The Oliver Hazard Perry (OHP) class of guide missile frigates (FFG7) was developed as a replacement for the navy's aging fleet of WWII era destroyers. Of limited capability (the frigate's air defense capabilities are limited to self protection only) the OHPs were intended to fill the classic frigate role - patrolling sealanes of communication (SLOC) and merchant protection and escort. Their reduced capabilities also make the ship relatively cheap to manufacture, ensuring that large numbers of them could be purchased.
The USS Oliver Hazard Perry (FFG7) was ordered in March of 1973, with the keel laid down at the Bath Iron Works in Bath, ME. in June of 1975. The Perry was launched in September of 1976 and commissioned into active service in December of 1977. A total of 51 FFG7 frigates were produced, with the last, the USS Ingraham (FFG61) being commissioned in 1989. Construction was divided between Bath Iron Works, and the Todd Shipyards in Seattle WA, and San Pedro, CA.
Ship construction was along two different hull designs. The "short hull" Flight I frigates were 445 feet long, non-RAST equipped, and embarked only a single SH-2F LAMPS I ASW helicopter. The "long hull" Flight III frigates were 453 feet long, were RAST equipped, and embarked two SH-60 LAMPS III ASW helicopters.
Currently there are still 30 FFG7 frigates in commissioned service. All of the original "short hull" frigates, to include the original Perry (FFG7) have either been decommissioned or sold and transferred to foreign navies. There are currently no plans to develop and produce a replacement for the FFG7 class.
The Oliver Hazard Perry class guided missile frigates (FFG7) are either 445 feet long (Flight I) or 453 feet long (Flight III.) All flights have a beam of 45 feet, and draw 22 feet of water. The full load displacement for Flight I OHP frigates is 3,638 tons, while the displacement for the Flight III frigates is 4,100 tons. They are all fitted with sea keeping stabilizers. Ship's compliment (all flights) is 15 officers and 285 enlisted, with 6 officers and 15 enlisted as aircrew and maintainers for the embarked helicopters. The OHP frigates have a top speed of 29 knots, and a cruising speed of 20 knots. Their operational range at 20 knots is 4,500 miles.
The Flight I OHP frigates are equipped with one SH-2G LAMPS I helicopter, while the Flight III frigates are equipped with two SH-60 LAMPS III helicopters. The Flight III frigates are RAST equipped, while the Flight I frigates are not.
The OHP frigates are powered by two General Electric LM 2500 (some frigates have had their propulsion upgraded to two LM 2500-30 engines) gas turbine engines producing 41,000 horsepower combined. Propulsion is provided by a single shaft with a variable pitch screw.
The OHP frigates are equipped with a SPS-49(v)4/5 C/D band long range air search radar, SPS-55 I band surface search and navigation radar.
All OHP frigates are equipped with the SQS-53C bow mounted medium frequency active search and attack sonar, the SQQ-28 LAMPS signal processing set and the SQR-19 TACTAS passive very low frequency towed array.
Fire control for the Mk13 launcher is provided by a modified SPG-60 STIR (Separate Target Illuminating Radar.) Harpoon launch management is provided by the SWG-1A system. Gunfire and missile control is provided by the Mk92 I/J band fire control system.
Command and control systems include the Naval Tactical Data System (NTDS) and the SQQ-28 LAMPS sonobouy datalink.
Defensive and electronic warfare systems include two Mk36 SRBOC chaff launchers, the SLQ-36 Nixie passive electro-acoustic torpedo decoy system, and the SLQ-32A(v)2 electronic warfare system.
The Oliver Hazard Perry class frigates are armed with a single, forward mounted Mk13 mod 4 missile launcher with 36 SM-1MR standard missiles four Harpoon anti-ship missiles available in a below decks magazine (beginning in 2003 the Navy began removing this launcher from existing OHP hulls following the retirement of the SM-1MR missile.) In addition, the OHP frigates are armed with a single, amidships mounted Mk75 3"/62 caliber rapid fire cannon. Each frigate is also armed with two triple Mk32 mod 14 324mm torpedo tubes capable of launching either the Mk46 mod 5 or the Mk50 ASW torpedoes. For self defense the OHP frigates are armed with one Mk15 mod 2 Phalanx CIWS anti-missile system, two Mk38 25mm Bushmaster guns and four M2 .50 caliber machine guns.