Friday 19 October 2018

INFOGRAPHICS #39: The major surface combatants of the most powerful European Navies in 2035

Written by D-Mitch

European frigates, ESPS Blas de Lezo (F103), FGS Sachsen (F219)
and TCG Saligreis (F246), in close formation.

In this short article, similar to a complete analysis I did in the past on The major surface combatants of the most powerful European Navies in 2035, I illustrate the six most powerful surface combatant fleets in Europe by 2035 in a single graph, based on the shipbuilding programs that have announced and only. Russian Navy, as a naval superpower, is excluded from the graph. This time, the new graph, does not include only those countries that are located wholly or predominantly in Europe but also countries that exist partially within geographical Europe. Thus Turkish Navy is included as well. In this post, I will mention briefly some additions and changes regarding the previous article but I will not analyze more the developments and the designs, because I believe the before mentioned article covered the topic to a large extent.

The Hellenic Navy today maintains a
significant amount of frigates. Though, it
is highly unlikely that Greece will
have a similar number by 2035.
The Dutch have and will have a very
advanced but small fleet of frigates
The major surface combatants include the largest surface combatants and only, cruisers (only few in the world and certainly not the navies included in this graph), destroyers and frigates. In the new graph, I have excluded the corvettes that serve in the European navies because they are warships with only point-defence systems. Furthermore, other countries have missile boats almost equivalent to corvettes, other navies have downgraded their corvettes to offshore patrol vessels or others' the corvettes' equipment is limited (sensors and/or armament), therefore are suitable only for low-intensity conflicts. Traditional naval forces such as the Hellenic Navy or the Royal Netherlands Navy are excluded from the graph. The former has in its inventory 13 old frigates but without any declared replacement plan for the future. The latter has a rather naval surface force (quite capable though) in comparison with the six navies in the graph, which includes four very modern anti-aircraft warfare frigates (equipped with 40-cell VLS each) and two general purpose frigates that will be replaced by a new type of frigate. Therefore, this short article focuses only on the front line surface combatants of the most powerful navies in the region and those Navies that have announced a shipbuilding program. 

Turkey has in its fleet today 16 frigates and 8 corvettes. By 2035, the
majority of those vessels will have been replaced by more advanced designs.

The Italian PPA design
Type 31e (Arrowhead 140)
I should point out also, that the naval fleets are depicted in the following image according to the latest official statements regarding the future of the included in this article navies. Those ship classes that have not entered service yet, they are illustrated based on the latest official artist's impressions. Ships that will have either reached 35-years of active service by 2035, which is normally the life limit in a modern day's navy, or they will have been replaced much earlier by a new class, have been excluded from the future fleets. I assume that all new classes, such as Type 26 (City class), Type 31e (Arrowhead 140), FDI, PPA, MKS 180 etc. will all be in active service by 2035. Turkey is currently building the second MILGEM block, the Istanbul class, which will consist of at least four vessels. The final class of the MILGEM project, it will be the MILGEM Block III, a design that has yet to be defined, if it will be an advanced derivative of the Istanbul class (TF100?) or just more Istanbul class frigates. In the graph I assume the first. The Barbaros class frigates (MEKO 200TN Track IIA/B), if there will not be a replacement programme until then, they will remain in service and they will have reached the age of 35-37 years. Turkey also plans to build at least seven Anti-Aircraft Warfare (AAW) frigates by 2040 under the designation name TF-2000. Regarding the Italian PPAs, the five of them will be of frigate configuration while the rest will be fitted for but not with missile systems. Three morevessels on option. It is not clear yet about the new Italian destroyer that will replace the Durand de la Penne class. For more information about the other navies, you can read the article The major surface combatants of the most powerful European Navies in 2030.

The major surface combatants of the most powerful European Navies in 2035.
High resolution image here.


  1. Bro, just some correction for the turkish navy.

    -we will only build 4 I class frigate which will definitely replace 4 yavuz class frigate
    -there are no milgem block III, i think you confused that with the tf4500 class frigate design which dzkk has no plan to procure anytime soon

    So the ideal turkish navy in 2035:

    -4 tf-2000 AAW destroyer
    -4 i class frigate
    -4 G class frigate (modernized)
    -4 barbados class (most likely to be retired by then)

    1. I really can't believe that Turkey will have in its fleet 55 years old ships (Gabya class) by 2035 or that it will retire the Barbaros frigates (which were commissioned in the late '90s) and will keep Gabyas instead (with SM-1 missiles and an 8-cell VLS for ESSM). Either a new Block will be built, either more Istanbuls or a new completely design. Turkey will have definitely 16 frigates, no less.

  2. Well bro, the upgraded G class has heavier & more modern weaponary, electronics, and combat management system than the barbaros class. And as far as i know, 4 i class + 4 tf 2000 fixed, i dont know any source that stated another 4 i class nor tf 2000 wil be built in the future.

    Btw bro do you know the future of greek navy in 2030? Why dont they upgrade the eli class frigate with more modern radar & weapons such as the smart-s and VLS system such as mk.41 or mk.48 (already familiar w/ hellenic navy), or are they have plan to replace it? If yes with what? Also, how's the gowind and the fremm deal? I hope the greeks interested with our I class frigate and tf2000 ☺

    Much thanks, keep up the good work!

    1. we have 30+ unsinkable frigates destroyers aircarriers and whatever you like . One battery of ATAMCs BLOCK III ,in each is enough

  3. The combined total of all the navies in the chart, will have less DDG and FFG and FFL than the Chinese PLA Navy has today (approx 50 DDG, 50 FFG and 50 ASW FFL plus 20 new DDG and 12+ new FFG currently on order, under construction or undergoing sea trials etc).

    I'm addition to the PLA Navy, the CCG coastguard and the MSA maritime safety agency operate 1,300 and 850 vessels respectively, of which approximately 100 are between 300' and 575' long and up to 10,000 tons, and have helicopters, weapons and sensors and equipment that allows them to operate in many of the roles carried out by frigates etc, then the Chinese navy and coastguard easily outnumber the combined Western European surface combatant fleet.