Showing posts from September, 2018

Navy Assault Drones (1936-1944)

The last surviving TDR-1 assault drone at the Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, FL. The United States Navy has always had a rather mixed history with antiship missiles. While its failure to widely field such weapons except for a brief period at the end of the Cold War has given it a reputation for being backwards in the area, in fact it was the very first to begin serious work on them. Although overshadowed in history by the German HS-293 and Fritz-X glide bombs, the United States actually fielded far more advanced weapons during the war in the form of the ASM-N-2 Bat and TDR Assault Drone. It is the latter of these two missiles that will be the subject of this post. The genesis of the assault drone program came in July 1936, when the Navy began research into a remote controlled aerial target for more realistic antiaircraft gunnery practice (at this point it was limited to towed targets that could not simulate torpedo or dive bombing attacks). This program (later named Project

Missile Loadouts: Zumwalt (2018)

The exact missile armament of the Zumwalt -class has always been a rather opaque topic and the United States Navy itself has issued a variety of contradictory statements over the years. As exact loadouts are obviously far from settled given that the first in class has yet to reach operational status and there is talk of reworking the class from land-attack specialists into dedicated ship-killers, this post is even more speculative than others in the Missile Loadouts series and is intended more to provide some insight into the current state of the class than to be a definitive overview of the missile armament of the ships. Despite the Zumwalt -class’s impressive 16,000 ton displacement, they are armed with just 80 vertical launch cells compared with the 90-96 of the  Arleigh Burke- class or the 122 of the  Ticonderoga-class . However, the  Zumwalt- class is equipped with the significantly larger Mk 57 VLS instead of the legacy Mk 41 VLS of the other classes (25-inch by 23-foot cells

Post WWII USN Carrier Fighters (1945-2018)

Unlike my recent post on USN Carrier Aircraft of the Korean War ,  this is not intended to be a detailed look at the individual aircraft types, but an overview of the timeline and production numbers to reveal larger trends. For simplicity's sake I will only be covering operational aircraft produced in reasonable numbers and ignoring early types such as the FH or F6U. I will also not be considering non-fighter variants such as photo-recon planes. Gold represents years in production while blue represents years in service. Note: FJ does not include the FJ-1 As is well known, as time passed fewer aircraft were developed and those that were remained in service longer. However, somewhat unexpectedly, this change does not appear to have been a gradual one. Instead, there was an explosion of new aircraft when the jet age began, but after a decade things had slowed down to something similar to the modern pace of development. From the F9F Panther to the F11F Tiger, fighters remai