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FFG(X)

MihoshiK

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The worst aspect of DD-21 (AGS)comes pretty directly from Congressional intervention. The initial Navy plan was to field the Vertical Gun for Advanced Ships, which was basically a launcher for rocket-boosted gliding shells. But Congress demanded a trainable gun instead, without relaxing the range or other requirements. So AGS was born.
It also could have been installed on the Spruances, retired Ticos, Kidds, even Burkes.
There's a VGAS proposal out there that would have fitted one, complete with helical magazine, into a Trident launch tube. Capable of firing from persicope depth, only the muzzle would have been above water.
 

apparition13

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There's a VGAS proposal out there that would have fitted one, complete with helical magazine, into a Trident launch tube. Capable of firing from persicope depth, only the muzzle would have been above water.
5" rather than 6", but they also said it could be scaled up. Although I'm not crazy about the idea of exposing a submarine just to fire off a bunch of artillery shells. But it also takes up less deck space than 64 Mk41 vls cells, so maybe it can be fitted to smaller ships.

A dedicated monitor design would have been much cheaper and better since it could have been attached directly to the marine unit.
The USN decided against fire support ships in the 60s/70s, but VGAS might make them viable.

Or just add VGAS modules to LPD/LSD ships.

Isnt the problem for the USN that Zumwalt and LCS were designed in a period where there was no naval threat to the US so planners were desperately trying to make them relevant to the real world problems faced by the US from 1991 to the re-emergence of Russia and the Xi change of Chinese foreign policy in the last decade?

Even now it is unclear (especially after COVID) whether Russia or China can really match the USN with all its faults.

Russia has not built a serious class of major surface ship since the Cold War.

China has no naval experience in the modern era and is mainly focussed on keeping its military happy to support the regime.
Part of the problem was the "transformational" mindset that came to dominate the post-cold war era. There were perfectly viable designs, ranging from the bigger Spruance/Tico CGBL (cruiser baseline) design to the 4x64 cell vls cruiser designs Friedman talks about in US Destroyers that would have worked, and could have been DD and CG follow on designs into which Zumwalt technologies could have been introduced as they matured rather than trying to do everything at once.

As to whether or not the PRC or Russia is a match for the US, given the rate at which PRC is building warships there is a one sided naval arms race on and the USN will be left in the dust if this continues much longer. Unless PRC's naval shipbuilding collapses I suspect a combined USN/NATO/SK/Japan fleet might have trouble in 15 or 20 years. The RN took the USN more seriously prior to WWI than we take the PLAN now. I think that's a mistake. 20 years ago we had superiority in their backyard, now they do. In 20 years they may (I'm not saying it's inevitable, just possible) have superiority globally.

The "fiasco" isn't with the design it's with how the USN has handled the program.
I'd say part of the fiasco is having an overly ambitious "transformational" design, but I don't think the USN has handled a program well since - what - the Burke class? Or maybe Viginia? A-12, A-6F, NATF, AF/X, AAAM/AIM-120, Superhornet over SuperTomcat, Zumwalt, LCS, the list seems endless.

FREMM seems a reasonable decision, so long as they keep it simple and don't start changing requirements and adding new ones. Hell, I'd be for Sejong the Greats for Tico replacements, AIP SSKs for surface raiding and supporting the SSNs, Hyuga or Dokdo for ASW helicopter carriers, Cavour's for escort carriers, Sa'ar 6 for convoy escort (and Littoral Combat), Singapore's Formidable FFG and Endurance LPDs etc. We have allies, why not take advantage of their expertise? They use AEGIS and SM2/3/6 and ESSM and MH-60s, we can use their hulls and designs (built here since shipbuilding capacity will be important in a long war). Adam Smith, comparative advantage, and all that.
 

aonestudio

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Fincantieri’s FREMM Wins US Navy FFG(X) Frigate Competition - Part 1: FFG(X) in details

Fincantieri’s FREMM Wins US Navy FFG(X) Frigate Competition - Part 2: Interview during SNA 2020
 

helmutkohl

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any reason why they didn't go with the more stealthy mast the french and italian variants use?
 

TomS

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any reason why they didn't go with the more stealthy mast the french and italian variants use?
Fundamentally, because in the FREMMs, that mast is supporting and housing equipment for the large radars at the masthead. In FFG(X), the large radars are mounted lower, in the deckhouse. So the mast only needs to support a bunch of smaller antennas that are mostly self-contained.

I'd have liked to see a more integrated mast structure, but the USN has had trouble with making affordable composite masts with common apertures (see LPD-17, for example) and this approach takes away a lot of technological risk.
 

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Easy way to remember the SPY radar issues:
Dual Band Radar(DBR) Zumwalt & USS Ford: X band works, S Band doesn’t work
AMDR: S band works, X band doesn’t work
 

jsport

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Fincantieri’s FREMM Wins US Navy FFG(X) Frigate Competition - Part 1: FFG(X) in details

Fincantieri’s FREMM Wins US Navy FFG(X) Frigate Competition - Part 2: Interview during SNA 2020
a 57mm , are they serious. 32 VLS, a slightly beefed up LCS could do this ship's job. a oversized show horse. VLS VLS or a bring back VGAS or better both.. These ships are too small and not designed to win fights when they are outnumbered.
 

Bruno Anthony

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a 57mm , are they serious. 32 VLS, a slightly beefed up LCS could do this ship's job. a oversized show horse. VLS VLS or a bring back VGAS or better both.. These ships are too small and not designed to win fights when they are outnumbered.
Norman Friedman has written that larger ships can always be uparmed. Like the Spruance Class were later equipped w/VLS. Smaller ones are maxed out from go.

I agree that the 57mm is pretty stupid. I wish we had picked a domestic design, maybe they didn’t make the grade. As for fighting outnumbered? Outnumbered by small missile boats? Ganged up on by other frigates?
 

jsport

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a 57mm , are they serious. 32 VLS, a slightly beefed up LCS could do this ship's job. a oversized show horse. VLS VLS or a bring back VGAS or better both.. These ships are too small and not designed to win fights when they are outnumbered.
Norman Friedman has written that larger ships can always be uparmed. Like the Spruance Class were later equipped w/VLS. Smaller ones are maxed out from go.

I agree that the 57mm is pretty stupid. I wish we had picked a domestic design, maybe they didn’t make the grade. As for fighting outnumbered? Outnumbered by small missile boats? Ganged up on by other frigates?
LCS may be near maxed.. needed, but sooo many issues w/ adopting w/o a lot more umph.
FFG(X) outnumbered because the US has global commitments while only the Pac is going to challenged. For the $ FFG(X) better protect itself better and punch way above its weight...IMHO that cant be done in the limited form factor.
FFG(X) is outnumbered by everything you allude to and more..so why not "LUSV-it" rather than the "smalls" (minus some kind of LCS} "go big ship" and way out to sea away from all those nasty missiles. Ships need time to protect themselves and be big enough to big punch prosecute on many multiples land/sea and offensive grd atk.
 

MihoshiK

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Fincantieri’s FREMM Wins US Navy FFG(X) Frigate Competition - Part 1: FFG(X) in details

Fincantieri’s FREMM Wins US Navy FFG(X) Frigate Competition - Part 2: Interview during SNA 2020
a 57mm , are they serious. 32 VLS, a slightly beefed up LCS could do this ship's job. a oversized show horse. VLS VLS or a bring back VGAS or better both.. These ships are too small and not designed to win fights when they are outnumbered.
The 57 is for use against FAC and smaller, for which it's vastly superior to the 127 mm. Nobody even thinks about winning capital ship to ship combat with cannons any more, so that's a non-starter. For that it has up to 16 NSM, which is quite a lot. As for the VLS, for self-defense (quad-pack 8 cells gives you 32 ESSM) and VL-ASROC that's more than sufficient. You'll likely have 8-16 cells left over for various other missiles, and if t he ship was build with sufficient margins adding another 16 VLS should be eminently doable.

They're quite well armed for frigates with a serious anti-submarine mission.

I'm in utter awe at all the keyboard commandos across the internet who are screaming that they could design this much better, and if only the USN had listened to them. I'm sure that the USN would gladly have listened to you, considering your awe inspiring experience in warfighting and ship design... Oh, wait.
 

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LCS may be near maxed.. needed, but sooo many issues w/ adopting w/o a lot more umph.
FFG(X) outnumbered because the US has global commitments while only the Pac is going to challenged. For the $ FFG(X) better protect itself better and punch way above its weight...IMHO that cant be done in the limited form factor.
FFG(X) is outnumbered by everything you allude to and more..so why not "LUSV-it" rather than the "smalls" (minus some kind of LCS} "go big ship" and way out to sea away from all those nasty missiles. Ships need time to protect themselves and be big enough to big punch prosecute on many multiples land/sea and offensive grd atk.

Hopefully these FFGXs aren’t caught in a one on many situation. I don’t think any sized ship can take on multiple peers. They would fight as part of a task force anyway unless they were caught in an ambush that would lead to an at least international incident.

I don’t like unmanned vehicles. It’s just me but I don’t care about robots fighting robots. There has to a human element.

Now the large surface combatant! That’s exciting. What would you like to see in such a ship?
 

jsport

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LCS may be near maxed.. needed, but sooo many issues w/ adopting w/o a lot more umph.
FFG(X) outnumbered because the US has global commitments while only the Pac is going to challenged. For the $ FFG(X) better protect itself better and punch way above its weight...IMHO that cant be done in the limited form factor.
FFG(X) is outnumbered by everything you allude to and more..so why not "LUSV-it" rather than the "smalls" (minus some kind of LCS} "go big ship" and way out to sea away from all those nasty missiles. Ships need time to protect themselves and be big enough to big punch prosecute on many multiples land/sea and offensive grd atk.

Hopefully these FFGXs aren’t caught in a one on many situation. I don’t think any sized ship can take on multiple peers. They would fight as part of a task force anyway unless they were caught in an ambush that would lead to an at least international incident.

I don’t like unmanned vehicles. It’s just me but I don’t care about robots fighting robots. There has to a human element.

Now the large surface combatant! That’s exciting. What would you like to see in such a ship?
..am not trying to bring more heat, but lrg most likely needs a fair number of VLS large enough for anti-hypers and breathing hypers not just hypers and Neutral Particle Beam Wpn (NPBW)ie kinetic like effects w/ directed energy and of course and advncd VGAS.
 

TomS

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a 57mm , are they serious. 32 VLS, a slightly beefed up LCS could do this ship's job. a oversized show horse. VLS VLS or a bring back VGAS or better both.. These ships are too small and not designed to win fights when they are outnumbered.
Norman Friedman has written that larger ships can always be uparmed. Like the Spruance Class were later equipped w/VLS. Smaller ones are maxed out from go.

I agree that the 57mm is pretty stupid. I wish we had picked a domestic design, maybe they didn’t make the grade. As for fighting outnumbered? Outnumbered by small missile boats? Ganged up on by other frigates?
Since the requirement was for an existing parent hull, the only real "domestic" design would be something based off the National Security Cutter. That may be what HII offered but even with a stretch, an NSC-derived frigate would have been much smaller than the other offerings. That means a cramped design without growth margins.

The 57mm gun makes sense considering that there is literally no other similar caliber in USN service and only a few 76mm left on the Coast Guard (which is cannibalizing the retired FFGs for 76mm parts). A 5-inch gun doesn't offer much for NGFS or ASuW and basically nothing for AAW. The 57mm is a good "junk basher" or "swarm-fighter" especially with ALaMO guided ammo.
 

Moose

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Yeah, people really need to understand that 76mm was never gonna happen. There would be no medium gun before there was a 76.
 

bring_it_on

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The 57mm gun makes sense considering that there is literally no other similar caliber in USN service and only a few 76mm left on the Coast Guard (which is cannibalizing the retired FFGs for 76mm parts). A 5-inch gun doesn't offer much for NGFS or ASuW and basically nothing for AAW. The 57mm is a good "junk basher" or "swarm-fighter" especially with ALaMO guided ammo.
Agree. ALaMO and MADFIRES both offer great short-medium term possibilities for that gun platform for missions that are going to be useful to the SSC fleet. Commonality across the SSC fleet is also important especially as it only adds to the large installed base of the weapon that drives investments into those type of products.

 

helmutkohl

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Fincantieri’s FREMM Wins US Navy FFG(X) Frigate Competition - Part 1: FFG(X) in details
7500 tons.

7500 tons gets a Type 052D in China.
very good point about the size
this youtube link talks about the blurry lines between Frigates and Destroyers these days

there was an interesting comment there too

Although crew numbers have declined through automatic, current UK designs include space for Marines.specialist teams on top and crew accommodation space and single bunking have also resulted in a major increase is ship size. These basic factors go back to the Type 42/type 23 designs (the Type 22 was the last single purpose warship class the UK built).

UK experience with the smaller, relatively lower capability warships such as the Type 21 in the Falklands war is that these ships are quite fragile and limited value as a result. Even the new Type 31 design which - arguably - is a modern day equivalent to the Type 21 design concept is resulting in a relatively large warship with displacement or around 7,000 tons. All current UK designs (Type 45, Type 31 and Type 26) are light cruiser size vessels on a pre-WW2 design basis. Many of the same factors are also driving the design parameters for other European navies and other countries that are using essentially European designs. The next generation of US frigate design will probably end up at a quite similar size.
 

helmutkohl

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on a related note, in regards to the competiition, did BAe submit a proposal based on their Type 26 for the FFX?
probably would have been a good rival to the FREMM
 

MihoshiK

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on a related note, in regards to the competiition, did BAe submit a proposal based on their Type 26 for the FFX?
probably would have been a good rival to the FREMM
Existing, in-the-water designs only. And unlike with the Canadians who had the same stipulation, BAE weren't able to bribe the officials into accepting the T26 anyway.
 

bring_it_on

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on a related note, in regards to the competiition, did BAe submit a proposal based on their Type 26 for the FFX?
probably would have been a good rival to the FREMM
They couldn't because the parent design was not in the water at the time. It would have been interesting to put these designs head on in terms of cost but that would perhaps have to wait for the Flight II program later in the 2020's. I don't think you could build a Type-26 at a US yard with all that cost thrown in for about $700 MM (first ship) plus GFE. Lower for subsequent ships. That's how much the USN determined a FREMM based FFG(X) will cost. It would be interesting to see what the Canadians and Australians finally end up paying for their Frigates and what price the FFG(X) ultimately stabilizes on from ships 2/3 onward.

this youtube link talks about the blurry lines between Frigates and Destroyers these days
The FFG(X) has been described as qualitatively equivalent of a Flight II DDG-51 destroyer with its ability to generate electric power (which is currently on par with DDG-51 Flight III and can grow further) and the sensor capability coming with the EASR. Only thing that is different is the magazine capacity. The size of the ship ensures that if the "LUSV as an adjunct magazine" doesn't quite work out, the USN could probably go for a larger magazine footprint with the Flight II FFG(X). The impact on cost wouldn't break the bank. There are also few barriers to the Navy being able to accommodate a larger radar on a flight II variant of this design. It already has the power and that can be increased further to up to 16 MW.
 
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Desertfox

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This is no frigate, its basically a budget destroyer with a heavy ASuW armament.

Can you quad pack ASROC into a NSM size launcher? Replacing half the NSMs with ASROCs could free up VLS space for missions where surface action is not expected.
 

Lc89

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This is no frigate, its basically a budget destroyer with a heavy ASuW armament.

Can you quad pack ASROC into a NSM size launcher? Replacing half the NSMs with ASROCs could free up VLS space for missions where surface action is not expected.
Or Hellfire Longbow.
 

TomS

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Can you quad pack ASROC into a NSM size launcher? Replacing half the NSMs with ASROCs could free up VLS space for missions where surface action is not expected.
No. VL-ASROC is roughly the same size as SM-2 and actually a fair bit bigger than NSM. (Non-VL ASROC needs a trainable launcher, and it's still about the same size as NSM. And it's long since retired.)

Or Hellfire Longbow.
This seems more likely. There's probably room for one of the LCS SUW package's SSMM launchers (w/24 Hellfire) in lieu of one set of 8 NSM. This was hinted at somewhere up thread, IIRC.
 

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SSMM launchers (w/24 Hellfire) in lieu of one set of 8 NSM.
If their engineers can't fit more than 24 Hellfire in the space taken by 8 NSMs they should be fired. :confused:
 

TomS

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SSMM launchers (w/24 Hellfire) in lieu of one set of 8 NSM.
If their engineers can't fit more than 24 Hellfire in the space taken by 8 NSMs they should be fired. :confused:
I'm not talking about a theoretical maximum, but a realistic and affordable option.

I'm speculating about reusing using the existing SSMM launcher developed for LCS. On LCS it drops into one of the weapons system module spots, which is something like 15.75 ft x 14 feet x 8 feet and has a max weight capacity of 16,500 pounds. Now, I know the SSMM probably does not max that out, but that's the worst case.

A set of 8 NSM Launchers and associated hardware weigh about 17,000 pounds. On FFG(X), the NSM sit on a weather deck, so to use SSMM, you'd need to add an enclosure around it. I'm not saying it would weigh the same as 8 NSM, but we're in the same ballpark here. Possibly you'd have enough weight left to add a couple of 25mm Mk38 Mod 3 (The Mk46 needs deck penetration or another added deckhouse, so I'd rule that out).

Of course, if you really anticipate dueling FIAC, bring an ASuW LCS instead. Might as well use them.
 

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SSMM launchers (w/24 Hellfire) in lieu of one set of 8 NSM.
If their engineers can't fit more than 24 Hellfire in the space taken by 8 NSMs they should be fired. :confused:
I'm not talking about a theoretical maximum, but a realistic and affordable option.

I'm speculating about reusing using the existing SSMM launcher developed for LCS. On LCS it drops into one of the weapons system module spots, which is something like 15.75 ft x 14 feet x 8 feet and has a max weight capacity of 16,500 pounds. Now, I know the SSMM probably does not max that out, but that's the worst case.

A set of 8 NSM Launchers and associated hardware weigh about 17,000 pounds. On FFG(X), the NSM sit on a weather deck, so to use SSMM, you'd need to add an enclosure around it. I'm not saying it would weigh the same as 8 NSM, but we're in the same ballpark here. Possibly you'd have enough weight left to add a couple of 25mm Mk38 Mod 3 (The Mk46 needs deck penetration or another added deckhouse, so I'd rule that out).

Of course, if you really anticipate dueling FIAC, bring an ASuW LCS instead. Might as well use them.
Here is an image of the SSMM in an article from last year.
 

bring_it_on

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IMHO, The range and accuracy of the ALaMO will probably determine whether the Navy pursues Hellfire integration on the FFG(X). If it were up to me, I'd do with 16 NSM's, ALaMO and HELIOS since the FFG(X) has the space and power provision for a HEL. The Little Rock (LCS-9) is set to receive a High Energy Laser weapon in the short term so there is no reason why the FFG(X) can't receive it relatively early into its production and with its available electric power it could probably get something comparable or even larger than what is going on the DDG-51 destroyers. It may make a little more sense to have a look at the Naval Spike NLOS if it is was easy to swap out 8 NSM rounds for a 16 Spike NLOS missiles.

 
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TomS

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IMHO, The range and accuracy of the ALaMO will probably determine whether the Navy pursues Hellfire integration on the FFG(X). If it were up to me, I'd do with 16 NSM's, ALaMO and HELIOS since the FFG(X) has the space and power provision for a HEL. The Little Rock (LCS-9) is set to receive a High Energy Laser weapon in the short term so there is no reason why the FFG(X) can't receive it relatively early into its production and with its available electric power it could probably get something comparable or even larger than what is going on the DDG-51 destroyers.
Yeah, if ALaMO is effective,they can probably skip seriously upgunning these ships for anti-swarm ops.

I remain to be convinced that lasers are going to be terribly effective for kinetic effects any time soon, but we shall see...

For Flight II, it might be interesting to fit a few ExLS around the ship. You could replace the RAM and Nulka launchers, eliminate a bunch of moving parts, and have some launcher space left for Hellfire if needed.
 

bring_it_on

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L3 claims that the ALaMO has an extended range round with accuracy for the type of FAC threats we may need something like a Hellfire for. So if that can form the outer layer of that capability then the HEL can form the inner layer and double up as a C-UAS system as well. The Navy has already tested the AN/SEQ-3 against this type of threat and what is likely to go on a FFG(X) is likely to be between 3-5 x the power levels so they'll have an excellent idea in terms of what, in terms of the level of swarm, threats these two systems can deal with together.
 

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SSMM launchers (w/24 Hellfire) in lieu of one set of 8 NSM.
If their engineers can't fit more than 24 Hellfire in the space taken by 8 NSMs they should be fired. :confused:
I'm not talking about a theoretical maximum, but a realistic and affordable option.

I'm speculating about reusing using the existing SSMM launcher developed for LCS. On LCS it drops into one of the weapons system module spots, which is something like 15.75 ft x 14 feet x 8 feet and has a max weight capacity of 16,500 pounds. Now, I know the SSMM probably does not max that out, but that's the worst case.

A set of 8 NSM Launchers and associated hardware weigh about 17,000 pounds. On FFG(X), the NSM sit on a weather deck, so to use SSMM, you'd need to add an enclosure around it. I'm not saying it would weigh the same as 8 NSM, but we're in the same ballpark here. Possibly you'd have enough weight left to add a couple of 25mm Mk38 Mod 3 (The Mk46 needs deck penetration or another added deckhouse, so I'd rule that out).

Of course, if you really anticipate dueling FIAC, bring an ASuW LCS instead. Might as well use them.
Just replace the forward bank of 4 on each side with Hellfire VLS.

fff.jpg
 
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