US Navy Frigates of the Cold War

...New Vanguard 297 from Osprey Publishing

Title: US Navy Frigates of the Cold War
Author: Mark Stille
Publisher: Osprey Books
ISBN: 978-1-4728-4051-6

New Vanguard number 297 from Osprey, and another interesting title from author Mark Stille. In WW2 the US Navy built a large number of successful and widely used series of Destroyer Escorts. With that 'Hot' war over, it moved to the so-called Cold War, and the growth of the Soviet submarine fleet prompted a requirement for capable anti-submarine vessels, then referred to as Frigates.
The Introduction sets out the scene, with the various missions expected for the US Navy Frigate classes followed by a guide to their various weapons systems, for ASW (Anti-Submarine Warfare), missile systems, guns and ASW sensors. Looking at their role(s) in the post-war period, the US Navy had gone from 362 vessels in service, to just 6 in 1948(!). Then it goes on to examine the details of the designs of a series of 7 new classes of frigate, with the sequence going from Dealey Class, through to the Knox and the later and numerous Perry class. Each one is considered, including their varied armament fits plus a summary of their Operational Service. Designed for a world where the threat was expected to be a Soviet submarine fleet, and for deep ocean operations, the threats changed after the collapse of the Warsaw Pact in the early 1990s. Couple that with cost control, the quantities needed and the changing technology and weapon systems there is so much in this complex mix of priorities. In the end, 63 vessels of the Perry class were built, though even these have now been retired.
I found this a really interesting read. The challenges of controlling peacetime costs, added to changing threats around the world and new technologies, the service life we can expect from naval vessels these days is quite a topic. The book is well illustrated throughout, as we expect from Osprey, with archive photos and plenty of colour profiles and other artwork to illustrate the text. An interesting topic and a good value guide to the subject.
Thanks to Osprey Publishing for our review copy.

Robin