Royal Australian Navy
HMAS NEWCASTLE - FFG 06
HMAS Newcastle (FFG 06), named for a city in New South Wales, is an Adelaide class guided-missile frigate of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).
Newcastle was the last Adelaide class vessel (a derivative of the United States Oliver Hazard Perry class frigate) to be ordered, and the last to be built in Australia.
Newcastles's main weapon is the Mark 13 missile launcher located on the foredeck: this is used to fire both Harpoon and SM-2MR Standard missiles. A 76-millimetre (3.0 in) Mark 75 OTO Melara gun is located on top of the superstructure, in front of the exhaust funnel. A triple-barrelled Mark 32 torpedo tube set is fitted to each side of the superstructure. For close defence, a 20-millimetre (0.79 in) Mark 16 Mod 2 Phalanx CIWS sits at the aft end of the superstructure, above the frigate's two helicopter hangars. The hangars houses two S-70B Seahawk helicopters.
In the mid 1990s, the Australian government commenced SEA 1390, also known as the FFG Upgrade Project.
Originally costing A$1 billion, which has expanded to A$1.46 billion, the project includes improvements to the combat and fire control system, the sonar suite, and the air defence missiles. The upgrade was for four ships and intended to expand their service life to approximately 2020.
The project cost was partly offset by the decommissioning of the two oldest units: Canberra paying off in 2005 and Adelaide in 2008. Modification of each ship took place at Garden Island Dockyard, with Australian Defence Industries (ADI, now Thales Australia) selected as project leader for the upgrade phase of the project.
After the refit, the ships are capable of firing SM-2MR and RGM-84 Harpoon missiles from the Mark 13 launcher. An 8-cell Mark 41 Vertical Launch System for Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile has also been installed forward of the Mark 13 launcher. The Phalanx CIWS was upgraded to Block 1B, and the torpedoes, missiles, and other ship-mounted weapons were upgraded to the latest versions.