Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Type 21 frigate
|Type 21 (Amazon) class|
|Displacement:||2,860 tons standard / 3,360 tons full load (after hull strengthening)|
|Length:||384 ft (117 m)|
|Beam:||41.5 ft (12.6 m)|
|Draught:||19.6 ft (6.0 m)|
|Propulsion:||4 Rolls-Royce (2 Olympus, 2 Tyne turbines) Combination of Gas or Gas (COGOG) turbines, 2 shafts, 50,000 shp (37 MW) Olympus / 8,500 shp (6 MW) Tyne|
|Speed:||30 knots (56 km/h), 18 knots (33 km/h) Tyne|
|Range:||4000 nautical miles (7,000 km) at 17 knots (31 km/h)|
|Armament:||1 x 4.5 in (114 mm) gun
|Aircraft:||Westland Wasp (later refitted for the Westland Lynx)|
The Type 21 frigate or Amazon class frigate was an attempt by the Royal Navy to create a cheap escort design. The class was designed by private shipyards, Vosper Thornycroft and Yarrow, and partially funded by the Royal Australian Navy as they originally intended to buy five vessels but in the event did not purchase any. The first of the eight built entered service in May 1974.
These ships were the first Royal Navy frigates which had gas-turbine propulsion - their immediate predecessors having diesel engines. They also had an aluminium alloy superstructure, and worries later surfaced about their resilience to fire, particularly following a major fire on HMS Amazon in 1977 during which aluminium ladders distorted preventing fire-fighting teams from reaching the blaze. Later warships reverted to using steel again.
Almost all of the class took part in the Falklands War, with two being sunk, Ardent directly by Argentine air attack, and Antelope by an unexploded bomb that was set off by the bomb disposal team attempting to defuse it. The ships developed cracks in their decks due to the severe weather conditions they encountered in the South Atlantic, which required steel reinforcing plates to be subsequently fitted to the survivors.
They were critisised for being overcrowded, at 384 ft (117 m), they had 235 crew, compared to the Type 23 frigate which was coming into service just as the Amazons were coming close to the end of their service life, had at 436 ft (133 m), just 185 crew, at a time when the Royal Navy were facing yet another manpower shortage, and with little capability to modernise due to its small size and already nearly at its topweight limit, the Type 21s days were numbered.
All six remaining type 21s were sold to Pakistan in 1993-1994. The class was renamed by the Pakistan Navy to the Tariq class, after the first vessel they acquired, PNS Tariq, formerly HMS Ambuscade. As of 2004, all six ships remain in the Pakistani Navy. They have had their SeaCat launched removed, as-well as the Exocet missile launcher, which has been replaced by the more capable Harpoon missile.
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