A while back I posted some info about the missile attack on one of the battleships during the Gulf War – and I was going to post about some of the upgrade that were being proposed for what to do with the beasts.
After a BUNCH of looking the most “concrete” plan I found info on was the basing of aircraft on the stern of the ship after removal of the number 3 turret – actually a very interesting proposal –
From the article:
The four battlewagons were swiftly retired after the end of the Cold War because the manpower-intensive vessels each required a crew of nearly two thousand. That made them early victims of the post-Cold War drawdown as the defense budget was sharply reduced. Today, all four serve as memorials or floating museums. Retirement put an end to future upgrades, which might have included the boldest of them all.
In the November, 1980 issue of the United States Naval Institute Proceedings, Captain Charles Myers, USN (retired) proposed reactivating the battleships with significant modifications to the aft section.The proposal envisioned deleting the number three turret near the stern and the three sixteen-inch guns housed in it.
In place of the number three turret would be an extraordinary set of armaments. A V-shaped, ramped flight deck would be installed, with the base of the V on the ship’s stern. Each leg of the V would extend forward, so that planes taking off would fly past the stacks and ship’s bridge. Two elevators would bring Boeing AV-8B Harrier II jump-jets up from a new hangar to the flight deck. It was envisioned such a conversion could support up to twelve Harriers.
In addition the plans called for replacing the five inch guns with 155 millimeter howitzer mounts as well as up to 320 ( yes that’s right – 320 ) vertical launch tubes – OH MY !!
And this from Naval History dot ORG – click here to go there . . .
This page gives you a little more detail of the proposal as conceived by Martin Marietta
And one more article from Task and Purpose dot Com – click HERE to go there . . .
is basically a rehash of the first article . . .
Over the years on various forums there was MUCH discussion about what to do with the battleships – one of the wildest discussions involved removal of all three turrets and just about all of the superstructure – mounting a nuclear reactor and a steam turbine/generator set for power generation and mounting a pair of lasers similar to what was utilized on the Boeing project the YAL-1 Airborne Laser as well as somewhere north of 2 thousand Vertical Launch Cells – I believe some of those folks did much more than just inhale back in the day – does anybody else still remember Mustang BBS software – Along Time Ago . . . and most proposals never made it past the “what if” phase – but what everybody forgets is the IOWA Class battleships were designed to do ONE job with DEADLY efficiency – seek out – engage – and sink other battleships – and when there were no more battleships . . .
Have Fun! – Run the Gun! – and remember – Fish Heads are Cheap!!