The Florida at tier VII is based on the North Carolina-class of battleships as it was initially designed.
After World War I, to stop the naval arms race that was raging between the different nations, multiple treaties were signed, including the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922 and the Second London Naval Treaty of 1936. All of these would limit the displacement of new battleships to 35 000 tons and their armament to 356 mm guns.
When the United-States Navy started works on a new class of battleships, 3 first designs were proposed, named A, B and C. Out of the 3, only the design A was under the 35 000 tons limit with a displacement of 32 500 tons, a speed of 30 knots and a main battery consisting of 3 triple turrets with 356 mm guns in a configuration similar to the Nelson. Several other designs were proposed with various configurations, including a hybrid between battleships and aircraft carriers (design F) with 2 quadruple turrets at the rear and a flight deck at the front.
In the end, the design that was picked for further development was the design K. 35 proposals were made with the design XVI-C being the selected one for construction with 3 quadruple turrets with 356 mm guns, a main belt of 260 mm and a speed of 27 knots.
This is more or less how the North Carolina-class was meant to be built but then Japan decided that they wouldn’t follow the treaty limits. This lead to an escalator clause, allowing for the usage of 406 mm guns. The North Carolina-class design would then be quickly modified with a final armament of 3 triple turrets with 406 mm guns for the main battery.
In World of Warships, Florida represents the design XVI-C if the North Carolina-class would have ever been built this way.
She also presents the same battlecruiser characteristics as Champagne and Slava with an improved dispersion but lighter armor than other battleships at her tier.
For the classic reminder, this is a ship in testing, anything can change so don’t look at her like she would already be released.
The Florida presents the classic all or nothing armor scheme of U.S. warships from the 30s/40s. Since she received the battlecruiser treatment, unlike other Tier VII battleships, her bow and stern are only 25 mm thick instead of the classic 26 mm. She also has a relatively thin main belt.
The bow section
The external plating of the bow is 25 mm thick. Compared to the 26 mm bow on others tier VII BBs, it will make her somewhat more vulnerable to HE since 152 mm CLs won’t need IFHE but overall, it’s not the end of the world.
For the protection of the middle section, the upper casemate is 25 mm thick. For the front citadel protection, we have the classic tapering with the first section being 282 mm thick, then 211 mm and finally 38 mm of armor. Considering the fact that there is no armored deck inside the bow or extended belt, this citadel athwartship is fairly vulnerable. It doesn’t help that the upper part of the citadel is well above the waterline.
The middle section
The middle section is somewhat similar to what you can find on the North Carolina. The deck is 37 mm thick which will give the ship some extra resistance against HE and large-caliber AP, the sides are 26 mm thick and for the main belt, the upper part with the exposed citadel is 285 mm thick while the lower part is 213 mm thick. It is worth noting that, starting with the 213 mm belt, the citadel is in a spaced armor configuration.
Finally, the torpedo bulge is 38 mm thick.
For the internal part of the citadel, it isn’t a single uniform plating. Around the engines, the side armor is 56 mm thick while below the B and X turret, it is 96 mm thick and finally, below the A turret and the tip of the rear part of the citadel, it is 140 mm thick. As you can see, that 140 mm section extends partially inside the stern.
The horizontal protection on the Florida is quite a disappointment for a U.S. battleship even though in her case, it really is down to the fact that, unlike the others, she doesn’t have a waterline citadel.
Outside of the 37 mm weather deck, she only has the citadel deck that is 140 mm thick on the sides and 127 mm thick in the middle. Overall, AP bombs will be able to penetrate that easily.
The stern section
Just like the bow, the stern is entirely covered with 25 mm of armor. However, that 25 mm plating is hiding a fairly nice surprise.
Inside her stern, she has a complex hidden protection with, at first, a 127 mm thick armored deck that will then connect to the steering gears protection. They are protected by a 140 mm deck and on the sides, 378 mm of belt armor. The whole thing is closed at the tip by a 282 mm bulkhead.
Now, even with that armored deck, the ship’s rear citadel athwartship isn’t entirely covered. The upper 282 mm part is still fully exposed to AP shells that would be able to overmatch the stern external armor.
For the rest of the citadel’s athwartship, it is 38 mm thick but is basically impossible to reach.
The superstructure is 16 mm thick except for the conning tower with a mix of 390 mm and 178 mm platings. The secondaries are also armored with the single turrets being protected by 25 mm of armor and the twin turrets being protected by 54 mm of armor.
Florida’s quadruple turrets present quite solid protection for a Tier VII battleship. The face is 406 mm thick with a 39° slope. The sides are 249 mm thick, the back is 300 mm thick and finally, the top is 178 mm thick.
For the barbette, the upper part is 370 mm thick while the internal part is only 73 mm thick.
For now, I’m really looking forward to that ship. She gets the broadside of a California, without the horrible reload time and with better dispersion. She also is better protected overall as long as you don’t give flat broadside and has actual speed.