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JohnPJones

corvette vs missile boat

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we all know that with large ships there's no single definition of what makes a ship a frigate, destroyer, or cruiser.
people often over look the smaller craft...what's the difference between a missile/torpedo/gun boat and a corvette?

simply size? multipurpose? endurance and range?

i have been arguing about the utility of missile boats in the modern era with those who think they're usefulness effectively ended when the cold war ended.

i tried citing about two dozen missile boats that have been designed and built since 2000, and some have argued that a few of the vessels i referenced were actually corvettes (to be fair one navy referred to one of them as a corvette but i disagree with that classification)

here's the list i provided.

  gumdoksuri class of 500ton missile FAC.
yoon youngha class at 570tons
type22 220 tons
ambassador 600tons
rauma 240tons
hamina 250tons
roussen class 580tons
clurit class 250tons
sa'ar 4.5 430-498tons
hayabusa class 200tons
skjold 'coastal' corvette at 274tons (no other corvette that i've seen has been labaled as 'coastal' meaning it's clearly just a FAC)
azmat class 560tons
visby class 640tons
kuang hua VI class 171tons
kilic(?) class 553tons
BPS500 class 520tons

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The only people who think that the usefulness of FACs died with the Cold War are the same people who never expect to have to defend their own coastline.

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Corvette is pretty much what the Europeans call a US Navy Frigate or a JMSDF Destroyer Escort. A ship just at the bottom of what is a commissioned warship, any smaller and it gets a number and not a name. Not normally suited for long, independent deployments, but they are still ocean going.

Both European Frigates and Destroyers are much the same thing as US Navy or JMSDF destroyers. They fill the role of cruisers as the all purpose, goes everywhere does everything ships in the fleet.

Vessels smaller than Corvette's or US Navy frigates aren't as much warships, but single purpose attack craft, more akin to WWII PT boats that full on proper warships. Calling them ocean going is a bit of a stretch, while many of them would probably survive, the crews and boats would take a pounding.

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Modern ships don't follow the classifications that were used in the era that the game covers.

 

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1 hour ago, SgtBeltfed said:

Corvette is pretty much what the Europeans call a US Navy Frigate or a JMSDF Destroyer Escort. A ship just at the bottom of what is a commissioned warship, any smaller and it gets a number and not a name. Not normally suited for long, independent deployments, but they are still ocean going.

Both European Frigates and Destroyers are much the same thing as US Navy or JMSDF destroyers. They fill the role of cruisers as the all purpose, goes everywhere does everything ships in the fleet.

Vessels smaller than Corvette's or US Navy frigates aren't as much warships, but single purpose attack craft, more akin to WWII PT boats that full on proper warships. Calling them ocean going is a bit of a stretch, while many of them would probably survive, the crews and boats would take a pounding.

i'd rate a corvette as closer to the USN LCS than an FFG. just that a corvette is more offensive than an LCS.

one of the arguments is that modern missile boats are no longer single purpose attack craft. you have vessels a few hundred tons with their own sonar and ASW weapons as well as AAW and  ASuW weapons, but they're still only significantly smaller than what most would call a corvette.

i will say that at around 800tons the line gets blurred, but at 700tons or less i don't think there really isn't any confusion.

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1 hour ago, BrushWolf said:

Modern ships don't follow the classifications that were used in the era that the game covers.

 

thank you for restating what i said in the first line of my original post.

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21 minutes ago, JohnPJones said:

thank you for restating what i said in the first line of my original post.

That is what I get for posting before reading. :Smile_facepalm: Even today there are often multiple class names for the same type of craft.

All of the boats you named are so small that they really don't have a class beyond the generic FAC. Even in WWII 500 tons was damn small but those small ships could fill certain jobs.

Meet the USCGC Icarus, all 350 tons of her.

 

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personally i believe that around 800tons is where things really get blurry, and will largely come down to endurance and/or range.

i have a hard time calling a vessel with only a 3-5 day endurance a corvette, because while corvettes are still ideally littoral vessels, they should have the endurance for long patrols up and down the coast, and around the EEZ (basically a heavily armed OPV), meanwhile missile boat might go out for short patrols, or quick hunts, and then return to base.

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Something that I learned is that ship classification has never been easy, and in recent years it has become a real mess, since a ship can enter different classifications according to a single nation, thus, making international classification a real headache.

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8 hours ago, FrancisVonBismarck said:

Something that I learned is that ship classification has never been easy, and in recent years it has become a real mess, since a ship can enter different classifications according to a single nation, thus, making international classification a real headache.

 

There is no official standard of classification for warships after post war and post Cold War, not like in the '20s where people needed to create a standard framework to base their treaties of arms control.  Technology has also made such terms obsolete.  National language is also a barrier.  The Chinese for example, doesn't have a term for corvette, so their corvettes are called what would be translated in English as a light frigate.  The Russians use the term Guards Ship for their corvettes and frigates.  The Japanese has an LHA they call a destroyer, and the Chinese has a 13,000 ton cruiser, they call a destroyer, although I also heard the term 'large destroyer' to separate their 055 from the 052D.  The UK calls their Type 26 a frigate, despite its as big as a Type 45 destroyer at 7000 plus imperial tons.  The Germans have begun to build their largest post war warships, which at over 7000 tons, the MKS 180 is referred to as a frigate.  The Japanese and Koreans have begun to make frigates, which must be quite small, as their smaller destroyers that don't use the AEGIS, are well under the sizes of European frigates.  

 

Another problem is that with technology, lethality cannot be measured in tonnage nor is proportional to it any longer.  Another issue is that ships are also oriented for one task or another, like antisubmarine vs. antiaircraft.  

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11 hours ago, Eisennagel said:

The UK calls their Type 26 a frigate, despite its as big as a Type 45 destroyer at 7000 plus imperial tons.  

This is, I suspect, largely legacy naming, rather than anything else. 

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13 hours ago, mr3awsome said:

This is, I suspect, largely legacy naming, rather than anything else. 

 

There are other trends too, such as the splitting of frigates between big and small, the smaller frigate being called a light or intermediary sized frigate.  This is instead of having a destroyer and frigate classification.  

 

Another is the gradual disappearance of calling smaller ships "corvette" and instead, calling them OPVs.   In Malaysia, they are referred to as LMS or Littoral Mission Ships.

Edited by Eisennagel
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On August 5, 2020 at 11:06 PM, Eisennagel said:

 

There are other trends too, such as the splitting of frigates between big and small, the smaller frigate being called a light or intermediary sized frigate.  This is instead of having a destroyer and frigate classification.  

 

Another is the gradual disappearance of calling smaller ships "corvette" and instead, calling them OPVs.   In Malaysia, they are referred to as LMS or Littoral Mission Ships.

That doesn't seem to be all that common from what I've seen.

theres a few navies that have OPVs that I'd classify as corvettes but not many.

 

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On 2/12/2020 at 8:38 PM, TornadoADV said:

The only people who think that the usefulness of FACs died with the Cold War are the same people who never expect to have to defend their own coastline.

Any nation could better defend their own coastline using shore based missile systems and sensors, possibly aided by sea floor sensors, and hardening those than they would be by FAC, or other small naval vessels as their primary combatants.  Today, such systems can reach out and touch a naval vessel up to 200+ miles out to sea and in some cases that's already been proven like off Yemen.

 

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On August 24, 2020 at 4:14 PM, Murotsu said:

Any nation could better defend their own coastline using shore based missile systems and sensors, possibly aided by sea floor sensors, and hardening those than they would be by FAC, or other small naval vessels as their primary combatants.  Today, such systems can reach out and touch a naval vessel up to 200+ miles out to sea and in some cases that's already been proven like off Yemen.

 

So you put those same missiles on a FAC that has a range of a few hundred miles and you can reach out and touch a ship before they can threaten your own shores...same concept as shore batteries vs coastal battleships or torpedo boats...

it would be stupid to rely only on shore batteries to defend your coastlines. 

Operation Millennium Challenge 02 proved the usefulness of FAC/FIAC in the modern age pretty well.

Edited by JohnPJones

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30 minutes ago, JohnPJones said:

So you put those same missiles on a FAC that has a range of a few hundred miles and you can reach out and touch a ship before they can threaten your own shores...same concept as shore batteries vs coastal battleships or torpedo boats...

it would be stupid to rely only on shore batteries to defend your coastlines. 

Operation Millennium Challenge 02 proved the usefulness of FAC/FIAC in the modern age pretty well.

The problem is the FAC can't go out in rough seas or badly inclement weather and is sensor and data link limited.  Shore batteries aren't a stand alone solution but in many cases they would be highly effective.  FAC can't stay at sea for any long period of time, and will still take hours to transit onto station and back to port.   In Japan's case, there are 5 narrow straights into the Sea of Japan that are all controlled by Japan.

You install shore batteries that are mobile along with hardened fixed positions.  You place a series of ocean bottom sensors like hydrophones along with radar and ESM systems to detect anything coming towards these straights.  With a 200 mile land based missile system for anti-ship work and a say, 100 + mile SAM system, along with intelligent bottom systems like a controlled release homing torpedo / mine for ASW, you control the straight entirely without the need for naval support.  That frees up your naval forces for other missions.  It also makes your systems "defensive" in nature and gives you the means to monitor sea traffic through those straights even in peacetime 24/7.

Taiwan can control the straight between them and mainland China using such a system.  It would be harder for China to even know it existed.

There are lots of countries that have the ability to control sea traffic through narrow straights.  Modern weapons and sensors can allow them to do this from their own territory without naval forces.  That's a good deal and much cheaper than using ships of any sort.

 

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1 hour ago, JohnPJones said:

So you put those same missiles on a FAC that has a range of a few hundred miles and you can reach out and touch a ship before they can threaten your own shores...same concept as shore batteries vs coastal battleships or torpedo boats...

it would be stupid to rely only on shore batteries to defend your coastlines. 

Operation Millennium Challenge 02 proved the usefulness of FAC/FIAC in the modern age pretty well.

 

Those kinds of ships would be corvettes, not FACs.   A corvette would be like a mini-frigate.   Why would a corvette be diong this instead of a mere FAC or missile boat?  In order to provide some OTH targeting, the vessel needs some ability to communicate and network with aircraft, other ships and satellites.  For the FAC, that ability is limited.  

 

Let me give two examples.

 

Type 022 Houbei FAC.  Each of these boats can carry 8 antiship missiles.  The PRC used to build a ton of these, at least 80 of them.  Then suddenly the production stopped.  

 

They switched out from building Type 022 missile boats to Type 056 corvettes, which over 60 were made.

 

These show you the differences between a just a missile boat vs. a corvette.   Missile boats tend to engage in line of sight.  Even if they happen to use NSMs or Harpoons, the missiles would only be in the light of sight of the boat's radar.  To engage larger ships, the boats would have to swarm the larger ship within their small radar's radar horizon, or the antiship missiles have to have control handed over to a plane for a CEC basis.   Some boats can have OTH radars --- the radio waves bouncing off the atmosphere ---  but using OTH radars can give away the boat's own location, is situational and weather dependent, and may have questionable accuracy and returns.

 

The FAC or missile boat is very singular in purpose.  It is meant to engage other ships in packs and is built in the lowest cost possible for mass production.  With the 022, the only other armament is a CIWS that does not use radar but through an EO.

 

The corvette on the other hand, is a complete warship.  While the 056 reduced the antiship missile load from 8 to 4, the ship gains a 120 rpm 76mm gun with gunnery radar, two 30mm autocannons with an EO and can be remote controlled, a longer ranged radar, 8 SAMs for air defense, SATCOMs to allow it to communicate long range with other ships and the mainland through satellite network.  It can hold a helicopter, and the ship has sonar, along with torpedoes.  The ship also has some electronic warfare capability,  suuch as passive detection, directionally finding and threat signal determination through ESM.  In the 056A version, the ship gained a variable depth sonar.   The ship can also hold a small contingent of marines.  

 

In this case, the ship's much better communication abilities through datalinks and SATCOMs that can enable it to get much better OTH situational awareness in a much more precise manner than OTH radars could, using this information to target its antiship missiles.  Then along with the ship being multipurpose, you can use it for other things, including support for the coast guard and hunting submarines.  

 

When people think about FACs, they often think about Russian missile boats, the most famous of which is the Tarantuls.  But the Tarantul class is considered a corvette, and it is probably the most well known modern corvette.  It is fairly complete with sensors, including SATCOM, datalinks, gunnery radars,  ESM, CIWS, OTH radars.  

 

Now once you start building all these capabilities in, a corvette isn't cheap.   Add the cost of the crew, and it is far from a cheap and expendable warship.

 

Edited by Eisennagel

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32 minutes ago, Eisennagel said:

 

Those kinds of ships would be corvettes, not FACs.   A corvette would be like a mini-frigate.   Why would a corvette be diong this instead of a mere FAC or missile boat?  In order to provide some OTH targeting, the vessel needs some ability to communicate and network with aircraft, other ships and satellites.  For the FAC, that ability is limited.  

 

Let me give two examples.

 

Type 022 Houbei FAC.  Each of these boats can carry 8 antiship missiles.  The PRC used to build a ton of these, at least 80 of them.  Then suddenly the production stopped.  

 

They switched out from building Type 022 missile boats to Type 056 corvettes, which over 60 were made.

 

These show you the differences between a just a missile boat vs. a corvette.   Missile boats tend to engage in line of sight.  Even if they happen to use NSMs or Harpoons, the missiles would only be in the light of sight of the boat's radar.  To engage larger ships, the boats would have to swarm the larger ship within their small radar's radar horizon, or the antiship missiles have to have control handed over to a plane for a CEC basis.   Some boats can have OTH radars --- the radio waves bouncing off the atmosphere ---  but using OTH radars can give away the boat's own location, is situational and weather dependent, and may have questionable accuracy and returns.

 

The FAC or missile boat is very singular in purpose.  It is meant to engage other ships in packs and is built in the lowest cost possible for mass production.  With the 022, the only other armament is a CIWS that does not use radar but through an EO.

 

The corvette on the other hand, is a complete warship.  While the 056 reduced the antiship missile load from 8 to 4, the ship gains a 120 rpm 76mm gun with gunnery radar, two 30mm autocannons with an EO and can be remote controlled, a longer ranged radar, 8 SAMs for air defense, SATCOMs to allow it to communicate long range with other ships and the mainland through satellite network.  It can hold a helicopter, and the ship has sonar, along with torpedoes.  The ship also has some electronic warfare capability,  suuch as passive detection, directionally finding and threat signal determination through ESM.  In the 056A version, the ship gained a variable depth sonar.   The ship can also hold a small contingent of marines.  

 

In this case, the ship's much better communication abilities through datalinks and SATCOMs that can enable it to get much better OTH situational awareness in a much more precise manner than OTH radars could, using this information to target its antiship missiles.  Then along with the ship being multipurpose, you can use it for other things, including support for the coast guard and hunting submarines.  

 

When people think about FACs, they often think about Russian missile boats, the most famous of which is the Tarantuls.  But the Tarantul class is considered a corvette, and it is probably the most well known modern corvette.  It is fairly complete with sensors, including SATCOM, datalinks, gunnery radars,  ESM, CIWS, OTH radars.  

 

Now once you start building all these capabilities in, a corvette isn't cheap.   Add the cost of the crew, and it is far from a cheap and expendable warship.

 

La combattante III FAC. 570nm range. Missile boat not a corvette, and a corvette is not even remotely a small frigate...a small frigate is a small frigate and a corvette is a corvette.

as a navy veteran and mk38 technician and operator I'm quite familiar with missile boats.

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1 hour ago, Murotsu said:

The problem is the FAC can't go out in rough seas or badly inclement weather and is sensor and data link limited.  Shore batteries aren't a stand alone solution but in many cases they would be highly effective.  FAC can't stay at sea for any long period of time, and will still take hours to transit onto station and back to port.   In Japan's case, there are 5 narrow straights into the Sea of Japan that are all controlled by Japan.

You install shore batteries that are mobile along with hardened fixed positions.  You place a series of ocean bottom sensors like hydrophones along with radar and ESM systems to detect anything coming towards these straights.  With a 200 mile land based missile system for anti-ship work and a say, 100 + mile SAM system, along with intelligent bottom systems like a controlled release homing torpedo / mine for ASW, you control the straight entirely without the need for naval support.  That frees up your naval forces for other missions.  It also makes your systems "defensive" in nature and gives you the means to monitor sea traffic through those straights even in peacetime 24/7.

Taiwan can control the straight between them and mainland China using such a system.  It would be harder for China to even know it existed.

There are lots of countries that have the ability to control sea traffic through narrow straights.  Modern weapons and sensors can allow them to do this from their own territory without naval forces.  That's a good deal and much cheaper than using ships of any sort.

 

If you also install facilities to support FAC you can push out that radius even more.

just like you said shore batteries aren't stand alone. For a nation that's strapped for their navy's budget missile boats provide a credible threat tool deter aggression against their shores.

 

you also ignore the fact that many ASMs have can be launched and seek a target on their own...

 

whats the radar horizon of a submerged submarine for example? Yet despite being under water submarines can still operate ASMs

Edited by JohnPJones

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46 minutes ago, JohnPJones said:

La combattante III FAC. 570nm range. Missile boat not a corvette, and a corvette is not even remotely a small frigate...a small frigate is a small frigate and a corvette is a corvette.

as a navy veteran and mk38 technician and operator I'm quite familiar with missile boats.

 

Its sensors are rudimentary.

 

z4NybsF.jpg

 

That ship is similar to the Type 037 Houjians the PLAN has been retiring.  One might even say 'copy'.

 

sQX5LPf.jpg

 

Both ships have basic sensors.  So how is going to guide those antiship missiles over the horizon?  How will it target a ship in those ranges?

 

If you take a Type 056 corvette, which is what I think is great definition for a standard corvette, it has a helicopter that can be used to spot targets over the horizon.  You also notice there are two round domes on the ship which are for satellite communication, and that can be used to further communicate with other ships, planes and even with networks on the mainland.  You can see all sorts of sensors on the ship.

 

ddneqqr.jpg

 

n1wVzS7.jpg

 

The Tarantul class or Molniya class corvette also contains all sorts of sensors well beyond that of a missile boat.

 

bls2Uo8.jpg

 

Technically, the PLAN calls its corvettes, light missile frigates as there is no direct work or translation for corvette.  The Russians don't have the word corvette either, as these are referred to as guided missile or rocket Guards ships.

 

Project 20380 is often referred to as corvette, but NATO wants to designate them as light frigates.  These things have helicopter and VLS, plus whole bunch of sensors.

 

7vVZ3m2.jpg

 

Ship only has deck for helicopter but lacks a hanger to protect them for extended voyages.  Once you are putting hanger for helicopter, the ship grows larger and you reached the definition for frigate.

 

Edited by Eisennagel

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3 hours ago, Eisennagel said:

 

Its sensors are rudimentary.

 

z4NybsF.jpg

 

That ship is similar to the Type 037 Houjians the PLAN has been retiring.  One might even say 'copy'.

 

sQX5LPf.jpg

 

Both ships have basic sensors.  So how is going to guide those antiship missiles over the horizon?  How will it target a ship in those ranges?

 

If you take a Type 056 corvette, which is what I think is great definition for a standard corvette, it has a helicopter that can be used to spot targets over the horizon.  You also notice there are two round domes on the ship which are for satellite communication, and that can be used to further communicate with other ships, planes and even with networks on the mainland.  You can see all sorts of sensors on the ship.

 

ddneqqr.jpg

 

n1wVzS7.jpg

 

The Tarantul class or Molniya class corvette also contains all sorts of sensors well beyond that of a missile boat.

 

bls2Uo8.jpg

 

Technically, the PLAN calls its corvettes, light missile frigates as there is no direct work or translation for corvette.  The Russians don't have the word corvette either, as these are referred to as guided missile or rocket Guards ships.

 

Project 20380 is often referred to as corvette, but NATO wants to designate them as light frigates.  These things have helicopter and VLS, plus whole bunch of sensors.

 

7vVZ3m2.jpg

 

Ship only has deck for helicopter but lacks a hanger to protect them for extended voyages.  Once you are putting hanger for helicopter, the ship grows larger and you reached the definition for frigate.

 

How does a submarine underwater manage to launch ASMs like harpoon?

not to mention most ASMs have their own onboard guidance capabilities any way.

 

yall seem to be under the impression I somewhere said that missile boats are an ideal method of coastal defense...simply they still have a use.

 

while the Cyclones and MK VI boats utilize very short range, missiles, but the USN has had and utilized missile boats as well for decades still, from the Pegasus to the MK VI boats 

Edited by JohnPJones

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3 hours ago, JohnPJones said:

How does a submarine underwater manage to launch ASMs like harpoon?

not to mention most ASMs have their own onboard guidance capabilities any way.

 

yall seem to be under the impression I somewhere said that missile boats are an ideal method of coastal defense...simply they still have a use.

 

while the Cyclones and MK VI boats utilize very short range, missiles, but the USN has had and utilized missile boats as well for decades still, from the Pegasus to the MK VI boats 

 

Subs need to obtain the targeting information before hand and for that they need to stick an ESM or communication mast out over the water.  SSGNs or submarines that fire cruise missiles fire them when they are close to the surface.  

 

ASMs have onboard guidance capabilities but these are active radar seekers.  You know how big the diameter of an antiship missile is right? The radar is in the nose.  Its not a very big radar so the range of the seeker itself is limited.   Your combat systems need to code a route where the missile has to go, often a series of way points, towards where the target is supposed to.  By the time the missile gets there, flying low most of the time to avoid detection, it would activate its radar seeker and starts hunting to lock on its target.   If you notice that a missile is flying low, skimming over the sea surface, the Earth's curvature means a datalink that has a straight line of sight isn't going to work, and for that you probably need to bounce a signal off a plane, drone or satellite and down to the missile.  

 

When missile boats engage, the missiles are used within line of sight or in short range, like 30 to 40km, assisted and targeted by the boat's radar.   Antiship missiles do have a shorter range, direct line of sight mode.  But if you are going to engage longer than that, you're going to need datalinks and overall a more complex communication and sensor set up that involves cooperation with aircraft, helicopters and satellites.

 

Antiship missiles like the Exocet didn't come off the bat with 180+ km range.  They evolved that way through successive blocks.  When it first came out the Exocet had a range of 40km.  It makes sense on the La Combattante.   The YJ-81 or C-801 used on Type 37 Houjians are only around 42km.     But as antiship missiles evolved, even the ones from the same family has stretched the range from 40km to over 250km due to the advances in jet engines and fuel, along with cruising in more fuel efficient altitudes.   So the missile boats have been replaced by more sophisticated and capable corvettes, and that's where the export market for warships are now.  Even for poorer countries they buy corvettes, you can see catalogs of such offered by Damen or Thales being sold to countries like Indonesia, Mexico, and the Middle East. 

 

I would also say that missile boats for the most part are no longer operating as missile boats for some time now.  They have been exported or sold to different countries where they are often used as drug interdiction boats, and the remaining ones still in the US are also used as interdiction boats until they are sold to another country where they are used the same.  Drug trafficking is much bigger problem with most small countries than external threats in naval sovereignty.   There is a good market for interceptors that shipbuilders have been targeting lately.    After drug trafficking, you got problems with smuggling, illegal fishing and so on, so smaller navies work to support their coast guard  

 

As for boats with very short range missiles, these missiles are modified antitank missiles like Hellfires.  They work with lasers, someone has to light the target with one, and the missile homes in.  

 

Missile boat or FAC

rLsWYHb.jpg

 

Corvette

dscF6kA.jpg

 

 

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7 hours ago, Eisennagel said:

 

Subs need to obtain the targeting information before hand and for that they need to stick an ESM or communication mast out over the water.  SSGNs or submarines that fire cruise missiles fire them when they are close to the surface.  

 

ASMs have onboard guidance capabilities but these are active radar seekers.  You know how big the diameter of an antiship missile is right? The radar is in the nose.  Its not a very big radar so the range of the seeker itself is limited.   Your combat systems need to code a route where the missile has to go, often a series of way points, towards where the target is supposed to.  By the time the missile gets there, flying low most of the time to avoid detection, it would activate its radar seeker and starts hunting to lock on its target.   If you notice that a missile is flying low, skimming over the sea surface, the Earth's curvature means a datalink that has a straight line of sight isn't going to work, and for that you probably need to bounce a signal off a plane, drone or satellite and down to the missile.  

 

When missile boats engage, the missiles are used within line of sight or in short range, like 30 to 40km, assisted and targeted by the boat's radar.   Antiship missiles do have a shorter range, direct line of sight mode.  But if you are going to engage longer than that, you're going to need datalinks and overall a more complex communication and sensor set up that involves cooperation with aircraft, helicopters and satellites.

 

Antiship missiles like the Exocet didn't come off the bat with 180+ km range.  They evolved that way through successive blocks.  When it first came out the Exocet had a range of 40km.  It makes sense on the La Combattante.   The YJ-81 or C-801 used on Type 37 Houjians are only around 42km.     But as antiship missiles evolved, even the ones from the same family has stretched the range from 40km to over 250km due to the advances in jet engines and fuel, along with cruising in more fuel efficient altitudes.   So the missile boats have been replaced by more sophisticated and capable corvettes, and that's where the export market for warships are now.  Even for poorer countries they buy corvettes, you can see catalogs of such offered by Damen or Thales being sold to countries like Indonesia, Mexico, and the Middle East. 

 

I would also say that missile boats for the most part are no longer operating as missile boats for some time now.  They have been exported or sold to different countries where they are often used as drug interdiction boats, and the remaining ones still in the US are also used as interdiction boats until they are sold to another country where they are used the same.  Drug trafficking is much bigger problem with most small countries than external threats in naval sovereignty.   There is a good market for interceptors that shipbuilders have been targeting lately.    After drug trafficking, you got problems with smuggling, illegal fishing and so on, so smaller navies work to support their coast guard  

 

As for boats with very short range missiles, these missiles are modified antitank missiles like Hellfires.  They work with lasers, someone has to light the target with one, and the missile homes in.  

 

Missile boat or FAC

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Corvette

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Well there's never been a single vessel to vessel ASM launch in combat that occurred beyond 30miles regardless of the launching platform, so there's no reason to believe that larger ships will launch from farther away

 

still have no clue what point you're trying to argue.

the US has operated missile boats for decades, iran's missile boats are indeed a serious threat and a serious problem for anyone operating in the vicinity of Iran. China's missile boats likewise will prove problematic for anyone trying to fight in the SCS.

 

literally no one is saying that missile boats are better than corvettes, or that anyone prefers missile boats over corvettes, but small attack craft that move fast will pretty much always have a place in naval warfare.

Edited by JohnPJones

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9 hours ago, JohnPJones said:

Well there's never been a single vessel to vessel ASM launch in combat that occurred beyond 30miles regardless of the launching platform, so there's no reason to believe that larger ships will launch from farther away

 

still have no clue what point you're trying to argue.

the US has operated missile boats for decades, iran's missile boats are indeed a serious threat and a serious problem for anyone operating in the vicinity of Iran. China's missile boats likewise will prove problematic for anyone trying to fight in the SCS.

 

literally no one is saying that missile boats are better than corvettes, or that anyone prefers missile boats over corvettes, but small attack craft that move fast will pretty much always have a place in naval warfare.

 

The only reason why there hasn't been an OTH ASM launch in combat is because the last ASM launch in combat occurred decades ago, that we don't have a major war thanks to peace, and the technology has leaped leaps and bounds then.    Just because there is no ship that was sunk by an airplane in World War 1 doesn't mean it won't happen in World War 2.   OTH ASM sinkings has been consistently for quite a while now in demonstration.  Nobody would invest heavily in long range OTH for decades by all major powers around the world if this never worked at all.   These missiles are not cheap, and no one is going to put 240km range ASMs on a ship or boat if they don't work at all.   Since you know that ship launched cruise missiles do work in combat even at great ranges and with great reliability, a long range antiship missile is the same cruise missile technology except you replace the inertial and GPS guidance system, with an active radar seeker head --- like those used with air to air missiles.  The navigational and course setting systems that bring a cruise missile towards its target applies the same with long range antiship missiles, except in the final run, where the active missile seeker head turns on to lock onto the ship via radar reflections, whereas a cruise missile uses optics to match the image of the target via its image database.

 

The US no longer operates missile boats like they used to, and these boats have been mostly been moved to drug interdiction duty or sold to other countries which use them as interceptors.   Iran might be the only one but do note that the ASM missiles they have developed or copied have OTH capabilities.   China still has missile boats but they have a vast infrastructure --- aircraft, drone and satellite --- that can support long range OTH ASM fire.  Its likely the missiles are handed off to a Y-8 which will direct them to their targets.   However, China has not been making missile boats for years, and instead they have built 60+ corvettes, 30 frigates, and 39 destroyers (25 052D + 6 052C + 8 055).  In addition, they have refitted their four Sovremenny and five of their domestically built destroyers.   They still have their 80+ missile boats, each is armed with 8 missiles, but they don't seem to be as active lately not like years before and according to some observers, some of the boats may have been mothballed.  

 

In fact I would say that none of the countries around the SCS are investing in missile attack boats.  They do invest heavily in interceptor boats, in order to crack down on smugglers, drug trafficers and illegal fishers, not to mention pirates, all four are big problems in the SCS.   Instead, they are investing in missile armed corvettes and frigates, like the Philippines are doing with their Korean made frigates.   Such ships have a more significant amount of presence and warning.  Another thing these countries also invest in are small LPDs or LSTs, so they can bring marines and troops to different islands to deal with insurgent and local crime lords.  

Edited by Eisennagel

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