On General Quarters! I have not talked about frigates a great deal, but the fact is the Navy needs a new class of frigates to replace the Perrys and the LCS. Here is what I believe would make an optimal class of frigates for the Navy. For purposes of simplicity I will refer to the proposed class of frigates as FFGX After production starts the design will be frozen, with improvements added on after the ships have been launched, during their fitting out and after.
The mission the FFGX is designed for is that of the Perry-class frigates. Convoy escort, basic anti-aircraft and cruise missile defense and good anti-submarine capability. The FFGX would also have to be well armed for close in work with swarm attacks in the Middle East. The FFGX would also be able to escort carriers in a moderate threat environment, but only as a stopgap measure. The FFGX is meant to be bought in large quantities to replace both retired Perry-class frigates and the ~20 canceled Littoral Combat Ships. The FFGX is not meant to be a ballistic missile defense platform, nor a replacement for destroyers. It is meant to be a ship which can release destroyers to more important duties, but whose loss can be afforded without weakening other CVBGs.
1. Dimensions. FFGX would be roughly the same length at the Flight III Perrys, at 160m, a beam of 15m, and a draft of 8m.
2. Speed. FFGX would have a top speed of at least 30 knots.
3. Propulsion. FFGX would be powered by gas turbines, twin GE LM2500s.
4. Electronics. FFGX would carry the same electronics package as the LCS. Namely, a SAAB Sea GIRAFFE 3D search radar, LM COMBATSS-21, AN/SQR-20 towed array, and a BAE NULKA actie decoy, among others. The FFGX would also carry an AN/SLQ-32(V)5 EW system to provide for ASCM defense, or any follow-on system to the AN/SLQ-32(V)5.
5. Armament. FFGX would be armed with 1 76mm gun amidships, and 2 triple-tube Mk 32 torpedo tubes. FFGX would carry between 1 and 4 8-cell Mk 41 VLS modules on the bow to provide forAAW and ASW rockets. The FFGX would mainly carry the SM-2 for AAW. FFGX would also carry at least one Stand Alone Defensive System as proposed by Grand Logistics. For work in the littorals FFGX would carry 2-4 25mm chain guns mounted evenly on either side, for use against use against small boats. A different version of FFGX would be outfitted with a helipad and hangar for ASW use. The helicopters carried would be 2 SH-60 Seahawks, or another future type of ASW helicopter.
6. Cost. Currently, an LCS costs about 700 million dollars, the FFGX needs to be in that same range, being no more that 20%-30% more expensive. The FFGX would be purchased in large numbers to replace both the Perry-class frigates, and any LCSs in service (The LCSs being relegated to training ships or fast transports), with a purchase of at least 80.
7. Naming. All FFGXs would be named after naval figures who distinguished themselves in combat, or Medal of Honor recipients, no exceptions.