<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="1252"%> Type 41 Frigate
 

 

Type 41 Cat Class

The proposed common hull Frigates post WWII were the Type 11 Convoy anti-submarine escort, the Type 12 Fleet anti submarine Frigate, the Type 61 convoy aircraft direction frigate and the Type 41 Convoy anti aircraft Frigate. The 11, 41 and 61 as Convoy Escorts needed range rather than speed, though equity with the new fast submarines was deemed necessary. The frigates would be as large as wartime destroyers but with a proposed power of 16,000 SHP as opposed to 40,000 SHP in a typical destroyer of the same size which would give 28 knots.

In the event no suitable steam plant was available so Diesels were substituted, but the best power that could be achieved was 12,400 SHP giving a speed of 24 knots. The Type 11 was dropped in favour of attempting to combine the function of convoy and fleet anti-submarine in the Type 12.

Eight Crossley ASR1 diesels would push the ships at 24 knots top speed, or 7,500 miles at 16 knots, nearly twice the range of the proposed steam variant, the Type 12, and for half as much fuel.

The Type 41 went ahead as intended, but the program was cut drastically short as in peace time the success of a ship was judged by Fleet excercises which the slower ships could not fully join in. However the endurance of the 41's made them ideal for long range patrols and for years they prowled the oceans to visit the more obscure smaller colonies of the fading Empire.

Their swan song was the fishing disputes dubbed the Cod Wars when they went to the aid of British Trawlers being menaced by Icelandic gunboats, but even then the value of a helicopter equipped ship soon became very apparent in tracking both trawlers and gunboats and they were withdrawn for sale, reserve and scrap.

The Type 41 carried the same Director fit as the Darings, the Type Mk6M with goggle eyes of the 275 radar and CRBFD (Close Range Blind Fire Director), the CRBDF providing independant control of the aft turret if required. She also carried the 960 long range air warning radar which their big cousins the Darings did not.

During build the construction was monitored with a view to simplifying and speeding up construction in the event of war.


HMS Puma, although not obvious she carries long range 960 radar on her main mast, very unusual for a small ship in the RN. Forward of the aft turret is CRBFD, however in different shots this seems to be missing from various ships of the class at different times. I rather suspect the sorry state of of affairs was that there were not enough to go round and ships were fitted with as needed. Sadly a practise is still in common use in today's Navy.
HMS Leopard, the Type 12 and Type 41 were the first RN ships to be designed with at least some passing thought to crew accomodation, though still accomodating lower deck ratings in hammocks the ships were equipped with improved galleys as the RN moved to central food preperation, better equipped bathrooms and dedicated sleeping areas instead of slinging hammocks wherever space allowed.

HMS Lynx, last of the "gun" diesels.

Designed as an Air Defense Frigate utilising the Common Frigate Hull concept she was armed with two twin 4.5" Mk VI gun turrets. The RN had finally abandoned it's misplaced love affair with the 4.7" gun which never achieved the capability to operate at high angles. It was hoped the 4.5" with automatic loading would combine the rapid rate of fire of the 4" with most of the punch of the 4.7"

Sadly it did not. The automatic loading mechanism was so prone to jamming that the gun had to hand loaded, although it still retained some automated handling the rate of fire the designed specification of 24 rounds a minute was cut in half and left the barrage capability of the Type 41 sadly depleted. Named for great cats the Type 41 was also known as the Lynx, Leopard or Cat class.

The ships had no funnel, the diesels exhasted through the masts, a system the Americans had christened MACK (Mast And staCK). They were equipped with Stabilisers to improve their ability to provide a stable gun platform. In total defiance of all the lessons of WWII she carried very little light AA, being fitted with only the amazing STAAG system, a twin 40mm gun mount that weighed in at a boggling 15 tons.


HMS Puma as built, designed to replace the Bay Class Frigates and provide AA support to a Convoy they concentrated on radar directed 4.5" guns, the stern turret could also be independantly directed with CRBFD. The ships also carried a Squid mortar and a twin radar guided 40mm
Ship
Pennant
Laid Down
Launched
Commissioned
Builder
Notes
Leopard F14 25-3-1953 23-5-1955 30-9-1958 HM Dockyard Portsmouth Scrapped 1977
Lynx F27 13-8-1953 12-1-1955 14-3-1957 John Browns, Clydebank 1982 sold to Bangladesh as Abu Bakr
Jaguar F37 2-11-1953 20-7-1957 10-12-1959 William Denny, Dumbarton 1978 sold to Bangladesh as Ali Hyper
Puma F34 16-11-1953 30-6-1954 27-4-1957 Scotts, Greenock 1976 scrapped
Panther F31 20-10-1955 15-3-1957 31-3-1958 John Browns, Clydebank 1958 sold to India as Brahmaputra

Two additional ships were built for India subsequent to their buying the Panther: the Beas and Betwa. Panther was planned to be built again for the RN but was cancelled.

The ships were based in South Africa and carried out South Atlantic patrols, including the Falklands. When the RN withdrew from South Africa in 1967 they served for a while in various other stations but were all laid up into the reserve Fleet and either sold or scrapped, Lynx remained operational until 1982 but was not reactivated for the Falklands war, an odd omission as her twin turrets would have been very useful for NGS and air support in the cramped waters of San Carlos.

Although 1ft narrower in the beam and 30 ft shorter in length than the steam driven Type 12 the Type 41 actualy displaced more, 2,300 tons compared to 2,150 tons, but the Type 41 needed less fuel for greater range so fully laden the two came out at about 2,550 tons each. All ships were fitted with stabilisers to improve stability as a gun platform.

All ships were refitted mid-life, Squid was removed and the STAAG was replaced with a simple Mk IX single mount 40mm, in part because of reliability problems but also to save weight to upgrade the radar systems, the main mast was replaced with a solid type to carry the massive AKE antenna of the 965 radar.

HMS Lynx, this shot clearly shows the V form bow and the bellied main hull. The combination gave speeds comparable to a Destroyer and much greater capacity for equipment. The hull is virtually identical to the Type 12 Whitby Class except it is shorter and slightly narrower. Shown here post refit with the solid mast and the heavy AKE aerial christened the "Bedstead" by sailors. Lynx became the last ship in the RN to mount two turrets after the County Class Destroyers had their second turret replaced with Exocet launchers.
 
As Built
Post Refit
Displacement 2,300 tons standard 2,520 full load  
Length 340 ft  
Beam 40 ft  
Draught 16 ft  
Complement 205 235
Engines 8 ASR1 diesels, 12,400 SHP on two shafts, variable pitch propellors. Puma with Polar Engines of Glasgow, Lynx & Jaguar with Crossley Bros of Manchester, Leopard by Vickers Armstrong.  
Generators 4 dedicated Diesels driving generators, Puma by Peter Brotherhood and co ltd of Peterborough, Lynx by Vickers Armstrong.  
Speed 24 knots  
Endurance 7,500 NM at 16 knots  
Fuel 220 tons  
Sonar 174 Search, 170 Squid attack Unknown
Radar

Type 960 air warning
Type 293Q target indication
Type 277Q height finder
Type 974 Navigation
Type 275 Weapon Director on Mk6M Director
Type 262 on STAAG and CRBFD
Cossor IFF

Type 965 air warning with AKE aerial
Type 993 target indication
Type 277Q height finder
Type 978 navigation
Type 275 Weapon Director on Mk6M Director
Type 262 on CRBFD
Cossor 1010/1011 IFF
Weapons 2 twin 4.5" Mk6 guns
Twin 40mm STAAG
Triple Squid ASW Mortar
2 twin 4.5" Mk6 guns
1 x 40mm Bofors Mk IX