Thursday, March 3, 2011

U.K Navy Sales HMS Cornwall To Brazilian Navy Seals Broadswords Class Frigates

Ten Type 22 Broadsword frigates were brought out of service half way through their working lives. The reduction in the size of the destroyer and frigate force from 35 to 32, as announced in the 1998 Strategic Defence Review White Paper, was achieved by paying off the Type 22 frigates HMS Boxer, Beaver and London in 1999. HMS Brave was replaced by a new Type 23 frigate in 2000 as was HMS Coventry in 2001. The remaining five Type 22 frigates had a planned service life of approximately 23 years.

The actual cost per annum of operation for ships such as Type 23 frigates, Type 22 frigates, SSNs, Hunt Class minehunters and Sandown Class minehunters will vary considerably dependent on the tasking/maintenance undertaken. Indicative annual costs, including manpower, fuel and stores only, would be in the region of £16 million for a Type 23 and a Type 22 frigate, £11 million for an SSN, £3 million for a Hunt Class minehunter and £2 million for a Sandown Class minehunter.

It was originally envisaged that all Type 22s would have names beginning with 'B' (Broadsword, etc), following the 'A' names used for Type 21s (Amazon, etc). This changed when two under-construction ships (Sheffield and Coventry) were re-named to commemorate ships lost in the South Atlantic, with London being similarly honoured. The alphabetical progression was re-established with the Batch 3 ships (Cornwall, etc) before being temporarily abandoned with the Type 23 class, named after Dukedoms (Norfolk, Lancaster, etc). The Royal Navy's latest escort class (the Type 45 or Daring class) have re-introduced the alphabetical progression, using destroyer names from the 1930s and 1950s.

The names selected for the four Batch 3 ships were an interesting mixture: two, Cornwall and Cumberland, revived County-class names previously carried both by First World War-era armoured cruisers, and by Second World War-era heavy cruisers. The other Batch 3s, Chatham and Campbeltown, were Town names, the former reviving a 1911 light cruiser name, and the latter commemorating the most famous of the US destroyers transferred to the Royal Navy in 1940; the name for HMS Chatham was selected as a salute to the Medway town, where the naval dockyard, established in 1570, had closed in 1984.

The Type 22 HMS Cornwall class frigates was designed to be a specialist anti-submarine warfare vessel as part of the Royal Navy's contribution to NATO. Since then they have evolved into a general purpose frigate with weapons for use against other surface ships, aircraft and submarines. They were built in three batches giving rise to three sub-classes, the first Broadsword of four ships, the second Boxer of six ships and the third and final, Cornwall of four ships.

The four Broadswords class frigates (which included two Falklands War veterans) were sold to Brazil in the mid 1990s. Romania has acquired and modernized two of the Batch 2 ships, while a third was purchased by Chile. The  Broadswords class frigates ships have enhanced command, control and co-ordination facilities that results in their often being used as deployment flagshipsHMS Cornwall in 2007.


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