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Iroquois-class Helicopter Destroyer

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The Iroquois-class helicopter destroyers, (also known as Tribal class) are a class of four helicopter-carrying, guided missile destroyers of the Royal Canadian Navy. Launched in the 1970s, they were originally fitted out for anti-submarine warfare, but two major upgrade programmes in the 1980s and 1990s overhauled them for area-wide anti-aircraft defence. They are currently around forty years old.

Specifications[edit]

1972-1986[edit]

  • Characteristics
    • Length: 425.9 feet (129.81 meters)
    • Beam: 50 feet (15.24 meters)
    • Draft: 15.4 feet (4.7 meters)
    • Displacement: 4,740 tons
  • Crew: 280
  • Power: 115,000 shp
  • Propulsion: 2 Pratt and Whitney FT12-AH3 gas turbines, 2 Pratt and Whitney FT4-A2 gas turbines, COGOG propulsion, 2 shafts
  • Range: 4,500 nmi (8,330 km)
  • Speed: 29.5 Knots (54.64 km/hr)
  • Sensor Suite
    • AN/SPQ 501 DA-08 radar
    • Signaal LW-08 AN/SPQ-502 radar
    • SQS-510 hull sonar
    • SQS-510 VDS sonar
  • Armament
    • 1 x Otobreda 127mm/54 caliber naval gun
    • 2 x Mk-30 Sea Sparrow SAM launchers
    • 2 x Triple 12.75 in/324mm torpedo tubes
    • 1 x Limbo Mk 10 depth charge mortar
  • Aircraft Carried: 2 x CH-124 Sea King ASW Helicopter

1986-1998[edit]

  • Characteristics
    • Length: 425.9 feet (129.81 meters)
    • Beam: 50 feet (15.24 meters)
    • Draft: 15.4 feet (4.7 meters)
    • Displacement: 5,100 tons
  • Crew: 295
  • Power: 132,000 shp
  • Propulsion: 2 Allison 570-KF gas turbines, 2 Pratt and Whitney FT4-A2 gas turbines, COGOG propulsion, 2 shafts
  • Range: 4,500 nmi (8,330 km)
  • Speed: 29.5 Knots (54.64 km/hr)
  • Sensor Suite:
    • AN/SPS-49B air search radar
    • 2 AN/SPSC-11 air search and track radars
    • AN/SPG-60 fire control radar
    • AN/SPQ-7 fire control radar
  • Armament
    • 1 x 48-cell Mk 41 Vertical Launch System (SM-1 Standard and Sea Sparrow missiles)
    • 1 x Otobreda 76mm/62-caliber naval gun
    • 1 x Phalanx 20mm CIWS systems
    • 2 x Triple 12.75 in/324mm torpedo tubes
    • 2 x M2 Browning 12.7mm machine guns
  • Aircraft Carried: 2 x CH-124 Sea King ASW Helicopter

1998-Present[edit]

  • Characteristics
    • Length: 425.9 feet (129.81 meters)
    • Beam: 50 feet (15.24 meters)
    • Draft: 15.4 feet (4.7 meters)
    • Displacement: 5,820 tons
  • Crew: 310
  • Power: 148,000 shp
  • Propulsion: 2 Allison 570-KF gas turbines, 3 Vektris LM2500+ gas turbines, COGOG propulsion, 2 shafts
  • Range: 4,200 mi (7,780 km)
  • Speed: 29.5 Knots (54.64 km/hr)
  • Sensor Suite:
    • AN/SPS-49B air search radar
    • 2 x AN/SPSC-11 air search and track radars
    • System 015 air tracking radar with IFF
    • 2 x AN/SPG-62 fire control radars
    • AN/SPS-73 surface search radar
    • AN/SQS-510 Hull-mounted variable depth active sonar
    • AN/SQR-501 CANTASS Passive towed array sonar
  • Armament
    • 1 x 48-cell Mk 41 Vertical Launch System (SM-1 Standard, SM-2 Standard-ER, ESSM and Tomahawk TLAM missiles)
    • 2 x Mk 141 Harpoon Missile Launchers (8 Harpoon anti-ship missiles)
    • 1 x Mk 45 5"/54-caliber naval gun
    • 2 x Phalanx 20mm CIWS systems
    • 2 x Triple 12.75 in/324mm torpedo tubes
    • 2 x M2 Browning 12.7mm machine guns
  • Aircraft Carried: 2 x CH-148 Cyclone

Unit Run[edit]

  • HMCS Iroquois (DDH-280)
  • HMCS Huron (DDH-281)
  • HMCS Athabaskan (DDH-282)
  • HMCS Algonquin (DDH-283)

History[edit]

Canada's home-built workhorses, the Iroquois-class is one of the most famed vessels of the Canadian Forces and itself a groundbreaking destroyer, both for its gas turbine propulsion and its flexibility, proven through its major refits over the years.

Built by MIL-Davie's Sorel and Lauzon shipyards in the early 1970s, the Iroquois-class were among the first new vessels of the CF in years at that point, fitting out the Canadian Forces fleet, which was at the time primarily assigned to anti-submarine warfare. But after Canada re-entered the aircraft carrier business in August 1975, the needs of the CF started changing.

The class was refitted from its original ASW role starting with the DELEX 1 refits in the mid-1980s, which changed the vessel from a anti-submarine warfare role into an area air defense vessel, fitting it with a 48-cell Mk 41 Vertical Launch system and reworking much of its superstructure and electronics. The refit was done by the same yards that built the destroyers, and their refit was designed allow them to work more in tandem with HMCS Eagle and the Ontario and Manitoba-class destroyers of the Maritime Command.

But after the Gulf War, where Athabaskan was involved in rescuing a mine-damaged American cruiser and found that her radar and electronics were inadequate against many modern fighter threats, the vessel was refitted again in the late 1990s. This refit was the largest yet, replacing her Allison gas turbines with General Electric units and fitting the vessel with a raft of new armament, including Tomahawk cruise missiles, Harpoon anti-ship missiles, a five-inch gun, a second Phalanx CIWS system and upgraded radars and electronic warfare capabilities.

The four destroyers would serve Canada for more than forty years, being retired in 2013 and 2016 as the Province-class multirole destroyers replaced them in CF service, while also replacing the Manitoba-class. Iroquois and Athabaskan were, however, reactivated for the war with Indonesia in 2015. As for late 2016, all four vessels remain in the Maritime Command's reserve fleet near Esquimalt, British Columbia.

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