Ohio Class, Ballistic Missile Nuclear Powered Submarine, USS Kentucky SSBN737

Attaching missile deck, sail & towed array housing:

With the hull now split, and the bulkheads in place ensuring a perfect hull shape, it's time to fit the missile deck. This is yet another tricky and demanding part of the dock work, and the hull half below the missile deck  must be in a secure fix when fitting the missile deck.
Align the hull half so it's completely straight, and not twisted in any way. The full strength and stability of this part will not be in place before the missile deck is fitted. Well, let's roll..

With the hull now cut underneath the missile deck, and the bulkheads in place, the missile deck is put in place and glued in both ends using the same resin as the hull is made in. Be very careful to triple check all the time! Make sure it's straight and aligned, does not sack, nor slide around! When it is glued on to the bow and aft part of the sub, fill the gap between the ends and the hull. It's impossible to file it so it'll fit 100% at the bow and aft, so a little after-work is expected.
The line along the bow was added resin using a finger. This allowed me to follow the contours of the hull much more close, than any tool might have done.
After sanding the resin, the missile deck "melted" in with the bow area, thus making it impossible to see where one part ended, and another began.. just like I wanted it.
The resin was applied to the missile deck, and then the whole missile deck structure was laid down on the upper main hull part, and secured with masking tape. The Upper hull part was on purpose put on top of the lower main hull part, and not just the desk, as this might expose problems, if the top flexes a bit when in place on top of the lower half, while it might not flex when sitting on the deck top.

Later test showed though, that this was an unnecessary concern, but hey... better safe that sorry, right?
Now turn the top part over, and tape the edges like shown. Make sure it's tight! This is to ensure that the resin later pored into the crack from the outside does not spill into the hull. When it is done, put tape at the aft end blocking the resin from running, what will at that time be, down into the corner.
Then turn the top back over, and orient it so the crack is upwards. Now slowly pour pure resin into the crack, allowing it to settle on the masking tape, thus gluing the missile deck on to the main hull, but leaving the crack intact. The idea is to glue the missile deck on to the sub, using an invisible glue strip, and to still have this crack.
The sail is momentary held in place with a match like shown, and a few drops of resin are applied from above along the gathering between the sail and the missile deck
The dive planes are put on, as that makes it much easier to align the sail correctly. The dive planes need to be even with the aft planes, the surface of the missile deck, and also at a 90 degree angle of the center line from bow to aft.
By placing a leveler at the missile deck, it's pretty easy to align the sail, and then allowing the few drops of resin to cure over night. The next day, a much stronger fix can be made below the missile deck, as the sail would now be locked in position.
The sail need to be secured using fiber cloth as shown in the picture. Remember that the forces from the dive planes will go into the hull through the sail, and the through results of this work as well..
Please notice that the fiber cloth on the picture has not yet been wetted, which it must before it's of any value.
This completes the mounting of the missile deck, and the sail. Left is only to fit the control surfaces and linkage, and the sub will start looking like a sub, and not just a home made torpedo.

Before we do that, lets make and fit the towed array housing, that goes on the port side, just aft of the missile deck.
The towed array housing is made in the same manner as the periscopes. A long straw was filled with resin, and then filed in half along the length, leaving a long half-circle shaped stick.

Three holes are then drilled (not all the way through!), and some strong line is glued in the holes. These holes and lines will aid the fitting later on.
The outline is marked, and the hull is roughed up, so that the resin will stick better. Three holes are drilled for the lines, and things are lined up. Then pure resin is applied to the hull, and the three lines are put through the holes, and through to the lower side.
On the lower side, some heavy tools are hung by the lines, thus holding the towed array housing in place.

The hull is curved where the housing is supposed to sit, and this is why it has to be pulled towards the hull, using weights or so.
On the upper side, masking tape and a rubber band ensures a correct fit. A few thin lines drawn on the hull confirms that the housing is in the right place. It is then left alone over night to cure.
The next day a little resin with thickener is stuffed in any gaps between the missile deck and the beginning of the housing. The three lines are cut on the lower side, and the holes are also filled with resin from below. After all that has cured as well, it's all filed and sanded to perfection.
The towed array housing in place.

On the real sub, this housing holds / guides the cable for the towed sonar, which I only found out by asking other subbers in a forum. I could find this information no where else, so yet again I was saved by the always helpful members at The SubCommittee. (Link found in link section)
The housing for the actual towed array is found at the vertical stabilizers.
On the real sub they sit on the out side completely, but to make them strong and stable, I incorporated mine into the hull parts. Don't need to be Einstein to figure out, that these parts are quite certainly going to get hit sooner or later.

I made them from alu pipe, and filed 1 "Y" in the end, so that it would grip the dive planes fixed part...
...and the vertical stabilizer on the out side. Yes, it took a while, but once done I filled it up with resin, and glued them in place. (Got carried away, forgot to take pictures of the parts prior to fitting.. sorry.)


This picture series is from a late state in building, several month after the pictures above. This is why the aft section is partially painted.

The measurement of these tubes, are app. 50% of the total length sticking out, and 50% reaching over the stabilizers. reaching to the middle of those. (rough numbers)
These pipes also protects the propeller. When drawing a line from the tip, and to the propeller cone, the line does not intercept the prop blades. If drawing a line from the vertical stabilizer edge, and to the prop cone, it DOES intercept the blades. Imagine the line is an object.. like a bathing jetty, or drifting wood.. or another ship..

This image is from after painting, so the disturbing multi-color environment is gone...

Well.. I can live with it.. ;-)

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