Monday, 11 April 2016

Type 15 Frigates

The Type 15 Frigates were – like the Type 16 Frigates – converted from War Emergency Programme destroyers. Twenty three destroyers were converted into Type 15 Frigates, four R-class (Rapid, Relentless, Rocket, and Roebuck), one T-class (Troubridge), thirteen U/V-class (Grenville, Ulster, Ulysses, Undaunted, Undine, Urania, Urchin, Ursa, Venus, Verulam, Vigilant, Virago, and Volage), and five W/Z-class (Wakeful, Whirlwind, Wizard, Wrangler, and Zest).

What the ships looked like before conversion:



The conversions entailed:
  • The removal of all the existing superstructure, weaponry, and masts
  • The complete overhaul of the existing propulsion system
  • The extension of the existing forecastle deck towards the stern of the ship, leaving only a small quarterdeck at the stern
  • The addition of a new single-level superstructure which incorporated a fully enclosed bridge, an operations room, and a sonar room
  • The addition of new a lattice mast to carry the enhanced radars, HF/DF, and communications equipment that was now fitted
  • The addition of two x triple Limbo anti-submarine mortars, which were fitted aft (N.B. Rapid, Roebuck, Venus, Verulam, Vigilant, Virago, Volage, Wakeful, Whirlwind, Wizard, and Wrangler were fitted with 2 x triple Squid anti-submarine mortars in lieu of the Limbos)
  • The addition of a twin 4-inch dual purpose gun (mounted aft) and a twin 40mm Bofors anti-aircraft gun (mounted forward)
What the ships looked like after conversion:



The conversions were undertaken between 1949 and 1957, and the last ships (Rapid, Grenville, and Ulster) were broken up in 1981

The Royal Canadian Navy converted two destroyers (Algonquin (ex-Valentine) and Crescent) and the Royal Australian Navy converted four Q-class destroyers (Quadrant, Quickmatch, Queenborough, and Quiberon) along similar lines.

The Canadian ships differed somewhat in terms of their armament (Algonquin and Crescent had a US twin 3-inch gun in place of the Bofors anti-aircraft guns and were fitted with Squid anti-submarine mortars) and their radar fit, the latter including more American equipment. Of the four Australian ships, Quadrant was equipped with Squid anti-submarine mortars and the other three had Limbo anti-submarine mortars.

6 comments:

  1. This is a fascinating series of posts for me. What were they like during the war years, numbers, specs and duties? I hope to do a 20mm mock up for my WW2 actions - a la RF from a picture in their D-Day supplement. Keep up the good work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Service Ration Distribution (Hobby),

      Good luck with your model. Before conversion these ships all looked very similar, and there are some very helpful drawings of them available online.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  2. Interesting. Some aspects of the modified F193 bear a striking resemblance to the later MacKenzie class destroyers that I sailed on.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ross Mac,

      The RN and RCN worked closely on their post-war destroyer/frigate designs and I suspect that is one reason why the designs ended up looking both similar and different. I understand that both navies used the same propulsion system, and as that has a major impact on a ship's design and layout it is no great surprise to see that both strands of development were similar.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  3. Interesting conversions BOB...good to see the Royal Australian Navy getting a mention with the Q Class Destroyers. Regards. KEV.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kev,

      They date from the good old days when the RAN and RN were very much sister services, sharing many common designs!

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete