HMAS Sydney (FFG 03)
HMAS Sydney underway during Pacific Bond 2013
|Namesake:||City of Sydney|
|Builder:||Todd Pacific Shipyards, Seattle, Washington|
|Laid down:||16 January 1980|
|Launched:||26 September 1980|
|Commissioned:||29 January 1983|
|Decommissioned:||Late 2015 (planned)|
|Motto:||"Thorough and Ready"|
|Nickname:||FFG-35 (US hull designation during construction)|
East Timor 1999
Persian Gulf 2001–03
plus ten inherited honours
Meritorious Unit Citation
|Status:||Active as of 2015|
|Class and type:||Adelaide-class guided-missile frigate|
|Displacement:||3,678 tons (at launch)
4,200 tons (post-refit)
|Length:||138 m (453 ft)|
|Beam:||13.7 m (45 ft)|
|Draught:||4.5 m (15 ft)|
|Propulsion:||2 × General Electric LM2500 gas turbines, each providing 20,500 hp (15,287 kW). Total 41,000 hp (30,574 kW)|
|Speed:||30 knots (56 km/h; 35 mph)|
|Range:||4,500 nautical miles (8,300 km; 5,200 mi) at 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph)|
|AN/SPS-49A(V)1 radar, Mk 92 Guided Missile Fire Control System, AN/SPS-55 radar, Spherion B sonar|
|Armament:||Mk 41 VLS for Evolved Sea Sparrow missile
Mk 13 launcher for Harpoon and SM-2MR missiles
1 × 3 in (76 mm) OTO Melara
1 × 20 mm (0.79 in) Mk 15 Vulcan Phalanx
2 × triple 324 mm (12.8 in) Mk 32 torpedo tubes
|Aircraft carried:||2 × S-70B Seahawk|
HMAS Sydney (FFG 03) is an Adelaide-class guided-missile frigate of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). The frigate is one of six modified Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates ordered from 1977 onwards, and the third of four to be constructed in the United States of America. Laid down and launched in 1980, Sydney was named for the capital city of New South Wales, and commissioned into the RAN in 1983.
During her operational history, Sydney has been involved in Australian responses to the 1987 Fijian coups d'état and the Bougainville uprising. The frigate has been deployed to the Persian Gulf on five occasions in support of United States operations during the Gulf War, War in Afghanistan, and the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and has completed at least two round-the-world voyages.
Sydney was originally expected to remain in service until 2013, but will decommission in late 2015. The frigate will be replaced by a Hobart-class destroyer.
Design and construction
In the mid-1970s, the Australian Government elected to acquire several Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates to replace the RAN's three Daring-class destroyers, following the cancellation of the Australian light destroyer project. Sydney, the third ship of what became the Adelaide class, was ordered from the United States in late 1977.
The last ship of the Oliver Hazard Perry Flight II design, Sydney was laid down at Todd Pacific Shipyards on 16 January 1980. She was launched on 26 September 1980, and commissioned into the RAN on 29 January 1983. During construction, the ship was identified by the United States Navy hull number FFG-35.
At launch, the ship was 136 metres (446 ft) long, 13.7 metres (45 ft) wide, and has a draught of 4.5 metres (15 ft). The length was increased to 138 metres (453 ft) in 1987–88 to permit the operation of the S-70B Seahawk from the frigate. Displacement at launch was 3,678 tons; by 2009, various refits and upgrades had increased this to 4,200 tons.
In May 1987, Sydney visited Fiji, and was alongside in Suva when the first of the 1987 Fijian coups d'état occurred on 14 May. Sydney and sister ship Adelaide, alongside in Lautoka, were instructed to remain off Fiji to aid in any necessary evacuation of Australian citizens; the first component of what became Operation Morris Dance. Sydney remained on station until at least 29 May, when a phased withdrawal began.[clarification needed]
Following the acquisition of the Vulcan Phalanx close-in weapon system and the Seahawk helicopter, Sydney underwent a modification refit to be capable of using these weapons. This refit occurred over 1987 and 1988, and also saw the installation of fin stabilisation systems.
In January 1990, Sydney, Tobruk, and Jervis Bay were placed on standby to evacuate civilians from Bougainville Island following the Bougainville uprising. Sydney and Tobruk stood down in February, and the two ships departed with the submarine Oxley on a deployment to Turkey to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the landing at Anzac Cove. Following Anzac Day, Sydney continued on a round-the-world voyage, which included numerous diplomatic visits to European and American ports, the first visit of a RAN vessel to Sweden, and participation in a United States counter-narcotics operation in the Caribbean. The frigate arrived home in September.
On 3 December 1990, Sydney and the Perth-class destroyer Brisbane arrived in the Persian Gulf to relieve HMA Ships Adelaide and Darwin as part of Operation Damask; the Australian military contribution to the Gulf War. Sydney was assigned to the escort screen around Battle Force Zulu, a naval force built around four United States Navy aircraft carriers, and also participated in surveillance and boarding operations. The two Australian warships remained in the area until 26 March 1991. Sydney was awarded the Meritorious Unit Citation on 4 November 1991 for this deployment, and later received the battle honour "Kuwait 1991".
Sydney was deployed back to the Persian Gulf for Operation Damask from September 1991 to February 1992, and again from June 1993 to December 1993.
On 14 March 1994, Sydney rescued the crew of a yacht which had been participating in the Trans-Tasman Yacht Race before encountering difficulties. In early October, the frigate was called on to search for survivors of a light aircraft that ditched into the Tasman Sea.
In 1997, Sydney was one of several RAN vessels placed on standby following the outbreak of political disturbances in Papua New Guinea as part of the Sandline affair. No action was required by the Australian warships.
Sydney was deployed to East Timor as part of the Australian-led INTERFET peacekeeping taskforce from 3 November to 19 December 1999. She received the battle honour "East Timor 1999" for this deployment.
On 1 October 2000, Sydney took over from sister ship Newcastle as the RAN vessel assigned to support the peace negotiation process in the Solomon Islands that resulted in the signing of the Townsville Peace Agreement.
In October 2001, Sydney returned to the Persian Gulf to operate in support of Operation Enduring Freedom as part of the War in Afghanistan. The frigate was joined by sister ship Adelaide and the amphibious warfare vessel Kanimbla in early December, and returned to Australia in March 2002. Sydney was sent back to the Gulf in support of 2003 invasion of Iraq, operating from May to August 1993 as part of Operations Falconer and Catalyst. The battle honours "Persian Gulf 2001–03" and "Iraq 2003" recognise these deployments.
Sydney was the first of four frigates selected to go under the A$1 billion FFG Upgrade, with HMA Ships Darwin, Melbourne and Newcastle following. The upgrade features an 8-cell Mark 41 Vertical Launch System (VLS) for 32 Evolved Sea Sparrow Missiles (ESSM), upgrades to fire control and air warning radars, and replacement of the hull-mounted sonar and diesel generators. This refit commenced in 2002, but problems with integrating the frigates' anti-missile and anti-torpedo detection and defence systems meant that when Sydney was finished in 2007, she was initially not accepted back into service. By November 2008, the problems with the upgrade had been solved.
On the morning of 13 March 2009, Sydney was one of seventeen warships involved in a ceremonial fleet entry and fleet review in Sydney Harbour, the largest collection of RAN ships since the Australian Bicentenary in 1988. The frigate led the line of thirteen ships involved in the ceremonial entry through Sydney Heads, and anchored in the harbour for the review.
On 20 April 2009, Sydney and the Anzac-class frigate HMAS Ballarat departed from Sydney as part of Operation Northern Trident, a six-month round-the-world voyage by the two vessels, with numerous diplomatic visits and joint exercises with foreign navies. On 17 May, Sydney and Ballarat provided aid to two merchant vessels in the Gulf of Aden, driving off two separate groups of Somali pirates attacking the ships. Sydney remained in the area to report the incidents to Combined Task Force 151, while Ballarat escorted an impromptu convoy of eight ships, including the two that were attacked, to safety. The two warships visited ports in Western Europe, North America, the Pacific and northern Asia, with Sydney arriving back in her namesake city on 19 September.
Sydney visited Hobart in February 2015 for the Royal Hobart Regatta. During the weekend of 7-8 February,[date missing] the frigate was anchored in the River Derwent to free up wharf space for a civilian vessel. On attempting to return to Macquarie Wharf, the anchor chain broke, leaving the anchor 25 metres (82 ft) below. The anchor was later recovered by divers. The loss of the anchor prevented Sydney from fulfilling duties as the regatta flagship, as the ship would be unable to maintain a stationary position during the event.
Decommissioning and fate
Sydney sailed into her namesake city for the final time on 27 February 2015. Despite flying a decommissioning pennant, the frigate will not be paid off until the end of 2015; two years later than originally expected. Sydney will remain at Fleet Base East as an alongside training ship until her decommissioning. She will be replaced by one of the three Hobart-class destroyers.
- Jones, in The Royal Australian Navy, p. 220
- Jones, in The Royal Australian Navy, opp. p. 224
- Hooton, E.R. (1 December 1996). "Perking-up the Perry class". Jane's International Defence Review (Jane's Information Group) 9 (9).
- No Name (FFG 35), United States Navy
- Sea Power Centre, HMAS Sydney
- Jones, in The Royal Australian Navy, p. 260
- Bendle et al., Database of Royal Australian Navy Operations, 1990–2005, p. 3
- Bendle et al., Database of Royal Australian Navy Operations, 1990–2005, pgs. 4, 6
- Bendle et al., Database of Royal Australian Navy Operations, 1990–2005, p. 4
- Jones, in The Royal Australian Navy, p. 263
- Bendle et al., Database of Royal Australian Navy Operations, 1990–2005, p. 7
- "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" (PDF). Royal Australian Navy. 1 March 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 June 2011. Retrieved 23 December 2012.
- "It's An Honour – Honours". Retrieved 3 August 2009.
Citation: For meritorious operational service in the Persian Gulf during enforcement of sanctions in support of United Nations Security Council Resolutions and the subsequent period of hostilities against Iraq to liberate Kuwait in 1990–91.
- Bendle et al., Database of Royal Australian Navy Operations, 1990–2005, pgs 12, 18
- Bendle et al., Database of Royal Australian Navy Operations, 1990–2005, p. 20
- Bendle et al., Database of Royal Australian Navy Operations, 1990–2005, p. 22
- Bendle et al., Database of Royal Australian Navy Operations, 1990–2005, p. 24
- Bendle et al., Database of Royal Australian Navy Operations, 1990–2005, p. 27
- Stevens, Strength Through Diversity, p. 15
- Bendle et al., Database of Royal Australian Navy Operations, 1990–2005, p. 40
- Bendle et al., Database of Royal Australian Navy Operations, 1990–2005, p. 44
- Bendle et al., Database of Royal Australian Navy Operations, 1990–2005, p. 48
- Kirk, Dud frigates an inherited nightmare
- McPhedran, Frigates 'can't go to war' despite $1.4bn upgrade
- McPhedran, Australia's naval frigates 'worth the wait '
- Brooke, Marching into History
- Northern Trident 2009, Royal Australian Navy
- Dodd, RAN warships to the rescue as Somali pirates flee
- HMAS Sydney returns home, ABC Online
- Slavin, Erik (6 May 2013). "Australian frigate embeds with US Navy at Yokosuka, Japan". Stars and Stripes. Retrieved 10 May 2013.
- Commonwealth of Australia (2013). "Participating Warships: International Fleet Review, Sydney, Australia, 3–11 October 2013". www.navy.gov.au. Royal Australian Navy. Retrieved 5 October 2013.
- Shannon, Lucy (10 February 2015). "Navy divers recover HMAS Sydney anchor which fell off in Hobart's River Derwent". ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). Retrieved 15 February 2015.
- Australian Associated Press (27 February 2015). "http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/defence/hmas-sydney-sails-into-sydney-harbour-before-being-decommissioned/story-e6frg8yo-1227241618830". The Australian. Retrieved 27 February 2015.
- "Final entry into Sydney for city's namesake warship" (Press release). Department of Defence. 27 February 2015. Retrieved 27 February 2015.
- 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 (PDF). Working Papers 18. Canberra, ACT: Sea Power Centre – Australia. ISBN 0-642-29623-5. Retrieved 16 August 2009.
- Stevens, David (2007). Strength Through Diversity: The combined naval role in Operation Stabilise (PDF). Working Papers 20. Canberra: Sea Power Centre – Australia. ISBN 978-0-642-29676-4. ISSN 1834-7231. Retrieved 6 September 2010.
- 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" and "A Period of Change and Uncertainty". The Royal Australian Navy.
- News and journal articles
- "HMAS Sydney returns home". ABC Online. 19 September 2009. Retrieved 28 October 2009.
- Brooke, Michael (2 April 2009). "Marching into History". Navy News (Department of Defence).
- Dodd, Mark (19 May 2009). "RAN warships to the rescue as Somali pirates flee". The Australian. Retrieved 20 May 2009.
- Kirk, Alexandra; (and staff) (2 January 2008). "Dud frigates an inherited nightmare". ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). Retrieved 22 April 2008.
- McPhedran, Ian (2 January 2008). "Frigates 'can't go to war' despite $1.4bn upgrade". The Advertiser (News Limited). Retrieved 21 April 2008.[dead link]
- McPhedran, Ian (19 November 2008). "Australia's naval frigates 'worth the wait'". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 21 November 2008.
- Websites and other media
- "HMAS Sydney (IV)". Royal Australian Navy. Retrieved 22 December 2012.
- "Next generation of naval ships to reflect a rich history of service" (Press release). Department of Defence. 20 January 2006. Retrieved 1 June 2009.
- "Northern Trident 2009". Royal Australian Navy. 2009. Retrieved 20 May 2009.
- "No Name (FFG 35)". Naval Vessel Register. United States Navy. 3 March 2000. Retrieved 22 December 2012.
Media related to HMAS Sydney (FFG 03) at Wikimedia Commons