Keeping the FFG 7s in shape

The frigate USS Hawes (FFG 53) transits the Atlantic Ocean, Sept. 27, 2008, to participate in exercise Joint Warrior, a course designed and led by the Joint Tactical Exercise Planning Staff (JTEPS) in the United Kingdom. The exercise helps U.S. ships improve interoperability between allied navies and prepares participants for a role in a joint maritime environment during upcoming deployments. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Matthew DeWitt/Released)

The frigate USS Hawes (FFG 53) transits the Atlantic Ocean, Sept. 27, 2008, to participate in exercise Joint Warrior, a course designed and led by the Joint Tactical Exercise Planning Staff (JTEPS) in the United Kingdom. The exercise helps U.S. ships improve interoperability between allied navies and prepares participants for a role in a joint maritime environment during upcoming deployments. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Matthew DeWitt/Released)

Nations swap ideas on keeping frigates fresh

The venerable Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate has been in Navy service for more than 30 years, but many of the 63 remaining ships could be around decades more. An international gathering this spring will consider ways to keep the ships running and even give them a bit more punch.

“What I’m looking for is the ability to have each country understand what activities and products each other country brings to the table,” Rear Adm. James McManamon, deputy commander for surface warfare at Naval Sea Systems Command, said during a recent interview. “These ships are going to be around for a while.”

Though “cheap” is always a relative term, it describes the FFG 7s pretty well. I continue to think that a 21st century FFG 7 is one of the things we should really be looking at. Take some of the automation and newer high-tech innovations from the past couple of decades and work them into a FFG 7 hull. Save some space by cutting down on crew size (slightly) and maybe kick up the power a notch or two.

Comments

  1. I can look out my front window and see where many of them were built. Literally across the street from me :)

    But, yeah… AW1 Tim concurs completely with a new build/design of the Perry class, or something similar.

    We can do better than what we are doing now.

  2. Boy………………..I donno, Murdoc………….the fact those ideas make a lot of sense, kinda stack the odds against!

    Yea, low profile, electroncally stealthed, 10 gigawatt laser, coil gun firing revolutionary leap forward would be nice (now that I think about it, maybe they should have spent the stimulus package on that), but in tight times…………..improving what you’ve got is always a more reasonable alternative. Hope the bean counters head the advice!

  3. “Boy………………..I donno, Murdoc………….the fact those ideas make a lot of sense, kinda stack the odds against! ”

    Ha! The Navy don’t want it unless it is fully Phaser capable with backup proton canons.

    I grew up in the eighties a bit of a Navy dork. I loved the ships and planes, built models of them and bought books. And I always loved the OHPs, maybe because of Tom Clancy, but I think because they were such a well balanced ship. They had a strong anti air capability, and could pool their Standard Sams with the Aegis ships as well as operate alone. The same single arm launcher could fire ASROC too, if I recall correctly. They had a five inch gun, making them more or less as effective at close range as half a Tico, they had torpedoes amidships, for a good anti sub shot and more importantly two embarked SH60s with their own sonobuys, MAD gear and torpedoes. Top it off with a respectable anti sub suit, decent speed and performance, and the per unit cost was actually sustainable. Seems like they worked in some Harpoon missiles in there too, but I can’t remember.

    Why can’t they do something like this today? Maybe put a little more steel in it and less aluminum to avoid a future Stark if possible, and put in the proven weapon systems that work, and will remain effective for the next twenty years. You get more ships for the same budget, so you keep the yards in business longer. I would think the yard worker doesn’t care much if he is building state of the art or just solid and proved designs, so long as he is working.

    But I ramble.

  4. “They had a five inch gun”

    No FFG’s have a 5″ gun, try a 76mm(3 inch) gun, mainly for anti-aircraft use, now also for small craft.

  5. Yes keep them,

    don’t do like the aussies did with the extra vls at the front.

    Actually they have a 76mm gun in the middle.

    How bout a 5″ at the front instead of the launcher and a vls in the middle instead of the 76mm?

    And 3d radar..

    yes they are fast and ride well.

  6. ER:How bout a 5″ at the front instead of the launcher and a vls in the middle instead of the 76mm?

    And 3d radar..

    Something along those lines is exactly what I’m talking about. Not sure about a 5″ turret as far as room, strength of the mount, etc, but I’m thinking that there’s got to be a decent way to make an OHP II class that would not break the bank, would be able to fill a lot of missions, and would build on existing know-how without trying to skip a generation.

  7. Judging by the number of crew manning the starboard rail in kapoks and hard hats, I’d say she’s coming alongside for a bit of fuel and maybe even some stores.

  8. FWIW: It is my understanding that the Mk 13 missle launcher has been yanked from the FFG-7 in US service. So all they have left for surface and air defense is the 76mm and Phalanx. (The Harpoons were launched from the Mk 13.)

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