change Wasp, just add the ski-jump and wok on the Invincible / Essex hull mash up for a bigger better Invincible, maybe even a CTOL CVS version instead of my planned Tarawa CVS.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2014, 10:51:07 PM by Volkodav »

Offline Cliffy B

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Re: Invincible Class Strike Cruiser
« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2014, 10:44:27 PM »
Check your PMs  ;)
"Radials growl, inlines purr, jets blow!"  -Anonymous

"Helos don't fly.  They vibrate so violently that the ground rejects them."  -Tom Clancy

"If all else fails, call in an air strike."  -Anonymous

Offline Volkodav

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Re: Invincible Class Strike Cruiser
« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2014, 10:52:05 PM »
Check your PMs  ;)

Done, reply sent. :)

Offline Volkodav

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Re: Invincible Class Strike Cruiser
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2014, 08:12:31 PM »
Thanks Cliffy, excellent read, boy was that guy wrong but I loved the concepts.  He was looking at it as a carrier replacement in greater numbers I was looking at it as an escort leader able to beef up surface action groups, carrier battle groups and amphibious ready groups with extra land attack, air defence, ASW, anti surface firepower, helos and possibly Harriers.  State of the art sensors, command and control / flag facilities. 

A replacement for upgraded battle ships before the advent of VLS.

Offline Volkodav

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Re: Invincible Class Strike Cruiser
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2014, 09:39:13 PM »
Been doing some reading, Freidman's British Cruiser and Brown and Moore's Rebuilding the Royal Navy and am particularly interested in the Escort Cruiser from the early 60s.  Iterations of this concept ranged from a Vittorio Veneto configuration to designs more akin to the later Invincibles.  It is interesting that the RN planned four of these ships to replace two Tiger class cruisers and instead of the final pair of County class DLGs.

I am now thinking in terms of remodelling my Invincible as one of these escort cruisers with Tartar and guns, possibly 4.5" for a 60s ship or maybe 3" for a 70s build.  The back story would be Australia ordered (and built) three Tartar armed escort cruisers instead of the Charles F Adams class DDGs in the 1960s Permitting HMAS Melbourne to disembark her helicopters and operate an additional squadron of fixed wing aircraft, either fighter / strike or ASW and swing from CVS to CVA as required.  As time went by the escort cruisers proved their worth and with the advent of the Harrier jump jet the decision was made to build additional escort cruisers to replace Melbourne and Sydney to fill the CVS and LPH roles with a common multi role platform able to act as a self escorting missile ship, an ASW helicopter carrier, a LPH and a Harrier carrier.  Later ships were based on the hull and propulsion plant of the new RN through deck cruiser HMS Invincible but were still more cruiser like and used US weapons and radars.  Thus by the 1990s the RAN surface combatant fleet consisted of 5 Escort Cruisers, 10 FFGs and 10 patrol frigates, each CGH operating 9 Sea king and 6 Harriers, and each frigate one Sea king or Lynx.

Offline Weaver

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Re: Invincible Class Strike Cruiser
« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2014, 06:02:48 AM »
The RN's concept started off with each CVA-01 carrier having two Type 82 (HMS Bristol) escorts with Sea Dart and Ikara, but someone then had the bright idea of enlarging one of the Type 82s to take a flight deck and some of the ASW helos, thereby allowing the carrier to have more fixed wing aircraft. This is how the Invincibles ended up with Sea Dart: it was an evolutionary "throwback" to their escort cruiser origins, if you like. By the way, this also gives the lie to the popular story that the term "through deck cruiser" was a political euphemism used to "sneak" carriers through under the politicians' noses. No it wasn't: it was actually a correct description of the ship's original role.

I always thought this was a good idea: since the carrier is the only ship that can do fixed wing, then it should maximise that capability to the exclusion of all else, shifting heavy AAW weapons and ASW helos to other ships.

Following the "air-capable Type 82" model, why not give your original RAN escort cruisers Ikara, a Mk.13 GMLS, a 5" Mk.42 and a squadron of Sea Kings? If they're a late '60s or early '70s build, then they'd probably have steam power rather than gas turbines, so you could have macks that double as radar masts, which is always a useful space-saver on a carrier. That might let you shorten the island a bit, which claws back some deck space used for the extra weapons.

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Offline Volkodav

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Re: Invincible Class Strike Cruiser
« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2014, 09:46:38 AM »
The ideal would have been similar to the RN concept with a carrier, and escort cruiser and a DLG plus a number of frigates but in whiffdom as with reality cost cutting intrudes and the additional CVS/CVA were never acquired and the escort cruisers, through the addition of harriers, became defacto carriers. 

The first three escort cruisers would have been steam ships with macks and either Tartar for and aft the island instead of Sea Slug on the quarter deck and 3', 4.5" or 5" guns on sponsons port and starboard, fore and aft or maybe the guns and missiles transposed.  i.e. a pair of Mk-13 for and aft and island or four Mk-22 on sponsons.  Maybe I should scan the plan and profile of the escort cruiser and start playing with layouts.

The following pair would have been GT ships based on the Invincible but still incorporating features of the earlier escort cruisers, i.e. the sponsons and the flight deck extending all the way forward.  Possible layout Mk-45 5" or Oto Melara 3" and Sea Wolf (or NATO Sea Sparrow) on each sponson and Mk13 or Mk-26 fore and aft the island.

Offline Weaver

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Re: Invincible Class Strike Cruiser
« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2014, 09:02:29 PM »
Here are shipbucket profiles of some of the designs in question:







All images from Shipbucket: http://www.shipbucket.com/images.php?dir=Never+Built+Designs

I presume your idea for the original ones would be closer to the 1961 design, but with US weapons? If so, then here are some thoughts:

1.  Sponsoned guns would be too big for the hull, and remember, such guns tended to get removed in refits due to weather damage.

2. The weapon fit you're proposing is too much. Assuming this is the developed Study 21L2 mentioned at the bottom of page 62, then it's displacement was only 13,250 tons. If you still want to carry nine helos, then I'd suggest one Mk.13, one Ikara, one twin 4.5" Mk.VI and two Seacat would be about the limit. Remember that you need fire control radars for all these weapons too, and a "proper" Tartar/SM-1 fit has two target-trackers per launcher, with the same arcs.

3. I don't really see what the big guns are for: surely such precious ships arn't gonig to be risked on NGS missions? If you want to have an inner air defence layer, then I'd suggest the twin Seacats of the RN version, plus maybe a US twin 3" 50 cal in front of the bridge, or several 40mm mountings.

4. Since Ikara was an Aussie weapon of the period, it's hard to imagine them not fitting it to these. It'd be highly useful in the escort role too, since even though the ship has ASW helos, they're not all-weather (particularly in the mid-'60s), they can be slow to react, and they can be tasked with other things. An ASW missile, on the other hand, can be fired in any weather, is fast-reacting and fast flying, and can't be sent to ferry food and photographers to disaster victims.
"I have described nothing but what I saw myself, or learned from others" - Thucydides

"I've jazzed mine up a bit" - Spike Milligan

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Offline Volkodav

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Re: Invincible Class Strike Cruiser
« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2014, 11:21:22 PM »
I actually like 21M8 in Friedman's British Cruisers and was also thinking about Terrier or Talos replacing Sea Slug but would still prefer multiple Tartar systems and not bothering with Sea Cat.

Had another idea for a back story too.  With the election of a new government in Australia in 1961 urgent attention was given to the deterioration of the Australian military at the very time Indonesia was expanding economically and militarily with Soviet assistance.  It was seen as critical that the run down of the RAN, in particular the FAA be reversed but also that a counter for Indonesia's cruiser Irian be acquired at the earliest opportunity.  This coincided with the RN modernisation plans being hamstrung by, in part, the existence of a number of not truly satisfactory modernised ships that had been procured in place of new construction, so long as these ships remained in RN service there would be no money for modern replacements.  These ships were the carriers Hermes and Victorious and the three Tiger Class cruisers.  In a deal arranged in 1962 all five ships were transferred to the RAN and were replaced in RN service with two fleet carriers and three escort cruisers constructed over the remainder of the 1960s.  Australia went on to order a pair of modified escort cruisers to support the carriers, entering service in 1965 and 70 then another three to progressively replace the Tigers in 1975, 80 and 85.  Victorious was replaced in 1990 and Hermes in 1995 by a pair of purpose designed CVL, specifically engineered to operate Vikings, Hawkeyes and Mirage F-1N/Rafale/Super Hornet, before the first escort cruiser was replaced in 2000.

Offline M.A.D

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Re: Invincible Class Strike Cruiser
« Reply #14 on: July 24, 2021, 07:14:18 AM »
All very interesting!!🤔

Sorry I overlooked this post until now😔

MAD