BMT VENATOR®-110 Frigate
VENATOR-110 Frigate is a flexible and tailorable modern warship, able to provide a spectrum of credible capability from Maritime Security to Warfighting worldwide at an affordable procurement cost. VENATOR-110 combines lean manned and adaptable capability with the affordable procurement cost and dimensions of a Light Frigate. A ‘Middle Out’ design philosophy avoids the spiral of platform requirement escalation that can result in ever larger and more expensive warships.
BMT has identified a number of military specifications to meet the range of Navy and Coastguard requirements, leading to three VENATOR-110 design variations designed to suit specific roles and affordability. Designed to balance capability, survivability and cost, VENATOR-110 General Purpose Light Frigate fulfils a wide range of roles, from maritime security and boarding operations to credible combatant offensive and defensive capabilities globally. VENATOR-110 Patrol Frigate provides a maritime security and regional enforcement presence in a low threat environment. The Patrol Ship is the lowest procurement cost variant of the VENATOR-110 and provides a maritime security presence in a low threat environment, ideal for coastguard applications.
Benefiting from BMT’s comprehensive expertise in naval design and procurement, VENATOR-110 is a highly flexible and tailorable modern warship. Reflecting doctrine of Navies around the world, VENATOR-110 represents a credible platform, able to deliver a wide spectrum of military capability at an affordable procurement cost. Following a significant design effort in conjunction with equipment and system suppliers, VENATOR-110 has been configured for modern construction and outfit in locations around the world.
Saab and BMT came together to offer a technology partner proposal for the Plataforma Estratégica de Superficie (PES) program to deliver a warship optimised to meet Armada Nacional requirements. Since its inception in 2012, VENATOR-110 development has benefited from BMT’s extensive design and engineering experience gained through the design of complex naval platforms, including the Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carrier, Tide Class Tanker and the Norwegian Logistic Support Vessel to achieve the optimum balance between capability, survivability and cost.
Provision of two large davit launched RHIBs, with a third large RHIB within a stern ramp facility. This can be augmented by a fourth davit-launched RHIB stowed within the separate flexible mission hangar. This flexible mission hangar could be employed to host unmanned air, surface or sub-surface vehicles if required. Provision of offboard assets would allow broad maritime security interdiction and search and rescue capabilities to be realised.
The comprehensive aviation capability includes a flight deck and hangar with maintenance and support facilities for up to a medium-sized helicopter. Provision of magazines adds air-deployed weapons to the platform’s arsenal to prosecute a range of targets. Tailoring options within the design of the aviation spaces allows these facilities to be adapted to suit the customer’s range of existing and future aviation assets, such as NH90, AW159 Wildcat, SH-60 Seahawk, AW101 Merlin or future replacements.
Additional reconfigurable command and control (C2) modules within VENATOR-110 enables the ship to deliver intelligence, surveillance, cyber and disaster relief tasks. Further flexibility is provided by an additional mission bay adjacent to the ship’s RHIBs, able to support a range of capabilities. Replenishment at Sea positions on either beam for solid and liquid supplies ensure that VENATOR-110 is able to maintain an enduring presence once deployed to an area of operations.
Working closely with equipment and system providers, BMT identified a spectrum of military specifications able to meet the breadth of different Navy or Coastguard needs and budgets. Analysis of military specifications and requirements have led to 3 different design variants of the VENATOR-110, each devised to suit intended role and affordability:
- General Purpose Light Frigate
- Patrol Frigate
- Patrol Ship
VENATOR-110 variants differ both in terms of the platform and combat system equipments fitted and also the internal specification of the ship itself, including platform survivability. There are a broad range of capability options within each variant, again developed working closely with equipment specialists that will allow customers to select the features that best meet their requirement and budget.
For example, a coastguard force wishing to operate a large ship for low threat economic zone protection will not need the platform characteristics of a vessel designed for high end warfare but only embodying a lesser equipment fit. In this instance VENATOR-110 Patrol Ship would be a suitable cost-effective variant. Conversely the VENATOR-110 General Purpose Light Frigate provides a Navy with an affordable and credible warship with survivability and equipment features greater than those of a fragile OPV or Corvette.
VENATOR-110 variants are individually tailored to best suit the intended role and affordability, whilst retaining common cost-effective features such as the hullform and propulsion architecture. Working closely with Rolls-Royce, Wärtsilä, David Brown Santasalo and Renk, the VENATOR-110 design adopts a proven and robust propulsion architecture. This architecture employs four diesel engines in a Combined Diesel And Diesel (CODAD) configuration. With two separate shaft lines combined with four independent prime movers and controllable pitch propellers, the arrangement provides a significant level of flexibility at a low procurement cost.
Designed to achieve the optimum balance between capability, survivability and cost, VENATOR-110 General Purpose Light Frigate is able to fulfil a wide range of roles, from maritime security and boarding operations to providing credible combatant offensive and defensive capabilities globally. Intelligent platform flexibility also offers the opportunity for through-life spiral development of capabilities to incorporate future technologies. To provide a meaningful contribution to combatant tasks, including national or coalition Task Groups, a warship requires the ability to freely maneuver within a threat environment, and should not place a burden on other naval units to provide for its defence. VENATOR-110 General Purpose Light Frigate is able to provide this credible combatant capability. These roles include close consort defence to other shipping, support to forces deploying to shore including suppression of coastal targets, prosecution of hostile surface combatants and contribution as part of the wider situational awareness picture, among others.
VENATOR-110 Patrol Frigate is designed to provide maritime security and regional enforcement presence in a low threat environment. Able to support in more warfare-orientated operations, this variant is at a procurement cost that reflects the capability provided.
The lowest procurement cost variant, VENATOR-110 Patrol Ship is designed to provide a maritime security presence in a low threat environment, ideal for coastguard applications. Maritime Security covers a range of roles including counter maritime and transnational crime, evacuation of entitled personnel, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief as well as supporting the integrity of national maritime territories and protection of maritime trade and freedom of navigation.
Early analysis of options with varying attributes for both length and beam culminated in an initial hullform, which afforded a strong seakeeping performance against the spectrum of sea states and conditions experienced around the world. VENATOR-110 has been designed from the outset to achieve more stringent naval stability standards, including a full appreciation of the adverse effect of through-life weight growth on stability. This is essential in order for a vessel to be considered a credible warship.
Learning from the common issues and through-life cost drivers present in contemporary platforms, VENATOR-110 takes a slightly different approach to the provision of upperdeck weapon systems. VENATOR-110 includes BMT designed Adaptive Weapon Positions that allow freedom in the choice of weapon fit, both at the time of build and through-life. The ship can be fitted with a range and combination of weapons and decoys to best suit the customer requirement and budget.
This blending of Close-In Weapon Systems (CIWS), softkill decoys, surface effectors such as 30mm or 40mm cannon and lightweight missiles on any of the Adaptive Weapon Positions provides layered defence in the air, surface and sub-surface domains. BMT Adaptive Weapon Positions allow for rapid and cost-effective spiral development to adopt the next generation of weapon systems as the technology matures.
In addition to these upperdeck weapon positions, VENATOR-110 also includes the capabilities provided by a medium calibre gun system, able to support a range of different calibre systems (including 57mm, 76mm, 114mm and 127mm), and tailored to suit the intended tasks and procurement budget.
A further example of the weapon options presented by the highly tailorable VENATOR-110 design includes the choice of Vertical Launch Silo (VLS) configuration that could be selected. The first of these configurations adopts two 3-cell Lockheed Martin ExLS VLS. This enables the ship to carry up to 24 MBDA Sea Ceptor missiles. The second option employs four 3-cell Lockheed Martin ExLS VLS. With 48 MBDA Sea Ceptor missiles. A third, higher cost configuration includes two 3-cell Lockheed Martin ExLS VLS, which provides 24 MBDA Sea Ceptor missiles. In addition, a single 8-cell Lockheed Martin Mk41 Strike Length VLS delivers a significant level of flexibility to embark the latest and next generations of missile technology.
In its ‘lean manned’ form the VENATOR-110 General Purpose Light Frigate is intended to be as lean as possible whilst maintaining an appropriate level of operational capability. Even in the full combatant configuration, the core crew consists of 85 personnel, capable of maintaining 24 hour operations. A citadel is included to provide collective protection from the chemical, biological and radiological threat.
VENATOR-110 can be adapted to incorporate a range of future technologies such as future aviation solutions and the next generation of shipborne artillery. For instance, in order to counter the increasing threat of swarm attack, both by advanced drones and simple asymmetric surface craft, it is important that a platform is able to adopt the future in counterswarm technology, including RF-based non-lethal weapons and laser directed energy weapons.
|General Purpose Light Frigate|
|Length (overall)||117m / 380 feet|
|Top speed||>25 knots|
|Range|| 6,000Nm at 15 knots|
>7,000 Nautical Miles at 15 knots Mission Bay
|Additional reconfigurable C2 modules|
|Replenishment At Sea|
|Crew size||85 personnel|
|Total accommodation||provision 106 + 18 personnel|
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