The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) Anzac-Class frigate HMAS Parramatta (FFH 154) today departed Fleet Base East in Sydney for a four-month deployment to South East Asia. HMAS Parramatta will participate in several major military exercises to enhance interoperability and build practical cooperation with Navy partners including India, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam. Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC said the deployment will help strengthen the stability and security of Indo-Pacific region region. HMAS Parramatta will engage in various activities including Exercise Milan in India, Exercise Bersama Shield off Singapore and the Malay Peninsula, and International Fleet Reviews in the Philippines and Vietnam.
HMAS Parramatta (FFH 154) is an Anzac-class frigate of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). One of ten warships built for the RAN and Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) based on the MEKO 200 design, Parramatta was laid down in 1999, launched in 2003, and commissioned into the RAN in 2003. The Anzac class originated from RAN plans to replace the six River-class destroyer escorts with a mid-capability patrol frigate. The Anzacs are based on Blohm + Voss’ MEKO 200 PN (or Vasco da Gama-class) frigates, modified to meet Australian and New Zealand specifications and maximise the use of locally built equipment. Each frigate has a 3,600-tonne (3,500-long-ton; 4,000-short-ton) full load displacement. The ships are 109 metres (358 ft) long at the waterline, and 118 metres (387 ft) long overall, with a beam of 14.8 metres (49 ft), and a full load draught of 4.35 metres (14.3 ft).
As designed, the main armament for the frigate is a 5-inch 54 calibre Mark 45 gun, supplemented by an eight-cell Mark 41 vertical launch system (for RIM-7 Sea Sparrow or RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow missiles), two 12.7-millimetre (0.50 in) machine guns, and two Mark 32 triple torpedo tube sets (initially firing Mark 46 torpedoes, but later upgraded to use the MU90 Impact torpedo). They were also designed for but not with a close-in weapons system (two Mini Typhoons fitted when required from 2005 onwards), two quad-canister Harpoon anti-ship missile launchers (which were installed across the RAN vessels from 2005 onwards), and a second Mark 41 launcher (which has not been added). HMAS Parramatta use a Sikorsky S-70B-2 Seahawk helicopter; plans to replace them with Kaman SH-2G Super Seasprites were cancelled in 2008 due to ongoing problems.