If we count Frigates for the USA, definitely they are in business. They are in this field from the very beginning.
It’s a mixed-armament warship, generally lighter than a destroyer (in the US navy, it’s heavier) and originally designed for convoy escorting.
This is a sailing warship that’s about the size and armament of a liner.
Let’s talk about does the US navy have Frigates. Stay with me.
How many frigates does the U.S. Navy have?
By 2020, there will be 20 ships in the Constellation class.
In the Cold War era, U.S. officials often asked, “Where are the carriers?” These days people ask, “Where are the frigates?” There are 18 frigates in the U.S. Navy.
Let’s talk about Frigates deeply.
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In the 17th century, a frigate was a fast, maneuverable warship, often called “frigate-built”. Some of these warships carry their main carriage-mounted guns on a single deck, while others carry smaller carriage-mounted guns on the forecastle and quarterdeck.
It’s generally used for ships too small to stand in the line of battle, but early line-of-battle ships were often called frigates when they were built to go fast.
In the late 15th century, frigates (Italian: Fregata; Dutch: fregat; Spanish/Catalan/Portuguese/Sicilian: fragata; French: frégate) were lighter galley-type warships with oars, sails, and light armor, built for speed and maneuverability in the Mediterranean.
French developments in the second quarter of the 18th century led to the classic sailing frigate, well known today for its role in the Napoleonic wars.
The Médée of 1740 is often considered the first of its kind. All their main guns were carried on a single continuous upper deck on these square-rigged ships.
In the new frigates, the lower deck, called the “gun deck”, carried no armament now, and was used as a berth deck where the crew lived.
As a result, earlier cruisers were referred to as ‘half-battery’ ships or demi-batterie ships, because their lower decks were partly armed.
Due to the removal of the guns, the height of the upperworks of the hull was lowered, improving the sailing qualities of the new ‘true frigate’.
1778 saw the British Admiralty introduce a “heavy” frigate with a main battery of twenty-six or twenty-eight 18-pounder guns (with smaller guns on the quarter deck and forecastle).
As both France and Spain were enemies, the usual British preponderance in ship numbers was no longer the case, and the British were under pressure to make cruisers that were individually more powerful.
The French responded in 1781 by laying down their first 18-pounder frigates. French Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars were fought with 18-pounder frigates.
A larger 38-gun version and a slightly smaller 36-gun version were made by the British, as well as an economy 32-gun version.
In addition, smaller, less-specialized shipbuilders could build the 32-gun frigates.
In 1782, naval architect F H Chapman built the first ‘super-heavy frigates’ for the Swedish navy, armed with 24-pounder long guns.
The Swedes wanted these frigates, the Bellona class, to be able to stand in the battle line in case of an emergency. Forte and Egyptienne were some of the big 24-pounder frigates the French built in the 1790s.
To make super-heavy frigates, they cut down (lowered the hull height to give only one continuous gun deck) several older ships of the line (including Diadème) to make a rasée.
We don’t know whether the French wanted to make very powerful cruisers or just fix old ships’ stability problems.
Indefatigable, which went on to have a very successful career as a frigate, was rasée-ed by the British after being alarmed by these powerful heavy frigates.
The British built a few large frigates with 24-pounders at this time, the most successful of which was HMS Endymion (1,277 tons).
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DESTROYERS AND FRIGATES?
There is a blurring of the line between the two types. Frigates are generally lighter, carry more firepower, and are slightly faster than destroyers. Furthermore, frigates tend to be more focused on anti-submarine operations. In spite of this, both classes are often capable of performing multiple missions.
CAN A FRIGATE BEAT A DESTROYER?
You’re right, modern destroyers and frigates have a lot in common. In most cases, destroyers aren’t that much bigger than other ships. It’s not much of a stretch for a frigate to beat a destroyer since they often carry the same weapons and control systems.
The answer is in this video.