HMAS Darwin (FFG 04)
|Namesake:||City of Darwin|
|Builder:||Todd Pacific Shipyards, Seattle, Washington|
|Laid down:||3 July 1981|
|Launched:||26 March 1982|
|Commissioned:||21 July 1984|
|Nickname:||FFG-44 (US hull designation during construction)|
East Timor 1999
Persian Gulf 2002-03
|Status:||Active as of 2015|
|Class and type:||Adelaide-class guided missile frigate|
|Length:||138.1 m (453 ft) overall|
|Beam:||13.7 m (45 ft)|
|Draught:||7.5 m (25 ft)|
|Propulsion:||2 × General Electric LM2500 gas turbines, 41,000 horsepower (31,000 kW), 1 shaft
2 x 650-horsepower (480 kW) auxiliary propulsors
|Speed:||29 knots (54 km/h; 33 mph)|
|Range:||4,500 nautical miles (8,300 km; 5,200 mi) at 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph)|
|Complement:||184 (including 15 officers, not including aircrew)|
|AN/SPS-49 air search radar
AN/SPS-55 surface search and navigation radar
SPG-60 fire control radar (Mark 92 fire control system)
AN/SQS-56 hull-mounted sonar
|Armament:||1 × Mark 13 Missile Launcher for Harpoon and Standard missiles
1 × 8-cell Mark 41 VLS with Evolved Sea Sparrow missiles
2 × Mark 32 torpedo tubes
1 × OTO Melara 76 mm naval gun
1 × 20 mm Phalanx CIWS
Up to 6 x 12.7-millimetre (0.50 in) machine guns
2 x M2HB .50 calibre Mini Typhoons (fitted as required)
|Aircraft carried:||2 helicopters|
HMAS Darwin (FFG 04), named for the capital city of the Northern Territory, is an Adelaide-class guided-missile frigate of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). One of four ships ordered from the United States, Darwin entered service in 1984. During her career, she has operated in the Persian Gulf, as part of the INTERFET peacekeeping taskforce, and off the Solomon Islands. The frigate underwent a major upgrade during 2007 and 2008, and is actively serving as of 2015.
Design and construction
Following the cancellation of the Australian light destroyer project in 1973, the British Type 42 destroyer and the American Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate were identified as alternatives to replace the cancelled light destroyers and the Daring-class destroyers. Although the Oliver Hazard Perry class was still at the design stage, the difficulty of fitting the Type 42 with the SM-1 missile, and the success of the Perth-class acquisition (a derivative of the American Charles F. Adams-class destroyer) compared to equivalent British designs led the Australian government to approve the purchase of two US-built Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates in 1976. A third was ordered in 1977, followed by a fourth (Darwin), with all four ships integrated into the USN's shipbuilding program. A further two ships were ordered in 1980, and were constructed in Australia.
As designed, the ship had a full load displacement of 4,100 tons, a length overall of 138.1 metres (453 ft), a beam of 13.7 metres (45 ft), and a draught of 24.5 metres (80 ft). Propulsion machinery consists of two General Electric LM2500 gas turbines, which provide a combined 41,000 horsepower (31,000 kW) to the single propeller shaft. Top speed is 29 knots (54 km/h; 33 mph), with a range of 4,500 nautical miles (8,300 km; 5,200 mi) at 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph). Two 650-horsepower (480 kW) electric auxiliary propulsors are used for close manoeuvring, with a top speed of 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph). Standard ship's company is 184, including 15 officers, but excluding the flight crew for the embarked helicopters.
Original armament for the ship consisted of a Mark 13 missile launcher configured to fire RIM-66 Standard and RGM-84 Harpoon missiles, supplemented by an OTO Melara 76-millimetre (3.0 in) gun and a Vulcan Phalanx point-defence system. As part of the mid-2000s FFG Upgrade Project, an eight-cell Mark 41 Vertical Launch System was fitted, with a payload of RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow missiles. For anti-submarine warfare, two Mark 32 torpedo tube sets are fitted; originally firing the Mark 44 torpedo, the Adelaides later carried the Mark 46, then the MU90 Impact following the FFG Upgrade. Up to six 12.7-millimetre (0.50 in) machine guns can be carried for close-in defence, and since 2005, two M2HB .50 calibre machine guns in Mini Typhoon mounts have been installed when needed for Persian Gulf deployments. The sensor suite includes an AN/SPS-49 air search radar, AN/SPS-55 surface search and navigation radar, SPG-60 fire control radar connected to a Mark 92 fire control system, and an AN/SQS-56 hull-mounted sonar. Two helicopters can be embarked: either two S-70B Seahawk or one Seahawk and one AS350B Squirrel.
The ship was laid down by Todd Pacific Shipyards at Seattle, Washington on 3 July 1981, to the Perry class Flight III design. The Adelaides were built as part of the United States Navy's construction program, so were assigned USN hull numbers; Darwin was FFG-44. She was launched on 26 March 1982, and commissioned into the RAN on 21 July 1984.
On the morning of 13 March 2009, Darwin 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 did not participate in the fleet entry, but was anchored in the harbour for the review.
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- Frame, Pacific Partners, pp. 102, 162
- Frame, Pacific Partners, p. 162
- MacDougall, Australians at war, p. 345
- Hooton, Perking-up the Perry class
- Moore (ed.), Jane's Fighting Ships 1977-78 , p. 25
- Sharpe (ed.), Jane's Fighting Ships 1998-99, p. 26
- Australia's Hazard(ous) Frigate Upgrade, in Defense Industry Daily
- Fish & Grevatt, Australia's HMAS Toowoomba test fires MU90 torpedo
- Scott, Enhanced small-calibre systems offer shipborne stopping power
- "HMAS Darwin". Royal Australian Navy. Retrieved 14 October 2010.
- Stevens, David (2007). Strength Through Diversity: The combined naval role in Operation Stabilise (PDF). Working Papers 20. Canberra: Sea Power Centre - Australia. p. 15. ISBN 978-0-642-29676-4. ISSN 1834-7231. Retrieved 6 September 2010.
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- 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.
- Frame, Tom (1992). Pacific Partners: a history of Australian-American naval relations. Rydalmere, NSW: Hodder & Stoughton. ISBN 0-340-56685-X. OCLC 27433673.
- Jones, Peter (2001). "1972–1983: Towards Self-Reliance". In Stevens, David. 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.
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- Journal articles
- Fish, Tim; Grevatt, Jon (24 June 2008). "Australia's HMAS Toowoomba test fires MU90 torpedo". Jane's Navy International (Jane's Information Group).
- Hooton, E.R. (1 December 1996). "Perking-up the Perry class". Jane's International Defence Review (Jane's Information Group) 9 (9).
- Scott, Richard (12 December 2007). "Enhanced small-calibre systems offer shipborne stopping power". International Defence Review (Jane's Information Group).
- "Australia's Hazard(ous) Frigate Upgrade". Defense Industry Daily. Watershed Publishing. 14 January 2008. Retrieved 21 April 2008.
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