|Following the experience gained in the original Fiji Coup through to East Timor in 1999 it was decided that the RAN had a desperate need to deploy a platform to fill a number of identified gaps, including C3I and aviation support (troop and medium lift Helo's).
Another capability gap of concern was the planned retirement without replacement of the Perth Class DDG's.
The decission was made to purchase two with an option for a third evolved Chakri Naruebet class light carriers to fill these gaps.
The combat system was a version of the SAAB 9VL used on the ANZAC's and ESSM was worked into the design with a single 8 cell Mk41 being fitted initially but space and weight being provided for a total of 64 strategic length cells if required. Substantial facilities were provided for both amphibious and fleet command. A hospital was also provided, as well as the facility to expand it as needed.
The DDG's were replaced not so much by these ships as by their ability to embark an airgroup (which was aquired as the DDG replacement) of upto 10 AV-8B+ (APG-65 & AMRAAM), 6 Seaking or Seahawk ASW helo's and 3 Seaking AEW helos when not being used for amphibious or humanitarian roles.
With these three ships entering service the RAN was redesigned around them. The 6 FFG's were retired early without a MLU and replaced with 3 evolved F-100 AWD's. The LPA's and Tobruk, were replaced with a class of 6 Endurance Class LPD's, while Success and Westralia were replaced by a class of 3 multirole support ships.
The Fremantles were replaced with a class of 75m OPV's from Austal that were similar to the ACPB's but with extra length and beam allowing space for a helipad and a stern launch and recovery ramp for RHIB's and other craft.