Less than worthless.
1. Don't get stuck into a 'class' idealization of what a hull should do, for weight or designation.
2. ALL FAC-Ms are effectively sprint weapons which means that they give up a third or more of their RADIUS of action for sustained top end speeds and
in State 4 or above conditions this can be more than half. Like fighter planes, speed is only useful when it is a CRUISE value that lets you dictate
an operational area irrespective of radial distance or seaway.
3. RAM is an admission, not simply that you are totally defensive (out ranged in your principle weapons suite) but are accepting an inner-zone
defensive overlap somewhere between VSHORADS and 'last ditch' on the CIWS and Expendables. Which is effectively going to be voided the first time
someone slings a supersonic or salvo-dense spread of weapons at you because there isn't a boat in the world with enough speed to leaving the tracking
range cell, no matter what your EW suite does.
Go with a VLS and put in either MICA or short-ASTER. These are the only weapons out there which challenge the absurdity of ESSM as a
SARH-over-horizon option and they are, out of box, capable of pretty incredible in-trough flip-to-track terminal defense using the most basic of 3D
handoffs as vector lanes. Obviously, it also gives you something to reach over 15,000ft against fastjet and highangle systems.
Similarly, the Harpoon is ancient (expensive) history. With only limited 'harbor kill' littoral modes and a seeker almost completely compromised by
the Israelis. I would again look to EADS with the Polyphem backed up by a promise on ANF or whatever the Supersonic Penguin replacement turns out to
be. You need about 200nm and at least Mach 1.5 to get out from under the pyrhhic threat.
Particularly if you do inshore work, you will also need a fast overland recce option and that is probably where I would look to the French Fast/Slow
(Mach 1.6 to 200nm then 120knots for 2hrs) system.
To service what I see, something akin to a guided MLRS unitary would be my choice. Probably 4-packed into each cell within a common VLS as housed my
AAW and ASUW options. To pay for that weight (especially if it has to come up high) I would ditch the 3 inch. 76mm does nothing for close in threats
that a 40mm OM with AHEAD optioned rounds couldn't do as well, sea or air. But it's weight and magazine/loader well is a very inefficient use of
space for what even the super-62 does at longer distances compared to a missile (ideally, EADS will wake up and offer the MICA as a dual mission
weapon ala Standard SS).
4. In missions where you need to board someone, you also need to have a wet deck to make the zodiac launch and recovery segments easier, underway as
well as spaces for the Operators or Coasties to kit up and final brief with a straightthru access to their craft.
Ideally, you also want a _separate observation axis_ (air) which means you must have some ability, through a sacrificial drone or a FORWARD VTOL deck,
to run both missions at once. I cannot tell you how important it is to see the other side of a boathouse in a lot of iffy-circumstances (1v.Many in a
seaway clogged with traffic) and how _exposed_ you feel if your reverse hull overwatch is nothing but another rigid inflateable.
I would recommend the MQ-8 Firescout but there are other options. (Silent Eyes and Eagle Eye).
5. I don't see any STAC hullform in that drawing, it's just a simple planing hull with barely enough tilt in the integrated deckhouse to justify
the latest fad-LO assumptions of naval stealth design. If they were smart, they would go with a CAT or a SLICE design and shove the entire bridge
forward as far as they could. This would extend the deckhouse, leaving room for the gun and the helideck to go atop the main structure, provide
another deck for any marine/SWO contingent. And allow more outerwall tilt with roughly the same vertical volume for LO concerns. A wet deck is a bit
hard because of the propulsor's typical 'outboard' installational and vectoring concerns but usually the rear hull is deep enough to allow for
lateral slant ramps and powered winch which also means you can exit from /behind/ the mass of your own ship. Lastly, that godawful mast and yard
system can go as you bury everything in a short AEM/S and individual aperture clusters at the edges of the merged deckhouse/upperhull.
6. Three engines and three shafts suck up a HUGE amount of engineering space and CG displacement. Depending on shaft leads and propellor lines they
also can pose some planing and cav problems in maneuvering.
Either go four shafts (with a power margin for weight growth and engine age) or DUMP THE DIESELS and go with twin waterjets. Gimballing propulsors
double or triple your maneuvering options for power-setting X underway and they can also afford some safety improvements inshore.
Did I mention 45-50 knot sustained cruise in calm seats and 25+ up to about SS5? It's all in how much area you plane vs. how deep you wallow in the
While I would disagree with the notion that the FAC-M is impotent against 'real' navies, I think it is badly in need of a facelift as to baseline
capabilities and mission spread. I think that Egypt specifically could do a lot more to expand an LCS type hull requirement up towards a frigate or
even DDG class tonnage from the current red-haired stepchild status of a corvette yacht club.
Facing Israel in naval ops, they need to be able to go deep blue and across _quickly_ to pin the IDF assets between land (airpower) and sea axes.
Against inshore threats, smuggling and terrorism, you want something with more of a wide area surveillance and micro-kill or capture option. The
latter, especially in peacetime cannot really be fulfilled by /any/ number of FPB class systems on a border as long as Egypt's. OTOH, if you up the
tonnage towards 750-1,000 and spread the hull a bit and you have an instant-air system which can either act as a standoff patrol asset on it's own.
Or function as the centerpiece of a tactical HK group around which the smaller assets are built up (requires a fleet train oiler/command/support ship
to maintain operational flexibility on the older FAC's to be sure).
Will they do it? Of course not. The only 'important' thing in the entire brief is the FMA funds leashing to a U.S. or designated ally yard and
hull fit. But it's nice to dream.