Australia officially transferred 2 former Adelaide Class frigates Melbourne (FFG 05) and Newcastle (FFG 06) to the Chilean Navy (Armada de Chile). A commissioning ceremony took place on Wednesday 15th April, 2020 at the HMAS Watson naval base in Sydney.
Both ships, based on the USN Oliver Hazard Perry Class frigate were decommissioned in 2019 – FFG 05 HMAS MELBOURNE was decommissioned on 26th October 2019 and FFG 06 HMAS NEWCASTLE was decommissioned on 30th June 2019.
They were bought (second-hand) by Chile in December 2019 and been renamed FFG 14 ALMIRANTE LATORE ex-FFG 05 and FFG 11 CAPTAIN PRAT ex-FFG 06. Both ships were purchased under Chile’s Puente IV program to replace the two former Royal Netherlands Navy frigates – FF 18 ALMIRANTE RIVEROS ex HNLMS TJERK HIDDES F 830 that was commissioned in Chile in April 2007 and FF 15 ALMIRANTE BLANCO ENCALADA ex HNLMS ABRAHAM VAN DER HULST F 832 that was commissioned in Chile on the 16th December 2005.
F 832 HNLMS ABRAHAM VAN DER HULST leaving Klaipeda, Lithuania Back to 2004.
The former Royal Netherlands Navy frigates were decommissioned in December 2019. The acquired frigates have both undergone a basic refit at Sydney’s Garden Island and Chilean crew members are completing training at Sydney’s HMAS Kuttabul. Last week the Defence Department strongly rejected a television report claiming six visiting Chilean sailors had tested positive to COVID-19, forcing a lockdown of HMAS Watson Naval Base.
Before departing Australia, a weapons system known as CIWS will be removed from the ships, while other equipment will be refitted once the vessels arrive in Chile.
Photos by Capt. Lawrence Dalli. Do not use these images without my permission. © All rights reserved. Malta Ship Photos & Action Photos – www.maltashipphotos.com
Published – Friday 24th April 2020