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Displacements steadily increased, to the detriment of stability. FFG 59 was delivered at 4,100 tons full load, although the class was designed for 3,600 tons and with only 39 tons planned growth margin. These ships were particularly well protected against splinter and fragmentation damage, with 19-mm aluminum-alloy armor over magazine spaces, 16-mm steel over the main engine-control room, and 19-mm Kevlar plastic armor over vital electronics and command spaces. Because of a hull twisting problem, doubler plates have been added over the hull sides amidships just below the main deck. Speed on one turbine alone is 25 knots. The auxiliary power system uses two retractable pods located well forward and can drive the ships at up to 6 knots. Fin stabilizers began to be backfitted in earlier units, beginning with FFG 26, in 1982.

Early in their operational lives, ships of the FFG 7 Class began to develop serious cracking in the superstructure, which extended from side-to-side and for approximately 70% of the length. These cracks were serious in that they could extend down into the hull portion of the ship and provided a way for water to flood important weapons system spaces. Detailed inspections were made, analyses undertaken, and model-scale tests conducted. Fixes compatible with the entire class were developed and installed. Tests were conducted at sea and were found to be satisfactory; further fixes were then carried out on all ships of the FFG 7 Class.

PERRY-class ships were produced in two variants, known as "short-hull" and "long-hull", with the later variant being eight feet longer than the short-hull version. The long-hull ships [FFG 8, 28, 29, 32, 33, 36-61] carry the SH-60B LAMPS III helicopters, while the short-hull units carry the less-capable SH-2G.

The units with long hulls (FFG 7, 8, 15, 28, 29, 32, 36-61) were to have had the sonar suite upgraded to SQQ-89(V)2, with SQS-56 hull sonar retained, SQR-19 towed linear passive hydrophone array added, and SQQ-28 helicopter sonobuoy datalink system added. There were, however, significant delays in the development of the SQQ-89's processor equipment, and many ships received the SQR-18A towed array with SQR-17 processor as an interim fit. FFG 8 received the towed array during FY 87, along with FFG 55-60; in FY 88, FFG 28, 29, 32, 36, and 39 were equipped; in FY 90, FFG 7 and 15 received the system during overhauls (FFG 7 was lengthened and received the SQQ-89 suite but was not equipped with RAST, leaving her unable to employ SH-60B helicopters); under the FY 91 budget, FFG 9, 48-50, and 52 were modified, and in FY 92, FFG 20 and 51 were equipped. FFG 12 is unusual in having the electronics fit for the LAMPS-III system and in having the towed sonar array but not having had the hull extension to permit flying SH-60B LAMPS-III helicopters. As of 1997, two variants of the SQQ-89 sonar system were in service on this class: SQQ-89(V)10 on FFG 14, 30, 34, 37, 50, 51, 52, and 54, with SQR-19B(V)2 towed array sonar; and SQQ-89(V)2 on FFG 7-9, 11-13, 15, 28, 29, 32, 33, 36, 38-43, 45-49, 53, 55-59, and 61, with SQR-19(V)2 and the UYQ-25A(V)2 processor.

For Arabian Gulf service, FFG 22 and 47 were equipped in 1991 with 25-mm Mk 38 Bushmaster low-angle chain guns amidships on the main deck, and others have since had the weapon added when on deployment. FFG 47 received a Kingfisher mine-avoidance modification to her SQS-56 sonar. FFG 37 conducted trials with the McDonnell Douglas Astronautics Mast-Mounted Sight (a modified helicopter electro-optical device) atop the pilothouse, with the display being in the CIC.

USS Halyburton (FFG-40) completed a Norfolk docking availability in March 2000 in which she received a prototype installation of a new ship service diesel engine on its number four generator. The new engine replaces its originally configured Detroit Diesel 16V-149 series, which is presently installed on all Oliver Hazard Perry (FFG-7) Class frigates. One of the primary drivers for the effort to re-engine the frigate diesels was life cycle affordability. The Detroit Diesels were of a two-stroke design that were no longer in production. This engine is a high-cost driver to the Fleet through high overhaul costs and relatively low time between major overhauls. It is a major item on the Top Management Attention and Top Management Issues (TMA/TMI) program, which assesses items that show undesirable metrics and were costly to maintain. In addition, this engine does not meet current EPA and proposed IMO emission requirements.

The FFG 7 Modernization Program was designed to extend the lifespan of this hull class through 2019. These frigates fulfill a protection of shipping mission as anti-submarine warfare combatants for amphibious expeditionary forces, underway replenishment groups, and merchant convoys.

Carderock Division Philadelphia worked closely with Program Executive Office Ships, NAVSEA 05, Bath Iron Works Planning Yard, Fleet Type Commanders, Original Equipment Manufacturers, and Navy Inventory Control Point (NAVICP) to ensure these installations were completed by 2010.

Under this fully funded multi-year and multi-million dollar program, the following core hull, mechanical, and electrical (HM&E) equipment and systems will be upgraded aboard these ships:

  • ShipAlt FFG 7-423K—Ship Service Diesel Generator. The existing four engines aboard these ships will be replaced with the Caterpillar Model 3512B engine. The contract to build the engines was awarded to Caterpillar, Inc., Peoria, IL, in May 2002. Unlike previous Navy diesels, which were almost exclusively controlled by mechanical devices, this engine is completely electronically controlled, which increases fuel economy, tolerates and sustains light loading, and complies with current emission regulations. It also allows for easier troubleshooting. The technical point of contact for this effort is James Spaulding (9324).

  • ShipAlt FFG 7-429K—Reverse Osmosis. The existing evaporator system is being replaced with Reverse Osmosis (RO) units. The contract to manufacture the RO units was awarded to Aqua Chem, Inc., Knoxville, TN, in May 2002. There will be two 6,800 gallon-per-day units. High purity water requirements for gas turbine water wash, etc. will be sent through an additional 2,000 gallon-per-day high purity RO unit. The technical point of contact for this effort is Richard Steck (9232).

  • ShipAlts FFG 7-452K—Ventilation Modifications. This combines several existing ShipAlts into a single package. This will provide consistent machinery space ventilation configuration and eliminate overlaps in design and installation.

  • Control Console modifications for ShipAlts 423K, 429K and 452K were being integrated by Debra Dezendorf (9554). Additionally, the Diesel Start Air Compressor (SAC) system will have additional new instrumentation incorporated on the control console to assist in troubleshooting and maintenance. The technical point of contact on the SAC is Jim Buttram (9124).

  • ShipAlt FFG 7-436K—Commercial-Off-the-Shelf Slewing Arm Davit (SLAD). The existing track-way davit is being replaced with a commercial-off-the-shelf davit. Manufacture of this commercial davit, which utilizes all electric technology, was awarded to Welin-Lambie Limited, UK, in June 2002. The technical point of contact for this effort is Walter Nowak (9731). Code 9731 is also overseeing an Alteration Installation Team (AIT) for shipboard installation of the davit and associated rigid inflatable boat (RIB) platform. SLAD installation was performed on USS Kauffman in April, 2003. The onsite point of contact for the AIT effort was Philip Anshant (9731).

  • ShipAlts FFG 7-438K and 439K—Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA). The SCBA is replacing the existing shipboard oxygen breathing apparatus. SCBA is an NIOSH approved open circuit breathing device supplied from a compressed air cylinder via ShipAlt 438K. It has a recharging capability directly from the high pressure air system via a charging station is added via ShipAlt 439K. NSWCCD-SSES Code 916.3 is providing the alteration installation for this effort. The points of contact were Kenneth Jones (916.3) and David Thompson (9443).

  • Additional HM&E ShipAlts were 468K Fuel Return for the Diesel Engine and 262K, which improves the fire-fighting reliability capability in the bilge area of Auxiliary Machinery Room No. 3.

  • Associated Combat Systems upgrades, associated with the FFG Modernization Program were ShipAlt 360K (CWIS 1B) and ShipAlt 383K (NULKA).

The key to the success of this program to date has been the teaming between all involved. It’s run well; there’s total buy-in and support from the technical and contracting codes; and George has done a top-notch job in managing it.

On 14 May 2003 installation for the FFG 7 Modernization Program began aboard USS Kauffman (FFG 59), which is the first of 30 ships to be upgraded under this program. Work is being conducted aboard FFG 59 during a 20-week availability at Colonna Shipyard in Norfolk, VA. Work on USS Kauffman was scheduled for completion in October 2003. The next ship scheduled for this modernization was USS Hawes (FFG 53), which began its availability in September 2003.

While the US had gone back and forth on its upgrade plans, other armed services have plowed right ahead to upgrade the old Perry class ships. For instance, by 2017 Turkey had equipped its G-class frigates with 32 long-range SM-2 Standard Missiles plus 32 Evolved Sea Sparrow Missiles.

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Page last modified: 16-11-2017 18:44:36 ZULU