ON THE SOUTHERN FLANK OF NATO

ON THE SOUTHERN FLANK OF NATOIf the United States and England after the Second world war had to think about a reasonable reduction of their naval forces, the main Mediterranean-sea powers, France and Italy, tormented by a completely different headache. Despite the fact that one of these countries were in the ranks of the winners and the other losers among, the problems they had about the same. In the fire of war is almost completely burned both of the once mighty fleet. As soon as the economy managed to overcome the destruction of the war, there has been a strong recovery of the French and Italian fleets. This situation largely contributed to the more rapid renewal of all classes of warships, including the escort.

 

In many ways, this process helped United States of America: after all, the Mediterranean became the southern flank of NATO, is so important that its protection against the “red” threat in the eyes of the overseas strategists looked one of the priorities. Therefore, the first post-war anti-submarine ships of France and Italy was based, essentially, on the American money that went to Europe for military assistance programmes.
 
Both countries have ordered that these funds are quite successful — at least, more successfully than do their benefactors from the other side of the Atlantic. However, the first French escortsite type “Le Bark” (“Corsican”), in architecture, much like American “Dili”, which has prompted some experts to think that they were created on the basis of a draft from the United States. However, after declassification, it became obvious that all of them developed by French engineers, took over the most interesting, in their opinion, the decisions of the different countries.
 
Frigates, as a project of the E-50 already on the drawing boards was the original armament. To designers strong impression inherited after the partition of the German fleet torpedo boats, and so on “Corsican” appeared 105-mm gun, located aft, away from the spray and waves. It is complemented by two twin installation 57 mm assault rifles, constituted in 1950, is quite a powerful defense. In the bow four three-pipe torpedo tubes, which had to raise the superstructure together with containers for spare set of small anti-submarine torpedoes.
 
In the course of construction, which lasted five years, the 105-the paper was replaced by a third 57-mm spark. Has undergone changes and lattice mast. Last, but very important change was the appearance of six-375-mm rocket mortar of the Swedish company “Bofors”, which is a very powerful and promising for his time, anti-submarine weapons. But he was no “best” place either on the deck or on the superstructure. Had to place the “flavor” of the project in the middle of Sardica, in front of KDP. Alas, from there to shoot depth charges at the bow and stern where it’s most likely could be an enemy submarine, it was very difficult.
 
Drawback eliminated on the next episode of the 14 frigates of the “Le Norman” (project E-52), as well as their predecessors, named after the nationalities of the historical provinces of France. Mortars took the best place in the nose, and torpedo tubes were moved aft. The rest of the first 11 units of type E-52 much like their ancestors — type E-50. In the last three, the designation type E-52В, the number of stems of the new jet “Bofors” had been reduced to four, but its capacity is increased through the use of faster and more efficient system for recharge. Mortar mounted in place of the aft elevated 57-mm installation. Although the number was reduced to two, but the remaining Sparky now had excellent angles of attack. Other changes include the elimination of the spare sets of anti-submarine torpedoes, apparently impair the stability of small ships.
 
The first seven E-52 is still financed by the U.S., but the independent policy of the government of de Gaulle, who advocated the full identity of all branches of the armed forces, committed financial contributions from overseas. As it turned out, with very positive results. Is planned the construction of frigates of project E-54, repeating predecessors in a somewhat reduced variant (which was not even 57-millimetrovom — instead, they were supposed to have only four 40-mm gun), the French managed to create a “Komandan rivière” is one of the most interesting and powerful multipurpose ships 1960-ies.
 
In 1961, one of the members of the series E-50, “Le Bresta”, both aft 57 mm Sparky gave way to experimental 100-mm automatic cannon of French design. The tests showed good results: the technical rate of 60 shots per minute did its equivalent (at least on paper) the four guns of the same caliber during the Second world war. Therefore, this gun became the basis of the armament of the frigate of the new project, originally pretentiously called the “escort ship of the French Union.” However, it was subsequently reclassified in the more familiar “memo”.
 
ON THE SOUTHERN FLANK OF NATO
 
46. The frigate “Le Bark”, France, 1955
 
Built at the shipyard of the Navy in Lorient. The standard displacement of 1290 tons, full 1700 t maximum Length of 99.7 m, beam of 10.3 m, draft 4.3 m. Capacity twin-shaft steam turbine 20 000 HP, speed 28 knots. Armament: six 57-mm guns two 20-mm machine gun, twelve 550-mm torpedo tubes ASW, shestistolpny 375-mm RBU “Bofors”. Only in 1955-1956 built four units: “Le Cortex”, “Le Bresta”, “Le Buone” and “Le bordel”. All written off in 1975
 
47. the frigate “Le Norman”, France, 1956
 
Built by the shipyard “forges Chantiers e” in Topone. Displacement standard, t 1295, full 1700 t maximum Length of 99.7 m, beam of 10.3 m, draft 4.3 m Power, speed, and armament — as in “Le Cortex”. Only in 1956 — 1960 built 14 units. All retired before 1981
 
48. The frigate “Command-rivière”, France, 1962
 
Built at the shipyard of the Navy in Lorient. The standard displacement of 1750 tons, full 2250 t maximum Length of 103 m, width 11.5 m, draught 4.3 m. Capacity twin-shaft diesel installation 16 000 HP, speed 25 knots. Armament: three 100-mm guns, two 30-mm gun, six 550 mm torpedo tubes ASW, four-375-mm RBU “Bofors”. Just 1962-1965 was built nine units. Two ships (“Selser” and “Burge”) in 1988 and 1990 sold to Uruguay, the rest are written off in 1992-1994.
 
49. Corvette “D Etienne d’orves”, France, 1976
 
Built at the shipyard of the Navy in Lorient. Displacement 950 tons standard, 1250 tons full Length of the longest 80 m, beam of 10.3 m, draft 3 m. Capacity twin-shaft diesel installation 11 000 HP, speed 24 knots. Armament: two missile RCC “Exocet”, one 100-mm gun, two 20-mm machine gun, four torpedo tubes, PLO, six-375-mm RBU “Bofors”. Just 1976-1984 built 17 units. To date, seven charged, the rest are in the ranks.

 
The ships of the type “Command-rivières” was intended for two, it would seem, are not compatible roles. One of them is consistent with the concept of the Alliance is the struggle with Soviet submarines. The other included the traditional “show the flag” (and in the case — and fighting) in the still of numerous overseas possessions of France. To solve the second problem “Komandan rivières” was carried by a powerful artillery, and extensive facilities allowed to take on Board 80 Marines, in which two steps could take ashore two small landing craft that took the place of conventional lifeboats. Even reactive “Bofors” could be used to bombard shore: to this end, in its ammunition has included special bomb. To enhance anti-submarine qualities can be removed aft 100-mm gun, which place was made light helicopter. In operations against submarines was greatly helped by the extremely high maneuverability — diameter circulation even at full speed did not exceed two hull lengths.
 
Since these kind of “gunboats of the second half of the XX century” was to make long transitions, they were equipped with diesel engines. The exception was “Balne”, which posted a combined gas turbine-diesel installation, working on one shaft with a large diameter screw — like energy soon won General recognition. However, due to many technical problems final entry “Balini” into operation was delayed until 1970.
 
In the late 1970-ies a pretty good memo type “Komandan rivière” were modernized, making them multi-purpose combat units. Place of sublime aft guns took four launchers of anti-ship missiles “Exocet”, make “memo-escorter” dangerous for any opponent — both underwater and surface.
 
However, by the time a system has started to join the first French warships of new generation. Officially classified as a Corvette, “D Etienne d’orves” was a truly versatile combat unit. The designers managed to accommodate less than 1,000 tons standard displacement and guns, and anti-ship missiles, and rocket mortars, and torpedoes.
 
A new memo has inherited from its predecessors good maneuverability and a greater cruising range, but was clearly overloaded with weapons and had limited anti-submarine capabilities. Originally intended to post them on the helicopter, who by that time an indispensable element in the fight against an underwater enemy, but even a slight “Dauphin” could not safely operate with a tiny “patch” in the stern. Diesels had to cram into one compartment, equip them with a remote control, because the people in it have simply not remained.
 
50. The frigate
 
50. The frigate “Castor”, Italy, 1957
 
Built by “Cantieri Navali Riuniti”. The standard displacement of 1800 tons, full 2250 m. the Length of naebalsan 103,1 m, width 12 m, draft 3,8 m. Capacity twin-shaft turbine plant 22 000 HP, speed 26 knots. Weapons: four 76mm guns, four 40-mm machine gun, two 533-mm torpedo tubes, PLO, triple RBU “Menon”. Just 1957-1959 built four units: “Castor”, “Canopo”, “Centauro and Cigno”. Excluded from the lists of the fleet in 1980-1984

 
51. The frigate
 
51. The frigate “Luigi Rizzo”, Italy, 1961
 
Built at the shipyard of the Navy in Castellammare. The standard displacement of 1400 tons, full 1650 T. maximum Length 94,1 m, beam 11.4 m, draft 3.1 m. Capacity twin-shaft diesel installation 16 000 HP, speed 25 knots. Armament: two 76-mm guns, six 324-mm torpedo tubes PLO, crestally RBU “Menon”, helicopter. Just 1961-1963 built four units: the “Carlo Bergamini”, “Virgilio Pheasant”, “Carlo Margottini” and “Luigi Rizzo”. “Bergamini” is excluded from the lists of the fleet in 1981, the rest in 1988.

 
52. The frigate
 
52. The frigate “Alpino”, Italy, 1968
 
Built by “Cantieri Navali Riuniti”. The standard displacement of 2000 tons, 2700 tons full Length of the longest 113,3 m, beam of 13.1 m and draught of 3.8 m. the Power-shaft combined gasturbine-diesel installation 31 800 HP speed 29 knots. Armament: six 76-mm guns, six 324-mm torpedo tubes, PLO, triple RBU “Menon”. Just built two units: “Alpine” and “Carabinieri”. Both excluded from the lists of the fleet in the years 2001-2003.

 
If the French chose for their patrol, and advice relatively small size, their neighbours and traditional rivals — the Italians — in their preferences was astonishing impermanence. The founder of the first postwar series of escort ships, the frigate “Canopo”, formed almost simultaneously with the destroyers “Impetuoso” and “Indomito”, a reduced copy of which he in fact was. Place the 127-mm guns of American manufacture took domestic 76 graph paper. As history has shown, they were very promising (their distant descendants, automatic gun company “OTO-Melara”, still remain the most common artillery systems in the world). Initially, the new three-inch plank was located in two unusual paired installations where one barrel placed over the other. However, approximately ten years after the entry into operation at all four frigates had mounted a small turret, containing one instrument and had a remote control.
 
The next series of more compact frigates of the “Carlo Bergamini” from the very beginning carried a single gun mount. In addition, these ships had a much more modern appearance: the chimneys came out in becoming fashionable macto-pipe, and in the stern there was a small platform for helicopters, which could be stored in a tiny folding in the manner of a telescope hangar. The presence of the helicopter significantly increased anti-submarine capabilities of a frigate, but during the operation it quickly became clear that even compact and simple apparatus “Augusta-bell 204” (on land used by police and caribineri) feels very uncomfortable on the allocated space. Had to remove the aft gun, and to expand the “mini-airport”. The rest of askitiki out good, with the increased fighting qualities. Diesel engines allowed to increase the cruising range and reduced displacement compared to the predecessors.
 
However, the first Italian frigates were good only to combat diesel submarines to catch up with the nuclear submarine they were very difficult. And then the next frigate “Alpino” and “Carabinieri” received a promising a combined power plant. Speed up to 22 knots provided four diesel and, if necessary, to join the gas turbine, allows to reach 29-30 knots. The architecture of the new larger frigates was nearly the same as its predecessors, but with one important addition. The maneuvers revealed great vulnerability “Bergamini” from air attacks from the aft corners, where the landing pad has replaced almost all the weapons. Had to resort to a rather wasteful for modern ships to the location: of the six 76-mm guns, four placed on the sides of the pipe and quite a voluminous hangar, with the result that in any sector the purpose could fire at least two barrels. Based on the deck of the helicopter has now become two. In General, the new frigates meet all modern requirements, especially if not to forget that to cut the stern had drained the towed sonar, which allowed to significantly increase the range of detection of underwater enemy. The main weapon against the latter formally remained reactive mortars “Menon”, a bit like the notorious American machine “Weapon alpha”, but more reliable. In fact, the main anti-submarine helicopters tool steel, the production of which Italy successfully established under the license of company “bell”.
 
Thus, by the 1970s, both Mediterranean powers managed to create some pretty good samples of escort ships that allowed them to come with them to the international market. But this is a topic for another conversation.
 
V. KOFMAN

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