Ok so it seems some people are still peed off at me for the Landing Platform Duck April fools Joke.
I say that because I'm hearing stories that several groups mistook it for a real LPD and wanted to add it to their mod pack. And when they found out it was a 40m long Rubber Duck they got quite upset.
Very upset apparently. So then came the nasty stories..."There is no LPD. Hes not making one..." you get the picture. So here I am beavering away in my dimly lit office working on creating phantoms of my imagination. Which is pretty much the only true part of the story. The 'phantom' part anyway
You see I'm having to make up a lot of the internal structure of the Albion Class ships due to lack of internal reference. Now this isn't really a big deal and I'm not in the habit of compromising the UK's security so having a realistic internal layout wasnt ever going to be on the cards. But it is becoming a bit of a challenge to make it feel realistic. I have plenty of pictures of the Well Deck so thats not a problem. The issue is getting you from the welldeck to the Heli deck and other key areas of the ship. Flyco, the Bridge and CIC etc for Weapons Control and access to other features.
A bit of history.
The Albion-class landing platform dock (known also as an "amphibious assault ship") was the newest type of amphibious warfare ship in service with the Royal Navy. The class consists of only two vessels, HMS Albion and HMS Bulwark, ordered in 1996 to replace the ageing Fearless class. Both ships were built by BAE Systems Marine at the former Vickers Shipbuilding and Engineering yard in Barrow-in-Furness. Albion was commissioned in 2003 and Bulwark in 2004. Each of the ships has a crew of 325 and can accommodate up to 405 troops. Thirty-one large trucks and thirty-six smaller vehicles and main battle tanks can be carried inside the vehicle deck. To disembark troops and vehicles, the vessels are equipped with eight landing craft.
The Albion class LPDs have a length of 176 metres (577 ft), a breadth of 28.9 metres (95 ft), and a draught of 7.1 metres (23 ft). They have a normal displacement of 14,000 tonnes (14,000 long tons; 15,000 short tons), 19,560 tonnes (19,250 long tons; 21,560 short tons) at full load and 21,000 tonnes (21,000 long tons; 23,000 short tons) when the dock is flooded. The ships have a crew of 325 and can accommodate up to 405 troops, including their vehicles and combat supplies, in overload conditions.
The aft flight deck has two landing spots for aircraft the size of a Chinook, although it has no hangar or aircraft storage facility. Below the flight deck is the dock and vehicle deck. The latter has the capacity to hold thirty-one large trucks and thirty-six smaller vehicles or six Challenger 2 tanks and thirty armoured personnel carriers. The dock can hold four Landing Craft Utility MK10, each large enough to carry vehicles up to main battle tank size, which are then launched by flooding of the dock area. Four smaller LCVP MK5 that can carry thirty-five men or two light trucks are carried on davits, two each side of the ship's superstructure. Each ship also carries a fifty-two ton tracked beach recovery vehicle for assisting with landing craft recovery, as well as two tractors: one that can lay a track-way across a landing beach, and the second fitted with an excavating bucket and forks.
For defence against missile attack, the Albion class LPDs have two 30 mm Goalkeeper CIWSs mounted fore and aft on the superstructure and two 20 mm guns. Defensive countermeasures include the Outfit DLJ decoys, eight Seagnat radar reflection / infra-red emitting decoy launchers and a BAE Systems DLH off-board decoy.
Planned Features of this Addon
- Placeable Static Ship 176m Long
- It will NOT be drivable.
- 2x Goal Keeper CWIS (Same cannon as an A10!)
- 2x Oerlikon 20 mm/85 KAA on a GAM-BO1 mount (So I'm told)
- Various mounted 7.62 GPMG Mounts
- Well deck.
- Dock side vehicle ramp.
- Dockside Personnel ramp.
- Storage Areas
- Breifing Room
- Action Information Centre aka CIC
- 4x Deployable LCVP mk5 Landing Craft.
- PhysX compliant
- Large Helideck
- Possibly a working deck Crane*
- Possibly a working Overhead Welldeck crane*
*Dependant on a functional crane script solution. I have an old one but ive not really tested in a while. One of the many hurdles to overcome at a later date.
So with the advent of the Jets DLC sensor upgrade I'm also thinking about Radar...Air Defence and game play. I'm really at an early stage in the config. Only just a basic prototype really but i have some grand plans for the enhancements the Helo and Jets DLC bring to the table. More on that another time.
Status and Progress
The original LPD model was really only ever 60% there. I made it in the ArmA1 era so thats circa 2007/2008 and because of the limitation of that game engine (Poor geometry interaction) I didnt really feel it was really worth the investment in time back then. it made cameo appearences in a couple of the RKSL Youtube vids of he time. The best view was in the "Puma HC1 with DRS" video. If you take a look you'll see it wasnt really anywhere near complete back then and It hadn't really progressed much until recently.
In the middle of March 2017 I went looking for the old model as a result of a conversation with some ArmA mates. Now, the game engine has changed. Polygon budgets for single objects have changed, we now have PhysX and the interaction of vehicle and object types becomes less of a problem... most of the time. It seemed like a good time to revisit the model. Not to mention with April 1st looming I got to finally - after 2 years of sitting on it - use the Landing Platform Duck model which is another story for another day.
As is my usual habit, I picked up the old model and decided it was crap. So I started remaking it. (Hey, it has been nine or ten years since i first made it!) Its still in pretty bad state but it is slowly coming together. I had hoped to show you more actual pics but its not really at the stage I want to share. Just yet anyway. Its is pretty ugly right now and doesnt look thats good. But I have been making significant headway. Screenshots and renders really dotn do it justice. You can see that from the the image of the very sparse WIP Welldeck below. There will be many more updates as time goes one.
Looking Aft in the welldeck with the ramp up to the flight deck in the foreground.
Early Version of the LPD interior. You can see just how big the Welldeck and storage areas really are..
Landing Craft - LCVP Mk5
I've also made the LCVP this weekend which is a significant feature of the Albion class ships.
The LCVP is a landing craft used by Royal Marines. The craft's primary role is putting ashore men and equipment. The Royal Marines also use the LCVP as a patrol boat and is armed with 2x 7.62mm GPMGs. It can carry up to 35 fully-laden Royal Marines and their equipment. Vehicles such as Land Rovers and Vikings can be carried and embarked by the Mk5 LCVP. The landing craft are usually stored on davits on on the sides of HMS Albion and HMS Bulwark.
LCVPs feature aluminium hulls and are powered by twin waterjets. Their design includes a rigid and enclosed windowed canopy. LCVPs have a ramp at the bow that lowers for rapid unloading. GPMGs can be mounted when needed.
During Operation Telic, the UK's invasion of Iraq in 2003, Royal Marines patrolled the waterways and marshes of the South in LCVPs (amongst other vessels). A tragic friendly-fire incident occurred when a LCVP operating along the Khawr Az Zubayr River, North of Umm Qasr, was mistaken for an Iraqi patrol boat and engaged by a 42 Commando Milan post, killing one Marine.
LCVP Mk5 Specifications
Engine: twin waterjet diesel
Speed: 24 Kts - fully laden
Range: 210 nautical miles
Length : 15.7m
Width : 4.3m
Payload 3 crew + 35 fully-equipped Royal Marines + vehicle and trailer or 6+ tonnes of stores
So thats it. More will follow closer to release or when I feel its relevant.
Other things are progressing. Several addons are edging closer to escape...sit tight and keep an eye out.
And I'll leave you with a little bit of advice:
"If you can't say anything nice (or constructive), don't say anything at all."