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11 HMS Glamorgan Atlantic Jan1972.jpg
HMS Glamorgan
Class overview
Builders: Cammell Laird
Swan Hunter
Vickers Armstrong
Operators:  Royal Navy
 Chilean Navy
 Pakistan Navy
Preceded by: Daring class
Succeeded by: Type 82
Subclasses: London (Group 1)
Norfolk (Group 2)
In commission: 16 November 1962 - 22 September 2006
Completed: 8
Cancelled: 2[1]
Laid up: Almirante Cochrane ex Antrim
Capitán Prat ex Norfolk
Lost: HMS Devonshire (as target)
Almirante Latorre (accident)
General characteristics
Displacement: 6,200 tons
Length: 518.25 ft (157.96 m)
Beam: 54 ft (16 m)
Draught: 21 ft (6.4 m)
Propulsion: COSAG on 2 shafts;
2 x Babcock & Wilcox boilers, geared steam turbines, 30,000 shp
4 x Metrovick G6 gas turbines, 30,000 shp
Speed: 30 knots
Range: 3,500 nm
Complement: 471 (33 officers, 438 ratings)
Armament: 24 GWS.1 Sea Slug missiles
2 x twin 4.5 in (114 mm) guns Mark N6
2 x 20 mm Oerlikon guns
2 x quadruple launchers for GWS.20 Sea Cat missiles (later GWS.22)
4 x MM38 Exocet missiles (Batch 2 only)
Aircraft carried: 1 x Westland Wessex HAS Mk.3

The County class was a class of guided missile destroyers, the first such vessels built by the Royal Navy. Designed specifically around the GWS.1 Sea Slug anti-aircraft missile system, the primary role of these ships was area air-defence around the aircraft carrier task force in the nuclear-war environment.

Contents

Ships of the class

Eight of the vessels were built, in two batches between 1959 and 1970, the later four vessels carrying Mark 2 SeaSlug and updated electronics requiring rearranged mastheads. The major identifying feature was the prominent "double bedstead" AKE-2 antennas of the Type 965 air-search radar and a taller foremast carrying the Type 992Q low-angle search radar on Norfolk batch.

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Batch 1

Batch 2


Four of the Counties took names used by the 1926 County class cruisers: London, Norfolk, Devonshire and Kent. The last of these, (HMS Cumberland), had survived until 1959.

Four of the new ships were named after counties containing a Royal Navy Dockyard; these were: Devonshire (Devonport Dockyard, Plymouth), Hampshire (Portsmouth), Kent (Chatham), and Fife (Rosyth). Glamorgan and Antrim were named after the counties in Wales and Northern Ireland which contain the port cities and regional capitals of Cardiff and Belfast. Norfolk commemorated the county which contains Nelson's birthplace, and the important 19th century naval ports of Great Yarmouth and King's Llyn.

Design Features

Batch 1 ship HMS Devonshire. Observe the single row of the Type 965 AKE-1 antenna and the short foremast carrying the Type 992P "cheese" antenna and a topmast supporting the ECM/ESM arrays.

The County class were designed around the GWS.1 Sea Slug beam riding anti-aircraft missile system. Everything about the Sea Slug was on a grand scale, from the missile itself (six meters long and weighing two tons) to its handling arrangements and electronics systems; fitting even the single system aboard a ship the size of even the Counties was a challenge in itself. The missile itself was enormous and was stowed horizontally in a large magazine that took up a great deal of internal space. On the last four ships, some of the missiles were stored partly disassembled in the forward end of the magazine to enable the complement of missiles to be increased. These missiles had their wings and fins reattached before being moved into the aft sections of the handling spaces and eventually loaded onto the large twin launcher for firing. The electronics required for the Sea Slug were the large Type 901 fire-control radar and the Type 965 air-search radar. These required a great deal of weight to be carried high up on the ship, further defining the design. Sea Slug could also be used in the surface to surface role, and was a highly effective system in its day.

Short range air-defence was provided by the Sea Cat short range anti-aircraft, which made the Counties the first Royal Navy warships to be armed with two different types of guided missile.

As constructed, the County class ships were armed with a pair of twin 4.5in gun mountings. The second batch of four ships (Antrim, Fife, Glamorgan and Norfolk) were refitted in the mid 1970s - this saw their 'B' position turrets removed and replaced by four single MM38 Exocet launch boxes. This made the County class ships the only Royal Navy ships to date to be fitted with three separate types of guided missile. It also left the unrefitted ships as the last Royal Navy vessels to be able to fire "Broadside" from multiple main armament turrets, as all subsequent destroyers and frigates have been fitted with single rapid-fire 4.5" guns.

HMS Antrim and HMS Glamorgan both served in the Falklands conflict; Antrim was the flagship of Operation Paraquet, the recovery of South Georgia in April 1982. Her helicopter, the Westland Wessex HAS.Mk3 nicknamed "Humphrey" was responsible for the remarkable rescue of 16 SAS men from Fortuna Glacier and the subsequent detection and disabling of the Argentinian submarine Santa Fe. Whilst at San Carlos Water, a 1,000 lb (450 kg) bomb hit Antrim, but did not explode. Glamorgan, after many days on the "gun line" bombarding Port Stanley airfield, suffered a land-based Exocet strike at the end of the conflict, which destroyed her aircraft hangar and the port Seacat mounting.

Construction programme

Pennant Name (a) Hull builder
(b) Main machinery manufacturers
Ordered Laid down Launched Accepted
into service
Commissioned Estimated
building cost[2]
D02 Devonshire (a) Cammell Laird and Co (Shipbuilders and Engineers) Ltd, Birkenhead
(b) Cammell Laird and Co (Shipbuilders and Engineers) Ltd, Birkenhead (steam turbines and gearing)
(b) Associated Electrical Industries Ltd, Manchester (steam turbines, gas turbines and gearing) [3]
24 January 1956 [4] 9 March 1959 [4] 10 June 1960 [4] November 1962 [3] 15 November 1962 [4] £14,080,000 [3]
D06 Hampshire (a) John Brown & Co Ltd, Clydebank
(b) John Brown & Co Ltd, Clydebank (steam turbines and gearing)
(b) Yarrow and Co Ltd, Glasgow (gas turbines)
(b) Associated Electrical Industries Ltd, Manchester (gas turbines) [3]
27 January 1956 [4] 26 March 1959 [4] 16 March 1961 [4] March 1963 [3] 15 March 1963 [4] £12,625,000 [3]
D12 Kent (a) Harland & Wolff Ltd, Belfast
(b) Harland & Wolff Ltd, Belfast (steam turbines, gas turbines and gearing)
(b) Associated Electrical Industries Ltd, Manchester (steam turbines and gearing)[5]
6 February 1957 [4] 1 March 1960 [4] 27 September 1961 [4] August 1963 [5] 15 August 1963 [4] £13,650,000 [5]
D16 London (a) Swan, Hunter and Wigham Richardson Ltd, Wallsend-on-Tyne
(b) The Wallsend Slipway and Engineering Co Ltd, Wallsend-on-Tyne (steam turbines)
(b) Parsons Marine Turbine Co Ltd, Wallsend-on-Tyne (gearing)
(b) Associated Electrical Industries Ltd, Manchester (gas turbine)
(b) JI Thorneycroft and Co Ltd, Southampton (gas turbine) [5]
6 February 1957 [4] 26 February 1960 [4] 7 December 1961 [4] November 1963 [5] 14 November 1963 [4] £13,900,000 [5]
D20 Fife (a) Fairfields (Glasgow) Ltd
(b) Harland & Wolff Ltd, Belfast (steam and gas turbines)
(b) Fairfields (Glasgow) Ltd (gearing)[6]
26 September 1961 [4] 1 June 1962 [4] 9 July 1964 [4] June 1966 [6] 21 June 1966 [4] £15,250,000 [6]
D19 Glamorgan (a) Vickers Ltd, Shipbuilding Group, Newcastle
(b) Parsons Marine Turbine Co Ltd, Wallsend-on-Tyne (steam turbines and gearing)
(b) Yarrow & Co Ltd, Glasgow (gas turbines)[6]
26 September 1961 [4] 13 September 1962 [4] 9 July 1964 [4] October 1966 [6] 11 October 1966 [4] £14,100,000 [6]
D21 Norfolk (a) Swan Hunter & Tyne Shipbuilders Ltd
(b) Harland & Wolff Ltd, Belfast (steam turbines)
(b) Associated Electrical Industries Ltd
Yarrow & Co Ltd, Glasgow (gas turbines)
(b) John Brown & Co Ltd, Clydebank (gearing)[7]
5 January 1965 [4] 15 March 1966 [4] 16 November 1967 [4] February 1970 [7] 7 March 1970 [4] £16,900,000 [7]
D18 Antrim (a) Upper Clyde Shipbuilders Ltd,(Govan Division)
(b) Harland & Wolff Ltd, Belfast (steam turbines)
(b) Associated Electrical Industries Ltd
(b) Yarrow & Co Ltd, Glasgow (gas turbines)
(b) John Brown & Co Ltd, Clydebank (gearing)[8]
5 January 1965 [4] 20 January 1966 [4] 19 October 1967 [4] November 1970 [8] 14 July 1970 [4] £16,350,000 [8]

Cost of ownership

Running costs

Date Running cost What is included Citation
1972-73 £500,000 Average annual maintenance cost per vessel for County class destroyers [9]
1981-82 £7.0 million Average annual running cost of County class destroyers at average 1981–82 prices and including associated aircraft costs but excluding the costs of major refits. [10]

Cost of major refits

Date Running cost What is included Citation
£5½ million - £8 million Cost of recently completed major refits for County class destroyers. [11]

References

  1. ^ Rebuilding the Royal Navy : Warship Design Since 1945, D. K. Brown and George Moore, Chatham Publishing, 2003
  2. ^ "Unit cost, i.e. excluding cost of certain items (e.g. aircraft, First Outfits)."
    Text from Defences Estimates
  3. ^ a b c d e f Navy Estimates, 1963-64, page 70, Table 3 (Programme): List and particulars of new ships which have been accepted or are expected to be accepted into HM service during the Financial Year ended 31st March 1963
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af Moore, George, From Daring to Devonshire in Warship, 2005, pub Conways, 2005, ISBN 1-84486-003-05 page 133.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Defence Estimates, 1964-65, page 72, Table 3 (Programme): List and particulars of new ships which have been accepted or are expected to be accepted into HM service during the Financial Year ended 31st March 1964
  6. ^ a b c d e f Defence Estimates, 1967-68, page 75, Table 3 (Programme): List and particulars of new ships which have been accepted or are expected to be accepted into HM service during the Financial Year ended 31st March 1967
  7. ^ a b c Defence Estimates, 1970-71, page XII-81, Table V: List and particulars of new ships which have been accepted or are expected to be accepted into HM service during the Financial Year ended 31st March 1970
  8. ^ a b c Defence Estimates, 1971-72, page XII-81, Table V: List and particulars of new ships which have been accepted or are expected to be accepted into HM service during the Financial Year ended 31st March 1971
  9. ^ Hansard HC Deb 16 December 1974 vol 883 c316W Question to the Secretary of State for Defence about the approximate annual average refit cost per vessel for (a) a County class destroyer and (b) a Leander class frigate, 16 December 1974.
  10. ^ Hansard HC Deb 16 July 1982 vol 27 cc485-6W Question to the Secretary of State for Defence, 16 July 1982.
  11. ^ Hansard HC Deb 16 December 1974 vol 883 c316W Question to the Secretary of State for Defence about the approximate cost of a long refit of (a) a Leander class frigate and (b) a County class destroyer, 16 December 1974.

See also


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