Gurkha circa. 1964-1966
|Builder:||John I. Thornycroft & Company|
|Laid down:||3 November 1958|
|Launched:||11 July 1960|
|Commissioned:||13 February 1963|
|Decommissioned:||30 March 1984|
|Identification:||Pennant number F122|
|Fate:||Sold to Indonesia 1984|
|Name:||KRI Wilhelmus Zakarias Yohannes|
|Class and type:||Tribal-class frigate|
|Beam:||42 ft 3 in (12.88 m)|
|Speed:||27 knots (50 km/h; 31 mph) (COSAG)|
|Range:||4,500 nautical miles (8,300 km; 5,200 mi) at 12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph)|
|Sensors and |
|Aircraft carried:||1 × Westland Wasp helicopter|
|Operations:||Third Cod War|
The Tribal-, or Type 81-class, frigates were developed in the mid-1950s as a General Purpose frigate, capable of use in both anti-submarine and anti-aircraft duties in a full scale war, while serving for Cold War policing duties in peace-time, in particular to replace the old Loch-class frigates serving in the Persian Gulf.
The Tribals were 360 ft 0 in (109.73 m) long overall and 350 ft 0 in (106.68 m) [[length between perpendiculars|between perpendiculars, with a beam of 42 ft 3 in (12.88 m). The ship's hull had a draught of 13 ft 5 1⁄2 in (4.10 m), with the propeller increasing overall draught to 17 ft 6 in (5.33 m). Displacement was 2,300 long tons (2,300 t) standard and 2,500 long tons (2,500 t) full load. Propulsion was by a single-shaft Combined steam and gas (COSAG) arrangement, effectively half of the powerplant of the County-class destroyers. A single Babcock & Wilcox boiler fed steam at 550 psi (3,800 kPa) and 850 °F (454 °C; 728 K) to a geared steam turbine rated at 12,500 shp (9,300 kW), which could be supplemented by a Metrovick G-6 gas turbine rated at 7,500 shp (5,600 kW) to reach top speed, with the gas turbine also allowing the ship to get underway quickly in an emergency, without having to wait to raise steam. Speed was about 27–28 kn (31–32 mph; 50–52 km/h) using both steam and gas turbine power, and 21 kn (24 mph; 39 km/h) on steam power alone.
The ships were fitted with two QF 4.5-in (113 mm) Mark 5 guns, salvaged from scrapped Second World War destroyers, mounted fore and aft. It was intended to fit two Seacat anti-aircraft missile launchers, but these were not ready in time, and Gurkha completed with two 40 mm Bofors guns instead, with Seacat replacing the Bofors guns on refit. For anti-submarine and anti-ship duties, a hangar and flight deck for a single Westland Wasp helicopter was fitted, while a Limbo anti-submarine mortar provided close-in anti-submarine armament. Gurkha was fitted with a large Type 965 long range air search radar on a lattice foremast, with a Type 993 short range air/surface target indicating radar and Type 978 navigation radar also fitted. An MRS3 fire control system was carried to direct the 4.5-inch guns. The ship had a sonar suite of Type 177 medium range search sonar, Type 162 bottom search and Type 170 attack sonar. Type 199 Variable Depth Sonar (VDS) was fitted in 1969. The ship had a crew of 253 officers and other ranks.
Gurkha was ordered under the 1955–56 Naval Estimates from John I. Thornycroft & Company, of Woolston, Hampshire, at a cost of £4,865,000 She was laid down on 3 November 1958, was launched on 11 July 1960 and commissioned on 13 February 1963, joining the 9th Frigate Squadron in the Middle East. In 1965 she was present at Portsmouth Navy Days, and again deployed to the Middle East with the 9th Frigate Squadron. On 14 January 1967 she commenced her third commission, leaving British waters on 24 July. She served on the Beira Patrol and during the withdrawal of British forces from Aden before carrying out patrol operations in the Persian Gulf, returning to Rosyth on 14 May 1968.
In 1975, Gurkha deployed to the West Indies, where the ship performed various duties. In 1976, Gurkha supported Royal Navy efforts against Iceland during the Third Cod War. She sustained superficial damage on 7 May when the patrol ship Óðinn attempted to force the ship towards the British trawler Ross Ramilles, during which Óðinn collided with Gurkha. In that collision Óðinn's port propeller was damaged by Gurkha's starboard stabiliser, forcing her to return to port for repairs.
Gurkha was reduced to the reserve in 1980, being placed in the Standby Squadron. Although she had been put on the disposal list, Gurkha was removed from the reserve during the Falklands War and prepared for active service, recommissioning on 24 July. Gurkha remained in home waters, fulfilling duties in the absence of ships that were operating in the South Atlantic.
In October 1982, Gurkha became Gibraltar Guardship, following this was a deployment to the Caribbean late in 1982 on "Carib Train" returning to the uk in early 1983. during this later part of her life she had a section of Gurkhas onboard instead of the usuall Royal Marine contingent.
After being decommissioned in 1984, Gurkha was sold to Indonesia. She was renamed Wilhelmus Zakarias Yohannes for the national hero Wilhelmus Zakaria Johannes after a radiologist and specialist in X-ray technology. The frigate was withdrawn from service in 1999 and remains laid up at Surabaya Naval Base to await scrapping.
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