One of the most ambitious navy plans is developing a Frigate (FFGX) that is armed to the teeth and highly capable. This ship must be able to operate in blue or open waters, unlike the Littoral Combat Ship that proved disappointing.
The U.S. Navy's vision of a surface combatant or warship in the Frigate class is the multi-mission Guided Missile Frigate. It will have equipment and sensors that will attack beyond visual range with modern systems and precise weapons. The new frigate will be smaller than other ships but will have an added lethality of networking with other units in combat, reported Fox News.
The navy envisions linking up the FFG(X) with other fighting units and linking data via ISR technologies (intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance), controlling unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or remote above water and underwater drones in both open sea and home waters.
These systems are under development or getting tested, along with the future frigate that is still under wraps. Navy officials hope that the FFGX can see action in 2020.
Compared to the Littoral Combat Ship, the ship is better with all the necessary upgrades and systems that can defend against small boats. It can be sent with carrier strike groups (CSGs) on missions, use whatever it has in its arsenal to fire missiles, and destroy targets at long distances (over the horizon). Or be able to switch to hunting subs if needed.
For example, when the smaller surface combatant or ship that links up with other units to share data and accept firing data from other units in a fight. This system can remotely fire any connected weapon system or drones in range. Navy plans stress that this frigate should have these requirements.
In the Navy's Distributed Maritime Operations Concept that allows a fleet to fight in dispersed groups, units will fight in such a way that the FFGX and others will not be sitting ducks for ship killer missiles. Staying close but not too close in a defensive net that sees all attackers.
If all weapons are connected and linked together, a Chinese ship killer missile has more chances of getting shot down by SM-3 or SM-6 missiles. Another is longer ranged cruise missiles fired by the nearest ship in the group. The FFGX will work by connecting to all systems out at sea. Linking up all the combat weapons and systems is the netted sensor tech called Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC).
FFGX will feature space armor on the ship's body so it will be able to survive hits and keep on fighting even if hit by enemies. It will make the ship survive compared to the failed LCS concept ship.
One FFGX ship will have an MH-60R helicopter, helicopter drone, and SeaRAM as a defensive system. Other weapons to be used are a 30mm gun and the HELLFIRE close range missile.
More goodies are planned for this platform, such as the electronic warfare systems to jam radar or enemy units and sonar systems for anti-submarine warfare (ASW). Onboard are Rigid Inflatable Boats to be used for other warfighting, like boarding enemy ships.
Navy plans have a lot invested in this frigate dubbed as the FFGX, and all the systems equipped in this small boat. But its size is nothing compared to what it can do.