your correct there nick but lets face it the MOD have sold more or less everything in the last 30 years to a point where we do not have a navy capable of more than odd jobs certainly could not mount a campaign of even a small nature.The bird class were un stable and capable of nothing really the 2 that went to the NI SQUADRON STRUGGLED two went to dartmouth training and were knackered and subsequently scrapped, basically the whole ruddy lot were waste of money
They were a little more effective and could perform the Grenada Patrol (Strangford Lough) ok after they had the stern extension during the Rosyth Refit in the late 80's, this gave them a little more displacement and a bit more stability, however they still rolled on wet grass as WD states! I think Kingfisher and Cygnet were the NI 'birds'
They were Rosyth based and unlike the rest of the NI squadron, used to make the passage to the NI patrol areas via the very picturesque Caledonia Canal, the machinery onboard was quite noisy though and the racket from the ships engines and generators brought many complaints from the locals as the ships passed through.
Kingfisher in this photo is part of the Inshore Fishery Protection Squadron, which is actually the oldest squadron in the RN, Lord Nelson was one of the more famous members of this squadron when he was a young Midshipman.
I did a NI Grenada patrol on Kingfisher in about 1980.
We went from Rosyth through the Pentland Firth - I was told the reason was that on a previous occasion one of the boats had transom plates and on going through one of the locks had made contact with the wall and damaged the hull. Consequently, we were not allowed through the canal.
We had a failed generator as well so we were not allowed to go on stand off to Isle of Man and spent the whole time in NI before being allowed to go back to Greenock.
Cygnet was arrested for drug smuggling in 1997 and the Moroccan Navy ran her as Lexis. Redpole became Batz Maru / Liberty and Seaman Guard - arrested by Indian authorities in 2014. Hart and Cormorant were sold to Maltese buyers in 1991. Sandpiper and Peterel sold to Dutch buyers Heuvelman in 1991.