Warship Projects Profile No.GB002 – Lion class – Part IV.: After the fact

Design 16H-40 (unofficial designation)

Early war modifications while rather limited, still led to the first major alteration on the Lion class battleship design.
In August 1940 DNC pointed out that war additions had increased the total displacement of the ships by an estimated 800 tons rising it to 47.000 tons resulting in a 6 inch increase of deep draught to 34 feet. This was the maximum limiting factor for the Suez Canal and further increases were surely to happen so the Board quickly decided that 34 feet draught was unacceptable. This led to a proposal of an increased beam by 3 feet, reducing the armour thickness abreast the machinery spaces and barbettes, which together with the previous increases and widened hull allowed the reduction of draught. This was accepted by 19th of September with the Board approving the following changes:
– Beam increased from 105 to 108 feet (32 to 32,92 meters)

– Belt armour reduction abreast machinery by1 inch from 14,71inch to 13,73inch (from 375 to 349mm)

– Maximum barbette armour reduction by1 inch from 14,71inch to 13,73inch (from 375 to 349mm)

– 1,5 inch (38mm) splinted belt protection added at the ends of the citadel between the lower and middle decks.

– 1 inch (25,4mm) transverse splinter bulkheads added fore and aft between the lower and middle decks

– Increased sheer to forecastle and 15° rake to stem (basically Vanguard-ish look) following experience in King George V with wetness forward and removing the restriction of firing the main guns forward at 0° elevation

– Additional splinter protection for the 5,25″ mountings and Director Control Towers (hence the Vanguard style secondary turrets)

– Protected Conning position added aft.

Another changes included the replacement of two out of 8 turbo-generators with 400kW diesel generators to avoid a complete loss of electrical power. 500tons increase in fuel oil storage. All these changes slightly reduced the maximum speed by a knot.

Dimensions: 225,55m (pp) 237,74m(wl), 241,71m (oa) x 32.92m x 10,16m
Displacement: 42.200tons (standard), 48.500tons (full load)
Engines: 130.000shp Parsons Steam Turbines Speed: 54km/h (29knots)
Range: 26.000km at 18-19km/h (14000nm at 10knots)
Armour: 124mm, Deck over machinery and 149mm over magazines, 349mm Belt over machinery and 374mm over magazines.
Armament: 
3×3 16″/45 (406mm/45) BL Mk III Guns,8×2 5,25″/50 (133mm/50) QF Mk I DP-AA Guns,6×8 40mm/39 Pom-Pom AA Guns,possible 2-4-8×2 20mm Oerlikon AA Guns,
2-4x Floatplanes (Supermarine Sea Otter displayed here)

Sensor suite:
1x Type 273 Surface search Radar on the mainmast above the forward secondary director
1x Type 279 Air-search Radar on the aft mast
2x Type 281 Air-warning Radar on top of the aft mast
6x Type 282 Fire-control Radar sets one for each Pom-Pom director
2x Type 284 Fire-control Radar on the main armament director/rangefinder
5x Type 285 Fire-control Radar sets one for each secondary armament director/rangefinder
2x Type 290 Air-warning Radar on top of the masts

Design 16I-42 (unofficial designation)

In late 1941 early 1942 another set of changes were made to the Lion class battleships (construction was suspended). These incorporated the latest war and operational experiences with the King George V class battleships and also some known weaknesses of the current design.
Adjustments were made to increase range, sustained maximum speed, splinter and underwater protection and of course AA armament. Further changes include the redesigned stem with increased freeboard similar to the 16H-40 design and of the HMS Vanguard currently under design at the time. These changes resulted in a considerably different looking profile while still using the same hull of the 1938 baseline series but with a more Vanguard-ish superstructure and upper decks, with it’s more numerous AA guns and better firing positions for such mounts. Also the removal of all aircraft facilities freed up precious space for crew quarters and especially for the ship’s boat stowage, resulting much better concentration of the AA guns.

Due to the above listed changes 16I-42 is displayed with a modified Vanguard-like appearance and fittings.

Dimensions: 225,55m (pp) 237,74m(wl), 241,71m (oa) x 32.92 x 10,16m
Displacement: 42.550tons (Standard), 48.415tons (full load)
Engines: 130.000shp Parsons Steam Turbines Speed: 52km/h (28knots)
Range: 30.600km at 18-19km/h (16.500nm at 10knots)
Armour: 124mm, Deck over machinery and 149mm over magazines, 349mm Belt over machinery and 374mm over magazines.
Armament: 
3×3 16″/45 (406mm/45) BL Mk III Guns,8×2 5,25″/50 (133mm/50) QF Mk I DP-AA Guns,8×8,1×4 (or 9×8) 40mm/39 Pom-Pom AA Guns,multiple 20mm Oerlikon AA Guns

Sensor suite:
2x Type 274 Fire-control Radar one for each main armament director/rangefinder
8x Type 275 Fire-control Radar two for each secondary armament director/rangefinder
1x Type 277 Surface-air search Radar on the mainmast above the forward secondary director
2x Type 279 Air-search Radar on the masts tops
1x Type 281 Air-warning Radar on top of the aft mast
9x Type 282 Fire-control Radar sets one for each Pom-Pom director
1x Type 290 Air-warning Radar on top of the aft mast
1x Type 293M Surface search Radar on the top of the mainmast

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