Association Technique Maritime et Aéronautique

Numéro : 2548 - Year : 2009

On the benefits and technical issues of an inverted bow on a frigate

Philippe GOUBAULT, DCNS – Surface Ship Design Department
Arnaud LACOIN, DCNS – Military Missions Department


Ship designers have experienced with various bow shapes over the centuries and among others, inverted bow shapes have a long history, going back at least to Greek and Roman antiquity. A renewed interest for this bow form has emerged in the past 10 to 15 years, with several significant commercial and military projects. Some critics have been voiced against some and praise for others. Does it make sense today and why this sudden change while so many ships seem to have been successful with classical bow flare shapes? A review of the recent projects using inverted bow shapes is carried out, showing the characteristics and the advantages claimed as well as critics voiced for each of these new concepts. Through a research project applied to a new frigate design, it is then proposed to analyse the pros and cons of inverted bows and to develop some guidelines which will offer the best guarantees for a viable inverted bow shape.

This paper is written in English

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