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Calgary-class Guided Missile Frigate

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The side profile of a Calgary-class Guided Missile Frigate.
The Calgary-class Guided Missile Frigate is a type of frigate used by the Royal Canadian Navy, Islamic Republic of Iran Navy, Israeli Sea Corps, Royal New Zealand Navy, and South African Navy from the 2020s onwards.

Specifications[edit]

  • Type: Guided Missile Frigate (Hull designation symbol FFG)
  • Service Period: 2021-Onwards
  • Characteristics
    • Length: 499 feet 1 inches (152.12 meters)
    • Beam: 57 feet 9 inches (17.61 meters)
    • Draught: 17 feet 3 inches (5.26 meters)
    • Height: 146 feet 4 inches (44.61 meters)
    • Displacement: 5,890 tons
  • Crew: 263 officers and men
  • Endurance: 60 days
  • Power: 123,000 shp
  • Propulsion: CODAG, 2 x shafts
    • 2 x General Electric GEnx Marine gas turbines
    • 2 x General Motors Model 285MT turbodiesel cruise engines
    • 2 x Vektris Engineering 700kW COGAS generators
    • 4 x Western Electric 825kW geared generators
  • Range: 10,000 nautical miles (18,520 km)
  • Speed: 31.4 knots (58.16 km/h)
  • Sensor Suite
    • 1 x SAMPSON S-Band Multi-function AESA radar
    • 1 x S1850MHP L-Band 3D Air Search Radar
    • 1 x Raytheon Pathfinder Mark.II Ka-band navigation radar
    • 1 x AN/SPS-67(V)3 C-Band Short range 2D Surface Search Radar
    • 1 x AN/SPS-73(V)12 I-Band Surface Search Radar
    • 1 x Signaal SPG-503 STIR 1.8 K/I-Band Fire Control Radar
    • 1 x AN/SQR-501 CANTASS Passive towed array sonar
  • Countermeasures:
    • 1 x Elisra M275 Electronic Warfare System
    • 1 x S2170 Surface Ship Torpedo Defence System
    • 1 x Rheinmetall MASS countermeasures suite
    • 2 x Mk.53 Nulka decoy launchers
  • Armament
    • 1 x 5"/62-caliber Mark 45 Mod 4 lightweight naval gun (525 rounds)
    • 1 x 64-cell Mk.41 VLS (RGM-109 Tomahawk, RUM-139 VL-ASROC, RIM-156 SM-2ER Blk.IV, RIM-174 SM-6)
    • 2 x Mk.56 missile launchers (64 x RIM-162 ESSM)
    • 2 x Mk.141 missile launchers (8 Harpoon Block II missiles)
    • 1 x SW-2 anti-submarine rocket launcher with deckhouse (24 ASROC missiles)
    • 2 x Phalanx MC2 30mm close-in weapons systems (20,000 rounds)
    • 6 x Diemaco C25 14.5mm machine guns (30,000 rounds)
  • Aircraft Carried: 2 x Sikorsky CH-148 Cyclone maritime helicopters

Unit Run[edit]

Canada[edit]

  • HMCS Calgary (FFG-347)
  • HMCS Thunder Bay (FFG-348)
  • HMCS Trois-Rivières (FFG-349)
  • HMCS Prince George (FFG-350)
  • HMCS Sydney (FFG-351)
  • HMCS Brandon (FFG-352)
  • HMCS Bonavista (FFG-353)
  • HMCS Green Bay (FFG-354)
  • HMCS Iqaluit (FFG-355)
  • HMCS Fort McMurray (FFG-356)

Iran[edit]

  • IRIS Saam (F80)
  • IRIS Zaal (F81)
  • IRIS Rostam (F82)
  • IRIS Faramarz (F83)

Israel[edit]

  • INS Wedgwood
  • INS Aliya
  • INS Haganah

New Zealand[edit]

  • HMNZS Te Ika-a-Māui
  • HMNZS Te Waipounamu

South Africa[edit]

  • SAS Vrystaat (F150)
  • SAS Natal (F151)
  • SAS Teviot (F152)
  • SAS Swales (F153)

History[edit]

The Calgary-class is considered to be in some ways state of the art, in other ways rather less so. This largely comes from the circumstances in which the class was built in 2017-2026.

The Calgary-class was originally designed as an evolution of the long-serving Halifax-class frigates, and as such it uses a stretched version of the Halifax-class hull. The vessel's hull was stretched 20 meters and widened 1.2 meters in the Calgary-class, but while the hull design is in most ways similar, that is where the similarity stops.

The Halifax-class was considered a good ASW weapon when first inducted into the Canadian Forces in 1992, with a long range and fair armament, including Sea Sparrow SAMs, Harpoon missiles and ASW helicopters. But by 2015, that had changed. The loss of HMCS Calgary to Indonesian fighter-bombers in 2015 had caused a massive furor. While Canadian, Australian, British, American and South Korean forces easily beat down on the Indonesians in the Timor war of 2015, the reality was that the Halifax-class was under armed, and as the first ship of the class was now 23 years old, its replacement would have to start coming on the drawing board. The public announcement by then-Prime Minister Peter Mackay that there would be a replacement for Calgary also put the pressure on. It was decided right away that the new ship should be better-armed than the Halifax-class.

The improvements in the ship start with the fitting of the Mark 41 Vertical Launch System, allowing the launching of SM-2, SM-3 and SM-6 SAMs and Tomahawk cruise missiles, and an improved version of the American ASROC launcher. MBK Systems of London, Ontario, worked with Vektris Engineering to build a better launcher, named the SW-2 (Submarine Weapon 2). With a wheelhouse to allowing reloads, the Calgary-class would be able to carry 24 ASROC missiles, which were in themselves manufactured by Misakau Technologies in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The Mk.41 VLS system normally carries 48 SAMs (a mix of SM-2ER Blk.IV, SM-3, and SM-6) and sixteen RGM-109 Tomahawk cruise missiles. Two custom-built 12-cell launchers on either side of the main funnel are used to fire ESSM short-range anti-aircraft missiles. The one Phalanx CIWS system of the Halifax-class was expanded to two, and fitted with a custom built five-barrel 30mm gun, manufactured by Diemaco's heavy weapons division in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Six Diemaco-manufactured 14.5mm machine guns were also fitted for close-aboard defense. The ship also had new Harpoon launchers fitted on the tail, and a slightly-expanded flight deck and hangar. The ship was fitted with two General Electric GEnx Marine gas turbines, the first use of these engines in a warship. With a power output of 52,500 hp, the GEnx Marine improved power by some 20% on the old LM2500. The ship was also fitted with two General Motors Model 285MT turbodiesel cruise engines, providing 9,000 hp each. These were hooked up to two General Manufacturing gearboxes, which allowed the ship to run on the turbines, diesels or both. The ship also included a COGAS system, using the ship's exhaust heat to produce electric power. This was used to provide power to the ship's extensive electronics. This improved the Calgary-class' top speed to 31.4 knots (58.15 km/h), despite the displacement rising to 5,890 tons.

The ship was also fitted with liquid-cooled processing electronics, developed by Western Electric, Research in Motion and the DRDC, thus improving the vessel's electronic power. This necessitated the installation of two major cooling plants, but those plants gave the ship better climate control, as well as keeping crewing requirements to 263, a 38-man increase on the Halifax-class.

The first of the Calgary-class was approved by the Prime Minister in 2016, and HMCS Calgary was laid down at Canadian Shipbuilding Corporation in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in August 2017. The vessel was delivered to the Canadian Forces in June 2020, and following extensive trials which proved the ship was a major step forward for the CF, was commissioned on April 16, 2021. Before the ship was even commissioned, however, the CF had already decided to purchase several more units, owing to the Victorious-class aircraft carriers the CF was building at the time and Canada's growing international aid commitments. The CF ordered ten Calgary-class vessels in 2021, with all te delivered by between 2024 and 2026. The vessel was also exported to the Australian, New Zealand, South African, Iranian and Israeli Navies between 2025 and 2030.

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