Hello, friends. Long time no see.
I've been kicking this around for the last couple of weeks. I've been reading up on Type 26 and I've kind of fallen in love with it. Let us presume that, by the infinite grace of the good lord above, Lockheed Martin's magical mystical compact fusion
power source might actually be a thing that will work. Let's explore what you might want to do with it. This is imagined as sort of a baseline Monster European Frigate, but in red, white, and blue. Shrinking much beyond this point feels like an unwise crippling of potential capability.
A few motivating factors:
- First and foremost, it should obviously be a pretty capable frigate. Anything less capable than a fistful of ESSM and a quality towed array on a task-group-speed escort is just plain no fun.
- We're pretty much arbitrarily powerful. Throw all sorts of considerations about a fast hull out the window, yeah? We're going to be beamy because there's no reason to particularly worry about beam outside of actual seakeeping considerations.
- Because I do, and you're just going to have to accept it, I miss when the USN had a bit more frequency diversity in the fleet. You're probably never going to want to do BMD with UHF radar, but it's sort of nice to have one or two sets in a battlegroup to at least make the other guy work a little harder on his LO technology.
- The following was completly non-negotiable: big mission bay, two big helos. I think the Seahawk is a heck of a bird, but will we find it sufficient in forty years? Steel, as they always tell us, is cheap. If at all practicable, link the bay and the helo hangars so you can carry along a few MQ-8s or whatever if you want. (I want.)
- Let's be LO but not, like, stupid LO. Planform alignment ended up putting pretty much every near-vertical surface at 12.5deg backward inclination (4/5/4/5 pixel count).
- Over the years, I've grown somewhat skeptical that lasers will ever be the weapon of choice when the going gets really rough. I think they're great in asymmetric low-intensity scenarios when you don't want to burn ammo on blowing up a dhow, but I wouldn't trade VLS space for them or anything. A moderately sized SSL is attractive but by no means mandatory, and will likely not get top billing in terms of location.
- As always, try to futureproof things and minimize the number of systems in use.
- As always, a bit of casualty equipment is desired. It's fine if the ship is somewhat vulnerable after losing the mast and main radar sets (it's a frigate after all), but it's desirable to at least avoid a trivially cheap kill.
- The usual structural considerations. I don't love aluminum superstructures, and I definitely don't love when they start cracking from hull girder twisting and whatnot. It's nice if we can break things up into discrete blocks in the British style.
- ROTATING ANTENNAS ARE BAD JUJU AND THEY MAKE BABY JESUS CRY
- I did a lot of staring at LEUT_East and Blackbuck's various superlative AU efforts. I stole a little bit from Heuhen's Nansen, too, and I damned near traced Mihoshik's pretty awesome Australian LCF derivative thing. Not enough to credit anybody, I don't think, but those are the only folks that should see their bits and pieces. Shout if you disagree.
some interior layout details, design slightly deprecated
475' LWL x 67.5' BWL x 20.5' keel draft = about 9100 tonnes FL
- 1x LockMart Compact Fusion = ~100MWe (as best I can scale from their minimal public info, this amount of power is supposed to "fit on a truck". Let's call it a pair of 40' containers)
- 1x RR4500 genset = 3.9MWe (from Zumwalt)
- 2x diesel genset = 400kWe ea (I think I stole a few Armstrong A400CU's)
- 2x AWJ-21-283 = 40MW ea = pretty much as fast as you want
- 3x 21R5/150-2 R2 voith cycloidal rudder = 1000kW*0.4*150% = 800shp each or so? Surely five or ten knots on all three, plus docking 'n stuff, and they're good for roll control. I know they're not specifically designed to install off-horizontal right now, but I really like this approach to auxiliary power.
- 4x fixed-face MEADS UHF 3D air search (scaled as best I can)
- 4x fixed-face 5' AMDR-X
- 1x rotating 5' AMDR-X casualty set
- 4x fixed-face Seawatcher 100 surface-search
- commercial nav set (I'd love to delete this damned thing but it's my understanding that, in some serious legal senses, you basically aren't allowed to)
- UMS-4131 Spherion derivative
- MFTA towed array
- 4x fixed ICAS
- 4x fixed TACAN
- 4x TCDL
- 4x fixed EHF up/down
- 2x INMARSAT satcom
- 2x WSC-6(V) 4' SHF satcom
- 1x WSC-6(V) 7' SHF satcom
- 2x OE-82C UHF satcom
- 2x OE-538 multiband, largely for casalty use
- 4x AS-5085/SR HF whip
- 4x fixed DAS derivative surveilance
- 2x Sniper XR targeting
- 8x4 Mk 57 PVLS, quadpacking (or better) anything Standard-MR or smaller (allegedly)
- 2x 57mm/70 MK 110 Bofors
- 1x 155mm VGAS, ~200 rounds in ready storage, scaled from a 5" Trident-tube submarine design that is REALLY NEAT. I can't find the link to the PDF, but it was a General Dynamics presetntation to the 34th Annual Gun and Ammunition Symposium and Exhibition back when VGAS was a big hot deal. I'm sure you could pack another hundred or two hundred rounds in the bilge if you felt so inclined. 200 rounds is a pretty useful number already though, IMHO.
-----EDIT: PDF found and hosted by Timothy
- 1x 120kW LockMart ATHENA
- Light AShM from Centurion
- Mk 32 SVTT
- 2x 53x20x22' hangars (up to Merlin or Cyclone each)
- 55x50x15' mission bay (10TEU)
- 11m RHIB from stern well
- 7m RHIB from starboard bay
According to USN policy, liferafts sufficient for 325
At the end of the day, I find it attractive and lovely, although I wish I could justify putting the laser on the foremast. I don't think there's volume for it up there. Something like a 76mm or 100mm sort of "utility" gun would be nice if we ever feel the need to shell some asshole's oil rig or whatever, but I think I'm relatively comfortable with the caliber decisions I've made. Truly, surface warfare is the only thing that's not worlds better
than, say, a 5/54+Millennium sort of setup. I also sort of want to make the big jump to PARCA satcom antennas
, but the lack of real public progress on the technology makes me wonder if they ran into insurmountable difficulties. Giant stupid dishes it is, then. Obviously it's easy to make something nice and kick-ass when you don't have to worry about machinery layout or exhaust ducting or, like, cost.
And you kids these days with your fancy hull shading. I... tried.