Warship design trends
Research Review By:
Friedman, Norman Consultant, New York, New York.
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Western navies have spent nearly two decades absorbing the effects of the end of the Cold War. The main post–Cold War naval missions seem to be expeditionary, which means primarily either operating against land targets or imposing maritime interdiction far from home. Antisubmarine warfare now means largely dealing with limited numbers of diesel-electric submarines operating in relatively shallow warm water, dramatically unlike the North Atlantic for which NATO long trained. Mine countermeasures has changed from home defense to mine clearance or evasion-conducted on short notice in very unfamiliar places. The change shows in naval building programs and in the shape of fleets. Several navies have discarded large numbers of frigates designed for the Cold War escort role, such as the U.S. Perry class, the British Type 23, and the Dutch M-frigate. Although quite successful, they were no longer very relevant. Instead there came smaller numbers of larger ships with a greater ability to deal with the air threats that may be expected near foreign coasts. Examples include the British Daring class destroyers (Type 45) and the Dutch De Zeven Provincien.
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