Combined Ops

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Seems Like a Good Idea: A Patrol Frigate Based on the Coast Guard National Security Cutter

Advertised not as a LCS substitute, but rather as - something else -  Press release
National Security Cutter
Artist Conception of new Patrol Frigate
Huntington Ingalls Industries will participate in Doha's International Maritime Defense Exhibition and Conference (DIMDEX) this week, highlighting the new patrol frigate derivative of the company's proven U.S. Coast Guard National Security Cutter. The patrol frigate could be built at the company's Ingalls Shipbuilding facility in Pascagoula, Mississippi. "The Ingalls patrol frigate design has already proven its seaworthiness in U.S. Coast Guard service," said Dan Holloway, HII's corporate vice president for customer relations. "Our analysis has shown there are foreign navies with requirements for patrol frigate capabilities and that this particular design will address naval multi-mission needs. The patrol frigate's technologically advanced ship features, coupled with Ingalls' experienced workforce and active construction line, will generate an affordable platform for a variety of potential customers." In addition to its patrol frigate, Ingalls will highlight its long history of maintenance and overhaul support to the U.S. Navy, as well as its successful experience as one of the primary builders of DDG 51 destroyers. Ingalls has delivered three National Security Cutters to the Coast Guard, and two more ships are currently under construction. There are two patrol frigate variants: Patrol Frigate 4501 and Patrol Frigate 4921. Patrol Frigate 4501 is closely aligned with the basic National Security Cutter hull with limited design changes. The ships are 127 meters (418 feet) long with a 16.5 meter (54 feet) beam and displace 4,600 tons with a full load. The ship has a 12,000-nautical mile range and can operate in speeds up through 28-plus knots. They have an endurance of 60 days and accommodations for 148. The ship includes an aft launch and recovery area for two rigid hull inflatable boats and a flight deck to accommodate a range of aircraft, with twin hangars for storage of one H-60 class helicopter and two rotary-wing unmanned aircraft. The ships are equipped with various sensors and surveillance systems as well as a 57-mm gun, a 20-mm close-in weapon system and six 50-caliber machine guns. Patrol Frigate 4921 has additional mission capabilities for anti-aircraft, anti-submarine, anti-surface and mine-warfare provided by a 76-mm gun, a 12-cell vertical launch system, an anti-ship missile launcher and torpedo launcher, sonar dome and remote-controlled and manned 50-caliber machine guns. Both frigates retain the NSC's propulsion system of one LM2500 gas turbine and two MTU20V 1163 diesels in combined diesel and gas configuration. All variants incorporate the current quality-of-life features on the NSC, including modern berthing compartments, entertainment facilities and workout facilities.

7 comments:

  1. I saw a model of this ship at the Navy League shindig up at National Harbor, last year. I like the idea, longer legs than LCS, VLS, good UNREP setup. I like the idea of the 3"/76mm gun, as well. Just from the standpoint of physics, it's got a lot of advantages over the 57mm (which is not a bad gun, just more appropriate for smaller platforms).

    We really need something to take the place of the OHPs.

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  2. I agree BUT the USN leadership is totally committed to LCS (a bad COA IMHO~)

    And I have recently heard that the Navy plans NO intermediate sized warship or OHP type ship from PC to LCS. Nothing to perform in the dangerous green waters that LCS may well fail to work in?

    I mean even the OLD worn out PCs are only getting small fixes to keep them around a few more years?

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous2:31 PM

      The LCS is a class "D" fire looking for an ignitio source. Fourty knots is not fast enough to ourtrun a cruise missile. Once hit this hull will be useless, and other vessels will have to come rescue the crew. Several hi-end all aluminum structure yachts have burned to the waterline and/or sunk in the last 18 months. An aluminum constructed combat vessel is, and has never been, a good idea. We learned the hard way on the guided missile cruiser I was stationed on. Hull was steel (good). Superstructure was aluminum, and once on fire, is exttremely hard to put out, if at all. Just a thought.

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  3. I agree, that the Patrol frigate should have been considered. I think sooner or latter either through Budget pressure or Congressional pressure, the US Navy is going to have to swallow it's pride and take the Patrol frigate idea from the National security cutter.

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  4. Anonymous9:04 PM

    china is on the horizon we need more well armed lcs plus about patrol frigates to hold china at bay. Also africa will become a haven for radical islamist reformers . wE have to do this now 10 pf a year for 10 years these ships also have to come on line sooner no more 5 year commissioning process

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  5. As the CG-47 Class and the DDG-51 Class get re-assigned for BMD duty, our formations will become more vulnerable in the Pacific. A real need for a Mini-Aegis FFG is so clearly evident that it is hard to understand why mission sets are not requiring this platform to be developed and fielded. The FFG-7s are going away fast. The LCS CANNOT take their place. One can only hope that a small Surface Action Group multi-warefare capable platform is developed and fielded soon.

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  6. More from Curtis Conway in a comment that I fat-fingered into oblivion:

    The United States Navy needs an Aegis Guided Missile Frigate. As the FFG-7 Oliver Hazard Perry Class FFGs come out of service they are being replaced by a very anemic LCS that WILL NEVER equal the combat power represented by the platform it replaces weakening our navy with every exchange. The new Aegis FFG must be multi-warfare capable. With the advent of new technologies, weapons, and propulsion systems this new platform should be fast and efficient, capable and robust. Where ever this combatant shows up it will be able to “Show the Flag”, handle the problem, and hold the fort until others can arrive. This building program should be distributed between two competing shipyards in different regions to help distribute jobs and positive economic impact of this construction effort. These vessels should come on line quickly and get the numbers back up in available combatants to fleets in all operational areas.
    If the United States Navy had the Hybrid Electric Drive (HED) modification going into our DDG-51 Destroyers and CG-47 Cruisers, we would be able to steam more days less expensively. The parenthetical data to support this conclusion is the last cruise statistics from USS Makin Island (LHD-8) deployment. Hybrid Electric Drive is money well spent, and provides real returns, and is an investment in lower (repeatable) operational costs. This capability should be incorporated in our new Aegis Guided Missile Frigate.
    As it is, we are pumping billions into a fast speed boat (Littoral Combat Ship) that has very little combat power, has limited combat improvement capability, and is planned to receive only limited combat capability. Our fleet needs multi-warfare capable combatants at all levels. When going up against future adversaries in the Pacific, our combat fleet must be robust, not anemic. The LCS-2 is built out of aluminum which, in effect, is a class “D” fire looking for an ignition event (combat), that will do it in. An LCS assignment to a formation will be a net negative, particularly if it takes battle damage.
    The new Aegis FFG design should include:
    1) Hybrid Electric Drive (HED)/Gas Turbine Propulsion driving two shafts with rudders
    2) Prime Mover(s) LM-2500+G4 with matching Main Reduction Gear (MRG)
    3) Electrical power generation by three (3) 501K GTGs distributed forward, amidships, and aft.
    4) Integrated Power System (IPS) with distributed power generation and storage
    5) Operational performance that includes speed & endurance sufficient to perform “Plane Guard” and/or sprint across the Pacific that may last a couple of days
    6) Aegis Combat System with SPY(x) or AMDR Light 3D Radar and combat system
    7) Electro Optical surveillance system fore and aft with real time Infrared Search and Track (IRST) and laser target designation and illumination capability
    8) Mk41 VLS forward and/or Mk57 VLS aft with multi-warfare weapons load-out
    a. Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM) as primary AAW armament
    b. Vertical Launch ASROC as ASW armament
    c. Mixed load of SM-2/SM-6 for long range AAW/TBMD
    9) Convenient and rapid small boat operations capability
    10) Directed Energy Point Defense, one fore/aft or two port/starboard
    11) A gun, 57mm minimum
    12) At least one helicopter hanger
    13) Non-VLS Harpoon Missile Launchers, 2 X Quad Packs
    14) Latest Electronic Warfare Suite w/countermeasures for this sized vessel
    15) Hull frame should be able to handle extended periods in the roughest seas in the Northern latitudes, and last 50 years.
    The LCS’s should be used in US waters, coastal areas, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean only.
    Cancellation of LCS and stretch-out of DDG-51 Flt III can provide the funds needed to start up the program. We can build at least three (3) Aegis FFGs for the price of one DDG-51 Flt III. Upgrade of existing Aegis platforms to BMD mission capability can help elevate the numbers of platforms available for BMD tasking more quickly than building new platforms.
    I sent the above to my two senators and congressman. How about you?

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