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S-90 Frigate and S-85 Corvette designs

JAZZ

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back in the early 1980's an alternative frigate hull design was put forwrad by a commercial ship designer, and attracted some support from BAe and other navel ship builders. The MOD ordered trails between the S90 and Type 23 (duke Class) ASW firigate. The Marime Technology Board's findins reported the S90 lacked sufficient space, and did not match endurance, speed and sea keeping qualities of the type-23. It was not the best hull form for ASW frigates, however opions at the time did suggest that the hull form was suited to littiral roles and that the trilas were biased towards ASW design requirements.

Anyway here is the S90 and S85
 

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TinWing

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JAZZ said:
back in the early 1980's an alternative frigate hull design was put forwrad by a commercial ship designer, and attracted some support from BAe and other navel ship builders. The MOD ordered trails between the S90 and Type 23 (duke Class) ASW firigate. The Marime Technology Board's findins reported the S90 lacked sufficient space, and did not match endurance, speed and sea keeping qualities of the type-23. It was not the best hull form for ASW frigates, however opions at the time did suggest that the hull form was suited to littiral roles and that the trilas were biased towards ASW design requirements.

Anyway here is the S90 and S85

There is an entire thread devoted to this topic at the "Never Were Warship" discussion boards, although entry into the forums requires registration:

http://www.phpbbplanet.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2010&mforum=warshipprojects
 

Tzoli

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As now the warship projects forum is dead, does anybody saved info on these designs?
 

Abraham Gubler

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These are the infamous "short, fat ships". They are vaporware. Designing a big ship on paper using the norms of small ships.

Professor David Andrews, RCNC should have last word on this topic:

I was also asked to comment on the ‘short fat ship’ controversy of the mid 1980s, which I suspect many naval officers, without the benefit of naval architectural theory or subsequent practice in ship design, may feel shows a resistance to innovation by the constructor fraternity. Leaving aside the clear evidence that, historically, the British naval record is one of innovative technical adoption rather than resistance to it, any proposal has to be qualified by a clear demonstration that a given proposal is technically justified and good value for money.

So any new ship design proposal needs to follow the scientific practice of being presented, preferably in an open forum, to a suitably broad range of informed professionals able to objectively assess its merits from the evidence. The proponents of the ‘short fat frigate’ proposal never presented this proposal to the naval architecture discipline, as can be seen from the written discussion to Admiral Sir Lindsay Bryson’s
paper on ‘The Procurement of a Warship’ in the 1984 RINA Transactions. While the public debate about ‘short fat’ turned on a legal issue, the private debate in the pages of The Naval Review was technically illiterate. In fact the hull form drew on small craft practice, namely the published National Physical Laboratory’s guidance on such (Marwood Bailey) planing forms, which are valid up to 200 tons displacement but not for frigate-size vessels operating at typical frigate speeds when the vessel is over ten times heavier than the NPL limit. Elementary knowledge of the effect of Froude number (V/√(gL)) on a ship’s wave-making resistance would have ruled out such a form for frigate size and speed. Furthermore, the dynamic stiffness of frigate-sized vessels, given such a wide beam and a practical weight distribution, would have been such that the configuration would be highly likely to have too stiff a motion to operate in a seaway.

The whole saga was more an example of the low status professional engineering is given in the UK when compared to our continental Ingenieur equivalents, plus the manner in which miracle cures are grasped by peacetime governments under fiscal pressure. In this case it was doubly ironic that the first scientifically (if not technically) educated Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, fostered a government attitude that positively distrusted professional advice, especially if the experts were in public service. That neither the Navy nor the MoD seemed to strongly support its own professionals, when (as I observed at the time from my NATO colleagues) no professional ship designer could understand the lack of official support for the professional engineering advice, says more than a little about the UK’s decline from its former position of being the leading industrial power.

But Matthew McConaughey puts it (admittedly while reading from a script) a little more poetically:

"Fugazi, Fugazi. It's a wazy. It's a woozie. It's fairy dust. It's not real. "
 

Arjen

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This reminds me of something else. From an earlier age: HMS Captain
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Captain_(1869)#Background
HMS Captain was an unsuccessful warship built for the Royal Navy due to public pressure. She was a masted turret ship, designed and built by a private contractor against the wishes of the Controller's department. The Captain was completed in April 1870 and capsized in September 1870 with the loss of nearly 500 lives because of design and construction errors that led to inadequate stability.
 

Tzoli

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What would be their armament? It is not clear what kind of smaller guns and missiles they would carry based on the drawings (which if zoomed in can be seen to carry mostly copy pasted weaponry!)

Friedman's Destroyer and Frigate book also mentions these design but gives no clear data about them!
 

TomS

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I understand that there were two major iterations of S90, the original Sirius version shown here (notice Sea Zenith quad 25mm CIWS)and the version described in the LLoyd's Register "Report of the inquiry into hull forms for warships" that matched the planned Type 23 equipment (gun, Harpoon, Sea Wolf, helicopter, towed array, etc). The Lloyd's report would make interesting reading, but I don't see it online anywhere (Google Books has it but only shows tiny fragments). Might have to pop down to the Library of Congress and take a look...

PS: We had a discussion about S90/Short-Fat Frigates here (including links to Shipbucket drawings of both versions):

http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=10470.0
 

Abraham Gubler

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Arjen said:
This reminds me of something else. From an earlier age: HMS Captain
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Captain_(1869)#Background
HMS Captain was an unsuccessful warship built for the Royal Navy due to public pressure. She was a masted turret ship, designed and built by a private contractor against the wishes of the Controller's department. The Captain was completed in April 1870 and capsized in September 1870 with the loss of nearly 500 lives because of design and construction errors that led to inadequate stability.

The private contractor, Captain Coles, died on the HMS Captain when it capsized and sank. But he made it clear it shouldn't have had those masts and sails added to it (that when combined with its low freeboard caused the loss). That was thanks to the inertia of bureaucracy.
 

Tzoli

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TomS said:
I understand that there were two major iterations of S90, the original Sirius version shown here (notice Sea Zenith quad 25mm CIWS)and the version described in the LLoyd's Register "Report of the inquiry into hull forms for warships" that matched the planned Type 23 equipment (gun, Harpoon, Sea Wolf, helicopter, towed array, etc). The Lloyd's report would make interesting reading, but I don't see it online anywhere (Google Books has it but only shows tiny fragments). Might have to pop down to the Library of Congress and take a look...

PS: We had a discussion about S90/Short-Fat Frigates here (including links to Shipbucket drawings of both versions):

http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=10470.0

Sadly I cannot recognise the weapons nor their barrel (or launcher) count from the only side views shipbucket artists provide (Hence I always draw ships with both side and top view!) can you tell me about their weapon loadout? (S-85/90/102/110/115) and if available hull size and engine power?
I've collection warship data since more than 10 years ago into an excel database, that is why I could use those data.
 

RP1

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Hi,

I don't have the report to hand, but the weapons on the S90 were, from memory; an ASW helicopter, torpedo tubes and towed array sonar; VL Seawolf with, I think, 2 trackers and about 40 silos mounted at the edges of the deckhouse forward of the bridge; 3 Sea Zenith mounts with 2 trackers; a twin-barrel Bofors ASW mortar and a hull-mounted sonar; a 4.5inch gun with an optical tracker; 8 Exocet SSM; a surveillance radar and the usual nav. radars and comms.

RP1
 

Tzoli

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RP1 said:
Hi,

I don't have the report to hand, but the weapons on the S90 were, from memory; an ASW helicopter, torpedo tubes and towed array sonar; VL Seawolf with, I think, 2 trackers and about 40 silos mounted at the edges of the deckhouse forward of the bridge; 3 Sea Zenith mounts with 2 trackers; a twin-barrel Bofors ASW mortar and a hull-mounted sonar; a 4.5inch gun with an optical tracker; 8 Exocet SSM; a surveillance radar and the usual nav. radars and comms.

RP1

Thanks, that clears up the S-90 proposal a bit
 

RLBH

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PREM19/1872 features some fairly lengthy discussions around the concept as seen by the Prime Minister's office. I've not looked through the file in detail, but it's fairly evident that it was an utter mess. PREM19/2360 is a second file on the subject but has yet to be digitised.

Pages 216-218 are particularly pertinent to this thread concerning Christopher Monckton, as it features his views on S90 vs. Type 23. Very strange views, too - he claims that a 'short fat ship' might be able to achieve 68 knots.

Interestingly enough, the court case that has been mentioned around the 'short fat ship' looks like it was slightly different to the S-90 issue. It seems that the issue there was whether the PEACOCK class hullform infringed upon intellectual property of the company advocating the 'short fat ship'.

There's also a full-text copy of 'Procurement of a Warship', the 1984 RINA paper on the Type 23 design, including discussion on the paper, starting at Page 304.
 

JohnR

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In regard to the hull design of the Peacock, Ton class, Ham Class and Ford Class minesweeper had a length to beam ration of 5 to 1 and they all did the job the Peacock did.

The Admiralty did do extensive tank trials with the S90 against the Leander Class, the later; to my recollection, came out on top. Unfortunately my copy of Janes Review that has the article in is in storage so I can't confirm it.

Didn't Norway or Denmark produced an OPV; the Osprey Class, that had the short fat design.
 

RLBH

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In regard to the hull design of the Peacock, Ton class, Ham Class and Ford Class minesweeper had a length to beam ration of 5 to 1 and they all did the job the Peacock did.
The 'short fat ship' hullform is more than just L/B ratio, it also has characteristic stern lines. The case concerned whether the PEACOCK class used those lines. The claim was made that they achieved a higher speed than would be possible with a conventional hullform.

The Danish ships were certainly built with the form in question, and it's referred to in the papers as the OSPREY design.
 

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