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United States....................................................................................................................................... 553
The “Single Manager”; West Point Aims for More Cadets; U. S.
Navy Outgrows “Jeep” Escort Carriers; Radar Sentinels Ready to Track AF Missiles; Last Ships Leave Base in Antarctic; Air Force Crash Rate Off, Flying Time Rises; Satellite Rocket Sketch Released; New Eight-Ton Amphibious Vehicle Tested; Talos Soon to Join Land and Sea Missile Arsenal; Improved Matador Passes Flight Test; U. S. Takes Firm Stand on Freedom of Seas; New Combat TV Shown by Army.
First Israel-Flag Tanker; Performance of the Seamew; See New French Missile Dooming Heavy Tanks; Future of Five British Battleships; Belgian Air Force Faces Personnel Crisis; “Compulsion” in Fleet Air Arm; Japan to Join 11 other Nations with Expedition to Antarctic.
UNITED STATES The “Single Manager”
By Hanson W. Baldwin
New York Times, March 11, 1956.—A new system of supply for the armed services, now going into effect, is a long step toward an uncertain objective.
The new system goes by the difficult description of the “Single Manager Supply System for Common-Use Items.” It is as Paradoxical as it is controversial. For it is not fully “ new” in concept; the principle already has been applied in part in several logistic areas. But the present application of the “single manager” system is far more extensive and important than any prior application. It has aroused great controversy and
some misgivings among the armed services.
Its intent, in the words of Charles E. Wilson, Secretary of Defense, who imposed the system despite heated objections from some services, is “to promote increased economies in the utilization of manpower, material and services.”
But it also requires a greater degree of unification in supply than ever. And there are two diametrically opposed interpretations of its ultimate intent.
One segment in the Pentagon fears that the “single manager” system is a giant step toward the long discussed and long feared “fourth service”—the service of supply that would unify under centralized command the supply services of all the armed forces— Army, Navy and Air. Another segment of
Pentagon opinion holds, however, that the “single manager” system is simply a means of forestalling the “fourth service.”
Cause of Profound Change
The institution of the “single manager” system is causing profound changes in the supply and supporting set-ups of the armed forces. In effect it means that one department will be a “single manager” for all the military departments for an item of common use or for common services. The system has been applied, so far, to subsistence or food; clothing-textiles, petroleum, medical-dental equipment, photographic equipment, traffic management, Military Sea Transportation Service and Military Air Transportation Service.
One of the three military departments has been made the single manager in each of these fields for all three services. The Department of the Army is responsible for the purchase and wholesale storage of food and clothing and for traffic management.*
The Navy is in charge of petroleum, oil and lubricants for all the departments; it will continue to manage in a slightly modified way the Military Sea Transport Service, and it will procure, store and issue medical-dental supplies, f The Air Force has responsibility for photographic supplies and the Military Air Transport Service.
In effect this means that the Department of the Army, for instance, acting through channels and by means of a designated executive director—with food, the Quartermaster-General—will purchase food in wholesale lots for all the services. This concept of a “single service purchasing agent” is not new; it has been applied before in different areas.
But the “single manager” now has responsibility not only for procurement, but also for checking all service requisitions against inventories for wholesale storage, and for area distribution, and for inspection. He also will have responsibility for encouraging standardization of supply items and for establishing common training programs and procedures.
By maintenance of central wholesale inventory records for all the armed services, it is hoped that excessive inventories can be avoided and unnecessary duplication and overlapping eliminated.
Studies Are Hopeful
A total of some 44,264 common-use items, involving expenditures of about $2,600,000,000 annually is affected by the new system. How much money will be saved, if any, remains to be seen.
But the theoretical studies of the new plan are hopeful. The Department of Defense estimates that a single manager medical supply and distribution system, substituted for the present three-service distribution system, probably would eliminate in the East alone one out of the present five medical depots, and might reduce distribution mileage (by eliminating overlapping) by 44 per cent.
The single manager plan is at present confined to the United States but may be extended overseas in a few categories.
West Point Aims for More Cadets
New York Times, February 19, 1956—A recruiting campaign is being considered to spur lagging enrollments at the United States Military Academy.
This was reported by Representative Joe L. Evins, Democrat of Tennessee and a member of West Point’s Board of Visitors. He said there were 500 vacancies in the Academy’s authorized strength.
He said the campaign probably would be waged with television shows, brief motion- picture films and through more attractive school catalogues.
Mr. Evins also reported that some consideration was being given by the Army to obtaining authority for the Academy Superintendent to make some appointments to fill vacancies.
Such appointments by the Superintendent, Mr. Evins said, would be made from the lists of alternate appointees named by members of Congress.
After all Congressional appointments had been filled, he said, the Superintendent would be empowered to make selections from the alternate lists in the number necessary to raise a class to full strength.
Mr. Evins said that much of the apparent difficulty in keeping enrollment up to strength
was due to competition for “the best brains °f the country, and we need them for our nation’s future defense.”
The competition, he said, comes from the Naval and Air Force Academies; from groups offering scholarships for young men willing to devote their lives to science and rom private colleges and universities seeking students with high qualifications.
jT S. Navy Outgrows “Jeep”
By John Bunker
Christian Science Monitor, March 2, 1956. "^Famous escort-type “jeep” aircraft earners of World War II vintage are going into retirement—casualties of an era of jet speeds and superweapons.
The last cruise of a “jeep” or CVE carrier °n operations with the Seventh Fleet in the
Western Pacific has just ended with the return of the Point Cruz, CVE 119, from a six- uionth tour off Japan and Formosa.
More than 60 of these mass-produced CVEs were commissioned between 1942 and T-J Day in 1945. Almost all that survived the war have been “moth-balled” in reserve fleets at Boston and Bremerton, Wash.
After the Point Cruz leaves San Diego for decommissioning at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton, only the escort carrier Badoeng Strait (known throughout
the Navy as “the little Bing-Ding”), will be left in the Pacific Fleet. It, too, is scheduled for retirement early this spring.
Part of the job done by the “jeep” carriers in World War II was protection of the Atlantic convoy routes on which, prior to mid- 1943, U-boats had sunk hundreds of ships.
When the CVEs began sailing with convoys, their anti-submarine patrol planes swept a wide area around the convoy’s path and sank many U-boats, besides keeping others from tracking the convoy and launching attacks. U-boat effectiveness, according to German reports, dropped sharply after the escort carriers went into commission.
In the Pacific, the “jeep” carrier served as convoy escort as well as operating with task forces in scouting and attack assignments.
Retirement of the “jeep” carrier, according to the headquarters of the Pacific Fleet Air Force, has been made imperative by the increased size and weight of planes and the demand for faster ships capable of pacing fast task forces.
“Jeep” carriers are 537 feet long, compared to the 888 feet of .Essex-class carriers, many of which have recently been converted for jet-age operations with angled flight decks, steam catapults, and other improvements.
Higher-speed Essex carriers, moreover, are capable of carrying almost three times as many aircraft as the little CVEs.
Radar Sentinels Ready to Track AF Missiles
Washington Post and Times Herald, February 28, 1956.—A $10-million chain of 21 huge radar installations will go into service in April on eight islands extending from Florida into the South Atlantic to police the traffic of Air Force supersonic rockets and missiles fired over the ocean.
The radar sentinels will keep such a close electronic eye on weapons shot from the Air Force’s Cocoa Beach, Fla., launching site that any missile that strays off its course will be destroyed by the push of a button before it can fall on a populated area, the announcement said.
The Dynamics Corporation of America,
the builder, called it the world’s largest chain radar tracking system. The Department of Defense “censored out” the distance the chain of stations would extend into the ocean, but it was believed it would be more than 3000 miles long.
The islands linked into the range are Grand Bahama, Eleuthera, San Salvador, Mayaguana, Grand Turk, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and St. Lucia.
One radar station is going up at Cape Canaveral, Fla., near the launching center of the Air Research and Development Command’s guided missile range.
The radar stations will record missile and rocket flights, and report back to the flight- control, test-center near Cocoa Beach. Locations will be given to within one-hundredths of a degree, the company spokesman said.
The information will be of vital use to safety officers, who have the responsibility of making sure that no inhabited area along the length of the missile range is in danger from test weapons. If a missile strays a tiny fraction from its charted course or behaves erratically, it will be destroyed immediately by remote control.
The radar stations also will provide the precision information needed by the Air Force officers, scientists and engineers who design missiles. The data will enable them to make tactical evaluations and studies of the effectiveness and potential use of weapons being tested, a company official said.
In addition to 21 radar systems installed in air-conditioned structures, there will be five other systems in mobile vans for special operations. Only one man will be needed for the operation of each of the electronically- controlled units.
The first installation was made near Cocoa Beach in January, 1955, and the Grand- Bahama station was completed soon after. The chain is now complete except for the two St. Lucia stations.
Last Ships Leave Base in Antarctic
By Bernard Kalb
New York Herald Tribune, March 12, 1956.—Ninety-three Americans began a seven-month period of bleak isolation March 9 when their last callers, the icebreakers Glacier and Easlwind, sailed from Ross Island, new United States year-round outpost. It is the largest base ever built in the Antarctic.
With the mercury down to 5 degrees below zero and winds of up to 40 miles an hour, only a few of the wintering-over party emerged from their warm barracks to wave good-by to the final visitors of the 1955-56 season. The 91 Navy men and two civilians will not see another American until next November, when Navy and Air Force planes will begin flying in from New Zealand to open Operation Deepfreeze II.
The operations are part of a four-year program designed mostly to support the United States’ role in the Antarctic phase of the International Geophysical Year, 1957— 58.
The Navy’s most powerful icebreaker, the Glacier, left the McMurdo Sound area for Little America V as Rear Admiral George J. Dufek revived plans, canceled by him only ten days before, to conduct a base reconnaissance survey during the last few weeks of the current work season. He said the Glacier would reconnoiter the Knox Coast and Weddell Sea areas, about 2,500 miles apart, where the United States plans to construct scientific stations next season. A Soviet party set up a base this season in the Knox Coast area.
Eastwind Fit for Voyage
The Glacier has been relieved of the job of escorting or towing the partly crippled icebreaker Eastwind to Wellington, N. Z. The Coast Guard vessel broke a port shaft in tussles with the thick McMurdo Sound ice. However, after a test run, Admiral Dufek said the ship could safely make the 2,200- mile voyage to New Zealand.
The two icebreakers left behind thirteen officers and seventy-eight enlisted men, all of them volunteers. They will have plenty of work to do, for in the seven weeks remaining before the sun drops below the horizon for four months, they will put the finishing touches on their 34-structure outpost.
In August, when the sun returns, they will begin carrying out their twin missions: mark-
ing out an ice runway to support United States aerial operations, and establishing a 15-man observatory at the South Pole, about 800 miles away.
Five-hundred tons of cargo have been unloaded this season, to be air-dropped at the Pole at the start of next season in one of the most ambitious undertakings in Antarctic history.
The farewell was not without a touch of ceremony. Addressing a messhall gathering, Admiral Dufek expressed praise for Lieut. Commander David W. Canham of Detroit, the officer in charge at the base, and his men.
“You have just completed the first stage of one of the toughest operations I’ve seen anywhere—in war or in peace,” the 52-year- old veteran of two previous Antarctic expeditions, said.
Admiral Inspects Base
After taking a last look at the base, the Admiral, accompanied by his staff, returned to the Glacier. The icebreaker then began the 400-mile journey to Little America V, the other wintering-over base that was built this season during Operation Deepfreeze I. After the vessel drops off mail at that outpost, she will begin the coastal survey.
The ship’s final job was the mooring of two small tankers that contain more than 500,000 gallons of fuel for next season’s operations.
The sub-zero weather at Ross Island was practically a warm preview of what nature has in store for the base during the winter night. The mercury was expected to drop to 60 degrees below zero at the height of the winter and winds were expected to work up
to a fierce velocity of more than 100 miles an hour.
Air Force Crash Rate off, Flying Time Rises
New York Herald Tribune, March 5, 1956. —A Strategic Air Command bomber is making an aerial refueling contact with a flying tanker on an average of every four minutes.
A jet fighter is landing or taking off at the rate of one a minute, with one base in the United States having an average of one every forty-two seconds.
United States Air Force planes—bombers, fighters, transports and others—flew last year more than two and a half times the total hours flown by all American-owned commercial air lines operating in this country and overseas.
8 Crashes in 2 Months
Air Force officials came up with this index of American air-power operations in seeking answers to reporters’ questions about accidents.
Within the last two months there have been eight major air crashes of Air Force planes. The latest was the loss of a giant C-124 transport in the sea of Iceland.
Air Force officials say that in spite of the rapid increase in operations the rate of accidents is going down. The Air Force still insists upon secrecy regarding the total number of hours flown by its planes and the actual number of accidents.
Officials will disclose only the rate of accidents for each 100,000 hours of flying time for world-wide operations.
The figures made available on this basis show that in 1954 the rate of major accidents was twenty. In 1955 it was seventeen.
Speaking before the latest C-124 accident, but after the previous seven since the first of the year, an Air Force official said that a “tentative check indicates the accident rate so far this year is lower than it was on this date last year.”
The eight accidents so far this year— which have resulted in the death of twenty- eight airmen, with seventeen more missing in the C-124 accident—have been to bombers and transports.
However, Brig. Gen. Joseph Caldara, director of flight safety research, has said jet fighters account for almost half of Air Force accidents. One reason for that, he said, is that the mission of the fighters “is essentially more hazardous.” Jet fighters, with their high speed, make more take-offs and landings for each hour of flying than any other type.
The general said that 46 per cent of the major jet accidents covered in a recent study were caused by pilot error; 3 per cent by maintenance error; 23 per cent materiel failure; 4 per cent “supervisory error,” and 24 per cent classed under the heading of “all other”—which includes accidents for which the cause could not be determined.
Gen. Caldara noted that the speed and complexity of airplanes have increased vastly, while the pilot is the same human being he was when flying the old, slow planes.
Satellite Rocket Sketch Released*
By Ansel E. Talbert
New York Herald Tribune, March 21, 1956.— The U. S. Navy released the first official artist’s sketch of the Vanguard three- stage rocket vehicle it has ordered designed and built by Martin Aircraft to place the world’s first man-made earth satellite in its orbit.
The Navy also released a drawing depicting the flight path of the Vanguard from its launching point to an orbit 300 miles above the earth. The satellite launching vehicle will resemble a giant rifle shell complete with the bullet. Its first stage rocket, about forty-five feet long, resembles the Navy’s Viking research rocket built by Martin, which attained an altitude of 158.4 miles, a world’s record for a single stage rocket. The second stage rocket, mounted above and attached to the first, is somewhat cone-shaped and corresponds to the bullet part of a shell.
3rd-Stage Rocket Inside 2nd
The third-stage rocket, with the actual satellite attached to its nose, will be carried completely enclosed within the second-stage “bullet.”
THiRO CTAPF TH'RO STACE BURNOUT l IGNITION cfPAPATinti
FIRST STAGE BURNOUT AND SEPARATION
The Vanguard launching vehicle will be the first liquid fuel rocket ever designed to be controlled without the use of fins—the result °f a scientific break-through by Martin.
Dr. W. R. G. Baker, Vice-President of the General Electric Co., which is building the first-stage Vanguard rocket motor for Martin, predicted that Project Vanguard “will Point to that of which man has long dreamed "-the conquest of space.” Dr. Baker, who also is general manager of his company’s electronics division, told the national convention of the Institute of Radio Engineers in the Waldorf-Astoria that experimentation in the earth satellite program was certain to bring advances in electronics, particularly communications techniques. He said there will be a rapidly increasing “trend to miniaturization of electronic components to meet requirements associated with propulsion to outer space.”
First Stage to 40 Miles
The Navy revealed that the first-stage rocket of the Vanguard, launching the entire assembly, will burn out its fuel at an altitude of between thirty and forty miles, then separate and drop off.
The second stage, also liquid rocket propelled, will start firing and at a predetermined time during its burning will jettison the streamlining of its nose, leaving the third-stage rocket and actual satellite exposed. The second-stage rocket will tilt in the direction of the satellite’s predetermined flight path, according to Navy rocket experts, and even after burning out will continue upward until it attains the satellite’s intended orbit.
Spins for Direction
When this is reached a spinning movement will be imparted to the third-stage rocket to insure its directional stability. Once the third-stage rocket has been set firmly on its course, the second stage will drop off and the third stage, which uses solid instead of liquid propellant for simplicity, will start firing.
The third-stage rocket carrying the satellite will have no guidance system or elec-
INITIATE 3RD STAGE SPIN SEPARATE END STACE
SECOND STACE BURNOUT
VELOCITY 25.000 FT/SEC ALTITUDE 200-400 MILES RANGE 1500 MILES
TIME 10 MIN AFTER
PRELIMINARY SCHEMATIC TRAJECTORY
Courtesy Glenn L. Martin Company
A DRAWING OF THE TRAJECTORY OF THE VANGUARD RESEARCH VEHICLE
Depicting burn out positions of the three stages of the vehicle in its flight to place a satellite in its orbital altitude of between 200 and 400 miles above the earth.
tronic brain to direct its flight, unlike the other two. Its job is to boost the satellite’s speed to 18,000 miles an hour, necessary to counteract the earth’s gravitational pull. At burn out of the third stage, the satellite probably will be “nudged ahead” by means of a releasing device, but the burned out rocket
will trail the satellite in its orbit for some time.
Neiv Eight-Ton Amphibious Vehicle Tested
Army-Navy-Air Force Register, February 25, 1956.—The Drake, a new army eight-ton amphibious vehicle, was unveiled by Army Ordnance during acceptance tests in the heavy surf at Monterey, Calif. The vehicle, developed by the Ordnance Tank-Automotive Command, is bigger, faster, and more economical than any other sea-going truck. The new cargo and personnel carrier measures 42 by 10 feet, has eight retractable wheels and features a plastic hard-top cab, and automatic tire inflation system, propeller steering, and automatic transmission.
Talos Soon to Join Land and Sea Missile Arsenal
Washington Evening Star, March 7, 1956. —The Talos, a new surface-to-air guided missile, soon will be employed in the continental air defense, both at land installations and aboard ships off the coast.
Developed by the Navy and built by Bendix Aviation Corp., the Talos will be used in the event of an atomic air attack. It will supplement the Nike missile, batteries of which already ring Washington and other metropolitan areas.
Air Force survey teams will make a study of prospective sites. The first of these will be at Lockbourne Air Force Base, Ohio; Bunker Hill Air Base, Indiana, and others near Peoria and Kirksville, Mo.
General Nathan F. Twining, Air Force Chief of Staff, said the Talos would “add greatly to our defense capability.” He said its range and performance would make it a highly effective defense weapon.
Detachments of trained Air Force missile technicians will man each Talos site. The department said that built-in safety features “make an accidental detonation almost an impossibility.” r
The Talos was developed for shipboard use, and the Navy has announced that the light cruiser Galveston is being converted for that purpose. The Navy has requested further funds for additional light cruisers to carry the Talos.
The Talos is a supersonic missile and was developed at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Silver Spring.
It is a ramjet propelled weapon and the land-based version is being developed with the Radio Corporation of America.
The land Talos resembles the carrier missile, also a surface-to-air weapon, but its diameter is larger. A set of four wings arranged in a cruciform pattern around the body provide lift and control forces. A single booster rocket accelerates Talos to a speed where its ramjet engine begins to operate.
Improved Matador Passes Flight Tests
By Harry C. Kenney
Christian Science Monitor, March 9, 1956. —The United States Air Force has successfully test-fired the improved, longer-range, and larger version of the Martin Matador TM-61 tactical missile.
The weapon is now designated as the TM-61B and carries in the war head nuclear explosives. It operates at near-sonic speeds (over 650 miles an hour) with a range of 600 miles or better and is turbojet powered.
The new missile is longer, and carries a larger nose section than the present TM-61
Matadors, which are the Air Force’s first operational tactical missiles deployed on a ready-alert status in Europe.
The weapon is about the same size and weight of a jet fighter. It is launched by rocket from a 39-foot mobile, tandem-axle semi-trailer and is credited with “fantastic accuracy in hitting targets.” Electronic guidance from the ground calls the turns as the missile is propelled on its mission. Once over the target, the Matador points its lethal nose downward and streaks toward the goal at transsonic velocity.
The Matador fits into the missile and military pattern in a rounded military sense. Martin has been working on it since 1946, when the Air Force issued specifications for a niedium-range, surface-to-surface missile.
It embraces a transsonic, high-performance air frame, featuring interchangeable parts; it has the means of automatic guidance; alternative warheads; a zero-length launcher and booster rocket; a full complement of groundhandling and transporting vehicles; fully equipped squadron assembly, ordnance, and launch areas; complete system checkout and testing apparatus; depot, housing, and maintenance facilities; shipping containers for seven major components, and packaged spare parts ready for shipment and longterm storage.
For troops in the field it brings new striking power, in terms of a highly flexible and wholly mobile weapon system. Every piece of Matador equipment rolls on wheels. Expandable, it is capable of penetrating the hottest flak in softening up tactical targets.
The Matador is actually a small, fast airplane with a guidance system instead of a pilot. It can be used in day or night operations, in all weather it can be operated from dispersed positions in the face of enemy air superiority, giving the Air Force the important advantages of mobility and flexibility. It is proving to be so successful that Air Force operational units are armed with it and these units are deployed in Europe.
V. S. Takes Firm Stand on Freedom of Seas
By James E. Warner
New York Herald Tribune, February 27, 1956.—Even against a bloc of sister American republics, the United States is prepared to stand adamant on one of its cardinal principles—freedom of the seas.
In the marble halls of the Pan American Union Building, where twenty-one ambassadors, including one from the United States, meet in the Council of the Organization of
American States, the issue will not be drawn so sharply, but it is this:
Is the 0 A S prepared to jettison ancient international law that three miles to seaward is the proper distance for peaceful territorial jurisdiction?
United States for 3-Mile Limit By a vote of 15 to 1, with five abstentions, a council of 0 A S jurists voted to permit each nation to determine its own seaward territorial waters. The United States asserted, and still asserts, that this group had no power to act and insisted on the three- mile limit.
* * *
Diplomats are carrying the ball, but the United States Navy and Air Force are peering closely over their shoulders.
Military men shudder to think of an overlapping 200-mile territorial limit at sea in the Caribbean from the coasts of tightly packed small republics, with the international complications of British, Dutch and French territory thrown in for good measure on the approaches to the Panama Canal.
Should the old three-mile limit be abolished and a 200, 100, or even fifty-mile sea limit be adopted on a world-wide scale, military experts shudder even more. Norwegian gunboats have fired on Soviet fishing vessels venturing within a ten-mile limit which Norway claims. Military men eye the sixty-mile wide Bering Strait between American Alaska and Soviet Siberia.
The controversy has nothing to do with obligations of the United States and the twenty other American republics under the 1947 Rio de Janeiro Treaty, which calls for united military action if necessary against an act of aggression anywhere in hemisphere waters, even far more than 200 miles to sea in some regions.
Petroleum May Be Factor From the standpoint of some Latin countries, the claimed seaward sovereignty is more akin to the battle over coastal oil lands in this country—indeed, in some regions, petroleum ultimately may become a factor.
New Combat TV Shown by Army
New York Times, February 20, 1956.— The Signal Corps unveiled a portable tele-
vision transmitter that will permit a scout to transmit actual battle views back to headquarters.
The new unit, manufactured by the Radio Corporation of America to specifications laid down by the Signal Corps center, weighs a total of fifty-five pounds. It can transmit a picture about half a mile in flat terrain. The unit is composed of an eight-pound camera equipped with a pistol grip and a forty-seven pound battery case and transmitter strapped on the operator’s back.
The Army pointed out that earlier combat television equipment was severely limited in mobility by its dependence on an external power source. The new unit operates on a five-cell rechargeable silver-zinc battery, which can keep it going continuously for two hours. The battery can be replaced in two minutes.
Tests have shown that the unit permits the scout to use the protection of woods and hedgerows and to cross ditches and streams, all of which was virtually impossible with the earlier models. The new unit, which the Army contends sends a picture of quality equal to or better than commercial TV, does not transmit sound. This is handled by the traditional “walkie-talkie.”
The receiving end of the new outfit consists of a ten-inch screen set, which can operate on either house current or the electrical system of a jeep.
The Signal Corps said the unit could be set up in exposed positions for such uses as artillery fire observation and left there unmanned. It could also be used unmanned in suspected radioactive areas, where it would be unaffected by radiation that might be fatal to a soldier.
FOREIGN First Israel-Flag Tanker
Marine News, March, 1956.—The 18,500 deadweight ton tanker Haifa was launched at Hamburg recently for the Zim Israel Navigation Company, Ltd.
The first liquid bulk carrier to fly the Israel flag, the Haifa slid down the ways in the West German port as news flashes told of the first oil strike to be made in Israel.
Named for Israel’s chief sea-port and site of the country’s large oil refineries, the Haifa is a general purpose tanker, fitted to carry crude oil, gasoline, benzine and other petroleum products. The vessel has 20 tanks, each measuring 30 by 30 feet, ten of which are centerline and ten wing tanks. Three centrifugal pumps can load or discharge the ship at a rate of 1800 tons per hour, enabling her to handle a full cargo during a single day in port.
The Haifa has an over-all length of 579 feet, a moulded beam of 70 feet and a cruising speed of 16 knots. Her main propelling machinery consists of a set of steam turbines generating a maximum of 8500 horsepower to drive a single screw at 100 r.p.m.
The Haifa's tanks are protected from corrosion by magnesium alloy anodes.
The vessel is also equipped with the But- terworth system of washing tanks with hot water under strong pressure. Tanks can be scoured automatically in one to two hours eliminating the need for crew members to enter the compartments. A steam smothering system is provided to extinguish fires.
The Haifa is being built under survey of the American Bureau of Ships highest classification. Her hull is strengthened for ice navigation. Navigating equipment includes radar, gyro compass, automatic pilot and echo sounding depth recorder.
Accommodations for the 50-man crew provide each officer with a private cabin fitted with hot and cold running water and an air circulating unit. In addition, crew members will have a lounge, cinema, swimming pool and hobby room with tools for carpentry, painting, games and sports.
Performance of the Seamew
Engineering, January 20, 1956.—Details of the performance of the Seamew anti-submarine and reconnaissance aircraft, designed and constructed by Short Brothers and Har- land Limited, Queen’s Island, Belfast, have been released. The Seamew, it may be recalled, has been designed for rapid economical production and for simplicity in operation. It is going into service with RAF Coastal Command and the Royal Navy.
The Seamew has the latest “search and strike” radar and electronic equipment. The
Designed for rapid economical production and simplicity of operation. It is going into service with the RAF Coastal Command and the Royal Navy.
radar scanner is housed in a bulge under the fuselage and is located to give the best forward view when the aircraft is driving onto a target. The fuselage has been designed to afford maximum protection to the crew when “ditching.” The fixed undercarriage legs can be jettisoned and a watertight ditching floor extends the whole length of the fuselage. The undercarriage is designed to avoid bounce when landing on carriers in heavy weather or on rough airstrips.
The bomb cell is approximately 14 ft. long, 3 ft. 1 in. wide and 1 ft. 10 in. deep and is fitted with outward opening doors. There is ample space for the stowage of other types of weapons. A bomb bay capable of carrying weapons up to 17 ft. long could be provided at the expense of the ASV radar.
Fittings are provided on the underside of each center-section wing for the external stowage of the lighter types of stores and rocket projectiles. These fittings are located on each side of the undercarriage legs and could be adapted to provide for the carriage of suitable alternative stores.
The type of stores that can be carried comprise depth charges, within the bomb cell; a hoist, located in the fuselage; sono- buoys, on a light series carrier and adaptor in the bomb cell and on the wing; rockets, on the wings; reconnaissance flares or marine markers, on light series carriers in the bomb cell and on the wings; and training indicators—four can be carried on internal light series carriers for attack simulation and/or on external light series carriers for emergency signalling.
The over-all dimensions of the Seamew are as follows: length, 41 ft.; span, 55 ft.; folded span, 23 ft.; height normal, 13.42 ft.; height, wings folded, 15.75 ft.
Performance figures are given below:
Table I. Take-Off Performance of Seamew
All-up weight, lb.
Take-off distance, ft.
Table II. Climb Performance of Seamew at a Take-Off Weight of 14,000 Lb.
Allowance has been made for fuel consumed during the climb
Rate of climb,
Time to height,
ft. per min.
Service ceiling—24,500 ft.
Table III. Level Speed Performance of Sea- mew at All-Up Weight of 14,000 Lb. Allowance has been made for the fact that the jet does not act parallel to the line of flight
See New French Missile Dooming Heavy Tanks
By William J. Humphreys
New York Herald Tribune, February 19, 1956.—-The development of an anti-tank guided missile by French scientists is forcing a reconsideration of the concept of armor’s development, according, to American officers associated with military research and development in France.
In stating their high regard for the inventiveness of French engineers in both the services and civil life, the American research and development experts said that the production of the S S 10 had made France “preeminent in the field of anti-tank warfare.”
The American officers explained that the accuracy and fire-power of this “sol-a-sol” (“ground-to-ground”) missile posed the question of the heavy tank’s end. They said it no longer is practical to hang more armor onto a tank each time the potential enemy steps up the kick in his anti-tank guns.
Thanks to the French development of the S S 10 and its terrific destructive power, the tank of the future might well be a comparatively lightweight vehicle, the chief defense of which would be speed and maneuverability, the American officers said.
After noting that the “rabbit” tank still would have hitting power as well as the ability to run, the Americans also praised France for being the only European member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, including Great Britain, to be in production with an air-to-air guided missile.
The prospect of a Panzer Schrecken, or what the Germans know as a terrorizing flood of tanks designed to demoralize enemy forces, is said to be second on the priority list of NATO anxieties right after an enemy air strike with nuclear weapons.
On this account, the American authorities also are especially pleased that France, whose artillery under Napoleon altered tactics and whose development of the recoilless gun made strategic history during World War I, also is in the vanguard of anti-aircraft defenses.
In this connection the American experts said that the French armed forces are “preeminent in certain aspects of radar and
radar-jamming that still are top top-secrets.”
However, the secrecy veil has been lifted from other aspects of France’s protective weapons. One of these is the only air-to-air guided missile—-that is, a weapon launched from one aircraft to destroy another— which is in production in any European member of NATO, including Britain.
Among the “very significant successes” with which the American experts credit the French military engineers are also ground-to- air guided missiles for anti-aircraft defenses, such as the 1,000-mile-an-hour “Parca” for destroying bombers between 30,000 and 60,000 feet.
Another product of the Colomb-Bechar proving ground in North Africa—incidentally the only guided missile range convenient to Western Europe—is the Sud-Est 4300. Its performance is rated along with that of the American Nike, which flies at 1,500 miles an hour and has a range of sixty air-borne miles.
France also has developed and put into production the Sud-Est 4200, a guided rocket similar to the American “Corporal.” The ground-to-ground weapon has a speed of about 650 miles an hour and a range of about sixty miles.
Future of Five British Battleships
London Times, January 30, 1956.—A decision on the future of the five battleships remaining in the Royal Navy cannot long be delayed. The four ships of the King George V class are all in the Reserve Fleet and the Vanguard is being prepared for laying-up at Devonport.*
In the current moves to bring the Reserve Fleet to the most advanced state of readiness for sea and to disperse its ships as widely as possible, as defense against atomic attack, the battleships present a serious problem. The King George V, the Duke of York, and the Anson in the Gareloch, and the Howe at Devonport, are all in a low state of readiness and would need many months of dockyard work before being fit for operations. None of these ships has been modernized, so that their operational value is low, and even the Vanguard, which was completed in 1946,
would need considerable time to be made battleworthy.
Assuming that the battleships would be brought forward from reserve only in the event of world war, it follows that the likelihood of there being a naval dockyard in this country capable of preparing them for sea after a general atomic bombardment is extremely slight. The only major strategic role left to the battleship is the protection of convoys against raiding heavy cruisers, such as the Sverdlov class, and against this form of attack they are at present the best possible insurance. However, as this form of sea warfare would become a significant danger only after the first fury of the mutual nuclear bombardment had been spent it seems that the strategical value of the five battleships is, under present arrangements, virtually nil.
Without taking account of the massive United States naval strength, the only effective British naval counter to the Russian heavy cruisers is, at this time, the light, carrier-borne Sea Hawk jet fighter, the submarine, and the battleship, since all the cruisers now in service are obsolescent. The three Tiger class cruisers cannot be expected to come into service for several years, no modern strike aircraft is in squadron service, and there will be no guided missile cruiser with the Fleet before 1960. Therefore a definite operational role remains for the battleship.
Unless the five battleships are to be discarded it is, therefore, imperative that they be dispersed oversea either in Canadian and Australian waters, where there are the necessary dockyard facilities, or, under North Atlantic Treaty Organization auspices, in the United States. This would raise the problems of payment for the maintenance and possible refitting of the ships and their manning. If the Royal Navy is to have any heavy surface force during the next decade these problems must be overcome.
Cost of Conversion
It is unlikely that any of the five ships are suitable for conversion into guided missile ships because the expense of gutting them of their heavy gun armament, magazines, and ammunition supply systems would be prohibitive. It would be cheaper to build a ship specifically designed for the purpose, although the battleships could be simply converted to mount a few light anti-aircraft missile launchers.
The Vanguard, which displaces 44,500 tons, mounts eight 15 in. guns, sixteen 5.25 in. guns, and smaller weapons. The four ships of the King George V class, all completed between 1940 and 1942, displace 35,000 tons and mount ten 14 in. guns, sixteen 5.25 in. guns, and smaller weapons. Until the new Fleet Air Arm strike aircraft come into service and until nuclear-powered submarines and cruisers mounting surface-to-surface guided missiles join the Fleet, the heavy gun remains the most sure defense against surface ships on the broad oceans once the opposing strategic air forces have been spent.
In considering the value of maintaining the battleships in reserve it must be remembered that, primarily because of the cost of maintaining them in reserve, four large aircraft carriers have recently been scheduled for disposal. These ships, although they could not have operated modern, high- performance aircraft from their decks, would have been invaluable as carriers of anti-submarine aircraft, helicopters, and tanker aircraft for aerial refuelling, and, as such, could have accompanied the striking fleet, so enabling the modern carriers to carry greater numbers of front-line aircraft.
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Belgian Air Force Faces Personnel Crisis*
Aiiation Week, March 12, 1956.—Belgium will remember 1955 as the year when the latent crisis, both in men and material, in the Belgian Air Force came to the surface.
Defense Minister Spinoy made no attempt in the pre-Christmas debate to deny the formidable indictment of Catholic Deputy Brasseur. The debate brought out that the roots of the crisis certainly dated back to Spinoy’s Catholic predecessor Colonel (now General) Degreef.
Spinoy said that many of his officer pilots had war-time RAF training but his technical ground-staff had not. He didn’t add that war-trained officers aren’t getting any younger, as was shown when an officer of 46 was killed night-flying at the controls of a Meteor II. The fact emerges that organic planning looks for 2,000 officers; and all they’ve got is 1,350.
The truth seems to be that the Belgian Air Force expanded too fast and too haphazardly. NATO engagements taken in 1953 were beyond the nation’s capacity in men, money and material. Economy in maintenance and stocking of spare parts was an unhappy consequence. Regulations have been amended so that the once-in-two-years factory checkup (IRAN) is now done only once in three years.
Deputy Jaminet charged eight pilots in 25 were victims of accidents against one in 25 in the United States.
Many repairs and replacement of parts take 18 months. Grounded aircraft are cannibalized for parts to keep other aircraft in service.
The maintenance delays have especially affected the Thunder jets. What remains of the material of three wings has had to be concentrated in two bases. Meantime the 75 promised Thunder streaks are on their way, but only 12 have yet arrived.
There is nothing but praise for the Thun- derflashes in the Reconnaissance Squadron. Replacement of the Meteor fighters and night fighters is a sore point. Belgium had to let an offshore order for Hawker Hunters slip by. The first Hunter for Belgium had its tests shortly before Christmas; and Spinoy promises the re-equipment of the fighter section by August.
Spinoy has reduced Belgium’s NATO commitment, including local defense, from 531 to 439 aircraft. His next step is to see that this smaller number of aircraft, or a reasonable proportion of it, are operational. This may be a tough problem. However, Spinoy has applied a new broom to the generals surrounding him.
“Compulsion” in Fleet Air Arm
London Times, January 7, 1956.—So few officers have volunteered for the observer branch of the Fleet Air Arm that the Admiralty have had to resort to the “pressing” of junior officers for air-crew duties. The first “pressed officers” are currently undergoing the observer training course at the Royal Naval air station, Culdrose, Cornwall, and it is expected that a rather larger number of officers may have to accept such compulsory appointments this year.
The officers affected are all junior lieutenants of the executive branch who have been awarded watchkeeping certificates and are physically fit to fly in high performance jet aircraft. The numbers required at present are comparatively small, so that it has been found that the fairest method of primary selection is to draw names out of a hat.
Those officers who object to compulsory flying are able to make their complaint to higher authority but only those with strong, valid reasons for the complaint will be allowed to remain in the executive branch.
After passing through the observers’ training course, which lasts about one year, the lieutenants, together with the volunteer officers, will be appointed to front-line squadrons equipped with night and all-weather jet fighters—such as the Sea Venom or, in due course, the DH 110—or to an antisubmarine squadron operating Gannets or helicopters, or perhaps to early-warning radar aircraft. During their flying careers these officers will be given one tour of sea duty as lieutenants and another as lieutenant-commanders to enable them to qualify for further promotion in the executive branch after their years in the Fleet Air Arm.
The need for this compulsion was brought about by the decision in 1945 to stop the training of officers as air observers. These duties were then taken over by ratings, but it was found that the high degree of skill needed in observers, upon whose reports the outcome of a modern naval battle might depend, could best be found in officers with experience of navigation and advanced seamanship.
Officers’ training courses were therefore resumed in 1949 and a campaign was launched to recruit young men as observers entering the Royal Navy with short service commissions. Not enough volunteers came forward, and, as a result, any junior lieutenant in the executive branch who is physically fit may be called upon to fly, just as, for example, he might be appointed to Coastal Forces or to a fishery protection vessel.
This is the first time since the war that naval officers have been compelled to fly. During the war, particularly during the early years, small numbers of officers who had not volunteered for flying duties were appointed to observers’ courses.
At the Admiralty it is hoped that the scheme will not be a permanent feature of Fleet Air Arm manning, and renewed efforts are being made to attract volunteers from the executive branch.
Japan to Join 11 Other Nations with Expedition to Antarctic*
Christian Science Monitor, February 14, 1956.—Almost half a century since a Japanese Navy lieutenant went to the South Pole region in a 400-ton wooden vessel, Japanese natural scientists now are planning Japan’s “come-back” to the Antarctic.
Lt. Nobu Shirase, the first man to plant a Japanese flag in the Antarctic in 1912, had only limited funds, no official backing, and is reported to have been either ignored or considered mad when he set out in 1910.
Some 45 years later, Japan will join 11 other countries in carrying out natural scientific observations in the Antarctic during the International Geophysical Year 1957-58.
Japan will spend about $3,000,000 on the venture.
Japanese natural scientists expect much of Antarctica in the future. If scientific development continues, the icy continent may one day be opened up for settlement.
Japan, with a population of 89,000,000 persons packed into an area of only 140,000 square miles, is always looking out for new areas where its surplus population might be welcomed.
Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd, commanding the American International Geophysical Year expedition, said before his departure that he believed the 1957-58 venture would “foreshadow the first permanent settlement in Antarctica.” He also said that his expedition would see “the beginning of the opening up of a great continent which is going to be of tremendous value to man and to the peace- loving nations of the world.”
The Japanese expedition will establish its base on Prince Harald coast, situated between Princess Ragnhild coast and Prince Olav coast. The Japanese base will be 500 miles from the Australian expedition’s base on MacRobertson coast and 625 miles from Norway’s base on Princess Martha.
The coastal base will also be 850 miles from the South Pole.
An advance team of between 20 and 30 men is scheduled to leave Japan for the Antarctic in November, 1956. The main body will leave one year later.
An official of the Antarctic expedition headquarters in Tokyo, secretary-general Sakuichiro Hanzawa, was aboard the Japanese whaling ship Kinjo Marti early in December to get up-to-date information.
At the same time, the captain and engineer who will command the 3,000-ton Japanese Antarctic ship, Soya, left Japan in another vessel to make a preliminary survey.
The Soya, built in 1938, can make only nine knots. She will, however, have been completely remodeled by September, 1956, and then will be capable of a speed of 17 knots and able to make her way through thick ice packs.
The ship carrying the Japanese expedition to the Antarctic also will conduct extensive research on marine life and sea currents on the way to the polar region.