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Subject: Updated FFG-7 frigates.
eldnah    7/21/2009 10:25:05 AM
The HMAS Sydney has been in NYC this past weekend. Although between fifteen and almost thirty years old, the six ships of this class have been recently extensively modernized to fire SM-2 missilles, had an eight cell VLS launcher for 32 ESSM added and were given an updated electronic suite for anti-air, surface and underwater warfare. Given the falling numbers of US surface ships and what appears to be a chaotic and anemic ship building program with a declining numbr of escort vessels is it worth similarly converting a number of the late build US FFG-7s?
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doggtag    ick....   7/21/2009 12:50:22 PM
I get this sickening feeling that no US defense contractors would be able to upgrade an FFG-7 and not charge the price of a new LCS to do it (all that air warfare equipment, mind you).
Still, there have been advances in ships's sensors (radar, sonar, EO, IR, etc) and systems (RWS, UAVs, UUVs, USVs, power and automation, etc), since the FFG-7s were initially built, that might warrant consideration.
It all depends on how well it's determined the LCS can accept a capable AAW module, should the need arise.
Otherwise, will the LCS ever go anywhere without at least a Burke to back it up for long range air defense?
Minimally, development of an AMRAAM/SLAMRAAM VLS or NASAMS-type launcher should be considered: those RIM-116 RAMs are range-limited (shorter ranged than many ASMs launched from aircraft), and SeaSparrow family is too big to mount in number into an LCS without sacrificing some other capability.
If the US does build a more balanced frigate version of LCS for Israel, I wonder if the USN might consider some of those...?
Australia's upgrade program is a good model for other nations wishing to upgrade their Perrys, even if it didn't initially come cheap for Australia.
It still boils down to: can they be upgraded at a lesser cost than acquiring newer vessels that may already have some of those capabilities already installed?
If newer vessels can prove more economical to operate in the long run, then some loss of overall capability is deemed acceptable by some navies.
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Herald12345    The Australians could use the work.   7/21/2009 2:51:00 PM
And since we are sending $7 trillion dollars overseas anyway, why not buy from friends instead of enemies?
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