The RAN shows it can pull off a photoex in style

Photo by ABPH Tracey Casteleijn/RAN/ #950365-10

Dig those one-armed bandits! Photo by ABPH Tracey Casteleijn/RAN/ #950365-10

Here we see the Royal Australian Navy’s FFG-7 class in toto to include HMAS Adelaide (FFG-01), Canberra, Sydney, Darwin, Melbourne and Newcastle during Exercise Kakadu in 1995. With a beam of 45 feet on each of those hulls, it wouldn’t surprise me if this near-perfectly aligned six-pack of greyhounds are in a space about 500 feet wide from the portside of Adelaide to the starboard of Newcastle.

Besides the names of large Australian cities, the vessels carry the names of past RAN vessels including two HMS/HMAS Sydney’s that fought in WWI and WWII, and Oz’s two aircraft carriers.

Known as the Adelaide-class in RAN service, the first four vessels were built in the U.S. at Todd in Seattle, while last two were constructed by AMECON of Williamstown, Victoria, to replace aging Adams (Perth)-class DDGs.

Canberra and Adelaide were paid off in 2005 and 2008 respectively, then sunk as dive wrecks. Sydney struck in 2015 and began scrapping last month, while Darwin, Melbourne and Newcastle are sticking it out until the new Hobart-class destroyers arrive to replace them by 2019.

The Polish Navy, who operate two former USN FFG7s still with single-arm Mk 13 missile launchers (ORP Generał Tadeusz Kościuszko, ex-USS Wadsworth (FFG-9) and ORP Generał Kazimierz Pułaski, ex-USS Clark (FFG-11)), has expressed interest in picking up the last remaining ships for operational use.

Maybe they can recreate the above image in the Baltic in 2020?


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