HMAS Brunei (L 127)
HMAS Brunei in 2009
|Namesake:||Landings at Brunei Bay (Battle of North Borneo)|
|Builder:||Walkers Limited (Maryborough, Queensland)|
|Laid down:||9 August 1971|
|Launched:||8 October 1971|
|Commissioned:||5 January 1973|
|Decommissioned:||20 November 2014|
|Motto:||"Attempt to Attain"|
East Timor 1999–2000
|Fate:||Awaiting transfer to Philippine Navy|
|Acquired:||May 2015 (planned)|
|Class and type:||Balikpapan class landing craft heavy|
|Length:||44.5 m (146 ft)|
|Beam:||10.1 m (33 ft)|
|Propulsion:||Two GE diesels|
|Speed:||9 knots (17 km/h; 10 mph)|
|Capacity:||180 tons of vehicle cargo or 400 soldiers|
|Armament:||2 × 0.50 inch machine guns|
HMAS Brunei (L 127) was a Balikpapan-class heavy landing craft operated by the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). One of eight vessels built by Walkers Limited, Brunei (named after the amphibious landings at Brunei Bay, part of the Battle of North Borneo in World War II) entered RAN service in 1973. During the vessel's career, Brunei visited Lord Howe Island, was deployed post-Cyclone Tracy as part of Operation Navy Help Darwin, performed coastal surveys of northern Australia and Papua New Guinea, and served as part of the INTERFET peacekeeping taskforce. Brunei was decommissioned from Australian service in 2014, and is to be transferred to the Philippine Navy in 2015.
Design and construction
The eight-vessel Balikpapan class was ordered as a locally-manufactured replacement for the Australian Army's LSM-1 class landing ship medium and ALC 50 landing craft. They are 44.5 metres (146 ft) long, with a beam of 10.1 metres (33 ft), and a draught of 1.9 metres (6 ft 3 in). The landing craft have a standard displacement of 316 tons, with a full load displacement of 503 tons. They are propelled by two G.M. Detroit 6–71 diesel motors, providing 675 brake horsepower to the two propeller shafts, allowing the vessels to reach 9 knots (17 km/h; 10 mph). The standard ship's company is 13-strong. The Balikpapans are equipped with a Decca RM 916 navigational radar, and fitted with two 7.62 millimetres (0.300 in) machine guns for self-defence.
The LCHs have a maximum payload of 180 tons; equivalent to 3 Leopard 1 tanks, 13 M113 armoured personnel carriers 23 quarter-tonne trucks, or four LARC-V amphibious cargo vehicles. As a troop transport, a Balikpapan class vessel can transport up to 400 soldiers between a larger amphibious ship and the shore, or embark 60 soldiers in six-berth caravans for longer voyages. The vessel's payload affects the range: at 175 tons of cargo, each vessel has a range of 1,300 nautical miles (2,400 km; 1,500 mi), which increases to 2,280 nautical miles (4,220 km; 2,620 mi) with a 150-ton payload, and 3,000 nautical miles (5,600 km; 3,500 mi) when unladen. The flat, box-like keel causes the ships to roll considerably in other-than-calm conditions, limiting their ability to make long voyages.
Following the destruction of Darwin by Cyclone Tracy during the night of 24–25 December 1974, Brunei was deployed as part of the relief effort; Operation Navy Help Darwin. Brunei sailed from Brisbane on 27 December, and arrived on 13 January 1975.
Brunei was deployed to East Timor as part of the Australian-led INTERFET peacekeeping taskforce during 1999 and 2000. She was attached to INTERFET on three occasions; 20 September to 17 November 1999, 8 December 1999 to 15 January 2000, and 15 to 23 February 2000. The ship was later awarded the battle honour "East Timor 1999–2000" for these deployments. Brunei also operated in support of UNTAET between 2000 and 2002.
Brunei, along with Labuan and Tarakan, were decommissioned on 20 November 2014.
- Gillett, Australian and New Zealand Warships since 1946, pgs 79, 125
- Wertheim (ed.), The Naval Institute Guide to Combat Fleets of the World, p. 26
- Gillett, Australian and New Zealand Warships since 1946, p. 79
- "Balikpapan Class Heavy Landing Craft (LCH), Australia". Naval Technology. 2014. Retrieved 27 September 2014.
- Swinden, Heavy Lifting for Four Decades, p. 20
- Swinden, Heavy Lifting for Four Decades, p. 22
- Stevens, Strength Through Diversity, p. 15
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- Oldham, Charles, ed. (2011). 100 Years of the Royal Australian Navy. Bondi Junction, NSW: Faircount Media Group. p. 83. OCLC 741711418. Retrieved 20 June 2011.
- Staples, Natalie (20 November 2014). "Final farewell for landing craft". Navy Daily (Royal Australian Navy). Retrieved 20 November 2014.
- Fonbuena, Carmela (29 January 2015). "Australia's gift to PH Navy: 2 supply ships". Rapller. Retrieved 30 January 2015.
- Gillett, Ross (1988). Australian and New Zealand Warships since 1946. Brookvale, NSW: Child & Associates. ISBN 0-86777-219-0. OCLC 23470364.
- Stevens, David (2007). Strength Through Diversity: The combined naval role in Operation Stabilise. Working Papers 20. Canberra: Sea Power Centre – Australia. ISBN 978-0-642-29676-4. ISSN 1834-7231. Retrieved 6 September 2010.
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- Journal articles
- "Disaster Relief — Cyclone Tracy and Tasman Bridge". Semaphore (Sea Power Centre) 2004 (14). December 2004. Retrieved 18 December 2011.
- Swinden, Greg (April 2013). "Heavy Lifting for Four Decades: The Navy's Landing Craft Heavy". The Navy (Navy League of Australia) 75 (2): 20–24. ISSN 1322-6231.