HMAS Melbourne (FFG 05)

HMAS Melbourne (FFG 05) is an Adelaide-class guided-missile frigate of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). The ship entered service in 1992. Melbourne has been deployed to the Persian Gulf on several occasions, and served as part of the INTERFET peacekeeping taskforce in 2000. The ship is operational as of 2019.

HMAS Melbourne in 2018
HMAS Melbourne in 2019
Namesake: City of Melbourne
Ordered: 1980
Builder: Australian Marine Engineering Consolidated
Laid down: 12 July 1985
Launched: 5 May 1989
Commissioned: 15 February 1992
Identification: MMSI number: 503107000
Motto: "Vires Acquirit Eundo" (She gathers strength as she goes)
Honours and
Status: Active as of 2018
General characteristics
Class and type: Adelaide-class guided missile frigate
Displacement: 4,100 tons
Length: 138.1 m (453 ft) overall
Beam: 13.7 m (45 ft)
Draught: 7.5 m (25 ft)
  • 2 × General Electric LM2500 gas turbines, 41,000 horsepower (31,000 kW), 1 shaft
  • 2 × 650-horsepower (480 kW) auxiliary propulsors
Speed: 29 knots (54 km/h; 33 mph)
Range: 4,500 nautical miles (8,300 km; 5,200 mi) at 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph)
Complement: 184 (including 15 officers, not including aircrew)
Sensors and
processing systems:
Aircraft carried: 2 helicopters

Design and construction

Following the cancellation of the Australian light destroyer project in 1973, the British Type 42 destroyer and the American Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate were identified as alternatives to replace the cancelled light destroyers and the Daring-class destroyers.[1] Although the Oliver Hazard Perry class was still at the design stage, the difficulty of fitting the Type 42 with the SM-1 missile, and the success of the Perth-class acquisition (a derivative of the American Charles F. Adams-class destroyer) compared to equivalent British designs led the Australian government to approve the purchase of two US-built Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates in 1976.[1][2] A third was ordered in 1977, followed by a fourth, with all four ships integrated into the USN's shipbuilding program.[3][4][5] A further two ships (including Melbourne) were ordered in 1980, and were constructed in Australia.[4][5]

HMAS Melbourne during April 2013
Melbourne in 2013

As designed, the ship had a full load displacement of 4,100 tons, a length overall of 138.1 metres (453 ft), a beam of 13.7 metres (45 ft),[6] and a draught of 6.7 metres (22 ft).[7][8] Propulsion machinery consists of two General Electric LM2500 gas turbines, which provide a combined 41,000 horsepower (31,000 kW) to the single propeller shaft.[8] Top speed is 29 knots (54 km/h; 33 mph), with a range of 4,500 nautical miles (8,300 km; 5,200 mi) at 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph).[8] Two 650-horsepower (480 kW) electric auxiliary propulsors are used for close manoeuvring, with a top speed of 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph).[8] Standard ship's company is 184, including 15 officers, but excluding the flight crew for the embarked helicopters.[8]

Original armament for the ship consisted of a Mark 13 missile launcher configured to fire RIM-66 Standard and RGM-84 Harpoon missiles, supplemented by an OTO Melara 76-millimetre (3.0 in) gun and a Vulcan Phalanx point-defence system.[7][8] As part of the mid-2000s FFG Upgrade Project, an eight-cell Mark 41 Vertical Launch System was fitted, with a payload of RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow missiles.[9] For anti-submarine warfare, two Mark 32 torpedo tube sets are fitted; originally firing the Mark 44 torpedo, the Adelaides later carried the Mark 46, then the MU90 Impact following the FFG Upgrade.[8][10] Up to six 12.7-millimetre (0.50 in) machine guns can be carried for close-in defence, and since 2005, two M2HB .50 calibre machine guns in Mini Typhoon mounts have been installed when needed for Persian Gulf deployments.[8][11] The sensor suite includes an AN/SPS-49 air search radar, AN/SPS-55 surface search and navigation radar, SPG-60 fire control radar connected to a Mark 92 fire control system, and a Mulloka hull-mounted sonar.[8] Two helicopters can be embarked: either two S-70B Seahawk or one Seahawk and one AS350B Squirrel.[8]

The ship was laid down by AMECON at Williamstown, Victoria on 12 July 1985.[12] She was launched on 5 May 1989.[12] Melbourne was commissioned into the RAN on 15 February 1992.[12]

Operational history

HMAS Melbourne-090126-N-3666S-034
Melbourne arriving at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii in 2009
HMS Diamond with HMAS Melbourne MOD 45154685
Melbourne operating with HMS Diamond in 2012

In 1996, the frigate was deployed to the Persian Gulf.

Melbourne was deployed to East Timor as part of the Australian-led INTERFET peacekeeping taskforce from 20 January to 23 February 2000.[13]

In 2002, Melbourne participated in the third rotation of RAN ships to the Persian Gulf as part of Operation Slipper, where she enforced United Nations sanctions against Iraq.[12] In 2003, the ship returned to Iraqi waters in support of Operation Catalyst, protecting Iraqi territorial waters following Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Following an overhaul of the RAN battle honours system, completed in March 2010, Melbourne was awarded the honours "East Timor 2000" and "Persian Gulf 2002".[14][15]

On 16 August 2010, Melbourne was deployed to the Middle East for the third time, again as part of Operation Slipper.[16] During the six-month deployment, the frigate participated in anti-piracy operations in the Arabian Sea and responded to 14 distress calls from merchant vessels, including the British chemical tanker MV CPO China on 3 January 2011.[16][17] Although it took six hours for Melbourne to close with CPO China, the merchant ship's crew secured themselves in the citadel, and the pirates retreated when the frigate and her Seahawk helicopter arrived.[17][18] Melbourne returned to Sydney on 18 February 2011.[16]

Between 5 and 7 February 2014, while deployed off Tanzania, Melbourne seized and destroyed 575 kilograms (1,268 lb) of heroin from smuggling vessels.[19] On 18 February, while operating off Oman's Masirah Island, Melbourne and the Pakistani frigate PNS Alamgir intercepted and boarded a dhow found to be carrying 1,951 kilograms (4,301 lb) of cannabis resin.[20]

Acquisition By Chile

In May 2019, it was reported that Chilean Navy is set to finalise the procurement of two Adelaide-class frigates by the end of the month including HMAS Melbourne and HMAS Newcastle.[21]


  1. ^ a b Jones, in Stevens, The Royal Australian Navy, p. 220
  2. ^ Frame, Pacific Partners, pp. 102, 162
  3. ^ Frame, Pacific Partners, p. 162
  4. ^ a b MacDougall, Australians at war, p. 345
  5. ^ a b Hooton, Perking-up the Perry class
  6. ^ Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate
  7. ^ a b Moore (ed.), Jane's Fighting Ships 1977-78 , p. 25
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Sharpe (ed.), Jane's Fighting Ships 1998-99, p. 26
  9. ^ Australia's Hazard(ous) Frigate Upgrade, in Defense Industry Daily
  10. ^ Fish & Grevatt, Australia's HMAS Toowoomba test fires MU90 torpedo
  11. ^ Scott, Enhanced small-calibre systems offer shipborne stopping power
  12. ^ a b c d Royal Australian Navy, HMAS Melbourne (III)
  13. ^ Stevens, Strength Through Diversity, p. 15
  14. ^ "Navy Marks 109th Birthday With Historic Changes To Battle Honours". Royal Australian Navy. 1 March 2010. Archived from the original on 13 June 2011. Retrieved 23 December 2012.
  15. ^ "Royal Australian Navy Ship/Unit Battle Honours" (PDF). Royal Australian Navy. 1 March 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 June 2011. Retrieved 23 December 2012.
  16. ^ a b c "Pirate Buster HMAS Melbourne coming home". Royal Australian Navy. 17 February 2011. Archived from the original on 6 April 2011. Retrieved 5 April 2011.
  17. ^ a b "HMAS Melbourne disrupts pirate attack in Arabian Sea" (Press release). Department of Defence (Australia). 5 January 2011. Retrieved 5 April 2011.
  18. ^ Australian Associated Press (6 January 2011). "Aussie warship thwarts pirate attack". The Sydney Morning Herald ( Retrieved 5 April 2011.
  19. ^ Australian Associated Press (10 February 2014). "Second major heroin bust for Australian Navy in a week". The Brisbane Times. Retrieved 13 February 2014.
  20. ^ Rejimon, K (19 February 2014). "$102m drugs seized from dhow off Oman coast". Times of Oman. Retrieved 19 February 2014.
  21. ^ "Chile ready to finalise frigate acquisitions". IHS Jane's 360. 24 May 2019. Retrieved 27 May 2019.


  • Frame, Tom (1992). Pacific Partners: a history of Australian-American naval relations. Rydalmere, NSW: Hodder & Stoughton. ISBN 0-340-56685-X. OCLC 27433673.
  • Jones, Peter (2001). "1972–1983: Towards Self-Reliance". In Stevens, David (ed.). The Royal Australian Navy. The Australian Centenary History of Defence (vol III). South Melbourne, VIC: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-555542-2. OCLC 50418095.
  • MacDougall, Anthony Keith (2002) [1991]. Australians at war: a pictorial history (2nd (revised and expanded) ed.). Noble Park, Vic: The Five Mile Press. ISBN 1-86503-865-2. OCLC 260099887.
  • Moore, John, ed. (1977). Jane's Fighting Ships 1977-78. Jane's Fighting Ships (80th ed.). London: Jane's Yearbooks. ISBN 0531032779. OCLC 18207174.
  • Sharpe, Richard, ed. (1998). Jane's Fighting Ships 1998-99. Jane's Fighting Ships (101st ed.). Coulsdon, Surrey: Jane's Information Group. ISBN 071061795X. OCLC 39372676.
  • Stevens, David (2007). Strength Through Diversity: The combined naval role in Operation Stabilise (PDF). Working Papers. 20. Canberra: Sea Power Centre - Australia. ISBN 978-0-642-29676-4. ISSN 1834-7231. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 September 2012. Retrieved 6 September 2010.
Journal articles
  • Fish, Tim; Grevatt, Jon (24 June 2008). "Australia's HMAS Toowoomba test fires MU90 torpedo". Jane's Navy International. Jane's Information Group.
  • Hooton, E.R. (1 December 1996). "Perking-up the Perry class". Jane's International Defence Review. Jane's Information Group. 9 (9).
  • Scott, Richard (12 December 2007). "Enhanced small-calibre systems offer shipborne stopping power". International Defence Review. Jane's Information Group.

External links

Media related to HMAS Melbourne (FFG 05) at Wikimedia Commons

HMAS Melbourne

Three ships of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) have been named HMAS Melbourne, after Melbourne, the capital city of Victoria.

HMAS Melbourne (1912), a Town-class light cruiser launched in 1912

HMAS Melbourne (R21), a Majestic-class light aircraft carrier acquired by the RAN in 1947.

HMAS Melbourne (FFG 05), an Adelaide-class guided missile frigate launched in 1989

List of ships of the Royal Australian Navy

Since its foundation in 1913, the Royal Australian Navy has operated a large number of vessels, including various types of warship, support and supply craft, and auxiliary vessels drawn from civilian service when required.

Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate

The Oliver Hazard Perry class is a class of guided missile frigates named after the U.S. Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, the hero of the naval Battle of Lake Erie. Also known as the Perry or FFG-7 (commonly "fig seven") class, the warships were designed in the United States in the mid-1970s as general-purpose escort vessels inexpensive enough to be bought in large quantities to replace World War II-era destroyers and complement 1960s-era Knox-class frigates. In Admiral Elmo Zumwalt's "high low fleet plan", the FFG-7s were the low capability ships with the Spruance-class destroyers serving as the high capability ships. Intended to protect amphibious landing forces, supply and replenishment groups, and merchant convoys from aircraft and submarines, they were also later part of battleship-centred surface action groups and aircraft carrier battle groups/strike groups. Fifty-five ships were built in the United States: 51 for the United States Navy and four for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). In addition, eight were built in Taiwan, six in Spain, and two in Australia for their navies. Former U.S. Navy warships of this class have been sold or donated to the navies of Bahrain, Egypt, Poland, Pakistan, Taiwan, and Turkey.

The first of the 51 U.S. Navy built Oliver Hazard Perry frigates entered into service in 1977, and the last remaining in active service, USS Simpson, was decommissioned on 29 September 2015. The retired vessels were either mothballed or transferred to other navies for continued service. Some of the U.S. Navy's frigates, such as USS Duncan (14.6 years in service) had fairly short careers, while a few lasted as long as 30+ years in active U.S. service, with some lasting even longer after being sold or donated to other navies.

PLA Navy Platinum Jubilee Parade

The PLA Navy Platinum Jubilee Parade (Chinese: 中国人民解放军海军白金禧游行) was a Chinese naval military parade which was held in the port city of Qingdao on April 23, 2019, in honor of the 70th anniversary (Platinum Jubilee) of the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN). It was the first naval parade by the PLAN since the 2018 South China Sea Parade just over year prior. Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the Communist Party of China and Chairman of the Central Military Commission reviewed the parade in his position as party leader and commander-in-chief. 32 naval vessels and 39 naval warplanes of the PLAN took part in the parade.

Williamstown Dockyard

Williamstown Dockyard was one of Australia's principal ship building yards at Williamstown, Victoria, Australia.

The Colony of Victoria decided to construct a large slipway at Williamstown to provide ship repair facilities in 1856 and the Government Patent Slip was opened in 1858. Slip Pier was built in 1858 and was used in conjunction with the Government Patent Slip. The Slip Pier was later known as the Lady Loch Jetty after the similarly named Government steamer. The pier and Government Patent Slipway were demolished in 1919.

In 1858, the Colony of Victoria decided to build a graving dock and dockyard. Construction commenced in 1868, and was completed in February 1874. The Alfred Graving Dock, named after Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, was built at a cost of £300,000. The graving dock was 143 metres (469 ft) in length, 24 metres (79 ft) wide, 8 metres (26 ft) deep. The dock was designed by William Wardell for the Public Works Department (Victoria), and it was the largest structure of its type in the southern hemisphere. The Dockyard Pier, originally known as Dock Pier was constructed in 1874 for use with vessels engaged in pre/post docking in the Alfred Graving Dock. In the 1870s, the railway department contracted for the construction of a new pier to meet increased demand imposed by wool and later grain handling. When completed in 1878, it was initially referred to as the Western Pier, but was later renamed New Railway Pier. It was rebuilt in 1915 and 1927 and was renamed Nelson Pier in 1923. The pier and surrounding land was purchased by the Commonwealth in 1967, and use of the facility declined. Demolition work began in 1979 due to its poor condition. Nelsons Pier West was constructed in 1978 to replace the nearby Nelson Pier. It provided two cranes and two berths for the refitting and outfitting of warships. Reid St Pier was constructed for the Melbourne Harbour Trust for exclusive use with its own floating plant in September 1891. It was later used to house the tug fleet, and was rebuilt in 1949.

In 1913, the dockyard was known as the State Shipbuilding Yard and was requisitioned in 1918 by the Commonwealth. Ownership passed to the Melbourne Harbor Trust in 1924 and during World War II it was requisitioned by the Commonwealth in 1942 and was known as HM Naval Dockyard Williamstown, or Williamstown Naval Dockyard. In 1987 it passed into private control of Tenix Defence and then acquired by BAE Systems Australia.

 United States Navy
 Royal Australian Navy
Adelaide class
 Republic of China Navy
Cheng Kung class
 Spanish Navy
Santa María class


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