Okay so this, I am afraid, is another of those joining the dots entries I am adding so that when the next large one is put out there it will not be such a great leap from the first. This is focusing on those little vessels, which the more I learn about the more I think are of growing importance in modern naval warfare; after all for navies such as Israel's they are their largest ships (Sa'ar 5 Pictured). I am of course referring to the very humble, but multi-mission capable corvette.
My definition of a corvette is something of around 550 to 2,800 metric tons, and between 50-120 meters in length. They carry almost any armament going, although it is increasingly common - and advantageous, for them have multi-role capable VLS system which take any combination of surface to air, surface to surface, or even surface to sub-surface weaponry. They carry a small helicopter- the lynx is quite common, although the new German ones have unmanned air vehicles with dipping sonar’s and small torpedoes instead of them. As is expected from the fact they are operated by so many states they exhibit a wide variety of gun armament across the range of corvettes in use. This I know is a nice long list, and I am sorry its style is lacking but its purpose is to show what these vessels are capable of.
The final area which lends a corvette so well to modern warfare is the recent theories of decentralisation whereby capabilities are distributed around smaller vessels in order to make them more secure against enemy attacks. Reminiscent of guerrilla warfare and the methods by which smaller states survive the attacks of larger ones; for example the policy of Long War epitomised by Ho Chi Minh. However, back to theories of naval warfare. Corvettes can provide so much, but they come at a price, they need the support of a larger escort, a destroyer, and further back a carrier group. A corvette because of its size will never have the onboard supplies to survive unsupported against a modern threat spectrum as will be deployed in a full conflict. Whilst this is true, it also misses the main purpose of a corvette, it is a ship designed to act as part of something larger, as part of a battle group; it is as part of a collective that it comes into its own. Most importantly a corvette provides an option for navies which need the hulls but don’t have the budget of the USA to spend billions on escorts; because of this fact whatever its logistical limitations its importance will just continue to grow as time goes on.