Skip to comments.Navy enters twilight era of its once famous frigates
Posted on 06/09/2011 10:08:29 AM PDT by sukhoi-30mki
Navy enters twilight era of its once famous frigates
By Gary Robbins
Originally published 1:22 p.m., June 8, 2011
When it first took to the seas in the late 18th century, the U.S. Navy sailed frigates that became famous for their speed and maneuverability, and for the cunning of their commanders.
More than two centuries later, the commanders are just as cunning. But the modern Navy is steadily phasing out the last of its frigates to make room for littoral combat ships, a new type of vessel designed to be faster and more versatile than the ships it will replace.
Its an historic change. Frigates have been used for everything from fighting the British during the War of 1812 to clearing mines in harbors during the Vietnam War to stalking Soviet submarines during the Cold War.
There are only 28 Perry-class frigates left in the fleet, including six in San Diego. The Navy decided not to modernize the ships, and even removed their missile launchers, a decision that helped make way for the LCS. There will be no frigates left in the Navy by 2017.
Theyre just getting rid of them, said Eric Wertheim, author of the Naval Institutes Guide to Combat Fleets of the World. The ships were neutered when they took off the missiles. The Navy has simply moved on.
Here are some remembrances from people who served on frigates.
I am sad to see the frigates get decommissioned but am also proud of what that entire class of ships has accomplished during their service.
(Excerpt) Read more at signonsandiego.com ...
The frigate McClusky at Naval Base San Diego. Peggy Peattie
The (US) sailing frigates were commerce raiders. Heavy, fast & well-armed. A tough nut for other Navy’s with their lighter frigates. Too fast to catch with a Ship of the Line.
These modern gas-turbine powered frigates were built primarily as convoy escorts and intended as ASW platforms with some limited anti-air. Without any convoys to escort they were used as screening vessels for battle groups or amphibious ready groups. In that role they were analogous to the smaller (sail) Sloops of War.
The “Knox” and “OHP” Class of US NAvy “Frigates” were First Class MacNamera CLUSTERF*CKS of ship. The last REAL class of “Frigates” in the US Navy were the DEs.
This article only tells one portion of the story.
I am not a big littoral warfare boat supporter, but it is way past time for the Perry class frigates to go.
Mitt Romney is a big fan of “twilight”, too...
He’s such a putz.
Late ‘60’s, DLG-34 was my home for nearly four years:
The Knox class was a cheap platform and did its ASW mission well. I was on one for 4 years and no barnacles grew on her. As the cheapest to operate in the fleet they were always underway.
As a sailor, I am sad to see these little tin cans go as people first laugh at the Perry’s(Some people even called them floating office parks with a pop gun), but despite it all they proofed themselves to be tough and could take a punch and keep on floating. As a carrier rider, I always respected the skill of their crews, who in the worst case would be asked to die to keep the carrier afloat. The LCS is going to have some big(little)shoes fill!
We need 100 Frigates in the 4,000 ton class armed to the teeth. Granted a new class is appropriate...keeping the crew to less than 100 men.
However, we need exactly ZERO LCS platforms.
Those are DDGs in the 9,000+ ton class with 300 man crews. Sure, it would be nice to have a couple of hundred of those...but it's likely we'll never see more than 50, if that many.
We need at least 100 of the 3-4,000 ton class "Frigates" of a new design that will keep the crew below 100 and can launch torpedoes, AA and AS missiles (Harpoon and SM2 and 3). They need good radars...but don't need Aegis. They should be able to operate independently or in conjunction with the DDGs.
Our big issue today is numbers, not platform capability.
The decision to cease support for SM-1 reminds me of the NAVAIR decision to pull Phoenix off the Tomcats the last tow years it was around. It saved less money than NAVAIR spent at the same time changing their logo.
Current Perry: OPV (Offshore patrol vessel)
LCS: APD (High-speed Transport)
<2000 tns: Corvette
2-4: Light Frigate
It's clearer when you consider the role they can do, rather than what the particulay Navy dept calls them
According to that definition every Burke Class is a cruiser as is most modern US Destroyers (DDG).
And, in capability, range and endurance I suppose they do qualify.
But they are no substitute for 100 true Frigates.
I’ve seen the “Burke’s” refered to as cruisers because of their capabilities, particularly anti-air.