* August 15, 2013: Originally posted
* September 15, 2013: Added more information on “Gas Guzzler” section, including direct quote from Coast Guard article and Fuel consumption for OHP and Hamilton ships. Post also re-published
A what seemed to be badly translated to English article and a Youtube video of a China Central Television (CCTV, the propaganda mouthpiece of the Chinese government) news item recently featured that the Philippine Navy (PhN) was going to buy 7 used Oliver Hazard Perry (OHP) Class Frigates from the United States. Despite the fact that the sources are dubious since they are from China, there are other indications that this could be possible, due to a number of other reasons:
First is that the US Navy (USN) are slowly retiring these ships in favor of their new, more advanced and much more terrifyingly-capable Littoral Combat Ships (LCS), and have been providing these to various allies like Pakistan, Egypt and Turkey. The US has even offered 2 of these to Thailand Continue reading Oliver Hazard Perry Frigates for the Philippine Navy?→
In researching about these Oliver Hazard Perry (OHP) Frigates, one question that came to my mind was, “Is it possible to upgrade the OHP’s Mk13 launcher to the Mk41 Vertical Launch System (VLS)?” Much of the OHP’s firepower comes from its Mk13 launcher and ability to carry 40 medium-sized missiles, but the launchers have been deactivated by the United States Navy (USN) on all its ships due to obsolescence of the SM-1 missiles and to save on operating cost. The Mk13 is VERY cool to watch due to its fully-automated firing and loading system as can be seen by the video below, but it did have its share of disdvantages also.
‘Mk13 Launcher vs. Mk41 Comparisons’
First disadvantage with the Mk13 launcher is that it is NON-REDUNDANT, you only have that single launcher to launch all 40 missiles. If something happens to that launcher, whether due to battle damage, or whether it malfunctions on its own due to some reason, then you lose ALL of your missile capability. Hence you need to take very good care of that launcher, frequently conducting tests and preventive maintenance to ensure that it is working and that it will be working when you need it. It also has a lot of moving parts, all the worsened by the fact that it is moving heavy, 700 kg missiles at a fast rate in various directions. It also has to withstand high temperatures and shock during firing, hence the parts are subjected to large amounts of physical stress, making frequent maintenance necessary.
Second is that it launches missiles at a fairly slow rate, only 1 missile every 8 seconds, or a maximum of 7 missiles per minute. This is not very ideal against saturation missile attacks, and even more so against saturation attacks by SUPERSONIC Anti Ship Missiles (AShM)s, which are slowly going into service in various major navies around the world. Because of their speed, these supersonic missiles will cut down even more on a ship’s available reaction time, increasing their chances of scoring a direct hit. Third, it can only launch one type of missile at a time, meaning it has to wait every 8 seconds to switch from firing a Harpoon AShM to a SM1/2 Surface to Air Missile (SAM), for example, which could be detrimental under some combat conditions. Continue reading Mk13 to Mk41 Launcher Conversion for Oliver Hazard Perry Frigates→