Procurement: August 21, 2004

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The British Royal Navy is transferring two Type 22 Batch 2 frigates to the Romanian Navy. The former HMS Coventry will be renamed the Regele Ferdinand and is currently undergoing sea trials. It will go into Romanian Navy service in September. The HMS London is coming out of mothballs will be transferred to Romania in April 2005 as the Regina Maria. The Type 22 Batch 2 ships were initially designed as anti-submarine platforms and were commissioned in the mid-1980s. Each ship displaces 4,800 tons, reaches speed of up to 30 knots, and has a complement of 280. Original weapons included the Seawolf surface-to-air missile, torpedoes, and 20mm guns; each frigate could also carry a pair of helicopters. Romania is paying $214 million for the two ships plus the cost of crew training and logistical support. 

Her Majestys Navy is also offering Chile three Type 23 frigates scheduled for retirement in 2005-2006 (HMS Norfolk, Marlborough, and Grafton, commissioned in 1990, 1991, and 1997 respectively). The UK would like to get around $80 million per frigate. Each ship displaces 4,900 tons, reaches speed of up to 30 knots, and has a complement of 180. Original weapons included Harpoon surface-to-surface missiles, Seawolf surface-to-air missiles, a 4.5 inch gun, a pair of 30 mm guns for close-in defense, and torpedoes. The Chilean Navy wants the Type 23 for their helicopter carrying ability; the Navys Super Puma helicopters have been difficult to operate on their second-hand Dutch frigates. The Type 23s supported the larger Merlin helicopter, so the Super Puma should be an easy fit. If the deal goes through, the Type 23s would join the former Type 22 Batch 2 HMS Sheffield, now called the Almirante Williams, in Chilean service. Doug Mohney

 


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