Anzac class frigate

Anzac class frigate

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The Anzac class (also identified as the ANZAC class and the MEKO 200 ANZ type) is a ship class
Ship class
A ship class is a group of ships of a similar design. This is distinct from a ship-type, which might reflect a similarity of tonnage or intended use. For example, the is a nuclear aircraft carrier of the Nimitz class....

 of ten frigates; eight operated by the Royal Australian Navy
Royal Australian Navy
The Royal Australian Navy is the naval branch of the Australian Defence Force. Following the Federation of Australia in 1901, the ships and resources of the separate colonial navies were integrated into a national force: the Commonwealth Naval Forces...

 (RAN) and two operated by the Royal New Zealand Navy
Royal New Zealand Navy
The Royal New Zealand Navy is the maritime arm of the New Zealand Defence Force...

 (RNZN). During the 1980s, the RAN began plans to replace the River class destroyer escort
River class destroyer escort
The River class was a class of six destroyer escorts operated by the Royal Australian Navy . Plans to acquire four vessels, based on the British Type 12M frigate, began in the 1950s. The first two vessels had some slight modifications to the design, while the next two underwent further changes...

s with a mid-capability patrol frigate, and settled on the idea of modifying a proven foreign design for Australian conditions. Around the same time, the RNZN was seeking to replace their Leander class frigates
Leander class frigate
The Leander class, or Type 12I frigates, comprising twenty-six vessels, was among the most numerous and long-lived classes of frigate in the Royal Navy's modern history. The class was built in three batches between 1959 and 1973...

 while maintaining blue-water capabilities
Blue-water navy
The term blue-water navy is a colloquialism used to describe a maritime force capable of operating across the deep waters of open oceans. While what actually constitutes such a force remains undefined, there is a requirement for the ability to exercise sea control at wide ranges...

. A souring of relations between between New Zealand and the United States of America in relation to New Zealand's nuclear-free zone
New Zealand's nuclear-free zone
In 1984, Prime Minister David Lange barred nuclear-powered or nuclear-armed ships from using New Zealand ports or entering New Zealand waters. Under the New Zealand Nuclear Free Zone, Disarmament, and Arms Control Act 1987, territorial sea, land and airspace of New Zealand became nuclear-free zones...

 and the ANZUS
ANZUS
The Australia, New Zealand, United States Security Treaty is the military alliance which binds Australia and New Zealand and, separately, Australia and the United States to cooperate on defence matters in the Pacific Ocean area, though today the treaty is understood to relate to attacks...

 security treaty prompted New Zealand to improve ties with other nations, particularly Australia, and as both nations were seeking warships of similar capabilities, the decision was made in 1987 to collaborate on the acquisition. The project name (and later, the class name) is taken from the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps
Australian and New Zealand Army Corps
The Australian and New Zealand Army Corps was a First World War army corps of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force that was formed in Egypt in 1915 and operated during the Battle of Gallipoli. General William Birdwood commanded the corps, which comprised troops from the First Australian Imperial...

 of the First World War

Twelve ship designs (including an airship
Airship
An airship or dirigible is a type of aerostat or "lighter-than-air aircraft" that can be steered and propelled through the air using rudders and propellers or other thrust mechanisms...

) were tendered in 1986. By 1989, the project had selected a proposal by Germany’s Blohm + Voss
Blohm + Voss
Blohm + Voss , is a German shipbuilding and engineering works. It is a subsidiary of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems; there were plans to sell 80% of Blohm + Voss to Abu Dhabi Mar Group, but talks collapsed in July 2011.-History:It was founded on April 5, 1877, by Hermann Blohm and Ernst Voss as a...

, based on their MEKO 200
MEKO 200
The MEKO 200 is a frigate design by the Blohm + Voss shipyard of Germany, as part of the MEKO family of warships.-Anzac class :...

 design, to be built in Australia by AMECON
AmeCon
AmeCon is an anime convention based in Leicester, United Kingdom, typically of three days in length, and is one of the largest anime conventions in the United Kingdom. The convention was formed after several committee members of the Leicester Anime and Manga Club decided to run a small,...

 at Williamstown, Victoria
Williamstown, Victoria
Williamstown is a suburb in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 8 km south-west from Melbourne's central business district. Its Local Government Area is the City of Hobsons Bay. At the 2006 Census, Williamstown had a population of 12,733....

, although the modular design of the frigates allowed construction to occur at sites across Australia and New Zealand. The RAN ordered eight ships, while the RNZN ordered two, with the option to add two more later. The frigate acquisition was controversial and widely opposed in New Zealand, and as a result, the additional ships were not ordered.

In 1992, work started on the frigates; 3600 tonnes (3,543.1 LT) ships capable of a 27 knots (14.7 m/s) top speed, and a range of 6000 nautical miles (11,112 km) at 18 knots (9.8 m/s). The armament initially consisted of a single 5-inch gun and a point-defence missile system, supported by a missile-armed helicopter. In addition, the ships were fitted for but not with a torpedo system, anti-ship missiles, and a close-in weapons system. The last ship of the class entered service in 2006; by this point, the RAN and RNZN had embarked on separate projects to improve the frigates' capabilities by fitting the additional weapons, along with updates to other systems and equipment.

Since entering service, Anzac class frigates have made multiple deployments outside local waters, including involvement in the INTERFET
INTERFET
The International Force for East Timor was a multinational peacekeeping taskforce, mandated by the United Nations to address the humanitarian and security crisis which took place in East Timor from 1999–2000 until the arrival of United Nations peacekeepers...

 multi-national deployment to East Timor
East Timor
The Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, commonly known as East Timor , is a state in Southeast Asia. It comprises the eastern half of the island of Timor, the nearby islands of Atauro and Jaco, and Oecusse, an exclave on the northwestern side of the island, within Indonesian West Timor...

, and multiple operational periods in the Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
The Persian Gulf, in Southwest Asia, is an extension of the Indian Ocean located between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula.The Persian Gulf was the focus of the 1980–1988 Iran-Iraq War, in which each side attacked the other's oil tankers...

. As of 2011, all ten ships are in service. The RAN intends to start replacing theirs in 2024, while the RNZN ships will remain active until around 2030.

Planning and development


The Anzac class originated from the RAN's New Surface Combatant (NSC) project, which began in the mid 1980s to find a replacement for the RAN's six River class destroyer escort
River class destroyer escort
The River class was a class of six destroyer escorts operated by the Royal Australian Navy . Plans to acquire four vessels, based on the British Type 12M frigate, began in the 1950s. The first two vessels had some slight modifications to the design, while the next two underwent further changes...

s. By 1985, various design briefs ranging from 1200 to 5000 t (1,181 to 4,921 LT) displacement
Displacement (ship)
A ship's displacement is its weight at any given time, generally expressed in metric tons or long tons. The term is often used to mean the ship's weight when it is loaded to its maximum capacity. A number of synonymous terms exist for this maximum weight, such as loaded displacement, full load...

 were under consideration, with the RAN emphasising anti-ship missile defence, damage control, and ship survivability based on Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

 experiences during the Falklands War
Falklands War
The Falklands War , also called the Falklands Conflict or Falklands Crisis, was fought in 1982 between Argentina and the United Kingdom over the disputed Falkland Islands and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands...

. Eventually, the project settled on a ship of approximately 3600 tonnes (3,543.1 LT) displacement. At this time, it was also believed that Australia did not have the capability to design a major warship from scratch, so the decision was made to select a proven foreign design and fit it with an Australian-developed combat system. In early 1986, a review of policy regarding surface combatants saw the NSC classified into the middle of three tiers: a patrol frigate designed to operate on low- to mid-intensity operations in Australia's Economic Exclusion Zone.


Around the same time, the need to replace the RNZN's Leander class
Leander class frigate
The Leander class, or Type 12I frigates, comprising twenty-six vessels, was among the most numerous and long-lived classes of frigate in the Royal Navy's modern history. The class was built in three batches between 1959 and 1973...

 frigate force with new warships was under consideration. The government saw maintaining a blue-water capable
Blue-water navy
The term blue-water navy is a colloquialism used to describe a maritime force capable of operating across the deep waters of open oceans. While what actually constitutes such a force remains undefined, there is a requirement for the ability to exercise sea control at wide ranges...

 force built around three or four frigates as important, but the cost of acquiring and maintaining such a force was prohibitive. Alternate suggestions, such as reducing the RNZN to a coast guard
Coast guard
A coast guard or coastguard is a national organization responsible for various services at sea. However the term implies widely different responsibilities in different countries, from being a heavily armed military force with customs and security duties to being a volunteer organization tasked with...

-type force responsible for coastal and fisheries protection, replacing the frigates with smaller offshore patrol vessels, or reorienting the navy to primarily operate submarines, were made in several venues, but were seen as unacceptable loss in capability. Around the same time, the 1984-elected Fourth Labour Government of New Zealand
Fourth Labour Government of New Zealand
The Fourth Labour Government of New Zealand was the government of New Zealand from 26 July 1984 to 2 November 1990. It enacted major social and economic reforms, including reformation of the tax system. The economic reforms were known as Rogernomics after Finance Minister Roger Douglas...

 implemented a nuclear-free zone
New Zealand's nuclear-free zone
In 1984, Prime Minister David Lange barred nuclear-powered or nuclear-armed ships from using New Zealand ports or entering New Zealand waters. Under the New Zealand Nuclear Free Zone, Disarmament, and Arms Control Act 1987, territorial sea, land and airspace of New Zealand became nuclear-free zones...

, which incensed the United States of America and led to a deterioration of relations between the two nations, including the American withdrawal of support for New Zealand under the ANZUS
ANZUS
The Australia, New Zealand, United States Security Treaty is the military alliance which binds Australia and New Zealand and, separately, Australia and the United States to cooperate on defence matters in the Pacific Ocean area, though today the treaty is understood to relate to attacks...

 security treaty. In response, the New Zealand government sought to improve ties with Australia
Australia-New Zealand relations
Relations between Australia and New Zealand, also sometimes referred to as Trans-Tasman relations due to the countries being on opposite sides of the Tasman Sea, are extremely close with both sharing British colonial heritage and being part of the Anglosphere...

; one such avenue was to promote military interoperability between the countries by standardising equipment and procedures where possible. The Australian NSC project was seen to have "virtually identical" requirements to the RNZN's proposed Replacement Combat Ship concept, and the need to replace the warships dovetailed with the need to improve relations with Australia.

On 6 March 1987, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed by the two nations and RNZN representatives were invited to collaborate on the project. To recognise their involvement, the project was renamed the Anzac Ship Project, taking the name from the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps
Australian and New Zealand Army Corps
The Australian and New Zealand Army Corps was a First World War army corps of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force that was formed in Egypt in 1915 and operated during the Battle of Gallipoli. General William Birdwood commanded the corps, which comprised troops from the First Australian Imperial...

 of World War I. The New Zealanders' involvement was structured to allow their involvement in the selection of the design and shipyard and explore options for New Zealand industry involvement: when the time came to commit, they could either continue cooperating into the construction stage of the project, independently order the ships from the designer, or abandon the project entirely.

The proposed baseline characteristics called for a vessel capable of reaching speeds of 27 knots (14.7 m/s) and a range of 6000 nautical miles (11,112 km) at 18 knots (9.8 m/s) based on a Combined diesel or gas
Combined diesel or gas
Combined diesel or gas ' is a type of propulsion system for ships that need a maximum speed that is considerably faster than their cruise speed, particularly warships like modern frigates or corvettes....

 (CODOG) propulsion system, able to operate in Sea State
Sea state
In oceanography, a sea state is the general condition of the free surface on a large body of water—with respect to wind waves and swell—at a certain location and moment. A sea state is characterized by statistics, including the wave height, period, and power spectrum. The sea state varies with...

 5, and capable of operating a Seahawk-size helicopter. The ship was to be fitted with a 76 or main gun and an eight-cell launcher for a point-defence missile system, and fitted for but not with a torpedo system, anti-ship missiles, and a close-in weapons system. Tenders were requested by the project at the end of 1986, and 19 submissions were made, 12 of which included ship designs: the Netherlands' M class (later Karel Doorman class
Karel Doorman class frigate
The Karel Doorman class is a class of eight multi-purpose frigates of the Royal Netherlands Navy. The class is also known as the "Multi-purpose" or M class....

) frigate, a design based on the German MEKO 200
MEKO 200
The MEKO 200 is a frigate design by the Blohm + Voss shipyard of Germany, as part of the MEKO family of warships.-Anzac class :...

 multipurpose frigate design, Italy's Maestrale class
Maestrale class frigate
The Maestrale class is a class of frigate in the Marina Militare . The class is composed of eight vessels, all of which were built by Fincantieri S.p. A, Riva Trigoso, except for Grecale, which was built by Fincantieri S.p.A...

 frigate, the French F2000 design, the Canadian Halifax class
Halifax class frigate
The Halifax-class frigate is a class of multi-role patrol frigates that have served the Royal Canadian Navy since 1992...

 frigate, a variant of the British Leander class
Leander class frigate
The Leander class, or Type 12I frigates, comprising twenty-six vessels, was among the most numerous and long-lived classes of frigate in the Royal Navy's modern history. The class was built in three batches between 1959 and 1973...

 updated to modern standards, the German Type 122 (later Bremen class
Bremen class frigate
The eight F122 Bremen class frigates of the German Navy were commissioned between 1982 and 1990. The design is similar to the Dutch Kortenaer class but uses a different hull and propulsion system. The ships were built for anti-submarine warfare as a primary task even though they are not fitted with...

 frigate), Norway's Nordkapp class
Nordkapp class OPV
The Nordkapp class ships is a Norwegian ship class built in the 1980s, and is used for rescue, fishery inspection, research purposes and general EEZ patrol in Norwegian waters. It is a class of ships purpose built for the Norwegian Coast Guard with a secondary role as wartime naval escorts...

 offshore patrol vessel, the British Type 23 frigate
Type 23 frigate
The Type 23 frigate is a class of frigate built for the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom. All the ships were first named after British Dukes, thus the class is also known as the Duke class. The first Type 23 was commissioned in 1989, and the sixteenth, was launched in May 2000 and commissioned in...

 (which was proposed by two different shipyards), South Korea's Ulsan class
Ulsan class frigate
The Ulsan class frigate is a class of multi-purpose Guided Missile Frigates built by South Korea. Presently in use with Republic of Korea Navy and Bangladesh Navy.- Design :...

 frigate, and an airship
Airship
An airship or dirigible is a type of aerostat or "lighter-than-air aircraft" that can be steered and propelled through the air using rudders and propellers or other thrust mechanisms...

 design proposed by Airship Industries
Airship Industries
Airship Industries was a British manufacturer of modern non-rigid airships active under that name from 1980 to 1990 and controlled for part of that time by Alan Bond. A predecessor company, Aerospace Developments, had been founded in 1971, and a successor, Hybrid Air Vehicles, remains active...

. By August 1987, a cost ceiling of A$3.5 billion (1986 terms) was established, and the submitted proposals were narrowed down in October to Blohm + Voss
Blohm + Voss
Blohm + Voss , is a German shipbuilding and engineering works. It is a subsidiary of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems; there were plans to sell 80% of Blohm + Voss to Abu Dhabi Mar Group, but talks collapsed in July 2011.-History:It was founded on April 5, 1877, by Hermann Blohm and Ernst Voss as a...

's MEKO design, the M class offered by Royal Schelde, and a scaled-down version of the British Type 23 proposed by Yarrow Shipbuilders
Yarrow Shipbuilders
Yarrow Limited , often styled as simply Yarrows, was a major shipbuilding firm based in the Scotstoun district of Glasgow on the River Clyde...

. The Type 23 proposal was eliminated in November 1987, with the other two going into a development phase where the designer partnered with an Australian shipbuilder: Blohm + Voss with AMECON
AmeCon
AmeCon is an anime convention based in Leicester, United Kingdom, typically of three days in length, and is one of the largest anime conventions in the United Kingdom. The convention was formed after several committee members of the Leicester Anime and Manga Club decided to run a small,...

, and Royal Schelde with Australian Warship Systems.
On 14 August 1989, the Australian government announced that AMECON had been awarded the tender for construction of the Anzac class based on Blohm + Voss' modified MEKO 200 design. Although both the MEKO 200 and M class designs met the design requirements, the MEKO design was selected as more ships could be purchased for the budget cost. The A$5 billion contract was, at the time, the largest defence contract awarded in Australia. The decision was made despite ongoing debate in New Zealand over the project. New Zealand committed in principle to the purchase of two frigates plus the option for two more on 7 September, and the contract for the first two ships was signed on 10 November.

New Zealand controversy


From the mid-1980s onwards, the New Zealand government's planned acquisition of the Anzac class frigates was a major point of debate and contention: researcher Peter Greener claims that it "was possibly the most strongly debated defence purchase of the century". In New Zealand at the time, "frigate" was a dirty word, and attempts to make the replacement of the old navy ships more palatable to the public included using euphemisms like "ocean combat ship" and "ocean surveillance vessel". The government's official stance was dedication to maintaining a blue-water navy
Blue-water navy
The term blue-water navy is a colloquialism used to describe a maritime force capable of operating across the deep waters of open oceans. While what actually constitutes such a force remains undefined, there is a requirement for the ability to exercise sea control at wide ranges...

, primarily in order to defend the nation and contribute to regional security. Despite this, the government was slow to respond to opponents of the project, which included peace campaigners, politicians (from both within and outside the Labour Party, and from both ends of the political spectrum
Political spectrum
A political spectrum is a way of modeling different political positions by placing them upon one or more geometric axes symbolizing independent political dimensions....

), and military personnel. Most of the concern revolved around the cost of purchasing frigate-type ships, along with the idea that four high-capability warships would be too few and too overspecialised to operate in the roles envisioned for the RNZN.


The primary role foreseen for the RNZN was fisheries protection, particularly following the introduction of a 200 nautical miles (370.4 km) Exclusive Economic Zone
Exclusive Economic Zone
Under the law of the sea, an exclusive economic zone is a seazone over which a state has special rights over the exploration and use of marine resources, including production of energy from water and wind. It stretches from the seaward edge of the state's territorial sea out to 200 nautical...

 by the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea
United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea
The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea , also called the Law of the Sea Convention or the Law of the Sea treaty, is the international agreement that resulted from the third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea , which took place from 1973 through 1982...

; this was thought to require a minimum of six vessels to effectively police. Peace campaigners claimed that the purchase of the Anzacs was a politically motivated decision made under pressure from Australia, which was trying to support its shipbuilding industry, and stated that the Fourth Labour Government was undermining its commitment to reduce the nation's deficit by spending so much on high-tech warships (although figures of $NZ20 billion for purchase and 20 years of operation was misquoted as an upfront lump sum). There were also concerns that by possessing modern warships, New Zealand would be "dragged" back into ANZUS. One proposal suggested to avoid this was that the New Zealand Anzacs be fitted with inferior engines that would reduce the vessels' top speed and make it impossible to operate with United States Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

 fleets. However, these changes would have incurred major additional expenses. A recurring alternate proposal was the purchase of the British Castle class
Castle class patrol vessel
-Ships in Class:HMS Leeds Castle HMS Dumbarton Castle -Design:The Castle class was intended as a series of six offshore patrol vessels for the Royal Navy, designed in response to criticism of the previous Island class for insufficient speed, non optimal sea keeping and lack of a flight deck for...

 patrol vessel design. Two months after tenders for the project closed, the managing director of Svendborg Skibsværft
Svendborg Skibsværft
Svendborg Skibsværft was a shipyard, which was located in Svendborg, Denmark. Founded in 1907 by ship builder George Ring Andersen. In 1999 the company was declared bankrupt.-References:...

 began to campaign for the construction of the Danish IS-86 patrol vessel (later designated the Thetis class frigate) for the RNZN. In response to these proposals, the government indicated that it was committing to purchasing Australian ships, and that interoperability with the RAN (which the alternate ship designs were incapable of) was a major element in the decision.

At the time of the August 1989 decision for AMECON to build the MEKO-based frigate, the controversy was still ongoing in New Zealand. David Lange
David Lange
David Russell Lange, ONZ, CH , served as the 32nd Prime Minister of New Zealand from 1984 to 1989. He headed New Zealand's fourth Labour Government, one of the most reforming administrations in his country's history, but one which did not always conform to traditional expectations of a...

, a major supporter of the Anzac project, had only just resigned from the prime ministership. Despite the Labour Party's national conference rejecting the frigate project a year earlier, the purchase of two Anzacs, with the option to acquire two more, was approved by Prime Minister Geoffrey Palmer's cabinet on 4 September, then a majority of the Labour caucus on 7 September. From the government's perspective, the Anzac project was being seen as a litmus test of New Zealand's commitment to (among other things) relations with Australia
Australia-New Zealand relations
Relations between Australia and New Zealand, also sometimes referred to as Trans-Tasman relations due to the countries being on opposite sides of the Tasman Sea, are extremely close with both sharing British colonial heritage and being part of the Anglosphere...

 and regional defence, particularly after the problems between New Zealand and the United States.

Despite the government signing contracts for the purchase of two Anzacs in November 1989, the project continued to be a bone of contention in New Zealand politics, particularly after the Fourth Labour Government lost the 1990 election
New Zealand general election, 1990
The 1990 New Zealand general election was held on 27 October to determine the composition of the 43rd New Zealand parliament. The governing Labour Party was defeated, ending its controversial two terms in office...

 to the National Party, which formed the Fourth National Government
Fourth National Government of New Zealand
The Fourth National Government of New Zealand was the government of New Zealand from 2 November 1990 to 27 November 1999. Following in the footsteps of the previous Labour government, the fourth National government embarked on an extensive programme of spending cuts...

. In 1992, Minister of Defence Warren Cooper
Warren Cooper
Warren Cooper QSO is a former New Zealand politician. He was a National Party MP from 1975 to 1996, holding cabinet positions including Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Defence. Cooper also twice served as Mayor of Queenstown, from 1968 to 1975 and 1995 to 2001.-Early life:Cooper was...

 began claiming in several arenas that exercising the option for two more frigates may not be necessary. Following the 1996 election
New Zealand general election, 1996
The 1996 New Zealand general election was held on 12 October 1996 to determine the composition of the 45th New Zealand Parliament. It was notable for being the first election to be held under the new Mixed Member Proportional electoral system, and produced a parliament considerably more diverse...

, the National Party retained power, but only in coalition with the New Zealand First party, which opposed the purchase of additional frigates. Other options for replacing the two remaining Leanders were explored, but these were generally more expensive than purchasing the Anzacs. Internal political opposition, particularly from New Zealand First, prevented the exercising of the contract option for two more ships before it lapsed on 10 November 1997, at which point the government was considering the purchase of a single frigate, outside the terms of the original contract. A year later, the idea was still being debated internally, although the proposal had been downgraded to buying one of the active Australian Anzacs second-hand, which the RAN could then replace by building an additional ship. At this point, the National-New Zealand First coalition had collapsed, and the National Party was only holding on to power by the support of minority parties and independents; support that was likely to be withdrawn if a third frigate was approved. Cabinet rejected the plan, and the issue of replacing the Leander class frigate was deferred.

Design at launch


The Anzac design is derived from Blohm + Voss' MEKO 200 PN (or Vasco da Gama class
Vasco da Gama class frigate
The Vasco da Gama class is a class of frigates of the Portuguese Navy. Named in honor of the Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama, the ships are based on the German MEKO 200 design, and are Portugal's major surface ships...

) frigate, and is identified by the company as the MEKO 200 ANZ. In addition to capability modifications to meet RAN and RNZN requirements, the ships were redesigned during the development phase to maximise the involvement of Australian and New Zealand industries through the use of locally sourced components: 80% of the materials (by value) was be locally sourced, and within this, 20% must come from New Zealand. The Anzacs were designed to German Navy
German Navy
The German Navy is the navy of Germany and is part of the unified Bundeswehr .The German Navy traces its roots back to the Imperial Fleet of the revolutionary era of 1848 – 52 and more directly to the Prussian Navy, which later evolved into the Northern German Federal Navy...

 standards, except where Australian or United States standards were specifically requested.

Each frigate has a 3600 tonnes (3,543.1 LT) full load displacement. The ships are 109 metres (357.6 ft) long at the waterline
Waterline length
The Waterline length is a measurement of ships and boats. The term denotes the length of the vessel at the point where it sits in the water. It excludes the total length of the boat, such as features that are out of the water...

, and 118 metres (387.1 ft) long overall, with a beam
Beam (nautical)
The beam of a ship is its width at the widest point. Generally speaking, the wider the beam of a ship , the more initial stability it has, at expense of reserve stability in the event of a capsize, where more energy is required to right the vessel from its inverted position...

 of 14.8 metres (48.6 ft), and a draught at full load of 4.35 metres (14.3 ft). The hull and superstructure are of all-steel construction, and the ships are fitted with fin stabilisers
Stabilizer (ship)
Ship stabilizers are fins mounted beneath the waterline and emerging laterally. In contemporary vessels, they may be gyroscopically controlled active fins, which have the capacity to change their angle of attack to counteract roll caused by wind or waves acting on the ship.The bilge keel is an...

.
The frigates use a Combined Diesel or Gas
Combined diesel or gas
Combined diesel or gas ' is a type of propulsion system for ships that need a maximum speed that is considerably faster than their cruise speed, particularly warships like modern frigates or corvettes....

 (CODOG) propulsion machinery layout, with a single, 30172 hp General Electric LM2500
General Electric LM2500
-External links:* .* *...

-30 gas turbine and two 8840 hp MTU 12V1163 TB83 diesel engines driving the ship's two controllable-pitch propellers. Maximum speed is 27 knots (14.7 m/s), and maximum range is over 6000 nautical miles (11,112 km) at 18 knots (9.8 m/s). The frigates' range is about 50% greater than other MEKO-type frigates, due to an enhanced fuel supply. Originally, two gas turbines were to be fitted; this layout would have provided a top speed of 31.75 knots (17.3 m/s). The starboard turbine was cancelled to save costs.

The standard ship's company of an Anzac consists of 22 officers and 141 sailors. Onboard electricity requirements are met by four MTU diesel generators. Each ship can carry up to 29 cubic metres (1,024.1 cu ft) of dry provisions, 29 cubic metres (1,024.1 cu ft) of refrigerated provisions, and 54 tonnes (53.1 LT) of fresh water.

Armament



At the time of construction, the main weapon for the Anzacs was a United Defense 5-inch 54 calibre Mark 45 Mod 2 dual purpose gun. The forward-mounted gun is capable of firing 32 kilograms (70.5 lb) shells at a rate of 20 rounds per minute, to a distance of 23 kilometres (14.3 mi). The barrel can elevate to 65 degrees. This was supplemented by an eight-cell Lockheed Martin Mark 41 Mod 5 vertical launch system
Mark 41 Vertical Launch System
The Mark 41 Vertical Launch System is a shipborne missle canister launching system which provides a rapid-fire launch capability against hostile threats. The Vertical Launch System concept was derived from work on the Aegis Combat System. Refinement of the concept continued through the 1960s and...

 for RIM-7 Sea Sparrow
RIM-7 Sea Sparrow
RIM-7 Sea Sparrow is a US ship-borne short-range anti-aircraft and anti-missile weapon system, primarily intended for defense against anti-ship missiles...

 missiles as a point-defence
Point-defence
Point-defence is the defence of a single object or a limited area, e.g. a ship, building or an airfield, now usually against air attacks and guided missiles...

 system. The Sea Sparrow is a semi-active radar homing missile, with a 39 kilograms (86 lb) warhead, a range of 14.6 kilometres (9.1 mi), and a top speed of Mach
Mach number
Mach number is the speed of an object moving through air, or any other fluid substance, divided by the speed of sound as it is in that substance for its particular physical conditions, including those of temperature and pressure...

 2.5. Two 12.7 millimetre (0.5 in) machine guns were fitted for close defence.

A missile-armed helicopter was a key component of the frigates' armament. When construction started, both navies were planning for, but had yet to identify, new helicopters to be operated by the frigates; as an interim measure, the RAN used Sikorsky S-70B-2 Seahawks, while the RNZN embarked Westland Wasp
Westland Wasp
The Westland Wasp was a British small first-generation, gas-turbine powered, shipboard anti-submarine helicopter. Produced by Westland Helicopters, it came from the same P.531 programme as the British Army Westland Scout, and was based on the earlier piston-engined Saunders-Roe Skeeter...

s.

Ships were fitted for but not with
For but not with
Fitting "for but not with" is a design concept used by militaries in which a weapon or system called for in a design is not installed or is only partially installed during construction to save on construction costs. The term is usually used in regard to vehicles and ships but sometimes extends to...

 a close-in weapons system, two quad-canister Harpoon anti-ship missile launchers, and a second Mark 41 launcher. After the ships were completed, both navies fitted Mark 32 3-tube torpedo launchers
Mark 32 Surface Vessel Torpedo Tubes
The Mark 32 Surface Vessel Torpedo Tubes system is a torpedo launching system designed for the United States Navy. The Mark 32 has been the standard anti-submarine torpedo launching system aboard United States Navy surface vessels since its introduction in 1960, and in use aboard the warships of...

 to their frigates. These were taken from older ships where possible; for example, Te Kahas launchers came from . The launchers were configured to fire the Mark 46 Mod 5 torpedo
Mark 46 torpedo
Designed to attack high-performance submarines, the Mark 46 torpedo is the backbone of the U.S. Navy's lightweight ASW torpedo inventory, and is the current NATO standard. These aerial torpedoes, such as the Mark 46 Mod 5, are expected to remain in service until the year 2015...

, an active/passive homing torpedo with a range of 11 kilometres (6.8 mi) at 40 knots (21.8 m/s), and a 44 kilograms (97 lb) warhead.

Sensors and systems


The radar suite includes a Raytheon SPS-49(V)8 ANZ radar for aerial search and long-range surveillance, a CelsiusTech 9LV 453 Target Indication Radar for air and surface search, an Atlas Elektronik 9600 ARPA navigational radar, and a second CelsiusTech 9LV 453 unit for fire control. All ships were initially fitted with a ThomsonSintra Spherion B hull-mounted bow sonar, for active search and attack operations. From Warramunga onwards, ships were launched with a Petrel Mine and Obstacle Avoidance Sonar system. this was later retrofitted to Anzac. All ships were fitted for but not with a towed-array sonar, with the RAN and RNZN following separate acquisition programs for these. The frigates were also fitted for but not with SATCOM and a Helo datalink.

Countermeasures and electronic warfare equipment fitted at launch included Mark 36 SRBOC
Mark 36 SRBOC
The BAE Systems Mark 36 Super Rapid Blooming Offboard Chaff is a short-range mortar that launches chaff or infrared decoys from naval vessels to foil anti-ship missiles...

 launchers, an SLQ-25A
AN/SLQ-25 Nixie
The AN/SLQ-25 Nixie and its variants are towed torpedo decoys used on US and allied warships. It consists of a towed decoy device and a shipboard signal generator...

 towed torpedo decoy, four four-cell Nulka
Nulka
Nulka is an Australian designed and developed active missile decoy built by an Australian/American collaboration. Used aboard warships of the United States Navy , Royal Australian Navy , United States Coast Guard , and Canadian Forces, Nulka is a rocket propelled, disposable, offboard, active decoy...

 decoy launchers, Rascal Thorn modified Sceptre-A electronic support measures (ESM) equipment, and a Telefunken PST-1720 Telegon 10 radar intercept unit. The Anzacs were fitted for but not with offboard active ECM systems. The Sceptre-A equipment was unable to meet the required performance specifications, and Thales UK (which previously acquired Rascal Thorn) was contracted in 2001 to replace the units with the Centaur ESM.

A Cossor AIMS Mark XII identification-friend-or-foe
Identification friend or foe
In telecommunications, identification, friend or foe is an identification system designed for command and control. It is a system that enables military and national interrogation systems to identify aircraft, vehicles, or forces as friendly and to determine their bearing and range from the...

 system is also installed.

The core of the Anzacs' combat system was built around CelsiusTech's 9LV 453 Mark 3 distributed command and fire-control system.

Construction


On 14 August 1989, AMECON was awarded the tender to build the Blohm + Voss designed frigate. The frigates were to be constructed at the AMECON shipyard in Williamstown, Victoria
Williamstown, Victoria
Williamstown is a suburb in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 8 km south-west from Melbourne's central business district. Its Local Government Area is the City of Hobsons Bay. At the 2006 Census, Williamstown had a population of 12,733....

 (formerly Williamstown Naval Dockyard), but the modular design of the frigate allowed sections of the ships to be constructed throughout Australia and New Zealand, with final assembly in Williamstown. Each vessel was made up of six hull modules and six superstructure modules. All of lead ship Anzacs modules were assembled at Williamstown, but for later ships, the superstructure modules were fabricated in Whangarei, New Zealand, and hull modules were built at both Williamstown and Newcastle, New South Wales
Newcastle, New South Wales
The Newcastle metropolitan area is the second most populated area in the Australian state of New South Wales and includes most of the Newcastle and Lake Macquarie Local Government Areas...

. Unlike previous shipbuilding contracts, AMECON was only contractually obliged to meet the navy's set commissioning dates for the ships; all other construction deadlines were to be determined at the shipbuilder's discretion.

The second and fourth ships to be built were allocated to the New Zealanders. The third and fifth ships to be produced were earmarked for the RNZN in the event that approval to order two more frigates was given, with two more ships for the RAN to be added at the end of the production run. Project offsets meant that construction costs for the New Zealand ships were about 20% less than the Australian vessels.

Steel cutting for the first ship, , commenced on 27 March 1992. Work on the first New Zealand ship, , began in February 1993. Anzac commissioned into the RAN in May 1996, and Te Kaha into the RNZN in July 1997. In early 2002, the first four ships found to have microscopic cracks in the bilge keel and hull plating. The ships' hulls were repaired and reinforced. Construction of the final vessel, , began in July 2003, with the vessel commissioning into the RAN in August 2006.

Modifications and improvements


The Anzac class ships were designed with a minimum standard of offensive and defensive weapons, with other equipment fitted "for but not with
For but not with
Fitting "for but not with" is a design concept used by militaries in which a weapon or system called for in a design is not installed or is only partially installed during construction to save on construction costs. The term is usually used in regard to vehicles and ships but sometimes extends to...

". The RAN and RNZN began to plan for upgrades to their frigates before all of the ships entered service: these upgrades were planned and executed on a national basis.

Australian modifications



The RAN commenced plans to improve their frigates' combat capability in 1996, with the Warfighting Improvement Program (WIP). Upgrades proposed under the WIP included installation of a phased-array radar, a second Mark 41 vertical launch system. The WIP was scrapped near the end of 1999, and plans for a less ambitious anti-ship missile defence (ASMD) upgrade were made. In 2004, Tenix, Saab, and the Department of Defence formed a Private Public Partnership to upgrade the anti-ship missile defence (ASMD) capability of the Anzac class, through the installation of CEA Technologies
CEA Technologies
-History:CEA Technologies was established in 1983, founded by two retired Royal Australia Navy personnel, Ian Croser and David Gaul. Employing over 260 employees, it is Australia’s largest majority owned Defence Company...

' CEAFAR and CEAMOUNT phased array radars, a Vampir NG Infrared Search and Track system, and Sharpeye Navigational Radar Systems. On 18 January 2010, Perth docked at the Australian Marine Complex in Henderson, Western Australia
Henderson, Western Australia
Henderson is a suburb of Perth, Western Australia, located within the City of Cockburn.-History:The suburb of Henderson comprises land resumed by the Commonwealth Government in 1915 for defence purposes. A large naval base was planned by Admiral Sir Reginald Henderson, and the was area sometimes...

 to for the ASMD upgrade. Both of the frigate's masts were replaced, and the operations room layout was improved. After completion in October 2010, Perth was used to test the modifications, with trials completed in July 2011. Approval to upgrade the other seven RAN Anzacs was granted in November 2011, with work on the the A$650 million refits to begin in 2012 and be completed by 2017.

From Warramunga onwards, the frigates were launched with the ability to carry and fire the RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM) as a replacement for the Sea Sparrow missile; these were quad-packed into the Mark 41 launcher for a payload of 32 missiles. ESSM test firing occurred aboard Warramunga in January 2003. The modifications entered operational service aboard three ships in June 2004. A CEA Technologies solid-state continuous wave illuminator was also fitted as part of the ESSM system.

From 2005 onwards, the RAN began fitting the Anzacs and the Adelaides with Harpoon Block II missiles in two quad-tube canister launchers. The Australian Anzacs were fitted for but not with the launchers, but the original planned location on 02 deck was found to be unsuitable, and the launchers were relocated to 01 deck, in front of the bridge. Around the same time, the RAN began to fit all frigates deploying to the Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
The Persian Gulf, in Southwest Asia, is an extension of the Indian Ocean located between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula.The Persian Gulf was the focus of the 1980–1988 Iran-Iraq War, in which each side attacked the other's oil tankers...

 with two M2HB .50 calibre machine guns in Mini Typhoon mounts, installed on the aft corners of the hangar roof. Two TopLite EO directors are used with the guns.

The Mark 32 torpedo tubes aboard the Australian frigates were originally fitted with American Mark 46 anti-submarine torpedoes
Mark 46 torpedo
Designed to attack high-performance submarines, the Mark 46 torpedo is the backbone of the U.S. Navy's lightweight ASW torpedo inventory, and is the current NATO standard. These aerial torpedoes, such as the Mark 46 Mod 5, are expected to remain in service until the year 2015...

, but these were replaced with the European MU90 Impact
MU90 Impact
The MU90/IMPACT is an advanced lightweight anti-submarine torpedo used by navies of Germany, France, Italy, Denmark, Australia and Poland. It is designed to compete with and outperform the US-built Mark 46 in the anti-submarine role, and is also available in a special MU90 Hard Kill version for...

 torpedo prior to 2008. Toowoomba was the first Australian ship to fire an MU90 torpedo, during a test firing in June 2008.

The RAN commenced tendering for a helicopter design to replace the Seahawks aboard the Australian Anzacs in 2006, with a contract for 11 Kaman SH-2G Super Seasprite helicopters signed in 1997. In addition to the Anzacs, the acquired helicopter also had to be operatable from the class of offshore patrol vessels the RAN was planning to build with the Royal Malaysian Navy (Malaysia later withdrew from the plan, and the RAN acquired the smaller Armidale class patrol boats
Armidale class patrol boat
The Armidale class is a class of patrol boats built for the Royal Australian Navy . Planning for a class of twelve vessels to replace the fifteen Fremantle class patrol boats began in 1993 as a joint project with the Royal Malaysian Navy, but was cancelled when Malaysia pulled out of the process...

, which were not helicopter-equipped), with a second contract to be signed for these at a later date. In order to get the best capability for the cheapest price, the Australian Department of Defence opted to have Kaman acquire 40-year-old SH-2F Seasprite airframes decommissioned by the United States Navy, and fit modern flight systems to the reconditioned airframes. This approach led to major delays, and the helicopters were found to be inoperable in low-visibility conditions. By 2006, ten of the helicopters had been delivered, but none were permitted to fly. The Super Seasprite acquisition was cancelled outright in March 2008.

New Zealand modifications


As soon as the New Zealand Anzacs entered service, a Phalanx CIWS
Phalanx CIWS
The Phalanx CIWS is an anti-ship missile defense system. It is a close-in weapon system and was designed and manufactured by the General Dynamics Corporation, Pomona Division...

 weapons system, recycled from decommissioning Leanders, was fitted to each frigate in addition to the Mark 32 torpedo tube sets.


In 1997, the RNZN began steps to acquire five Kaman SH-2G Super Seasprite helicopters for the two frigates. Unlike the Australians, the New Zealand contract specified new-build helicopters. Kaman Aerospace loaned four SH-2F Seasprites to the RNZN while the new helicopters were constructed: the SH-2Fs operated from February 1998 to August 2001, when the first two SH-2Gs were accepted into service.

At the end of 2006, the RNZN placed an order for two Mini Typhoons for each of its Anzac class frigates. Unlike the Australian configuration, the New Zealand ships are only fitted with a single TopLite director.

In 2007, Te Kaha began undergoing a series of major upgrades as part of the four-stage Platform Systems Upgrade (PSU), planning for which started in 2004. The four areas of modification under the PSU were improved stability and compartment configuration changes, overhaul of the propulsion system, installation of a new integrated platform management system
Integrated Platform Management System
An integrated platform management system is a distributed architecture system used on board ships and submarines for the real-time monitoring and control of the vessel's hull, mechanical, electrical and damage control machinery and systems...

 (IPMS), and upgrades to onboard environmental control
HVAC
HVAC refers to technology of indoor or automotive environmental comfort. HVAC system design is a major subdiscipline of mechanical engineering, based on the principles of thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, and heat transfer...

. The stability upgrades were to accommodate predicted increases in displacement as updated equipment was installed on the ships. As part of the modification, the ships' quarterdecks were enclosed, creating space for a gymnasium and improved laundry facilities. Propulsion changes are primarily focused around replacing the TB83 diesel engines with the TB93, providing an additional 1.4 MW and higher speeds during diesel-only sailing. The IPMS replacement is prompted by the perceived obsolescence of the current system by 2013; as of 2009, tendering for the new system was underway. The environmental control upgrade is intended to improve personnel comfort during deployments to South East Asia, the Middle East, or similar climates, and will use more environmentally friendly products. Each stage of the upgrade is organised to occur simultaneously with ship maintenance dockings, with the first two upgrades being installed during each ship's major maintenance docking in 2009 and 2010 respectively, then the other two upgrades during the next docking in the 2011–2012 period.

Operational history


In 1999, Te Kaha pursued Patagonian Toothfish
Patagonian toothfish
The Patagonian toothfish, Dissostichus eleginoides , is a fish found in the cold, temperate waters of the southern Atlantic, southern Pacific, Indian, and Southern Oceans on seamounts and continental shelves around most sub-Antarctic islands.A close relative, the Antarctic toothfish , is found...

 poachers in the Ross Dependency
Ross Dependency
The Ross Dependency is a region of Antarctica defined by a sector originating at the South Pole, passing along longitudes 160° east to 150° west, and terminating at latitude 60° south...

, participated in the INTERFET
INTERFET
The International Force for East Timor was a multinational peacekeeping taskforce, mandated by the United Nations to address the humanitarian and security crisis which took place in East Timor from 1999–2000 until the arrival of United Nations peacekeepers...

 multinational deployment to East Timor, and operated as part of the Multinational Interception Force in the Persian Gulf. The New Zealand frigates served periods as guardship at the Solomon Islands capital of Honiara during 2000 and 2001. In 2002, Te Kaha returned to the Persian Gulf, this time as part of Operation Enduring Freedom, after a four-month flag-showing deployment in Asian waters. The frigate was replaced in the Gulf by Te Mana in early 2003.

In March 2003, Anzac provided fire support for Royal Marines
Royal Marines
The Corps of Her Majesty's Royal Marines, commonly just referred to as the Royal Marines , are the marine corps and amphibious infantry of the United Kingdom and, along with the Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary, form the Naval Service...

 during the Battle of Al Faw
Battle of Al Faw (2003)
The Battle of Al Faw was one of the first battles of the Iraq War. One of the initial objectives of the Coalition campaign in Iraq was to capture the Gas and Oil Platforms in the Al-Faw Peninsula intact before it could be sabotaged or destroyed by the Iraqi military...

.
A 2002 review of the RNZN's abilities found that the navy was not meeting its patrol capability requirements; one of the contributing factors was that the New Zealand Anzacs were both too few and overcapable for EEZ patrols, and deploying them in this manner prevented them from more effective use elsewhere. Remedying this was one of the aims of Project Protector
Project Protector
Project Protector was an procurement project for the Royal New Zealand Navy that occurred during the 2000s. At the start of the decade, the New Zealand government retasked the New Zealand Defence Force to be equally capable in combat, peacekeeping, and disaster relief, with the RNZN to focus on...

, a multi-ship acquisition project which saw three new classes of ship enter RNZN service.

Planned replacement



The RAN plans to begin removing their Anzacs from service from 2024 onwards. To replace them, a class of eight new frigates will be built under the SEA 5000 acquisition project. The frigates are predicted to have a displacement of up to 7000 tonnes (6,889.4 LT), and although they will be oriented towards anti-submarine warfare, they are expected to be all-rounders, with the ability to also operate against air, sea-surface, and land targets.

The New Zealand 2010 Defence White Paper indicated that the RNZN's Anzacs will be replaced around 2030.

Ships

Name Laid down Launched Commissioned
5 November 1993 16 September 1994 18 May 1996
19 September 1994 22 July 1995 22 July 1997
22 July 1995 28 June 1996 12 December 1998
18 May 1996 10 May 1997 10 December 1999
26 July 1997 23 May 1998 31 March 2001
25 July 1998 17 April 1999 17 August 2002
24 April 1999 17 June 2000 4 October 2003
4 August 2000 25 May 2002 26 June 2004
26 July 2002 16 May 2003 8 October 2005
24 July 2003 20 March 2004 26 August 2006

External links