HMAS Stuart (FFH153) is the third ship to bear the same name in the Royal Australian Navy and is the sixth Anzac Class Frigate Helicopter (FFH) of MEKO 200 design to be built by Tenix Defence Systems at Williamstown.
Stuart is a long-range escort capable of air defence, surface and undersea warfare, surveillance, reconnaissance and interdiction. The ship can counter simultaneous threats from aircraft, surface vessels and submarines.
Stuart is fitted with an advanced package of air surveillance radars, omni-directional hull mounted sonar and electronic support systems which interface with a state-of-the-art combat data system. A “combined diesel or gas” (CODOG) propulsion plant enables the ship to sustain speeds of 27 knots and allows an operational range in excess of 6,000 nautical miles.
The ships’ main armament comprises one five inch (127 mm) gun capable of firing 20 rounds per minute, ship launched torpedoes and a MK 41 vertical launch system for the Evolved Sea Sparrow missile. The ship can embark a multi-role Sikorsky S-70B-2 Seahawk helicopter to enhance anti-submarine, anti-surface warfare and Search and Rescue capabilities. Embarkation of a helicopter also provides the ship with the capability to deliver air-launched torpedoes.
Since commissioning Stuart has participated in boarder protection operations, the apprehension of the North Korean flag bulk carrier the Pong Su and was deployed to the Arabian Gulf as part of the International Coalition against Terrorism in 2004.