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HMS Vanguard by linseed HMS Vanguard by linseed
HMS Vanguard. South Atlantic, 1982
Motto: ‘We lead’.

A speculative (fictional) plan drawing of HMS Vanguard, the Royal Navy’s biggest, fastest and last battleship, had she survived in service into the 1980’s.

Laid down in 1941, launched in 1944 but not commissioned until 1946, HMS Vanguard was built quickly under wartime conditions by John Brown and Company, on Clydebank. The ship was intended for wartime service, and to speed up construction the Vanguard’s main guns and mountings were taken out of storage (they had originally been mounted on HMS Courageous and HMS Glorious).

The Vanguard carried out various roles during her career, acting as flagship, training ship and even as a Royal Yacht (carrying the Royal family to South Africa in 1947). She was refitted in 1954-55 and then entered the Royal Navy Reserve Fleet. After efforts to have her turned into a museum ship failed, Britain’s last battleship was finally scrapped in 1960.

During her naval career HMS Vanguard never fired her guns in anger…

…but what if?

My speculative design is based on the idea that the Vanguard remained in the naval reserve post-1960, and had been refitted and recalled into the fleet (much like the US Navy’s Iowa class battleships were in reality).

The Vanguard retains her original primary and secondary armaments, eight massive 15-inch guns in four twin mountings, and sixteen 5.25-inch guns in eight twin mountings. I have added four MM 38 Exocet anti-ship missile launchers, one twin Seaslug AA launcher and four quadruple Seacat AA missile launchers. She also retains eight of her original 40mm Bofors AA guns in single MK VII mountings (genuinely still in use in the 1980s).

I have also completely revamped her communications and radar package and made changes to her upper works and deck (including adding a helicopter landing pad).

[I took the original plan drawing of HMS Vanguard from R.O. Dulin & W.H. Garzke’s. ‘Battleships: Allied Battleships of World War II’. (1980)]

Wikipedia article.

HMS Vanguard website.

--For a much larger/detailed version Download--
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Jared1994 Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2015
Awesome! The HMS Vanguard in alternate history! I would like to see her in action if she was saved from scrap. :) :D
kim353 Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2014
glmm2001 Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2014   Writer
 The Sea Slug did took more space than the Sea DArt; in fact, some half of the lenght of the COUNTY class destroyers was devoted to the Sea Slug missile. A number of the missiles were stowed unassembled and there were assembly, finning, warming up and loading facilities. There's no way a launcher that aft could be serviced.

The Sea Dart was a vertical affair, with an storage area, a finning/warming up middle stage and the laucher itself. It could have replaced one of the main gun turrets and "recycle" the barbette for protection. Also, the Type 909 illuminators are muchs smaller that the gigantic 901 used by Sea Slug
Phillipzu Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Woah! Neat!
Waffle0708 Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
one of the favorite battleship in WW2
Patriot-112 Featured By Owner May 19, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Nice work! I can't believe the Brits scrapped such a good ship! They should've followed our example with the Iowa's instead of just scrapping it after just 14 years! She was still so young!
brentjackson05 Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2011
This is great work, but if I may be so bold as to make a few points:

The Sea Slug is obsolete by 1982, and while it was still in service it was only on ships ready for the scrapyard, and I doubt the Sea Dart would fit. Considering nobody is going to send a battleship out without escorts, the Sea Cat would be sufficient, but if this update is being done in the late 70s or early 80s, it probably would be better to fit it with the Sea Wolf, which is considerably more effective. Losing Sea Slug gives you a bigger helicopter deck, which is safer and allows you to use bigger choppers - The Sea King instead of Wessex, maybe.

The Exocets would have to move, too. Where they are positioned will make them highly vulnerable to the overpressure from the big guns' blast, which testing on the Iowas found was too much to allow the Sea Sparrow to be fitted. Might be better to lose the Bofors AA guns (obsolete by 1982) and mount the Exocets ahead of the rear turrets. It's also worth noting that Vanguard would be the only ship in the Royal Navy with the 5.25" guns, all RN vessels had switched to using 4.5" guns by the 1960s.

Overall, this is a very nice upgrade to a fine ship. If we're assuming she was taken care of before being reactivated, the Vanguard would have lots of life left in its mechanicals.
mr-wistan Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2011
Would be interesting to see a 2010 refit of this... delete the sea slug, replace the sea cats with 21-missile RAM launchers, the Exocet with Harpoon, a couple of the Bofors mountings with Gatekeeper or Phalanx CIWS. Be tempting to stick a SAMPSON radar on there and see if you could work in some ASTER cells too!
Teeceeoh Featured By Owner May 27, 2010
Really neat idea. :)
Rellis92 Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2010
i like more the bismark
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Submitted on
February 26, 2010
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