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FFH 150 Anzac

The Anzac Class is based on the German Meko 200 frigate design with eight ships being constructed in Australia as part of the overall plan to upgrade the Royal Australian Navy. The Prime Contract between the Commonwealth and AMECON (now Tenix Defence) Pty Ltd was signed on 10 November 1989, in which Tenix offered the German MEKO 200 Design and it was then modified by Australia and New Zealand to reflect the role of the ship. The current ANZAC design provides sufficient capability to undertake these roles.

The MEKO concept uses modular construction techniques. The advantage of the concept is the parallel production of the hull and superstructure and its equipment. The ships are assembled from 12 major modules built at 3 sites including Newcastle and New Zealand and shipped to Williamstown, Victoria for final assembly and launch. These modules are of substantial size but are small enough to be worked on undercover, minimising the effects of weather and allowing installation of equipment before the ends or tops need to be fitted. A great deal of the ship's equipment is containerised or palletised and installed as modules reach the appropriate stage. This containerisation principle allows for integration and testing of functional units before fitting to the ship. The resulting partially outfitted modules can be easily erected on the slipway. The level of outfitting at launch is higher than can be achieved using traditional shipbuilding methods.

The ANZAC Ship Contract requires an Industry Program in Australia and New Zealand equivalent to 80% of the contract price consisting of 73% Australia New Zealand content and 7% Defence Offsets. In addition to ship construction work, the Australia and New Zealand content includes a substantial proportion of systems and equipment, either manufactured under licence or of indigenous design.

The last of the frigates, HMAS Perth, was commissioned on 26 August 2006. She represents the completion of an ambitious 10-ship build (ships two and four were delivered to the Royal New Zealand Navy) and the largest warship build project ever undertaken in Australia. The $7 billion dollar Anzac ship project has involved more than 3,000 companies in Australia and New Zealand, and has generated almost 8,000 jobs. Five Anzac frigates are home ported at HMAS Stirling in the West, and three are home ported in Sydney on the East.

The Royal Australian Navy [RAN] utilises its Anzac class frigates at the extreme end of the operational envelope. To illustrate, on average the Anzac frigates were away from their home port 192 days over the last year. This high usage rate and operational tempo create many unique challenges for the RAN, notably in sustainment of capability and in retention of personnel.

Anzacs are long-range escorts with roles including air defence, anti submarine warfare, surveillance, reconnaissance and interdiction. The ships are capable of countering simultaneous threats from the air, surface and sub-surface. Powered by a combined diesel or gas (CODOG) propulsion plant permits speeds in excess of 27 knots with an operational range of more than 6000 nautical miles.

The ships' main armament comprises one five inch (127 mm) gun capable of firing 20 rounds per minute, ship launched torpedo and a MK 41 vertical launch system for the Sea Sparrow point defence missile. The Anzac Class can embark a multi-role Sikorsky S-70B-2 Seahawk helicopter to enhance anti-submarine, anti-surface warfare and Search and Rescue capabilities. Embarkation of a helicopter also provides the ship with the capability to deliver air-launched torpedoes.

Each Anzac frigate is fitted with an advanced package of air surveillance radars, omni-directional hull mounted sonar and electronic support systems which interface with a state-of-the-art combat data system. The Anzacs weren't designed for a hostile environment and at present can only engage one target at a time because their current illuminator, with its traditional dish-type antenna, can only point in one direction at a time.

In July 2001 Defence signed a long term alliance agreement with Tenix Defence and SAAB Systems covering the development of all future capability change packages for the ANZAC Class. The ANZAC Ship Alliance has established a management office in Rockingham, WA.

The Evolved SEASPARROW Missile (ESSM) program is an international cooperative venture by ten of the twelve nations of the NATO SEASPARROW Consortium to develop and produce an improved version of the RIM-7P NATO SEASPARROW Missile. The ESSM will have enhanced speed and maneuverability compared to the baseline NATO SEASPARROW, and will feature quad pack canisters in the 8-cell Mk 41 Vertical Launching System. The aim of the program is to develop an effective defence against the next generation of high-speed, maneuvering anti-ship missiles. Australia's involvement in the international ESSM program is being managed through Project SEA 1428, which managed Australia's participation in the development and production phases of the program, and the provision of the ESSM capability into the ANZAC and FFG classes of ship currently operated by the Royal Australian Navy.

SEA 1348 Ph3 - ANZAC Ship Project Underwater & Surface War Fighting Upgrade Program of the ANZAC Ship Project covers improvements to the Anti Surface Warfare and Anti Submarine Warfare capabilities of the eight ANZAC Class ships operated by the RAN. The enhancements include the fitting of Harpoon Missile Launch Capability, and introduction of a Mine and Obstacle Avoidance Sonar (MOAS).

Under Phase 3A each ANZAC frigate is to be fitted with Harpoon missile launchers, and the system integrated into the ship's combat system. Canisters were procured from the USA, and the launchers and associated ship system and platform upgrade packages were integrated into the ships by a commercial arrangement under the ANZAC Ship Integrated Maintenance Support Program Alliance (ASIPA). The initial ship installation into HMAS WARRAMUNGA was completed in December 2004. To date seven of the eight ANZAC Class ships have either been fitted, or are in the process of being fitted, with this capability. The final ship was HMAS PERTH due for completion in September 2008. Phase 3A did not include missile procurement.

Phase 3B - Torpedo Self Defence was withdrawn from the DCP in Nov 03.

The ANZAC frigates had limited mechanisms to warn of mines or other obstacles in the ship's path other than the standard sonar system. SEA 1348 Phase 3C Mine and Obstacle Avoidance Sonar installs the Thales "Petrel" Mine and Obstacle Avoidance Sonar (MOAS). This involves the installation of a retractable sonar array and associated monitoring, control and support equipment. Installation and integration of MOAS into the ANZAC Ship is being managed under the ANZAC Ship Integrated Maintenance Support Program Alliance (ASIPA). Installation was completed into HMAS ARUNTA in September 2005. To date seven of the eight ANZAC Class ships have either been fitted, or are in the process of being fitted, with this capability. The final ship wwas HMAS PERTH due for completion in September 2008.

As at 2 October 2018, three of Navys eight ANZAC class frigates were in dry-dock at the Henderson shipyard HMAS ANZAC (FFH-150) and HMAS Arunta (FFH-151) were in deep-cycle maintenance and HMAS Perth (FFH-157) was in lay-up. In October 2017, HMAS Perth (FFH-157) was scheduled to be reactivated following the completion of scheduled maintenance; however, it remains in lay-up due to crew shortages. As of rarly 2019 Navy advised a crew was expected to become available between July 2019 (medium confidence) and January 2020 (high confidence). The unplanned, extended lay-up of HMAS Perth places further pressure on the other ANZAC class frigates and potentially adds to the cycle of operating the class outside of its Statement of Operating intent to meet capability and availability requirements.

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Page last modified: 19-06-2019 18:27:59 ZULU