Halifax class frigate

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Halifax class frigate

The Halifax-class frigate (hull designation FFH) is a class of multi-role patrol frigates that have served the Royal Canadian Navy since 1992. The class is the product of the Canadian Patrol Frigate Project, which dates to the mid-1970s.

HMCS Halifax (FFH 330) was the first of an eventual twelve Canadian-designed and -built vessels which combine traditional anti-submarine capabilities with systems to deal with surface and air threats as well. The Halifax class are the work horses of the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) which deploys them extensively in task groups. All ships of the class are named after major Canadian cities, with at least one from each province (Ontario and Quebec, the most populous provinces, have two each). They are sometimes referred to as 'City'-class vessels.

In 2007 the Canadian government announced a planned refit of the Halifax class which will be known as the Halifax Class Modernization Project (HCMP) or alternately as the Frigate Life Extension (FELEX). In November of 2008, a Lockheed Martin, Canada, led team also including Saab, Elisra, IBM Canada, CAE Professional Services, L-3 Electronic Systems and xwave, was awarded the contract.

In October 2011 the Canadian government announced in the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy that it would be ordering 15 warships under the Single Class Surface Combatant Project to replace the 3 Iroquois class destroyers and 12 Halifax class frigates, beginning in 2016.

Halifax class frigate

Weapons systems

The primary weapon deployed by Halifax-class vessels is the CH-124 Sea King helicopter, which acts in concert with shipboard sensors to seek out and destroy submarines at long distances from the ships. The ships have a helicopter deck fitted with a "bear trap" system allowing the launch and recovery of helicopters in up to sea state 6. It is anticipated that Royal Canadian Air Force's new maritime helicopter, the CH-148 Cyclone, which is slated to replace the Sea King, will be deployed on-board the frigates with only minimal alterations to the ships' structure required. The Halifax class also carries a close-in anti-submarine weapon in the form of the Mark 46 torpedo, launched from Mark 32 Mod 9 torpedo tubes in launcher compartments either side of the forward end of the helicopter hangar.

A secondary anti-shipping role is supported by the RGM-84 Harpoon Block 1C surface-to-surface missile, mounted in two quadruple launch tubes at the main deck level between the funnel and the helicopter hangar. For anti-aircraft self-defence the ships are armed with the Sea Sparrow vertical launch surface-to-air missile in eight-cell launchers port and starboard of the funnel. A Raytheon/General Dynamics Phalanx Mark 15 Mod 21 Close-In Weapon System (CIWS) is mounted on top of the helicopter hangar for "last ditch" defence against targets that evade the Sea Sparrow. The CIWS includes a thermal imaging camera which provides a surface capability, improved Ku-band radar and optimized gun barrels with a dual firing rate of 3000 or 4500 rounds/min.

The main gun on the fo'c'sle is a 57 mm 70 Mark 3 gun from Bofors. The gun is capable of firing 2.4 kg shells at a rate of 220 rounds/min at a range of more than 17 km. The Bofors is a multi-purpose weapon usable against surface and air targets, but the gun is not very effective for ship-to-shore bombardment.

Countermeasures

The decoy system comprises four BAE Systems Shield Mark 2 decoy launchers which fire chaff to 2 km and infrared rockets to 169 m in distraction, confusion and centroid seduction modes. The torpedo decoy is the AN/SLQ-25A Nixie towed acoustic decoy from Argon ST. The ship's radar warning receiver, the CANEWS (Canadian Electronic Warfare System), SLQ-501, and the radar jammer, SLQ-505, were developed by Thorn and Lockheed Martin Canada.

Sensors

Two Thales Nederland (formerly Signaal) SPG-503 (STIR 1.8) fire control radars are installed one on the roof of the bridge and one on the raised radar platform immediately forward of the helicopter hangar. The ship is also fitted with Raytheon AN/SPS-49(V)5 long-range active air search radar operating at C and D bands, Ericsson HC150 Sea Giraffe medium-range air and surface search radar operating at G and H bands, and Kelvin Hughes Type 1007 I-band navigation radar.

The sonar suite includes the CANTASS Canadian Towed Array supplied by General Dynamics – Canada (GD-C), formerly Computing Devices of Canada and GD-C AN/SQS-510 hull mounted sonar and incorporates an acoustic range prediction system. The sonobuoy processing system is the GD-C AN/UYS-503.

Propulsion

Halifax-class vessels are powered by a CODOG (combined diesel or gas) system with two GE LM2500 gas turbines and one SEMT-Pielstick 20PA6 V280 diesel engine. CAE provided the Integrated Machinery Control System (IMCS). The Halifax class is the first to employ this degree of computer control for the machinery plant, and variants of the CAE system are also installed in other ship classes such as the United States Navy's Arleigh Burke-class.

Class overview
Name: Halifax-class frigate
Builders: Canada Saint John Shipbuilding Ltd., Saint John
MIL Davie Shipbuilding, Lauzon
Operators: Royal Canadian Navy
Preceded by: Annapolis-class destroyer
In commission: 29 June 1992-Present
Completed: 12
Active: Halifax, Vancouver, Ville de Québec, Toronto, Regina, Calgary, Montréal, Fredericton, Winnipeg, Charlottetown, St. John's, Ottawa
General characteristics
Type: Patrol frigate
Displacement: 4,770 t (4,770.0 t)
Length: 134.1 m (439.96 ft)
Beam: 16.4 m (53.81 ft)
Draught: 4.9 m (16.08 ft)
Propulsion: CODOG
2 × General Electric LM2500 gas turbines, generating 47,500 shp
1 × SEMT Pielstick Diesel engine, generating 8,800 shp
1 × Royal de Schelde cross-connect gearbox
2 × Escher Wyss controllable pitch propellers
4 × 850kW AEG Telefunken generators
Speed: 29 kn (54 km/h; 33 mph)
Range: 9,500 nmi (17,600 km; 10,900 mi)
Complement: 225
Sensors and
processing systems:
Air/Surface Search: Ericsson Sea Giraffe HC 150 (G band)
Long Range Air Search: Raytheon AN/SPS-49(V)5 (C/D band)
Fire Control: Signaal SPG-503 STIR 1.8 (K/I band)
Active Sonar: AN/SQS-510 Hull-mounted variable depth
Passive Sonar: AN/SQR-501 CANTASS Passive towed array
Electronic warfare
and decoys:
• TKWA/MASS (Multi Ammunition Softkill System)
Armament:

8 × MK 141 Harpoon SSM
16 × Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile SAM/SSM
1 × Bofors 57 mm Mk 2 gun
1 × Phalanx CIWS (Mk 15 Mod 21 (Block 1B))
6 × M2 Browning machine guns

24 × Mk 46 torpedoes Mod 5
Aircraft carried: 1 × CH-124 Sea King helicopter
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