Vosper Thornycroft Mark 3 Corvette, NNS Dorina (F81)

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Vosper Thornycroft Mark 3 Corvette, NNS Dorina (F81)

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TL;DR
Coastal vessel, Nigerian corvette, 3rd in a line of Cold War Vosper-Thornycroft export ships. Features good WW2-era weapons mixed with Cold War radars.

Overview:
Ordered in 1968 by the Nigerian Navy from Vosper-Thornycroft. The Mark 3 corvettes were an improved version of the previous Mark 1 corvettes built for Libya and Ghana (The Mark 2 being an unrealized design). The Mark 3 featured a twin 4-inch gun compared to the Mark 1’s single 4-inch, and was both larger and faster. Its original offered design also included a Seacat SAM, but that was changed for the Nigerian Navy. Two ships were ordered, with construction starting in 1970 and finishing in 1972. The ships featured modern radars and sonars, though it lacked ASW weaponry to use it, and was armed with WW2-era weaponry including the aforementioned twin 4-inch guns, 2 Bofors and 2 Oerlikon autocannons. The ships were built too late to see action in the Nigerian Civil War, and were named NNS Dorina and NNS Otobo, both meaning “hippo”, in Hausa and Igbo respectively. Additionally in 1975, Nigeria ordered two Mark 9 corvettes from Vosper-Thornycroft, which were larger and faster than the Mark 3s, and were armed with modern guns and anti-aircraft missiles. These ships would also have names meaning “hippo”. Both ships had an uneventful service and were decommissioned in 1987, though Dorina involuntarily when it sank in port. It was later raised and was planned to be turned into a training ship at the Nigerian Navy Technical Training Centre, but ultimately that role was fulfilled by the old frigate NNS Obuma and it was scrapped instead.

Specifications:

Armament:
1x2 4"/45 (102mm) QF Mk.XVI
2x1 40mm Bofors L/60 Mk.7
2x1 20mm Oerlikon Mk.2A

Displacement:
500t standard
660t full

Length: 61.6m

Beam: 9.5m

Draft: 3.3m

Propulsion: 2 MAN V8V 24/30B diesel engines, 8000 hp, driving 2 shafts

Speed: 22 knots (40.7 km/h)

Range: 3500nmi (at 14 knots)

Crew: 66

Systems:
Signaal WM-22 fire control radar
Plessey AWS-1 search radar
Decca TM-626 navigation radar
Plessey MS-22 sonar

Images:

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Dorina during sea trials
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Drawings:
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The original design offered by V-T, note Seacat SAM system
Video:
https://youtu.be/CaG9guz8PbU

Sources:
Ehlers, H. (2012). Fregaty biedaka. In Okręty Wojenne Vol. XIX, Nr 3/2012 (pp. 86-97).
Gardiner, R., Chumbley, S., & Budzbon, P. (1995). Nigeria. In Conway’s All the World’s Fighting Ships 1947-1995 (pp. 287). Naval Institute Press.

https://www.navypedia.org/ships/nigeria/nig_es_dorina.htm

2 Likes

I would love to see some of Vosper’s exports, there are a lot of ships that would fit excellently in Britain’s coastal lineup and this one is no exception. If the Bofors L/70 guns have HE-VT I can easily see this being a top tier squadron vehicle or even in the main line somewhere.

1 Like

I would love to see some of Vosper’s exports, there are a lot of ships that would fit excellently in Britain’s coastal lineup and this one is no exception.

I agree. Something a little disappointing about ships is that companies can’t just create a demonstrator ship like they do with planes and tanks. So these export designs can only be added if someone actually ordered one.

Bofors L/70 guns

I’m gonna have to stop you there because I made a mistake, oops. It’s an L/60.

2 Likes

Haha, fair enough. Still nothing to scoff at, though.