RogerBW's Blog

One for the Brow part 5: other combatants 14 May 2014

Carriers and submarines are dealt with. What about the rest of the Navy?

Destroyers

The Type 82 destroyer will still get built, and with fewer havering delays; in this case she's not a testbed ship but there's more money available, so it's reasonable to assume roughly the same weapons fit, plus the intended Type 988 radar instead of the 965. Sea Dart VLS replaces the Sea Dart and Ikara mounts, giving Flying Fish capability from day one; another two pairs of Type 909s, fore and aft, give the ability to engage six targets at once (pretty much as good as it gets until something like AEGIS comes along). Space still prevents the installation of a hangar. Names will be taken from the historical Type 42s; Bristol (D23) is followed by Birmingham, Glasgow, Newcastle, Southampton, Liverpool, Manchester and Cardiff.

The Type 42 isn't needed to fill the gap left by the missing Type 82, so the next destroyer class may well come rather later and be a very different ship, depending on how the RN's mission changes over the next few years.

The eight ships of the County class will carry on in service, all upgraded to the Batch 2 standard; B turret (historically replaced by a four-box Exocet launcher) is now the site of a small GWS.31 VLS. With no additional radar directors this isn't much use for Sea Dart, and is mostly loaded with Flying Fish.

Frigates

Surprising numbers of Bay and Leopard (AAW), Rothesay, Whitby and Type 15 and 16 (ASW), and Salisbury (radar picket) frigates will survive for flag-showing and escort duties rather than being hastily broken up or sold. Rothesays, Whitbys and Leanders are visible primarily as fleet units, while the Tribals are prone to turn up practically anywhere to show the flag.

However, most of these are being replaced by the new Amazon class, or the Type 19. (I hypothesise here from what little I've found about the real unbuilt Type 19, largely in Rebuilding the Royal Navy, and the historical Type 21 Amazon that was influenced by that design.) During peacetime this class does the unglamorous jobs: fisheries protection, anti-smuggling/piracy, disaster relief, and so on. This means they have to be long-ranged (5,000 miles at 15 knots), fast (normal top speed 28 knots, short bursts of 40 when they kick in the other two (!) Olympus engines), and flexible: a 4.5" gun, a hangar and pad for a small helicopter (Wasp at first, perhaps Lynx/Seagull from the late 1970s), and accommodation for around thirty troops. In wartime their primary job is ASW, so they'll have much the same sonar fit as the historical Leander (supplemented by a 2031 towed array circa 1980), and a Sea Dart VLS loaded mostly with Ikara.

(Next: scenarios)


  1. Posted by John Dallman at 08:24pm on 14 May 2014

    This looks plausible; does Type 19 have any light AA, or warning-shot guns, a bit cheaper to fire than the 4.5?

  2. Posted by RogerBW at 12:15am on 15 May 2014

    I cannot find any indication that this was planned; the historical Type 82 and Type 21 don't seem to have done so (until they fitted 20mm Oerlikons on the Type 21s during the Falklands, as last-ditch missile defence). What would you think a reasonable weapon to add?

  3. Posted by John Dallman at 07:29pm on 15 May 2014

    Oerlikons can be bolted on easily, but lack the menace and hitting power of a Bofors. The RN has plenty of both in stock, and would be unlikely to go elsewhere unless they were feeling really flush.

  4. Posted by RogerBW at 10:24am on 16 May 2014

    Do you happen to have numbers for the weight of a Bofors mount (presumably a Mk VII or IX)? These Type 19s will be fairly sensitive to extra weight.

  5. Posted by John Dallman at 10:53pm on 17 May 2014

    Mk VII is 1.4 tons. Don't have a figure for MkIX, that's from after the cutoff date for this book. Cartridges are about 4lb each, and could well weigh as much as the gun.

  6. Posted by RogerBW at 07:54am on 18 May 2014

    That seems a pretty big thing to fit without a demonstrated need. I'll think about it.

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