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Type 16 frigate

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Title: Type 16 frigate  
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Subject: Type 15 frigate, HMS Petard (G56), HMS Orwell, Fleet Rehabilitation and Modernization, HMS Malcolm (F88)
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Type 16 frigate

Type 16 frigate HMS Tenacious (F44)
Class overview
Operators:  Royal Navy
Built: 1949–1954
In commission: 1951–1967
Completed: 10
General characteristics for T-class conversion
Type: Anti-submarine Frigate
  • 1,800 long tons (1,800 t) standard
  • 2,300 long tons (2,300 t) full load
Length: 362 ft 9 in (110.57 m) o/a
Beam: 37 ft 9 in (11.51 m)
Draught: 14 ft 6 in (4.42 m)
  • 2 × Admiralty 3-drum boilers
  • Steam turbines, 40,000 shp
  • 2 shafts
Speed: 32 knots (37 mph; 59 km/h) full load
Complement: 175
Sensors and
processing systems:
  • Type 293Q target indication Radar
  • Type 974 navigation Radar
  • Type 1010 Cossor Mark 10 IFF
  • Type 146B search Sonar
  • Type 147 depth finder Sonar
  • Type 162 target classification Sonar
  • Type 174 attack Sonar
  • 1 × twin 4 in gun Mark 19
  • 1 × twin 40 mm Bofors gun Mk.5
  • 5 × single 40 mm Bofors gun Mk.9
  • 2 × Squid A/S mortar
  • 1 × quad 21 in (533 mm) tubes for Mk.9 torpedoes

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 the Type 15 frigate, but were a far more limited design rendered necessary by budget constraints.


  • History 1
  • Ships 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • Publications 5


At the start of the cold war, the British Royal Navy was in urgent need of fast escort ships to counter the large number of Whiskey class submarines being built by the Soviet Union which were faster than the Royal Navy's existing Sloops and Frigates. Britain had large numbers of War Emergency Programme destroyers, which while relatively new, were poorly equipped for modern fleet purposes, with poor anti-aircraft armament and fire control. It was therefore decided to convert the Emergency Programme destroyers to interim escorts to meet the Royal Navy's requirements until new-build ships (which eventually became the Type 12 and Type 14 frigates) could be designed and built. The initial design was the Type 15 frigate or Rapid class, which was a major rebuild of the ships, with an extended forecastle and new superstructure giving improved accommodation and complete replacement of the ships' armament and sensors.[1] At one time, it was planned to convert 57 destroyers to the Type 15 standard,[2] but the cost of such a large programme proved prohibitive, with only 23 ships becoming Type 15 frigates. Instead, a simpler and cheaper conversion, the Type 16 was ordered.[3]

The Type 16 conversion removed the existing gun armament, substituting a twin 4 inch gun forward with a close in anti-aircraft armament of seven Bofors 40 mm guns, with simpler fire control than used in the Type 15. Anti-submarine armament consisted of two Squid anti-submarine mortars, while a quadruple set of 21 inch (533 mm) torpedo tubes provided a limited anti-surface ship armament.[4]


Name Pennant[5] Built by[5] Laid down[5] Launched[5] Completed[5] Converted by Fate
O and P-class conversion
Orwell F98 Thornycroft, Woolston 16 May 1940 2 April 1942 7 October 1942 Royal Dockyard, Rosyth, 1952 Broken up, 1965
Paladin F169 J Brown, Clydebank 22 July 1940 11 June 1941 12 December 1941 Royal Dockyard, Rosyth, 1954 Broken up, 1962
Petard F56 Vickers Armstrong, Tyne 26 December 1939 27 March 1941 14 June 1942 Harland & Wolff, Belfast, 1953–1955 Broken up, 1967
T-class conversion
Teazer F23 Cammell Laird 20 October 1940 7 January 1943 13 September 1943 Mountstart Dry Docks, Cardiff, 1953–1954 Broken up, 1965
Tenacious F44 Cammell Laird 3 December 1941 24 March 1943 30 October 1943 Royal Dockyard, Rosyth, 1951–1952 Broken up, 1965
Termagant F189 Denny, Dumbarton 25 November 1941 22 March 1943 30 October 1943 Grayson Rollo, Birkenhead, 1952–1953 Broken up, 1965
Terpsichore F19 Denny, Dumbarton 25 November 1941 17 June 1943 20 January 1944 J. I. Thornycroft, Woolston, Hampshire, 1953–1954 Broken up, 1966
Tumult F121 J Brown, Clydebank 16 November 1941 9 November 1941 2 April 1943 Grayson Rollo, Birkenhead, 1949–1950 Broken up, 1965
Tuscan F156 Swan Hunter, Wallsend 9 September 1941 28 May 1942 11 March 1943 Mountstart Dry Docks, Cardiff, 1949–1950 Broken up, 1966
Tyrian F67 Swan Hunter, Wallsend 15 October 1941 27 July 1942 8 April 1943 Harland & Wolff, Liverpool &
Gordon Alison, Birkenhead, 1951–1953
Broken up, 1965

Ex-O class destroyers of the Pakistan Navy Onslow / Tippu Sultan and Onslaught / Tughril were returned to the UK between 1957 and 1959 to be converted along the lines of the Type 16 frigate.

See also


  1. ^ Gardiner and Chumbley 1995, pp. 480, 512.
  2. ^ Friedman 2006, p. 219.
  3. ^ Gardiner and Chumbley 1995, pp. 512–513.
  4. ^ Gardiner and Chumbley 1995, p. 513.
  5. ^ a b c d e Marriott 1983, p. 44.


  • Friedman, Norman. British Destroyers & Frigates: The Second World War and After. London: Chatham Publishing, 2006. ISBN 978-1-86176-137-8.
  • Gardiner, Robert and Stephen Chumbley. Conway's All The World's Fighting Ships 1947–1995. Annapolis, Maryland, USA: Naval Institute Press, 1995. ISBN 1-55750-132-7.
  • Marriott, Leo. Royal Navy Frigates 1945-1983 Ian Allan, 1983, ISBN 0-7110-1322-5
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