Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Frigate News

Here’s some interesting news about the Navy’s proposed new frigate.  As regular readers know well, ComNavOps is dead set against a traditional frigate.  However, I’m going to set that aside for the duration of this post and simply address the new frigate information that the Navy has provided.

From USNI News website we get the following bits (1):

  • The Navy has set a maximum average cost of $950M per ship for ships 2 through 20.  The first in class is, apparently, exempt from imposed cost limits.

  • The Mk41 VLS will consist of a minimum of 16 cells and a desired target of 32 cells of the full length strike variety.

  • The vessel will mount a minimum of 8 deck launched over-the-horizon anti-ship missiles and a desired target of 16.


Depending on what you believe the Burke Flt IIa cost, this gives us a price comparison.  Let’s go with the Navy’s value for the Burke of $1.8B.  This isn’t real but neither will be the frigate cost so at least we’re comparing fake apples to fake apples.  Thus, we see that the frigate, at $950M will be 53% of the cost of the Burke.

Of course, no one believes that the frigates will actually come in at the target price.  A more likely cost will be about $1.3B, I would guesstimate, which puts the cost around 72% of the Burke.

One might reasonably expect, then, that the weapons load of the frigate would be half that of the Burke.  As a reminder, the Burke carries 96 VLS cells and 8 deck mounted anti-ship missiles (though rarely actually carried).  Thus, the frigate’s 16-32 cells is well under half the Burke’s weapon load.  On the other hand, the anti-ship missiles will equal or surpass the Burke.

On the plus side, this is a significant upgrade in weapons load over the LCS and the LCS versions may have difficulty achieving the higher target levels.  This might, then, favor a foreign design.  On the minus side, this is still a somewhat light weapon load for a vessel that is likely to be around 70% of the cost of a full Burke.  This is the fear I’ve had from the beginning on this – that we would get a vessel costing 80% of a Burke with 25% of the weapon load – not a good value and one of the reasons I don’t want a frigate.

Now, the weapons load could be excused and might even be considered quite acceptable if the ASW capability was emphasized.  In other words, if the main emphasis of the frigate were ASW rather than AAW/ASuW then the cost and light weapon load might be fine.  However, I’ve not yet seen any specifications that lead me to believe that ASW will be particularly emphasized.  We’ll have to wait and see.



_________________________________________

(1)USNI News website, “NAVSEA: New Navy Frigate Will Cost $950M Per Hull, More Than Double LCS Cost”, Sam LaGrone, 9-Jan-2018,



77 comments:

  1. I haven't seen any ASW things either but I am encouraged that VLS is emphasized up to 36 cells with 16 being minimum a very welcome change from LCS

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "change from LCS"

      Change from the LCS is an awfully low bar!

      Delete
    2. You are very right there sir would love to see some thing like the Coast guard cutter modified for the FFGX requirement

      Delete
    3. A modifed CG is one of the entries in the competition.

      Delete
    4. I'm kinda hoping they get the contract for the frigate kind of related I have recently read of the canisters for the mk41 being mounted above the deck similar to the harpoon launchers has anyone else read anything at all about I read it's in very early development

      Delete
    5. I'm not sure what you're referring to. There are various types of launch tubes that sit largely above deck but those already exist. I'm not sure what cannister you're referring to?

      Delete
    6. These hold 4 ESSM or Standard missiles the same as the VLS uses the ESSM is quad packed with the Standard's are single missiles per cannister Again it's ver early in the experiment stage

      Delete
    7. I haven't seen anything about that. I'll have to look for it. I'd appreciate a link, if you happen to have one.

      Delete
    8. I would like to provide a link but I can't seem to find it at all anymore I will keep looking though and when I find it I will give you the info thanks

      Delete
    9. Could you be thinking of the Mk48/56 vertical launch systems? Google those and see if they are what you're thinking of.

      If it's not those, I'm at a loss.

      Maybe it was some proposal that never got developed?

      Delete
    10. I think Delmar Lewis is talking about this launcher
      https://www.navyrecognition.com/index.php/news/naval-exhibitions/2018/sna-2018/5843-sna-2018-bae-systems-unveils-the-adaptable-deck-launcher.html

      Delete
    11. Ahh! Quite likely. I hadn't seen that. Thanks. It looks like a modified Mk141 Harpoon launcher rack. The problem with it is that it puts the missiles in an above deck, exposed, unarmored launcher, just as with the Harpoon and as opposed to the below deck, armored VLS pit. Still, if a ship doesn't have room for a VLS and needs to launch some missiles, it's a possibility. They claim it's reloadable, and I'm sure it is, just as the Mk141 is, but it's not reloadable in any tactically relevant time frame or scenario. So, like the Mk141, it's a one-shot use for each cell/cannister.

      Delete
  2. Type 26. Could do a lot worse.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We've covered this. According to the Navy, the Type 26 does not meet the requirements for consideration. If you have a problem with that, take it up with the Navy, not me!

      Delete
  3. Knowing the Navy, if they want a minimum of 16 VLS cells, they'll settle for 8. Same with the number of anti-ship missiles, if they want a minimum of 8, they'll be happy with 4.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I agree that cost escalation will likely get us to the 1.2-1.3B figure. If we’re likely to be spending 2/3rds the cost of a Burke for a to be determined smaller design, why not run the cost exercise of seeing what we can pull off a Burke to get to more ASW focused destroyer (with significant ASuW capabilities). We know how to build Flight IIs and IIAs. Now we’re supersizing to Flight IIIs, so we know the basic naval architecture must be sound. We know there’s a considerable amount of opinion that the Burke is the smallest surface combatant likely to survive peer warfare. So again, why not utilize that hull and pull the pricey AAW off and load the cells with ASROCs, quad packed evolved sea sparrows, tomahawks and a few SM-6s to help supplement the air warfare commanders quiver (guided by another “real” Flight IIA or Flight III).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The EASR is a very scaled down version of the new SPY-6 Active Array Radar for flight III Burkes which have 37 Radar Module Assemblies( a complete AESA) for each of the four faces. EASR uses 27 RMAs total for it's three faces and it has about the same sensitivity as SPY-1D. So it's cost is much less than the full AMDR version.
      ASW and ASuW are very important to the USN but you can't pull the AAW off without losing the requirement to escort CLF ships or perhaps also, contribute to defense of an ARG or CSG with ESSM, SM-2s and the upcoming active radar SM-2 and a few SM-6s. AAW local area defense is very important in an age of mass ASCM attacks.
      We do need more missile VLS cells than 32. I think we need 48 cells to do the job adequately. This is the same number of VLS of the Daring class DDGs of the RN and of the F-100 class of FFGs of the Spainish navy Aegis frigates.

      Delete
    2. Thomas, it's not a question of the effectiveness of the radar, it's a question of the cost versus the role of the frigate. The frigate is not intended to be an area AAW ship - at least, it shouldn't be. It should be a local (meaning, about 18 miles) AAW using ESSM. It makes no sense to use up precious VLS cells with loads of single SM-x. Instead, any VLS cells dedicated to AAW should be quad-packed ESSM which means an engagement range of around 18 miles and we don't need a super radar for that. A simple TRS-3D/4D will suffice.

      I don't know the cost of the EASR compared to the TRS-3D, off hand, but I would assume the TRS-3D is significantly less.

      Delete
    3. Thomas, my apologies. I've just seen today that the Navy has specified the EASR as mandatory equipment that will be provided as Government Furnished Equipment. Thus, while I'm correct about the cost-benefit, it's irrelevant since it's been spec'ed and, apparently, can't be changed.

      Well, this is how you get a $1.3B frigate!

      Delete
    4. I know your argument for a lighter ASW corvette, and its not a bad solution but I still think in the long run having a bigger ASW destroyer based on the Burke would be the way to go. We used to have ASW destroyers until we SINKEX'ed them (Spruances). I think we are in agreement on mini-Burke frigates being a 1/2 solution for 2/3-3/4 price.

      I'm looking at these pluses:
      - It'd have great commonality with the rest of the fleet,
      - will be able to keep up with CBG and not be the slow poke hampered by reduced top speed,
      - will be able to keep a fair number of Standards in the VLS to help supplement the air warfare commander in a pinch,
      - but also protect itself with ESSM and still have room for quite a load out of ASROCs
      - can take a lick from a passing container ship.

      The negative to me is the manning costs. But as you've pointed out, the ohh cash poor Navy isn't a valid argument. The money is there, its not being well managed.

      I could see having 2 per CBG, with 3 AAW Burkes and an SSN making up the escort. It'd probably end up costing 1.3-1.5 and you'd get substantially more VLS and survivability.

      Its me Daniel Shenise again (for some reason it didn't like my URL when I commented on my desktop)

      Delete
    5. Daniel Shenise, I like and agree with the idea, I always mention why can't we have a "detuned" or "short" hull Burke as a ASW?!? Every time I mention it, I get shot down. Would it be perfect? Probably not but it would work better than a LCS! It would be expensive although when you see what this "frigate" is going to cost, it would be interesting to see what the cost of a ASW Burke would cost in comparison...

      Delete
    6. "think in the long run having a bigger ASW destroyer based on the Burke would be the way to go."

      Daniel, Daniel, Daniel, I completely agree! Well, almost. In other posts/comments I've described what I think the Navy's ASW ship force structure should be and it includes:

      -ASW Corvette (convoy escort, harbor defense, chokepoint patrol, and hunter-killer groups)

      -Destroyer Escort (ocean going ASW for battle groups and convoy escort, maybe hunter-killer groups)

      -ASW Destroyer (combination of WWII Fletcher and the more modern Spruance)

      You need to read through the archives to get the full picture. That's the danger for new readers (I'm assuming you're somewhat new?). They may get an incomplete picture when I talk about one specific aspect of something in a post.

      The only aspect I might disagree about is the use of the Burke as the basis for the ASW destroyer. My suspicion is that an ASW destroyer wouldn't require a hull that big and we could build one 2/3 the size and 1/2 the cost. But, if a naval architect decided that a Burke hull would be a good solution, that'd be fine.

      Good comment.

      Delete
    7. "a "detuned" or "short" hull Burke as a ASW?!? Every time I mention it, I get shot down."

      NICO, who shoots you down? I like the idea. See my comment reply to Daniel above. I suspect that the Burke hull would be too big but, who knows? That we need a ASW destroyer is definite. If I've misunderstood your position in the past, my apology.

      Delete
    8. NICO & Daniel, since we already have 80 or so Aegis AAW ships, the ASW destroyer should have only local ESSM AAW capability. Thus, around 32 VLS, split between some mix of quad-packed ESSM and VL-ASROC, should be sufficient along with a basic TRS-3D/4D type radar. This should significantly reduce the size and cost of the ASW destroyer compared to the Burke which is also why I suspect the Burke hull is too big and too expensive.

      Delete
    9. The reason I’m in favor of the bigger hull is survival and VLS cells.

      I’m not sold on smaller hulls against peer anti-ship missiles and though I was sarcastically joking, recent experience shows Burkes can come out ok playing bumper cars with container ships and freighters.

      I’m fine keeping the full number of cells in a Flight IIA. I’d allocate cells to 1/3 ESSM quad packed, 1/3 ASROC, the last third split between Standards (extra quiver for strike group defense, guided by “real” Burke’s) and some Tomahawks. If war clouds really were a brewing I’d pull the Tomahawks and go 2/3rds ESSM/Standards and 1/3 ASROC. I think we’ll face a unbelievable saturation attacks and frankly let the SSNs hit back with Tomahawks, our surface fleet will be busy enough trying to stay afloat. But we’d need the AAW quiver and there’s enough other assets to guide them.

      I’m with you on a basic radar kit.

      I’ve been a reader for awhile, it’s just lately you’ve been supportive of the smaller ASW corvette so I thought you might have had a change of opinion. I don’t think we’ll need the smaller DE or ASW corvette as I think the true level of lethality in peer war will use up both sides forces with 4-5 week’s top then it’s sue for peace time. I doubt there will be time for convoys.

      -Daniel

      Delete
    10. "The reason I’m in favor of the bigger hull is survival and VLS cells."

      No one, least of all me, can argue with that. The problem is that costs money and lots of it. Conceptually, you can build one very large, very impressive ship or five much smaller, narrowly focused ships. Currently, the Navy is pursuing the big/few option and the result has been a steadily shrinking fleet that is now hugely overworked to the point of being hollow and unsafe.

      So, while no one can argue with wanting bigger ships with more -fill in the blank-, the problem is the cost. The Navy is already talking about a $1.3B frigate!!!

      All I ask is that you give some thought to the balance between capability/size and cost.

      Delete
    11. I could go for the idea of a de-tuned Burke. If they could get it to fit into the price range.

      "ASW Corvette (convoy escort, harbor defense, chokepoint patrol, and hunter-killer groups)
      -Destroyer Escort (ocean going ASW for battle groups and convoy escort, maybe hunter-killer groups)
      -ASW Destroyer (combination of WWII Fletcher and the more modern Spruance)"

      While I was showering this morning I was thinking of this. It would seem that the Navy has 3 (or more) roles it wants its small surface combatants to fill.

      If we jump into the wayback machine we saw that the Knox class was built in a production line method to get some cost efficiencies.

      Would it be reasonable to use existing technology to get a 'Base' hull that can fulfill all three roles. By that I mean you want something that is shaped for quieting and prarie/masker (or whatever they use now) and has quieted engine mounts. You want roughly 28 kts speed continuously so it can keep up with the fleet. And you want enough range.

      Think of it like an automotive platform. Ford has the Fusion platform that it uses for the Fusion, or the Continental. The platform is the same, but plug ins, etc. are different. A better example is how Chrysler took the K platform in the 80's and made it the base of everything from a Sundance to a Minivan. Same engine, roughly the same wheelbase. Radically different vehicles.

      Each hull will have the same shape. Same internal volume. Same engine mounts. Same engines even.

      It will be overbuilt for some roles. But you save money two ways. First you save money by only fitting out what you need. The ASW chokepoint isn't going to need everything the 'spruance' type will. Second is that you build a crap ton of these hulls using existing technology, so there is little risk and by real standardization you get the opportunities for real economies of scale and an opportunity to crank things out production line style.

      Just a thought.

      Delete
    12. "real standardization"

      That's one of those ideas that no one can disagree with. However, can you name any U.S. Navy ship program where standardization actually occurred and generated savings? It just never seems to happen.

      Delete
    13. I'd have to look, honestly. Not in recent memory certainly. They always seem to fiddle fart around with the design. That's okay for maybe the first two....

      I will see what I can find on some of our high production WWII designs. Maybe some of the DE's or subs.

      the only think I can really think of is the liberty ships. The rate at which they were cranking those things out was ridiculous by the end of the war.

      Delete
    14. One thing it would take is ruthless management discipline. Define the need. Spec to the need. Freeze the spec. Things will happen that make your design more or less good (likely less) but unless those circumestances make your design obsolete, or remediation is minimal, live with it. The FFG7 wasn't the best design in the world. The gun placement was weird. Their were questions about its sonar ability. But they (more than other programs at least) just lived with it to get a class out.

      Speed is necessary. Lack of speed is partially responsible for the LCS mess. They took so long the ship became obsolete.

      Guts are necessary. When the LCS became obsolete because the need for its spec went away, they should have just cancelled it.

      Delete
    15. "I will see what I can find on some of our high production WWII designs."

      I'm talking about in modern times.

      Delete
    16. I got nothing. I am going on the premise that it's possible, and we've done it before. :-)

      Delete
    17. I get exhausted by the Navy crying poor mouth and then not using every tool in its toolbox to become more efficient so it can become more lethal. And this seems like a fairly standard tool.

      Delete
  5. The main weapons system of this FFG is...? The VLS.
    Same as a Burke.
    Main sensor? A phased array radar.
    Same as a Burke.

    Because we are talking about warships, you won’t get anything substantially different than a Burke, unless you choose a different weapons system and different sensors.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If the thing is going to cost about 70+% of a Burke then why not buy a Burke?

      Delete
    2. That's exactly the right question and the answer is because we already have enough Burkes. What we don't have is a small, cheap ASW corvette, dedicated minesweepers, amphibious assault support ships, logistics ships, etc. We don't need more mini-Burke frigates.

      Delete
    3. There is one big advantage to a smaller ship though....operating costs...a 5-6000 tonne frigate with a crew of 150-180 is going to be a lot cheaper too run than a Burke with twice that crewsize.
      For a cash-strapped navy with manning issues, that might be an attractive proposition.

      Delete
    4. "For a cash-strapped navy"

      The Navy isn't cash-strapped, it's intelligence-strapped. The Navy's budget has all the money it needs.

      Data: The peak budget during the '80's and early '90's, the era of the 600 ship fleet, was $103B in 1991. Adjusted for inflation, that would be $188B in FY17 dollars. The Navy's budget for 2016 was $175B in inflation adjusted FY17 dollars - nearly the same as the peak year of the 600 ship fleet buildup and yet we have a fleet of only around 280 ships and those ships are less manpower intensive than in the '80s and '90s. THERE'S PLENTY OF MONEY. We're just badly mismanaging it.

      Delete
    5. "The Navy isn't cash-strapped"

      Compared to any other navy on earth, then no.....compared to the 355 ship plan i think i might be..
      You cant compare 80's prices to todays cost of warship building...a dollar just doesn't buy what it used to when it comes to military equipment and technology.....a modern warship is much much more complex and build standards, habitability standards etc are much higher also jacking up costs....in addition wages are in a completely different league today and makes up a much greater amount of the navy's budget.
      All other things being equal, larger ships with bigger crew means a smaller fleet.

      "We're just badly mismanaging it."

      You'll hear no argument from me here ;-)

      Delete
    6. "a modern warship is much much more complex "

      That's only partially true, at most. On an absolute basis, yes, some of today's equipment, like radars, are more advanced than a WWII radar or even a 1960/70's era radar. However, when comparing costs, absolute comparisons are not appropriate. It's the relative comparison that is relevant. It's kind of like comparing absolute costs instead of inflation adjusted, constant dollars. That "primitive" computer of 1980 was just as advanced, for it's time, as today's computer. Therefore, the relative cost should be the same.

      Another example ... On an absolute basis, the F-35 is more advanced than the old F-14 Tomcat (well, there are those who would argue that but we'll accept it for sake of discussion!). However, on a relative basis, the F-14 was at least as advanced for it's time as the F-35, if not more so, and, therefore, the F-14 should have been more expensive and today's F-35 is not necessarily more expensive on a relative basis.

      In addition, there are certain trends that make modern equipment LESS expensive. Electronics is famous to becoming constantly cheaper. That thousand dollar, early PC now costs only a couple hundred dollars. That early 4-function calculator that cost over $100 now costs $25 and has 700 functions. And so on. So, modern ship electronics have come down in price and gone up in capability.

      So, you're right in a sense and wrong in a sense.

      Delete
  6. $950M Per Hull . . Huh ?

    If you price compare to two European modern frigate classes

    The Franco Italian FREMM and the Dutch De Zeven Provinciën-class frigate you will find out that they cost 20-30% less than $950 mil
    And keep in mind that those frigates are not manufactured in big numbers!

    I always thought that if USN orders a frigate in numbers around twenty vessels the price should be around $500mil ( and this making the vessel export friendly driving the price even more down ) .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. FRIGATES

      Absalon (Denmark)-$269 million

      Bertholf National Security Cutter-$641 million

      F100 Bazan (Spain)-$600 million

      F105 Cristobal Colon (Spain)-$954 million

      De Zeven Provincien (Netherlands)-$532 million

      FREMM (Franco/Italian)-$745 million

      LCS Freedom-$637 million

      Holland (Netherlands)-$169 million

      LCS Independence-$704 million

      Iver Huitfeldt (Denmark)-$332 millon

      Nansen (Norway)-$557 million

      Sachsen Type 124 (Germany)-$1.06 billion

      Valour MEKO A200 (South Africa)-$327 million

      F-22P Zulfiquar (China/Pakistan)-$200 million

      Delete
    2. Then you look at the bang for the buck of the South Korean Gumdoksuri-class patrol boats for roughly $40 million (2009 dollars).

      Honestly I'd look at a split of two classes. Probably one class similar Absalon with high peacetime utility, and then something like the Gumdoksuri-class that has a lot of bite for its tonnage and cost.

      Delete
    3. I've stated repeatedly, we can't even get the true cost of our own ships due to accounting gimmicks like deferred construction after delivery, government furnished equipment, segmented contracts, cost overrun adjustments, etc. Without detailed knowledge of those types of practices, how can we possibly know what the true cost of any foreign ship is? Many foreign countries also have substantial government subsidies and sponsorships that impact reported costs. Looking at foreign costs is just an exercise in pointlessness.

      Now, if you have complete line item accounting breakdowns for a given ship then let me know. Otherwise, this is pointless.

      Delete
    4. "$950M Per Hull . . Huh ? "

      There's the problem. The Navy has gotten so used to incredibly overpriced ships that they've come to believe that's normal. They've also gotten so used to poor ship designs and over-designs (which drives up cost) that they've come to believe that's normal, too.

      The Navy couldn't design and build a low cost vessel now if their lives depended on it.

      Delete
    5. If you had to choose a foreign design as Future Frigate, which one would it be?

      Delete
    6. "If you had to choose a foreign design as Future Frigate, which one would it be?"

      I wouldn't. I'd design a new one using the principles I've laid out about ship design and construction.

      That said, I don't know enough to intelligently pick a foreign design. I like what I've seen of the two Russian frigates. Most of the West's frigates tend to be mini-Burkes and we absolutely don't need that. Short answer - don't know.

      Delete
  7. The USNI article states that NAVSEA expect to award four to six contracts with USNI saying eight or nine designs under consideration.

    That seems a large number considering that when the Canadian CSC closing date last December only three compliant bids were received, Alion/Damen with update of the Dutch De Zeven Provinciën-class 6,050t FLD, the dark horse; LM Canada/BAE Systems with variant of the ~7,000t RN Type 26 the favorite; Navantia with variant of ~7,000T F105 competing for the Australian SEA 5000 an outsider due to lack of Canadian content. The Australian SEA 5000 competition was also whittled down to three, BAE Systems Type 26; Fincantieri FREMM; & Navantia new version of F105

    What is known is that the following will be bidding for the FFG(X) with the mandatory requirement with variant of a current ship, LM with its LCS Freedom, Austal with LCS Independence and HII with NSC, BIW with a Navantia F100 or F105 design.
    Total of four bids.

    Other foreign designs will need a US shipyard, one obvious one is Fincantieri with the FREMM as they own Marinette Marine where the LM LCS Freedom is built.
    Total five bids.

    So the question for the other would be bidders, eg Alion/Damen with the De Zeven Provinciën and the Danish who have expressed a strong interest with the Iver Huitfeldt, which US shipyards are available to build their ships and inject some competition/new thinking to break up the current cartel of Navy shipyards.

    NASSCO is owned by GD as is BIW so not available, BAE Systems who have several naval ship repair shipyards from Hawaii to Florida said they have no plans to build ships, so possibilities limited, might include Bollinger Shipyards of Lockport, LA; Vigor Shipyards of Seattle; VT Halter Marine of Pascagoula, MS, which competed for the USCG OPC. It is a limitation on the foreign designs and would the Navy mark down theses bidders with shipyards with little/no history building navy ships and reinforcing current navy shipyard cartel.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Storm Hadow -You forgot the FREMM bid
      See above :)
      "Other foreign designs will need a US shipyard, one obvious one is Fincantieri with the FREMM as they own Marinette Marine where the LM LCS Freedom is built.
      Total five bids."

      Delete
    2. The Navy has stated that there are more bidders than there will be design contract awards. I've seen statements that there are 8 or more bidders. Some will probably drop out as design contracts are awarded and as requirements continue to firm up.

      Delete
    3. "would the Navy mark down theses bidders with shipyards with little/no history building navy ships "

      As you recall, the Navy turned the 55 ship production run over to LM and Austal/GD, neither of which had ever built a naval warship before so it would seem that the Navy has no problem with a lack of experience. Of course, we see how that's worked out!

      Delete
    4. Xavier V has been twitting pics from the ongoing SNA symposium of the GDBIW/Navantia F105; FREMM-FFG(X); LM FFG(X) and most surprising the TKMS has submitted bid with a MEKO design though display model is of the South African ship from 2001/7.

      Delete
  8. Any reason they cannot start with a common hull and engineering section form the National Security Cutter? Then tailor the rest including sensors and weapons the to needs of the navy.

    Chief Torpedoman

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Navy's requirement for eligibility in the competition is that the entry must be based on an existing ship. Of course, the ship will be modified to provide the various specifics the Navy wants. So, yes, the NSC could certainly be modified and entered.

      Is that what you were asking?

      Delete
    2. Not sure of the navy requirement for ASW helicopters on this frigate but here is a proposal using the NSC as the base hull.
      http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/huntington-ingalls-has-new-frigate-could-give-the-us-navy-19020
      There is room for one helo on this HI proposal.
      I like the concept of a dedicated ASW ship and a ASW corvette.
      Paul

      Delete
    3. When I mention a dedicated ASW ship, I mean one having acoustic silencing.
      Paul

      Delete
  9. The NCS proposal is ff4923 very impressive concept features both hull mounted and towed sonar ASROC capability as well as a triple torpedo launcher only draw back is the 16 cell VLS it needs 32 at a minimum

    ReplyDelete
  10. CNO,

    Your fear of getting a ship at 75% the price of a AB at only 25% the ability of a AB is quite a real one, and one I've heard in Australia as well.

    Based on wikipedia, therre is one ship which could fit the roughly 50% the VLS at 50% the price of a AB- the Spanish F-100 class. It's most recent frigate in 2012 cost F105 €834m[1] (~US$1.1bn), and it has 48 Mk 41 VLS, unlike the FREMM at 32. Spain only built 5 for their navy, so I'd assume that the US would get far better economies of scale with 20. Who know- if Australia and Canada alsdo choose the Navantia frigate, adding another 24 frigates, there mioght somehow be even more savings all round, with lower licencing fees.

    In any case, the frigate is not due to be chosen til 2020, all this energetic discussion is probably moot.

    Andrew.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You have a good point with the Spanish ships one thing that may change the cost of the F105 also the U.S. isn't demanding the Ageis system but rather the Combats 21 withe a scaled down Enterprise type of radar so that in itself could lower the price drastically

      Delete
  11. And now that you tell it

    "The Navy has gotten so used to incredibly overpriced ships that they've come to believe that's normal."

    I've just checked the price of the National Security Cutter (because there were above proposals to modify it as a frigate)

    and was like WoW

    $700 MILLION for a big offshore patrol vessel!

    Armed with just a 57mm gun and a CIWS this is simply beyond believe ( and i taught British and French vessels were expensive ;)

    For comparison Morocco bough a ONE off FREMM modification stripped of the Air defense missile system (but is still a full functioning ASW frigate) for a little less than $600mil.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Latest cost if you follow Wikipedia is down to 548million not saying that it's cheap just economy of scale for at least 20 ships will probably bring the cost down also also not saying I would prefer one design over the other (except) no more LCS spinoffs or any thing like them

      Delete
  12. ComNavOps in reference to am earlier comment I had about fixed deck launcher for VLS canisters it's on the navyrecognition site and it's a proposal from BAE it's called the Adaptable Deck Launcher and can use any mk41 canister but for now is tailored to the ESSM hope that helps

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's also shown in the Surface Navy Association 2018 web site if your interested Thank You

      Delete
    2. Thanks. Someone else guessed that and provided a link to it which I took a look at. Here's my reply to them, in case you missed it.

      It looks like a modified Mk141 Harpoon launcher rack. The problem with it is that it puts the missiles in an above deck, exposed, unarmored launcher, just as with the Harpoon and as opposed to the below deck, armored VLS pit. Still, if a ship doesn't have room for a VLS and needs to launch some missiles, it's a possibility. They claim it's reloadable, and I'm sure it is, just as the Mk141 is, but it's not reloadable in any tactically relevant time frame or scenario. So, like the Mk141, it's a one-shot use for each cell/cannister.

      What are your thoughts?

      Delete
    3. Was thinking the same thing my thoughts were for the ASROC use we had talked about in a earlier post maybe useful in a LCS for some ESSM capabilities to nothing more Sm2 or those type missiles No way

      Delete
    4. OMG just had a nightmare the navy chooses a LCS loaded with these launchers for its frigate requirement Lord help us if they do

      Delete
    5. These launchers are the definition of what admiral Boxall talked about a year or so ago when he mentioned "bolt on" launchers

      Delete
    6. Navy says it can buy frigate for under 800m
      Do not believe this !
      https://breakingdefense.com/category/sea/

      Delete
  13. "This isn’t real but neither will be the frigate cost so at least we’re comparing fake apples to fake apples."

    One of the reasons I enjoy this blog.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I tend to think if they come under 1.5 billion the navy
      will call them a bargain

      Delete
    2. Remember the navy says it wants them to cost about half if the AB flight III which will more than likely be in the 3 billion Mark when all is said and done

      Delete
    3. You realize that half of a $3B Flt III is $1.5B? The current cost of a full Burke Flt IIa is $1.8B. For a lousy $300M more, we could build Burke IIa's with all that capability instead of frigates with a third of the Burke's capability.

      This is the nightmare scenario of 80% of the cost of a Burke and 20% of the capability.

      Delete
    4. Of that most every one can and will agree with

      Delete
  14. My impression is that the USN wants AAW system for escorting CLF ships and perhaps merchant convoys and be connected into some kind of data sharing network which would allow it to contribute to the air defense of a SAG, ARG or CSG. So it appears a balanced AAW escort with ESSM and SM-2, soon to offered with active homing head, substantial ASW escort capability and ASuW escort with up to 16 SSMs of a type to be determined with the NSM and in the future, surface launch variant of the LRASM possible while strike length VLS cells could house SM-6 and the upcoming Maritime Strike Tomahawk, if needed. USN seems to want a balanced ship in all three warfare areas.

    Individual specs makes one wonder such as only 3000 mile range, absence of a hull sonar and only one MH-60R ASW helo.
    I also believe that USN should procure more FFGs, say 40 instead of 20, have three building yards to keep Congress happy and procure a smaller corvette type ship to increase the number of hulls in the water. CSBA report "Restoring American Sea Power advocates a 72 ship frigate force which may include the LCS, for now, at least and procurement of 800 ton missile corvettes, citing Egypt's Ambasador class missile boats as an example.

    LM has a down market variant of it's LCS on the Web that is 1600 ton class, shorter and narrower beam, all diesel drive, assumed slower speed, 76mm gun, SSM launchers, eight cell Mk 41 VLS with ESSM or SM-2(?)or VL-ASROC and RAM launcher with helo, torpedo tubes, towed array, hull sonar and VDS as optional fittings. Seems too good to be true but there might be advantages in such a vessel in costs and numbers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "My impression is that the USN wants ..."

      The Navy wants a ship that can do, well ... everything. We already have it. It's called a Burke. We don't need a bunch of mini-Burkes with a quarter to half the combat capability at 80% of the cost of a Burke. As I've stated repeatedly, what we need is expendable and affordable ASW.

      Missile boats, such as the Ambassador class, are an interesting possibility and worth considering although such craft are, in foreign service, ALWAYS tied to local coastal defense within easy range of bases. How the US would support such craft across oceans is something that no one has yet worked out. Perhaps you have a thought on that?

      Also, every foreign missile boat, because they will be operating in home waters/air space will be operating under friendly air cover. Again, how the US Navy would operate air-defenseless missile boats and keep them alive while operating under enemy air cover is yet another problem that no one has come up with a solution for.

      U.S. naval observers/commentators tend to latch onto all manner of foreign vessels without considering the CONOPS in U.S. service. Upon consideration, it usually becomes apparent why the vessels can be successful in foreign service but would be a challenge to operate in U.S. service. People get caught up in the lure of the equipment without considering the operational challenges.

      Give it some more thought and then tell if you think these are still good ideas and, if so, how you would solve the inherent operating challenges.

      Delete

Comments will be moderated for posts older than 30 days in order to reduce spam.