type 81 frigate modernisation

gunner

ACCESS: Restricted
Joined
Aug 1, 2009
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
When the tribal class was withdrawn there was some projects put forward to modernise and sell them on has any one any knowledge of thease?
 

Hood

ACCESS: Top Secret
Staff member
Senior Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2006
Messages
2,681
Reaction score
3,231
Yes, when the ships were put into reserve Vosper Thornycroft made a plan to modernise the ships for export. The hangar would be extended for two Lynx and the after 4.5in removed and the two funnels would be merged into one.
New radar fit would be Decca TM1226, Marconi S820, Marconi ST802 and one Sapphire. The sonars would be one Graseby GI 777K. Armament was unchanged except for the loss of Limbo and the after 4.5in gun.

Obviously though when Malaysia brought them none of that wrk was undertaken.

Source: Combat Fleets of the World 1980/81.
The Shipbucket Forum has a spectulative drawing based on the real plans for such a refit.
 

JFC Fuller

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2012
Messages
2,393
Reaction score
1,131
Only one sonar?

I am assuming that would be hull mounted?

If that is the case and I was having one of these ships pushed on me I would be praying that the government would cough up for dipping sonar on those Lynx. Although they are going to be so tight inside the hangar you would want to save as much space as possible. That said with no Limbo the class has no ASW weapon except its helicopters.

What a complete waste of time this conversion would have been, essentially the result would have been a helicopter carrying sloop. No wonder nobody went for it.
 

starviking

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2006
Messages
1,268
Reaction score
441
Hood said:
Obviously though when Malaysia brought them none of that wrk was undertaken.

Wasn't it the Indonesians who bought 'em?
 

TomS

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2008
Messages
4,971
Reaction score
2,548
Yep, Gurkha, Tartar, and Zulu all ended up in the Indonesian Navy. And honestly, I think the refit described might have been pretty handy for the TNI–AL. Helicopters are great multipliers for for surface surveillance, which has to be the main concern for the Indonesians. Now, fitting two Lynx in the hangar, even widened, would be hard, but one with adequate access space would still be an improvement over a Wasp.
 

uk 75

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Sep 27, 2006
Messages
3,815
Reaction score
2,854
The Type 81s performed valuable gunboat service both in the RN and Indonesian Navies.

Ironically one of the main roles of the Type 81 was as a Far East sloop, providing bobby on the beat
style protection against pirates and smugglers or insurgents, for which its guns and Wasp helo were admirably suited. Apparently even the Limbo could be used as an admittedly expensive mortar round!

Even in NATO waters the RN held on to these ships because unlike their newer techier sisters they were useful for the more mundane but more usual tasks of a peacetime Navy, patroling the sealanes.

As I have commented elsewhere it was the high end RN ships that deserved more criticism than the poor old Type 81 which did a very good wide range job. It also featured heavily in RN recruitment ads because of this broad service.

UK 75
 

JFC Fuller

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2012
Messages
2,393
Reaction score
1,131
Yeah thats right, instead of planning for the threat to national survival posed by the Soviet Union the RN should have just built a fleet of sloops for anti-piracy missions.............. ::)
 

uk 75

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Sep 27, 2006
Messages
3,815
Reaction score
2,854
I know I shouldn't but I cannot resist.

How many times between 1962 and 1991 did the Royal Navy get to test its high end warships?
What happened when they did?

Meanwhile back in the real world in the same timescale the RN was having to perform every day duties similar to those of smaller navies, ie those who wanted to buy ships from us. I don't think Indonesia or others buying ex RN ships wanted to be able to take on the Kiev or the Kirov, or did I miss the original point of this thread.

UK 75
 

Hood

ACCESS: Top Secret
Staff member
Senior Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2006
Messages
2,681
Reaction score
3,231
I guess Vosper thought they couldn't sell them without some kind of modernisation but it seems Indonesia brought them practically as they were when they left RN service with outdated senors and weapons. Vosper was aiming low-end market, I'm sure it wanted to sell its own Vosper series of craft as new toys and Yarrow had the Type 24 on the drawing boards at the same time trying to get export sales and RN interest. There was even talk of building a Type 24 as a speculative venture hoping that no-one brought it the RN would.
 

JFC Fuller

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2012
Messages
2,393
Reaction score
1,131
uk 75 said:
I know I shouldn't but I cannot resist.

How many times between 1962 and 1991 did the Royal Navy get to test its high end warships?
What happened when they did?

Meanwhile back in the real world in the same timescale the RN was having to perform every day duties similar to those of smaller navies, ie those who wanted to buy ships from us. I don't think Indonesia or others buying ex RN ships wanted to be able to take on the Kiev or the Kirov, or did I miss the original point of this thread.

UK 75

Countering the Soviet Union and preparing to fight it at Sea was what the RN did, everything else was secondary and of negligible importance. Just because the RN did not fight WW3 it does not mean it was not performing its role with regard to the Soviet Union. Perhaps the UK should never have built any Dreadnoughts between 1906 and 1914 and should have just stuck with sloops? I bet that would have ended well....
 

Similar threads

Top