HMS Naiad (CLA-1945)


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HMS Naiad was a one off Anti-aircraft cruiser built utilising the new fully automatic 4"/54cal Mk XXV twin mounting. The ship was made big enough to mount 10 twin mountings with 300 rpg. The Naiad was 593 x 66 feet in size, with an 80,000shp power plant to move the ship at 32 knots. Completed in February 1945 the Naiad was transferred to the British Pacific Fleet, where its sheer anti-aircraft firepower would be second to none. In service it was found that the barrel life was short when the new weapons were fired at fully automatic for more than 10 minutes at a time. With the advent of the Kamikaze attacks starting at dawn and continuing throughout the day, the 4" guns were being fired at a greater rate than the guns were designed for. By the end of its first month long deployment the Naiad had to be withdrawn for a set of new barrels, the ship had been firing out of smoothbores for its last few days. At 20 rounds per minute, it only took 15 minutes of continuous fire to empty the magazines. Resupply of 4" ammunition was a daily event when in contact with Japanese forces.

Continuing to supply AA coverage for the carrier group after 1945, the ship was modern enough for it to be converted to a missile cruiser. The planning for the conversion started in 1955 for completion by 1960 if the ship was to be fitted with the Sea Slug weapons. Otherwise if the ship is to be fitted with the NIGS missile system, planning would have started in 1960 with the conversion completed 1965. The only problem with the later conversion is that the ship would be 20 years old at completion with a possible 10-15 years service left. Mounting NIGS in a new ship would give the whole 30-35 years service for the newly mounted system. Sea Slug might have been fitted, NIGS would not have been fitted. Sea Cat would have been fitted for short range work, but as the ship would probably have been withdrawn from service between 1970-75, it would probably not have made it to the Supercat era. The only other conversion work that may have been contemplated for the ship was the 'Helicopter Cruiser' type that was done for the Tiger. But the Tiger was converted 1970-73 and I can't see the Naiad being converted any earlier. So the chances of a CLH conversion are pretty non-existent.


Displacement 11,000 tons standard, 14,450 tons full load
Length 593 ft
Breadth 66 ft
Draught 22 ft
Machinery 4 shaft steam turbines, 85,000shp
Speed 32 knots
Range 7500 miles at 15 knots
Armour 4" belt, 2.5" deck. 1.5" turrets.
Armament As Completed 1945

20 x 4" (10x2)
14 x 40mm STAAG (7x2)

Sea Slug

6 x 4" (3x2)
4 x 40mm Mk V (2x2)
1 x triple Sea Slug launcher
4 x quad Sea Cat launchers

6 x 4" (3x2)
4 x 40mm Mk V (2x2)
1 x twin NIGS Launcher
4 x quad Sea Cat launchers
Complement 580 570 565


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