Ship Sponsor: Mrs. Mila Mulroney
Class: HALIFAX Class Frigate
Displacement: 4750 tonnes
Complement: 225 (30 Officers)
Dimensions: Length: 134.1 m Beam: 16.4 m
Draught: 7.5 m
Range: 4500 Nautical Miles @ Economical Speed
Propulsion: 1 Pielstick Cruise Diesel Engine & 2 GE LM 2500 Gas Turbines
Speed: +30 kts
Weapons: Mk 46 Torpedos (Ship & Helo Launched)
16 Sea Sparrow Surface to Air Missiles
8 Harpoon Surface-to-Surface Missiles
57 mm Bofors Gun
20 mm Phalanx Close in Weapons System (CIWS)
50 Cal Machine Guns
Sensors: AN/SQS 510 Hull Mounted Sonar, Cdn Towed Array Sonar System, CHAFF Launchers, RAMSES Jammer, Cdn Electronic Warfare System, AN/SRD 502 Communications Intercept System
Radar: SPS 49 Long-Range Air Search, SG 150 Medium Range Surface Search, Kelvin Hughes Navigation, FURUNO Navigation, 2 X STIR Fire Control Radars
Helicopter: CH 124A/B Sea King
Homeport: Halifax, Nova Scotia
ABOUT HMCS HALIFAX
HMCS HALIFAX is the first of the Class of Canadian Patrol Frigates built by Saint John Shipbuilding Limited, Saint John, New Brunswick, and the second Canadian warship named after the city of HALIFAX. A multi-purpose platform, the HALIFAX carries extensive Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) and Anti-Surface Warfare (ASuW) weapons and sensors to compliment its substantial Anti-Air Warfare (AAW) defences. The combination of its varied and proven weapon and sensor systems coupled with a state-of-the art damage control and machinery control system, makes HALIFAX one of the most advanced warship designs in the world.
The Combat System Suite
HALIFAX's combat system incorporates state-of-the-art technology in communications, sensors and weapons operated and maintained by highly trained professionals.
Command and Control Systems
The ship's combat system is centered around a computer directed Command and Control System (CCS) which consists of the hardware, software and personnel necessary to integrate the sensors, communications and weapon systems on board the ship. CCS integrates the various detection systems with sophisticated multi-purpose computers to detect, identify, track and engage hostile surface, sub-surface and air threats. The computers and displays form the heart of the weapons systems and all weapons are accessible to be controlled and/or fired through CCS. The system has four modes of operation which range from manual to fully automatic. In the manual mode the operator must initiate the tracking, identification and engagement of all contacts. The semi-auto and auto-assign modes allow for a mix of human and computer operation with the operator retaining control of all engagements. In the highest automated mode, auto-engage, CCS will itself automatically detect, track, identify and engage hostile targets once preset criteria have been met.
Sensors and Armament
The conduct of engagements is achieved with an impressive array of sensors and weapons which provide HALIFAX with the flexibility and capability to react to any threatening scenario.
If engaged in underwater warfare, for example, HALIFAX's combination of stealth technology incorporated in the ship's design and its passive/active listening devices allows HALIFAX the ability to silently detect, identify, and track unsuspecting submarines. HALIFAX's primary anti-submarine warfare (ASW) sensor is the Canadian Towed Array Sonar System (CANTASS) which uses a series of hydrophones fitted in a cable towed astern of the ship to passively detect submarines at very long ranges. The ship is also fitted with a hull mounted sonar which detects submarines at medium and short ranges. HALIFAX's primary ASW weapon, the Mk46 Mod5 torpedo, can be launched from the ship or its helicopter to home in acoustically in either passive or active modes on unsuspecting prey. Finally, should the need arise, HALIFAX can activate her Acoustic Torpedo Decoy System (NIXIE) to decoy enemy acoustic homing torpedoes.
If, on the other hand, HALIFAX finds its threats in the air, her Anti-Air Warfare (AAW) systems will provide the best in proven local air defence capability. HALIFAX's radar suite permits her to survey the air around her to beyond 200 miles and the surrounding ocean to over 30 miles. Moreover, threats can also be passively detected by the Canadian Electronic Warfare System or by the Communications Intercept Fit. Once detected any incoming threat must then penetrate a layered defence. The primary weapon against airborne threats is the semi-active vertically launched Sea Sparrow guided missile which has a range of eight miles. It homes in on the target illuminated by one of the two STIR fire control radars once they have received a target-handover from one of the search radars. Should the target survive the Sea Sparrow engagement, the 57mm gun, also directed by one of the STIRs, provides an effective second line of defence with a firing rate of 220 rounds per minute. Finally, in the unlikely event that the threat penetrates the 57mm gun envelope, then the Vulcan Phalanx CIWS automatically activates, selects the target and shoots to kill with a rate of fire of 3000 rounds per minute.
In conjunction with its hardkill defences, HALIFAX may employ softkill defences such as its chaff/IR SHIELD II system and/or RAMSES to decoy or jam a missile threat. Contributing to HALIFAX's softkill effectiveness are a number of design features. The CPF has a low radar cross section which minimizes the chance of being detected by enemy radars and missile seeker heads. CPF's also boast a very low infra red signature which makes heat-seeking missiles less effective.
Rounding out HALIFAX's general purpose capability is its surface-to-surface warfare capability provided by the Harpoon missile system. This sea-skimming anti-ship missile, whose range exceeds sixty miles, permits HALIFAX to minimize the enemy surface threat in order to enhance her survivability.
Of course the utility of a warship is not measured in sensors and armaments alone. The efficiency and usefulness of a warship at sea is measured by its ability to share and disseminate information with ships and other agencies worldwide. In this regard HALIFAX is well fitted with a
communications suite that provides rapid and reliable information links both internally and externally. All communications within the ship and external voice communications are controlled through a SHipboard INtegrated COMmunications System or SHINCOM. Radio channels for voice and message traffic can be used simultaneously on selected radio frequencies. Both voice and message traffic can be sent in secure or plain formats. Numerous microprocessor controlled telephone terminals throughout the ship provide easy access to these communication options, as well as providing instantaneous conference networks, inter-office and public address communications. Like her sister ships, HALIFAX now also makes extensive use of satellite data and voice communications to enhance operational efficiency.
The CPF's combat suite makes HALIFAX a truly multi-purpose warship capable of fulfilling any of Canada's naval commitments. Meanwhile, it is her operators and maintainers who ensure that the fighting readiness of the ship is maintained, effectively turning potential into reality.
The Marine Systems Fit
HALIFAX's marine systems fit is impressive. It too incorporates state-of-the-art technology in the production, monitoring and control of everything from electrical power to waste management.
Main Propulsion Systems
HALIFAX is propelled by a COmbined Diesel Or Gas Turbine (CODOG) System employing one 20 cylinder Pielstick Propulsion Diesel Engine (PDE) and two General Electric LM 2500 Gas Turbines (GTs). The term CODOG refers to the fact that the propulsion configuration is selectable such that the ship can steam on either the diesel or the turbines but not both in combination. The diesel provides impressive fuel economy and endurance while the gas turbines permit the ship to reach speeds of over 30 knots. Regardless of the power plant in use, both shafts and their two controllable pitch propellers are driven through their respective gearbox and a deSchelde cross-connected gearbox.
All marine system equipment has been fitted with due regard to the ship's anti-submarine capability. The use of thermal and acoustic enclosures around the diesel and turbines, for example, enables the machinery spaces in HALIFAX to be much cooler and quieter than previous ships. Moreover, all machinery is either raft mounted or isolated to reduce noise and vibration transmitted to the hull, thereby reducing the acoustic signature of the ship, making it less susceptible to detection by enemy submarines.
Integrated Machinery Control System (IMCS)
HALIFAX's marine systems are highly automated. The engine spaces are unmanned. Instead, selection and control of the engines, shafts, gearboxes and propellers, for example, can be achieved from the Bridge, the Machinery Control Room (MCR) or the Forward or After Engine Rooms. The ship's Integrated Machinery Control System (IMCS) makes this all possible by providing centralized monitoring, as well as push button control, of the propulsion system and its ancillary and auxiliary equipment. The IMCS is a microprocessor based control system used to monitor and control machinery systems in HALIFAX. By using multi-function keyboards and visual displays the machinery control functions are reduced to three consoles which enable a single operator to remotely monitor and control all machinery functions. To help in this task, IMCS uses more than twenty-two hundred sensors and actuators located throughout the ship. IMCS brings state-of-the-art technology to the CPFs and provides the ship with increased flexibility, redundancy and ease of maintenance.
Electrical Power Generation and Distribution
Like other modern warships, HALIFAX finds her electrical power generation and distribution system critical to her survival. HALIFAX's electricity is generated by four diesel generators which supply two electrical switchboards. Two diesel generators, each fitted in individual acoustic enclosures, are fitted in both the Forward and After Auxiliary Machinery Rooms. Separation of these vital generators ensures that one or more will remain operational despite battle damage occurring to a section of the ship. The four diesel generators combine to provide up to 3.4 Megawatts of power, enough to meet the needs of a small town.
Damage Control Systems
Damage control is also automated through the introduction of the Damage Control System (DCS) which is operated from a dedicated console in the MCR. As another of the ship's microprocessor based applications, the DCS monitors and controls over 900 sensors to provide state of the art protection for HALIFAX. In the event of a fire, for example, a shipwide network of smoke and heat detectors will alert watchkeepers immediately. Automatic or remote manual operation of fitted fire suppression systems will extinguish fires in critical spaces. Local manual operation is also possible. Meanwhile, ventilation, which is also automatically controlled and monitored, automatically shuts down fans and reconfigures to limit the spread of smoke. Meanwhile, the firemain is automatically controlled with seven fire pumps that supply the fitted hydrants and sprinkler systems. In addition to fire detection and suppression, flooding is also detectable through a shipwide network of bilge alarms. A final feature of the DCS is the automatic monitoring and remote controlled transfer of all fuel, fresh water and ballast which is available from a single console.
The ship can be sealed against nuclear, biological, and chemical attack with the provision of recirculation and purification of air within the ship through filtration units. Personnel who have been exposed to contaminants can be decontaminated in either one of the dedicated cleansing stations fitted in the ship. As in other Canadian ships, a pre-wetting system can be activated to limit the amount of material contaminating the exterior of the ship.
Environmental Waste Management
To meet the important demands of environmental protection, treatment systems capable of effectively dealing with HALIFAX's waste products have been incorporated into the design. Sewage and dirty water systems collect and hold all sewage and waste water. The sewage is fully treated by a treatment plant which breaks down and oxidizes the effluent prior to discharge overboard. Solid garbage is compacted and stored on board in designated storage spaces. Oily water from the machinery space bilges is collected and treated, with recovered oil retained on board and clean water discharged overboard. HALIFAX's environmental systems meet all current and projected environmental regulations allowing the ship to operate anywhere in the world in an environmentally responsible manner.
Finally, a brief word about habitability. Due to the high degree of automation incorporated into her design, HALIFAX is manned by fewer personnel than previous ships of her size. As a result there is more space and privacy provided for the entire crew. Living areas are more comfortable and there are more messdecks which allow for a smaller number of sailors in each mess. The largest messdeck in HALIFAX accommodates twenty-one sailors, as compared to fifty-four in the Improved St. Laurent class of ships which the CPFs were built to replace.
A large, modern and very well equipped galley provides for the culinary needs of all on board. Storerooms and refrigerators provide adequate storage space for lots of food. Separate dining and recreational facilities allow for cafeteria style messing from the galley. A sophisticated closed circuit TV and entertainment system which now also includes Satellite television serves to entertain the off watch crew during deployments. Morale is also significantly boosted by access to the Web and to Email via satellite. Moreover, the ship exploits Voice-Over-Internet-Protocol (VOIP) and INMARSAT technology to ensure sailors get calls home!
The CH124 Sea King Shipborne Multi-purpose Helicopter
HALIFAX is capable of carrying one CH124 Sea King helicopter. The Sea King is a key component of the ship's combat system, extending its surveillance capability well beyond the horizon and providing the means to attack submarines with air-dropped torpedoes at considerable distances from the ship. The Canadian Sea King is a multi-purpose helicopter which can operate either from ashore or from the deck of most HMC Ships. The majority of the helicopters in the Canadian inventory are of the CH124A variant, which features active dipping sonar. Six helicopters, however, have been reconfigured into passive acoustic variants and redesignated CH124B or HELTAS (Helicopter Towed Array Support). The Sea King's primary role is ASW, but they are also used for ASuW and SAR. Each helicopter is supported by a Helicopter Air Detachment (HELAIRDET)of approximately 23 people, which includes both aircrew and maintainers. When embarked, the Sea King and her crew are integrated as part of the overall ship's company.