Royal Australian Navy
The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) is the naval branch of the Australian Defence Force. Following the Federation of Australia in 1901, the ships and resources of the separate colonial navies were integrated into a national force: the Commonwealth Naval Forces. Originally intended for local defence, the navy was granted the title of 'Royal Australian Navy' in 1911, and became increasingly responsible for defence of the region.
Britain's Royal Navy continued to support the RAN and provided additional blue-water defence capability in the Pacific up to the early years of World War II. Then, rapid wartime expansion saw the acquisition of large surface vessels and the building of many smaller warships. In the decade following the war, the RAN acquired a small number of aircraft carriers, the last of these paying off in 1982.
Today, the RAN consists of 51 commissioned vessels and over 16,000 personnel. The navy is one of the largest and most sophisticated naval forces in the Pacific region, with a significant presence in the Indian Ocean and worldwide operations in support of military campaigns and peacekeeping missions. The current Chief of Navy is Vice Admiral Ray Griggs.
- 1 History
- 2 RAN today
- 3 Future
- 4 Current operations
- 5 Personnel
- 6 Ranks and uniforms
- 7 Special insignia
- 8 See also
- 9 Notes
- 10 References
- 11 External links
During World War I, the RAN was initially responsible for capturing many of Germany's South Pacific colonies and protecting Australian shipping from the German East Asia Squadron. Later in the war, most of the RAN's major ships operated as part of Royal Navy forces in the Mediterranean and North Seas.
During the 1920s and early 1930s, the RAN was drastically reduced in size. As international tensions increased, however, the RAN was modernised and expanded. Early in World War II, RAN ships again operated as part of the Royal Navy, many serving with distinction in the Mediterranean, the Red Sea, the West African coast, the Persian Gulf, and the Indian Ocean. Following the outbreak of the Pacific War and the virtual destruction of the Royal Navy force in Asia, the RAN operated more independently, or as part of United States Navy forces. By war's end, the RAN was the fifth-largest navy in the world.
After World War II, the size of the RAN was again reduced, but it gained new capabilities with the delivery of two aircraft carriers. The RAN saw action in many Cold War–era conflicts in the Asia-Pacific region and operated alongside the Royal Navy and United States Navy off Korea, Malaysia and Vietnam. Since the end of the Cold War, the RAN has been part of Coalition forces in the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean and has become a critical element in Australian operations in East Timor and the Solomon Islands.
The strategic command structure of the RAN was overhauled during the New Generation Navy changes.
The RAN is commanded through Naval Headquarters (NHQ) in Canberra. The professional head is the Chief of Navy (CN), who holds the rank of Vice-Admiral. NHQ is responsible for implementing policy decisions handed down from the Department of Defence and for overseeing tactical and operational issues that are the purview of the subordinate commands.
Beneath NHQ are two subordinate commands:
- Fleet Command: fleet command is led by Commander Australian Fleet (COMAUSFLT). COMAUSFLT holds the rank of Rear Admiral; previously, this post was Flag Officer Commanding HM's Australian Fleet (FOCAF), created in 1911, but the title was changed in 1988 to the Maritime Commander Australia. On 1 February 2007, the title changed again, becoming Commander Australian Fleet. The nominated at-sea commander is Commodore Warfare (COMWAR), a one-star deployable task group commander. Fleet command has responsibility to CN for the full command of assigned assets, and to Joint Operations command for the provision of operationally ready forces.
- Navy Strategic Command: the administrative element overseeing the RAN's training, engineering and logistical support needs. Instituted in 2000, the Systems Commander was appointed at the rank of Commodore; in June 2008, the position was upgraded to the rank of Rear Admiral.
- Fleet Air Arm, responsible for the navy's aviation assets
- Mine Warfare, Hydrographic and Patrol Boat Force, an amalgamation of the previous Patrol Boat, Hydrographic, and Mine Warfare and Clearance Diving Forces, operating what are collectively termed the RAN's "minor war vessels"
- Submarine Force, operating the Collins class submarines
- Surface Force, covering the RAN's surface combatants (generally ships of frigate size or larger)
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (February 2012)|
As of January 2013, the RAN fleet consisted of 51 commissioned warships, including frigates, submarines, patrol boats and auxiliary ships. Ships commissioned into the RAN are given the prefix HMAS (His/Her Majesty's Australian Ship).
The RAN has two primary bases for its fleet:
- Fleet Base East, located at HMAS Kuttabul, Sydney; and
- Fleet Base West, located at HMAS Stirling, near Perth.
In addition, three other bases are home to the majority of the RAN's minor war vessels:
The RAN currently operates 51 commissioned vessels, made up of eight ship classes, and four individual ships plus two non-commissioned vessels.
|Anzac class||Frigate||8||1996||Anti-submarine and anti-aircraft frigate with 1 S-70B-2 Seahawk helicopter. Two more were built for the Royal New Zealand Navy.|
|Adelaide class||Frigate||4||1985||General Purpose guided missile frigate with 2 Sikorsky S-70B-2 Seahawk helicopters. Two more ships were decommissioned in 2005 and 2008.|
|Armidale class||Patrol boat||14||2005||Coastal defence, maritime border, and fishery protection|
|Collins class||Submarine||6||2000||Anti-shipping, intelligence collection. Diesel-electric powered.|
|Balikpapan class||Landing Craft Heavy||3||1971||Light lift amphibious transport. Two more were transferred to the fledgling Papua New Guinea Defence Force in 1975.|
|Leeuwin class||Survey ship||2||2000||Hydrographic survey|
|Paluma class||Survey launch||4||1989||Hydrographic survey|
|HMAS Tobruk||Landing Ship Heavy||–||1981||Heavy sealift and transport. Modified Round Table class.|
|(Bay class landing ship)
|Landing Ship Dock||–||2011||Heavy sealift and transport. Former Royal Fleet Auxiliary Bay class landing ship RFA Largs Bay|
|(Durance class tanker)
|Replenishment ship||–||1986||Replenishment at sea and afloat support. Modified Durance class.|
|HMAS Sirius||Replenishment ship||–||2006||Replenishment at sea and afloat support. Modified commercial tanker.|
|ADV Ocean Shield||Non-commissioned||–||2012||Civilian-crewed humanitarian and disaster relief vessel|
|STS Young Endeavour||Non-commissioned||–||1988||Sail training ship|
Fleet Air Arm
The Fleet Air Arm (previously known as the Australian Navy Aviation Group) provides the RAN's aviation capability. As of 2013, the FAA consists of three active squadrons plus a fourth being activated, operating five helicopter types in the anti-submarine warfare and maritime support roles. The Fleet Air Arm is based at HMAS Albatross in Nowra, New South Wales, and operates from the RAN's frigates, large amphibious warfare vessels, and large support ships.
Clearance Diving Teams
The RAN has two Clearance Diving Teams that serve as parent units for naval clearance divers:
- Clearance Diving Team 1 (AUSCDT ONE), based at HMAS Waterhen in New South Wales; and
- Clearance Diving Team 4 (AUSCDT FOUR), based at HMAS Stirling in Western Australia.
When RAN personnel are sent into combat, Clearance Diving Team Three (AUSCDT THREE) is formed.
The CDTs have two primary roles:
- Mine counter-measures (MCM) and explosive ordnance disposal (EOD); and
- Maritime tactical operations.
There are currently several major projects underway that will see upgrades to RAN capabilities:
- Project AIR 9000 Phase 8 is a project to replace the RAN's Seahawk (and cancelled Kaman SH-2G(A) Super Seasprite) helicopters with 24 MH-60R Seahawk helicopters.
- Project JP 2048 Phases 4A and 4B is a project to build two Canberra-class Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) amphibious ships (based on the Spanish Buque de Proyección Estratégica). These will be the largest RAN warships ever commissioned and will replace HMAS Tobruk and a Kanimbla-class vessel. The project is on schedule for the vessels to be accepted in January 2014 (HMAS Canberra) and August 2015 (HMAS Adelaide).
- Project JP 2048 Phase 3 will provide six Heavy Landing Craft to replace the RAN's Balikpapan-class vessels. The project is planned to deliver capability in 2014–2016.
- Project SEA 1390 Phase 2.1 will see the upgrading of four Adelaide-class guided missile frigates with enhanced weapons and electronics.
- Project SEA 1429 will upgrade the Collins-class submarines with state-of-the-art heavyweight torpedoes.
- Project SEA 1439 Phase 4A will equip the Collins-class submarines with a new tactical combat system.
- Project SEA 1654 Phase 3 is a project to acquire a Sea Logistic Support and Replenishment Support vessel to replace the supply ship HMAS Success.
- Project SEA 4000, under which the RAN will acquire three Hobart-class Air Warfare Destroyers, built around the United States Navy Aegis air and surface combat management system. The vessels are to be based on the Spanish Álvaro de Bazán-class frigate.
To boost the RAN's amphibious capability until the arrival of the Canberra-class LHDs, the RAN acquired HMAS Choules (a former Bay class landing ship of the British Royal Fleet Auxiliary) in December 2011, and the support vessel ADV Ocean Shield in June 2012.
Future procurement plans include:
- twelve Future Submarines, under Project SEA 1000, to replace the Collins-class (up to 4,000 tons, equipped with cruise missiles and minisubs);
- eight Future Frigates to replace the Anzac-class frigates (possibly up to 7,000 tons and equipped with cruise missiles);
- twenty Offshore Combatant Vessels, under Project SEA 1180, to replace the Armidale, Huon, Leeuwin, and Paluma classes (up to 2000 tons); and
- one Strategic Sealift Vessel to replace the second Kanimbla-class ship (~15,000 tons, similar to the Spanish Galicia-class landing platform dock).
- Operation Anode: Australia's contribution to the Regional Assistance Mission in the Solomon Islands.
- Operation Resolute: the ADF's contribution to patrolling Australia's Exclusive Economic Zone. The RAN's contribution to Resolute is at least seven Armidale class patrol boats, plus a large surface combatant on standby.
- Operation Slipper: Australia's commitment to the International Coalition forces in Afghanistan and against Terrorism (ICAT). The RAN's contribution is normally one ship in the Persian Gulf.
As of June 2011, the RAN has 14,215 permanent full-time personnel, 161 gap year personnel, and 2,150 reserve personnel. The permanent full-time force consisted of 3,357 commissioned officers, and 10,697 enlisted personnel. In June 2010, male personnel made up 82% of the permanent full-time force, while female personnel made up 18%. The RAN has the highest percentage of women in the ADF, compared to the RAAF's 17.8% and the Army's 9.7%.
The following are the current senior Royal Australian Navy Officers:
- Vice Admiral Ray Griggs, AO, CSC, RAN — Chief of Navy
- Rear Admiral Michael van Balen, RAN — Deputy Chief of Navy
- Rear Admiral Tim Barrett, AM, CSC, RAN — Commander Australian Fleet
- Rear Admiral Mark Campbell, CSC, RAN — Head Navy Capability
- Rear Admiral Michael Uzzell, AM, RAN — Head Navy Engineering
- Commodore Brett Brace, RAN — Hydrographer of Australia
- Warrant Officer Martin Holzberger, CSC — Warrant Officer of the Navy
The RAN needs 2,000 recruits, including 700 apprentices, to crew the next generation of warships, such as air warfare destroyers, which enter service next decade. In order to overcome a lack of Australian recruits, the RAN began to recruit sailors who have been laid off from other western navies.
Ranks and uniforms
The uniforms of the Royal Australian Navy are very similar in cut, colour and insignia to their British Royal Navy forerunners. However, beginning with the Second World War all RAN personnel began wearing shoulder flashes reading Australia, a practice continuing today. These are cloth arcs at shoulder height on uniforms, metallic gold on officers' shoulder boards, and embroidered on shoulder slip-ons.
Commissioned officers of the Australian Navy have pay grades ranging from S-1 to O-11. The only O-11 position in the navy is honorary and has only ever been held by royalty, currently being held by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh. The highest position occupied in the current Royal Australian Navy structure is O-9, a Vice Admiral who serves as the Chief of the Navy. O-7 (Commodore) to O-11 (Admiral of the Fleet) are referred to as flag officers, O-5 (Commander) and above are referred to as senior officers, while S-1 (Midshipman) to O-4 (Lieutenant-Commander) are referred to as junior officers. All officers of the Navy receive a commission from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Australia. The Commissioning Scroll issued in recognition of the commission is signed by the Governor General of Australia as Commander-in-Chief and the serving Minister for Defence.
|Commissioned Officer Rank Structure of the Royal Australian Navy|
|Admiral of the Fleet||Admiral||Vice Admiral||Rear Admiral||Commodore||Captain|
|Commander||Lieutenant Commander||Lieutenant||Sub Lieutenant||Acting Sub Lieutenant||Midshipman|
|E-9||Warrant Officer (WO)|
|Senior Non-commissioned Officers|
|E-8||Chief Petty Officer (CPO)|
|E-6||Petty Officer (PO)|
|Junior Non-commissioned Officers|
|E-5||Leading Seaman (LS)|
|E-3||Able Seaman (AB)|
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (October 2011)|
Royal Australian Navy (RAN) chaplains are commissioned officers and wear the uniform of a RAN officer. Like chaplains in the Royal Navy (RN), they do not wear rank insignia, but instead wear epaulettes with a cross-and-anchor insignia. Like other chaplains in the Australian Defence Force (ADF), Navy chaplains have five divisions of seniority. Australian Navy chaplains are accorded a certain rank for protocol and ceremonial occasions and for saluting purposes. Division 1, 2 and 3 Australian Navy chaplains are accorded the rank and status as Commander (equivalent of Lieutenant Colonel in the Australian Army). Division 4 Australian Navy chaplains are accorded the rank and status of Captain (equivalent of Colonel). Division 5 Australian Navy chaplains are "Principal Chaplains," and these three chaplains, representing the three major Christian denominations: Catholic, Anglican and Protestant, are accorded the rank and status of Commodore (equivalent of Brigadier). Principal Chaplains' uniforms do not differ from other Navy chaplains however they do wear gold braid on the peak of their caps. The title "Padre" for chaplains is less common in the Royal Australian Navy, than in the Australian Army, although it is known to be used by many sailors and some Navy chaplains in preference to the more formal title of "Chaplain", or other formal forms of address towards an officer such as "Sir."
The Warrant Officer of the Navy (WO-N) is an appointment held by the most senior sailor in the RAN, and holds the rank of Warrant Officer (WO). However, he does not wear the WO rank insignia; instead, he wears the special insignia of the appointment. The WO-N appointment has similar equivalent appointments in the other services, each holding the rank of Warrant Office, each being the most senior sailor/soldier/airman in that service, and each wearing their own special insignia rather than their rank insignia. The Australian army equivalent is the Regimental Sergeant Major of the Army (RSM-A) and the Royal Australian Air Force equivalent is the Warrant Officer of the Air Force (WOFF-AF).
- Australian Navy Cadets
- Australian White Ensign
- Battle and theatre honours of the Royal Australian Navy
- Royal Australian Navy School of Underwater Medicine
- "Navy welcomes new Chief" (Press release). Department of Defence. 7 June 2011. Retrieved 9 June 2011.
- Stevens, David. "The R.A.N. – A Brief History". Royal Australian Navy. Retrieved 10 August 2013.
- C L Cumberlege
- Top Stories
- Australian Maritime Doctrine. p. 124.
- "Fleet Air Arm". Royal Australian Navy. Retrieved 10 August 2013.
- Amphibious Deployment and Sustainment – JP 2048 Phase 4A/B
- Commonwealth of Australia (2009). Defence White Paper 2009. Commonwealth of Australia. pp. 70–74. ISBN 978-0-642-29702-0. Retrieved 1 September 2010.
- "Top 30 Projects". Defence Materiel Organisation. Retrieved 10 August 2013.
- "HMAS Choules commissioned in honour of veteran". ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). 13 December 2011. Retrieved 13 December 2011.
- "Ocean Shield the Navy's newest humanitarian and disaster relief vessel" (Press release). Offices of the Minister for Defence and Minister for Defence Materiel. 3 June 2012. Retrieved 3 June 2012.
- Defence White Paper 2009. pp. 70–74.
- Border Protection of Australia
- Department of Defence (2011). Portfolio Budget Statements 2011–12: Defence Portfolio. Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia. p. 39. ISBN 978-0-642-29739-6.
- Defence Annual Report 2009-2010, Appendix 7, Table A7.3
- A new Hydrographer of Australia | Royal Australian Navy
- Defence White Paper 2009. p. 114.
- Stewart, Cameron (10 February 201). "Laid-off British sailors to grab RAN positions". The Australian.
- To date, all Warrant Officers of the Navy have been males.
- "Defence Leaders: Navy". www.defence.gov.au. Retrieved 10 August 2013.
- "Regimental Sergeant Major – Army". www.army.gov.au.
- "Warrant Officer of the Air Force". www.airforce.gov.au.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Royal Australian Navy.|
- Australian Navy home page
- Maritimequest Royal Australian Navy photo gallery
- Biographies of senior RAN officers
- Royal and Dominion Navies in World War II, Campaigns, Battles, Warship losses
|Commissioned officer ranks of the Australian Defence Force|
|Australia-United States Rank Code||Officer Cadet||O-1||O-2||O-3||O-4||O-5||O-6||O-7
|Royal Australian Navy||MIDN||ASLT||SBLT||LEUT||LCDR||CMDR||CAPT||CDRE||RADM||VADM||ADML||AF|
|Royal Australian Air Force||OFFCDT||PLTOFF||FLGOFF||FLTLT||SQNLDR||WGCDR||GPCAPT||AIRCDRE||AVM||AIRSMHL||ACM||MRAAF|
|Other Ranks of the Australian Defence Force|
|Australia-United States Rank Code||E-1||E-2||E-3||E-4||E-5||E-6||E-7||E-8||E-9||Special|
|Royal Australian Navy||RCT||SMN||AB||-||LS||PO||-||CPO||WO||WO-N|
|Royal Australian Air Force||RCT||AC/ACW||LAC/LACW||-||CPL||SGT||-||FSGT||WOFF||WOFF-AF|