Australia plans to transfer ageing ANZAC class frigates to the Philippines Navy

HMA ships Arunta (front), Hobart (right) and Canberra depart the Port of Darwin to commence the Regional Presence Deployment 2020 in Southeast Asia and off the coast of Hawaii (Credit : Australian DoD/RAN/LSIS Ernesto Sanchez)

The transfer of HMAS Anzac would improve force projection and maritime security for the receiving Philippines Navy. Its long-range capabilities are ideal for extensive patrols and crucial for securing territorial waters and exclusive economic zones against piracy and illegal fishing threats.

Additionally, the ship’s advanced communication and combat management systems enhance interoperability with allied navies, facilitating joint operations and exercises. This interoperability is particularly beneficial in regions with complex security dynamics, such as the South China Sea, where collaboration with allies like the United States and Australia is critical​.

The HMAS Anzac (FFH 150) is the lead ship of the Anzac-class frigates, a series of eight ships built for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and two for the Royal New Zealand Navy. Based on the German MEKO 200 design, the Anzac-class frigates were modified to meet Australian specifications, featuring a modular construction that allows for parallel production of the hull and superstructure.

HMAS Anzac was laid down at Williamstown, Victoria, on November 5, 1993, and was commissioned into service on May 18, 1996. The ship has a full load displacement of 3,810 tons, an overall length of 118 meters, a beam of 14.8 meters, and a draught of 4.35 meters.

The Anzac uses a Combined Diesel or Gas (CODOG) propulsion system, which includes one General Electric LM2500 gas turbine generating 30,000 horsepower and two MTU 12V1163 TB83 diesel engines producing 8,840 horsepower. This configuration enables the ship to reach speeds of up to 27 knots with a maximum range of over 6,000 nautical miles at 18 knots.

HMAS Anzac is equipped with a variety of weapons systems for different combat scenarios. Its primary armament includes a 127mm Mk 45 Mod 2 gun and an eight-cell Mk 41 Vertical Launch System (VLS) for RIM-7 Sea Sparrow and RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow missiles.

For anti-ship warfare, it carries two quad-canister launchers for Harpoon Block II missiles. The ship also features two 12.7mm machine guns, two Mk 32 triple torpedo tubes for MU90 torpedoes, and the Rafael Mini Typhoon close-in weapon system for defense against aerial threats.

The frigate is equipped with advanced radar and sensor systems, including the Raytheon SPS-49(V)8 ANZ air search radar, Atlas Elektronik 9600 ARPA navigation radar, and the CelsiusTech 9LV453 fire control radar. It also features a hull-mounted sonar for underwater detection.

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