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All good stuff. Let us honour the name and memory of The Sullivans as well.


I must confess to having had to look it up ! Tragic tale of lost lives so it seems.


The Canadian tanker ‘MV Asterix’ had me wondering about ‘that’ name
Theres a story behind it but it was launched as a commercial ship Cynthia before becoming Asterix and 2 other names image


It is a very interesting story. I am not sure whether they saved in the long run. But as an exercise in ‘ship conversion’ interesting.


Ron5 appears and so do the downvotes.


Haven’t seen any T45’s operating with those 4 surplus Harpoon sets for quite a while and a number of T23’s seem to be without them now as well.

Are they just not bothering anymore, or are they only being reinstalled for East of Suez deployments? I thought the OSD had been extended to 2023.


They get fitted when the threat requires it. An exercise in the Minches doesnt (yet !) require them to be fitted. That said check out The Sullivans. No Helo or hanger. No Harpoon. Its not just the RN who go without,


But to be fair though, they do have or will eventually have 90 of them, not to mention the other classes.

Gavin Gordon

I note that for the newly proposed replacement destroyer, the US Navy want to rectify the apparent fact that the ABs ‘don’t have enough stuff’. I bet the RN would just love to have that much ‘lack’ of missiles.


The Standard SAM can be used against surface targets. Aster can’t

Last edited 3 years ago by Sunmack

I believe they can be used against surface targets. Although in the words of the naval officer who told me, said it would be only as a last resort as they need every one of the missiles for air and anti missile defence.


That’s a little unfair. The USN though the Flight 1 Burkes tied to CBG didn’t need a hangar; it is a mistake they corrected. They are trolling along next to a far from full carrier, if there was need for ASW helicopters. Harpoon is on the way out. It isn’t to do with budget. And Standard can be used against surface targets if needed.

Across the Pond there has been a lot of talk about the surface fleet lacking lethality. Some have been saying basically AShM should be fitted to every that floats. I am sure that when the new missiles are rolled out deploying Burkes will have them.


Incorrect. The reason Flight 1 Arleigh Burkes did not have a hangar was to save money. The ships had a fixed cost ceiling that was rigorously maintained and a hangar did not fit within it. I suggest you read US destroyers by Norman Friedman to give you the facts.


The USN thought the could delete the hangar because those ships would spend there time next to the carrier with its ASW. I never mentioned the reason why they had to do it did I? Need and want are different.

I suggest you foxtrot Oscar.


I think it was more a case of spending their time in company with a small flotilla of Spruance, Ticonderoga and/or OHP ships, all of which have hanger space for two helicopters than it was with them spending their time with the carriers. That said your point is fundamentally correct, the USN decided in the mid 1980s that on basis of the fleet they had, and the building program they envisaged, that there were enough hangers in the fleet so the Burkes could do without. Something of a lesson there in the pitfalls of long term planning.

*Also worth noting that, that said same building program envisaged using the Burkes as replacements for the Charles F Adams class, which had no aviation support facilities at all, so the original Burkes were seen an improvement! What with their flight deck to land, refuel and, I think, to re-arm? No one involved in that decision making process could have even conceived of the rapid collapse of the Eastern Bloc, the end of the Cold War or that the Burkes would wind up replacing the Leahys, Belknaps Virginias, Californias and the singleton nuke surface classes (noting that they are still better aviation ships than most of those ships save Truxton and the Belknaps). Lesson 2 in the pitfalls of long term planning and how decisions in the mid 1980s are playing out in 2020.


Getting VLS to sea was important too.

You can’t have too many flight decks, you don’t always need a hangar to go with it.

By carrier I meant ‘carrier battle group’.

Last edited 3 years ago by X

VLS went to sea first in the Tico Bunker Hill a few years ahead of AB.
Looking back a DDH version of the Spruance was proposed with even more anti submarine helicopters but not proceeded with.
it was a shame the RN spent so much money on converting its Tiger class cruisers to have helicopters when they had limited life left. The obvious choice was the County class destroyers with Seadart up front replacing a 4.5 in gun mount and larger helicopter deck to the rear for Seaking size( maybe cut down a deck for stability standards in damaged condition).


Well the idea (admittedly bad in practice) was to have 4 Sea Kings on the refitted Tigers which the County class wouldn’t have been able to match.

A lot of money, time and effort to get a relatively small amount of ASW helicopters at sea, especially at the point where the Invincible’s were being designed and built.


That would be the whole point , a bigger hangar on the Countys.
The scheme Z adopted for the 2 converted Blake and Tiger was deck space for 2 Wessex with rotors spread and hangar space for 4.
The other better choice was the 1961 escort cruiser with Sea Slug at the rear and 6 ( later 8). Study 21K was 560 ft and deep disp was 9860 tons. They were proposed as replacements of the Tiger class and the last 2 Countys deleted and no conversions to helicopter carriers of the Centaur/Hermes type Other iterations could have been commando carrier replacements.
The go ahead for the polaris submarines meant they were deferred and never happened and the larger Invincibles later filled that gap.


Yes I know that too. As you know there was oddly some resistance on the Hill to VLS because it didn’t look a ‘weapon’. Getting the AB’s which would be the back bone of the USN fleet to sea with VLS to complement the Ticonderoga to move the fleet over was politically essential.

I think there were 2 Spurance aviation ships.


The USN policy in that era, like now ,was to have continuous build of a destroyer class. The Burkes were merely the next along after the Spruances. The continued with a large displacement but changed to a wider fuller flared hull design but shorter length from the narrower Spruance/Tico.


Yes. I am not sure why that is germane. The Tico’s originally should have been the cheap AEGIS ships. But things grew and as you point out the the slim Spurance hull was at the end of its life designe wise. The AB’s were the first ‘short and fat’ design to take to sea.


Putting Sea Dart at A with the magazine being built in the space occupied by the gun well and mount would have worked I suppose.

The South Americans have built large flightdecks on the Counties sold there.

Proper ships the Counties. Our last proper destroyers.

Supportive Bloke

A Dart magazine is a lot bigger than the magazine for a Mk6.

It was a squash to get the Dart magazine and the Mk8 magazine in the front of a T42 and that was purpose designed.

You would also have needed to replace all the radar fit and change ADAWS-1 to ADAWS-2 with a Dart fit.

Then there was the issue of fire retardancy, fire proofing and smoke suppression. The whole thing never came close to a post ‘82 acceptable damage control senario.

Having spent time on a County they were big ships, no question. Modern: not really. Even in the ‘80’s you looked at the wiring and systems and most of them belonged in a museum, even then. There was a lot of very old thinking built into the Counties as they were a transition between semi manual and fully automated ships. Bits of pure WWII tech.

If you read Wireless World you could figure out how most of that ship worked. Logic = a lot of relays.

The Counties were a great effort and learning curve held back by the conservatism of the Admiralty and some slightly barmy design decisions.

I’d say the T45 and T26 are proper big ships. By the time the Counties were withdrawn the only proper operational weapons systems on board was the Mk6 turret and the small calibre. Post ‘82 the Slug missiles were withdrawn as they were considered too hazardous to the ship and crew and not much threat to the opposition.

If the T31 had a bigger main gun it would be the spiritual successor to the Counties: as it has more effective AAW capabilities.

Supportive Bloke

The issue with the Counties was ultimately battle damage resistance.

The Slug missile ‘magazine’ was horizontal, unarmored and above the waterline.

Glamorgan got very ‘lucky’ when she was hit not to be destroyed. If she had been hit 10 meters away the whole Sea Slug magazine would have gone up. RIP those poor souls who were in the mess/hangar. The lesson was absorbed by the chain of command.

There was no way of putting Dart on a County safely.


That magazine was a huge volume inside the Counties.

What do you mean ‘safely’ re Dart? I would admit it would be a huge bodge but……….

To be honest I would have looked at Sea Wolf and Goalkeeper…….:)


Great find . I remember finding online some years back complete deck plans for the Chilean conversions with no Seaslug and full length helicopter deck.

David Nicholls

Interesting, that must have been a late 1950s drawing. The masts were built as enclosed, the torpedo tubes (Mk20E?) were never fitted (same with Type 12s) and the radar looks more like a modern radar than the 965 (ugh!) actually fitted.

Supportive Bloke

I agree that is unlike anything that actually went into service.

The Slug magazine was also bigger IRL, certainly on the BII’s that kept some disassembled… least in theory……

County was futurology when it came out. It was billed as The Computer Ship – even if in reality BI was not very automated at all.


Yes. It was the first post war modern ship. It and the RCN Tribal influenced a lot of thinking on naval architecture of warships. But there were as you say old fashioned too. The weather deck was covered in lovely wood.


It’s the closest I could find.


The Dart magazine was re designed from that in its first ship HMS Bristol to that for the T42. It was similar concept magazine layout but 4 rows of missiles wide(10,9,9,10) which was changed to 3 (7,6,7) and what was called a lightweight launcher above deck.
The concept would only work with a ‘deep’ forward magazine like the T42 and its fire control radar, not a conversion of the Seaslug and horizontal stowage. The later Counties had Adaws.
The linear magazine was with frequent blast doors to limit chain explosions.There is a good description with diagrams in Warship 2015 which mentions blast door sets A to F

Supportive Bloke

The later Counties had ADAWS-1 not ADAWS-2 – they are totally different systems. The 909 radar etc needed ADAWS-2.

Yes, there were blast doors, really more fire breaks as they were quite thin, on a County, I’ve seen them myself!!

But the horizontal magazine was not armoured and that was an unacceptable risk post ‘82.


The batch 2 Counties had the larger operations room for Adaws-1 , I dont see why not the Adaws-2 could be fitted if you are doing the proposed mid- life update I suggest. Marconi made both systems along with the Type 909 radar and wouldnt have started from scratch to create a later version, as it was just a few years between the two.
The Counties were spacious ships even with almost a whole superstructure deck for the Seaslugs which was then available.

Supportive Bloke

If you want to see the inside of the Slug system there are digitised films on YouTube of Slug firings and the “Computer Ship” film as well.

Several of these show the dividing doors you speak of opening and closing.

You can also see the ‘electronic systems’.


Maybe because Spanish is your first language, you keep missing the main point of adding Sea dart to a forward position was to remove the Sea slug and its linear magazine completely

Supportive Bloke

Having first hand knowledge of Counties I can tell you it wouldn’t work.

I can also tell you a Dart or Wolf conversion was looked in considerable detail at but discounted because of the BDA.

RN had high priority not to have one-hit-ships post ‘82 and there was no point in creating a big, expensive to run, one hit ship.

Changing the core systems on ships of that age was non trivial in the extreme. Ethernet didn’t exist. Everything was on bus connections. Different voltages cane from the engine/generator rooms. Local vintage converters not not a thing apart from a few transformers.

The other problem with the Counties was the crew size – and high running costs.

Compare a County to a T22 and you have your answer.

Sadly I don’t speak Spanish.


What aspect of the Counties made them vulnerable?

Supportive Bloke

They didn’t have full redundancy Of systems so would be hard to fight after a hit.

Wire types used were flammable and generated smoke when burned. And there was a lot of it.

Paints, rubber seals etc used generated intense smoke when burned.

Nothing was armoured in the way you might wish for.

Sea Slug magazine was a tin can.

All the electronics fit was obsolescent.

In short one-hit-ships.

The way they were constructed made it very hard to modify them. It was looked into in great detail and discounted.

Anyway we have done this to death now!


Um. I would have said they were better screwed together than a B1 T42. Then again a biscuit tin is probably better than a B1 T42.

Supportive Bloke

My last comment!!

I agree that the general build standard in the County was better than the B1 T42. Also it handled better in rough sea states than a BI T42.

However the general design wasn’t and was in fact totally wrong.

Whereas the T42 was about right and was spot on by the time the BII & BIII’s were brought on stream. And was such that it could be modified to cater new threats.


Senor X seems to comment in portuguese or spanish but I presume hes of the south American kind

The county class was larger beam (54ft) than the T42 ( 50 ft). Depending on the forward flare, from the detailed diagrams of the 3 rows in the sea dart missile magazine it could work. What wouldnt work is the 4 rows in Bristol (55ft beam) which was below the quarter deck.

One hit ship? It would have the larger helicopter operations at the rear, which was the primary purpose behind these proposed changes.
‘Post 82’ would have been too late for midlife update to start as the possible batch 2 helicopter conversions were needed earlier.
With Sea dart plus helicopters they would have comparable to the early T42 , so inline with thinking of the time.

A midlife update pulls out all the wiring and renews and replaces a lot of onboard systems anyway, thats why they take a few years
Look what Australia did with its FFGs
A far more useful project for 4 ships than the bigger and expensive changes in 2 Tiger class that were converted into cruiser helicopter carriers, which already had a total rebuild in the late 50s.


Yes, quite agree. With 20/20 hindsight the very expensive conversion of the Tigers to carry helicopters was a big mistake. But it was the rage. The French & Italian navies built new helicopter cruisers and they weren’t very useful either.


Incorrect. The AB’s Flight 1’s had a hangar designed in but the resulting cost was over the target and that target was strictly enforced so it had to be removed from the design.

The hanger reappeared in the later flights. The USN at no point thought that the hanger was bad idea or not required, it just was unaffordable for the first iteration. These things happen even in the US.

BTW, in the USN, the carriers do not perform ASW in the same way as in the RN by using a large force of embarked helos. So you are misinformed about that too.

Last edited 3 years ago by Ron5








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Sullivans is a Flight-I design so, lots of improvements since.
The Burke’s are a complementary asset to this battle group, as it gives the battle group a fairly diverse and mutually supporting collection of ships.
* Its Aegis system will complement the T45’s for air warfare.
* Its towed array and sonar suite will complement the T23’s for undersea work.
* It’s large missile magazine to include strike length VLS provides the battle group commander lots of strike options.

LRASM or Tomahawk MST will be replacing Harpoon or, whenever comes of the Joint Strike Missile program.


Lovely pics.


Indeed X, Fantastic to see and a detterent to others too, I would guess.

4th watch

Impressive performance and we must be thankful for the extraordinary help from our friends in the USMC.
All this in the face of a major epidemic.
Building and affording the 3 FSS and new escorts plus the 50 extra F35Bs means a shift in defence resources until this is achieved. Stay focused but well done RN and RAF and all those others who made this significant milestone possible.


So, did we manage to Blow up Scotland in the end then ? 🙂

Something Different

Now now, remember the ‘we’ includes Scotland 😉

Even if independent Scotland would no doubt be part of NATO so rUK, Scottish and other nation’s assets would still be leaving craters on small islands or elsewhere.


“we” sometimes feel like the Enemy south of the border though, especially when Sturgeon get’s up on her Soap Box. !


Like they want to keep the Queen, the BBC, the NHS the Dominion of Scotland will likely want to keep the RN bases…

Something Different

I think a lot of people down south misinterpret the situation with Scottish nationalism/independence. First the independence vote resulted in a 55 a 45% split in favour of union. Also, a lot of those who did vote for independence do not hate rUK whatsoever. It was more to do with the belief that an independent Scotland would be a little more progressive and left leaning than England plus a mistrust of Tory government.

Moreover, many people who were pro independence were only mildly in that camp. A number were quite happy serving in the armed forces, refer to ‘us’ when talking about the UK, and support team GB in the olympics. Look at Andy Murray, at the that even he was draped in the red white and blue and waved while being pro independence. Even Sturgeon sings God Save the Queen unlike, until a recent change, the then leader of her majesty’s ‘loyal’ opposition.

To bring it back to defence, while CASD is a big no no in SNP circles, they are overall rather fond of some aspects of the British military. This includes ship building, army cap badges and maritime patrol aircraft. Basically they are not the same as the nationalists elsewhere in these group of islands.

Last edited 3 years ago by Something Different

I was of course, only joking.

Something Different

Ah okay, fair enough, all good 🙂


The Joke was due to the Press and a few Dim people jumping on the fact that the TG was bombing a small Scottish Island, it seems to have been missed by the Downvoters though ! Doh, It’s in the Cape Wrath Firing Range. Oh and Good luck with Sturgeon.


I ain’t being funny right but, just down the rod from Yeovilton, in the sprawling Metropolis of Ilchester, there are a bunch of really hard working and not too expensive Polish Car Wash Specialists. The Merlin in Pic number two might want to just drop in on the way back home, unless it was the one that Leonardo left out in the rain, either way chaps, get it cleaned, the whole World can see this !


Road. Doh !

Something Different

Jolly good, very important step, glad there are a lot of photos as well!


Splendid photos!

Navy Guy

Gorgeous pictures, and a great platform for naval aviation.


As a former Infantry Officer and one time Midshipman I believe that the RN are rapidly becoming the most versatile force that we as a Country have. Good to see that they are finally getting their ducks in a row.


Really great achievement. Carrier group now actually there, working, and apparently has a great capability, only next to USN CVN in its air-wing size, and composed of all-5th-eneration fighters.

What’s next?


It really is great to see isn’t it!

Don’t get me wrong, there are still lots of issues in terms of funding and resources but I think the RN has got it right in building a two tiered fleet structure with a high-end carrier/amphibious group supported by T45, T23/T26, Astute and a low-end capability for patrol tasks with River’s and eventually T31’s forward based.

The one thing I see as really important in terms of future procurement is to replace the Albion’s/Bays with 1 amphibious design and ensure that any future MCM mother ship has enough flexibility and modular capability to enable them to be built in greater numbers and replace the Echo’s/River’s as a general purpose, forward based platform in the further future.


Eu acho que o Brasil devia e pode comprar um dos porta aviões da Inglaterra, já que não tem tanta grana para operar os dois.
Presidente Bolsonaro, preste atenção nessa facilidade, vai custar caro mas, valerá apena com certeza.
Um abraço.


Acho que o Brasil precisa recorrer aos serviços públicos antes de comprar brinquedos para as forças armadas.


Does anyone know how the CBG could deploy to deter russian aggression? Presumably it would be too dangerous to deploy near Murmansk due to the submarine threat or in the Baltic or Black seas due to the air and missile threst? In the cold war I know NATO practiced deploying ground troops to Norway and parking the carriers in fjords to provide air cover and as protection against submarines. It seems quite a limited option given the size of ground forces available now. I’m a fan of the CBG focus due to its wider utility but just wondered if anyone knows how they could be deployed in this priority theatre?

Last edited 3 years ago by Badrobot

I bet they’d fill her up with ASW helicopters and a few F35s and use the carrier group as part of the NATO effort to deny the GIUK gap. If GIUK is successfully closed then the Atlantic is secure and reinforcements from CONUS are free to move.


Dont the RM still have a mission to land in northern Norway to secure the country from incursions across the Russian border ? That would need a CBG to support the marines ashore


I think so but heard they can no longer manoeuvre as a brigade. So in terms of mass what difference does a reinforced commando make? Surely would have to be a much larger force than we can deploy to augment Norwegian forces. What level of force to the russians have in that region? Happy to be corrected.

Last edited 3 years ago by Badrobot
David Barry

Great to see them at sea working as an integrated team.

Should the rumour mongering really be correct about losing 7k army PIDs I hope this is not a cost saving measure but released to the RN and Royal – that would allow them to stand up to greater tasking.

God bless those that sail.


Any chance of a new Story now please, I’m rather reluctantly having to read all the comments on the UKDJ site and It’s really depressing to see all the lame comments.


Interesting to see how active the Downvoting has been on the previous thread. Just had a look in to see what was new, nothing to report other than a shed load of Downvotes It’s such a great feature of this Site.


Creepy ! I have visions of pale clammy skinned troglodytes sat in dark little damp caves middle finger poised endlessly waiting for the next High point in their lives. So sad.


Crikey, 9 hours of daylight and not one troll downvote. I must be right about the Troglodytes then, LMFAO.


Nailed it, didn’t I.

Supportive Bloke

We we get downvoted if we disagree with ourselves?