Corvette

A corvette is a small warship. It is traditionally the smallest class of vessel considered to be a proper (or "rated") warship. The warship class above the corvette is that of the frigate, while the class below was historically that of the sloop-of-war. The modern types of ship below a corvette are coastal patrol craft and fast attack craft. In modern terms, a corvette is typically between 500 tons and 2,000 tons[1] although recent designs may approach 3,000 tons, which might instead be considered a small frigate.

The word "corvette" is first found in Middle French, a diminutive of the Dutch word corf, meaning a small ship, from the Latin corbis, meaning "basket".[2]

The rank "corvette captain", equivalent in many navies to "lieutenant commander", derives from the name of this type of ship. The rank is the most junior of three "captain" ranks in several European (e.g., France, Spain, Italy, Croatia) and South American (e.g., Argentina, Chile) navies, because a corvette, as the smallest class of rated warship, was traditionally the smallest class of vessel entitled to a commander of a "captain" rank.

US Navy 100528-N-3136P-207 An Italian Navy visit, board, search and seizure team returns to the Italian Navy offshore patrol vessel ITS Comandante Foscari (P-493)
Corvette Comandante Foscari of the Italian Navy

Sailing vessels

French Corvette Le Dragon XVIIIth century
Le Dragon, French sloop-of-war, ex Dragon, an English privateer brig, and former U.S. brigantine Washington 1776.

During the Age of Sail, corvettes were one of many types of warships smaller than a frigate and with a single deck of guns.[3] They were very closely related to sloops-of-war. The role of the corvette consisted mostly of coastal patrol, fighting minor wars, supporting large fleets, or participating in show-the-flag missions. The English Navy began using small ships in the 1650s, but described them as sloops rather than corvettes. The first reference to a corvette was with the French Navy in the 1670s, which may be where the term originated. The French Navy's corvettes grew over the decades and by the 1780s they were ships of 20 guns or so, approximately equivalent to the British Navy's post ships. The British Navy did not adopt the term until the 1830s, long after the Napoleonic Wars, to describe a small sixth-rate vessel somewhat larger than a sloop.

The last vessel lost by France during the American War of Independence was the corvette Le Dragon, scuttled by her captain to avoid being seized by a British squadron off Monte Cristi, Haïti in January 1783.[4]

Most corvettes and sloops of the 17th century were around 40 to 60 ft (12 to 18 m) in length and measured 40 to 70 tons burthen. They carried four to eight smaller guns on a single deck. Over time, vessels of increasing size and capability were called corvettes; by 1800, they reached lengths of over 100 ft (30 m) and measured from 400 to 600 tons burthen.

Steam ships

Dupleix 1856-1887
French steam corvette Dupleix (1856–1887)

Ships during the steam era became much faster and more maneuverable than their sail ancestors. Corvettes during this era were typically used alongside gunboats during colonial missions. Battleships and other large vessels were unnecessary when fighting the indigenous people of the Far East and Africa.

World War II

The modern corvette appeared during World War II as an easily-built patrol and convoy escort vessel.[3] The British naval designer William Reed drew up a small ship based on the single-shaft Smiths Dock Company whale catcher Southern Pride, whose simple design and mercantile construction standards lent itself to rapid production in large numbers in small yards unused to naval work. First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill, later Prime Minister, had a hand in reviving the name "corvette".

During the arms buildup leading to World War II, the term "corvette" was almost attached to the Tribal-class destroyer. The Tribals were so much larger than and sufficiently different from other British destroyers that some consideration was given to resurrecting the classification of "corvette" and applying it to them. This idea was dropped, and the term applied to small, mass-produced antisubmarine escorts such as the Flower class of World War II.

The first modern corvettes were the Flower class (Royal Navy were named after flowers, and ships in Royal Canadian Navy service took the name of smaller Canadian cities and towns). Their chief duty was to protect convoys throughout the Battle of the Atlantic and on the routes from the UK to Murmansk carrying supplies to the Soviet Union.

The Flower-class corvette was originally designed for offshore patrol work, and was not ideal as an antisubmarine escort; they were really too short for open ocean work, too lightly armed for antiaircraft defence, and little faster than the merchantmen they escorted, a particular problem given the faster German U-boat designs then emerging. They were very seaworthy and maneuverable, but living conditions for ocean voyages were appalling. Because of this, the corvette was superseded in the Royal Navy as the escort ship of choice by the frigate, which was larger, faster, better armed, and had two shafts. However, many small yards could not produce vessels of frigate size, so an improved corvette design, the Castle class, was introduced later in the war, with some remaining in service until the mid-1950s.

The Royal Australian Navy built 60 Bathurst-class corvettes, including 20 for the Royal Navy crewed by Australians, and four for the Indian Navy. These were officially described as Australian minesweepers, or as minesweeping sloops by the Royal Navy, and were named after Australian towns.

The Bird-class minesweepers or trawlers were referred to as corvettes in the Royal New Zealand Navy, and two, Kiwi and Moa, rammed and sank a much larger Japanese submarine, I-1, in 1943 in the Solomon Islands.

In Italy, the Regia Marina, in dire need of escort vessels for its convoys, designed the Gabbiano-class corvette, of which 29 were built between 1942 and 1943 (out of 60 planned); they proved apt at operations in the Mediterranean Sea, especially in regards to their anti-air and anti-submarine capability, and were so successful that the class survived after the war into the Marina Militare Italiana until 1972.

Modern corvettes

ARA Gomez Roca (P-46)
Argentine MEKO Espora-class corvette
HMS Helsingborg 2
A Swedish Visby-class stealth corvette

Modern navies began a trend in the late 20th and early 21st centuries towards smaller, more manoeuvrable surface capability. Corvettes have a displacement between 540 and 3,000 long tons (550 and 3,050 t) and measure 180–420 ft (55–128 m) in length. They are usually armed with medium- and small-caliber guns, surface-to-surface missiles, surface-to-air missiles, and antisubmarine weapons. Many can accommodate a small or medium antisubmarine warfare helicopter.

Most countries with coastlines can build corvette-sized ships, either as part of their commercial shipbuilding activities or in purpose-built yards, but the sensors, weapons, and other systems required for a surface combatant are more specialized and are around 60% of the total cost. These components are purchased on the international market.[5]

Current corvette classes

Many countries today operate corvettes; some include Argentina,[6] Bangladesh, Brazil, Bulgaria, China, Denmark, Germany, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Italy, Norway, Pakistan, the Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Sweden, Malaysia and Turkey. Countries that border smaller seas, such as the Baltic Sea or the Persian Gulf, are more likely to build the smaller and more manoeuvrable corvettes, with Russia operating the most corvettes in the world.

INS Kamorta (3)
Kamorta-class stealth corvettes of Indian Navy

In the 1960s, the Portuguese Navy designed the João Coutinho-class corvettes as multi-role small frigates intended to be affordable for a small navy. The João Coutinho class would soon inspire a series of similar projects – including the Spanish Descubierta, the German MEKO 140, the French A69 and the own Portuguese Baptista de Andrade – adopted by a number of medium and small sized navies.

The first operational corvette based on stealth technology was the Royal Norwegian Navy's Skjold class. The Swedish Navy introduced the similarly stealthy Visby class.

The United States is developing littoral combat ships, which are essentially large corvettes, their spacious hulls permitting space for mission modules, allowing them to undertake tasks formerly assigned to specialist classes such as minesweepers or the anti-submarine Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate.

The Israeli navy operates three Sa'ar 5-class corvettes. Built in the U.S to an Israeli design, they carry one helicopter and are well-armed with offensive and defensive weapons systems, including the Barak 8 SAM, and advanced electronic sensors and countermeasures. They displace over 1,200 tons at full load.

The Indian Navy plans to operate four Kamorta-class corvettes being built by Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers. The first corvette of this class, INS Kamorta, was commissioned in Navy on 23 August 2014. The second corvette, INS Kadmatt was commissioned in Navy on 7 January 2016. The remaining two will be commissioned by 2017.

The new German Navy Braunschweig class is designed to supplement Germany's fast attack craft and also incorporates stealth technology and land attack capabilities. The Israeli Navy has ordered four Sa'ar 6-class corvettes, a more heavily armed version of the type, deliveries commencing in 2019.

Turkey began to build MİLGEM-class corvettes in 2005. The MİLGEM class is designed for anti-submarine warfare and littoral patrol duty. The lead ship, TCG Heybeliada, entered navy service in 2011. The design concept and mission profile of the MİLGEM class is similar to the Freedom class of littoral combat ships of the United States.

Finland has plans to build four multirole corvettes in the 2020s as part of its navy's Project Squadron 2020. The corvettes will have helicopter carrying, mine laying, ice breaking, anti-aircraft and anti-ship abilities. They will be over 100 metres long and cost a total of 1.2 billion euros.

The Greek Navy has categorised the class as fast attack missile craft. A similar vessel is the Kılıç-class fast attack missile craft of the Turkish Navy, which is classified as a corvette by Lürssen Werft, the German ship designer.

Corvettes preserved as museum ships

Corbeta Uruguay (A.R.A.)
ARA Uruguay, an Argentine corvette from 1874, has been a museum ship in Buenos Aires since 1967

See also

References

  1. ^ "Global Defence News and Defence Headlines – IHS Jane's 360".
  2. ^ "corvette". Merriam-Webster. Retrieved 2011-08-13.
  3. ^ a b Keegan, John (1989). The Price of Admiralty. New York: Viking. p. 277. ISBN 978-0-670-81416-9.
  4. ^ Freddy Van Daele "The Enigmatic Ostend Model "The Dragon-1783"-Alfred Van Daele publisher September 2015
  5. ^ Magnuson, Stew. "East/West Divide Grows In the International Navy Shipbuilding Business." Archived 2011-05-19 at the Wayback Machine National Defense Industrial Association, 16 May 2011.
  6. ^ Corbeta Clase Espora (Meko 140), Armada Argentina, Unidades, Corvetas.

Further reading

  • The collection Three Corvettes by Nicholas Monsarrat recounts the writer's World War II experiences on corvettes, starting as an inexperienced small-boat sailor and ending as captain.
  • The novel The Cruel Sea (1951), also by Nicholas Monsarrat, about the life and death of a Flower-class corvette and the men in her, is regarded as one of the classic naval stories of World War II.
  • James B. Lamb's two books, The Corvette Navy and On the Triangle Run, give an autobiographical and historical perspective of life on Royal Canadian Navy corvettes in World War II. The author served on them for six years from Halifax to the beaches of D-Day.

External links

Chevrolet Corvette

The Chevrolet Corvette, known also as the Vette or Chevy Corvette, is a front engine, rear drive, two-door, two-passenger sports car manufactured and marketed by Chevrolet across more than sixty years of production and seven design generations. As Chevrolet's halo vehicle, the Corvette is widely noted for its performance and distinctive plastic — either fiberglass or composite — bodywork.

In 1953, when GM executives were looking to a name the new Chevrolet sports car, assistant director for the Public Relations department Myron Scott suggested Corvette after the small maneuverable warship — and the name was approved. The first model, a convertible, was introduced at the GM Motorama in 1953 as a concept and was followed ten years later, in the 1963 second generation, in coupe and convertible styles. Originally manufactured in Flint, Michigan as well as St. Louis, Missouri, the Corvette has been manufactured since 1981 in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

The Corvette has since become widely known as "America's Sports Car." Automotive News said that after 'starring' in the early 1960s television show Route 66, the Corvette became synonymous with freedom and adventure," ultimately becoming both "the most successful concept car in history and the most popular sports car in history.

Chevrolet Corvette (C1)

The Chevrolet Corvette (C1) is the first generation of the Corvette sports car produced by Chevrolet. It was introduced late in the 1953 model year, and produced through 1962. It is commonly referred to as the "solid-axle" generation, as the independent rear suspension did not appear until the 1963 Sting Ray. The Corvette was rushed into production for its debut model year to capitalize on the enthusiastic public reaction to the concept vehicle, but expectations for the new model were largely unfulfilled. Reviews were mixed and sales fell far short of expectations through the car's early years. The program was nearly canceled, but Chevrolet would ultimately stay the course.

Chevrolet Corvette (C2)

The Chevrolet Corvette (C2) (also known as the Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray) is the second generation of the Chevrolet Corvette sports car, produced by the Chevrolet division of General Motors for the 1963 to 1967 model years.

Chevrolet Corvette (C3)

The Chevrolet Corvette (C3) was a sports car that was produced by Chevrolet for the 1968 through 1982 model years. Engines and chassis components were mostly carried over from the previous generation, but the body and interior were new. It set new sales records with 53,807 produced for the 1979 model year. The C3 is the third generation of the Chevrolet Corvette, and marks the second time the Corvette would carry the Stingray name, though only for the 1969 - 1976 model years. This time it was a single word as opposed to Sting Ray as used for the 1963 - 1967 C2 generation. The name would then be retired until 2014 when it was re-introduced with the release of the C7.

Chevrolet Corvette (C4)

The Chevrolet Corvette (C4) was a sports car produced by Chevrolet from 1984 to 1996. The convertible returned, as did higher performance engines, exemplified by the 375 hp (280 kW) LT5 found in the ZR-1. In early March 1990, the ZR-1 would set a new record for the highest 24 hour-5,000 mile land-speed by going over 175 mph (282 km/h). Prices rose and sales declined, in spite of a completely new chassis, modern sleeker styling, and other improvements to the model. The last C4 was produced on June 20, 1996.

Chevrolet Corvette (C5)

The Chevrolet Corvette (C5) was the fifth generation of the Chevrolet Corvette sports car, produced by the Chevrolet division of General Motors for the 1997 through 2004 model years.

Chevrolet Corvette (C6)

The Chevrolet Corvette (C6) is the sixth generation of the Corvette sports car that was produced by Chevrolet division of General Motors for the 2005 to 2013 model years. It is the first Corvette with exposed headlamps since the 1962 model. Production variants include the Z06, ZR1, Grand Sport, and 427 Convertible. Racing variants include the C6.R, an American Le Mans Series GT1 championship and 24 Hours of Le Mans GTE-Pro winner.

Chevrolet Corvette (C7)

The Chevrolet Corvette (C7) is the seventh generation of the Corvette sports car manufactured by American automobile manufacturer Chevrolet. It was introduced for the 2014 model year as the first to bear the Corvette Stingray name since the 1968 third generation model. The first C7 Corvettes were delivered in the third quarter of 2013.

Chevrolet Corvette C6.R

The Chevrolet Corvette C6.R is a grand tourer racing car built by Pratt & Miller and Chevrolet for competition in endurance racing. It is a replacement for the Corvette C5-R racing car, applying the body style of the new C6 generation Chevrolet Corvette as well as improvements to increase the speed and reliability on the track. Since its debut in 2005, it has continued on from the previous dominance of the C5-R in its racing class with multiple American Le Mans Series championships and race wins in the Le Mans Series, FIA GT Championship, and 24 Hours of Le Mans. There are two main versions of the Corvette C6.R: the GT1 version which has 590 HP, carbon ceramic brakes and aggressive aerodynamics, and the GT2 version which has 470 HP, iron brakes and relatively stock aerodynamics with respect to the road car. By 2012 the C6.R GT1 was retired from competition while the GT2 version continues to race around the world.

Flower-class corvette

The Flower-class corvette (also referred to as the Gladiolus class after the lead ship) was a British class of 267 corvettes used during World War II, specifically with the Allied navies as anti-submarine convoy escorts during the Battle of the Atlantic. Royal Navy ships of this class were named after flowers, hence the name of the class.

The majority served during World War II with the Royal Navy (RN) and Royal Canadian Navy (RCN). Several ships built largely in Canada were transferred from the RN to the United States Navy (USN) under the lend-lease programme, seeing service in both navies. Some corvettes transferred to the USN were manned by the US Coast Guard. The vessels serving with the US Navy were known as Temptress and Action-class patrol gunboats. Other Flower-class corvettes served with the Free French Naval Forces, the Royal Netherlands Navy, the Royal Norwegian Navy, the Royal Indian Navy, the Royal Hellenic Navy, the Royal New Zealand Navy, the Royal Yugoslav Navy, and, immediately post-war, the South African Navy.

After World War II many surplus Flower-class vessels saw worldwide use in other navies, as well as civilian use. HMCS Sackville is the only member of the class to be preserved as a museum ship.

Jan Magnussen

Jan Ellegaard Magnussen (born 4 July 1973) is a Danish professional racing driver and a factory driver for General Motors. He has competed in several of the most prestigious events in motor sport including CART, NASCAR, the FIA Formula One World Championship and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Johnny O'Connell

Johnny O'Connell (born July 24, 1962) is the most successful GM factory racing driver from the United States. He currently drives for Cadillac in the Pirelli World Challenge, winning the 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 GT driver's championship.

Kamorta-class corvette

The Kamorta-class corvettes or Project 28 are a class of anti-submarine warfare corvettes currently in service with the Indian Navy. Built at Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE), Kolkata, they are the first anti-submarine warfare stealth corvettes to be built in India. Project 28 was approved in 2003, with construction of the lead ship, INS Kamorta commencing on 12 August 2005. Three of the four corvettes, INS Kamorta, INS Kadmatt and INS Kiltan were commissioned in 2014, 2016 and 2017 respectively. INS Kavaratti is under construction and slated to be completed by May 2019.The platform and major internal systems of this class of corvettes are indigenously designed and built. The corvettes are named after the islands in the Lakshadweep archipelago.

The Kamorta class corvettes are intended to succeed the Kora-class corvette by precedence and Abhay-class corvette by role.

LS based GM small-block engine

Not to be confused with the Chevrolet small-block engine.The LS based small-block engine is the primary V-8 used in General Motors' line of rear-wheel-drive cars and trucks. Introduced in January 1995, it is a "clean sheet" design with only rod bearings, lifters, and bore spacing in common with the longstanding Chevrolet small block V8 that preceded it as the basis for GM small-block V8s. The basic LS variations use cast iron blocks, while performance editions are all aluminium with cast iron cylinder liners.

The LS small-block has been manufactured in three Generations – III, IV, and V – with preceding Generations I and II of modular GM small-block engines having been based on the Chevrolet small-block V8 originally designed in 1955. GM recycled the "LT" designation beginning with the LS Generation V "LT1" in 2014.

Several versions of the LS were used in the Chevrolet Corvette, beginning with the LS1 in 1997 through the LS9 and others in 2013. Variants of the LT version of the GM small-block have been used since.

Lieutenant commander

Lieutenant commander (also hyphenated lieutenant-commander and abbreviated LCdr, LCdr. or LCDR) is a commissioned officer rank in many navies. The rank is superior to a lieutenant and subordinate to a commander. The corresponding rank in most armies (armed services) and air forces is major, and in the Royal Air Force and other Commonwealth air forces is squadron leader.

The NATO rank code is mostly OF-3.A lieutenant commander is a senior department officer or the executive officer (second-in-command) on many warships and smaller shore installation, or the commanding officer of a smaller ship/installation. They are also senior department officers in naval aviation squadrons.

Minerva-class corvette

The Minerva class is a series of corvettes of the Italian Navy. They were built in two batches of four units during the 1980s and 1990s. The ships have fairly good speed and armament, including a 76 mm general-purpose gun, but, due to their emphasis on anti-submarine warfare, they lack anti-ship missile capabilities. These units are designed to operate in coastal areas. Their main missions include sea policing, patrol, fisheries protection, and naval commando training.

Oliver Gavin

Oliver Benjamin Gavin (born 29 September 1972), is a British racing driver who joined Corvette Racing in 2002. He has won five American Le Mans Series class championships, five 24 Hours of Le Mans class wins, five 12 Hours of Sebring class wins and five Petit Le Mans class wins.

Steam frigate

Steam frigates, also known as screw frigates, and the smaller steam corvettes and steam sloops were steam-powered warships. The first such ships were steam-powered versions of the traditional frigates, corvettes, and sloops.

Type 056 corvette

The Type 056 (NATO reporting name: Jiangdao) is a Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) corvette. They replace older patrol craft and some of the Type 053H frigates. The first Type 056 entered service in February 2013. An anti-submarine warfare (ASW) variant, commonly known as Type 056A, has also entered service.Two 1800 ton patrol variant, P18N has been delivered to Nigeria and four 1300 ton corvette variant has been sold to Bangladesh.

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