persona_non_grata said:To go about jumping in rather late in the game why not get some of these? Multi-role, multi-faceted and like a frigate but bigger, or whatever you want it to be. Small crews as well (100) but with accom and messing capabilities (probably very short duration) for around 300.
My tuppence for the time being.
*nods thoughtfully* I've seen mention of the Absalon-class before... the main drawback that I can see is the top speed - only twenty-four knots - whereas our current frigates are listed as being able to make twenty-eight knots quite comfortably. It would seem to fulfil quite a few of NaB's and Oil Slick's criteria - a 5" main gun, sixteen Harpoon Block II SSM and VLS capability that can use ESSM, and whilst it's not a dedicated air defence vessel it looks as if it might be able to at least protect itself...
I think it's certainly a good candidate to consider. I don't know if I'm worrying too much about the relative lack of speed or not, and I'd appreciate some informed commentary with regards to the VLS, whether this design would be flexible enough to accomodate any other missiles we may wish to use, such as Tomahawks... the range sounds very good, twice the distance of a Type 22, but again, I don't know enough about warships to know if that's as important as I believe it to be. (The only ships I've ever been on were ferries to the Isle of Wight and back again. *grins self-deprecatingly*)
It sounds as though they carry enough machineguns to make them very prickly targets for terrorists in speedboats... I don't know how useful the Stingers will be, though, but then I suppose a bit of extra firepower never hurt anybody. (Well... all right, except for whoever the Royal Navy uses it to knock seven bells out of. But the enemy's opinion doesn't count.) Given the appearance of the vessels in the photographs, it looks as if they're designed in a vaguely similar way as the Type 45s - to reduce the radar signature. And to cap it all off, they're already designed to carry Merlins - no modifications would be needed there.
The other possible obstacles that I can think of would be the logistics - how difficult and how expensive it might be to procure parts and supplies for them - and how effectively would they be able to hunt submarines? Too, given that I'm working on the assumption that thirty-six surface escorts is the optimum-sized force, would the Absalon-class work best as our only class of surface escort, or would we be better off with, say, four or six as command vessels, with another class making up the bulk of our frigate force?
Finally, if there are any areas that this class of vessel is lacking in, might it be feasible to modify it so that it does meet our requirements, or do we either go with it as is or look elsewhere?
Thanks, PNG, and don't worry about the late entry - welcome!