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The Brooke class were the first guided missile frigates built for the US Navy; identical to the Garcia class except for armament. In lieu of the Mk30 5-inch/38 gun mount on the superstructure amidships they had a single-rail Mk22 Tartar missile launcher firing Tartar surface-to-air missiles, and later Standard MR. Three were authorized in FY1962 (DEG 1-3), and three more in FY1963 (DEG 4-6). Original plans called for ten units in FY1964 and the possibility of three more in FY1965 though these were never requested due to the price increase over buying non-missile armed units.
The 46 ton Mk22 launching system was reportedly as capable as the larger Mk11 and Mk13 systems on destroyers and cruisers, but with a capacity for only 16 missiles. This system was mated to the Mk74 missile fire control system and SPG-51C digital radar. The Brooke class had the same SPS-10 surface search radar as contemporary escorts but a SPS-52 three dimensional air search radar to complement its surface-to-air role. The single Mk30 5-inch gun on the bow provided anti-surface capability and was controlled by the Mk56 gunfire control system with SPG-35 fire control radar. The ships retained the ASW role of other escorts with the large SQS-26AX bow sonar dome and Mk16 ASROC launcher with Mk114 ASW fire control system. FFG 4-6 had the automatic ASROC loading system. The SQS-56 sonar and other systems were evaluated in Talbot (FFG-4) during 1974-75 as part of the evaluation program for the new FFG-7 class and she was returned to her original configuration in 1976-77.
As designed, these ships could accommodate one DASH unmanned helicopter, though in 1972-75 they were refitted to operate the LAMPS (SH-2D Seasprite) helicopter (with hangar). Chaffroc RBOC decoy systems were installed when they became available.
The Brooke class guided missile frigates entered service in 1966-67 and were all decommissioned in 1988. Four were loaned to Pakistan in 1989 and returned in 1993-94. As of 2000, four have been sold for scrap, one was slated to become a target ship.
The following ships comprised the Brooke Class:
- 1 BROOKE DEG-1
- 2 RAMSEY DEG-2
- 3 SCHOFIELD DEG-3
- 4 TALBOT DEG-4
- 5 RICHARD L PAGE DEG-5
- 6 JULIUS A FURER DEG-6