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The Oliver Hazard Perry class' is a class of frigates named after the American Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, the hero of the naval Battle of Lake Erie. Also known as the Perry or FFG-7 class, the warships were designed in the United States in the mid-1970s as general-purpose escort vessels inexpensive enough to be bought in large quantities to replace World War II-era destroyers. Fifty-five ships were built in the United States: 51 for the United States Navy and four for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). In addition, eight were built in the Republic of Chinamarker (Taiwan), six in Spainmarker, and two in Australia for their navies. Former U.S. Navy warships of this class have been sold/donated to the navies of Bahrainmarker, Egyptmarker, Polandmarker, and Turkeymarker.

Design and Construction

The ships were designed by the Bath Iron Worksmarker shipyard in Mainemarker in partnership with the New Yorkmarker-based naval architects Gibbs & Cox.

The Oliver Hazard Perry-class ships were produced in 445-foot (136 meter) long "short-hull" (Flight I) and 453-foot (138 meter) long "long-hull" (Flight III) variants. The long-hull ships (FFG 8, 28, 29, 32, 33, and 36-61) carry the larger SH-60 Seahawk LAMPS III helicopters, while the short-hulled warships carry the smaller and less-capable SH-2 Seasprite LAMPS I. Aside from the lengths of their hulls, the principal difference between the versions is the location of the aft capstan: on long-hull ships, it sits a step below the level of the flight deck in order to provide clearance for the tail rotor of the longer Seahawk helicopters. The long-hull ships also carry the RAST (Recovery Assist Securing and Traversing) system for the Seahawk, a hook, cable, and winch system that can reel in a Seahawk from a hovering flight, expanding the ship's pitch-and-roll range in which flight operations are permitted. The FFG 8, 29, 32, and 33 were built as "short-hull" warships but were later modified into "long-hull" warships.

American shipyards constructed Oliver Hazard Perry-class ships for the U.S. Navy and the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). Early American-built Australian ships were originally built as the "short-hull" version, but they were modified during the 1980s to the "long-hull" design. Shipyards in Australia, Spain, and the Republic of Chinamarker have produced several warships of the "long-hull" design for their navies.

Although the per-ship costs rose greatly over the period of production, all 51 ships planned for the U.S. Navy were built. Some Oliver Hazard Perry-class warships are planned to remain in American service for years, but some of the older ships have been decommissioned and some scrapped. Others of these decommissioned ships have been transferred to the navies of other countries, including Bahrainmarker, Egyptmarker, Polandmarker, and Turkeymarker. Several of these have replaced old Second World War-built American destroyers that had been given to those countries.

The Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates were designed primarily as anti-aircraft and anti-submarine warfare guided-missile warships intended to provide open-ocean escort of amphibious warfare ships and merchant ship convoys in moderate threat environments in a potential war with the Soviet Unionmarker and the Warsaw Pact countries. They could also provide air defense against 1970s- and 1980s-era aircraft and anti-ship missiles. These warships are equipped to escort and protect aircraft carrier battle groups, amphibious landing groups, underway replenishment groups, and merchant ship convoys. They can conduct independent operations to perform such tasks as surveillance of illegal drug smugglers, maritime interception operations, and exercises with other nations.

The addition of the Naval Tactical Display System, LAMPS helicopters, and the Tactical Towed Array System (TACTAS) gave these warships a combat capability far beyond the original expectations. They are well-suited for the littoral regions and most war-at-sea scenarios.

Notable combat actions

USS Stark listing to port following an air attack

Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates made worldwide news twice during the 1980s. Despite being small, these frigates were shown to be extremely durable. During the Iran–Iraq War, on 17 May 1987, the USS Stark was attacked by an Iraqi warplane. Struck by two Exocet anti-ship missiles, thirty-seven American sailors died in the deadly prelude to the American Operation Earnest Will, the reflagging and escorting of oil tankers through the Persian Gulfmarker and the Straits of Hormuzmarker. Less than a year later, on 14 April 1988, the USS Samuel B. Roberts was nearly sunk by an Iranian mine. No lives were lost, but 10 sailors were evacuated from the warship for medical treatment. The U.S. Navy retaliated four days later with Operation Praying Mantis, a one-day attack on Iranian oil platforms being used as bases for raids on merchant shipping. Those had included bases for the minelaying operations that damaged the USS Samuel B. Roberts. Both frigates were repaired in American shipyards and returned to full service. The USS Stark was decommissioned in 1999, and scrapped in 2006.


United States

The remaining American "long-hull" Oliver Hazard Perry-class warships are being modified to reduce their operating costs. The Detroit Diesel Company electrical generators are being replaced with more modern Caterpillar, Inc.-made diesel engines and the ships' Mk 13 single arm missile launchers and magazines have been removed from all U.S. Navy active frigates because the primary missile that it was meant to fire, the Standard missile SM-1MR, has outlived its service life.

It would supposedly be too costly to refit the Standard Missile SM-1MR missiles, which had a marginal ability to bring down sea-skimming missiles. Another reason for withdrawing the SM-1MR from the American ships is to focus the supplies of these missiles to American allies, such as Poland, Spain, Australia, Turkey, and the Republic of China (Taiwan), which need them most. (Possessing no or few other guided-missile warships in their navies.)

With the removal of their Mk 13 missile launchers the American Oliver Hazard Perry-class warships also lose their Harpoon anti-ship missile capability. However, their Seahawk helicopters can carry the much shorter-ranged Penguin anti-ship missile, delivered far from the ship by helicopter. The "zone-defense" anti-aircraft warfare (AAW) capability has vanished, and all that remains is a "point-defense" type of AAW armament.

The U.S. Navy plans to update the Oliver Hazard Perry-class warships' Phalanx CIWS to the "Block 1B" capability, which will allow the Mk 15 20 mm Phalanx gun to shoot at fast-moving surface craft and helicopters. The remaining Oliver Hazard Perry-class ships are also to be fitted with the Mk 53 DLS "Nulka" missile decoy system, which will be better than the presently-equipped chaff (SRBOC, Super Rapid Blooming Offboard Chaff) and flares at guarding against anti-ship missiles.

On June 16, 2009, Vice Adm. Barry McCullough turned down the suggestion of Mel Martinez to keep the Perrys in service, citing their worn out and maxed out condition.


As part of a major project of improvements, a one billion Australian dollar moderization project for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) Adelaide-class guided-missile frigates is in progress. This project will include enhancements to both their weapons and other equipment. The costs of the project will be partly offset, in the short run, by the decommissioning and disposal of the two older frigates. HMAS Canberra was decommissioned on 12 November 2005 at naval base HMAS Stirlingmarker in Western Australiamarker and HMAS Adelaide was decommissioned at that same naval base on 20 January 2008. The first of the upgraded frigates, HMAS Sydney, returned to the RAN fleet in 2005. Some of the new features include the ability to carry and fire the SM-2 version of the Standard missile, an eight-cell Mk-41 vertical launch system (VLS) for Evolved Sea Sparrow missile, enhanced air-search radars, and enhanced long-range sonar systems. Each of the four frigates to be upgraded have the work at the Garden Islandmarker shipyard in Sydney, Australiamarker, with the modernizations lasting between 18 months and two years. These frigates are planned to be replaced starting in 2013 by three new Hobart-class air warfare destroyers equipped with the AEGIS combat system. However, the third of those destroyers will not be commissioned until 2017, at the earliest.


The Turkish Navy has commenced the modernization of its G class frigates with the GENESIS (Gemi Entegre Savaş İdare Sistemi) combat management system. The first GENESIS upgraded ship was delivered in 2007, and the last delivery is scheduled for 2011. The "short-hull" Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates that are currently part of the Turkish Navy were modified with the ASIST landing platform system at the Istanbulmarker Naval Shipyard, so that they can accommodate the S-70B Seahawk helicopters. Turkey is planning to add one eight-cell Mk 41 Vertical Launching Systems (VLS) for the Evolved Sea Sparrow missile, to be installed forward of the present Mk 13 missile launchers, similar to the case in the modernization program of the Australian Adelaide class frigates.There are also plans for new components to be installed that are being developed for the Milgem class warships (Ada class corvettes and F-100 class frigates) of the Turkish Navy. These include modern Three-dimensional and X-band radars developed by Aselsan and Turkish-made hull-mounted sonars. One of the G class frigates will also be used as a test-bed for Turkey's 4,500-ton TF-2000 class anti-aircraft warfare (AAW) frigates that are currently being designed by the Turkish Naval Institute.


  • : Two frigates were transferred from the U.S. Navy in 2002 and 2003.
  • (Cheng Kung class): Taiwanese-built. Eight ships equipped with eight Hsiung Feng II anti-ship missiles, PFG-1101 and PFG-1105 now carrying four HF-2 and four HF-3 supersonic AShM. The rest of the ships in the class will change the anti-ship mix upon their major overhaul. Seven out of eight ships added Bofors 40 mm/L70 guns for both surface and anti-air use.
  • (Santa Maria class): Spanish-built: six frigates.
  • (G class): Eight former U.S. Navy Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates have been transferred to the Turkish Navy. All eight are undergoing extensive modernization, and they are now know as the G Class frigates. The Turkish Navy modernized G Class frigates have an additional Mk-41 Vertical Launch System capable of launching Evolved Sea Sparrow missiles for close-in, as well as their longer-range SM-1 missiles; advanced digital fire control systems and new Turkish-made sonars.
  • : The U.S. Navy commissioned 51 FFG-7 class frigates between 1977 and 1989. As of early 2008, 30 long-hull Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates remain in active service.

On May 11, 2009, the first International Frigate Working Group met in Mayport Naval Station to discuss maintenance, obsolescence and logistics issues regarding Oliver Hazard Perry-class ships of the U.S. and foreign navies.

The Oliver Hazard Perry Frigates

Ship Name Hull No. Builder Commission–

Fate Link
Oliver Hazard Perry FFG-7 Bath Iron Worksmarker 1977-1997 Disposed of by scrapping, dismantling, 21 April 2006 [3655]
McInerney FFG-8 Bath Iron Works 1979- [3656]
Wadsworth FFG-9 Todd Pacific Shipyards, San Pedro 1978-2002 Transferred to Poland as ORP Gen. T. Kos'ciuszko [3657]
Duncan FFG-10 Todd Pacific Shipyards, Seattle 1980-1994 Transferred to Turkey as a spare-parts hulk [3658]
Clark FFG-11 Bath Iron Works 1980-2000 Transferred to Poland as ORP Gen. K. Pulaski [3659]
George Philip FFG-12 Todd, San Pedro 1980-2003 Stricken, to be disposed of, 24 May 2004. [3660]
Samuel Eliot Morison FFG-13 Bath Iron Works 1980-2002 Transferred to Turkey as TCG Gokova [3661]
Sides FFG-14 Todd, San Pedro 1981-2003 Stricken, to be disposed of, 24 May 2004. [3662]
Estocin FFG-15 Bath Iron Works 1981-2003 transferred to Turkey as TCG Goksu [3663]
Clifton Sprague FFG-16 Bath Iron Works 1981-1995 transferred to Turkey as TCG Gaziantep [3664]
built for Australia as HMAS Adelaide FFG-17 Todd, Seattle 1980-2008 Decommissioned, to be sunk as diving & fishing reef [3665]
built for Australia as HMAS Canberra FFG-18 Todd, Seattle 1981-2005 Decommissioned, to be sunk as diving & fishing reef [3666]
John A. Moore FFG-19 Todd, San Pedro 1981-2001 transferred to Turkey as TCG Gediz [3667]
Antrim FFG-20 Todd, Seattle 1981-1996 transferred to Turkey as TCG Giresun [3668]
Flatley FFG-21 Bath Iron Works 1981-1996 transferred to Turkey as TCG Gemlik ) [3669]
Fahrion FFG-22 Todd, Seattle 1982-1998 transferred to Egypt as Sharm El-Sheik [3670]
Lewis B. Puller FFG-23 Todd, San Pedro 1982-1998 transferred to Egypt as Toushka [3671]
Jack Williams FFG-24 Bath Iron Works 1981-1996 transferred to Bahrain as Sabha [3672]
Copeland FFG-25 Todd, San Pedro 1982-1996 transferred to Egypt as Mubarak [3673]
Gallery FFG-26 Bath Iron Works 1981-1996 transferred to Egypt as Taba [3674]
Mahlon S. Tisdale FFG-27 Todd, San Pedro 1982-1996 transferred to Turkey as TCG Gokceada [3675]
Boone FFG-28 Todd, Seattle 1982- Naval Reserve Force, Active since 1998 [3676]
Stephen W. Groves FFG-29 Bath Iron Works 1982- Naval Reserve Force, Active since 1997 [3677]
Reid FFG-30 Todd, San Pedro 1983-1998 transferred to Turkey as TCG Gelibolu [3678]
Stark FFG-31 Todd, Seattle 1982-1999 Disposed of by scrapping, dismantling, 21 June 2006 [3679]
John L. Hall FFG-32 Bath Iron Works 1982- [3680]
Jarrett FFG-33 Todd, San Pedro 1983- [3681]
Aubrey Fitch FFG-34 Bath Iron Works 1982-1997 Disposed of by scrapping, dismantling, 19 May 2005 [3682]
built for Australia as HMAS Sydney FFG-35 Todd, Seattle 1983- [3683]
Underwood FFG-36 Bath Iron Works 1983- [3684]
Crommelin FFG-37 Todd, Seattle 1983- Naval Reserve Force, Active since 2003 [3685]
Curts FFG-38 Todd, San Pedro 1983- Naval Reserve Force, Active since 1998 [3686]
Doyle FFG-39 Bath Iron Works 1983- Naval Reserve Force, Active since 2002 [3687]
Halyburton FFG-40 Todd, Seattle 1983- [3688]
McClusky FFG-41 Todd, San Pedro 1983- Naval Reserve Force, Active since 2002 [3689]
Klakring FFG-42 Bath Iron Works 1983- Naval Reserve Force, Active since 2002 [3690]
Thach FFG-43 Todd, San Pedro 1984- [3691]
built for Australia as HMAS Darwin FFG-44 Todd, Seattle 1984- [3692]
De Wert FFG-45 Bath Iron Works 1983- [3693]
Rentz FFG-46 Todd, San Pedro 1984- [3694]
Nicholas FFG-47 Bath Iron Works 1984- [3695]
Vandegrift FFG-48 Todd, Seattle 1984- [3696]
Robert G. Bradley FFG-49 Bath Iron Works 1984- [3697]
Taylor FFG-50 Bath Iron Works 1984- [3698]
Gary FFG-51 Todd, San Pedro 1984- [3699]
Carr FFG-52 Todd, Seattle 1985- [3700]
Hawes FFG-53 Bath Iron Works 1985- [3701]
Ford FFG-54 Todd, San Pedro 1985- [3702]
Elrod FFG-55 Bath Iron Works 1985- [3703]
Simpson FFG-56 Bath Iron Works 1985- Naval Reserve Force, Active since 2002 [3704]
Reuben James FFG-57 Todd, San Pedro 1986- [3705]
Samuel B. Roberts FFG-58 Bath Iron Works 1986- [3706]
Kauffman FFG-59 Bath Iron Works 1987- [3707]
Rodney M. Davis FFG-60 Todd, San Pedro 1987- Naval Reserve Force, Active since 2002 [3708]
Ingraham FFG-61 Todd, San Pedro 1989- [3709]
HMAS Melbourne FFG 05 Australian Marine Engineering Consolidated (AMECON), Williamstown, Victoriamarker 1992-
HMAS Newcastle FFG 06 AMECON, Williamstown 1993-
SPS Santa María F81 Bazan, Ferrolmarker 1986-
SPS Victoria F82 Bazan, Ferrolmarker 1987-
SPS Numancia F83 Bazan, Ferrolmarker 1989-
SPS Reina Sofía F84 Bazan, Ferrolmarker 1990-
SPS Navarra F85 Bazan, Ferrolmarker 1994-
SPS Canarias F86 Bazan, Ferrolmarker 1995-
Republic of China-built (Taiwanese)
ROCS Cheng Kung FFG-1101 China Shipbuilding, Kaohsiungmarker, Taiwan 1993-
ROCS Cheng Ho FFG-1103 China Shipbuilding, Kaohsiungmarker, Taiwan 1994-
ROCS Chi Kuang FFG-1105 China Shipbuilding, Kaohsiungmarker, Taiwan 1995-
ROCS Yueh Fei FFG-1106 China Shipbuilding, Kaohsiungmarker, Taiwan 1996-
ROCS Tzu I FFG-1107 China Shipbuilding, Kaohsiungmarker, Taiwan 1997-
ROCS Pan Chao FFG-1108 China Shipbuilding, Kaohsiungmarker, Taiwan 1997-
ROCS Chang Chien FFG-1109 China Shipbuilding, Kaohsiungmarker, Taiwan 1998-
ROCS Tien Dan FFG-1110 China Shipbuilding, Kaohsiungmarker, Taiwan 2004-


Further reading

  • (Operating a Perry frigate)
  • (Contains material on frigates and Perrys in particular)
  • (Attack on the USS Stark (FFG 31) )
  • (Mining of the USS Samuel B. Roberts (FFG 58) )
  • (The origin and construction of the Perrys, from the design shipyard's point of view.)

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