The US Naval Institute News Service reports the decommissioning and transfer of the last of the Cyclone class US Navy patrol craft. Seven of the class (PCs 1, 2,4, 8, 12, 13, and 14) were loaned to the Coast Guard at various times.
Their departure will leave the six Coast Guard Patrol Force SW Asia Webber class WPCs the only US patrol craft in the 5th Fleet.
Of the 14:
- Two, Zephyr (PC-8) and Shamal (PC-13), are to be scrapped.
- Five, Tempest (PC-2), Typhoon (PC-5), Squall (PC-7), Firebolt (PC-10), and Whirlwind (PC-11), have been transferred to the Royal Bahrain Naval Forces.
- Three, Hurricane (PC-3), Sirocco (PC-6), and Thunderbolt (PC-12), have been transferred to the Egyptian Navy.
- Two more, Monsoon (PC-4) and Chinook (PC-9), will join the former Cyclone (PC-1) in the Philippine Navy.
- One, Tornado (PC-14) is expected to be sold, but is awaiting disposition.
An interesting class. I have never known what to make of them.
The Navy never seemed to know what to do with them either, but then they became the busiest ships in the Navy. They are certainly keeping the PATFORSWA cutters busy now.
Yes that is it! I can’t say they are a poor design, but they are not the best. But yes they were busy. They remind me of how some aircraft are built for one role and don’t succeed in it, but find great success in another role as if by accident.
Yes. That’s it!
Such an easy ship to make a slightly better replacement for. Missed opportunity.
Yes. For me they have always been slightly undergunned. Imagine a slightly larger hull with a modern 76mm mount.
I suspect the Philippine Navy may arm them with Spike missiles.
Always felt the Ambassador Mk III/Ezzat-class would be a good replacement
Ambassador III would be a real expensive replacement, but you could probably whittle some cost out while fitting it with U.S. gear at the same time.
If the USN were to buy all the equipment associated with the Ambassador III or at least something similar, they would want it in a more sea worthy, longer ranged hull.
I think something between the two like the Korean Yoon Youngha-class patrol vessel fits the bill better.
Takes me back to a more OPV-like Sa’ar 6.
The USN has toyed with the idea of FAC at times, like with the Pegasus class and streetfighter concept. But it seems like they always lose interest in everything except capital ships.
For what the Navy needs in places like the Horn of Africa, Persian Gulf, and potential WestPac (Malacca Straight, Philippines, So. Korea areas), an updated Asheville class gunboat would be fitting.
Replace the 3” gun with a Mk. 110, and stern 40mm with either NSM (WestPac), or Mk.38, and give all of them VL-JAGM, and the Navy would have a very capable patrol ship. Most important would be modern electronics, such as AN/SPS-73, RPS-42, and Argon ST WBR-2000 ECM/ESM.
Make them about 160-170’ and a CODAG system for endurance plus speed, and this (combined with a proper frigate) is what should have happened instead of the LCS…