HMAS Perth (FFH 157)

HMAS Perth (FFH 157) is an Anzac-class frigate of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). The last ship of the class to be completed, she was built by Tenix Defence Systems and commissioned into the RAN in 2006. In 2007, Perth became the first major warship of the RAN to be commanded by a woman. During 2010 and 2011, the frigate was used as the testbed for a major upgrade to the Anzac class' ability to defend themselves from anti-ship missiles.

HMAS Perth following ASMD refit
HMAS Perth (FFH 157) at sea following her Anti-Ship Missile Defence upgrade
History
Australia
Namesake: City of Perth
Builder: Tenix Defence Systems
Laid down: 24 July 2003
Launched: 20 March 2004
Commissioned: 26 August 2006
Homeport: Fleet Base West
Identification: MMSI number: 503100000
Motto: "Fight And Flourish"
Honours and
awards:
Nine inherited battle honours
Status: Active as of 2019
Badge: Ship's badge
General characteristics
Class and type: Anzac-class frigate
Displacement: 3,810 tonnes full load
Length: 118 m (387 ft)
Beam: 15 m (49 ft)
Draught: 4 m (13 ft)
Propulsion:
  • 1 × General Electric LM 2500 gas turbine providing 30,000 hp (22.5 mW)
  • 2 × MTU 12v 1163 TB83 diesels providing 8,840 hp (6.5 mW)
Speed: 27 knots (50 km/h; 31 mph)
Range: 6,000 nautical miles (11,000 km; 6,900 mi) at 18 knots (33 km/h; 21 mph)
Complement: approximately 170 sailors
Sensors and
processing systems:
  • Sonars: Thomson Sintra Spherion B Mod 5; hull-mounted; active search and attack; medium frequency. Provision for towed array
  • Air search radar: Raytheon AN/SPS-49(V)8 ANZ (C/D-band)
  • Search radar: CEA Technologies CEAFAR Active Phased Array Radar (S Band)
  • Navigation: Kelvin Hughes Sharpeye (I-band)
  • Passive Detection: Sagem Vampir NG Infrared Search/track
  • Target Illumination Radar: CEA Technologies CEAMOUNT Active Phased Array Illuminator (X Band)
  • Combat data systems: Saab 9LV 453 Mk 3E.Link 11& Link16
  • Weapons control: Saab 9LV 453 radar/optronic director with CEA Solid State Continuous Wave Illuminator
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
  • ESM: Racal modified Sceptre A (radar intercept), Telefunken PST-1720 Telegon 10 (comms intercept)
  • Countermeasures: Decoys: G & D Aircraft SRBOC Mk 36 Mod 1 decoy launchers for SRBOC, BAE Systems Nulka active missile decoy
Armament:
  • Guns : 1 × 5 in/54 (127 mm) Mk 45 Mod 2 gun, 2 × Rafael Mini Typhoon 12.7mm (.50 cal) CIWS, small arms
  • Missiles: 2 × 4 Harpoon Block II anti-ship missiles, Mk 41 Mod 5 VLS for Sea Sparrow and Evolved Sea Sparrow
  • Torpedoes: 2 × triple 324 mm Mk 32 Mod 5 tubes with MU 90 Torpedo
Aircraft carried: 1 × Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk
Notes: Post-Anti-Ship Missile Defence Project upgrade. See class article for original configuration.

Design and construction

The Anzac class originated from RAN plans to replace the six River-class destroyer escorts with a mid-capability patrol frigate.[1][2][3] The Australian shipbuilding industry was thought to be incapable of warship design, so the RAN decided to take a proven foreign design and modify it.[1][3] Around the same time, the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) was looking to replace four Leander-class frigates; a deterioration in New Zealand-United States relations, the need to improve alliances with nearby nations, and the commonalities between the RAN and RNZN ships' requirements led the two nations to begin collaborating on the acquisition in 1987.[4][5] Tenders were requested by the Anzac Ship Project at the end of 1986, with 12 ship designs (including an airship) submitted.[1][6] By August 1987, the tenders were narrowed down in October to Blohm + Voss's MEKO 200 design, the M class (later Karel Doorman class) offered by Royal Schelde, and a scaled-down Type 23 frigate proposed by Yarrow Shipbuilders.[5][7] In 1989, the Australian government announced that Melbourne-based shipbuilder AMECON (which became Tenix Defence) would build the modified MEKO 200 design.[3][5][7] The Australians ordered eight ships, while New Zealand ordered two, with an unexercised option for two more.[8][9]

The Anzacs are based on Blohm + Voss' MEKO 200 PN (or Vasco da Gama class) frigates, modified to meet Australian and New Zealand specifications and maximise the use of locally built equipment.[3][10] Each frigate has a 3,600-tonne (3,500-long-ton; 4,000-short-ton) full load displacement.[11] The ships are 109 metres (358 ft) long at the waterline, and 118 metres (387 ft) long overall, with a beam of 14.8 metres (49 ft), and a full load draught of 4.35 metres (14.3 ft).[11] A Combined Diesel or Gas (CODOG) propulsion machinery layout is used, with a single, 30,172-horsepower (22,499 kW) General Electric LM2500-30 gas turbine and two 8,840-horsepower (6,590 kW) MTU 12V1163 TB83 diesel engines driving the ship's two controllable-pitch propellers.[3][11] Maximum speed is 27 knots (50 km/h; 31 mph), and maximum range is over 6,000 nautical miles (11,000 km; 6,900 mi) at 18 knots (33 km/h; 21 mph); about 50% greater than other MEKO 200 designs.[3][11][12]

HMAS Perth (FFH 157) CEAFAR phased array radars
Closeup of Perth's CEAFAR phased array radars installed as part of the ASMD Project

As designed, the main armament for the frigate is a 5-inch 54 calibre Mark 45 gun, supplemented by an eight-cell Mark 41 vertical launch system (for RIM-7 Sea Sparrow or RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow missiles), two 12.7-millimetre (0.50 in) machine guns, and two Mark 32 triple torpedo tube sets (initially firing Mark 46 torpedoes, but later upgraded to use the MU90 Impact torpedo).[3][11][13] They were also designed for but not with a close-in weapons system (two Mini Typhoons fitted when required from 2005 onwards), two quad-canister Harpoon anti-ship missile launchers (which were installed across the RAN vessels from 2005 onwards), and a second Mark 41 launcher (which has not been added).[3][14][15] The Australian Anzacs use a Sikorsky S-70B-2 Seahawk helicopter; plans to replace them with Kaman SH-2G Super Seasprites were cancelled in 2008 due to ongoing problems.[3][16][17]

Perth was laid down at Williamstown, Victoria, on 24 July 2003.[8] The ship was assembled from six hull modules and six superstructure modules; the superstructure modules were fabricated in Whangarei, New Zealand, and hull modules were built at both Williamstown and Newcastle, New South Wales, with final integration at Williamstown.[3] She was launched on 20 March 2004, and commissioned into the RAN on 26 August 2006[8] in Fremantle, Western Australia (the closest port to the ship's namesake city). Perth was the final Anzac-class ship to be constructed.[8]

Operational history

In mid-2007, Commander Michele Miller became the first woman to command a major RAN warship when she assumed command of Perth.[18]

On 18 January 2010, Perth docked at the Australian Marine Complex in Henderson, Western Australia to be modified under the Anti-Ship Missile Defence Project.[19] The upgrade, intended to improve the class' anti-ship self-defence capability, included the fitting of CEA Technologies' CEAFAR and CEAMOUNT phased array radars, a Vampir NG Infrared Search and Track system, and Sharpeye Navigational Radar Systems, along with improvements to the operations room equipment and layout.[19] Both of the frigate's masts were replaced; the top of the aft mast now sits at 38.7 metres (127 ft), making Perth the second-tallest ship in the RAN.[19][20] Because of the added equipment, additional ballast was added to improve the frigate's stability, and the ship's quarterdeck was enclosed.[20] The additional weight brought the ship's full load displacement to 3,810 tons.[21] After the upgrade was completed in October 2010, Perth was used to trial the modifications before they were rolled out to the rest of the Australian Anzacs: alongside and harbour trials at HMAS Stirling were successfully completed in February 2011, and full sea trials began on 21 February.[20][22] On 27 April, the frigate sailed to the east coast of Australia to continue trials, with further testing to occur at the United States Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility, then during Exercise Talisman Sabre.[23] Testing was completed by July 2011, and the rollout of the ASMD upgrade across the class was approved in November 2011.[24]

In October 2013, Perth participated in the International Fleet Review 2013 in Sydney.[25]

During February and March 2015, an MH-60R Seahawk Romeo helicopter from 725 Squadron RAN was embarked aboard Perth for at-sea trials of the new helicopter.[26]

Citations

  1. ^ a b c Jones, in Stevens, The Royal Australian Navy, p. 244
  2. ^ Fairall-Lee, Miller, & Murphy, in Forbes, Sea Power, p. 336
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Grazebrook, Anzac frigates sail diverging courses
  4. ^ Greener, Timing is everything, pp. 23–9
  5. ^ a b c Jones, in Stevens, The Royal Australian Navy, p. 245
  6. ^ Greener, Timing is everything, p. 30
  7. ^ a b Greener, Timing is everything, p. 31
  8. ^ a b c d Wertheim (ed.), The Naval Institute Guide to Combat Fleets of the World, p. 20
  9. ^ Greener, Timing is everything, pp. 43–4
  10. ^ Wertheim, The Naval Institute Guide to Combat Fleets of the World, pp. 20–1
  11. ^ a b c d e Sharpe (ed.), Jane's Fighting Ships 1998–99, pgs. 25, 470
  12. ^ Wertheim, The Naval Institute Guide to Combat Fleets of the World, pp. 21
  13. ^ Fish & Grevatt, Australia's HMAS Toowoomba test fires MU90 torpedo
  14. ^ Scott, Updating ANZACs to meet changed strategic posture
  15. ^ Scott, Enhanced small-calibre systems offer shipborne stopping power
  16. ^ Grevatt, Australia cancels troubled Super Seasprite programme
  17. ^ Forbes, How a helicopter deal flew into trouble
  18. ^ Argirides, Women in the RAN, p. 216
  19. ^ a b c ASMD Upgrade commences on Perth, in The Navy
  20. ^ a b c Nelson, Anti-Ship Missile Defence trials head to sea
  21. ^ Saunders (ed.), IHS Jane's Fighting Ships 2012–2013, p. 29
  22. ^ Scott, HMAS Perth begins pilot ANZAC frigate ASMD refit
  23. ^ Mouritz, Perth hints at shape of future
  24. ^ Clare, New Cutting Edge Missile Defence System for ANZAC Ships
  25. ^ "Participating Warships". International Fleet Review 2013 website. Royal Australian Navy. 2013. Archived from the original on 10 December 2013. Retrieved 14 December 2015.
  26. ^ Roscoe, Robert (26 February 2015). "Glimpse at future". Navy News. p. 3. Retrieved 23 February 2015.

References

Books
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.
  • Grazebrook, A.W. (1 November 1996). "Anzac frigates sail diverging courses". Jane's Navy International. Jane's Information Group. 101 (009).
  • Jon, Grevatt (5 March 2008). "Australia cancels troubled Super Seasprite programme". Jane's Defence Industry. Jane's Information Group.
  • Mouritz, Katey (12 May 2011). "Perth hints at shape of future". Navy News. Royal Australian Navy. p. 6.
  • Scott, Richard (16 December 2005). "Updating ANZACs to meet changed strategic posture". Jane's Navy International. Jane's Information Group.
  • Scott, Richard (12 December 2007). "Enhanced small-calibre systems offer shipborne stopping power". International Defence Review. Jane's Information Group.
  • Scott, Richard (5 May 2010). "HMAS Perth begins pilot ANZAC frigate ASMD refit". International Defence Review. Jane's Information Group.
  • "ASMD Upgrade commences on Perth". The Navy. The Navy League of Australia. 72 (2): 16–17. April 2010.
News articles
Press releases
HMAS Perth

Three ships of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) have been named HMAS Perth after Perth, the capital city of Western Australia.

HMAS Perth (D29), a modified Leander-class light cruiser. Commissioned into the Royal Navy as HMS Amphion in 1936, she was sold to the RAN three years later. The ship served until 1 March 1942, when she was sunk during the Battle of Sunda Strait.

HMAS Perth (D 38), the lead ship of the Perth-class guided missile destroyers. Built as a Charles F. Adams-class destroyer derivative for the RAN and commissioned in 1965, the ship served until decommissioning in 1999. She was sunk as a dive wreck off the coast of Albany, Western Australia, in 2001.

HMAS Perth (FFH 157), an Anzac-class frigate commissioned in 2006 and active as of 2016

International Fleet Review 2013

The International Fleet Review 2013 was a review that took place on the week 3 to 11 October 2013, as part of the celebrations to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the entry of the first Royal Australian Navy fleet in Sydney Harbour, on 4 October 1913.

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.

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.

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