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The Black Swan-class sloop of war HMS Starling (U66) underway in 1943.

The Black Swan-class was a class of sloop of the Royal Navy and Royal Indian Navy. A total of forty-eight Black Swan-class sloops were built (40 for the Royal Navy and 8 for the Royal Indian Navy).

Like corvettes, sloops of that period were specialized convoy-defence vessels, except that sloops were larger, faster, possessed much superior anti-aircraft fire control via the Fuze Keeping Clock and a heavy armament of high angle 4 inch guns while retaining excellent anti-submarine capability. They were designed to have a longer range than a destroyer at the expense of a lower top speed, while remaining capable of outrunning surfaced Type VII and Type IX U-boats.

In World War II, Black Swan-class sloops sank 29 U-boats. The most famous sloop commander was Captain Frederic John Walker. His sloop HMS Starling became one of the most successful submarine hunters, taking part in the sinking of eleven U-boats.


  • Type: Sloop
  • Service Period: 1939-1967
  • Characteristics:
    • Length: 300 feet (91.44 meters)
    • Beam: 39 feet (11.89 meters)
    • Draft: 11 feet (3.35 meters)
    • Displacement: 1,350 tons (Standard); 1,950 tons (Full Load)
  • Crew: 192
  • Propulsion: 2 x Admiralty 3-drum boilers, 2 x Parsons geared turbines, 2 x shafts, 4,300 hp (3,210 kW)
  • Range: 7,500 nautical miles (13,890 kilometers) at 12 knots (22.22 km/h)
  • Speed: 20 knots (37.04 km/h)
  • Armament:
    • 6 x QF 4"/45-caliber Mk.XVI dual purpose naval guns (3x2)
    • 4 x QF 2-pdr anti-aircraft guns (2x4)
    • 12 x Oerlikon 20mm anti-aircraft cannons (6x2)
    • 110 x mines

Unit Run[]

Royal Navy[]

  • HMS Erne (U03) - transferred to Bundesmarine, renamed BMS Graf Spee
  • HMS Chanticleer (U05)
  • HMS Actaeon (U07) - transferred to Bundesmarine, renamed BMS Hipper
  • HMS Woodpecker (U08)
  • HMS Lark (U11)
  • HMS Amethyst (U16)
  • HMS Flamingo (U18)
  • HMS Snipe (U20)
  • HMS Crane (U23)
  • HMS Waterhen (U25)
  • HMS Wren (U28)
  • HMS Whimbrel (U29) - transferred to Egyptian Navy in November 1949, renamed El Malek Farouq
  • HMS Mermaid (U30) - transferred to Bundesmarine, renamed BMS Scharnhorst
  • HMS Wryneck (U31)
  • HMS Trial (U32)
  • HMS Opossum (U33)
  • HMS Partridge (U37)
  • HMS Cygnet (U38)
  • HMS Hind (U39)
  • HMS Modeste (U42)
  • HMS Wild Goose (U45) - transferred to Egyptian Navy in November 1949, renamed Tariq
  • HMS Pheasant (U49)
  • HMS Nonsuch (U54)
  • HMS Black Swan (U57)
  • HMS Hart (U58) - transferred to Bundesmarine, renamed BMS Scheer
  • HMS Star (U59)
  • HMS Alacrity (U60)
  • HMS Steady (U61)
  • HMS Lapwing (U62)
  • HMS Nereide (U64)
  • HMS Starling (U66) - turned to museum ship in 1965
  • HMS Redpole (U69)
  • HMS Sparrow (U71)
  • HMS Magpie (U82)
  • HMS Wild Swan (U83)
  • HMS Nymphe (U84)
  • HMS Kite (U87)
  • HMS Woodcock (U90)
  • HMS Peacock (U96)
  • HMS Ibis (U99)

Royal Indian Navy[]

  • HMIS Cauvery (U10)
  • HMIS Jumna (U21)
  • HMIS Narbada (U40)
  • HMIS Jhelum (U41)
  • HMIS Kistna (U46)
  • HMIS Godovari (U52)
  • HMIS Sind (U53)
  • HMIS Sutlej (U95)