Released by Argentine aircraft missile destroyer “Sheffield” notice when nothing could be done. After a few seconds the ship shook from a strong blow. Getting had to the area of the engine room, and although the missile “Exocet” exploded, from the working engine broke spilled from a broken pipeline fuel. The fire quickly spread to the adjacent premises; widely used in the construction of destroyer, the aluminum began to melt and burn. Five hours later the crew had to leave flame-wreathed ship. Rescue work continued for another five days, but due to the bad weather and heavy swells they were not successful. In the end, “Sheffield” sank. So on may 10, 1982, an account was opened losses Royal Navy during the Anglo-Argentine conflict over the Falkland Islands (Malvinas).
The death of the new missile destroyer plunged naval experts in a state of shock. None of them have assumed a rather large and very expensive modern ship can go down from a single hit unexploded (!) missiles. Whether on-site “Sheffield” with similar displacement armored cruiser of the late nineteenth century, he got off to a hole of medium size and probably would have kept fighting capacity. It became apparent that the brought almost to perfection the latest generation of missile invulnerable only on paper. Yes, and their weapons are not as effective as we would like. Lessons of the Falklands campaign was not slow in coming — warships soon changed significantly. However, everything in order.
As you know, history in General and the history of shipbuilding in particular develops in a spiral. By the end of world war II class destroyers among combat units of the fleet was truly the most versatile, able to deal with submarines, and aircraft, and surface ships. But in the 1950-ies the situation has changed. Powerful radar and sonar stations, rocket launchers, automation equipment plus the increased requirements for seaworthiness resulted from the rapid growth of ever-larger ships. To somehow slow down the process, the designers, shipbuilders along with the admirals have relied on specialized ships. So came the destroyers and frigates, optimized for solving a single task: anti-submarine or air defense, airborne patrol, patrol… let us Recall the trouble British military destroyers of a series of anti-submarine frigates (see “modelist-Konstruktor” No. 8 in 2002): in addition to hunting submarines, no matter what they were of no use anymore. Very typical French experience, when on the basis of the same corps was created the air defense destroyers (“Dupty Thouars”) and SQUARE (“La Galissoniere”).
However, the fascination with the “ship experts” did not last long. Their size and displacement still grew up with them grow and the cost. It soon became clear that much more profitable to have the fleet one, even larger, but a multi-purpose ship than two highly specialized. And destroyers of the 1970s were again universals — a kind of handyman.
Perhaps the first such ships can be considered British destroyers of the type “County” — with all their shortcomings, they are on the concept anticipated the emergence of a new generation of wagons-bombers. In 1967, the British laid on the stocks of their direct descendant — superesminets Bristol aims to become the lead ship of a larger series. Bristol got an improved combined power plant, consisting of steam and gas turbines, as well as new weapons and avionics. Unsuccessful anti-aircraft missile complex “sea Slug” was replaced by the modern “sea Dart”, deprecated heavy 114-mm gun— new automatic installation of the same caliber. The ship received a very powerful anti-submarine weapon anti-submarine Australian raketostroenie complex “Icarus” and mortars “limbo”. However, because of the overload of the destroyer weapons and equipment had to abandon the helicopter — it was a clear step backwards compared to the “County.” Such a strange decision was mostly due to the fact that “Bristol” was conceived as ocean escort ships to accompany the new attack carriers of the CVA-01 was supposed to interact with carrier-based helicopter squadron. However, which came to power the labor government from the implementation of the programme CVA-01 was abandoned. Consequently, gone is the need and escort ships. As a result, “Bristol” remained singular. And immediately after commissioning it was badly damaged by fire in the engine compartment, causing the boat was nearly sent for scrap. Saved him only the necessity of completion of testing the installed systems of missile weapons, which were carried out at two working turbines instead of four. But, despite the obvious inferiority of the concept, “White elephant” — the so-called “Bristol” English sailors are quite long served as a flagship to this day performs the functions of the training ship at Portsmouth.
326. The destroyer “Durand de La Penn”, Italy. 1993
Built at the shipyard in Riva Trigoso. The standard displacement of 4,500 tons, T. 5400 full Length the greatest 147,7 m, beam 16 m, draught 5 m. Capacity twin-shaft disap-gas turbine 67 600 HP, speed 32 knots. Armament: one PU SAM “Tartarus” (“Standard”), the beauty of PU SAM “Albatros”, eight anti-ship missiles”, Teseo (Otomat”), one 127-mm and three 76-mm universal automatic guns, two three-pipe 324-mm torpedo tubes ASW, two helicopters AB-212. Just built two units: “Durand de PA Penn” and “Francesco”.
327. Destroyer Bristol, England. 1973
Were built by “Swan hunter”. Displacement standard 6300 tonnes full 7700 T. maximum Length 154,5 m, width-16,8 m, draft 7 m. Capacity twin-shaft progesterine installation of 60,000 HP, speed 28 knots. Armament: one paired PU SAM “sea Dart”, one PU PLRK “Icarus”, one 114-mm universal automatic weapon, one anti-submarine mortars “limbo”. Built one unit.
328. Destroyer “Sheffield”, England, 1975
It was built by the company “Vickers-Armstrong”. The standard displacement of 3500 tons, full 4100 t Length overall 125 m, width of 14.3 m, draft 5,8 m. Capacity twin-shaft gas turbine 58 000 HP, speed 30 knots. Armament: one paired PU SAM “sea Dart”, one 114-mm universal automatic gun, three-pipe, two 324-mm torpedo tubes ASW, one helicopter Linc. Only for the British Navy in the period 1975-1985 built 14 units, including four ships of the type “man” with enlarged dimensions (length 141,1 m, width of 14.9 m, total displacement 4775 t). Two destroyers built for the Argentine Navy: “Hercules” in England and “Santísima Trinidad” under license in Argentina.
Cancellation of serial construction of large destroyers had forced the British Admiralty to bet on a cheaper project. So there was a “Sheffield” — a compact, versatile vehicle with pure gas turbine power plant. Anti-aircraft and artillery weapons it was similarly set at the Bristol hotel, but due to the refusal of the anti-submarine complex “Ikar” and mortars “limbo” the new ships equipped with a hangar and runway high-for helicopter Linc. In addition, the Sheffield reappeared disappeared on its predecessors torpedo weapons, however, now it presents a standard for NATO countries a pair of three-pipe 324 mm devices for lightweight anti-submarine torpedoes. Cruising range, compared with the “Bristol” has declined by about 20 percent and now stood at 4,000 miles 18-node move. As crew size decreased by almost 100 people, mainly due to the wide introduction of automation.
As is usually the case, the fight for the minimum size of the ship had a negative impact on qualities such as seaworthiness, autonomy, habitability, etc., In a stormy sea type of destroyer “Sheffield” much buried in a wave, so on the last four ships in the series the length of the hull increased by 16.1 m, which led to a increase in displacement on 665 so Well, and a light superstructure of aluminum alloy was extremely fragile and, most importantly, flammable. The survivability of destroyers were very low: in addition to the “Sheffield” in the Falklands conflict and reset with the Argentine “Skyhawks” bombs killed the same type of “Coventry”. His fate was almost shared and Glasgow, but luckily for the British, caught at him, the bomb did not explode.
The reduction of the British Navy and the revision of naval policy made English shipbuilders to actively seek export orders. On the foreign arms market intensely promoted the project “Sheffield”, but, ironically, the only country to receive ships of this type was Argentina.
In may 1970 the government of the Latin American Republic signed a contract with the company “Vickers-Armstrong” providing for the construction of one ship (“Hercules”) in England and another (“Santísima Trinidad”) is under license in Argentina. Shortly after the entry into operation both destroyers took part in the blockade of the Falkland Islands. However, prior to their direct clashes with the British Navy is not reached.
It is interesting to note that by a “Sheffield” in fact, the size of a frigate, the British erased the line between these two classes of warships. Thus, “Sheffield” were the last destroyers Royal Navy all their followers was officially registered only frigates.
However, this situation is not unique to the UK. Since 1960-ies, many countries have relied on frigates, they were the largest ships of their fleet. So, in Western Europe, apart from England, the construction of destroyers continued only in Italy and France, the latter still called almost all of their destroyer frigates.
The first truly universal destroyers of the Italian fleet were two ships of the type “Audace”. Their project was an improved “Impavido” (see “modelist-Konstruktor” No. 9 for 2002). The designers re-designed the hull, increasing the freeboard and to establish new contours, which significantly improved the seaworthiness of the destroyer. Aft equipped with a spacious hangar that allows you to make two light anti-submarine helicopter “Augusta bell” AB-212 or one heavy “sea king”. Instead of the outdated American “Sparky” during the Second world war, two new 127-mm automatic artillery systems, created by the Italian company “OTO-Melara”. The main battery was supplemented with four 76-mm gun of the same company; all this was done “Audace” the owner of the most powerful in its class artillery weapons (of course, among the ships of the West — the Soviet destroyers special subject). However, during the modernization in 1988-1991 destroyers lost the second 127-mm tower — its place was taken by anti-aircraft missile complex “Albatross” (the Italian equivalent of the American “sea Sparow”). At the same time in the middle of the hull mounted anti-ship complex “Teseo”, which included four paired units for missiles “Otomat” MK-2 with a range of about 180 km.
329. The destroyer “Audace”, Italy, 1972
Built at the shipyard in Riva Trigoso. The standard displacement of 3600 tons fully 4550 T. maximum Length 140,7 m, width 14.7 m, draught 4,5 m. Capacity twin-shaft paroturbinnoj installation 73 000 HP, speed 33 knots. Armament: one PU SAM “Tartarus” (“Standard”), a bottom 127 mm, and four 76-mm universal automatic guns, two three-pipe 324-mm torpedo tubes ASW, two helicopters AB-212. Just built two units: “Audace” and “Ardito”.
330. Destroyer “Tourville”, France, 1974
Built at the shipyard in Lorient. The standard displacement of 4850 tons, full 5745 T. maximum Length 152,5 m, beam 15.3 m, draft 5,7 m. Capacity twin-shaft steam turbine 54 400 HP. a speed of 31 knots. Armament: one PU PLRK “Mapathon” at 100-mm universal automatic guns, two 550-mm torpedo tubes ASW, two helicopters Linc. Just built three units: “Tourville”, “Dogs-Truen” and “De Grasse”.
331. Acmeists “George Leahy”, France, 1979.
Built at the shipyard in Brest. The standard displacement of 3830 tons, 4580 full t Length overall 139,1 m, width 14 m, draft 5,7 m. Capacity twin-shaft diesel-gas turbine 62 400 HP, speed 30 knots. Armament: one beauty of PU SAM “Nawal Krotal”. four PU ASM “Exocet”, one 100-mm universal automatic gun, two 20-mm machine gun, two 550-mm torpedo tubes ASW, two helicopters Linc. Just 1979-1990 years built seven units, “George Leahy, Duple”, “Montcalm”, “Jean de Vienne”, “Primage”, “La Motte Piquet” and “Latush-Treville”.
In General, foreign experts evaluated the “Audace” pretty high, marking it as one of the most successful for its time, the projects of the universal destroyer. The only thing that caused reasonable doubt, and energy setting. The Italians somehow I opted for an old-fashioned steam turbines, practically no different from the established “Impavido” and did not meet modern requirements.
In General, the Italians realized his mistake immediately, and the next couple of destroyers (“Animoto” and “Argumentos”), intended to replace the ships of the “Impetuoso”, was supposed to be a version of “Audace” combined diesel-gas turbine power plant. However, a series of governmental crises, and economic problems forced them to postpone the bookmark for almost ten years. In the end, the destroyers were built on a thoroughly reworked the project and came into operation under new names in honor of “the heroes of the Second world war” — “Durand de La Penn” and “Francesco Mimbelli”. In layout and armament they roughly corresponded to the modernized ships of the “Audace” (by the way, they moved taken from “Audace” and “Ardito” 127-mm artillery systems), but differed in large dimensions and improved electronics, in particular, more powerful hydro-acoustic stations. The latter had a greater range and theoretically allowed to shoot from the containers system”, Teseo” new anti-submarine racemoramide “Milas”.
If the modern Italian Navy has relied on a small but truly universal destroyers, the French Navy went a slightly different way. As their ocean escort type ships “Suffren” were too large and expensive, the French Admiral decided to return to specialized “escorter” (recall that the class of destroyers of the modern French Navy officially missing). In 1967, at the shipyard in Lorient was laid “Akoni”. According to the national classification it was considered “anti-submarine Corvette”, but in fact was something of a cross between a destroyer and a frigate. In itself it is of no special interest, but it began with the evolution of the latest generation of French destroyers. The ships of the “Tourville”, in essence, was the increased “Akoni” with a full-shaft steam-turbine plant (single-shaft instead of on the prototype) and a large hangar for two helicopters “Linke”. As “Akoni” they had a clearly expressed anti-submarine boats. Initially the weak point of the new project were insufficient anti-aircraft and anti-ship weapons, consisting of only 100-mm universal guns. However, with modernization, this deficiency was corrected: by removing the aft gun mount on the destroyer placed anti-aircraft missile complex “Val Krotal” and six containers with anti-ship missiles “Exocet”.
“Tourville” and his colleagues proved to be good “generalists”, but they had at least two disadvantages: outdated energy and high cost. Particularly important was the second: by the early 1980s, was time to replace the old destroyers of the “Surcouf”, and for serial construction “Tourville” obviously were not good. Therefore, on the basis of them was developed by “George Leahy” — a more compact ship with a combined diesel-gas turbine power plant. Due to the lighter mechanisms, rejection of anti-racketering complex “Malafon” and reduce the number of 100-mm guns displacement has been reduced by more than 1,000 Officially “George Leahy” took a class anti-submarine frigates. In the arrangement of his weapons, it should be noted a curious detail: anti-submarine torpedo tubes mounted in the superstructure on the upper deck perpendicular to the Board like mine traversing machines a century ago.
Meanwhile, the French sailors, a new problem arose — the lack of anti-aircraft weapons of collective defence. The lifetime of the destroyers of the “Dupli Thouars” armed American missiles “Tartar” came to an end, mounted on two ships of the “Suffren” complex “Mazurka” is hopelessly outdated, and widespread rocket “Krotal” because of the low range (8.5 km) was used only for self-defense and could not protect escorted aircraft carrier or a transport. And the French have not invented anything better, how to rearrange the old American anti-aircraft complexes “tartare” on new ships. As a result, in 1988 and 1991, saw the commissioning of two destroyers of the type “Cassard”, which was a strange combination of case “Georges Legi” (which has disappeared from the gas turbine and left only the diesels) and anti-aircraft missile 30 years ago, removed from decommissioned destroyers. Total planned to build four ships of the type “Cassard”, but the installation of two of them subsequently wisely canceled. Surprisingly, the French designers and admirals for some reason did not think about the fact that never in the history of such “savings” did not give positive results.
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