JANUARY 21st 2013 !

{Keep your bottom scroll bar over to the left except when you are browsing the ship model}

Recognise anything?  Its grey in colour and has a pussers brow [gangway] straddling her starboard side and if you look very carefully over the the port side, you will see familiar aerials. One is a whip aerial, one a broadband reception aerial, one a ultra high frequency directional aerial, and, in the radome just visible over the stern guardrails, a weapons guidance system. More on that in a minute.

Well, it is a Type 42 destroyer and of course, a now very old one with obsolete technology. It is the Argentine warship ARA Santisima Trinidad which is alleged to have suffered a "broken valve" resulting in severe flooding and the sinking you see.

You will recall that she took part in the Falklands War of 1982, which was a miserable failure for the Argentine navy and army, although her air force acquitted itself well.

Now take a look at another Type 42 for which you will need no reminder.

I can remember Sheffield pretty well, not just because she was a Type 42 [and I sea-rode many of those whilst on FOST staff and again on FOF2 staff] but because I regularly visited her in the latter stages of her last refit which involved many updates to our side - W/T side of the house. Whilst looking at this super model of her, you can see that just like her Argentine sister{top picture} above, she too was fitted with Sea Dart which was controlled by a Type 909 Radar. It involved two aerials, one forward and one aft each enclosed inside a white fibre glass radome, which essentially kept the weather out. Have a look at the PDF which shows the Sea Dart/909 System plus the links to her gunnery system, the single 4.5 gun mounted right forward. 909.pdf  This picture below shows D90, HMS Southampton, firing her Sea Dart missile.  There was only the one launcher which could be [and was]  fitted either forward or aft, and in my experience, HMS Bristol had hers fitted aft [for example]. In the last picture below, you will see that the launcher is part painted in red. 

The broadband reception aerial mentioned above can be better seen on the model of HMS Sheffield above. The aerials, two of them, called UK/SRA/101 look like bird baths on the ends of tall uprights, or, if you want, mega large golf tees! The uprights are in fact 7' 6" high and the widest part of the top [the bird bath] has a diameter of 4' 6". They were used where a normal receiving aerial which was a 30' high whip aerial, could not be fitted because its height would impede helo operations. Look between the area of the after Sea Dart 909 radome and the helicopter sitting aft, to what is the helicopter hangar roof top. On it, over to the port side, you will see four 20-men life rafts which are white in colour. There is a gap between life rafts three and four counting from forward, and in that gap is the port UK/SRA/101 broadband aerial. Directly opposite on the starboard side of the hangar roof is the other UK/SR/101 aerial, and the one you can see in the crippled Argentine ship.

Here is a better of picture of HMS Southampton at anchor, not firing anything, just enjoying an occasion which demanded dressing ship with lots of bunting.