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Director MK 45


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Description of Gun Directors Mk.40 Mods.0 and 1
Gun Director MK 44
Gun Fire Control System Mark 60


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MK45 262k This director incorporated the principle of generating instantaneous and directly from the train and elevation rates introduced into the director by the operation of following a target, lead angles in both elevation and train which would be correct for a target at the range set into the director, and which included super elevation and deflection for the same range.
Thus the only required input not introduced automatically by the operation of keeping the director on its target was the range measurement of the latter, and spotting, were provided for by means of a 1.5 meter stereo range finder-spotting glass; if the time did not permit introduction of measured ranges, the setting of an appropriate pre-determined ‘dOctober rine’ range would produce a barrage which would intercept the dive bomber provided that it approached to within the pre-set range.
Joy-stick control was provided for elevation and train, and for introduction of spots in elevation and deflection.
Two operators were required if range input and/or spotting were to be used- only one if the mount was to be fired with pre-set range without spotting.
This director had the form of a cupola, enclosed and protected except for an opening at the top through which the director operator’s head and shoulders projected.
A transparent hood was provided to shield this operator from the weather.
The complexity of the MK 45 director was such that rapid production was not found to be practicable and weight prevented its installation in the lighter types, such as destroyers.
As a rule, MK 45 were therefore assigned to 40mm Quadruple mounts.
There were exceptions, chiefly in cases where a ship had been unable to receive 40MM Quad mounts because of weight limitations, where MK 45 directors were assigned to 40mm Twin mounts.
The battleship South Dakota (BB-57) received the first such installations.
(See: Fwd.Battle Lookout Station/4th Level Abv. Housetop, changed to MK51 Directors after her in the Solomons, 14-15 November 1942.) (See: Damage Report)
Since it had been anticipated that deliveries of MK 45 directors would commence appreciably before deliveries of 40MM mounts, the first of the MK 45 directors were designed for use with the 1”1 mounts, and contained traverse features which rendered the unsuitable for use with 40MM mounts.
Consequently, it became necessary to utilize several month’ production of MK 45 directors with 1”1 mounts and to assign MK 49 or MK 51 directors temporarily to 40MM Quad installations in the mean time.
Photos & text courtesy of Pieter Bakels.

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