FFG-7 OLIVER HAZARD PERRY-class Weapons
All 22 ships of the class to be retained in active service began to receive Standard SM-1 Block VIB missiles with improved fusing to counter small radar-cross-section missiles in 1994.
While the guided missile frigates (FFG) bring an anti-air warfare (AAW) capability to the frigate mission, they have some limitations. The FFG-7 Class has good capability against (2 or less) medium and high altitude ASMs. If equipped with the SM-1 BLK VIB and Mod 6 FCS, it also has a good capability against low altitude ASMs. It features an improved 2D air search radar, and high SM-1 salvo rate against a single target. However, the cycle time for SM-1 is relatively long, and the capability against low ASMs for Mod 2/SM-1 BLK VIA ships is poor. Radar illuminator blockage zones are excessive, and the radars must illuminate target continuously during missile flight. The long range air search radar is 2D, and track capacity is limited.
In 1994, the self-defense configuration for the Oliver Hazard Perry class frigates included the SPS-49 radar, the STIR/CAS system, and the SLQ-32 electronic support system. The MK 92 performed the control function. Engagement systems consisted of the Standard Missile I variant and the Phalanx Block 0 or 1.
Since 1994, ship self-defense capability improvements have consisted of the installation of RAIDS. In 1998, the Navy had assessed the ship self-defense capability of this class as having low capability against the near- and mid-term threat requirements. Although there are 36 ships in this class, the Navy has focused its attention for ship self-defense improvements on the 12 CORT ships, which have improved detection and tracking capability. Accordingly, only the 12 CORT ships received the RAIDS system. Additionally, some of the CORT ships have received radar and electronic warfare upgrades. Additionally, the Navy plans to add Phalanx Block 1B to the 12 CORT ships by July 2002. The non-CORT ships were not assessed because of their short remaining service life. The Navy projected the self-defense capability of frigate class ships to be low against the near- and mid-term threats.
The Mk 75 gun is a license-built version of the OTO-Breda Compact. Two Mk 24 optical missile and gun target designators (mounted in tubs atop the pilothouse) were not fitted to the ships as completed until FFG 27 and have been backfitted in the earlier ships. The only ship-launched USW weapons are the Mk 46 or Mk 50 torpedoes in the two triple torpedo tubes; a total of 24 torpedoes can be carried, but ships with magazines altered to accept the larger Mk 50 can also carry the Penguin anti-ship missile for helicopter use, for the loss of one torpedo for each missile carried.
The Mk 15 CIWS (Close-In Weapon System) 20-mm Phalanx CIWS was backfitted into all by end-1988; the improved Mk 15 Block 1 is to be backfitted in the later 1990s. The 12 CORT Oliver Hazard Perry class frigates will receive the Phalanx Block 1B. Harpoon missiles are launched via the SWG-1 launch control system.
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