The first of the newly upgraded Adelaide Class Guided Missile Frigates (FFG), HMAS Melbourne, has commenced maritime security operations in the Middle East, replacing the ANZAC Class Frigate (FFH) HMAS Parramatta.
HMAS Melbourne, now under the command of Commander Michael Harris, with an embarked Ship’s Company of 230, returns to the Middle East following previous missions in 2002 and 2004. She now boasts new missile and torpedo systems as part of the extensive capability enhancements provided by the FFG upgrade project.
Chief of Joint Operations, Lieutenant General Mark Evans, said that the men and women of the Royal Australian Navy provide essential naval support to coalition maritime security operations and the international effort to counter terrorism and piracy in the region.
“The work that our Navy people do is vital in strengthening maritime security in the Gulf of Aden and the environment around the Horn of Africa, and I have no doubt that the ship’s company of HMAS Melbourne will rise to the challenge and continue the good work already completed by HMAS Parramatta,” Lieutenant General Evans said.
Parramatta, commanded by Commander Heath Robertson, completed a successful six month rotation of maritime security operations and will return to her home base in Sydney next week.
Melbourne’s Operation SLIPPER deployment is the 24th to the Middle East Area of Operations undertaken by a ship of the Australian Navy.