07 May 2011
Good Morning All!
A few days back we had the Pakistani frigate Tariq alongside for fuel and water. It was a perfect day for photography in the Arabian Sea only about fifty miles from the Pakistani Coast, and a great chance to compare this ship with her near-twin sister, Badr, whom we saw a while back (specifically, 29 March). Both are Type-21 “retreads”, turned-over from Britain’s Royal Navy back in the 1990s, but they have some interesting differences.
Compare these photos of both ships; the most immediate difference that jumps out is the missile armament forrard. Badr has a powerful brace of eight ‘Harpoon’ anti-ship missiles (this is a greater loadout than most US warships deploy with these days!) whilst Tariq has a six-cell anti-air missile launcher in the same location. Their masthead radar antennae are also different, as well as much of the electronic equipment topside. Both have the distinctive R2-D2 “Phalanx” point defense gatling gun mounting atop the helo hangar.
Just by observing the obvious differences we can see that these two ship have very different missions; Badr is configured for anti-ship combat while Tariq is far better at defense, perhaps as a convoy escort in time of war. Badr has a major punch, capable of taking-out a major adversary, whilst Tariq is laid-out as an almost purely defensive platform, with only her gun mounting forward for offensive use. Interesting, as Vin Diesel used to say!
My reason for showing you this is to illustrate another reason why I am so fascinated with warships, especially those of other navies. We all do essentially the same things, but we all do them in different ways; even closely allied nations have different approaches to the design and armament of ships and aircraft, shore defenses and anti-air systems. If we all did these things the same ways…why, it’d be boring out here on the blue stuff!
USNS ArcticPersian Gulf
P.S. As a means of countering the boredom, here is a photo of an Iranian P-3 Orion patrol aircraft that overflew us during Tariq's unrep...Big Brother is Watching.