Lockheed Martin (LM) CSC Type 26 Frigate Design | Page 13 | World Defense

Lockheed Martin (LM) CSC Type 26 Frigate Design

GRANNY001

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Hi folks. Here is an update of weapons & systems the CSC Type 26 Frigate known so far:

1. 1 X LM Solid State 3D Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) "S" Band Long Range Discrimination Radar (LRDR)-SPY 7 (V) 1 Phased Array Air Search Radar-Confirmed by Lockheed Martin (LM).
2. 1 X Solid State AESA "X" Band Illumination Radar supported by MacDonald Dettwiller Associates (MDA) in Richmond British Columbia-below the SPY 7 radar mast, with integration into the CMS 330 system-this may be an MDA built radar or IMO it may be an existing radar from Thales (possibly the Sea Fire 500 AESA Phased Array Radar) however MDA is not talking. Any enlightenment on this radar from any forum members, would be appreciated.
3. "X" & "S" Bands Navigation Radars
4. MacDonald Dettwiller Associates (MDA)-Electronic Warfare Suite System & Chaff launchers
5. MacDonald Dettwiller Associates (MDA)-Laser Warfare Defence System (again MDA is not talking).
6. 32 x MK 41 strike length VLS-ESSM2, SM II/IIIC-SM3/6 (fitted for, but not with); Raytheon Tomahawk Land Attack Cruise Missiles (TLAM).
7. Combat Information Management Systems-Links 11/16/22/GCCS-M/ Mode 5S Identification Friend or Foe (IFF)
8. Light Weight (LW) MK 54 Torpedo system with twin launcher tubes
9. Sea Spider anti-torpedo system (Magellan/TKMS)
10. 6 x 4 ExLS VLS-Aft of the funnel (Sea Ceptor, quad-packed) for CIADS
11. 2 x 4 Quad packs Kongsberg NSM-Port/Stbd Above Mission Bay.
12. Main Gun: 1 x 5 inch Leonardo Oto Melara 127mm Light Weight (LW) Land Attack and Anti-Air Vulcano gun. This gun will confer the CSC ships with the ability to fire extended-range, precision-guided Vulcano munitions – both in guided long-range and the ballistic extended-range versions – and conventional ammunition.
13. Secondary Guns: 2 x 30mm DMS 30 (Bushmaster 30mm) Stabilized Rapid Fire 30mm Naval Gun Systems from BAE -(Port/Stbd of Flight Deck)
14. Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) Sensor Netting-Integrated Cyber Defence System; Integrated Bridge & Navigation System from OSI
15. Internal/External Communications Suite-HF/UHF/SHF/VHF/SATCOM from L3 Harris.
16. Electro Optical & Infrared Systems; Radio/Radar Electronic Support Measures (ESM) to include: Frequency Identification; Laser Warning & Countermeasures System; Radar/Radio Frequency Electronic Jammers; Electronic Decoy Systems.
17 CMS: Lockheed Martin CMS 330/Aegis Combat System (ACS) in support of Co-operative Engagement Capability (CEC).
18. Ultra Electronics Hull Mounted Sonar (HMS)-Ultra S2150.
19. Ultra Electronics Active/Passive Towed Array Sonar; Towed Torpedo Countermeasures-Sea Sentor S21700.
20. Sonobouy Processing System from General Dynamics with expendable Acoustic Countermeasures.
21. Combined Diesel Electric Gas Turbine (CODLOG) Propulsion System to include 1 X Rolls Royce RR/MT 30 Gas Turbine; 2 X Electronic Motors from General Electric; 4 X RR MTU Diesel Generators; Integrated Platform Management System from L3 Harris.
22. CH 148 Cyclone Sikorsky (S-92) ASW Helicopter; SKELDAR V200 UAV systems from Saab-known as CU-176 "Gargoyle"
23. Speed-approximately 27-30 kts. Statement Of Requirement (SOR) required this capability for US Carrier Battle Group (CBG) Ops.
24. Crew Compliment-204 max crew (fitted with separate female quarters)
If any member can add or subtract anything from this list, please let me know.
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GRANNY001

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It has been reported by the UK Defence Journal (see link below) that the first Type 26 Frigate (HMS Glasgow) will enter service 12 months sooner than anticipated. The British Type 26 program team reported in March 2021 that it forecasts achieving the in-service date for ship one (HMS Glasgow) 12 months sooner than planned or forecasted at the time of going on contract. This seems to give the CSC Type 26 Frigate program some hope to at least accomplish the same build time for it's program as well once our build starts. As it stands now the CSC Frigate program is almost 2 yrs behind schedule and does not seem to be gaining any ground. Another reason for the government/Irving Shipyard to quickly finish the CSC Frigate design phase soonest, quickly sign the contract with Lockheed Martin for the first batch as soon as possible.

 

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The RCN has finally kicked off the long anticipated report to replace Canada's Victoria class submarines today-14 July 2021. Some would say, too little, too late but the first baby steps have now been taken in this controversial debate. The CAF is establishing a Canadian Patrol Submarine Project (CPSP) this year to advise the government on potential replacement classes of submarines to avoid gaps in submarine capability.

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I believe we have 5 options here in Canada. Nuclear subs-Astute/Virginia class (That will never happen!); The French AIP Barracuda Block 1A class (A good possibility); The Japanese LIB AIP Soryu 29ss class (Another great option); Perhaps even the German Type 216 long range AIP sub (another good option) or scrap the submarine service entirely (The Canadian people would never stand for that!). Lets just let the process find its way for the RCN, and leave the politics out of it (for now)!
 

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Canadian Shipbuilding-Budgets Can Sink Warships

An opinion article from the writer only and not to be published anywhere but this forum.

Recent Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) and Auditor General (AG) reports into Canada’s National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS) paint a challenging picture for a multi-decade effort to build 52 large ships for both the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) and Canadian Coast Guard (CCG). The near consensus response from national skeptics is to “throw in the towel”, and accept that Canada will never be able to provide meaningful defence procurement strategies. “Abandoning Ship” and opting for an overseas buy and build may certainly seem tempting, but beware: modern naval shipbuilding is far more complex and expensive than meets the eye. What may seem like a bargain, rarely ever is. Instead, the decision to build a fleet at home or abroad comes with trade-offs, of which cost is just one.

Strategically, Canada is at best, a maritime middle power. Although often forgotten in central Canada, Ottawa presides over the world’s longest coastline, second largest continental shelf, and fifth largest exclusive economic zone (EEZ) containing vast sea life and seemingly unlimited natural resources. To the north, the impact of melting sea ice, a global resource hunt, and tensions between the U.S., Russia and China are transforming the Canadian Arctic into a “geopolitical quagmire”. In the North Atlantic, Russian submarine activities are at post-Cold War highs. In the Indo-Pacific region, the site of growing Canadian trade and political ties, sees a Sino-American rivalry criss-crossing the South China Sea and Taiwan Strait, all amid a regional submarine arms race, and anti-ship/Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) build-up. It would be ideal if there were an off-the-shelf warship Canada could acquire, ready-made for naval service in such a challenging global operational environment, but this is not the case. Foreign countries build ships to meet their own operational demands. German submarines such as the Type 212CD AIP submarine are designed for short range missions in shallow Baltic and Mediterranean waters. Likewise, the British Type-26 frigate is one of several warship types being built for protecting the Royal Navy’s aircraft carriers and nuclear ballistic guided missile submarines.

Canada’s decision to adopt the Type-26 design for the CSC project envisions a more expansive and ambitious role. Meant to last for nearly 4-5 decades, the CSC will be the sole true warship for Canada well into this century. It adds new capabilities to deal with global tensions (i.e., Tomahawk cruise missiles) and replicates both Iroquois class destroyers (area air warfare-AAW) and Halifax class frigates (anti-submarine warfare-ASW) capabilities. Fitting these Canadian requirements into the British design has consumed costly time and money, but Canada is left with a CSC Type-26 frigate attuned to its needs now and in the future. The NSS’s 30-year approach of continuous shipbuilding to avoid “boom and bust” cycles may be new, but building Canadian warships, to Canadian standards and in Canadian yards is now a fact of life. Except for submarines and aircraft carriers, it has been official bi-partisan policy to build Canada’s large naval ships domestically. The desire to build local is hardly a Canadian preoccupation. All G7 nations have naval shipbuilding programs, as do smaller and mid-size allied powers.

Finally, building in Canada has other ancillary benefits. In a time of economic nationalism, domestic shipbuilding minimizes both the risk to rely on foreign supply chains and operational disruptions/costs from sending fleets overseas for major maintenance periods. The knowledge gained from building the Halifax class frigates paid off when it came to completing the equally technically challenging and costly refits here in Canada. The NSS is far from perfect, but neither are there easy or cheaper options. If we are serious about tackling international security threats, upholding global norms, advancing our Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Relief (HA/DR) efforts, managing super-power tensions, and defending our own sovereignty, we had better be prepared to pay the price no matter what the cost.
 

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GRANNY001

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Bucking The Allied Frigate Trend
“This is an opinion piece by the author for promotion of general discussions by forum members only and not to be published in whole or in part by any other media”.

Ottawa seems to be going against allied cost-reduction trends in putting all its “surface warship eggs” in one, large, expensive CSC Type 26 design basket. Herein lies the quality versus quantity debate concerning naval fleets. The impulse toward a capable, general-purpose fleet is understandable. When you cannot afford a large number of smaller, purpose-built warships, then you try to load as much flexibility and versatility into the limited number of larger platforms you build. Canada has made the case that, by planning to take care of the most demanding missions first, then other roles generally would be covered off as well. The most onerous missions require a fairly large, well-armed, general-purpose surface ship.

Canada's problem is that we tend to procure low-to-middle capability ships, but with a high-end price tag. In terms of capability, the DDH-280 destroyers were an exception with their area air-defence weapons, but even the Halifax-class frigates which followed them were primarily anti-submarine warfare platforms, but with higher general-purpose versatilities added in. At the same time, each ship class cost much more than anticipated- some being labeled “Cadillacs” of their day. The result was that Canada systematically priced itself out of an affordable and effective navy. Canada is not alone with this trend. Even the United States is experiencing the affordability squeeze on its naval force posture as is the United Kingdom. Driven by budget constraints, the USN is divesting some of its larger, high-value naval assets in favour of more mid-sized, lower-end ships. US Navy officials support the idea of shifting the USN’s surface combatant force to a more reduced proportion of large surface ships (cruisers and destroyers), an increased percentage of small surface ships (frigates and littoral combat ships), and a new third tier of unmanned surface vehicles. The current FFG(X) frigate program is a prime example of this trend for the USN. The UK also appears to be following the same trend, with its larger Type 26 frigate being backed up with smaller, less capable Type 31 ships as part of their own National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS).

In Canada, the cost of new warships continues to escalate, but is our navy getting better, more capable warships? The current CSC Requirements Reconciliation and Design process will determine how much capability Ottawa is willing to pay for. The NSS appears to prefer incentive contracting with target price ceilings. These ceilings have thus far not done much to curb cost growth on the Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships and the Offshore Fisheries Science Vessels. In any event, it is a good bet that Canada’s variant of the BAE Type 26 Global Combat Ship may be significantly more capable than either the UK or Australian variants.

Ottawa seems to be putting most of its warship “eggs in one basket,” but only because it has to. In my opinion (IMO), not only does Canada not have the financial ability to produce more of these ‘cadillacs’ but it could not man them even if we had the where-with-all. The CSC Frigate, at almost 8000 tonnes, is not a low-to-middle class capability, but a very high-end 5th generation warship with growth potential for the future. This is a "Rolls Royce" of ships which may very well out-perform both the British City and Australian Hunter class Global Combat Ships (GCS). Canada’s reality is that it must produce a very capable warship because we are forced to do more with less due to our geography, environment, mission requirements and defence budget. The CSCs SPY 7 (V) 1 radar system has already been fully developed by Lockheed Martin (LM) with characteristics that are now more capable than the Arleigh Burke SPY 1 family of radars and may rival the SPY 6 AMDR radar system now scheduled to be fitted on the Arleigh Burke Flt III destroyers. The USN FFX (based on the Italian FREMM class) is a mid-sized frigate, but not “low-end” by any means as well.

At the end of the day, will Canada’s CSC be more capable than say a 9,500 tonne Arleigh Burke Flight III destroyer? The answer is, probably not. But is Ottawa willing to pay nearly double the price for a single CSC frigate? Increasing costs per ship doesn’t necessarily reflect better quality. It may only be an indicator of the greater expense involved in Ottawa’s ‘build-in-Canada’ policy. Perhaps one reason Canada has concluded that a small number of mid-sized, very capable, general-purpose warships are preferred over significantly greater numbers of much smaller, more specialized warships comes down to the fact that smaller never equates to cheaper under Ottawa’s ponderously slow, multi-layered, and always expensive defence procurement system. So why try to buck the trend?

The CSC Type Frigate, as so far designed, is a very high-end and capable Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) warship with a combined AAW, ASW and ASuW capability. The first batch of CSC frigates will be AAW orientated, able to take on this roll with weapons like SM-2 Block IIIC with possible growth for the SM-3/6 systems, ESSM missile systems , Tomahawk Long Range Cruise Missiles in its MK 41 VLS, along with an improved Naval Surface Missile (NSM) and Close In Air Defence Missile System (CAAMS). The inclusion of the Leonardo 5” 127mm naval gun for Naval Gunfire Support with the ability to strike with guided and Anti-Air munitions is a much better choice for Canada, than the American 5” MK 45 Mod 4 gun to be fitted on the Hunter and City class frigates. LMs SPY 7 V (1) AESA radar along with a new and improved CCMS 330 Combat System, also by LM, will be key components to all of this. You cannot, and should not compare apples to oranges with the Arleigh Burke destroyers and CSC frigates, but IMO in terms of Aegis platforms, the CSC can more than hold its own, and will be the back-bone of the RCN for this century. Yes, Canada is “bucking the trend”, however Canada will have a much more capable navy because of it.
 

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Lockheed Martin Canada has just generated (20 Sept 2021) another CG Graphics of the CSC Frigate that seem to have some changes to them For example, the radar mast seems to be much higher, along with the Satcom antennas being moved from midships either side of the CAAM missiles to just abaft the bridge and seem to be a bit smaller. The 32 VLS canisters that were just aft of the gun now seem to have only 24 canisters. And there is a small canister just abaft of the boat bay on the starboard side that doesn't look anything like a lifeboat. My thoughts would be that the Satcom antennas were moved to make room for more MK 41 VLS Cannisters on either side of the CAMM launchers, the mast was changed to give better ranges for the SPY 7 radar, and the X Band radar from MDA seems to be just a bit larger, possibly for the Thales Sea Fire 500 X Band Illumination radar? Could the "object" just above and abaft of the boat bay be for a DEW Laser system (port/stb'd) (possibly the Dragon Fire system soon to be fitted on the BAE Type 26 British Frigate)? Who knows? The Canadian government certainly isn't talking. Any thoughts from forum members?
 

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GRANNY001

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The Maritime Engineering Journal (MEJ) has issued its latest Fall Issue # 98 (A Land Based Test Capability for the Canadian Surface Combatant Project by Stephen Harrison, Flavio Stasi and LCdr Yohan Desjardins) with a Featured Article on the new Land Based Test Capability (LBTC) for the Canadian Surface Combatant Project. The article gives a more in-depth look at the complexity and requirements for the LBTC. It also takes a look at what the built facility may look like at Hartland Point along with its capabilities, payload and testing environment. This article is on pgs 11-13 of the issue and can be seen at:"

 

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“This is an opinion piece by the author for promotion of general discussions by forum members only and not to be published in whole or in part by any other media”.

A CASE FOR THE CANADIAN ARLEIGH BURKE FLT “IV”

CSC Frigate vs Hunter class Development Comparisons:
Earlier this month, the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) published a Special Report (see link below) dealing with Australia’s equivalent of Canada’s National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS). This Report by Dr. Marcus Hellyer, ASPI’s experienced Senior Analyst, touched upon many aspects of Australia’s two major naval procurement programs, but its findings should resonate here in Canada. Hellyer’s central argument is that Australia’s two major naval procurement programs, the Hunter-class frigate and the nuclear-powered submarine, are progressing far too slowly. The first frigate is scheduled for delivery in 2033, and at best, the initial nuclear submarine will not be delivered before the late 2030s. This, coupled with evidence that the Hunter-class frigates will be built with a very minimal 32 vertical launch systems (VLS), have only a bare minimum of land-attack missiles, will be overly heavy and underpowered, and will possess only the tiniest margins for future growth, will leave the Australian Navy with a serious capability gap over the next 20 years. These twin shortcomings require immediate hedging measures to forestall a dangerous situation developing.

Hellyer’s analysis bears striking similarities with the current situation in Canada. Ottawa does not expect a construction contract for the Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC), to be concluded before late 2023-24, with the first warship being delivered no earlier than 2031 or perhaps later. Furthermore, an Access to Information briefing note urging the Department of National Defence (DND) to “kick off without delay” a replacement plan for Canada’s 4 Victoria-class submarines or else face a defence gap in the arctic. To state that planning for Canada’s CSC Type 26 Frigate lacks urgency is to grossly understate the obvious. Early plans first began in 2008, and the intent was to deliver the first frigate in 2020. Almost at once this overly optimistic target was slipped to 2025, and the estimate now is for the first of this class to be delivered in the early 2030s. As Hellyer notes of the Hunter-class, “wishful thinking has reigned” in the Australian fast frigate program, its schedule “lacks vitality” and costs have increased to the point that the total number to be built is in question. The Australian government has decided “to choose the least mature design and then to perform fundamental modifications to it.” The result has been “instability in the ship’s design” and a weight growth from about 8,800 tonnes to over 10,000 tonnes. He notes that there will be challenges to integrate the various systems, and all this will add to prospect of further schedule delays and the injection of “additional risk into the program.” Sounds familiar? The Hunter-class, when it finally materializes, will be slower, possess an inadequate number of VLS at 32, carry only 8 maritime-strike missiles, and will have only a 2.5 percent future growth margin.

Of course, it is difficult to compare the Australian Hunter-class to Canada’s CSC, because in the latter case, we will have no firm contract information for several years. But similarities to the Australian case abound. Canada, too, picked the least mature frigate design and has evidently modified the original BAE Type 26 ship design extensively. There will certainly be challenges in integrating several new sensor, communications, and weapons systems from the UK, the US, and from Canada. The original design has increased from around 5,500 tonnes to approximately 9,400 tonnes. We do not know what design margin will be available for future growth, but the Hunter-class data provide a cautionary tale. Unless the basic principles of hydrodynamics have magically changed, the power required to propel a 9,400 tonne ship at a given speed will be much more than that required for a 5,500 tonne ship, yet the proposed UK power plant remains the same. While the current power is adequate for a 7,800 tonne CSC, if the full displacement weight is actually 9,400 tonnes, “that would be a totally different game.”

The minimum number of 32 MK 41 VLS Canisters is now in jeopardy. With the latest CSC “Frigate” graphics from LM, we only see 24 VLS Canisters forward, so even the “fitted for but not with” scenario seems to be in doubt. Of course we don’t know because of the “secrecy” from the government…..again. The only way now to maximize speeds of 30+knts for the CSC Frigate would seem to be fit 2 x RR MT 30 gas turbines but even this design phase may not be feasible at this stage of the game. Finally, and indisputably, Canada’s CSC is certain to eclipse Hellyer’s claim about the Hunter-class: “Overall, of all contemporary warships, it seems to be the most expensive for getting missiles to sea.” It remains clear that without a vigorous sea change in approach to both Canada’s CSC and submarine procurement programs, Canada will be left to face 21st century threats with increasingly obsolescent technology.

Building at least 3 more Hobart 11 AAW Destroyers as the ASPI article suggests, at first brush seems to make a lot of sense giving that the ADF is in the same “pickle” with the Hunter class as Canada is with the CSC Type 26 Frigate program. Perhaps something Canada should have thought out before we lost our AAW capability with the de-commissioning of the Iroquois class destroyers. Perhaps a re-think here in Canada seems to be appropriate as well. Could Canada acquire 4 Arleigh Burke Flt 111 destroyers to be built here in Canada before the CSC Type 26 Frigate build starts and perhaps build just 11 of the 9,400 tonne “Monsters”? The ABs would have at least 3 times the MK 41 VLS capability with dedicated Tomahawk, SM3/SM6 missiles as well and be in service with the RCN well before the first CSC Type 26 comes off the assembly line. They would each cost much less than the CSC Frigate as well. Something to think about!

Canadian Arleigh Burkes:
Canada could build 4 Arleigh Burke Flt 111 AAW Destroyers for $5B CAD for all (at 2021/2022 prices) take away. Of course this would not include the price to build here in Canada, Canadianize the ABs and the final operational price list which would include armament, missiles, bullets, stores and personnel, so say $10B CAD in service for the RCN for all 4 “Destroyers”. But still, a bargain compared to $4.3-5B CAD for only one CSC Frigate bringing the CSC build requirements down to just 11 CSC “Frigate’ units at between $47.3-55B CAD (at 2021/2022 prices-using the PBOs reported price tag of $77.3B CAD). The sticking point would be acquiring the design “blue-prints” from the US and building them here in Canada if, the US would allow that, but one could always ask. These “Destroyers” should be built in Canada to politically pass the “sniff test” and we should eventually have an official third Yard (possibly Davie Shipyard) in the NSS to pick-up the slack. In order to ensure maximum commonality with the CSC and to fit our unique needs, it would need a few modifications. Of course the main propulsion plant should not change. The AB uses two LM2500 GTs per shaft for a total power of 78 MW but operate 99 percent of the time with a single GT per shaft for speeds up to at least 26 kts. The AB class can run on two 3.8 MW electric motors (one per gearbox) for speeds up to 13 kts without the GTs. With a good engineering team it would be feasible to modify the AB design in less than a year while the basics parts of the ship were being built. The first change would be to replace the MK45 Gun with the Vulcano 127/64. The 25 mm MK38 gun could be replaced by the CSC’s BAE 30 mm gun. We would need to fit our new multirole boats (MRBs) to the boat decks (port/stb’d). The main effort would happen aft in order to fit a single CH-148 Cyclone helicopter and our SKELDAR V-200 helicopter drones along with support facilities and our own VDS and Towed Array sonar systems. The flight deck could be easily extended further aft with C-RAST fitted. The new single hangar would need to be moved toward the center but the configuration of the Gas Turbine generator situated there may be a problem although there is ample space to move things around once you go down from two to one helicopter. Moving from two to one hangar would allow for the torpedo launchers to be installed in a fashion close to the Halifax class and using the same launchers as the CSC with the tube situated inside the ship, un order to help those changes and to more easily fit within budget. Decreasing the number of MK41 VDS launchers aft from 64 down to 32 plus increase the six ExLS CIAD Quad launchers to 12 along-side the MK 41 launchers removing more weight up forward and maybe allowing for the installation of at least eight NSM launchers. In that configuration the weapon fit would closely match the CSC “Frigate” but with more missile capabilities. The Ship would carry 64 MK41 VLS cells (32 fore and 32 aft) for any combination of ESSM, SM2 and Tomahawk cruise missiles with the possibility of other types (SM3/6). It would also be able to carry 48 Sea Ceptor in the ExLS launchers. We could probably lower the number of crew needed to operate the ship but it would still require more sailors than the CSC. Operating on two LM2500 GTs most of the time would use more fuel than the CSCs. We would definitely need to commission another “Asterix” if that was to happen.

The AB Flt 111s should be configured as closely to the CSC Type 26 as much as possible. These AB’S would also be excellent Command ships. Crewing size may be an issue though although with Command Staff on board, perhaps not as much. The things that need to change would be: Replace the current AB mast with a slightly larger CSC Frigate mast. The SPY 6 V1 radar would be replaced with a “beefed-up LM SPY 7 (V) (more RMA’s). This radar has already proven that it can out-perform the SPY 6 radar with longer ranges along with whatever MDA’s X Band Illumination radar will be. Keep the CMS 330 Combat system which already has the Aegis Baseline for CEC commonality (and BMD capability) with the CSC Frigate. The good news is that when (and if) this were to happen, most if not all of the integration for the CSC Frigate will already have been done by LM during the Design Phase so integration of all of the CSC Frigate software for the AB’s “Flt IVs” would happen more quickly. The CSC Frigates guns should also be used on the AB’s. The NSM might be increased from 8 to 16 as the Constellation class has and the CIWS could be replaced by the Dragon Fly DEW laser system port/stbd as the BAE Type 26 British version will have. As stated before, the main “sticking point” would be a built-in-Canada design (possibly Davies Shipyard) which the US would have to agree on. Other than that, this Arleigh Burke “Flt IV” Canadian design could work well, would be an awesome ship for Canada and could be built for the same price as 2 CSC frigates currently cost.

Is the CSC Type 26 A Frigate or Destroyer?:
Describing Canada’s proposed CSC as a “Frigate”, when that is no longer a term used much any more by officials in Ottawa and even in the RCN. The CSC will have a total number of VLS that is at the low-to-mid range of warships of comparable size and tonnage when it finally comes into operational service. And, by most standards, the CSC will be closer to what we think of as a “destroyer” than a current frigate. Warship tonnages are bandied about quite loosely these days, but based on the weight of the CSC on a statement by Mr. Kevin McCoy, who, until the spring of 2021, was the President of Irving Shipbuilding. Hence he was well acquainted with the proposed design for the CSC at that time. McCoy stated: “This is a big ship, lots of capability” and indicated that full displacement for the new frigate will likely be about 9,400 tonnes; almost double the 4,700 tonnes of the current Halifax-class frigates. The CSC will likely be roughly the same size and tonnage as an Arleigh Burke-class Flight III destroyers. The latter is equipped with 96 VLS, and is also less costly than the CSC is likely to be. By redefining more carefully what we are talking about in terms of warships of comparable size and full load displacement, we thereby eliminate many of the “frigates” which lie in the 4,000-5,000 tonnes full load range. Even some of today’s “Destroyers”, which fall in the 7,200-8,000 tonne full load range, possess more VLS capability today, than the CSC will likely have when it enters service in the mid-2030s. For example, China’s PLAN Type 052D destroyer is 7,500 tons full load and has 64 VLS plus a 24-cell SAM launcher. Japan’s Maya-class destroyer is 10,250 tons full load and has 96 VLS and 8 anti-ship missiles in quad canisters and India’s Visakhapatnam-class destroyer is 7.400 tons and features 4×8-cell SAM VLS plus 2×8-cell VLS for anti-ship missiles

We can all agree that it is very difficult to talk comparables when in fact it will still be at least several years before a production contract is signed and steel is cut on Canada’s CSC. However, it was instructive that Marcus Hellyer would raise these concerns about the Australian Hunter-class – the rough equivalent of Canada’s CSC – which is currently under construction. And, for the record, Hellyer does mention Canada’s CSC in his analysis. We also need to remember that the last of the CSCs will begin construction in the 2040s and may very well sail into the 2060s. In terms of technological development, a lot may (will) happen so it is imperative to leave room for growth in the design in terms of power and weight. It’s possible that if weight isn’t the main restriction, then the decision to drop from 32 to 24 MK 41 VLS cells may be in part to leave room for a future VLS systems should it be required based on the future threat levels. The immediate concern is the power plant being used on the CSC “Frigate” relative to the tonnage of the ship, and the fact that it may not be adequate to support future integrations of sensors and energy weapons. Then again, we don’t know the power consumption of the current design.

Conclusion:
It is with “some authority” that some or all of the CSC Type 26 Frigates will only have 24 Lockheed Martin (LM) MK 41 VLS Canister silos forward vice the 32 LM Quad Pac MK 41 VLS as has most often been reported. Some or perhaps all will be extended length to accommodate Tomahawk Cruise missiles and/or future missile capabilities. I suspect this was done to save weight for more speed and $$. This “authority” however was not willing to share his sources. The latest CSC computer graphic seems to bear that out. The CAMM Sea Ceptor ExLS CIAD missile silos just behind the funnel are in fact from a European Company MBDA-UK’s CAMM CIAD VLS canisters and Launch Management System (LMS) and not LM MK 41 VLS launchers. The reason (rightly or wrongly) why Canada went with the Sea Ceptor system was to get away from having 2 x CIWS/Sea RAM (port/stb’d-midships) systems for CIAD, in favour of 6 X Quad Pac CIAD CAMM launchers for a total of 24 CIAD missiles again to save weight and $$. To say that the CSC Frigate will have 32 MK 41 VLS canisters forward then seems not to be accurate. Even if you called the 6 Quad Pac CIAD silos- MK 41 VLS canisters, that would only add up to 30 launchers and not 38 using the concept of 24 MK 41 VLS Quad Pac canisters forward. Still, a big improvement over what we have now and better than most NATO and allied countries have or will have in the future. In my own opinion (IMOO) I believe the first batch of Frigates will indeed have 32 cells forward with the remaining CSC Frigate batches having 24 cells. It would however, be great to see Canada keep the 32 LM MK 41 VLS canisters for all 15 CSC Frigates, but to develop a “true” Canadian Naval capability with a combination of Arleigh Burkes (Flt IV) and CSC Type 26 Frigates would be “game changing”.

 
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