Rothesay class frigates, or Type 12M, were commissioned in 1954-55 and were a kind of replica of Whitby class. They had a better internal disposition and some modifications, such as the inclined funnel or the withdrawal of the torpedo tubes. Nine ships entered service with the Royal Navy, (HMS Berwick, HMS Brighton, HMS Falmouth, HMS Londonderry, HMS Loweatoft, HMS Plymouth, HMS Rhyl, HMS Rothesay and HMS Yarmouth), and two did it with the New Zealand Navy, (HMNZS Otago and HMNZS Taranaki), in the period 1960-61. Three more ships entered service with the South African Navy between 1962-64 (SAS President Kruger, SAS President Pretorius and SAS President Steyn). These frigates carried a short range AA Sea Cat missile launcher that replaced the 40mm Bofors AA guns, two Mk.6 114mm surface guns in a twin mounting and two Limbo Mk.10 ASW mortars. Later from 1966 to 1972, their antisubmarine capabilities were improved with the incorporation of a Wasp helicopter armed with Mk.44 and Mk.46 homing torpedoes. A hangar was also built, and new equipment was added such as a 1010 IFF antenna and a Type 993 target indicator. The Mark 6M fire director was changed to a MRS.3 mod.3, and a Type 903 radar was installed. During the Falklands War, HMS Plymouth and HMS Yarmouth were deployed in the area and thanks to their modern radars installed, they did a good job despite their years of service. However, all Rothesay class frigates were removed during the 1981-88 period. New Zealand paid off their ships between 1982-83 and South Africa did the same in the 1982-85 period.

ROTHESAY class gallery and more info


Información adicional

Ficha Completa
Country of origin

United Kingdom



Entered service




Displacement, (full load)

Originally: 2,560 tonnes – Rebuilt: 2,828 tonnes

Dimensions (length x beam x draught)

112.70 x 12.50 x 5.30 meters


2 x Babcock & Wilcox boilers – 2 x English Electric shaft geared steam turbines

Power, (total)

30,000 shp

Shafts - Screws

2 shafts – 2 screws


29 knots (53.6 km/h)


400 tonnes of fuel oil


5,200 n. miles (9,620 km) at 12 knots


Rebuilt: 1 x Westland Wasp HAS.1


1 x 114mm Mk.6 twin gun

AA guns

Originally; 1 x 40mm Bofors twin guns – Rebuilt; 2 x 20mm Oerlikon guns


Originally: 12 x 533mm torpedo tubes – Rebuilt: none

ASW armament

Originally: 2 x Limbo Mk.10 mortar – Rebuilt: 1 x Limbo Mk.10 mortar

SAM launcher

Rebuilt; 1 x Sea Cat GWS.20 missile launcher