BNS Pernambuco (BC-1927)


Back to Other Ships List

08/11/2023 - I have looked at this drawing several times since I drew it just a few days ago. I do not like the upgrade drawings. It is the hangar and bridge area that just don't seem to go together. Lets try again.

The conversion of the old Bellerophon class battleship to aircraft handling duties gave the Brazilian Navy 5 twin 12" turrets with which a new ship could be designed around. Discussion centered on where the 5th turret should be mounted, C, Q, or Z, positions. The Navy designers discounted the Q position from the start leaving C and Z. The C position was toyed with, with many designs showing the differing ways the turrets could be mounted.

The position the Brazilians would have most liked to use was Fore / Config. 03. This would allow all of the guns to fire forward which with a fast battlecruiser would be ideal. But to enable this design would have required an extra long forecastle to allow for the extra weight forward and to stop the bow from plunging from the weight. A typical British hull with a step down deck aft would allow Aft / Config 01. to be used without the problems associated with the other configurations.

Built as a greyhound at 725x88 feet with a large propulsion system to reach 34 knots. The 34 knot speed was to enable the ship to be able to intercept the Argentinian cruisers and minelayers (ex Bremse class) which were faster than the ships currently in the Brazilian Navy. With a secondary armament of 5.5" and 4" AA guns, the ship lasted in this condition for ten years before being sent for refurbishment with a new dual purpose secondary armament and other changes to improve the fire control systems and light AA armaments. The old 1920's look disappeared for a more modern look. This was the standard rebuild work that all of the World War One era capital ships went through. The Rio de Janeiro class had similar parts used in their rebuilds as well.

Second try at 1939 upgrade. The superstructure on the top deck was stripped to deck level. Replacement superstructure were fitted that could more easily take the bigger, better, directors and optics. Secondary directors went from one to four to control the new 4.5" BD twin mountings. One of the most noticeable upgrades was the replacement of the twin funnels with one much bigger funnel. The same four eight barrel 2 pounder pom pom's were kept but resited to the top of the aircraft hangar. The 0.5 machine guns were replaced with 20mm Hispano-Suiza weapons. The Hispano-Suiza 20mm did not have the same rate of fire as the Oerlikon which replaced it in 1941-42. The ship had been treated like any other of the First World War vintage capital ships and given a complete superstructure rebuild.

This ships major duty was to catch and dispatch raiders and minelayers. As the later 1930's and 1940's proved, aircraft would be the ships major enemy. That was something that had always been recognised and the ships anti-aircraft armament had been strong. Added to that the ships deck armour had been made thicker than most ships of its type.

Displacement 27,500 tons std 31,750 tons full load
Length 720 ft
Breadth 88 ft
Draught 30 ft
Machinery 4 shaft steam turbines, 160,000shp
Speed 34 knots
Range 8500 miles at 16 knots
Armour 8" side, 5" deck, 11" turrets
Armament As completed

10x 12" (5x2)
12 x 5.5" (12x1)
8 x 4" (8x1)
32 x 2pd (4x8)
20 x 0.5" mg (5x4)
1939 Refurbishment

10x 12" (5x2)
20 x 4.5" (10x2)
32 x 2pd (10x8)
18 x 20mm HS (18x1)
1943-44 final outfit.

10x 12" (5x2)
20 x 4.5" (10x2)
26 x 40 mm STAAG (13x2)
2 x 40mm (2x1)
Aircraft 3
Complement 1350



Back to Other Ships List