Wielingen-class frigate

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F911 Westdiep
Class overview
Name: Wielingen-class frigate
Builders: Boelwerf Shipyard
Cockerill Shipyard
Operators:  Belgian Navy
 Bulgarian Navy
Preceded by: Algerine-class minesweeper
Succeeded by: Karel Doorman-class frigate
In service:  Belgian Navy: 1976–2007
 Bulgarian Navy: 2005–
Completed: 4
Active: 3
Scrapped: 1
General characteristics
Class & type: Wielingen Class
Type: Guided missile frigate (FFG)
Displacement: 2,200 tons
Length: 106.38 metres
Beam: 12.3 metres
Draught: 5.6 metres
Propulsion: Combined Diesel or Gas Turbine (CODOG): 2 ABC type DZC Diesel engines of 4200hp + 1 Rolls Royce Olympus TM – 3B Gas turbine of 27.575hp
Speed: 28kn
Complement: 159
Sensors and
processing systems:
1 Kelvin-Hugues type 1007/Scout navigation radar
1 Hollandse Signaal Apparaten DA-05 surveillance radar
1 Hollandse Signaal Apparaten WM-25 targeting radar
2 EOMS IR/Video optical targeting cameras
1 AN/SQS-510 sonar
Armament: 1 100 mm Creusot-Loire automatic cannon
1 RIM-7 Sea Sparrow launcher with 8 missiles
1 MM-38 Exocet launcher with 4 missiles
1 375mm Bofors depth charge launcher
2 Ecan Type l5 torpedo tubes with 10 torpedoes
Armour: none
Aviation facilities: none

The Wielingen class is a class of four multi-functional frigates built for the Belgian Navy. The ships are named after sandbanks in the North Sea, not far from the Belgian coast, or sea routes. The lead ship is named after the Wielingen sandbank.

History[edit]

The Belgian government decided on 22 December 1970 to order four new frigates, which would be built by Belgian shipyards. These ships would replace the old escort ships of the Algerine class. The last of these left service in 1969.

Project studies had already begun in 1964 with the advice of the Dutch Navy and continued in 1971 in cooperation with the two Belgian shipyards, Boelwerf, at Temse, and Cockerill, at Hoboken, Antwerp. The construction of the ships began in 1974. The four ships, Wielingen, Westdiep, Wandelaar and Westhinder, were commissioned in the following years.

The fourth frigate, Westhinder, was decommissioned in 1993 according to the reforms of Defence Minister Leo Delcroix. She had previously been damaged during an anti-submarine exercise off the coast of Norway. The third ship, Wandelaar, followed in 2004 and was sold to the Bulgarian Navy the same year. Wielingen and Westdiep were sold to Bulgaria in 2008.

Ships[edit]

Wielingen
  • Built: Boelwerf, Temse
  • Launched: 30 March 1976
  • Commissioned: 20 January 1978
  • Decommissioned: 2006
  • Fate: Sold to Bulgaria in 2008, refurbished and commissioned as Verni (Верни – Faithful) (42)
Westdiep
  • Built: Cockerill, Hoboken, Antwerp
  • Launched: 8 December 1975
  • Commissioned: 20 January 1978
  • Decommissioned: 5 October 2007
  • Fate: Sold to Bulgaria in 2008, refurbished and commissioned as Gordi (Горди – Proud) (43)
Wandelaar
  • Built: Boelwerf, Temse)
  • Launched: 21 June 1977
  • Commissioned: 3 October 1978
  • Fate: Sold to Bulgaria in 2004, refurbished and commissioned as Drazki (Дръзки – Daring) (41)
Westhinder
  • Built: Cockerill, Hoboken, Antwerp
  • Launched: 30 March 1976
  • Commissioned: 20 January 1978
  • Decommissioned: 1993
  • Fate: Scrapped