Type 22 frigate

Type 22 frigate

The Type 22 "Broadsword" class is a class of frigate built for the Royal Navy. Fourteen of the class were built in total, with production divided into three batches. Four Batch 3 ships remain in service with the Royal Navy. Seven ships of the earlier batches have been sold for further service with Brazil, Romania and Chile, two have been sunk as targets and the other sold for scrapping.


The Type 22 was designed to be a specialist anti-submarine warfare vessel as part of the Royal Navy's contribution to NATO. Since then they have evolved into a general purpose frigate with weapons for use against other surface ships, aircraft and submarines. They were built in three batches giving rise to three sub-classes, the first "Broadsword" of four ships, the second "Boxer" of six ships and the third and final, "Cornwall" of four ships.

The four "Broadsword"s (which included two Falklands War veterans) were sold to Brazil in the mid 1990s. Romania has acquired and modernized two of the Batch 2 ships, while a third was purchased by Chile.

The ships have enhanced command, control and co-ordination facilities that results in their often being used as deployment flagships. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6484363.stm "Frigate with formidable firepower"] , BBC News]


The Type 22 was intended as a follow-on class to frigates of the successful Type 12 ("Rothesay" and "Whitby") and the Type 12M ("Leander") classes at a time when the Royal Navy drew a clear distinction between anti-submarine escorts (known as frigates) and air defence ships (destroyers). Type 22s thus began as ASW vessels, but were later to evolve into GPFs (general-purpose frigates) as the ASW/AD distinction blurred.

The role of the Type 22 within overall force architecture can be gauged from a naval staff requirement drawn up in 1967. Following the demise of the future carrier programme (CVA-01), the RN undertook a complete reappraisal of the future surface fleet, and concluded that the following five new ship types were required:

- A cruiser-type ship to operate large ASW helicopters (this requirement eventually led to the 'Invincible'-class carriers);

- An air defence destroyer smaller and cheaper than the 'County' class (this resulted in the Type 42 programme);

- A missile-armed frigate as an eventual successor to the 'Leander' class (this requirement led to the Type 22);

- A cheap patrol frigate (this requirement led to the Type 21); and

- A dual-role MCMV successor to the 'Ton' class (this resulted in the 'Hunt' class)

Of these, the air defence destroyer appears to have been given highest priority, the imperative being to get Sea Dart to sea in numbers to replace the air defence capability which would be lost with the premature demise of the carrier fleet.

Visually, the Type 12 lineage in the Type 22 design is less than obvious, though there are said to be similarities in the underwater hull form. Due to the workload of the Admiralty design department in the 1960s, a private design (Type 21) was purchased as an interim stop-gap whilst the Type 22 was under development. The design process, already hampered by the priority given to the Type 21 and the urgently-needed Type 42, was further protracted by attempts to produce a common Anglo-Dutch design. The first Type 22 order was placed in 1972 with Yarrow Shipbuilders, Yarrow undertaking much of the detailed design work whilst overall responsibility remained with the Ship Department at Bath.

The length of the first four Type 22s was dictated by the dimensions of the undercover Frigate Refit Complex at Devonport Dockyard. The ships would be powered by a combination of Olympus and Tyne gas turbines in a COGOG (COmbined Gas turbine Or Gas turbine) arrangement. Machinery spaces were sited as far aft as possible to minimise shaft lengths. The after configuration was dictated by the requirement for a large hangar and a full-width flight deck..

Weapons fit was determined by the primary ASW role combined with a perceived need for a general purpose capability. The principal ASW weapons systems were the ship's Lynx helicopter and triple torpedo tubes (STWS), with 2087 towed array sonar a key part of the sensors fit. Air defence was provided in the form of two 'six-pack' launchers for the Sea Wolf (GWS 25) point-defence missile system. Surface warfare requirements were met by the provision of four Exocet SSM launchers, the standard RN fit at that time.

Ordering of Type 22s proceeded slowly, in part because of the comparatively high unit cost of the ships. The unit cost of the last Type 12Ms had been about £10m; Type 21s cost around £20m each; when the first Type 22s were ordered, unit costs were estimated at £30m though, by the time that the first ship (HMS "Broadsword") commissioned in 1979, inflation had driven this figure up to £68m, which was far higher than the cost of the contemporary Type 42s (HMS "Glasgow", also commissioned in 1979, cost £40m).

After the first four ("Batch I") ships, the design was "stretched", with the Frigate Refit Complex suitably enlarged. Visually, and in addition to the increase in length, the biggest difference was the sharply raked stem, usually indicative of bow sonar (though none of the Batch II ships was thus fitted). An important addition to the Batch II group was a new Computer Assisted Command System (CACS-1), replacing the CAAIS fitted to the Batch I ships. A revised machinery installation was adopted from HMS "Brave" onwards, with Spey turbines replacing the previous Olympus. The future machinery arrangement would be CGAG (Combined Gas turbine And Gas turbine). By 1982, the quoted unit cost of a Type 22 had risen to £127m.

This might have been the end of the Type 22 programme had it not been for the Falklands War (1982), in which the two ships of the class present ("Broadword" and "Brilliant") acquitted themselves well. Replacement for ships lost in the South Atlantic were all of this class.

The last four ships of the class (the Batch III ships "Cornwall", "Cumberland", "Campbeltown" and "Chatham") were of a greatly improved design. Reflecting lessons learned in the Falklands, the weapons fit was radically changed. The ships were fitted with the 4.5" (114m) gun, primarily for NGS (Naval Gunfire Support for land forces). Exocet was replaced by eight Harpoon (GWS 60) missile launchers fitted laterally abaft the bridge, and each ship would carry a Goalkeeper CIWS (Close-In Weapon System).

In their final form, the Type 22s were the largest frigates ever built for the Royal Navy - the follow-on Type 23 class would be appreciably smaller ships. Reflecting this, Type 22s are often deployed as flagships for NATO Task Groups.


It was originally envisaged that all Type 22s would have names beginning with 'B' ("Broadsword", etc), following the 'A' names used for Type 21s ("Amazon", etc). This changed when two under-construction ships ("Sheffield" and "Coventry") were re-named to commemorate ships lost in the South Atlantic, with "London" being similarly honoured. The alphabetical progression was re-established with the Batch III ships ("Cornwall", etc) before being temporarily abandoned with the Type 23 class, named after Dukedoms ("Norfolk", "Lancaster", etc). The Royal Navy's latest escort class (the Type 45 or "Daring" class) have re-introduced the alphabetical progression.



Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Type 23 frigate — HMS Somerset Class overview Name: Type 23 class Builders: Yarrow Shipbuilders and …   Wikipedia

  • Type 053 frigate — Jianghu class (Type 053H) is the NATO code name for several types of frigates, currently in service with the People s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN). In the PLAN, the Jianghu class is part of the Type 053 series frigate family. The early variants… …   Wikipedia

  • Type 054 frigate — In late 2002 China began construction of a new frigate, the Type 054 (NATO Codename JIANGKAI I). The first ship was No. 525 Ma anshan, and the first captain of this first ship of the class is Commander Wang Xianzhong (王獻忠). Western analysts… …   Wikipedia

  • Type 053H3 frigate — The Jiangwei class frigate is a continued development of the People s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) s 053 series ships. These ships are the first multi role frigates in PLAN capable of fleet air defense, anti shipping, and anti submarine warfare… …   Wikipedia

  • Type 21 frigate — The Type 21 frigate or Amazon class frigate was a Royal Navy general purpose escort designed in the late 1960s, built in the 1970s and that served throughout the 1980s into the 1990s. HistoryThe class was designed to fulfil a requirement for a… …   Wikipedia

  • Type 15 frigate — The Type 15 frigate was a class of British anti submarine frigates of the Royal Navy. They were conversions based on the hulls of World War II era destroyers built to the standard War Emergency Programme utility design.Raison D êtreBy 1945 the… …   Wikipedia

  • Type 16 frigate — The Type 16 frigates were a class of British anti submarine frigates of the Royal Navy. They were based on the hulls of World War II era destroyers that had been rendered obsolete by rapid advances in technology. They were similar in concept to… …   Wikipedia

  • Type 21 — can refer to:* Type 21 frigate or Amazon class frigate * Type XXI U boat …   Wikipedia

  • Frigate — For the bird, see Frigatebird. A frigate /ˈfrɪgɪt/ [frĭg ĭt] is a warship. The term has been used for warships of many sizes and roles over the past few centuries.In the 18th century, the term referred to ships which were as long as a ship of the …   Wikipedia

  • Type 45 destroyer — The United Kingdom s Type 45 destroyer (also known as the D or Daring class) is a state of the art air defence destroyer programme of the Royal Navy. The first ship in the class, HMS Daring , was launched on February 1 2006 and is expected to… …   Wikipedia