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Castle class patrol ships

HMS Leeds Castle and HMS Dumbarton Castle entered service in 1982 and protected the fishing fleets and oil and gas fields in the North Sea before long-term duty guarding the Falkland Islands after the war. The ships were fitted with flight decks capable of supporting Sea King helicopters. There were two Castle class patrol ships, one of whom was always allocated to the Falkland Islands as the FI Patrol Vessel. Leeds Castle deployed from the United Kingdom in January 2001 and remained in the Falklands until June 2004. Dumbarton Castle was acting as Flagship for Commander Mine Countermeasures Force (North) until May 2003 - a role she took up in May 2002. When she leaft the NATO Squadron she was programmed to enter Refit, in Rosyth, in June 2003 until February 2004.

There was always a Falkland Islands guard ship; one of the Castle class was permanently there. There was a very regular if not large percentage presence by a frigate or destroyer. HMS Endurance was always down there in the summer months - their summer months, Britain's winter months. There was the occasional patrol by a nuclear submarine, as there is, which the navy does not talk about in detail. Naval patrols in the Falkland Islands were undertaken by the Falkland Islands Guard Ship (HMS Somerset in 2000) and a Castle class Offshore Patrol Vessel (HMS Dumbarton Castle in 2000) supported by a Royal Fleet Auxiliary Vessel (RFA Grey Rover in 2000). The Guardship maintains a presence in the Falkland Islands area for most of the year, but can, on occasions, be held at longer notice to allow the ship to carry out other activities elsewhere.

HMS Dumbarton Castle is the Falkland Islands Protection Vessel (FIPV) and is administered by the FPS. When not stationed in the South Atlantic, the Castle Class ship may be utilised in fishery protection around the UK, in refit or are tasked as an MCM Command Platform. The new OPV(H) undertook the role of the Falkland Islands Patrol Vessel, replacing the two existing Castle Class OPVs operating in the region. The vessel, HMS Clyde, is a follow-on from the three highly successful River Class OPVs currently in Service with the Royal Navy's Fishery Protection Squadron. These 80m vessels have been specifically designed to offer a flexible, multi-role solution to homeland defence, fishery protection and EEZ management duties.

The former Royal Navy offshore patrol vessels built by Hall Russell in Aberdeen, which for years were on Falkland Islands service, were later sold to Bangladesh's navy. The ships were laid up in Portsmouth Naval Base since their retirement from service in 2005. They were towed up to Tyneside in May 2010 to undergo a massive overhaul. Ship repair yard A&P Tyne overhauled the vessels and trained 66 Bangladeshi sailors to operate them. The two Castle Class ships were originally going to be sold to Pakistan in 2007, when the deal fell through they were put into storage until another customer could be found. It's a similar process to how the D'Estienne d'Orves Class corvettes (that were originally intended for the South African Navy) finished up becoming the Drummond Class vessels in the Argentine Navy.

Ship Pennant Builder Laid Down Launch Comm DeComm
Leeds
Castle
P258 Hall
Russell
& Company
(Aberdeen)
18 Oct
1979
22 Oct
1980

29 Oct
1980
27 Oct
1980
08 Aug 2005 sale to the Bangladesh Navy as
BNS Bijoy
Dumbarton
Castle
P265 Hall
Russell
& Company
(Aberdeen)
25 Jun
1980
03 Jun
1981
12 Mar
1982
2008 sale to the Bangladesh Navy as
BNS Dhaleshwari

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Displacement 1,427 tonnes
Length 81 m (266 ft)
Beam 11.5 m (37 ft)
Draught 3.6 m (11 ft)
Propulsion 2 Ruston 12RKC 5,640 bhp (4.2 MW) diesels, 2 shafts
Speed 18 knots (33 km/h) max 12 knots (22 km/h) cruise
Complement 45 (+ accommodation for 25 Royal Marines)
Armament Oerlikon / BMARC 30 mm L/75 KCB gun on single Laurence Scott DS-30B mount 4 L7 General Purpose Machine Guns
AircraftFlight deck can support aircraft up to Westland Sea King-size but has operated Chinook which landed thwartships






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