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"Why is a Frigate a Frigate ?" Topic

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42flanker02 Jun 2022 11:25 a.m. PST

Why is a Frigate a Frigate (and not a Destroyer or a Corvette)?

YouTube link

Finally a little light is cast on a question that has long troubled this layman.

OSCS7402 Jun 2022 12:34 p.m. PST

In the ole days a DD had 4 power plants and twin propellers and was a jack of all trades (ASW, AAW and ASUW). A FF has 2 power plants and a single screw and was less equipped compared to a DD.

ASW: anti-submarine warfare
AAW: anti-air warfare
ASUW: anti-surface warfare

Father of Cats Supporting Member of TMP02 Jun 2022 1:53 p.m. PST

Because when it saw a ship of the line it said, "Freg-it that!"

Personal logo Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP02 Jun 2022 3:02 p.m. PST

The main takeaway here is that there is no sound logical basis to call any warship a "frigate".

A frigate is not a destroyer or corvette because it's a frigate. Q.E.D. est a petitio principii.

Garand02 Jun 2022 7:36 p.m. PST

I always used this rule of thumb:

Capable of multu-mission independent operations? Destroyer.
Sort of capable all round, but only really capable if they specialize? Frigate.
Lots of throw weight but not much endurance or blue water capacity? Corvette.

These also roughly align to displacements as well.

Not an expert, but that always worked for me (especially when applying it to SF settings).


David Manley02 Jun 2022 10:00 p.m. PST

In the RN it's easy.

If it's primary role is air defence it's a destroyer

If it's primary role is ASW or GP it's a frigate


gregmita204 Jun 2022 12:10 p.m. PST

An even better question, what is the size of a destroyer?

HMS Exeter05 Jun 2022 4:29 a.m. PST

Trying to characterize destroyers by size is like trying to characterize beer by the size of bottle in which it comes. You'll learn nothing and drive yourself nuts trying.

Murvihill06 Jun 2022 4:50 a.m. PST

Actually Exeter, you won't be able to drive yourself after you finish trying.

Ghostrunner01 Jan 2023 12:00 p.m. PST

Several navies avoid the use of the term destroyer for political reasons.

4th Cuirassier03 Jan 2023 6:27 a.m. PST

"Proactive Reconfigurer" is a kinder, gentler term.

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