To finish up the interior of HMCS IROQUOIS, this post will cover the helicopter hangar.
The Royal Canadian Navy pioneered the operation of large helicopters from frigates and destroyers in the 1960s with the refit of the ST. LAURENT class to include a hangar and flight deck for the then-new CH-124 Sea King, followed by the commissioning of the purpose-built follow on ships ANNAPOLIS and NIPIGON. IROQUOIS and her sisters went one better, by incorporating a dual hangar to carry not one, but two, Sea Kings.
|Starboard hangar looking aft, with hangar door in the background.|
The three tracks on the deck in the photo above are for the Helicopter Hauldown and Rapid Securing Device (HHRSD, otherwise known as the "Beartrap"). Wikipedia has a great entry on this piece of Canadian technology, so I won't go into great detail, other than to say that this device travels in these tracks and traverses the Sea King back and forth from the landing deck to the hangar. The two objects at the bottom right of the image are the refueling bells, used to accept the refueling hose from a tanker while Replenishing At Sea (RAS). Normally they are mounted at main deck level outside, between the forward superstructure and the hangar, but had been removed prior to my tour. Firefighting gear is laid out to the left, along the starboard side.
|Looking forward and to port in the starboard hangar.|
Easily the largest open area on the ship, the hangar wouldn't have been quite so roomy with a couple of Sea Kings embarked. In later years, only one Sea King was ever carried at one time (to the best of my knowledge), and in this photo the exercise equipment that is squatting in the port hangar can be seen. The divider between the two hangars up forward is actually trunking from the generators in the Auxiliary Machinery Room (AMR) leading up to the funnel. I believe the ammunition magazine for the Phalanx CIWS is also up there somewhere. In ALGONQUIN, it was the hangar wall to the left of the image that was shredded by the bow of HMCS PROTECTEUR as if it was a can opener, necessitating an estimated $13M in repairs (which were not carried out, leading to her premature retirement from service).
|76mm gun ammunition hoist.|
For one final miscellaneous interior photo, above is the view into the compartment that houses the ammunition hoist for the 76mm gun. The hoist itself is self-contained within the green cylinder, unlike the previous generation of guns, where the hoist cylinder was much bigger and could be easily entered by the crew.
That is the last of the interior photos that I will be sharing (for now at least) of HMCS IROQUOIS, and I will move to some exterior photos and then probably a tour of HMCS PRESERVER in subsequent posts. My thanks to the Navy and the crew of IROQUOIS that made these posts possible prior to her being paid off.