H.M.S IRON DUKE
14″ by 19″ Acrylic on paper.
The type 23 class of frigates were initially designed during the cash strapped Britain of the 1970’s as anti submarine frigates. Because of budgetary restraints these ships were to have no anti aircraft armament and had to rely on the ships they were protecting for their own protection. After the Falklands war, all this sort of cheese paring was thrown overboard and a more realistic approach to warship design prevailed and the result was some of the best general purpose frigates the Royal Navy has ever commissioned. As well as guns, the Duke class carries 32 Seawolf anti aircraft missiles, 8 Harpoon anti ship missiles, Stingray torpedo tubes and Lynx or Merlin helicopters. Fully automated with the latest computer systems these ships operate with only half the number of officers and men normally carried by older destroyers and frigates. As well as their routine duties, the Duke class frigates have operated against drug smugglers, Somali pirates and even appeared as film stars in the James Bond movie ‘Tomorrow Never Dies’.