Written By: Camryn Keeble

Asbestos on Navy Frigates

Navy frigates are warships that are smaller and faster than destroyers and cruisers, but larger and more heavily armed than patrol boats or corvettes. They are designed to perform a variety of missions, including anti-submarine warfare, anti-aircraft warfare, and surface warfare. Unfortunately, Navy frigates were built with a hazardous substance called asbestos, which is known to cause cancer and other health conditions.

Retired LCDR Carl Jewett

Reviewed By

Retired LCDR Carl Jewett

VA-Accredited Claims Agent

Dangers of Asbestos on Navy Frigates

U.S. Navy frigates have a long and storied history, playing essential roles in escort duty and anti-submarine warfare. With the constantly changing landscape of modern warfare, frigates have evolved to meet the challenges posed by new threats and advanced technologies. 

However, Navy frigates are known to contain asbestos throughout specific ship components and within the infrastructure. The presence of asbestos on Navy ships has led to severe health problems and asbestos diseases, such as mesothelioma, for many Navy veterans. 

Navy frigates were built with asbestos due to its heat-resistant and durable properties. Asbestos was used throughout the construction of Navy frigates and can be found in deck tiles, bulkheads, engine rooms and boilers, pipe insulation, electrical insulation, generators, condensers, HPACs, main engines, ductwork, valve packing materials, gaskets and other key components. 

Due to the overwhelming presence of asbestos on Navy ships and throughout other military branches, military asbestos exposure is a common occurrence. If you are a Navy veteran who served on a Navy frigate, you may have been exposed to asbestos. Contact our VA-Accredited Claims Agent, retired LCDR Carl Jewett, to find out more information or for assistance filing your VA claim.

History of Navy Frigates

During World War II, U.S. Navy frigates were used to escort convoys across the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. They were also used to protect the larger warships from submarine attacks. Frigates were equipped with depth charges, sonar equipment, and other anti-submarine warfare systems to detect and neutralize enemy submarines.

In the Korean War, frigates were used to patrol the waters around Korea and provide fire support to ground troops. They were also used to intercept enemy supply ships and prevent them from reaching North Korea.

During the Vietnam War, frigates were used to patrol the coast of Vietnam and prevent the smuggling of weapons and supplies to the Viet Cong. They were also used to provide naval gunfire support to troops on the ground.

U.S. Navy frigates have experienced a remarkable transformation over the centuries, evolving from relatively simple scouting and escort vessels to multi-mission platforms capable of tackling a diverse array of modern threats. As the security environment continues to change, the U.S. Navy’s frigate fleet will undoubtedly adapt and innovate to meet the challenges of the future.

Sources & Author

  1. USS Knox (FF-1052) underway at sea on 9 December 1981. Wikimedia Commons. Retrieved from: https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=82272821. Accessed: 09/05/2023.
Camryn Keeble image

About the Writer, Camryn Keeble

Camryn Keeble is the senior content writer and editor for Mesothelioma Guide. She creates informative content to educate mesothelioma patients and their loved ones on news, treatments and more. She also works diligently to raise awareness of the dangers of asbestos exposure and the effects of mesothelioma.