In the 70s of the twentieth century, at the height of the Cold War, before the American fleet the challenge was to ensure the safety of transoceanic convoys on the way from the New World to Europe. In the event of an armed conflict with the Soviet Union, this route was especially vulnerable. Due to the successful actions of the marine missile aviation and submarines of the USSR, American bases in Europe would be cut off, and countries that are part of the NATO bloc, without support, could not resist the Soviet Union for a long time tank armies.
According to the results of discussions, an opinion was formed in the Ministry of the Navy (Department of the NAVY) about a new escort ship.
It was decided to base the concept of the Knox-class frigate (KNOX-class frigate), to the limit by saturating the design with modern radio-electronic means and rocket weapons. Like its predecessor, the new combat ship was originally designed for operations far from the coast, had good seaworthiness, transoceanic cruising range (4500 miles at 20 knots) and could operate effectively both in convoys and aircraft carrier connections, and in a single trip. The total displacement of ships of this class was 3600 tons, and later, during the modernization increased to 4000 ... 4200 tons.
An important criterion for evaluating the project was its low cost and manufacturability. The design of the ship was simple, like a bucket of bolts, and focused on high-volume production - the Americans seriously intended to make the frigates the main escort ships of the Navy, replacing them with escort frigates of the Knox type and destroyers of the URO of the Farragut and Charles F. Adams type.
In 1977, the lead frigate of the Oliver Hazard Perry class (OLIVER H. PERRY class), named after the nineteenth-century American naval commander, entered service. The ship received the operational code FFG-7 (frigate, guided weapons), which emphasized its special status - “frigate with guided missile weapons”.
Externally, the ship turned out very nice - with concise lines and a sharp "clipper" nose. To increase manufacturability and reduce the cost of installation and operation of equipment, the superstructure had “straight” shapes, and the forecastle, в hull-long, made all the frigate decks parallel to the design waterline.
In an effort to reduce the cost of the ship, engineers went on to further simplify - General Electric's gas-turbine powerplant, to the detriment of survivability, was made single-shaft. The combination of two gas turbines LM2500, provides output power 41 000 l. with. The time required to exit to full power mode when starting from a cold state is estimated to be 12-15 minutes. Each turbine is enclosed in a heat and sound insulation casing and placed on depreciated platforms along with all auxiliary mechanisms and equipment. The power plant of the frigate Oliver H. Perry is completely unified with the power plants of cruisers and destroyers of the US Navy.
For maneuvering in narrow areas and harbors, as well as for emergency running, in the event of a power plant failure, the frigate is equipped with two propulsion and steering columns of the Azipod type, hp 350 power. each Auxiliary thrusters are located in the central part, approximately in 40 meters from the bow of the ship.
The main objectives of "Oliver H. Perry" were anti-submarine and air defense of naval forces in the near zone. According to the American concept of the use of the Navy, surface targets were the prerogative of carrier-based aviation.
"One-armed bandit" Mark-13
To repel aviation attacks, a Mark-13 one-gang launcher was installed in the bow of the ship. Despite its “one-handedness”, the system performed well on the destroyers “Chardz F. Adams” and atomic cruisers of the type “California”. The lightweight Mark-13, due to its low inertia, was rapidly induced in azimuth and in height, which compensated for its relatively low rate of fire.
In the cellar of the launcher (external drum - 24 positions, internal - 16) were 36 ready to launch anti-aircraft missiles Standard-1MR (medium range) with an effective range of air targets - 30-35 km. Warhead - high-explosive fragmentation Мk90, weight 61 kg.
The remaining four cells occupied anti-ship missiles RGM-84 "Harpoon".
The air defense of the frigate, frankly, was weak, which subsequently led to major troubles on the Stark frigate. The fire control system Mk92 initially provided simultaneous shelling of no more than two targets at medium and high altitudes, only the sixth modification of the Mk92 added the ability to fire low-flying targets.
When choosing an artillery gun for Oliver H. Perry, the Italian firm Otobreda unexpectedly won the competition. Americans forgot about patriotism and signed a contract with Italy for the supply of a party of universal naval guns Melara 76mm / L62 Allargato. Unremarkable artillery system caliber 76 mm. Rate of Fire - 80 shots / min.
For self-defense of a frigate against low-flying anti-ship missiles, a six-barreled Mark-15 "Phalanx" automatic caliber 20 mm is installed at the rear of the superstructure.
One of the drawbacks of Oliver H. Perry is the poor placement of artillery. The weapon has limited firing sectors: “Phalanx” protects only the rear hemisphere, and OTO Melara gunners must think seven times before firing so as not to touch the chimney and not to tear down the antenna posts on the superstructure roof.
To detect submarines, the frigate was equipped with a towed Array towed sonar station SQR-19, a SQS-56 underwater gas gun, and the Mark-32 ASW anti-submarine complex of two 324 mm torpedo tubes.
But the main means of anti-submarine warfare were two helicopters of the LAMPS III (Light airborne multipurpose system) system, for which a hangar and a helipad were organized in the stern of the frigate.
Here, the following should be noted: the first 17 frigates were built in the “short” version, which excluded basing large helicopters on them, only one SH-2 “Sea Sprite” was placed in the hangar.
All the detection systems, EW systems, and the Oliver Perry armament complex are linked together by the combat information management system NTDS (Naval Tactical Data System).
As the developers did not try, the laws of nature could not be deceived. The small size of the frigate makes itself felt - already with a six-pronged storm, with longitudinal rolling, the fairing of the dusting gasGS is partially exposed, and then an even more unpleasant effect occurs - a bottom slamming is formed and the ship is completely overwhelmed with water (firstly, rises on the crest of a wave, exposing the bottom, and then, thousands of tons of metal fall down, causing a giant waterfall of spray, a very beautiful sight). This makes it impossible to use helicopters and reduces the efficiency of the hydroacoustic station. Dynamic loads can greatly damage the aluminum structure of the frigate, it is necessary to reduce the course. By the way, low speed is another drawback of Oliver H. Perry, with no more than 29 nodes at full speed. On the other hand, with the development of rocket weapons, speed became less important for escort ships (according to the obsolete rules of naval tactics, escort ships should have had the opportunity to develop greater speed than the main forces of the convoy).
On a hot Arabian evening, 17, May 1987, the US frigate USS "Stark" (FFG-31) patrolled in 65-85 miles to Nord-Ost from the coast of Bahrain along the battlefield of the Iran-Iraq war. In the 20: 45, the Coontz air defense destroyer, located near the destroyer, reported on an approaching aerial target, obviously an Iraqi aircraft: “285 course, degrees, 120 miles”. A minute later, this information was duplicated by the E-3 AWASS aircraft of the Air Force of Saudi Arabia. In 20: 58 from a distance of 70 miles “Stark” took the target to accompany its radar. The frigate at that time was moving at a speed of 10 nodes, all systems were put on alert # XXUMX (detection means and weapons were ready for use, personnel were at combat posts).
Commander "Starcom", Commander Glenn Brindel climbed the bridge, but, not finding anything suspicious, he returned to the cabin - the Iraqis beat the Iranians every day, why wonder? The US Navy does not participate in the conflict.
Suddenly, the operator of the post of observation of the air situation reported to the BIC: "The distance to the target is 45 miles, the target follows the course to the ship!" On the destroyer “Coontz” also became agitated - in 21: 03 the frigate received a warning: “Iraqi aircraft. Course 066 hail, distance 45 miles, speed 335 knots (620 km / h), height 3.000 feet (915 m). Going straight to Stark! ”
By this time news the approach of the Iraqi aircraft has already reached the USS La Salle headquarters ship. From there they requested Stark: “Guys, there’s some kind of airplane flying around. Do you have everything OK? ”Having received an affirmative answer, they calmed down on“ La Salle ”- everything is under control.
In 21: 06, the Stark electronic intelligence system has detected the work of the radar of the aircraft from the 27 distance of miles. In 21: 09, an air observation post sent a radio message to an "unknown plane" and asked for its intentions. After 37 seconds, Stark repeated the request. Both appeals were broadcast on the international code of signals and at the frequency adopted for this (243 MHz and 121,5 MHz), but there was no response from the Iraqi aircraft. At the same Iraqi "Mirage" sharply turned to the right and increased speed. This meant that he lay down on the combat course and began the attack.
On the Starke, the combat alarm was played, and after five seconds, the first Ekoset rocket flew into the ship. After about half a minute, there was a second blow, this time the Exoceta warhead worked out properly, an explosion of a centner of explosives smashed the personnel compartment, killing 37 sailors. The fire engulfed the military information center, all sources of electricity were out of order, the frigate lost its course.
Realizing what had happened, the destroyer “Coontz” screamed at all radio frequencies: “Raise F-15! Shoot down Shoot down the Iraqi jackal! ”But while at the Saudi airbase they were deciding who would give a delicate order, the Iraqi Mirage flew away with impunity. The motives of the Iraqi side remained unclear: a mistake or deliberate provocation. Representatives of Iraq stated that the Mirage fighter pilot F.1, a well-trained pilot who knows English and the international aviation language, did not hear any calls from an American frigate. He attacked the target because it was in a war zone, in which, as he knew, there should not have been any own or neutral ships.
Damage to Stark
As for the beaten “Stark” - with the help of the “Coontz'a” who came to the rescue, he somehow got to Bahrain, where from in the month of 2 he left under his own power (!) For repairs in the USA.
A year later, on April 14 1988, in the Persian Gulf, the frigate “Samuel B. Roberts” got into a similar situation, having hit a mine. And this time the crew managed to keep the ship afloat. Oliver H. Perry type frigates turned out to be very tenacious, despite their small size and aluminum deck construction.
Evaluations and prospects
In total, in the 1975 for the 2004 year, the Oliver H. Perry frigate was built in various countries in the 71, including:
USA - 55 frigates, of which 4 for the Australian Navy
Spain - 6 frigates (Santa Maria-class)
Taiwan - 8 frigates (Cheng Kung- class)
Australia - 2 frigate (Adelaide-class), in addition to four purchased in the US
According to the results of the combat use of the Olivers, it turned out that the creators wanted too much from a small ship. Two days before the Starck incident, exercises in the Gulf of Mexico were conducted to repel missile attacks. A French Navy ship was invited as a gunman. During the shooting, it turned out that Ajdis-cruiser "Taykonderoga" guaranteed to shoot down the RCC "Exochet", "Oliver H. Perry" - no. At present, “serious” anti-missile defense missions are performed by Aegis destroyers of the Orly Burk type (61 destroyer according to 2012 data) are much larger and more expensive ships. And for antiterrorist tasks in coastal waters, specialized ships of the LCS type are acquired.
By the beginning of the twenty-first century, the Mark-13 launcher and SM-1MR missiles were declared ineffective and outdated. In 2003, the dismantling of these systems began, and instead the frigates "Oliver H. Perry" got ... a hole in the deck. Yes, now ships of this type do not carry any rocket weapons. The American admirals reasoned that a three-inch cannon and a sea hawk SH-60 helicopters are enough to fight the drug couriers and pirates. It is wasteful to drive large warships to the coast of Somalia. For helicopters, Americans just in case purchased a shipment of Penguin anti-ship missiles from Sweden.
Another new role of the Olivers is the delivery of humanitarian aid, a ship of this type sailed to Georgia in 2008.
Since the beginning of the 2000-ies there has been a constant withdrawal of these ships from the US Navy, someone is sent for scrap, someone is sent to overseas countries. For example, the Olivers bought Bahrain, Pakistan, Egypt, Poland bought the frigate 2, and Turkey bought the most — 8 units for operations in the Black Sea. The Turkish Olivers were upgraded, the old Mark-13 gave way to the vertical Mark-41 launcher, in which eight cells are placed 32 anti-aircraft missiles ESSM.
Frigates of this type of 35 years "defend democracy" in all hot spots of the globe, but, despite their solid fighting qualities, they have a rather inglorious fighting история. Now the "Olivers" are transferring the watch to warships of new types.
"Oliver H. Perry" - everything will be X.
And this is Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. In the background - the memorial to the victims of "Arizona", the frigate just passes over the battleship lying at the bottom
Refueling in the ocean
Pirates are caught. Pay attention to the funny weapon "sea lions"
Armed to the teeth baby can pass from St. Petersburg to New York without refueling