Lazarus, one of the contributors at Information Dissemination (which is a must-read for naval and military pundits and ponderers), brings us an excellent overview of US naval escort design since World War II, and its implications for the fleet's current operational doctrine. Here's a brief excerpt.
U.S. surface warships of all sizes from the 15,000 ton Zumwalt class destroyer to the 3000 ton Littoral Combatant ship are all descendents of the frigates (DLG) built just after the end of the Second World War. A combination of a new operational concept, new threats at sea, and rapidly advancing technology combined to create a persistent design in U.S. surface combatants that endures to the present day. The postwar surface combatant has been primarily assigned as a defensive platform based on the experience of World War 2 and those that followed in Vietnam. Its design features the primacy of sensory, communication and weapons control equipment over stout construction and armor. It was specifically designed to support defensive rather than offensive missions. These features have been a constant in a parade of ships that have entered the fleet from 1947 to 2014. If senior national security decision makers desire greater lethality and enhanced survivability in future surface combatants, the characteristics so prevalent in U.S. warship design since the late 1940’s must be re-evaluated.
There's more at the link.
I agree with many of his points. For example, I want to see much more heavily armed smaller vessels than the current Littoral Combat Ship, which I think is woefully undergunned for its size (not to mention under-missiled and under-torpedoed). It reminds me of the Royal Navy's then-new Battle class destroyers towards the end of World War II, of which the late Admiral Of The Fleet A. B. Cunningham complained that they were "too large" (at well over 3,000 tons) for their intended role in the Fleet and "had every damned weapon and gadget except guns". (They had most of the electronics developed during World War II, but main armament of only four 4.5" cannon in two twin turrets. They were much larger than - in some cases more than twice the displacement of - earlier classes of Royal Navy destroyers, most of which had been more heavily armed but with less electronics.)
For that matter, I think even the very successful Oliver Hazard Perry class frigates of the 1970's (at a little over 4,000 tons) could have done with more and better armament.
I like the Israeli approach, which crams lots of hitting power into even small hulls (see, for example, its Sa'ar 5 class corvettes, which as far as I know are the most heavily armed ships of their size [just over 1,000 tons] anywhere in the world, and on an armament-per-ton or tons-per-weapon basis might be the most heavily armed warships since the age of the dreadnought).
The article makes interesting and informative reading. Recommended.