The US Naval Institute News Service has provided an update on the FFG(X) program, based on a Jan. 15, 2019 presentation at the Surface Navy Association Symposium, by Regan Campbell, Program Executive Office, Unmanned and Small Combatants, which provides both a projected lower unit cost approaching $800M for follow on units (not a lot more than the Coast Guard was paying for its National Security Cutters) and a list of minimal equipment to be included in each ship
There is one particular item on the list of equipment that may be significant for the Coast Guard, “57mm gun (with ALaMO)”. That means the “Advanced Low Cost Munition Ordnance” or ALaMO program to provide guided projectiles for the 57mm Mk110 gun is still on track. Apparently ALaMO uses the same guidance system developed for the Hyper-Velocity Round.
The FFG(X) will also share, in common with all the NSCs, the Mk160 Gun Fire Control System, and with the later NSCs, the Mk20 Electro-Optic Sensor System (Mods may be different). This means we can expect continued Navy support of these systems over the long-term.
Request for Proposal is to be issued Q4FY2019. Contract award is expected Q4FY2020.
I note there is still no image available for Huntington Ingalls proposal which may be based on the National Security Cutter.
Below is a list of equipment for the FFG(X) found on page three of the presentation. I can not claim to recognize all the acronyms. Interestingly there is space and weight reservation for a 150 kW Laser Weapon.
Guided Missile Frigate (FFG(X)) Capabilities AW 3x3x3 fixed-face EASR (Enterprise Air Surveillance Radar) Mk41 VLS (32 cell) SM-2 Blk IIIC ESSM Blk 2 21 cell RAM launcher (Rolling Airframe Missile) UPX-29 IFF CEC (Cooperative Engagement Capability) EW/IO SLQ-32(V)6 (SEWIP Blk II) w/ HGHS and Specific Emitter Identification (SEI) Spectral (Follow on to SSEE Inc F) AOEW (on airborne asset) SWAP-C reservation for SLQ-32C(V)7 (SEWIP Blk III Lite) SWAP-C reservation for 150kw laser WATERCRAFT 7m RHIB (x2) SUW 57mm gun (with ALaMO) Mk160 GFCS Mk20 Mod 1EOSS OTH fire control system OTH 2x4 (T)/ 2x8 (Obj) 50 caliber machine guns iStalker w/3600 coverage NGSSR AVIATION Organic MH-60R (x1) Organic MQ-8C (x1) Secure & Traverse Aircraft Handling System Horizon Reference System Night Vision Device Compatibility ASW AN/SQS-62 Variable Depth Sonar or Low Band Hull Array TB-37 MFTA w/ TACI AN/SQQ-89(V)15 USW-DSS AN/SLQ-61 Lightweight Tow or SLQ-25 NIXIE ADC (Torp CM) Mk41 VLS supports VLA (Vertical Launch ASROC) for allwx stand-off ASW weapon (future) SVTT – Shipboard Torpedo Launch (Obj) C4I/ CMS CANES ICOP Link-11/22 Link-16 LOS/STJ/JRE HF/VHF/UHF LOS UHF/SHF/EHF SATCOM NTCDL Frigate Weapon System (FWS) Advanced Cyber Design GPNTS & ECDIS
IIRC 57 mm was considered overmodeled (not keeping its promises)?
The reason given for the decision to replace the 57mm with the 30mm in the Mk46 mount on the DDG1000s was that the 57mm did not perform as well as expected or as well as the 30mm against swarming surface targets. I still think that was a mistake because the 57mm is more versatile than the 30mm and their calculations probably did not include the ALaMO round. It is usually easier and more useful to apply improvements to larger projectiles than to smaller ones, so the larger projectiles usually get improvements first and smaller ones may never get them.
I am not particularly a fan of the 57mm. I would rather we had armed our cutters with 5″ or even the 76mm rapid fire, but it is what we have, and the new round is good news.
I would like to see the latest Leonardo 76 mm Super Rapid be installed on MORE USN and USCG ships. ON larger ships as secondary weapons, pushing the Mk 110 down
Agreed, the newer 76mm would probably be an improvement over the 57mm, but I think that is primarily due to the wider variety of ammunition available. They are about the same range. The 76mm round weighs about twice as much but the 57mm’s rate of fire is about twice that of the 76mm, so the weight of projectiles hitting the .target is similar. The 76mm can maintain maximum rate of fire for about a minute while on the 57mm it is only about 30 seconds, but neither of them is a match for the range of a 5″ and it penetrating power, and its ability to maintain rate of fire until ammunition is exhausted. I also suspect the total cost of a magazine full of 5″ is less than a magazine full of 76mm or 57mm assuming a similar total projectile weight.
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Some specs https://www.defensenews.com/digital-show-dailies/surface-navy-association/2021/01/12/heres-the-latest-on-the-us-navys-new-constellation-class-frigate/
Initially only one crew per ship https://seapowermagazine.org/cno-first-few-new-frigates-to-have-single-crews/
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