Small Navies of the World – Frigates


Azerbaijan – ARG Gusar G-121 Petya Class – Project 159 LOA 268′ / 81.7 m TDISP 1,150 tons (1 active, service since 1992) Originally Soviet SKR-16 (1967-1991) Caspian Sea Flotilla until transfer. ARG Gusar Petya near Sabayil Azerbaijan 2020

ARG Gusar G-121 Petya class Azerbaijan 2018
The distinctive feature of this ship is the twin AK-230 CIWS on st’b and port sides just aft of midships.

Bahrain – RBNS Sabha FFG-90 (1996) Oliver Hazard Perry Class LOA 453′ / 138.1 m TDISP 4,200 tons. Formerly USS Jack Williams FFG-24 (1981-1996)

Naval exercise hones joint maritime capabilities
RBNS Sabha participating in Operation Arabian Shark, Apr. 2008. USN photo 85681 (PO3 Ryan Steinhour)

RBNS Sabha FFG-90 2020

Belgium – BNS Louise-Marie F-931 Karel Doorman class (2008) LOA 401’ / 122.3 m TDISP 2,800 tons. Navy of Belgium frigate formerly Netherlands HNMLS Willem van der Zaan (1991-2006)

BNS Louise-Marie F-931 port visit to London, with HMS Belfast museum cruiser alongside. Credit: Hammersfan, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Louise-Marie F391 belgian FFG

Cuba – Rio Damuji Class LOA 351′ / 107 m TDISP 3,300 tons. Light frigate conversion. Originally two similar trawlers, built in Vigo, Spain, 1972-1977, given large helicopter flight decks aft and Styx SS-N-2 missile tubes (likely off Osa II missile boats), 25mm guns and a turret off a ZSU-57-2 self-propelled AA gun (twin 57mm guns) in the bow. (2 active, service since 2007)

Rio Damuji 390 in Havana ca. 2011. The ship appears to have just emerged from the yard, and presents a fine appearance, with dressy painting of the anchor flutes, and the 12.7 mm guns on either bridge wing and twin 25mm guns immediately behind the superstructure gleaming with some sort of brass finish. Credit: Emmanuel Huybrechts from Laval, Canada, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Cuban Navy frigates Havana 2018Cuban Navy frigate Punta Movida 2014Cuban Navy frigate Havana 2019Cuban Navy frigate convert Cienguegos 2003Cuban Navy frigate convert Cienguegos 2012Cuban Navy frigate convert Havana 2014Cuban Navy frigate convert Havana 2015

Rio Damuji 390 Scenes_of_Cuba_(K5_02357)_(5982110262)
Rio Damuji 390 in Havana, ca. 2011. [Detail of] Credit: Emmanuel Huybrechts from Laval, Canada, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Equatorial Guinea – Wele Nzas F-073 (2014) LOA 351′ / 107 m TDISP 2,500 tons Ukrainian-designed. Partially built in Varna, Bulgaria, as a Salvage and Rescue vessel, completed as as a light frigate in the Malabo drydock.Wele Nzas F-073 Equatorial Guinea 2015

Libya – Koni II class light frigate Project 1159TR LOA 312′ / 95.1 m TDISP 1,900 tons (2 transferred from the USSR, 1 destroyed) Distinctive feature of the Libyan Koni variant is the twin P-15 Termit missiles forward of the bridge, which cuts into the deckhouse.

Al Ghardabia 213 (1986-2011) ex-SKR-195. Extensively damaged 20 May 2011 during NATO missile attack, Libyan Civil War. Vessel appears to have been towed back across Tripoli Harbor from the commercial port to the naval facility remaining upright until August (around the time the pro-Gaddafi regime forces were overthrown in Tripoli). According to wikipedia, it was subsequently attacked 9 August, and capsized. Hulk appears to be gradually being dismantled as of 2021.

Al Ghardabia 213 in Valletta Malta, May 2005. Credit: Anthony Vella from Los Barcos de Eugenio – Eugenio´s Warships, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Al Ghardabia Tripoli 2010 Al Ghardabia Tripoli 2019

Al Hani 212 (1985) ex-SKR-201. Captured by Libyan resistance fighters early in Libyan Civil War. Long refit at Malta. Became the flagship of the new (post-Gaddafi regime) Libyan navy.Al Hani Malta 2017

Al Hani Benghazi 2012
The Two Konis transferred to Libya have SS-N-2 missile tubes mounted forward.

Libya – Dat Assawari F-211 Vosper Thornycroft MK7 (1973-ca.2000) LOA 333′ / 101.5 m TDISP 1,780 tons. Larger version of the Iranian Alvand class. Reportedly scrapped late 1990s, but based at Tripoli, then moved to Al Khums with armament removed, and clearly not scrapped until later than 2006.Dat Assawari F-211 Tripoli Libya 2002 Dat Assawari F-211 Al Khums Libya 2006

Montenegro – Kotor Class light frigate Navy of Montenegro (1986-2019) LOA 301′ / 91.7 m TDISP 1,500 tons. Based on the Soviet Koni frigate hull. Originally built for the Yugoslav Navy, in Croatia.

Kotor class frigate P-34, 2012. Credit: Rabooka, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Kotor frigates Montenegro 2017-10Kotor frigates Montenegro 2017

Nigeria – Meko 360 class NNS Aradu (1982) LOA 412′ / 125.6 m TDISP 3,360 tons. First MEKO frigate built, for the Nigerian Navy! Throughout its career, this vessel has had long periods out of service. Often in refit at Victoria Island shipyards. May become a training vessel. Other Meko 360 types in service with the Argentine Navy.nns-aradu-lagos-2013nns-aradu-lagos-2020

Nigeria – NNS Thunder F-90 (2011) Hamilton Class Patrol Frigate LOA 378′ / 115.2 m TDISP 3,250 tons. Formerly USCGS Chase WHEC-718 (1968-2011)

NNS Thunder RAN-IFR_2013_D3_123
NNS Thunder F-90 at Royal Australian Navy International Fleet Review, Sydney Harbour, 2013. Credit: Saberwyn, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

NNS Thunder F-90 Lagos dockyard Nigeria 2018NNS Thunder F-90 Lagos Nigeria 2012

Syria – Petya Class light frigates Project 159AE (Service 1969-ca. 2018) LOA 268′ / 81.7 m TDISP 1,150 (2 retired, 1 sunk in 2018 Russian training exercise). Al Assari 12 Gun turrets remain in Tartus, Syria, sunk 2018.  AI Hirasa 14 was formerly SKR-94 (1968-1969).

Petya class FF Tartus Syria 2018
The extra 76mm turret on land is from the other Petya class, which was sunk as a target by the Russian air force in April 2018.

Petya class FF Tartus Syria 2016


Commandant Rivière class AND João Belo class. LOA 337′ / 102.7 m TDISP 2,230 tons. (1 active, 4 scrapped, of which 3 were Commandant Rivière class). The original French Navy Commandant Rivière class frigates served in the Uruguayan Navy (1988-2008), the later Portuguese João Belo class were copies with tropicalization updates.

Montevideo 02, a Commandante Rivière class frigate, South Pacific, 2004. Credit: U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 3rd Class Kitt Amaritnant, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Commandant Rivière class AND João Belo class Montevideo 2010

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