HMAS Wollongong (ACPB 92)
|Namesake:||City of Wollongong, New South Wales|
|Builder:||Austal Ships, Henderson, Western Australia|
|Commissioned:||23 June 2007|
|Homeport:||HMAS Cairns, Cairns|
|Motto:||"Heed The Call"|
|Six inherited battle honours|
|Status:||Active as of 2014|
|Class & type:||Armidale class patrol boat|
|Displacement:||300 tons standard load|
|Length:||56.8 m (186 ft)|
|Beam:||9.7 m (32 ft)|
|Draught:||2.7 m (8.9 ft)|
|Propulsion:||2 × MTU 4000 16V 6,225 horsepower (4,642 kW) diesels driving twin propellers|
|Speed:||25 knots (46 km/h; 29 mph)|
|Range:||3,000 nautical miles (5,600 km; 3,500 mi) at 12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph)|
|Endurance:||21 days standard, 42 days maximum|
|Boats & landing
|2 × Zodiac 7.2 m (24 ft) RHIBs|
|Complement:||21 standard, 29 maximum|
|Bridgemaster E surface search/navigation radar|
|Prism III radar warning system
Toplite electro-optical detection system
Warrlock direction finding system
|Armament:||1 × Rafael Typhoon stabilised gun mount fitted with a 25 mm (1 in) M242 Bushmaster autocannon
2 × 12.7 mm (0.5 in) machine guns
Design and construction
The Armidale class patrol boats are 56.8 metres (186 ft) long, with a beam of 9.7 metres (32 ft), a draught of 2.7 metres (8 ft 10 in), and a standard displacement of 270 tons. The semi-displacement vee hull is fabricated from aluminium alloy, and each vessel is built to a combination of Det Norske Veritas standards for high-speed light craft and RAN requirements. The Armidales can travel at a maximum speed of 25 knots (46 km/h; 29 mph), and are driven by two propeller shafts, each connected to an MTU 16V M70 diesel. The ships have a range of 3,000 nautical miles (5,600 km; 3,500 mi) at 12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph), allowing them to patrol the waters around the distant territories of Australia, and are designed for standard patrols of 21 days, with a maximum endurance of 42 days.
The main armament of the Armidale class is a Rafael Typhoon stabilised 25-millimetre (0.98 in) gun mount fitted with an M242 Bushmaster cannon. Two 12.7-millimetre (0.50 in) machine guns are also carried. Boarding operations are performed by two 7.2-metre (24 ft), waterjet propelled rigid-hulled inflatable boats (RHIBs), named Wolf and Hawk. Each RHIB is stored in a dedicated cradle and davit, and is capable of operating independently from the patrol boat as it carries its own communications, navigation, and safety equipment.
Each patrol boat has a standard ship's company of 21 personnel, with a maximum of 29. The Armidales do not have a permanently assigned ship's company; instead, they are assigned to divisions at a ratio of two vessels to three companies, which rotate through the vessels and allow the Armidales to spend more time at sea, without compromising sailors' rest time or training requirements. A 20-berth auxiliary accommodation compartment was included in the design for the transportation of soldiers, illegal fishermen, or unauthorised arrivals; in the latter two cases, the compartment could be secured from the outside. However, a malfunction in the sewerage treatment facilities aboard HMAS Maitland in August 2006 pumped hydrogen sulfide and carbon monoxide into the compartment, non-fatally poisoning four sailors working inside, after which use of the compartment for accommodation was banned across the class.
Wollongong was constructed by Austal at their shipyard in Henderson, Western Australia. Wollongong was commissioned into the RAN at Garden Island's Oil Wharf in Sydney, New South Wales on 23 June 2007.
Operationally, Wollongong has spent the majority of her career on border patrol to Australia's north and north-west. The ship is assigned to Ardent Division of the Australian Patrol Boat Group, is based in Cairns, and performs border protection and fisheries protection patrols.
In June 2012, Wollongong was one of several ships to respond to a Suspected Illegal Entry Vessel which sank with 206 passengers while en route to Australia. The patrol boat transported the 109 survivors found during the initial rescue operation to immigrant processing facilities at Christmas Island.
- Saunders (ed.), IHS Jane's Fighting Ships 2012-2013, p. 33
- Kerr, Plain sailing
- Wertheim (ed.), The Naval Institute Guide to Combat Fleets of the World, p. 22
- Heron & Powell, in Australian Maritime Issues 2006, p. 132
- "Nathan's wish to be a patrol boat captain for a day". Image Gallery. Department of Defence. 23 January 2008. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
- Heron & Powell, in Australian Maritime Issues 2006, p. 131
- Kerr, Patrol boats shake down fuel faults
- McKenna, Gas risk remains for navy boats
- Taylor, Mark (22 August 2007). "HMAS Wollongong handed over". Royal Australian Navy. Archived from the original on 1 April 2012.
- Kwek, Glenda; Coorey, Phillip (22 June 2012). "Dozens feared dead as packed asylum boat capsizes off Christmas Island". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 25 June 2012.
- Heron, Wesley; Powell, Anthony (2007). "Welcome to the Armidale Class". In Forbes, Andrew and Lovi, Michelle. Australian Maritime Issues 2006. Papers in Australian Maritime Affairs (19). Sea Power Centre - Australia. pp. 129–134. ISBN 0-642-29644-8. ISSN 1327-5658. Retrieved 12 May 2010.
- Saunders, Stephen, ed. (2012). IHS Jane's Fighting Ships 2012-2013. Jane's Fighting Ships. Coulsdon: IHS Jane's. ISBN 9780710630087. OCLC 793688752.
- 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. ISBN 978-1-59114-955-2. OCLC 140283156.
- Journal and news articles
- Kerr, Julian (1 January 2008). "Plain sailing: Australia's Armidales prove fit for task". Jane's Navy International (Jane's Information Group).
- Kerr, Julian (8 December 2007). "Patrol boats shake down fuel faults". The Australian: Defence Special Report (News Corporation). p. 8.
- McKenna, Michael (2 January 2010). "Gas risk remains for navy boats". The Australian. Retrieved 7 January 2010.