Reverse-engineered and Re-rated Ships?

Started by dy031101, November 28, 2010, 04:12:25 PM

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dy031101

This thread reminds me of a little story.

The ROCN used to operate four Benson class (Mayo and Gleaves subclasses) destroyers, eventually visiting the US in 1961 with those ships as well.  It was post-WWII: the average US citizens had become so used to the likes of Fletcher and Gearing classes that they seem to have forgotten that those relatively-obsolete DDs were once part of the USN, to the point of asking the visiting cadets if their country built those ships (and the cadets, not knowing any better, cheerfully said yes  ;D).

But what if the story gets re-imagined into real reverse-engineered ships?  What if attention was paid to modern foreign ships in the process such that the reverse-engineered design was further altered before leaving the drawing board?  What if for some reason the design was altered to accommodate certain elements that utilize obsolete but readily available technology (even in 1930s, when steam turbines and diesel were all the rage for major naval powers, China was still building "capital ships" powered by coal-firing reciprocating engines)?

For a coal-firing DD or DE/FF, though, armoured cruisers are probably a better basis...... how would it have sounded: reverse-engineered former armoured cruiser with a clipper bow, modern (by late-1950s standard) superstructures and DE/DD armaments, radar and sonar sets, and even some missiles (Gabriel-type AShM and at least Sea Chaparral SAM) and/or a small helipad, while being forced to retain (or be equipped with an improved version of) 4-stack coal-fired powerplant?
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Fulcrum

Interesting idea, there could be other ships that could be re-engineered to have more modern equipment.
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dy031101

#2
Or an Omaha class cruiser re-engineered, where only the turreted and casemate 6" guns are kept, and again re-rated as a destroyer; new superstructures, a hydrodynamically more-efficient bow, new AA and AShM ordnances, radar and sonars, new engine and new smokestacks (two bigger ones instead of four), and such?
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Fulcrum

Quote from: dy031101 on November 28, 2010, 09:38:16 PM
Or an Omaha class cruiser re-engineered, where only the turreted and casemate 6" guns are kept, and again re-rated as a destroyer; new superstructures, new AA and AShM ordnances, radar and sonars, new engine and new smokestacks (two bigger ones instead of four), and such?

That would be interesting.
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Hobbes

We're talking about two different things now:
1. reverse-engineering a ship, ie copying an existing ship from another country
2. rebuilding old ships to accomodate new technology

dy031101

#5
Quote from: Hobbes on November 28, 2010, 11:23:04 PM
We're talking about two different things now:
1. reverse-engineering a ship, ie copying an existing ship from another country
2. rebuilding old ships to accomodate new technology

This topic is meant to cover primarily 1.; accommodation of new technology does still take place before leaving the drawing board, however.

Admittedly this thread also serves as an excuse for me to imagine a reasonably modern ship (so I won't have to describe the hull and powerplant as having or very nearly having run out of their serviceable life) with defining visual characteristics from an old one.  ;D
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Hobbes

Reverse engineering a whole ship is a bit unlikely. Reverse engineering certain systems, sure, but the basic hull and superstructure are so well understood these days that anyone can build them to suit their needs.

What you do see is second-hand ships getting into the hands of low-budget navies, which keep their ships for a long time and upgrade them on the cheap. E.g. the Brazilian and Argentine aircraft carriers.

JoeP

Coal-fired ships might come back into vogue if oil becomes too expensive. Just as oil-burning ships came into popular usage there were designs for taking coal and grinding it into a powder before injecting it into the engine, allowing for more efficient burning and automated fuel feeding.

There were many ships that served for decades in second and even third navies, upgraded to a lesser or greater degree. Turkey kept the pre-WW1 battlecruiser Yavuz through the 1960s, the General Belgrano (ex-USS Phoenix) was operational in the 1980s, and a look through Jane's Fighting Ships over the past few decades will find many other such long-lived vessels.

Another possibility is mothballed ships being sold back into use. Imagine the US storing more of their ships post-WW2 and selling them out over the years to pay for newer vessels.
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NARSES2

Quote from: JoeP on November 29, 2010, 08:25:21 PM
Coal-fired ships might come back into vogue if oil becomes too expensive. Just as oil-burning ships came into popular usage there were designs for taking coal and grinding it into a powder before injecting it into the engine, allowing for more efficient burning and automated fuel feeding.


Powdered coal injection could be a good alternative to oil, the technology is now well proven and used around the world
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rickshaw

Quote from: NARSES2 on November 30, 2010, 02:42:12 AM
Quote from: JoeP on November 29, 2010, 08:25:21 PM
Coal-fired ships might come back into vogue if oil becomes too expensive. Just as oil-burning ships came into popular usage there were designs for taking coal and grinding it into a powder before injecting it into the engine, allowing for more efficient burning and automated fuel feeding.


Powdered coal injection could be a good alternative to oil, the technology is now well proven and used around the world

Still going to be smoky and dirty.  Recoaling will be messy and dirty as well, even if done in bulk.  Further, the bulk will mean bigger ships.  I say, bring back Cold Fusion.  Clean, green and above all else, like the more expensive Zero Point alternative, only requires sea water for fuel!   :thumbsup:
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NARSES2

Must admit the only experience I have with coal injection was in Blast Furnace technology. As a self contained system it was preaty clean although the coal was pulverised within the system, which led to quite a large plant. Hadn't thought about the handling which I agree could be a tad messy. As for larger ships I can't remember for the life of me the space requirements for a tonne of fuel oil compared to a tonne of pulverised coal, and I'm not going to bother to dig it out  ;D Calorific values arn't to different although the advantage is with oil. A real problem is that pc is "slightly" explosive in the same way that most dust/air mixtures can be when they hit the right concentrations  :banghead:

As for cold fusion...one day, one day  :rolleyes:
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Hobbes

Making synthetic oil requires lots of energy, so you end up with an inefficient overall process. Space isn't really at a premium in a warship, so it's only worth going this route if the dust combustion hazard cannot be solved. 

jcf

Coal water slurry (CWS) fuel is easier to handle than dry pulverized coal and has been extensively used in tests.
Various types of CWS can be used to fuel boilers, diesel engines or gas turbine engines.

Weaver

Quote from: JoeP on November 29, 2010, 08:25:21 PM
Coal-fired ships might come back into vogue if oil becomes too expensive. Just as oil-burning ships came into popular usage there were designs for taking coal and grinding it into a powder before injecting it into the engine, allowing for more efficient burning and automated fuel feeding.

D.K.Brown relates in Rebuilding the Royal Navy that the RN looked seriously at coal during the 1973 oil crisis, but eventually came to the conclusion that it was better to process it into "liquid fuel" (type unspecified) ashore. Apparently there was a rather nice drawing on the wall in Ship Dept. of a Type 42 with four thin funnels and a ram bow for a while.... ;D
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dy031101

Quote from: Hobbes on November 30, 2010, 11:24:44 PM
Making synthetic oil requires lots of energy, so you end up with an inefficient overall process. Space isn't really at a premium in a warship, so it's only worth going this route if the dust combustion hazard cannot be solved. 

Isn't the making of synthetic oil done on land facilities?  Or am I missing something here?
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