HMAS Parramatta (FFH 154)
HMAS Parramatta in 2013
|Builder:||Tenix Defence Systems|
|Laid down:||5 June 1999|
|Launched:||17 June 2000|
|Commissioned:||4 October 2003|
|Homeport:||Fleet Base East|
|Status:||Active as of 2016|
|Class and type:||Anzac-class frigate|
|Displacement:||3,600 tonnes full load|
|Length:||118 m (387 ft)|
|Beam:||15 m (49 ft)|
|Draught:||4 m (13 ft)|
|Speed:||27 knots (50 km/h; 31 mph)|
|Range:||6,000 nautical miles (11,000 km; 6,900 mi) at 18 knots (33 km/h; 21 mph)|
|Complement:||approximately 170 sailors|
|Aircraft carried:||1 × SH-60 Seahawk|
HMAS Parramatta (FFH 154) is an Anzac-class frigate of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). One of ten warships built for the RAN and Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) based on the MEKO 200 design, Parramatta was laid down in 1999, launched in 2003, and commissioned into the RAN in 2003. During her career, the frigate has been deployed to the Middle East on several occasions. In early 2015, Parramatta was docked to undergo the Anti-Ship Missile Defence (ASMD) upgrade. She completed these upgrades in April 2016 and will conduct trials until she rejoins the fleet in July.
Design and construction
The Anzac class originated from RAN plans to replace the six River-class destroyer escorts with a mid-capability patrol frigate. The Australian shipbuilding industry was thought to be incapable of warship design, so the RAN decided to take a proven foreign design and modify it. Around the same time, the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) was looking to replace four Leander-class frigates; a deterioration in New Zealand-United States relations, the need to improve alliances with nearby nations, and the commonalities between the RAN and RNZN ships' requirements led the two nations to begin collaborating on the acquisition in 1987. Tenders were requested by the Anzac Ship Project at the end of 1986, with 12 ship designs (including an airship) submitted. By August 1987, the tenders were narrowed down in October to Blohm + Voss's MEKO 200 design, the M class (later Karel Doorman class) offered by Royal Schelde, and a scaled-down Type 23 frigate proposed by Yarrow Shipbuilders. In 1989, the Australian government announced that Melbourne-based shipbuilder AMECON (which became Tenix Defense) would build the modified MEKO 200 design. The Australians ordered eight ships, while New Zealand ordered two, with an unexercised option for two more.
The Anzacs are based on Blohm + Voss' MEKO 200 PN (or Vasco da Gama-class) frigates, modified to meet Australian and New Zealand specifications and maximise the use of locally built equipment. Each frigate has a 3,600-tonne (3,500-long-ton; 4,000-short-ton) full load displacement. The ships are 109 metres (358 ft) long at the waterline, and 118 metres (387 ft) long overall, with a beam of 14.8 metres (49 ft), and a full load draught of 4.35 metres (14.3 ft). A Combined Diesel or Gas (CODOG) propulsion machinery layout is used, with a single, 30,172-horsepower (22,499 kW) General Electric LM2500-30 gas turbine and two 8,840-horsepower (6,590 kW) MTU 12V1163 TB83 diesel engines driving the ship's two controllable-pitch propellers. Maximum speed is 27 knots (50 km/h; 31 mph), and maximum range is over 6,000 nautical miles (11,000 km; 6,900 mi) at 18 knots (33 km/h; 21 mph); about 50% greater than other MEKO 200 designs. The standard ship's company of an Anzac consists of 22 officers and 141 sailors.
As designed, the main armament for the frigate is a 5-inch 54 calibre Mark 45 gun, supplemented by an eight-cell Mark 41 vertical launch system (for RIM-7 Sea Sparrow or RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow missiles), two 12.7-millimetre (0.50 in) machine guns, and two Mark 32 triple torpedo tube sets (initially firing Mark 46 torpedoes, but later upgraded to use the MU90 Impact torpedo). They were also designed for but not with a close-in weapons system (two Mini Typhoons fitted when required from 2005 onwards), two quad-canister Harpoon anti-ship missile launchers (which were installed across the RAN vessels from 2005 onwards), and a second Mark 41 launcher (which has not been added). The Australian Anzacs use a Sikorsky S-70B-2 Seahawk helicopter; plans to replace them with Kaman SH-2G Super Seasprites were cancelled in 2008 due to ongoing problems.
Parramatta was laid down at Williamstown, Victoria on 24 April 1999. The ship was assembled from six hull modules and six superstructure modules; the superstructure modules were fabricated in Whangarei, New Zealand, and hull modules were built at both Williamstown and Newcastle, New South Wales, with final integration at Williamstown. She was launched on 17 June 2000. Parramatta was commissioned into the RAN on 4 October 2003.
In 2005, Parramatta was sent for six months service in the Persian Gulf as part of Operation Catalyst, returning to Sydney on 13 April 2006. Parramatta and HMAS Newcastle were the first RAN ships to be fitted with two M2HB .50 calibre machine guns in Mini Typhoon mounts; now a standard theatre fit for all RAN frigates deployed to the Persian Gulf. During the deployment period, her crew carried out 186 vessel boardings and security patrols, and were involved in training other vessels in the Iraq Coalition. Parramatta was awarded the Meritorious Unit Citation in 2007 for her efforts and conduct during this deployment.
In November 2014, Parramatta and sister ship Stuart were deployed to shadow a Russian naval force operating in international waters off Australia during the 2014 G-20 Brisbane summit. The Russian deployment was believed to be in response to troubled recent relationships between the two nations.
Parramatta was docked in March 2015 to undergo the Anti-Ship Missile Defence (ASMD) upgrade. The upgrade will include the fitting of CEA Technologies' CEAFAR and CEAMOUNT phased array radars on new masts, a Vampir NG Infrared Search and Track system, and Sharpeye Navigational Radar Systems, along with improvements to the operations room equipment and layout. The upgrade was completed in April 2016 and she will rejoin the fleet in July.
- Jones, in Stevens, The Royal Australian Navy, p. 244
- Fairall-Lee, Miller, & Murphy, in Forbes, Sea Power, p. 336
- Grazebrook, Anzac frigates sail diverging courses
- Greener, Timing is everything, pp. 23–9
- Jones, in Stevens, The Royal Australian Navy, p. 245
- Greener, Timing is everything, p. 30
- Greener, Timing is everything, p. 31
- Wertheim (ed.), The Naval Institute Guide to Combat Fleets of the World, p. 20
- Greener, Timing is everything, pp. 43–4
- Wertheim, The Naval Institute Guide to Combat Fleets of the World, pp. 20–1
- Sharpe (ed.), Jane's Fighting Ships 1998–99, pgs. 25, 470
- Wertheim, The Naval Institute Guide to Combat Fleets of the World, pp. 21
- Fish & Grevatt, Australia's HMAS Toowoomba test fires MU90 torpedo
- Scott, Updating ANZACs to meet changed strategic posture
- Scott, Enhanced small-calibre systems offer shipborne stopping power
- Grevatt, Australia cancels troubled Super Seasprite programme
- Forbes, How a helicopter deal flew into trouble
- Hey, little fella - I'm your daddy, in The Sydney Morning Herald
- Operation Catalyst (Iraq), HMAS Parramatta, in It's an Honour
- Nicholson, Navy races to rescue Iranians in distress
- "Participating Warships". International Fleet Review 2013 website. Royal Australian Navy. 2013. Archived from the original on 10 December 2013. Retrieved 14 December 2015.
- Nicholson, Brendan; Martin, Sarah; Markson, Sharri (13 November 2014). "Troubled waters as Russians send warships". The Australian Business Review. Retrieved 13 November 2014.
- Henderson, New-look, new crew
- Kerr, Julian; Scott, Richard (22 April 2016). "RAN ANZAC frigate completes ASMD upgrade". IHS Jane's 360. IHS Jane's Navy International. Retrieved 23 April 2016.
- Fairall-Lee, Sam; Miller, Kate; Murphy, David (2007). "The Royal Australian Navy in 2030". In Andrew Forbes. Sea Power: Challenges Old and New. Ultimo, NSW: Halstead Press. ISBN 978-1-920831-44-8.
- Greener, Peter (2009). Timing is everything: the politics and processes of New Zealand defence acquisition decision making. Canberra Papers on Strategy and Defence. No. 173. Canberra, ACT: ANU E Press. ISBN 978-1-921536-65-6. Retrieved 1 September 2011.
- Jones, Peter (2001). "A Period of Change and Uncertainty". 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.
- Sharpe, Richard, ed. (1998). Jane's Fighting Ships 1998–99 (101st ed.). Coulsdon, Surrey: Jane's Information Group. ISBN 0-7106-1795-X. OCLC 39372676.
- Wertheim, Eric, ed. (2007). The Naval Institute Guide to Combat Fleets of the World: Their Ships, Aircraft, and Systems (15th ed.). Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 978-1-59114-955-2. OCLC 140283156.
- 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.
- Grazebrook, A.W. (1 November 1996). "Anzac frigates sail diverging courses". Jane's Navy International. Jane's Information Group. 101 (009).
- Jon, Grevatt (5 March 2008). "Australia cancels troubled Super Seasprite programme". Jane's Defence Industry. Jane's Information Group.
- Scott, Richard (16 December 2005). "Updating ANZACs to meet changed strategic posture". Jane's Navy International. Jane's Information Group.
- Scott, Richard (12 December 2007). "Enhanced small-calibre systems offer shipborne stopping power". International Defence Review. Jane's Information Group.
- "ASMD Upgrade commences on Perth". The Navy. The Navy League of Australia. 72 (2): 16–17. April 2010.
- News articles
- Forbes, Mark (17 June 2002). "How a helicopter deal flew into trouble". The Age. Retrieved 20 September 2011.
- Henderson, Marc (23 April 2015). "New-look, new crew". Navy News. Royal Australian Navy. p. 8. Retrieved 20 April 2015.
- Nicholson, Brendan (30 December 2011). "Navy races to rescue Iranians in distress". The Australian. Retrieved 6 January 2012.
- "Hey, little fella - I'm your daddy". The Sydney Morning Herald. 14 April 2006. Retrieved 14 April 2006.
- "Operation Catalyst (Iraq), HMAS Parramatta". It's an Honour. Australian Government. Retrieved 29 October 2011.
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