1969 plans to fit Exocet: Details of Ships

uk 75

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In his excellent Royal Navy Destroyers and Frigates, Norman Friedman gives details of original plans for fitting Excocets to the Royal Navy surface fleet.

Shipbucket enthusiasts may already have seen this, but if not it may be of interest.

In 1969 the RN decided to buy 300 Exocets to fit 37 ships as follows

HMS Tiger (still being refitted as a Helicopter Cruiser) Originally 6 launchers were planned. In his Cruisers book Friedman mentions that up until 1975 it was planned to replace the B 3" gun mount with the standard RN 4 Exocets (like the Countys?) This was formally dropped in 1975 (presumably because of financial limits and the short remaining life of the Tigers)

HMS Bristol 4 launchers originally planned. No details are given of where they would have been sited. The plan was dropped when Bristol became a trials then training ship. Again more suitable and longer lasting platforms were available

County Class 4 launchers planned for the last 5 ships. This was later limited to the 4 Batch 2 ships

Type 42 2/4 launchers planned for 8 Type 42s. Friedman notes this was dropped because of
Seadart's s to s capability. I suspect that it was more because there was no space or weight room for the missiles (as was found later when they wanted to add Seawolf light).

Type 22 and Leanders were originally supposed to receive 6 launchers (I think this followed the French proposals of the time) but was soon changed to 4.

Type 21s were originally only to get 2 launchers. Presumably this was at a time when Seawolf was planned.

Even more intriguing is Friedman's mention that original RN planning was for 800 Exocet on some 61 ships! This was soon dropped of course, but it opens up the intriguing idea of Rothesay and other older Frigates perhaps also shipping Exocets. I think though the extra 24 ships would have been additional Leanders, Type 22s etc as happened in practice. Rothesays might have been though
 

Thorvic

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The Invincibles were to get 4 to be fitted next to the Sea Dart prior to being replaced by the Ski-Jump
 

JFC Fuller

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My understanding was that Bristol's fit would have been right at the stern with two launchers on either beam pointing forwards and outwards. On the Invincibles the original flight deck configuration (as launched) should have allowed for 4 Exocet launchers, at least that is my understanding. The Argentinians had 4 Exocets installed on their Type 42s mounted amidships and again pointing forwards and outwards.
 

gral_rj

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uk 75 said:
Type 42 2/4 launchers planned for 8 Type 42s. Friedman notes this was dropped because of
Seadart's s to s capability. I suspect that it was more because there was no space or weight room for the missiles (as was found later when they wanted to add Seawolf light).
I seem to recall the Argentinians fit MM38 launchers on their Type 42s. Granted, I don't know what they sacrificed to get them.
 

JFC Fuller

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gral_rj said:
I seem to recall the Argentinians fit MM38 launchers on their Type 42s. Granted, I don't know what they sacrificed to get them.

See my post above, in the below picture you can just see the box launchers amidships pointing directly at the camera.
 

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uk 75

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Thanks for the input

Strangely Friedman does not mention the planned Bristol fit. Early on the Type 82 was supposed to get a small missile like the SS12 or Penguin. The only drawing I have seen of a Bristol with exocets is on a thread with a helicopter hangar version drawn in a book on naval construction.

Friedman does not list the Invincibles (or Command Cruisers) in the column I got this from. However, of course there are various artists impressions and the original models from 1970 all have 4 launchers.

I am still not sure about the Type 42s weighwise, the Argentinian fit is not necessarily a good one.
I did see a model somewhere of a Type 42 with Exocets on the hangar rough of all places! But that may have been in an ad in a magazine.
 

pathology_doc

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gral_rj said:
I seem to recall the Argentinians fit MM38 launchers on their Type 42s. Granted, I don't know what they sacrificed to get them.
The answer to that question is quite probably "Metacentric height".
 

TomS

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Also boats, I think, judging by early pictures of the Argentine vessels. The RN Type 42s had a couple of rigid whaleboats/launches until after the war, when they traded them in for rigid inflatables to free up topweight for CIWS. I think the Argentine vessels had at least one RIB replacing a hard-sided boat from the outset.
 
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