Castle-class patrol vessel
|Builders:||Hall, Russell & Company|
|Preceded by:||Island class|
|Succeeded by:||River class|
|Type:||Offshore patrol vessel|
|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 (2,100 kW)|
|Speed:||20 knots (37 km/h)|
|Range:||10,000 nautical miles (19,000 km) at 10 knots (19 km/h)|
|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|
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, sub-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, Scotland. These had significant improvements over the Island class – they were 300 tonnes larger, more stable in heavy seas, 3 knots (5.6 km/h) faster and fitted with a large flight deck capable of supporting a Sea King. For brief periods, the ships could 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 could also serve as minelayers, and had detergent spraying facilities on board for dispersing oil slicks.
After the Falklands War, one ship was kept long-term in the Falkland Islands as a guard ship. Leeds Castle and Dumbarton Castle rotated the role on a three-yearly basis, although the ship's crew usually did a six-month rotation.
The Castle class was replaced in the Falklands by a unique vessel based on the River class, HMS Clyde, and both vessels of the class were decommissioned. Originally due to transfer to the Pakistani Maritime Security Agency in 2007, the deal fell through and both ships were sold to the Bangladesh Navy.
Ships in class
|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 BNS Dhaleshwari|
|Dumbarton Castle||P265||25 June 1980||3 June 1981||12 March 1982||Sold to Bangladesh Navy, April 2010 as BNS Bijoy|
- 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