Military Wiki
HMAS Melbourne (FFG 05)
HMAS Melbourne in 2013
HMAS Melbourne in 2013
Career (Australia)
Namesake: City of Melbourne
Ordered: 1980
Builder: Australian Marine Engineering Consolidated
Laid down: 12 July 1985
Launched: 5 May 1989
Commissioned: 15 February 1992
Motto: "Vires Acquirit Eundo" (She gathers strength as she goes)
Honours and
Battle honours:
East Timor 2000
Persian Gulf 2002
plus three inherited honours
Status: Active as of 2013
General characteristics
Class & type: Adelaide class guided missile frigate
Displacement: 4,200 tons
Length: 138 m (453 ft)
Beam: 14.3 m (47 ft)
Draught: 7.5 m (25 ft)
Propulsion: 2 × General Electric LM2500 gas turbines, each providing 20,500 hp (15,287 kW). Total 41,000 hp (30,574 kW)
Speed: Over 30 knots (56 km/h; 35 mph)
Range: 4,500 nautical miles (8,300 km; 5,200 mi) at 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph)
Complement: 184 + aircrew
Sensors and
processing systems:
AN/SPS-49A(V)1 radar, Mk 92 Guided Missile Fire Control System, AN/SPS-55 radar, Spherion B sonar
Armament: Mk 41 VLS for Evolved Sea Sparrow missile
Mk 13 launcher for Harpoon and SM-2MR missiles
1 × 3 inch OTO Melara
1 × 20 mm Mk 15 Vulcan Phalanx
2 x triple 324 mm Mk 32 torpedo tubes
Aircraft carried: 2 x S-70B Seahawk

HMAS Melbourne (FFG 05) is an Adelaide class guided-missile frigate of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). Originally ordered as HMAS Torrens, the ship was renamed during construction, and entered service in 1992. Melbourne has been deployed to the Persian Gulf on several occasions, and served as part of the INTERFET peacekeeping taskforce in 2000. The ship is operational as of 2013.

Design and construction

The ship was originally ordered in 1980 as HMAS Torrens; one of the last two Adelaide class ships (a derivative of the United States Navy's Oliver Hazard Perry class) ordered for the RAN, and the only two not to be built in the United States of America.[1][2] The ship was laid down by AMECON at Williamstown, Victoria on 12 July 1985. Prior to her 5 May 1989 launching, Torrens was renamed Melbourne, as the aircraft carrier of the same name was still commissioned when the Adelaide class was ordered, but left service in 1982. The new Melbourne was commissioned into the RAN on 15 February 1992.


Melbourne'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.[3] A 76-millimetre (3.0 in) Mark 75 OTO Melara gun is located on top of the superstructure, in front of the exhaust funnel.[3][4] A triple-barrelled Mark 32 torpedo tube set is fitted to each side of the superstructure.[3][4] 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.[3][4] The hangars house two S-70B Seahawk helicopters.[3]

Operational history

In 1996, the frigate was deployed to the Persian Gulf.

Melbourne arriving at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii in 2009

Melbourne was deployed to East Timor as part of the Australian-led INTERFET peacekeeping taskforce from 20 January to 23 February 2000.[5]

In 2002, Melbourne participated in the third rotation of RAN ships to the Persian Gulf as part of Operation Slipper, where she enforced United Nations sanctions against Iraq. In 2003, the ship returned to Iraqi waters in support of Operation Catalyst, protecting Iraqi territorial waters following Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Following an overhaul of the RAN battle honours system, completed in March 2010, Melbourne was awarded the honours "East Timor 2000" and "Persian Gulf 2002".[6][7]

On 16 August 2010, Melbourne was deployed to the Middle East for the third time, again as part of Operation Slipper.[8] During the six-month deployment, the frigate participated in anti-piracy operations in the Arabian Sea and responded to 14 distress calls from merchant vessels, including the British chemical tanker MV CPO China on 3 January 2011.[8][9] Although it took six hours for Melbourne to close with CPO China, the merchant ship's crew secured themselves in the citadel, and the pirates retreated when the frigate and her Seahawk helicopter arrived.[9][10] Melbourne returned to Sydney on 18 February 2011.[8]


  1. MacDougall, Australians at War, p. 344
  2. Hooton, Perking-up the Perry class
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 HMAS Melboure, Royal Australian Navy
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Jones, in Stevens, The Royal Australian Navy, opp. p. 224
  5. Stevens, Strength Through Diversity, p. 15
  6. "Navy Marks 109th Birthday With Historic Changes To Battle Honours". Royal Australian Navy. 1 March 2010. Archived from the original on 13 June 2011. Retrieved 23 December 2012. 
  7. "Royal Australian Navy Ship/Unit Battle Honours". Royal Australian Navy. 1 March 2010. Archived from the original on 14 June 2011. Retrieved 23 December 2012. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 "Pirate Buster HMAS Melbourne coming home". Royal Australian Navy. 17 February 2011. Archived from the original on 21 February 2011. Retrieved 5 April 2011. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 "HMAS Melbourne disrupts pirate attack in Arabian Sea". Department of Defence (Australia). 5 January 2011. Retrieved 5 April 2011. 
  10. Australian Associated Press (6 January 2011). "Aussie warship thwarts pirate attack". The Sydney Morning Herald ( Retrieved 5 April 2011. 


Journal articles
  • Hooton, E.R. (1 December 1996). "Perking-up the Perry class". Jane's Information Group. 

External links

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