Future British Frigate Takes Shape

21.01.10

Categorie: Alliances, David Axe, Naval, Royal Navy |
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Future Surface Combat. BAE art.

by DAVID AXE

BAE Systems has released the first artist’s impressions of the planned Future Surface Combatant for the Royal Navy. The British government has awarded the U.K. defense contractor a 3.4-million-pound contract for initial design work on the vessel, which is intended to replace the existing Type 22 and Type 23 frigates beginning in around a decade.

The FSC will have a lot in common with the U.S. Navy’s new Littoral Combat Ship. BAE’s concept art depicts a vessel with the “stealth lines and … other capabilities inherent in USS Freedom,” according to Iain Ballantyne, writing in Warships International Fleet Review. Like the American LCS, FSC will have a huge flight deck, with room for a large helicopter plus vertical-takeoff robots. The two designs both feature stern ramps for quickly launching small boats.

Where FSC and LCS differ is in hull form and “modularity.” The U.S. Navy is experimenting with the mono-hull Freedom as well as the trimaran USS Independence and will pick one for the full production run of more than 50 Littoral Combat Ships. The Royal Navy built a trimaran demonstrator, RV Triton, in the 1990s and found it “clearly not persuasive,” Ballantyne wrote. FSC will be mono-hull.

Also, LCS is built to accomodate different mission modules, in theory allowing a single ship to rapidly switch between anti-sub, anti-mine and surface patrol missions. FSC will probably be hard-wired for its missions, reflecting the European preference.

The Royal Navy wants at least 17 FSCs for anti-sub and patrol missions. The class could also gain air-defence missiles to help protect the two large aircraft carriers under construction. To keep the RN’s current frigates in service until the FSC is ready, several frigates are getting life extensions out to 30 years or more.

Related:
Warships International Fleet Review: Royal Navy is the Security Glue
Royal Navy Still Sinking: Eight More Warships to Go
Royal Navy’s Secret Harrier Reserve

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7 Responses to “Future British Frigate Takes Shape”

  1. Matthew S. says:

    Nice, i really hope they get all 17. This looks like something the USN should have considered rather than the LCS.

  2. [...] Future British Frigate Takes Shape — War Is Boring [...]

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  4. [...] lately and may be built on a Type 45 destroyer hull, with tonnage up to 6000 tons. It has been compared to the LCS which bodes ominously for the Navy that needs many “cheap and cheerful” frigates [...]

  5. [...] this week, the blog War is Boring reported on the development of the Royal Navy’s Future Surface Combatant while the Royal United [...]

  6. [...] the escort forces numbers 22. With six new, large Type 45 destroyers under construction and 17 Type 26 frigates planned, that number might grow by one. Twenty-three escorts is just enough for standing patrols in [...]

  7. Matt says:

    Frigate is a poor mans destroyer. Littoral vessels are a poor mans frigate. Anything smaller than that look in the mirror your Iranian.

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