Built by Tenix Defence Systems in Williamstown, Victoria, HMAS Stuart (III) is the fourth of eight Anzac Class frigates based on the German Meko 200 frigate. Anzac Class is a long-range frigate capable of air defence, surface and undersea warfare, surveillance, reconnaissance and interdiction.
Commissioned on 17 August 2002, HMAS Stuart is the third ship to bear the same name in the Royal Australian Navy.
The Anti-Ship Missile Defence upgrade program significantly improved combat capabilities, providing enhanced sensor and weapons systems capabilities. The upgrade included 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 air and surface surveillance radars, omni-directional hull-mounted sonar, and electronic support systems that interface with the 9LV453 Mk3E combat data system. These systems can counter simultaneous threats from aircraft, surface vessels and submarines.
The ship's main armament comprises one Mark 45 capable of firing 20 rounds per minute, ship launched Mark 46 torpedoes and a Mark 41 vertical launch system for the Evolved Sea Sparrow missile. Anzac also has eight anti-ship/land attack canister launched harpoon missiles. The ship's 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.
The frigates also allow Navy's multi-role MH-60R Seahawk helicopter to launch from the ship, providing enhanced anti-submarine and 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.
Stuart is the sixth Anzac class frigate to undergo the Anzac Mid-Life Capability Assurance Program (AMCAP) upgrade at the Australian Marine Complex in Henderson, Western Australia. The AMCAP upgrade involved:
- replacement of Long Range Air search radar
- IFF (identification, friend or foe)
- secondary surveillance radar capabilities
- improvements to platform reliability and maintainability
- habitability for the crew
- improvements to communications systems.
|Commander Richard Raymond
|Frigate, Helicopter (FFH)
|Fleet Base West
|Tenix Defence Systems
|25 July 1998
|17 April 1999
|17 August 2002
|6000 nautical miles
|2 x Mk32 Mod 5 triple mounted torpedo tubes
|Combat data systems
|Saab Systems 9LV453 Mk3E
|1 x MH-60R Seahawk