The modern Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) currently fields a collection of twelve fighting frigates belonging to the Halifax-class. Among their number is HMCS Regina (FFH-334), built to the standard by MIL Davie Shipbuilding of Lauzon beginning October 1989 and commissioned for service on December 29th, 1993. She maintains an active presence in the fleet and is assigned to operations in the Pacific Theater.
The class is built on the concept of a guided-missile frigate with its primary armament suite being comprised largely of missile weapons. The group has origins in the latter Cold War-period and were ordered by the Canadian government in December 1977 as a six-strong class to begin with - with the initial intention being a complete collection of twenty such warships. Mounting costs and program delays ultimately forced the program to be scaled back and the first contracts were not handed down until June 1983. This resulting in the class being built in two batches of six vessels (thus twelve total warships realized before the end).
HMCS Regina (FFH-334) became the fifth ship of the class and is named after Regina, Saskatchewan. She saw refitting (the "FELEX" - "Frigate Equipment Life EXtension" - refit program) during May 2015 until April 2016 to extend her operational service life. Upgrades were made to her helicopter facilities as well as communications, Command and Control (C2), and Electronic Warfare (EW) departments/components.
Due to her Cold War era origins, Regina lacks the smooth lines of modern, stealth-centric guided-missile frigates. Instead, the design showcases various protrusions and outcroppings, complete with an exposed main mast at the bridge superstructure and relatively tall smoke funnel at midships. Over the forecastle is the typical turreted deck gun surrounded by railing that runs along most of the forward hull line. The bridge section is seated low in the design and integrated to the structure is the main mast and radar array. The smoke funnel at midships is followed by the aft-superstructure which includes several more radars and support systems as well as defensive solutions. Over the stern is a single-helicopter helipad supporting the Sikorsky CH-148 "Cyclone" helicopter.
As multi-mission ships, the Halifax-class can be called upon to tackle all manner of missions, either alone or as part of the main fighting fleet. This includes airspace denial, general deterrence, convoy support, and submarine hunting. The capability to carry a helicopter means that the ship is granted enhanced over-the-horizon capabilities as well as Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) / anti-ship abilities. The aircraft can also serve in the Search and Rescue (SAR) and at-sea replenishment roles as needed.
Propulsion for Regina is through a CODOG (COmbined Diesel-Or-Gas ) arrangement which increases fuel efficiency. This involves 2 x General Electric LM2500 series gas turbines operating alongside a single SEMT-Pielstick marine diesel unit. The former can supply up to 47,500 horsepower for dash actions while the latter outputs 8,800 horsepower for conventional cruising sorties. The ship can ,therefore, make headway at over 30 knots in ideal conditions and range out to 9,500 nautical miles.
Aboard is a complete crew of 225 personnel. The Saab "Sea Giraffe" is the installed air-/surface-search radar while the Thales SMART-S Mk.2 3D system (replacing the original SPS-49 2D model) provides a more modern digital approach to modern naval warfare where missiles currently rule the battlefield. Beyond this is the AN/SQS-510 series hull-mounted sonar fit, the AN/SQR-501 series CANTASS passive towed sonar array, and the Saab Ceros-200 Fire Control Radar (FCR).
The missile suite of the warship includes 16 x "Evolved Sea Sparrow" (ESS) medium-range, Surface-to-Air Missiles (SAMs) and 8 x RGM-84 "Harpoon" anti-ship missiles. Conventional ballistic/projectile weaponry includes 1 x 57mm Bofors Mk.3 deck gun, 1 x 20mm Phalanx Close-In Weapon System (CIWS), and up to 6 x 12.7mm Heavy Machine Guns (HMGs). The vessel is also equipped with torpedo launchers and carries as many as twenty-four reloads to tackle on-sea and undersea threats.
Displacement reaches near 5,300 tons under standard operational loads. Dimensions include a running length of 440 feet, a beam of 54 feet, and a draught of 23 feet.
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June 2019 - As Regina transited the Taiwan Straight the warship was met by a pair of low-flying Chinese Sukhoi Su-30 multi-role fighter (identified at about 100 feet of altitude closer than 1,000 feet from the vessel) as tensions between China and West continue to ratchet up in the region.
March 2020 - A sailor aboard the ship has tested positive for COVID-19 which forced the vessel to abandoned its planned exercises with the Canadian Task Force.
HMCS Halifax (FFH-330); HMCS Vancouver (FFH-331); HMCS Ville de Quebec (FFH-332); HMCS Toronto (FFH-333); HMCS Regina (FFH-334); HMCS Calgary (FFH-335); HMCS Montreal (FFH-336); HMCS Fredericton (FFH-337); HMCS Winnipeg (FFH-338); HMCS Charlottetown (FFH-339); HMCS St. John's (FFH-340); HMCS Ottawa (FFH-341)
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Offshore bombardment / attack of surface targets / areas primarily through onboard ballistic weaponry.
Offshore strike of surface targets primarily through onboard missile / rocket weaponry.
Active patroling of vital waterways and maritime areas; can also serve as local deterrence against airborne and seaborne threats.
✓Airspace Denial / Deterrence
Neutralization or deterrence of airborne elements through onboard ballistic of missile weaponry.
Serving in support (either firepower or material) of the main surface fleet in Blue Water environments.
440.0 ft 134.11 m
54.0 ft 16.46 m
23.0 ft 7.01 m
CODOG (COmbined Diesel-Or-Gas): 2 x General Electric LM2500 gas turbines developing 47,500 horsepower with 1 x SEMT-Pielstick marine diesel engine developing 8,800 horsepower to 2 x Shafts astern.
30.0 kts (34.5 mph)
9,472 nm (10,900 mi | 17,542 km)
kts = knots | mph = miles-per-hour | nm = nautical miles | mi = miles | km = kilometers
1 kts = 1.15 mph | 1 nm = 1.15 mi | 1 nm = 1.85 km
1 x 57mm Bofors Mk.3 turreted deck gun.
16 x Evolved Sea Sparrow medium-ranged Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) system.
8 x RGM-84 "Harpoon" anti-ship missiles.
1 x 20mm Phalanx Close-In Weapon System (CIWS).
24 x Mk.46 torpedoes.
6 x 12.7mm Browning Heavy Machine Guns (HMGs).
(Not all weapon types may be represented in the showcase above)
1 x Sikorsky CH-148 "Cyclone" navy helicopter supported from the stern-based helipad.
Ribbon graphics not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective naval campaigns / operations / periods.
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Image from the United States Department of Defense DVIDS image database.
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