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Ship Classifications

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Re: Ship Classifications
Post by Daryl   » Sun Feb 11, 2018 8:16 pm

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Political considerations influence naming of units as well.
The F18 Super Hornet was pitched as an upgrade of the existing F18 in order to get Congress support. Yet it is a larger and more capable plane than its predecessor and has little in common.
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Re: Ship Classifications
Post by ldwechsler   » Sun Feb 11, 2018 8:21 pm

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Daryl wrote:Political considerations influence naming of units as well.
The F18 Super Hornet was pitched as an upgrade of the existing F18 in order to get Congress support. Yet it is a larger and more capable plane than its predecessor and has little in common.



They did the same in Manticore with the new cruisers
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Re: Ship Classifications
Post by pnakasone   » Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:25 pm

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In story they have mentioned that you have to be careful when discussing ship class as a destroyer to one nation may be a light cruiser to another.There is also the very real issue of using ship class designations as a counter intel measure.

As example of how different navies view ship classes is at the battle of Saltesh SLN Dubroskaya thought she was facing light cruisers by size of ships of RMN she was facing. To the RMN they are tin can destroyers.
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Re: Ship Classifications
Post by cthia   » Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:37 am

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Were frigates possibly named after the fact?...

"Get those friggin' subs outta here!" :D

Son, your mother says I have to hang you. Personally I don't think this is a capital offense. But if I don't hang you, she's gonna hang me and frankly, I'm not the one in trouble. —cthia's father. Incident in ? Axiom of Common Sense
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Re: Ship Classifications
Post by Brigade XO   » Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:39 am

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I went rummaging around on the internet to comfirm my memory what Corvettes were in WW II and was correct. The design of the RN "Flower" class corvette was based on a commercial whale-catcher design of the current time. In this case it was a 160' ship type bulit to run down and harpoon whales, later towing them back to the mothership for processing. Not in the Wikipedia article is the reason that was design was used.
These were small, with good speed and excelent sea handling in open & stormy weather such as the southern oceans near Antartica and the Artic and particularly the North Atlantic- The North Atlantic which was where most of the convoys were crossing (both ways, people tend to forget the ships that survived any given run typicaly went back and then kept cycling through runs). They were stable, they surived as working boats under often misrable sea conditions and could work in bad weather. Put a older 4' gun, some machine guns and depthchage throwers and rails with sonar and radar on the modified design and you had a small (203'), relativley inexpensive (and mass produceable) dedicated anti-submarine platform that could not just survive but work effectivly in the North Atlantic as a convoy escort ship.
The job was to drive off or kill any U-boat encountered, at least keep it away from the convoy. It's really tough to line up a torpedo shot or even get close enough to start it when one or more nasty little ships know almost where you are trying and are trying to pinpoint you and kill you.
Cold, messy, long and dangerous work but you could put several with a convoy to boost detection and defence numbers and effectiveness. It worked, they killed subs and drove off many others.
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Re: Ship Classifications
Post by Jonathan_S   » Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:13 pm

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Jonathan_S wrote:Yep. And a bit of a mixed bag as different Countries used the term differently.

During WWII the Commonwealth countries called their small anti-submarine escorts, built to military standards, frigates (differentiating those even smaller, and slower, designs build to civilian standards; corvettes). For example the River class frigates were a 20 knot design, massing just 1,350 tons, and carried a couple 4" guns, hedghog anti-submarine mortar, and depth charges. (No proper fire control directors)

Then post war the Royal Navy (UK) continued to use the Frigate designation for their anti-sub focused designs, culminating in the Type 23 Duke class, 4,900 ton ships capable of 28+ knots and carrying a helicopter.

Australia called their 1980's primary air defense ships Adelaide-class frigate, but also used Frigate for their later, smaller, slower, and not AAW focused Anzac class ships.

The USN had their Oliver Hazard Perry Frigates from the mid 70s designed as an inexpensive general purpose ship.

Heck this wikipedia page (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_f ... by_country) has dozens of 20th century Frigate classes and it only covers from 1940 onward.

Welcome to navy terminology where different navies don't use ships designations the same way, and even a given navy doesn't necessarily use it consistently from class to class and certainly not from decade to decade :)

Oh and I forgot to mention that for a bit after WWII the US decided to rename all their Destroyer Leaders as Frigates - making them bigger and more powerful ships that destroyers.

Until they came to the Oliver Hazard Perry class in the 70s when they made them smaller and cheapers.

Then there was the fun period in the ironclad era where armored frigates were the most powerful warships on the planet - easily able to crush legacy ships of the line (despite the later carrying far more guns).

And in the age of sail frigates were about the biggest fast ships; they weren't powerful enough to stand in combat with true ships of the line but they were far more powerful (and expensive, and manpower intensive) than the swarms of sloops, gunboats, etc. that navies also employed.


So Frigates are probably the most indistinct ship classification - covering all kinds of different ships over the last couple hundred years; and even different kinds of ships at the same time.

But in general ship classification is a subjective 'science' and actual ship designs get pushed more by treaties, costs, and politics than by clearly defined classifications.
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Re: Ship Classifications
Post by Jonathan_S   » Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:18 pm

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Brigade XO wrote:I went rummaging around on the internet to comfirm my memory what Corvettes were in WW II and was correct. The design of the RN "Flower" class corvette was based on a commercial whale-catcher design of the current time. In this case it was a 160' ship type bulit to run down and harpoon whales, later towing them back to the mothership for processing. Not in the Wikipedia article is the reason that was design was used.
These were small, with good speed and excelent sea handling in open & stormy weather such as the southern oceans near Antartica and the Artic and particularly the North Atlantic- The North Atlantic which was where most of the convoys were crossing (both ways, people tend to forget the ships that survived any given run typicaly went back and then kept cycling through runs). They were stable, they surived as working boats under often misrable sea conditions and could work in bad weather.
I'm not sure "stable" is exactly the term. They were very buoyant, and able to survive the rough North Atlantic weather. But they reportedly rolled like barrels. They wouldn't actually capsize or sink, but they could throw sailors around and make it quite hard to work - reportedly rolls of up to 40 degrees from vertical were commonly reported in heavy seas. A stable ship has smaller, slower rolls - though in extremes that can actually make them less seaworthy.
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Re: Ship Classifications
Post by Armed Neo-Bob   » Mon Feb 12, 2018 6:37 pm

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Jonathan_S wrote:
Brigade XO wrote:I went rummaging around on the internet to comfirm my memory what Corvettes were in WW II and was correct. The design of the RN "Flower" class corvette was based on a commercial whale-catcher design of the current time. In this case it was a 160' ship type bulit to run down and harpoon whales, later towing them back to the mothership for processing. Not in the Wikipedia article is the reason that was design was used.
These were small, with good speed and excelent sea handling in open & stormy weather such as the southern oceans near Antartica and the Artic and particularly the North Atlantic- The North Atlantic which was where most of the convoys were crossing (both ways, people tend to forget the ships that survived any given run typicaly went back and then kept cycling through runs). They were stable, they surived as working boats under often misrable sea conditions and could work in bad weather.
I'm not sure "stable" is exactly the term. They were very buoyant, and able to survive the rough North Atlantic weather. But they reportedly rolled like barrels. They wouldn't actually capsize or sink, but they could throw sailors around and make it quite hard to work - reportedly rolls of up to 40 degrees from vertical were commonly reported in heavy seas. A stable ship has smaller, slower rolls - though in extremes that can actually make them less seaworthy.



I used to have a handbook on naval vessels (from Salamander Press) that listed major ship types from the mid-1800s to 2000. According to that, the Flower class was designed for the South Atlantic, and the size of the waves was different there. They were manned solely with reservists; there were almost 300 of them built; they were built to first-class commercial standard, not military; and were joined very soon by a re-design called the Castle class, I think some 50 feet longer.

The navy added more and more sensors and weapons to the ship after it was in service; the crews were oversized and extremely crowded. I believe the book credited them with some 50 uboat kills though. By 1943 the UK was building the larger River and Loch class.

Rob
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Re: Ship Classifications
Post by Rincewind   » Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:28 pm

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Walks Alone wrote:This question applies as much to our world as it does to the Honorverse...

I'm wondering, how are ships classified? Is it purely arbitrary due to tonnage, or is to do with their function?

Some of them would obviously be due to their function (CLACs, LACs, Dispatch Boats and Freighters), while others (DDs right through SDs) seem to have somewhat arbitrary differences between them. IIRC, weren't the Roland DDs often mistaken for CLs?

Now, in the real world, the Royal Navy is largely made up by the following (I think):-

Frigates
Destroyers
Missile Submarines
Attack Submarines
Carriers
Patrol Boats
Minesweepers
Survey Ships

I notice that most of those ships are very small, barring the carriers. If you exclude patrol boats and minesweepers (which I suspect might be analogous to LACs) frigates seem to make up the backbone of the Royal Navy. Which is interesting, given I understand there is somewhat of a moratorium on the use of frigates in the Honorverse

It seems to me that Royal Navy doctrine is to do things with swarms of frigates, rather than capital ships, in the same way that the Honorverse uses swarms of LACs. I'm guessing the mathematics comes out better somehow than with using capital ships?

Which of course raises the question of how the Honorverse mathematics are different?

But I'm going down a different topic. Back to classification.

Now, as I understood it, the purpose of destroyers was originally to take out patrol boats, and later, submarines. I'm guessing the Honorverse correlation would be LACs and Spider Drive Ships. I think they're also used to prevent things from getting near capital ships? Not exactly sure why though... And perhaps used as scouts?

Again, IIRC, which I may not, was not the original function of a cruiser to operate by itself and to go after merchant ships?

And a ship of the line was to fight other warships?

So, assuming that to be the case... how did we get split up into having DE, DD, CL, CA, BC, BB, DN, SD...? Why were these splits made?

Okay, perhaps that's not as clear as it might be, but I hope I've at least given you the general idea of what I'm trying to ask lol!


Actually you are not quite right. In the Royal Navy the classification is on the basis of role and NOT by size. Destroyers are Air Defence warships and frigates are either Anti-submarine or general purpose. Also, unlike the United States Navy where all ship capabilities are built around the Carrier Battle Group, Royal Navy frigates are intended for autonomous operations.

Some of our frigates have been quite large ships, larger than destroyers
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Re: Ship Classifications
Post by Rincewind   » Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:31 pm

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Daryl wrote:Political considerations influence naming of units as well.
The F18 Super Hornet was pitched as an upgrade of the existing F18 in order to get Congress support. Yet it is a larger and more capable plane than its predecessor and has little in common.


That's always been the case. If you compare the original Spitfire Mark 1 & the last variant built, the Seafire FR47 the only thing they had in common was that the their names ended in 'fire.' Everything else, wings fuselage, engine etc. had been altered & enlarged.

Plus ca change, plus ca meme chose.
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