A Closer Look at the FFG-62 Class

PEO USC this week gave an unclassified presentation to the Surface Navy Association of the Constellation-class Guided Missile Frigate (FFG 62) program thus far. The PowerPoint included a few interesting slides, repeated below for posterity.

Big likes of mine on the 7,300-ton, 496-foot frigate, is that it has almost 50,000shp, a “Baby AEGIS” phased-array system, and a fit for 16 anti-ship missiles. The AAW/missile defense is taken care of by a 32-cell VLS (which can be expanded with the use of quad-packed ESSM Sea Sparrows) coupled with a 21-cell RAM, 57mm Bofors (which can be used to good effect in such a role with its 3P shells) and soft kill systems.

Big dislikes: USW/ASW is limited to an SQQ-89 combat system, an unnamed VDS and towed array, and a single MH-60 type helicopter. The only “hard kill” option is the possibility of a couple of VLS-ASROCs (unlikely when headed into the Westpac against a heavy AShM threat) while soft kill is the elderly Nixie device. At least the Perrys had Mk.32s with a big torpedo magazine and twice the rotary-wing. Even the Knox class of the 1970s and 80s had the 8-cell ASROC “Matchbox” launcher while the SpruCans— which were almost the size of the planned FFG-62s– had the Matchbox (with space for two full reloads), Mk. 32s, and same-sized helicopter capacity.

I guess I just miss Matchboxes, and I am not ashamed to say it.

USS Bronstein (FF-1037) firing an ASROC rocket from her Mk-16 box launcher, circa 1980s NHHC S-550-G

One comment

  • Wow, that frigate seems huge compared to a Perry class. Like you, I’m troubled by no torpedoes, but I’d rather use a helo or an ASROC to deliver them. I never wanted to get that close to a hostile sub.

    It does look much more capable against the “marvelous air threat,” as one piece of message traffic from an allied ship called it.

    I wish them well. We definitely need some newer tin cans in the fleet. I miss the Perry’s. The one I served on was sunk several years ago, in the vicinity of Guam. I think the participants were surprised by how many missiles it took to put her down (https://youtu.be/VtdhlvgQ-54).

    All my best,
    Dirty Bob

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