Musings on Corvettes/Sloops
I've been ponder the utility of this type of ship, that is in essence under 1,000tons and more in the range of 200 to 800tons.
In essence a lot of Frigate systems can be packaged into such a vessel, with the main loss being either (or both) endurance or stability.
If one reduces endurance and range, one can achieve a lot, as the Visby and Hamina classes show. Though perhaps more the Finnish vessel, since it is actually equipped with a SAM system.
While these systems are not cheap, there are potential savings in reduced crew and consumables used.
There is a strong case in my mind for a class of vessel that is transported to a zone of operations, whether that be off the coast of Somalia, the Gulf, or the Baltic. The chief demands being range enough to deploy to operations, persist for a useful time and then return to the mothership or port for resupply, repair and rotation of crew.
In all these the need would be to hunt down pirates, smugglers, and FAC (often converted civilian boats), support forces ashore, while being able to go into the shallows where a Frigate cannot.
For a UK solution, FLAADS seems entirely plausible to fit into such a vessel, accepting that the 3D radar (Artisan or Giraffe or Kronos for example) will lower down and thus of shorter detection range against sea skimming missiles.
I am wondering though if a cheap set of fixed AESA sets are now possible instead.
Sea Spear (Brimstone) has been proved in trials. Ideally I'd like to make this and Spear III VLS compatible.
Sea Martlet (LMM) anti-FAC missile and it's relative Starstreak (HVM) anti-helicopter missile are more than applicable from a ship/boat.
Gun-wise I'm tending towards working up the 40mm CTAS for naval use, rather than veer off towards Bofors 57mn or Oto's 76mm weapons.
Propulsion is an issue, I'd like some ideas on what to power this vessel as diesels are rather heavy to cover the full range of speeds.
Speaking of which I'm wondering what speed to set as a target for this vessel. Too fast and the question has to be, why this instead of a helicopter?
Then there is range...? Sweden opted for 2,500nm. Which would allow the transporter or port to be 500nm from area and leave 1,500nm for ranging up and down the coast. Is this enough or too much?
That said.....perhaps I'm starting from the wrong position. Could a hovercraft do the job?