Oliver Hazard Perry-class
Oliver Hazard Perry class warships are active in the United States Navy and other navies. Functionally, they are ocean escorts, primarily for anti-submarine warfare with a local and limited anti-air warfare and anti-surface warfare capability. They serve in amphibious warfare and as escorts for replenishment ships, as well as for protection of shipping.
Designed as cost efficient surface combatants, they lack the multi-mission capability necessary for modern surface combatants faced with multiple, high-technology threats. They also offer limited capacity for growth. Despite this, the FFG 7 class is a robust platform, capable of withstanding considerable damage. This "toughness" was aptly demonstrated when USS Samuel B. Roberts (FFG-58) struck a mine and USS Stark (FFG-31) was hit by two Exocet cruise missiles. In both cases the ships survived, were repaired and returned to the fleet. USS Stark was decommissioned in May 1999.
The lead ship of the class, USS Oliver Hazard Perry (FFG-7) and the following ships have been decommissioned: FFG 9-16, 19-27, 30, 31, & 34.
Current Navy plans do not call for a replacement of these limited-capability ships. Where greater capability is needed, Burke-class destroyers are immensely more capable, although more expensive. The Perry class was optimized for blue water escorting during the Cold War, which is no longer a major mission; Littoral Combat Ships are more appropriate for escorting in confined waters.
Long-range surface-to-air missile launchers have been removed from U.S. vessels, since the limited supply of SM-1 missiles was more needed by allies.
FFG 17, 18, 35, & 44 were built for Australia, and named Adelaide, Canberra, Sydney and Darwin. Australia has since built two more of the class, Melbourne and Newcastle. Other nations operating the Oliver Hazard Perry-class include Spain, Taiwan, Turkey, Egypt, Bahrain and Poland.
- Builders: Bath Iron Works; Todd Shipyards, Seattle; Todd Shipyards, San Pedro, Calif
- Date First Deployed: 17 December 1977 (Oliver Hazard Perry)
- Propulsion: Two General Electric LM 2500 gas turbine engines; 1 shaft, 41,000 shaft horsepower total.
- "Short hull" 445 feet (133.5 meters); operates H-2 light helicopters
- "Long hull" 453 feet (135.9 meters); operates H-60 helicopters
- Beam: 45 feet (13.5 meters).
- Displacement: 4,100 tons (4,165.80 metric tons) full load.
- Speed: 29 plus knots (33.4+ miles per hour).
- Crew: 17 Officers, 198 Enlisted.