Well a very obvious reason would be structural integrity. You need a certain bare minimum amount of load bearing walls to help support the structure of the hanger.Whatever that space is in between the torpedo launchers, it’s not for a UAV. The biggest reason IMO is common sense. Why would they make things harder on themselves by moving UAV’s out the sides where the launchers are, then back towards the helipad, instead of creating a hangar door directly facing the helipad?
I see from the rest of your comments that the reason you are so adamant that they cannot store UAVs in the hanger may be because of what you envisage those UAVs to be like.
The UAVs I have in mind would be pretty small rotor wing UAVs probably weighing in the 100-250kg range and would only carry a FLIR and optics turret and will have a relatively short range instead of the large torpedo and dipping sonar carrying kind you seem to be thinking of.
We know that there are many many UAVs of that size being develop by private companies in China, and indeed, the PLAN seems to be operating something like that already.
The kind of UAV you are suggesting is only on the drawing boards and it will be many years before they become operational at the earliest.
I think both windows are for control stations. The fact that there are two windows there is itself a little interesting as I think everyone can agree that the designers put them there for functional reasons as opposed to merely aesthetics. Now, normally you only need one window for the control room at help land helicopters, so what is the other one for? I think that would not be a bad place to put a UAV control station.There are two windows there instead, one of them presumably for a control station. The other could easily have been a hangar door, if that space in between were actually for a hangar.
Now, if we apply your 'common sense' test to your hull hypothesis that there is no hanger and the doors are merely for crew passage, the most obvious question would be, why make them so wide?
With the current configuration, you need standard hanger shutter-like doors for those doorways, and two of them to boot. If they only needed the doors for crew passage and to move reload torpedos to the launchers, there would be no need for such large openings. They could have done with openings half as large and just have a couple of normal hatches for crew movement.
It is quite clear that the reason they made those openings as large as they did is to allow crews to move munitions and equipment to and from landed helicopters as quickly as possible to refuel, rearm and service them when needed.
However, every square meter of space on a warship, especially a small one like the 056, is precious and the designers would have come up with good ways to use it all, and storing a couple of small UAVs that the PLAN already operates in that hanger would make the most sense. That would also leave plenty of space left over to story munitions and equipment to service full size helicopters that might land on them.
The kind of large sized ASW UAVs you are talking about do not exist yet, but if and when they do appear, we may well see a slight redesign in future versions of the 056 to adopt a more conventional hanger door design to allow them to embark such UAVs, but that is still some way into the future at this point.
Well that is just circular reasoning and you should know it.This alone makes it extremely unlikely there is an actual UAV hangar on that ship. There is basically no good reason at all not to have put a door facing the helipad. Unless of course the reason to put a door there does not exist because there is no UAV hangar there in the first place.
Come on, you should know it's impossible to gauge depth from a shot like that. And as this picture clearly shows, there is a hatch leading to the hanger, so there is absolutely no reason why it should be partition off part way through as you are suggesting.I’m referring to the first photo you just posted, where you can clearly see the wall in the back of the torpedo area. Not necessarily ironclad proof, but it definitely does not look deep enough to make it to the starboard “vent” or whatever it is.
Again, I think the confusion stems from the size of UAVs we are respectively talking about.Besides, even if there was extra space directly forward of the torpedo launchers, it sure wouldn’t be for the storage of UAV’s. Instead, what they would have done is move whatever they are using that area in between the launchers for now (the area beneath the HQ-10) and relocate that to the areas in front of the launchers, then use the cleared-out area for a UAV hangar, with a hangar door that directly faces the helipad.
The way I see it, they need a couple of meters from the windows for the control stations, and the space that is visible through the doors would be taken up by the torpedo launchers and walkway, but the rest of the space (about half the width of the hanger and almost the whole length of it) would be free for storage. Even if they take up 1/3 of the front end of the hanger for something else, that still leaves more than enough room to store munitions, parts and service equipment for helos at the far end of the hanger, with the space between the torpedo launchers more than adequate to store a couple of small UAVs.
The torpedo launchers are completely within the hanger. There is no correlation between them and the size of the doors.I’m talking about doors FROM the helipad to the rest of the ship. More specifically from the wall facing the helipad. There are none. So if you land on the helipad there is no other way for you to get to the rest of the ship except through one of the passageways right beside the torpedo launchers, which is why I said those areas need to be wide enough to both accommodate the swing of the launchers as well as the movement of personnel. Which is exactly what that other photo of the PLAN torpedo launchers I posted is meant to show. They are the same width and serve the same dual purposes.
As I have pointed out before, if all they were interested in was access to the torpedo launchers for reloading and crew passage, they could have halved the size of the shutter doors quite comfortably and added standard crew hatches, which would be far more convenient for crew movement as they will not need to wait for the shutters to wind up and down.
Those doors are clearly meant for rapid re-arming and resupply of helos as they allow crews to get decent sized loads to both sides of the helo at the same time. That would be the primary reason why the doors were designed the way they have been. And they are also perfectly suited to allow the movement of small UAVs to help fill some of the the gaps left by not having a full sized helo embarked full time.
Well I actually know ship designers very well and had to listen to plenty of their casual lectures, so I think I know a thing or two about ship design principles at least. But that is all beside the point.Neither of us being ship designers, I’m not sure how you can make any definitive conclusions about designers choices based on assumptions of ‘extra space’. Neither you nor I know what they are using most of the area inside the ship for. The best we can do is whatever can be seen from the outside. The little Paintshop 056 floorplan I made up was purely speculation. There could be dozens of things that I don’t know about and could need a lot of space inside a ship. Whatever we can conclude with reasonable certainty is whatever we can directly observe right now. Anything else is just speculation. I would give sailors more credibility in their speculation on the internals of a ship (e.g. BD popeye), but I am not, and I’m guessing you are not either.
You do not need to be a ship designing expert to know that rear deck design of the 056 is quite unusual. Just look at ships of similar size and roles and configurations.
Look at the likes of the MEKO and German Type K130. They are good examples of the standard approach to corvette design, with a very similar layout to the 056 except for the aft section. If the 056 had went with a standard design like the MEKO or K130, it could have had only one deck below the helipad instead of two, and had a full sized hanger and far more leeway in terms to ship height and equipment up to since top weight would not have been as much of an issue without the full extra deck below the helipad.
That would have been the easy approach, and the designers of the 056 departed from that for a very good reason, and no, the ability to launch a RIB is not nearly good enough to justify the sacrifices made to accommodate that extra deck. The fact that they stuff the torpedo launchers in the hanger instead of finding space on the extra deck is further evidence that they have something particular in mind for that space already.