By the mid 80-ies of XX century, the naval experts of the countries of the West had no doubt that the most advanced class of surface ships in the foreseeable future will remain the frigates. These versatile ships-rocket carriers have been very numerous in the seas and oceans under the flags of different countries at the time, swam at least 350 frigates, and their “population” continued to rise steadily. They actually replaced the cruisers and destroyers in most countries of the world, becoming the largest combat units in their fleets. Of course, the attitude towards them has changed: the design and construction of the frigate now began to approach more carefully, trying to avoid the rush and the use of untested solutions.
The requirements for NATO’s new generation of frigates was developed based on the experience of the Anglo-Argentine military conflict in 1982. First of all, it was necessary to increase survivability and combat stability of ships. Special attention was paid to fire protection. Designers and shipbuilders have finally abandoned the use as a material for add-flammable aluminum-magnesium alloy, giving preference to the ordinary steel. Of course, it raised the upper weight of the ship, and to ensure the stability for a given freeboard had to increase the width of the body — shape “PokerKings” the frigates and destroyers were not the same. The interior of the ship was now divided into multiple isolated volumes with independent means of fire and depopulate.
After a long break on surface ships reappeared armor — a modern twist she became known as the “surface structural protection.” Although it was only on the cover of the cellars of ammunition and most important military posts of special screens of steel or Kevlar of a thickness not exceeding 25 mm, the fact that the Renaissance armor in shipbuilding are very eloquent.
Another major challenge was the need to both reduce the physical fields of the ship. To reduce noise and vibration all the mechanisms began to be installed on special shock absorbers, and outside in the most bustling area of the compartments, the corps was equipped with an underwater air supply system — the so-called air curtain. A similar system was received and propellers. Incidentally, they also changed their rate of rotation is reduced, and the blade has a strong curvature.
To reduce the thermal radiation used special filters and cooling systems chimneys. Widespread heat shields, causing the flue pipe of the new generation of frigates become broad and massive in appearance.
However, most of the external appearance of the ships reflected the desire to reduce radar visibility. In 1980-e years in military technology began to implement the technology of “stealth” (from the English “by stealth” — furtively, secretly). The idea of the designers was to create an object (ship, plane, land structure) of flat panels with a minimum of curved surfaces and small parts — in this case, the reflected radar signal is reduced several times. So there were “ships of darkness” — the unusual angular, absolutely devoid of at least some aesthetics… getting them to put experimental American catamaran “sea shadow” (“Sea shadow”), and the first mass representatives of this family were French frigates of the “Lafayette.” But the story — later.
Speaking about the main features of the “PokerKings” frigates, we should also mention the introduction of the modular way they are built (the influence of German technology MEKO — see “modelist-Konstruktor” No. 3, 2005), widespread adoption of anti-missile defense with installations of vertical start-up; reduction in the size of the crew and the continuation of the downward trend in the maximum speed. The latter is quite remarkable: the struggle for speed, for a hundred years it was the cornerstone of the evolution in military shipbuilding, now completely in the past.
NATO first frigate, created based on the experience of the Anglo-Argentine conflict, appeared in the UK. Norfolk (type 23), he was intended as the lead ship of a larger series, so its performance had to meet the criterion of “cost — effectiveness”. To reduce the cost of construction of the monocoque shell of the frigate were made of lightweight steel sections used only in the civil shipbuilding. The hull shape was developed using the new system, computer-aided design and has been optimized for hydrodynamic and seaworthy qualities. All the lateral surface of the steel superstructures are tilted by 7° to the inside and is equipped with a radar-absorbing coating thus reduced the reflection of radar signals. Special attention was paid to ensuring unsinkable: a housing divided into watertight compartments by 15 transverse bulkheads, and in case of flooding of any three adjacent compartments, the ship had to stay afloat.
A spacious hangar, “Norfolk” specially designed “for growth”— so that the service helicopter “lynx” could be replaced with a new promising EH-101 “Merlin”. Missile frigate — 8 anti-ship missiles “Harpoon” and 32 anti — aircraft “sea wolf” vertical transport-launch containers without reloading.
98. Frigate “Brandenburg” (type 123), Germany, 1994
Built at the shipyard “Blohm und Voss”. Displacement standardno t 4150, 4700 t full Length the greatest 138,9 m, width 16.7 m, draft 6,8 m. the greatest Power titelgestaltung installation 51 000 + 11 070 HP, speed 29 knots. Armament: 4 RCC “Accost” MM-38, 1×16 PU SAM “si Straw”, 2×21 PU SAM YAAM, one 76-mm gun mount and two 20-mm machine gun, paired two 324-mm torpedo tubes ASW, two helicopters Linc. All in 1994 — 1996 built 4 units.
Looks quite unusual power plant “Norfolk”. It includes two gas turbines, four diesel and two electric motors. The latter is used for low noise during a search of submarines with a towed antenna sonar station. Motors are working on two propeller shaft through direct transmission, gas turbines and diesel engines through a gearbox. There are several modes of operation of the mechanisms separately and together; are not excluded even such exotic options as the rotation of one propeller motor and the other gas turbine. According to British press, the frigates of the type 23 are characterized by excellent maneuverability and an impressive cruising range — 7800 miles 15-node move. Maximum speed while small — 28 knots, less than any cruiser or destroyer was built 30 — 40-ies of XX century.
Head frigate “Norfolk” was founded in late 1985; it came into operation in June 1990. Total planned to build 24 ships of this type. However, in connection with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the changing geopolitical situation in the world series was reduced to 16 units. At present these frigates are the most massive warships Royal Navy.
The closest “relatives” English “Norfolk” can be considered canadian frigates of the Halifax, a very similar concept, and even externally. They also have a flush-deck hull, steel superstructure with sloping walls, a large hangar for a heavy helicopter “sea king” and even more cumbersome than the English counterparts, the chimney with the original cooling system exhaust.
At the same time, “Halifax” and “Norfolk” there are significant differences. One of them is a different hull design with ice reinforcements, the other in the absence of a bulb the fairing on the stem— they are caused by the need of service in the Northern latitudes. The power plant on the canadian frigate more traditional, it includes two gas-turbine LM-2500 us firms General electric and one diesel French production. Gas turbines can run on two propeller shafts together or alone. But the joint operation of the turbines, and diesel is not provided. Both turbines are installed in the same compartment, which is estimated by experts as a design flaw that reduces the overall survivability of the ship. This is partly kompensiruet good system of dividing the hull into compartments, the presence dainagon, rolling in the dual Board, and ballast tanks to align the roll.
The arms of the “Halifax” — mainly American-made. In Europe, the Canadians purchased only part of the avionics (in the Netherlands) and automatic artillery “Bofors” (in Swedish). By the way, among its NATO “classmates” frigates of the Halifax have a very low “top caliber” — only 57 mm.
If the British and the Canadians their new frigates were created as replacements for the obsolete ships built in 1950-ies, the situation of their partners in NATO, the Germans and the Dutch, was quite different. The government of Germany and the Netherlands obviously rushed to issue the orders a very numerous series of frigates of the “Bremen” and “Kortenaer”. As a result, the shipyards of those countries was in full swing the construction of ships of “pre-Falklands” concept — not cheap and not all meet modern requirements. Realizing their shortcomings, the Dutch sold two unfinished frigates of Greece, but instead was laid by two ships of the “Jacob van Heemskerk”, very similar to “Kortenaer”, but additionally armed American anti-aircraft missile system of collective defense “Standard” (for this I had to sacrifice the helicopter, and a 76-mm gun mount). This, however, does not solve the underlying problem, and the Royal Navy of the Netherlands does not remain anything else how to begin the design of new frigates of the “M”, the head of which later received the name “Karel Doorman”.
Primechatelno that armament and electronic equipment “Karel Doorman” virtually indistinguishable from “Kortenaer”, and yet he belongs to a new generation. The ship has significantly decreased the level of physical fields, increased survivability, improved protection from weapons of mass destruction. Although the steel superstructure of steel, dimensions and displacement has been reduced through the introduction of new technologies and the use of more compact launchers for anti-aircraft missiles vertical launch. The power plant consists of two British gas turbines and two diesel engines, with the collaboration of the engines of both types is not provided. Overall, a well balanced versatile frigate, quite successful, though without any revolutionary innovations.
The Federal government in 1988 decided to limit the series of frigates of the “Bremen” 8 units (instead of planned 12). The last four ships of the “Brandenburg” it was decided to build on the new project, developed by the firm “Blom und Voss” in accordance with the concept of MECO. When the arms close to the set “Bremen”, they differed from its predecessors both in appearance and in design. Hull of the frigates became wider and vysokovoltnyi, with a large coefficient of fullness of the midship-frame. All superstructures were made of steel. The estimated service life of the ships of the “Brandenburg” is estimated at 30 — 40 years, not 25 like most of their brethren. To keep the combat value for such a long time in advance for the possibility of several upgrades and re— the benefit of the modular design of the MEKO allows you to do this without any problems. With the same purpose in the project a considerable reserve displacement is about 300 tons
94. The frigate Halifax, Canada, 1992
Built at the shipyard “Saint John” in Canada. Displacement standard 3875 t, full-4770 t Length overall 134,7 m, width 16.6 m, draught 5 m. Power titelgestaltung installation 47 500 + 8800 HP, speed 29 knots. Armament: 8 RCC “Harpoon”, 2×8 PU SAM “sea Sparrow”, one 57-mm gun mount “Bofors”, and one 20-mm gun “Vulcan-Phalanx”, four 324-mm torpedo tubes ASW, one helicopter “sea king”. Only 1992 — 1996 built 12 units.
95. The frigate Norfolk (type 23), England, 1990
Built at the shipyard “yarrow”. The standard displacement of 3500 tonnes, the full 4200 t Length overall 133 m, beam 16.1 m, draught: 5.5 m Power desolately.objections installation 31 100 + 8100 + 4000 HP, speed 28 knots. Armament: 8 RCC “Harpoon”, 1×32 PU SAM “sea wolf”, one 114-mm gun mount and two 30-mm gun, four 324-mm torpedo tubes ASW, one helicopter Linc. Only 1990 — 2002 built 16 units.
96. The frigate “Karel Doorman”, Netherlands, 1991
Built at the shipyard KMS. The standard displacement of 2850 tonnes, full 3320 t maximum Length of 122.3 meters, width of 14,4 m, draft 4.3 m Power titelgestaltung installation 33 800 + 9790 HP, speed 30 knots. Armament: 8 RCC “Harpoon”, 8×2 PU SAM “sea Sparrow”, one 76-mm gun mount, one semicolony 30-mm automatic “Fails”, two 20-mm gun “Oerlikon”, paired two 324-mm torpedo tubes ASW, one helicopter Linc. Only 1991 — 1995 built 8 units.
97. The frigate “Lafayette”, France, 1996
Built at the shipyard in Lorient. The standard displacement of 3200 tonnes, 3600 t full Length greatest to 124.2 m, beam 15.4 metres, draught of 5.9 m. the greatest power of the diesel installation, 21 100 HP, speed 25 knots. Armament: 8 anti-ship missiles “Exocet” MM-40, PU 1×8 SAM “Nawal Krotal”, one 100-mm gun mount and two 20-mm machine gun, helicopter “Panther”. Just 1996-2002 13 built a few different units, including 6 for Taiwan and 2 for Saudi Arabia.
The survivability of the frigate “Brandenburg” is provided by a 14 transverse watertight bulkheads, four of them educated compartment are considered compartments of the sanctuary. The latter have dual blast-proof bulkheads and equipped with a fully Autonomous fire-fighting and ventilation systems, as well as communication and management. The ship must stay afloat in case of flooding of any three adjacent compartments. All megalania ladders, as in the hull and superstructures, enclosed in fire-resistant steel shafts and are equipped with special platforms, which excludes the possibility of the spread of fire through them in the event of a fire. The cellar of ammunition and the main battle stations protected by ballistic armor.
Power plant (two American gas turbine LM-2500 and two 20-cylinder V-shaped diesel engines by German firm MTU) in General, repeating applied on the “Bremen”. Due to the increased precipitation rate decreased slightly, but due to better seaworthiness “Brandenburg” is able for a long time to maintain the course in 12 — 14 knots with wave height of up to 5 m. it is believed that it could be effective in the North Atlantic, including the Arctic circle.
In naval circles of the NATO frigates of the “Brandenburg” has received a very high rating. But after a year and a half after the entry into operation of the lead ship of a new frigate, by drawing the attention of shipbuilders and military experts of almost all countries of the world. We are talking about the French “Lafayette” — the first serial ship, the architecture of which is fully consistent with the technology “stealth”. Flat, without Windows and protruding parts panel add-in that is tilted 10° to the inside, coupled with a 12-degree camber Board gave the frigate a truly futuristic look. A significant part of the superstructures and the deck was covered with a composite material (balsa wood, sandwiched between layers of fiberglass), a well absorbing the radiation of the radars. Paint is also used special, with a high degree of damping of radio waves. The whole complex of measures allowed to significantly reduce the radar signature of the ship — the press reported that “Lafayette” with a displacement of over 3000 tons, has the same effective area of dispersion (this feature means the sizes of targets for radar), as the 500-ton ship. Accordingly, the detection range of the ship was less than 10 — 15% which in combat can give him a distinct advantage over the enemy.
Great attention to the French designers was paid to reducing noise, vibration, heat and magnetic radiation and to ensure the vitality and buoyancy of the ship. So, in addition to the double bottom provides for a dual Board, the most important systems are duplicated, battle stations and cellars protected by screens of heavy duty 10 mm plate.
Main power installation “Lafayette” includes four diesel company “semt-Pielstick” arranged in pairs in two isolated compartments and working on two of the propeller controllable pitch. Only use diesel engines (no gas turbines), of course, have reduced specific power of the unit, but will make it more compact, economical and simple to operate. In addition, the exhaust gases of diesel engines do not require cumbersome and complicated cooling system. Cruising range of economic 15-node swing the frigates of the “Lafayette” is 7,000 miles; according to this indicator, they are only slightly inferior to the British “the Norfolk”.
The frigates of the “Lafayette” was designed and built by aggregateable the principle, exactly repeating the German MEKO concept. Each ship was going on the slipway of the 80 blocks that are already saturated with equipment and machinery. The weights of individual blocks, is delivered from closed shops reached 300 t. However, the timing of construction of the frigates turned out to be a very large (five years or more), but that was mainly due to financial and other problems not related to technology.
The modular design allowed a more flexible approach to the armament of frigates. So, they reserved a spot for the promising anti-aircraft missile complex BAAM (“Aster-15”), but before the end of its development temporarily installed SAM “Nawal Krotal”. If necessary, can be quickly assembled module with two pairs of anti-submarine torpedo tubes. In addition, in the course of repairs it is planned to replace a number of modules with electronic equipment.
Undoubtedly, the frigates of the “Lafayette” opened a new page in the history of military shipbuilding and became trendsetters for at least a decade ahead. Despite the high cost (more than $ 600 million — almost twice more than the German frigate project MEKO-200), they showed interest and foreign customers. To date, the French built 13 ships of this type to five for its fleet, six for the Navy of Taiwan, and two to Saudi Arabia.
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