US Navy Frigates Getting Epic Redesign to Face Foreign Foes
President Donald Trump ran for office in part on a campaign promise to rebuild, refit and reinforce our nation’s armed forces to better prepare them for the constantly shifting threats they face.
Part of that effort included a major review of the Navy’s current crop of frigate-class ships known as the modular littoral combat ship, generally regarded as an overpriced vessel with questionable capabilities for its intended missions, according to DefenseTech.
The Navy’s review would “reassess the capabilities required to ensure the multi-mission frigate paces future threats,” and would focus on prioritizing making the ships more lethal and more survivable when engaged in surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare and local defense against air warfare.
That review announced in May has just resulted in an official “request for information” being sent out to various industry leaders seeking input on adapting and redesigning future builds of the LCS into a “multimission guided-missile frigate” known as the FFG(X).
According to Defense News, the redesigned ship would be expected to integrate and keep pace with a carrier strike group or operate independently for specific missions best suited for a small surface combatant vessel.
A major priority of the RFI about a new frigate is keeping costs down, hence the call for the adapting and redesigning of the existing LCS instead of completely drafting a new ship design from scratch.
To be deemed a success, the newly redesigned frigate must have the capability to strike enemy surface ships over the horizon, detect and destroy enemy submarinesand defend other ships in the convoy — particularly from small boat swarming attacks — all while utilizing both active and passive electronic warfare systems.
The frigate would be outfitted with all sorts of advanced radar, sonar and electronic warfare systems, a helicopter and unmanned drone, and weapons … lots of weapons.
It is expected that a design will be chosen and a contract awarded for a new frigate in 2020, with a second to be built in 2021, followed by two more per year until a total of 52 newly built or refitted frigates are in the naval fleet.
This is pretty cool, and shows that the Navy is serious about ensuring it is fully capable of confronting and defeating any threat the country may face in a constantly changing global environment in the most cost-effective manner possible.
Image and Content: Conservative Tribune