SRN Velikaya with Mines

Velikaya Class Cruiser

Ships of the class;

– SRN Velikaya (in commission)

– SRN Vtoraya (in commission)

Initially known as the Improved Tanyurer class, the Velikayas were modified designs based on trials experience with the Tanyurer that predated them by a year. The keel for Velikaya had in fact been laid down as another Tanyurer before construction was halted for the redesign. Amongst the reasons cited for the modified designs was improved firepower, additional range and mine laying capability without loosing speed. In order to achieve this the hulls had to be lengthened and whilst range remained the same as the Tanyurer, the armament was vastly improved (as explained below).

Whilst the original Tanyurers had been designed to serve as fleet scouts, the Velikayas were intended to be commerce raiders and as such were not expected to operate with the fleet but either individually or paired together. In order to keep the cost of the vessels as low as possible, the new vessels shared common armour and machinery with the preceding class. Accommodations also remained largely unchanged. The primary criticism of the Tanyurer design had been its design solely for 10cm guns. Whilst common with army equipment and with a decent rate of fire and handling, the 10cm gun was increasingly becoming outdated by even more modern merchant raider designs. Whilst the Tanyurers were later converted to have their fore and aft guns upgraded to 15cm guns, it was still inadequate. The Velikayas opted for a primary armament of 4x 15cm guns in centreline mounts to allow all round fire. The hull had to be lengthened to accommodate the amidships gun and allow for machinery to be moved slightly further forward to allow for a superfiring gun aft. The mounts remained unarmoured with only a single hoist operated by derrick and with splinter shields which reduced weight and minimized changes required. The problematic submerged torpedo tubes were replaced and doubled with deck mounted side rotating twin tubes on either side of the hull replacing the forward pair of 10cm guns in the original design. The remaining 6 10cm guns were retained to provide additional weight of fire. Armour again remained unchanged.

Another major change was a modification of the aft section to allow the carriage of up to 120 mines on the quarterdeck on rails along the hull side although in practice far fewer were carried due to limited space on board and the difficulty moving mines from the aft magazine store to the deck rails. This was the result of the planned tactics for the cruisers of using their speed and the cover of night to approach Japanese shipping lines, lay mine fields to focus shipping and then capture or sink the merchants. Engagements with the IJN were to be avoided unless the Japanese vessels were sufficiently outgunned by the raiders. Provision was also made to allow for replenishment of coal from the bunkers of prize vessels along with the taking of crews however the usefulness of these facilities was never tested in practice.

SRN Velikaya as built

SRN Velikaya as built

SRN Velikaya with Mines

SRN Velikaya with Mines

SRN Velikaya, Socialist Republic of Sieran Velikaya Class Cruisers laid down 1913

Displacement:
3,715 t light; 3,857 t standard; 4,495 t normal; 5,005 t full load

Dimensions: Length (overall / waterline) x beam x draught (normal/deep)
(470.51 ft / 460.00 ft) x 43.40 ft x (19.80 / 21.26 ft)
(143.41 m / 140.21 m) x 13.23 m x (6.04 / 6.48 m)

Armament:
4 – 5.91″ / 150 mm 45.0 cal guns – 103.86lbs / 47.11kg shells, 150 per gun
Quick firing guns in deck mounts, 1912 Model
4 x Single mounts on centreline ends, evenly spread
1 raised mount aft – superfiring
6 – 4.02″ / 102 mm 50.0 cal guns – 34.28lbs / 15.55kg shells, 150 per gun
Quick firing guns in deck mounts, 1913 Model
6 x Single mounts on sides, evenly spread
Weight of broadside 621 lbs / 282 kg
Main Torpedoes
4 – 21.0″ / 533 mm, 16.24 ft / 4.95 m torpedoes – 1.051 t each, 4.204 t total
In 2 sets of deck mounted side rotating tubes
Mines
120 – 551.16 lbs / 250.00 kg mines – 29.526 t total
in Above water – Stern racks/rails

Armour:
– Belts: Width (max) Length (avg) Height (avg)
Main: 2.36″ / 60 mm 311.68 ft / 95.00 m 7.78 ft / 2.37 m
Ends: 0.59″ / 15 mm 16.40 ft / 5.00 m 7.78 ft / 2.37 m
131.92 ft / 40.21 m Unarmoured ends
Main Belt covers 104 % of normal length

– Armoured deck – single deck:
For and Aft decks: 2.28″ / 58 mm

– Conning towers: Forward 4.02″ / 102 mm, Aft 0.00″ / 0 mm

Machinery:
Coal fired boilers, steam turbines,
Geared drive, 2 shafts, 29,975 shp / 22,361 Kw = 27.57 kts
Range 6,400nm at 12.00 kts
Bunker at max displacement = 1,149 tons (100% coal)

Complement:
273 – 356

Cost:
£0.373 million / $1.491 million

Distribution of weights at normal displacement:
Armament: 157 tons, 3.5 %
– Guns: 112 tons, 2.5 %
– Weapons: 45 tons, 1.0 %
Armour: 680 tons, 15.1 %
– Belts: 233 tons, 5.2 %
– Armour Deck: 424 tons, 9.4 %
– Conning Tower: 24 tons, 0.5 %
Machinery: 1,292 tons, 28.7 %
Hull, fittings & equipment: 1,586 tons, 35.3 %
Fuel, ammunition & stores: 780 tons, 17.3 %
Miscellaneous weights: 0 tons, 0.0 %

Overall survivability and seakeeping ability:
Survivability (Non-critical penetrating hits needed to sink ship):
5,666 lbs / 2,570 Kg = 55.0 x 5.9 ” / 150 mm shells or 1.3 torpedoes
Stability (Unstable if below 1.00): 1.22
Metacentric height 2.0 ft / 0.6 m
Roll period: 12.7 seconds
Steadiness – As gun platform (Average = 50 %): 95 %
– Recoil effect (Restricted arc if above 1.00): 0.31
Seaboat quality (Average = 1.00): 1.90

Hull form characteristics:
Hull has rise forward of midbreak, low quarterdeck ,
a normal bow and a cruiser stern
Block coefficient (normal/deep): 0.398 / 0.413
Length to Beam Ratio: 10.60 : 1
‘Natural speed’ for length: 21.45 kts
Power going to wave formation at top speed: 49 %
Trim (Max stability = 0, Max steadiness = 100): 50
Bow angle (Positive = bow angles forward): 13.10 degrees
Stern overhang: 4.69 ft / 1.43 m
Freeboard (% = length of deck as a percentage of waterline length):
Fore end, Aft end
– Forecastle: 15.51 %, 25.00 ft / 7.62 m, 21.49 ft / 6.55 m
– Forward deck: 15.05 %, 21.49 ft / 6.55 m, 20.51 ft / 6.25 m
– Aft deck: 50.94 %, 16.01 ft / 4.88 m, 15.49 ft / 4.72 m
– Quarter deck: 18.50 %, 12.01 ft / 3.66 m, 12.99 ft / 3.96 m
– Average freeboard: 17.05 ft / 5.20 m

Ship space, strength and comments:
Space – Hull below water (magazines/engines, low = better): 100.6 %
– Above water (accommodation/working, high = better): 142.1 %
Waterplane Area: 12,273 Square feet or 1,140 Square metres
Displacement factor (Displacement / loading): 126 %
Structure weight / hull surface area: 69 lbs/sq ft or 335 Kg/sq metre
Hull strength (Relative):
– Cross-sectional: 0.91
– Longitudinal: 2.35
– Overall: 1.00
Adequate machinery, storage, compartmentation space
Excellent accommodation and workspace room
Ship has slow, easy roll, a good, steady gun platform
Excellent seaboat, comfortable, can fire her guns in the heaviest weather

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