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Showing posts from January, 2020

Classifying Modern Warships - Part I (Background)

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The numerous rigs that defined ship type in the age of sail Today there is some confusion about how modern warships should be described. Terms such as "destroyer," "frigate," and "corvette" are commonly thrown around, but it is impossible to find any agreed upon definition as to what they actually mean. It becomes even more complicated when attempting to compare warships from multiple nations, such as the Franco-Italian  Horizon -class - which are known as "frigates" ( fr├ęgate ) by the French and "destroyers" ( cacciatorpediniere ) by the Italians, and are the product of the "Common Next Generation Frigate" program but have NATO "D" for destroyer hull numbers. However, before attempting to lay out a rational system for comparing modern warships, let us first briefly examine the history behind warship classifications. Beginning in ancient days with the development of dedicated warships, classification was large

World Navies of 2020

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Among the greatest changes over the past year was the commissioning of the Royal Navy's second carrier,  Prince of Wales - an event   perhaps slightly overshadowed by the commissioning of the PLAN's second carrier, Shandong, just seven days later . As we begin the new year, it is a good time to assess the current naval balance of power. However, ranking navies is always a complex and subjective task as even something as simple as merely counting how many ships a navy has soon devolves into debates over what exactly constitutes a "ship" (just look at the never-ending battle over what should be included in the US Navy's official strength). Observing these debates, I have devised my own system for quantifying a navy's strength. This system classifies vessels into broad categories, assigning different (and admittedly somewhat arbitrary) points values for different types of ships. In order to avoid terminology debates, I have also used more generic labels (