The United States Navy (USN) took into service a stock of seventy-one guided-missile frigate warships belonging to the Oliver Hazard Perry-class during the Cold War period (1947-1991). These vessels were in commission from 1977 onward and serve a vital role during the war between East-vs-West. With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, and a move to the advanced Freedom-class and Independence-class ships, the Hazard Perry-class ships were either retired or divided and sold off to American allies of the post-Cold War period, this to include Australia, Pakistan, Taiwan, and Turkey among others.
Turkey took on a fleet of eight of the ships with USS Samual Eliot Morison (FFFG-13) being one of this number. The Turkish government acquired the warship on April 11th, of 2002 and recommissioned it into service as TCG Gokova (F-496) where it continues to write an ocean-going history today (2019). In Turkish naval service, the warship belongs to the "G-class", known more formally as the "Gabya-class".
The Turkish Navy operates a total of sixteen frigate-type warships spread across three distinct classes.
For propulsion, F-496 is powered by 2 x General Electric LM2500-30 series gas turbines developing 41,000 horsepower driving a single shaft astern. There are also 2 x Auxiliary propulsors of 350 horsepower each for fine-maneuvering. In ideal conditions, the ship can reach speeds just over 29 knots and range out to 5,000 nautical miles.
Aboard is a crew of about 226 personnel that includes fifteen officers and twenty-one air arm support staff. Installed systems include the AN/SPS-49 air-search radar, the AN/SPS-55 surface-search radar, and the AN/SQS-56 sonar. The AN/SLQ-32 suite is used in the Electronic Warfare (EW) role. Installed armament is led by a single Mk 13 Mod 4 launcher for the "Harpoon" anti-ship missile seated at the forecastle. There is a 76mm /62 caliber OTO-Melara Mk.75 turreted gun atop the hull superstructure (near midships) while a single 20mm "Phalanx" digital Close-In-Weapon System (CIWS) and up to 4 x 12.7mm Heavy Machine Guns (HMGs) protect the vessel as a last line-of-defense. The warship also carries 2 x 324mm Mk.32 triple torpedo tubes serving the Mark 46 torpedo family to engage both surface and undersea vessels with equal lethality.
The ship's air arm is made up of a single Sikorsky S-70 or Agusta-Bell AB212 navy helicopter or similar and this aircraft is launched and retrieved from the stern-based helipad. A full-service hangar bay is attached to this area and allows for at-sea repairs and general maintenance - technically allowing the ship to carry two such helicopters aboard.
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1 x Mk.13 Mod 4 launcher for the Harpoon anti-ship missile.
1 x 76mm OTO-Melara "Dual-Purpose" turreted automatic gun over midships.
1 x 20mm "Phalanx" Mk.15 Close-In Weapon System (CIWS).
2 x 324mm Mark 32 triple torpedo tubes supporting the Mk.46 torpedo family.
4 x 12.7mm Heavy Machine Guns (HMGs).
1 x Sikorsky S-70B "Seahawk OR Agusta-Bell Model 212 navy helicopter used in the Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), anti-ship, Search And Rescue (SAR), or transport roles.
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Official image from the Turkish Ministry of Defense.
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