Bay-class patrol boat

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Dame Roma Mitchell underway in Darwin Harbour
Bay class patrol boat Dame Roma Mitchell underway in Darwin Harbour
Class overview
Name: Bay class Patrol Boat
Builders: Austal Ships
Operators: Australian Customs
Sri Lankan Navy
In service: 1999 to present
Completed: 8
Active: 8
General characteristics
Type: Patrol boat
Displacement: 134 tons
Length: 38.2 m (125 ft)
Beam: 7.2 m (24 ft)
Draught: 2.4 m (7.9 ft)
Propulsion: 2 x MTU 16V 2000 M70 diesels
1 VosperThornycroft bow thruster
Speed: 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph)
Range: 1,000 nautical miles (1,900 km; 1,200 mi) at 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph)
Boats & landing
craft carried:
2 x Wiltrading Pursuit 640 vessels (USLC-2C Survey)[1]
Complement: 12 crew
Sensors and
processing systems:
Radar:
Surface search: Racel Decca; E/F and I bands
Sonar:
Wesmar SS 390E dipping sonar
Armament: 1 x 7.62 mm general purpose machine gun

The Bay class is a class of eight armed patrol boats, built by Austal Ships and used by the Customs Marine Unit of the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service. They entered service during the late 1990s and early 2000s, and are primarily used on border protection duties.

The class was due to be replaced by 2010, but a request for tender was not issued until June of that year. The availability of the Bay class ships decreased during the later years of their service life. After the Cape class began entering service, four of the Bays were offered to other forces; two each to the Sri Lankan Navy and the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency.

Design and construction[edit]

Bay class vessels have a displacement of 134 tons, are 38.2 metres (125 ft) long, have a beam of 7.2 metres (24 ft), and a draught of 2.4 metres (7.9 ft).[2] The propulsion system consists of two MTU 16V 2000 M70 diesels, supplemented by a VosperThornycroft bow thruster.[2] The patrol boats have a maximum speed of 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph), and a maximum range of 1,000 nautical miles (1,900 km; 1,200 mi).[2] Each vessel is fitted with a 7.62 mm general purpose machine gun, and two Wiltrading Pursuit 640 vessels are carried for boarding operations.[1][2] The sensor suite consists of a Racal Decca surface search radar operating in the E/F and I bands, and a Wesmar SS 390E dipping sonar.[2] A Bay class vessel has a crew of 12.[2]

The Bay class was built by Austal Ships.[3] The eight ships were delivered over a period of 19 months, beginning in February 1999.[2]

The Bay class design was used as the basis for the 14 larger Armidale class patrol boats in use with the Royal Australian Navy,[4] and the 10 patrol boats used by the Yemen Navy.[5]

Operational history[edit]

The eight patrol boats are operated by the Customs Marine Unit of the Australian Customs Service.[3] They are primarily used to patrol Australia's Economic Exclusion Zone, although they also operate in support of other Australian law enforcement and defence agencies, including but not limited to the Australian Federal Police, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, and the Royal Australian Navy.[3][6]

Bay class vessels often operate on border protection duties under Border Protection Command.[7] The age of the vessels and resulting maintenance needs has seen a drop in the amount of time spent at sea, with other ships of the Customs Marine Unit forced to take up the slack.[7]

Replacement[edit]

The Bay class were due to be replaced in 2010, but it was not until June of that year that a request for tender was issued for eight new, larger patrol boats.[7][8] Austal received the tender for eight 57.8 metres (190 ft) patrol boats on 12 August 2011.[9] Construction of the vessels, designated the Cape class, was to start in February 2012,[9][needs update] and the first vessel was launched in January 2013.[10]

The new patrol boats will enter service between March 2013 and August 2015, with the Bay class likely to remain in service until the latter date.[7][8][9]

Two Bay-class patrol boats have been gifted to the Sri Lankan Navy.[11] Corio Bay was transferred on 30 March, becoming SLNS Oshadi.[12] Another two have been offered to the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency.[13]

Ships[edit]

ACV Roebuck Bay (ACV 10)
ACV Holdfast Bay (ACV 20)
ACV Botany Bay (ACV 30)
ACV Hervey Bay (ACV 40)
ACV Corio Bay (ACV 50)
ACV Arnhem Bay (ACV 60)
ACV Dame Roma Mitchell (ACV 70)
ACV Storm Bay (ACV 80)[2]

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ a b Wiltrading Pursuit 640 Manual
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Saunders (ed.), Jane's Fighting Ships, p. 37
  3. ^ a b c Australian Customs Service, Customs Maritime Unit
  4. ^ Tenix, Tenix shortlisted for Patrol Boat tender, "[Defense Maritime Services, partnering with Austal] is offering a stretched version of the Austal designed Bay Class Patrol Boat that is currently in service with Australian Customs."
  5. ^ Austal, Austal to Build 10 Naval Patrol Boats for Yemen, "The all-aluminium patrol boat design selected by Yemen is a slightly less complex version of Austal's 38 metre Bay Class design..."
  6. ^ Dodd, 'Dad's navy' fills in for faulty ships, "[The Royal Australian Navy] is relying heavily on the Australian Customs Service to provide back-up with a loan of eight Bay-class boats."
  7. ^ a b c d Parnell, Navy and Customs vessels cut back on border patrols
  8. ^ a b Australian Security Magazine, Govt to buy new border patrol vessels
  9. ^ a b c "Austal Awarded Cape Class Patrol Boat Contract". Media Releases. Austal. 12 August 2011. Retrieved 23 August 2011. 
  10. ^ Australian Associated Press, Austal looks to Asia and Middle East
  11. ^ "Sri Lanka to use Aussie gift boats to stop people smugglers". Canberra Times. 17 November 2013. 
  12. ^ Rahamat, Ridzwan (2 April 2014). "Sri Lankan Navy receives donated Australian patrol vessel". IHS Jane's 360. Retrieved 10 April 2014. 
  13. ^ "Australia Intends To Provide Two Retired Patrol Boats To Malaysia By Mid-2015". BERNAMA. 5 February 2013. Retrieved 7 February 2014. 

References[edit]

Books
  • Saunders, Stephen (ed.) (2007). Jane's Fighting Ships. Jane's Fighting Ships (110th edition (2007-2008) ed.). Surrey: Jane's Information Group. ISBN 978-0-7106-2799-5. 
  • Wiltrading. Wiltrading Pursuit 640 Manual. 
News articles
Websites

External links[edit]