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Sturgeon's House

The interesting ship photos/art thread.

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rifling bit for 16 inch guns.    

USS Massachusetts firing a broadside. Note outbound 16" shells in the upper left hand part of the picture.

Pavel Derzhavin, from outside:        Some parts from inside:    

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I was going to object that the LCS seems a little small to put a nuclear plant on, but it turns out that the smallest boat ever to have a nuclear power source was downright twee:




Take in all 400 tonnes of the NR-1.  The US Navy used this little economy-sized nuclear(!) submarine to fetch wreckage off the bottom of the ocean.  Stuff like AIM-54s from crashed F-14s, and other fancy stuff they wanted to grab before the Rooskies did.


The crew conditions were apparently horrible.  You take a 400 tonne submarine and add to it a nuclear boat's ability to remain at sea for weeks or months...



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As far as surface ships go, the USN has made some nuclear powered CGNs (Guided missile Cruisers) as early as the 50s, with the 2 classes ranging in the 10,000 tonnes (The 2 California class CGNs, first launched 1970, first commissioned 1974) to 15,000 tonnes range (the sole Long Beach class CGN, launched 1959, Commissioned 1961.)


Now, the Long Beach was decommissioned because it was deemed too expensive to keep running, and while both vessel classes are quite a bit heavier then even the already absurdly overweight LCS classes, I'm sure that reactor technology we have now is probably at least a *tad* cheaper and more efficient then 1950s-1970s era designs and capable of being made more compact right?.....



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My recollection is that early naval nuclear reactor design was all over the place.  They weren't really sure what they were doing in those days.


Thing is, good luck ever finding anyone who knows what the improvements actually are.  Or someone who knows who will talk.  Or figuring it out from any sort of textbook; you can find all sorts of resources on the minutiae of civil boiling water reactor design.  Extrapolating that to fast neutron designs seems dubious.


So yeah, it's definitely better now, but I'm not sure exactly in what ways it's better now.

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