River Monitor Parnaíba (U17) - Grandmother with Prosthetics

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River Monitor Parnaíba (U17)

TL;DR:
Coastal vessel, interwar-era Brazilian river monitor armed with powerful autocannons and archaic light cannons, also can hold a helicopter.

History:
Sometimes claimed to be the oldest warship still in active service*, the river monitor Parnaíba was built at the Arsenel de Marinha do Rio de Janeiro in 1936 to accompany the 19th century river monitor Pernambuco. The ship was built with the assistance of German and British companies, and armed with a 152mm cannon, mortars, and light guns. It had a very shallow draft, with its propellers partially inside the hull, and was apparently shallow enough to allow torpedoes to simply pass under the ship. The ship was completed and commissioned in 1938 and assigned to the Mato Grosso Flotilla, and patrolled along the Paraguay River. When Brazil entered WW2, it was transferred to the Eastern Naval Command in Salvador and used as a coastal convoy escort, at one point escorting the newly built USS Iowa. During WW2 the ship was refitted with more powerful anti aircraft weapons, a smaller main gun, and some depth charge rails. With the end of WW2, it was reassigned back to the Mato Grosso Flotilla and resumed its service in the Paraguay River, being refitted again with a 76mm main gun and some more anti aircraft guns, and had a generally uneventful service during the Cold War, rescuing sunken sailors and participating in various naval parades and exercises. At the end of the century, with the other river monitors having been decommissioned decades ago, it was decided to keep it in service, and the ship underwent its biggest modernization. Its old steam engines were replaced with new diesels, navigation radars fitted, a helipad was added to the stern, and its anti aircraft guns upgraded once again. It continues to operate in the Paraguay River to this day.

Specifications: (~2014)

Armament:
1x1 3-inch Mk.22
2x1 47mm 3-pdr Hotchkiss
2x1 40mm Bofors L/70
6x1 20mm Oerlikon

Armour:
76mm belt

Displacement:
620 tons standard
720 tons full

Length: 55m

Beam: 10.1m

Draft: 1.6m

Propulsion: 2 Cummins-Wärstila CW-6-170 diesel engines, 1850 hp, driving 2 propellers

Speed: 12 knots (22.2 km/h)

Range: 1350 nmi (at 10 knots)

Crew: 74

Systems:
Racal-Decca radar
Furuno 3600 navigation radar
Air search radar?

Auxiliary Vehicles:
Bell IH-6B Jet Ranger III or Eurocopter UH-12 Écureuil helicopter

*There’s also USS Constitution, but… uh, it’s not really in “active” service. One of the Paraguayan Humaitá-class gunboats is still in service.

Images:

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Drawings:

Sources:
https://www.naval.com.br/ngb/P/P043/P043.htm
https://web.archive.org/web/20130831141601/https://www.mar.mil.br/menu_h/navios/monitor/monitor.htm

https://twitter.com/D__Mitch/status/586921205959106560

4 Likes

This could be implemented multiple times in each of her different refits, so +1 for all!