The Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions." --American Statesman Daniel Webster (1782-1852)

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Some of the Ships used in Tom Clancy's "Red Storm Rising"

I am a huge fan of Tom Clancy and his book "Red Storm Rising", is one of my favorite books.  The first time I read this book, was in 1986 and we were at a border camp near "Hof" Germany and our job was to patrol the border and be basically a trip wire if GSFG crossed the border and unified Germany and Western Europe under the Soviet umbrella. man talk about scaring the crap out of me...
We  patroled in a "Jeep" or a truck, utility 1/4 ton 4x4. M151A2

Border Jeep, Note the bumper ID, Mine was "BDR2"   
I though that was ironic finding this pic on "google"
We had a foot locker full of laws rockets, extra ammo, grenades, and claymores.  We were expected to "die in place" to give the USAREUR units in the rear time to get in the field to stop the Soviets before the Rhine.  We called ourselves "Speedbumps for GSFG".  The duty was sobering but I wouldn't trade the experience for anything.  The things I learned there held me in good stead when I got deployed to the Gulf in 1990.

   I will focus on some of the ships on this post and will continue to add more post to the series :)

  Right now I will focus on a couple of the ships used in the book, they were HMS Battleaxe and USS Reuban James.

HMS Battleaxe was a Type 22 frigate of the Royal Navy.

The length of the first four Type 22s was dictated by the dimensions of the undercover Frigate Refit Complex at Devonport Dockyard. The ships would be powered by a combination of Olympus and Tyne gas turbines in a COGOG (COmbined Gas turbine Or Gas turbine) arrangement. Machinery spaces were sited as far aft as possible to minimise shaft lengths. The after configuration was dictated by the requirement for a large hangar and a full-width flight deck.
Weapons fit was determined by the primary ASW role combined with a perceived need for a general purpose capability. The principal ASW weapons systems were the ship's Lynx helicopter and triple torpedo tubes (STWS), with 2087 towed array sonar a key part of the sensors fit. Air defence was provided in the form of two 'six-pack' launchers for the Seawolf (GWS 25) point-defence missile system. Surface warfare requirements were met by the provision of four Exocet SSM launchers, the standard RN fit at that time. A pair of L/60 Bofors were fitted in the first batch for patrol and junk busting on summer Indian Ocean deployments, but proved expedient in the Falkland were T22 captains considered they interfered with concentrating on Seawolf setup.
The Broadsword design was unique to the Royal Navy in lacking a main gun armament. Although some of the Leander class frigates had lost their main gun armament during upgrades, Broadsword was the first to be designed from the beginning without a large calibre gun turret. This changed with the introduction of the Batch III ships.
Ordering of Type 22s proceeded slowly, in part because of the comparatively high unit cost of the ships. The unit cost of the last Type 12Ms had been about £10m; Type 21s cost around £20m each; when the first Type 22s were ordered, unit costs were estimated at £30m though, by the time that the first ship (HMS Broadsword) commissioned in 1979, inflation had driven this figure up to £68m, which was far higher than the cost of the contemporary Type 42s (HMS Glasgow, also commissioned in 1979, cost £40m).
 The ships top speed was 30 knots and displacement was 4400 tons.  I figured that was fully "kitted" out with fuel, ammo and crew.
4 x single MM38 Exocet SSM
2 x sextuple GWS25 Seawolf SAM
2 x twin Oerlikon 30mm/75
2 x single Oerlikon/BMARC 20mm GAM-B01
2 x triple STWS Mk.2 torpedo tubes

 131 metres (430 ft) (length)
14.8 metres (49 ft) (beam)
6.1 metres (20 ft) (draught)

2 x Rolls-Royce Olympus TM3B
2 x Rolls-Royce Tyne RM1C

USS Reuben James (FFG-57), an Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided missile frigate, was the third ship of the U.S. Navy named for Reuben James, a boatswain's mate who distinguished himself fighting the Barbary pirates. Her crew totaled 201 enlisted, 18 chief petty officers, and 26 officers.

Displacement: 4,100 long tons (4,200 t), full load
Length: 453 feet (138 m), overall
Beam: 45 feet (14 m)
Draft: 22 feet (6.7 m)
Speed: over 29 knots (54 km/h)
Range: 5,000 nautical miles at 18 knots (9,300 km at 33 km/h)
Complement: 15 officers and 190 enlisted, plus SH-60 LAMPS detachment of roughly six officer pilots and 15 enlisted maintainers

Sensors and
processing systems:
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
Aircraft carried: 2 × SH-60B LAMPS Mk III helicopters
Aviation facilities:

 In the book Commander Edward Morris and Capt Doug Perrin RN make a good team as they prosecute submarines attacking the convoys crossing the Atlantic that are resupplying NATO as they try to show down the Soviet Army near Hannover and other locations.  They make good use of a Seahawk "F" variant commanded by Jerry O'Malley, USN – helicopter pilot, USS Reuben James. Past master sub-hunter and anti-submarine warfare tactician. Goes by the code name "Hammer" when he is flying. Incredibly skilled with the dipping sonar of his Seahawk helicopter.

After the SH-60B entered service, the Navy began development of the SH-60F to replace the SH-3 Sea King. Development of this variant began with the award of a contract to Sikorsky in March 1985. An early-model SH-60B (Bu. No. 161170) was modified to serve as a SH-60F prototype. The company was contracted to produce seven SH-60Fs in January 1986 and the first example flew on 19 March 1987.
The SH-60F primarily serves as the carrier battle group's primary antisubmarine warfare (ASW) aircraft. The helicopter hunts submarines with its AQS-13F dipping sonar, and carries a 6-tube sonobuoy launcher. The SH-60F is unofficially named "Oceanhawk". The SH-60F can carry Mk 46, Mk 50, or Mk 54 torpedoes for its offensive weapons, and it has a choice of fuselage-mounted machine guns, including the M60D, M240D, and GAU-16 (.50 caliber) for self-defense. The standard aircrew consists of one pilot, one co-pilot, one tactical sensor operator (TSO), and one acoustic sensor operator (ASO).

Data from Brassey's World Aircraft & Systems Directory, Navy fact file, and Sikorsky S-70B
General characteristics
  • Crew: 3–4
  • Capacity: 5 passengers in cabin, slung load of 6,000 lb (2,700 kg) or internal load of 4,100 lb (1,900 kg) for B, F and H models; and 11 passengers or slung load of 9,000 lb (4,100 kg) for S-model
  • Length: 64 ft 8 in (19.75 m)
  • Rotor diameter: 53 ft 8 in (16.35 m)
  • Height: 17 ft 2 in (5.2 m)
  • Disc area: 2,262 ft² (210 m²)
  • Empty weight: 15,200 lb (6,895 kg)
  • Useful load: 6,684 lb (3,031 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 17,758 lb (8,055 kg) ; for ASW mission
  • Max. takeoff weight: 21,884 lb (9,927 kg)
  • Powerplant: 2 × General Electric T700-GE-401C turboshaft, 1,890 shp (1,410 kW) take-off power each



  1. One addition, the FFGs were known as 'Figs'... :-)

  2. Read the book as well and I enjoyed it.

  3. I love Tom Clancy. I like how he is historically correct. At least for what I know about history and things. Lovely post.