What the Hell is the "Frigate" Anyways?
Frigates of the Modern Navy
As is the case with many of the warships we discuss here on Ships of the Line, the 2nd World War altered the roles and classifications of these surface warships. The term Frigate was resurrected by the Royal Navy, and it only shared the name with the historical Frigates of the Age of Sail. Given the extensive use of U-Boats by the 3rd Reich, the Frigate was recreated as an anti-submarine warship, protecting convoys from the underwater predators and was slotted in-between the Corvette and Destroyer. Unlike it's predecessor, the modern Frigate was shorter range and lower in speed.
Is the Frigate Disappearing from Modern Navies?
The Modern Frigate: The LCS
The Space-Going Frigate
Science Fiction and Frigates
The Normandy SR1/SR2 class Frigate from the Mass Effect Universe
This was SR2 Normandy and it was final incarnation of the ship. Given her larger size, the SR2 could not land on-planet, so she used shuttles as seen in ME2 and ME3. During the hunt for the Collectors, the SR2 when defensive and offensive upgraded over the SR1, and it came in handy was the Collector was assaulted. After the events of ME2, Shepard turned over the ship to the Alliance and she came back into the fold. As the ship and her captain were being studied at the Alliance HQ in Vancouver, the Reapers hit Earth, forcing Shepard to escape in the SR2. During her effort to unite the galaxy, the SR2 was her mobile command center, making this little Frigate the most important vessel in the galaxy. After the Reaper Invasion, the fate of the SR2 Normandy was uncertain...it is likely that the ship was repaired and it rejoined the Earth, destined to become a museum piece and an enduring symbol of the 23rd century. Some believe that the Tempest ships seen in the Mass Effect: Andromeda trailers could be an Frigate.
The UNSC Charon class Light Frigate from the HALO Universe
The Federation Chandley Class Frigate from the FASA Star Trek Starship Tactical Combat Simulator
The Frigates of EVE Online
The UNSC Strident class Heavy Frigate from the HALO Universe
The Republic class Frigate from the Star Wars Universe
The EDF Airone Class Frigate from Starblazers/Space Cruiser Yamato Universe
The Frigates of the Honor Harrington Universe
The Honorverse is packed with all manner of warships that fit within the classical classification of naval vessels, and Frigates are no different. These small warships are below a Destroyer class, and are given the more secondary duties of the space navy, like patrol. In the history of the Honorverse, the Manticore navy started with four Sol System constructed Frigates in 1389 PD. Several hundred years later, most space navies did not field many Frigate class warships, due to their limited combat use. However, an Manticore Royal Navy Frigate, the HMS Osprey, was one of the first postings for Lt. Harrington after her graduation from Royal Naval Academy as sailmaster.
The Frigates of the Legends of the Galactic Heroes Universe
In the massive space opera/military sci-fi anime Legends of Galactic Heroes, there is every major type of combat starships...including the lonely Frigate. In the show, the Frigate is an small, lightly armored and armed warship that are designed for secondary combat duties and roles, like patrol, escort, scouting, and as a screener. There is very little mentioned about the Frigates of Legends of Galactic Heroes and finding a picture was extremely difficult. The design, basic as it is, reminds me of an upper receiver of an battle rifle.
The Kuat Drive Yards Nebulon-B Class Escort Frigate from the Star Wars Universe
The Federation New Orleans class Frigate from the Star Trek Universe
Star Trek was never has smooth about canonizing ship classes and classifications until around DS9, and when it came time for TNG to demonstrate the offensive power of the Borg via the Battle of Wolf 359...one of the worst defeats in Starfleet history, the producers and the visual effects department had to conjure up some starships. With budgetary limitations, the graveyard of Federation starships was littered with previously unseen starship classes due to the massive amount of kit bashing. One of the classes that emerged was the New Orleans class frigate. The name was never mentioned onscreen and it only would appear in printed media, and the New Orleans class was tied to some previously mentioned Frigate class starships. The damaged hulk of the USS Kyushu was read aloud by Commander Shelby as the Enterprise made its way through the graveyard of 39 Federation starships at Wolf 359=.
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