Tenix FFG Upgrade

Abraham Gubler

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In 1999 the Australian Department of Defence signed a contract with Australian Defence Industries (now Thales Australia) to upgrade the Royal Australian Navy’s six Oliver Hazard Perry class frigates (called Adelaide class in Australia). This SEA 1390 FFG Upgrade (FFG UG) was to include a life extension of the first four American built ships and a range of capability enhancements centering around upgrade of the combat system to replace the SM-1MR missile with the ESSM and SM-2MR and interrupted continuous wave illumination. The project has seen then generally been considered a diaster with significant failings in ADI’s combat system design, huge delays and an eventual downgrading of scope from six to four FFG UGs. Many have accused the then Howard Government of choosing the then state owned ADI for the contract to cash them up before their sale to Thales despite the weakness of their proposal.

The alternative was an upgrade proposed by Tenix Defence & Shipbuilding (now part of BAE Systems Australia) who were building the RAN and RNZN’s Anzac class of frigates. Tenix proposed are more capabple combat system upgrade that included a mast top 3D search and tracking radar and two Mk 99 illuminators in place of the Mk 92’s search/track and illumination radar and single track and illumination radar. Also the ship was to receive an IR signature reduction uptake for the twin gas turbines. Other modifications like the eight cell Mk 41 VLS for 32 ESSM missiles are similar to that of the ADI FFG UP. By using exsisting combat system upgrades and with their better warship experience the Tenix solution would have hopefully been far more of a success.
 

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The full potential of the FFG-7 class ship was never fully realized. The Mk92 was not the weak link in this design as was repeated declared by the USN. The It must be remembered there are or were several different flavors of the Mk92 in use.

Mod 1
Mod 2
Mod 5
Mod 6
Mod 12

Also the Mk92 was slated from the very beginning. Near-Term, CANDO, and Far-Term. Far term was always planned to incorporate CORT, Phased Array, and terminal guidance (later named SYS-1. These imporvements inconjunction with the Australian idea of a 8-cell VLS added forward would have created a mini Aegis platform at a very affordable price.
 
Mk13 weighs around 60 tonnes, about the same as 4 8-cells mk41 modules. If there is space you could potentially have 5 mk-41 modules aboard (4 replacing the Mk13 and one forward like the actual refit) for a total of 40 cells.

Although I kind of like the idea of turning OHPs into oversized missile corvettes by keeping the mk13 and just filling it with 40 SLAM-ER for SUW and land attack. Adding the forward 8-cell vls for ESSM and self defense, of course. :)
 
Mk13 weighs around 60 tonnes, about the same as 4 8-cells mk41 modules. If there is space you could potentially have 5 mk-41 modules aboard (4 replacing the Mk13 and one forward like the actual refit) for a total of 40 cells.

Although I kind of like the idea of turning OHPs into oversized missile corvettes by keeping the mk13 and just filling it with 40 SLAM-ER for SUW and land attack. Adding the forward 8-cell vls for ESSM and self defense, of course. :)
Tag on an AH-1 with a handful of UAVs and you have a potent "littoral" ship!
 

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