ComNavOps has got to put a stop to this, right now, before it gets any further out of hand. I’m talking, of course, about the current fascination with capital ship level “frigates”. Everyone wants the Navy to build frigates and load them up with Aegis, 16” guns, flight decks the size of a Nimitz, amphibious capability, and BMD. OK, I’m exaggerating but not by all that much. Read back through some of the recent post comments and you’ll see what I mean. It’s not just commenters on this site, either. All over the blogosphere people have lost all touch with tactical and budgetary realities (yes, they are related).
Back to basics … A frigate is a LOW end ship that can do a bit of everything and nothing well. They are not high end warships. They’re intended to operate around the periphery of combat and complement the higher end ships or fill some of the lower end missions so as to free up higher end ships for more demanding duties. As such, they don’t need area air defense, ground support gunfire capability, or long range strike.
Hang on a minute. What’s that sound? Oh, it’s the sound of a bunch of people furiously pounding out replies on their keyboards describing how some country or other has a highly capable frigate with all kinds of capabilities and, therefore, suggesting that we should have the same. Well … We already do!!! They’re called Burkes and Ticonderogas and Nimitzes and B-2 bombers and SSGNs. We’ve already got very high end offensive and defensive platforms and weapons. No other country has that and that is why they’re cramming as much capability into their “frigates” as possible.
|Affordable and Limited Capability|
Did anyone pick up on the key word in the preceeding paragraph? Hint – it’s also the key characteristic of a true frigate.
For all of you who insist on designing a high end vessel, that’s fine but it’s not a frigate, it’s a Burke and we already have those. Plus, how are you going to pay for it?
Seriously, look at the tactical needs of the US Navy before you start designing your “frigate”.