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So which FFG(X) finalist design do you like the most?

 
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So which FFG(X) finalist design do you like the most? - 2/20/2018 8:14:22 PM   
Primarchx


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And then there were 5. Our friends at Naval Recognition put up a story, see the link in the Naval News thread, about the five finalists for the USN's FFG(X) requirement to procure at least 20 ships, with the first few in service by the early 2020s. We have...

Austal - with a variant of the Independence-class LCS.
Bath Iron Works (GD) - based on the Bazán F100-class frigate.
Fincantieri - an American FREMM
Lockheed Martin - the 'Freedom Frigate' variant of the Freedom-class LCS.
Huntington Ingalls - Patrol frigate derived from the Legend-class National Security Cutter

Thoughts or ideas? Being from Wisconsin my first impression was, "Wow, two of these proposals would be built at Marinette Marine!"

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RE: So which FFG(X) finalist design do you like the most? - 2/20/2018 9:24:01 PM   
HalfLifeExpert


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First of all, for those who don't know about them, here is the USNI article on them:

https://news.usni.org/2018/02/16/navy-picks-five-contenders-next-generation-frigate-ffgxprogram


Personally I write off the Austal and Lockheed proposals, I don't want any resemblance to the LCSs.


I'm intrigued by the Bath Iron Works and Fincantieri proposals, the former due to their basis on existing warships that are in service, and the latter due to the VLS. So my initial thoughts are that I like both of them over the others. A BIW ship plus the VLS could be pretty good.

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RE: So which FFG(X) finalist design do you like the most? - 2/20/2018 9:39:56 PM   
SeaQueen


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quote:

Personally I write off the Austal and Lockheed proposals, I don't want any resemblance to the LCSs.


Would you be mad if I said that I thought the L-M version is going to end up the strongest proposal? It's just my intuition, but I really can't imagine the Navy abandoning LCS entirely now.

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RE: So which FFG(X) finalist design do you like the most? - 2/20/2018 9:41:27 PM   
ultradave


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I'm going with the BIW version. And that's strictly greedy on my part as I work for Electric Boat, another General Dynamics company :-) I haven't looked deeply into the proposals but I would agree I'd like to see a NOT LCS based ship.

After reading more, I would like to see either the FREMM or the BIW F100 derivative (that rendering of the BIW ship looks like a Baby Burke)

< Message edited by ultradave -- 2/20/2018 10:53:13 PM >


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RE: So which FFG(X) finalist design do you like the most? - 2/20/2018 9:41:58 PM   
orca

 

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I like the FREMM. For many reasons including integrated mast, quiet electric propulsion, hanger can fit 2 helos, option for 32 VLS cells.

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RE: So which FFG(X) finalist design do you like the most? - 2/20/2018 9:53:27 PM   
Primarchx


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I'd also like this project to be separate from the LCS. Too much baggage there and upscaling the hull + power train of designs not meant to be a frigate, and not proven to be particularly reliable in service, just doesn't bode well with me. The National Security Cutter doesn't seem to really stand out and had development problems, along with long delays, of it's own. The Fincantieri FREMM I'm a bit leery of, mainly due to potential issues of integration but that's just me being subjective again. Of what I've seen of them, they look like good ships.

Of the candidates, I like the BIW (F100) proposal best, mainly because the Danes and Aussies chose it and it's a proven, successful design. I have a lot of respect for those two navies and they use a lot of US systems, so I expect fewer integration issues or teething problems.

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RE: So which FFG(X) finalist design do you like the most? - 2/21/2018 1:04:04 AM   
trebor6669

 

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I'd like to see more on the Huntington Ingalls design
Not keen on FREMM
Freedom is OK but undergunned to me


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RE: So which FFG(X) finalist design do you like the most? - 2/21/2018 1:07:28 AM   
Dysta


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FII looks attractive to me, but I'd say the Ironwork F100 has the most iconic features for US Navy -- the sail mast. Also the substantial tonnage may be costly, but for the sake of seaworth and upgradability.

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RE: So which FFG(X) finalist design do you like the most? - 2/21/2018 1:12:51 AM   
trebor6669

 

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http://newsroom.huntingtoningalls.com/file?fid=540e18ebf6091d02aa000004

some interesting concepts and options

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RE: So which FFG(X) finalist design do you like the most? - 2/21/2018 1:36:24 AM   
Primarchx


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Dysta

FII looks attractive to me, but I'd say the Ironwork F100 has the most iconic features for US Navy -- the sail mast. Also the substantial tonnage may be costly, but for the sake of seaworth and upgradability.


That stands out to me, too. With the F100 you're starting out with a hull that has a ton space for upgrades over its' lifetime and is well proven. The LCS hulls will be stretched out with added stabilizers, which are as yet untested and who knows how much reserve tonnage they'll have, where center's of gravity will wander to as upgrades are applied, etc. It seems like turning a speedboat design into an OPV, because, gee we were building speedboats but now need OPVs so let's just make that speedboat design a bit bigger.

What could go wrong?

I'd also add that, IMHO, the US Navy needs a win in the surface combatant arena. The last four new classes to roll out - Zumwalt DDG, Independence/Freedom LCS and Ford CVN - have all fell well short of expectations. The Zumwalt doesn't have a ready round for it's 155mm guns and is stripped of meaningful area AAW capability. The LCS' best organic ASuW weapon is a Hellfire missile in an AO where most opposition craft would have OTH ASCMs. The Ford's vaunted EM catapult has a MTBF of around 200 shots and takes an hour & a half just to power down enough to work on it, during which nothing else can launch.

With this in mind the USN shouldn't skimp by trying to stretch out an LCS in the name of 'savings' when in the end it will probably not work and then years and billions of dollars will be spent in the hope of fixing them. Do it right, spend a little more now and get a proven hull.

< Message edited by Primarchx -- 2/21/2018 1:47:18 AM >

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RE: So which FFG(X) finalist design do you like the most? - 2/21/2018 1:57:09 AM   
Cik

 

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yeah i can't argue with primarch, i'm by no means an expert at surface warfare but it seems like the LCS was kind of a boondoggle in general (correct me if i'm wrong) might as well just drop it and go with something else, even if you lose the marginal prestige of having something american made you at least can say that it's worth the tonnage you're putting in the water, which is the whole point of having floating gunships in service.

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RE: So which FFG(X) finalist design do you like the most? - 2/21/2018 2:13:02 AM   
HalfLifeExpert


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Yes, I think it would be unwise to develop upon two ship classes that were just not good to begin with.

It could be like having a house that was built on soft sand and at risk for sink holes, then deciding to improve on it by trying to build an objectively better house on the exact same terrain.

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RE: So which FFG(X) finalist design do you like the most? - 2/21/2018 5:53:21 AM   
Dysta


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It's no surprise that F100 is attractive to many people, but one of them address the real problem for US navy is they aren't building proper warships fast enough (not talking about LCS or OPV these kind of light-tons). 70 Burkes is surely more than many countries' navies combined, but station them all around the world is still far from adequate.

Also, it's no longer a Quality-Quantity debates, the technological gaps between major competitiors are getting thinner.

https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2018/02/navy-selects-five-contenders-for-lcs-follow-on-frigate-fight/

quote:


Fatesrider:

Specialty vessels are part of the package. A navy vessel almost never operates independently. They operate in groups, or fleets. It's a strategy that works well against various threats from direct to asymmetric. So you have dedicated sub hunter/killers, working with the SSN's that follow (or are under) every group or fleet, along with radar pickets to detect incoming threats that can hit those threats and reduce the number that get into the fleet. Each level is a specialty for a particular kind of ship, because a Navy isn't a bunch of ships each operating independently. It's a bunch of ships acting as ONE UNIT.

Multi-role ships are specialty ships in and of themselves. They're designed to augment areas of the operational fleet where weaknesses may be, filling in, albeit with less efficiency, for a lack of specialty ships.

So one ship does NOT need to "do it all" to survive. Not unless you only have a one-ship Navy.

The problem, however, is in the cost of the ships. Expensive ships that take years and years to build actually can be sunk just as quickly and easily as any modern ship that didn't cost nearly as much that was built much more quickly. He who gets the most ships in the water the fastest tends to win wars (at least on the oceans, which is probably still just as vital today as it's been before).

These ships are expensive. The U.S. can't afford to lose them. If someone can make 3 for the same price and in the same time, and the battle results in 1 of them being sunk, 1 severely damaged and the expensive one doing down, it's a major net victory for the cheap ships. The damaged one will be repaired faster, and and THREE MORE new ones can be made in the time it takes to replace the expensive ship - all for the same price. That's an advantage that is now 5:1 and not just 3:1.

Do that enough, and you've bankrupted the country with the expensive ships.

We need to learn to make our ships fast, and inexpensively. That doesn't seem to be much of a priority these days, mostly because I tend to think the Pentagon forgot the lessons of the past. One can only hope that major sea battles are a thing of the past, or else America is going to be seriously ****ed up by a bunch of cheap ships, even if we take them out by a 2:1 margin. That's because they can replace theirs faster and more cheaply than we can replace ours.

That's called the reality of war. The rest is window dressing.



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RE: So which FFG(X) finalist design do you like the most? - 2/21/2018 8:49:15 AM   
Bert Blitzkrieg

 

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Bath Iron Works (GD) - based on the Bazán F100-class frigate. Contrary to the FREMM it is AEGIS "ready".
Wouldn't know which Danish class of frigates are appearently derived from the F100. And I think the Australians choosing for the F100 is not because it is the best design. Price of the ships, possibilty to build them in Australia and usage in the design of US made systems (like radar) are an important factor as well.

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RE: So which FFG(X) finalist design do you like the most? - 2/21/2018 10:24:48 AM   
Luckschaden

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Dysta

It's no surprise that F100 is attractive to many people, but one of them address the real problem for US navy is they aren't building proper warships fast enough (not talking about LCS or OPV these kind of light-tons). 70 Burkes is surely more than many countries' navies combined, but station them all around the world is still far from adequate.


I wonder whether in the medium run the US will have to stop deploying warships all over the world. Not only is the number of warship already insufficient, but there's also huge problems when it comes to readiness of the exisiting ones, as well as the number of supply ships.

I would think that there is little point to build a large number of ships that aren't as capable, and aren't well maintained, and would be hard to supply in case of an actual conflict. Especially now that other major powers are catching up in terms of technology, and that technology is starting to proliferate to smaller nations as well.


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RE: So which FFG(X) finalist design do you like the most? - 2/21/2018 12:07:02 PM   
Primarchx


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Bert Blitzkrieg

Bath Iron Works (GD) - based on the Bazán F100-class frigate. Contrary to the FREMM it is AEGIS "ready".
Wouldn't know which Danish class of frigates are appearently derived from the F100. And I think the Australians choosing for the F100 is not because it is the best design. Price of the ships, possibilty to build them in Australia and usage in the design of US made systems (like radar) are an important factor as well.


My bad, I meant Norwegian! Though my wife's a Dane...

< Message edited by Primarchx -- 2/21/2018 12:11:10 PM >

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RE: So which FFG(X) finalist design do you like the most? - 2/21/2018 1:06:06 PM   
Zaslon

 

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BIW design is proven and use AEGIS system.
After LCS and Zumwalt disasters, US Navy need a mature, proven and reliable design if they want to keep his naval supremacy.
PLAN is working really fast to dispute this supremacy.

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RE: So which FFG(X) finalist design do you like the most? - 2/21/2018 7:17:41 PM   
Primarchx


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quote:


Fatesrider: ...

Multi-role ships are specialty ships in and of themselves. They're designed to augment areas of the operational fleet where weaknesses may be, filling in, albeit with less efficiency, for a lack of specialty ships.

So one ship does NOT need to "do it all" to survive. Not unless you only have a one-ship Navy. ...


I agree. But warships increasingly need to be proficient in a host of tasks to be able to fulfill their roles. A frigate needs to be able to patrol and escort, with the capacity to deal with expected air, surface and sub threats. In some cases, for example escorting UNREP ships to & from station, they will be the only warship at hand.

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RE: So which FFG(X) finalist design do you like the most? - 2/22/2018 7:52:19 AM   
hellfish6


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Whichever hull lets you fit the most VLS cells and aircraft (manned or unmanned) while staying on or under budget. Everything else flows from those two considerations, IMHO.

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RE: So which FFG(X) finalist design do you like the most? - 2/22/2018 12:41:20 PM   
Sakai007


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I am hoping BIW gets it, if for no other reason then they'll be hiring and I live next door. It's the best choice also IMO, well armed and fits nicely with the existing fleet setup. If anything it might be a touch too much ship for the frigate task, but rather have it and not need it then need it and not have it.

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