HMS Keppel (F85)

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Blackwood-class frigate HMS Keppel (F85), February 1972 (IWM HU 129869)
Blackwood-class frigate HMS Keppel (F85), February 1972 (IWM HU 129869)
United Kingdom
Name: HMS Keppel
Namesake: Augustus Keppel
Builder: Yarrow, Scotstoun
Laid down: 27 March 1953
Launched: 31 August 1954
Commissioned: 6 July 1956
Identification: Pennant number: F85
Fate: Scrapped 1979
General characteristics
Class and type: Blackwood-class frigate (Type 14 frigate)
Displacement: 1,456 long tons (1,479 t) full load
Length: 310 ft (94.5 m)
Beam: 33 ft (10.1 m)
Draught: 15 ft (4.6 m)
Installed power:
Propulsion: 1 shaft; 1 steam turbine set
Speed: 27 knots (50 km/h; 31 mph)
Range: 5,200 nmi (9,600 km; 6,000 mi) at 12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph)
Complement: 140
Sensors and
processing systems:
  • Radar Type 974 navigation
  • Sonar Type 174 search
  • Sonar Type 162 target classification
  • Sonar Type 170 targeting

HMS Keppel (F85) was one of a dozen Blackwood-class frigate (also known as the Type 14 class) of second-rate anti-submarine frigates built for the Royal Navy in the 1950s.


The Blackwood class displaced 1,180 long tons (1,200 t) at standard load and 1,456 long tons (1,479 t) at deep load. They had an overall length of 310 feet (94.5 m), a beam of 33 feet (10.1 m) and a draught of 15 feet (4.6 m). The ships were powered by one English Electric geared steam turbine that drove the single propeller shaft, using steam provided by two Babcock & Wilcox boilers. The turbine developed a total of 15,000 shaft horsepower (11,000 kW) and gave a maximum speed of 27 knots (50 km/h; 31 mph).[1] The Blackwoods had a range of 4,500 nautical miles (8,300 km; 5,200 mi) at 12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph). Their complement was 140 officers and ratings.[2]

The ships were armed with three Bofors 40 mm guns in single mounts. The mount on the quarterdeck was later removed as it was unusable in heavy seas. They were equipped with two triple-barrelled Limbo Mark 10 anti-submarine mortars. The Blackwood-class ships had the same sonar suite as the larger Whitby-class frigates where the Limbo mortars were controlled by three sonars, the Type 174 search set, Type 162 target-classification set and the Type 170 'pencil beam' targeting set to determine the bearing and depth of the target.[3]

Construction and career[edit]

Keppel was laid down by Yarrow Shipbuilders at their Scotstoun shipyard on 27 March 1953, launched on 31 August 1954 and completed on 6 July 1956. She was scrapped at Sittingbourne in 1979.[4]


  1. ^ Marriott, p. 66
  2. ^ Gardiner, Chumbley & Budzbon, p. 515
  3. ^ Marriott, pp. 55, 66, 69
  4. ^ Marriott, pp. 68–69