HMAS Canberra (FFG 02)
HMAS Canberra in 1988
|Namesake:||City of Canberra|
|Builder:||Todd Pacific Shipyards, Seattle, Washington|
|Laid down:||1 March 1978|
|Launched:||1 December 1978|
|Commissioned:||21 March 1981|
|Decommissioned:||12 November 2005|
|Motto:||"For Queen And Country"|
|Nickname:||FFG-18 (US hull designation during construction)|
Persian Gulf 2002
plus four inherited battle honours
|Fate:||Sunk as dive wreck|
|Class & type:||Adelaide class guided missile frigate|
|Length:||138 m (453 ft)|
|Beam:||14.3 m (47 ft)|
|Draught:||7.5 m (25 ft)|
|Propulsion:||2 × General Electric LM2500 gas turbines, each providing 20,500 hp (15,287 kW). Total 41,000 hp (30,574 kW)|
|Speed:||Over 30 knots (56 km/h; 35 mph)|
|Complement:||184 + aircrew|
|Armament:||Mk 13 launcher for Harpoon and SM-1MR missiles; 1 × 20 mm Mk 16 Mod 2 Phalanx CIWS; 2 x triple 324 mm Mk 32 torpedo tubes; 1 × MK75 76 mm rapid-fire naval artillery gun|
|Aircraft carried:||2 x S-70B Seahawk|
HMAS Canberra (FFG 02) was an Adelaide class guided missile frigate of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). Based on the Oliver Hazard Perry class design, Canberra was one of four Adelaide class ships constructed in the United States of America, and one of six to serve in the RAN.
The frigate entered service in 1981. During her career, Canberra was assigned to escort the Royal Yacht Britannia during Queen Elizabeth II's visit in 1988, helped enforce the post-Gulf War United Nations' sanctions against Iraq during 1992 and 1993, was part of the Australian responses to the 1998 Indonesian riots and the 2000 Solomon Islands Civil War, and returned to the Persian Gulf in 2002 as part of the War in Afghanistan.
In 2005, Canberra became the first ship of her class to be decommissioned. The frigate was marked for conversion into a dive wreck and artificial reef off Barwon Heads, Victoria, and was scuttled on 4 October 2009.
Design and construction
Following the cancellation of the DDL project in 1983, the RAN needed to procure a replacement for the Daring class destroyers. Foreign designs were considered, with two designs shortlisted: the Oliver Hazard Perry class guided missile frigate, and the Type 42 destroyer, modified to fire RIM-66 Standard missiles. Although the Perry design did not meet the operating conditions set down for the DDL, the impracticality of modifying the Type 42 design prompted the Australian government to approve the acquisition of two Perry class ships: HMA Ships Adelaide and Canberra. Four more ships were later ordered.
Canberra was laid down as the first ship of the Perry class's Flight II design by Todd Pacific Shipyards at Seattle, Washington on 1 March 1978, and launched on 1 December 1978. Canberra was commissioned into the RAN on 21 March 1981. The ship received the United States Navy hull number FFG-18 during construction.
Canberra's main weapon is the Mark 13 missile launcher located on the foredeck: this is used to fire both Harpoon and SM-2MR Standard missiles. A 76-millimetre (3.0 in) Mark 75 OTO Melara gun is located on top of the superstructure, in front of the exhaust funnel. A triple-barrelled Mark 32 torpedo tube set is fitted to each side of the superstructure. For close defence, a 20-millimetre (0.79 in) Mark 16 Mod 2 Phalanx CIWS sits at the aft end of the superstructure, above the frigate's two helicopter hangars.
In December 1993, Canberra and the destroyer HMAS Perth visited Langkawi, Malaysia, for the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition. During this assignment, ship's divers from Canberra assisted the Royal Malaysian Police in searching for and recovering the body of a merchant sailor who had fallen overboard from MV Leisureworld. Following this, the two ships sailed for New Zealand, and were present in the Bay of Islands for Waitangi Day, which commemorates the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi there on 6 February 1840, which brought New Zealand into the British Empire.
The frigate's home base was changed from Fleet Base East in New South Wales to Fleet Base West in Western Australia in February 1996.
On 17 May 1998, the frigate was one of four RAN ships placed on standby to help evacuate Australian citizens from Indonesia following riots. Canberra made at least one evacuation before the force was instructed to stand down a week later.
Following the conclusion of the Solomon Islands Civil War in 2000, Canberra was the last Australian warship sent to the Solomons to support the International Peace Monitoring Team; arriving on 13 September 2001, and remaining on station until 24 October.
After returning to Australia for Christmas and the New Year, the frigate accompanied the replenishment oiler HMAS Westralia to Heard Island and McDonald Islands in January 2002, where the two ships spent a month enforcing Australian sovereign rights and fisheries laws in the islands' Exclusive Economic Zone. During this deployment, on 7 February, the ship captured the Russian fishing vessel Volga, which was illegally operating around Heard Island. Later in the year, Canberra joined sister ship Newcastle and the amphibious warfare ship Manoora on a three-month deployment to the Persian Gulf in support of the International Coalition Against Terrorism.
Canberra was decommissioned at Fleet Base West in Western Australia on 12 November 2005.
In October 2006, it was announced that the decommissioned frigate will be scuttled off the coast of Barwon Heads, Victoria, to be used as a wreck diving site. In October 2006, the Federal Government allocated A$2.8 million to the project, while the Victorian Government allocated A$500,000. On 23 July 2007, the Minister for Defence, Brendan Nelson, announced that in order to ensure the quickest possible schedule for the sinking of the ship, A$7 million of federal money would be allocated to the project.
The frigate was scheduled to be scuttled in 30 metres (98 ft) of water, 2 nautical miles (3.7 km) off Ocean Grove, Victoria on 13 September 2009, but this was postponed until 4 October because of foul weather. Sixteen scuttling charges were detonated at 1400 hours, following a six-hour delay in towing the ship into position. Canberra was inspected the next day by civilian clearance divers to ensure it had settled safely. The wreck was opened to the public as a dive site on 5 December, after four mooring pylons for dive boats were installed and safety checks and remedial work were carried out. In early 2011, Parks Victoria posted a warning that the port side of the hangar had separated from the rest of the superstructure, with frames and plating shifting up to 150 millimetres (5.9 in). In mid-2011, Parks Victoria closed the dive site due to safety concerns following further degradation of the dumped frigate. After assessment, the site was reopened on 24 October 2011.
As part of an overhaul of the RAN battle honours system, completed in March 2010, Canberra was retroactively awarded the battle honour "Persian Gulf 2002" for her service during the war in Afghanistan.
- Jones, in Stevens, The Royal Australian Navy, p. 220
- HMAS Canberra (II), Royal Australian Navy
- Hooton, Perking-up the Perry class
- No Name (FFG 18), United States Navy
- Jones, in Stevens, The Royal Australian Navy, opp. p. 224
- Clark, The Fighting Canberras, pp. 15–16
- Bendle et al., Database of Royal Australian Navy Operations, 1990–2005, p. 5
- Bendle et al., Database of Royal Australian Navy Operations, 1990–2005, p. 16
- Bendle et al., Database of Royal Australian Navy Operations, 1990–2005, p. 19
- Bendle et al., Database of Royal Australian Navy Operations, 1990–2005, p. 20
- Clark, The Fighting Canberras, p. 15
- Draper, Old Warship sunk off Victoria's coast
- Bendle et al., Database of Royal Australian Navy Operations, 1990–2005, p. 34
- Bendle et al., Database of Royal Australian Navy Operations, 1990–2005, p. 41
- Bendle et al., Database of Royal Australian Navy Operations, 1990–2005, p. 45
- Darby, Andrew (3 December 2013). "Russia must be held to account in Greenpeace case". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 6 December 2013.
- Bendle et al., Database of Royal Australian Navy Operations, 1990–2005, p. 46
- Bendle et al., Database of Royal Australian Navy Operations, 1990–2005, p. 50
- ABC News, Navy ship heads home on last voyage
- Walker, Hopes for dive wreck scuttled
- Department of Defence, Howard Government To Fund And Sink ex-HMAS Canberra
- Geelong Advertiser, Scuttling of warship scuttled
- ABC News, New 'underwater playground' for scuba divers
- West, Call to stop scuttling as sister ship breaks up
- Ocean Grove Voice, Ship temporarily shut
- Best, Wreck re-opens
- "Navy Marks 109th Birthday With Historic Changes To Battle Honours". Royal Australian Navy. 1 March 2010. Archived from the original on 13 June 2011. Retrieved 23 December 2012.
- "Royal Australian Navy Ship/Unit Battle Honours". Royal Australian Navy. 1 March 2010. Archived from the original on 14 June 2011. Retrieved 23 December 2012.
- Bendle, Vanessa; Griffin, David; Laurence, Peter; McMillan, Richard; Mitchell, Brett, Nasg, Greg; Perryman, John; Stevens, David; Wheate, Nial (2005). Database of Royal Australian Navy Operations, 1990–2005. Working Papers 18. Canberra, ACT: Sea Power Centre – Australia. ISBN 0-642-29623-5. Retrieved 16 August 2009.
- Stevens, David, ed. (2001). The Royal Australian Navy. The Australian Centenary History of Defence (vol III). South Melbourne, VIC: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-555542-2. OCLC 50418095.
- Jones, Peter. "Towards Self Reliance"; "A Period of Change and Uncertainty". The Royal Australian Navy.
- News and journal articles
- "New 'underwater playground' for scuba divers". ABC News. 4 December 2009. Retrieved 11 December 2009.
- "Navy ship heads home on last voyage". ABC News. 7 November 2005. Retrieved 11 December 2009.
- Best, Cameron (24 October 2011). "Wreck re-opens". Geelong Advertiser. Retrieved 28 October 2011.
- Clark, Robin (March 2001). "The Fighting Canberras". Canberra Historical Journal: 9–16.
- Draper, Michelle (4 October 2009). "Old Warship sunk off Victoria's coast". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 4 October 2009.
- "Scuttling of warship scuttled". Geelong Advertiser. 9 September 2009. Retrieved 10 September 2009.
- Hooton, E.R. (1 December 1996). "Perking-up the Perry class". Jane's International Defence Review (Jane's Information Group) 9 (9).
- Walker, Frank (22 October 2006). "Hopes for dive wreck scuttled". The Sun-Herald.
- West, Andrew (9 February 2011). "Call to stop scuttling as sister ship breaks up". The Sydney Morning Herald (smh.com.au). Retrieved 28 February 2011.
- "Ship temporarily shut". The Ocean Grove Voice. 4 July 2011. Retrieved 14 July 2011.
- Other sources
- "HMAS Canberra (II)". Royal Australian Navy. Retrieved 7 October 2012.
- "Howard Government To Fund And Sink ex-HMAS Canberra" (Press release). Department of Defence. 23 July 2007. Retrieved 24 September 2010.
- "No Name (FFG 18)". Naval Vessel Register. United States Navy. 11 September 2000. Retrieved 7 October 2012.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to HMAS Canberra (FFG 02).|
- HMAS Canberra FFG 02 – History of the ship, maintained by a member of the frigate's commissioning crew
- Dive the ex HMAS Canberra – Victorian Artificial Reef Society site regarding the acquisition and sinking of Canberra