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Type 22 Broadsword frigate

During the 1980s, the Royal Navy had two major frigate classes in service, the Amazon class (Type 21) and the Broadsword class (Type 22) frigates. Broadsword Type 22 Batch 1 Class Frigates were planned as replacements for the Leander Class. Initially only ten Type 22 Broadsword Class Frigates were ordered. Although at one time a total of as many as 24 units were originally planned, only 14 were actually built. HMS London was named at the request of the Lord Mayor of London [initially the ship was to be could HMS Bloodhound] and HMS Sheffield and HMS Coventry theses last two frigates were named after two ships lost during the Falklands war.

Originally designed as specialist anti-submarine platform, the Type 22 Frigates evolved into a powerful surface combatant with substantial anti-surface, anti submarine and anti aircraft weapons systems. They also possesses excellent command & control and communication facilities, making them ideal Flagships. On patrol they have an efficient cruising speed of 18 knots, but have a sprint capability of over 30 knots.

The Type 2016 sonar system was the first British sonar to incorporate computerized signal processing to filter out some of the unwanted returns. Type 2016 is installed on Invincible class aircraft carriers, Type 42 destroyers and Type 22 frigates. On Type 22 frigates, the Type 2016 is arranged in three compartments. The cylindrical transducer array is hydraulically retractable within a fixed glass-reinforced plastic (GRP) dome, which is keel-mounted forward on the centerline. The array is roll stabilized.

The installation of new or updated equipments on all vessels, including Type 22 frigates, is made to address issues of obsolescence, achieve improved reliability or provide enhanced operational capability. By 1998 a progressive program of replacing the Type 2016 sonars installed on the earlier units of the Type 22 class frigates with the Type 2050 was reaching completion. Type 22 frigates achieved approximately 82 to 86 percent average availability for operational service in each of the five years from 1993 through 1998. This discounts time spent in planned maintenance.

A revised machinery installation was adopted from HMS Brave onwards, with Spey turbines replacing the previous Olympus. The future machinery arrangement would be COGAG (Combined Gas turbine And Gas turbine). The propulsion plant of Type 22 is COGAG type combined each two of Spey and Tyne gas turbines.

The 1966 Defence Review cancelled the Royal Navy's plans for procurement of escorts and its future aircraft carrier program. This led directly to the design and construction of the Type 42 area air defence destroyers armed with the Sea Dart Missile System and the Type 21 patrol frigates. The Type 21's were a stop gap. The original intent was to build a frigate purpose designed to combat Soviet nuclear submarines transiting the GIUK (Greenland, Iceland, UK) Gap. These frigates would be the most powerful and capable vessels yet put to sea by the Royal Navy. at the time of the 1966 Defence Review the Type 22 design was in its infancy, and pressure was placed on the warship designers to concentrate on one design at a time, which became the Type 42 destroyers. Design work on the Type 22 design slowed, but once the Type 42's were ordered, attention again focused on the needs of the anti-submarine frigate design work.

In the late 1960's and early 1970's, the Royal Navy had a large fleet of relatively new Type 12 and Leander class frigates, which were subsequently refitted to serve roles such as dedicated anti-submarine work or surface strike. The lesson from this approach was that it was hard to assemble a task force with the right component ships. A general purpose design seemed necessary, and this was initially taken into account in the design of the Type 22's, though later abandoned.

The Type 22 frigates are among the most successful warships built for the Royal Navy since 1945, but their continued evolution led to a ship that is probably closer to a cruiser or destroyer (in terms of capability and cost) than a simple frigate, particularly in their weapons fit.

The first Type 22 frigate, HMS Broadsword, was completed in 1979 and was followed by three other Batch 1 frigates of this type. Six more Batch 11 vessels were built, and Batch III followed in due course.

On 15 December 2010 the Secretary of State for Defence (Dr Liam Fox) stated that: "The White Paper "Securing Britain in an Age of Uncertainty: The Strategic Defence Review" (Cm 7948), presented to the House on 19 October 2010, explained the Government's intention to make certain changes to the armed forces in order to deliver the force structure we require for the future and to help address the legacy of unaffordability in the defence budget. I am now able to explain more fully those changes that affect the Royal Navy's surface fleet.... The White Paper also explained that four frigates would be withdrawn from service in 2011. These are the remaining Type 22 frigates HMS Chatham, Campbeltown, Cumberland and Cornwall. Chatham will be withdrawn from service at the end of January 2011 and Campbeltown and Cumberland will follow on 1 April. HMS Cornwall will be withdrawn at the end of April once she has returned from her current operational deployment to the Indian Ocean."

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Page last modified: 11-07-2011 03:07:19 ZULU