Type 12M Rothesay-class Frigate, HMS Plymouth (F126) - Leading the Liberation

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HMS Plymouth (F126)



HMS Plymouth was a Rothesay-class Frigate, a development of the Whitby-class and a stepping stone toward the ultimate Type 12 design, the Leander-class. Plymouth was laid down in July of 1958, and commissioned in May 1961. The Rothesay was a lengthened version of the Whitby, designed around the addition of the Seacat Missile when it became available. However, she was designed around the convoy escort and antisubmarine mission, and so was equipped with weapons to deal with all of these threats.

During the 1960s she undertook a number of stints on the “Beira Patrol”, blockading Rhodesia as part of UN Sanctions on the country, before receiving her first modernisation, in which she received the Seacat missile system, and also received a flight deck, allowing her to carry a Wasp helicopter. This refit kept her out of service until 1969. Throughout the 1970s she conducted further port visits, including visits to Sydney, and Singapore before conducting another assignment to the “Beira Patrol”.

Plymouth’s service history continued during the “Cod Wars” where she escorted British Fishing vessels sailing within, at the time, contested waters, which the Icelandic Government considered to be its own.

However, Plymouth’s greatest contribution was to be within the Falklands War. She participated in Operation Paraquet, where her Wasp helicopter assisted in the attack on the Argentine submarine Santa Fe, scoring a hit with an AS.12 missile, following up with a shore bombardment while a composite force of Royal Marines and D Sqn SAS conducted an assault on Grytviken.

She escorted the landing force at San Carlos Bay on the night of the 21st May, where she conducted air defence duties and shore bombardments in support of the landings.
On the 8th June, while withdrawing from shore bombardment duties, she was attacked by five Mirage 5s. Despite claiming to shoot one down with a Seacat, and another with 20mm fire, she took at least 4 1000lb bomb hits, though fortunately none exploded, and although the strike caused a fire and severe damage to the ship, however under her own power she withdrew for repairs. She was the first ship to enter Port Stanley Harbour at the end of the war.
She was finally decommissioned in April 1988, after which she became a museum ship. Sadly, in 2012, despite a campaign to continue to preserve her as a museum ship, she was sold for scrapping and scrapping work was undertaken in 2014.

Why should we have this ship?
As a Rothesay-class ship, and with such a distinguished historical record, HMS Plymouth would be an excellent ship to add. She would, if added in the post 1969 configuration, provide Britain with the first missile ship in any of its tech tree, while also providing an interesting variation on the Whitby classes we currently have in game.

Why should we add Seacat?
Seacat would be the shortest ranged missile out of any available in Naval, with a range in the region of 5,000 - 6,500 metres. She would be forced to use it as a point defense weapon, and it would not be ludicrously overpowered by virtue of its limited range. GWS.20 is also a command guided missile, requiring the operator to guide the missile in via command guidance. Whilst GWS.22, a Automatically guided missile could be added if deemed suitable, while still being constrained by the short range.



Displacement: 2,800t** (loaded)
Length: 370ft (110m)
Beam: 41ft (12m)
Draft: 17.3ft (5.3m)
Speed: 30 knots (56kph)
Complement: 235 crew

Weapons, Systems and Sensors as built


1x turret, mounting 2 4.5in Mk.6 guns (same mounting as on the Daring)
1x 40mm Bofors Mk.7
2x Limbo Mk.10 Anti Submarine Mortar
12x 21in Torpedo Tubes ***

Type 293Q - Target Indication
Type 275 - Fire Control Director
Type 277Q - Height Finder
Type 974 - Navigation
Type 1010 (Cossor Mk.10) IFF
Sonar Types 162, 170, and 174 (Identification, Attack and Search)

Weapons, Systems and Sensors post 1969


1x turret, mounting 2 4.5in Mk.6 guns
1x GWS.20 Seacat SAM Launcher
2x 20mm Oerlikon Cannon
1x Limbo Mk.10 Anti Submarine Mortar

Type 993 - Target Indication
Type 903 - Fire Control (MRS-3) - used for Missile Guidance
Type 978 - Navigation
Type 1010 (Cossor Mk.10) IFF
Sonar Types 162, 170, 177 (Target Classification, Attack and Search)

Additional Systems
2x 8 barrel Corvus countermeasure launchers

Modifications post 1981
Type 994 “Short Range Warning” Radar
GWS.20 Seacat Missiles were replaced with GWS.22 Seacat (probably sometime before this)

Rothesay-class frigate - Wikipedia
HMS Plymouth (F126) - Wikipedia
Seacat (missile) - Wikipedia
Sea Cat anti-aircraft missile system | Missilery.info
Sea Cat - Naval Missiles of the United Kingdom/Britain - NavWeaps

“Across an Angry Sea - The SAS in the Falklands War” by Lt. Gen. Sir Cedric Delves, ISBN 978-1-78738-342-5
“The Battle for the Falklands” by Max Hastings and Simon Jenkins, ISBN 978-0-330-51363-0

Photo dump/Eye Candy


** - There are conflicting figures. This figure comes from Max Hastings’ “The Battle for the Falklands” book
*** - it is unclear if these were ever fitted from my research. Input would be appreciated

1 Like

+1 love frigates