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Restigouche-class Destroyer Escort

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Canadian ASW destroyers HMCS Restigouche, HMCS Terra Nova and HMCS Gatineau underway off the coast of Alaska on April 13th, 1983.
The Restigouche-class destroyer escort was a class of destroyers that served the Royal Canadian Navy and later the Canadian Forces from the late-1950s to the mid-1990s.

The RCN began planning the St. Laurent-class destroyers in the late 1940s and originally intended to procure 14 vessels. Delays in design and construction saw the number of vessels for the St. Laurent-class halved to 7. The 7 remaining vessels were redesigned as the Restigouche-class, taking into account design improvements found during construction of the St. Laurent's.

There were seven ships of the class commissioned between 1958 and 1959.

The most noticeable difference between the St. Laurent and Restigouche-classes was that the latter had the bridge raised one full deck higher in order to see over a new forward Vickers 3"/70 Mk.6 gun mount.

Improvements[edit]

Improved Restigouche-class[edit]

During the late 1960s, four ships of this class were refitted to what is known as the Improved Restigouche (IRE).

This refit involved replacing the aft 3"/50 gun with an octuple ASROC launcher. The old radar/communication mast was also replaced with a taller lattice mast. The stern was altered to accommodate a new variable depth sonar.

The three vessels that did not receive this refit were paid off into Category "C" Reserve soon afterward, during the manpower shortages of the early to mid-1970s when the newly-unified Canadian Forces experienced defence budget cuts. HMCS Chaudiere (DDE-235) was used as a parts hulk and donated her bow to HMCS Kootenay (DDE-258) after the latter was damaged in a collision. HMCS Columbia (DDE-260) became a dockside engineering training platform at CFB Esquimalt and HMCS St. Croix (DDE-256) had her weapons and propellers removed and her machinery spaces converted into classrooms.

DELEX Refit[edit]

The four IRE vessels of the Restigouche-class that remained in active service with the CF were selected for the Destroyer Life Extension Project (DELEX) in the late 1970s. DELEX was commissioned to upgrade the ten newest St. Laurent and Restigouche-class ships with new electronics, machinery, and hull upgrades and repairs. The intent of DELEX was to extend the life of these ships for another 15 years of service while the Halifax-class frigates were being designed and built as part of the Canadian Patrol Frigate Project.

DELEX included the installation of a Naval Tactical Data System (NTDS) known as the Automatic Data Link Plotting System (ADLIPS), as well as the Canadian Electronic Warfare System (CANEWS), and a new communication suite.

DELEX was very successful as it allowed older ships to participate in a modern electronic battle field using tactical data links between ships and aircraft.

The Kootenay suffered two mishaps during her career: In 1969 one of her gearboxes exploded, killing 7 crewmembers in one of the worst peacetime accidents in Canadian naval history. 20 years later, she collided with a freighter in 1989 and suffered bow damage and was repaired with parts removed from HMCS Chaudiere (DDE-235).

Gulf War Refit[edit]

HMCS Terra Nova (DDE-259) was hastily and temporarily refitted in August 1990 as part of Operation FRICTION.

She was re-equipped with parts from the Halifax-class frigate program to act as a primary anti-ship strike and naval battery platform. Modifications were made in Halifax as well as while underway to the Persian Gulf and involved the installation of new weapons and subsequent electronics and sensors.

Among the new equipment for Terra Nova was an upgraded 3-inch (76 mm) rapid fire gun, Harpoon anti-ship missile launcher (8 missiles), Vulcan Phalanx 20 mm Close-In Weapon System (CIWS), and modified torpedo tubes for the Mk.46 Mod 50 homing torpedo. The upgrade saw the removal of the ASROC system and the well for the Limbo ASW mortar, which were replaced by Harpoon and CIWS respectively. Two 40 mm Boffin anti-aircraft guns (with an improvised fire control system) in addition to Javelin point-defense Surface-to-Air missiles and .50 cal machine guns were also added for improved close-quarter fighting.

Recently released documents indicate that the rapid Gulf War modification plans were determined to date back to the early 1980s as part of an emergency re-armament plan devised in case of a conventional war with the Soviet Union and/or the Warsaw Pact.

Specifications[edit]

Original Configuration[edit]

  • Type: Destroyer Escort (Hull designation symbol DDE)
  • Service Period: 1958-1997
  • Characteristics:
    • Length: 371 feet (113.08 meters)
    • Beam: 42 feet (12.8 meters)
    • Draught: 14 feet (4.27 meters)
    • Displacement: As built: 2,390 t (2,390.0 t) (normal); 2,800 t (2,800.0 t) (deep load)
  • Crew: 249
  • Propulsion: 2 x shafts, 2 x English-Electric geared steam turbines, 2 x Babcock and Wilcox boilers, 30,000 shp
  • Range: 4,750 nautical miles (8,800 kilometers) at 14 knots (25.93 km/h)
  • Speed: 28 knots (51.86 km/h)
  • Sensor Suite:
    • 1 x SPS-12 air search radar
    • 1 x SPS-10B surface search radar
    • 1 x Sperry Mk.2 navigation radar
    • 1 x SQS-501 high frequency bottom profiler sonar
    • 1 x SQS-502 high frequency mortar control sonar
    • 1 x SQS-503 hull mounted active search sonar
    • 1 x SQS-10 hull mounted active search sonar
    • 1 x Mk.69 gunnery control system with SPG-48 director forward
    • 1 x GUNAR Mk.64 GFCS with on-mount SPG-48 director aft
  • Countermeasures:
    • 1 x DAU HF/DF (high frequency direction finder)
  • Armament:
    • 1 x 3"/70 Mk.6 Vickers twin mount forward
    • 1 x 3"/50 Mk.33 FMC twin mount aft
    • 2 x Mk NC 10 Limbo ASW mortars
    • 2 x single Mk.2 "K-gun" launchers with homing torpedoes
    • 1 x 103 mm Bofors illumination rocket launchers

Improved Restigouche[edit]

  • Type: Destroyer Escort (Hull designation symbol DDE)
  • Service Period: 1958-1997
  • Characteristics:
    • Length: 371 feet (113.08 meters)
    • Beam: 42 feet (12.8 meters)
    • Draught: 14 feet (4.27 meters)
    • Displacement: As built: 2,390 t (2,390.0 t) (normal); 2,900 t (2,900.0 t) (deep load)
  • Crew: 214
  • Propulsion: 2 x shafts, 2 x English-Electric geared steam turbines, 2 x Babcock and Wilcox boilers, 30,000 shp
  • Range: 4,750 nautical miles (8,800 kilometers) at 14 knots (25.93 km/h)
  • Speed: 28 knots (51.86 km/h)
  • Sensor Suite:
    • 1 x SPS-12 air search radar
    • 1 x SPS-10B surface search radar
    • 1 x Sperry Mk.2 navigation radar
    • 1 x SQS-501 high frequency bottom profiler sonar
    • 1 x SQS-502 high frequency mortar control sonar
    • 1 x SQS-503 hull mounted active search sonar
    • 1 x SQS-10 hull mounted active search sonar
    • 1 x AQA-5 Jezebel passive tracer sonar
    • 1 x Mk.69 gunnery control system with SPG-48 director forward
  • Countermeasures:
    • 1 x DAU HF/DF (high frequency direction finder)
    • 1 x ULQ-6 jammer
    • 1 x WLR-1C radar analyzer
    • 1 x UPD-501 radar detector
    • 1 x SRD-501 HF/DF
  • Armament:
    • 1 x 3"/70 Mk.6 Vickers twin mount forward
    • 1 x Mk.112 ASROC octuple launcher
    • 1 x Mk NC 10 Limbo ASW mortars
    • 2 x Mk.32 triple torpedo launchers firing Mk.46 Mod 5 torpedoes

DELEX Refit[edit]

  • Type: Destroyer Escort (Hull designation symbol DDE)
  • Service Period: 1958-1997
  • Characteristics:
    • Length: 371 feet (113.08 meters)
    • Beam: 42 feet (12.8 meters)
    • Draught: 14 feet (4.27 meters)
    • Displacement: As built: 2,390 t (2,390.0 t) 2,900 t (2,900.0 t) (deep load)
  • Crew: 214
  • Propulsion: 2 x shafts, 2 x English-Electric geared steam turbines, 2 x Babcock and Wilcox boilers, 30,000 shp
  • Range: 4,750 nautical miles (8,800 kilometers) at 14 knots (25.93 km/h)
  • Speed: 28 knots (51.86 km/h)
  • Sensor Suite:
    • 1 x Marconi SPS 502 air search radar
    • 1 x Raytheon SPS 10D surface search radar
    • 1 x Sperry Mk.127 E navigation radar
    • 1 x SQS-505 hull sonar
    • 1 x SQS 505 VDS sonar
    • 1 x Mk.69 gunnery control system with SPG-515 director forward
  • Countermeasures:
    • 1 x DAU HF/DF (high frequency direction finder)
    • 1 x ULQ-6 jammer
    • 1 x WLR-1C radar analyzer
    • 1 x UPD-501 radar detector
    • 1 x SRD-501 HF/DF
    • 1 x CANEWS
  • Armament:
    • 1 x 3"/70 Mk.6 Vickers twin mount forward
    • 1 x Mk.112 ASROC octuple launcher
    • 1 x Mk NC 10 Limbo ASW mortars
    • 2 x Mk.32 triple torpedo launchers firing Mk.46 Mod 5 torpedoes

Gulf War Refit[edit]

  • Type: Destroyer Escort (Hull designation symbol DDE)
  • Service Period: 1958-1997
  • Characteristics:
    • Length: 371 feet (113.08 meters)
    • Beam: 42 feet (12.8 meters)
    • Draught: 14 feet (4.27 meters)
    • Displacement: As built: 2,390 t (2,390.0 t) 2,900 t (2,900.0 t) (deep load)
  • Crew: 214
  • Propulsion: 2 x shafts, 2 x English-Electric geared steam turbines, 2 x Babcock and Wilcox boilers, 30,000 shp
  • Range: 4,750 nautical miles (8,800 kilometers) at 14 knots (25.93 km/h)
  • Speed: 28 knots (51.86 km/h)
  • Sensor Suite:
    • 1 x Marconi SPS 502 air search radar
    • 1 x Raytheon SPS 10D surface search radar
    • 1 x Sperry Mk.127 E navigation radar
    • 1 x SQS-505 hull sonar
    • 1 x SQS-505 VDS sonar
    • 1 x C-Tech mine avoidance sonar
    • 1 x Mk.69 gunnery control system with SPG-515 director forward
  • Countermeasures:
    • 1 x DAU HF/DF (high frequency direction finder)
    • 1 x WLR-1C radar analyzer
    • 1 x UPD-501 radar detector
    • 1 x SRD-501 HF/DF
    • 1 x CANEWS
    • 1 x ULQ-6 jammer
    • 1 x ALR-74 threat warning
  • Armament:
    • 1 x 3"/70 Mk.6 Vickers twin mount forward
    • 2 x Harpoon quad SSM launchers
    • shoulder launched Blowpipe and Javelin SAMs
    • 1 x Phalanx 20 mm CIWS
    • 2 x 40mm/60 Bofors guns
    • 6 x .50-cal machine guns
    • 2 x Mk.32 triple torpedo launchers firing Mk.46 Mod 5 torpedoes

Unit Run[edit]

  • HMCS Restigouche (DDE-257)
  • HMCS Chaudiere (DDE-235)
  • HMCS Gatineau (DDE-236)
  • HMCS St. Croix (DDE-256)
  • HMCS Kootenay (DDE-258)
  • HMCS Terra Nova (DDE-259)
  • HMCS Columbia (DDE-260)
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