Jump to content

Usn Frigate Program


Ol Paint

Recommended Posts

 

 

Ref 57mm gun: it is worth remembering that during the Zumwalt construction the same US Navy said the 57mm was a piece of crap and was inferior to mounting 30mm guns:

 

The Mark 110 57mm gun, “was nowhere near meeting the requirements,” said Capt. Jim Downey, program manager for the DDG 1000 Zumwalt class

 

We did a whole thread about it back in 2014, when the USN swore up and down that the 30mm was superior to the 57mm vs. small boat swarms (and that's superior on a 1-1 comparison basis, not superior per kilogram or any weighted measurement). The USN also complained about 57mm accuracy problems from the LCS, back when we were pretending that the LCS was a warship and might actually have to shoot something.

 

My take is that USN could have gotten a useful surface to surface capability and a point defense capability and at least some ability to shoot up shore targets with the off the shelf 76mm/Vulcano/Strales combination but screwed up and picked the 57mm (which will be awesome when it gets it's new gold plated ammunition just like the 155mm on the Zumwalts is) for the LCS. Now the 57mm is "in the system" and the USN can't procure a new dingy without ten years and a billion dollar cost overrun, so they are buying more of the wrong gun just to get iron in the water (to paraphrase the famous F35 goal of "iron on the ramp").

 

A ships gun is a tertiary system of little consequence. 76mm probably would have been superior but 57mm is in the inventory and good enough. 5" is already very available and similarly never used in practice. The most important thing is just getting hulls in the water. The second batch might change out the gun but I doubt it.

 

 

Actually, I believe they used the five inchers to shell Iranian oil rigs being used to cause trouble back in the day. I don't know how effective they were.

 

 

They also shelled Lebanon as well. But in both cases, it was a pretty long time ago and need wasn't overly pressing AFAIK.

 

ETA: in regards to shore bombardment, it seems like the USMC is largely moving away from opposed landings anyway. In which case the gun's primary role is CIWS/anti small boat. Of the two calibers in inventory, the 57mm is probably better suited to those two jobs. Again, anti ship work that requires a 5" could just use a RAM or ESSM, if you didn't feel like expending NSM for some reason. The FFGX will have no shortage of those missile types. Anything large enough or OTH can get the NSM; anything too small for a RAM can get the 57mm. IMO not something to get excited about.

Edited by Josh
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 448
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Posted Images

The reason 57 was chosen probably because that it is the same company that bought the US 5" inch = BAE which acquired United Defence. It is even possible it was part of "package" . In West there are in practice only 2 companies that build naval guns: Leonardo(Italian) and BAE (bought US and Swedish).

 

 

Regarding Vulcano, the next Spanish destroyers will replace the US 5 inch with Italian 5 inch so they might have had some info.

 

Italians replaced the double 40mm Breda Bofors 660 rpm CIWS with 76mm due to Strales guided rounds and the increase range it can get: 6-8km. I don't know how much tests they have done with system. Like most of CIWS they were never tested in real war.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think a big question mark is how effective Strales and the Vulcano IR guided rounds are: if they work well, the gun becomes an important CIWS layer and a gun, a 5" gun in particular, firing IR guided rounds and a drone would be a nightmare for small boat swarms. If the IR rounds work, they would provide an anti-ship capability out to more or less the radar horizon. Additionally, the availability of GPS guided Vulcano rounds dramatically increases the effectiveness of even 76mm rounds against shore targets.

Has anyone even ordered 76mm Vulcano? I am not sure how practical so small ER round is.

 

Reportedly, 57mm gun is considerably cheaper than 76.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jeff the 5"/54 gunnery against the oil rigs looked pretty miserable. That's because they used their radar fire direction and many if not most shells flew through the latticework of the supporting structure, the center/mass targeted by the FCS. I don't know if they corrected this, but I suspect that nobody had trained much on direct fire under local control of the man in the mount.

 

Thanks Ken

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

First ship, FFG-62, named Constellation:

https://news.usni.org/2020/10/07/secnav-braithwaite-names-first-ffgx-uss-constellation

Quote

BALTIMORE, Md. – The Navy will name the first of its new class of frigates USS Constellation (FFG-62), in a nod to one of the original six frigates the Navy bought just after the Revolutionary War.

Navy Secretary Kenneth Braithwaite announced today that the first FFG(X) guided-missile frigate would be named Constellation, making the announcement from the second ship to bear that name: USS Constellation, a sloop-of-war launched in 1854 and decommissioned in 1933 that is preserved as a National Historic Landmark in Baltimore, Md.

Douglas

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...
Quote

U.S. Navy’s Constellation-Class: New Frigate To Start Construction This Year

U.S. Navy CAPT Kevin Smith, program manager (PMS 515) of the Constellation-class frigate, provided the latest updates on the program, during the Surface Navy Association (SNA) 2022 National Symposium held in Washington between 11-13 January.

Tayfun Ozberk  15 Jan 2022

Tayfun Ozberk story with additional reporting by Xavier Vavasseur

During his presentation at the symposium, Captain Smith emphasized that the Constellation-class is a frigate, not a destroyer, and that it should not be expected to carry the same weapon load as DDGs. However, he highlighted that the new frigates will relieve DDGs by performing escort missions to protect high-value assets.

[...]

Answering a media question, Captain Smith confirmed that he is targeting April 2022 for the start of construction of the lead ship. One year ago, Naval News and USNI News reported that the start of construction for FFG-62 was initially set to take place in 2021.

At SNA 2021 the expected milestones for first-in-class ship were listed as follows:

- Start of Construction (SOC): Fall of 2021/Q1 FY2022

- Keel laying: Q1 FY2023

- Launch: Q1 FY2025

- Delivery: Q3 FY2026

The second ship of the class was set to begin construction in Q3 FY2022, the third ship in Q3 FY2023, the fourth ship in Q1 FY2024…

Constellation-class Frigate: Latest details

During the symposium, Capt Smith revealed the most recent renderings of the frigate, as well as some specifics about its sensor and weapon systems. The specifications of the Constellation-class frigates, according to the presentation, are as follows.

Principal Characteristics

- LOA – 496.1 ft (151.2 mt)

- Overall Beam – 64.6 ft (19.69 mt)

- Design Draft – 18 ft (5.48 mt)

- Weight Estimate – Light Ship: 6,016 tonnes, Full Load: 7,291 tonnes

- Installed Power 48,679 hp

- Service Life 25 yrs

Sensors, Weapons and Machinery Systems

- Combat System – AEGIS B/L 10

- Radar  – AN/SPY-6(V)3

- Underwater Suite – AN/SQQ-89(V)16

- MK 48 GWS

- 1x MK 110 57mm Gun

- 32-cell MK41 VLS

- 16xNSM Weapon System

- 1x MK 49 RAM Block III Point Defence Missile System

- MK 53 MOD 9 NULKA Decoy Launching System

- AN-SLQ-32(V)6 CM (SEWIP) BLK II EW System

- Variable Depth Sonar, Multi-function Towed Array

- Machinery: Combined Diesel-Electric and Gas (CODLAG) Propulsion Plant (LM2500+G4)

- Aviation: 1xMH-60 Romeo, 1xMQ-8C UAV

- 2xRHIBs

[...]

constellation-class-infographic-1024x584

https://www.navalnews.com/naval-news/2022/01/u-s-navys-constellation-class-new-frigate-to-start-construction-this-year/

Link to comment
Share on other sites

40 minutes ago, Hellfish6 said:

I always want more VLS cells but 32 VLS plus sixteen NSM is pretty balanced... and you don't have soak up VLS tubes with whatever long-range antiship missile we have in the pipe (Tomahawk V or LRASM or whatever). But still that damn 57mm...

Also, quad-pack ESSMs do wonders to ships with small numbers of launch cells.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's difficult to see how it will have sufficient magazine space for ESSM + SM-2 + SM-6 + ASROC + a few TLAM that will likely get thrown in.  I can more see it if they replace all SM-2/TLAM with SM-3, but that's unlikely.

It's also quite puzzling how it's so close to the displacement for the flight I Aleigh Burkes but has so many fewer VLS cells despite having 2/3 the crew, a smaller gun, and a smaller radome.  Also as all the expensive systems are already paid for and part of the ship, they don't they just increase tonnage/length incrementally and get 64 VLS cells.  They don't even have to be filled during peace time.

Edited by Cajer
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, Cajer said:

It's difficult to see how it will have sufficient magazine space for ESSM + SM-2 + SM-6 + ASROC + a few TLAM that will likely get thrown in.  I can more see it if they replace all SM-2/TLAM with SM-3, but that's unlikely 

Considering how long it would take for the ships to reload and fire ground attack missiles again, I think that it would make most sence to keep that number of missiles to a minimum and basically reserv then for time critical targets. Cruise and ballistic missiles would be better employed from the ground or from the air. And with the Rapid Dragon pallets, C-130's and C-17's could also employ cruise missiles.

If the number of TLAM's are limited to 4 per ship, they could have 8 VL-ASROC's, 12 SM2/6's and 32 ESSM's, and thats pretty good. The problem is that once they start to use them, they would want to reload the expended missiles.

So I would say that the fact that the Mk41 cannot be reloaded at sea, is a bigger problem than a lack of missile cells.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not reloading at sea is a huge issue.  However it doesn't seem that they want to try reloading at sea after ditching it with the first Alleigh Burkes.  So the only other solution is going to be a bigger magazine.

That loadout seems pretty reasonable to me, however it seems like it would run out of SM's in a single engagement and just be left with ESSM's.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 minutes ago, Cajer said:

Not reloading at sea is a huge issue.  However it doesn't seem that they want to try reloading at sea after ditching it with the first Alleigh Burkes.  So the only other solution is going to be a bigger magazine.

That loadout seems pretty reasonable to me, however it seems like it would run out of SM's in a single engagement and just be left with ESSM's.

The same would be true for a CSG after a serious but unsuccesful missile attack. In that case a carrier might be unavailable for weeks, simply because the escorts cannot defend against another attack.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

CSG's depleting their missiles seems like a lesser issue due to their larger magazine sizes and the fact that they likely won't operate anywhere near the Chinese coast/naval aviation to allow for such a scenario to occur.

It also seems like the frigates are meant to operate more independently so it's a bigger issue if they are out of SM's.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Frigates wouldn't operate independently in a high threat environment. Also we need to make a distinction between 'able to protect themselves' and 'able to screen other units'. The former would include any ESSMs and RAMs; the latter would focus on SM-2s with ESSM being a possibility with a close enough escort. As a hypothetical loadout, lets say 22 SM-2, and 24 ESSM (with room for a half dozen ASROC). That's good enough for a medium threat environment. Short of fighting off a task force, attack aircraft in at least squadron strength, or theater bombers that is going to be enough. In terms of self defense, add twenty RAM to that. If the threat exceeds that, you should have more frigates or add in a Burke.

FFGX will cost nearly half of a Burke III; of course it doesn't have the same capability

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It seems like the biggest draw back of the frigates will be a lower magazine size.  It just doesn't seem to make sense why they aren't just doubling the VLS count for a few hundred tons and resolving one of the potential issues with it while allowing it to contribute more in combined fleets.

It seemed like one of the reasons the arsenal ship concept was nixed was due to putting too many eggs in the same basket if it got hit.  This would play into a distributed lethality concept and allow for the larger enemy missile loads that will be expected in a pacific war.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

19 minutes ago, Cajer said:

It seems like the biggest draw back of the frigates will be a lower magazine size.  It just doesn't seem to make sense why they aren't just doubling the VLS count for a few hundred tons and resolving one of the potential issues with it while allowing it to contribute more in combined fleets.

It seemed like one of the reasons the arsenal ship concept was nixed was due to putting too many eggs in the same basket if it got hit.  This would play into a distributed lethality concept and allow for the larger enemy missile loads that will be expected in a pacific war.

SSGNs are arsenal ships.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For shore attack yes. However SSGNs can’t fire more than a few ASMs at once (until block 5a is deployed to the SSGNs which will take a while) and also can’t defend fleets vs ASMs

Edited by Cajer
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...