Frigate, Helicopter (FFH)

The Royal Australian Navy currently uses the Anzac Class FFH (Frigate Helicopter).

The Anzac Class is based on the German Meko 200 frigate design with eight ships constructed in Australia for the Royal Australian Navy.

Anzac Class is a long-range frigate capable of air defence, surface and undersea warfare, surveillance, reconnaissance and interdiction. Combat capabilities have been significantly improved under the Anti-Ship Missile Defence upgrade program, a world class program that provides an enhanced sensor and weapons systems capability. The upgrade showcases Australian design and integration capability, with new Phased Array Radar technology designed by CEA Technologies in Canberra, upgrades to combat systems performed by Saab Systems in South Australia, and platform integration design by BAE Systems in Victoria.

The ships are fitted with an advanced package of air and surface surveillance radars; omni-directional hull mounted sonar and electronic support systems that interface with the state-of-the-art 9LV453 Mk3E combat data system. They can counter simultaneous threats from aircraft, surface vessels and submarines.

Main armament comprises one five inch (127 mm) gun capable of firing 20 rounds per minute, ship launched Mk 46 torpedoes and a Mk 41 vertical launch system for the Evolved Sea Sparrow point defence missile. The Anzac Class also has eight anti-ship/land attack canister launched harpoon missiles. Other defence systems include the Nulka active missile decoy system, offboard chaff and a torpedo countermeasures system.

The frigates feature a ‘combined diesel or gas’ (CODOG) propulsion plant which enables the ship to sustain sprint speeds of greater than 27 knots and allows an operational range in excess of 6000 nautical miles at 18 knots.

Navy's latest multi-role MH-60R Seahawk helicopter can be embarked on the FFH frigates. The ‘Romeo’ capabilities include enhanced anti-submarine, anti-surface warfare and search and rescue capabilities. Embarkation of a helicopter also provides the ship with the capability to deliver air-launched missiles and torpedoes.

Several Anzac Class frigates are currently undergoing the Anzac Mid-Life Capability Assurance Program (AMCAP) upgrade at the Australian Marine Complex in Henderson, Western Australia (see list below). The upgrade is being performed by the Warship Asset Management Agreement (WAMA) Alliance and will include the replacement of the Long Range Air search radar, IFF (Identification, Friend or Foe) and secondary surveillance radar capabilities. Anzac will also undergo a platform systems obsolescence program to improve platform reliability and maintainability. Work will also be done to improve the ship’s habitability for the crew. Also, an upgrade to the ship’s communications systems will resolve a number of obsolescence issues.

Following is a list of FFH frigates currently commissioned in the Royal Australian Navy.