Royal Navy 'Missile Frigate' designs 1950 - 1976

Graham1973

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What I am looking for is an answer to a fairly specific question, what did Nigel Kneale have in mind when he wrote the scene below for the last Quatermass novel in the late 1970s?

From his room Quatermass could look down on the Embankment. From here it had a spurious normality. A few trucks and cars could be seen on the move and there were people on the pavements, clerks and the like with some apparent purpose. One or two stopped on a corner where a barrowman was selling nuts. Beyond the bridge he could make out part of the superstructure of HMS Arbalest, the old missile frigate moored protectively alongside the terrace of the House of Commons. Above everything loomed the burned-out tower of Big Ben...
Nigel Kneale, Quatermass, 1979, pg 180

This is what I have worked out so far, the scene is at least in part inspired by the mooring of HMS Belfast in the river Thames, which took place in 1971. The building from which Quatermass looks out from is most likely a structure that was planned for what is now the site of Portcullis House in 1972, but was cancelled in 1976, the site below has photographs and a history of the (thankfully) aborted project.

https://www.ianvisits.co.uk/blog/2016/02/13/unbuilt-london-a-bronze-slab-next-to-parliament/

That just leaves the 'Missile Frigate' (FFG) moored alongside the House of Commons, what proposed designs would have been available to the author (Presumaby from the press.) and what did they look like?

I am using a fairly broad time frame for this search as the story itself is essentially set 'the day after tomorrow' (e.g. A straight line extrapoltion of mid/late 70s trends.) and the frigate in the scene is described as 'old', with the the cut-off year being when the 'Parliamentary Annexe' was cancelled.
 

starviking

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If he isn't au fait with ship type designations, then I would guess a County or Bristol. If he is au fait with them, then he's either indicating that Quatermas is an alternate history, or that some redesignation has occurred, and the pre-1975 USN designation has been adopted by the RN (v.unlikely IMHO)
 

uk 75

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Kneale was quite well informed and had worked on the Cruel Sea film.
He first write the script for the Quatermass Conclusion in 1973, though the TV and book were
not published until 1979.
I suspect he saw the entry for the Type 21 frigates in "Janes" and the plans to fit them with SEAWOLF.
 

Graham1973

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uk 75 said:
Kneale was quite well informed and had worked on the Cruel Sea film.
He first write the script for the Quatermass Conclusion in 1973, though the TV and book were
not published until 1979.
I suspect he saw the entry for the Type 21 frigates in "Janes" and the plans to fit them with SEAWOLF.
Thanks for the suggestion, that would make sense, such a pity there is no way now to confirm that.
 

pathology_doc

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To throw a spanner in the works, when I see "Guided missile" (insert class here), the first thing I think of is "area air defence system". In the Western context, that's Sea Slug, Sea Dart, Masurca, Talos, Tartar, Terrier, Standard etc.

In view of the very nature of the Quatermass stories, "alternate history" is a given. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernard_Quatermass

"Guided missile frigate" could therefore be anything you wanted it to be, especially since the line between destroyer and frigate (at least in size terms) is very blurred these days.
 

uk 75

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Should have done this before.
Arbalest is a type of crossbow. As Broadsword and Battleaxe
were just about to enter service as double ended missile
frigates with Seawolf the type 22 but with weapon rather
than B names would fit the assumed point defence role
next to Parliament.
The RN never used the term frigate to describe Type 42
size ships with Seadart.
 
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