SECDEF is making some moves in conjunction with the Navy to move forward on the shipbuilding front… And it’s NOT LCS!!!
The RFI states that one of the FFG(X)’s two main purposes is to “relieve large surface combatants from stressing routine duties during operations other than war.” It goes on to say later that “this ship will reduce demand on high-end cruisers and destroyers that currently conduct [anti-submarine warfare], [surface warfare], and theater security cooperation missions, allowing for an increase of more capable assets to maintain a stabilizing presence in regions where tensions with nations that have highly capable naval forces may exist.”
Full article, HERE at USNI.
This is not a recapitulation of the requirements that generated LCS, but a follow on to FF(X)21, e.g. a ship that can actually defend itself, and still do ASW and surface missions, albeit in a smaller, shallower draft ship than the current DDG/Cruiser configuration.
If you’re really bored, HERE is the actual solicitation for information. This is literally a ‘sea change’ from the previous administration and the continuation of the Little Crappy Ship design, that should have died a quick death many years ago, after the first cost overrun and underperformance…
As a reminder, HERE is a link to the last ‘real’ Frigates the US Navy had, The Oliver Hazard Perry class. The ‘FIGS’ as they were known, were damn good ASW platforms, with tails and helo dets, they worked ahead of the battle groups, and also on independant ops with ‘other’ assets when required. At 29 kts, they were pretty quick, and they had no problem going ‘in harms way’ to get the job done.