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HMS Matapan

HMS Matapan

passing under Forth Road Bridge

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Anyone know why the Matapan survived so long in reserve when many of her sisters were already broken up when she was taken in hand for conversion. Did the powers that be ever consider recomissioning Matapan as a radar picket ship as with her sisters?
 

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Not sure, but I would say because of the amount of money spent on her to convert her into a research vessel, her underwater Hull profile was certainly interesting. What went on was highly Secret for years afterwards so immediatly scrapping her after the research programme was finshed would not be an option I would have thought.
 

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Ahh but she was scrapped pretty much immediately after the trials. The Matapan wasn't taken in hand for conversion until 1970 a full 24 years in reserve. I can understand why they used this ship for trials as she was a relatively new hull with mimimum mileage but what I don't understand is how she came to spend 24 years in reserve the first place. Battle class destroyers were being scrapped from the early 60s so the unconverted Matapan was a completely obsolete ship. why retain her over the others? Why not have sold her or converted her to radar pickets like the later Battles. I assume the RN did not foresee the Matapan being used a s a trials ship in the 50s and 60s?
 

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Having being involved with the Reserve Ships in 1958 it was (as I have said on another forum) a mystery why some ships which had been looked after were scrapped and others which had not were kept, her low mileage would have been a factor. The "Cuxton" sat for 21yrs in Reserve and had to have a major refit (towed to Gib) engines changed/enclosed Bridge before being put back in Service. Matapan may well have had a marker put against her name (for future use) early on but the black budget monies to convert her were not available (due to other work) till much later.
 

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Cuxton thats a name I haven't heard in a few years, in her latter years she lived in Dundee as the Tay RNR ship
 

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Jock3, the delay in the delivery of the Deltic's cost "somebody" most probably the taxpayer a fortune, not only did they not go into the "Ford" Class for which they were also destined but there was also the remarkable situation that arose with the "Tons" when a brand new (enclosed Bridge) "Ton" straight from the Builder's was taken by a scratch crew off the "Vanguard" from "Vernon" around to either Gib or Malta to have the Engineroom changed to Deltic's. Another vessel the "Coniston" was in Commission from 1954 till 1959 and there after spent her time being towed backwards and forwards from England to Gib in Reserve status until she was scrapped in 1970. The first "Ton" to have the Deltics fitted was the "Highburton".
 

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