US Navy decommissions last Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate USS Simpson

30 September 2015 (Last Updated September 30th, 2015 18:30)

The US Navy has decommissioned the Oliver Hazard Perry (OHP)-class guided-missile frigate USS Simpson (FFG 56) at Mayport in Florida, US.

The US Navy has decommissioned the Oliver Hazard Perry (OHP)-class guided-missile frigate USS Simpson (FFG 56) at Mayport in Florida, US.

The latest development marks the decommissioning of the last OHP-class warship in the US Navy's fleet.

Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC) director rear admiral Sam Cox said: "Like today's Littoral Combat Ship, the Perry-class frigate received a lot of criticism when it was first introduced, yet went on to provide decades of exceptionally versatile and valuable service to our nation.

"Many disparaged her supposedly limited sensor suite, among other things, failing to recognise the significant impact of her new-generation helicopter capability.

The OHP-class frigates were originally built with anti-air defence and anti-submarine warfare capabilities in a bid to serve as escort protection for other ships.

"The Perry-class frigate received a lot of criticism when it was first introduced, yet went on to provide decades of exceptionally versatile and valuable service."

The warship later supported various missions, including maritime interdiction operations and counter narcotic efforts.

In addition, it carried out engagements with partner navies in fulfilling the Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower, also known as the Maritime Strategy.

Built by Bath Iron Works and Todd Shipyards, the US Navy commissioned 51 FFG-7 class frigates between 1977 and 1989.

The first warship, Oliver Hazard Perry (FFG 7) entered service in December 1977, while the last vessel, USS Ingraham (FFG 61) was commissioned in August 1989.

Powered by two GE LM 2500 gas turbine engines, the OHP frigates have a full-load displacement of 4,100t, a maximum cruising speed of 30k, and a range of 4,500nm.

In January, the navy decommissioned OHP-class guided-missile frigate USS Rodney M Davis (FFG 60) and USS Robert G Bradley (FFG 49) in March 2014.