In 2007, Toowoomba was deployed to the Persian Gulf as part of Operation Slipper. Her second deployment to the Middle East occurred during the second half of 2009. As part of this, she became the first RAN vessel to operate with the counter-piracy Combined Task Force 151.
HMAS Toowoomba (FFH 156)
|Namesake:||City of Toowoomba|
|Builder:||Tenix Defence Systems|
|Laid down:||26 July 2002|
|Launched:||16 May 2003|
|Commissioned:||8 October 2005|
|Homeport:||Fleet Base West|
|Two inherited battle honours|
|Status:||Active as of 2019|
|Class and type:||Anzac-class frigate|
|Displacement:||3,600 tonnes full load|
|Length:||118 m (387 ft)|
|Beam:||15 m (49 ft)|
|Draught:||4 m (13 ft)|
|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 |
|Electronic warfare |
|Aircraft carried:||1 × Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk|
The Anzac class originated from RAN plans to replace the six River-class destroyer escorts with a mid-capability patrol frigate. 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. 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. Tenders were requested by the Anzac Ship Project at the end of 1986, with 12 ship designs (including an airship) submitted. 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. In 1989, the Australian government announced that Melbourne-based shipbuilder AMECON (which became Tenix Defense) would build the modified MEKO 200 design. The Australians ordered eight ships, while New Zealand ordered two, with an unexercised option for two more.
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. Each frigate has a 3,600-tonne (3,500-long-ton; 4,000-short-ton) full load displacement. 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). 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. 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. The standard ship's company of an Anzac consists of 22 officers and 141 sailors.
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). 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). 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.
Toowoomba was laid down at Williamstown, Victoria on 26 July 2002. 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. She was launched on 16 May 2003 by Judy Blight, and commissioned into the RAN on 8 October 2005.
In June 2009, Toowoomba sailed from Fleet Base West, Western Australia to embark upon the ship's second MEAO deployment. In September, the frigate was assigned to Combined Task Force 151 (CTF-151); Toowoomba was the first Australian warship to work with CTF-151, a US-led, multinational force tasked with protecting merchant vessels from pirate attacks off the coast of Somalia. Toowoomba was assigned to escort merchant shipping and conduct overt patrols in the International Recommended Transit Corridor (IRTC), a shipping lane extending the Gulf of Aden towards the Somali Basin and the Horn of Africa, in support of United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1846 and 1851. The frigate was also the first to operate with the counter-terrorism Combined Task Force 150 (CTF-150) in the Arabian Sea.
On 20 September 2009, Toowoomba responded to a call for assistance from the merchant vessel BBC Portugal, and successfully prevented an act of high-seas piracy. A Japanese P-3 Orion aircraft and a naval helicopter from the German frigate Bremen provided surveillance support while Toowoomba closed in. A boarding party from Toowoomba confiscated several weapons from the attackers, including a rocket-propelled grenade launcher, six AK-47 assault rifles, and a G3 assault rifle, before the skiff was directed to leave the IRTC.
Toowoomba returned to Fleet Base West on 7 December 2009, having been relieved in the MEAO by HMAS Stuart. The ship and her company were awarded with a "Certificate for Exceptional Services Rendered to Shipping and Mankind" by the International Maritime Organization in November 2009. The deployment is the subject of Australian Pirate Patrol, a four-episode documentary series produced by Prospero Productions, and first aired on the National Geographic Channel on 18 October 2010.
In late March 2014, Toowoomba was pulled from asylum seeker patrols and directed to join the hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, allowing HMAS Success to return to port for replenishment.
Toowoomba will be docked in October 2015 to undergo the Anti-Ship Missile Defence (ASMD) upgrade. The upgrade will include the fitting of CEA Technologies' CEAFAR and CEAMOUNT phased array radars on new masts, a Vampir NG Infrared Search and Track system, and Sharpeye Navigational Radar Systems, along with improvements to the operations room equipment and layout.
The strike group also participated in theater security cooperation exercises with ships from nations who are equally committed to this region including the Royal Navy frigate HMS Monmouth (F 235), the French destroyer FS Chevalier Paul (D621), and the Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Toowoomba (FFH 156)..
"HMAS Toowoomba sails for operational duties in Gulf" (Press release). Department of Defence. 4 January 2007. Retrieved 21 August 2010.
Carrier Strike Group 3 (CSG-3 or CARSTRKGRU 3) is a U.S. Navy carrier strike group. Carrier strike groups gain and maintain sea control as well as project naval airpower ashore. The aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74) is the group's current flagship. Other units assigned include Carrier Air Wing Nine; the Ticonderoga-class cruisers USS Mobile Bay (CG-53) and USS Antietam (CG-54); and the ships of Destroyer Squadron 21.Between 2005 and 2013, the group made five deployments to the U.S. Fifth Fleet supporting U.S. ground forces in Iraq, and Afghanistan. On 18 December 2011, strike group aircraft flew the final carrier-based air mission over Iraq, effectively ending U.S. naval support for Operation New Dawn.HMAS Toowoomba
Two ships of the Royal Australian Navy have been named HMAS Toowoomba, after the city of Toowoomba, Queensland.
HMAS Toowoomba (J157), a Bathurst-class corvette active between 1941 and 1946, before transferring to other navies
HMAS Toowoomba (FFH 156), an Anzac-class frigate entering service in 2005 and active as of 2016List 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.
|Royal Australian Navy|
|Royal New Zealand Navy|