Finished with the walk through of The Sullivans, we walked up another gangplank to the stern of the USS Little Rock. The Little Rock started out life in WW II as a Cruiser, then in the fifties, she was upgraded to a Guided Missile Cruiser with the addition of a TALOS guided missile system. The TALOS is an impressive looking creature and they’re big.
I did some basic research and found out the each missile was worth $386K. That’s a ton of cash in fifties dollars but the flying missile is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to cost. A missile like the TALOS is a system and as a system it needs a bunch of other stuff to be effective. These days, a missile is essentially a self contained unit, other than the launcher and the storage required for it and all of its little friends, it just requires a data tap into the ship’s sensor and data suite to give it an idea of where it’s got to go. Most of it’s other systems are self contained and self determining. It’s fire and forget. The TALOS is what’s called a bore sighted weapon. Basically you paint the target with Radar and the missile’s semi active homing array guides it into the big radar splotch in front of it.
The fact that these actually shot down three MIGs in Vietnam from long distance astounds me. You’d have to be deaf to not hear the Radar alarm in your cockpit. Well that and the fact that you were slowly melting in your seat but then their Russian advisers probably never covered that in their briefing. Of course the really cool stuff is waiting just behind that open hatch.
So once inside the ship you start to get an idea of the real estate a system like TALOS requires.
As has been the case for the last few posts these shots are rendered using the HDR process. I’m still learning though gaining in confidence how far I can push certain image parameters to get the look I want and bracketing my exposure is pretty much becoming standard practice these days. I will say that HDR is very effective in lower light higher ISO situations (of basically static objects) and being able to control the level of rendering allows me to pull surface details out of the image that I think you’d miss otherwise. I will continue to nail this process down, hope you’re okay with coming along for the ride.