Halifax-class frigate

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HMCS Regina (FFH 334)
HMCS Regina (FFH 334)
Class overview
Name: Halifax-class frigate
Builders: Canada Saint John Shipbuilding Ltd., Saint John
MIL Davie Shipbuilding, Lauzon
Operators: Royal Canadian Navy
Preceded by: Annapolis-class destroyer
Succeeded by: Single Class Surface Combatant
In commission: 29 June 1992-Present
Completed: 12
Active: Halifax, Vancouver, Ville de Québec, Toronto, Regina, Calgary, Montréal, Fredericton, Winnipeg, Charlottetown, St. John's, Ottawa
General characteristics
Type: Guided missile frigate
Displacement: 4,770 t (4,770.0 t)
Length: 134.1 m (439.96 ft)
Beam: 16.4 m (53.81 ft)
Draught: 4.9 m (16.08 ft)
Propulsion: CODOG
2 × General Electric LM2500 gas turbines, generating 47,500 shp
1 × SEMT Pielstick Diesel engine, generating 8,800 shp
1 × Royal de Schelde cross-connect gearbox
2 × Escher Wyss controllable pitch propellers
4 × 850kW AEG Telefunken generators
Speed: 29 kn (54 km/h; 33 mph)
Range: 9,500 nmi (17,600 km; 10,900 mi)
Complement: 225
Sensors and
processing systems:
Air/Surface Search: Saab Sea Giraffe HC 150 (G band)
Long Range Air Search: Raytheon AN/SPS-49(V)5 (C/D band)
Fire Control: Signaal SPG-503 STIR 1.8 (K/I band)
Active Sonar: AN/SQS-510 Hull-mounted variable depth
Passive Sonar: AN/SQR-501 CANTASS Passive towed array
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
TKWA/MASS (Multi Ammunition Softkill System)
Armament:

8 × MK 141 Harpoon SSM
16 × Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile SAM/SSM
1 × Bofors 57 mm Mk 2 gun
1 × Phalanx CIWS (Mk 15 Mod 21 (Block 1B))
6 × M2 Browning machine guns

24 × Mk 46 torpedoes Mod 5
Aircraft carried: 1 × CH-124 Sea King helicopter

The Halifax-class frigate (hull designation FFH) is a class of multi-role patrol frigates that have served the Royal Canadian Navy since 1992.[1] The class is the product of the Canadian Patrol Frigate Project, which dates to the mid-1970s.

HMCS Halifax was the first of an eventual twelve Canadian-designed and -built vessels which combine traditional anti-submarine capabilities with systems to deal with surface and air threats as well. The Halifax class are the work horses of the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) which deploys them extensively in task groups. All ships of the class are named after major Canadian cities, with at least one from each province (Ontario and Quebec, the most populous provinces, have two each). They are sometimes referred to as "City"-class frigates a term left over from the preconstruction period when names had not been assigned to the hulls.

In 2007 the Canadian government announced a planned refit of the Halifax class which will be known as the Halifax Class Modernization Project (HCMP) or alternately as the Frigate Life Extension (FELEX). In November 2008, a Lockheed Martin-led team including Saab AB, Elisra, IBM Canada, CAE Professional Services, L-3 Electronic Systems and xwave, was awarded the contract.

In October 2011 the Canadian government announced in the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy that it would be ordering 15 warships under the Single Class Surface Combatant Project to replace the 3 Iroquois-class destroyers and 12 Halifax-class frigates, beginning in 2016.

Description[edit]

Weapons systems[edit]

The primary weapon deployed by Halifax-class vessels is the CH-124 Sea King helicopter, which acts in concert with shipboard sensors to seek out and destroy submarines at long distances from the ships. The ships have a helicopter deck fitted with a "bear trap" system allowing the launch and recovery of helicopters in up to sea state 6. It is anticipated that Royal Canadian Air Force's new maritime helicopter, the CH-148 Cyclone, which is slated to replace the Sea King, will be deployed on board the frigates with only minimal alterations to the ships' structure required. The Halifax class also carries a close-in anti-submarine weapon in the form of the Mark 46 torpedo, launched from Mark 32 Mod 9 torpedo tubes in launcher compartments either side of the forward end of the helicopter hangar.

A secondary anti-shipping role is supported by the RGM-84 Harpoon Block 1C surface-to-surface missile, mounted in two quadruple launch tubes at the main deck level between the funnel and the helicopter hangar. For anti-aircraft self-defence the ships are armed with the Sea Sparrow vertical launch surface-to-air missile in two Mk-48 Mod.0 eight-cell launchers placed to port and starboard of the funnel. A Raytheon/General Dynamics Phalanx Mark 15 Mod 21 Close-In Weapon System (CIWS) is mounted on top of the helicopter hangar for "last-ditch" defence against targets that evade the Sea Sparrow. The CIWS includes a thermal imaging camera which provides a surface capability, improved Ku-band radar and optimized gun barrels with a dual firing rate of 3000 or 4500 rounds/min.

The main gun on the fo'c'sle is a 57 mm 70 Mark 3 gun from Bofors. The gun is capable of firing 2.4 kg shells at a rate of 220 rounds/min at a range of more than 17 km. The Bofors is a multi-purpose weapon usable against surface and air targets, but the gun is not very effective for ship-to-shore bombardment.

Countermeasures[edit]

The decoy system comprises four BAE Systems Shield Mark 2 decoy launchers which fire chaff to 2 km and infrared rockets to 169 m in distraction, confusion and centroid seduction modes. The torpedo decoy is the AN/SLQ-25A Nixie towed acoustic decoy from Argon ST. The ship's radar warning receiver, the CANEWS (Canadian Electronic Warfare System), SLQ-501, and the radar jammer, SLQ-505, were developed by Thorn and Lockheed Martin Canada.

Sensors[edit]

Two Thales Nederland (formerly Signaal) SPG-503 (STIR 1.8) fire control radars are installed one on the roof of the bridge and one on the raised radar platform immediately forward of the helicopter hangar. The ship is also fitted with Raytheon AN/SPS-49(V)5 long-range active air search radar operating at C and D bands, Ericsson HC150 Sea Giraffe medium-range air and surface search radar operating at G and H bands, and Kelvin Hughes Type 1007 I-band navigation radar.

The sonar suite includes the CANTASS Canadian Towed Array supplied by General Dynamics – Canada (GD-C), formerly Computing Devices of Canada and GD-C AN/SQS-510 hull mounted sonar and incorporates an acoustic range prediction system. The sonobuoy processing system is the GD-C AN/UYS-503.

Propulsion[edit]

Halifax-class vessels are powered by a CODOG (combined diesel or gas) system with two GE LM2500 gas turbines and one SEMT-Pielstick 20PA6 V280 diesel engine. CAE provided the Integrated Machinery Control System (IMCS). The Halifax class is the first to employ this degree of computer control for the machinery plant, and variants of the CAE system are also installed in other ship classes such as the United States Navy's Arleigh Burke-class.

Refit[edit]

The Government of Canada announced on 5 July 2007 a $3.1 billion refit program for the Halifax class which will take place from 2010–2017 and extend the ships' service lives through 2030.[2] Faced with delays and restrictions from the International Traffic in Arms Regulations, the Navy has opted to modernize the Halifax class using as much non-American equipment as possible, including technology from Canada, Sweden, Germany, Netherlands and Israel. The International Traffic in Arms Regulations have also been blamed for the delay of the CH-148 Cyclone which is currently two years behind the original schedule.[3] The Halifax class will receive state of the art equipment able to handle modern threats through 2030. The modernization includes passive and active weapons, radars, and new combat architecture to meet the modern requirement of the Canadian Forces.

The Halifax class currently use the RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile, instead of the obsolete RIM-7 Sea Sparrow. The ESSM gives a wide range of protection against ships, missiles, aircraft and surface threats.

Thales Canada will provide the modern Sirius long-range Infrared Search and Track (IRST) for the Halifax class. The IRST is currently in use on board the Sachsen-class frigates.[4] The IRST is able to track low radar cross-section aircraft and ships.

The Halifax class will receive a modern combat architecture developed by Lockheed Martin Canada. The new combat architecture will provide a command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence (C4I) capability. Elements of the Saab 9LV Mk4 Combat Management System are incorporated in the “CanACCS-9LV”. The program includes a new combat system and a modernized operations room.[5]

Saab will provide 26 CEROS 200 Fire Control Director. The CEROS 200 is a Radar and Optronic Tracking system which interfaces with advanced anti-ship missiles and gun systems. It provides excellent defence against any modern threats including modern sea skimming anti-ship missiles or any asymmetric threats in littoral environments. The CEROS 200 is part of the 9LV Mk4.

BAE Systems received a contract to upgrade the Bofors 57 mm Mk 2 to Bofors 57 mm Mk 3 configuration. The upgrades will be performed at Karlskoga between 2010–2016, before being installed in Halifax and Victoria.

The Halifax class will be fitted with a modified Sea Giraffe SG-150 multi-function search radar. The SG-150 HC will be upgraded and will secure a high level of operational availability as well improved functions.[6]

The Halifax class will be fitted with the Multi Ammunition Softkill System (MASS) developed by Rheinmetall. MASS is a fully computerized countermeasure. It is connected to the ship's sensors and protects ships from attacks by advanced, sensor-guided missiles by launching decoys that operate in all relevant wavelengths. MASS is currently in use by 15 other navies worldwide.[7]

Elbit Systems received a contract to supply Electronic Warfare equipment for the Halifax class, including active jamming and tracking systems.[8]

Thales will provide 13 Smart-S Mk2 S-band radars, including one for training purposes. These radars are optimized for medium-to-long range search and target designation with a high degree of detection. The Smart-S Mk2 is a 3D multibeam radar which can detect hostile targets in near-shore environments. The deliveries will begin in the end of 2010 and will be completed in 2015.[9]

Raytheon Anschütz will provide at least 12 Pathfinder ST MK 2 Radar systems. The Pathfinder Mark II is designed to provide a modern and flexible navigation tool.[10] The Pathfinder ST Mk 2 radar system is part of the 9LV Mk4.

Rheinmetall Waffe Munition GmbH received a contract to provide 14 Passive Electronic Countermeasures Systems (ECM).[11]

The Department of National Defence has requested a tender to provide a naval remote weapon system (NRWS) defence capability to the Halifax and Iroquois classes. The Halifax class will be fitted with a new close-in weapon system to replace the 12.7mm M2HB heavy machine gun.[12]

Although not part of the refit, Raytheon Canada Limited was awarded a contract of $180 million for 8 years to overhaul, convert and repair all Canadian CIWS to a Block 1B Baseline 1 configuration.[13]

Specifications[edit]

  • Type: Guided missile frigate with helicopter (FFH)
  • Displacement: 4,770 tonnes (full load)
  • Dimensions: 134.1 metres length x 16.4 metres width x 4.9 metres draft
  • Armament:
  • Sensors (pre HCM/FELEX):
    • Air/Surface Search: Saab Sea Giraffe HC 150 (G band)
    • Long Range Air Search: Raytheon AN/SPS-49 (C/D band)
    • Fire Control: Signaal SPG-503 STIR 1.8 (K/I band)
    • Navigational Radar: Kelvin Hughes Type 1007 I-band
    • Active Sonar: AN/SQS-510 Hull-mounted variable depth (range to 27 nm)
    • Passive Sonar: AN/SQR-501 CANTASS Passive towed array
  • Sensors (post HCM/FELEX):
    • Air/Surface Search: Saab Sea Giraffe HC 180 (G band)
    • Long Range Air Search: Thales Smart-S Mk2 S-band radars
    • Fire Control: Saab CEROS 200
    • Navigational Radar: Raytheon Anschütz Pathfinder ST MK 2
    • Active Sonar: AN/SQS-510 Hull-mounted variable depth (range to 27 nm)
    • Passive Sonar: A upgarded AN/SQR-501 CANTASS Passive towed array
    • Combat System: Lockheed Martin Canada designed “CanACCS-9LV”, incorporating elemetsof Saab 9LV.
  • Propulsion: Twin CODOG
  • Speed: 29+ knots (54 km/h)
  • Endurance:
    • 7,100 nautical miles (13,000 km) at 15 knots (28 km/h) (diesel)
    • 4,500 nautical miles (8,300 km) at 15 knots (28 km/h) (turbine)
  • Complement: 225 (including air detachment and firefighting unit).
  • Range: 9,500 nautical miles (18,000 km)

Plans are underway to replace the Sea Sparrow missiles with the Evolved Sea Sparrow, upgrade the towed sonar arrays and fit newer propellers and anechoic tiles to reduce noise emission. HMCS Montréal has already been upgraded in the latter regard. Of note in the structural design of these ships is the distinctive funnel housing, designed to diffuse the vessels' heat signature.

Ships in class[edit]

There are twelve Halifax-class ships in Canadian service:

HMCS Halifax (FFH 330)[edit]

  • Builders: Canada Saint John Shipbuilding Ltd., Saint John
  • Laid down: 19 March 1987
  • Launched: 30 April 1988
  • Operator: Royal Canadian Navy
  • Commissioned: 29 June 1992
  • Status: In active service
  • Modifications:
  • Refit: HCM/Felex SEP 2010-SEP 2011
  • Operations: Apollo (Vanguard Unit)

HMCS Vancouver (FFH 331)[edit]

HMCS Ville de Québec (FFH 332)[edit]

HMCS Toronto (FFH 333)[edit]

HMCS Regina (FFH 334)[edit]

  • Builders: Canada MIL Davie Shipbuilding Ltd., Lauzon
  • Laid down: 6 October 1989
  • Launched: 25 January 1992
  • Operator: Royal Canadian Navy
  • Commissioned: 29 December 1993
  • Status: In active service
  • Modifications:
  • Operations: Op Artemis Roto 2

HMCS Calgary (FFH 335)[edit]

  • Builders: Canada MIL Davie Shipbuilding Ltd., Lauzon
  • Laid down: 15 June 1991
  • Launched: 28 August 1992
  • Operator: Royal Canadian Navy
  • Commissioned: 12 May 1995
  • Status: In active service
  • Modifications:
  • Refit: HCM/FELEX June 2011-June 2012
  • Operations: Operation Altair

HMCS Montréal (FFH 336)[edit]

  • Builders: Canada Saint John Shipbuilding Ltd., Saint John
  • Laid down: 8 February 1991
  • Launched: 28 February 1992
  • Operator: Royal Canadian Navy
  • Commissioned: 21 July 1994
  • Status: In active service
  • Modifications: CH-148 Cyclone
  • Refit: HCM/FELEX JUL 2012 - JUL 2013
  • Operations:

HMCS Fredericton (FFH 337)[edit]

  • Builders: Canada Saint John Shipbuilding Ltd., Saint John
  • Laid down: 25 April 1992
  • Launched: 26 June 1993
  • Operator: Royal Canadian Navy
  • Commissioned:10 September 1994
  • Status: In active service
  • Modifications:
  • Refit: HCM/FELEX OCT 2011-OCT 2012
  • Operations: Op Apollo

HMCS Winnipeg (FFH 338)[edit]

  • Builders: Canada Saint John Shipbuilding Ltd., Saint John
  • Laid down:20 March 1993
  • Launched: 25 June 1994
  • Operator: Royal Canadian Navy
  • Commissioned: 23 June 1996
  • Status: In active service
  • Modifications:
  • Refit: HCM/FELEX APR 2012-APR 2013
  • Operations: Operation SEXTANT, Operation Altair

HMCS Charlottetown (FFH 339)[edit]

  • Builders: Canada Saint John Shipbuilding Ltd., Saint John
  • Laid down: 18 December 1993
  • Launched: 1 October 1994
  • Operator: Royal Canadian Navy
  • Commissioned: 9 September 1995
  • Status: In active service
  • Refit: HCM/FELEX APR 2013-APR 2014
  • Modifications: CIWS Block 1 Bravo, Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM) system
  • Operations: Altair, Apollo, Augmentation, Mobile,[14] Metric

HMCS St. John's (FFH 340)[edit]

  • Builders: Canada Saint John Shipbuilding Ltd., Saint John
  • Laid down: 24 August 1994
  • Launched: 26 August 1995
  • Operator: Royal Canadian Navy
  • Commissioned: 26 June 1996
  • Status: In active service
  • Modifications: ESSM
  • Operations: SNFL NATO '97; SNFM NATO '98; OPOLLO May 1 – November 17, 2002

HMCS Ottawa (FFH 341)[edit]

  • Builders: Canada Saint John Shipbuilding Ltd., Saint John
  • Laid down: 29 April 1995
  • Launched: 31 May 1996
  • Operator: Royal Canadian Navy
  • Commissioned: 28 September 1996
  • Status: In active service
  • Modifications:
  • Operations: Altair

See also[edit]

Other FFH or similar class vessels:

Other Royal Canadian Navy vessels:

References[edit]

  1. ^ Halifax Class Frigates, Canada at navaltechnology.com
  2. ^ "Royal Canadian Navy Halifax-class Frigates Modernization and Life Extension Program". August 22, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Navy says no to buying American U.S. restrictions on technology can lead to delays". The Ottawa Citizen. Retrieved 2010-01-25. 
  4. ^ "Canada & Holland Order 17 SIRIUS Shipboard Long-Range IRST Sensors". Defense Industry Daily. Retrieved 2006-04-26. 
  5. ^ "Lockheed Martin Canada Announces Team to Pursue Halifax Class Modernization Program". Lockheed Martin Canada. Retrieved 2007-04-11. 
  6. ^ "Lockheed Martin sys critical design review on Frigate upgrade reached". Defence Watch. Retrieved 2010-08-17. 
  7. ^ "More Information on Softkill System for Halifax-Class Frigates". Defence Watch. Retrieved 2013-08-07. 
  8. ^ "Elbit Systems awarded $55 million Lockheed Martin". Elbit systems. Retrieved 2009-05-07. 
  9. ^ "CANADIAN FRIGATE MODERNIZATION TO INCLUDE THALES SMART-S Mk2 RADAR". Defence Watch. Retrieved 2009-06-13. 
  10. ^ "NSC Radars for Canadian Navy frigate modernization program". Raytheon- Anschuetz. Retrieved 2009-10-06. 
  11. ^ "Rheinmetall Wins Contract for Halifax Class ECM Systems". Defebce Watcg. Retrieved 2009-04-02. 
  12. ^ "CF Weapons - NRWS Project - Naval Remote Weapon Station - CASR - Canadian American Strategic Review - Halifax Frigate - Iroquois Destroyer - RCHMG Project - Kingston MCDV - AOPS Project - Military Contracts - Canadian Forces - Department of National Defence - Procurement Priorities". Retrieved 2013-08-08. 
  13. ^ "Raytheon Canada Limited: Private Company Information - Businessweek". Retrieved 2013-08-08. 
  14. ^ "Canadian warship departs for Libya". 3 March 2011. Retrieved 2013-08-08. 

External links[edit]

Official ship websites: