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HMS Richmond (F239)

Guided-Missile Frigate

United Kingdom | 1995

"HMS Richmond F239 makes up one of sixteen total ships built to the British Royal Navy Type 23 standard."

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 09/30/2021 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
British naval supremacy has been on display for centuries and its prowess on the high seas continues today through the modern incarnation of the Royal Navy (RN). The service relies on a bevy of ship types including aircraft carriers, amphibious support models, destroyers, frigates, and submarines. Among the inventory resides the Type 23, a late Cold War-era model developed with a focus on airspace deterrence, land-attack, and Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW). The class - also known as the "Duke" class due to the ship names representing various British Dukes - are the primary guided-missile frigate solution for the RN.

The Type 23 class was enlisted to succeed the aging Cold War-era Type 22 frigates in same role, beginning commissioned service at the end of the Cold War in 1987. All sixteen planned warships were eventually completed, including three for the Chilean Navy. Only one of the group has since been retired with the class expected to be succeeded itself in service by the Type 26 "Global Combat Ship" - the older Type 23 group now intended to serve into 2035.

One of the Type 23 ships and the focus of this article, HMS Richmond (F239), was ordered in December of 1989 with her keel laid down in February of 1992. She was formally commissioned on June 22nd, 1995, beginning her official service with the RN, and remains active today (2021). Her fighting motto is "A Deo et Rege" ("From God and the King")

As built, the warship followed the class standard, having an overall length of 436.3 feet, a beam of 52.9 feet, and a draught of 23.10 feet. Displacement reached 5,400 tons (short).

Power is through a conventional CODLAG (Combined Diesel-eLectric-And-Gas) encompassing 4 x MTU 12V4000 M53 diesel generators of 2,210 horsepower rating with 2 x GEC electric motors delivering up to 4,000 horsepower. This provides the ship a maximum speed of 28 knots and range out to 7,500 nautical miles.

The onboard complement numbers 185; this can be increased to 205 under wartime conditions. Due to the ship's arrival in the latter half of the 1980s, the ship's structure showcases minimal stealth features with many protrusions apparent. The bridge is set at the front of the forward hull superstructure to which the forward mast is embedded at its aft end. At midships are the low-profile smoke funnels. The aft superstructure carries the aft-mast as well as integrates the helicopter hangar component.

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Armament is made up of a mix of ballistic and missile weapons: there is a 4.5" Mk.8 turreted naval gun over the forecastle with 2 x 30mm DS30M Mk.2 guns and 2 x Miniguns. 4 x 7.62mm General Purpose Machine Guns (GPMGs) are fitted for extreme close-in work. 1 x 32-cell GWS 35 series Vertical Launching System (VLS) is embedded into the hull and supports the "Sea Ceptor" Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) weapon series (this replacing the original "Sea Wolf" model). 2 x 4-cell Harpoon missile launchers counter surface naval threats and 2 x 324mm twin-tubed torpedo launchers can be used against both surface threats and undersea dangers.

To satisfy the ASW role, the ship can carry up to two Westland "Lynx Wildcat" HMA.2 ASW helicopter (or similar) equipped with torpedoes and sonar. A helipad/flight deck and full-service enclosed hangar is integrated into the ship's design at the stern.

To date (2021), actions involving Richmond has covered various exercises including NATO-sponsored ones. She took part in British actions related to the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 by way of offshore attacks and then served in a humanitarian role at Turks and Caicos following Hurricane Francis. Anti-piracy actions then followed with the EU Naval Force in Middle East and Asia-Pacific waters. During 2015 and the mass migration from warn-torn Syria, she served as part of the anti-smuggling force in Mediterranean waters.

From 2017 until 2019, she underwent an extensive refit (LIFEX) to keep her viable for years to come - this included installation of MTU M35B diesel units, a first for any ship of the class.

HMS Richmond continues in an active role today, having recently (2021) transited waters of the Taiwan Straight en route to Thailand - resulting in condemnation from China.

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Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one sea-going vessel design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for HMS Richmond (F239).
CODLAG (COmbined Diesel-eLectric-And-Gas): 4 x MTU 12V4000 M53 marine diesel units developing 2,210 horsepower each; 2 x GEC electric motors delivering 4,000 horsepower each.
28.0 kts
32.2 mph
Surface Speed
7,499 nm
8,630 miles | 13,889 km
The bow-to-stern, port-to-starboard physical qualities of HMS Richmond (F239).
436.3 ft
132.98 meters
O/A Length
52.9 ft
16.12 meters
23.1 ft
7.04 meters
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of HMS Richmond (F239).
1 x 4.5" BAe Mk.8 turreted naval gun over forecastle.
1 x 32-cell GWS 35 series Vertical Launching System (VLS) supporting the Sea Captor Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) family.
2 x 4-cell Harpoon anti-ship missile launchers.
2 x 30mm DS30M Mk.2 guns.
2 x 324mm Twin-tubed torpedo launchers supporting the "Sting Ray" torpedo family.
2 x 7.62mm miniguns.
4 x 7.62mm General Purpose Machine Guns (GPMGs).
Air Arm
Available supported fixed-wing / rotary-wing aircraft featured in the design of HMS Richmond (F239).
1 OR 2 x Westland Lynx Wildcat HMA.2 OR Westland Merlin HM.2 navalized sub-hunting helicopter supported from the stern helipad/hangar deck area.
Ships-in-Class (16)
Notable series variants as part of the HMS Richmond (F239) family line as relating to the Type 23 (Duke-class) group.
HMS Norfolk (F230); HMS Marlborough (F233); HMS Argyll (F231); HMS Lancaster (F229); HMS Iron Duke (F234); HMS Monmouth (F235); HMS Montrose (F236); HMS Westminster (F237); HMS Northumberland (F238); HMS Richmond (F239); HMS Somerset (F82); HMS Grafton (F80); HMS Sutherland (F81); HMS Kent (F78); HMS Portland (F79); HMS St. Albans (F83) CHILEAN NAVY: Almirante Cochrane; Almirante Condell; Almirante Lynch
Global operator(s) of the HMS Richmond (F239). Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national naval warfare listing.

Shipbuilder(s): Swan Hunter & Wigham Richardson - UK

[ Untied Kingdom ]
Going Further...
HMS Richmond (F239) Guided-Missile Frigate appears in the following collections:
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