Home » Budget Industry » SECNAV Spencer: Oliver Hazard Perry Frigates Could be Low-Cost Drug Interdiction Platforms

SECNAV Spencer: Oliver Hazard Perry Frigates Could be Low-Cost Drug Interdiction Platforms

USS Rentz (FFG-46) in 2009. US Navy Photo

THE PENTAGON — If recommissioned, seven retired Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates would serve as basic surface platforms, stay close to U.S. shores, assist drug interdiction efforts or patrol the Arctic without an extensive upgrade to its combat systems, the Secretary of the Navy said on Wednesday.

SECNAV Richard V. Spencer told reporters he and Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson are studying how the Navy faces-off a threat and how the Navy can best match the different types of threats.

“Is a (guided-missile destroyer) DDG the thing to put for drug interdictions down in the Caribbean? I don’t think so,” Spencer said.
“Do we actually have something in the portfolio right now?”

If pressed, Spencer said he’d task the Littoral Combat Ship with assisting the Coast Guard’s drug interdiction work in U.S. 4th Fleet in the short term. But looking forward to the Navy’s stated goal of increasing its fleet size to 355 ships, Spencer said part of his planning will include considering recommissioning the seven Perrys (FFG-7).

“One of the things we might look at is bringing the Perry-class to do a limited drug interdiction mode,” Spencer said.

Since December, when the Navy revealed the goal of building up to a 355-ship fleet, some analysts have called for reactivating several ships from the inactive fleet. Currently, the Navy has some 50 warships considered part of the inactive fleet, but these ships are varying states of repair.

While some analysts have called to reactivate other sidelined ships, such as three older Ticonderoga-class cruisers (CG-47) inactive for dozen years or the conventionally powered Kitty Hawk (CV-63) aircraft carrier, the Navy is really only considering bringing back the Perry-class ships for now.

In June, when discussing the prospect of reactivating older ships including the Perry-class frigates, CNO Richardson said the process is complicated. As a ship class nears the end of its anticipated life, the Navy doesn’t invest a lot of money into keeping the class modernized, opting instead to invest money in current programs.

In the 1980s, the service reactivated ships from the inactive fleet as part of the Reagan Administration’s drive to a 600-ship Navy – most notably the four Iowa-class battleships (BB-61) from World War II.

What makes the Perry-class intriguing is the relative ease and low-cost to put these ships back in service, to perform specific roles, Spencer said. Supporting his point, Spencer mentioned the March deal where Taiwan spent $35,000 per-ship to put two Perry-class frigates back to sea.

“No combat systems, but sea-ready, navigation ready, radar ready out the door,” Spencer said. “That’s a pretty inexpensive proven platform right there,” Spencer said. “Can you arm it up with Tomahawks? No.”

But for drug interdiction or operating in low threat areas, Spencer said the frigates could accomplish these important missions without expensive upgrades to weapons systems.

  • Lazarus

    Where will the crews for these antiquated, people-intensive ships originate if the navy already has a shortage of crews for active ships such as those in WESTPAC. The nation would be better off buying additional National Security Cutters if drug interdiction is the desired capability.

    • El_Sid

      If you want 355 ships then you’re going to need a budget for additional manpower in some form or other. The NSCs must be some of the most heavily-manned coastguard ships in the world, they have about the same crew as a Type 26, or a few less than a FREMM. The Perry crews aren’t so much more, at least not if there’s no “combat systems”. But upfront cost of $35m versus >$600m looks attractive in this environment….

      I’d have thought for the Caribbean you could probably get away with OPCs?

      • Bill Wells

        Actually, the old, and remaining, Hamilton Class 378-foot cutters are more “heavily” armed. The Coast Guard is wary of weapons systems and has little history of installing larger guns or armaments until a war breaks out or some other need arises. Heck, the USCG does not have FTs anymore and I’m not sure the ETs can handle it.

      • Lazarus

        $35m might have gotten ships prepared for FMS (foreign military sales) but those US FFG’s were not so preserved. It will cost more to sort basic HM&E and who will crew them? The USN cannot adequately crew the ships it had.

        Agree the NSC are large, but they have a deployable mission that takes them far from coastal waters as opposed to other coast guards that remain in their own littoral waters. You have a good point and maybe medium endurance cutters will suffice.

        • El_Sid

          The NSC are no more bluewater than T26 and FREMM – but the latter have a whole heap more of specialist weapons and sensors that need bodies to look after them.

          To be honest, I suspect that something that looks more like an LPD/LSD would be more appropriate for the Caribbean. Plenty of space for boarding teams, C2, HADR supplies, facilities for aviation and small boats. Or if you’re paying >$600m for an NSC, why not buy an ESB and a flight of Seahawk/Firescout/TALONS etc for similar money? On a lower budget, lightly modify an oil support vessel along the lines of HMS Protector (albeit she was a dedicated ice-hardened ship, which cost about $5m to convert and $70m to buy at 12 years old).

        • Bill

          The article says $35 thousand per ship, not million. Seems absurdly low in government work, but maybe Taiwan is frugal.

          • Duane

            Taiwan probably does not have anywhere near the rules and regulations and certification to deal with that we have. Heck, just the cost to hire an environmental consultant to inspect the old hulls for potential pollution sources would cost at least a few hundred thousand a pop. Maybe more.

          • D. Jones

            We couldn’t do the authorization paperwork for a study for $35K.

            Maybe $35K was a tank of fuel, two cases of ammo and a new flag.

      • Lucas Shaver

        The OPCs will also perform drug interdiction in a variety of places, they are far more capable than the past WMECs, and in some ways are more capable than the 378s. The NSCs do cost a good bit, but that’s due to the design and equipment, etc. The OPC’s are almost NSCs minus certain things (Degaussing, hard kill, dual hangars, lower speed, RCS reductions, etc).

        • Secundius

          How are they going to be Armed though?/! Always assuming that the Mk. 75 3-inch gun is going to be Retained as its Primary Gun…

          • Lucas Shaver

            Nope, they will carry the Mk 110 57mm gun, multiple crew served and remotely controlled .50 caliber machine guns, and a Mk 38 25mm gun. They will also carry NULKA decoys, and have the capability to carry additional armament.

    • the_artist_formerly_known_as_m

      Speaking of people intensive: what about the fairly large shore support staff – both military and contractor – for the LCS class?

      I also wonder if an FF(G)-7 would really be “that” people-intensive if the Navy decided to remove it’s high-end combat systems.

      • LT Rusty

        They did that 15 years ago.

        • the_artist_formerly_known_as_m

          They “de-missiled” the Perry’s. What about ASW or other gear?

      • Lazarus

        PEO LCS agrees the shore side staff is too small and is working to reduce that component and proprietary equipment on LCS. I think the Perry’s retired with crews of a little less then 200, or perhaps less? Given that nearly all of the CS gear was removed when the MK13 and MK92 FCS went away, not sure how many more people can go. Maybe the ASW folks (dozen?)

  • Matt

    How can the Coast Guard ever get the ships and budget it needs when we can’t even understand who is responsible for what? If the Navy is going to be the Coast Guard why can’t the Coast Guard just be the Navy too? How many ships would we be at if all the cutters became Navy “battle force” ships?

  • Uncle Mike

    Maybe the Navy should recommission them as training vessels and let SWO JOs practice basic seamanship skills, since those skills appear to have been lost.

    • Duane

      Perhaps, but the old Perrys would little resemble modern naval warships and all of the roles that they provide while also navigating safely. It would be akin to building driving skills using the bumper cars at the fair.

      • Uncle Mike

        First things first – let’s re-learn how to drive ships safely, then concentrate on fighting them. The time I spent on YPs at SWOS many years ago was time well-spent and could not have been duplicated in classrooms or simulators. Besides, a bare-bones bridge might focus attention on the essentials of seamanship, rather than build reliance and dependency on automation and complex systems. There is no substitute for good seamanship skills.

        Also, your bumper-car analogy is a bad one. If you think driving an FFG in coastal waters, at night, in formation, station-keeping, avoiding shipping, is like bumper cars, then you’ve never stood OOD at sea.

        • Duane

          In home waters (the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean) that are not remotely as congested and constricted as the Malacca Strait and the approaches to Tokyo Bay, with no weapons systems to think about, yes, the proposed use of the Perrys is like bumper cars. Like driving on your neighborhood street compared to rush hour traffic on LA freeways.

          • Uncle Mike

            Driving on your neighborhood street is a much better analogy. And that’s exactly how all new drivers start. The freeway comes later. If you can’t handle the basics on a neighborhood street, you’ll get run over on the freeway. Thank you for making my point for me.

          • Duane

            Basic seamanship is taught to Midshipmen in the Academy and summer cruises, and in SWOS training.

            The most valuable training of all is conducted on real world vessels with real world distractions and stuff to deal with. You don’t need a dedicated ship to teach that.

            You’re obviously struggling to support your suggestion which is almost certainly not going to be adopted by the Navy.

          • the_artist_formerly_known_as_m

            “Basic seamanship is taught to Midshipmen in the Academy and summer cruises, and in SWOS training.”


            So much wrong with this statement.

            First off: academy students are not the only source of officers. Summer cruises are hardly enough time to learn how to be a good seaman.

            As I understand it: SWOS training is pretty much all online now. I’m a former naval flight officer. I cannot even imagine trying to learn how to operate an aircraft via web-based courses

          • Duane

            You forgot that all flight training begins with basic stuff as taught in “ground school”. You can’t learn to fly in ground school … but you can learn the basics so that the time spent in the cockpit is not wasted because you don’t know the FARs or theory of flight. Ditto with “basic” seamanship. If someone conning the ship doesn’t understand the basics, they can’t safely con the ship. And then just as with flight training, you have to learn the vast majority of what you need to know in the cockpit or on the bridge.

          • Old Coasty

            USN closed the six month SWO basic school in 2003 and hands out a 23 data cd box set to newly minted SWOs instead.

            They said that the new SWOs would be trained on the job and mentored by the ships senior officers.

            Not all ships senior officers are mentors or qualified instructors. Not every one has the temperament for this.

            Now you have senior ship officers who not only have only the cd training but also do not have the experience. What with all of the war related select augmentation instead of sea service time. Not to mention all of the extra staff duty created for all of those extra Admirals and commands.

      • BlueSky47

        in Duane-y’s world, a modern warship has the following attributes;
        -it has no organic weapons except for a puny little 57mm pop gun and a couple of unreliable 30mm machine guns that can’t hit a giant orange ball 200 yards away, but then neither can the optically guided 57mm pop gun either, “one shot one kill for the giant orange ball” shouted the LCS commander, but much to his dismay…
        -it has no layered defenses, except for a single Phalanx mount (good luck if you’re trying to defend two vectors at once)
        -it has a huge mission bay, but it can’t hold anything because the hull is has severe weight limitations
        -it’s build to take on modules, but those models have been worked on for the last 15 years yet none of them work
        -it’s built to commerical standards, i.e. it cannot take any damage at all, hull easily cracks with only minor bumps, and it’s designed for a very short lifespan, i,e, the first LCS are already approaching mid-life
        -it has a very small crew, just like commerical ships, therefore it can’t deal with any casualty
        -it has extremely limited electronics, short range only commerical radar
        -zero electronic warefare capabilities (want to know if any bad guys are around-good luck)
        -zero capability to hurt any bad guys, except rubber dingys
        -very limited range, i.e. it’s a gas guzzler
        -extreemely complicated propulsion plant that requires a huge dedicated shore support all around the world done at great costs, but for some reason those costs are never counted
        -but yet it can do 50 knots, as for the purpose of such high speed, someone here said “so it can outrun antiship missiles” but the fact remains is that the LCS will never even know the bad guys are around
        -built of aluminum, ‘burn baby burn’ i.e. remember the Falklands
        -but yet it costs ONLY $650 million just for hull (this doesn’t count any “navy” systems)
        -it not a value mulitplier to the fleet, it fact it requires the constant presence of a destroyer overseer to ‘protect it’ from the bad guys
        -but this ‘modern’ warship makes great power point presentations!
        Now sit back everyone and enjoy the wailing…

      • Gerry Wright

        What? You’ve never been to Annapolis and seen what those Midshipmen train on now. Go ahead and look at the size of the basic seamanship vessels the Academy.

        • Duane

          They get the “ground school” in the academy, and the real world exposure on summer cruises. At least they used to.

  • NSCs have realistic manning but it is less than the two crews on each LCS plus their support staffs. OPCs will have a crew of about 110 and will be able to do virtually anything the National Security Cutters can do for about half the price.

    Coast Guard is already sending their 210 foot cutters to the Eastern Pacific off Colombia. Range isn’t an issue for the cutters.

    FFGs will still have fairly large crews and high fuel cost with over 30 year old all gas turbine propulsion.

  • Ed L

    Aw come on!!! Bring them back and give them
    Combat systems. VLS where the main gun use to be. Shorten the hangers by using Lynx or Measure Schmidt helo’s. move the 76mm to the bow. Then the LCS will have someone to protect them on both ends. Perry’s on one side and the Cyclone PC’s on the other. Then the Perry’s and Cyclones can work the PG together with a Burke farther off shore. let the LCS do drug interdication

  • Curtis Conway

    Told you so about the OHP FFG-7s. For the Gulf of Mexico/Caribbean Anti-Drug Patrols its perfect. Low cost and efficient, got a gun, and has a lot of room.

    Most of my adult life I have been berated for restating the obvious. Now the CNO testifies: “…the Navy doesn’t invest a lot of money into keeping the [moth-balled] class modernized.”
    A desired ‘end item’ with a specific capability is not that hard to define. Make the list, conduct the survey, and fix the ships . . . huhh?
    “Can you arm it up with Tomahawks? No.” . . . But . . . you can sure arm them with Harpoon! Land attack has never been a mission of the frigates, but ASuW has always been in the mission set. The Oto Melara 76mm will be enough anyway. The Mk15 CIWS should remain (or go back on board).

    Arctic Patrols will be much different compared to Gulf of Mexico/Caribbean/Eastern Pacific Anti-Drug Patrols. A US Coast Guard Legal Detachment should be included for both mission sets. Primarily because fisheries policing will require the USCG LEDET as much as the Anti-Drug Operations. There are not that many US Navy deck officers with extensive Arctic Operational Experience in the surface fleet. The US Coast Guard has quite a few, and that institutional depth of experience in the US Navy Surface Fleets must be rebuilt. Perhaps some XO and Operation Officer Tours for some Coasties to get the experience ramped up.

    Don’t forget the Australian Frigates if this experience, and operational budget, turns out to be a good thing. The Australian FFG-7s are a worthy platform for the Arctic given the lack of a hull mounted sonar on the bow. The odds can be made even in a pinch with some water-space management. It will be a laboratory for the future frigate as well.

    • Lazarus

      The Australians paid nearly $1b to get 9-10 more years of life (or so) out of 4 of their 6 FFG’s. They had no other air defense capable ships at the time, so I understand their need to retain the FFG’s and modernize them (even at great cost.) The US has no such need as it is already met by CG’s and DDG’s.

      • Curtis Conway

        TODAY, if you send an OHP FFG-7 to the Arctic (which is specifically mentioned in the article), they will CERTAINLY NEED an AAW capability JUST TO SURVIVE what the Russians have already parked in their Arctic Ports, and I don’t even have an intel traffic stack. In the Arctic one not only has to survive potential combat, but the elements as well. The LCS troops will just turn into fish food because they cannot defend themselves. A currently equipped and deployed OHP FFG-7 out of the moth-balled fleet, will also feed the fish, they will just freeze first, if not upgraded for Arctic Operatons.

        The OHP FFG-7 has a hull without a sonar on the bow, so they could take on thin ice if required, although I would not suggest that employment capability. It also has a single screw so no redundant propulsion in a naturally dangerous environment. The National Security Cutter would serve well too with its two screws. I would like to see the O&M numbers of that comparison. An up-gunned NSC would be the best you can get short of two Main Machinery Spaces in a new frigate. All the ‘lack of a Combat System’ talk sounds like a cost saving measure, instead of equipping the ship to perform a mission. Amphibious ships have a Combat System. Upgrade to AN/SPQ-9B, upgrade the AN/SPS-55 to a SPS-67 or better, leave the AN/SPS-49 for the time being (parts are available soon for that one) and upgrade its IFF. Upgrade the aviation department spaces to support MH-60R Seahawk. Connectivity to the outside world should be upgraded to Dual INMARSAT, and install Link-16. If an Australian Adelaide class is acquired (or borrowed) then just upgrade the COMMS, and add CEC, upgrade aviation support, and move forward.
        I would station two on each coast with West Coast in Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, or U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak, Ketchikan, Alaska. The East Coast units could be stationed in Portland, ME.

        As for the $1 Billion to get the service of four (4) ships for a decade, we currently spend just under $2 Billion to get ONE (1) multi-warfare DDG-51 which can only be in ONE PLACE at a time. Did I misread that comment?

        To survive in the modern battle-space one simply must be able to deal withe Tactical Ballistic Missiles (TBMs) and Anti-Ship Cruise Missiles (ASCMs), particularly if you are in the Littorals and near the beach. That is one of the reasons contemplation of making everyone a shooter is in vogue, and that is a good thought, for we can use things we already have which are systems that are already mature. Make it a bolt-on system, and put it on everyone not already so equipped. For self defense, and defense of the force against surface targets, and targets ashore, a navalized version of the Ground-Launched Small Diameter Bomb (GLSDB) would really come in handy.

        • Duane

          So you seriously think we will be fighting a naval surface battle on the polar ice cap? Over what? Protecting “shipping lanes”? Resisting an invasion?

          What are you drinking?

          • Curtis Conway

            Duane, your mindset is not one to EVER be involved in our nations defense. ‘Plan for the worse and hope for the best’ is the principle, of which NO ONE remembered when they dreamed up that abortion called an LCS. Doing anything else is “planning to fail”, actively showing a LOSS OF FAITH with our service personnel, and failing to give our Sailors what they need to perform their task with success while performing their mission in the COCOM. It is NOT a kinder gentler world out there, and you don’t need a stack of SECRET traffic to figure that out. Wake up! The Russians DID NOT increase their force levels in the Arctic by FOUR TIMES for no reason at all. Be ready, or just give up the theater, but DO NOT send our sailors to a certain death when the bubble goes up.

          • Duane

            My mindset is to be serious about national defense, not engage and fantasies of arctic naval wars, a place where naval war is not a realitistic scenario. The Russians spend their rubles on lots of foolish things, that is not a reason for us to do the same.

            One B-1B loaded with ASCMs would eliminate the entire Russian icebreaker fleet in a few minutes.

          • Curtis Conway

            With the Arctic commercial traffic increasing by factors of 10 every couple of years, over the last decade, and the Russians recently purchased a freighter that basically doesn’t care about the ice as this mammoth ship plows through it, I fail to see the relevance of your comment. The Arctic ALREADY IS an item in our planning if you agree with it or not. Communications has now been provided over most of the region, and regular military exercises conducted pretty much year round with our Allies in the region. The US Navy and US Coast Guard are bringing up the rear with this regard. The Obama Administration’s DoD budgets (or lack thereof for he could not pass one, just CRs) with the philosophy of “peace in our time” has damn near destroyed our capability in many areas. It sure left our forces with few spare parts, less training (e.g., lower Readiness . . . which equates to Higher Risk) and a lack of resources in all regions, and the Arctic requires VERY specialized and specifically equipped resources.

            The Arctic AOR is approximately 4,000 miles long and 1,500 miles across, and it is true one cannot go to all of it at once because of ice in the region. However, “A B-1B Lancer with ANY ASCM loadout could not even begin to cover that area, even with multiple tanker support”. Therefore any “…engage and fantasies of arctic naval wars, a place where naval war is not a realitistic [sp] scenario…” is WAY off the Mark, and a topic of great importance and discussion in a particular five sided building, and congress right now. AND . . . you do have the right to your opinion what ever it is!

          • Secundius

            But considering the ONLY Defense Appropriations Budget throughout the 2009 to 2017 Presidency, was Bought and Paid For by the LAST Defense Appropriations Budget that George W. Bush submitted in January 2009. BECAUSE the US Congress though “SPITE” (Black while President) wouldn’t give Barrack Obama a Defense Appropriations Budget for the Years of 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017…

          • BlueSky47

            Come now Curtis, logic, reason, and facts don’t apply here, only feelings, power point projections, and new shiny thing (aka LCS) fetishes do. 😛

          • agnosic1

            Yes. It will happen.

      • Curtis Conway

        Another thought; A . . . ONE . . . (1) . . . DDG-51 cost just under $2 Billion when bought in blocks of ten (10), and you get multi-warfare presence in ONE (1) place on the planet. So you are telling me that the Australians invested $1 Billion and got multi-warfare presence in four (4) places. Did I get that right? Was this your argument? This is bad HOW?! That’s a better equation than the USCG got out of the National Security Cutters, and they are not AAW capable. To adopt Australian Adelaide Class OHP FFG-7s with their Upgrade Program installed would be a great solution for the Arctic.

  • Duane

    Drug interdiction in near home waters should not be a mission for the US Navy. That is clearly a USCG mission. If the USCG wants the old Perrys, fine, let them put the vessels in service as CG vessels.

    This is the proverbial solution in search of a problem, and a barely disguised excuse to creep closer to the mythic 355 ship Navy, rather than a rational use of scarce resources.

    • Curtis Conway

      The OHP FFG-7s performing Anti-Drug Operations will be assigned to 4th Fleet and performing Presence Operations with a Anti-Drug Mission set stacked upon that. The Caribbean Basin, Eastern Pacific and South-Central Atlantic has had FFG-7s performing this very mission for over 40 years . . . until recently. The best USCG Cutter they ever had in numbers was a US Navy FFG-7 OHPs with Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachments (LEDETs) on board, and the Navy could just re-task them when necessary. Happened more than once . . . in the REAL world.

      • Duane

        Drug interdiction is not the role of the US Navy. That is the role of USCG. If the USCG wants the old frigates, they can ask for them. So far they have not.

        This is just an exercise in political bean counting, to help the Navy get to an arbitrary political objective of 355 ships. It is just as counterproductive as was pulling out the old obsolete (since the opening hour of World War Two) BBs from mothballs so that they could manage to kill their sailors with old, dangerous powder bags, just to help the Reagan Adminstration stake their temporary claim to 600 ships, which was abandoned shortly thereafter.

        • Curtis Conway

          “Drug interdiction is not the role of the US Navy.” Yes, but ‘Presence Missions’ are in the mission set, and embarked LEDETs have been conducting these operations on FFGs, DDGs, CGs for over four decades. I believe some very large ‘busts’ happened with FFG-7s just before they were decommissioned. Back in the day we embarked a LEDET more than once on the First Aegis Cruiser, and some of our sister ships made some very significant busts during operations in the Caribbean, although I think that was a waste of a valuable multi-warfare asset in that region. However, these deployments served other [political] purposes too. Any US Navy vessel underway has to be ready for what ever comes their way, and they don’t get to pick what that is, so platforms that are mostly single purpose can get themselves in a crack rapidly if they are not paying attention. Which is very likely today since our major surface combatants cannot seem to go from here to there without running into something. Man has been safely navigating the oceans for millennia . . . until now. Stay sharp. Maintain the bubble. Read your traffic, and attend all briefings, then Function As A Team. You will usually go home safely.

  • “One of the things we might look at is bringing the Perry-class to do a limited drug interdiction mode,” Spencer said.
    That is just what they were used for before they decommissioned them all.

  • RobM1981

    C’mon, Secretary… really?

    The OHP’s are old, and old ships are always expensive to operate.

    Hey, how about those new-fangled LCS thingees? They’re worthless for most forms of actual warfare, but they do ship a flight deck and hangar, and they are absurdly fast when the engineering plant is held together.

    They can take on a Bayliner, or a home-made submarine, I think.

    • Jon

      Even a clapped out OHP is cheaper to operate than an LCS, by far. Also…they’d make great training platforms if used in the CONUS “limited drug interdiction mode”. On-the-job training, in surface ops, we seem to need desperately. Rotate trainees and midshipmen through them as part of the school house. Thus killing multiple birds, with one stone.

  • RobM1981

    In a related story, Secretary Spencer indicated that the USS Constitution is being considered for drug interdiction.

    “It’s an under-utilized asset,” said Spencer. “It sits in Boston Harbor doing nothing but absorb resources. That’s crazy. It’s just out of an expensive overhaul, and is in great shape.”

    Continuing, the Secretary opined, “It’s the greenest ship in the US Navy, and perhaps the world. It only burns fossil fuels to cook with. Otherwise, it’s 100% wind powered.”

    “Those 44 guns are more than a match for anything that a drug runner could possibly be using,” Spencer concluded, pointing to a line drawing of the famous ship.

  • Michael Dabney Sr.

    It’s my opinion that 100 Virginia class fast attack submarines would boost the Navy’s performance records the need for more surface targets is unnecessary

  • Mr. Conway and others – you could station the squadron in Key West and they could be used not only for drugs, etc. but in a training role. They had a one arm launcher forward. When they were removed what filled that space and magazine? Maybe you could put a cluster of vertical launched somethings. They could be like the sub thing a bob. Hanger would be great for a unmanned helo. Cheap, sensible, and could carry a minimum crew with USNR supplement. Cheap to operate and could spend a lot of time at sea. (Oh no a ship a sea) MMCS(SW) USN Ret.

  • Secundius

    It tells you something about the “OHP” class “Seaworthiness” IF the US Navy is contemplating making them “Littorals”…

  • Victor

    1) put the 76mm gun up front, on a raised platform.
    2) Put a RAM launcher where the 76mm gun was taken from

  • Victor Pino

    3) what will the helicopters’ missions be?
    Could you get by with OH-6’s or Huey’s for scouting, light ASUW, rescue…etc
    Or do you really need a Blackhawk …? How about 2 Cobras…?
    4) didn’t they have a towed sonar array , back in the day?
    5) only use one turbine at a time, I remember the ship could do more than 20 knots on one engine.
    6) if moving the 76mm gun is too much trouble,
    Then put a MANUALLY fed 76mm or 5″ gun…up on the bow.
    No electronics, Mk 1 eyeballs…ANY gun is better than no gun.
    7) look into alternate Ram missiles, such as a similar size, weight…etc
    But with 1/2-2/3 the speed and longer range …i.e., anti-air up to/over 10 miles
    And a heavier warhead…better against air threats AND ASUW…
    And where are the Torpedoes?

    If your going to rebuild these frigates, on a budget, do not let anything stop you from making these ships dangerous.
    Do not let any idea go by without serious thought.
    Even if you have to go “Retro”…
    (Example, putting Helicopter weapons… in a trainable launcher…
    Torpedoes, Missiles, Gun pods…Etc)
    Or, I am reluctant to say…
    Army systems…Avenger air defense?( too AA light?)
    Bradly Turret with a 25mm gun AND twin TOW launcher…?

    Last but not least, any USN warship has to ask the question…
    ” How well can my ship do if placed in a Taffy-3 Situation…”
    And have to answer it. (For those of you, its the Battle of Samar.)
    With respect,

    • Secundius

      Couple problems associated with the Manual Feed 5-inch Mk. 12/30 Gun Mounts. First, NONE being in service. and Second the Mk. 12/30’s can ONLY us the 127x679mm Ammunition. And the Mk.42/45 Gun Mounts BOTH use ONLY 127x836mm Ammunition. Though the Mk.42/45 can still fire the 1934 Ammunition, NONE exist in Manual Feed Operation. And ~880,000 of the 1934 Ammunition STILL Exist! Last time used was in 1983…

  • BlueSky47

    This could be the new Littoral Combat ship, it’s got a big gun that can actually do something (unlike the little 57mm pop gun), torpedoes, a towed array, a sonar, great long range radar, both surface and air, a top end EW suite, a Phalanx, room for two helos, but the real kicker is that it doesn’t break all the time, and it wouldn’t cost us $750 million per empty ‘sea-frame.’ But I suppose “someone” here would think it’s a terrible idea. After all, the LCS is “shiny” and it has that new car smell. LOLOLOLO

    • D. Jones

      Be nice to the Literally Clinton Ship.

      • Secundius

        How exactly is it a “Clinton Ship”?/! BOTH the Freedom and Independence were Funded in 2004, when George W. was President…

        • D. Jones

          You weren’t listening to HRC’s speech at the commissioning of LCS10 (Giffords) this June?

          If they make any more they should name one after her. Bill too. Maybr Chelsea.

          • Secundius

            Guess what?/! They are!/? After r Forty Flight “0’s” are built, there going to Start Construction on the approximately Twenty-Six Flight “I’s”. The Funding for the Flight “I’s” were Funded in 2014, and OBAMA didn’t even order them. The US Congress DID…

          • D. Jones

            China, who helped fund the Clintons attempted destruction of the military, would be deliriously happy if the Navy built more LCS’es, instead of actual warships.

          • Secundius

            If there is a War with the PRC and/or the RuFed?/! Guess WHAT ships are going to be deployed Through-Out the War!/? The “ONES” that can be Mass Produced the Fastest, the LCS classes…

          • Duane

            You didn’t respond. Secundius is right, HRC had nothing to do with LCS. Or WJC. It was all on Bush 43 and his administration.

            One of the smarter things they did, though it doesn’t come close to making up for the grotesque errors Bush 43 and his gang made in Iraq …. that we’re still paying for today.

      • Duane

        Bush 43 authorized the LCS – nice (failed) try at politicizing something that isn’t political.

  • b2

    Here is the new SECNAV floating a tenuous trial balloon of common sense idea. What one could call a “No-brainer”… I applaud you sir…
    However, experience has proven to me that acceptance of a “No-brainer” by the Navy leadership is not going to happen. They have their own “visions” (they went to CanoeU you know…). Direct example was the proposal of bringing the S-3 Viking back to the carrier deck circa 2012, another “no brainer” with all the F-18 tanker woes and the “Strike Fighter Gap”.. right? Navy leadership shot that down with all the usual excuses….SECNAV, how about re-use of S-3 Vikings as the MQ-25 air vehicle?…crickets…well. er, ah….
    Don’t fight city hall SECNAV… there are “No-Brains” there… Unless you order them they will do nothing…

  • Wayne Arrington

    The Gulf of Mexico, especially along the Texas/Louisiana coast, and approaching the Houston Ship Channel and the ULCC are some of the busiest and most congested waters imaginable. Tanker traffic, workboats everywhere, myriad production and drilling platforms/vessels all over the place. Throw in some yachties/fishing/shrimpers and the frequent restricted visibility and you have a nightmare radar picture from the bridge trying to pick out the moving from the non-moving…. Training SWOs to be OODs: It actually would approach being just like bumper cars.

  • Rob C.

    How are they going fit these ships out? Drug interdiction will be interesting. I served on one these boats, one the short hull ones. Assuming the surviving ships reactivated will be last batch of the Oliver Hazard Perry Class ships, are they going use it as platform to fly off Helios to go after the Go-Fast boats? Perrys are fast, but not that fast.

    I’m not worried how well they are armed, its going be used to shoot up essentially civilian modified smuggling boats. Positive thing is, if their operational, their sonars will possibly able to pickup those Narco Subs despite lack of metal in them.

    It’s shame its impossible for the Navy to actually contract low-cost ships without tying up resources needed to build regular Navy units.

  • agnosic1

    Drug-smuggling and people-smuggling–look at murder rates worldwide:

    Twenty of twenty-three countries/territories in the Caribbean have murder rates above the US rate, ranging from 6.6 to 52.6 murders per 100,000 citizens. Only three Caribbean countries have murder rates below the US murder rate (Martinique, Aruba, and Cuba).

    I say send as many ships as the US can afford.


    • Secundius

      And exactly HOW is a Naval Ship at SEA going to prevent a Crime on LAND…

      • agnosic1

        Disrupting criminal networks WHEREVER POSSIBLE leads to upstream effects on areas where criminal operations are endemic. But you knew that, right?

        • Secundius

          Always assuming that the Naval Ship is at the right Place at the Right Time, and that there a Sufficient Amount of Marines aboard to Prevent the Crime from Happening in the First Place…

          • agnosic1

            That’s how the world should work, right?

          • Secundius

            Final Disposition of SIX “OHP” class Frigates during the 2013 Sequestration was made by the US Senate. Four to Taiwan (FFG-50, Taylor, FFG-51, Gary, FFG-52, Carr and FFG-55, Elrod) and Two to Mexico (FFG-38 Curtis and FFG-41, McClusky)…