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Usn Frigate Program


Ol Paint

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Its CIWS is a RAM system, mounted aft on the helicopter hangar. A 57 mm cannon is probably more effective against swarming tactics with speedboats than larger but slower firing cannon. The positioning of the radar system is likely the result of the USN preference for the specific SPY6 radar instead of a mast mounted system.

Edited by Daan
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The Navy seems fixated on the small boat problem with the 57mm - and even then the system's only good out to about 8km, which isn't much at sea and is outranged by the Iranian homemade 76mm. The latest gen 76mm/3-in Oto guns the Italians use (like what we had on the Perrys) is far more capable, comes in a low-observable turret and even has SAL-guided rounds that go out to 40km. With your helos and UAVs providing terminal guidance to those 76mm rounds you can theoretically kill those Iranian small boats over the horizon.

 

Maybe a mid-life upgrade project, then.

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I doubt Iranian ships with 76 mm cannon are candidates for engagement with a ship mounted cannon of your own. It would be better to use an ESSM or NSM instead. The Oto Melara 76 mm DART/STRALES is certainly a nice system and allows for engagement of small maneuvering objects, according to the manufacturer at ranges of "more than 5000 meters". However, the USN's 57 mm MK110 still has a much higher ROF and also has similar ammunition in the form of the Mk295 ORKA which has a dual imaging and laser seeker and should work at ranges of up to 10 km according to the manufacturer.

 

Given that small attack craft are an important threat in certain regions, it makes sense to have a specialized high ROF weapon to deal with these. What else would you use a 76 mm or 127 mm naval cannon for these days? In the anti-ship role cannon lost their primacy to missiles, same for air targets. The fire support role against coastal targets is limited and forces the ship to come within range of possible enemy anti-ship missiles.

Edited by Daan
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You are mixing Oto Melara ammunition, Strales/Dart the rounds are radar/radio command guided, +5000m is for CIWS work against maneuverable targets which is the main function of the weapon in Italian Navy , and also small targets work,

 

Vulcano round goes up to 30-40km in 76mm while the 127mm round to 80km+ ; GPS + terminal guidance.

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57mm is a gun for a 250 ton fast attack boat..

 

A 6000t ship should have a 5inch gun like on some of the FREMM's. If you want to have 57's also, that is acceptable. The USN needs a purge like the FBI, too many desk bound pogues and parasites. S/F....Ken M

Edited by EchoFiveMike
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57mm won for LCS on grounds of cost-effectiveness, I doubt arguments have changed much for the new frigate? 76mm is any way too small for effective NGFS. Also, see recent news about problems with 76mm Compact...

Has anyone even ordered 76mm Vulcano?

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A frigate probably shouldnt be heavily armed. If it is, you arent going to be buying a lot of them, the primary reason for having them.

 

I shouldn't be cynical, but as the USN has managed to screw up the procurement of damn near every new platform since the cold war, its not entirely misplaced either.

However, their spiritual predecessors (Perries) were very heavily armed.

With ESSM quad-packing, 32 silos offers adequate weapons load, and ship of that size probably has room for additional 32 silos if it comes to that.

 

Burke has been in production for over 30 years now and technologically, it has become somewhat of a dinosaur. Flight III fixes many issues, but at high cost. It's time to come up with something new which can be produced in numbers.

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57mm won for LCS on grounds of cost-effectiveness, I doubt arguments have changed much for the new frigate? 76mm is any way too small for effective NGFS. Also, see recent news about problems with 76mm Compact...

Has anyone even ordered 76mm Vulcano?

What?

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The Navy seems to have learned its lesson from the LCS, and went for a real, though small, warship. This reminds me more of the Perry class frigates. Maybe this is also a good time to re-classify surface combatants; LCS to frigates, these new frigates to destroyers, then the Burkes to light cruisers, with Ticos and Zumwalts becoming heavy cruisers.

 

Not entirely, they haven't shot anyone for that abortion yet.

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I was curious about SPY-6 though. IIRC, it wluld be very heavy and very energy hungry because of GaN use, drastically increase sensitivity. It seems a modified SPY-6 is to be used. Using the same scale as planned for the Burke would increase displacement on the frigate a lot and in order to mount it, hull dimensions would also need to increase. But there are smaller versions of SPY-1 used by other ships, the F and K versions. So if the mentioned modify SPY-6 is of similar small size, then increasing hull size and displacement might be avoidable.

 

It sounds like it will be a much more modest version based on the SPY-6. That could be quite a large range of capability from almost a SPY-6 to a minor version using some of the components and tech of the SPY-6.

 

The Mk 41 VLS is so ubiquitous and used by so many weapons systems that it's stupid not to use it and stick as many cells in as you can, 16 cells go fast. Are those Harpoon launchers on the mid deck?

 

As always, we'll have to wait to see what actually gets built and the real cost and timeline. Past performance in those areas does not bode well for the current estimates.

 

Next, we need a real cruiser replacement for CVBGs.

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57 mm is better against numbers of small craft and missiles than 5 inch.

 

At any rate, the systems they're planning to install are mostly proven or low risk and the FFG-62s should be quite capable escorts. Playing with the specs now to try to get something a bit better will only drive up costs to Zumwalt levels and add a decade to getting the ships.

 

They can always tweak things for a Flight II version after the first ten or so.

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76mm proved decidedly marginal during Operation PREYING MANTIS, it seems the lesson has been lost. The Italian FREMM's, one version at least has a 5inch as well as a 76mm, a 5inch and 57mm "should" be easy, but yes, the USN could fuck up designing a floating stick. S/F....Ken M

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5 inch gun is large, expensive and slow-firing. Works well for NGFS and anti-ship purposes, but for smaller vessel you would want a fast-firing gun which adds another layer to vessels missile defence complex.

Unfortunately, Western designers have ignored the four-inch niche which would be perfect for medium sized warhips. Only Russia produces a modern 100mm gun these days:

 

https://youtu.be/5GhzgV4Ksg4?t=42

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Five inch isn't especially good for anti-ship. In PREYING MANTIS they fired dozens of rounds at Iranian oil platforms and failed to destroy them. Even small ships are hard to sink with five inch gunfire. Missiles are much better. They are more accurate and have a bigger payload.

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I am disputing the "works well for . . . anti-ship purposes". It doesn't really. If NGFS isn't a priority, a frigate is better with a smaller, faster firing gun.

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The Navy seems to have learned its lesson from the LCS, and went for a real, though small, warship. This reminds me more of the Perry class frigates. Maybe this is also a good time to re-classify surface combatants; LCS to frigates, these new frigates to destroyers, then the Burkes to light cruisers, with Ticos and Zumwalts becoming heavy cruisers.

 

Not entirely, they haven't shot anyone for that abortion yet.

 

Zumwalts first

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A frigate probably shouldnt be heavily armed. If it is, you arent going to be buying a lot of them, the primary reason for having them.

 

I shouldn't be cynical, but as the USN has managed to screw up the procurement of damn near every new platform since the cold war, its not entirely misplaced either.

However, their spiritual predecessors (Perries) were very heavily armed.

With ESSM quad-packing, 32 silos offers adequate weapons load, and ship of that size probably has room for additional 32 silos if it comes to that.

 

Burke has been in production for over 30 years now and technologically, it has become somewhat of a dinosaur. Flight III fixes many issues, but at high cost. It's time to come up with something new which can be produced in numbers.

 

Yes numbers I completely agree with. Im just looking at the specs and seeing a Frigate that is about 1500 tons bigger than it needs to be. It displaces only 800 tons less than an Arleigh Burke, with half the weapon load. If you are going to have a ship with half the weapon load of a destroyer, why not build a smaller ship than a destroyer?

 

Compare and contrast with the specs for the Admiral Gorshkov. Smaller ship, greater amount of weapons, same compliment. The only negative is a shorter range, and considering we do underway replenishment and they still suck at it, its not quite the problem it appears.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Admiral_Gorshkov-class_frigate

Probably go up like a bomb when its hit, but that matters less than having something affordable and with presence for the Russian navy.

 

The Type 26 is larger than the FREMM, but at least is packing a Destroyer sized punch. And its carrying a 5 incher.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Type_26_frigate

Edited by Stuart Galbraith
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I am disputing the "works well for . . . anti-ship purposes". It doesn't really. If NGFS isn't a priority, a frigate is better with a smaller, faster firing gun.

"Works well...compared to smaller calibre gun", if you prefer more exactness. A gun might still come in handy in some situations, just as with fighter aircraft, in meeting engagements etc.

Anti-ship missiles would have been ineffective vs those oil platforms just as well.

 

For NGFS you want as large calibre shell as you can afford - just like with field artillery. Bigger shell is more effective vs buildings or dug-in enemy, has more range and easier application for long-range guided shells.

Supposedly Israeli tried out 76mm fire from their corvettes against land targets during one of the recent Gaza unpleasantness, and results were disappointing.

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Yes numbers I completely agree with. Im just looking at the specs and seeing a Frigate that is about 1500 tons bigger than it needs to be. It displaces only 800 tons less than an Arleigh Burke, with half the weapon load. If you are going to have a ship with half the weapon load of a destroyer, why not build a smaller ship than a destroyer?

 

Compare and contrast with the specs for the Admiral Gorshkov. Smaller ship, greater amount of weapons, same compliment. The only negative is a shorter range, and considering we do underway replenishment and they still suck at it, its not quite the problem it appears.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Admiral_Gorshkov-class_frigate

Probably go up like a bomb when its hit, but that matters less than having something affordable and with presence for the Russian navy.

 

The Type 26 is larger than the FREMM, but at least is packing a Destroyer sized punch. And its carrying a 5 incher.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Type_26_frigate

"Steel is cheap and air is free". It is so British to get obsessed with tonnage limits :P

 

Flight III Burkes are getting close to 10 000 tons.

Yes it is fairly lightly armed for its size, but it's the armament that costs, rather than tonnage. One can always add more armament later if that becomes a priority. A large ship means a powerful radar which can be installed relatively high (one of the problem with Burkes is relatively low placement of radar arrays).

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I think the problem is the other way around. Rather than making every ship capable of winning Trafalgar on its own, I think we need cheaper, lightly armed ships, like the Type 21 used to be. Which was, in a major war, was admittedly a fucking disaster. But that overlooks the vast majority of a ships life (often the entirety of a ships life) is not spent fighting wars at all.

 

I can see a point of destroyers, well armed warships to take on defeat most likely threats without immediate support. But I think we forget what Frigates were traditionally for, was not to reclassify destroyers to a different role, it was for reconnaissance and marking water.

 

I wouldnt go so far as to say they should be unmanned, but you do have to wonder what the point is of a lightweight escort as a sub-scale destroyer. It misses the greatest utility of them, their cheapness. If the USN is going to get to 300 ships, it needs to build a lot of ships quickly and very cheaply. If it also wants capablity, it should probably go the two tier approach we are rather than putting their eggs in one hull.

 

Well im a CMANO admiral, what do I know. :D

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I agree and seems that FFG(X) follows those principles. It's a large ship with good potential for endurance and seakeeping and not stuffed full of fancy stuff which goes 'bang'. It's not necessarily very cheap in absolute sense, (and remains to be seen if cost targets are met) but that might owe more to general uncompetiveness of US shipyards rather than design concept itself.

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I think this choice already stresses that, being based on a foreign design. Range and helicopter are great drivers of ship size, another that is appearing are the energy requirements for future weapons.

 

 

Regarding the guns. 127mm are actually more in favor than in 80's, Netherlands, Germany all have now. British will replace their obsolete 114mm also . It is just the USN that appears to be going the other way.

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