The Oliver Hazard Perry class is a class of guided missile frigates named after the American Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, the hero of the naval Battle of Lake Erie. In Admiral Elmo Zumwalts high low fleet plan, the FFG-7s were the low capability ships with the Spruance-class destroyers serving as the high capability ships, fifty-five ships were built in the United States,51 for the United States Navy and four for the Royal Australian Navy. In addition, eight were built in Taiwan, six in Spain, former U. S. Navy warships of this class have been sold or donated to the navies of Bahrain, Egypt, Poland, Pakistan, Taiwan and Turkey. The first of the 51 U. S. Navy built Oliver Hazard Perry frigates entered service in 1977, and the last remaining in active service. The retired vessels were mothballed or transferred to other navies for continued service. The ships were designed by the Bath Iron Works shipyard in Maine in partnership with the New York-based naval architects Gibbs & Cox, the Oliver Hazard Perry-class ships were produced in 445-foot long short-hull and 453-foot long long-hull variants. The long-hull ships carry the larger SH-60 Seahawk LAMPS III helicopters, while the short-hulled warships carry the smaller, the FFG8,29,32, and 33 were built as short-hull warships but were later modified into long-hull warships. Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates were the class of surface ship in the US Navy to be built with gas turbine propulsion. The gas turbine propulsion plants also allowed the speed to be controlled directly from the bridge via a throttle control. American shipyards constructed Oliver Hazard Perry-class ships for the U. S. Navy, early American-built Australian ships were originally built as the short-hull version, but they were modified during the 1980s to the long-hull design. Shipyards in Australia, Spain, and Taiwan have produced several warships of the design for their navies. Although the per-ship costs rose greatly over the period of production, during the design phase of the Oliver Hazard Perry class, head of the Royal Corps of Naval Constructors, R. J. Daniels, was invited by an old friend, US Chief of the Bureau of Ships, Adm Robert C Gooding, to advise upon the use of variable-pitch propellers in the class. During the course of conversation, Daniels warned Gooding against the use of aluminium in the superstructure of the FFG-7 class as he believed it would lead to structural weaknesses. A number of ships subsequently developed structural cracks, including a 40 ft fissure in USS Duncan and they could also provide air defense against 1970s- and 1980s-era aircraft and anti-ship missiles. These warships are equipped to escort and protect aircraft carrier groups, amphibious landing groups, underway replenishment groups. They can conduct independent operations to such tasks as surveillance of illegal drug smugglers, maritime interception operations. The addition of the Naval Tactical Data System, LAMPS helicopters, and they are well suited to operations in littoral regions, and for most war-at-sea scenarios
Image: Oliver Hazard Perry class frigates underway in 1982
Outboard profile of the "long-hull" design.
USS Stark listing to port following an air attack
Image: 080713 N 7949W 084 USS Rodney M. Davis (FFG 60)