Home » Budget Industry » Navy Hopes for Commonality – Or at Least Interoperability – With Frigates in Australia, Canada, U.K.


Navy Hopes for Commonality – Or at Least Interoperability – With Frigates in Australia, Canada, U.K.

Top: Artist’s concept of Royal Australian Navy Hunter-class guided-missile frigate. Bottom: (left to right) U.K. Royal Navy Arrowhead Type 31e design, Austal USA FFG(X) design and Lockheed Martin FFG(X) design

CAPITOL HILL – The U.S. Navy is in talks with Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom in the hopes that all four navies will design and field frigates with common combat systems – or at least interoperable ones – the deputy assistant secretary of the Navy for ships told USNI News.

Jay Stefany said the four navies have quadrilateral talks every six months, and a recent focus of those talks has been the navies’ upcoming frigate procurement efforts.

The U.S. Navy is in the midst of conceptual design work with five companies, ahead of buying the first frigate in Fiscal Year 2020 to take the place of the Littoral Combat Ship in the service’s small surface combatant procurement. The Navy’s frigate design and builder is yet to be selected, but the Navy will provide the COMBATSS-21 system as government-furnished equipment to whichever builder wins the contract.

The Royal Australian Navy plans to field the Hunter-class frigates in the late 2020s, and it awarded BAE Systems a $26-billion contract last month to design and build nine ships based on BAE’s Type 26 frigate design. USNI News reported that the U.K. Royal Navy will buy eight Type 26 frigates, and the Royal Canadian Navy is considering the Type 26 design as well in its competition.

In Canada, the quest to find a next frigate has faced some challenges, according to local media, with the government stating in April that all three bidders failed to meet some technical requirements and will have to go into a “cure” period to work through the areas in which they are currently non-compliant.

In the United Kingdom, several companies have pitched designs for the Type-31e light frigate that they hope could be exported to other navies around the globe, according to previous USNI News reporting and other media.

Stefany told USNI News today after a Congressional Shipbuilding Caucus event that the four countries hope to have common or interoperable frigates, with the combat system and C4I (command, control, communication, computers and intelligence) systems being the focus of that effort.

A COMBATSS-21 console. Lockheed Martin photo.

“We are sharing those standards and actually those equipments with our partners so that they either can buy the same equipment, or at least what they buy will be interoperable with the stuff we’re putting on our frigate,” he said.
“So that’s probably the main area where we’re looking to collaborate. If there are some design areas that are mutually beneficial, we’ll talk about that – but they’re going to build them in their yards, we’re going to build them in our yards, so there’s not a lot of building collaboration. More interoperability, or ideally buying the same equipment that way you guarantee interoperability.”

Stefany said Canada is in source selection now and so is limited in what requirements it can add in. The U.K. is still in the early phase of its Type 31 procurement effort, so it will be easier for them to add in a requirement to use an Aegis-based combat system.

Stefany made clear that the other three navies “have committed to review what we show them and consider it as part of their selection criteria. They have not committed to actually do it.” He characterized the ongoing talks as being technical discussions covered under a technical agreement between the countries, and if they do decide to buy an Aegis-based combat system the Navy would work that request through the Foreign Military Sales process.

Stefany said another recent topic of discussion at the quadrilateral meetings was unmanned vehicles and how to design ships that can handle unmanned systems from the other partner navies.

Additionally, Stefany said the Navy is looking at finding ways to buy common material across ship classes for ship construction and maintenance availabilities. Congress already gave the Navy authority to do this for new Virginia-class attack submarines, Columbia-class ballistic-missile submarines and Ford-class aircraft carriers, but Stefany suggested the Navy could benefit from broadening this practice.

He told USNI News that talks about buying common components for surface ship construction or maintenance “are in the very infant stage. But we’ve gotten the right people together on the surface side, and the right people on the submarine side. And actually I have a meeting next week to kind of kick off a joint working group to start working it. But it’s still in the very infant stages.”

  • johnbull

    Interesting… does this telegraph a look by the US at one of the U.K. designs?

    • Bryan

      Other than the HII disign the contenders have shown their hands. Perhaps HII put in a 31e contender?

      Of course it could be commonality is more about link systems, radar tracks etc. Interesting times though. I guess we will find out next year…

      • DaSaint

        Could HII put in a Type 26? They already know how to integrate AEGIS and therefore Aegis-derived systems. And they haven’t shown their entrant…

        • Bubblehead

          Type 26 did not meet the #1 USN requirement. To have hulls already in the water proving its design & proving its cost. I love the 26, but the USN made a wise choice in this requirement. Especially because they have not been batting well in major weapon designs as of late.

          • DaSaint

            Yes, I recall that requirement. I also remember when the FFG(X) was not required to have VLS. But that changed.

            I remember that the Canadian Navy had the same in-service requirement, until it didnt.

            And I remember when the Australians had the same requirement for an existing submarine class, until they picked a design that wasn’t proven.

            Requirements change. They may not here, but they may. The RFP to be issued next year will answer that.

    • Duane

      No

  • Curtis Conway

    Only NOW the Navy seeks common equipment to streamline and make logistical support efficient? To have the Executive Director, Amphibious, Auxiliary and Sealift Office, Program Executive Office, Ships state “….the Navy is looking at finding ways to buy common material across ship classes for ship construction and maintenance availabilities…” is extraordinary. I guess every class of ship is supposed to have unique engines and systems!? “…buying common components for surface ship construction or maintenance… . . . But are in the very infant stage.” ???? This cannot be right, and if it is, what have these people been doing all these years?

    • airider

      There’s no vendor profit in commonality unless the vendors are the sole providers of that commonality. The only way to get commonality across US Navy ship designs (forget the Allies for now) is for the US Navy to own the detailed design. Same goes for combat systems, weapons, C4I., etc. Anything less means vendor specific implementations with a profit margin based on their planned obsolescence/modernization for that product and shareholders desires.

      This begs the question….do we want to put this much control over the products that protect our nations interests as well as the lives of our service member, in these companies….or should we just use commercial industry for what it’s best at which is efficient production rates???

      In order to get out of out current sole source situation that exists pretty much everywhere in DoD acquisition now, something new (or old) needs to be tried (or dusted off).

      • Curtis Conway

        e.g., the MT30/Trent 1000 vs the LM2500 G4+ turbine engines. DISRUPT the whole stream, THAT’S the Ticket. Who is running this operation?

        US Navy operations do not run on Profit, though their suppliers do. We run on efficiency, and lifetime logistical support. Changing vendors so they can grow through DECADES of experience while they FIGURE OUT HOW TO DO IT is just . . . beyond my comprehension, particularly with that many platforms already in the inventory employing LM2500s. Logic like that would have put new engines in the M1A Abrams tank by now, and it needs the extra range and efficiency . . . but NO ITEP insertion program thing there. Can’t do that efficient thing with taxpayers dollars . . . huhh? IT’S ALREADY PAID FOR WITH TAXPAYERS DOLLARS and in the GE F404/414, in PW & GE ITEP engines for helos, and the fleet is dragging its feet trying to introduce something NEW? I can already hear it . . . Curt, your confusing EDE/EPE and ITEP . . . well, maybe, but if you study what they are doing, there is a handful of technologies that enable those successes . . . and THEY should be placed in the LM2500. I suspect many already are (e.g., G4+), but more can be.

        When DoD Procurement Reform concentrates on is issues like this, because their head is not screwed on straight in this situation, a Blind Man Can See It. Somebody is making some money on this one.

        • John McHugh

          The LM2500, LM2500+, and LM2500+G4 are phenomenal engines. I have had my hands on hundreds of them. They are reliable and powerful turbines. That being said, the USN needs to make the jump to the LM6000PG turbines that could fit in similar modules with a massive increase in both power and efficiency ratings.

          Honestly, The F100 via Bath is my primary choice going forward. It supplies a solid secondary product line for the shipbuilder where HII has numerous ongoing already. It is a brute, big, fast, and expensive but it does satisfy all missing FFG capabilities today such as ASW, economic and sea-lane patrol, etc. while also reducing the need for a DDG or CG to be everywhere. In addition to ASW, the F100 could also perform convoy AAW reasonably well leaving the DDGs and CGs to cover the CSGs and ESGs/ARGs.

          Should the various classes and types of combatants try to maximize commonality ? ABSOLUTELY ! Simplify the logistics train with proven and reliable options.

          An FFG(X) loadout with Mk41 VLS with SM2/ESSM/TLAM/VL-ASROC, the 5-inch (127 mm)/62 Mk-45 mod 4, the Mk32 torpedo launcher, and both Phalanx and SeaRAM for CIWS for air and surface defense would be a most effective platform that uses proven systems that have amortized their development costs many times over already.

          Seeing as the FFG(X) platform size and tonnage might be a limiting factor, it would seem wise to maximize your firepower when possible. If required, downsizing the main gun to the OTO Melara 76mm would be more than acceptable. Reducing the VLS cells to 48 or 32, as long as they are loaded with the correct loadout for basic AAW defense with some ASW and ASuW capability for defense should be good.

          AMDR ? Too big and expensive for a FFG(X) ? Maybe. What about the AEGIS AN/SPy-1F ?

          We don’t need to keep reinventing the wheel here, most of these tools are robust enough to go back out. It would be nice to someday see a Harpoon replacement but that’s a story for another day.

          • Curtis Conway

            Love the comment and support, particularly for Navantia as FFG(X). Here we go with the education AGAIN about SPY-6(v). The Mk & Mod will change with number of Radar Module Assemblies, but . . . by and large the SPY-6(v) Family of radars will use the same RMAs, just different numbers of them in each Array Face, a modified software delivery, and similar if not mostly exact same support equipment (not to include power generation and A/C units although they may be the same on some platforms). The proposal ALREADY specifies 3 fixed array faces with 3x3x3 RMA(s) using the EASR rotating unit, which is a derivative of the SPY-6(v) Family of radars. Even in two report(s) (which Duane does not read) recently listed on USNI News FFG(X) Report bottom of pag. 4: “Similar to the original FF, the primary mission areas for the FFG(X) will be Anti-Submarine Warfare, Surface Warfare, and Electromagnetic Maneuver Warfare. In addition, the FFG(X) will provide upgraded Air Warfare capability and improved lethality and survivability that include a scaled SPY-6 Fixed Array Radar…”, and in the proposed FY-2019 NDAA “The committee is aware that next generation AN/SPY–6(V) Air and Missile Defense Radars will soon be entering the fleet. As the SPY–6 family of radars begin to deploy and better protect our service members and allies, the committee is also aware that capabilities beyond those designed for nominal radar operations may exist. To provide the committee a better understanding of the full range of capabilities resident in SPY–6(V) radar modular assembly (RMA) based radars, the committee directs the Secretary of the Navy to provide a briefing to the House Armed Services Committee on a plan that will exploit the inherent capabilities of SPY–6(V) within 90 days from the enactment of this Act.”, and on the Raytheon web site, they go into very intricate detail about the SPY-6 Family of radars (with pictures and videos for Duane). The AN/SPY-6 is going to be a gangbuster radar in the future of the US Navy on all kinds of platforms from 3-RMA fixed array faces on the FFG(X), to rotating 9-RMA array faces on amphibs, to 37-RMA fixed array faces on the DDG-51 Flt III. Might want to check it out.

          • John McHugh

            I stand corrected. I merely mentioned the 1F to appease the cost-cutting crew. A “lower” cost option to supply AAW. I have read some of the reports but, due to cost estimates, remain skeptical that the FFG(X) would be the first platform to get a “real” AMDR system, unlike the Fords and Zumwalts.

            I think that it would be completely worth it to include them, especially considering that FFG(X)s will, by design, be functioning solo, far from fleet coverage, and most likely leading a convoy or prosecuting a target. Being able to defend itself with those parameters almost makes this radar system more critical to it than to the DDGs. Almost.

            Even those sitting in the big chair don’t always get their toys. I mean, we’re still waiting on those sharks with the lasers strapped to their heads, right ?

          • Curtis Conway

            John, you hit the nail on the head with that description of FFG(X) tasking. If you ever worked with OHP Sailors, they were a special bunch. Small crew – BIG Family. Proud of their ships, and squeezed every ounce of performance out of them. More than once I was impressed with OHP crews who were VERY PROUD of the fact that they accomplished a DDG/CG mission . . . because the Navy only sent them! I was always impressed with the information they put on the link given their capabilities. That LAMPS MKIII Helo really made a difference, and they could spit SM-1s with the best of them. Most of my 49 radar class was OHP sailors. The Australians, and many an Allied Navy have continued to show just how utile that platform is. The FFG(X) will be OHP on steroids and have a radar the OHP should have always had (e.g., No NTU for You) . . . but did not yet exist. Every software deliver for the Signal Processor and the RSC will benefit the entire SPY-6 in the radar family.

          • Curtis Conway

            The Navy Strike Missile (NSM) and the SM-6 fit your ‘Harpoon Replacement’ description, mostly.

          • Duane

            SM-6 is a very poor, make-do “Harpoon replacement”. Costs several times as much as Harpoon, weighs several times as much, and has a puny warhead (1/4 that of the Harpoon).

            NSM is replacing Harpoons, along with LRASM. Pretty soon Boeing will complete their Harpoon Block 2 ER that will compete with NSM and LRASM.

          • Curtis Conway

            The SM-6 is your Quick Draw fast response. It’s not trying to sink anything, though it potentially can depending on the target.

          • NavySubNuke

            Not to mention an SM-6 is the perfect option to blind an adversary ship. Hard to get your SPY to work when all the panels have been shredded!

          • Bubblehead

            Major problem with NSM is its complete lack of range. In the tight SCS it might be sufficient on small stealthy ships, but in the open ocean it puts you at a huge disadvantage. As part of a high/low mix it will work. The USN has repeatedly talked about being out ranged by adversaries and changing the equation. The NSM does the opposite of their own stated goals. SM6 range 250 miles, LRASM stated at least 250 Miles, Harpoon 150 miles, NSM 100. To save the NSM some face, I will not even post the range of Chinese/Russian missiles.

            I think warhead size is a little over rated in todays world when the entire ship is controlled by a few computers. And just to throw this out there, the NSM doesn’t exactly have a large warhead itself. And flying at Mach 4.5 compensates for a smaller warhead. Fly SM6 into the bridge of any modern warship and that warship is out of commission/mission kill for a long time. Plus I don’t see Navy’s around the world stockpiling AESA radar arrays and their computer systems. its too expensive. It would take a while to get these ships back into action. Just look at the McCain as a prime example.

          • Duane

            NSM has plenty of range for most engagements (50% greater than Harpoon). When more range is needed, or a larger warhead then LRASM is the ticket. Both are very “smart” and stealthy.

          • Curtis Conway

            Were you a GSE or GSM?

          • FactChecker90803

            Soo agree with you in the F100, its in many ways an American Navy ship already with its engines, Radar Fit, MK41 VLS, 5 /62 mk45, mk32 torpedo launcher.

            Only change that should be made is modifying the superstructure to the cleaner and integrated F110 design, upgrading the engines to LM2500+G4 plus a Hybrid Electric Drive from either General Atomics, GE, DRS or Northrop Grumman,
            Add a Mk 49 launcher and some CIWS other then the Phalanx CIWS 20mm gun mount, for the life of me, why hasn’t this been upgraded to a GAU-8 7x30mm, GAU-12 5x25mm or the new GAU-22 4x25mm.

            I look at my Naval Weapons books from 1996, and see the CIWS offerings made by General Dynamics, some with dual 25mm, 30mm gatlings or electrothermal 60mm guns and missile pods on the side.

            Aaaarrrrggg, why is there a resistance to upgrade this undergunned system, ahh exasperation.

      • M Yates

        BURSHIPS AND BURORD should be reestablished, broken out of NAVSEA and generate Navy designs for contractors to bid on and build. That’s what I’d look at.

        • Curtis Conway

          One can trace the demise of our force to the elimination of these organizations. Do you remember the argument for their cessation? Anything but has happened. Those responsible should be held accountable. With 20/20 hindsight that should not be that hard to determine. Those who corrupted that system already had a corrupt spirit. It has affected the nation, its character, and cost so many lives. It cost us our ability to handle national/international emergencies over the last decades. There should be an accounting.

      • leesea

        The has to “own” the design, but the Navy Can buy a design to own it.
        The procurement system lets contractors bid in what they think fits the RFP rqmts.

        • Curtis Conway

          Got ourselves in a LURCH with F-35 and ALIS not being GFE. Can you imagine the very item we input Mission Data (e.g., Nuclear Mission?), and Operational Status in Real-Time NOT being GFE?! Well . . . that is where we are today!

          • leesea

            Where we are in naval shipbuilding is paying shipyards to install incomplete weapons and sensors, with expensive change orders. Instead of giving the shipyard a complete interface document and adding the weapons and sensors post delivery.
            Remember the whole time the yard is working on USN gear, we are paying them for all of their costs, and all the extra time it takes. Time is money, get the ship out of the yard quicker.
            BTW that also means that the USN has to decide on Standard weapons and sensors for warships. My what a concept?!

          • Curtis Conway

            Used to do that, didn’t we?

          • leesea

            yes way back when NAVSEA knew how to design ships. Oh about 3 decades ago~

      • Duane

        Denying ownership of intellectual property is a great way to end up with lower performing systems by cutting profit margin, which is not very high to begin with in the defense industry (LM’s profit margin in 2017 was 1/10 of Apple’s profit margin). It also reduces competition and design innovation.

        Raytheon and LM and Boeing and BAE compete on some of the most important defense systems we have and need, such as radars, missiles, etc.

        Standardization does not mean design ownership by the government. It means “open architecture”, so that a combat management system like AEGIS or COMBATTS-21 made by LM can talk to an aircraft made by Boeing or a missile made by Raytheon or a AMDR radar made by Raytheon or a gun system made by BAE.

        In point of fact, the US Navy is doing very well in this respect. The USN is also doing well when allies build ships with AEGIS or COMBATTS-21. But it is a bigger challenge with allies because many US allies use different systems that are home grown and are not necessarily based on open architecture.

        • DaSaint

          Open architecture has nothing to do with communication between systems. Open Architecture relates to systems being designed and coded in a non-proprietary way so that they can be modified and/or upgraded effectively by sources other than the original designer/programmer.

          Lots of legacy systems that do not utilize open architecture can communicate using data links.

          • Duane

            Open atchitecture most certainly does include comm links, among other factors. The legacy systems may talk with
            Link 16, but that does not mean they can do anything useful with the data without customized work arounds. Open architecture eliminates the need for work arounds.

          • DaSaint

            Communications between systems is a different issue, and was possible with closed architecture systems, as the data could be selectively read as programmed. No argument there.

            However, open architecture – in this context – refers to a type of computer architecture or software architecture that is designed to make adding, upgrading and swapping components easy. In the past, legacy systems could not be easily upgraded. With the advent of standardized system buses, systems have become more plug-and-play, allowing individual components to be ‘swapped-out’ and replaced/upgraded as required, with no need to necessarily rely on the original vendor, due to the readily understood standards, hereby providing much more flexibility in procurement.

            All MAJOR allied Combat Management Systems, i.e. from Thales, BAE, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Saab, Kongsberg, etc. have used open architecture for some time. SOME of them also use COTS systems or subsystems. Some don’t. All can communicate with each other, as evidenced by the ability to integrate AEGIS with 9LV, as one example.

            The ability to share information, on the other hand, between ships and aircraft for example, is dependent on the version of their LINK protocols (e.g. Link 11, Link 16)

    • NavySubNuke

      You mean the navy NOW realizes it is a bad idea to procure two completely different ships ostensibly for the same mission* even if the ships have almost nothing in common and would require entirely different parts supplies, training pipelines, and other equipment?
      Crazy talk!!!

      • Curtis Conway

        LOL > > > LOL !!! Gotta be efficient with them dollars . . . HUHH?!!!

        • PolicyWonk

          PEO LCS never got the memo!

          They earned their dunce caps…

          • Curtis Conway

            Dunce Caps? They are probably getting medals from our adversaries. Wasting that money on something that is not combat capable has been the result. Application of forces compared to funds expended is a lower number with the LCS, and that asset cannot be employed except in fewer places for limited periods of time, and typically not go by itself if in a contested area. Sad state of affairs. Its as if PEO LCS was deaf, dumb, and blind when it came to ACTUAL capability, except within the confines of their little minds in that Wizard of Oz Emerald City Universe in which they live.

      • leesea

        The naval ship procurement system is all hosed up. Before, the Navy would put out an RFP with a set of specs and hope the bidders proposed what combat systems were needed. Which resulted in a lot of bad guesses.
        The Navy has to get back to developing OR buying a design and bidding That out for competition. In addition, most since most combat systems are GFE, their installation should be post-delivery.

  • Ed L

    So All Frigates will have a 127 mm gun firing arch approximately 170 degrees to be able to engage in Naval Gunfire Support, ship to ship engagements up to 24 km, anti aircraft defense up to 40,000 feet. Bet the British will continue to use there 113mm (4.5 inch) gun . And the most effective 57mm can be mounted on top of the Helicopter Hanger with a possible firing arch of up toad possibly over 200 degrees. 60 frigates would be a good start. Duane the almost all the other navies have a main gun on there Frigates of 76 mm or better.

    • Duane

      No. All US Navy frigates will have the Mk 110 57 mm gun system, which is the specified deck gun for FFG(X).

    • Curtis Conway

      Being able to use each others ammo with 10X+ capability over the 57mm is a good thing, particularly with HVPs right around the corner. We should buy as much as we can with this platform. The penny pinchers can go hang themselves. Stay in budget ? . . sure, but this is going to be a $1Billion Boat. It should go anywhere, do everything, and come back every time, reliably. To do otherwise dishonors our sailors. Think about what we are going to do with this FFG(X), where it will go, under what circumstances (how’s your Crystal Ball?), what it will have to deal with, and the environment of that pseudo conflict . . . until it turns into a REAL CONFLICT . . . Then what happens? It had better be able to defend itself, and run quickly, and have the aviation support required to accomodate the solution that is ingressing Supersonic (worse case), and if not the FFG(X)s big hangar, then the Icebreakers hangar. I hope that MH-60R can defend itself given recent developments in Russian sub defense capability w/r/t anti-air. If you cannot visualize these potential eventualities ? . . you’re in the wrong job.

      • Duane

        We have already standardized on the Mk 110 57 mm gun system for all 52 (or 54, depending on the final conference 2019 NDAA bill) USN small surface combatants, along with the USCG which has also standardized on the 57 mm for its cutters …which is clearly superior to the 5 in 54 cal naval gun … along with 22 other navies of the world that also standardized on the 57 mm gun system.

        You don’t get any more standardized than that.

        • Curtis Conway

          Well lets see, “… the 57 mm…which is clearly superior to the 5 in 54 cal naval gun…”. . . HUHH?! The fallacy of the statement stands on its own, but I can see how a Submariner would think so. Who is it that lectures us often about the difference between shipboard/aviation torpedoes compared to a Mk48? As for commonality, there are 63 DDG-51 destroyers that have one each, and 22 CG-47 Cruisers that have two each, not to mention all the Allied destroyers and frigates like equipped. I think that is more, and yes it does cost more to build, install, maintain & operate a 5″ 54 cal naval gun, but the destructive capacity, range, and types of rounds that can be employed is far greater with more lethality, and room for guidance (and rocket motors) in the future. Haven’t seen any plans for HVPs coming out of a 57mm, but there certainly is a plan for the 5″ 54 cal naval gun to do that.

          • Duane

            I’ve gone through this many times before. The 57 mm is far superior to the 5 in. 54 cal.

            13 times the firing rate

            4 times the ready rounds

            Has two competing precision guided rounds with multi mode seekers with 1 meter accuracy, and can instantly switch detonation modes (contact or proximity fusing) electronically for each shot fired … no such munitions exist for the 5 incher.

            A 5 incher is effective only at short ranges and only against small patrol craft, way too slow a firing rate for small craft or aircraft … forget about using it against any ship-sized target … only a long range ASCM will do, compared to which the 5 in. is a mere popgun.

            So the 5 in gun makes a lousy ship-shooter, and it makes a horrible small craft shooter … in other words, it is virtually worthless for 21st century warfare, an anachronism of middle 20th century naval warfare.

            The 57 mm makes a fantastic small craft killer, also a great anti-aircraft gun (that is why it was developed back in the 1950s as the successor to the legendary 40 mm AA Bofors gun, upsized to shoot down jet fighters).

            And for ship sized targets, stick to modern long range ASCMs like NSM or LRASM.

          • Curtis Conway

            Please feel free to continue to educate the public about the intricacies and advantages of the 57mm gun. I’m sure it’s all accurate down to the last fact. However, any reasonable person knows that the greater explosive potential contained in a 5″ projectile, with a guidance package, and rocket assist coming soon just like the 155mm, will have a greater range and capability than the smaller package. That being the case, I will persist. Like displacement in a hull, volume in a delivery package enables capabilities. The more room, the greater the effect.

          • Duane

            Just listen to the US Navy … they selected the 57 mm gun system for all 52 or 54 small surface combatants. Or listen to the USCG, who selected the 57 mm gun system for all of their latest cutters. Or listen to the other 22 navies of the world that selected the 57 mm gun system for all of their small surface combatants.

            You aren’t arguing with me … you are arguing with most of the naval world including the US Navy. All I am doing is explaining to you why the US Navy says you don’t know what you are talking about.

          • Curtis Conway

            The US Coast Guard does not operate a 5″ gun of any type on any other platform. The US Navy does on over 80 ‘Surface Combatants’ which the LCS platform claims to be. Perhaps we can offer a new title . . . Jr. Surface Combatant!

            AND we know the Navy always makes the right decision. They built the LCS, and the USS Ford (CVN-78) afterall. Wisdom ;-P

          • Bubblehead

            If I recall, the USN was very specific in its complete bashing of the 57mm gun in tests against small craft. In fact you can see the videos online. The 57mm failed to stop small craft. USN said it drastically under performed and did not meet requirements. As such they were taking it off the Zumalts in favor of puny 25mm guns. If a 25mm gun is outperforming you, you have issues.

            Then in typical USN fashion, they completely contradict themselves, and choose the pea shooting 57mm for all its FFGX frigates. Makes no sense.

            I still can’t see the USN putting that pea shooter on top of a f100 or FREMM frigate. It would just be ridiculous. We will see. I’m holding out there might be a 5 incher & a 57mm. And there are plans in the near future for HPV out of the 5 inch guns which would be a game changer. It would give the 5 inch guns true anti ship capability. 57mm will never come close to this.

          • Duane

            That was not “the US Navy” … that was the auditors at DOT&E. If the US Navy agreed with the pencil-necked auditors who only fight from behind a desk, then the US Navy would not have continued using exclusively the 57 mm gun system on all of our small surface combatants including the new frigate. Ditto with the US Coast Guard. Ditto with 22 other navies of the world.

          • Graeme Rymill

            Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) seems to agree with
            DOT&E.

            “Following a 2012 review the Navy, ‘concluded that the MK46 was more effective than the MK110 CIGS,’ according to NAVSEA.

            ‘In addition to the increased capability, the change from MK110 to Mk
            46 [30mm] resulted in reduction in weight and significant cost avoidance, while still meeting requirements… that will provide a robust rapid fire capability and increased lethality against hostile surface targets approaching the ship.’ “

          • DaSaint

            I’m dyin! ‘ A Submariner…’

          • Curtis Conway

            He is used to being at great depths under A LOT of PRESSURE, and if a 57mm ever hit hull down there, it would be all over. It’s kinda like ‘Speed Is Life’ for the Surface Forces. If you haven’t been there, you don’t quite have all the details down on the nuances of that particular combat environment . . . well, you just have to experience that stuff for some people. Theory is great, but NOTHING will ever replace the practical.

        • Adrian Ah

          I’m still shaking my head about the 57mm vs 127mm comment.

          They have different uses. 57mm is meant for small ship/anti surface use. The 127mm is meant for shore bombardment, large ship vs large ship engagement.

          It’s like saying the ESSM is better than the LRASM. They have different uses.

          • Duane

            My point is that 5 in guns are simply obsolete in 21st century naval warfare. Too small and short ranged for SuW against ship sized targets … ditto for shore bombardment. Useless, in other words. The DDGs would be far better off changing out their useless 5 inchers for far more useful and versatile 57 mm guns.

            Navy ships are a waste of resources for shore bombardnent. For that use either aircraft, long range missiles (fired from aircraft or land), or mobile artillery.

            Ships are extremely expensive and inefficient platforms for land bombardment. A single attack aircraft can do far more damage with far more firepower and far more precision than any puny little 5 in naval deck gun. Even the huge 14 to 16 in guns on the mighty battlewagons in the Pacific war turned out to be useless for dug in Japanese forces in the island campaigns, as discovered to the horror of our Marines who were told the naval bombardment would eliminate the defenders. Each island campaign proved bloodier and bloodier – for our guys.

          • Adrian Ah

            I’m curious. What functions do you think modern naval artillery has now? And is it you feel anti ship and blowing up land targets purely for missiles now?

            Have you read any studies showing advantages of the 57mm vs Oto Melara 76mm vs 35mm millenium gun? All three are supposedly rated for functioning as CIWS

        • leesea

          IMHO – the Mk 110 57mm gun system is good as a Secondary weapon. All frigates need a 127mm primary gun of which there are several good existing designs

      • Ed L

        I strongly believe the propulsion, warfighting systems should be selected from proven systems, turbines, variable pitch propellers, etc. hulls design for thin ice operations and extremely high temperature parts of the world. The systems should be the same as the Burke DDG to ensure ease of logistics and repair. Plus the addition of floating dry docks and repair tenders for overseas areas

        • Curtis Conway

          Amen. It once Was that way.

    • Adrian Ah

      I’d be curious to see what a LCS with 6+ 57mm guns would be like- The independence has space to add one up front, and 4 more on the flight deck near sides of hanger doors in superfiring positions.

      While the range is short, a hail of 6kg shells could be useful in anti missile use. And since the LCS is so fast and manoeverable, perhaps it can get behind a slower enemy ship and carve it up from behind.

      Ships don’t have many guns anymore, but we can always use the LCS and experiment. Modern 2018 guns and shells, in large numbers. What can it hurt to try?

  • DaSaint

    USN vessels can already operate and share information with the Dutch, Spanish, Norwegian, and Royal Navies. This isn’t new. They share through existing datalinks. Australia will be using AEGIS as their combat management system, so they will be seamlessly able to operate with the USN.

    Canada uses a Lockheed Canada CMS-330, which already has elements of COMBATSS-21. Its almost a certainty that their new Frigates would use either the same or an upgraded system from Lockheed as well.

    But the RFP for the FFG(X) is going to be an open invitation. It is NOT limited to the 5 companies given conceptual design contracts. But what are we hearing here? Is this a trade pitch? If we use your Type 26 hull form, you use AEGIS or COMBATSS-21 as your CMS? The only ‘knock’ against the Type 26 is cost. But with series production of 20 units…

    This could be interesting.

  • proudrino

    Not sure why interoperability with Canada is important. It is clear that Canada is not a supporter of the US and sneers at this administration’s efforts at national and international security. Just this week they made it clear that they have no interest in adequately funding their own military.

    Put another way, while the US is taking on the lion’s share of protecting North America and Europe, the Canadian Navy is protecting the whales or something.

    • Bubblehead

      Im not saying you are wrong, but you are looking at it from the wrong perspective. You are looking at this politically, where you should be looking at this from an Admirals perspective. Admirals and Navies have to (well supposed to) put politics aside and do what is best militarily. Now a Canadian Admiral might agree with the USN, recommend collaboration, and Trudeau (being the ignoramus that he is) refuse collaboration. But NATO and Allies military’s should put politics aside and let the worthless politicians play politics.

      • proudrino

        I believe we are saying much the same thing. Yes, from a warfighter’s perspective, platform interoberability is critical. That being said, it takes political will to actually engage that platform in international military operations. It is clear that Canada’s current leadership has priorities that work against collaboration with the US and NATO.

        • DaSaint

          The Canadian Navy will continue to cooperate with the USN and USCG. The Canadian Navy still uses US gas turbines, us-derived CMS, US AAW missiles, and other systems. When you see that NOT happen, and they purchase all-European systems and refuse to operate with us, then I will believe this theory.

    • leesea

      More ship yards to build same design, should reduce timeline and spread some costs?

    • Refguy

      Canada allowed Little Rock to spend the winter when it was afraid to go out in the cold!

  • RTColorado

    How’s this for a novel idea….let’s build a frigate that doesn’t break down, has the ability to communicate with other ships, can keep up with the rest of the Fleet and can actually attack enemy forces and defend itself. I know that sounds radical…but it’s worth a try

    • leesea

      Because the Navy was buying SOED – someone else’s design, the USN never really knows how reliable the ship will work. A good reason for using the parent ship method for the Next FFG. BUT…. if NAVSEA screws around with the HM&E, then we are backt to guessing if a ship will work. If the GFE weapons, sensors and electronics don’t work, then the USN is the blame

  • John McHugh

    I apologize but I have a question that seems to follow the theme for this article. I have spent time at GD and HII yards so I’m not being a cheerleader with this thought.

    Wouldn’t it make sense for NAVSEA to follow up on the LX platform proposal that was created ? Why not utilize a proven hull for a number of future potential ship types? Depending on the mission, it would seem that using the LPD or T-AKE hull forms and basic plant structure and leverage it for a number of additional types would make sense.

    I know that the brochures promised everything for a missile laden battle-star to a new command platform but, maybe they’re onto something.

    In addition to the LPD-17s and LPD-IIAs ? ( LSDs), why not consider new LCCs replacements for Naples and Yokosuka ? Also, since they are rapidly aging out, add smaller supplemental T-AH ships to support the Mercy and Hope for when they are suddenly needed for Disaster Relief missions. I think that a dedicated class of 4-6 hospital / humanitarian ships would also greatly lessen the burden to CSGs and ARGs that are used today.

    Since they are a long lost resource but it seems that any forward basing would still benefit from a dedicated and reliable source, why not bring back the Tenders ? An AS for Sasebo or Yokosuka and Guam. An AD for Naples or Rota. If the USN ever got back into SS or SSGs, then the AS would add significant capabilities that retain USN control and security. Forward basing some SSGs at Sasebo for the SCS would seem very interesting.

    It doesn’t seem like anyone is buying the arsenal ship idea, although it’s definitely not a bad idea.

    Finally, why not add another 4 additional hulls for the MARAD / Maritime Academy Training Ships that would also offer properly maintained RRF platforms that could reliably surge in 72 hours ?

    • leesea

      LPD Flight II are amphib hulls, big squat and not fast – do you want those as baseline for a DDG?
      LCC, T-AKE are big slow auxiliary hulls – do you want those for a FFG or DDG.
      Warships cannot be baseline for hospital ships IAW intl. treaty. Dead idea. The Navy must find or design a smaller T-AH or they will be left with upgrading the amphib hosptial suites at $50 billion.

      One MUST pick the right hullform before starting a procurement.

      MARAD will get its training ships, but those are NOT meant for the CLF.

      • John McHugh

        I understand your point of view. In order to recapitalize on existing and up to date platforms to help ameliorate the costs wider, I believe that the LPD hull form, for example, could definitely be leveraged for other ship types such as the LCC, T-AH, AS / AD, and MARAD 72 hour / Training Ships with little modification. There are less restrictive performance guidelines for these ships and, used as I mentioned, an LPD hull shouldn’t have any issues. The T-AKE could also perform any of these functions. It’s form is more full and therefore more steady and capable of future upgrades but it would sail like the tanker it’s built on.

        As for front-line combatants, I have mentioned previously I believe that DDGs / CGs need a new hull to grow with. I merely mentioned if any Marine Architects thought leveraging something like the LPD was even feasible. As it’s built today, it’s too slow and not very maneuverable.

        As we have seen, there are numerous options in the smaller combatants. Unlike the Frigates, they are very few legitimate existing front line combatants in the world that can meet the expected parameters of 10,000-15,000t that has space for up to 100 MW or more (propulsion, sensors, and hotel), can carry a VLS of at least 100 cells, have a robust AAW and point defense capability, and still perform well enough to meet fleet speed requirements and for defensive maneuvers.

        • leesea

          I completely disagree with the premise that Billion $$ warship should be baseline for Non-warships. Every change one makes to any design Costs more money.
          Do really want to build Billion $$ auxiliaries.
          Not to mention that warship always have less internal volume available for cargo & troops nee payloads.
          It makes NO sense buying a Cadillac SUV when you want a pickup truck!

  • cadrethree

    How would you make that work in reality, though? If you are are talking only the subsystems and not the hulls, wouldn’t you need to form a new company. You would need defense companies from America, UK, Canada, Australia, Japan, & and Israel to make, build and market Aegis in their respective markets. Only one consortium of companies could pull that off. It’s possible they could pull that off with work and profit sharing being huge potential wise.

  • E.B. Davison

    Ordinarily I would say it make sense for the four nations to work together to build a frigate that all could use. However after the Brits screwed us on the subs and getting smacked around by Donald Trump for burning down the White House before Canada was even a country…all I want to say is screw the UK and screw Donald J. Trump. With friends like that who needs enemies!
    Maybe Canada will do better building it’s own ships as we have before. The St Laurent class DDH’s (and the different variants of), the Iroquois class DDH and the current Halifax class frigate all very well regarded internationally and set the standard for many other countries ships. The Brits are still trying to figure out their Type 45 Destroyer and the US still haven’t got the LCS working right.
    Really all the US wants is that we get involved in another overbloated, behind schedule and underperforming weapon system, the Brits just want us to help subsidize their frigates so they can operate the two aircraft carriers that they can’t afford. Seriously if you want to sell a car you don’t tell the potential buyer that he is scum, or you don’t sell them an overpriced Yugo and then expect them to gratefully buy an overpriced Lada.

    • DaSaint

      Fun Fact: The Halifax class was actually designed by Lockheed Canada.

      • E.B. Davison

        The Halifax Class was originally designed by Saint John Shipbuilding (Owned by Irving Shipbuilding) with assistance from Bath Iron Works (as it had been almost 20 years when Canada had built it’s last warship, we needed to re-learn how to build a modern warship). The original designer Versatile Engineering (Versatile Shipyards) went bankrupt. When you refer to Lockheed Canada, you are refering to the FELEX which was the midlife upgrade and refit of the class, basically new radar, new sensors etc. The ship was designed by Canadians, for Canadian requirements and of course built by a Canadian owned company. The fact Lockheed Canada was prime contractor for the FELEX is irrelevant. As Americans like to say even a clock is right twice a day.

        • DaSaint

          Thanks for the correction and clarification Davison! I misunderstood a recent article on their mid-life update. They’re generally considered excellent platforms for their tasks. Hope their replacements do them justice.

  • Ed L

    In hindsight looking at the LCS vessels. Why did they go to such extremes with the hulls and propulsion systems. Take the hull design of the Adams class DDG and tweak it a bit. At 437 feet, beam 47 feet and draft15 feet with a speed of 33 knots the Adams class DDG’s were beasts. And VLS takes up a lot of deck space, a one or two arm launcher is constricted by time between launch cycles but can carry a lot of missiles. The Perry FFG’s count carried a mix of 41 SM1 missiles and harpoon missiles.

  • Rhino601

    I clearly remember the LPD 17 proposal requirement: Fleet commonality, Class commonality, and ship commonality. But that was a long time ago…a new, better and improved Navy is now in charge. Mo better, too.

  • Duane

    C’mon dude … provide a single statement made by Putin or his henchmen EVER in support of the LCS. C’mon, back up your BS.

    You cannot .. meaning, you fling the BS with the best of your fellow St. Pete T-farm comrades in Putin’s support.

    • Curtis Conway

      As long as the Navy deludes itself in believing their own press on the training, logistical support, or operational advantages of the LCS, the Russians don’t have to say anything. They want the situation to continue . . . and HOPE they meet one in the future. Easy KILL.

      • Duane

        Show me a sourcr … not a completely unsupported personal opinion.

        • Curtis Conway

          Observable are observables Buddy-Roo. Anyone who thinks a 57mm round is more powerful (or even as powerful as) a 5″ round has real problems anyway.

          • NavySubNuke

            Well he is the same guy who didn’t know the difference between a CRS report and CBS news reports so there is that…..

    • NavySubNuke

      I love how you flag posts you don’t agree with and then accuse others of being a troll.
      Listen Duane I realize you are a huge fan of LCS but you have to realize anyone interested in a strong Navy that is actually capable of deterring conflict and, should deterrence fail, fighting and winning the Nations wars is not a fellow fan.
      While we have been wasting over $900M per ship (based on average mission module costs and the Navy’s budget documents) on ships that can barely go to sea and carry virtually no weapons. Rather than building actual warships with that money.
      Oh and the logistics tail for that ship – despite the fact it has next to nothing when it comes to teeth – doubled thanks to the Navy’s decision to procure 2 under performing hull forms.
      Just think of how much better off the Navy would be if we had instead purchased 16 Burkes with that money.
      I realize to an ignorant old man such as yourself that is something to celebrate but the fact that we have wasted so much time and money on ships that provide our fleet with nothing is also something that Putin and Xi and the like cheer right along with you old man.

    • Yea a nuke engineroom person. No Duane you can not use a cresent wrench as a hammer. Get a life. I guess too much exposure to RADs and messed up your nuke mind. Were you a MM, EM, or ET? Or maybe even a zero. Get a life and some pride in yoyr, suposed naval service. MMCS(SS)(S) USN Ret.

  • Curtis Conway

    The Nautical Term is Albatros . . . Albatros!!!

    • NavySubNuke

      No worries – Stolen Valor Duane already flagged it to keep people from realizing the truth.
      He really must be lying about his service because there is no way someone as ignorant and foolish as him survived in the engine room of a submarine. If he was even in at all – and didn’t just get pysch discharged – he was almost certainly a cook.