Home » Budget Industry » Navy Hosts Guided-Missile Frigate Industry Day; Analysts Worried About Early FFG(X) Requirements


Navy Hosts Guided-Missile Frigate Industry Day; Analysts Worried About Early FFG(X) Requirements

The littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1) is underway off the coast of Oregon conducting rough water trials on March 17, 2015. US Navy photo.

The Navy held an industry day for companies interested in participating in the frigate program, walking them through what is already decided about the future ship program and what decisions are pending industry feedback.

The guided-missile frigate program, FFG(X), is the Navy’s latest iteration of the small surface combatant program, which was first filled by the Littoral Combat Ship and then subsequently by the LCS-based frigate (FF), which would be up-gunned, up-armored and multi-mission compared to the LCS.

The FFG(X) program, announced earlier this year, will take the best of the LCS and LCS-based frigate ideas – multi-mission design, a reliance on unmanned vehicles in all domains to increase range, a smaller design to reduce cost and increase access to global ports compared to the larger surface combatants – while adding features such as vertical-launched missiles and more powerful radars, the service says.

According to the Navy’s industry day presentation slides, obtained by USNI News, industry will have until Aug. 24 to respond to the Navy’s request for information (RFI), released two weeks ago. The Navy will then enter a conceptual design phase to help take existing ship designs, called parent designs, and modify them to meet Navy requirements. The request for proposals (RFP) for the conceptual design contracts will provide system specifications and government furnished information (GFI), and conceptual design contracts will be awarded in calendar year 2018 ahead of a Fiscal Year 2020 detail design and construction contract.

Senate Armed Services Committee chairman and outspoken LCS critic Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said he was “cautiously optimistic” about the new frigate program after reading the July 10 RFI.

However, in a SASC seapower subcommittee hearing this week, leading voices in the naval analysis community expressed concerns about the Navy’s approach going forward.

Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments senior fellow Bryan Clark said during the hearing that he worried the Navy had begun this process with too many details left undecided, and said that the Navy should be able to better determine what it wants without first requiring industry feedback.

“I think what it does is it opens up the aperture too much in terms of what that future frigate could be. It makes it seem like it could be anything from a ship that’s only able to do surface warfare and [intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance] missions in support of distributed lethality, the Navy’s new surface concept. It could be from anything from that, which is a relatively low-end ship or less capable ship, all the way up to a frigate that can do air defense for another ship and do anti-submarine warfare,” Clark said towards the end of the hearing.
“And I think the Navy needs to, instead of opening a wide aperture and seeing what comes in, make some choices about what they need the ship to do – and it needs to be a more capable ship that’s able to do multiple missions. So, it needs to be able to do anti-submarine warfare and air defense, and surface warfare, all three of them, all at about the same time. So, it needs to be a multi-mission ship and not something that’s single mission or a dual mission ship like the RFI implies.”

USS Freedom (LCS-1) and USS Independence (LCS-2)

The industry day slides state that the RFI was meant to help the Navy “understand industry’s parent designs and their ability to integrate both the warfare system elements and the threshold requirements into the new FFG(X) design,” and to “understand the drivers in non-recurring engineering, recurring engineering, production schedule, and operations and supports costs,” before making certain decisions.

The RFI clearly outlines what anti-submarine warfare and surface warfare capabilities the FFG(X) will have to have, listing various systems and weapons the FFG(X) must include. The extent of its anti-air capability is less clear, with the RFI posing questions to industry about how to incorporate Vertical Launching System cells into the ship design.

Jerry Hendrix, senior fellow and director of the defense strategies and assessments program at the Center for a New American Security, said at the Tuesday hearing that, opposite of Clark’s concern, he worried too much emphasis was being placed on the addition of VLS cells and anti-air warfare capability.

“I’m a little concerned about the emphasis on the air defense factor in this. I believe that the ship should provide self-air defense. But, we … have been buying excess capacity of air defense in the [Arleigh Burke class of guided-missile destroyers] for a number of years. Where we have a real deficit is anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare. And, any time that you cause a ship or require a ship to be good at all things, you’re going to drive up the cost factor on this, and I think that there’s a certain sweet spot on costs that if you exceed that – and by that, I look generally in the $700 million to $850 million range per unit – if you exceed that by adding in air defense capability, certainly we start edging over $1 billion per copy. And, at that point in time, we’ll find ourselves in argument which is to the extent of, shouldn’t we just buy some more Burkes? We really need something that we can buy in high enough numbers, so we can drive up that portion of the fleet. We talk about the need for 52 small surface combatants. Currently, we consider the LCS to be part of that 52. I actually think that number is higher, that you need something in the 70 to 75 range on small surface combatants to be able to fill out the requirements from the combatant commanders around the world. And I would like to see this to be a robust ASW, anti-surface design with a 6,000-mile range. I think that that’s a good starting point.”

On the 6,000-mile range issue, the RFI notes the “minimum distance the ship can sail without replenishment when using all of its burnable fuel” is 3,000 nautical miles while sailing at 16 knots. Hendrix told the SASC subcommittee that “given the reserve fuel requirements, because we’ve never run the ships all the way down to zero, we always want to keep fuel for ballast and emergencies, that would actually limit that ship to have to at least take one refueling for even a transatlantic convoy escort. It would seem to me that any type of ship that’s built, and it’s written into the document, needs to be able to do [anti-surface warfare], anti-submarine warfare and convoy escort, that it ought to be able to do convoy escort without having to peel off and hit the tanker on the way over,” he said.
“So it struck me that something in the 4,500- to 6,000-mile range ought to be, sort of, a walking in the door minimum, and the higher the better in order for it to give the most independent steaming out of it.”

According to the industry day slides, the FFG(X) will: supplement the fleet’s existing undersea and surface warfare capabilities, relieve cruisers and destroyers from non-combat duties, host unmanned systems that can penetrate and operate in contested environments, conduct over-the-horizon anti-ship missile operations, escort logistics ships, provide electromagnetic information exploitation capabilities and intelligence collection, and more.

  • sferrin

    Air defense no more than Self-defense length Mk41 VLS with ESSM and a couple SeaRAM launchers. 16 Strike length cells for whatever (VL-ASROC & Tomahawk). 1 76mm SuperRapido & 2 Phalanx. 1 Helo OR UAV capability, not both. (They really need a modern DASH for the USN.)

    • FactChecker90803

      That is a great idea, a MODERN day DASH with a Dipping Sonar, airdropped sonobuoys, 2 airdropped Torpedos, 2-4 air to air stingers or 2 aim-9x and 4-6 air to surface Hellfires.

  • Ed L

    As long as General Dynamics and lockheed only build sub systems

  • airider

    Every time I look back at the RFI, I realize more each time that it is a hot mess. RFI’s are about finding information about what’s possible, but they are also bounding the response to something you want to ultimately buy….who ever put this one together didn’t accomplish this goal. It actually reads like several independent groups or individuals put it together, and then their support staff tried to make it read as best they could.

    This tells me a couple of things:

    1) There is no consensus within DASN Ships, PEO Ships, and PEO LCS about the best way forward and they just pushed this out to get something out the door

    2) There’s politics at work….actually this is assumed

    3) The Navy is not serious about this yet, and is testing both the industrial and political waters to see if they are serious about supporting something more than LCS

    • Duane

      The RFI was the result of conflicting requirements inputs. So the Navy seeks the information necessary to help it resolve the conflicting inputs. As long as it doesn’t try to do the proverbial “camel as the result of design-by-committee seeking to build a horse”, this RFI process is a case of no foul, no harm.

      When all is said and done, budgetary and operational requirements are likely to result in the FFG(X) dropping the area air defense capability, leaving that mission up to our very fine fleet of Arleigh Burkes.

      • Frank Langham

        And many of those conflicts will vaporize (disappear), once we accept that we need more than one class of frigate. We need persistent Littoral “LCFs” and a blue-water “flanker”. … Once we sort the missions into Littoral vs. Open Water, the resulting designs will reconcile the conflicting RFI Reqs. … ALSO, we must consider how the SATURATION of various production pipelines (the total capacity of ALL our combined shipyards and how many new surface platforms can be “cranked out”.

        • Duane

          Actually, if you use the term “small surface combatant” or SSC,. as the Navy does, we already have multiple classes. We have two different, very different, actually, classes of LCS. Then we have the “frigate variant” of the LCS, and then we have the FFG(x). So four classes of SSCs built, on the drawing board, and in the RFI pipeline as of today.

          The conflicts I wrote about are input requirement conflicts, not resulting hull classes. In other words, there’s one faction in the Navy that wants the FFG(X) to be a little brother of the Arleigh Burke DDG, with full area air defense, in addition to ASW and SuW capabilities, and possibly others. Then another faction thinks (Hendrix is in this group, though he’s no longer active duty) that the area air defense role is not appropriate for a SSC type vessel, that we’re better off leaving that role to the DDGs. I happen to agree with Hendrix, but the real determinant will be dollars and time. To develop a new class of “baby Arleigh Burkes” is going to cost a lot more money and take a lot more time than an SSC minus the area air defense role.

          What I see in the RFI is an attempt by the Navy to reveal what is already obvious by many, by having the shipbuilding industry come back and tell the Navy, “If you want area air defense, it’s going to cost you 50% more per hull, and take an extra 5 more years to develop”. When that “feedback” comes in, the decision will effectively be made for the Navy.

          • Frank Langham

            I do agree that both the size and the (intended) cost of an SSC inherently precludes “wide area air defense” … If it was even possible to shoe-horn the capabilities of a DDG into a SSC (even with reduced capacity and range), you would still be under-manned, in terms of all the required technical talent to operate and maintain all of those same categories of systems. … I still do think that a little Swamp-Works study on cranking out a spurt of “Burke Lites”, based on a shortened Burke hull and trimmed-down AMDR, without as much over-kill, would be worth the effort, if only to get a feel for the scalability of cost vs. capability. … We will never have enough Burkes and Virginias. … And, more ESBs, please !

  • Frank Langham

    More and more, it sounds as if we need more than just one design … We do need a shallow draft, littoral design, in order to prosecute cat-and-mouse surface and ASW ops, throughout the expansive Pacific Island chains and, that requirement precludes VLS (get over it) …
    … We also need a cost reduced “BURKE LITE” (or “BURKE SHORTY”) for distributed grid, convoy escort, and open water combat. I do believe that much could be learned by starting with a standard Burke configuration and just take every system and capability into consideration. Leave the beam and draft alone and focus on cutting the length and superstructure. … Cut costs and weight wherever possible … Cut the crew in half (or more) … Automate as many crew functions as possible. … There should still be plenty of chases and voids to accommodate continuous upgrades and extra fuel … Plenty of draft for a reduced VLS footprint … Lots of extra room for mission modules (or not) …. Reduce the length wherever possible … The superstructure could be less than 1/2 the size of a DDG … Put everything on a diet and see what we end up with. … At worst, we will learn a great deal. … I think this might be a better route than trying to cram too much capability into an NSC or LCS based design.

    • BlueSky47

      The LCS can never be a ASW asset, it’s far too noisy (water jets ya know), don’t have any organic ASW weapons, no sonar (no that crappy towed sonar will not work), no tail, no nixie, no praire-masker, and the list goes on, The only thing the LCS is good for is target practice. We need a purposed built warship designed for ASW from the keel up, not a ‘add-on hope and pray’ noisey hull LCS

      • Spencer Whitson

        I’d like to mention that the Navy has praised the towed sonar as the best sonar they’ve got. So to call it crappy and that it won’t work is more than a bit presumptuous of you. I get you don’t like the LCS, but please, don’t spread falsehoods as your reasoning for doing so.

        • Frank Langham

          I was on the USS BRISCOE, DD977, when we tested the first TAS (~1981) … I just presumed that the technology has been in continuous evolution, ever since. … I also believe that some large share of ASW will be deployed on autonomous platforms, far from propulsion jets, in the near future,’

          • Spencer Whitson

            Quite possible. Have you seen the ACTUV program? It’s basically what you’re looking for. Partially. Low endurance, so it needs an initial “spotting” to get in the rough area before it starts hounding the submarine.

          • Horn

            If I remember correctly on training for convoy escort, wasn’t the deal supposed to be having 1-2 frigates out in front of the convoy, have them do a sprint, deploy the TAS, then turn off the engines and coast?

      • Frank Langham

        Well take me to school ! … Sounds about right (or wrong) to me …
        So … Any thoughts on an optimum, persistent littoral class design ?
        Lay it out for us.

      • Duane

        You could not be more wrong. The LCS with its ASW mission module is the world’s most advanced surface ASW system. Bar none. Latest and greatest in sensors including variable depth towed array, and processors, the best the Navy has. Plus it’s equipped to deploy the world’s most advanced UUVs, which is the cutting edge of ASW today.

        You’re seriously confused. ASW vessels don’t need to be stealthy. Submarines are what need to be stealthy. ASW surface vessels don’t hide – they find, and kill. There is no combat submarine that cannot detect and track virtually any surface vessel on the ocean if it has a decent sonar set, which is a prerequisite for a combat submarine, going all the way back to World War Two and before.

        But unlike most other ASW vessels, LCS are blindingly fast, up to 44 knots, and highly maneuverable, with shallow draft … and with highly capable countermeasures and anti-submarine munitions and aircraft, not only the ubiquitous MH-60 ASW chopper, but is also the only ship deploying today the MQ-8 SeaScout semi-autonomous drone chopper. The LCS can sit itself in shallow coastal waters where both submarines and most other ASW vessels simply cannot venture, and then send out its aviation assets and UUVs at long range to hunt down and kill any subs lurking off major ports. The LCS can also operate in blue water too.

        • Frank Langham

          You had me until the “Blue Water” claim (at the very end) … I suppose the LCS could be pressed into service for blue-water combat, in moderate sea states … Would not be my first choice for most open sea missions and, I would not (personally) want to be on either of the modified LCS/FFGx variants, in rough seas (foul weather, gale-force, etc.) … The shallow draft and aluminum construction make it a bobbing cork with a comparatively weak “trauma” endurance. … I *DO* like both the Freedom and the Independence designs and each has uniquely exploitable attributes … We DO need true LCS “frigates” for littoral ASW and interdiction (absolutely) but, like the F35 and so many other platforms and systems, excessive cost and overruns will completely foil our edge unless the entire Defense Industrial Complex takes the current global competition (an all out sprint for dominance) with due reverence and commitment. … THAT means that graft and greed and largess and laziness and selfishness and short-sightedness have NO PLACE in this *war*. The western banks and the Fortune 500 and the G-20 alliance and related defense contractors are literally fighting for their own existence. FRANTIC FERVOR and TOTAL COMMITMENT (nothing less) are absolute requirements in order to achieve TOTAL GLOBAL SENSOR FUSION and fully networked battle management. … More platforms in every domain … LOTS more lighter, cheaper, persistent sensors. AND senators that do not usurp the Pentagon when it comes to closing derelict and outmoded domestic military bases (to pander to their own districts). … Am I wrong ?

          • Duane

            Well. check out the Navy’s own web pages on the LCS and they make it clear that it is designed to operate also in deep water. There is nothing inherently unstable about the LCS hull in heavy seas. Indeed, heavy seas happen in the littoral just as much as out in the middle of the ocean. Heavier, actually, because shallow water tends to accentuate wave energy, makes the waves taller and steeper. The Navy states that it is its intent that LCS serve as members of carrier groups and other multi-unit task forces, outside of the littoral.

            In any event, this thread is supposed to focus on the FFG(X) and not rehashing old failed arguments against the LCS. Failed because the LCS is, and will continue, to be built and operate in large numbers and serve a critical role for the US Navy in the world’s littorals … which happen to be where most naval actions take place anyway. Few naval battles of any consequence have been fought out in the middle of the oceans – virtually all significant naval battles take place in the littorals, where littoral capability matters.

  • Chris Wolff

    What is misse by these experts is approach allows for early insight by the Navy into how the various contractors would look to compete. As it turns out, this approach worked really well on the new salvage ship / fleet tug, ending up with everything we wanted and more at a considerable savings. Too many requirements too early just tied industries hands and allows for
    zero trade space.

  • John Locke

    That RFI was a joke. In many areas it listed specific systems. Some of them don’t/won’t meet the Navy’s requirements for digital/open architecture systems.
    Once again we have “managers” in the Program Office not consulting with technology SME’s at the warfare centers and just trying to slap shiny woohoo objects on a gray hull.

  • Chesapeakeguy

    And again an emphasis that appears to try to reinvent the wheel. “It needs to be able to conduct air defense. It needs to be able to conduct ASW. It needs to be able to do ASuW. And all at the same time.” Plus travel 6000 miles between refueling. And on and on and on. Guess what, you’re now probably in the realm of a DESTROYER! Yet all seem to be quite content in ignoring the very best blueprint to start with, and that is the Perry Class.

    The Perry’s had a robust missile battery. They had 40 missiles comprised of SM-1s and Harpoons. They had a 76mm main gun and a Phalanx. They could operate a towed array. They had ASW torpedoes. Perhaps most important, they could operate TWO helicopters. They could travel something like 4500 miles at 20 knots between refueling. They were combat tested and proved their toughness. They did NOT have the hull-mounted sonar the Spruance carried, nor did they have ASROCs.

    So why not start with all THAT? Build the most capable sonar possible that the size and layout of the hull will allow. Of course, what the Navy emphasizes as far as mission parameters (littorals, blue water) will help define that. Ditto for a towed array. Incorporate a VLS that comprises at least ASROC and ESSM. Let the experts determine if anti-ship missiles (whatever the Navy ends up procuring) should be vertical launched or be mounted in their own tubes somewhere on the ship, and let them determine if Standard missiles will be part of their arsenals. The same for Tomahawks and/or their replacement. Put the main gun FORWARD of the superstructure. Add (at least one) Phalanx or similar weapon and perhaps a RAM/SeaRam. Keep the requirement for operating TWO Seahawk helicopters, or at least a Seahawk and some number of UAVs.

    Some starting questions need to be asked. Does the Navy envision this class of ships having a significant ‘littoral’ capability? That certainly appears to be likely. Given all the emphasis on protecting against ‘swarm attacks’ in the littorals, would the placement and incorporating of ‘waist guns’ of a significant caliber (57 or 76mm perhaps) be practical and doable (note that using the Perry as a starting ‘blueprint’, their beams were 45 feet, which might pre-empt such an arrangement if that was indeed desirable)? Could, or should, such a ship have a VLS arrangement that is ‘double ended’, with cells forward and aft of the superstructure? If a double ender is practical, might a variant that omits the aft cells but allows for extending the hangar/flight deck for more air capability be worth exploring? Will enhanced electrical capacities for possible future weapons be designed in? Will, or should, size and space be ‘reserved’ for future weapons/systems? All of those things, as well as the materials used to build them, will impact the size and displacement, and COSTS. But what will give the most bang for the buck, i.e., the best return on investment?

    Frigates augment and contribute to the missions other ships specialize in. Trying to build a ship that is hoped to do the same things cruisers and destroyers do, especially within the confines of a classic frigate-sized hull, sounds like a potential F-111 all over again.

    • Frank Langham

      We should have an assessment team touring ALL of our mothballed OHPs, right now, and performing a consolidated triage report (ASAP) … I know that they were awesome tubs, ahead of their time and, although they were undermanned, for their configuration (not enough berthing, etc.), modern (DARPA/ALIAS type) automation of ships functions should mitigate any shortfall. … IF we have enough sturdy and salvageable OHPs, then, yeah, we should cobble an expedient sub-class of FFG(moths) and deploy them with all feasible haste. … I’d even wager we could do that faster and cheaper than common logic might indicate.

      • Chesapeakeguy

        I say ‘consider everything’. The sky is the limit here, if it is allowed to be…

        • Frank Langham

          Aye !

    • fjm1235

      Totally agree. The Navy is over-thinking this. Build on the Perry template & go from there.

    • LowObservable

      Dr Craig Hooper wrote something similar a while back but using the Arleigh Burke template (minus AEGIS), as a lower-end variant with capacity for future upgradability.

      http://nextnavy.com/time-to-consider-a-low-end-littoral-operations-variant-ddg-51/

      • old guy

        The Burke is a much larger ship.

        • LowObservable

          The problem is, the USN isn’t happy with a ‘Euro’ type 4k ton Frigate with all the ‘extra’ requirements it ends up tacking on – you just end up with a mini-destroyer that costs just as much as an AB. If you read his article it actually made sense to use the Flight I Burkes (7k tons) as a base. Think the old Spruance-class destroyers as the lower end platform when they sailed with the Burkes in the 90s.

    • old guy

      EXACTLY.
      I was involved with the F-81(Santa Maria) class. FFG-7 hull design, mostly same systems. It had the SQR-19 export version and a great CIWS system called Meroka. It was built by Bazan and due to smoother hull workmanship was almost one knot faster than our -7s. It was (and is?) the basis of Grupe De Combate Primero, Which includes 4-F-81class and the 16,000 ton, jump deck, Principe de Asturias, A/C carrier.

      • Chesapeakeguy

        They are indeed robust designs.

  • tpharwell

    Dr. Hendrix is talking a lot of sense here, and I am with him all the way on the point he is making.

    When a few months back Navy declared that the scope of the contemplated requirements for the new frigate would be expanded to include a robust area air defense capability, I was surprised, and suspicious that this was part of a strategy to sink the whole project by weighting it with more freight than it will bear. I was suspicious of that, for that is in fact the case, and “Handsome is as Handsome does”. Just as Dr. Hendrix says, this is a turn in the wrong direction, and everyone should know that. Just like its organizational structure, the US Navy’s force structure is afflicted by one simple but monumental problem: there are too many chiefs, and not enough Indians. Too many Aegis warships; not enough compliant non-Aegis warships for them to direct – the virtue of Aegis being that it allows one vessel to command the fire control systems of another. If you need a low-cost, light weight, low maintenance sea control vessel in numbers to augment the fleet, you can’t also insist that it be a chief, and require it to have Aegis or equivalent area air defense capabilities. You do that, and it is a step towards killing the program. You are then only trying to shrink a Burke, which is already a shrunken cruiser, ever more so with every new thing that is added to it.

    Defend itself, and other ships in its immediate area: yes. Be a “network node” or command vessel: no.

    Mr. Clark’s reservations are noted. But let us cut Navy a little slack here. The timeline, with an August 24th deadline for reply seems uncharacteristically snappy. Let the RFI be taken for what it purports to be: merely a solicitation of comments ahead of a decision to release an RFP. The RFP is the thing where Mr. Clark’s criticisms regarding vague and inconsistent requirement should be addressed.
    r/s

    • NEC338x

      The short response time appears to indicate that it was specifically aimed at salesmen with their snakeoil already lined up under the counter. It doesn’t seem like this was ever intended to be a request for information at the level of a RAND study, or the like, of current small surface combatants.

      • tpharwell

        I had that reaction, and am afraid you may be right. And now what I thought was three months seems to have gone to thirty days while my back was turned. We will see who is ready to play ball.

      • DaSaint

        I concur. This is set up for the Freedom-class variant, the Independence-class variant, and the NSC-variants as front runners, with stripped-down versions of the Type 26, FREMM, and F-100 as international entrants.

        We know the yards involved in the first three, the question is who will partner for the international trio? My guess is Bath partners with Navantia on the F-100, as they have a close relationship with them. But I’m stumped on the Type 26 and FREMM.

        • tpharwell

          With Fincantieri moving to acquire a controlling interest of the French STX yard in St. Nazaire, and France temporarily blocking the move by declaring that it will nationalize STX, orphaned by the bankruptcy of its South Korean parent, this could get interesting, in as much as STX France builds FREMMs whilst LM provides the combat systems for Ingalls.

        • El_Sid

          Fincantieri build the Italian FREMMs and own Marinette Marine, who would be left short of work if the Freedom class dried up.

          BAE effectively operate as a US company these days and own the old Atlantic Marine business, I’d imagine that if they did get a deal for T26 then they’d end up buying the Austal USA yard to consolidate the Mobile yards.

          • DaSaint

            Austal USA skillset has to survive as lead yard for JHSV and Independence class upgrades, but I could see the scenario you mentioned happening.

          • El_Sid

            I’ve lost track of what’s happening with the Spearheads, there’s only a few left to build I think? So that work could be drying up at the same time as the trimaran LCS, potentially. So it looks like they could do with a big partner if they are to survive beyond the mid-2020’s, consolidating with the other yard in Mobile seems an obvious option particularly if that yard got a deal for the T26.

  • RobM1981

    As Chesapeakeguy says, we already have a very nice template to start with, in terms of hull size and weapons/sensor suites.

    Many decades have passed since the Perry was launched, but physics are still physics. The physical dimensions and displacement of the Perry and her sensors are still required if you want the same kind of sea keeping. Hull design has, perhaps, changed a bit to offer a lower radar cross section. OK, so do that.

    The area available for radar arrays/antennae, sonar transducers, hangars, etc. are about the same.

    What you *do* with that space, however, should be “fifty years better.” How can any electronics from 50 years ago, be they sensor, communication, ECM, guidance, etc., not be quantum leaps beyond what we had then? The current batch of SM’s isn’t significantly different, physically, than the old SM1’s – but how much more capable is it? Why can’t the FFGx ship a better capability in the same footprint?

    This is hard only because bureaucrats want to make it hard. It is embarrassing to witness the bureaucracy turn what used to be an industrial strength into a circus. Scratch that: in the current fiscal environment that we live in it’s not a circus; it’s a crime.

    • Stephen

      Once upon a time, I was modifying some electronics concerning the Pueblo loss. OK, quite a while ago. I was handed a pile of Naval Air cast-offs, asked to come up with something that could work shipboard. 3 days later I had the equivalent of a 20 cuft reefer, stuffed into 2 shoeboxes. Those shoeboxes could be replaced with a cellphone, today. We have the technology, we just need a better design bureau. (As long as we suffer political guidance, AKA bribery-driven decision-makers, our contracts will be bloated & ineffective.) We have so few shipbuilders; the Navy should designate a Frigate Yard, a Destroyer Yard, a Carrier Yard, etc… No more squabbles about who gets what & on & on.

    • DaSaint

      Doesn’t make sense using a 50-year old hull form. Look, even the OPC has a wider beam and probably better hydrodynamics than a Perry. Same with the NSC. Ships are beamier these days, and are much more stable, though arguably less nimble for the same installed power.

      • Chesapeakeguy

        Again, here we have assertions about just dusting off the blueprints, and building from there. No such suggestion has been offered. It is about using the Perry as a BASIS for a new ship. The capabilities they had were able to be placed in a 450 plus foot hull that was 45 wide. If a wider hull is determined to be needed, so be it. Let those experts determine all that. When one looks at it, the Ford built on what the Nimitz carriers provide. While there are significant technology leaps and advanced engineering approaches, they are still relatively the same size and tonnage. And the Nimitz class built on what the previous CVs and CVNnthat came before them provided, in that THEY were of relatively the same size. Heck, the same (though no doubt upgraded and modernized) gas turbines powered the Perry’s and Spruances and now powering the LCS, so selecting the propulsion shouldn’t be too difficult. So again, it’s about looking for the CAPABILITIES of the Perry’s, not necessarily the actual Perry’s.

        • Duane

          Why dust off a 40 year old design that’s clearly obsolete and say, “this is where we start”? That makes absolutely no sense at all.

          That’s like taking the Midway class and saying that our new medium carrier that the Navy is evaluating needs to start from that .. meanwhile ignoring 2/3 of a century of ship design. That’s like taking a 1972 Ford Mustang and saying, “let’s base a high tech mid-21st century low emissions sports sedan on that car.”

          The Navy far more sensibly is using the current LCS and its frigate variant as a starting point for asking questions. Start with a 21st century design, consider what we’ve learned from THAT design, and use it to refine the requirements.

          That doesn’t mean the designers start with an LCS hull, But our experience with it in its widely varying classes informs the process of determining what is feasible in the 2020s and beyond.

          • Curtis Conway

            Duane, what is missing here is an analysis of the ship designs that has precipitated the DDG-51, the most successful and prolific surface combatant in the fleet. Our surface combatants have been relatively long and slim (FFG-7, DD-963, and CG-47). I spent two weeks above the Arctic Circle on CG-47 in weather you don’t ever want to repeat, and it wreaked havoc with the hull, mostly twisting damage. The HT’s spent night and day just keeping us afloat. Returned to port with a three page write-up on the affects on the hull. The short fat beamed DDG-51, looking a lot like a mini-battleship, holds up much better (e.g., NSC design as alluded to by DeSaint above). That is another issue with the LCS design that nobody talks about, particularly since they were not built to USN Survivability Regs with the greater strength with all the compartmentalization and watertight integrity. Just some background engineering. The new little FFG-X must be built correctly, and as survivable and multi-warfare capable as possible.

          • Duane

            I don’t disagree with your comment here at all. Operations in the North Atlantic are extremely challenging …. the Allies lost many ships in the World Wars simply transiting the North Atlantic. Ditto with operations during typhoon conditions in the West Pac … my boat went through a major typhoon in the Sea of Japan that had us all walking on the passageway bulkheads simply going to periscope depth, 55 feet down … I remember trying to imagine what it would have been like on the deck of a destroyer.

            I don’t worry about the LCS, though .. it’s been thoroughly tested in rough waters, meeting the same performance standard as any other US warship, and passed with flying colors. Compartmentalization is a trend that the entire Navy has moved away from in recent years. My 637 class boat designed in the 60s had 5 compartments of which two could only sustain partial flooding without loss of the ship, the LA class had only 3. The current Virginia class now has only two. Obviously, compartmentalization is not relied upon in submarines any more to provide survivability. The Navy uses other means to provide survivability.

          • Curtis Conway

            Many a sailor on a Surface Combatant survived (even after the ship sunk) because they had time to get off the ship. In many cases the ship, or portions of it remained afloat for periods of time providing greater opportunities for survival, which is what we are discussing.

            I have marveled at three dimensional warriors waxing poetic about how Surface Combatants should be designed and employed. You see an Aviator or Submariner can trade altitude for energy and get away with it, perhaps even use it as a tool, but if a Surface Sailor is EVER successful at doing that . . . we are all dead.

            A lot of blood was shed before the US Navy Regulations concerning watertight integrity and compartmentalization were finally defined, and even the National Security Cutter was built to meet 80% of that standard. Graceful degradation is real for a Surface Sailor, but is non-existent or fleeting for submariners or aviators. In fact if the submariner can survive the plunge to the bottom you most likely have some options the aviator does not. They usually spin, crash, and burn . . . unless you are fortunate enough to have a working chute.

            Trading survivability in the kind of watertight integrity and compartmentalization is not my idea of success.

          • Duane

            Trading steel for wood was also a highly suspect change … in 1885. Steel could not be repaired underway, unlike wood where a hole in the side could be plugged up just with some spare timbers..

            Trading steam for sail was also a highly suspect change in 1835. If the steam plant gave out (or maybe even blew up), you were vulnerable to being left underpowered, while with sails, you could always fish up a new mast or yard, and stitch up the sails, and move on. Much safer than steam engines.

            And nuclear, oh my god, we could never rely on nuclear power power .. far too complex, unsafe, can’t be maintained at sea … blah blah blah.

            Every technological advancement – i.e., change in ship design – was accompanied by old timers like you who simply couldn’t conceive of how the new ways and designs could possibly be functionally as good as. let alone better, than the old familiar ways.

            In any event, you can argue this til the day you die, but the Navy disagrees with you. 40 LCS hulls plus another 12 frigate variants of the LCS hull. All with the hull design that you distrust so much.

          • Curtis Conway

            I sincerely hope our US Navy sailors never have to find out just how unsurvivable their vessel really is lacking in watertight integrity & compartmentalization, or real combat power, of which neither LCS has enough of in this SUPERSONIC ASCM age, where they can be bought by just about anyone, and launched from the bed of a truck on the beach. One has seconds (not 2+ minutes) to figure out that you have a target and get steel/HE on target, and no amount of speed (Save WARP Speed from Star Trek) will save you.

            I listened to the argument that no one could survive such an attack so why build to the standard, and watched the DDG-51 not change. Then I had those individuals who wanted me to shut-up with that argument . . . Well . . . if it was not valid, then why not let it stand on its own merit?

            Now that the ‘kinder gentler world’ the LCS was designed to operate in is not our primary threat, that design is more than just lacking . . . its a death trap, ASCM/torpedo sponge.

            I heard the aviator arguments about how “Speed Is Life” and it IS in their 3 dimensional environment, but NOT on the water (2D environment). Now we have a new spec coming out for what SHOULD have been built in the first place, and we have wasted how much time and treasure?

            You know we tried to weld those timbers to the side of Tico, and we just couldn’t make it work, and our HTs could weld anything to anything! However, the Fitzgerald Men & Women did pretty good.

          • old guy

            As I have stated before the DDG-51 was originally designed in my group, led by Roger D, as the DD-X. A captain’s team was appointed to determine its equipment. If all suggestions were accepted the ship would have displaced 36,000 tons. So, we started all oner with DD-M. This time we managed to control the “DRUTHERS” and wound up with DDG-51. If you have access, check it out. If not, trust me.
            INCIDENTALLY an ATD we started developing in 1977, got reduced to practice, in Lakehurst and is on the Gerald R,Ford.
            In case you missed this. It illustrates just how long it takes for an ATD to reach the fleet. But it is great that it did! Too bad it doesn’t give credit for the technology development. My guys, back then were the greatest.

            “USS Gerald R. Ford Completes First Arrested Landing and Launch. (EMALS)..”…….

          • Curtis Conway

            I missed no being able to go aboard DLGN-42 which is what CSEDS was supposed to be. How HiStory would have been different if we had gone that route, and nukes were not a bat term.

          • Chesapeakeguy

            It’s not about ‘dusting off a 40 year old design’, it’s about looking at a proven WINNER and determining WHY it was such a winner, and then going FORWARD from there with producing another TRUE winner. It’s about hoping that a lot of resources and efforts are NOT spent re-inventing the wheel yet again! Per your continuing obsession with the LCS, if that was such a sure thing for a frigate variant the Navy would NOT be putting out these new requests for new designs. Duh! I’d take a Perry class FFG anytime over TEN LCS’s of either design. Over priced and under-armed LCS’s are a recipe for disaster to base ANYTHING other than a Coast Guard cutter on. THAT should be the future of the LCS, znd nothing more, or else.

          • Duane

            A proven winner from 40 years ago, sure. Just as the USS Constitution was a proven winner 220 years ago. The Navy of 40 years ago could not survive today, let along for the next 40 years.

          • Chesapeakeguy

            People like you keep harping about the age of the design. Don’t look now, but the Ford class is nothing but a modernized Forrestal class when one comes right down to it. They are an evolution of that! The Perry’s were ‘winners’ right up until they were RECENTLY retired, even after the Navy so stupidly gutted them. Riddle me this! What do the Perry’s, the Spruances, the Burkes, the Ticos, and your beloved fiasco the LCS all have in common? If you say the LM-2500 gas turbines, you will be correct. Umm, how old are they? Here’s another one. What sonar was, and is, used on the ‘old’ Spruances, the current Ticos, and Burkes? What is the current ECM suite on many of today’s ships that included the Perry’s? Is the SPY series of radars the only ones used by the Navy for air defense? How OLD are the original designs of all of them? It goes on and on…

            One reason the Navy of TODAY is so much more capable than it was 40 years ago is because the Navy does a pretty good job keeping their systems and weapons current and up to snuff. How long has the Harpoon been around? How about the Tomahawk? How about the Hellfire (the current proposed near-term approach to put an ‘offensive punch on the LCS)? The Navy is doing just fine with ‘legacy’ systems. How long are planes and helicopters kept flying? Are they looking to replace some of them? Yes. But UNTIL they do, they keep them.

            Many involved with today’s Navy are advocates of capabilities, not ‘platforms’. Their position is that the ability to carry and operate the current and future systems and weapons should NOT be dependent on specialized platforms to do so. That’s one reason why the LPD-17 is often mentioned as a BMD ship, not so much because of the usual characteristics of a ship (like how fast it can go) but how much of the RELEVANT desired capabilities (like radar size, and missile cells) can be built in. ‘Pick up truck versus Ferrari’s’, or something along those lines. We all want Ferrari’s but we will always NEED pick up trucks to do the everyday stuff. The Perrys’ were the epitome of the ‘pick up trucks’, well, them and the Spruances’, IMHO!

          • Duane

            The capabilities of the Perry class are obsolete. It’s not “harping” to call it like it is.

            The capabilities needed today are totally different than when the Perry was built and entered the fleet. The world is a very different place, the threats are very different, and the potential capabilities of surface warships and their officers and crews are very different. And the design requirements are therefore radically different today than 40 years ago.

            Totally. In every conceivable way – from sensors, to weapons systems to engineering systems, to manning, to cyber, to … well, everything.

            You’re recommending that we take the equivalent of a 1970s car phone and use it as a starting point to design the Apple iPhone 8. Yeah, they both let you talk on the phone, which is where the similarity ends,

          • Chesapeakeguy

            How in the heck are they ‘obsolete’? Tell me how a missile battery of 40 missiles is ‘obsolete’ on a REAL frigate? Tell me how the ability to carry and operate and maintain TWO advanced helicopters is ‘obsolete’. Tell me how a towed array and ECM are ‘obsolete’. Tell me how MISSIONS that include surface escort, plane guard, ASW, AsuW, AAW, etc., etc., are ‘obsolete’. And I will point out, the Perry’s didn’t need over-priced, under-performing ‘modules’ to be able to do its varied jobs! I don’t give a rat’s behind what the final product looks like, but it is only COMMON SENSE to look at that PROVEN WINNER and start with a like set of capabilities for the requirements. 40 plus missiles in VLS cells (which does NOT have to translate into 40 plus VLS cells!), but this time include V-ASROC, two Seahawks or one Seahawk and some number of UAVs, as effective of a sonar as the hull can accommodate, towed array, a main caliber gun forward of a 76mm or maybe even a 5″ size, point defense systems, as advanced of an ECM suite as is practical and possible, some number of anti-ship missiles mounted elsewhere from the VLS, etc., should be the MINIMUMS sought. A speed of 29 plus knots and a range of 4700 miles or so at 20 knots isn’t too shabby either. The Perry’s had MOST of all that! If the Navy determines that they should be able to field the present ‘pie-in-the-sky’ magic bullets like those of lasers and rail guns, that’s their decision, though so much for any real ability to keep costs down. One more time, do try to keep up with what’s actually being said!

          • Duane

            Start out with the fact that the class if 40 years old .. By definition, that makes it obsolete, and worn out.

            The sonar is like wise 4 decades old, not variable depth, not the current generation as on the LCS ASW module, which is literally the latest and greatest sonar on the planet. The power plant will not accommodate any electrical weapons, such as railguns or directed energy. Their Mk 13 missile launchers were removed in 2000 because they were obsolete and only fired obsolete SM-1 missiles. and Harpoons, but when the missile launchers were stripped they could no longer fire the Harpoons either. It can handle the MH-60, but cannot handle the latest gen MQ-8 drone ASW choppers. It has outmoded insufficient firepower to fight off small boat swarms and drone swarms, as does the LCS classes. It’ was a ship class built for the 70s, and its time is long past.

            That’s a short list of the reasons the Navy retired an old ship class. Going back to the past to resurrect old designs in a world where everything changes completely every 20 years is just beyond dumb and wasteful.

          • Chesapeakeguy

            Geezz, you really ARE incapable of following along with what has been posted! Duane, you are living proof of that adage “You can’t fix stupid”.

            Yo Duane, I reckon the Ticos are ‘obsolete’ and thus contribute nothing to the fleet’s needs, right? How ‘old’ is that design? They all have the EXACT SAME equipment that they were outfitted with in the early 80s when the first ones were built, right? No updates, no replacing any of that with something better, or a later upgraded version of anything, correct? How about all those Nimitz class carriers? How about the LA class subs? What about those Burkes, when were THEY designed? Yet when it comes down to it, all of this goes right over your hat holder. You just can’t comprehend anything here.

          • Duane

            The Ticonderogas have not been retired because they are still useful. The Navy makes the decision to maintain or retire each class and individual ship based upon a number of factors. The Navy stopped maintaining the Perry’s as early as 2000, when they began the retirement process that was completed in 2015.

            Don’t you ever wonder why you feel the need to call people stupid who clearly defeat your illogic? Resorting to adhominem is what losers do in arguments.

          • Chesapeakeguy

            Yes Duane! Duh! For ONCE you stumble (obviously inadvertently) on a salient point! The NAVY MAINTAINS them. Why did they choose not to ‘maintain’ the Perry’s? To free up money for the over-priced, under-performing boondoggle that is your beloved LCS among other things. The Navy has spent every minute since then then missing what the Perry’s brought to the table. The same can be said about the premature disposal of the Spruance ships. Now the Navy has come full circle and is asking for help with new designs for a new frigate, because they have no faith that the LCS will ever pan out, especially as a FFG. THAT is reality. Feel free to keep your head in whatever body recess or cavity it’s always in.

            Oh, and Duane, I will always refer to ANYONE whose only vernacular on venues like this centers around terms like ‘troll’, and ‘Russian troll’, as ‘stupid’! There is no high road with the likes of you, so I don’t bother, I just call them as they are. In fact, I’m gonna double down and declare that you are a special kind of stupid, in that no matter how much someone might dumb down their comments so that you might have a hope of following along, doing so is a waste of time, because you can’t. It’s that simple. Run along now.

          • Duane

            No – the Navy maintains the Ticos until they come up with a better ship to replace them. Which is coming. You will not see Ticos in the fleet 20 years from now … their replacement, or else an entirely different ship type that responds to fleet needs of the mid-21st century, will be there instead.

            The Navy already came up with a better ship than the Perry. The LCS does not replace the Perry .. it replaces a part of what the Perry did, but did poorly, which is to operate in the littorals. Another part of the Perry will be replaced by a combination of the frigate variant of the LCS along with the FGX.

            But more than that, the new, not obsolete small surface combatants do many things the Perry could never do, at all. Like fight off small boat swarms and drone swarms … like deploy unmanned aircraft such as the MQ-8 Sea Scout for ASW and for providing laser targeting support for the guided 57 mm munitions that the Perry’s did not use because they did not exist … like deploy the world’s most capable ASW system with a variable depth towed array and deploy unmanned ASW craft … and like the world’s most advanced mine warfare package, including the world’s only unmanned mine sensing and minesweeping vehicles.

            And the new FFGX will likely bring even new capabilities, such as an all electric output power plant that enables 21st century weapons like the railgun and directed energy weapons .. weapons that the Perry could never ever in a million years support.

            It’s really pretty clear to all except dolts that the Perrys are obsolete and cannot be upgraded to 21st century standards … the best that can be done with them is haul them out of the reserve fleet so bean counters can claim we’ve got X additional hulls towards the magic number of 355 .. a number we’ll likely not achieve any time soon, if ever.

          • Chesapeakeguy

            Again Duane, you just don’t get it. It’s all beyond you. A special kinda stupid indeed! EVERYTHING that is been said concerning the Perry’s on here flies right over your head. Heck, besides a special kinda stupid, your a unique kind iof ignorant. I almost, ALMOST, feel sorry for you. NOBODY knows if a LCS frigate variant will ever be built, that’s why THESE proposals have gone forth. But your ignorance prevents you from realizing that. Virtually everyone with an IQ ABOVE single digits (which obviously excludes YOU!) knows that ANY surface platform that has as its MAIN offensive punch a bunch of Hellfire missiles is not going to be able to do a whole lot except fight those small dinghy’s the usual suspects might throw their way, or maybe they can repel a TANK invasion if one occurs on the water! But the heck with the LCS, this thread is not about that. And it doesn’t matter, because the simplest concepts escape you. Talk about obtuse. I just do not know how to dumb down any aspect of this conversation to a point where a clown like yourself can grasp it. It’s beyond talking to a child.

          • Duane

            Do you know any form of discussion other than ad hominem? Apparently not.

            I stick to facts and logic, you resort to insults. Because you clearly lost the debate.

          • Chesapeakeguy

            Perpetual victim mode again here. Is there ever anything BUT when it comes to you? When dealing with your own antics thrown back in your mug, you whine and sob about the ‘injustice of it all’. For starters Duane, if you ever stuck to ‘facts’ and not this unhinged propaganda you continue to regurgitate about a system that so far is an unmitigated FAILURE (the LCS), I’d take you more seriously. If you could actually keep up with what is actually being discussed, I might develop some respect for you. But you can’t, so I don’t!

            This new frigate proposal is as much about REPLACING the already failed LCS as it is about anything else. There is NO confidence that an ‘upgraded’ LCS will do what’s needed. Perry class ships carried ALL of their capabilities with them. If an LCS is notified that a bad guy’s subs might be in the area, and if that LCS is NOT carrying it’s ASW ‘module’, it has to call timeout (I’m sure those bad guy subs will accommodate them!) and scurry back to port (how loing might that take?), get the proper module installed and working (how long might that take?) and then scurry back to the operational area (how long might that take?). Yeah, then they can contribute to the ASW mission. Oh snap, my bad, the modules don’t WORK yet! What WAS I thinking?

            Bottom line: a NEW FFG will have to carry ALL of ITS capabilities with it. It appears the Navy is done with modules!

            Great article in a recent Popular Mechanics issue titled “The Navy is Looking for a New Frigate to Replace the Troubled Littoral Combat Ship”. That’s the TITLE, and it actually says it all, but you really should read the entire article. Their sources are the NAVY itself. But I’ll bet I can predict your response if you ever do read it (and remember, you have so much difficulty with comprehension!), and that will be that the authors ‘have an axe to grind’, that they are ‘trolls’, that they are ‘Russian trolls’, that they are ‘out to get the LCS’, well, you know, the usual manure you spew on such matters.

            Duane, GROW UP! It’s LONG past time..

          • Duane

            You’re an online jerk. I’m not – I focus on
            WHAT is right, or wrong, while you, being a typical online jerk, enjoy trolling people. Simple as that.

            Jerks always complain about the people they attempt to bully being whiners. Always has been like that. You fit the bill. You don’t bother me, I don’t whine. I just tell it like it is.

          • Chesapeakeguy

            No Duane, you lie like a rug, then claim victimhood when your lies are exposed. The simplest concepts are beyond you. And while noting your line about being an ‘online jerk’, I am convinced you are a full time one, as in it doesn’t matter what the venue is. Your posts all over these boards prove that. And you STILL cannot address the actual issue and hence conversation.

          • old guy

            Sorry, but your argument is flawed. For example: The French “75” was the DIRECT basis for the best gun in its class, the German “88”. On the other hand our brand new 76MM was poor and it was not until we fielded the 88 copy, our 90 MM, tat we competed

          • old guy

            The LCSs are a poor excuse for a combat ship, by any measurement. They are, as the French say,”DE TROP”

          • old guy

            In a small disagreement, I believe unless thee Navy is willing to go to a drop chine hull design, the FFG7 is an excellent high strength hull. There would be a great deal of saving to use it. The LCH, trimaran is sluggish in turning and the semi-planing LCH is a twister. Both bad.

          • Duane

            Yes, the hull design for the Perry’s or the NSC might be just fine, as long as such hulls accommodate all of the requirements set forth by the Navy. But the hull design is simply the outer envelope in contact with the sea, the simplest part of a ship design. Most of the design effort goes into all the stuff that goes inside, or on top of, the hull. Which is why a designer must always start with the requirements first, then start designing. “What must the vessel be able to perform?” is the beginning of all good ship designs.

            The LCS hull is the result of the designer meeting the requirements that the Navy set forth by its requirements, in terms of draft, speed, operations in the littorals, engineering and power plant systems, weapons systems, sensor systems, crewing, and so forth. The LCS designers would never have said, “here’s a cool hull shape .. now, Navy, what do you think you can do with this?”

          • old guy

            I am very familiar with the FFG7 hull. I guarantee that has sufficient room for all needed systems. The SpaNISH F-81` (SANTA MARIA) Class is a Perry, built by Bazan in Ferrol, Spain, with about 20% more equipment, including the very excellent “Meroka”anti- ship or anti-swarm gun system.

          • Duane

            How can you guarantee what is “needed” when the needs have not yet been defined by the Navy? All the Navy has done so far is express some potentially conflicting desires, not all of which are going to survive the responses that come back from industry … from which it will eventually define requirements that you claim to already be met.

            Talk about putting the cart before the horse. What you’re doing is typical of all the know-it-alls here in this thread who claim to know the answers to questions that the Navy hasn’t even figured out yet. “Ready … fire! … aim!”

          • old guy

            Cute and astute, but, the -7 has never been space limited, only weight limited and, as I said of the Spanish, they have several more systems (including “Meroka” CIWS) for anti-swarm protection. I chided them (out of ignorance) in the ’80s. about worrying that the Moors would return. Go figure.

          • old guy

            I am sorry, but you are incorrect. As a matter of fact Ford did precisely that, using many of the old Mustang body dies and upgrading systems that met latest standards.

          • Duane

            The latest generation Mustangs are only superficially like the original. It’s just a skin overlaid on a radically different engine and chassis.

            People are focusing vastly too much attention on superficial appearance .. not the guts of what makes a ship capable of performing its assigned roles in a modern, 21st century war.

          • Chesapeakeguy

            Nobody except YOU is ‘focusing on appearances’! Nobody except YOU have spewed the LIE that this is all about building new Perry’s using the same original blueprints and hence the same equipment and capabilities of the 70s. As has been pointed out repeatedly, by myself and others, you are incapable of actually following the discussion(s) at hand. And in your usual convoluted way, here you are talking out of both sides of your pie hole as you contradict your own words about all this. It has ALWAYS been about ‘the guts’ that goes into any given ship. Your comment below that says “Yes, the hull design for the Perry’s or the NSC might be just fine, as long as such hulls accommodate all of the requirements set forth by the Navy” .exposes you yet again, because all you have done is savage every aspect of the Perry’s, and ignored what I and others have said about using what the Perry’s had as a basis for MODERN systems and approaches. What part of CAPABILITIES do you just not get? I say again, it’s like dealing with a child.

          • Duane

            You are very bad at logic, and at projection (putting your defective reasoning in the mouths of others who disagree). Appearance is a negligible concern. Form follows function.

          • Chesapeakeguy

            And you are very GOOD at ranting on and on while never actually saying a rational thing. And as always, you avoid the points made, because you just aren’t capable of addressing them.

          • old guy

            We don’t have a difference there, but the “skin” Is the hull, and -7 is a great “skin.”

          • old guy

            No. As a matter-of-fact, I was,assigned, by COMNAVSEA, the job of getting the CV-41 (Midway) working after SEA 05 hopelessly added sponsons to lift her out of the water after her ~43,000 ton launch displacement went to over 80,000 tons by added systems (1980). The sponsons reduced the roll period from 22seconds to 12 seconds, making it impossible to handle A/C. I got team of Webb Institute, NSRDC and Yokuska hardheads to increase the size of the bilge keels, Add some ballast and junk some unneeded systems to get the period up to 17 seconds, We then reassigned her to the Med and make a training ship out of her, replacing the “Coral Sea” What fun.

        • DaSaint

          Chesapeakeguy, I think you’re missing my point, and maybe those who answered below may have explained it better than me, but let me try this.

          Let’s use your BASIS, as you put it: The FFG therefore needs what?
          1-76mm SuperRapido gun – agreed?
          1 – what SPS-49? No? Then what?
          2- Mk93 FCS ? No? Then What?
          1 STIR? No? Then What?
          2 SH-60R helos? or 1 and hangar space for UAVs? How many? Or 2 and how many UAVs?
          1 SQS-56 sonar? or if not then what?
          1 VDS? or 1 TASS? Which? Which ones?
          2 Triple Mk32 tubes or 4? Fixed or trainable?
          1 or 2 Gas Turbines you speak so well of? Which ones? LM-2500s or MT30s? Why?
          2 Diesels or 4? Caterpillar? MTUs? Cummins? Which? Why?

          The BASIS you speak of should be the roles and capabilities, after which the systems are considered, debated, analyzed for compatibility and specified.

          Saying the Perry is or should be the basis of the FFG is as generic as saying that your current house is the basis for your next house.

          I AGREE that the Perry had capabilities that should be at least matched, but the determination of how best to do that requires a new design paradigm, and I’m pretty sure that a capable, competent FFG for the USN (and hopefully for export), will be in the region of $1 Billion. Not saying that I will disagree with a vessel of that cost, just saying that those ‘Perry capabilities’, upgraded to today’s standards and threats, and taking into consideration of a wider operational profile (Arctic, as Curtis reminds us) will cost more than many think.

          • Chesapeakeguy

            Well said.

          • old guy

            Please don’t assume that my comments are “reminiscences,” I am a ship hydrodynamicist, by birth, and am only referring to the FFG-7 hydro design and the excellent structural design that followed, as compared say to the DD1000 “Old Flopover,” which capsized in the DTNSRDC turning basin. The LCS trimaran has the maneuverability of a sloth and the Semi-planing hull version is just a rehash of a design that sacrificed room for speed.
            As I have stated before the equipment choice is where the focus should be. Please comment.

          • old guy

            As I cited in my note above, the semi-planing hull of the LCS, is an old copied design. They are now being suede for theft.

      • RobM1981

        Agreed. I don’t think we’re saying use the hull form. We’re saying “use it as a template as to what you can fit on so many tons.”

  • NEC338x

    Has anyone found the mythical slides on SlideShare, or the like? Perhaps someone YouTubed the presentation.

    • DaSaint

      I was thinking the same, and noted that USNI mentioned having possession of them, but not linking to them. What gives?

  • Duane

    Hendrix’s comments seem right on. Putting too many missions on the back of a frigate is a very good way to drive up the cost astronomically, and to add years to the development. At the same time, it’s not a problem that the Navy is seeking industry input early before it makes the requirements set in concrete. Gathering more input and info, as long as the Navy doesn’t let it drag out too long, is always better than constricting inputs and failing to consider alternatives.

    The Navy will in fact likely learn its somewhat amorphous area air defense capability is going to add hundreds of millions of dollars in cost to each hull, and we could easily see the FFG(X) turn into a barely less expensive Arleigh Burke. Better to focus the mission on ASW and SuW, which can be done much more affordably in a small hull. But I think that’s what the Navy is likely to learn from this exercise, so I can’t fault them for trying to educate themselves on the cost vs. value curve for each added capability.

    • DaSaint

      I can see your point. The truth is we need more ASW and SuW vessels. But outfitting them with VL ESSM isn’t that difficult to do at all, and should not be a deal-breaker. The real costs would be if an attempt was made to outfit them with AEGIS. That should NOT happen.

      • Curtis Conway

        You are right on. Every time one of us suggest a new Aegis FFG everyone immediately goes to UYA-4 consoles, SPY-1 Radar, and the Aegis computer room in a Baseline 4/5/9 configuration. NO NO NO. Aegis is a concept and way of doing things. A non-rotating 3D AESA radar is paramount! Then the Combat System Computational System and its ability to support a Display and Command & Decision system, integration of weapons systems, and a more intelligent multi-spectral ID capability (all situational awareness and engagement tools) with emphasis on Passive operations capability . . . and be multi-warfare capability. The OHP was as close as the US Navy ever got to that before the Mk13 was removed. Not performing an NTU to OHP was a mistake. We caused Australia, and Taiwan to have to bear those upgrade costs alone, and we should take full advantage of the Australian OHP upgrades to the tune of all of their retired platforms, three extra ship-sets, and upgrade very one we have in mothball. THAT will bring on 10 platforms rapidly for a fraction of the cost of building a few new FFG-Xs. THAT will get the numbers up quickly, restore meaningful capability to the fleet more rapidly, and give us time to bring on the FFG-X in a careful and calculated way, which should include Arctic capability that no one is talking about. When the FFG-Xs are fielded, then we can retire the OPHs or give them to the Philippines.

        • old guy

          Wayne “THE BRAIN” MEYER would have been proud of your savvy. One time I went with him to the AEGIS site in N.J. It was the closest that I was ever treated as royalty. I held his R&D money and we were good friends. Did you know he gave up becoming COMNAVSEA and a third star so that he could stay with AEGIS?

          • Curtis Conway

            No I didn’t know that specific fact, but I did know he gave up a lot to envision, design, build and test Aegis. He understood modern warfare at sea, and what Aegis would bring to the program, which we paranthetically proved at CSEDS. Few today have the simple understanding of what Aegis truly is, and it has little to do with a specific equipment subset, save what that specific equipment is capable of doing.

            My first underway Captain called him specifically about bringing me on board Tico. That was why I re-enlisted, and that is the only reason I re-enlisted . . . Adm Meyer wanted me on his team. We put to sea on the USS Ticonderoga (CG-47) and truly were “The First And Formidable”. It was a privilege to be on the PRECOM crew and show the fleet, and our Allies what we could do. We broke new operational ground that demonstrated the true strength of a Joint [Allied] Team Concept in the Modern Battle Space, and many of those items have become standard operational procedure, and demonstrates a capability that our adversaries can only emulate, not duplicate.

            The LCS Program was more than a disappointment to me, given what anyone with eyes could see for the last four decades. THERE WAS NO PEACE DIVIDEND, and our previous administration almost put the last nail in the coffin of our military readiness. I can kinda give a pass to some in the US Navy because they were following the orders of the civilians. However, just like the USAF simply will not give up trying to retire the A-10 Thunderbolt II “Warthog” with its great effectiveness at a lower operational cost, while then complaining about wearing out our F-15/16 fleets in these low end conflicts (!?!?!?!) . . . the US Navy FAILED to build a meaningful and capable new small surface combatant to replace the very capable Frigate (OHP) that was withdrawn from service. When considering the cost of an New Threat Upgrade (SM-2 capability and keeping the Mk13 GMLS) improvement program to the FFG-7 OHPs is considered as compared to the LCS Program budget in its totality (and we are not done yet), I would rather have National Security Cutters strait up for the number of platforms that could be purchased for that budget. We would have had more presence, and capability right up front, the the NTU for it would already be budgeted.

            Now I’m holding my breath to see if the US Navy will ACTUALLY DO what they should have done in the first place. The FFG-X should have ever bit as much capability (tracking radar wise) as the latest CG-47 class (use the 9-RMA SPY-6). It should have a shallower magazine, but be able to participate at what ever level the Battle Force requires given the assigned mission, and the environment involved. So if this little fighter happens to be at ‘the tip of the spear’ and is “Winchester”, then it can control everything coming over its shoulder (CEC/NIFC-CA), until everyone else’s magazines are “Winchester”. THAT buys us time. That uses the platform as it should be, given our level of technological superiority. That honors the sacrifice of the sailors who will serve on that meaningful and relevant Small Surface Combatant. THAT I will be satisfied with. Anything else is a waste of time and treasure, just like the LCS Program has been to date. The LCS(s) should be assigned to the US Navy Expeditionary Combat Command, and its mission made to include SOF and Marine Raider support.
            . . . Then make some MCMs . . .

            I miss Rear Admiral Wayne E. Meyer (April 21, 1926 – September 1, 2009). HE was relevant via his competency in the surface warfare environment. Something that is VERY lacking in the current crop who occupy HIS Shoes!

          • old guy

            I wonder if people know how vicious the fight was to get AEGIS. Wayne was even threatened with demotion by an Admiral I won’t name. He and Big Z are two of my most admired flags. It all seems so easy now, but, in the words of an old comedian, “Vuss you Dere, Sharlie?”

  • Frank Langham

    Regarding our urgent quest for “more platforms in less time”, we must consider our COMBINED national hull production capacity in terms of “Production Pipeline Saturation” … How backed-up (busy) is each particular shipyard, in terms of orders and capacity ? … What is the current backlog, from approval to lead materials (ordered and delivered), skilled labor, sub-contractors of critical components (props, propulsion, single-source systems, etc.) ? … Here are some of the ways that we might increase production via distributing the production loads (industry-wide) and by exploiting other expedient or innate “hat-tricks” …
    ** Accept more and varied hull designs for smaller hulls, such as going with both Freedom and Independence variants of FFGx, as well as NSC *and* refurbished OHPs … ALSO, we should not overlook COMMERCIAL CONVERSIONS when it comes to good-will and cooperation missions … A commercial conversion can be outfitted to SIMULATE many AAW/ASW and INTER-COMM functions for much less than an actual combatant and those same commercial conversions could perform disaster-relief, rescue, helo-training, replenishment, and those much cheaper, smaller platforms could STILL participate in NIFC-CA grid sensor and ASW (helo pad) ops … Med-Evac, etc., etc. …. There are many missions where a half-cost, “ultra-lite” platform will be more than adequate and would relieve front-line combatants for riskier and more critical missions (no?). Before you berate this proposal, please do consider that our Asian Pivot does require us to be more places, at once. It will always be the case that some significant percent of our requisite presence will be lower risk and non-combatant … It is also a fact that those crew positions will require less intensive training and, while those platforms WILL be part of a distributed battle-management grid, they can still employ cost reduced sensors and lighter or less sophisticated weapons systems. Phalanx and Sea-Ram, for instance, are mostly/fully auto-magic and there are several, smaller and lighter anti-surface missiles coming online (via NATO partners and, YES … Though we cannot entirely rely upon NATO (and friends) and our Asian partners to also boost production of smaller hulls and lighter systems, in order to bolster USA/NATO/ASIA allied strength, we should encourage all of our allies, friends and partners to add “compatible” platforms to the global grid. … Again, we should not include those contributions in our base calculations (for intense battle-management) but it will surely be a boon to have extra logistical support and diversions during intensified conflicts. … In summary …
    ** More domestic designs equals more pipelines equals more capacity, sooner. (Independence and Freedom class FFGs, plus NSC FFGs, etc.
    ** Reclamation of mothballed OHP frigates.
    ** Domestic commercial conversions will reduce costs & relieve priority combatants.
    ** Foreign friends can provide auxiliary platforms to augment relief missions, diversions, logistical support and extra (compatible) grid sensor nodes.
    Economy of scale (in terms of one, single, “do-it-all” hull design) may not be a clear-cut advantage, given our current set of complex challenges and our tardiness and our slower bureaucracy.

  • DaSaint

    My prerequisite would be 2 SH-60R and 2 UAVs, 2 Gas Turbines and Electrical Generators for a CODLAG propulsion system capable of excess electrical capacity for future directed energy use, 1-76mm SuperRapido gun forward, a 32-cell VLS forward or split P/S, and 2 SeaRam, one forward, one atop the hangar, 2 remote 30mm guns (P/S), 2 remote mini-guns (P/S), a robust ESM/ECM system, and robust cyberwarfare systems.3D non-AEGIS radar, an excellent surface search/helo control/navigation radar, a good EO FCS for the guns, and 4 fixed ASW torps, fired through openings in the hangars, 2 each P/S.

    Speed 28 to 30 knots, range 6,000 at 18 knots, and keep the crew under 200.
    Sounds like about $1 Billion IF produced in quantity (15 – 30).

    Actually, this starts to look like a FREMM or Type 26 the more I look at it.

    • tpharwell

      Very reasonable, although my experts would argue that there is no such thing as a good EO FCS except as a supplement to radar.

      Moreover, a prerequisite is a starting point for deliberations, not an end, and I would counsel that we not freight the deliberations with all of the end state conditions that one such as you or I would desire. That way, the whole process can easily get out of control. What you are saying you would insist upon would appear to me to rule out not only both LCS, but also the Ingalls offering. It just aint that big, and has a more conventional propulsion, lacking all that excess electricity you want, not to mention all those VLS.

      I myself am of the persuasion that the vessel should ultimately have a scaled back version of the DDG 1000 series propulsion system, if that is proving to be successful. But be mindful of Navy’s prerequisite that the ship be based on one currently in production, and the reasons therefore. The approach to be taken should be evolutionary, not revolutionary. The way to start that is with something currently riding the waves. An upgunned NSC is the best example of that at hand. It is being made in a US yard to close to Navy specs – better specs concerning survival than either LCS – and post 2020, that yard will be done with its work for the Coast Guard.

      This of course is only to recite what I presume you already know. It is just to emphasize the wisdom and common sense of a KISS procurement philosophy to solving the problem.

      • DaSaint

        Points noted. One could argue that the propulsion system of the Type 26 is a scaled down Zumwalt system, as if memory serves me correctly, both hybrid systems were designed by BAE Systems, regarded as the leaders in maritime hybrid systems.

        The NSC is already lauded by the USCG and is a competent platform. Candidate, sure. More survivable than either cureent LCS. The Navy has to figure out where they want to come down on this, US design or foreign parent craft.

        I’m somewhat comforted to accept that the USN and USCG have now used a series of parent craft designs, from the Island class to the Cyclone class, to the Sentinels and now the OPC, so maybe the hullform of a Type 26 or FREMM isn’t completely out of the question. The selections of Australia and Canada could also factor into this decision.

        • El_Sid

          Nope, the T26 may have the MT30 in common with Zumwalt but it’s CODLOG, arguably the Zumwalt system is closer to the Daring IEP (developed by Converteam, since bought by GE) or the Albion diesel-electric system.

          It’s interesting that the noises coming out of Australia are emphasising ASW, which would favour T26 – it may be a Gucci solution, but it will be the best hull for doing ASW, and designed for use with Sonar 2087, whose VDS is being used for the LCS ASW module.

          • FactChecker90803

            The LCS ASW module is an overweight Dog, just like most of the modular modules destined for the LCS. Time to bite the bullet and install the TB-37U MFTA, Harris Model 980 ALOFTS or the L-3 VDS-100, and give the LCS some ASW ears.

          • El_Sid

            Err – you do realise that the ASW module is based on the MFTA, coupled with the VDS from the best warship sonar in the world, 2087?

            It’ll be just fine – of all the things to worry about on the LCS, the sonar is the least of the worries.

          • FactChecker90803

            The EMM(Asw Module) proposal from AAC (DRS/THALES) was one of 3 competitors, the other being L-3 and Raytheon ( the winner of the contest ).

  • old guy

    1.Use very efficient “PERRY” class (FFG-7) hull and propulsion.
    2. Adopt “SEA MOD” principles SEA003 developed in the ’70s.
    3. Equip for the current and projected threat.

  • FactChecker90803

    The Fremm is 466-474 ft in Length with a Beam of 66 ft and displacements of 6000-6,700 tonnes that equates to 7,200 -8,100 tons, the Type 26 is 492 ft in length with a Beam of 68 ft, this is the extreme beam in part to the deck house blister extentions and displacement is projected to be 8,000+ tons, based on the size and capability these are Destroyers tagged as Frigates for political reasons.

    So why not a Burk Destroyer Escort( Frigate) version utilizing a short Flight ll hull, that take advantage of a hot production line, produce 32-36 in 3 Flights, to replace Flight l DDG’s. Redesign the superstructure along the lines of the Type 45’s low canted superstructure with 1 or 2 I-Mast with Integrated Topside, extended aft hanger, enclosed boat storage, integrated funnels/intakes. These ships should be made from STEEL WITH REINFORCED HULLS, able to operate in artic waters and be able to FIGHT, TAKE HITS, and survive not just to be Flag Poll to show the Flag.

    * 7,200-8,500 tons. Steel Is Cheap.
    * 480 ft long.
    * 66 ft beam.
    * 2 Gas Turbine LM2500 Gen +4.
    * 2 RR MT7 4MW Generators.
    * 2 Colt Pielsek Diesel Engines.
    * L-3 Hybrid Drive.
    * 8,000-9,000 nautical mile range.
    * Landing Pad Hanger 2 Helos+2 UAV’s.
    * Navalized AN/TPS-80 S GeN Arrays.
    * Ship Based APY-9 UHF Radar.
    * SPQ-9B X Band FCR/Surface Search.
    * SEWIP Block 3 ECM/ESM
    * SSTD suite ( TWS/CAT/ATT).
    * AN/SLQ-25C Torpedo ECM.
    * Mark 36 SRBOC with Nulka.
    * 40 VLS MK41+8 MK57 rear mid ship.
    * 24 VLS Mk41+8 M57 forward.
    * 1 21 round RAM launcher forward.
    * 2×3 Torpedo Tubes.
    * AN/SQQ-89A(V)15 (SQS-53C/TB- 37U)
    . VDS Asw/MineHunting/Torpedo Def.
    * 1-5/62 gun forward.
    * 2 CIWS upgraded to Gau-8 or Gau-12
    . port and starboard hanger.
    * 1-76mm located aft of the rear VLS.
    * 2- MK38 mod3 30mm/40mm (1P/1S ).
    * 6 .50Cal CROWS ( 3P/3S ).
    * 6 crew manned 7.62mm guns.
    * Crew 140 -160 + 30 security detail.

    The ships command and control center or mission control should be based on the Raytheon Open Linux system from the DDG 1000, the system is generations ahead even of the Aegis (V)9, as to the radar system, no AN/SPY-1, we need to diversify our Naval Radars, I suggest Northrop Grumman offer a ship based AN/TPS-80 radar for search and air surveillance/air defence , Lockheed Martin offer a ship based version of the APY-9 UHF radar for volume & wide area search and surface search, SPQ-9B FCR for RAM missile and Gunnery control. The illuminator for semi active missiles should be brought into the 21st century, let’s get away from the SPG-62, and adopt a more modern AESA X band arrays, let’s use our many AESA airborne radars as a basis, why not a ship based version along the lines of the Northrop Grumman HAMMR ground based APG-81, a ship based FC/Illuminator version could be 2 to 4 times the size of the APG-81, besides FC it could be use as an Direct Emergy Weapon.

    The restart Flight 2A Burkes should be build in version 9D and 9E with 12-16 hulls and evolving into a Flight 2B.

    The Flight 2B, with 32-36 to replace the Tico’s and early Flight ll Burkes, should use hulls similar to the Korean, Sejong The Great. The 2B superstructure should be redesigned along the lines of the Spanish F100 Aegis Destroyers, Radars above the primary structure in enclosed box structure for Dual Band S/X Arrays and an I-Mast for long range L Band Radar and top mounted EO sensors.
    As to the Funnels time to do away with them and integrate them into the structure for reduced radar and IR signature.The Burke Flight 2B’s should be Destroyers and Fleet Escort able to conduct independent actions.

    The Korean, “Sejong the Great-class”. destroyers.
    * 541 ft long overall.
    * 70ft 3 inches beam overall.
    * 11,000 tons.

    Flight llB Specs.
    * 585 Ft Long.
    * 69-70 Ft Beam.
    * 9,500-12,000 Tons.
    * 8,000-9,000 nautical miles range.
    * 2 LM 2500 +GEN4 GT.
    * 3 RR MT7 4MW Generators.
    * 2 Diesel Engines.
    * L-3 Hybrid Electric Drive.
    * AMDR 14.5 X 13.6 ft X band Arrays.
    * DB 12 X 12 S Band Arrays.
    * AN/SQQ-90 (SQS-60/SQS-61/TB-37U)
    . VDS Asw/MineHunting/Torpedo Def.
    * SEWIP Block 3 ECM/ESM 
    * SSTD suite ( TWS/CAT/ATT).
    * AN/SLQ-25C Torpedo ECM.
    * Mark 36 SRBOC with Nulka.
    * Landing Pad Hanger 2 Helos+2 UAV’s.
    * 64 Cell VLS Mk41 aft + 16 MK57.
    * 32 Cell VLS MK41 Forward + 16 MK57.
    * 1-21 Cell RAM deckhouse before bridge
    * 1-5/62 Gun Forward
    * 1-76mm Gun Aft.
    * 2-CIWS P/S installed forward
    .hanger corners upgunned to GAU-8
    .or GAU-12
    * 4 MK38 Mod 3 / 30mm/40mm (P/S).
    * 6 .50 CROWS (3P/3S).
    * crew 180-200 + 30 security detail.

    And as to the Flight 3 Burkes, total disappointment, the Navy should have looked at the 1990s case study of the CGBL.
    * 620ft long waterline.
    * 69ft waterline beam.
    * 13,000 tons.

    The Flight lll Burkes should have been a cruiser. Hull based on the CGBL, Reduced RCS, fully enclosed superstructure similar to the SS-21Blue Team DDG, Integrated Topside, 1-2 I-Mast for long range radars and EO sensors. All STEEL CONTRUCTION.

    Burkes Flight lll Cruiser.
    * 13,000-15,000 tons. Steel Is Cheap.
    * 620 Ft Long.
    * 69-70 ft beam.
    * 9,000 -12,000 nautical mile range.
    * 2 LM6000 52MW X 2 Generators.
    * 3 RR MT7 4MW Generators
    * 2 Diesel Engines 12MW X 2 Generators.
    * L-3 Hybrid Drive.
    * 20 X 20 Ft AMDR X band.
    * 14.5 X 13.5 Ft S Band VS Radars.
    * AN/SQQ-90 ( SQS-60/SQS-61/TB-37U)
    . VDS Asw/MineHunting/Torpedo Def.
    * SEWIP Block 3 ECM/ESM 
    * SSTD suite ( TWS/CAT/ATT).
    * AN/SLQ-25C Torpedo ECM.
    * Mark 36 SRBOC with Nulka.
    * 2 X 3 Torpedo tubes.
    * 80 MK 41 VLS mid ship.
    * 48 VLS forward.
    * 6 to 8 MK57 VLS for oversized missiles . as future growth.
    * 2-21 cell RAM launchers (1aft/1for).
    * 2-5/62 Guns both located forward.
    * 2-CIWS upgunned to GAU-8 or GAU-12.
    * 4-MK38 Mod3 30mm/40mm gun (P/S)
    * 6 .50 Cal CROWS (3P/3S).
    * 6 crewed 7.62mm or.50cal mini guns.
    * Landing Pad, Hanger 2 Helos+4 UAV’s
    * Crew 220 – 250 + 30 security detail.

    These Burke class Flights are a revitalization of the FLEET, until the proposed Family Of Future Surface Ships, that was alluded too in this forum come into production in the mid 20’s.

    “Navy Weighing Options for a Family of Future Surface Ships
    By: Sam LaGrone
    January 12, 2016 1:34 PM”.

    As to the LCS, the ship builders made them to the requirements set forth by the Navy, these ships can’t fight just run. Time to man up, add some real guns, replace the useless 57mm MK110
    with a DRS 76mm super rapid in the low cross section turrets, keep the 2 excellent MK 46 30mm gun mounts, add 4 CROWS .50 cal gun mounts.

    For the general warfare keep the 21 cell RAM launcher, add a 16 cell MK 41 forward and 4 X 4 MK 57 VLS aft in the hanger or along the landing pad, for ESSM, NSM, LRASM and VL- ASROC and 2 X 3 MK 32 torpedo tubes.

    Add some proper radars, such as a ship version of the TPS-80 or APY-9 with an SPQ-9B for FC. Both FREEDOM and Independence class should get the Raytheon VDS/TB-37 MFTA Modular active/passive towed sonar array and SQQ-32 Kingfisher mine hunting Sonar.
    These upgrades would allow the LCS, to go a long way be to fight in the littoral region and becomes assets and not burdens to the Navy.

    As to the Medium Surface Combatant (NSC), it should be a real frigate, with a reduced RCS with a canted superstructure, along the lines of the MEKO CSL ( Integrated Topside ), production should be 24-36 in 4 Flights.

    Medium Surface Combatant Specs.
    * 445 ft long.
    * 54-57 ft beam.
    * 4,800 metric tons/5,500 tons full load.
    * 9,000-11,000 nautical mile range.
    * 1-LM2500 Gen +4 GT.
    * 2-Diesel Engines.
    * L-3 Hybrid Drive.
    * Landing Pad Hanger 2 Helos+2 UAV’s.
    * Navalized AN/TPS-80 S GeN Arrays.
    * Ship Based APY-9 UHF Radar.
    . Or CEAFAR/CEAMOUNT & GIRAFFE 4A.
    * SPQ-9B X Band FCR/Surface Search.
    * SEWIP Block 3 ECM/ESM 
    * SSTD suite ( TWS/CAT/ATT).
    * AN/SLQ-25C Torpedo ECM.
    * Mark 36 SRBOC with Nulka.
    * 16 VLS MK41+8 MK57 rear mid ship.
    * 16 VLS Mk41+8 M57 forward.
    * 1 21 round RAM launcher forward.
    * 2×3 Torpedo Tubes.
    * AN/SQQ-89A(V)15 (SQS-53C/TB- 37U)
    . VDS Asw/MineHunting/Torpedo Def.
    * 1-5/62 Mk45 gun forward.
    * 2 CIWS upgraded to Gau-8 or Gau-12
    . port and starboard hanger.
    * 4- MK38 Mod 3 30mm/40mm (1P/1S).
    * 6 .50Cal CROWS ( 3P/3S ).
    * 6 crew manned 7.62mm guns.

    The reason for the heavy gun, defensive/offensive load, ECM/ESM, torpedo and mine defence is becouse these ships will spend a lot of time in the Pershing Gulf and will need the guns to ward off or fight Iranian Revolutionaty Guard Patrol Boats, conduct mine warfare and fight Pirates in the Gulf of Aden and Africa. As for the very long range they might be tasked to patrol the Pacific and our artic regions, hence THE LONG RANGE.

    Let’s hope that SecDef Mattiss, will do it right and not waste 60 billion on programs that got us nothing but dead weight ( LCS and DDG 1000 ).

    • El_Sid

      the Type 26 is 492 ft in length with a Beam of 68 ft, this is the
      extreme beam in part to the deck house blister extentions and
      displacement is projected to be 8,000+ tons, based on the size and
      capability these are Destroyers tagged as Frigates for political
      reasons.

      No – the RN knows all about ship types being manipulated for political reasons (notably the Invincible “through-deck cruisers” that definitely weren’t aircraft carriers) – but this is just a philosophical difference. The RN types by function rather than size, so anything that is primarily for ASW is a frigate, anything that is primarily AAW is a destroyer. So the RN would have called a Spruance a frigate. The fact that the T26 is a frigate designed by a committee doesn’t change that, although there are some good reasons for the increased displacement – modern habitability standards for instance increase it by 10-15%.

  • John Locke

    All these suggestions make too much sense and at the same time don’t employ enough people to re-invent the wheel.

  • Rob C.

    I think if they open themselves too much for additional capacities, that all the committiees will throw their two cents in. With all that the next ship will end up like LSC, chimera of different ideas that one design alone didn’t have enough room to fit in one hull.

    Their needs to be strong firm points of view and focus on what the fleets need. We certainly doesn’t need another anti-air platform, it does need something that has VLS launchers, even if it’s has the strike size launchers if only few. Type 26 British Frigate is going end up being more capable than the Daring in everything but anti-air.

    I suspect that US Navy trying cram in more stuff for sake making design look good enough to be able pass the muster. I don’t know. They should keep it simple and focus on what it’s missions is. Anti-Air, Anti-Sub, Coastal hugging design with modest size mission module to add little flexibility?

  • old guy

    We are ALWAYS satisfied ((if not happy) to get the truth. Too bad the Old guys, the Conways, the Duanes, the Chesapeake guys, the Secundiuses, the 716s, the fact checkers and the like don’t seem to be able to connect with the new Navy brass. Maybe the new COMNAVSEA will be more willing. We can only hope.