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ThatOddMan

Is the line blurry between a Destoyer and a Cruiser?

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Both seems to be pretty close to each other. In the game, on some ships, both can be equipped with torpedoes (USN and IJN).

Does it have to do with the role, weight, speed/acceleration, etc?

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Both what?

Also, in modern era role is what determines designation, for the most part. Take the De Zeven Provincien guided missile frigates for example, considered small destroyers by many.

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30 minutes ago, ThatOddMan said:

Both seems to be pretty close to each other. In the game, on some ships, both can be equipped with torpedoes (USN and IJN).

Does it have to do with the role, weight, speed/acceleration, etc?

In game?

Destroyers are always smaller, usually faster, and typically depend more on their torpedoes than a cruiser unless it's a Khabarovsk

They're also way stealthier and almost always more maneuverable, so they're better at capping, and more of them can stealth torp (launch torpedoes from beyond detection range) unless it's a Khabarovsk

Destroyers also don't have any armour unless it's a Khabarovsk

Oh, and on most non-Soviet destroyers torpedoes are a primary offensive weapon, while it's usually a last-ditch defensive/ambush weapon on cruisers.

Edited by warpath_33
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I noticed that MM frequently counts my Perth as a DD, i.e., reds have three DDs and we have two DDs and a Perth.  I also tend to drive her like a clumsier DD with eight 152s, secondaries, a plane, hydro, and passable concealment (8.6km).  Even the Fiji can do the cap contesting role of a DD pretty well and is not too bad at spotting.

Edited by ExploratorOne

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Yeah only natural for there to be some overlap between some DDs and CAs, just as there is some overlap at times between CAs and BBs.

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12 minutes ago, ExploratorOne said:

I noticed that MM frequently counts my Perth as a DD, i.e., reds have three DDs and we have two DDs and a Perth.  I also tend to drive her like a clumsier DD with eight 152s, secondaries, a plane, hydro, and passable concealment (8.6km).  Even the Fiji can do the cap contesting role of a DD pretty well and is not too bad at spotting.

As does a Huanghe.

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4 minutes ago, Warped_1 said:

As does a Huanghe.

Very true.  Realized last night I had forgotten about her and plan to drive a bit today.  Have been using my other big "DD", Fiji, to knock out the Indy missions.

Seems like a big determinant affecting the line is functional purpose during a battle and the mindset of the player.  Shipwise, I think she/he has to have a certain level of mobility and detection to have a chance at fulfilling the DD role or a certain amount of armor, firepower, and tools to be able to fulfill the cruiser role.

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1 hour ago, ThatOddMan said:

Both seems to be pretty close to each other. In the game, on some ships, both can be equipped with torpedoes (USN and IJN).

Does it have to do with the role, weight, speed/acceleration, etc?

During the post-WW1 treaty era and WW2, the lines between DD and CL were pretty clear.  Today, the lines between destroyer and cruiser are a lot less clear.

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It really depends on what time period.

 

In the game's time period, the division is fairly clear (without dipping into treaties). Destroyers were small ships, typically under 3000 tons, meant to protect the battle line from enemy destroyer/torpedo boat attack, carry out torpedo attacks of their own, and be able to hunt submarines. 

Cruisers, meanwhile, were expected to act in a variety of roles depending on the type and navy. They are by far the most varied type of ship. They may be used to act as scouts, or part of the main battle line. They might be expected to lead destroyer flotillas, or be general patrol vessels to protect lines of communication and hunt down raiders. Some were designed specifically for air defense, while others were geared towards specifically hunting enemy destroyers. Their size varied greatly, from as small as 4000-5000 tons to as large as 14000 tons.


In the modern era, there's not much distinction that can be used other than the fact that you can say; "hey look, that ship is really friggin big, it's probably a cruiser."

In modern navies, terminology varies from fleet to fleet (for example, France calls everything a frigate), as does mission role. However, Frigates usually vary from as small as 2500 and up to 7000 tons, and their typical role is to act as ASW ships or General-Purpose "jack of All trades" good for most types of missions but not excelling anywhere in particular - although typically they tend to be better at Anti-Ship warfare than other Frigate types. Some frigates are geared towards AAW.

Destroyers can vary from 7000 to over 10000 tons. There really aren't many of them around, but they tend to be multi-role, although their primary job in almost every navy that operates them is AAW.

Cruisers... there's a handful. Literally, just the remaining Tico's used by the USN, and the Russian cruisers. Well, also the new Type 055's from China - although the Chinese call them destroyers, the USN considers them to be cruisers. And how do they vary from destroyers? Just being bigger, really. They're larger size-wise (save for the Tico's) than most DDGs and carry way more missile tubes, but the big issue is there just aren't enough types of each class to determine any given role that can be defined for them all. They're just kind of... there.

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6 hours ago, Lert said:

Both what?

Also, in modern era role is what determines designation, for the most part. Take the De Zeven Provincien guided missile frigates for example, considered small destroyers by many.

politics determines designation.

the zumwalt's role was originally NGFS, but thats been a secondary role at best for destroyers for most of the designation's history...
 

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The language of politics.  Everything needs to sound less and less aggressive to our millennial politically correct age.

 

Cruisers become destroyers, destroyers becomes frigates, frigates become corvettes, and corvettes becomes OPVs.  

 

The old name for corvettes I believe was sloops.

 

The term 'destroyer' is under attack in Europe except in Russia.  Just like in France, where frigate has completely replaced the term destroyer (Contre-torpilleur).  Germany has also dumped the destroyer designation and is calling all ships larger than a corvette, frigate.   In Europe, Frigate is on its way to describe all ocean going surface warships larger than a corvette.  I suspect the last European ships, like the Daring and the Horizon class, might be the last ships built there to use the term destroyer.  These ships don't provide enough distinction of their own front line, power projection frigates like the FREMM or the Type 26.  

 

In Australia, I suspect the Hobart class maybe the last ship to use the name destroyer.    The Hunter class frigate will be the main line of the Australian Navy.

 

The Japanese have been a sticker to the name Destroyer, even though many of their destroyers are by tonnage and armament, comparable to medium and larger frigates.  But the crack has started appearing, when their next generation ship, the 30DX is being called a Multi Mission Frigate.  The 30DX is meant to replace older destroyers and DEs in the Maritime Self Defense forces (can't call it a Navy), and slated at 3,900 tons.  Latest morph now has it at 5,500 or 6000 tons, now called 30FFM, and yes, its a frigate.   30FFM has a displacement larger than the latest Asahi class destroyers, which at 5000 tons would be average in size in the world of frigates.    Should be noted that the project started as a 3000 ton frigate called 30FF, and now bloated to twice its displacement.  

 

The Koreans are another sticker to the use of the term destroyer but recently had the first crack with their Daegu class being called frigates.  

 

The USN and the highly layered Chinese Navy will likely stick to the name destroyer.  The Chinese lacks a proper expression in their language for corvette, hence the Type 056 corvettes are referred to as 'light missile frigates'.  

 

The size and mental image of the modern frigate seems to fit a precisely measured expression of naval power, not too aggressive, not to weak either, yet sleek and modern, conveys both strength and respect to the host for port visits.  The Chinese Navy is growing to be a symmetrical pyramid navy, with the bottom tiers of FACs and corvettes aka light missile frigates, the regular frigates, and then the destroyers.   For this reason, the frigates are chosen the most for escort missions, visits to foreign nations as ambassadors, intercepting 'trespassing' ships, and so on.  For this reason, the Chinese Navy prefers using the Type 054A more times over the much more powerful Type 052D.  I also think the Chinese Navy has the clearest stratification line between destroyer and frigate, with the frigates equipped with only the mid ranged weaponry and highly oriented towards defensive purposes, whereas the destroyers have the longest ranges and reach weaponry.  For this reason, you don't find cruise missiles on Chinese frigates for example.

 

The USN will stick to the destroyer because the AB fits its mental image it wishes to project.  But indeed it is also looking for ships that are more economical to do patrols and FONOPs with precisely measured expressions, one that can fit with its own frigates.  

 

For the Russian Navy, those heavy corvettes or Guard ships Project 20380/381/385/386 should be called light frigates.   Whereas corvettes are supposed to be used as littoral combat vessels, the Russians are using them for near power projection, and sending them to blue waters for drills.  That seems more like frigates to me.  

Edited by Eisennagel
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On 6/30/2018 at 10:30 AM, Lert said:

Both what?

Also, in modern era role is what determines designation, for the most part. Take the De Zeven Provincien guided missile frigates for example, considered small destroyers by many.

Sorry for that. I'll re-phrase. 

Both, the destroyers and cruisers, seems to be pretty close to each other in terms of armaments as in the case of some IJN and USN ships.

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Ticonderoga-class cruisers in the USN have one capability that neither class of destroyer does-command and control. Ticos carry the CSGs' Air Defense Commander and their support team. Flight III DDGs will have some of this capability (thanks to the deletion of the signal generator by going to AMDR freeing up space), but Ticos will still be better. A similar distinction exists between the Slava and Soveremenny-classes.

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There is no difference now, because the "destroyer" has grown out of control.

However, this means they are technically ALL cruisers as per Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cruiser

Quote

The term "cruiser" or "cruizer"[2] was first commonly used in the 17th century to refer to an independent warship.

Quote

During the 18th century the frigate became the preeminent type of cruiser. A frigate was a small, fast, long range, lightly armed (single gun-deck) ship used for scouting, carrying dispatches, and disrupting enemy trade. The other principal type of cruiser was the sloop, but many other miscellaneous types of ship were used as well.

And... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corvette

Quote

During the Age of Sail, corvettes were one of many types of warships smaller than a frigate and with a single deck of guns.[3] They were very closely related to sloops-of-war. The role of the corvette consisted mostly of coastal patrol, fighting minor wars, supporting large fleets, or participating in show-the-flag missions. The English Navy began using small ships in the 1650s, but described them as sloops rather than corvettes. The first reference to a corvette was with the French Navy in the 1670s, which may be where the term originated. The French Navy's corvettes grew over the decades and by the 1780s they were ships of 20 guns or so, approximately equivalent to the British Navy's post ships. The British Navy did not adopt the term until the 1830s, long after the Napoleonic Wars, to describe a small sixth-rate vessel somewhat larger than a sloop.

Since modern corvettes are short-ranged, while modern frigates and everything heavier are long-ranged... modern frigates on up are cruisers by the traditional definitions.

Hell, WWII corvettes (origin of the modern use of the term) are equivalent to torpedo gunboats (a type of small, mostly coastal cruiser) in role!

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In real life, going into WWII, it was based on tonnage and gun caliber by treaty.

Destroyers displaced less than 1850 tons and carried guns of 5.1 inches or smaller.

Cruisers are 10,000 tons or less, with guns 6.1 inch or smaller for lights and 8 inch or smaller for heavy cruisers.

Battleships were 35,000 tons or lighter, with guns no larger than 16 inch.

Treaty limits are kinda like speed limits, everyone lied, cheated and paid them lip service. French and Japanese DD's were bordering on cruiser sized, everyone except the Royal Navy built cruisers over the limits, and there's that tiny little issue of the Yamato being about double the treaty limits.

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23 minutes ago, SgtBeltfed said:

In real life, going into WWII, it was based on tonnage and gun caliber by treaty.

Destroyers displaced less than 1850 tons and carried guns of 5.1 inches or smaller.

Cruisers are 10,000 tons or less, with guns 6.1 inch or smaller for lights and 8 inch or smaller for heavy cruisers.

Battleships were 35,000 tons or lighter, with guns no larger than 16 inch.

Treaty limits are kinda like speed limits, everyone lied, cheated and paid them lip service. French and Japanese DD's were bordering on cruiser sized, everyone except the Royal Navy built cruisers over the limits, and there's that tiny little issue of the Yamato being about double the treaty limits.

Hmm i thought 17" guns counted as CL oh well.. also i often wonder what wouldve happened if the washington navy and london navy treaty never existed... just as massive what if of the crazy classes we couldve seen if the major powers (USN/IJN/RN/KMS/MN) wouldve came up with since they no longer had to somehow make everything super compact to allow it in the navy 

example more Bb's and CV's at te start of ww2 allowing for more major battles.

or a seperate scenerio is if USN/RN was affected but KMS/IJN never signed

Edited by JessieTheKitty

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Tons of definition blurring now.  Friedman is great on his historical tracing of lineage.  Going back 200+ years, the frigate was basically the cruiser of 70 years ago and the DL's post WW2, which became cruisers in the re-categorization in the 70's.  As mentioned, except for CC, Tico's are nothing but big Aegis equipped Kidd's, which are nothing but AA Spru-cans, which were basically the size of WW2 London treaty B cruisers which the Brits favored.

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3 hours ago, Lethal215 said:

Tons of definition blurring now.  Friedman is great on his historical tracing of lineage.  Going back 200+ years, the frigate was basically the cruiser of 70 years ago and the DL's post WW2, which became cruisers in the re-categorization in the 70's.  As mentioned, except for CC, Tico's are nothing but big Aegis equipped Kidd's, which are nothing but AA Spru-cans, which were basically the size of WW2 London treaty B cruisers which the Brits favored.

There isn’t really any definition any more...

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Ship classes tend to be defined by their weapons instead of their weight now.

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3 hours ago, TornadoADV said:

Ship classes tend to be defined by their weapons instead of their weight now.

Funny since there are destroyers with similar weapons loads to cruisers...

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Politics seems to favor the use of the word 'frigate' as opposed to the more politically threatening cruiser and destroyer.   The BAE Type 26 frigate has broken displacement for frigate, exceeding even the German F125, and is nearing 8,000 tons now.  Little differentiates the Type 26 frigate and the Type 45 destroyer in terms of displacement.   The Type 26 exceeds the Type 45 in terms of VLS count, although 48 of that is for short ranged SAMs, and 24 for cruise missiles and ASROCs, while the Type 45 is 48 cells for medium ranged SAMs.   I predict the term 'destroyer' will fade away in Europe, as it already did on France and Germany, and may further happen to Italy and the UK.  

 

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27 minutes ago, Eisennagel said:

 

Politics seems to favor the use of the word 'frigate' as opposed to the more politically threatening cruiser and destroyer.   The BAE Type 26 frigate has broken displacement for frigate, exceeding even the German F125, and is nearing 8,000 tons now.  Little differentiates the Type 26 frigate and the Type 45 destroyer in terms of displacement.   The Type 26 exceeds the Type 45 in terms of VLS count, although 48 of that is for short ranged SAMs, and 24 for cruise missiles and ASROCs, while the Type 45 is 48 cells for medium ranged SAMs.   I predict the term 'destroyer' will fade away in Europe, as it already did on France and Germany, and may further happen to Italy and the UK.  

 

Maybe we’ll go back to something more like the AoS type of classification where number of tubes/barrels will become the primary determinate. Probably won’t see the ship of the line title come back though ??

50-100 VLS +major caliber gun=frigate

100+ VLS + major caliber gun= cruiser

<50 VLS= corvette

turreted weapons (RAM/octuple ESSM, gun, etc)=sloop/LCS/whatever

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For one thing, gun caliber can't be used, there are 5" guns on corvettes, like the Russian Project 20380.  

 

Japanese and Korean warships classified as destroyers, but aren't Aegis, typically have 32 VLS.  But that's also the average number of VLS you see with modern frigates.  Furthermore, these destroyers like the Akizuki class, are at 5000 to 6000 tons which is also becoming the modern average for mid to large frigates.  

 

Also VLS can't be equal.  There are small VLS that will fit only short range SAMs and there are VLS that will fit a cruise missile.   Both of these VLS can't be compared to a one to one ratio.  There are VLS that can quad pack four short to mid range SAMs, then there are VLS that will pack short to mid range SAMs on a one to one basis.  That's can't also be counted as equal.

 

So I would look at total potential missile mass instead.  This is the total number of missiles in the ship, including close ranged ones, times their weight.  This also includes the antiship missiles.   The potential is looking at the largest missiles the VLS is recorded to carry  so you don't count undersized missiles on oversized VLS fits.   One problem to this however, is that VLS can come in different lengths and specs don't often detail the proportion.  For example, Mk. 41 has 5.3m (Self Defense), 6.8m (Tactical) and 7.7m (Strike).   China's U-VLS has 7m and 9m, while boasting a diameter of .85m, much greater than the Mk. 41''s .65m.  Sylver VLS has 3, 5 and 7 meter lengths, but its easy to see on the spec sheet as they mark them as A30, A30 and A70 VLS.  

 

In the case of the Type 45 Daring vs. Type 26 GCS frigate, the breakdown goes like this.

 

Type 45 = 48 A50 VLS, which is 5 meters deep.   I would peg this as one to one with a Mk. 41 Self Defense VLS that will fit ESSM, SM-2 and ASROC only but not cruise missiles.  

 

Type 26 = 48 VLS for CAMM missiles.  CAMMs are roughly equivalent to ESSM, so 48 VLS for CAMMs like 12 Mk. 41 Self Defense that are quad packed with ESSMs.  

+  24 Mk. 41 VLS, Strike length.   These are for cruise missiles and potentially large antiship missiles.  

 

The Type 26 is roughly the equivalent to a ship with 36 Mk. 41s.   What's not shown in the equation is that the Type 26 is potentially more versatile than the Type 45.  

Edited by Eisennagel

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Another point of blurring is Navantia's F100/F105/F110 frigate line.   Normally this family is considered frigates, and its proposals to the Australian, Canadian and US frigate competition is such.  But Australia also bought three of these are called them Hobart class destroyers.  This is interesting because Navantia is also proposing this very same ship --- albeit the radars have changed ---- for Australia's frigate competition.  The Hobart has the SPY-1D, while the Navantia SEA 5000 frigate proposal uses Australia's own CEFAR active phase arrays, which appears to be a requirement in the competition.   This seems to be the biggest difference between the Hobart and the proposed frigate, although I am not sure if the VLS numbers are changed from 48 down to 32, and if they did, why?  

 

The Navantia proposal didn't win, with the Type 26 based proposal winning this contract.  Ironically, the Type 26 frigate displaces even more than both the Hobart destroyer and the Navantia proposal.   From what I know the winning Type 26 proposal has 32 VLS.  So Hobart with 48 VLS is a destroyer while Type 26 has 32 VLS is a frigate?  However, the Alvaro de Bazan frigate which the F100 is, already has 48  Mk. 41 cells.  So the Spanish has no problems calling a ship with 48 VLS a frigate.  This hits the exact line since the Type 45 Daring has 48 VLS, and China's Type 052C destroyer also has 48 VLS (the Chinese VLS however, holds a much bigger missile).

 

 

Edited by Eisennagel

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On 7/2/2018 at 8:24 AM, Guardian54 said:

There is no difference now, because the "destroyer" has grown out of control.

However, this means they are technically ALL cruisers as per Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cruiser

And... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corvette

Since modern corvettes are short-ranged, while modern frigates and everything heavier are long-ranged... modern frigates on up are cruisers by the traditional definitions.

Hell, WWII corvettes (origin of the modern use of the term) are equivalent to torpedo gunboats (a type of small, mostly coastal cruiser) in role!

 

One problem is that there are corvettes that aren't very corvette like in their range.  The most telling modern instance is the Russian 'corvettes' of the Project 20380/381/385 class aka Stereguschyy, Gremyaschy and Derzky.  These corvettes start up from about the 2000 tons to the Derzky at 3500 tons.  

 

We have seen these corvettes go down from the Baltic  to the Atlantic then to the Mediterranean, then back again, or sometimes head to the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean.  These corvettes have the potential to throw Kalibr cruise missiles for deep land strikes, which were why they were in the Med.  

 

At some point the difference of corvette vs. light frigate are also blurring, especially when the Stereguschyy are compared to the same country's Gepard class frigates.  The Gepards might be to some people, more like proper corvettes now.  

 

China does not have a corvette classification, so Type 056 corvettes are formally light missile frigates for the PLAN.  But people will always discuss them as corvettes to reduce confusion from China's true frigates, the Type 054B.  

 

China's own aging Jiangwei class, like the Type 053H3, might represent the blur between corvette and frigate when it comes to armament.  They are armed with a 100mm gun, 8 SAMs, two CIWS, and 8 ASMs.   Such a level of armament is corvette fare.  But these ships have also been known to patrol the Gulf of Aden, which puts them as true frigates in range.

 

 

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