Frigate (escort ship)
October 28, 2021
Frigate - a class of medium-size ships intended for escort service, built since World War II, named after the class of frigates - sailing ships, which disappeared in the 19th century. Frigates with only artillery armament were built mostly until the 1960s, and were replaced by missile frigates. Until the nineteenth century, "frigate" meant the class of sailing or steam-sailing ships (sailing frigates), which disappeared at the end of the 19th century. This name was reused for a new class of ships by the British during World War II, when they began building a series of new escort ships in 1941, called frigates (River type). The construction of frigates according to British standards was also started in the United States during the war, and after the war, frigate-class ships appeared in most of the world's navies. The newly introduced frigates were initially escort ships - used to protect convoys, primarily against attacks by submarines, and to a lesser extent aircraft. That is why they had strong anti-submarine armament (numerous launchers and depth charge throwers) and relatively weak artillery armament, usually consisting of several (2-4) universal guns up to 102-127 mm caliber and several or a dozen anti-aircraft guns. The frigates of the World War II period were characterized by a considerable range and moderate speed (about 20 knots), sufficient for convoy service. Their displacement was 1000-1500 tons. In the 1930s and 1940s, the British also built escorts similar to frigates, classified as sloop - they had slightly stronger artillery armament. The escort destroyers, similar in size to frigates, were of a similar class, but they were faster and had stronger artillery armament. The class of smaller escort ships was the corvettes. It should be mentioned that in the 1960s and 1970s, there was considerable heterogeneity in the distinction between ship classes, and in some countries destroyers (so far in France) and even missile cruisers were also called frigates. In Polish terminology, ships of this type were also referred to as great frigates. From the 1950s to 1974 in the USA, frigates were called larger ships than destroyers (officially marked with the DL prefix for destroyer leader - destroyer leaders); later they were reclassified as cruisers, and frigates came to be called smaller escort ships. Frigates built after World War II were used to protect convoys and fleet teams and for patrol tasks. In addition to the frigates specialized in fighting submarines, developed especially in Great Britain, more universal ships were also built. By the 1960s, the displacement of the frigates reached 1,500-2,500 tons and a speed of 25-30 knots. They were equipped with richer electronic equipment and newer means of fighting and detecting submarines. Automatic universal guns and guided anti-submarine torpedoes appeared in armament, and in some types an on-board helicopter. In the 1960s, the frigates were fitted with anti-aircraft guided missiles and rocket-torpedoes, and later also anti-ship missiles, and the existing artillery frigates were replaced by rocket frigates. Frigates with purely artillery armament are still used mainly in some navies of the Third World countries, and were occasionally built until the 1980s.