BAV Angel Falls (MS-1942-1945)


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There was a large hole in the Venezuelan Navy lists which was currently being filled by 30-50 year old ships that were no longer fit for purpose. What was needed was a class of ship that could do the jobs required. 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 where the ship was at its widest. Other changes included the change of the single 3" to the 3.9". 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 difficult 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, which was the third version.


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 4000 miles at 15 knots
Armament Minesweeper

2 x 3.9" (2x1)
2 x 40mm (1x2)
8 x 20mm (1x2 6x1)

2 x 3.9" (2x1)
2 x 40mm (1x2)
10 x 20mm (1x2 8x1)
Complement 105
Notes BAV Angel Falls (1940)


USS 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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