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THE LEANDER CLASS FRIGATE

 

HMS DiomedeThe "Leander Class" of general-purpose frigates were an improvement of the Type 12 "Whitby" and "Rothesay" class of anti-submarine ships. The first "Leanders" were commissioned in the early 1960's and by 1973; they were the largest class of major warships in the Royal Navy. In total 26 ships were built for Royal Navy service and the design proved so successful that 4 ships were built for New Zealand and Chile. An additional 14 ships based on this class were constructed by the Australian, Indian and Dutch navies. While most of these ships were eventually scrapped, some are still in service after being sold by the Royal Navy but this number is getting smaller each year.. 

Royal Navy Leander Class frigates of 2500 tons displacement built by the HM Dockyard at Portsmouth and launched in 1967. She was armed with twin 4.5 inch guns and two 40 mm anti- aircraft guns and a Limbo anti-submarine mortar. She carried a Wasp helicopter and was manned by a crew of 251.

These general purpose frigates were a development of the successful 'Whitby' and 'Rothesay' class Type 12 Anti-Submarine designs, and they completed the change from the previous pattern of special purpose frigates which had dominated since the 1951 construction programme, and which had started with the Tribal class. Later however, with the Ikara conversions (A/S - Anti-Submarine) in particular, specialization  returned as the Royal Navy's role within NATO became principally an anti-submarine one. They were in commission from the 1960's until the early 1990's. As these ships got older and needs changed to meet new demands and threats from more advanced weaponry, most of these ships had their twin 4.5in Mk. 6 turrets replaced with either Ikara, Exocet or Seawolf missile systems.

Later refits and conversions changed the initial configuration significantly - basic details of changes to main armament only are mentioned. Batch 3 had a 43ft beam. Batches 2 and 3 had Lynx helicopters. The three ships Ajax, Dido, Leander, were planned as the last three of the 'Rothesay' class.

BASIC CONFIGURATION
Displacement 2,450 Tons
LOA 372 ft
Beam 41 ft
Draft 18 ft
Armamament
  • Twin 4.5in guns
  • 2 x 40mm AA
  • Limbo mortar Anti-submarine weapon
Aircraft Wasp Helicopter
Speed 30 Knots
Range 4,000 to 5000 miles at 15 knots approximately
Main Engines Two double reduction geared turbines. 30,000shp
Oil Fuel 460 tons
Complement 251 Officers & Ratings

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