List of active Royal Australian Navy ships

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The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) fleet is made up of 51 commissioned warships as of February 2014.

The main strength is the twelve frigates of the surface combatant force: eight Anzac class and four Adelaide class. Six Collins class boats make up the submarine service, although technical and manpower problems mean not all of the submarines are active at any time. Amphibious warfare assets include the dock landing ship HMAS Choules, the heavy landing ship HMAS Tobruk, and three Balikpapan class heavy landing craft. Fourteen Armidale class patrol boats perform coastal and economic exclusion zone patrols, and four Huon class vessels are used for minehunting and clearance (with another two commissioned but in reserve since October 2011). Replenishment at sea is provided by two ships, Sirius and Success, while the two Leeuwin class and four Paluma class vessels perform survey and charting duties.

In addition to the commissioned warships, the RAN operates the sail training ship Young Endeavour, the support vessel ADV Ocean Shield, and two Bandicoot class minesweeper tugboats.

The lion's share of the RAN fleet is divided between Fleet Base East (HMAS Kuttabul, in Sydney) and Fleet Base West (HMAS Stirling, near Perth). Mine warfare assets are located at HMAS Waterhen (also in Sydney), while HMAS Cairns in Cairns and HMAS Coonawarra in Darwin host the navy's patrol, survey, and small amphibious vessels.

Surface combatants[edit]

Anzac class[edit]

Main article: Anzac class frigate
Anzac class frigate HMAS Perth during the International Fleet Review 2013, Sydney

The most modern and capable vessels in the Australian fleet are the eight frigates of the Anzac class. These were commissioned from 1996 to 2006 as part of a joint program with New Zealand, whose navy operates an additional two examples. Derived from Blohm + Voss' MEKO modular ship family and designated the MEKO 200 ANZ by that company, the ships were built in Australia by Tenix in Williamstown, Victoria. They are designated as helicopter frigates (FFH) by the RAN[1] and are designed to be capable of both mid-level patrol and blue water operations. In 2010, these vessels began to receive upgrades to their anti-ship missile defence capabilities.

Size Performance Armament Other features
Displacement:
3600 t full load
Length:
118 metres (387 ft)
Complement:
163 crew
(22 officers + 141 sailors)
Maximum speed:
27 knots (50 km/h; 31 mph)
Range:
6,000 nautical miles (11,000 km; 6,900 mi)
5-inch/54 Mk 45 DP gun
8-cell Mk 41 VLS
8 x Harpoon Block II
2 x 3-tube Mk 32 torpedo tubes
Aviation:
1 x S-70B-2 Seahawk helicopter
Radar:
SPS-49(V)8 CEAFAR (part of ASMD upgrade, installed on one ship , it is currently being installed on the other seven)
Sonar:
Spherion B
No. Name Commissioned Homeport[1] Notes
FFH 150 Anzac 18 May 1996 Fleet Base East
FFH 151 Arunta 12 December 1998 Fleet Base West
FFH 152 Warramunga 31 March 2001 Fleet Base West
FFH 153 Stuart 17 August 2002 Fleet Base West
FFH 154 Parramatta 4 October 2003 Fleet Base East
FFH 155 Ballarat 26 June 2004 Fleet Base East
FFH 156 Toowoomba 8 October 2005 Fleet Base West
FFH 157 Perth 26 August 2006 Fleet Base West

Adelaide class[edit]

Adelaide class frigate HMAS Darwin during the International Fleet Review 2013

The Australian take on the American Oliver Hazard Perry class guided missile frigate, six Adelaide class frigates were built for the RAN. Four were built by Todd Pacific Shipyards in Seattle, Washington while the final two were built by AMECON in Williamstown, Victoria. They first entered service in 1980, and with the retirement of the Perth-class destroyers, have become the RAN's primary air defence asset. Four of the frigates are currently active after receiving upgrades to their weapons and systems during the 2000s, while the other two were decommissioned to free up funds for the modernisation. The four frigates will be retired after the Hobart class destroyers enter service.

Size Performance Armament Other features
Displacement:
4100 t full load
Length:
139 metres (456 ft) overall
Complement:
176-221
Maximum speed:
29 knots (54 km/h; 33 mph)
Range:
4,500 nautical miles (8,300 km; 5,200 mi)
3-inch OTO Melara DP gun
8-cell Mk 41 VLS
Mk 13 missile launcher
2 x 3-tube Mk 32 torpedo tubes
Phalanx CIWS
Aviation:
2 x S-70B-2 Seahawk helicopters
Radars:
AN/SPS-49, AN/SPS-55
Sonar:
AN/SQS-56
No. Name Commissioned Homeport[1] Notes
FFG 03 Sydney 29 January 1983 Fleet Base East
FFG 04 Darwin 21 July 1984 Fleet Base East
FFG 05 Melbourne 15 February 1992 Fleet Base East
FFG 06 Newcastle 11 December 1993 Fleet Base East

Submarines[edit]

Collins class[edit]

HMAS Collins, lead ship of her class

Australia operates a single class of diesel-electric submarines, the six Collins class boats which began entering service in 1993.[1] The Collins was designed by the Swedish submarine builder Kockums as the Type 471 specifically to meet Australian requirements, many of which were derived from Australia's need for great range without utilizing a nuclear propulsion system. The ships themselves were built in Australia by the Australian Submarine Corporation in Adelaide, South Australia. The submarines are classified by the RAN as guided missile submarines (SSG), but are often referred to as SSK submarines in the international press.[1] While these vessels represented a major increase in capability for the RAN, they have found themselves mired in numerous technical and operational problems. Meanwhile, the RAN has struggled to sufficiently crew their submarine fleet, with at times no more than two qualified crews available.[2] Plans have existed to replace the Collins with an even more ambitious twelve submarine program, although the design of this vessel has yet to be selected and there are many questions in Australia whether the program can be successful in light of the problems encountered in their current fleet.[3]

Size Performance Armament Other features
Displacement:
3051 t surfaced
3353 t submerged
Length: 77.4 metres (254 ft)
Complement: 58
Submerged speed:
21 knots (39 km/h; 24 mph)
Surfaced speed:
10.5 knots (19.4 km/h; 12.1 mph)
Surfaced range:
11,000 nautical miles (20,000 km; 13,000 mi)
Submerged range:
480 nautical miles (890 km; 550 mi)
6 x 21-inch (530 mm) torpedo tubes, firing:
Mark 48 Mod 7 CBASS torpedoes,
UGM-84C Sub-Harpoon anti-ship missiles, or
Stonefish Mark III mines
Sonars:
Scylla, SHORT-TAS
Radar:
Type 1007
Periscope:
CK043, CH093
No. Name Commissioned Homeport[1] Notes
SSG 73 Collins 27 July 1996 Fleet Base West
SSG 74 Farncomb 31 January 1998 Fleet Base West
SSG 75 Waller 10 July 1999 Fleet Base West
SSG 76 Dechaineux 23 February 2001 Fleet Base West
SSG 77 Sheean 23 February 2001 Fleet Base West
SSG 78 Rankin 29 March 2003 Fleet Base West

Amphibious warfare[edit]

Choules[edit]

Main article: HMAS Choules (L100)
HMAS Choules in 2012

The Bay class landing ship dock HMAS Choules was acquired by the RAN in 2011. The ship was originally built by Swan Hunter for the British Royal Fleet Auxiliary, and entered British service in 2006 as RFA Largs Bay. She was made redundant in the 2011 Strategic Defence and Security Review and sold to Australia. Choules represents a major increase in sealift capability for the RAN, particularly after mechanical issues in 2010 and 2011 forced the early retirement of the navy's two Kanimbla-class vessels, and put HMAS Tobruk in dock for an extensive refit.

Size Performance Armament Other features
Displacement:
16,190 t full load
Length:
176.6 metres (579 ft)
Complement:
158 officers + sailors
356-700 troops
Maximum speed:
18 knots (33 km/h; 21 mph)
Range:
8,000 nautical miles (15,000 km; 9,200 mi)
Unarmed Aviation:
Helicopter deck, no hangar
Boats carried:
1 x LCU, 1 x LCM-8, or 2 x LCVP in well deck
2 x Mexeflotes on flanks
Vehicle deck:
32 tanks or 150 trucks
No. Name Commissioned Homeport[1] Notes
L100 Choules 13 December 2011 Fleet Base East In Royal Fleet Auxiliary service 2006-2011

Tobruk[edit]

Main article: HMAS Tobruk (L 50)

The sole ship of her class, HMAS Tobruk is a modified version of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary's Round Table class amphibious logistics ship, and is classified as a "landing ship, heavy" (LSH) by the RAN. Tobruk was the first amphibious warfare ship purpose-built for the RAN; she was constructed at Carrington Slipways in Tomago, New South Wales, and entered service in 1981. Originally planned for decommissioning in the 1990s, she remains in service and will do so until replaced by the Canberra class landing helicopter dock ships. The vessel is capable of conducting roll-on/roll-off operations and can be beached for direct unloading to a beachhead.

Size Performance Armament Other features
Displacement:
5800 t full load
Length:
126 metres (413 ft)
Complement:
145 officers + sailors
520 troops
Maximum speed:
17 knots (31 km/h; 20 mph)
Range:
8,000 nautical miles (15,000 km; 9,200 mi)
6 x 12.7 mm machine guns
2 x Mini Typhoon guns
Aviation:
3 x helicopter spots
Boats carried:
2 x LCM-8, 2 x LCVP
Vehicle deck:
18 tanks, 40 AFVs
No. Name Commissioned Homeport[1] Notes
L 50 Tobruk 23 April 1981 Fleet Base East To be replaced by Canberra

Balikpapan class[edit]

Balikpapan class landing craft HMAS Labuan during the International Fleet Review 2013

Eight Balikpapan class landing craft were built in the early 1970s by Walkers Limited at Maryborough, Queensland for the Australian Army, but were transferred to the RAN after the first ship, Balikpapan, entered service. The large landing craft can be used as troop or vehicle transports, and can operate both independently (although a box-like keel prevents long voyages in rough conditions) or in a ship-to-shore role by docking with larger amphibious warfare vessels. Two Balikpapan '​s (HMA Ships Salamaua and Buna) were transferred to the Papua New Guinea Defence Force in 1974. Three of the Australian craft were decommissioned during December 2012, while the remaining three will continue operating until 2014.

Size Performance Armament Capacity
Displacement:
503 t full load
Length:
44.5 metres (146 ft)
Complement:
13 sailors
60-400 troops
Maximum speed:
9 knots (17 km/h; 10 mph)
Range:
1,300 nautical miles (2,400 km; 1,500 mi)
2 x 12.7 mm machine guns Vehicle deck:
3 tanks, 13 AFVs, or 23 light trucks
No. Name Commissioned Homeport[1] Notes
L 127 Brunei 5 January 1973 HMAS Cairns
L 128 Labuan 9 March 1973 HMAS Cairns
L 129 Tarakan 15 June 1973 HMAS Cairns

Patrol and mine warfare[edit]

Armidale class[edit]

For patrol of Australia's vast coastline, territorial waters, and offshore territories, the RAN operates fourteen Armidale class patrol boats. These replaced the Fremantle class from 2005 as the navy's primary asset for border protection, fisheries patrols, and interception of unauthorised arrivals by sea. Based on the Bay class customs vessels, the Armidales are significantly enlarged to allow for better range and seakeeping ability. Originally, twelve boats were to be built by Austal Ships, but the establishment of a dedicated patrol force for the North West Shelf Venture saw another two ordered. The Australian Patrol Boat Group has divided the class into four divisions, with three ships' companies assigned for every two vessels to achieve higher operational availability.

Size[4][5] Performance[4][5] Armament[4][5] Other features[4][5]
Displacement:
270 t
Length:
56.8 metres (186 ft)
Complement: 21
Maximum speed:
25 knots (46 km/h; 29 mph)
Range:
3,000 nautical miles (5,600 km; 3,500 mi)
1 x 25 mm M242 Bushmaster
2 x 12.7 mm machine guns
2 x Zodiac 7.2 m (24 ft) RHIBs
No. Name Commissioned Homeport[1] Notes
ACPB 83 Armidale 24 June 2005 HMAS Coonawarra
ACPB 84 Larrakia 10 February 2006 HMAS Coonawarra
ACPB 85 Bathurst 10 February 2006 HMAS Coonawarra
ACPB 86 Albany 15 July 2006 HMAS Coonawarra
ACPB 87 Pirie 29 July 2006 HMAS Coonawarra
ACPB 88 Maitland 29 September 2006 HMAS Coonawarra
ACPB 89 Ararat 13 November 2006 HMAS Coonawarra
ACPB 90 Broome 10 February 2007 HMAS Coonawarra
ACPB 91 Bundaberg 3 March 2007 HMAS Cairns
ACPB 92 Wollongong 23 June 2007 HMAS Cairns
ACPB 93 Childers 7 July 2007 HMAS Cairns
ACPB 94 Launceston 22 September 2007 HMAS Cairns
ACPB 95 Maryborough 8 December 2007 HMAS Coonawarra
ACPB 96 Glenelg 22 February 2008 HMAS Coonawarra

Huon class[edit]

Main article: Huon class minehunter
Huon class minesweeper HMAS Gascoyne during the International Fleet Review 2013

Mine countermeasures at sea are handled by the Huon class minehunters, which began to enter RAN service from 1999. The class was based on the Italian Navy's Gaeta class minehunter developed by Intermarine SpA. Development was undertaken in partnership between Intermarine and Australian Defence Industries (ADI). The first hull was built in Italy, with fitting out the first and construction of the remaining five vessels of the class done by ADI in Newcastle, New South Wales, replacing the problematic Bay class minehunters. In addition to the mine warfare role, individual have been deployed on occasion to support patrol and border protection operations. Four vessels operate out of HMAS Waterhen, in Sydney, New South Wales. An additional two ships were placed in reserve in October 2011.

Size Performance Armament Other features
Displacement:
720 t full load
Length:
52.5 metres (172 ft)
Complement:
6 officers + 33 sailors
Maximum speed:
14 knots (26 km/h; 16 mph)
Range:
1,500 nautical miles (2,800 km; 1,700 mi)
1 x 30 mm DS30B autocannon
2 x 12.7 mm machine guns
2 x Double Eagle mine disposal vehicles
Type 1007 navigational radar
Type 2093M minehunting sonar
Type 133 PRISM radar warning
2 x Wallop Super Barricade decoy launchers
No. Name Commissioned Homeport[1] Notes
M 82 Huon 15 May 1999 HMAS Waterhen
M 83 Hawkesbury 12 February 2000 HMAS Waterhen In reserve
M 84 Norman 26 August 2000 HMAS Waterhen In reserve
M 85 Gascoyne 2 June 2001 HMAS Waterhen
M 86 Diamantina 4 May 2002 HMAS Waterhen
M 87 Yarra 1 March 2003 HMAS Waterhen

Replenishment[edit]

Sirius[edit]

Main article: HMAS Sirius (O 266)
HMAS Sirius in 2006

HMAS Sirius was initially built as a civilian oil tanker, but was purchased by the RAN during construction and converted into a replenishment ship for the west coast. Built by Hyundai Mipo Dockyard in South Korea, she was launched in 2004 and commissioned in 2006; costing half the price and becoming active three years before the RAN's original plan of a purpose-build ship.

Size Performance Armament Other features
Displacement:
25,016.53 t
Length:
191.3 metres (628 ft)
Complement:
60
Maximum speed:
16 knots (30 km/h; 18 mph)
Range:
-
Small arms only 34,806 cz fuel capacity
Aviation:
Helicopter deck, no hangar
No. Name Commissioned Homeport[1] Notes
O 266 Sirius 16 September 2006 Fleet Base West

Success[edit]

Main article: HMAS Success (OR 304)
HMAS Success underway in 2009

The Durance class replenishment oiler HMAS Success is the only example of the class not built for the French Navy. Launched in 1984, the vessel was the largest ever built in Australia for military service, and the last major construction project undertaken by Cockatoo Island Dockyard.

Size Performance Armament Other features
Displacement:
17,993 t full load
Length:
157.2 metres (516 ft)
Complement:
220
Maximum speed:
19 knots (35 km/h; 22 mph)
Range:
-
2 x Phalanx Mk 15 close-in weapon systems
4 x 12.7 mm machine guns
No. Name Commissioned Homeport[1] Notes
OR 304 Success 23 April 1986 Fleet Base East

Hydrographic survey[edit]

Leeuwin class[edit]

Two Leeuwin class survey ships were built for the RAN by NQEA of Cairns, Queensland. Ordered in 1996, the ships were commissioned in a joint ceremony in 2000. They are capable of charting waters up to 6,000 metres (20,000 ft) deep, and carry three Fantome class survey boats for shallow-water work. In addition to hydrographic surveying duties, since 2001 both vessels have also operated in support of the RAN patrol force.

Size Performance Armament Other features
Displacement:
2,170 t
Length:
71.2 metres (234 ft)
Complement:
10 officers, 46 sailors
Maximum speed:
18 knots (33 km/h; 21 mph)
Range:
18,000 nautical miles (33,000 km; 21,000 mi) at 9 knots (17 km/h; 10 mph)
2 x 12.7 mm machine guns Sonars:
C-Tech CMAS 36/39 hull mounted high frequency active sonar
Atlas Fansweep-20 multibeam echo sounder
Atlas Hydrographic Deso single-beam echo sounder
Klein 2000 towed sidescan sonar array
Radar
STN Atlas 9600 ARPA navigation radar
Aviation:
Helicopter deck, no hangar
No. Name Commissioned Homeport[1] Notes
A 245 Leeuwin 27 May 2000 HMAS Cairns
A 246 Melville 27 May 2000 HMAS Cairns

Paluma class[edit]

The Paluma class survey motor launches are large catamarans designed for survey operations around northern and eastern Australia. Four ships were built by Elgo Engineering at Port Adelaide, South Australia between 1988 and 1990. The vessels normally operate in pairs.

Size Performance Armament Other features
Displacement:
320 t
Length:
36.6 metres (120 ft)
Complement:
3 officers, 11 sailors
Maximum speed:
12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph)
Range:
1,800 nautical miles (3,300 km; 2,100 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph)
None fitted Radar:
JRC JMA-3710-6 navigational radar
Sonars:
ELAC LAZ 72 side-scan mapping sonar
Skipper 113 hull-mounted scanning sonar
No. Name Commissioned Homeport[1] Notes
A 01 Paluma 27 February 1989 HMAS Cairns
A 02 Mermaid 4 December 1989 HMAS Cairns
A 03 Shepparton 24 January 1990 HMAS Cairns
A 04 Benalla 2 June 2001 HMAS Cairns

Non-commissioned vessels[edit]

Young Endeavour[edit]

Main article: STS Young Endeavour
The youth crew of Young Endeavour manning the mast after the ship's arrival at the Australian National Maritime Museum

The Sail Training Ship Young Endeavour was built as a gift from the United Kingdom to Australia for the latter's 1988 bicentenary of colonisation. Built by British shipbuilder Brooke Marine, the brigantine rig vessel is operated by the RAN, but is used to facilitate the Young Endeavour Youth Scheme; a sail training program for Australian youth aged between 16 and 23. A 10-strong RAN crew is supplemented by 24-30 youth on ten-day voyages, with 500 applicants selected every year through two ballots.

No. Name In service Homeport Notes
- Young Endeavour 25 January 1988 HMAS Waterhen

Ocean Shield[edit]

ADV Ocean Shield during the International Fleet Review 2013
Main article: ADV Ocean Shield

An offshore support vessel initially built by STX OSV for DOF Subsea, Ocean Shield was purchased for the RAN during construction. The ship is to be used to provide support during humanitarian and disaster relief operations, supplementing the capability of the RAN's amphibious warships. Ocean Shield is civilian-crewed, and is identified with the ship prefix ADV (Australian Defence Vessel). When the Canberra class amphibious ships enter service, Ocean Shield will be transferred to the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service.

Size Performance Armament Other features
No. Name In service Homeport Notes
- Ocean Shield 2012 Fleet Base East

Bandicoot class[edit]

MSA Bandicoot at HMAS Waterhen in 2007

The RAN purchased two tugboats from Singaporean company Maritime (PTE) Ltd. in 1990 under the Craft of Opportunity Program, which intended to supplement the navy's minesweeping capability through the acquisition and conversion of civilian vessels. The 1982-built tugboats were converted, and entered service in 1991, designated the Bandicoot class. They were not commissioned into the RAN, and were identified as Minesweeper Auxiliaries, with the prefix MSA. Bandicoot and Wallaroo were placed in reserve in October 2010, but have been reactivated on several occasions since to provide berthing support for visiting nuclear-powered warships.

Size Performance Armament Other features
Displacement:
412 t full load
Length:
29.6 metres (97 ft)
Complement:
10-12
Maximum speed:
11 knots (20 km/h; 13 mph)
Range:
6,300 nautical miles (11,700 km; 7,200 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph)
- Radar:
Furuno 7040D I-band navigational radar
Sonar:
Klein Type 590 sidescan sonar
Can be fitted with Mini-Dyad magnetic influence sweep array, AMASS influence sweep array, or mechanical minesweeping gear
No. Name In service Homeport[1] Notes
Y 298 Bandicoot 1991 HMAS Waterhen In reserve
Y 299 Wallaroo 1991 HMAS Waterhen In reserve

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Citations
  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Royal Australian Navy
  2. ^ Defense Industry Daily, 23 April 2012
  3. ^ Defense Industry Daily, 3 May 2012
  4. ^ a b c d Kerr, Julian (1 January 2008). "Plain sailing: Australia's Armidales prove fit for task". Jane's Navy International (Jane's Information Group). 
  5. ^ a b c d Wertheim, Eric, ed. (2007). The Naval Institute Guide to Combat Fleets of the World: Their Ships, Aircraft, and Systems (15th ed.). Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press. p. 22. ISBN 978-1-59114-955-2. OCLC 140283156. 
Bibliography