Feeds

Royal Navy starts work on new, pointless frigates

First two: HMSs Wag The Dog and Self-Licking Icecream

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Merchantman v frigate combat ship? Merchantman wins, probably

Apart from sub-hunting, a frigate also has surface-to-surface missiles - probably Harpoons like today's ships, certainly if BAE's concept pics are anything to go by. These can be used to attack other ships far away below the horizon if the frigate has a good idea of their location; there is also a version with limited land-attack capability.

But eight Harpoons isn't an amount of punch you would need a several-thousand-ton ship with a crew in three figures to carry. Eight Harpoons would call for a fast-attack boat, or a corvette at best. And frankly, given that you're going to need aircraft to find or confirm the far-away targets to begin with, it makes more sense to deliver the munitions by air as well. Carrier jets are a much more sensible option here than frigates: helicopters can also carry powerful air-to-surface weapons.

In general, in a hypothetical battle between a Type 26 combat ship and an unarmed enemy merchant ship carrying several helicopters to the 26's single one, the merchant ship will probably win as it can keep aircraft flying round the clock. The merchant ship can also do a better job at hunting subs, for the same reason.

The Type 26s will "support land operations", the navy says. By this they mean it will be able to carry a small number of troops, and its helicopter - though usually it will be one designed primarily for antisubmarine work - will be able to fly over land. The ship will also be able to bombard targets ashore with its medium-calibre gun turret.

Type 26 'combat ship' concept from BAE Systems

This, however, is a combat ship. Quite different

Again, though, a fleet auxiliary merchantman comes out ahead. It can carry many more troops, plus vehicles and supplies for them and several helicopters to the frigate's one. Inshore gun bombardment isn't a big deal: the frigate makes a superb target for any enemy shore-based batteries, which are likely to significantly outrange and out-punch it if they exist, and furthermore it has only enough shells for about ten minutes' firing.

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Megaupload overlord Kim Dotcom: The US HAS RADICALISED ME!
Now my lawyers have bailed 'cos I'm 'OFFICIALLY' BROKE
MI6 oversight report on Lee Rigby murder: US web giants offer 'safe haven for TERRORISM'
PM urged to 'prioritise issue' after Facebook hindsight find
BT said to have pulled patent-infringing boxes from DSL network
Take your license demand and stick it in your ASSIA
Right to be forgotten should apply to Google.com too: EU
And hey - no need to tell the website you've de-listed. That'll make it easier ...
Assange™ slumps back on Ecuador's sofa after detention appeal binned
Swedish court rules there's 'great risk' WikiLeaker will dodge prosecution
prev story

Whitepapers

Go beyond APM with real-time IT operations analytics
How IT operations teams can harness the wealth of wire data already flowing through their environment for real-time operational intelligence.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Simplify SSL certificate management across the enterprise
Simple steps to take control of SSL across the enterprise, and recommendations for a management platform for full visibility and single-point of control for these Certificates.