HMAS Perth (FFH 157) – Wikipedia

Anzac-class frigate of Royal Australian Navy

HMAS Perth following ASMD refit.jpg

HMAS Perth (FFH 157) at sea following her Anti-Ship Missile Defence upgrade

Namesake Perth
Builder Tenix Defence
Laid down 24 July 2003
Launched 20 March 2004
Commissioned 26 August 2006
Homeport Fleet Base West
Identification MMSI number: 503100000
Motto “Fight And Flourish”
Honours and
Nine inherited battle honours
Status Active as of 2019
Badge Ship's badge
General characteristics
Class and type Anzac-class frigate
Displacement 3,810 tonnes full load
Length 118 m (387 ft)
Beam 15 m (49 ft)
Draught 4 m (13 ft)
  • 1 × General Electric LM 2500 gas turbine providing 30,000 hp (22.5 mW)
  • 2 × MTU 12v 1163 TB83 diesels providing 8,840 hp (6.5 mW)
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
Sensors and
processing systems
  • Sonars: Thomson Sintra Spherion B Mod 5; hull-mounted; active search and attack; medium frequency. Provision for towed array
  • Air search radar: Raytheon AN/SPS-49(V)8 ANZ (C/D-band)
  • Search radar: CEA Technologies CEAFAR Active Phased Array Radar (S Band)
  • Navigation: Kelvin Hughes Sharpeye (I-band)
  • Passive Detection: Sagem Vampir NG Infrared Search/track
  • Target Illumination Radar: CEA Technologies CEAMOUNT Active Phased Array Illuminator (X Band)
  • Combat data systems: Saab 9LV 453 Mk 3E.Link 11& Link16
  • Weapons control: Saab 9LV 453 radar/optronic director with CEA Solid State Continuous Wave Illuminator
Electronic warfare
& decoys
  • ESM: Racal modified Sceptre A (radar intercept), Telefunken PST-1720 Telegon 10 (comms intercept)
  • Countermeasures: Decoys: G & D Aircraft SRBOC Mk 36 Mod 1 decoy launchers for SRBOC, BAE Systems Nulka active missile decoy
  • Guns : 1 × 5 in/54 (127 mm) Mk 45 Mod 2 gun, 2 × Rafael Mini Typhoon 12.7mm (.50 cal) CIWS, small arms
  • Missiles: 2 × 4 Harpoon Block II anti-ship missiles, Mk 41 Mod 5 VLS for Sea Sparrow and Evolved Sea Sparrow
  • Torpedoes: 2 × triple 324 mm Mk 32 Mod 5 tubes with MU 90 Torpedo
Aircraft carried 1 × Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk
Notes Post-Anti-Ship Missile Defence Project upgrade. See class article for original configuration.

HMAS Perth (FFH 157) is an Anzac-class frigate of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). The last ship of the class to be completed, she was built by Tenix Defence and commissioned into the RAN in 2006. In 2007, Perth became the first major warship of the RAN to be commanded by a woman. During 2010 and 2011, the frigate was used as the testbed for a major upgrade to the Anzac class’ ability to defend themselves from anti-ship missiles.

Design and construction[edit]

The Anzac class originated from RAN plans to replace the six River-class destroyer escorts with a mid-capability patrol frigate.[1][2][3] 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.[1][3] 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.[4][5] Tenders were requested by the Anzac Ship Project at the end of 1986, with 12 ship designs (including an airship) submitted.[1][6] 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.[5][7] In 1989, the Australian government announced that Melbourne-based shipbuilder AMECON (which became Tenix Defence) would build the modified MEKO 200 design.[3][5][7] The Australians ordered eight ships, while New Zealand ordered two, with an unexercised option for two more.[8][9]

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.[3][10] Each frigate has a 3,600-tonne (3,500-long-ton; 4,000-short-ton) full load displacement.[11] 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).[11] 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.[3][11] 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.[3][11][12]

Closeup of Perths CEAFAR phased array radars installed as part of the ASMD Project

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).[3][11][13] 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).[3][14][15] 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.[3][16][17]

Perth was laid down at Williamstown, Victoria, on 24 July 2003.[8] 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.[3] She was launched on 20 March 2004, and commissioned into the RAN on 26 August 2006[8] in Fremantle, Western Australia (the closest port to the ship’s namesake city).[citation needed]Perth was the final Anzac-class ship to be constructed.[8]

Operational history[edit]

In mid-2007, Commander Michele Miller became the first woman to command a major RAN warship when she assumed command of Perth.[18]

On 18 January 2010, Perth docked at the Australian Marine Complex in Henderson, Western Australia to be modified under the Anti-Ship Missile Defence Project.[19] The upgrade, intended to improve the class’ anti-ship self-defence capability, included the fitting of CEA Technologies’ CEAFAR and CEAMOUNT phased array radars, a Vampir NG Infrared Search and Track system, and Sharpeye Navigational Radar Systems, along with improvements to the operations room equipment and layout.[19] Both of the frigate’s masts were replaced; the top of the aft mast now sits at 38.7 metres (127 ft), making Perth the second-tallest ship in the RAN.[19][20] Because of the added equipment, additional ballast was added to improve the frigate’s stability, and the ship’s quarterdeck was enclosed.[20] The additional weight brought the ship’s full load displacement to 3,810 tons.[21] After the upgrade was completed in October 2010, Perth was used to trial the modifications before they were rolled out to the rest of the Australian Anzacs: alongside and harbour trials at HMAS Stirling were successfully completed in February 2011, and full sea trials began on 21 February.[20][22] On 27 April, the frigate sailed to the east coast of Australia to continue trials, with further testing to occur at the United States Navy’s Pacific Missile Range Facility, then during Exercise Talisman Sabre.[23] Testing was completed by July 2011, and the rollout of the ASMD upgrade across the class was approved in November 2011.[24]

In October 2013, Perth participated in the International Fleet Review 2013 in Sydney.[25]

During February and March 2015, an MH-60R Seahawk Romeo helicopter from 725 Squadron RAN was embarked aboard Perth for at-sea trials of the new helicopter.[26]

In June 2016 Perth was deployed to the Middle East Region on Operation Manitou as part of the coalition taskforce to stop criminal activities such as piracy and drug trafficking. Perth was the Royal Australian Navy’s 63rd ship rotation since 1991.

Perth at the Australian Marine Complex hardstand

In 2017 the Navy decided to place Perth in ‘extended readiness’ from December that year as it was unable to crew the vessel.[27] From late 2018, Perth underwent the Anzac-class frigate Midlife Capability Assurance Program (AMCAP) upgrade at the Australian Marine Complex, Henderson, Western Australia.[28] In 2019 it was reported that Perth would not re-enter service until 2021 as the Navy still did not have enough sailors to form a crew.[27] The crew of HMAS Arunta were transferred to Perth in early 2021, and the ship was scheduled to begin sea trials following the upgrades in June that year.[29]


  1. ^ a b c Jones, in Stevens, The Royal Australian Navy, p. 244
  2. ^ Fairall-Lee, Miller, & Murphy, in Forbes, Sea Power, p. 336
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Grazebrook, Anzac frigates sail diverging courses
  4. ^ Greener, Timing is everything, pp. 23–9
  5. ^ a b c Jones, in Stevens, The Royal Australian Navy, p. 245
  6. ^ Greener, Timing is everything, p. 30
  7. ^ a b Greener, Timing is everything, p. 31
  8. ^ a b c d Wertheim (ed.), The Naval Institute Guide to Combat Fleets of the World, p. 20
  9. ^ Greener, Timing is everything, pp. 43–4
  10. ^ Wertheim, The Naval Institute Guide to Combat Fleets of the World, pp. 20–1
  11. ^ a b c d e Sharpe (ed.), Jane’s Fighting Ships 1998–99, pgs. 25, 470
  12. ^ Wertheim, The Naval Institute Guide to Combat Fleets of the World, pp. 21
  13. ^ Fish & Grevatt, Australia’s HMAS Toowoomba test fires MU90 torpedo
  14. ^ Scott, Updating ANZACs to meet changed strategic posture
  15. ^ Scott, Enhanced small-calibre systems offer shipborne stopping power
  16. ^ Grevatt, Australia cancels troubled Super Seasprite programme
  17. ^ Forbes, How a helicopter deal flew into trouble
  18. ^ Argirides, Women in the RAN, p. 216
  19. ^ a b c ASMD Upgrade commences on Perth, in The Navy
  20. ^ a b c Nelson, Anti-Ship Missile Defence trials head to sea
  21. ^ Saunders (ed.), IHS Jane’s Fighting Ships 2012–2013, p. 29
  22. ^ Scott, HMAS Perth begins pilot ANZAC frigate ASMD refit
  23. ^ Mouritz, Perth hints at shape of future
  24. ^ Clare, New Cutting Edge Missile Defence System for ANZAC Ships
  25. ^ “Participating Warships”. International Fleet Review 2013 website. Royal Australian Navy. 2013. Archived from the original on 10 December 2013. Retrieved 14 December 2015.
  26. ^ Roscoe, Robert (26 February 2015). “Glimpse at future”. Navy News. p. 3. Retrieved 23 February 2015.
  27. ^ a b Tillett, Andrew (17 June 2019). “Frigate’s return to service delayed by too few sailors”. Australian Financial Review. Retrieved 26 May 2021.
  28. ^ “HMAS Anzac set to start latest warship upgrade program”. Defence Connect. 11 September 2018. Retrieved 4 October 2019.
  29. ^ “Crew meets mayor of ship’s namesake”. Department of Defence. 1 June 2021. Retrieved 2 June 2021.


  • Argirides, Andrea (2007). “Women in the RAN: The Road to Command at Sea”. In Forbes, Andrew; Lovi, Michelle (eds.). Australian Maritime Issues 2006 (PDF). Papers in Australian Maritime Affairs. Sea Power Centre – Australia. pp. 213–7. ISBN 978-0-642-29644-3. ISSN 1327-5658. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 June 2011. Retrieved 29 October 2011.
    • The chapter is available separately as Semaphore, Issue 19, 2006 in PDF and HTML formats.
  • Fairall-Lee, Sam; Miller, Kate; Murphy, David (2007). “The Royal Australian Navy in 2030”. In Andrew Forbes (ed.). 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. Vol. No. 173. Canberra, ACT: ANU E Press. ISBN 978-1-921536-65-6. Archived from the original on 7 April 2011. Retrieved 1 September 2011.
  • Jones, Peter (2001). “A Period of Change and Uncertainty”. In Stevens, David (ed.). 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.
  • Saunders, Stephen, ed. (2012). IHS Jane’s Fighting Ships 2012–2013. Jane’s Fighting Ships. Coulsdon: IHS Jane’s. ISBN 9780710630087. OCLC 793688752.
  • 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 (9).
  • Jon, Grevatt (5 March 2008). “Australia cancels troubled Super Seasprite programme”. Jane’s Defence Industry. Jane’s Information Group.
  • Mouritz, Katey (12 May 2011). “Perth hints at shape of future”. Navy News. Royal Australian Navy. p. 6.
  • 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.
  • Scott, Richard (5 May 2010). “HMAS Perth begins pilot ANZAC frigate ASMD refit”. 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
Press releases

External links[edit]


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