Since 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 who have distinguished themselves with outstanding performance. This list extends from the frigates, Constellation and Constitution, to today's finest frigate, USS Samuel B. Roberts (FFG-58).
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 advanced weapon systems allow this ship to fight and survive in the highly complex threat environment of today. Roberts' Combat Systems capability allows it to rapidly evaluate threats, conduct rapid appropriate weapons selection, and near instantaneous response to any postulated attack. The systems aboard this ship have been designed to meet these demanding and dynamic prerequisites and to do so with minimum human interface. Her weapons include OTTO Melara 3 inch (76 mm) gun, Vulcan Phalanx close in weapons system (CIWS), and anti-submarine torpedoes. Roberts is also equipped to carry and embark a Lamps MK III multi-purpose helicopter. 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 well beyond the horizon and long before Roberts is detected by their sensors. Rounding our Roberts' Combat Systems suite is the world's most effective surface passive ASW system thus completing this highly sophisticated package.
In today's combat environment, the ability to respond quickly and effectively is the key to success. All of 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 C5-A strategic transport/civilian DC-10 jetliner, and may be brought "on line" ready to operate in less 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 this ship, and reason for its ability to meet all of its assignments, is its crew. High technology state of the art systems require skilled technicians and professional leadership. These men and women operate and maintain these systems daily, miles from any external support or technical assistance. The ship performs and completes its numerous tasks representing the people of the United States, because these men and women are dedicated, and today welcome you aboard the U.S. Navy's finest frigate, USS Samuel B. Roberts (FFG-58).