Queensferry Crossing, HMS Queen Elizabeth and all things Royal Navy

The launch of Ark Royal in 1937 on Merseyside

Difficult to work out but is that line below the portholes the armour belt or was one never fitted? Victorious had one finishing about that level, you could look over the side and see it, it was also loose as the sea would squish out between it and the hull, so possible it was fitted later.
The shell room on HMS Vanity. No detail on the year I'm afraid. Can I assume the ones with the mark on the base, behind the sailor, have been fired?

The 4.5 inch magazine on a Frigate looks little different today. Shells are manually loaded on to a hoist, lifted up through a trunk to the gunbay where they are manually loaded onto a feed ring and then automatically fed into the gun.

The big difference being the turrets on the ship in FB's picture and a modern turret is that they were open backed and manned by a crew of around 8 where as the modern turret is fully automated once the feed ring is loaded.

Why are turrets still manually loaded I hear you ask? Mainly because it's quicker to change shell types (star shell, high explosive, practice etc) or change fuse settings (high or low burst).

After a shoot we did return the empty shell casings to the magazine to be returned to stores so you may be right FB those ones may have been fired off. I can't tell because I'm looking at the picture on my phone.
I suspect they are unused shells and the appearance is due to the lighting, in wartime it is unlikely they were returned to the magazine, I can't enlarge it to see if there is a firing pin indent on the fuse in the centre clearly
Not familiar with that type of 4" shell but could it be that the firing cap needed screwing in to the base of the shell?
I'm not familiar with any type of shell, my weapon of choice was propeller driven and guided by metal string which tended to stay submerged hopefully
As far as I know present day torpedo's are still wire guided, mainly due to the capability of guiding it away from the launching vessel should it inadvertently home on it during firing manoeuvres, or any other friendly vessel in the vicinity. hopefully they are more reliable than in my day. It is not unusual for the target to be astern of the firing submarine, if it has managed to get into your stern arcs it is reasonable to assume it will follow you round.
The sub launched Spearfish can be either wire or active / passive homing and the ship or helo launched Stingray is acoustic homing.
It would be difficult to operate Stingray from a helicopter with a wire, it has a pre programmed search pattern, it's also a quite old design dates to 1976 in the first trials. Spearfish is an improved enlarged software and transducer array package from Stingray, I suspect its memory is now considerably greater than 6mb first announced in its launch, most of us were a touch sceptical when we went to the presentation. MSDS (Marconi Space Defence Systems) better known in submarines as Maybe Some Day Soon. However as both are still about I assume they have been improved and have outstripped their initial problems. I believe Spearfish has built in safety devices should the wire break when homing on the launching submarine, the active/passive homing is selected during the attack from the submarine, the wire is always connected to the submarine, whatever its attack state
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Wasn't my section so I had to look to Google for advice. I did have to know how to deal with a Stingray battery fire as part of the Duty Greeny Senior Rate Job but that was about it. The only explosives I directly dealt with was when I was the Officer of the Quarter for the Decoy magazines. You don't really need chaff on a boat.

I definitely wouldn't want to be on the wrong end of either type of Torp though.

I've seen more than enough burning green candles and embarrassed looking Tas apes to know we wouldn't have been in a fair fight with a sub. (for those who don't know, in an exercise a submarine that has gone through its attack run, gained a firing solution and fired off an imaginary torpedo will helpfully let it's intended target know it's toast by firing a green flare candle which, when it reaches the surface causes an impressive amount of panic on the ship because they immediately initiative torpedo countermeasure drills. I'm reality the ship would have been lifted out of the water by the force of the blast under it's keel, crashed back down with a broken back and probably completely disappeared in less than 10 minutes with almost all of its crew. Nice.)

Marconi Space Defence Systems) better known in submarines as Maybe Some Day Soon.

Same as British Aerospace which became BAE and we're known as Bad At Everything or Big And Expensive.

Always remember, your weapon system was designed by the lowest bidder.
Didn't BAE inherit MSDS, so it hadn't changed that much, the expenses their trials team were on must have doubled the cost of any weapons system when you consider the mark up over cost charged by the contractor.
Weapons systems were supplied by the lowest bidder with the eventual cost being at least 300% above the bid with only 50% of the specification achieved, the of course the post design contract was given to the same company to sort it out, all other companies say the design is flawed and suggest start again. Certainly in the 80's no country had a 100% working heavy weight torpedo, the Argentines tried to sue Germany as theirs didn't work during the Falklands conflict and our MK24 had a battery modification that took an hour to to fully prime instead of the original 20secs because the batteries were so expensive no one tested them.
Nimrod MR2 sub hunter, or at least Britain's effort to try and produce one. Then we bought some stuff from the USA as it was cheaper.

Very true FB, one of the few times a government decided to cut its losses, there was nothing wrong with the aircraft despite the history of the airframe. The problem was the electronics, mainly the radar and its software, over ten years in attempting to upgrade Nimrod MK1, by that time our favourite electronics company and its successor had long lost the plot and the world had moved on in warfare electronics. Would anyone with any sense give the same company a contract to start again.
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