Anzac (FFH 150) is the lead ship of the Anzac-class frigates in use
with the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and the Royal New Zealand Navy
(RNZN). Entering Australian service in 1996, the frigate operated as
part of the INTERFET peacekeeping taskforce in 1999. In 2003, she
was involved in the Battle of Al Faw, and became the first RAN ship
to fire in anger since the Vietnam War. The ship is operational as
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.
Anzac was laid down at Williamstown, Victoria on 5 November 1993.
The ship was assembled from six hull modules and six superstructure
modules, but unlike later ships in the class, which had modules
fabricated at three sites, Anzac was built entirely at Williamstown.
The frigate was launched on 16 September 1994 by Army nurse Vivian
Statham. Anzac was commissioned into the RAN at Station Pier in
Melbourne on 18 May 1996. The ship's name is in recognition of the
Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZACs) and their service
during World War I.
In October 1997, the Anzac conducted Operation Dirk supported by
HMAS Westralia targeting illegal fishing vessels in the Southern
Ocean catching the Patagonian toothfish around Heard Island and
McDonald Islands in the Australian Fisheries Zone with the Salvora
and the Aliza Glacial apprehended boarded by Clearance divers.
Anzac was deployed to East Timor as part of the Australian-led
INTERFET peacekeeping taskforce from 19 to 29 September 1999. The
ship was later awarded the battle honour "East Timor 1999" in
recognition of this deployment.
Between 2001 and 2003, Anzac was deployed to the Persian Gulf on
Anzac was deployed to the Persian Gulf for the third time from
February until May 2003, as part of Operation Falconer. On 21 March
2003, Anzac provided naval gunfire support during the Battle of Al
Faw. The intent of the assault was to capture the Al Faw Peninsula
before Iraqi forces could sabotage the two major oil terminals in
the area. The frigate began her first fire support mission at 06:04
on 21 March (the first time a RAN ship had fired in anger in 31
years) and completed seven fire missions over a three-day period.
The frigate received the Meritorious Unit Citation on 27 November
2003 for her service during this deployment. In March 2010, Anzac
was awarded the battle honours "Persian Gulf 2001–03" and "Iraq
In 2005, Anzac participated in a Northern Trident deployment: a
round-the-world voyage intended as a flag-showing cruise to the
northern hemisphere. As part of this deployment, Anzac was involved
in ceremonies for the 90th anniversary of the Gallipoli landings,
and participated in the fleet review for the bicentenary of the
battle of Trafalgar.
On the morning of 13 March 2009, Anzac 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 was one of the thirteen ships
involved in the ceremonial entry through Sydney Heads, and anchored
in the harbour for the review.
Anzac was assigned to Rotation 29 of Operation Slipper from July
2012 to January 2013 as part of the International Coalition Against
Terrorism (ICAT), and which included counter-piracy in the Arabian
Sea region and elsewhere.
During 2014, Anzac was the third ship of the class to undergo the
Anti-Ship Missile Defence (ASMD) upgrade. The upgrade occurred
across 2014 and early 2015, the upgrade included 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.
Between March and October 2015, Anzac sailed on a second Northern
Trident deployment. The 27,000-nautical-mile (50,000 km; 31,000 mi)
circumnavigation included port visits to 11 countries and
participation in commemorative services for the Gallipoli and
Anzac has received freedom of entry to the city of Albany, Western
Australia: Albany was the port the first convoy of the ANZACs
departed Australia from.