Whitby class frigate


Whitby class frigate
The Type 12 frigates of the Whitby class were a six-ship class of anti-submarine warfare (A/S) frigates of the Royal Navy that entered service late in the 1950s. They were designed as first rate ocean-going convoy escorts in light of experience gained during World War II. At this time the Royal Navy were designing single-role escorts, and the Whitbys were designed as fast convoy escorts capable of tackling high-speed submarines. However, this made the Whitbys more expensive and sophisticated to produce in large numbers in the event of a major war, and so the Type 14 "Utility" or "2nd rate" A/S frigate was developed to complement the Type 12. Although themselves rapidly outdated, the Type 12 proved to be an excellent basis for a series of frigate designs used by the British and Commonwealth navies for the next 20 years.

Critical to the design of the Type 12 was the requirement to be able to steam for long periods of time in heavy seas, economically and at high speed. For this reason a novel hull form was devised, which despite appearance, was totally unrelated to that of the earlier Type 41 / Type 61 design. The hull showed the fine lines more typical of a destroyer, but had a raised forecastle with considerable flare. The fo'c'sle deck was level to maintain maximum freeboard aft of the stem where it is most likely that waves will break across the deck. These two features meant that the hull not only cut through the water, but that spray was thrown upwards and outwards, away from the bridge and gun turret. This was especially important in high latitudes where war experience had shown that spray could cause rapid and undesirable ice build-up on the forecastle. The deck edges and hull also met at a curve rather than an angle, the anchors were recessed, and protrusions were kept to a minimum to limit the potential sources of ice build-up and spray generation. The Mark 6 gunhouse was large and heavy, so had to be carried low to maintain stability and give a good view over it from the bridge. The forecastle therefore had a very distinctive kink, allowing the position of the guns to be lowered. This had the added benefit of moving the bridge aft, where there was considerably less motion, improving the lot of the watchkeeper. The hull form, coupled with a twin-shaft double-reduction geared steam turbine plant (the Y-100) that operated at high temperature and pressure (for efficiency) and low revolutions, with new five-bladed low-cavitation propellers (for efficiency and quietness) lent themselves to the perfect hull for a high-speed, all-weather A/S vessel.

Experience with the Type 15 frigate program, rebuilding wartime destroyers into fast A/S frigates had led to the adoption of a bridge design characteristic of Royal Navy escorts up to the Leander class of 1969. The covered bridge, where the ship was conned, was located above the operations room where the ship was fought, and there was a small pilot's position located to the front of the bridge, giving the indicative "T" shape when viewed from above. Whitby was unique in that her bridge face was vertical, her sisters having the windows mounted at an angle to the face, to cut down on internal reflections inside the bridge in low-light. There was also an open navigation bridge located above and behind the enclosed one.

The original funnel was a straight, cylindrical affair that was designed to resist a nuclear blast, but this was prone to down-draughting and did not clear the hot exhaust gasses particularly well. It was replaced by a heightened, raked, streamlined version with a characteristic domed top. This was incorporated in later build vessels, and in all of the subsequent Rothesay class.Only HMS Scarborough retained the stubby vertical funnel throughout her career.

General characteristics
Displacement: 2,150 tons (2,185 tonnes)
2,560 tons full load (2,600 tonnes)
Length: 360 ft (109.7 m) w/l
370 ft (112.8 m) o/a
Beam: 41 ft (12.5 m)
Draught: 17 ft (5.2 m)
Propulsion: Y-100 plant; 2 Babcock and Wilcox boilers, 2 English Electric steam turbines, 2 shafts, 30,000 shp (22 MW)
Speed: 30 kn (56 km/h)
Range: 370 tons oil fuel, 4,200 nmi (7,780 km) at 12 knots (22 km/h)
Complement: 152, later 225
Sensors and
processing systems:
  • Radar Type 293Q target indication, later;
    • Radar Type 993
  • Radar Type 277Q height finding (later removed)
  • Radar Type 275 fire control on director Mark 6M
  • Radar Type 262 fire control on STAAG
  • Radar Type 974 navigation
  • Type 1010 Cossor Mark 10 IFF
  • Sonar Type 174 search
  • Sonar Type 162 target classification
  • Sonar Type 170 attack
  • 1 x twin 4.5 in (114 mm) gun Mark 6
  • 1 x twin 40 mm Bofors gun Mark 2 STAAG, later;
    • 1 x single 40 mm Bofors gun Mark 7
  • 2 x Limbo A/S mortar Mark 10
  • 12 x 21 in A/S torpedo tubes (removed or never shipped)

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