BAV Angel Falls (MS-1940+)


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With the completion of the last of the Cumana class destroyers the Venezuelan Navy decided to correct a large discrepancy that had occurred through priorities being heavily weighted in favour of ships of force. The minor naval forces for escorts, minesweepers and other harbour craft had been neglected for years with 40 and 50 year old craft trying to do work they were unsuitable for and the ships should have been scrapped 20 years before. To replace these vessels the Venezuelans bought the plans of the Auk class minesweepers that the US Navy had designed for quick building that could be carried out in commercial yards if necessary.

The Venezuelans altered the plans to increase the heavy AA armament and to increase the range of the ships, this required a new 20ft insert just forward of the after funnel where the ship was at its widest. Other changes included the change of the single 3" to the 4" that the Venezuelans had a lot of from upgrading the older ex White Russian destroyers in the late 1930's. The class was then split into two, then three variants. The first two versions were as designed as either a minesweeper with all of the necessary equipment to undertake that role, or as an Escort with the appropriate anti-submarine gear to undertake that role. The first two types had the differing equipment welded to the deck which made an interchange of equipment for the different roles a difficuilt and time consuming project. After about 6 of each type were under construction a smart young designer looked at the parts needed for both jobs and decided that they could be bolted into place rather than welded which meant that the two types of equipment could be changed over in hours rather than the week or so necessary with the current design.


Displacement 950 tons std 1,250 tons full load
Length 238 ft
Breadth 32 ft
Draught 10 ft
Machinery 2 shaft diesel electric, 5,000hp
Speed 21 knots
Range 3500 miles at 15 knots
Armour nil
Armament 1 x 4" (1x1)

6 x 40mm (3x2)

2 x 20mm (2x1)

Aircraft nil
Torpedoes nil
Complement 105
Notes BAV Angel Falls (1940)


US Chief post-war. Shows clearly the changes made by the Venezuelans for their classes. the pair of tubs for the 40mm are moved forward of the aft funnel (and are replaced with a single tub at the end of the aft superstructure) where the new center section insert was positioned to increase diesel capacity .


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