Home » Budget Industry » Navy Picks Five Contenders for Next Generation Frigate FFG(X) Program


Navy Picks Five Contenders for Next Generation Frigate FFG(X) Program

USNI News Image

Five ship designs will compete in the Navy’s bid for 20 next-generation guided-missile frigates (FFG(X)) that will follow the Littoral Combat Ship, the service announced on Friday.

Five shipbuilders were awarded contracts for conceptual design of the frigates, which the Navy will evaluate over the next 16 months ahead of a final request for proposal in 2019 and a contract award in 2020.

Austal USA, Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics Bath Iron Works, Fincantieri Marine and Huntington Ingalls Industries were each awarded $15 million contracts for the work.

“These conceptual designs will reduce FFG(X) risk by enabling industry to mature designs to meet the approved FFG(X) capability requirements,” read a late Friday statement from Naval Sea Systems Command.
“The contracts based on these requirements will facilitate maturing multiple designs during the 16 months of the conceptual design phase, and will allow the Navy to better understand the cost and capability drivers across the various design options. Furthermore, this will inform the final specifications for a full and open competition with a single source award in FY20 for Detail Design and Construction (DD&C) of the FFG(X).”

Each design the Navy selected was based on a “mature” parent design that is already in production for the U.S. or foreign navies and that could incorporate a laundry list of systems the Navy will require for the FFG(X). Foreign designs required a partnership with a U.S. shipyard for construction. The Navy expects to pay anywhere from $800 to $950 million per hull for the next-generation frigate.

The Navy would not confirm how many groups bid for the work. At least one U.S.-German team that was not selected for a design contract, Atlas USA and ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems, told USNI News they had submitted for the competition.

In July the Navy released many details of the government-furnished equipment side of the frigate design, when it released a request for information that would inform the conceptual design phase request for proposal. Whereas the LCS has been criticized for not having enough offensive firepower to contribute to a naval battle in a meaningful way, the FFG(X) will be outfitted with equipment to succeed in “complex electronic warfare and anti-ship missile threat environments” as both an independent-deployer and as part of a larger battle group.

Though the Navy had not settled on a final solution regarding how many Vertical Launching System (VLS) cells the ship would have and what balance of VLS-compatible missiles it might use, the RFI made clear VLS would be an important part of the frigate’s punching power.

Aside from the VLS, though, the RFI in many ways resembled the Navy’s previous frigate requirements — the Navy has evolved from an upgunned LCS to a frigate to a guided-missile frigate over the past few years in an attempt to figure out how to address criticisms of the Flight I LCSs being built, fielded and deployed today.

“Many of the required weapons systems are pulled from the previous FF requirements: the COMBATSS-21 Combat Management System, which pulls software from the same common source library as the Aegis Combat System on large surface combatants; the SeaRAM anti-ship missile defense system; a canister-launched over-the-horizon missile; the surface-to-surface Longbow Hellfire missile; the Mk53 Nulka decoy launching system; the Surface Electron Warfare Improvement Program (SEWIP) Block 2 program with SLQ-32(V)6; and a slew of undersea warfare tools such as the AN/SLQ-61 light weight tow, AN/SQS-62 variable depth sonar and AN/SQQ-89F undersea warfare/anti-submarine warfare combat system. It also requires use of the MK 110 57mm gun with the Advanced Low Cost Munition Ordnance (ALaMO) projectile being developed for the LCS and frigate,” USNI News reported last summer.

During last month’s Surface Navy Association, several shipbuilders outlined their designs for the FFG(X) competition.

Austal USA

2017 rendering of Austal USA multi-mission frigate design. Austal USA Image

Shipyard: Austal USA in Mobile, Ala.
Parent Design: Independence-class Littoral Combat Ship
One of the two Littoral Combat Ship builders, Austal USA has pitched an upgunned variant of the Independence-class LCS as both a foreign military sales offering and as the answer to the Navy’s upgunned small surface combatant and then frigate programs. Based on the 3,000-ton aluminum trimaran design, the hull boasts a large flight deck and space for up to 16 Mk-41 Vertical Launching System (VLS) cells.

Fincantieri Marine Group

Italian FREMM. Fincantieri Marine Group Image

Shipyard: Fincantieri Marinette Marine in Marinette, Wisc.
Parent Design: Fincantieri Italian FREMM
As part of the stipulations of the FFG(X) programs, a contractor can offer just one design in the competition as a prime contractor but may also support a second bid as a subcontractor. Fincantieri elected to offer its 6,700-ton Italian Fregata europea multi-missione (FREMM) design for construction in its Wisconsin Marinette Marine shipyard, as well as partner with Lockheed Martin on its Freedom-class pitch as a subcontractor. The Italian FREMM design features a 16-cell VLS as well as space for deck-launched anti-ship missiles.

General Dynamics Bath Iron Works

General Dynamics Bath Iron Works FFG(X) design based on the F100 frigate design from BIW’s booth at SNA 2018. USNI News Image

Shipyard: Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine
Parent Design: Navantia Álvaro de Bazán-class F100 Frigate
The 6,000-ton air defense guided-missile frigates fitted with the Aegis Combat System have been in service for the Spanish Armada since 2002 and are the basis of the Australian Hobart-class air defense destroyers and the Norwegian Fridtjof Nansen-class frigates. The Navantia partnership with Bath is built on a previous partnership from the turn of the century. The F100 frigates were a product of a teaming agreement between BIW, Lockheed Martin and Navantia predecessor Izar as part of the Advanced Frigate Consortium from 2000.

Huntington Ingalls Industries

Legacy HII Patrol Frigate Design. HII Image

Shipyard: Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Miss.
Parent Design: Unknown
Out of the competitors involved in the competition, HII was the only company that did not present a model or a rendering of its FFG(X) at the Surface Navy Association symposium in January. A spokeswoman for the company declined to elaborate on the offering when contacted by USNI News on Friday. In the past, HII has presented a naval version of its Legend-class National Security Cutter design as a model at trade shows labeled as a “Patrol Frigate.”

Lockheed Martin

Lockheed Martin FFG(X) design. Lockheed Martin Image

Shipyard: Fincantieri Marinette Marine in Marinette, Wisc.
Parent Design: Freedom-class Littoral Combat Ship
Of the two LCS builders, Lockheed Martin is the first to have secured a foreign military sale with its design. The company’s FFG(X) bid will have much in common with its offering for the Royal Saudi Navy’s 4,000-ton multi-mission surface combatant. The new Saudi ships will be built around an eight-cell Mk-41 vertical launch system and a 4D air search radar. Lockheed has pitched several other variants of the hull that include more VLS cells.
“We are proud of our 15-year partnership with the U.S. Navy on the Freedom-variant Littoral Combat Ship and look forward to extending it to FFG(X),” said Joe DePietro, Lockheed Martin vice president of small combatants and ship systems in a Friday evening statement.
“Our frigate design offers an affordable, low-risk answer to meeting the Navy’s goals of a larger and more capable fleet.”

The following is the Feb. 16, 2018 contract annoucement from Naval Sea Systems Command.

Austal USA LLC, Mobile, Alabama, is being awarded a $14,999,969 firm-fixed-price contract for Guided Missile Frigate (FFG(X)) conceptual design. Austal will be maturing their proposed ship design to meet the FFG(X) system specification. The conceptual design effort will inform the final specifications that will be used for the detail design and construction request for proposal that will deliver the required capability for FFG(X). The conceptual design phase will reduce cost, schedule, and performance risk for the follow-on detail design and construction contract. This contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $21,399,022. Work will be performed in Mobile, Alabama (57 percent); Pittsfield, Massachusetts (33 percent); Annapolis, Maryland (8 percent); Groton, Connecticut (1 percent); and Houston, Texas (1 percent), and is expected to be complete by June 2019. Fiscal 2018 research, development, test and evaluation; and fiscal 2017 research, development, test and evaluation funding in the amounts of $11,000,000 and $1,200,000 respectively will be obligated at time of award and funds in the amount of $1,200,000 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the Federal Business Opportunities website, with six offers received. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, District of Columbia, is the contracting activity (N00024-18-C-2325).

Huntington Ingalls Inc., Pascagoula, Mississippi, is being awarded a $14,999,924 firm-fixed-price contract for Guided Missile Frigate (FFG(X)) conceptual design. Huntington Ingalls Inc. will be maturing their proposed ship design to meet the FFG(X) system specification. The conceptual design effort will inform the final specifications that will be used for the detail design and construction request for proposal that will deliver the required capability for FFG(X). The conceptual design phase will reduce cost, schedule, and performance risk for the follow-on detail design and construction contract. This contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $22,997,330. Work will be performed in Pascagoula, Mississippi (95 percent); and Ocean Springs, Mississippi (5 percent), and is expected to be complete by June 2019. Fiscal 2018 research, development, test and evaluation; and fiscal 2017 research, development, test and evaluation funding in the amounts of $11,000,000 and $1,200,000 respectively will be obligated at time of award and funds in the amount of $1,200,000 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the Federal Business Opportunities website, with six offers received. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, District of Columbia, is the contracting activity. (N00024-18-C-2327)

Lockheed Martin Inc., Baltimore, Maryland, is being awarded a $14,999,889 firm-fixed-price contract for Guided Missile Frigate (FFG(X)) conceptual design. Lockheed Martin Incorporated will be maturing their proposed ship design to meet the FFG(X) system specification. The conceptual design effort will inform the final specifications that will be used for the detail design and construction request for proposal that will deliver the required capability for FFG(X). The conceptual design phase will reduce cost, schedule, and performance risk for the follow-on detail design and construction contract. This contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $21,972,630. Work will be performed in Baltimore, Maryland (39 percent); Arlington, Virginia (23 percent); Moorestown, New Jersey (13 percent); New York, New York (12 percent), Newport News, Virginia (12 percent); and Marinette, Wisconsin (1 percent), and is expected to be complete by June 2019. Fiscal 2018 research, development, test and evaluation; and fiscal 2017 research, development, test and evaluation funding in the amounts of $11,000,000 and $1,200,000 respectively will be obligated at time of award and funds in the amount of $1,200,000 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the Federal Business Opportunities website, with six offers received. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, District of Columbia, is the contracting activity. (N00024-18-C-2329)

Marinette Marine Corp., doing business as Fincantieri Marinette Marine, Marinette, Wisconsin, is being awarded a $14,994,626 firm-fixed-price contract for Guided Missile Frigate (FFG(X)) conceptual design. Fincantieri Marinette Marine will be maturing their proposed ship design to meet the FFG(X) system specification. The conceptual design effort will inform the final specifications that will be used for the detail design and construction request for proposal that will deliver the required capability for FFG(X). The conceptual design phase will reduce cost, schedule, and performance risk for the follow-on detail design and construction contract. This contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $22,977,617. Work will be performed in Arlington, Virginia (40 percent); Marinette, Wisconsin (25 percent); Moorestown, New Jersey (18 percent); Iron Mountain, Michigan (7 percent); Crozet, Virginia (5 percent); and Metairie, Louisiana (5 percent), and is expected to be complete by June 2019. Fiscal 2018 research, development, test and evaluation; and fiscal 2017 research, development, test and evaluation funding in the amounts of $11,000,000 and $1,200,000 respectively will be obligated at time of award and funds in the amount of $1,200,000 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the Federal Business Opportunities website, with six offers received. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, District of Columbia, is the contracting activity. (N00024-18-C-2328)

General Dynamics Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine, is being awarded a $14,950,000 firm-fixed-price contract for Guided Missile Frigate (FFG(X)) conceptual design. General Dynamics Bath Iron Works will be maturing their proposed ship design to meet the FFG(X) system specification. The conceptual design effort will inform the final specifications that will be used for the detail design and construction request for proposal that will deliver the required capability for FFG(X). The conceptual design phase will reduce cost, schedule, and performance risk for the follow-on detail design and construction contract. This contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $22,900,000. Work will be performed in Bath, Maine (81 percent); Spain (10 percent); and Portsmouth, Rhode Island (9 percent), and is expected to be complete by June 2019. Fiscal 2018 research, development, test and evaluation; and fiscal 2017 research, development, test and evaluation funding in the amounts of $11,000,000 and $1,200,000 respectively will be obligated at time of award and funds in the amount of $1,200,000 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured via the Federal Business Opportunities website, with six offers received. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, District of Columbia, is the contracting activity. (N00024-18-C-2326)

  • MarlineSpikeMate

    Why do you think we would be better off without a helo hanger?

  • NavySubNuke

    Yikes another $30M wasted on the LCS and it’s attempt at spawning children.
    Hopefully we get something decent for all of this.

    • PolicyWonk

      All we can do at this point is hope the LCS parentage proves sterile.

      OTOH, The Saudi variant was a vast improvement over the miserable failure known as the Freedom class.

      • Tony4

        The Saudis buy US hardware, especially naval hardware, as part of the grand security deal the US has with them – don’t expect much out of the Saudi LCS variant – heck, I think it would be great if we had their PGMs that we sold them in the 70’s.

  • Paul 2

    Too bad the National Security Cutter doesn’t have missiles. The Coast Guard has worked out the initial acquisition bugs and has production cost down to $540 mil each. What a bargain, says Eddie Murphy.

    • Luke Shaver

      The up gunned version does have missiles. But of course that will drive up the price.

    • Ed L

      NSC Frigate design called the FF4923 presented in 2012 A 76mm Mk-41 vertical launch system with 16 cells capable of carrying the Standard SM-2 and RIM-162 Evolved SeaSparrow Missile. eight Harpoon anti-ship missiles, helicopter hanger

      • ShermansWar

        The Navy has never bought or deployed a VLS launched Harpoon, and none are in the competition for the new over the horizon missile for frigates. Boeing withdrew, the NSM is the only entrant remaining.

        • SvD

          There is also no 76mm naval gun which fits into a VLS, nor a helicopter hangar 😉

    • Rocco

      Agreed & more traditional looking!

  • MarlineSpikeMate

    Yes I agree. The Arleigh Burke is a good ship. Building a cheaper version of the Burke for a frigate role is not a bad idea either.

    I just don’t think arguing that a helo hanger makes the ship more cramped is a good reason not to have one. I think having an organic helo with its assets always available for any ship is a huge advantage in any warfare area.

    • Bubblehead

      The Spanish F100 is basically a shrunken down AB. Its already using AEGIS which makes integration easier and less risky. It also has a much larger VLS capacity. In my feeble mind, 16 VLS is not sufficient. Remember Mk41 cannot be loaded at sea. Helo’s are a must and USN has stated such. Particularily for ASW. The biggest hit on the F100 is if it can be produced within the Navy’s stated budget.

      • ShermansWar

        No it’s not, it’s basically an upgraded Perry, but i get the point. I hope it wins but have little hope.

  • KM

    The Norwegian Nesen class is top notch. That should have been an option.

    • SvD

      It is basically there, the Fridtjof Nansen-class is a subclass of the F100 being a bit lighter and having a better propulsion system.

    • Ken Kennard

      Indeed the Norwegains have themselves a pretty competent ship F300s. Actively stabilized, with bow thrusters, mostly automated they run them with a crew of right around 120, on a ship very nearly the size of a Burke, update the combat system (they are using a American Aegis BL6p3 derivative) and get rid of the SPY-1F. Spy is the flower of 70 tech, its big, it old, and there are better options without a fraction of the footprint.

      • DaSaint

        I’m thinking the Navantia/BIW bid seems most plausible here.

        • ShermansWar

          Told you you’d come around. Meanwhile i think the fix is in and it’s going to a US yard that would otherwise shutter if they didn’t have the contract..

      • ShermansWar

        which is why the EADR is specce’d…

  • DaSaint

    Any real combatant needs to be able to accommodate and repair aviation assets. Can’t depend on another ship being around for that purpose. Now if you said that there would be an elevator and the hangar was below, well that would be something to consider, but not on this class. And too much complexity anyway.

    But a hangar or hangars should always be preferable than none.

  • DaSaint

    While this design contract should prove interesting, I recall reading that it is not a requirement for the later RFP. I am surprised that there wasn’t a Meko submission accepted.

    BAE may keep tabs on this to see how it develops, and may submit in the next phase, the RFP in 2019.

    • Duane

      The Navy made it clear that the conceptual designs will inform the requirements to be determined in the final selection. Along with design and construction “maturity”, it will be impossible for a competitor to sit out this conceptual design phase and have any hope of selection. The Navy, of course, would never say that, though they’ve made their expectations clear.

      • DaSaint

        That’s logical. And it should play out that way.

  • SvD

    So they kicked out the Meko A-200 frigate and choose way more heavy designs, getting close to destroyers? And on the other side, there are the 2 useless speedboats again, but this time with a bloated hull.

    The Patrol Frigate based on the NSC and the Meko A-200 are the only designs, enabling a bigger fleet, due to their lower cost and shorter building time.
    Both are real steel ships in pretty much the weight class and dimensions of the Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate.

    And after the LCS hurdle with the propulsion, it should be something manageable and not another horror trip.

    Both ship designs have a solid propulsion, not to fancy for the USN. The Legend-Class’s propulsion seems like a copy of the F124 type frigate Combined diesel and gas setup. 2 prop shafts, 2 diesel, connector gear clutch + gearbox setup to connect the gas turbine to both shafts. One diesel can run both shafts.
    Electrical power generation is separate.
    It works and initial training could be done by the Coast Guard.

    The Meko A-200 CODAG-WARP sounds fancy, but it is very simple.
    It translates to ‘Combined diesel and gas – water jet and refined propellers’. Just a 3 shaft design, with 2 prop shafts, each driven by a diesel and connected with a clutch. And a separate third shaft, sporting the gas turbine, driving a waterjet. No fancy gear setup. One diesel alone can get the ship up to 18 knots.
    Electrical power generation is separate. The ship has no classical funnel, just exhausts above the waterline.

    The LCS propulsion is ‘field-proven’, and fails to even get the speedboats up to their promised speeds. No further comment.

    The Italian FREMM is a Combined diesel-electric and gas ship, similar to the NSC but replaces the diesel engines with electric motors and generates the power with 4 diesel generator sets. The Gas turbine is connected to both shafts, like in the NSC. Electrical power generation is included, killing the need for further generator sets.
    (That is not the same as in the Zumwalts, which also use the gas turbine as a generator set and not as a mechanically connected booster)

    There is a risk building a localized version of a diesel-electric power plant.

    The F-100 has a pretty old school Combined diesel or gas propulsion, either running on one diesel per shaft or one gas turbine. So the ship always needs 2 diesels or 2 turbines running. That is some gas guzzling 60’s layout.
    No idea if there is a connector gear for the 2 shafts, to cruise with one Diesel, I doubt it.
    The subtype for Norway has a Combined diesel and gas propulsion, like the NSC.

    There is no need to pick a gas guzzler, makes one wonder which propulsion the F100 will offer.


    Another point.

    I remember an article about broadening the defense industrial base in the US with the frigate contract. Getting some competition and more capacity.
    And now, the only proposal, to be built by a shipyard which is not currently sucking on the Pentagons budget with combat ships (Thyssen Krupp A-200 with Atlas – VT Halter Marine shipyard) is gone.
    Getting VT Halter into building surface combatants would have increased the output of ships per year.

    Changing from the alloy Freedom LCS to a steel FREMM would be fun.
    Are Bath and Ingalls really ready to build more ships or is this just some wishful talking?

    The coupling of designs and shipyards at first may be the worst for the program to happen.

    • MarlineSpikeMate

      The USN only knows how to run GTEs (which they don’t touch) with no to complex gearing… diesels and combining gears equal casualties like the LCS, which were all due to user.

      • SvD

        A thing which the CODAG-WARP design tries to avoid with the separate turbine and waterjet shaft. No complex reduction and connector gear. With this opportunity gone it is getting interesting.
        The USN is behind modern propulsion, like with automation and is just slowly picking up speed. Oddly enough, for the Zumwalt class, it seems more like the demand for a lot of electrical power in the future. All driven by railgun and lasers, not fuel efficiency or quit operation.

        The system used by the Coast Guard works and there could be a crosstraining. Seems like the best option left.

        Looking at the other designs, their propulsion is either fancy for the USN or it is ancient and still something different to learn.

    • Rocco

      Nice post! A smaller version of the Hybrid electric drive propollsion system from the America should be the way to go with jet drive. You can have your cake & eat it too lol. But a whole new ship may be to be designed!

      • Southernfriedyankee

        The Scandinavians are very good these days at diesel/electric economic combinations that are economic and reliable. (As in increasing range and increasing fuel economy) For crying out loud use their systems !

        • Rocco

          Every thing out of the country is metric!! We are not.

          • Ken Long

            That’s not really true. A number of government purchased vessels are built to metric standards, maybe all of them. Plus, working with metric measurements is much easier than our current “English” system.

          • Rocco

            Yes I know that.

          • Mk-Ultra

            It’s called the Imperial Systems.

            The US military uses the Metric System since the rest of NATO uses metric.

          • Mk-Ultra

            So? The US military extensively uses metric already

          • Secundius

            You might want to reread the “Rocco’s” comment again? Because that NOT what he said! The Only Shipyard that I’m aware of that uses “Metrics” is “Austal-USA”. And that because, that’s what their “Portfolio” says…

          • Mk-Ultra

            Read slowly,

            “Every thing out of the country is metric!! We are not.”

            I replied with,

            “So? The US military extensively uses metric already”

            What do you think that means? Take your time

          • Secundius

            The US Military has been using Metrics since the Spanish-American War in 1898. It’s just NOT in Common Usage by those that Don’t Practice in the Usage…

        • William Sager

          Not to mention that hybrid diesel/electric is more useful then water jet drive. At this point of development the number one hurdle holding back deployment of lazars on our ships is not the cost of the lazar, but the ships electrical supply. And with the proliferation of missiles out there the ability to zap a lot of missiles can come in handy.

        • SvD

          Norway is awesome with their offshore working ships, from the design and especially the dynamic position system. Keeping their movement on working station at sea well under one meter is quite impressive.

          Their propulsion systems might be a bit small and not militarized.
          While the UK was at the forefront in developing such systems, their Type 45 with all integrated electric propulsion is a mess. It needs to be reworked, adding another diesel generator and changing more.
          Pray that the 3 Zumwalts do not suffer the same fate.

          There are companies in Europe, being able to deliver such system for naval vessels, but there is still a risk of localizing the systems. Especially the company which takes up the task to do so. Creating a US-based subsidiary takes time.

          The desired radar is already brand new and might a reason *risk of its own. A propulsion which does not work would be pretty bad.

      • SvD

        There is no way to downsize this huge system to the size of a frigate and the needed speeds. It would be a completely reworked or new system.

        Using the America LHA system would make sense for other large ships, which often drive slow and barely need their top speed.

        • Rocco

          Well yeah rework it smaller! I don’t know what you consider slow but the America can do 20+ knots! & A FFG will eventually escort them.

          • SvD

            The requirement is 28 knots and the system is not designed with frigates in mind.

          • Rocco

            I don’t see why it can’t!! All current surface combatant’s use the LM-2500 gas turbine engines. Except the WASP class. Other than LHA-8 !!

          • Curtis Conway

            All the quibbling about metrics . . . and no one talked about why combatants of the Northern Latitude Navies do not use Waterjets. The FFG(X) must be able to operate in the Arctic, perhaps in an ice environment.

          • Rocco

            Agreed

          • Secundius

            It might NOT be the “FREMM” anymore!/? ( http : // nextnavy . com / frank – ffgx – feelings – from – the – fincantieri – ceo / )…

          • mkspence

            I don’t want to get too granular, but do you know if foreign-designed ships use American nominal-size NPS pipe, or do they use metric pipe?

          • Secundius

            In the case of Austal-USA, “Metric”!

            As a side note, according to “Navy Naval Defense Military News”, dated 19 February 2018. Austal-USA “Won” the Competition for the Time Being. Fincantieri has 6-months to Up-Date their design for reconsideration. If not made, Austal-USA is the Clear Winner…

    • Lazarus

      It’s going to be an LCS variant, as all of the other designs are in effect expensive “light DDG’s” and not small surface combatants.

      • Secundius

        According to “Nicky”, Austal-USA “WON” the Design Contract with Both Fincantieri and Navantia as Seconds. Both Lockheed-Martin and HII were eliminated from the contest.

        https : www . navyrecognition . com/index.php/news/defense-news/2018/february-2018-navy-naval-defense-news/5960-austal-wins-contract-for-ffg-x-frigate-concept-design.html

        Sorry about format, but was “Redacted” twice trying to post comment…

        • PolicyWonk

          The Austal design is far more interesting/innovative design than the Lockheed variant. But the real concern is the all aluminum construction – this hasn’t done well as we’ve seen in the past.

          • Secundius

            I know the “Independence” class is an ALL Aluminum construction! But I’m NOT aware if the Frigate version is All Aluminum construction, unless it was Stated as being so…

          • PolicyWonk

            I don’t know either – but given its the all-encompassing material used for the Independence class, i’d be surprised if it wasn’t for the FF(X).

            For a ship that stands a good chance of being shot at, I’d prefer steel.

            But maybe I’m just picky in that I don’t like warships made from materials that have been proved to burn quite so easily ;-P

          • Secundius

            Yes, but consider the “Swift” used by the UAE of the Yemenese Coast in 2015. It was Struck by a Chinese-made C-802 Missile, and Survived. Of the 36 Crew Members, only 2 were Killed and the Vessel was Still able to make it back to the UAE under its own power. It’s also an All Aluminum constructed Vessel…

          • PolicyWonk

            Yes, indeed the Swift did survive. But they were clearly lucky – that sucker was all but completely demolished.

          • Secundius

            The “Vessel” may have been “Gutted”, but it was STILL able to return home to the UAE under its own power. Directly “Under the Disjointed Noses” of the Iranians, that keep claiming that THEY control the “Strait of Hormuz”…

          • KillerClownfromOuterspace

            The really important stuff is down in the hulls. They just had the superstructure demolished.

            Still, horrible to watch.

          • Secundius

            The Two crew members that were killed were both Filipino’s…

          • KillerClownfromOuterspace

            Austal doesn’t build steel.

          • Secundius

            OK! Which means exactly what…

          • KillerClownfromOuterspace

            I thought your point was austals frigate may be steel? I know at least in the past steel was not an option in their yard in mobile.

          • Secundius

            Sorry I wasn’t trying to be flippant in my comment! Austal is currently the World’s Leader in All Aluminum Ship Construction. UACJ (Autonomous University of Cuidad Juarez) of Spain is going All Aluminum in 2018, and own Furukawa Shipyards and Sumitomo Heavy Industries of Japan…

          • KillerClownfromOuterspace

            Someone told me that in the preliminary industry briefings for the OPC, the USCG said no aluminum… and Austal got up and left.

          • Secundius

            That’s a Little Odd, considering the USCG ordered Ten “Freedom” class LCS’s in 2014 as High-Speed Interdiction Cutter to be based in Mayport, Florida. The US Congress “Refused” the Request…

          • KillerClownfromOuterspace

            That’s what I heard… and the USCG can’t afford the fuel bill for the LCSs.

          • Secundius

            Bethlemhem Steel is providing the Steel for the “Ice Rated Hull” Construction of the “Heritage” class OPC. Superstructure metal is unclear, because “Eastern Shipyards'” owner “Vard” is also owned by “Ficantieri Marine Group”. That tend to use Aluminum in the Superstructure construction. But given the Nature of the Beasts Long-Range, I suspect “Aluminum”…

          • KillerClownfromOuterspace

            ESG is privately owned/US Citizen. Vard is I believe a separate entity of the international Vard.

          • Secundius

            “The Chicken or the Egg”!/? USCG buy’s Design Vard, and contracts ESG to build the Vessel, who intern Sub-Contracts with Vard…

          • KillerClownfromOuterspace

            Sorry but no. It was a design competition. It was downselected to 3 and ESG won. It was a vard design but ESG contracted Vard to do the prelim design.

          • Secundius

            http: // www . wjhg . com / content / news / Coast – Guard – Eastern – Shipbuilding – hold – Offshore – Patrol – Cutter – ceremony – 421194283 . html

            Sorry about Format, this is Third “Redaction” by U S N I News “Fo-Police”. Bottom of page…

          • KillerClownfromOuterspace

            The news media is full of people with little knowledge and less than 100 IQ.

          • KillerClownfromOuterspace

            There was an article in the same town a few weeks ago that basically stated the county commissioners were in charge of the project.

          • Hello PolicyWonk

            Austal’s design is not conducive for ship to ship interaction such as hull to hull bumping to impede blockade running and action that vessels in the S. China Sea may need to perform.

            Park McGraw
            Helm and Aftersteering Qualified 3400 tn US Navy Warship

          • PolicyWonk

            Hello Park –

            I see your point w/r/t “hull-to-hull” bumping, but so far as I know, the USN hasn’t had a requirement to design sea-frames to withstand ramming, etc., in quite some time.

            But perhaps in the S. China Sea, that isn’t such a bad idea!

      • PolicyWonk

        This wouldn’t be a surprise. After all, tripling down on the program that “broke navy acquisition” (according to the USN), given the amount of BRAVO SIERRA that’s been shoveled, would be par for the course.

        OTOH, if they went with the work already started via the Saudi variant, which fundamentally amounts to an all-but-unrecognizable redesign of the Freedom class, things could be worse. The Saudi’s had a better notion of what they really needed (hint: LCS wasn’t it, or even vaguely close), negotiated a lot harder, and are getting a much better boat for the money.

        The denizens of the LCS PEO should’ve taken lessons from the Saudi’s – but at this point they should simply all be court-martialed and drummed out of the service for incompetence, defrauding the taxpayers, and lying to the HoR’s.

      • Retired OS1

        The Fleet Admiral is Dead (Duane), Long live the Fleet Admiral Lazarus! Three cheers for the new queen of LCS, hip hip hooray, hip hip ouch I broke my hip, where’s my drydock, I need more drydocks…

    • Hello SvD

      From cost to hull design to simplicity and weight, would like to see the NSC be selected for the competition. What I find most pleasing is that there does not seam to be plans to mount a Solid State Laser emplace of kinetic FCS. I would upgrade the gun to provide better shore bombardment.

      One of the generator implementations for the gas turbine on DDG1000X was to power a 20-100 kilowatt SSL, but such optical DE is not practical at sea.

      Park McGraw
      Record Holder, Brightest Weapons Grade Solid State Laser
      Former US Navy Weapons Fire Control, Mk 56, Mk 86, Mk 91, Phalanx

      • Rocco

        Why would you put personal information on here???

  • ShermansWar

    Did anyone else read in the new budget the line about “redefining” (yet again) the requirements for the FFG(X)?

    My bet is they are going to drop the EADR radar and go with something smaller so that they can award the contract to Austal or Lockheed, which I think have trouble fielding the full suite of gear laid out in the July RFI., especially the radar, which really takes a proper warship to power and handle, something the LCS’s and their spawn are not.

    • Beomoose

      That would be dramatically against the trend of this program, which has been to stuff more requirements into these hulls rather than less.

      • ShermansWar

        Really? They specced out a glorified corvette, and most of the required systems were exactly whats on the lCS anyway, except they included actual weapons this time.

      • They’re basically asking for LCS with ESSM – you can’t get much lower.

        • Lazarus

          Yes, exactly. The USN is not looking for a half DDG at 2/3 the price of a Burke.

    • Corporatski Kittenbot 2.0

      Lockheed’s Freedom class is a lock.

      Everything else is just window dressing before they inevitably award it to Lockheed.

      Awarding anything else just draws into contrast how terrible the LCS is.
      So… the Navy will triple/quadruple down on it.

      • Bubblehead

        The LM design has several major flaws though it has the advantage of being 100% domestic and ansimilar design alreadybin production, LCS & Saudi Frigate. Dont forget sole reason the USN is getting a new frigate is not only bc the LCS is a worthless POS but the USN is getting a verbal thrashing like a red headed step child about the LCS. I think the USN is ready move on and tired of the thrashing they are getting. The sole reason behind the LCS was the navy was desperate for hulls but had no $$$. Now they have $$$. The 2 American designs suffer from the same problem. Only 16 VLS which meets threshold but not objective. Seriously what are you going do with only 16 VLS and remember they cannot be loaded at sea and in fact very few ports have capability to reload. The Navy stated they would like SM2 in addition to ESSM. Then you have ASROC & Tomahawk. Owww and the water jets on LM are extremely noisy and suck fuel. You would have to have an oiler following that thing around to refuel it.

        I think the FREMM is the leader. This article is deceiving. The Italian & French Fremm only have 16 vls but there is room for 32 in the design. The American Fremm will meet objective of 32 VLS. As does the F100 with a crazy 48 cell mk41. The Italian Fremm shipyard is also one of the best shipyards in the world. The knowledge they could impart on American shipyards would be a huge benefit. Lets face it, American shipyards arent known for their efficiency (hello unions).

        And lets not forget about F100, a little cousin of the Arleigh Burke. And it already uses AEGIS. We all know the USN loves their AB. Why not adopt its little brother? Chinese frigates have 32 cell VLS if memory is right. I dont see USN going less than that. The only thing holding F100 back would be price. Australia based their Hobart on F100 and its a disaster. 3 years over due about billion $$$ over budget. Not sure who is to blame for that.

        And the Ingalls is the old reliable safe choice. Doesnt have all the bells & whistles but would immediately check all the boxes. Except again only meeting threshold VLS. USCG has been extremely happy with theirs. And its already designed to meet USN survivability standards.

        The USN has a good problem picking one of these. We can all agree on this, all these choices are far better than even the upgraded LCS.

        • Duane

          You could not be more wrong. The only “thrashing” is coming only from a tiny cadre of LCS haters who don’t understand, and don’t ever want to understand what the LCS is and does.

          Yet, the exasperated whining against reality will never end. Meanwhile, the LCS and its descendents, including FFG(X), endures, and proves more and more useful and needed and well adapted to 21st century naval warfare.

          • David Oldham

            The purpose of the LCS was to turn the US Navy from a blue water navy into a brown water navy….UTTER STUPIDITY. The LCS was/is a mistake even without it’s obvious problems. Eight years of Hillary and we’d be conversing about AIP submarines.

          • I still think the only problem with LCS was that they were confused with frontline warships. If we need numbers then building a $500m multirole patrol ship that can double as a minesweeper is a better choice than building a $1b frigate.

          • ShermansWar

            uh, no.especially since even with it’s as yet incomplete mineHUNTING suite, it still can’t clear mines, can only mark them, and the helo envisaged to be used for it can’t even pull the minesweeping sled. The ship will never aproach the abilities of a purpose dedicated minesweeper like the avenger class, old as they are, or the warfighting ability of a patrol ship. they could have spent 300 mil and got nice corvettes. with just about all the weapons they’ve specced out now.

          • An ocean going corvette with a gun, missiles, two helicopters, and a VDS for $300m? Not happening. The German Braunschweigs are 2000 tons with a small UAV and no sonar yet cost more than that. I know everyone is upset that LCS isn’t a traditional frigate, but the $500m price tag is actually pretty good for what it is.

          • ShermansWar

            where do you get 2 helos? one is specced. why dont you have a look at the singapore formidable class. that’s a little over 300 mil, maybe 350, so yeah, you can. or the Bayunahs, for even less. or a miglem.

          • The La Fayettes (25 knots, 1 helo, no sonar, no Aster) cost $300-350m back in the 1990’s – that $440-680m today. I’m betting the Formidables (for which no official figures have been released) cost significantly more. The costs of ships designed and built in the Middle East are hardly relevant to those of America (unless you think our shipbuilders will work for around $20k a year).

          • ShermansWar

            …Aaand I said look at the Formidables. Did you quote Lafayettes just to be obtuse? they have hangar and Helo . official figure or not they ran about 350. You can argue the point but I doubt you can do it with any real conviction.
            I read about 350 today was their cost.

          • My bet is that the $350 figure you saw was the result of someone not realizing the differences between a Formidable and a La Fayette and quoting the price of the latter as that of the former. But you’re free to believe that adding a missile battery and better sensors magically reduced costs by 30%.

          • MarlineSpikeMate

            Would you consider LCS to be a decent Corvette? Considering it has proved itself capable of operating with strike groups (until the crew flooded an engine with sea water)?

          • ShermansWar

            the LCS design that gets approved for the frigate program will be an excellent corvette. As a frigate, not so much, but it will have good comms and surveilance ability.

          • M van dongen

            Nope, too expensive. Too much fancy crap, not enough fire power.

          • MarlineSpikeMate

            Compared to what other corvette?

          • ShermansWar

            We bought the LCS because we decided we ruled the world, everyone else had laid down and died, no one was going to challenge us, certainly not a near peer state,and all we were ever going to have to do was anti piracy, and policing operations. All this goes to show is what lousy analysts the navy has. They are utterly incompetent. You build warships with guns and missiles and capabilities because you never know what tomorrow will bring. Utter idiocy, the LCS is,conceived in vanity and perpetuated in ignorance.

          • Rocco

            Kudos nicely said

          • the_artist_formerly_known_as_m

            Actually the problem wasn’t poor analysis. In fact – very little analysis was done prior to LCS entering design and construction.

          • Rocco

            Another stupid comment not that Hillary is my choice ! But what has Trump done to change things?? Besides the CMC has no say in what the services choose!!

          • ShermansWar

            You’re grasping at straws, my man. A replacement isn’t a descendant. usually replacement means you got fired for poor job performance.

            Had the LCS proven capable, we would have bought more.
            Tiny cadre? Like indoctrinated? you’re cute dude. The only person around here belonging to a “Cadre” is you.
            What the LCS is and does is nothing. Kinda like an F-35 on steroids, as the F-35 is merely inadequate, as opposed to the wholesale failure of a warship the LCS is. And it’s not even the fault of the poor LCS, as it was never designed as a warship to begin with, it’s primary mission being “presence” and minesweeping, with fanciful SOF deployment capabilities tossed in to make it seem relevant. They didn’t even make it survivable ( but I guess that’s what you get with a design based on a Ferry), let alone give it ANY offensive capability, and don’t even talk about the helo, I could have bought a used barge and landed a helo on it and put a shed on it for maintenance and storage for peanuts if needed.

            The only one around here that’s exasperated is you. Project much? You seem increasingly desperate. One would think you own stock.

          • Bubblehead

            Do you believe your own bull kaka? Come on man. If LCS wasnt a comolete 100% failure we would not be even getting another frigate. Thats the whole point behind another frigate. Even the Navy admits its a failure. I could drop a cup of ice off my boat as a minefield and if LCS hit one of the cubes it would probably sink.

          • Duane

            You’re just regurgitating failed anti-LCS talking points that never made any sense at all. If the Navy believed the LCS was a failure as you haters claim, they would have cut the class off at the original 4 vessels authorized, not 32.

            Going from 52 LCS as originally planned, to 32 LCS and 20 FFG(X) is a reflection of evolving threats and therefore changed requirements. In the early 2000s when LCS was authorized, Russia’s remnant Cold War navy was left rusting at the piers, and China had nothing but a handful of coastal patrols and old corvettes. Virtually the entire USN surface fleet was built around the Carrier Strike Groups, sent forth to bomb Saddam’s army and jihadis in pickup trucks hundreds of miles from the sea … with no apparent concern over winning a war with SuW or ASW.

            By the second decade of this 21st century, it became quite obvious that the new threats of near peer naval forces required big changes in USN fleet design and capabilities. Thus was born “distributed lethality”, and both the upgunning of the still extremely needed and capable LCS, and the birth of FFG(X).

            Really, the LCS haters need to get over themselves and their thoughtless inane attacks on a ship type (???) -which frankly is extremely weird – and recognize the reality that we are dealing with today, with growing and evolving SuW and ASW threats. Living in purposeful ignorance is no way to live at all.

        • I hope you’re right about FREMM – it’s the only design that has a 30 knot speed, decent endurance, and 2 helicopters.

          • Luke Shaver

            If I’m not mistaken, the NSC has better endurance, can reach 30 knots (Officially 28 plus knots, but from everything I’ve been told by crew members they can push 30).

          • Endurance yes, but only 1 helicopter. As to top speeds, if a “28 knot” ship can reach 30, what can a “30 knot” ship reach under the same conditions?

          • Luke Shaver

            I’m assuming it could be capable of pushing a few knots higher, depending on the ship, but I cannot guarantee it, I’m just going on info about the NSC. Technically the NSC can carry 2 helicopters (2 x MH-65, or one MH-65 and UAV) but not the SH-60 which I’m guessing is what the Navy wants, or one of it’s variants. Again the NSC won’t be the ‘perfect’ frigate, but it would be a better than some designs. My vote is on one of the foreign designs (FREMM/F100 Frigate) or the NSC.

          • ShermansWar

            We aren’t paying for that set of engines, guaranteed.

          • ShermansWar

            it will also be the most expensive, and the navy is pushing HARD on the fact they want an 850 mil cap on these, even if 950 is authorized for now.

        • ShermansWar

          The price on the F 100 is going to go down, for at least 3 reasons
          1) they are foing from a 5″ gun to a 57mm gun. saves money and space

          2) they are going from 48 VLS to 32. Saves money and space

          3) they are going from aegis and an SPY1 to COMBATTSS 21 and an EADR, saves money and space.

          4 & 5) In addition, they can drop the torpedo tubes and the bow sonar,not specce’d ( saves money and space)

          That’s an awful lot of money and space shaved off the price of an F100, and in return they need to add a RAM launcher, a towed array and a VDS? They can cut the cost WAY down. Also there’s the fact that the Navantia is the only ship with a direct lineage to the Perry’s, as the F100 design was based on them. It is in fact a very modified Perry.

          I think you are off on the VLS analysis. I will be shocked if FREMM offers 32 VLS, and equally shocked if Navantia retains it’s 48 ( in fact I already know it won’t).

          The Hobarts are purpose dedicated air defense destroyers, so the price tag won’t be anything near that.

          Having said all this, I am afraid it’s a;; irrelevant, as there is one overriding concern, more than bad press, more than capabilities needed: the need to keep as many shipyards open and producing ships and not closing any. If the Navy has one priority today it is keeping production lines open, hot and moving so we don’t lose any industrial capacity. They fear a coming war with china, and having an extra open shipyard in the end will trump all other considerations, and so by hook or by crook we will end up with a modified LCS, and I predict the first concession coming will be to go from the specced out 3 face EADR to a single faced rotating radar, which will make the US entrants relevant. you’ve already seen above how all the excess abilities offered by foreign designs are not valued, as they aren’t specced, and we aren’t going to pay for any more hull than we need. The last maneuver to checkmate the foreign designs is to change the radar specs, which is coming, as the navy said it it’s brand new budgtet they are going to “re-evaluate” the specs for the FFG(X).

          • Lazarus

            The F-100 is a destroyer and not a frigate. The USN is not looking for a light DDG . Navantia is a state-owned company and can build the F-100 in a Spanish yard for a fairly inexpensive cost that cannot be duplicated in the US, monopsony shipbuilding system.

          • ShermansWar

            no, it’s a frigate, and a frigate around the same displacement as most other modern frigates. you are mistaken sir. F100 is around 5200 tons. it is a frigate, not a destroyer. The “F” designation in it’s classification was a hint.

          • ShermansWar

            ” Navantia is a state-owned company and can build the F-100 in a Spanish yard for a fairly inexpensive cost that cannot be duplicated in the US, monopsony shipbuilding system.” and yet they are bidding knowing full well the cap limits. I have no doubt the people at Bath and Navantia know how to read a request for proposal…

          • Secundius

            Hate to Burst you’re Bubble, but according to “Navy Naval Defense Industry News” dated Monday 19 February 2018. But Austal-USA “WON” the FFG(X) Design Competition…

        • Lazarus

          FREMM is too expensive and cannot be built under the US defense acquisition and test and evaluation system for the cheap, govt-owned shipyard with little testing cost that the Europeans pay for theirs.

      • PolicyWonk

        You may be right: the USN has been rewarding LockMart (and Austal) incompetence throughout the whole stinking LCS affair.

        And now there could be a whole new corporate welfare trough for them to feed from.

        • ShermansWar

          Austal did get the largest development contract, if you noticed. they want to keep that yard open.

      • airider

        I think you’re on to something here, but the focus I believe is having several shipyards available to build several types of warships. IMHO, Marinette is a bit of a joke to be considered as a warship shipyard. Prior to LCS, they were at most a “niche warship” yard turning out minesweepers (based on PBI’s design) and other small craft.

        Keep an eye on Congress and where the experience to field the requested GFE lays. I see the Bath and HII yards as looking to make a significant play in this down select, and they have the experience to back it up.

        Looking at integrating the GFE alone, HII probably has the edge compared to the rest of the field.

        • DaSaint

          Ingalls will probably be out if it means too many eggs in one basket, and if it means the Speaker of the House and the Attorney General/future returning Senator from Alabama are pissed off.

          You can solve the Bama problem by building more EFTs, and maybe do the same with the Coast Guard’s pending Inland Tender replacement contract for Marinette. But those would have to be the tradeoffs as politically you can’t shut down 2 more yards and then *itch about the dwindling industrial base.

          BIW lost the OPC contract because of high costs and inefficient yard processes.

      • Rocco

        Agreed as they already set the mold with the LCS. Like the WASP class set the Mold for the America class!

    • Duane

      The 4D volume air defense radar and fire control system (COMBATSS) spec’d for FFG(X) us a junior scaled modification of AEGIS, and is already now the standard LCS air defense radar and fire control system, just as recently sold to the Saudis on the Freedom class based frigate. As the AN-SPY 6 design matures on the AB Flight IIIs now starting construction, be aware that the new solid state sensor design is fully scalable and is explicitly intended for eventual integration on small surface combatants as well as amphibs, all part of “distributed lethality”.

      Ditto with all the other sensors and weapons systems already integrated with the LCS that are spec’d for FFG(X).

      • airider

        “The 4D volume air defense radar and fire control system (COMBATSS) a
        junior scaled modification of AEGIS, is already now the standard LCS air
        defense radar,”

        Only on the odd LCS’s and that is only with non-fixed phased array radars (TRS-3D).

        If the Navy does this “correctly” then it won’t allow a non-mature primary radar system on the FFG(X). Everything above SPY-1 is currently immature (AMDR, EASR, etc) or isn’t going to be supported by the Navy in the long term (DBR, etc). Between now, and when the production contract for the ship is let, something more than SPY-1 will need to be available, in at least Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP), for it to be considered “mature” by all the other equipment standards listed in the RFI/RFP.

        • DaSaint

          The Australian CEAFAR phased array system could be considered. It’s going to be integrated with the Aegis CMS on their pending frigates, is already in service on their ANZAC frigates, and is being offered to Canada and the UK.

          • Hugh

            And reportedly the USN is looking at a larger version.

          • M van dongen

            Thales APAR.
            Proven and effective.

          • ShermansWar

            why do you say it could be considered when the RFI specs EASR? just curious.

        • SvD

          TRS-3D is old and was therefore downplayed from frigate to a corvettes role.
          TRS-4D, which is the radar for newer Freedom Class ‘things’, can be rotary with a single array or with 4 fixed arrays, like on the F125 Frigate.
          The arrangement on the F125 is from a light destroyer proposal, placing the 4 arrays on 2 masts for superior survivability. It adds to the 2 CICs and other things. Looks strange with an LCS weapon load, a patrol and naval special forces role – MOD things.

          The USN could work with such a layout, in a single mast, cause BMD is not a task for a light or midsize frigate.
          The radar is good enough for air defense of a convoy, the ship itself and is focused on really small surface targets, like submarine periscopes and rubber boats.

          Both versions can be found on Hensoldt website.

          But as you see on the websites reporting about FFG(X), half the crowd is talking about SM-3, 6, Tomahawks, ASROCS, LRASM, even AEGIS…

      • ShermansWar

        I could have sworn the last go round you claimed to have read the RFI. I still say it’s clear as day you never have. I think it’s so cute you keep citing information I already know or is wrong. Like I said before, the next time you tell me somethign i don’t already know will be the first time. The FFG(X) specs an Enterprise air defense radar, not the radar that’s already on the LCS, they are 2 completely different Radars, so you are, as usual, wrong again.

        The fact the same COMBATTS 21 system is specced for the FFG(X) has nothing to do with the radar that’s specced. Try and keep up, please. apparewntly the same way you can’t tell the difference between ASROC, ship borne torpedoes and Helos, you now also can’t discern the difference between a radar and a combat management system. To you they are the same, like torpedo tubes and helos……..(sigh)….

        • Bubblehead

          The current lcs radar has absolutely nothing in common with AEGIS or Enterprise radar. Its a Sweddish radar equivalent to the land giraffe radar. AEGIS isnt a radar. Its the brains behind the entire combat system.

          • ShermansWar

            did you direct your post at the wrong person perhaps? go back and re-read. I’m the one that said they were 2 different radars. Aegis isn’t a radar, it’s a system, and yes, combattss 21 and aegis DO use the same base library and software, but they aren’t radars and I never said they were. go back and re-read, I think you are confused.

          • ElmCityAle

            The two different LCS models use two different radars and (originally, at least) two different combat/fire control systems. The Independence class uses the Saab Sea Giraffe (AN/SPS-77). The Freedom class Airbus EADS TRS-3D ((AN/SPS-75), planned to be upgraded to TRS-4D in LSC-17.

          • Duane

            AEGIS isnt a radar, dude. A radar is a radar, such as the AN/SPY-1 or 6. AEGIS is an integrated air and missile defense combat system that accepts inputs from multiple sensors located both on board and off ship.

            Educate yourself before commenting.

          • ShermansWar

            I’m sorry, did I post a comment about the current LCS radar somehwere? I don’t think I did.I’m talking about the radar for the frigate which is specced as EASR, and the combat management sytem is the same thats on the frigate, COMBATTS 21, which is Aegis based. not sure what you’re talking about.

          • Bubblehead

            I was actually agreeing with you and against the other gentleman that thought the EASR was related to the 77 radar on the LCS.

        • Duane

          You claim expertise yet display just the opposite, as always. COMBATSS is the heart of the SSC air defense system, not the radar sensor. It is common to LCS, the Saudi frigate based on the Freedom variant, and on FFGX. Try reading sometime. Understanding what you read also helps, Dude Who Pretends To Be The Smartest Commenter In Every Thread.

          • ShermansWar

            pretends to be the smartest commentor? that would be you sir. you are projecting again.

          • ShermansWar

            You can’t differentiate between anything can you. Your focus is software as opposed to range, volume and capability.Then RADAR is what matters, and we all know the ship has combatss 21, so why are you bringing it up, seriously? The LCS has it, the frigate specs it, I’ve said it for months so how is that relevant to a conversation about the radar? It’s the one fixed value, we all know that, but you want to talk about it like it somehow makes a difference in a discussion about the radar when we know it’s already there and will be regardless of what radar is mounted.
            why are you talking about the combat management system that’s a given when the discussion is about the radar?

    • Bubblehead

      I doubt they will drop Enterprise. They want all their future ships to have it for bulk buying to lower cost. Then you have the added benefit of same training classes & supplies/logistics.

      Why would the USN change requirements after they already issued the design contracts? Especially something that important.

      If they change anything it should be the 54mm gun requirement. This requirement is like you said for the sorry lcs. A 5″ with volcano would make a deadly combo.

      • ShermansWar

        they won’t drop it altogether, they’ll change the spec to single face rotating from the current 3 face fixed requirement. The LCS based ships can handle that, but not the 3 face. watch. they cost of radar are important, but like I said keeping that shipyard open is a higher priority. all you have to do is read the articles posted on here in the last week to know that.

      • ShermansWar

        I didn’t say they were goign to DROP enterprise, I said theyw ere going to modify the existing requirenet to go from 3 seperate faced arrays to one rottating array. Raytheon offers both under their EASR brand.

        What i said was a single rotating EASR ( 9 blocks) would be substituted for the 3 faced arrays (9×3=27 blocks) and that this would keep the LCS entrants in the competition claiming they are within the spirit of the requirements, and that I’m sure they can’t mount 3 8 blocks arrays on either LCS hull, they have neither the power or cooling to do so. Hope that clears that up.

    • Hugh

      Reportedly the USN is looking at larger versions of the Australian CEA radars.

      • ShermansWar

        For what, for the FFG(X)? for what ships, what applications? not disagreeing, just curious. The only other radars I hear we are looking at besides raytheon based 2×2 block multi sets like the 9 block EASR or the AMDR is an x band radar SAAB is pushing to get mounted of the frigates as a supplement because the EASR supposedly is weak an visual horizon ASM targeting, and a new as yet unspecced next gen surface surveillance radar under development. is the CEA radar one of these? is it meant to replace the EASR requirement or supplement in for anti ship missile defense targetting like the SAAB radar is being considered for. I have to go research it now….

        Hmm. some articles call it an s band, others says it’s for missile defense..

  • kye154

    Certainly the FFG(X) class is better than the LCSs, but horribly overpriced for what you get. For the price they are figuring on, you should be able to get a decent rail gun and powerplant to go with it, rather than that pea-shooter 57mm gun. Despite the older Brookes or Knox Class frigates, that the navy use to have, with a 5″ gun on the fore-end of the ship, it just felt safer to be on, and not such a big target either. They were more the “rough and ready” classes of ships .The old Brookes and Knox classes could have been revamped to accommodate new propulsion, electronics, and the newer missiles too, but the Navy is choosing the more expensive route, as usual. The Navy could have done better, if they included the Chinese in the bidding, to build for our navy one of their Type 054A frigates. It would be cheaper (at $348 million per copy instead of the $800-$950 million being quoted), and better armed too.

    • ShermansWar

      Rails aren’t coming anytime soon. They can’t solve the problems they have with them and have made no progress for a few years now.

      • Duane

        Not true at all. Read up on Dahgren’s actual progress. The principal challenge was getting th rail longevity up to a practical value. In early testing a decade ago rail life was only a few tens of shots. As of July, 2017 a Dahlgren (i.e., US Navy gunnery center) spokesman in a media interview said they were already up to 400 plus shots then, and within 1 year (summer 2018) expected to exceed 1,000 +shots. For comparison with other long range naval guns, the 16 inch guns on the Iowa class BBs had a barrel life of only 250-300 shots, and the 8 to 10 inch guns on heavy cruisers only 700-750 shots. The electrical power systems are basically complete.

  • D. Jones

    Alternatively, blocks of a Burke-Lite could be constructed at various shipyards, and final assembly done at other yards. Certainly covered barges could handle larger blocks.

    Conceivably, subsystems could be designed to fit standard 53′ container or high & wide railroad clearance envelopes. Use some of the freed-up space in a larger hull for plug & play modular systems designed & built elsewhere. Think of how a PC is built and accepts cards & drives readily. Like the LCS Module concept, but in a real ship.

    Look at how the auto industry subcontracts things out and does final assembly at plants.

    Lots of Lite stripped Burkes could not only cover SOUTHCOM, and help the Navy rapidly hit the 355-ship target; but also be upgraded quickly for conventional service should the need arise. The analogy is modern vehicles which have mounting points and wiring harnesses ready for fully-optioned models in place, even if you buy a bottom of the line model. Economies of scale plus rapidly reconfigurable.

    The odious but necessary PORK angle gets addressed by spreading around modular subsystem production and/or final assembly / fitting across myriad political districts.

    The key is using the existing, proven DDG shell and powerplant as the baseline. Whether the ship is intended for full-upgrade capability or a completely different topside, the underpinnings are proven and on that low-cost sweet spot in the lifecycle bathtub curve. Parts and perhaps more importantly knowledge compatibility of existing systems (LM2500″s for example) benefits are also there. No time wasted troubleshooting & debugging new & unproven systems.

    Find stuff that works and build em like crazy.

    • SDW

      I second the idea of rating subsystems if it means keeping NAVSEA fingers out of any major decision. For that matter… I’ll second most any idea if it means NAVSEA can’t screw up the procurement with their delusional practices.

  • DaSaint

    Having no hangar in the Flight I Burkes was a mistake. It’s been corrected. Don’t expect any future combatants without a hangar. Asset management can’t always happen. Weather is unpredictable. Maintenance, even emergency maintenance, sometimes requires cover. Clandestine operations require cover, and hangars can be used to muster Operators and deploy them onboard the helo unseen.

    Australia just selected a Lurssen OPV, and is already taking flack for it just having a deck but no hangar. You can’t go wrong with a hangar. You can without.

  • DaSaint

    This is going to be an interesting 16 months and beyond.

    It is interesting that the Meko was to be built by VT Halter. Also interesting that DAMEN didn’t submit a proposal, though both may do so when the finalized RFP is issued.

    From an industrial base perspective, I can see the NSC-variant being eliminated (too many eggs in one Ingalls basket), unless an agreement is made to build it in another yard, which is unlikely. Selecting the NSC-variant basically puts Marinette out of business.

    Similar with BIW, though the Navantia design is top notch. I could see this happening though, as all they have are some Burkes in the pipeline, and they could use the work, presuming they will construct some covered bays for an indoor production line in time.

    Marinette can either produce the FREMM or the Freedom variant, but needs one of them to survive, unless they get the Coast Guard’s pending Inland Tender contract, which isn’t out of the question.

    Austal USA, with the Independence variant is vulnerable (no pun intended) due to the all-aluminum construction, and everyone will go ballistic (sorry, couldn’t help it) if they’re chosen. Too bad, as I think the design has some merits with that expansive flight deck, and voluminous internal capacity. That said, should they lose out, which is likely, don’t be surprised to see additional JHSV (I mean EFTs) as a consolation prize.

  • GWW

    The Littoral class is a completely incompetent execution of a bad concept. It has ZERO combat ability and the Navy cant even get the newest carrier to work. There goes tax payers money down the toilet!

    • Duane

      The US Navy disagrees with you.

    • airider

      The fleet has a numbers problem. Stuff in production will continue to be in production until something else is ready to replace it. Gapping production right now will only make the numbers problem worse.

      • Rocco

        Good point

      • DaSaint

        USN will accept some of the proposed LCS to FFG upgrades, backfit then in some LCS, and continue production with the 2 yards with the upgraded versions, while waiting for the new dissimilar FFG from BIW/Navantia.

        This may get them 4 or 6 more each in the interim.

    • MarlineSpikeMate

      Zero combat ability? How so?

      • Duane

        only in the fevered dreams of a true believer LCS hater, on the internet.

        • Retired OS1

          Dueneee, you’re no longer the Fleet Admiral, you can no longer spittle on and on and on about the mighty LCS.

  • Ed L

    Italian FREMM Comes with two 76mm guns or a 127mm forward and 76mm aft plus 16 cell VLS and 8 anti ship missiles. NSC Frigate design called the FF4923 presented in 2012 A 76mm Mk-41 vertical launch system with 16 cells capable of carrying the Standard SM-2 and RIM-162 Evolved SeaSparrow Missile. eight Harpoon anti-ship missiles, a single triple torpedo launcher. Both have a helicopter hanger

    What bothers me is the 57mm cannon. It’s a good weapon but compare to other Frigates not enough range. In the rest of the world. About half the Frigates sport a 76mm. The rest use a 100mm or 127mm gun. 57mm could be secondary superimposed over the 76 or 127mm. Any argument that the gun is obsolete went out went later versions of the F4 Phantom were built with an internal gun

    • Duane

      Guns are obsolete for surface engagement against any but small vessels at short range, and have been ever since the 1960s and the developnent of guided missile warships. If you need major firepower beyond visual range, use a missile.

      The bigger the gun, the slower the firing rate and the fewer the number of ready rounds in the mount. These are key capabilities for fighting swarming opponents. For within visual range against small vessels, the 57 mm Mk 110 is far superior to any larger gun. For medium ranges our to 12-16 nm, the Hellfire Block 2 is far superior to any deployed naval gun, and for long range fires where no deployed naval gun can reach, the Harpoon Block 2, Naval Strike Missile, and LRASM are lethally effective.

      • Luke Shaver

        I have to agree with Duane on this one. Unless we design a new 76mm gun, then I’d take the 57 mm. They have missiles for large threats, and even small threats. GM’s from the Coast Guard already said they liked the Mk 110 over the old Oto 76 mm, it was more accurate, reliable, and easier to work on than the Oto.

        • ShermansWar

          16 VLS silos and you say the have room? lol

          • Luke Shaver

            What are you trying to ask?

      • Check the range on Hellfire, its more like 8,000 yards. Range for the 57mm and 76mm is nearly identical. If you want more range on the gun, and you want to do an area suppression NGFS mission, you need a 5″

        • If we are really planning for area suppression bombardment missions why not build a TLAM variant with an ATACMS submunition warhead? It would be a lot safer than sailing a FFG within 10 miles of the coast.

        • Duane

          The Hellfire Block 2s have much longer range. The Block 2s have been in development and undergoing fleet testing for several years. Same size and form factor as the old Block 1 but a more efficient motor and improved seeker.

      • Master Chief

        my AK-47 is far superior to the old and outdated 57mm, it can shoot at a much higher rate and put more rounds on target quicker, pew pew pew pew, my gun is faster than yours therefore it’s superior for swarms and UAVs. In fact, CNO has decreed the AK-47 to the be the main weapon for all LCS, All 57 old and expensive 57mm will be removed

        • Secundius

          At what Range? The Likelihood of Hitting a Man Size Target at ~250-meters with a “AK-47” drops to less than 4%…

      • Retired OS1

        Ahh Duenee is back. We all thought you retired-to your basement. But no matter, we have a new Fleet Admiral in Lazarus. Sorry, but you’ve been replaced.

    • Rocco

      Agreed even the Perry’s had a 76mm

    • Rocco

      Don’t believe him👇

      • MarlineSpikeMate

        Its not for anyone to believe or not.. facts are readily researchable.

        • Rocco

          Butting in without knowing why I said this is because I know of the other guys reputation! Actually facts have nothing to do with his opinion!

          • MarlineSpikeMate

            Calm down. He did in fact mention some strait facts that are hard to argue, as well as some opinion. You should argue those merits, not the character.

          • Rocco

            Who Ed L or Duane?? I’m talking about Duane!! & Who said I’m so uptight that you tell me to calm down??? I’m clam dude!! Or should I say Bosun’!!! You calm down.

          • MarlineSpikeMate

            Wow. Calm down.

          • Rocco

            What part didn’t you understand???

  • Duane

    The FFG(X) conceptualdesign competition will be interesting, though it seems almost certain that one of the two LCS variant parent designs will be the basis of the future sole source selection on the FFG(X). Of the two LCS variants, the Freedom class based design seems to be most closely aligned with Navy requirements. The LCS haters will be ignored yet again.

    Note that virtually all of the required GFE has already been integrated into the LCS design or (in the case of the VLS), its first “child”, the Saudi frigate recently sold by LM. When the Navy says they want a “mature design” at relatively low predictable cost, the only feasible candidate is the Freedom variant LCS.

    • Corporatski Kittenbot 2.0

      Seeing as the outcome is a certainty, wouldn’t it be great if the DoD had a bout of honesty and just announced the Freedom Class FFG right now.

      Presumably its more important for paper to be pushed for the next 3 years.

      • Lazarus

        Rules matter and the Navy must follow them. The rules require a competition and the opportunity to bid. The size and cost of the “light DDG’s” (FREMM, F-100) will take them out of the competition. The USCG NSC frigate needs too much re-design and is already at an average cost of $694m with the last one retailing $735m. No one is going to pick a design whose cost increases over the class build.

        • the_artist_formerly_known_as_m

          And yet no one really knows what it costs to fit out, operate & support an LCS.

  • Why should we pay these companies any $$$. They should take a chance, spend their own money, and then present the designs to the Navy. I do not see a British design. We could partner with the Royal Navy that would economies of scale bring done the cost per ship. We do that for much of Trident.

    • airider

      That’s a good point, but I believe NAVSEA had a “sweet spot” for being in production and the level of maturity they were looking for. Not sure the Brits are there for this round of Frigate building.

      As far as maturity goes, The F100, FREMM and NSC derived designs are the highest. LCS is out there but the maturity of its systems is still quite questionable. I guess the next 16 months will figure this all out.

      • I feel the complexity of propulsion jets and the need for 40 plus knots would preclude either of the LCS’s from being considered. I noticed in the specs for the Itilian and Spanish frigates they both used LM2500 turbines. Their propulsion systems are mature and proven. There building 17 of the Italian design, 10 for Italy and 7 I think for the French. What happens to the “great” Dutch design. She was spouse to have modules that were the “cats meow”. I though we could adapt some of the wasted money for the LCS modules by adapting them to the Dutch design. Just hope the Navy dose not gold plate the ships. The design has of course be robust with adequate redundancy to survive either alone of in a battle group. I feelthe NSC is too small but it’s hull could be lengthen. All designs should be built with the latest AAW and ASW systems, no half measures, to counter the growing Russian submarine fleet and be armed to give the PLAN’s frigates and destroyers a battle. This would mean an over the horizon anti ship missile system. As for the RN, we might interest the RN in the design. They seem to be floundering, as you wrote, with their various Type ?? frigates.

        • airider

          Another thing folks need to consider with the LCS. If the builders trash the water jet and HME design (as expected) it will be a whole new boat below the waterline.

          This makes both LCS variants effectively brand new hulls, despite what the above the water line artist concepts show you.

          Need an example of this….look no further than the F-35. A big selling point for the aircraft was commonality. The reality is that the three variants only have 25-30% parts in common. So much for that cost benefit.

          If the proposed shipbuilders can keep the below the waterline gear very close to the same as what they are building now, that bodes well for them to keep the costs under control and getting these ships out of the yards on time.

        • DaSaint

          I think you meant Danish, not Dutch. The Stanflex was Danish.

        • I suspect since HII did not show a model of the NSC based proposal that there will be modifications to the hull and perhaps superstructure to make it possible to fit more VLS than previously envisioned.

        • Latests AAW and ASW systems is a Flight III Burke, not a “mature” frigate design.

    • Corporatski Kittenbot 2.0

      Ken, the Type 26 was submitted but didn’t make the shortlist.

      • DaSaint

        It wasn’t submitted. 6 designs were submitted. 5 were accepted, the Meko was not.

        • Ser Arthur Dayne

          That’s because Captain Thomas Chandler of the USS NATHAN JAMES already punked 4 Mekos at once and showed how puny they are. Ain’t nobody scared of no Hydra class Mekos lol!

          • SvD

            The quality series about naval warfare. I doubt that an OHP frigate would last longer against an Arleigh Burke class destroyer.

            The Meko A-200 for Algeria has not only a nice 5″ gun but 16 anti-ship missiles.

            Speaking of The last ship, have you seen all the battle-hardened gear on board? A little blob in the water killed the damn ship – sad!

          • SDW

            Oh $%@* You couldn’t have put a “spoiler alert” at the top of your post?

            1. The first 3 MEKOs were probably Bearing-Only Launch, the 4th was luck.
            2. Have you noticed that Chandler leads as many away missions as CAPT Kirk?

          • SvD

            “Have you noticed that Chandler leads as many away missions as CAPT Kirk?”

            Yep, he has now more combat value than The Last Ship itself. The series could be moved over to an LCS, it does not really matter anymore.

          • SDW

            Wouldn’t the viewers get bored with the “engineering casualty of the week” plot line?

          • SvD

            My comment was blocked :/

            Have you ever seen the documentary about the 2 LCS when they were brand new? Great one.

            It could be a thrilling storyline, like running as fast as you can from a 350 ton fast attack craft, cause you can’t fight or take a hit. But then there is metal debris in the engine oil loop! The engine, gears, and pumps are eating themselves up.
            Is everything in the engine room going to fail? Will the FAC catch up and sink The Last “Thing”?

          • SDW

            Ah but the ending is so predictable…. I can see the sequel on Discovery–starting up a seabed enterprise to mine for aluminum.

  • Duane

    When a key SuW and ASW sensor system cannot be fully deployed onboard ships operating independently of CAGs or ARGs (disaggregated), they are at a serious offensive and defensive disadvantage.The MH-60 and MQ-8 are key SuW and ASW sensor sustems, and also deploy weapons for SuW (Hellfires) and ASW (Mk 54 toepedoes). The Navy seriously degraded the SuW and ASW capabilities of ABs that lack aircraft hangars and sensors and fire control systems that are not fully integrated with deployed aircraft. The FFG(X) requirements, as with the LCS requirements reflect the need to restore fully integrated SuW and ASW capabilities now lacking on too many of our surface warships today.

    • ShermansWar

      Wow, a Duane post I agree with.

  • lugnutmstr

    Pick an all steel construction and a 5in Gun. Your going to need it!

    • MarlineSpikeMate

      5in guns are out dated and aren’t nearly as versatile as others.

      • David Oldham

        The demise of the 5 inch gun has been severely overstated.

        • Rocco

          You mean understated!!!

        • Rocco

          Your one liner for the week!!

      • Extended range guided projectiles for the 5″ are coming.

        • ShermansWar

          they already exist, we just have to by them. if we want a US manufactured round, then yes, we have to wait, but we could buy vulcano tomorrow if we wanted to

      • airider

        For short range engagements…nothing can touch the gun for ammo cost vs target cost…unless you’re a DDG 1000 gun….

        • And that equation will quickly flip when you get the several hundred million dollar bill to repair damaged sustained during your bombardment. Sailing within 10 miles of an enemy shore negates all the advantages of a modern warship and allows even the most primitive militaries to take a shot at you (see INS Hanit as well as all the US ships damaged on bombardment missions off Vietnam).

      • ShermansWar

        Outdated? By what metric are they outdated? That is a phrase with no context or meaning. We continue to deploy them, and buy them. They are in fact the pinnacle in naval gunnery today. The only gun you can sink an enemy capital ship with , now, is a 5″ gun. The only gun available to conduct a shore bombardment is a 5″ gun. The only gun capable of downing an enemy aircraft larger than a drone or a hovering helo at under 3 miles is a 5″ gun. Even if you want to argue a 3″ gun can do those mission to an extent, it isn’t as great an extent as a 5″ gun can do. Your statement is utterly ridiculous. A 5″ L/62 is as versatile as it gets. Pure silliness to posit and anti drone/anti speedboat gun anywhere near approaches the ability of a mk 45

        • ShermansWar

          Oh, and by the way, the US mk54 5″L/ 62 is a more versatile weapon than the “lightweight” OtoBreda127mm by a mile, being 9.5 tons lighter than the “lightweight” gun.

          Firing the same base cartridge, (the Mk 67), which they do,the US Mk 45 L/62 also has a longer range , by 530 meters, firing the same standard NATO shells. That the OtoBreda can fire vulcano ammunition is simply a function of the fact the italians bought it. The US gun can fire the same ammunition, including Vulcano. we just never bought it. Also, the US gun is scalable, from a 1 deck installation up to a 4 deck installation, allowing much better high end abilities and ammo selection, long term. Point isn’t that it’s a better gun, but it is certainly “versatile” as it can handle and fire vulcano, and hit 100 Km should we ever desire to. It also can use CCF, turning rounds basically into guided munitions, I don’t know the 57mm can do that against point attack land targets as the mk 45 can. It is certainly a versatile gun

          • MarlineSpikeMate

            Opinions vary wildly on this subject.
            Using a gun for anything more than up close on smaller vessels that a missile would not be good for is ridiculous, especially anti-air or anti-large vessel.

            The problem with the 5″ is not that it isn’t decent but rather it is the master of nothing. The caliber either needs to be bigger for fire support and large anti-surface, or smaller for anti air and anti swarm boat attack. The fact is the 5″ just isn’t that great at any of these.

            New gun systems for special roles are the future.

          • Ed L

            My Uncle GM2 WW2 would disagree on

          • Rocco

            Not in agreement

          • MarlineSpikeMate

            And that’s ok. May I ask how valuable you think a 5” is in anti air and anti swarm boat role? Even the fire support role is severally limited today with shore to ship missiles. Anti ship with the 5”? Maybe sinking merchant ships. Swarm attack test have shown it to be lacking in this role as well.
            I think today a guns best role is a higher rate of fire for swarm boats or anti air that has programmable ammunition for either threat or a 155mm for long range in the anti ship and fire support roles.

          • Rocco

            Yes agreed. You kind of contradict what you said above. Even as a last resort having a gun is better than nothing. Might not be the best thing now! But when your out of missiles at least you can defend yourself.

          • But the question isn’t if a gun better than nothing – the question is if a gun is better than more missiles. A 5″ gun and its firecontrol systems costs $30 million – that’s enough for another 32 VLS cells.

          • Rocco

            We can’t have everything!! This ship is about low cost!! The more we don’t use a 5″ gun we will loose the ability to exceed in gunnery!!

          • ShermansWar

            you don’t think a couple of 5″ rounds into a type 64 isn’t going to ruin it’s day? or your just assuming that after you’re out of missiles you get to go home unimpeded, or when you want?? you’re perfectly sure that every time you will have missiles available, and quality targetting tracks to use them with? The battles will end because you ran out of a limited ammo supply? Your sure command decided they had another ship about to fill your mission, you weren’t needed where you were to begin with? Your out of missiles so you got to go home? It’s a known your safety was deemed more important than mission? it’s just a given you and yours won every engagement because of magic Yankee I win button???? what happened the morning before, the week before, the day before? you have absolutely no way of knowing whether or not that may or may nor be a decisive weapon, or whether or not a particular action is decisive in a campaign. you sound like another one of the crowd that’s absolutely certain we’re never going to get shot at, or that if we do it’s because we decided when and where.

            The best laid plans go out the window as soon as you get punched in the mouth.

          • ElmCityAle

            You propose a naval combat scenario that hasn’t occurred since WW2. Times change, designs change. A 5″ gun is all but useless for modern combat ships. More, better missiles are the answer to most combat situations.

          • ShermansWar

            and that’s what they said when they left guns off fighters and had to bring them back. Not to mention you ignored the post itself and answered none of the querries.

          • ElmCityAle

            The example you offer, during the Vietnam war, proves two things: that the missiles were early in the development cycle and not reliable; and that guns were still useful for certain close combat situations. in the context of this discussion about naval warfare, the two points would be mapped as: the missiles are highly reliable at this point in their development cycles; small (25/30mm) and possibly medium calibre (57mm) guns have use for close in combat situations.

          • No, the Vietnam example proves that the USAF had horrible air combat training and missiles optimized for shooting down bombers. The Navy had good training and appropriate missiles and never felt the need to put guns on its F-4’s (and still got a 40:7 kill ratio).

          • If you’re going to drag out the Vietnam “fighters need guns” canard answer this – how did the Navy never put 20mm guns on its F-4’s and still get a 40:7 kill ratio?

          • Rocco

            Kudos

          • Lazarus

            Small surface guns (127mm and smaller) need a large number of hits to inflict significant damage on a ship of LCS size and larger.

          • Master chief

            Oh, you mean the stealthy LCS that has Star Trek shields, phasers and photon torpedoes right? Because we’re sure you weren’t referring to the commercial grade aluminum foil and highly fragile LCS of today right?

          • Secundius

            As I recall, the “Arleigh Burke’s” use Carnegie Steel made Hulls which was developed in 1892…

          • ShermansWar

            So you say. I guarantee a US commander of an LCS hit by 2 5″ rounds withdraws as fast as he can, and has significant damage.

          • Rocco

            For anything smaller than a FFG yeah!

          • Hugh

            Also consider swarm drones. At the opening of the Winter Olympics they had over 1100 of them pre-programmed to form various shapes in the sky, as civvies. What then are the current military capabilities?

          • M van dongen

            Antiship Guided 5″ rounds exist.
            They do make programmable HE for 5″, so atleast marginally usefull as AA/CIWS, but low RoF.
            76 with Higher RoF and/or DART would be better in that role. They also make the scaled down IR Guided ammo for it, at the cost of range and HE content.

          • ShermansWar

            …. until you get into a gunfight and you have a 57 or a 76 and the other guy has a 5″ or a 130mm. then all of a sudden it’s the master.

            Might I point out it is the height of hubris to assume that your side will always be able to dictate the terms of the engagement, the time, place and range. Everyone who ever went into battle assumed they would, yet half of them were wrong and got sunk.

          • MarlineSpikeMate

            What if you have a 5″ and you go up against a double barreled 130mm, the 5″ will lose.

            The 57mm can throw more weight (explosive lbs * number of rounds) down range over a minute time period than a 5″. Whats better, 220 57mm pre-programable rounds or 16 5″ rounds? More explosive pounds on target. Simple math would dictate the 57mm. This also equals a greater hit probability and chance of mission kill. The only advantage to the 5″ is a few extra NM of range. Additionally, armor is not a factor, as a rifle round will penetrate a ships hull now days.

            Now two 155mm gun with a combined rate of fire of 20rpm is a real gun system for anti-ship and fire support, especially if re-fitted with excalibur rounds which can be laser guided, making them a severe threat for enemy ships.

            Maybe I’m wrong, but I do enjoy playing devil’s advocate here with the 5″ hard liners.

          • ShermansWar

            You are a silly fellow.

            You get in your ship with your 57 mm gun, me in mine with my 5″ L/62 , all other things equal, and tell me how close your going to try and get before I hunt you down, cause I will. And I’ll be firing at you for miles away before you even get close. No Naval commander in the world would opt for the 57mm given a choice between the 2.

            Far as double 130’s, good thing there are only 10 currently deployable in the world,( the rest are laid up and have been for years) cause they are a headache if you’re within the visual horizon and they engage you.

            Far as equivalencies go, 1 Naval 5″ equals 3 M777 over time and with sustained fire. A Tico’s guns have long been considered equivalent in firepower to a 155 battery. Those 40 rounds of 5″ in the first minute are a mother, and within the visual horizon will dispatch most anything in under a minute.

          • MarlineSpikeMate

            You are a cocky female.

            Well I guess we don’t believe in math.

            Max range is what, three more miles than the 57mm? Thats not even max effective range. I can assure you 220 shells vice 16 will have a much higher (93%) chance of hitting at max range.

            You telling me with the math of lbs of explosive per min as discussed above, you would rather have a 5″ then a 57mm if both were in range? The math doesn’t add up. There ain’t any armor penetration need that should be factored in for that 5″ either in the 21st century.

            Also it would be foolish for a ship (Tico) to get within a 5″ range from shore.

          • Admiral Dunane

            here’s Captain Marlin on his “Littoral Battle Frigate War-fight ship” cira 2021. Upon seeing a Chinese Frigate with 5in guns at 20 miles. “Engage mount 51” “Pew, pew, pew, pew, you’re dead you evil Chinese warship” Meanwhile radar directed 5in rounds are zeroing in on the LCS bridge from 15 miles away.

          • Rocco

            He has to play Battle Ship!!

          • battlestations

            Pew, pew, pew…OMG Too funny!

          • ShermansWar

            right, like the radar guided guns on US ships. Oh wait, the 57mm FC is electro optical, duh..

          • Rocco

            Even though I agree with you why isn’t it happening for ship’s smaller than the Burke’s?

          • ShermansWar

            It isn’t? There are an awful lot of frigates out there today with 5″ guns…..

            They specced out a 57 mm for the lcs for 2 reasons. One, they never expect the ship to encounter a near peer vessel ( was an anti speedboat design) and 2 it was cheap. The only reason they spec a 57mm for the FFG(X) competition is to keep the austal and lockheed bids relevant. and it’s cheap. that’s it. it’s a patrol boat gun, in a patrol boat caliber.

          • Retired OS1

            brahahahahahaha, that’s the funniest thing I’ve heard all week. Wow, did your mom drop you too many times? Using your logic a WWII destroyer with smaller but much faster guns would out dual a battleship!

          • MarlineSpikeMate

            nah, a battle ship had more firepower in its secondary guns than a destroyer did in its primary. Details matter…

          • Rocco

            Don’t laugh clown!! Because it happened!! Look up TAFY 3!!! In the battle of Layte Gulf!! only difference the biggest ships were heavy cruiser’s.

          • battlestations

            Leyte Gulf Rocco, sorry! One of my favorite accounts of WWII. Captain Ernest E. Evans (MOH) and the USS Johnston DD-557during the Battle off Samar. Can only pray that the type of courage and wherewithal is alive and well in our Navy today.

          • Refguy

            The DD/DE escorts did NOT win any gun duels, they sacrificed themselves to draw fire from the CVEs, some of which were sunk anyway. The biggest threat from the escorts was that they might get close enough to launch torpedoes, which could have taken out a cruiser (e.g. Belgrano, Indianapolis or many engagements during the naval battle of Gauadacanal).

          • Rocco

            I never said we won!! Just that they had the balls to stand up to the Japanese!! Tricking them to think they were up against larger ships!! I know all about the other battles!!

          • Refguy

            Sorry. Your comment was buried in debate over the value of a five-inch gun; I interpreted the comment as using TAFFY 3 to support the superiority of five-inchers to smaller guns.

          • ShermansWar

            as did I

          • ShermansWar

            You might add the footnote they were sunk and the japs just left. The size of the nads on the commander of the Samuel B Roberts decided the engagement, not the guns on the ships, and it was a suicide run at that.

          • Rocco

            Yes your wrong!! The old adage there’s no substitution for cubic inches!!! In every thing!! Would you go into a fight with a. 22 when the enemies carry 9 mm or 45cal??

          • Jon

            “a few extra NM of range”…if 85 klicks or so is a “few”…

            On one hand, a weapon that is essentially LoS. On the other, one that can reach out 100 kilometers. 57mm, anything past the horizon is zero explosive pounds on target…

            57mm (when it works as sold) is a very good weapons system…within limits. As a primary weapon on 6000+ ton warship with an ASuW mission, not so much.

          • MarlineSpikeMate

            Your talking with special ammo right?

          • Jon

            Of course. The 5″ is range flexible…the 57mm is not. It’s still a good weapons system, as a secondary, or primary on support ships, and offers multi-mission capability. But as the primary gun system on a major warship…not.

            With extended range/guided ammo, the 5″ is a ship/mission killer at very long ranges, to include within the envelope where ASuW missiles are likely to be used. While the 57mm, unless you’ve got eyeballs on them…is not.

          • MarlineSpikeMate

            Yeah, sounds great if anyship carries those, otherwise it’s just about 3 – 4nm passed the 57mm. Just wait till the 155m on the Zumwalt class have the laser guided rounds / gps guided rounds. Then you have a relevant gun system for fire support or anti-ship.

          • MarlineSpikeMate

            Right, but I’m not sure many ships carry these munitions. Without them, the range is only a couple of NM more, at thats max range, were hits are not expected. What type of guidance do these rounds have? Also how far do you expect to hold an active track on a surface target to use the gun? Radar only goes so far over the horizon unless you got some CEC.

            Now if were talking the proposed 155 rounds for the AGS (modified from the excalibur) that will have both GPS and/or laser guided, that will be a fantastic ASuW or NGFS. CEC would obviously come into play for these active track engagements well past organic sensors.

            Which goes back to the original point. A gun is a close in weapons system, and would generally be used inside the envelope for missiles.

          • Jon

            With the 5″, you have the option to fire extended range rounds. 57mm, you do not. “A couple NM more” is the difference between them taking you under fire without being able to reply…

            The USN has the option of procuring Vulcano rounds, or using the guided hypervelocity/extended range rounds they’re developing as an offshoot of the railgun research.

            What range are you expecting to get from missiles in crowded waterways with heavy countermeasures in use?

            Why are 155mm rounds “good”, but 5″ “bad”?

            We’ve got 3 ships projected to carry the 155mm (sans ammo)…the 5″ is common on all our cruisers and destroyers.

            Not to mention, lest we forget, the USN does have a mission to provide naval gunfire support…you’re not doing that mission with a 57mm.

          • MarlineSpikeMate

            I’m not saying the 5” is bad. I’m saying in today’s world, a larger or smaller gun (such as the 57 and 155) are better suited for specific mission areas. The 57 for air and swarm attacks and additionally not losing much against larger ships as well due to the function of its firepower (explosives x rate of fire) and the 155 for NGFS and ASuW.
            This was in my original post.

            The substance for this argument was the 5” really didn’t hold many advantages over the 57 other than a 3NM maybe, with standard ammo.

          • ShermansWar

            the 57mm has a 9 mile range, compared to 15 miles for a 5″ with standard shells.

          • Rocco

            Kudos

          • Whisky Tango Foxtrot

            well, it’s a very good thing the 57mm has it’s special “scary face” proximity fusing that confuses and dazzels the enemy’s 127mm guns with bright lights and loud popping noises. The Chinese will never even dare to get within 100 miles of the powerful LCS and it’s 57mm gun

          • Rocco

            Lol

          • Rocco

            For someone to take a old school name !! You certainly don’t think that way! Besides you don’t know what your talking about!!

          • Bubblehead

            The FFGX will be getting volcano. I assume that means they have developed a 54mm volcano shell. The USN should be signing a contract for 5″ volcano & 155mm for Zums tomorrow if they have any sense. The US Army & Marines also.

          • ShermansWar

            the FFG(X) is getting ALAMO, not Vulcano. 2 different manufacturers, different abilities and mission set.
            ALaMo is essentially a guided munition, that, because it’s guided, gets a smidgen extra range, whereas Vulcano is primarily an extended range munition, though it can also be a guided precision munition ( 2 versions exist). see chart above

          • Rocco

            Interesting

          • ShermansWar

            Vulcano Range Specifications
            Weapon Ballistic Extended Range (km) Guided Long Range (km)
            127/64 LW 60 90
            Mk 45 60 90
            M777/M109 40 60
            M777/M109 (5-inch saboted*) 50 70
            M777/M109 ERCA 75+ 100+
            Mk 51 AGS 75 100

          • Secundius

            What Naval Gun was and/or is the Mk.54? And the Mk.67 was a Gun Mount NOT a Naval Gun…

        • Rocco

          Agreed kudos!!

        • Rocco

          Agreed

      • lugnutmstr

        Can you say “hyper velocity projectile (HVP)”?

    • Rocco

      Kudos

  • jerseydave

    8-16 cells? Really? Should be more like 40-48.

    • airider

      I’d take 32….4×8 configuration they already have in DDGs up forward.

      • ShermansWar

        Then you want Navantia, the F100, which was based on the Perry’s.

        • SvD

          The F100 design is not based on the “Perry’s” …
          Spain has license build Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates in their fleet.

          It would be mindboggling stupid at this point in time – 2018 – to buy a frigate which is based on the OHPs.

    • ShermansWar

      Navantia will be the only entrant offering more than 16, at 32 cells, reduced from the parent designs’ 48.

      • Bubblehead

        This is just wild speculation. The Fremms were designed for 32 cell vls but Italy & France only want 16. Since the USN objective for vls was 32 it would make no sense to purposely go out of their way to not meet objective. Especially because the USN has stupidly requested just mk110 instead of a larger calibre. The extra space and weight gives even more space for vls. ESSM is not sufficient to protect other ships in a convoy. It doesnt have the range. The USN wants some SM’s.

        • ShermansWar

          OK, so when it comes in at 16 and Navantia comes in at 32 don’t say you forgot I told you. And no, it’s not speculation

          • SvD

            The Meko A-200 being the lightest would offer 32. But it would be nice to know, why it was kicked from the competition.

            Other designs have more than 32 cells, like:

            -De Zeven Provinciën-class frigates have 40 Mk41
            -Iver Huitfeldt-class frigates have 32 Mk 41 + 2 Mk 56 VLS (in mission modules!) with additional 24 ESSM
            -F125 Baden-Württemberg-class should be able to take a maximum of 64 Mk41 cells. 32 at the bow section, 16 midship and/or 16 to 32 cannibalizing a hangar spot (I hope I got this right).

            The F100 is not far from the:
            -Horizon-class frigates 48-cell A50 Sylver VLS (the 2m deeper A70 is for Strike)
            Chungmugong Yi Sun-sin-class “destroyer” 32 Mk41 and 32 K-VLS

            The Sejong the Great-class destroyers show, that you can even squeeze more VLS cells into an Arleigh-Burke size ship, which has 96. These destroyers have 80 Mk41 and 48 K-VLS cells. That is 128 cells in total and more than the 122 of a Ticonderoga-class cruiser.

          • Rocco

            Their ugly looking!!

          • Curtis Conway

            The two LCS candidates should be removed. they can neither function in the Arctic/Antarctic or in Blue Water during heavy weather. They are not built to US Navy survivability standards, just exempted from them and declared good. All the others have good points and bad. The FFG(X) will cost $1 Billion properly equipped to do the jobs that will be assigned and be able to steam in the Arctic/Antarctic. The HII NSC is the only design that will come on fast. I wish they would release a looksee at what it will really look like.

          • Rocco

            If that’s the case seems like a mute point to build ship’s at that cost ! Then the question will be the new FFG’S will be too expensive to risk! Lol

          • Curtis Conway

            No, we have NOTHING effective that can do combat in the Arctic! Best not end up not going there and tearing up multi-mission $$$ Ruber Windows covering SQS-53 sonars on the bows of CG/DDGs.

          • Rocco

            Except Subs!!⚓️

          • Curtis Conway

            I wonder if we have enough. The one thing the submarine will never do is provide Presence Overtly during times of crisis.

          • SDW

            There are those times that you want some folks to wonder and worry that there *might* be a sub or two in the vicinity. Still, a multi-function FFG (like the OHPs were) can do a lot of good working with friends and fence-sitters to show the flag without coming across heavy-handed. That’s all in addition to its main role of lower priority escort, anti-piracy, FON, sanction enforcement and other VBSS missions (with Law-Dets aboard), and on and on and … They may not make as big a bang as a DDG but I believe the bang can be worth the buck(s).

          • Curtis Conway

            Many a LEDET rode an FFG-7 in more oceans than one, not just in the Caribbean. I have often wondered what the Stats were on FFG-7 Mission Accomplishment. Sounds like a Postgraduate Thesis to me.

          • Rocco

            What’s a LEDET?

          • Curtis Conway

            Law Enforcement Detachments or LEDETs are specialized, deployable maritime law enforcement teams of the United States Coast Guard. First established in 1982, their primary mission is to deploy aboard U.S. and allied naval vessels to conduct and support maritime law enforcement, interdiction, or security operations.

            A US Navy Surface Combatant operates under one set of rules. The United States Coast Guard are Law Enforcement first, then defense mechanisms second. A US Coast Guard vessel can do so many more things than a US Navy Surface Combatant, and that is why they get their Paint Job. Putting a LEDET on board is like the Marshal turning you into a Deputy. That is why LEDETs are aboard US Navy Vessels performing Drug Interdiction Operations.

            You are supposed to already know this ROCCO, if you are where I think you are. I may have to take that raise in your pay back for leading my fan club.

          • Rocco

            You know I’m laying in bed reading my new issue of air combat & watching the Daytona 500 I tapped when you interupped me!! Lol.i though that was NCIS’s job!! How about I keep my raise & raise one to you!!🍻🥂⚓️

          • SDW

            Who had the best INFO office? USCG or USN? That’s who reported the best LEDET results.

            As to the OHP class itself, the results are skewed according to which fleet it was assigned. It was often pushed aside because it was seen as a dead end. The idea was that you had one command as a SWO to make your mark and if you were a LCDR CO of a OHP you were on the B-team. Did any OHP CO become the CO of a Tico or even XO of a Spruance?

          • Rocco

            Agreed. Or they could send out a ping every now & then to keep them on their toes!!

          • Curtis Conway

            Don’t think they are going to do that. This is not Capt Ramius in the Red October.

          • Rocco

            We could put gators on the Freedom class!!🤔

          • Curtis Conway

            The LCS cannot function well in any environment where they will be away from fuel and supply for extended periods of time (I don’t care what they say). South China Sea, Med, Caribbean, coastal waters on any continent, but not a Blue Water vessel, or Arctic vessel. Of course the presence of ASCMs by a belligerent power will influence one’s posting (current Persian Gulf). I would NOT take an LCS into the Arctic at all, particularly in an Ice Environment. We have a vessel locked up in a port up North proving that very assumption/reason. If you have never ridden a Small Boy in heavy seas . . . well, you should not be involved in any way with telling others the LCS will operate there. Plan for the worse, and hope for the best, but you NEVER plan on things being copasetic.

          • Secundius

            That also hold true for the “T-EPF’s”, which were designed to Transport, Land and Resupply ~312-Marines for 4-days or 104 Special Forces Troops for 14-days. She has the Same Range as the Freedom…

          • Curtis Conway

            Now you are starting to see the fallacy of building LCS in the first place. If cost is the issue (measure), buy PC-1s, but you have to live with the limited combat capability . . . that seems to hold its own in the Persian Gulf, where the Saudis will not buy them UNLESS they are modified. That PC-1 platform could even help the Coast Guard, but it will never be effective in the Arctic. For a Strategy it would have made more sense to grow the Coast Guard and High Endurance Cutter fleet.

            How many times have I written “The United States Navy needs 50+ Aegis Guided Missile Frigates”, or “Multi-warfare Hybrid Electric Drive Frigates”, or similar platforms? Ice hardened Hull, and could escort an Icebreaker, maybe a future Heavy Icebreaker.

          • Secundius

            Or make “Ambassador III’s” available for US Naval Service…

          • Curtis Conway

            UH…OH…AH! LIKE! It can negotiate for me anytime.

          • ShermansWar

            They are littoral vessels and can’t work as part of a CBG effectively.

          • Secundius

            Why?/! Littoral’s made to the South China Sea without the Use of a Lift Ship…

          • Rocco

            Agreed yes indeed!! I’m on the same page!! I mentioned on here a similar or smaller version of the Hybrid electric drive propollsion system from the America class for the new FFG’S. It’s gonna have LM-2500 gas turbines anyway. By the time all the weapon systems get added along with the aegis we’re looking a a billion dollars + ship! Why don’t we just shrink the Burke class & call it a day!! We could call them the Conway Class FFG!! Lol⚓️

          • Curtis Conway

            A ‘Short Burke’ was considered, but would most likely cost not much less than a new DDG. It only lacks one engine room . . . mostly. Then when you stack on the new equipment (4160 VDC and other equipment), the design changes alone would add more cost. Cutting down a Flt III would have been the real target, but the timeline is all wrong. Can’t wait to see what the NSC FFG(X) will look like. Potentially, this could provide the greatest return on investment, but HII will have to make a good design, and congress should look at co-upgrade paths for NSC and FFG(X).

          • LowObservable

            The USN should have just gone the two-Destroyer class path (based off the Burke template) with the second variant being non-Aegis/ASW/General purpose Destroyer as the hulls have the size to cater for upgrades over the smaller Frigate hulls..

          • Curtis Conway

            As a concept AEGIS is not just an AAW platform. It’s a Situational Awareness platform. The concept has influenced so many things since it came out.

          • Rocco

            Copy that sir!

          • Curtis Conway

            As we write this there are two VERY Expensive DDG-51s in the Black Sea ‘At Risk’ (one BL-3 BMD, and one BL-4 BMD capability)! Every vessel underway is ‘At Risk’. The worse enemy today seems to be our own CoC (training & readiness issues). No, we must consider ourselves at war at all times when underway . . . THAT’s Aegis Training. Condition IV Peacetime Steaming should be taken out of the book.

          • Rocco

            Yes I saw this on line!

          • ShermansWar

            They’re both flight I ships, you know that, right?

          • Curtis Conway

            This PLANKOWNER of ‘The First Aegis Cruiser’ . . . is VERY aware that they are Flt I ships. Your point is ? . .

          • Bubblehead

            The Carl Vinson Battle Group is getting ready to push its way into the SCS also. There might be some paint trading going on with China in the SCS shortly. I know a F18 technician on the Visnon. Keep an eye on the SCS.

          • Mk-Ultra

            Carriers cost 5-7 billion dollars and every time they’re deployed they’re at “risk”.

            Every single ship that’s deployed, has been deployed and will be deployed is at “risk”.

            That was a moot* point to make. (it’s not mute).

          • Secundius

            That’s TRUE with ALL Naval Vessels in ANY Navy anywhere! DDG-67, USS Cole was nearly Sunk while taking on Fuel while Berthed in a Harbor of the Host Nation, Yemen…

          • Rocco

            1st of all was I talking to you???? No!!! I don’t like the way you address me!! Try 13 billion for A Ford class Carrier!! I served on 3 carriers probably before you were born!! So I don’t need your rehtoric!!

          • Bubblehead

            Just read an article from Navantia that stated the F100 design 100% meets US survivability standards. Which isn’t a small thing. The only other ship that comes close to this requirement is the NSC. Like you said, Austal & LM don’t come close to being a real Frigate even in the FFGX design.

            Austal upped the range of their ship to 4300 Miles but that is only going 12 knots.

            F100 design big drawback is its top speed is listed as 26 knots. The USN will not like this.

            Ingalls NSC has got to like their chances. They meet requirements, have a shipyard ready to roll with very little uncertainty due to the NSC. Nobody but the Navy has seen their FFGX design though. They have kept it hidden. We are assuming the 4923 is their design.

          • Curtis Conway

            Gotta hang that 3 array face 3-RMA EASR radar on something. Looking forward to seeing Mk41 VLS on the platform. Gonna get busy in the fantail with all that ASW and torpedoe countermeasures equipment. Probably ought to puts those DDG-51 strakes and the down-flap on the back to squeeze some more stability and efficiency out of the platform. Haven’t heard anything about Arctic Considerations (ice-hardened hull).

          • SvD

            *facepalm*

          • Curtis Conway

            Ugly but effective . . . except for two (LCS).

          • Rocco

            The Foreign ship’s?

          • Curtis Conway

            A FREMM hull & propulsion system would be nice. Upgrade it with a 4160 VDC Buss, the EASR radar, and the rest of the US equipment listed in the RFQ and we are off. Same comment on the BIW Bazan Class derivative. If I were to build that vessel I would go ahead and put the full 9-RMA fixed array radar on board, but they will probably build it with the 3-RMA array faces just to save money. In the Arctic, and in Blue Water the Bazan would be the way to go.

          • ShermansWar

            Not sure why you’re citing a bunch of ships not in the competition to make the point other ships in the competition have 32 or more cells ( which they don’t). Strange…

          • SvD

            Your claim that the F-100 is the only one providing 32 or more cells is false. There is nothing special about it.
            There is obviously a limit, but it is not that low.
            The FREMM is able to take 32. Same goes for the dropped Meko A-200.
            And I bet one can find space on the NSC to get 32 cells in the frigate variant.

          • ShermansWar

            lets see if anyone else offers 32 cells. I say no one will.

    • William Sager

      To be fair the Vertical Launch Cells are not the only missile platforms like the old Perry class Frigates.

    • Malph

      Remember, they are building to a price point. If one vendor give build in 48 cells for the same price as another is offering 16, that will be a big advantage. Probably not happening though.

    • LowObservable

      You might as well build another Burke once the Navy upscales these requirements.

  • IMO, the top 3 would boil down to the Italian FREMM Frigate, Spanish F-100 Design and the NSC.

  • Ed L

    Parent Design: Navantia Álvaro de Bazán-class F100 Frigate Was built with a 5 inch gun 48 cell VLS 8 harpoons CWIS Now I like this one or the Italian FREMM with a 5 inch forward and the 57mm MK 110 aft on the hanger bay were the Italians mount a 76 mm. The F100 is more anti-ship and the FREMM is more ASW

    • ShermansWar

      That is very astute of you to observe,sir, one most others miss, and the fact that the ship’s PRIMARY requirement is ASuW, I would like to see the F100 design picked,as it most closely matches the RFI specs, as you say..

  • Judy Wilson

    Figure out what a Frigate will be needed for in the future first. One helicopter maybe, but Drones and Armed Drones should be in the inventory. The Frigate should be able to defend against both boat and drone swarms, have anti sub and anti air capabilities but at a lessor capability than a Destroyer. A Frigate needs to be able to keep up with a Carrier Battlegroup. The Frigate needs to have a stealthy design and be low observable. A Frigates radar signature needs to look like a fishing boat same goes for satellite surveillance. A Frigate needs to be able to gather electronic intel and relay that intel to the bigger fighters.
    Just for starters.

    • Hugh

      Are superstructures covered by RAM? 20 years ago tiles reportedly significantly reduce radar cross section, and that special paint was subsequently developed.

      • Bubblehead

        No

  • DaSaint

    I resent the fact that you disparage my Soloflex and how I use It!

    Clarification: The Flight I Burkes are real combatants. Because of the Spriances and Perrys, the need for organic aviation was not foremost, as they were/are Air Defense vessels.

    But since 55 Perrys with their 110 hangars and 32 Spriances with their 64 hangars went kapoof…well, hindsight is 20/20.

    Moving forward, and because none of us have crystal balls (don’t go there), it would be prudent to ensure that all future major combatants are suitably equipped with both helicopter landing pads for the largest feasible bird, and a hangar for at least 1 medium size manned helicopter plus a couple Have.

    How the heck did you know about me hanging the clothes? LOL.

  • Sally

    Make sure they are designed so piloting the ship will be intuitive. All the best designs aren’t an improvement if they run into cargo ships. Taxpayer money is free money.

  • MarlineSpikeMate

    Breaking News Report: The United States Navy has decided to procure all five vessels because they couldn’t decide!!

    • Ser Arthur Dayne

      Littoral Combat Frigates , variety is the spice of surface warfare ! Fab FIve Frigates baby!

      • Malph

        Maybe not. Think maint., training, spare parts, logistics.

        • Ser Arthur Dayne

          I’ll take, “It was sarcasm” for $1,600 , Alex….. DAILY DOUBLE!!

      • D. Jones

        Littoral Combat Cruisers, Littoral Combat Carriers… the possibilities are endless.

        Heck, we might see Littotal Combat Ballistic Missile Submarines cruising the St. Lawrence Seaway during the warmest months.

        DoD should change their name to Department of Littoral Combat.

    • Rocco

      🙈🙉🙊

  • Crom!

    All these ship designs are so poorly armed for anti ship combat? Why is the navy so focused on building ships to take out somali pirates?

    • Bubblehead

      They all will be armed with the same ASM missile (prob NSM) so there isnt a difference in anti-ship armament. If the USN wouldnt be so hard headed and put a 5″ gun with volcano this would drastically improve antiship for the foreign designs that can handle a 5″. Of course this woukd eliminate the domestic designs also.

      As far a survivability, which the USN has always paid significant attention to (until lcs). I think F100 is tops. Its made of High strength steel. NSC is also survivable. Not sure about FREMM. European ships like to skemp on survivability.

      • Hugh

        Future ships would best be all steel, not aluminium. As for the F100, when the RAN tried to classify theirs under Lloyds when building, the latter said they had insufficient longitudinal strength.

        • ShermansWar

          And the other entrants are lighter still. What you say is true but i still believe it to be the most survivable entrant.

      • ShermansWar

        good post

    • Malph

      Remember the Navy seems to be asking this time…”How much ship can I get for a given amount of dollars. It must do at least this but we are only paying X”.

      The designers have to accomodate the equipment specified but also have to stay within a pricepoint.

    • Ed L

      That’s why I feel the next Frigate should have a main gun 76 mm or larger. Plus two 57mm mark 110 a seaRam 2 remote 25mm. And a couple of dozen machine guns like the M240 plus 32 VLS 8 SSM, ASW weapons

    • ShermansWar

      This ship is going to have the best ASuW capability in the navy upon it’s launch, don’t know why you think otherwise. The NSM will be better than any other anti ship weapon we currently have in service, better than any Harpoon currently in US service and more survivable than an SM-6 that emits and has no attack profile. The ship’s primary mission is surface attack.

      • @USS_Fallujah

        I do not agree that surface attack will be the primary mission of the eventual FFG procured.
        My belief is the priorities for the new Frigate’s capabilities will be 1. AAW, 2. ASW 3. SuWa.
        The fact the USN is including the Enterprise radar & suite plus requiring ability to house SM-2/6 VLS cells says this is primarily an air defense frigate. It will have decent ASW capability with VDS & helos, plus decent SuWa capability with NSM (and the LCS’ SSMS too? Conflicting reporting on that item…).
        Whether this is the smartest play I don’t know (I think an ASW Frigtate with area AAW capability is what they need), but clearly the USN sees that to get the hulls they want from Congress they MUST provide a SSC program with near-Burke level AAW capability.

  • Rick

    So they’re paying vendors to submit bids?

    • Malph

      Yep. Pretty much.

    • ShermansWar

      paying them to design a ship to submit for a bid, yes.

  • Adrian Ah

    I wonder if they will choose three designs.

    The Austal and LM LCS stop at whatever number is made now, and the “frigate” versions presented get built instead, thus keeping the industrial base intact.

    At the same time, they choose a proper frigate, one of the other three finalists.

    Just a thought.

    • ElmCityAle

      In essence, extending the purchase by some number of those ships, creating a new “upgunned LCS” per the previous navy thoughts with (already planned) TRS-4D and 8-16 new VLS cells (and related equipment). Then, treat the frigate as a separate purchase and pick the best choice, which for many reasons might be a different design. Very interesting, although the current public navy statements don’t indicate this approach.

    • ShermansWar

      program specifically says they will only choose one.

  • Ser Arthur Dayne

    I think while the person who said Lockheed is a “Lock” may be correct, my bet would still be on HII and their enhanced version of a Sea Control / Patrol Frigate. I think you’ll see a 32-cell VLS combined with a scaled version of the Enterprise Air Surveillance Radar (EASR) or SPY-6 Air and Missile Defense Radar …. 32-cell makes IMHO the most sense because of the reconfigurable nature… it would allow the FFG(X) to not only perform “local area air defense” (which basically denotes the use of the ESSM to defend itself and the LCS’s near it) but to become true self-cruising frigates, enhance the lethality and survivability of an ARG, or integrate into a CSG. 32 cells = the ability to carry everything but the SM-3 (not intended role at all) — and would give it a standard balanced loadout of ESSM, SM-2, ASROC, and even some TLAM, perhaps SM-6 … but then rearm for specific engagements. Augmenting an ARG/ESG to conduct a landing? Maybe it will carry 16-24 TLAM for precision strikes for the Marines. Taking a DDG spot in a CSG/ESG? Might go heavy on SM-2, with ESSM and ASROCs, to defend the group. Sailing alone? Might have a much more balanced load – 4(x4=16) ESSM, 8 SM-2, 4 SM-6, 8 ASROC, 8 TLAM … giving it the ability to do and respond to just about anything. I think everyone can agree with a statement popular on the firearms forums — Buy Once, Cry Once. No one — NO ONE — will ever criticize the FFG for having “too many” VLS cells. Many people will complain if it “doesn’t have enough” , or is not versatile enough, or not properly armed/defensible. 32 makes the most sense.

    • ElmCityAle

      Better to have 32 VLS cells and give up the 57mm gun, instead mounting a pair of the excellent 25/30mm (or even super 40mm) Mk 38 Mod 3 guns. This would somewhat copy the dynamic of the FFG-7 class ships: the big punch was from the 40 round magazine of SM-1 MR and Harpoon missiles from the MK 13 launcher, which got the featured located in front. The 76mm gun was almost an afterthought, mounted midship with limited firing arcs.

      • Rocco

        Why not just stick with the 76mm on the bow!! The Perry class should of had the gun in the bow to begin with instead of the stupid missile it had.

        • Rob C.

          76mm gun was judged by Navy as not having necessary accruacy that the 57mm does. Frankly i think it’s mistake to go with smaller gun, but that’s my opinion.

          If there worried about swarm tactics, they need more guns period. Hellfires going take out some of maybe dozen boats coming in to blow up a ship? I rather be able still fire.

          • Rocco

            Agreed. I’m assuming that because of the type of the 76 was & not installed on any other ship other than the Perry’s & the cyclone classes. 5″ is still the way to go on the FFG’S!

          • M van dongen

            Guided 76mm DART = backup intermediate AD/CIWS + better swarm defense.
            While 5″ has better anti ship capability ( range and payload ).

          • Rocco

            I’m fully aware

          • NukeItFromOrbit

            I don’t believe the Navy here, the model of 76mm used on the OHPs was old and newer models would be a significant improvement in all areas including accuracy. We should have went with those instead of the 57mm.

            Nice thing about FREMM is that it can have both a 5″ and 76mm.

          • Secundius

            One Problem? The US Navy doesn’t use the Mod.1 “Super-Rapid”! They use the Mod.0 “Rapid”…

          • Curtis Conway

            Upgrade? . . . or new gun required?

          • Secundius

            Several companies in the United States have Licences to produce them, though the Gun Choice is the Mod.0. One of the Reasons the Philippines had the “Hamilton’s” Mod.0’s replaced with Mod.1. Also acquired in the United States…

          • Secundius

            Follow Up: The “Rapid” has a “Waterjacked Barrel”, the “Super Rapid” doesn’t…

          • Curtis Conway

            Like the weapon, but it’s not in the spec. Does the 57 mm Mk 100/110 have this capability? The 76 mm package has more blast and room for guidance and other things.

          • Secundius

            Mk.110 Mod.2 & 3 use “Monobloc Steel” Barrels, which eliminate the need of a Waterjacket. The US Navy uses the Mod.3…

          • Curtis Conway

            So the guided rounds coming in a larger and more capable package is undesirable?

          • Bubblehead

            I think it is simply a logistics issue. USN doesn’t want another type of gun (ie 76mm). Nothing else makes sense. The USN already thrashed the 57mm in the Zums as being inferior to the 30mm. So how can it now suddenly grandstand on how good the 57mm is?

            And with Vulcano, the accuracy issue is mute. But not of course the size and distance the round can travel. 57mm is a horrible choice.

        • ElmCityAle

          Placing the MK 13 magazine in the bow position allowed the double ring design, giving 40 rounds. A previous class had the (Tartar) launcher toward the rear, but only had room for one ring, giving 16 rounds.

          • Secundius

            “Independence” variant has Two Eight Cell VLS! One behind the Forward Gun and the other Just Behind the Flight Deck. VLS launcher on Freedom variant is just behind “Hellfire” launchers also is expected to be armed with two LaWS Lasers, just forward of Helicopter Hanger…

          • Rocco

            Yes because a gun was in the bow!

  • Icepilot

    Will the new frigate be an Anti-Submarine, Anti-Air or Anti-Surface platform?
    Pick (at most) two warfare areas for the larger displacement hulls (5-6K tons) & one for the smaller platforms. But the way this goes is to lard up the platform with every capability imaginable, only to discover the platform is too small to carry the weight (or doesn’t have enough bunks, or power, etc).

    • SvD

      All 3 are possible, just cut the mission profile. Most of the proposals are designed for all 3 at the same time.

      The problem is the VLS and the number of cells.
      Cutting ballistic missile defense from the anti-air and the tomahawks from the anti-surface mission would help a lot.
      An ASROC, SM-2, 3, 6 and Tomahawk use one cell, while ESSMs are quad packed. With just ESSM and SM-2 the cells are full.
      Getting 3 or 4 ASROCs in there will kill a lot of ESSMs.
      4 ASROCs already convert to 16 ESSM.

      The European designs suffer from their limited VLS cells.
      BMD would be possible for them, but where do the missiles go? Italy worked a bit around it, by using deck-mounted ASROCs (converted anti-ship missiles carrying an MU90 torpedo).
      Newer anti-ship missiles are dual use and can attack land targets. Using more than 8 is possible. A 127 mm / 5″ gun would be, in combination with extended range ammunition, a light surface attack weapon.

      Just by reducing the capabilities slightly, the ship would be true multi-role. Speaking of the limited VLS cells, the loadout could be different, depending on the main task.

      Ships with 40, 48 or 64 VLS cells are closing in on an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer. There has to be a clear idea how a ship which is cheaper to build and operate should look.

      The only other solution is to go the way Denmark did. Their ships are built with military off the shelf and a lot of commercial off the shelf parts. Gear which is not shockproof is mounted on shock absorbers.

      The cost reduction to the ships with the same defense suit from the Netherlands and Germany is mindboggling.

      • Adding more VLS cells is a negligible expense (a full 96 cell system costs $50 million), the real money is in combat systems.

        • Secundius

          It’s NOT a “Negligible Expense” IF the VLS Launchers are “Hot” or “Cold” Launchers. HOT involves the Redirection of Exhaust Fumes and Hot Gases. While the COLD involves a Compressed Air Storage System. A Third option would be a “EMML” (i.e. ElectroMagnetic Missile Launcher” Launcher being developed by Sandia Labs and Lockheed-Martin…

        • SvD

          It is not because it requires a bigger hull. The jump from 48 cells to 96 equals to a few thousand extra tons.

          The only other option would be dropping the hangar or even flight deck to get the cells somewhere.

          And you forgot the missiles, going into the cells. So for the huge VLS set and the missiles 100 million are gone. Plus the bigger hull.

          • Steel is cheap and air is free, or so I’ve often been told, and I think you’re overestimating just how much the hull would need to grow given that 48 cells weigh only 100 tons. But with your cost estimate, spread over a 20 ship program you loose 10% of your ships but double the missile count – wouldn’t that be worth it if FFG(X) is designed for high intensity combat?

            However, I wasn’t actually advocating a 96 missile frigate and think 48-64 cells would be fine. However, all of the designs we’ve seen only have 16-32 cells which I think is a rather poor decision given that you could double that and get some real capability for just a 5% cost increase.

          • SvD

            Steel, especially in the US, seems not that cheap.
            The difference in displacement between current 48 cells ships (proposed F100) and a 96 cell one is about 40 – 50%!

            Looking at the Danish frigate, yeah, steel is damn cheap. These ships are cheaper than an LCS and have a BMD capable Smart-L radar…
            But their frigate is extremely clever designed. It is in a lot of ways very minimalistic. The yard who built them belongs to Maersk Shipping Line. They know how to design a vessel that gets the job done without a single nickel wasted on some fancy stuff.
            No one else has achieved their price point.
            And while everybody claims there were not shock tested, they were.

            These frigates cost around 100 million $ plus military gear.
            An Arleigh Burke comes in at about what, over a billion?! so 10 times or more for 30% more steel? The steel cannot explain this.

            Same goes for the San Antonio class. They are 3 times the price of a European design, no matter which one you choose. Steel cannot explain this.

            One thing is the anachronistic way of working in the US shipyards and the shipyard’s facilities being outdated. Building ships in the open ist just stupid. In Europe, a factory building with a drydock is basically standard. A lot of the shipyards just constructed a factory building above their old drydocks.

            Meyer is even constructing full-size cruise ships inside a factory building. And they are cheaper than an Arleigh Burke class destroyer.

            But there must be something else, something really odd which triples the price of US shipbuilding of an LPD and even more on a destroyer.

            So steel in the US seems to be rather expensive, compared to Europe.

            “However, all of the designs we’ve seen only have 16-32 cells which I think is a rather poor decision given that you could double that and get some real capability for just a 5% cost increase.”

            5%? Never ever.

    • ShermansWar

      It’s primary missions is as an anti surface ship and sensor a relay node, with an inherent AA ability for local air defense, short range, and able to provide limited protection for ships under escort, and a tertiary role in subhunting, with strong capabilities in the detection area, but ASW target prosecution limited to handing off collected data to other ships and platforms. It’s only inherent attack capability in that area is restricted to it’s onboard helo. They may stick ASROCs in it’s VLS, but I doubt it if the go with a 16 vls entrant, and it’s my belief that only the F100 based ship will offer more than that.

  • Sir Bateman

    I got a sick sinking feeling that by the time this whole process is over with the USN is going to end up choosing the two LCS designs.

    • ShermansWar

      only one, the one that will keep the shipyard from shuttering.

      • Sir Bateman

        Given that preservation of industrial base is a real issue, why couldn’t the USN/Congress give the contract to actually build the FFG(X) to Fincantieri Marinette and Austal once the USN chooses a particular design?

        Both BIW and Ingalls should be pretty busy for the foreseeable future building Burkes and Amphibs for the Navy.

        • ShermansWar

          Because they said it is a sole source contract. we can talk about why don’t they do this or that, but I myself tend to restrict my considerations to staying within what the navy specs and says as opposed to re-imagining a project from scratch the way I would like it. I imagine it the way I would like it WITHIN THE GUIDELINES THE NAVY SAYS THEY ARE OPERATING UNDER. myself I have no issue with multiple builders or multiple selections, but the Navy said that’s NOT what they are going to do, and they kind of emphasized the point.

          • Sir Bateman

            I was just curious is all.

          • Horn

            Since when has the Navy followed what they originally said they were going to do? That’s how we ended up with the LCS in the first place.

          • Secundius

            Actually I believe that SecDef Donald Rumsfeld sold the LCS class the George W. Bush in 2001, after the Israeli Navy backed out of a Naval Ship Design deal for a New Light Destroyer in 2000. In 2003 George W Bush, sold the Idea to the US Congress in 2003, and in 2004 the US. House of Representatives funded the LCS class by a 313 Vote Fore and a 116 Vote Against the “Classes”…

  • Jonesy

    If the admiralty picks either LCS based design, POTUS should say “you’re fired” to the whole lot of them, because they’re obviously too stupid to lead the Navy going forward

  • Lazarus

    These 5 choices were expected so no surprises. Given the price point that the Navy requires, I still expect to see an LCS variant as the final choice.

    Also, LCS is currently in production of what is in effect a flight 3 hull. Freedom and Independence were flight 1 variants and Fort Worth and Coronado flight 2’s.

    • the_artist_formerly_known_as_m

      If cost were the only consideration, the Navy wouldn’t be pursuing FFG(X).

      Capability matters more than you think. The LCS designs simply don’t have the SWAP-C to provide the required capability.

  • RobM1981

    We all know that the terms have been messed up over time. In WWII a CL displaced about 12,000 Tons, while a DD displaced more like 3,000. OK, sure, times change.

    Ultimately the model comes down to Small, Medium, and Large. High/Low, if you prefer. Big hulls, with more capabilities, and small hulls with less – but enough.

    The small hulls are cheaper to buy and operate, and this all makes sense.

    Our current “medium” which is really more like a “high” is the Burke, displacing 9,000 tons, plus or minus.
    Our current Low is nothing. The LCS is not compatible with fleet action, which is why we are now looking for a new Low. We know that the LCS, displacing in the neighborhood of 4,000 tons, doesn’t get it done. It packs not much more firepower than a Cyclone with a helicopter added.

    It seems as if 6,000 tons is the current sweet spot for the “low” aspect of a high low mix. That would push both variants of the LCS’s out, and I say good riddance. We need a ship designed from the outset as a 6,000 ton hull. Everything should be proportional to that, including the command spaces and the sensor spaces.

    Stretching the hull (or whatever) to add VLS capacity does not compensate for the lack of hull mounted sonar, or retractable sonar array, or command spaces designed for a 3,500 ton ship.

    If we’re going to spend this money, let’s do it right.

    • Lazarus

      A 6000 ton ship is not a “small surface combatant” but rather a light DDG. The Navy did not ask for such a ship, so think that size is in fact a “sour” zone where the Navy will not tread.

      • SDW

        What the Navy officially asks for and what the brass is really looking for can be an exercise in practical telepathy. My feeling is that they would be happy with a ship at about 2/3 a Burke displacement if recurring acquisition is securely at <=500M without GFE. I think the $$ outweighs the displacement. (If you don't like that pun, I could have said "trumps" the displacement.)

        That's why I think the HII entry will offer firm-priced optional configurations where the differences are driven by GFE choices/flexibility that the RfP didn't explicitly call for. This approach, if taken, will come out far enough along in the process that the other ship builders can't try the same move.

        • Lazarus

          The navy went down the “only large ships” road in 1999/2000 when it first came up with the SC21 family of ships. That concept ultimately proved a failure when the Navy failed to account for lower-end patrol and MiW missions. A ship with 2/3 the Burke displacement cannot be built in the numbers needed for small combatants. 20 FFGX is already too small a # and that build could decrease even more if the Navy selects a larger ship. Soon the USN will look like the RN with a small number of larger combatants (Darings and Type 26’s/31’s) and a few OPV-like vessels.

          • SDW

            I agree with you but I’m not convinced the DoD, DoN, and CNO et al. see it the same way. I believe that among the (more valid) reasons they are headed for a +/-6K displacement are: the need for long legs to deploy over large distances in the Pacific, the view that not only must these FFGs be multi-mission but that they must be pretty good at each, the perception (with reason) that it’s easier to get Congress to fund a number of ships for a number of dollars (in their districts) than it is for them to consider military utility in their decisions, and the almost requirement to carry a full-scale helicopter in a hanger of some sort. Does all that make a valid case? Maybe, in some practical terms, but the total cost (buy and operate) will be too high to achieve the numbers you correctly point out to address the assigned missions.

            So, regarding the FFG program… it’s going to be a bumpy ride and a large number of knowledgeable people will be very disappointed no matter what.

  • Lazarus

    All this discussion of gun size is pointless. It takes dozens of rounds of any size gun (5 inch to 57mm) to cause much in the way of damage of even a medium-sized vessel. ASCM’s are a ship’s only ship killing weapons. Guns were retained after WW2 for antiair and naval surface fire support. Guns just do not have the capability to inflict major damage with a few rounds.

    • publius_maximus_III

      I’m thinking these babies need a couple of 14″ or 16″ guns added. Except don’t fire them broadside, or she’ll do a full roll.

    • Bubblehead

      a 5″ gun can definitely get a mission kill with a few shots. In todays electronic era, it doesn’t take a lot. Everything is connected electrically & electronically. You knock out a radar and that ship will turn and run for cover because it is exposed & vulnerable.

      • Lazarus

        Depends on the target ship’s level of redundancy. You also (essentially) need to aim a 5 inch gun for a target’s “center of mass” unless you are close enough to use electro-optical sights (something that the LCS 57mm gun system has.)

    • Ed L

      In cases where operating in the Persian Gulf or like my Uncle’s story the islands In the western pacific. A 76 mm or 127mm might make the difference even with all the high tech gadgets. I was on a ship during a shock test. Even though everything came back on (electronics were off). I said something about that and was told to shut my mouth.

      • And what exactly are you going to do with a gun if all the electronics are dead? Modern naval guns are themselves “high tech gadgets.”

    • Horn

      Have you ever seen what a fragmentation round can do to something the size of a FAC?

      • Secundius

        In 2015, HSV-2, Swift operating in UAE livery was struck by a Chinese-made C-802 Missile (i.e. ~363-pound Timed-Delayed, Semi-Armor Piercing High Explosive warhead) off the Coast of Yemen. Vessel was an ALL Aluminum construction, that KILLED 2 of the 36 aboard. And was able to return to the UAE under its own power. UAE Government was so Impressed, that they are having the Vessel Repaired in Greece, rather then Scrapping Her…

        • Horn

          Swift is not a small missile boat. It took the missile on the bow, thus limiting damage. I thought the UAE sold her to a Greek ferry service last year.

          • Secundius

            No, but it is ALL “Aluminum Constructed”! And wasn’t that your point of your comment? What a Fragmentation Warhead would do to a Aluminum Constructed FAC, or any other Vessel of Aluminum Construction…

          • Horn

            HSV Swift is twice the length and 3 times the size of a FAC, and there’s a difference between a warhead hitting the bow of a ship and a fragmentation round going off above a ship. More importantly, I was referring to smaller swarm-style boats for the use of the 57mm. Personally I’d like to see a 76mm used instead, especially if they can get the HVP rounds to work.

          • Secundius

            The “SWIFT” is Unarmed and has an ~20,000sq/ft Cargo Deck. The Only Defensive Measure the “Swift” has is Speed, in excess of 40kts…

          • Horn

            So then why did you bring it up when I was talking about FACs?

          • Secundius

            A “Swift” can be Armed! A HiMAR was tested successfully from the USS Anchorage in 2017. Both the USS Millinocket in 2015 and USS Trenton in 2016, had “Rail Guns” tested on the Vessels. And at 40kts. speed, could qualify them as FAC’s…

          • Horn

            No. That would make it a corvette. FACs usually displace less than 800 tonnes, no more than 60 meters in length give or take, and travel with speeds in excess of 35 knots. The Swift exceeds 2 of those characteristics, putting it in the range of a corvette, not a FAC.

          • Secundius

            Not aware of ANY “Catamaran Hulled” Corvettes? Maybe you could Mention One. At 40kts, range is reduced to ~1,500nmi…

          • Horn

            Tuo Chiang-class corvette of the ROC Navy. That could even be considered a FAC though because of its size and displacement. They call it a corvette due to its increased armament and limited AA defenses. Most other catamaran military vessels are like this. Missile and patrol boat size. The Swift is much larger than these, putting it in the corvette size if it were an armed warship.

          • Secundius

            You left out the “Tuo Jaing’s”, but close enough. An Unarmed “Zodiac” in a Powered Inflatable until you decide to Arm One, then “IT” becomes a FAC…

          • Horn

            Sea states and range are also a factor, but I can tell there’s not pointing debating the point with you. Believe what you will, but something the size and displacement of the HSV or EPF are too large to be considered in the same classification of a FAC.

          • Secundius

            Do you honestly think that During a Swarming Attack by FAC, that “Those” doing the Swarming are going give a “Rats A**) about “Sea State”. The “Sea Shepard” crew do it Yearly against the Japanese “Whale Hunting” off the Antarctic Coastline…

          • Secundius

            And where specifically in my comment did I say it was. It’s being Repaired by the Greeks…

  • publius_maximus_III

    I like the Bath offering the best, followed closely by Huntington Ingalls. Look like a couple of really lethal man-eaters. They appear close enough for one to serve as a secondary supplier for the other, whoever wins the bid. What’s with that “sculpted” hull shape? Everybody seems to be going with one.

  • publius_maximus_III

    There should be a Persian Gulf variant: racks of floating railroad ties added across the fantail and rocket launched ones along both rails, to use like depth charges for ripping the bottom out of approaching Cypress Garden speedboats. That plus maybe 4 or 5 skeet shooting stations for knocking out drones, with skeet launchers used for rec during downtime. The new Mullah-tov cocktail frigate.

  • Rob C.

    Will prototype ships be produced for this competition or they just going by existing parent designs solely.

    The Freedom’s Variants (larger and Saudi versions) haven’t been made.

    • The one armed man

      No the cost for 5 prototypes would be astronomical.

      • Rocco

        So are Aircraft but they have to be built!!

        • @USS_Fallujah

          Building 5 aircraft prototypes could cost up to $500m total. Building 5 FFG prototypes would cost at least $2.5 Billion, and potentially upwards off $5B!

        • The one armed man

          Prototypes for 5 designs would be over $5 billion. That’s the whole reason they wanted off the shelf designs.

          • Rocco

            So we should then by foreign Aircraft!!! Not in agreement! If that’s what you are implying! Variants of are ship’s in my opinion the way to go.

          • The one armed man

            Um…no I never said or implied that, I was only talking about this case specifically. Of course prototyping is a necessary part of weapons development but it is an expensive and time consuming process. The Navy wanted to skip the time and cost because there are a number of designs on the market that are sufficient for their needs.

  • Paladin

    No matter what design they choose, I hope they put a real gun on it.

  • Al L.

    I’m not really understanding how these ship choices fit in the parameters the Navy has said it wants for this competition.

    -Historically it has cost the Navy about $200,000 (+- about 20%) in current dollars per full displacement ton for a serially produced surface combatant (frigate destroyer or cruiser). This would place 2 of the contenders (Fremm, F-100) barely able to get under the $950 million cap under the best circumstances.
    The Navy has targeted $850,000 as its objective. Theres a small chance a 6000+ ton ship can get there.

    -The 2 largest contenders dont have the best circumstances available:

    1. The Navy is separately buying and furnishing the entire combat system and weapons suite, under separate contracts with most (CombatSS-21 especially ) almost guaranteed in advance to a single supplier. This will mean the bidders start by working against a most likely high, fixed, out of their control, base cost of GFE.

    2. Austal, HII and LM have complete infrastructure paid for and ready to build their ships, GD and Fincantieri do not. They have no prepared production line and this will be additive not replacement work for them, which means it will compete against their existing portfolio for labor, management, etc resources which likely will will mean higher initial costs.

    3. Fincantieri has never been prime contractor on a US warship, has not built anything this size and complexity at Marinette and has had a hard time keeping the smaller simpler LCS on schedule and budget and quality. Its already bound to build and maintain production for 4 LCS derived frigates for Saudi Arabia at $1.5 billion (?!) each. Why would they bid at all against the L-M offering they would build? I suspect this design offering is market research, or an effort to keep out another competitor and there will be no final bid or a weak bid from Fincantieri. (who would turn down govt funding to design another ship variation and gain the knowledge?)

    The clear path for Fincantieri is to stay partnered with L-M and their political power as well as the profits and continuity derived from the existing Saudi LCS contracts, and L-Ms control of the combat system and its integration which is no small thing.

    The way the Navy has set this up favors a ship of about 4000 tons with an established production line.
    Austal will be the lowest cost bidder well within the $850,000,000 target, but they may not be able to include everything the Navy wants in the 800 – 900 tons of weight they’ll have available on that hull.

    This also makes me wonder if the reporting of the F-100 as the “parent” doesn’t actually mean the 5000 ton Nansen hull since the F-100 would then just be a grandparent although it could be that more than 1 helo on that hull is not possible.

    Its looking more and more like this is for HII or L-M to win. Austal could contend if pressure to up ship numbers continues to grow and/or sustaining the industrial base becomes overbearing. I cant see the 2 big ships winning unless budgets grow and something makes capacity more important than quantity or industrial base. I would not be surprised to see just 2-3 bidders for the construction contract.

    I would also not be surprised to see a MSC follow on to JHSV or some other consolation get awarded to Austal if they drop out or dont win FFG(x) in order to maintain the industrial base.

    But with the way DOD and the Navy has changed their minds semiannually or more on LCS/FFG(x), this may all be just another session of ring around the rosie. The next frigate might be an airplane.

    • @USS_Fallujah

      Very well argued. Thanks. Thoughts on the ability of HII to design a NSC FFG that fits into the price target and/or cap?

      • Al L.

        Based on the NSC costs HII may need a shoehorn for the target but should fit in the cap, considering that the NSC is more costly than it should be due to it being on about a 1 ship per 1 1/2 year buy rate, which is inefficient.

        Of note is that the Navy seems to be allowing up to about $1.2 billion for the first unit. So while HII with its high overhead might have trouble at a single unit a year, 2 units a year should yield enough efficiency to get it there . Bottom line is the Navy should be able to buy a 4000 ton reasonably capable warship within $950000000, if it doesn’t get too enamored with gold plate or more importantly changes after award and keeps it competitive and congress allows steady block buy funding.

        • @USS_Fallujah

          One thought was, could they base a FFG bid off he Burke rather than the NSC, leverage a hot production line (not to mention the existing logistics network). If a -51 Flight IIA was $1.6B can HII cut $650-750m off that, or is it a bridge too far? Cut the rear VLS cells, nix two gas turbines & a generator, replace existing suite with lower cost GFE mentioned….

          • Al L.

            Going by my memory of things not recently reviewed, a restart Burke is about 1.8 billion of which about 1.3 is the hull and contractor provided equipment and about .5 billion is GFE which is basically the combat system, weapons systems etc. So there’s not any chance a Burke light is going to be less than 950 mill. They’d have to cut 40% + out of the hull.

            If it was viable it probably would have been offered.

          • Very close – combat systems add about $700 million out of $1.8 billion.

          • @USS_Fallujah

            We don’t know what HII is designing for offer, that they didn’t have a NSC based FFG ready tells me there is a chance they’re looking at a different option.
            Your number for the Burke restart is high too, the last IIA was $1.6B. They’d probably be dropping ~2,000 tonnes from the hull and the cost of the FFG GFE is going to be significantly lower than a Burke with baseline 9.0 Aegis, it’s still a stretch, but I’d bet one U.S. dollar that’s what HII is going to design and bid.

          • Bubblehead

            I don’t think EASR radar is going to be exactly cheap. Not yet. It is just getting started and the initial units will probably run some good dough.

          • @USS_Fallujah

            We’re talking about a platform that isn’t going to be ordered until 2020 and delivered in 2025. That said nothing is ever cheap, but for the purposes of the bid what matters is what the USN says the EASR will cost, as the decision will be made long before the item is delivered.

          • Weapons and engines are dirt cheap – the full 96 cell VLS costs $50 million and an LM2500 is just $5 million. Even if you took all the weapons and engines off a Burke and it will still cost over $1.6 billion.

          • @USS_Fallujah

            A Burke IIA is $1.6B and Aegis is far FAR from cheap. It’s a reach, but cutting $650-700m from an existing Burke design is probably more realistic that adding all that GFE etc to a NSC design and staying under $850-950m per, and at least HII’s bid would bury the needle on capabilities even if it’s last in cost consideration.

          • When I said weapons I did not mean combat systems but guns and launchers.

            The Basic Construction cost alone for a Burke is $887 million so the cut down Burke is not a viable solution.

          • @USS_Fallujah

            Curious how you go that number…also, there are lots of things besides just guns and launchers that HII can cut from the base DDG design, they’d likely gun 2 gas turbines and 1 generator, shorten the hull and decrease tonnage by about 20%. It’s a stretch I’ll admit, but this is more about what I think HII might do, rather than who will win, and as hard as getting a Burke design cut down to a $950m FFG configuration will be, I believe upgrading the NSC design to an FFG with all the required GFE will actually be harder (and ultimately this is, IMO, kabuki theater and the Freedom Class LCS based design has already won).

          • The figure comes from the Navy’s FY19 budget request – lot’s of interesting information in there (www . secnav . navy . mil/fmc/fmb/Pages/Fiscal-Year-2019 . aspx). Also, cutting turbines and generators isn’t going to get you anywhere. A full set costs less than $25m and isn’t even considered part of the ship’s cost (they’re funded out of “other procurement” rather than “shipbuilding & conversion”).

            I think the problem is that FFG(X) manages to hit an extremely poor ratio of cost and capability and is driven more by constant complaints about LCS being underarmed rather than any actual need for a frigate. The Navy has effectively taken LCS and doubled the cost by adding the electronics needed for ESSM but refused to install the additional weapons to take advantage of those electronics and create a far more capable ship even though it would add very little (probably because a more capable ship isn’t actually needed).

            What I think should be considered is classifying the Flight III Burkes as cruisers (and lets face it, with the combat systems they are getting they cruisers in all but name) and then starting a new destroyer program based around EASR and ESSM instead of SPY-6 and SM-6. By using ESSM as the main SAM (and developing a boosted version of ESSM with 50+ mile range to replace SM-2MR), you could get away with a 64 cell VLS to cut size. Add modern technology to reduce crew requirements and increase fuel efficiency and you would have a cheaper ship that is nearly as capable as the old Burkes.

          • @USS_Fallujah

            No arguing with that. The entire LCS program, in fact the entire SC-21 proposal, was critically flawed from the very beginning, two of the 3 outcomes of SC-21 (CG(X) & DDG-1000) have been snuffed or curtailed, but the LCS has gone forward with little or no thought given to why the program started in the first place, or what assumptions have changes since.
            What I think we’re left with is a “cheap” platform to reduced the deployment burden on the CG/DDGs and just enough capability to keep congress from spiking the entire shipbuilding budget. Not a recipe for success!

  • Chesapeakeguy

    I gotta roll my eyes at the contract provisions of ‘8% here’, 12% there, 26% in that place, etc. And all designs MUST utilize the 57mm gun? Really?

    • Ed L

      They could put three of them on it. But then the enemy would stay 4 miles away with there bigger cannon and blow us away

      • Chesapeakeguy

        I worry about whether some of these systems installed on our ships will work as advertised?

      • Luke Shaver

        The 57 mm has a greater range than 4 miles…

      • Chesapeakeguy

        The Zumwalt people rejected the 57mm. They said it flat-out didn’t work in the way they needed it to work. They rejected it for it’s performance. The usual shills for the LCS on here will spew that the 57mm was swapped out to save weight, space, and money. And as always, they will continue to be dishonest. The people who tested the Mk110 said it was the WORST of the three systems they ended up testing after the 57 mm came up short. It came in behind both the Mk 46 30mm, which is what is now being installed on the Zumwalts, and the Oto-Melara 76mm gun. But these weapons are on our CG ships, and on many allies ships as well. Something stinks in all this. It’s been around for decades. If it isn’t good enough to be on a new class of ship, why would it be PK for another one? i wish the Congress would order an investigation…

  • Secundius

    I believe the HII Frigate was designed by Northrop-Grumman…

  • Mr. Speaker

    LOL
    Regardless of what they pick the cost of the production units will increase by at least 27%

  • @USS_Fallujah

    Based on HII not having a model ready or being willing to discuss their design, if they’ve decided to switch gears and bid with a “cut-down” Burke design instead of an up gunned NSC. Leveraging a hot production line (not to mention an already existing worldwide logistics network) and stable design they can create a Burke variant that’s competitive with the more expensive foreign designs and crushes the LCS variants in capability. There were rumors back when the CNO first ordered a move from LCS to FFE that the AoA for a Burke based Frigate was about $1b, if they could get that under the $950m cap (in today’s dollars) they might have a winner.

    • @USS_Fallujah

      Further thought, how low can other 4 entries push their profit margin compared to HII or GD/BIW who have the existing DDG work (plus ‘Phibs, NSC etc for HII)?
      Conversely, how willing are Austal & MM to eat their margin to keep the business?

    • SvD

      The designs were shown 4 years ago. The range started with an offshore patrol mission set over 4 or 5 variants to a light frigate.

      There are some videos on youtube, I can’t link them here, but copy paste will get you there.
      promo video:
      Ingalls Shipbuilding Sea Control Frigate

      coverage from the first time it was shown in public:
      Ingalls Shipbuilding Patrol Frigate at Sea Air Space 2014

      and an interview from Defense & Aerospace Report:
      Huntington Ingalls’ Conrad on US Coast Guard Cutters & Future Navy Frigates

      • @USS_Fallujah

        Yes, they’ve had public proposal ships out for years, but now with a signed contract to design that FFG they didn’t have anything to show and refused comment about what they’re design/bid was going to be….curious.
        Could be nothing…OR it could be they decided they can’t compete with the LCS based designs on cost with the NSC derived design and instead saw the $950m cap as an opportunity to go a different direction. Obviously it’s a reach, but that said it might be far more realistic to get a Flight IIA Burke based design down by ~$650m than it is to fit all that GFE and requirements into a NSC design for under $950m. Until HII tips their hand it’s all just conjecture, obviously – but I think there is a window there to meet the cap and bury the needle on capabilities even if they’ll be dead last in cost consideration.

        • SvD

          There won’t be a baby Burke… The proposal was out there for years, the Navy has a clue what it is about. They might be silent, due to the fact that they are working on upgrading the design. Like squeezing 32 Cells and other things into it. They already lost once again the LCS, when it was possible to cancel both LCS types.

          • Secundius

            Austal-USA already “Won”: https://www. navyrecognition .com/index.php/news/defense-news/2018/february-2018-navy-naval-defense-news/5960-austal-wins-contract-for ffg-x-frigate-concept-design.html

          • SvD

            They all get or got contracts you genius… so all 5 won? Great, after your logic that would mean 5 different frigates. The contract is to make a precise bid. And was awarded just a few days after the first phase was over.
            Do you think the USN choose a design within a week?

            The only one who lost so far is Thyssen Krupp, with the MEKO A-200 dropped for whatever reason.

          • Secundius

            As I recall it’s a 1 on 2 Tie! Austal-USA is the “Odd’s Favorite” to win. With Fincantieri Marinette Marine and Navantia as “Seconds”! On one condition? Fincantieri is to be given ~$15-Million USD to Modify their design for Reconsideration. If Fincantieri is unable to provide Required Modifications, the Navantia steps in a Second. Problem, the “Jones Act” of 1920 FAVOR “ANY” American Design over Competing Foreign Design. Austal-USA, would have FAIL “Minimum Requirements” of Passage to Forfeit Design Contract to “Navantia”…

          • SvD

            “Problem, the “Jones Act” of 1920 FAVOR “ANY” American Design over Competing Foreign Design.”

            I don’t think so, it is about US shipbuilding and ownership. Buying a design, which can be built in the US is not restricted.

          • Secundius

            Fincantieri Marinette Marine in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin was founded in 1942. By Palmer Johnson Yacht Company and Italian-American Architectural Designer Nuvolari Leonard. But “FREMM” is still a Foreign Design. Keel is to be laid in 2019! We’ll have to see, won’t we…

          • @USS_Fallujah

            HII has never had a chance to formally bid the NSC Frigate to the navy, they proposed it in public several times, but that is targeted more to congress than NavSea. Now they have a chance to go head to head for the work, and looking at the likely offerings from Austal and MM, plus the new cost target and cap I think they have to see that there isn’t much of a “lane” for their bid, the F100 & FREMM will match or exceed their capabilities at about the same cost and both LCS version will crush them on cost – so do you go through the motion or do you try a different approach? HII has a lot of “friends” in NavSea, many of them former Burke Skippers so it does make some sense to go with your best product. Especially since NavSea has never really wanted a Frigate, they wanted something to free up their “real” ships so they could afford their CG(X) & DDG-1000, well they didn’t get their wish so since they USN has doubled down on the Burke for the next 40 years why not give them what they REALLY want, more “Burkes” than congress will give them otherwise….
            It’s a long shot, but from HII perspective it may be that their only path to a victory in a Burke-lite bid.

          • Secundius

            I think what KILLED it for “HII” was the ~$9.2-Million Judgement Fine in May 2017 by the US Department of Justice and the Federal Courts. For “Huntington-Ingall” overcharging the US Government ~$250-Million USD for Work Never Performed…

          • @USS_Fallujah

            You mentioned that before, sure doesn’t seem to be hurting their business building Burke Flight IIIs, LPDs, LHAs etc etc etc.
            at $9.2m fine on $250m of work is a rounding error at DoD.

          • Secundius

            Except those are Old Contracts that were Funded during the Obama Administration. As of yet, NO Check has been Cut for ANYTHING by the Trump Administrations Budget of September 2017…

          • @USS_Fallujah

            And exactly who is going to build those DDGs, LPDs, LHAs if not HII? No one cares about $250m in overbilling, and a $9m penalty is less than a slap on the wrist.

          • Secundius

            Where “Exactly” in my comment did I say that “HII” couldn’t build ships? As I recall, I made a Observation as to Why they (i.e. HII) “Might” have been either Overlooked or Disqualified from submitting a Entry Design. A “Similar Observation” that YOU made…

          • @USS_Fallujah

            HII wasn’t overlooked or disqualified from the FFG(X) contract, they were just issued a $15m contract for a FFG(X) design to participate in the bid. Clearly they are not being penalized in any way beyond the $9m judgement, and none of those issues related to the overcharge you mention is affecting their current bids to building existing ship programs or participate in this bid, so it’s a complete non-issue.

          • Secundius

            Correct me if I’m wrong? But the Articles YOU posted were dated for the 16 February 2018, while to one I posted was for 19 February 2018. How do a Reprint of an Old Article supersede the posting of a Newer Article. The only three Contenders that I’m aware of that are Still in the Running are: Austal-USA, Fincantieri and Navantia. The other two, Huntington-Ingalls and Lockheed-Martin are not…

          • @USS_Fallujah

            Incorrect. There are 5 companies who were just contracted to do designs for an eventual competition. HII is one of those 5.

          • Secundius

            Scroll to the bottom of your website, where “USNI” appears. Hit the Icon and see where it take you. If the “USNI” Icon takes you to THIS website, note the date?

          • @USS_Fallujah

            I’m not following your reasoning at all, are you claiming that Austal already won the ship build contract? That HII was excluded from the bid?

            I don’t see any articles, on any date, including from DefenseNews “The USN has $15m contracts to FIVE companies for conceptual designs for the FFG(X) Program.” (emphasis added) that contradicts this USNI article.

          • Secundius

            It the “Reprint” is dated the 20th of February and the “Feature Article” is dated the 16th of February, which is correct? How does a Reprinted Article of a Older Article, change the Facts of a Newer Article…

          • @USS_Fallujah

            I don’t see what you’re getting at, I don’t see any article on any date that doesn’t show there being 5 shipbuilders being awarded contracts for a FFG(X) design. One of which is HII.

          • Secundius

            I guess we’ll just to see which “Keel” gets laid in Late 2019…

          • @USS_Fallujah

            You don’t even have that part right. Current schedule is for an RFI to be issued in 4th quarter of FY19 (next summer), down-select scheduled for FY20 with detail design and construction contract for the first FFG(X) later in 2020, so they won’t do a keel laying until 2021 or 2022.

          • Secundius

            WE? Sue me!

          • @USS_Fallujah

            I have no idea what you even think you are talking about.
            Long story short, 5 companies are contracted to design an FFG for proposal, including HII.

          • Secundius

            It’s been better than Two Hours NOW?/! And “USNI News” WON’T Post my Comment. They’ve decided to put THEM on HOLD pending Review. Though NO Profanity exists in Either, USNI News REFUSE to Post Them…

  • Paladin

    The requirements for this ship guarantee that they will be out-ranged and out gunned by potential threats. If you want to see what a modern frigate can look like, look at the Chinese 054A; it’s armed to the teeth. It appears that the Chinese have copied the philosophy that the USN had in WWII. Some of the contenders for FFG(X) are 2/3rds. the displacement of the DDG-51 class and do not provide 2/3rds. the value. These ships are out-ranged by most Iranian frigates, some built by the British in the late ’60s with a little over 1000 tons displacement. What the heck happened to “distributed lethality”? This ship won’t be able to defend itself, let alone escort a convoy. The USN needs to stop this madness. It appears that the USN is trying to “save” LCS by throwing good money after bad.

    • 054A: 32x 25 mile SAM, 8x 100 mile AShM, 1x 8 mile gun, 1x 30mm CIWS, 1x helicopter

      FFG(X), 8x 50 mile SAM, 32x 25 mile SAM, 11x 10 mile SAM, 8x 100 mile AShM, 1x 8 mile gun, 1x helicopter

      Wow, FFG(X) really is a horrible program that can’t compare to the Chinese in any way. Oh, and those are the minimum specs for FFG(X) – it could and up with another 16 VLS cells and a 2nd helicopter.

  • Rocco

    I don’t give a 🖕 what you said! Troll

  • KillerClownfromOuterspace

    My guess is we’ll be back to Austal/Lockheed. There will be enough commonality with the current boats to justify the down select as cost savings/known platforms.

    • Secundius

      They still both have ~64mm (2-1/2-inches) of Kevlar-29 Ballistic Grade in Vital Areas. The Same as Everyother Naval Ship in the Fleet, including Aircraft Carriers…

      • Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

        too bad they’re too scare to do shock testing, too bad they’re too scared to admit the 57mm gun is fragile and prone to jamming, too bad they too scared to admit the LCS has failed every target tracking and engagement test, it’s too bad they’re too scared to admit that the electronic suite can’t see track or engage, or that the ECM gear failed every test shall we go on? But let’s go on making silly comparisons to aircraft carriers

        • Secundius

          USS Jackson to a 10,000-pound Explosive Shock Test in September 2016 and Survived. In 2014 the USS Freedom’s Shock Test involved Taversing a Category 5 Typhoon in the Middle of the Pacific Ocean, and came out with a 6-inch long Tear in the Steel Hull. Repairs were done at Singapore in the same year…

          • Jonesy

            Perhaps you need to be promoted to Fleet Admiral LOLOLOL

          • Secundius

            No thanks! William “Bull” Halsey lost 4 ships in a similar incident in 1944…

          • Retired weps

            and YOU’LL lose the entire LCS fleet (and hundreds of sailors) in any level of conflict with China

          • Secundius

            And yet One Ship did it by Itself and didn’t loose anybody and/or anything, and Still completed it mission of Humanitarian Aid Relief of the Philippines. That was HIT by the SAME “Typhoon”…

  • Secundius

    Oh sorry? I thought you were Talking about Actual Facts! Not what Passes As “Wit” in You’re Thinking Processes…

  • George Bisharat

    The best one of the line up would be Bazan-class F100 Frigate.

  • michael aller

    I will puke if the corrupt politicians miss use the Frigate program to continue the disasterous LCS boondoggle !

    • Secundius

      Were not even half way through the Flight “0” Littorals in construction, and in 2014 a Flight “1” Littorals was funded…

  • ernest massie

    57mm?? Knox class had 5 inch and Perry 76 mm. Maybe I will give them my .22 rifle

  • Paladin

    Russian frigates shoot cruise missiles into Syria from the Black Sea and the USN wants to put a 57mm gun on a new frigate. What happens if the Navantia design is chosen? It’s got a 5in gun that NRE has been paid off? Great example of distributed vulnerability.

    • Secundius

      STILL gets a 57mm Gun…

  • AL McGee

    I wonder why they can’t (or don’t) use part of the helo deck (sides or back) for VLS?

  • tom dolan

    Personally I think if the procurement people double down on stupid and pick one of the Littoral platforms it might be time to institute keel hauling.

    • Secundius

      One problem! SecDef Donald Rumsfeld sold the LCS concept on to President George W. Bush in 2001…

  • Dudley Skaggs

    The reasoning for using an existing design is to avoid the time, cost and risk of developing a new ship. There is a large number of impressive modern frigate designs.
    I see no reason why we can’t find a good ship.

    Considering our current design problems with both a cruiser and destroyer we need to have a large powerful general purpose frigate. One that with the ability to fill in any type of gap. A true blue water ship with meaningful firepower for any battle.

    Large powerful frigates like the like the Italian FREMM, German Sachen or British 26. None are perfect but they would meet our needs. Plus we have a trial ship to show us what needs to be fixed. They are not cheap. But you get what you pay for.

    In conclusion the new approach to designing and procuring the new frigate is an idea that the military (not just the navy) could benefit from. Opening up the process brings new ideas and more options. This will create a better knowledge base with greater flexability. If nothing else this process could get the navy out of it’s current warship design bind.