Adelaide Class frigates’ future home could be in the Baltic Sea

Guided missile frigates (FFG) HMAS Melbourne (05) and HMAS Newcastle (06) sail in company off the south coast of New South Wales. Image via Commonwealth of Australia, Department of Defence.

The future of Australia’s Adelaide Class FFG frigates has been discussed this week during Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pynes visit to Europe.

Minister Pyne has confirmed he discussed Poland's expression of interest in purchasing the frigates while meeting with his Polish counterparts.

Poland officially expressed its interest in the vessels in March this year when Michal Jach, the chairman of the Polish parliament's National Defence Committee, told the Safety Forum 2017 conference in Szczecin: "The acquisition of used Adelaide frigates from Australia would represent a major upgrade for Poland, it would raise the combat capability of our Navy."

Like Australia, Poland is working to significantly modernise its defence capability, announcing in August it will spend $46 billion over the next 15 years.

The vessels could provide enhanced ballistic missile defence to Poland, given the frigates are armed with a Mark 13 missile launcher for SM-2 missiles.

Australia's Adelaide Class frigates, which come out of service over the next two years, are being replaced by the three Hobart Class Air Warfare Destroyers, one of which has been active since September this year.

The FFG frigates have been in service since 1980 and three of the original six are still in service.

The frigates are based on the US Navy's Oliver Hazard Perry Class frigates, but were modified for Australian requirements. The first four vessels were built in the US, while the other two were constructed in Australia.

Poland already operates two former Oliver Hazard Perry Class frigates – ORP General Kazimierz Pulaski (273) and ORP General Tadeusz Kościuszko (273) – and it is beleived both frigates would be compatible with the Australia's FFGs.

 

 

Adelaide Class frigates’ future home could be in the Baltic Sea
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