Oliver Hazard Perry was a naval officer who distinguished himself for building and commanding the fleet on Lake Erie leading up to the war of 1812. In the battle against the British fleet, Perry lost his own flagship, the Lawrence, but transferred his command under heavy fire to the Niagara and won the day.
The Frigate class named in Perry's honor was designed as an anti-submarine warfare (ASW) vessel that was also equipped to defend against anti-ship missiles of the 1970s and 1980s. With 69 Perry-class frigates built, the type was built in the 'short hull' (Flight I) and 'long hull' (Flight III) configurations, with some of the Flight I Perry's refitted to Flight III.
One of the main differences between the two Flights is the flight deck. Flight I could only accommodate the SH-2 Seasprite helicopter while the Flight III could embark the SH-60 Seahawk. The aft capstan located on the flight deck of the Flight I Perry was relocated to accommodate the longer tail of the Seahawk and the deck itself was equipped with the Recovery Assist Securing and Traversing (RAST) system used to secure and move the Seahawk on deck.
The hull is molded in halves, with a molded-in cut line inside the hull to make it easy to turn this model into a waterline display, complete with a solid bottom provided on the second tree. Should you opt for the full hull, the rudder and single shaft propulsion is provided along with a display base and name plate.
The kit includes a pair of SH-60B Seahawk helicopters, and judging from the way the lower chin is molded. The kit provides one Seahawk with its main rotors folded, the other ready for flight.
Markings are only provided for FFG 7 USS Oliver Hazard Perry, though experienced modelers can replicate the names and hull numbers for any of the Perry class.
This is the first Perry-class frigate to be released in styrene in 1/350 scale and kudos to Academy for providing the Flight I and Flight III decks.