Albion Class LPH
BNC-Albionsmall.jpg
(Note: drawing contains some parts taken from Shipbucket.com)

Ship Characteristics

Dimensions Length 780 ft
Beam 120 ft
Draft 23 feet
Displacement (standard) 27,800 tons
Displacement (full load) 34,500 tons
Performance Speed (max) 24.0 knots
Speed (cruising) 20 knots
Endurance 6,000 nm @ 20 knots
Armament Guns 12 35mm Mark 1
Aircraft Transport 15 Fairey Junglie Rotodynes
Landing craft LCM 6
Landing craft LCP(F) 4

Background

The Albion Class LPHs evolved specifically as a platform for the Fairey Junglie, a large transport rotodyne that was capable fo cruising at 450 knots to an operational radius of 400 miles while carrying up to 50 troops (or four light armored vehicles). This offered an astounding degree of operational flexibility that seized on by the British as a way of developinga capable amphibious strike force. In addition to its 15 Junglies, the Albion class also carried six medium landing craft capable of lifting heavier equipment that could be accommodated by the rotodynes and four small landing craft personnel that were intende dfor the insertion of special forces troops. It was intended to build three LPHs of this class but the third, Centaur, was cancelled as an economy measure.

The Albion class looked very much like aircraft carriers with their large through decks and there was an RAF-backed campaign to have them designated as such. However, this ruse was not successful. The LPHs were not aircraft carriers, they did not carry the aircraft munitions or support equipment to allow them to operate as such nor did they have the catapults or arresting gear for such aircraft. Their hangars were primarily laid out for vehicle transport and for the assault loading of the Junglies. The diesel-powered Albions were also too slow to act as fleet carriers although they could - and sometimes did - serve as aircraft transports.

Amphibious lift capability of an Albion class LPH was two battalions, one delivered by rotodyne, the other over the beach. Operating together, as they did at the Falklands, the two ships could deliver an entire AirMech brigade with two battlions lifted in by air and the third delivered over the beach.

Class Members

Name Ordered Laid Down Launched Commissioned Fate
Albion 1967 1967 1970 1972
Bulwark 1968 1968 1971 1973
Centaur 1969 Cancelled
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