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Old May 23rd, 2019, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by atpollard View Post
For "Electronics", I only have limited information gleaned from Wikipedia on the real Iowa-class Battleships, but it at least presents something of a starting point ...
"The earliest search radars installed were the SK air-search radar and SG surface-search radar during World War II. They were located on the mainmast and forward fire-control tower of the battleships, respectively. As the war drew to a close, the United States introduced the SK-2 air-search radar and SG surface-search radar; the Iowa class was updated to make use of these systems between 1945 and 1952. At the same time, the ships' radar systems were augmented with the installation of the SP height finder on the main mast.

In addition to these search and navigational radars, the Iowa class were also outfitted with a variety of fire control systems for their gun systems. Beginning with their commissioning, the battleships made use of a trio of Mk 38 gun fire control systems to direct the 16-inch guns and a quartet of Mk 37 gun fire control systems to direct the 5-inch gun batteries. These systems were upgraded over time, but remained the cornerstones of the combat radar systems on the Iowa class during their careers. The range estimation of these gunfire control systems provided a significant accuracy advantage over earlier ships with optical rangefinders; this was demonstrated off Truk Atoll on 16 February 1944, when the Iowa engaged the Japanese destroyer Nowaki at a range of 35,700 yards (32.6 km; 17.6 nmi) and straddled her, setting the record for the longest-ranged straddle in history.

In World War II, the electronic countermeasures (ECM) included the SPT-1 and SPT-4 equipment; passive electronic support measures (ESM) were a pair of DBM radar direction finders and three intercept receiving antennas, while the active components were the TDY-1 jammers located on the sides of the fire control tower. The ships were also equipped with the Mark III identification, friend or foe (IFF) system.
Not too shabby. In Traveller terms, I see:
  • Active Radar (air and ground)
  • Electronic Fire Control
  • Radar Range Finder
  • Radar Detection and Direction Finders ECM
  • Radar Jammers
  • Electronic IFF system

5. Choose vehicle’s controls

The TL 9 Destroyer chose Advanced Controls and Autopilot. Unfortunately for us, Advanced Controls are TL 8, so the TL 5 Battleship will need to make due with Basic Controls (TL 4) requiring only 1 space and no additional cost.

Autopilot is available as an option on watercraft starting at TL 5 [0 spaces & Cr 2000], so we will add it.

  • Basic = - 1 space [Agility 0]
  • Autopilot = - 0 spaces [Ocean Ships-0]

6. Choose vehicle’s communications system (optional)

We will choose the best Comm available in the rules for TL 5, the Class III, which requires 0.02 spaces, costs CR 1,000 and has a range of Very Distant (50 km). This is the first thing that I have encountered in the rules that I am inclined to fact check against reality. I am a little skeptical that radios only had a 50 km maximum range at TL 5 ... I think the Titanic was able to communicate across the ocean with continents. It is not "errata" as much as it is an area that could use expansion. I doubt the radio on the Titanic fit in a small carry on bag.

  • Class III = - 0.02 spaces

7. Choose vehicle’s sensor package (optional)

There are no sensors available at TL 5. The earliest is the Standard at TL 8. That is a bit of a problem since WW2 fighter Aircraft and Ships did have radar. Now I admit that Radar was new and cutting edge technology in WW2 and WW2 is the tail end of TL 5 (traditionally about 1900 to 1940), so WW2 Radar may really be TL 6 and a Prototype/Early technology at that. However, no Radar til TL 8 seems a bit late. That should be looked at closer when I get a chance. For now, we roll with the rules as written.

  • None = - 0 spaces [TL 5]

8. Choose vehicle’s computer system (optional)

There are no computers available at TL 5. The earliest is the Model 0 at TL 7. I don't think that is a problem since ENIAC, the very first general computer, was built in 1945. A Model 0 might be TL 6, but that is debatable and does not impact THIS design.

  • None = - 0 spaces [TL 5]
The Main Battery Directors on the Iowa-class battleships have electro-mechanical ballistics computers for fire control of the 16 Inch Guns. The Directors for the 5 Inch Guns also had electro-mechanical ballistic computers for anti-aircraft fire, and the system was viewed by even the British as the best ship-board anti-aircraft control system for the entire war and world. It was developed in the 1930s. The 40mm quads also had simple ballistics computers for fire control, generally one per quad.

This was not a case of using guesstimates and the Mark One eyeball. The 5 inch directors all had radar rangefinders mounted on them, as did the main battery directors.

Apparently the rules have no understanding of fire control equipment prior to electronic computers.

As for the power plant, it was an external combustion steam plant, with two boilers and one turbine per fire room. The middle third of the ship was occupied by that. I would suggest you take a look at some good ships drawing on the Iowas. They can be found in Norm Friedman’s US Battleship Design and Development or Bob Sumrall’s Iowa-Class Battleships, while Norm Friedman’s Battleship Design and Development should also be consulted. I have all in hard copy and have gone through them several times.

The controls space you give is simply ridiculous, as that took up one entire bridge level.

I will post more comments latter.
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