Castle-class patrol vessel

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Class overview
Builders: Hall, Russell & Company
Preceded by: Island-class patrol vessel
Succeeded by: River-class patrol vessel
Built: 1979–1981
In commission: 1982-2008
Planned: 6
Completed: 2
Laid up: 2
General characteristics
Displacement: 1,427 tons full load
Length: 246 ft (75 m) (overall)
Beam: 37 ft 9 in (11.51 m)
Draught: 11 ft 3 in (3.43 m)
Propulsion: 2 shafts, 2 Paxman diesels, 2,820 hp
Speed: 20 knots (37 km/h)
Range: 10,000 nautical miles (19,000 km) at 10 knots (19 km/h)
Complement: 40
Sensors and
processing systems:
Type 1006 Radar
Simrad RU sidescan sonar
Armament: 1 × Bofors 40 mm gun Mark III, replaced by 1 × 30 mm gun
Aviation facilities: Flight deck capable of supporting a Sea King helicopter

Castle-class patrol vessel was a class of British patrol vessels for the Royal Navy.

Design[edit]

The Castle class was designed by David K. Brown and was intended as a series of six offshore patrol vessels for the Royal Navy, designed in response to criticism of the previous Island-class for insufficient speed, non-optimal sea keeping and lack of a flight deck for rescue helicopters.

In the event, only two ships were built, HMS Leeds Castle and HMS Dumbarton Castle. Both vessels were built by Hall Russell in Aberdeen. These had significant improvements over the Island class - they are 300 tonnes larger, more stable in heavy seas, 3 knots (5.6 km/h) faster and are fitted with a large flight deck that is capable of supporting a Sea King. For brief periods, the ships can accommodate up to 120 troops.

Their primary mission was to serve with the Fishery Protection Squadron, protecting both the fishing fleets and the oil and gas fields of the North Sea. In addition, they can also serve as minelayers, and have detergent spraying facilities on board for dispersing oil slicks.

Operations[edit]

Since the Falklands War, one ship had been kept long term in the Falkland Islands as a guardship. Leeds Castle and Dumbarton Castle rotated the role on a three-yearly basis, although the ship's crew usually did a six month rotation.

Replacement[edit]

The Castle class has now been replaced by a unique vessel based on the River-class, HMS Clyde, and both vessels of the class are now decommissioned. Originally due to transfer to the Pakistani Maritime Security Agency in 2007, the deal fell through and both ships have now been sold to Bangladesh Navy.[1][2][3]

Ships in class[edit]

Name Pennant Number Builder Laid down Launched Commissioned Fate
Leeds Castle P258 Hall, Russell & Company, Aberdeen 18 October 1979 29 October 1980 27 August 1981 Sold to Bangladesh Navy, April 2010 as Dhaleshwari
Dumbarton Castle P265 25 June 1980 3 June 1981 12 March 1982 Sold to Bangladesh Navy, April 2010 as Biljoy

References[edit]

  • Conway's All The World's Fighting Ships 1947-1995
  • D.K. Brown, "The Design of the Castle Class", a personal view in Warship 2006, Conway's Maritime Press
  • Janes Fighting Ships 2007