She is a long-range frigate capable of air defence, surface and undersea warfare, surveillance, reconnaissance and interdiction. Toowoomba's combat capabilities have been significantly improved under the Anti-Ship Missile Defence upgrade program, a world class program that provides an enhanced sensor and weapons systems capability
She is a 3,600-tonne (3,500-long-ton) ship, 118m (387ft) in overall length, 4.8m (49ft) across the beam and had a draught of 4.35m (14.3ft) at full load. She is capable of a 27-knot (50km/h; 31mph) top speed, and a range of 6,000 nautical miles (11,000km; 6,900mi) at 18 knots (33km/h; 21mph). Her hull and superstructure are of all-steel construction, and the ships are fitted with fin stabilizers.
Sensors and Decoys:
Sonars: Thomson Sintra Spherion B Mod 5; hull-mounted; active search and attack; medium frequency, and with provision for a towed array.
Air search radar: Raytheon AN/SPS-49(V)8 ANZ (C/D-band)
Search radar: CEA Technologies CEAFAR Active Phased Array Radar (S Band)
Navigation: Kelvin Hughes Sharpeye (I-band) Passive Detection: Sagem Vampir NG Infrared Search/track
Target Illumination Radar: CEA Technologies CEAMOUNT Active Phased Array Illuminator (X Band)
Combat data systems: Saab 9LV 453 Mk 3E.Link 11& Link16
Weapons control: Saab 9LV 453 radar/optronic director with CEA Solid State Continuous Wave Illuminator
Electronic warfare and decoys: Racal modified Sceptre A (radar intercept), Telefunken PST-1720 Telegon 10 (comms intercept) Decoys: G & D Aircraft SRBOC Mk 36 Mod 1 decoy launchers for SRBOC, BAE Systems Nulka active missile decoy.
Guns: 1 × 5 in/54 (127 mm) Mk 45 Mod 2 gun, 2 × Rafael Mini Typhoon 12.7mm (.50 cal) CIWS, small arms,
Missiles 2 × 4 Harpoon Block II anti-ship missiles, Mk 41 Mod 5 VLS for Sea Sparrow and Evolved Sea Sparrow
Torpedoes: 2 × triple 324 mm Mk 32 Mod 5 tubes with MU 90 Torpedo
Aircraft carried: 1 × SH-60 Seahawk
Operational historyToowoomba hit a navigation marker off Gladstone in March 2006 and was repaired at Williamstown, Victoria.
On 18 June 2008, the frigate became the first RAN warship to fire an MU90 Impact anti-submarine torpedo, after they replaced the American Mark 46 anti-submarine torpedoes originally fitted.
In June 2009, Toowoomba sailed from Fleet Base West to embark upon the ship's second MEAO deployment. In September, the frigate was assigned to Combined Task Force 151 (CTF-151); Toowoomba was the first Australian warship to work with CTF-151, a US-led, multinational force tasked with protecting merchant vessels from pirate attacks off the coast of Somalia. Toowoomba was assigned to escort merchant shipping and conduct overt patrols in the International Recommended Transit Corridor (IRTC), a shipping lane extending the Gulf of Aden towards the Somali Basin and the Horn of Africa, in support of United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1846 and 1851. The frigate was also the first to operate with the counter-terrorism Combined Task Force 150 (CTF-150) in the Arabian Sea.
On 20 September 2009, Toowoomba responded to a call for assistance from the merchant vessel BBC Portugal, and successfully prevented an act of high-seas piracy. A Japanese P-3 Orion aircraft and a naval helicopter from the German frigate Bremen provided surveillance support while Toowoomba closed in. A boarding party from Toowoomba confiscated several weapons from the attackers, including a rocket-propelled grenade launcher, six AK-47 assault rifles, and a G3 assault rifle, before the skiff was directed to leave the IRTC.
Toowoomba and her company were awarded with a "Certificate for Exceptional Services Rendered to Shipping and Mankind" by the International Maritime Organization in November 2009; and the ship returned to Fleet Base West on 7 December 2009, having been relieved in the MEAO by HMAS Stuart.
The deployment is the subject of Australian Pirate Patrol, a four-episode documentary series produced by Prospero Productions, and first aired on the National Geographic Channel on 18 October 2010.
In early April 2013, Toowoomba operated with the U.S. Navy's Carrier Strike Group Three in the South China Sea.
In late March 2014, Toowoomba was pulled from asylum seeker patrols and directed to join the hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, allowing HMAS Success to return to port for replenishment.
Toowoomba docked in October 2015 to undergo the Anti-Ship Missile Defence (ASMD) upgrade that all of the others of the class have received. The details above show her armament and sensors after that upgrade.