HMAS Newcastle

HMAS Newcastle is an Adelaide Class guided missile frigate, and is in her namesake town for a few days. I thought I’d get a few shots.

The queue was about 300 people and 1 hour long.

 

What you see in the next 3 shots is an RIM-67 Standard missile, which is a long-range missile that can be used in both surface-air (anti-aircraft) and surface-surface (anti-ship) modes. It’s painted blue because it’s a training round and lacks a warhead and propellant. The launcher moves insanely fast, and in the picture below, the missile is actually moving upward from below decks onto the launcher. The entire process of loading the missile from below, rotating the launcher 180 degrees, and then depressing into the firing position takes about 2 seconds. I suppose every moment counts in warfare.

 

The next shot was taken from the bow, and you can see the Vertical Launching System. This fires the RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile, which is a short range surface-air and surface-surface missile. Yes, the ship was listing a degree or two!

 

A typical corridor below decks. What I like about warships is that every single thing visible has a definite purpose, and that everything is labelled or has a placard next to it. There is absolutely no decoration. They’re a plumbers’ and electricians’ delight!

 

Visitors weren’t allowed through this doorway.  From its position in the ship (basically underneath the bridge), I’m guessing it leads to the Combat Information Centre.

 

Onto the bridge. Still has a rather old-fashioned compass binnacle.

 

This is the helmsman’s seat.

 

Then up onto the top deck.

 

Newcastle has two launches: this is the larger one.

 

This is the Otobreda 76 mm gun. It’s located amidships on the upper deck. To give you an idea of size, the round standing on end is about 1 metre high. Hard to imagine that a gun this big can fire up to 85 rounds per minute.

 

The business end.

 

Here’s the Close-In Weapons System, located at the aft end of the upper deck. It’s the ship’s last line of defence against incoming missiles or aircraft. It’s uses the same gun as the Air Force’s F/A-18s. I asked the sailor pictured how often he gets to ‘fire’ it; he said about once a month, and sometimes they train against drones or targets towed by a LearJet. Of course he doesn’t really fire it; it’s pretty much automatic.

 

Looking down onto the boarding ramp.

 

I’m not really sure what this antenna is for.

 

On top of this tower is the sea search radar.

 

On the flight deck the crew had set up a sausage sizzle and weapon displays.

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