5 Nato warships are in Portsmouth Harbour over the weekend, preparing for an electronic warfare exercise in the English Channel starting on Monday.
HNLMS De Zeven Provincien is a Dutch air defence frigate, launched in 2000 and commissioned in 2002. Weighing in at 6,050 tons she has a top speed of 29 knots. She carries Sea Sparrow vertical launch anti-air missiles, 2 Goalkeeper close-range air defence guns, and 2 Harpoon anti-ship or surface launchers. The Dutch Navy refer to them as Frigates, but in terms of size and armament they’re really closer to being Destroyers.
SPS Alvaro de Bazan is a Spanish air defence frigate. Weighing 6,250 tons all-up weight, she has a top speed of 29+ knots. Armament wise she carries one 5 inch gun for engaging surface and shore targets, vertical launch sea sparrow missiles, and Harpoon missiles. The builders Navantia have won a contract to build the Royal Australian Navy’s new air defence frigates, which will be very similar to the Alvaro de Bazan class.
TCG Oruc Reis is a Barbaros Anti-air warfare frigate of the Turkish Navy. With a displacement of 3,100 tons and a top speed of 32 knots, she is somewhat smaller but faster than other similar vessels. She carries 1 5 inch gun, Sea Sparrow and Harpoon missiles. She is based on the MEKO class of modular warships, designed by Germany and built by various countries around the world.
HNoMS Otto Sverdrup is a Norwegian air-defence frigate, based on the Spanish Alvaro de Bazan Class. Sverdrup is the newest ship ofthe group taking part in the exercised, having only been commissioned in April 2008. With a displacement of 5,290 tons and a top speed of 26 knots, she carries one 5 inch gun, Norwegian built Naval Strike Missile anti-ship missiles, and US manufactured Sea Sparrow anti-air missiles.
Also part of the exercise is the FFS Latouche Treville, a French Frigate. Unfortunately I haven’t managed to get any pics of her, as she was tied up and obscured by the Otto Sverdrup. In any case shes French so we dont need to bother too much about her :P Our very own Type 23 Frigate HMS St Albans is also taking part in the exercise.
Also in port but not taking part in the exercise is the USS Henson. The Henson is a US Navy Oceanographic survey ship. She has an entirely civilian crew, surveying oceans around the world. Their work is similar to our own survey ships and the UK Hydrographic Office.