Since the year 1800, speedy, highly maneuverable, well-equipped ships known as frigates, have operated on the high seas of the world. These capable, multi-purpose warships have performed as scouts, messengers, escorts, and ambassadors of their nation’s foreign policy.
The United States Navy has an impressive record of producing superb frigates, which have distinguished themselves with outstanding performance. The list extends from the frigates Constellation and Constitution to today’s finest frigate, USS Samuel B. Roberts (FFG-58).
Samuel B. Roberts’ mission is to provide, air, submarine and surface protection for carrier battle groups, underway replenishment forces, amphibious groups and convoys. Her unique combination of modern sensors and advance weapons systems allows this ship to fight and survive in the highly complex threat environment of the 1900s and beyond. Samuel B. Roberts’ combat systems capability allows it to rapidly evaluate threats, conduct appropriate weapons selection, and provide near-instantaneous response to any postulated attack. The systems aboard the ship have been designed to meet these demanding and dynamic prerequisites, and to do so with minimum human interface. Her weapons include long-range, surface-to-surface, and medium-range, surface-to-air missiles, a 76mm gun, Vulcan Phalanx Close-in-Weapons System (CIWS) and anti-submarine torpedoes. Samuel B. Roberts’ is also equipped to carry two LAMPS MK III multi-purpose Helicopters. The Avionics package, airborne sensors, and tactical data systems incorporated in this helicopter, allow the ship to locate and strike at hostile surface and subsurface forces will beyond the horizon, and long before Samuel B. Roberts’ is detected by their sensors. Rounding out Samuel B. Roberts’ combat systems suite is the world’s most effective surface passive ASW system, thus completing the highly sophisticated package.
In today’s combat environment, the ability to respond quickly and effectively is the key to success. All of Samuel B. Roberts’ systems are designed to meet this important requirement. Samuel B. Roberts’ is powered by two LM-2500 gas turbine jet engines. The ship’s engineering plant utilizes a computer-controlled gas turbine power plant with engines similar to those found on the Air Force and DC-10 jetliners, and may be brought “on-the-line”, ready to operate in the than one-eighth the time required for a conventional steam or nuclear-powered ship. These engines provide the ship with a remarkably responsive acceleration rate, and the best capability to react to the needs of the Battle Group Commander in defense of his forces.
The true heart of the ship, and the reason for its ability to meet all of its assignments, is the Crew. High technology state-of-the-art systems require skilled technicians and professional leadership. These men operate and maintain these systems daily, miles from any external support or technical assistance. The ship performs and completes its fifteen assigned tasks representing the people of the United States, because these men are dedicated men, who today, welcome you aboard the U.S. Navy’s finest guided missile frigate, USS SAMUEL B. ROBERTS (FFG-58).
[source: FFG 58]
The Roberts was struck by a mine on April 14, 1988, in the Persian Gulf. Here to see how it was towed home.
More about the operation in which it was struck.