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warheart1992

USS Bridgeport/Kansas City; a tier IX USN premium cruiser suggestion

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Kansas City; a tier IX USN premium cruiser suggestion

Normally I’m not up to this kind of stuff since I prefer leaving it to the people that are far more knowledgeable on naval history than me. That said, I happened to get my hands on “US Heavy Cruisers 1943–75; Wartime and Post-war Classes” by Osprey Publishing, as part of a free bundle of e-books during the Covid 19 quarantine. What attracted my attention was the following part regarding the history of Des Moines class and more specifically it’s 8in guns:

Quote

It was originally hoped that the new weapon could be fitted on the Oregon City design, but the existing turrets could fit only a total of six 8in guns of the new type instead of the desired nine….

 

 

us_cr_25.gif

Baltimore class, side view.

 

 

us_cr_118.gif

Oregon City itself, note the single smokestack compared to Baltimore.

I think you see where I am getting with this and what my suggestion will be about. An Oregon City heavy cruiser, an offshoot of the Baltimore class, but in a “what if” configuration, packing 3x2 8"/55 (20.3 cm) RF Mark 16s, the guns used by Des Moines class.

Naming:

I decided on USS Bridgeport or USS Kansas City, since both were part of the Oregon City class but ended up being scrapped. It would make sense if the abovementioned 3x2 format to be used to be on the newer ships. Moreover, with the exception of Kansas City as a contemporary littoral ship the names haven’t been used after WWII on warships.

Let’s take a quick look at potential stats for such a ship and how they would translate into the game.

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These bad boys, as part of Salem's armament.

Armament:

 

Firing Range: 14.5-7km

 

3x2 8"/55 (20.3 cm) RF Mark 16

 

Rate of Fire10.91 shots/min.

 

Reload Time 5.5 sec.(base)

 

Rotation Speed 6 deg./sec.

 

180 Degree Turn Time 30 sec.

 

Firing Range 15.83 km.

 

Maximum Dispersion 142 m.

 

HE Shell203 mm HE/HC Mk25

 

Maximum HE Shell Damage2,800

 

Chance of Fire on Target Caused by HE Shell14 %

 

Initial HE Shell Velocity823 m./s.

 

HE Shell Weight118 kg.

 

AP Shell203 mm AP Mk21

 

Maximum AP Shell Damage5,000

 

Initial AP Shell Velocity762 m./s.

 

AP Shell Weight152 kg.

 

 

 

As we said, Des Moines main battery with all the superheavy glory that comes with it. Des Moines DPM reaches with the Reload Upgrade 312,397 DPM, with AP managing an impressive 555,851 DPM. Buffalo hits 190,909 HE DPM, and 340,909 AP DPM.  Bridgeport with the Reload Upgrade is at 208,320 HE DPM and 372,000 AP DPM. To make the ship not an outright upgrade over Buffalo, Bridgeport has reduced firing range, at 14.3-7km. With the Range Upgrade you can reach about 17km. It will therefore be a decision between maximizing DPM but being almost always near medium range versus a safer playstyle at longer range.

Secondaries should be similar to Baltimore, but with a bit better firing angles maybe, so as to correspond to the different layout of Oregon City.

Armor:

 

Pretty much the same as Baltimore, not many changes really. Obviously the 27mm extremities should help with bowtanking, though Bridgeport would still be relatively vulnerable when presenting broadside.

Mobility:

 

Maximum Speed32.5 knot

Turning Circle Radius730 m.

Rudder Shift Time7.8 sec

These are the upgraded Baltimore stats, without taking into account the Rudder Upgrades. Obviously these can be reworked in a potential balancing process.

 

 

AA:

 

Now, that point is a bit moot, since AA is a pretty uncertain subject. That said, since Oregon City class was designed as an improvement over Baltimore in terms of AA gun firing arcs. Bridgeport could have the same AA guns as Baltimore, but in order to reflect the historical reasoning behind the class, I would like to see a much improved sector reinforcement timer. Sector reinforcement could last for the same 10 seconds as it does, but a 5 second reset on the timer could help make your AA more efficient, rewarding good timing.

 

 

Gimmicks-Consumables:

 

Pretty standard stuff here, normal layout of consumables, with Damage control, a standard cruiser Repair Party, the choice between Def AA and Hydroacoustic Search (5km ship detection, 3,5km torpedo detection), and a choice between Radar (10km range, 35s duraction) and Fighter consumable.

Concealment:

 

Base concealment: 13.62-13.80km (without camouflage)

 

Max concealment: 10.70km-11km (with camouflage and Concealment Expert)

 

Repeat after me, Stealth Radar is a bad thing. With that out of the way, Bridgeport’s concealment reflects that. Stealthy enough to creep near caps, but not too stealthy to just pop radar the moment she is detected as Baltimore can do.

 

 

So with some preliminary stats in mind, let’s sum up some pros and cons.

Pros

  1.          First tier IX premium cruiser that is not of the “super cruiser” variety.
  2.          It’s based on an existing class, using an existing weapon that was actually considered, even if at early design stages.
  3.          Strong, but not game breaking DPM.
  4.          Glorious superheavy AP.
  5.          Decent AA that could be interesting with a reduced reset on the AA sector reinforcement timer.
  6.          A-B-X layout means you won’t have to be as exposed to use most of your firepower
  7.      

    Baby Georgia anyone?

Cons:

  1.        Anemic number of guns; destruction of a turret could be catastrophic
  2.          Pretty decent frontally armor wise, but can otherwise get citadelled easily from the sides.
  3.          Not the most agile or speedy cruiser.
  4.          Relatively low base range will have to lead to a decision between range or DPM.

 

 

391262f018dc49a527ee6f5fe178d4b7.jpg

Oregon City herself, it's my hope that we can see her sometime at least as part of a hull upgrade.

 

 

Anyway, hope you found this interesting, and hey, maybe some senpai will notice. I think such a design would have some merit and could be if not noticed, at least a source of dscussion. Obviously comments, opinions and such are welcome!

 

Sources:

https://www.navypedia.org/ships/usa/us_cr_baltimore.htm

http://www.navweaps.com/Weapons/WNUS_8-55_mk16.php

https://ospreypublishing.com/us-heavy-cruisers-1943-75-wartime-and-post-war-classes

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oregon_City-class_cruiser

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by warheart1992
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So, it's basically a Mini-Georgia.

Like anything could go wrong with that....

In all fairness, however, this does seem like a good concept. However, despite having DM guns, it's only 6 of them, and the Baltimore hull, at the end of the day, is still just as squishy as any other cruiser. This seems like more of a Tier 8.5 than anything. Placing it at Tier IX renders it underpowered, while placing it at Tier VIII would make it overpowered. I would suggest gimping something like the armor instead of the range, and placing it at Tier VIII. The reason why I say armor is because of the fact that, regardless of the maximum firing range, DM guns are still DM guns, and those guns friggin hurt like hell.

:SerB:

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