24 April 2023

What is a frigate? – Discover the characteristics and function of a naval frigate

By Donald

The frigate represents the name of a ship, however, throughout history this title was given to various types of ships. From a pirate ship, through the steamboat, up to the current definition. So, in this article, we explain what it is a frigate today and evolution. In the same way, a species of animal is mentioned that was also named in that way.

Definition of a frigate

When talking about a frigate, it is possible to associate the term with a ship, because that is where its most popular meaning of the word comes from. However, it is not just any boat like those used in coastal fishing. On the contrary, it is a military ship that fulfills specific tasks and that has evolved a lot over the years.

However, if you search for the definition of a frigate, it is also possible to find that the term refers to an animal. It’s about the portuguese caravel, Portuguese frigate or also known as bad water. The name refers to a marine animal that belongs to the jellyfish family. It is found in the open sea and in tropical waters, it is dangerous because its sting is very painful.

What is a military frigate?

The current frigate, which is a warship, went through an important evolution process until it reached its current characteristics. Nowadays, it is a ship that is used in a naval war and whose objective is the anti-submarine and anti-aircraft defense. In the same way, it is a ship that can be used as support in some missions.

The military frigate began to be observed at the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century with the arrival of the Steamboat. Well, despite the fact that in earlier times there were already ships called that, they were used for transport and trade. Speed ​​was their advantage, so they protected the cargo by escaping the fight.

After the steamship was implemented, the name frigate came into regular use. However, in 1859 the ships began to be armored, so the term ironclad was coined. Originally they were called armored frigatesbut with the later improvements it was only battleship or cruiser.

In the great war, a naval construction called a destroyer began to be used, which began as a small ship. In the Second World War, the destroyer became a giant one-ton ship, so the term frigate was rescued for another class of ships. From this moment, the frigate no longer resembles the historical naval vessel of previous centuries that fought with any pirate ship.

In this sense, the modern frigate became a small escort type vessel that protects aircraft carriers and destroyers. The frigate’s mission during this war is to act as protection against submarines. So, they were loaded with artillery to check any torpedoes that might get close to the larger ships.

What is a naval frigate?

As for the naval frigate, the origins of this type of vessel can be considered. In this sense, the story goes back to previous times of the steamboat, since its definition is found in the last bars of the fifteenth century. The frigate was a Mediterranean vessel whose meaning was a small galley that moved with oars, sails and had few weapons.

In this fifteenth century the beginning of the mass construction of the frigate took place, because in the 80 years war, the English attacked the Dutch with them. However, the Netherlands copied the technique and produced a larger frigate. that she could sail the high seas with her sail. The idea was that they move quickly.

The 18th century was the time when this type of shipbuilding got its classic design. The French in the napoleonic wars they remodeled the design and added what is the famous square or square sail. In addition, they added the lower deck filled with cannons. In the same eighteenth century the British Navy captured several of these ships and began to imitate them with the square sail.

The design of the naval frigate consisted of a ship that had three raised masts in the middle. They resembled the ships of the line and from there they took the idea of ​​the square sail, the difference was in the deck. Well, the first one had three, while the frigate had only one deck and sometimes two. They were protected ships that ensured trade, fought pirate ships and corsairs.

What are the characteristics of frigates?

From the Second World War, the frigate began to be used more frequently as anti-submarine protection. The royal british navy it was the first organization to mass-produce them to create a complete fleet. However, after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States sent the American escort ships, so the English frigate went to the attack ranks.

The current frigate has characteristics and elements similar to the one used in the second war. However, there are certain additional tools which expanded the functions of these ships.

  • The frigate is a escort ship, but it can act in other functions.
  • There are several types, depending on the country where they are built.
  • The British frigate is larger than its American counterpart, although there they are called oceanic escorts.
  • include air, sea and submarine radarsso they can detect a bird, a large aquatic animal or an enemy ship.
  • They have artillery that destroys the torpedoes of the submarines.
  • Current frigates have anti-aircraft weapons in their design. So they have artillery that takes out missiles.
  • They also have various air and ground attack missiles, which can be directed from the same vessel.

What is bigger a galleon or a frigate?

The galleon arises in Spanish territory in the search to surpass any naval construction of its rivals. In this sense, at the end of the 15th century, the Dutch and British frigates were already famous in Europe. In the same way, in the Iberian Peninsula there was also the portuguese caravel. So the Spanish searched for a stronger, more resistant and powerful ship.

The galleon should be compared with the square sail frigate, because the current one has better characteristics. In that sense, the frigate was smaller, with medium weapons and its important element was speed. Well, it looked like a bird flying through the sky.

He galleon was much bigger, thus admitting more crew on its deck. Likewise, she had more cannons and heavy artillery, but the downside was that she was very slow. The reason for this is that the weapons and other elements of it made the ship weigh a ton, which also influenced its slow navigation.

What is the difference between a frigate and a corvette?

Both the frigate and the corvette are military type ships, but they have very different characteristics. In this sense, the frigate used after the Second World War is larger than the corvette, although they have a similar structure. However, the reason why the manufacture of frigates occurred was due to the inefficiency of the corvettesince it only accepted little weaponry.

Similarly, the corvette had a type of hull that limited navigation when the ship was in the open sea. The latter affected the speed of the ship, the ability to maneuver the rudder and the range of the firearms. So, the main difference between these two ships was that the frigate featured a bigger helmet.

In addition, it was introduced to anti-submarine guns that can detect and destroy torpedoes in the water. The meaning of the change was translated into a ship that flies on the water like a bird in the sky, the weight increased by a few extra tons, better navigation and more artillery.