Oliver Hazard Perry Class--FFG
Displacement: 3,585 tons
Length: 445 feet
Beam: 49 feet
Speed: 29 knots
Power: Two gas turbines, one shafts
40,00 shaft horsepower.
Aircraft: Platform for SH-60 Seahawk Helicopter
Armament: One 76mm gun
Six torpedo tubes
One Phalanx anti-missile gun
Harpoon Anti-Ship missiles
The role of Frigates will be in escorting aircraft carriers along with protecting amphibious forces. Two Oliver Hazard Perry Class vessels, the Stark and the Samuel B. Roberts were damaged in the Persian Gulf during Kuwaiti tanker reflagging operations in 1987. The Samuel B. Roberts was struck by a mine and the Stark was hit by an Iraqi-fired Exocet missile which killed 37.
Iraq has four frigates of the Italian-made, Lupo class. However, their delivery to Iraq has been held up pending the war. They are slightly smaller than the Oliver Hazard Perry Class, but come fully armed with anti-ship missiles, torpedoes and a 127mm deck gun. Iraq also has one other Yugoslavian-made frigate which it uses for training purposes and will likely be pressed into active military service in the Gulf crisis.
Actions in the Gulf--
Despite the Iraqi Navy's and Air Force's inability to fight, frigates were called on to escort larger ships and defend them from attack. Several frigates, including the U.S.S. Curts and the U.S.S. Nicholas did undertake offensive operations, attacking Iraqi oil platforms and ships and capturing a number of enemy prisoners of war. Frigates also played a large role in the interception of merchant vessels.
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