Saturday, June 02, 2018

That's a "Frigate?"

The disappointment in the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), which weighs in at under 3,500 displacement and was a replacement for the Perry frigate that was just over 4,000 tons, has led to a search for a new frigate. The leading frigate contender to be the new "low end" surface ship in the Navy is an Italian design that displaces 6,500 tons.

In World War II that would have been the tonnage of a ship between a light cruiser and a heavy cruiser. But there has been grade inflation even as the high end surface ships (battleships and battle cruisers) have disappeared.

The proposed frigate's armament is significant:

Armaments: Two Oto-Breda 76mm Guns; 16-cell vertical launch; two three-tube torpedo launchers positioned both port and starboard; two Oto-Breda 25mm machine guns; two NH-90 helicopters.

This new frigate will be a capable warship that is only 20 feet shorter than our cruiser class. Although it is slower than I'd like. And I assume we'd add a short-range missile defense system (CIWS).

And remember, the Navy can't have a major warship class that is in the corvette class that can pack in a lot of weapons into a short-legged hull the way Europeans can who have their patrol areas just outside their harbor. American ships need to be able to cross oceans before they fight.

The Cyclone class--which is a real littoral combat vessel--is nice for the Persian Gulf, but they basically just stay there.

NOTE: Ouch, that first sentence was just a horror show. I really should edit before hitting publish.