What is the Royal Navy’s new type 31 frigate good for?

Robert Beckhusen writing for War Is Boring on the Royal Navy’s new type 31 frigates:

The frigate will be excellent at chasing pirates, though a proper corvette could do the same job for less. If this story sounds familiar, it echoes the U.S. Navy’s own travails with turning the Littoral Combat Ship into an expensive pseudo-frigate that is both underpowered and overpowered for the challenges it will conceivably face.

“It hardly make sense to have frigates that aren’t frigates,” journalist Gabriele Molinelli wrote at U.K. Armed Forces Commentary. “If they aren’t useful for ASW and they have just a basic local area air defense fit … what are they good for? What is their realistic wartime role and position? How do they solve the shortage of escort vessels in the Royal Navy?”

Ocean capable corvettes are a class of the future, but it sure sounds like the purpose of this ship is not clear.

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