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Subject: Alternate Post WWII RAN: Frigates
Volkodav    7/2/2009 8:00:19 AM
During WWII Australia layed down 8 River and 4 Bay class frigates that provided useful post war service. These ships could have done so much more, they would have been ideal as patrol vessels through out our region into the 60's when they could have been replaced with a class of ships similar to the original DDL concept of a small patrol frigate that could have been bought in useful numbers.
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doggtag    oh for want of my library back home   7/2/2009 3:14:38 PM
If you're going to consider more freebies, still-useful hulls handed over for if even cents-on-the-dollar from the larger navies (USN, RN),
a couple of my favorites (in the days when the USN was happy with the title "destroyer escort",
and to them a "frigate" was still used to describe historic sailing ships-of-the-line,
even though when pressed into RN service they were called frigates),
were the Buckley class , Evarts class , and Rudderow class destroyer escorts.
Thought not knowing whether these were the most ideal "war efficiency" designs produced, they did seem to have a reasonable armament lay out for their size.
If you knew you wouldn't be running-in with cruisers and the early guided missile destroyers, these would've been an interesting alternative for your regional patrolling duties (again though, I have no real info on their seakeeping and crew comforts).
They seem to have a decent ASW capability for their size (for just-coming-out-of WW2 standards: it's not like the Indos or anybody local had copied German Type XXI's in strength),
decent ship gunnery (5", 3", 40mm, plenty of 20's),
and having a few 21inch torpedos.
Space available for later upgrades was certainly lacking when compared to cruisers and even full-fledged destroyers, but as electronics and guided missiles evolved, the "little ladies" would've got kitted out as well.
I'd need to do a lot more digging and reading to see just what, if anything, these ships could've upgraded with.
Obviously rule out the big missiles like Tartar and such.
But more prolonged use of these smaller ships may have encouraged more development in lighter-sized missiles (though electronics of the day may have left a lot to be desired, especially when we now look back on just how unsuccessful a lot of the early guided missiles were).
One could spend a long time at sites like Designation-Systems.Net and stipulate which missiles would've been good on these hulls (post WW2 thru late 1950s, even early 1960s until replacements came along).
An early SAM could've came from further refinement and improvements on the questionable AIM-4 Falcon family that could've reached several km, although the 1inch greater diameter of Sparrow could've given an interesting early SARH Sea Sparrow, even if these ships would've lacked them in large numbers in pre-VLS days)
An early SSM could've been a variant of either of these, but ideally a larger warhead is preferred,
the Oriole may have been a good design, but at 11inches in diameter, perhaps only from a mount/launcher similar to those of early Soviet DDGs holding 4 rounds or so),
or the Meteor could have been a good contender for both early SAM and SSM.  
The Mauler was also a possibility, had further development improved its capabilities (even at barely 10km, that gives you the ability to hit many Avenger- or Pe-2 sized maritime attack aircraft at ranges at the outer edge where they could fire rockets or launch torpedoes).
Although any of these as SAMs may have been considerably lacking when Australia's questionable northern neighbors started receiving Soviet-design jet aircraft and missiles, these ships as forward pickets could've offered enough harassment to bombers and attack aircraft that may have been hoping to get closer to score hits on Australian carriers, cruisers and large logistics ship, or even lower-level land attack raids.
We know the Bofors 40mm guns never went out of fashion, to the point the various original L56/L60 guns (some of which saw service over several generations) were supplanted by the newer L70 design.
The USN pattern 3" guns went to automatic mountings in both L50 and L70 form years before the Italian 76/62 took navies by storm (although the 70cal version seems to have been less than ideal, from what I've read).
Then there's the big 5/38s, which eventually were gettin
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