A frigate /ˈfrɪɡɪt/ is any of several types of warship, the term
having been used for ships of various sizes and roles over the last
In the 17th century, this term was used for 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 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, although early
line-of-battle ships were frequently referred to as frigates when they
were built for speed.
In the 18th century, the term referred to ships that were usually as
long as a ship of the line and were square-rigged on all three masts
(full-rigged), but were faster and with lighter armament, used for
patrolling and escort. In the definition adopted by the British
Admiralty, 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 that for a time was the most powerful
type of vessel afloat. The term "frigate" was used because such ships
still mounted their principal armaments on a single continuous upper
In modern navies, frigates are used to protect other warships and
merchant-marine ships, especially as anti-submarine warfare (ASW)
combatants for amphibious expeditionary forces, underway replenishment
groups, and merchant convoys. Ship classes dubbed "frigates" have also
more closely resembled corvettes, destroyers, cruisers, and even
battleships. Some European navies such as the French, German or
Spanish ones use the term "frigate" for both their destroyers and
frigates. The rank "frigate captain" derives from the
name of this type of ship.
1 Age of sail
1.2 Classic design
1.3 Heavy frigates
2 Age of steam
2.1 Armoured frigate
3 World War II
4.1 Guided-missile role
4.2 Other uses
4.3 Anti-submarine role
4.4 Further developments
Littoral combat ship
Littoral combat ship (LCS)
5 Frigates in preservation
6 See also
7 See also
9 External links
Age of sail
Light frigate, circa 1675–1680
The term "frigate" (Italian: fregata;
Spanish/Catalan/Portuguese/Sicilian: fragata; Dutch: fregat; French:
frégate) originated in the
Mediterranean in the late 15th century,
referring to a lighter galleass type ship with oars, sails and a light
armament, built for speed and maneuverability. The etymology of the
word is unknown, although it may have originated as a corruption of
Latin word for an open vessel with no lower deck.
Aphractus was, in turn, derived from the
Ancient Greek phrase
ἄφρακτος ναῦς (aphraktos naus), or "undefended ship".
In 1583, during the Eighty Years' War,
Habsburg Spain recovered the
Southern Netherlands from the rebellious Dutch. This soon led to the
occupied ports being used as bases for privateers, the Dunkirkers, to
attack the shipping of the Dutch and their allies. To achieve this
they developed small, maneuverable, sailing vessels that came to be
referred to as frigates. The success of these
influenced the ship design of other navies contending with them but
because most regular navies required ships of greater endurance than
Dunkirker frigates could provide, the term was soon applied less
exclusively to any relatively fast and elegant sail-only war ship. In
French, the term "frigate" became a verb, meaning 'to build long and
low', and an adjective, adding more confusion. Even the huge English
Sovereign of the Seas could be described as "a delicate frigate" by a
contemporary after her upper decks were reduced in 1651.
The navy of the
Dutch Republic was 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 to damage trade and halt
enemy privateering, 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 fight against the Spanish fleet. The
first of these larger battle-capable frigates were built around 1600
Hoorn in Holland. By the later stages of the Eighty Years' War
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 visible in the
Battle of the Downs
Battle of the Downs in 1639, encouraging most other navies, especially
the English, to adopt similar designs.
The fleets built by the
Commonwealth of England
Commonwealth of England in the 1650s generally
consisted of ships described as "frigates", the largest of which were
two-decker 'great frigates' of the third rate. 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 'cruisers':
independent fast ships. The term "frigate" implied a long hull design,
which relates directly to speed (see hull speed) and also, in turn,
helped the development of the broadside tactic in naval warfare.
Boudeuse, of Louis Antoine de Bougainville
At this time, a further design evolved, reintroducing oars to create
the galley frigate such as HMS Charles
Galley of 1676 which was
rated as a 32-gun fifth rate but also had a bank of 40 oars set below
the upper deck which could be used to propel the ship in the absence
of a favourable wind.
In Danish, the word "fregat" is often applied to warships carrying as
few as 16 guns, such as HMS Falcon which the British classified
as a sloop.
Under the rating system of the Royal Navy, by the middle of the 18th
century, the term "frigate" was technically restricted to
single-decked ships of the fifth rate, though small 28-gun frigates
were classed as sixth rate.
A Magicienne-class frigate
Gun deck of the Pallas-class frigate Méduse
The classic sailing frigate, well-known today for its role in the
Napoleonic wars, can be traced back to French developments in the
second quarter of the 18th century. The French-built Médée 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.
A total of fifty-nine French sailing frigates were built between 1777
and 1790, with a standard design averaging a hull length of
135 ft (41 m) and an average draught of 13 ft
(4.0 m). The new frigates recorded sailing speeds of up to 14
knots (26 km/h; 16 mph), significantly faster than their
predecessor vessels. They were able to fight with all their guns
when the seas were so rough that comparable two-deckers had to close
the gun-ports on their lower decks (see the Action of 13 January 1797,
for an example when this was decisive). Like the larger 74 which was
developed at the same time, the new frigates sailed well and were good
fighting vessels due to a combination of long hulls and low upperworks
compared to vessels of comparable size and firepower.
Royal Navy captured a handful of the new French frigates during
War of the Austrian Succession
War of the Austrian Succession (1740–1748) and were impressed by
them, particularly for their inshore handling capabilities. They soon
built copies 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. From around 1778, a larger "heavy"
frigate was developed with a main battery of twenty-six or
twenty-eight 18-pounder guns (again with the remaining ten smaller
guns carried on the quarter deck and forecastle).
Both British and American frigates could (and usually did)
additionally carry smaller carriage-mounted guns on their quarter
decks and forecastles (the superstructures above the upper deck).
Technically, rated ships with fewer than 28 guns could not be
classed as frigates but as "post ships"; 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.
Royal Navy frigates of the late 18th century included the 1780-vintage
Perseverance class, which measured around 900 tons burthen and carried
36 guns; this successful class was followed by numerous other
classes that measured over 1,000 tons burthen and carried 38 guns.
In 1797, three of the
United States Navy's first six major ships were
rated as 44-gun frigates (or "super-frigates"), which operationally
carried fifty-six to sixty 24-pounder long guns and 32-pounder or
42-pounder carronades on two decks; by all regards they were
exceptionally powerful and tough. These ships were so 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, Royal Navy
fighting instructions ordered British frigates (usually of 38 guns or
less) to never engage American frigates at any less than a 2:1
advantage. USS Constitution, preserved as a museum ship by the US
Navy, is the oldest commissioned warship afloat, and is a surviving
example of a frigate from the Age of Sail. Constitution and her sister
ships President and
United States were created in a response to deal
with the Barbary Coast pirates and in conjunction with the Naval Act
of 1794. The three big frigates, when built, had a distinctive
building pattern which minimised "hogging" (in which the centre of the
keel rises while both ends drop) and improves hydrodynamic
The hull was designed so that all the weight from the guns was upon
the keel itself.
Joshua Humphreys proposed that only live oak, a tree
that grew only in America, should be used to build these ships. The
method was to use diagonal riders, eight on each side that sat at a 45
degree angle. These beams of live oak were about 2 feet (61 cm)
wide and around 1 foot (30 cm) thick and helped to maintain the
shape of the hull, serving also to reduce flexibility and to minimize
impacts. These ideas were considered revolutionary in the late 18th
and early 19th century. A three-layer method was used in which the
planks along the sides of the hull were laid horizontally across the
frames, making a crossing or checker board pattern. The sides of the
ship could be as thick as 25 inches (64 cm), and were able to
absorb substantial damage. The strength of this braced construction
USS Constitution the nickname "Old Ironsides".
The fictitious, but representative, ironclad frigate USS Abraham
Lincoln, from Jules Verne's novel Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the
Frigates were perhaps the hardest-worked of warship types during the
Age of Sail. While smaller than a ship-of-the-line, they were
formidable opponents for the large numbers of sloops and gunboats, not
to mention privateers 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 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, 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
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.
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 for boarding enemy ships or
for operations on shore; in 1832, the frigate USS Potomac landed
a party of 282 sailors and Marines ashore in the US Navy's first
Common armament was one gundeck with 24–30 long guns, from 8- to
24-pounders (3.6 to 11 kg), with up to a dozen light guns or
carronades on the quarterdeck and forecastle above.
Frigates remained a crucial element of navies until the mid-19th
century. The first ironclads 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 and then by the light cruiser.
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
Aubrey–Maturin series, C. S. Forester's
Horatio Hornblower series
and Alexander Kent's
Richard Bolitho 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
Main article: Steam frigate
French paddle frigate Descartes
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 steamers 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
propellers. These "screw frigates", built first of wood and later of
iron, continued to perform the traditional role of the frigate until
late in the 19th century.
From 1859, armour was added to ships based on existing frigate and
ship of the line designs. The additional weight of the armour on these
first ironclad warships 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.
After 1875, the term "frigate" fell out of use. Vessels with armoured
sides were designated as "battleships" or "armoured cruisers", while
"protected cruisers" only possessed an armoured deck, and unarmoured
vessels, including frigates and sloops, were classified as
World War II
See also: List of frigates of the Second World War
A Loch-class frigate
The U.S. Navy Tacoma-class patrol frigate USS Gallup at San
Pedro, California, on 30 May 1944
Modern frigates are related to earlier frigates only by name. The term
"frigate" was readopted during the Second World War by the British
Royal Navy to describe an anti-submarine escort vessel that was larger
than a corvette, while smaller than a destroyer. Equal in size and
capability to the American destroyer escort, frigates are usually less
expensive to build and maintain. Anti-submarine escorts had
previously been classified as sloops by the Royal Navy, and the Black
Swan-class sloops 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
The frigate was introduced to remedy some of the shortcomings inherent
Flower-class corvette design: limited armament, a hull form not
suited to open-ocean work, a single shaft which limited speed and
manoeuvrability, and a lack of range. The frigate was designed and
built to the same mercantile construction standards (scantlings) as
the corvette, allowing manufacture by yards unused to warship
construction. The first frigates of the River class (1941) were
essentially two sets of corvette machinery in one larger hull, armed
with the latest Hedgehog anti-submarine weapon.
The frigate possessed less offensive firepower and speed than a
destroyer, but such qualities were not required for anti-submarine
warfare. Submarines were slow while submerged, and
ASDIC sets did not
operate effectively at speeds of over 20 knots (23 mph;
37 km/h). 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
The contemporary German Flottenbegleiter ("fleet escorts"), also known
as "F-Boats", were essentially frigates. They were based on a
Oberkommando der Marine
Oberkommando der Marine concept of vessels which could fill
roles such as fast minesweeper, minelayer, merchant escort and
anti-submarine vessel. Because of the
Treaty of Versailles
Treaty of Versailles their
displacement was officially limited to 600 tons, although in
reality they exceeded this by about 100 tons. F-boats had two
stacks and two 105 mm gun turrets. The design was flawed because
of its narrow beam, sharp bow and unreliable high pressure steam
turbines. F-boats were succeeded in operational duties by Type 35 and
Elbing class torpedo boats. Flottenbegleiter remained in service as
advanced training vessels.
It was not until the Royal Navy's Bay class 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 frigates,
built on incomplete
Loch-class frigate hulls, were similar to the
United States Navy's destroyer escorts (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
United States Navy 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 Royal Navy
were rated as Captain-class frigates. The U.S. Navy's two
Canadian-built Asheville-class and 96 British-influenced,
American-built Tacoma-class frigates that followed originally were
classified as "patrol gunboats" (PG) in the U.S. Navy but on 15 April
1943 were all reclassified as patrol frigates (PF).
Royal Canadian Navy
Royal Canadian Navy
Halifax-class frigate HMCS Regina escorting
the American aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk across the Pacific
Ocean in 2008
Leander-class frigate BAE Morán Valverde,
formerly the Chilean Navy's Almirante Lynch
USS Leahy departing San Diego, California, in May 1978. She was
classified as a guided-missile frigate (DLG-16) until 1975, when she
was reclassified as a guided-missile cruiser (CG-16).
The introduction of the surface-to-air missile after
World War II
World War II made
relatively small ships effective for anti-aircraft warfare: the
"guided missile frigate." In the USN, these vessels were called "ocean
escorts" and designated "DE" or "DEG" until 1975 – a holdover from
World War II
World War II destroyer escort or "DE". The
Royal Canadian Navy
Royal Canadian Navy and
Royal Navy maintained the use of the term "frigate"; likewise,
French Navy refers to missile-equipped ship, up to cruiser-sized
ships (Suffren, Tourville, and Horizon classes), 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
United States Navy 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 cruisers built on destroyer-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
World War II
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
World War II cruiser conversions lacked. Some of these
ships — Bainbridge and Truxtun along with the
Virginia classes — were 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 1975 ship
reclassification, the large American frigates were redesignated as
guided missile cruisers or destroyers (CG/CGN/DDG), while ocean
escorts (the American classification for ships smaller than
destroyers, with hull symbol DE/DEG (destroyer escort)) were
reclassified as frigates (FF/FFG), sometimes incorrectly called "fast
frigates". In the late 1970s the
US Navy introduced the 51-ship Oliver
Hazard Perry-class 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 Ticonderoga-class cruisers and Arleigh Burke-class
One of the most successful post-1945 designs was the British
Leander-class frigate, which was used by several navies. Laid down in
1959, the Leander-class was based on the previous 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
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.
Royal Navy Type 61 Salisbury class were "air direction" frigates
equipped to track aircraft. To this end they had reduced armament
compared to the Type 41 Leopard-class air-defence frigates built on
the same hull.
Multi-role frigates like the MEKO 200, Anzac and Halifax classes 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 destroyers.
HMS Somerset of the Royal Navy. Type 23 frigates were built for
anti-submarine warfare but are capable multi-purpose ships.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, some frigates are specialised for
anti-submarine warfare. Increasing submarine speeds towards the end of
World War II
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 Whitby class, were faster.
Such ships carry improved sonar equipment, such as the variable depth
sonar or towed array, and specialised weapons such as torpedoes,
forward-throwing weapons such as Limbo and missile-carried
anti-submarine torpedoes such as
ASROC or Ikara. Surface-to-air
missiles such as Sea Sparrow and surface-to-surface missiles such as
Exocet give them defensive and offensive capabilities. The Royal
Type 22 frigate
Type 22 frigate is an example of a specialised
anti-submarine warfare frigate.
Especially for anti-submarine warfare, most modern frigates have a
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 or Sea Skua, to attack them. The helicopter is also
invaluable for search and rescue operation and has largely replaced
the use of small boats or the 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
Shivalik-class frigate of the Indian Navy
The stealthy La Fayette class of the
French Navy that introduced the
Stealth Technology in the early 1990s
Stealth technology has been introduced in modern frigate design by the
French La Fayette class 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 French Horizon class with
Aster 15 and
Aster 30 missile for anti-missile capabilities, the
German F125 and Sachsen-class frigates, the Turkish TF2000 type
frigates with the MK-41 VLS, and the Indian Shivalik and Talwar
classes with the
Brahmos missile system.
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 Horizon class being among the largest in the
world to carry the rating of frigate.
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
F125-class frigate 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 frigates, the Álvaro de
Littoral combat ship
Littoral combat ship (LCS)
USS Independence, an
Independence-class littoral combat ship
Independence-class littoral combat ship of
United States Navy
Some new classes of ships similar to corvettes 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 Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates in the
United States Navy
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 40 knots (74 km/h; 46 mph). 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 USS Constitution is rated as a frigate and is
still in commission, but does not count towards Navy force
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
Frigates in preservation
A few nations have frigates on display as museum ships. They are:
USS Constitution in Boston, United States. Second oldest
commissioned warship in the world, oldest commissioned warship afloat.
Active as the flagship of the
United States Navy.
HMS Unicorn (1824) in Dundee, Scotland.
HMS Trincomalee in Hartlepool, England.
HMS Surprise in San Diego, United States, replica of HMS Rose, used in
the film, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World.
Dom Fernando II e Gloria
Dom Fernando II e Gloria in Almada, Portugal.
FS Hermione, sailing replica of the Hermione of 1779 which carried
Lafayette to the United States.
Russian frigate Standart, a sailing replica of Russia's first warship,
homeported in Saint Petersburg, Russia.
HNLMS Bonaire in Den Helder, Netherlands.
Danish steam frigate Jylland
Danish steam frigate Jylland in Ebeltoft, Denmark.
Japanese frigate Kaiyo Maru, replica in Esashi, Japan.
HMS Warrior (1860) in Portsmouth, England.
HDMS Peder Skram (F352) in Copenhagen, Denmark.
HMAS Diamantina (K377) in Queensland, Australia.
TCG Ege (F256), formerly USS Ainsworth (FF-1090) in Izmit,
ROKS Taedong (PF-63), formerly USS Tacoma (PF-3) in South
HTMS Tachin (PF-1), formerly USS Glendale (PF-36) in Nakhon
HTMS Prasase (PF-2), formerly USS Gallup (PF-47) in Rayong
CNS Nanchong (FF-502) in Qingdao, China.
CNS Yingtan (FFG-531) in Qingdao, China.
CNS Xiamen (FFG-515) in Taizhou, China.
HMS President (1918) in London, England.
HMS Wellington (U65) in London, England.
RFS Druzhnyy in Moscow, Russia.
HNoMS Narvik (F304) in Horten, Norway.
KD Rahmat in Lumut, Malaysia.
List of frigate classes
United States Navy
United States Navy 1975 ship reclassification
List of frigates of the Second World War
List of frigate classes by country
Note that Algerian, Tripolitan and Tunisian sail frigates are listed
under Turkey. All Italian city-state frigates are listed under Italy.
Republic of Ragusa (Croatia)
List of Escorteurs of the French Navy
^ a b Henderson, James: Frigates Sloops & Brigs. Pen & Sword
Books, London, 2005. ISBN 1-84415-301-0.
^ Rodger (2004) p. 216
^ Geofrrey Parker, The Military Revolution: Military Innovation and
the Rise of the West 1500–1800, p. 99
^ a b Breen, Colin; Forsythe, Wes (2007). "The French Shipwreck La
Surveillante, Lost in Bantry Bay, Ireland, in 1797". Historical
Archaeology. Society for Historical Archaeology. 41 (3): 41–42.
JSTOR 25617454. (Subscription required (help)).
^ a b Archibald, Roger. 1997. Six ships that shook the world. American
Heritage of Invention & Technology 13, (2): 24.
^ Lavery, Brian (1989). Nelson's Navy: The Ships, Men and Organisation
1793–1815. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press. pp. 49, 298–300.
^ a b c Encyclopædia Britannica. 17. p. 469.
^ ARG. "Top 10 Frigates Military-Today.com". www.military-today.com.
^ prinzeugen.com "Frigate: An Online Photo Album". Retrieved on: 11
^ Gardiner, Robert, ed., Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships,
1922–1946, New York: Mayflower Books, 1980, ISBN 0-8317-0303-2,
^ Bauer and Roberts, pp. 215–217
^ Bauer and Roberts, pp. 251–252
^ Gardiner and Chumbley, pp. 580–585
Type 23 frigates at the
Royal Navy website
Frigate Warships". Retrieved 2017-07-13.
^ Larter, David (2 July 2014). "Decommissioning plan pulls all
frigates from fleet by end of FY '15". Militarytimes.com. Retrieved 25
^ SNA: Modified Littoral Combat Ships to be Designated Frigates –
News.USNI.org, 15 January 2015
Bauer, K. Jack; Roberts, Stephen S. (1991). Register of Ships of the
U.S. Navy, 1775–1990: Major Combatants. Westport, Connecticut:
Greenwood Press. ISBN 0-313-26202-0.
Bennett, G. (2001)The Battle of Trafalgar, Barnsley (2004).
Constam, Angus & Bryan, Tony, British Napoleonic Ship-Of-The-Line,
Osprey Publishing, 184176308X
Gardiner, Robert; Chumbley, Stephen (1995). Conway's All the World's
Fighting Ships 1947–1995. London: Conway Maritime Press.
Gardiner, Robert & Lambert, Andrew, (Editors), (2001) Steam, Steel
and Shellfire: The Steam Warship, 1815–1905 (Conway's History of the
Ship series), Book Sales,
Gresham, John D. "The swift and sure steeds of the fighting sail fleet
were its dashing frigates", Military Heritage magazine, (John D.
Gresham, Military Heritage, February 2002, Volume 3, No.4, pp. 12
to 17 and p. 87).
Rodger, N. A. M.
Rodger, N. A. M. The Command of the Ocean, a Naval History of Britain
London (2004). ISBN 0-7139-9411-8
Lambert, Andrew (1984) Battleships in Transition, the Creation of the
Steam Battlefleet 1815–1860, published Conway Maritime Press, .
Lavery, Brian (1989) Nelson's Navy: The Ships, Men and Organisation
1793–1815. Annapolis, Md.: Naval Institute Press, .
Lavery, Brian (1983) The Ship of the Line, Volume 1: The Development
of the Battlefleet, 1650–1850. Annapolis, Md.: Naval Institute
Press, ISBN 0-87021-631-7.
Lavery, Brian. (1984) The Ship of the Line, Volume 2: Design,
Construction and Fittings. Annapolis, Md.: Naval Institute Press,
Mahan, A.T., (2007) The Influence of Sea Power Upon History
1660–1783, Cosimo, Inc.,
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.
Rodger, N.A.M. ((2004)) The Command of the Ocean, a Naval History of
London . ISBN 0-7139-9411-8
Sondhaus, L. Naval Warfare, 1815–1914
Winfield, Rif. (1997) The 50-Gun Ship. London: Caxton Editions,
ISBN 1-84067-365-6, ISBN 1-86176-025-6
Lavery, B. (2004) Ship, Dorling Kindersly, Ltd .
Look up frigate in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Frigates.
Frigates from battleships-cruisers.co.uk – history and pictures of
United Kingdom frigates since World War II
Frigates from Destroyers OnLine – pictures, history, crews of United
States frigates since 1963
The Development of the Full-Rigged Ship From the
Carrack to the
Rating system of the Royal Navy
Ships of the line
Types of sailing vessels and rigs
Mast aft rig
By sail plan
Naval & merchant
(by origin date)
Chinese treasure ship
Square-rigged caravel (round or de armada)
Ship of the line
Clipper (Baltimore Clipper)
Ship of the line
Mast aft rig
Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter
Pinnace (ship's boat)
Thames sailing barge
Naval ships and warships in the Late Modern period
Naval ship classes in service
Amphibious assault ship
Anti-submarine warfare carrier
Fighter catapult ship
Light aircraft carrier
Merchant aircraft carrier
Submarine aircraft carrier
Coastal defence ship
Super-dreadnought (Standard-type battleship)
Flight deck cruiser
Convoy rescue ship
Guided missile destroyer
Amphibious transport dock
Amphibious warfare ship
Dock landing ship
Landing craft carrier
Landing Craft Support
Landing Ship Heavy
Landing ship, infantry
Landing Ship Medium
Landing Ship, Tank
Landing Ship Vehicle
Armed boarding steamer
Coastal Motor Boat
Harbour Defence Motor Launch
Ocean boarding vessel
Steam Gun Boat
Fast attack craft
Mine countermeasures vessel
Command and support
Auxiliary repair dock
Combat stores ship
Fast combat support ship
General stores issue ship
Net laying ship
Ballistic missile submarine
Cruise missile submarine
Littoral combat ship