Admin & Arbiter
- Jan 21, 2002
Type. Guided-missile frigate
Machinery: 2-shaft COGOG two RR Olympus giving 56,000shp; two RR Tyne giving 8500shp
Dimensions (overall): Length, 117m (384ft); beam 41.75ft(12.7m)
Displacement. 3l00t normal, 3600t deep load
Draught 58m (l9ft) max.
1975 ARDENT. The first class of British warships designed (at least partly) by private enterprise since before World War I, the Amazon class, of which Ardent was the seventh, made extensive use of aluminium in their superstructures and were powered exclusively by gas-turbine engines.
HMS Ardent was laid down at the Yarrow yard on 26 February 1974, launched on 9 May the following year and completed in October 1977. Her normal displacement was 3100t some 20 per cent more than that of the later Leanders, even though their dimensions were almost identical. Ardent was powered exclusively by gas-turbine engines. She had two Rolls-Royce Tynes, producing a total of 8500shp for economical running at up to 17 knots (31.5km/h), and two Olympus engines, as originally developed for the Avro Vulcan bomber aircraft, which drove the ship along at her top speed of 30 knots (55.6km/h) when required.
Ardents armament and sensor systems were sophisticated. On her foredeck she mounted a state-of-the-art rapid-firing 4.5in (114mm) Mk 8 rifle, modelled on the British Armys Abbot self-propelled gun, capable of 20 rounds per minute and effective out to 12 nautical miles (22km). Four launchers for MM38 Exocet anti-ship missiles were located nearby. Ardents main anti-aircraft armament consisted of a battery of GWS24 Seacat short-range missiles, backed up by a pair of 20mm cannon, and she mounted six tubes for 12.75in (324mm) lightweight torpedoes. Aft she carried a single Lynx helicopter, itself armed with torpedoes, depth charges or Sea Skua anti-ship missiles. Ardent was equipped with 9920 low-level air-search, 912 tracking and 978 navigation radar, and 162 bottom search and 184 general-purpose search sonar. Ardent and Antelope were lost in the Falklands War; the other five members of the class were sold to Pakistan.