The future of Caledonia Frigate and Corvette fleet.
By 2005 the Navy started to lock in to reduce the cost of operating the Navy and simplify the logistic around it. From before the Navy was unnecessary big with a lot of overlapping ships capability. you had fast and standard patrol ships, corvettes, frigates, light & Heavy Destroyers, Cruisers and large cruisers but also carrier's. in one section of the fleet where the Navy believed they could save a lot, is in the frigate and corvette branch. by reducing amount of ships, without reducing the capability.
To do this they had to look in to the capability of the two branches; while frigate was excellent in escort mission, corvettes was mainly used as a coast and Islands protection assets, but both assets basicly carried the same armament.
The challenge to design and build a class of ships that could do the best of both world was given to the many shipyards in the country. after a long process, KVO shipyard ltd. was selected for there Project 3496 Concept.
The Concept had a reduce crew due to high automation, they added in extra crew, to reduce pressure on the crew.
The Navy wasn't totally happy with the first concept, and asked KVO Shipyard ltd. to some improvement:
- bigger superstructure with more space for crew, various equipment and a small flex-deck.
The Navy was happy with the improvement, but they feel that:
- such an expensive radar system, on what basically is a cheap combatant, that are supposed to reduce the operation cost of the frigate/corvette fleet.
- improvement on the all round gun coverage.
- some internal changes.
- different powerplant solution
The Navy went back and forth with the shipyard about all minor details, but main points would be:
- relocation of 35mm gun.
- relocation of NSM launcher.
- enlarged and lifted funnel.
- taller radar with new radar system added to it.
- better protection around forward gun and VLS.
- RHIB-hangar added aft.
- flex deck moved to under helicopter deck with access trough hangar.
- hangar equipped with a 6 ton crane.
- added on helicopter deck a CIWS-rocket-VLS system on both side of helicopter deck.
Material: a combination of steel hull and composite superstructure.
Length: 98,7 meters
Beam: 15 meters
Displacement: 3500 tons
powerplant: Turbine and Diesel 30.000+ hp
Speed: official 25 knots
crew: Standard: 48; max: 88
Hangar for medium helicopter
1 x 56 mm AA/DP gun
1 x 35 mm AA/DP gun
2 x 8 cell Mk. 41 VLS (ESSM and Standard)
2 x 6 cell Mk. 19 RAM-VLS
2 x quad NSM launcher
2 x twin torpedo launcher
1 x cheap guided rocket launcher for AAW
The Radar is and standard 3D Phased rotating radar build in to the radar tower, additional there are other radar's and sensors in that superstructure as well, but that is an secret.