SW1 wrote:Type 31 is a proper warship, it’s designed to full warship damage control standards and has a full up combat management system. The fact the design is adaptable to the point where it can (and is in danish service) a high end combat ship but can be configured to also initially provide a relatively cheap ship without compromising its ability to be upgraded later on. Had we been able to do that with type 26 we would have had a longer and arguable quicker build run than what has turned out to be the case which is disappointing.
Caribbean wrote:.... and, as SW1 says, it already has the physical capacity and topweight margin available to rapidly drop in equipment (VLS, Radar systems, larger main guns, decoys, etc. etc) to adapt it to other roles. Obvious really, since there are variants already in service with those systems fully integrated.
No objection that T31 AFTER
adding equipments shall be called a frigate. But, as now, NO I do not think so. Calling T31 a frigate will cause very big problem later to RN, I'm afraid.
This is mostly just a matter of personal impression, so there will be no "truth".
T31 is less than 1/4 of a T26 in its capability. May be OK because its average cost is ~1/3 of T26.
"T31 vs T26" is much more diverse than "T14 vs T12M" or "T21 vs T22". Nearest example is "FS Floreal-class vs FS Georges Leygues class". If you say Floreal-class is a frigate, then T31 will be a frigate.
Again, if properly equipped, T31 is surely a frigate. Problems are,
- we all know in most of the cases, FFBNW in RN ship does not take shape.
- any up-arming to T31 shall happen only after
all 8 T26 are materialized. May be in 2040s, if ever to come.
T31 capable to be upgraded to do AAA and BBB, does not mean T31 can do AAA or BBB with currently planned equipment fit. Yes, T23 has seen many upgrades to date. But, it is in all cases, a 1-by-1 replacement.
- Mk.8 114mm gun tp Mk8.Mod1
- Sea Wolf to Sea Ceptor
- Passive TASS to CAPTAS
- 996 radar to 997 radar.
If we apply the same to T31, we will se
- 12 CAMM to 12 CAMM Mk.2
- NS110 radar to whatever the new one
- 57 mm gun with new turret
- 40 mm gun with new turret
That's it, if we follow the way T23 was "upgraded". This does not change the situation.
Do not take me wrong, I agree T31 can do some jobs. At least, it is "only a little less" armed compared to contemporary heavy corvettes. The CMS brand-name (TACTICOS) is the same, and its level will also be the same to those corvettes, simply judging from the cost and simplicity of the sensor and weapon kits. So, yes T31 can compete with these corvettes, but never overwhelm. It is tie, at most.
As these heavy corvettes are very capable, T31 is also capable, as much as these heavy corvettes are.
But never comparable to any full-fat frigate. Even less than ANZAC frigates (of both RAN and RNZN mods) or less than Halifax-class frigate. Let's face reality. No additional money will come for T31. The money is fully booked with (even short of) 5 more T26 and other assets to come.
Then again, how to call T31 is just a matter of impression. May surely differ person to person. So, if you say Floreal-class is a frigate, then T31 will be a frigate. If not, T31 is NOT a frigate.
Note French navy calles Floreal-class a frigate, but specifically "Surveillance Frigate" and NOT counted in the "15 escorts". Note again, Floreal-class is far from useless. Very useful asset. I love it. But, it is not an escort.
[EDIT] Yes RN calls it a frigate. But, I can see, many un-informed guys saying, "then the 5 more "frigate" can be changed from T26 to T31. It will save billions of money". RN may say, they need T26 for good ASW. But, again many un-informed guys will say, "IH class complies with NATO ASW standard quietness. Where is the problem?".