Peak Knox, underway

A beautiful photo essay on the Knox-class destroyer escort/fast frigate USS Donald B. Beary (DE/FF 1085), seen circa April 1989 off Hampton Roads. This is a great example of the class in its final weapon fit, which was undoubtedly its best including an SLQ-32, an MK-16 8-cell ASROC matchbox (with 8 reloads) that could also carry Harpoons in two cells, the Mk 42 5-inch gun, Sea Sprite hangar, towed array, and stern CIWS. 

These are U.S. Navy photos DN-SN-90-08276 through -08284 by photographer PH2 Vise, available in a much larger format in the National Archives.

Awarded 25 August 1966 to Avondale Shipyards, Inc., in Westwego, Louisiana, the only ship named for WWII Navy Cross recipient RADM Donald B. Beary was commissioned on 22 July 1972 at Boston NSY.

Following 19 years of service, at the conclusion of the Cold War, she was reclassified as a training frigate (FFT 1085) in 1991 as part of the failed NRF Frigate program which she was a part of for a few years before she was struck in 1995 and transferred to Turkey, renamed TCG Karadeniz (F-255).

While manpower-intensive due to their 1960s steam plants, a modern version with a diesel-electric plant and much-reduced manning would be a great ASW/ASuW asset today, especially if fitted with a VL-ASROC, MK 45 5″/62, and 16 NSMs. You know, kinda what the LCS should have been. 


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