Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Leander class frigate
|Type 12 (Leander)-class|
|Displacement:||2860 tons full load (Batch 1 and 2)/3000 tons full load (Batch 3)|
|Length:||372 ft (113 m)|
|Beam:||41 ft (12.5 m) Batch 1 and 2, 43 ft (13.1 m) Batch 3|
|Draught:||18 ft (5.5 m)|
|Propulsion:||2 shafts, 2 steam turbines, 2 boilers, 25,000 shp (19 MW)|
|Speed:||28 knots (52 km/h)|
|Range:||4500 nautical miles (8,000 km) at 12 knots (22 km/h)|
|Armament:||2 twin mount x 4.5 in (114 mm) gun (later removed on five Batch 3. Removed in all Batch 1 and 2 ships)
2 x 40 mm gun (Later removed from Batch 1 and 2 ships. Also removed from five Batch 3 ships)
2 x 20 mm gun (Batch 1 and 2. One x 20 mm gun later added to Batch 3 ships)
SeaCat anti-air missile launcher (Batch 1 and 2. Removed from five Batch 3s)
SeaWolf anti-air missile launcher (Five Batch 3 ships)
Exocet anti-ship missile launcher (Batch 2 and five Batch 3s)
Mk 10 Limbo mortar (Batch 1. Later removed from all Batch 2s and five Batch 3s)
Ikara ASW missile launcher (Batch 1)
|Aircraft:||1 Westland Wasp (Batch 2 and 3 were later refitted to operate Westland Lynx)|
The Type 12M (Leander)-class, comprising twenty-six frigates, was arguably the most successful and popular class of frigates in the Royal Navy's history. The class was built , between 19?? and 19??, in three batches, with each batch having a distinct role.
The first batch, comprising 8 ships and built between 19?? and 19??, were general purpose as an alternative to the far more expensive single-role classes such as the Rothesay-class and Whitby-class frigates. They had the Y100 engine design, which would be replaced in the subsequent two batches, as well as much improved accommodation for the crew, including air conditioning. They also were designed from the start to operate one helicopter, a feature rather rare at that time.
They were originally armed with one twin mount 4.5 in (114 mm) gun, but this was later removed in favour of the Australian designed Ikara anti-submarine warfare (ASW) rocket launcher in response to the perceived threat of Soviet submarines, effectively turning the batch one vessels into ASW frigates. The SeaCat missile was also installed, replacing the 40 mm guns.
The Batch Two ships, comprising 8 ships (19?? to 19??), were designed for the specialised anti-submarine warfare (ASW) role and were only slightly revised to the batch ones, in that they had a different engine design, known as the Y136. The one twin mount 4.5-in gun was later replaced with the Exocet anti-ship missile launcher giving them a potent anti-ship capability. The SeaCat missile and 6 torpedo tubes were also added. The ASW mortar was also removed to allow the helicopter deck to be extended to enable the class to operate the larger, and more capable, Westland Lynx.
The Batch Three ships, comprising 10 ships (19?? to 19??), had an increased beam 43ft, as against the 41ft of the firsat 2 batches) to give more internal space, as well as improved stability. This also allowed the Batch Threes to be more receptive to modernisation.
The third batch had a different engine design, known as the Y160. On five ships of the batch, the one twin mount 4.5 in (114 mm) gun, SeaCat missile launcher, 40 mm guns, and Limbo mortar were all removed in favour of three 20mm Oerlikon guns, and SeaWolf and Exocet missile launchers. The 20 mm Oerlikon gun was added to all Batch Three ships.
The ships performed excellently in RN service, but they were ageing and manpower intensive, at a time when the RN were suffering yet another manpower crisis, and with defence cuts, all Leanders in RN service were decommissioned by the early 1990s. Some Leanders remain in service with foreign navies. HMS Scylla was sunk 27 March 2004 as an artificial reef off Cornwall. It had been ten years since her decommissioning in 1994.
HMNZS Canterbury, the last steam-turbine driven Leander class frigate in the Royal New Zealand Navy, will decommission in Auckland on 31 March 2005 after 33 years operational service.
Leander class variants
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