The navies currently operating the class meet annually to assess lessons learned and to discuss opportunities to improve capabilities, maintenance and support of these ships.
The U.S. Navy currently operates 19 Perry-class frigates, all of which are slated for decommissioning in the next several years. A total of 34 Perry-class frigates are in use by partner navies, including Australia, Bahrain, Egypt, Turkey, Poland, Spain, Taiwan and Pakistan. Hosting responsibility for these yearly meetings rotates among IFWG membership.
“The International Frigate Working Group continues to provide an open and collaborative forum for the U.S. Navy and its international partners to exchange vital information to ensure these ships remain combat ready,” said Rear Adm. Jim Shannon, NAVSEA’s deputy commander for surface warfare. “Fostering communication and sustaining cooperative relationships with our international partners is a cornerstone of the U.S. Navy’s global maritime strategy. These meetings provide a unique opportunity to share success stories, address challenges and establish initiatives to ensure these ships remain supportable throughout their service lives.”
The International Frigate Working Group is an opportunity to promote communication between U.S. and allied partners in an effort to identify maintenance, obsolescence and logistics issues impacting the class, and to also present alternatives for sustainment and modernization programs.
IFWG members recognize that U.S. Navy support of the FFG 7 platform will become increasingly challenging as it decommissions the remaining 19 ships. IFWG provides an opportunity for improved cooperation between the U.S. and partner navies to improve communications, logistics support, gain efficiencies, and enhance long term readiness.
“Our collaborative approach to sharing knowledge and experiences has proven to be immensely successful and informative in years past,” said Shannon. “We are looking forward to another opportunity to share the trials and successes of this ship class with our partner navies to continue to make strides with some of the modernization challenges.”
NAVSEA’s Surface Warfare Directorate is responsible for the maintenance and modernization of non-nuclear surface ships currently operating in the fleet. Through planned modernization and upgrade programs, the directorate equips today’s surface ships with the latest technologies and systems to keep them in the fleet through their service lives.
Naval Today Staff, May 3, 2013; Image: US Navy