HMS Vanguard was a British fast battleship launched late in the Second World War and commissioned after the end of that conflict. She was the only one of her class and was the biggest, fastest and last of the Royal Navy battleships, and the last battleship built in the world. Vanguard was used in training exercises with NATO forces in the 1950s and was put into reserve in 1955. She was broken up in 1960.
Vanguard was unique among British battleships in having remote power control (RPC) for main, secondary and the tertiary guns along with the Admiralty Fire Control Table Mk X for surface fire control of the main armament. There were two director control towers (DCT) for the 15-inch (381 mm) guns, each carrying a "double cheese" Radar Type 274 centimetric fire control set for rangefinding and spotting the fall of shot. There were four US Navy type Mark 37 DCT for the 5.25 inch guns, each carrying the twin domes of Radar Type 275, a centimetric fire control set. Lastly, each Mark VI sextuple 40 mm Bofors mounting had its own CRBF ("close range blind fire") director fitted with a RP50 RPC and the Radar Type 262. The Type 262 was a centimetric set transmitting through a small parabolic dish giving a narrow search cone. The antenna was spun off-axis at high speed to produce a wider cone capable of locking on to a target. The STAAG Mk.I 40 mm Bofors mounting carried its own Radar Type 262 on the mounting itself. Originally this was located below the gun barrels, but it was subject to excessive vibration and was later relocated to the top of the mounting. Other radar sets carried were Type 960 air warning, Type 293 target indication and Type 277 height finding.
Vanguard was well regarded as a good seaboat, able to keep an even keel in rough seas. This was due to the large flare applied to the bows after experience with her predecessors, the King George V class. The latter had been built with almost no sheer to the main deck forwards to allow firing of Turret A straight ahead at 0° of elevation, resulting in a poor seaboat that took a lot of water over the bows. During NATO exercises in the 1950s Vanguard's main deck was dry in heavy North Atlantic swells whereas US Navy Iowa-class battleships had their forward turrets awash with spray.