Fearless-class landing platform dock

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FearlessIntrepid.png
HMS Fearless and HMS Intrepid
Class overview
Operators:  Royal Navy
Succeeded by: Albion
In commission: 1965–2002
Completed: 2
Retired: HMS Fearless, HMS Intrepid
General characteristics
Displacement: 16,950 tons
Length: 158.5 m (520 ft)
Beam: 24.4 m (80 ft)
Draught: 6.3 m (21 ft)
Propulsion: 2 steam turbines
22,000 shp
Speed: 22 knots (41 km/h)
Boats & landing
craft carried:
4 medium landing craft (in dock)
4 light landing craft (on davits)
Capacity: Up to 700 troops
15 tanks
27 vehicles
Complement: 580
Armament: 2 anti-aircraft guns
16 surface-to-air missiles
Aircraft carried: 5 helicopters

The Fearless class amphibious assault ships were the first purpose-built amphibious warfare vessels in the Royal Navy. The class comprised two ships: HMS Fearless and HMS Intrepid.

Designed as Landing Platform Docks, they were designed to transport and land troops by sea either using Landing Craft Utility or helicopters. As constructed, the ships have an internal dock that is accessed via the stern—while in port, vehicles can drive up the stern ramp and into the internal vehicle decks. At sea, the ships could partially submerge themselves at the stern, flooding the internal dock and allowing landing craft to come right up to the edge of the vehicle deck.

Each ship carried four LCUs in the stern dock, with four smaller landing craft on davits on the superstructure. They provided accommodation for up to 400 troops, which could be increased to 700, if no vehicles were carried.

Service[edit]

Intrepid was put into extended reserve in 1991, effectively removing her from active service. While in this state, she was used as a source of spares to maintain Fearless. Intrepid was finally withdrawn from service in August 1999. Fearless was kept in service, and continued to be deployed in concert with HMS Ocean until the end of 2002, when she too was withdrawn from service, ready for the Albion class to enter the fleet. The Fearless class were the last steam-powered surface vessels in Royal Navy service (nuclear submarines use a steam turbine drive).

The successful deployments of the two ships, with the flexibility their configuration provided, meant that they have now been replaced by two new LPD ships of the Albion class. These LPD have been developed and commissioned despite the development of the Ocean Helicopter Carrier which itself has considerable assault landing capability.

Ships[edit]

Pennant Name (a) Hull builder
(b) Main machinery manufacturers
Laid down Launched Accepted into service Commissioned Estimated building cost[1]
L10 Fearless (a) Harland & Wolff Ltd, Belfast
(b) English Electric Co Ltd, Rugby (steam turbines)
(b) David Brown & Co Ltd, Huddersfield (gearing) [2]
25 July 1962 19 December 1963 November 1965 [2] 25 November 1965 £11,250,000 [2]
L11 Intrepid (a) John Brown & Co Ltd, Clydebank
(b) English Electric Co Ltd, Rugby (steam turbines)
(b) David Brown & Co Ltd, Huddersfield (gearing) [3]
19 December 1962 25 June 1964 March 1967 [3] 11 March 1967 £10,300,000 [3]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Unit cost, i.e. excluding cost of certain items (e.g. aircraft, First Outfits)."
    Text from Defences Estimates
  2. ^ a b c Defence Estimates, 1966-67, 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 31 March 1966
  3. ^ a b c Defence Estimates, 1966–67, 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 31 March 1967