""disk size" of this web page, of course, not for free.
Anyway, thanks to the organizer for providing this place..."
So the (cold) links would need to be to hot images hosted somewhere else?
There is this Hot Topic, though, brewing as LSGs (on Bays, for starters) are now 'official policy' - if not to be overturned in the "IR" outcomes
... is there any way of rebaking this to a 'TD-like' opening shot, for discussion, on a brand new thread?
Poiuytrewq wrote:Pulled across from the FSS thread.
Now that the FSS programme is heading in a much less ambitious direction the gaps in the current fleet look like they will have to be plugged by the existing vessels if they are to be plugged at all. The Bay class in particular look to be vastly under utilised and could offer a lot of potential if adapted to enhance their capabilities.
The most recent addition to the Bay Class has been the installation of the temporary hanger. The increased aviation capacity is very useful but It's clear from the image that the temporary hanger is taking up a large amount of the working deck and considering these ships have a beam of nearly 27m a more space efficient solution must be possible. The available space remaining on the working deck looks extremely small for such heavy duty 30t cranes and it's clear that the hanger installation has greatly compromised the original design.
image.jpgThe storage area between the flight deck and the hanger is also far from ideal. I am sure it can be made to work but it's far from ideal.image.jpgSo what does a Bay class need to be a lot better than what we have today?
Increased aviation capabilities?
Increased storage facilities?
Increased medical facilities?
OPTION ONE image.jpgThe simplest option would be to add a central hanger. With a 27m beam this hanger should be able to embark up to 3 Merlins, possibly 2 if the LCVP's are also incorporated. The 30t cranes could go back to business with a clear working deck but no additional medical facilities would be possible with this option. Is it possible to retain the working deck and also enhance the aviation capabilities?
OPTION TWO image.jpg
Option 2 retains what is probably a viable working deck, possibly with stricter weight limits imposed. The cranes could probably be replaced with smaller 20t versions and if these cranes could be folded safely out of the way a 3rd landing spot could be possible on the working deck.
The space created under the working deck is big enough to house 4 to 6 Merlins or 2 Chinooks as well as lots of extra storage or possibly a small medical facility at the rear of the hanger.If the weight distribution and CoG hurdles were successfully overcome this looks like a workable and realitivly inexpensive option which would vastly increase the capabilities of the Bay's.
Is the working deck really essential? If not lots of extra capabilities can be added to these highly versatile vessels.
OPTION THREE image.jpg
The 3rd option removes the working deck altogether and maximises the aviation capabilities of the vessel. By removing the working deck a third landing spot is created. Is a third landing spot really that important? It's worth considering that the 3 Bays would have 6 to 9 embarked Merlins (depending on LCVP's) along with 9 landing spots in this configuration, a major boost to any amphibious operation. The increased superstructure could also contain a pretty extensive medical facility or addional space for higher numbers of embarked troops. Could a redesign such as this go a long way to plugging the gaps created by the decommissioning of HMS Ocean? This configuration would also be ideal for lone HADR deployments. The combination of 2 or 3 embarked Merlins, LCU, LCVP's and mexeflotes together with large quantities of supplies and extensive medical facilities Is pretty much unbeatable.
OPTION FOUR image.jpgOption Four is simply the full use of the Bay platform. This is a very substantial redesign and would not come cheap. Again 4 to 6 Merlins could be embarked but the main flight deck would shrink to two spots. The medical facilities would again be extensive and extra space for embarked troops would also be included. It may be possible to include a 3rd landing spot on the top of the main superstructure, this would give direct access for casualties into the medical facilities from helicopters up to the size of a Merlin. When configured in this way a Bay looks like totally different vessel and vastly superior to the make do and mend version we have today.
Personally I think a lot of the current gaps in the Amphibious fleet could be filled by improved Bays. Maybe a mix of the options would be the best way forward but one thing is for sure any of these options would be a considerable improvement over what the RFA has today.