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Royal Australian Navy 1944 Design Light Cruiser
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By Tzoli   |   Watch
Published: August 30, 2018
© 2018 - 2019 Tzoli
This cruiser proposal dates back to 1943/44 to an imperial defence plan for Australia:

“MP1049/5 2026/3/516 Cruiser and Destroyer Building Program”.
The file begins in mid 1943, discussing the advisability of building cruisers and destroyers in Australia to replace war losses and the ageing remaining ships, and the file ends with the dispatch of the RA Eng and Director ordinance from the Naval Boards Melbourne office being ordered to London from June-Aug 1944 to consider current vessels under construction in Britain.
Prior to this mission, the ACNB set out what it thought were the war lessons.
A - Air Power – neither side seeks surface action in daylight without air support, so there  are more night actions than day, and all ships require maximum AA fire power and ability to stand up to bomb and aerial torpedo damage.
B - The destructive power of the modern torpedo.
C - The ever increasing efficiency of radar.
D - The devastating effect of high volume of fire at night ranges from medium calibre guns.
 
and then the desirable features of an RAN future cruiser given the war lessons.
A - Main armament dual purpose guns. The 5.25in gun appears to be the most satisfactory calibre for HA/LA
   (with “at present” added in pencil)
B - Secondary armament guns more numerous than in present design 40mm guns are required in addition to 20mm.
C - Side armour and deck armour.
D - Improved under water protection. Large compartments should be partitioned by water tight bulkheads,
E - Maximum speed 30-32 knots. Higher speeds are not considered necessary.
F - Large endurance.

The paper then considers a number of British designs, improved Southampton, Fiji, Dido.
It selects the Dido as the most suitable based on its HA/LA armament, but with these weaknesses.
A - Endurance much too small. (stated at 7500miles econ, 1,700 miles full speed)
B - Too vulnerable to under water attack.
C - Insufficient HA firepower abaft the beam.
D - Insufficient medium and short range AA armament.
E - Inability to engage more than two AA targets in primary control with main armament.
 
They then outline a cruiser the authors think would be perfect for the RAN post war.
Speed – 30 knots
Endurance – 10-12,000 miles at economical speed.
Gun armament – 12-15 5.25 HA/LA, 12 or more 40mm bofors, 12 or more 20mm.
Protection – Side and deck armour, improved watertight subdivision.
Displacement – 8-9000 tons
Length 550-570ft  Beam 60-65ft 
No aircraft.
 
The author proposes no torpedoes, but the paper is edited by someone who finds them essential, and points out that doctrine is to “fix by gunfire, and sink by torpedo”.
They propose the main slipway at Cockatoo Island built up from its present 450ft to 600ft. All designs, plans, skilled technical personnel etc to be sourced from GB.
Imports would include:  80% of all steel (the right grades were not made in Australia – this was cited by the minister in the 1930’s as a reason not to order an Australian Leander).
All armour plate. All armament, All fire control. 80% of auxiliary machinery. Forgings for main turbines. 60% of electrical cable. 80% of electrical equipment. Anchor cables.
 
To be laid down in 1944 for completion in 1948, and to be followed by another 5 similar ships from 1944-1953, replacing entirely the wartime losses and pre war ships.

The design the following characteristics:
Dimensions: 167,64 (wl) 173,74 (oa) x 19,8m 
Displacement: 9.000tons (standard)
Armour: 51mm Deck, 89mm Belt
Engines: 4 shafts, Parson Steam Turbines, Unknown shp probably around 80.000shp
Speed: 56km/h (30knots)
Range: not sure but probably 22.000km (12.000nm)
Armaments: 
4x3 5,25"/50 (133mm) Mark IV Guns
6x2 40mm/56 Bofors Mk X AA Guns or 5-6x4 40mm/39 Pom-Pom Mark VIII AA guns,
8x2 20mm/70 Oerlikon AA Guns
2x4 533mm Torpedo Tubes

I've based my drawing on the Crown Colony class light cruiser and the N2 design light cruiser.
i.imgur.com/5C7wGMk.jpg
Image size
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Comments36
anonymous's avatar
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sharlin's avatar
Very nice design but those funnels need to be more widely spread, if only from a pure asthetic sense :D
MihoshiK's avatar
Although I like it, I have to say that if it was based on a british design of the time, the bow definatively needs to be more straight, like that of the Crown Colony class. The Brits never went in for Clipper bows for their cruisers.


And a question. I know there were plans for a quadruple 6 inch turret for the Town class, and they actually got as far as building prototypes. Do you have any references for thsoe? I've come up empty.
darkwanderer123456's avatar
A sleek clipper bow would be idea for large open, heavy weather ocean like Pacific and provide it make the ship less wet forward. Not purely for aesthetic view and given that Aussie has experience with Pacific ocean so they require some changes to make fit for them navy.
Tzoli's avatar
TzoliHobbyist Digital Artist
The waterline and overall length was set so I have to make this kind of clipper bow. Yes British design but Australians might had involved in it's design.

No I did not come to such a drawing and it might be found in the Royal Navy or Vickers Archives
Midway2009's avatar
Midway2009Hobbyist Traditional Artist
She's marvelous. :salute:
FrankvC's avatar
Now that is finished I can write without fearing that I got it wrong xD Never heard about this design but to be fair I only know about IJN and KM ones so there is that too I find specially funny the use of triple 133s, they looked a lot like 6inch But as you said it was not a 152 gun armed cruiser that really didn’t tick any of my boxes Great work Tzoli! 
Tzoli's avatar
TzoliHobbyist Digital Artist
The guns are of the proposed newer 5,25 ones with automatic or semi-automatic loading mechanisms
eltf177's avatar
I never would have guessed RAN or triple 5.25-inch. Never heard of this, thanks for sharing!
Tzoli's avatar
TzoliHobbyist Digital Artist
Here is an official drawing of an new semi-automatic twin 5,25 gun turret:
i.imgur.com/YMt83uJ.jpg
darkwanderer123456's avatar
This more like mix-mashed or British designs for some foreign navies, noticed the hull and bulky upper structures.
Tzoli's avatar
TzoliHobbyist Digital Artist
Almost correct
Ingunina's avatar
British - advanced Light Cruiser  Colony or Swiftshire class
Tzoli's avatar
TzoliHobbyist Digital Artist
Nope but based on them
javifel's avatar
1940 british design for a heavy cruiser? 
Tzoli's avatar
TzoliHobbyist Digital Artist
Nope
eltf177's avatar
Italian with 5.3-inch DP guns?
Tzoli's avatar
TzoliHobbyist Digital Artist
You mean 135mm guns?
eltf177's avatar
Yes, although they weren't DP if I recall correctly...
Tzoli's avatar
TzoliHobbyist Digital Artist
There were turret designs which would mount these guns for high elevation fire as well
navweaps.com/Weapons/WNIT_53-4…
eltf177's avatar
Did not know this...
Ingunina's avatar
British - advanced Dido class?
Tzoli's avatar
TzoliHobbyist Digital Artist
Not Dido
Golgotha17's avatar
Is it some american heavy cruiser design? The arrangement of the DP guns seems very american. Something along the lines of WOWS' Buffalo, perhaps?
Tzoli's avatar
TzoliHobbyist Digital Artist
Not american at all.
DP guns??? Where? The main guns are Dual-Purpose yes but there are no other large calibre guns and 4 triple isn't an american speciality.
anonymous's avatar
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