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A frigate () is a type of
warship A warship or combatant ship is a that is built and primarily intended for . Usually they belong to the of a state. As well as being armed, warships are designed to withstand damage and are usually faster and more maneuverable than . Unlike a ...
. In different eras, the roles and capabilities of ships classified as frigates have varied greatly. In the 17th century, a frigate was any warship built for speed and maneuverability, the description often used being "frigate-built". These could be warships carrying their principal batteries of carriage-mounted
guns A gun is a ranged weapon . English longbowmen figure prominently in the foreground at right where they drive away the French crossbow A crossbow is a ranged weapon using an elastic launching device similar to a bow; it consists of a b ...
on a single deck or on two decks (with further smaller carriage-mounted guns usually carried on the forecastle and quarterdeck of the vessel). The term was generally used for ships too small to stand in the
line of battle In naval warfare Naval warfare is human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, hairlessness, and intelligence allowing the use of culture, lang ...
, although early line-of-battle ships were frequently referred to as frigates when they were built for speed. In the 18th century, frigates were
full-rigged ship A full-rigged ship or fully rigged ship is a sailing ship, sailing vessel's sail plan and her rigging A sail plan is a description of the specific ways that a sailing craft is rigged, as #Types of rig, discussed below. Also, the term “s ...
s, that is
square-rigged Square rig is a generic type of Sail-plan, sail and rigging arrangement in which the primary driving sails are carried on horizontal spar (sailing), spars which are perpendicular, or wikt:square#Adjective, square, to the keel of the vessel and t ...
on all three masts, they were built for speed and handiness, had a lighter armament than a
ship of the line A ship of the line was a type of naval warship constructed during the Age of Sail from the 17th century to the mid-19th century. The ship of the line was designed for the naval tactics in the Age of Sail, naval tactic known as the line of battle ...
, and were used for patrolling and escort. In the definition adopted by the
British Admiralty The Admiralty was the British government department The departments of the Government of the United Kingdom are the principal units through which it exercises executive authority; a few of them are titled Ministry (government department), mi ...
, they were rated ships of at least 28 guns, carrying their principal armaments upon a single continuous deck – the upper deck – while ships of the line possessed two or more continuous decks bearing batteries of guns. In the late 19th century (beginning about 1858 with the construction of prototypes by the British and French navies), the armoured frigate was a type of
ironclad warship An ironclad is a steam-propelled warship A warship or combatant ship is a naval ship that is built and primarily intended for naval warfare. Usually they belong to the armed forces A military, also known collectively as armed forc ...
that for a time was the most powerful type of vessel afloat. These were still described as "frigates" because such ships still mounted their principal armaments on a single continuous upper deck, in the manner of older sailing frigates. However, by the end of the 19th century, developments in ironclad warships had made this type of ship obsolete and the term "frigate" became obsolete. During the
Second World War World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved —including all of the great powers—forming two opposing s: the and the . In a total war directly involving m ...
the name 'frigate' was reintroduced to describe a seagoing escort ship intermediate in size between a
corvette A corvette is a small warship A warship or combatant ship is a naval ship that is built and primarily intended for naval warfare. Usually they belong to the armed forces of a state. As well as being armed, warships are designed to withstand da ...

corvette
and a
destroyer In navy, naval terminology, a destroyer is a fast, maneuverable, long-endurance warship intended to escort larger vessels in a Naval fleet, fleet, convoy or Carrier battle group, battle group and defend them against powerful short range attacke ...
. After World War II, a wide variety of ships have been classified as frigates. Often there has been little consistency in usage. While some navies have regarded frigates as principally large ocean-going
anti-submarine warfare officers on the bridge of a destroyer on convoy escort duties keep a sharp look out for enemy submarines during the Battle of the Atlantic The Battle of the Atlantic, the longest continuous military campaign in World War II, ran from 1939 ...
(ASW) combatants, others have used the term to describe ships that are otherwise recognisable as corvettes, destroyers, and even nuclear-powered guided missile
cruiser A cruiser is a type of . Modern cruisers are generally the largest ships in a fleet after s and s, and can usually perform several roles. The term "cruiser", in use for several hundred years, has changed its meaning over time. During the , ...

cruiser
s. Some European navies use the term "frigate" for both their destroyers and frigates. The rank "
frigate captain Frigate captain is a naval rank in the naval forces of several countries. Corvette lies one level below Frigate. It is, usually, equivalent to the Commonwealth/ US Navy rank of commander. Countries using this rank include Argentina Argentin ...
" derives from the name of this type of ship.


Age of sail


Origins

The term "frigate" (Italian: ''fregata''; Dutch: ''fregat''; Spanish/Catalan/Portuguese/Sicilian: ''fragata''; French: ''frégate'') originated in the
Mediterranean The Mediterranean Sea is a sea The sea, connected as the world ocean or simply the ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) is the body of salt water which covers approximately 71% of the surface of the Earth.
Mediterranean
in the late 15th century, referring to a lighter
galley A galley is a type of that is propelled mainly by . The galley is characterized by its long, slender hull, shallow , and low (clearance between sea and railing). Virtually all types of galleys had sails that could be used in favorable winds, b ...

galley
-type warship with oars, sails and a light armament, built for speed and maneuverability.Henderson, James: ''Frigates Sloops & Brigs''. Pen & Sword Books, London, 2005. . The etymology of the word remains uncertain, although it may have originated as a
corruption Corruption is a form of dishonesty Dishonesty is to act without honesty. It is used to describe a lack of probity, cheating, lying, or deliberately withholding information, or being deliberately deceptive or a lack in integrity, knavishness, ...
of '' aphractus'', a
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became the dominant la ...

Latin
word for an open vessel with no lower deck. ''Aphractus'', in turn, derived from the
Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the used in and the from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the following periods: (), Dark Ages (), the period (), and the period (). Ancient Greek was the language of an ...
phrase ἄφρακτος ναῦς (''aphraktos naus'') – "undefended ship". In 1583, during the
Eighty Years' War The Eighty Years' War ( nl, Tachtigjarige Oorlog; es, Guerra de los Ochenta Años) or Dutch War of Independence (1568–1648) was a Dutch Revolt, revolt of the Seventeen Provinces of what are today the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg ag ...
of 1568–1648,
Habsburg Spain Habsburg Spain is a contemporary historiographical term referred to the Spain of the 16th and 17th centuries (1516–1700) when it was ruled by kings from the House of Habsburg (also associated with its role in the history of Central and Eastern ...
recovered the
southern Netherlands The Southern Netherlands, also called the Catholic Netherlands, was the part of the largely controlled by Spain (1556–1714), later Austria (1714–1794), and occupied (then annexed) by France (1794–1815). The region also included a number of ...
from the Protestant rebels. This soon resulted in the use of the occupied ports as bases for
privateers A privateer is a private person or ship that engages in maritime warfare under a commission of war. Since robbery under arms was a common aspect of seaborne trade, until the early 19th century all merchant ships carried arms. A sovereign or delega ...
, the "
Dunkirker During the Dutch Revolt (1568–1648), the Dunkirkers or Dunkirk Privateers were commerce raiders in the service of the Spanish monarchy. They were also part of the ''Dunkirk fleet'', which consequently was a part of the Spanish monarchy's ''Fl ...
s", to attack the shipping of the Dutch and their allies. To achieve this the Dunkirkers developed small, maneuverable, sailing vessels that came to be referred to as frigates. The success of these Dunkirker vessels influenced the ship design of other navies contending with them, but because most regular navies required ships of greater endurance than the Dunkirker frigates could provide, the term soon came to apply less exclusively to any relatively fast and elegant sail-only warship. In French, the term "frigate" gave rise to a verb – ''frégater'', meaning 'to build long and low', and to an adjective, adding more confusion. Even the huge English could be described as "a delicate frigate" by a contemporary after her upper decks were reduced in 1651. The navy of the
Dutch Republic The United Provinces of the Netherlands, or United Provinces (officially the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands), commonly referred to in historiography Historiography is the study of the methods of historian ( 484– 425 BC) was ...
became the first navy to build the larger ocean-going frigates. The Dutch navy had three principal tasks in the struggle against Spain: to protect Dutch merchant ships at sea, to blockade the ports of Spanish-held
Flanders Flanders (, ; Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Belgium (also referred as ''flemish'') Dutch may also refer to:" Castle * ...

Flanders
to damage trade and halt enemy
privateering A privateer is a private person or ship that engages in maritime warfare under a commission of war. Since robbery under arms was a common aspect of seaborne trade, until the early 19th century all merchant ships carried arms. A sovereign or delega ...
, and to fight the Spanish fleet and prevent troop landings. The first two tasks required speed, shallowness of draft for the shallow waters around the Netherlands, and the ability to carry sufficient supplies to maintain a blockade. The third task required heavy armament, sufficient to stand up to the Spanish fleet. The first of the larger battle-capable frigates were built around 1600 at
Hoorn Hoorn () is a and in the northwest of the , in the of . It is the largest town and the traditional capital of the region of . Hoorn is located on the , 20 kilometers (12 mi) east of and 35 kilometers (22 mi) north of . The munici ...
in
Holland Holland is a geographical region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics (physical geography), human impact characteristics (human geography), and the interaction of humanity and the environment (en ...
. By the later stages of the
Eighty Years' War The Eighty Years' War ( nl, Tachtigjarige Oorlog; es, Guerra de los Ochenta Años) or Dutch War of Independence (1568–1648) was a Dutch Revolt, revolt of the Seventeen Provinces of what are today the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg ag ...
the Dutch had switched entirely from the heavier ships still used by the English and Spanish to the lighter frigates, carrying around 40 guns and weighing around 300 tons. The effectiveness of the Dutch frigates became most evident in the
Battle of the Downs The naval Battle of the Downs took place on 21 October 1639 (New Style Old Style (O.S.) and New Style (N.S.) indicate a dating system from before and after a calendar change, respectively. Usually this is the change from the Julian calen ...
in 1639, encouraging most other navies, especially the English, to adopt similar designs. The fleets built by the
Commonwealth of England The Commonwealth was the political structure during the period from 1649 to 1660 when England and Wales Wales ( cy, Cymru ) is a country that is Countries of the United Kingdom, part of the United Kingdom. It is bordered by England to t ...
in the 1650s generally consisted of ships described as "frigates", the largest of which were two-decker "great frigates" of the
third rate In the rating system of the Royal Navy, a third rate was a ship of the line which from the 1720s mounted between 64 and 80 guns, typically built with two gun decks (thus the related term two-decker). Years of experience proved that the third ra ...
. Carrying 60 guns, these vessels were as big and capable as "great ships" of the time; however, most other frigates at the time were used as "
cruiser A cruiser is a type of . Modern cruisers are generally the largest ships in a fleet after s and s, and can usually perform several roles. The term "cruiser", in use for several hundred years, has changed its meaning over time. During the , ...

cruiser
s": independent fast ships. The term "frigate" implied a long hull-design, which relates directly to speed (see
hull speed Hull may refer to: Structures * Chassis, of an armored fighting vehicle * Fuselage, of an aircraft * Hull (botany), the outer covering of seeds * Hull (watercraft), the body or frame of a ship * Submarine hull Mathematics * Affine hull, in affin ...
) and which also, in turn, helped the development of the
broadside ship of the line A ship of the line was a type of naval warship constructed during the Age of Sail from the 17th century to the mid-19th century. The ship of the line was designed for the naval tactics in the Age of Sail, naval tactic known as ...
tactic in naval warfare. At this time, a further design evolved, reintroducing oars and resulting in galley frigates such as of 1676, which was rated as a 32-gun
fifth-rate In the rating system of the Royal Navy The rating system of the Royal Navy and its predecessors was used by the Royal Navy between the beginning of the 17th century and the middle of the 19th century to categorise sailing warships, initially ...
but also had a bank of 40 oars set below the upper deck which could propel the ship in the absence of a favourable wind. In Danish, the word "fregat" often applies to warships carrying as few as 16 guns, such as , which the British classified as a sloop. Under the
rating system of the Royal Navy The rating system of the Royal Navy and its predecessors was used by the Royal Navy between the beginning of the 17th century and the middle of the 19th century to categorise sailing warships, initially classing them according to their assigned ...
, by the middle of the 18th century, the term "frigate" was technically restricted to single-decked ships of the
fifth rate In the rating system of the Royal Navy The rating system of the Royal Navy and its predecessors was used by the Royal Navy between the beginning of the 17th century and the middle of the 19th century to categorise sailing warships, initially ...
, though small 28-gun frigates classed as
sixth rate Sixth is the ordinal form of the number six. * The Sixth Amendment, to the U.S. Constitution * A keg of beer, equal to 5 U.S. gallons or 1/6 barrel * A fraction (mathematics) A fraction (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical langu ...
.


Classic design

The classic sailing frigate, well-known today for its role in the
Napoleonic wars The Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815) were a series of major World war, global conflicts pitting the First French Empire, French Empire and its allies, led by Napoleon, Napoleon I, against a fluctuating array of Coalition forces of the Napoleonic W ...
, can be traced back to French developments in the second quarter of the 18th century. The French-built of 1740 is often regarded as the first example of this type. These ships were square-rigged and carried all their main guns on a single continuous upper deck. The lower deck, known as the "gun deck", now carried no armament, and functioned as a "berth deck" where the crew lived, and was in fact placed below the waterline of the new frigates. The typical earlier cruiser had a partially armed lower deck, from which it was known as a 'half-battery' or ''demi-batterie'' ship. Removing the guns from this deck allowed the height of the hull upperworks to be lowered, giving the resulting 'true-frigate' much improved sailing qualities. The unarmed deck meant that the frigate's guns were carried comparatively high above the waterline; as a result, when seas were too rough for two-deckers to open their lower deck gun-ports, frigates were still able to fight with all their guns (see the
action of 13 January 1797 The action of 13 January 1797 was a minor naval battle fought between a French ship of the line and two British frigates off the coast of Brittany during the French Revolutionary Wars. During the action the frigates outmanoeuvred the much larger ...
, for an example when this was decisive). The
Royal Navy The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's naval warfare Naval warfare is combat Combat ( French for ''fight'') is a purposeful violent conflict meant to physically harm or kill the opposition. Combat may be armed (using weapon A ...
captured a number of the new French frigates, including ''Médée'', during the
War of the Austrian Succession The War of the Austrian Succession () was the last Great Power conflict with the House of Bourbon, Bourbon-Habsburg Monarchy, Habsburg dynastic conflict at its heart. It occurred from 1740 to 1748 and marked the rise of Kingdom of Prussia, Prus ...
(1740–1748) and were impressed by them, particularly for their inshore handling capabilities. They soon built copies (ordered in 1747), based on a French privateer named ''Tygre'', and started to adapt the type to their own needs, setting the standard for other frigates as the leading naval power. The first British frigates carried 28 guns including an upper deck battery of twenty-four 9-pounder guns (the remaining four smaller guns were carried on the quarter deck) but soon developed into fifth-rate ships of 32 or 36 guns including an upper deck battery of twenty-six 12-pounder guns, with the remaining six or ten smaller guns carried on the quarter deck and forecastle. Technically, 'rated ships' with fewer than 28 guns could not be classed as frigates but as "
post ship Post ship was a designation used in the Royal Navy The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's Navy, naval warfare force. Although warships were used by English and Scottish kings from the early medieval period, the first major maritime eng ...
s"; however, in common parlance most post ships were often described as "frigates", the same casual misuse of the term being extended to smaller two-decked ships that were too small to stand in the line of battle. A total of fifty-nine French sailing frigates were built between 1777 and 1790, with a standard design averaging a hull length of and an average draught of . The new frigates recorded sailing speeds of up to , significantly faster than their predecessor vessels.


Heavy frigate

In 1778, the British Admiralty introduced a larger "heavy" frigate, with a main battery of twenty-six or twenty-eight 18-pounder guns (with smaller guns carried on the quarter deck and forecastle). This move may reflect the naval conditions at the time, with both France and Spain as enemies the usual British preponderance in ship numbers was no longer the case and there was pressure on the British to produce cruisers of individually greater force. In reply, the first French 18-pounder frigates were laid down in 1781. The 18-pounder frigate eventually became the standard frigate of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. The British produced larger, 38-gun, and slightly smaller, 36-gun, versions and also a 32-gun design that can be considered an 'economy version'. The 32-gun frigates also had the advantage that they could be built by the many smaller, less-specialised shipbuilders. Frigates could (and usually did) additionally carry smaller carriage-mounted guns on their quarter decks and
forecastle The forecastle ( ; contracted as fo'c'sle or fo'c's'le) is the upper deck of a sailing ship forward of the foremast, or the forward part of a ship with the sailors' living quarters. Related to the latter meaning is the phrase " before the mast" ...

forecastle
s (the superstructures above the upper deck). In 1778 the Carron Iron Company of Scotland produced a naval gun which would revolutionise the armament of smaller naval vessels, including the frigate. The
carronade A carronade is a short, smoothbore, cast iron, cast-iron cannon which was used by the Royal Navy. It was first produced by the Carron Company, an ironworks in Falkirk, Scotland, and was used from the mid-18th century to the mid-19th century. Its ...

carronade
was a large calibre, short-barrelled naval cannon which was light, quick to reload and needed a smaller crew than a conventional long gun. Due to its lightness it could be mounted on the forecastle and quarter deck of frigates. It greatly increased the firepower, measured in weight of metal (the combined weight of all projectiles fired in one broadside), of these vessels. The disadvantages of the carronade were that it had a much shorter range and was less accurate than a long gun. The British quickly saw the advantages of the new weapon and soon employed it on a wide scale. The US Navy also copied the design soon after its appearance. The French and other nations eventually adopted variations of the weapon in succeeding decades. The typical heavy frigate had a main armament of 18-pounder long guns, plus 32-pounder carronades mounted on its upper decks.


Super-heavy frigates

The first 'super-heavy frigates', armed with 24-pounder long guns, were built by the naval architect for the Swedish navy in 1782. Because of a shortage of ships-of-the-line, the Swedes wanted these frigates, the ''Bellona'' class, to be able to stand in the battle line in an emergency. In the 1790s the French built a small number of large 24-pounder frigates, such as and ''Egyptienne'', they also cut-down (reduced the height of the hull to give only one continuous gun deck) a number of older ships-of-the-line (including ) to produce super-heavy frigates, the resulting ship was known as a ''rasée''. It is not known whether the French were seeking to produce very potent cruisers or merely to address stability problems in old ships. The British, alarmed by the prospect of these powerful heavy frigates, responded by rasée-ing three of the smaller 64-gun battleships, including , which went on to have a very successful career as a frigate. At this time the British also built a few 24-pounder-armed large frigates, the most successful of which was (1,277 tons). In 1797, three of the
United States Navy ), (unofficial)."''Non sibi sed patriae''" ( en, "Not for self but for country") (unofficial). , colors = Blue and gold  , colors_label = Colors , march = "Anchors Aweigh" , mascot = , equipment = List of equipment of the United St ...
's first six major ships were rated as 44-gun frigates, which operationally carried fifty-six to sixty
24-pounder long gun The 24-pounder long gun was a heavy calibre piece of artillery Artillery is a class of heavy military ranged weapons built to launch Ammunition, munitions far beyond the range and power of infantry firearms. Early artillery development focuse ...
s and 32-pounder or 42-pounder carronades on two decks; they were exceptionally powerful. These ships were so large, at around 1,500 tons, and well-armed that they were often regarded as equal to ships of the line, and after a series of losses at the outbreak of the
War of 1812 The War of 1812 (18 June 1812 – 17 February 1815) was a conflict fought by the United States of America The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country in . It ...
, Royal Navy fighting instructions ordered British frigates (usually of 38 guns or less) to never engage the large American frigates at any less than a 2:1 advantage. , preserved as a
museum ship A museum ship, also called a memorial ship, is a ship that has been preserved and converted into a museum open to the public for educational or memorial purposes. Some are also used for training and recruitment purposes, mostly for the small number ...
by the US Navy, is the oldest commissioned warship afloat, and is a surviving example of a frigate from the
Age of Sail Age or AGE may refer to: Time and its effects * Age, the amount of time something has been alive Alive may refer to: *Life Life is a characteristic that distinguishes physical entities that have biological processes, such as signaling a ...

Age of Sail
. ''Constitution'' and her sister ships and were created in a response to deal with the Barbary Coast pirates and in conjunction with the
Naval Act of 1794 The Act to Provide a Naval Armament (Sess. 1, ch. 12, ), also known as the Naval Act of 1794, or simply, the Naval Act, was passed by the 3rd United States Congress on March 27, 1794, and signed into law by President George Washington G ...

Naval Act of 1794
.
Joshua Humphreys Joshua Humphreys (June 17, 1751 – January 12, 1838) was an American ship builder and naval architect. He was the constructor of the original six frigates of the United States Navy and is known as the "Father of the American Navy". Humphreys was ...
proposed that only
live oak Live oak or evergreen oak is any of a number of oaks in several different sections of the genus ''Quercus'' that share the characteristic of evergreen foliage. These oaks are not more closely related to each other than they are to other oaks. ...
, a tree that grew only in America, should be used to build these ships.Archibald, Roger. 1997. Six ships that shook the world. American Heritage of Invention & Technology 13, (2): 24. The British, wounded by repeated defeats in single-ship actions, responded to the success of the American 44s in three ways. They built a class of conventional 40-gun, 24-pounder armed frigates on the lines of ''Endymion''. They cut down three old 74-gun Ships-of-the-Line into ''rasées'', producing frigates with a 32-pounder main armament, supplemented by 42-pounder carronades. These had an armament that far exceeded the power of the American ships. Finally, and , 1,500-ton spar-decked frigates (with an enclosed waist, giving a continuous line of guns from bow to stern at the level of the quarter deck/forecastle), were built, which were an almost exact match in size and firepower to the American 44-gun frigates.


Role

Frigates were perhaps the hardest-worked of warship types during the
Age of Sail Age or AGE may refer to: Time and its effects * Age, the amount of time something has been alive Alive may refer to: *Life Life is a characteristic that distinguishes physical entities that have biological processes, such as signaling a ...

Age of Sail
. While smaller than a
ship-of-the-line A ship of the line was a type of naval warship A warship or combatant ship is a naval ship that is built and primarily intended for naval warfare. Usually they belong to the armed forces A military, also known collectively as armed ...
, they were formidable opponents for the large numbers of
sloops A sloop is a with a single typically having only one headsail in front of the mast and one aft of (behind) the mast. Such an arrangement is called a , and can be rigged as a with triangular sails fore and aft, or as a with triangular fore ...
and
gunboat A gunboat is a naval watercraft designed for the express purpose of carrying one or more guns to shore bombardment, bombard coastal targets, as opposed to those military craft designed for naval warfare, or for troopship, ferrying troops or au ...
s, not to mention
privateer A privateer is a private person or ship that engages in maritime warfare under a commission of war. Since robbery under arms was a common aspect of seaborne trade, until the early 19th century all merchant ships carried arms. A sovereign or deleg ...
s or merchantmen. Able to carry six months' stores, they had very long range; and vessels larger than frigates were considered too valuable to operate independently. Frigates scouted for the fleet, went on commerce-raiding missions and patrols, and conveyed messages and dignitaries. Usually, frigates would fight in small numbers or singly against other frigates. They would avoid contact with ships-of-the-line; even in the midst of a fleet engagement it was bad etiquette for a ship of the line to fire on an enemy frigate which had not fired first. Frigates were involved in fleet battles, often as "repeating frigates". In the smoke and confusion of battle, signals made by the fleet commander, whose
flagship A flagship is a vessel used by the of a group of ships, characteristically a entitled by custom to fly a distinguishing flag. Used more loosely, it is the lead ship in a fleet of vessels, typically the first, largest, fastest, most heavily a ...
might be in the thick of the fighting, might be missed by the other ships of the fleet. Frigates were therefore stationed to windward or leeward of the main
line of battle In naval warfare Naval warfare is human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, hairlessness, and intelligence allowing the use of culture, lang ...
, and had to maintain a clear line of sight to the commander's flagship. Signals from the flagship were then repeated by the frigates, which themselves standing out of the line and clear from the smoke and disorder of battle, could be more easily seen by the other ships of the fleet. If damage or loss of masts prevented the flagship from making clear conventional signals, the repeating frigates could interpret them and hoist their own in the correct manner, passing on the commander's instructions clearly. For officers in the Royal Navy, a frigate was a desirable posting. Frigates often saw action, which meant a greater chance of glory, promotion, and
prize money Prize money refers in particular to naval prize money, usually arising in naval warfare Naval warfare is human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable th ...
. Unlike larger ships that were placed in ordinary, frigates were kept in service in peacetime as a cost-saving measure and to provide experience to frigate captains and officers which would be useful in wartime. Frigates could also carry
marines Marines, or naval infantry, are typically a military force trained to operate in Littoral Zone, littoral zones in support of naval operations. Historically, tasks undertaken by marines have included helping maintain discipline and order aboard th ...
for boarding enemy ships or for operations on shore; in 1832, the frigate landed a party of 282 sailors and Marines ashore in the US Navy's
first Sumatran expedition The First Sumatran expedition, which featured the Battle of Quallah Battoo (Aceh Aceh () is the westernmost Provinces of Indonesia, province of Indonesia. It is located on the northern end of Sumatra, with Banda Aceh being its capital and lar ...
. Frigates remained a crucial element of navies until the mid-19th century. The first
ironclads An ironclad is a steam engine, steam-propelled warship protected by Wrought iron, iron or steel iron armor, armor plates, which were predominantly constructed from 1859 to the early 1890s. The ironclad was developed as a result of the vulnerabi ...
were classified as "frigates" because of the number of guns they carried. However, terminology changed as iron and steam became the norm, and the role of the frigate was assumed first by the
protected cruiser Protected cruisers, a type of naval cruiser A cruiser is a type of warship A warship or combatant ship is a naval ship that is built and primarily intended for naval warfare. Usually they belong to the armed forces A militar ...

protected cruiser
and then by the
light cruiser A light cruiser is a type of small or medium sized warship. The term is a shortening of the phrase "light armored cruiser", describing a small ship that carried armor in the same way as an armored cruiser: a protective belt and deck. Prior to this ...
. Frigates are often the vessel of choice in historical naval novels due to their relative freedom compared to ships-of-the-line (kept for fleet actions) and smaller vessels (generally assigned to a home port and less widely ranging). For example, the
Patrick O'Brian Patrick O'Brian, Order of the British Empire, CBE (12 December 1914 – 2 January 2000), born Richard Patrick Russ, was an English novelist and translator, best known for his Aubrey–Maturin series of sea novels set in the Royal Navy during t ...
Aubrey–Maturin series The Aubrey–Maturin series is a sequence of nautical historical novels—20 completed and one unfinished work, unfinished—by Patrick O'Brian, set during the Napoleonic Wars and centering on the friendship between Captain Jack Aubrey of the Ro ...
, C. S. Forester's
Horatio Hornblower Horatio Hornblower, a fictional officer in the British Royal Navy The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's naval warfare Naval warfare is combat Combat ( French for ''fight'') is a purposeful violent conflict meant to physically ...
series and Alexander Kent's
Richard Bolitho The Bolitho novels are a series of nautical war novels written by Douglas Reeman (using the pseudonym Alexander Kent). They focus on the military careers of ''Richard Bolitho'' and ''Adam Bolitho'' in the Royal Navy, from the time of the American ...
series. The motion picture '' Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World'' features a reconstructed historic frigate, HMS ''Rose'', to depict Aubrey's frigate HMS ''Surprise''.


Age of steam

Vessels classed as frigates continued to play a great role in navies with the adoption of steam power in the 19th century. In the 1830s, navies experimented with large
paddle steamer A paddle steamer is a steamship A steamship, often referred to as a steamer, is a type of steam-powered vessel, typically ocean-faring and seaworthy, that is propelled by one or more steam engines that typically move (turn) propellers or Pad ...

paddle steamer
s equipped with large guns mounted on one deck, which were termed "paddle frigates". From the mid-1840s on, frigates which more closely resembled the traditional sailing frigate were built with steam engines and screw
propeller . A propeller is a device with a rotating hub and radiating blades that are set at a pitch to form a helical spiral, that, when rotated, exerts linear thrust upon a working fluid, such as water or air. Propellers are used to pump fluid through a ...

propeller
s. These " screw frigates", built first of wood and later of
iron Iron () is a chemical element In chemistry Chemistry is the study of the properties and behavior of . It is a that covers the that make up matter to the composed of s, s and s: their composition, structure, properties, behav ...
, continued to perform the traditional role of the frigate until late in the 19th century.


Armoured frigate

From 1859, armour was added to ships based on existing frigate and
ship of the line A ship of the line was a type of naval warship constructed during the Age of Sail from the 17th century to the mid-19th century. The ship of the line was designed for the naval tactics in the Age of Sail, naval tactic known as the line of battle ...
designs. The additional weight of the armour on these first
ironclad warship An ironclad is a steam-propelled warship A warship or combatant ship is a naval ship that is built and primarily intended for naval warfare. Usually they belong to the armed forces A military, also known collectively as armed forc ...
s meant that they could have only one gun deck, and they were technically frigates, even though they were more powerful than existing ships-of-the-line and occupied the same strategic role. The phrase "armoured frigate" remained in use for some time to denote a sail-equipped, broadside-firing type of ironclad. During the 1880s, as warship design shifted from iron to steel and cruising warships without sails started to appear, the term "frigate" fell out of use. Vessels with armoured sides were designated as "
battleship A battleship is a large armored warship A warship or combatant ship is a that is built and primarily intended for . Usually they belong to the of a state. As well as being armed, warships are designed to withstand damage and are usually ...

battleship
s" or "
armoured cruiser The armored cruiser was a type of warship A warship or combatant ship is a naval ship that is built and primarily intended for naval warfare. Usually they belong to the armed forces A military, also known collectively as armed force ...
s", while "
protected cruiser Protected cruisers, a type of naval cruiser A cruiser is a type of warship A warship or combatant ship is a naval ship that is built and primarily intended for naval warfare. Usually they belong to the armed forces A militar ...

protected cruiser
s" only possessed an armoured deck, and unarmoured vessels, including frigates and sloops, were classified as "
unprotected cruiser An Unprotected Cruiser was a type of naval warship in use during the late Victorian or pre-dreadnought Pre-dreadnought battleships were sea-going battleship A battleship is a large armored warship with a main battery consisting of la ...
s".


Modern Era


World War II

Modern frigates are related to earlier frigates only by name. The term "frigate" was readopted during the
Second World War World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
by the British
Royal Navy The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's naval warfare Naval warfare is combat Combat ( French for ''fight'') is a purposeful violent conflict meant to physically harm or kill the opposition. Combat may be armed (using weapon A ...
to describe an
anti-submarine depth charge launcher An anti-submarine weapon (ASW) is any one of a number of devices that are intended to act against a submarine and its crew, to destroy (sink) the vessel or reduce its capability as a weapon of war. In its simplest sense, an ...
escort vessel that was larger than a
corvette A corvette is a small warship A warship or combatant ship is a naval ship that is built and primarily intended for naval warfare. Usually they belong to the armed forces of a state. As well as being armed, warships are designed to withstand da ...

corvette
, while smaller than a
destroyer In navy, naval terminology, a destroyer is a fast, maneuverable, long-endurance warship intended to escort larger vessels in a Naval fleet, fleet, convoy or Carrier battle group, battle group and defend them against powerful short range attacke ...
. Equal in size and capability to the American
destroyer escort Destroyer escort (DE) was the United States Navy ), (unofficial)."''Non sibi sed patriae''" ( en, "Not for self but for country") (unofficial). , colors = Blue and gold  , colors_label = Colors , march = "Anchors Aweigh" , mascot ...
, frigates are usually less expensive to build and maintain. Anti-submarine escorts had previously been classified as
sloops A sloop is a with a single typically having only one headsail in front of the mast and one aft of (behind) the mast. Such an arrangement is called a , and can be rigged as a with triangular sails fore and aft, or as a with triangular fore ...
by the Royal Navy, and the s of 1939–1945 were as large as the new types of frigate, and more heavily armed. Twenty-two of these were reclassified as frigates after the war, as were the remaining 24 smaller s. The frigate was introduced to remedy some of the shortcomings inherent in the corvette design: limited armament, a hull form not suited to open-ocean work, a single
shaft Shaft may refer to: Rotating machine elements * Shaft (mechanical engineering), a rotating machine element used to transmit power * Line shaft, a power transmission system * Drive shaft, a shaft for transferring torque * Axle, a shaft around whic ...
which limited speed and manoeuvrability, and a lack of range. The frigate was designed and built to the same mercantile construction standards (
scantling Scantling is a measurement of prescribed size, dimensions, or cross sectional areas. Shipping In shipbuilding Shipbuilding is the construction Construction is a general term meaning the art and science to form Physical object, objects, ...
s) as the corvette, allowing manufacture by yards unused to warship construction. The first frigates of the (1941) were essentially two sets of corvette machinery in one larger hull, armed with the latest
Hedgehog A hedgehog is a spiny mammal of the subfamily Erinaceinae, in the eulipotyphlan family (biology), family Erinaceidae. There are seventeen species of hedgehog in five genus, genera found throughout parts of Europe, Asia, and Africa, and in Ne ...
anti-submarine weapon. The frigate possessed less offensive firepower and speed than a
destroyer In navy, naval terminology, a destroyer is a fast, maneuverable, long-endurance warship intended to escort larger vessels in a Naval fleet, fleet, convoy or Carrier battle group, battle group and defend them against powerful short range attacke ...
, but such qualities were not required for anti-submarine warfare. Submarines were slow while submerged, and
ASDIC Sonar (sound navigation and ranging) is a technique that uses sound In physics, sound is a vibration that propagates as an acoustic wave, through a transmission medium such as a gas, liquid or solid. In human physiology and psychology, ...

ASDIC
sets did not operate effectively at speeds of over . Rather, the frigate was an austere and weatherly vessel suitable for mass-construction and fitted with the latest innovations in anti-submarine warfare. As the frigate was intended purely for convoy duties, and not to deploy with the fleet, it had limited range and speed. It was not until the Royal Navy's of 1944 that a British design classified as a "frigate" was produced for fleet use, although it still suffered from limited speed. These
anti-aircraft Anti-aircraft warfare or counter-air defence is the battlespace response to aerial warfare, defined by NATO The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO, ; french: Organisation du traité de l'Atlantique nord, ), also called the North ...
frigates, built on incomplete hulls, were similar to the
United States Navy ), (unofficial)."''Non sibi sed patriae''" ( en, "Not for self but for country") (unofficial). , colors = Blue and gold  , colors_label = Colors , march = "Anchors Aweigh" , mascot = , equipment = List of equipment of the United St ...
's
destroyer escort Destroyer escort (DE) was the United States Navy ), (unofficial)."''Non sibi sed patriae''" ( en, "Not for self but for country") (unofficial). , colors = Blue and gold  , colors_label = Colors , march = "Anchors Aweigh" , mascot ...
s (DE), although the latter had greater speed and offensive armament to better suit them to fleet deployments. The destroyer escort concept came from design studies by the
General Board of the United States Navy thumbnail, 350px, The General Board of the U.S. Navy in November, 1947. From left to right: Colonel Randolph M. Pate; Admiral Walter F. Boone; Admiral Charles H. McMorris; Admiral John H. Towers; Rear Admiral Charles B. Momsen; Captain Leon J. Huff ...
in 1940, as modified by requirements established by a British commission in 1941 prior to the American entry into the war, for deep-water escorts. The American-built destroyer escorts serving in the
British British may refer to: Peoples, culture, and language * British people, nationals or natives of the United Kingdom, British Overseas Territories, and Crown Dependencies. ** Britishness, the British identity and common culture * British English, ...

British
Royal Navy The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's naval warfare Naval warfare is combat Combat ( French for ''fight'') is a purposeful violent conflict meant to physically harm or kill the opposition. Combat may be armed (using weapon A ...
were rated as Captain-class frigates. The U.S. Navy's two
Canadian Canadians (french: Canadiens) are people identified with the country of Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its Provinces and territories of Canada, ten provinces and three territories extend from the At ...

Canadian
-built and 96 British-influenced, American-built frigates that followed originally were classified as "patrol
gunboat A gunboat is a naval watercraft designed for the express purpose of carrying one or more guns to shore bombardment, bombard coastal targets, as opposed to those military craft designed for naval warfare, or for troopship, ferrying troops or au ...
s" (PG) in the U.S. Navy but on 15 April 1943 were all reclassified as patrol frigates (PF).


Modern frigate


Guided-missile role

The introduction of the
surface-to-air missile A surface-to-air missile (SAM), also known as a ground-to-air missile (GTAM) or surface-to-air guided weapon (SAGW), is a missile In military terminology, a missile is a guided airborne ranged weapon . English longbowmen figure promine ...
after World War II made relatively small ships effective for anti-aircraft warfare: the "guided missile frigate". In the USN, these vessels were called "
ocean escort Ocean escort was a type of United States Navy warship. They were an evolution of the World War II destroyer escort types. The ocean escorts were intended as convoy escorts and were designed for mobilization production in wartime or low-cost mass ...
s" and hull classification symbol, designated "DE" or "DEG" until 1975 – a holdover from the World War II
destroyer escort Destroyer escort (DE) was the United States Navy ), (unofficial)."''Non sibi sed patriae''" ( en, "Not for self but for country") (unofficial). , colors = Blue and gold  , colors_label = Colors , march = "Anchors Aweigh" , mascot ...
or "DE". The Royal Canadian Navy and British
Royal Navy The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's naval warfare Naval warfare is combat Combat ( French for ''fight'') is a purposeful violent conflict meant to physically harm or kill the opposition. Combat may be armed (using weapon A ...
maintained the use of the term "frigate"; likewise, the French Navy refers to missile-equipped ship, up to cruiser-sized ships (, , and es), by the name of "frégate", while smaller units are named ''aviso''. The Soviet Navy used the term "guard-ship" (''сторожевой корабль''). From the 1950s to the 1970s, the
United States Navy ), (unofficial)."''Non sibi sed patriae''" ( en, "Not for self but for country") (unofficial). , colors = Blue and gold  , colors_label = Colors , march = "Anchors Aweigh" , mascot = , equipment = List of equipment of the United St ...
commissioned ships classed as guided missile frigates (hull classification symbol DLG or DLGN, literally meaning guided missile destroyer leaders), which were actually anti-aircraft warfare
cruiser A cruiser is a type of . Modern cruisers are generally the largest ships in a fleet after s and s, and can usually perform several roles. The term "cruiser", in use for several hundred years, has changed its meaning over time. During the , ...

cruiser
s built on
destroyer In navy, naval terminology, a destroyer is a fast, maneuverable, long-endurance warship intended to escort larger vessels in a Naval fleet, fleet, convoy or Carrier battle group, battle group and defend them against powerful short range attacke ...
-style hulls. These had one or two twin launchers per ship for the RIM-2 Terrier missile, upgraded to the RIM-67 Standard ER missile in the 1980s. This type of ship was intended primarily to defend aircraft carriers against anti-ship cruise missiles, augmenting and eventually replacing converted World War II cruisers (CAG/CLG/CG) in this role. The guided missile frigates also had an anti-submarine capability that most of the World War II cruiser conversions lacked. Some of these ships – and along with the and es – were United States naval reactors, nuclear-powered (DLGN). These "frigates" were roughly mid-way in size between cruisers and destroyers. This was similar to the use of the term "frigate" during the age of sail during which it referred to a medium-sized warship, but it was inconsistent with conventions used by other contemporary navies which regarded frigates as being smaller than destroyers. During the United States Navy 1975 ship reclassification, 1975 ship reclassification, the large American frigates were redesignated as guided missile cruisers or destroyers (CG/CGN/DDG), while
ocean escort Ocean escort was a type of United States Navy warship. They were an evolution of the World War II destroyer escort types. The ocean escorts were intended as convoy escorts and were designed for mobilization production in wartime or low-cost mass ...
s (the American classification for ships smaller than destroyers, with hull symbol DE/DEG (
destroyer escort Destroyer escort (DE) was the United States Navy ), (unofficial)."''Non sibi sed patriae''" ( en, "Not for self but for country") (unofficial). , colors = Blue and gold  , colors_label = Colors , march = "Anchors Aweigh" , mascot ...
)) were reclassified as frigates (FF/FFG), sometimes called "fast frigates". In the late 1970s the US Navy introduced the 51-ship guided missile frigates (FFG), the last of which was decommissioned in 2015, although some serve in other navies. By 1995 the older guided missile cruisers and destroyers were replaced by the s and s. One of the most successful post-1945 designs was the British , which was used by several navies. Laid down in 1959, the ''Leander'' class was based on the previous Whitby-class frigate, Type 12 anti-submarine frigate but equipped for anti-aircraft use as well. They were used by the UK into the 1990s, at which point some were sold onto other navies. The ''Leander'' design, or improved versions of it, were licence-built for other navies as well. Nearly all modern frigates are equipped with some form of offensive or defensive missiles, and as such are rated as guided-missile frigates (FFG). Improvements in surface-to-air missiles (e.g., the Eurosam MBDA Aster, Aster 15) allow modern guided-missile frigates to form the core of many modern navies and to be used as a fleet defence platform, without the need for specialised anti-air warfare frigates.


Other uses

The Royal Navy Salisbury-class frigate, Type 61 ''Salisbury'' class were radar picket, "air direction" frigates equipped to track aircraft. To this end they had reduced armament compared to the Leopard-class frigate, Type 41 ''Leopard''-class air-defence frigates built on the same hull. Multi-role frigates like the MEKO 200, and es are designed for navies needing warships deployed in a variety of situations that a general frigate class would not be able to fulfill and not requiring the need for deploying
destroyer In navy, naval terminology, a destroyer is a fast, maneuverable, long-endurance warship intended to escort larger vessels in a Naval fleet, fleet, convoy or Carrier battle group, battle group and defend them against powerful short range attacke ...
s.


Anti-submarine role

At the opposite end of the spectrum, some frigates are specialised for
anti-submarine warfare officers on the bridge of a destroyer on convoy escort duties keep a sharp look out for enemy submarines during the Battle of the Atlantic The Battle of the Atlantic, the longest continuous military campaign in World War II, ran from 1939 ...
. Increasing submarine speeds towards the end of World War II (see German Type XXI submarine) greatly reduced the margin of speed superiority of frigate over submarine. The frigate could no longer be slow and powered by mercantile machinery and consequently postwar frigates, such as the , were faster. Such ships carry improved sonar equipment, such as the Sonar#Anti-submarine warfare, variable depth sonar or towed array sonar, towed array, and specialised weapons such as torpedoes, forward-throwing weapons such as Limbo (weapon), Limbo and missile-carried anti-submarine torpedoes such as ASROC or Ikara (missile), Ikara. The Royal Navy's original Type 22 frigate is an example of a specialised anti-submarine warfare frigate, also it also has Sea Wolf (missile), Sea Wolf surface-to-air missiles for point defense plus Exocet surface-to-surface missiles for limited offensive capability. Especially for anti-submarine warfare, most modern frigates have a Helipad, landing deck and hangar aft to operate helicopters, eliminating the need for the frigate to close with unknown sub-surface threats, and using fast helicopters to attack nuclear submarines which may be faster than surface warships. For this task the helicopter is equipped with sensors such as sonobuoys, wire-mounted dipping sonar and magnetic anomaly detectors to identify possible threats, and torpedoes or depth-charges to attack them. With their onboard radar helicopters can also be used to reconnoitre over-the-horizon targets and, if equipped with anti-ship missiles such as Penguin missile, Penguin or Sea Skua, to attack them. The helicopter is also invaluable for search and rescue operation and has largely replaced the use of dinghy, small boats or the Underway replenishment, jackstay rig for such duties as transferring personnel, mail and cargo between ships or to shore. With helicopters these tasks can be accomplished faster and less dangerously, and without the need for the frigate to slow down or change course.


Air defence role

Frigates designed in the 1960s and 1970s, such as the US Navy's , West Germany's , and Royal Navy's Type 22 frigate were equipped with a small number of short-ranged surface-to-air missiles (AIM-7 Sparrow#Sea Sparrow, Sea Sparrow or Sea Wolf (missile), Sea Wolf) for point defense only. By contrast newer frigates starting with the are specialised for "zone-defense" anti-aircraft warfare, air defence, because of the major developments in fighter jets and ballistic missiles. Recent examples include the air defence and command frigate of the Royal Netherlands Navy. These ships are armed with RIM-66 Standard, VL Standard Missile 2 Block IIIA, one or two Goalkeeper CIWS systems, ( has two Goalkeepers, the rest of the ships have the capacity for another one.) RIM-162 ESSM, VL Evolved Sea Sparrow Missiles, a special SMART-L radar and a Thales Active Phased Array Radar (APAR), all of which are for air defence. Another example is the of the Royal Danish Navy.


Further developments

Stealth technology has been introduced in modern frigate design by the French design. Frigate shapes are designed to offer a minimal radar cross section, which also lends them good air penetration; the maneuverability of these frigates has been compared to that of sailing ships. Examples are the Italian and French with the Aster 15 and Aster 30 missile for anti-missile capabilities, the Germany, German and s, the Turkey, Turkish type frigates with the MK-41 VLS, the Indian , and classes with the Brahmos missile system and the Malaysian with the Naval Strike Missile. The modern French Navy applies the term first-class frigate and second-class frigate to both destroyers and frigates in service. Pennant numbers remain divided between F-series numbers for those ships internationally recognised as frigates and D-series pennant numbers for those more traditionally recognised as destroyers. This can result in some confusion as certain classes are referred to as frigates in French service while similar ships in other navies are referred to as destroyers. This also results in some recent classes of French ships such as the being among the largest in the world to carry the rating of frigate. The ''Frégates de Taille Intermédiaire'' (FTI), which means frigates of intermediate size, is a French military program to design and create a planned class of frigates to be used by the French Navy. At the moment, the program consists of five ships, with commissioning Future of the French Navy, planned from 2023 onwards. In the German Navy, frigates were used to replace aging destroyers; however in size and role the new German frigates exceed the former class of destroyers. The future German s will be the largest class of frigates worldwide with a displacement of more than 7,200 tons. The same was done in the Spanish Navy, which went ahead with the deployment of the first Aegis combat system, Aegis frigates, the s. The Myanmar Navy is producing modern frigates with a reduced radar cross section known as the . Before the Kyan Sittha class, the Myanmar Navy also produced an . Although the size of the Myanmar Navy is quite small, it is producing modern guided-missile frigates with the help of Russia, China, and India. However, the fleets of the Myanmar Navy are still expanding with several on-going shipbuilding programmes, including one , 4,000-tonne frigate with the Vertical launching system, vertical missile launch systems.


Littoral combat ship (LCS)

Some new classes of ships similar to
corvette A corvette is a small warship A warship or combatant ship is a naval ship that is built and primarily intended for naval warfare. Usually they belong to the armed forces of a state. As well as being armed, warships are designed to withstand da ...

corvette
s are optimized for high-speed deployment and combat with small craft rather than combat between equal opponents; an example is the U.S. littoral combat ship (LCS). As of 2015, all s in the United States Navy have been decommissioned, and their role partially being assumed by the new LCS. While the LCS class ships are smaller than the frigate class they will replace, they offer a similar degree of weaponry while requiring less than half the crew complement and offering a top speed of over . A major advantage for the LCS ships is that they are designed around specific mission modules allowing them to fulfill a variety of roles. The modular system also allows for most upgrades to be performed ashore and installed later into the ship, keeping the ships available for deployment for the maximum time. The latest U.S. deactivation plans means that this is the first time that the U.S. Navy has been without a frigate class of ships since 1943 (technically is rated as a frigate and is still in commission, but does not count towards Navy force levels). The remaining 20 LCSs to be acquired from 2019 and onwards that will be enhanced will be designated as frigates, and existing ships given modifications may also have their classification changed to ''FF'' as well.


Frigates in preservation

A few frigates have survived as museum ships. They are:


Original sailing frigates

* in Boston, United States. Second oldest commissioned warship in the world, oldest commissioned warship afloat. Active as the flagship of the
United States Navy ), (unofficial)."''Non sibi sed patriae''" ( en, "Not for self but for country") (unofficial). , colors = Blue and gold  , colors_label = Colors , march = "Anchors Aweigh" , mascot = , equipment = List of equipment of the United St ...
. * NRP ''Dom Fernando II e Glória'' in Almada, Portugal. * in Hartlepool, England. * in Dundee, Scotland.


Replica sailing frigates

* , sailing replica of the 1779 ''Hermione'' which carried Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette, Lafayette to the United States. * , originally named ''Grand Turk'' was built for the TV series Hornblower (TV series), ''Hornblower'' in 1997. She was sold to France in 2010 and renamed ''Étoile du Roy.'' * , a sailing replica of Russia's first warship, homeported in Saint Petersburg, Russia. * in San Diego, United States, replica of HMS ''Rose'', used in the film, '' Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World''.


Steam frigates

* in Den Helder, Netherlands. * in Ebeltoft, Denmark. * , replica in Esashi, Hokkaidō (Hiyama), Esashi, Japan. * in Portsmouth, England. * in Buenos Aires, Argentina.


Modern era frigates

* in Copenhagen, Denmark. * in Brisbane, Australia. * TCG ''Ege'' (F256), formerly in Izmit, Turkey. * ROKS ''Taedong'' (PF-63), formerly in South Korea. * ROKS ''Ulsan'' (FF-951), in Ulsan, South Korea. * ROKS ''Seoul'' (FF-952), in Seoul, South Korea. * HTMS ''Tachin'' (PF-1), formerly in Nakhon Nayok, Thailand. * HTMS ''Prasase'' (PF-2), formerly in Rayong Province, Thailand. * HTMS Phutthaloetla Naphalai, HTMS ''Phutthaloetla Naphalai'' in Sattahip, Thailand. * HTMS Phutthayotfa Chulalok, HTMS ''Phutthayotfa Chulalok'' in Sattahip, Thailand. * CNS ''Nanchong'' (FF-502) in Qingdao, China. * CNS ''Yingtan'' (FFG-531) in Qingdao, China. * CNS ''Xiamen'' (FFG-515) in Taizhou, Jiangsu, Taizhou, China. * in London, England. * in London, England. * in Horten, Norway. * in Lumut, Malaysia. * in Yangon, Myanmar


Former museums

* HMCS Carlplace, Dominican frigate ''Mella'' was on display in the Dominican Republic from 1998 to 2003, when she was scrapped due to her deteriorating condition. * KD Rahmat, KD ''Rahmat'' was on display in Lumut, Perak, Lumut, Malaysia from 2011 to 2017. She sank at her moorings due to poor condition, and was later scrapped. * Soviet frigate Druzhnyy, RFS ''Druzhnyy'' was on display in Moscow, Russia from 2002 to 2016, until the museum plans fell through and was sold for scrap. * was on display in Birkenhead, England from 1990 to 2006, when the museum that operated her was forced to close. She was later scrapped in 2012.


Operators

* operates three s, three Adhafer-class corvette, ''Adhafer''-class frigates, and two MEKO 200 frigates. * operates six Espora-class corvette, ''Espora''-class frigates/corvettes. * operates eight s. * operates a single . * operates a single donated from the United States. * operates a single modified , two Type 053H3 frigate, Jiangwei II-class frigates, and two Type 053 frigate, Jianghu-class frigates, purchased from China. * operates two s purchased from The Netherlands. * operates six s and two Type 22 frigates purchased from the United Kingdom. * operates three s, purchased from Belgium, and a single . * operates twelve s. * operates three Type 23 frigates and a single Type 22 frigate, purchased from the United Kingdom, two s, purchased from Australia, and two , purchased from The Netherlands. * operates 31 Type 054A frigate, Jiangkai II-class frigates, two Type 054 frigate, Jiangkai I-class frigates, seven Type 053H3 frigate, Jiangwei II-class frigates, and six Type 053 frigate, Jianghu-class frigates. * operates three Type 053H2G frigate, Jiangwei I-class frigates transferred from the navy. * operates 10 s, which are the Taiwanese variant of the US ''Oliver Hazard Perry'' class, six s, purchased from the United States, and six s, which are the Taiwanese variant of the French ''La Fayette'' class. * operates four s. * operates four s, three s and two s. * operates two s purchased from Chile. * two s and two s purchased from the United States. * operates a single . * Operates five s and six s. * Operates four s, and a single . * operates nine s, purchased from the Netherlands and four s. * operates three s, six s, three s, and a single . * operates two s, and five s, purchased from the Netherlands. * operates three s. * operates ten FREMM multipurpose frigate, ''Bergamini''-class frigates and four s. * operates two s. * operates six s, four s, and two s. * operates a single . * operates two s. * operates four s purchased from the United States and a single Sigma-class design, ''Reformador''-class frigate. * operates two s. * two s, ordered from France and three Sigma-class design, ''Tarik Ben Ziyad''-class frigates. * operates two s. The ships were built with the assistance of Russia, China and India. These stealthy ships are armed with YJ-83, C-802 anti-ship missiles. The Myanmar Navy is constructing a new frigate which is long and displaces 4,000 tonnes. Myanmar also operates a single , and two Type 053 frigates purchased from China. * operates two s. * operates two s. * operates a single, NNS Aradu, ''Aradu''-class frigate, though its operational status is doubtful. * operates four Chinese-built s and a single , purchased from the United States. * operates seven s, with four being transferred from Italy. * operates a single , transferred from the Navy. * operates two s. Their design is based on the Republic of Korea Navy, ROK Navy's . * operates two s, purchased from the United States. * operates three s, and two s, purchased from the Netherlands. * operates two Type 22 frigates, purchased from the United Kingdom. * operates eight Steregushchiy-class corvette, ''Steregushchiy''/''Gremyashchiy''-class frigates/corvettes, three s, two s, two s, two s, and two s. * operates two s. * operates three s, which are the Saudi variant of the French ''La Fayette'' class, and four s. * operates six s, these ships are the Singapore variant of the French ''La Fayette'' class. * operates four s, made in Germany based on the MEKO 200, MEKO A200 design. * Operates five s, these ships are the Spanish variant of the American ''Oliver Hazard Perry'' class. * operates a single Type 053H2G frigate, Jiangwei I-class frigate purchased from China. * operates a single , though its operational status is doubtful. * operates a single , two , and four Type 053 frigate, Jianghu-class frigates, purchased from China. * operates eight s purchased from the United States, four s, and four s. * operates 12 Type 23 frigate, Type 23 anti-submarine frigates. Named after British dukes, these ships were built in the 1980s and 1990s and have received numerous refits and upgrades during their life. 16 frigates in total were built although 3 of these were later sold and recommissioned into the Chilean Navy and a fourth has since been retired. They are due to be replaced by the Type 26 frigate, Type 26, Type 31 frigate, Type 31 and Type 32 frigate, Type 32 frigates, with the last Type 23 due to retire in 2036. * operates a single . * operates a single , purchased from Portugal. * operates six s, though only three are reported operational. * operates five s and four s.


Disputed classes

These ships are classified by their respective nations as frigates, but are considered destroyers internationally due to size, armament, and role. * operates three s and three s. * operates three s, these ships are internationally regarded as frigates or destroyer escorts. * operates four s. * operates four s. * operates the , classified as a destroyer until 2001. * operates five s.


Former operators

* decommissioned its last in 1998. * decommissioned its last in 1998. * lost its entire fleet, including two s and the training frigate USS Orca (AVP-49), ''Ethiopia'', following the independence of Eritrea in 1991. * decommissioned EML Admiral Pitka, EML ''Admiral Pitka'' in 2013. * decommissioned its last in 1985. * decommissioned all four s upon German Reunification in 1990. * decommissioned its last in 1959. * transferred its two s to Montenegro upon their independence in 2006. * decommissioned its last two Visby-class destroyer, ''Visby''-class frigates in 1982, following defense reviews. * decommissioned its last in 2015. * transferred its six remaining Casco-class cutter, ''Trần Quang Khải''-class frigates to The Philippines following the Fall of Saigon in 1975. The seventh ship was captured by North Vietnam and recommissioned into the Vietnam People's Navy.


Future development

* has ordered three Steregushchiy-class corvette, ''Steregushchiy''-class frigates from Russia. * has ordered nine s. These ships are the Australian variant of the Type 26 frigates, and will carry the AGEIS combat system. * is planning to build two Anti-Submarine Warfare Frigate (Koninklijke Marine), Anti-Submarine Warfare frigates to replace the current s. It is a joint project with the Netherlands. * has ordered four s. These ships will replace Brazil's aging s. * plans to order 15 Type 26 frigates as the design for the Canadian Surface Combatant. These ships will replace the decommissioned s and s. * is continuing to build Type 054A frigate, Jiangkai II-class frigates. * is planning to build 10–15 new frigates to replace the aging ''Knox'' class and ''Cheng Kung'' class. * recently acquired two FREMM multipurpose frigate, ''Bergamini''-class frigates from Italy while still under construction. They will replace Egypt's two recently decommissioned Type 053 frigate, Jianghu-class frigates. * is planning to build four s. These vessels, despite their classification have been described as frigates by the Finnish defense ministry and lead to a debate over the classification in the Finnish Parliament. * is currently building five Frégates de taille intermédiaire, ''Amiral Ronarc'h''-class frigates. These ships will replace the s. * will commission one more and is currently planning to build four MKS 180 frigates to replace the s. * will acquire three incomplete s from Russia. Russia was unable to finish the vessels due to their gas turbine engines being built in Ukraine. Ukraine refused to supply Russia with the engines following the 2014 Annexation of Crimea. India is also building seven s to replace the s. * is expected to order additional s to replace the aging s. * is planning to build three Frégate de défense et d'intervention, ''Belharra''-class frigates as a part of plans for replacing its aging s. There is an option for a fourth ship. * is building 16 Thaon di Revel-class offshore patrol vessel, ''Thaon di Revel''-class frigates. These vessels will replace the decommissioned s and s. Italy is also planning to commission two more FREMM multipurpose frigate, ''Bergamini''-class frigates. * is currently building four more s. * is currently building four s. These ships will replace the s. * is currently building six more s. These ships will replace the aging s. * will commission one more Sigma-class design, ''Reformador''-class frigate. * is currently building six s and currently planning for 12 ships for the class. * is planning to build two Anti-Submarine Warfare Frigate (Koninklijke Marine), Anti-Submarine Warfare frigates to replace the current s. It is a joint project with Belgium. * has ordered four Type 054A frigate, Jiangkai II-class frigates from China. These ships will replace Pakistan's aging s. * has begun development for its Miecznik frigate program. * is currently building eight more s and eighteen+ Steregushchiy-class corvette, ''Steregushchiy''/''Gremyashchiy''-class frigates/corvettes. Russia is also planning the construction of 12 Project 22350M frigates, known as the ''Super Gorshkov''-class. * ordered an four upgraded versions of the from the United States. These ships are to replace the aging s. * is currently planning to build five s. These ships will replace Spain's s. * is currently building an additional . * is currently building the s as a part of the MILGEM project. * is currently building four Volodymyr Velykyi-class corvette, ''Volodymyr Velykyi''-class frigates. These ships will help rebuild the Ukrainian Navy, which has been depleted since the capture of most of its navy following the 2014 Russian Annexation of Crimea. Additionally, the United States has offered to transfer two ''Oliver Hazard Perry''-class frigates to Ukraine, the offer is still under consideration. * is currently building eight Type 26 frigates. These ships, along with five planned Type 31 frigates will replace the Type 23 frigates currently in service. Additionally, five Type 32 frigates are also planned to supplement the Royal Navy's strength. * is currently building 20 s. These ships are a variant of the FREMM multipurpose frigate and will replace the decommissioned ''Oliver Hazard Perry''-class frigates.


See also

* Frigate 36, a sailboat design, named in honour of the warship class * , a destroyer design officially named Project 1155 ''Fregat'', which translates to frigate or frigatebird * List of escorteurs of the French Navy * List of frigate classes * List of frigate classes by country * List of frigates of World War II * United States Navy 1975 ship reclassification


References


Citations


Sources

* * Bennett, G. (2001)''The Battle of Trafalgar'', Barnsley (2004). . * Constam, Angus & Bryan, Tony, British Napoleonic Ship-Of-The-Line, Osprey Publishing, 184176308X * * * * * * *Andrew Lambert, Lambert, Andrew (1984) ''Battleships in Transition, the Creation of the Steam Battlefleet 1815–1860'', published Conway Maritime Press, . * *Lavery, Brian. (1983) ''The Ship of the Line, Volume 1: The Development of the Battlefleet, 1650–1850''. Annapolis, Md.: Naval Institute Press, . *Lavery, Brian. (1984) ''The Ship of the Line, Volume 2: Design, Construction and Fittings''. Annapolis, Md.: Naval Institute Press, . *Lavery, B. (2004) ''Ship'', Dorling Kindersly, Ltd . . *Mahan, A.T. (2007) ''The Influence of Sea Power Upon History 1660–1783'', Cosimo, Inc. *Marriott, Leo. ''Royal Navy Frigates 1945–1983'', Ian Allan, 1983, . *Macfarquhar, Colin & Gleig, George (eds.), ((1797)) ''Encyclopædia Britannica: Or, A Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, and Miscellaneous Literature'', London, Volume 17, Third Edition. * *Sondhaus, L. ''Naval Warfare, 1815–1914''. *Winfield, Rif. (1997) ''The 50-Gun Ship''. London: Caxton Editions, , .


External links


Frigates
from battleships-cruisers.co.uk – history and pictures of United Kingdom frigates since World War II

from Destroyers OnLine – pictures, history, crews of United States frigates since 1963

{{authority control Naval sailing ship types Ship designs of the Dutch Republic