The U.S. government is considering the transfer of Oliver Hazard Perry type frigates to Ukraine; the move that clearly aims to boost the country's defense capability at sea, the Ukrainian Military Portal reported citing a source in the Ukrainian Navy.
“The U.S. leadership sent a letter to the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense about military and technical assistance to the Ukrainian Navy through the military attache of the United States Embassy,” UNIAN wrote, quoting the Ukrainian Military Portal. The warships appear to fall under the Excess Defense Article program.
The undisclosed source in the Ukrainian Navy confirmed that the U.S. Embassy turned to Ukraine's defense ministry with the respective offer. “But we haven't decided yet; one has to take everything into account - the crew training, the price of service of these vessels, the price of maintenance works et cetera,” the source claimed.
Oliver Hazard Perry type frigates may be of use in the Black Sea waters; they can't be deployed in the Sea of Azov, though, as these ships' water draught is too big for these waters.
These warships were designed in the United States in the mid-1970s as general-purpose escort vessels inexpensive enough to be bought in large quantities to replace World War II-era destroyers and complement 1960s-era Knox-class frigates. The Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates were designed primarily as anti-aircraft and anti-submarine warfare guided-missile warships intended to provide open-ocean escort of amphibious warfare ships and merchant ship convoys in moderate threat environments in a potential war with the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact countries. They could also provide air defense against 1970s- and 1980s-era aircraft and anti-ship missiles.
The frigates are equipped to escort and protect aircraft carrier battle groups, amphibious landing groups, underway replenishment groups, and merchant ship convoys. They can conduct independent operations to perform such tasks as surveillance of illegal drug smugglers, maritime interception operations, and exercises with other nations.