Eight warships currently make up the Anzac-class of frigates for the modern Royal Australian Navy (RAN) with the first example having entering service in 1996 (HMAS Anzac FFH-150). The types are used in general patrolling sorties as well as Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW). Two additional ships were constructed for the class and delivered for service with the Royal New Zealand Navy.
HMAS Anzac, the lead ship of the group, was laid down by Tenix Defence Systems on November 5th, 1993. She was launched on September 16th, 1994 and formally commissioned on May 18th, 1996, making homeport out of Fleet Base East. Fighting under the motto of "United We Stand", the warship maintains an active presence in the Australian fleet - having seen service in East Timor (1999), the Persian Gulf (2001-2003) and in operations off the coast of Iraq (2003). Beyond her Meritorious Unit Citation, she proudly showcases two inherited battle honours (Korea and Malaya).
As built, HMAS Anzac displaces 3,810 tonnes under full load and features a running length of 387 feet, a beam of 49 feet and a draught of 13 feet. Her installed power consists of a General Electric LM2500 gas turbine developing 30,000 horsepower with 2 x MTU 12V 1163 TB83 diesel units generating an additional 8,840 horsepower. The particular arrangement installed in the warship is known as "COMbined Diesel Or Gas" - CODOG - allowing the ship to utilize one system or the other to drive it between cruising and dashing speeds as necessary. While fuel consumption is somewhat poorer when compared to a CODAG ("COMbined Diesel And Gas") arrangement, it is seen as a much more simpler - and less expensive - powerplant design. Speeds of the vessel can reach 27 knots and an operational range out to 6,900 miles is reported.
Internally, HMAS Anzac is crewed by 170 personnel. Systems include a standard sonar fit and optional towed array. Raytheon supplies the AN/SPS-49(V)8 ANZ (C/D-band) air search radar while navigation is handled by a Kelvin Hughes "Sharpeye" (S Band) system. The Combat Data System is made up of a Saab 9LV453 Mk 3E.Link 11 and Link 16 system. Various deployable countermeasures are also fitted for self-defense.
Armament consists of 1 x 5" (127mm) Mk 45 Mod 2 turreted deck gun. 2 x Harpoon Block II (quad launchers) are carried for anti-ship service (post-2004). The Mk 41 Mod 5 Vertical Launch System (VLS) can support Sea Sparrow and Evolved Sea Sparrow surface-to-air missiles. 2 x Rafael "Mini Typhoon" units are installed (post-2004) for extremely close-in defense against inbound aerial threats. The armament suite is rounded out by 2 x 324mm Mk 32 Mod 5 triple torpedo tubes firing the MU90 torpedo (original the Mk 46 series torpedoes were used).
The warship's profile is consistent with vessels designed in the 1990s. The sides feature large-area slabs for some "stealthiness". The deck gun is fitted at the forecastle with an elevated section of deck immediately aft containing the Harpoon missile launchers. The bridge is immediately aft of this area and, atop the bridge, is an exposed mast arrangement. At midships is another mast structure, more enclosed than the forward set, and smoke funnels are aft of this. The aft-superstructure roof line is consistent and runs to the edge of the helicopter hangar. At the stern is a heli-deck for servicing a single medium-lift helicopter. A Sikorsky SH-60 Seahawk is typically carried.
HMAS Anzac's first notable actions were in the peacekeeping initiative of 1999. From 2001 to 2003 it participated in actions alongside coalition forces as part of the "War on Terror" where her armament was used in anger against inland enemy positions. For 2005 it took part in Northern Trident and was able to honor the fallen during the 90th anniversary of the Gallipoli Landings of World War 1 (1914-1918). From there lay anti-piracy actions across the Arabian Sea. In 2014, the warship was given a weapons upgrade which improved her scanning, tracking and engagement capabilities as well as missile defense. This lasted until 2015. That year, the vessel once-again remembered the sacrifice at Gallipoli for the 100th anniversary of the landings.