List of active Royal Australian Navy ships

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The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) fleet is made up of 47 commissioned warships as of January 2016.

The main strength is the eleven frigates of the surface combatant force: eight Anzac class and three Adelaide class. Six Collins-class boats make up the submarine service, although due to the maintenance cycle not all submarines are active at any time. Amphibious warfare assets include two Canberra-class landing helicopter dock ships and the landing ship HMAS Choules. Thirteen Armidale-class patrol boats perform coastal and economic exclusion zone patrols, and four Huon-class vessels are used for minehunting and clearance (another two are 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 and two Cape-class patrol boats acquired from the Australian Border Force. Other auxiliaries and small craft are not operated by the RAN, but by DMS Maritime, who are contracted to provide support services.[1]

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 and survey vessels.

Surface combatants[edit]

Anzac class[edit]

Main article: Anzac-class frigate
Anzac-class frigate HMAS Perth (post-ASMD configuration)

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 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 (ASMD) capabilities.

Size Performance Armament Other features
Displacement:
3600 t full load
Length:
118 metres (387 ft)
Complement:
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 × Harpoon Block II
2 × 3-tube Mk 32 torpedo tubes
Aviation:
1 × S-70B-2 Seahawk helicopter
Radar:
SPS-49(V)8 CEAFAR (part of ASMD upgrade being rolled out across the class)
Sonar:
Spherion B
Name Pennant number Commissioned Homeport Notes
Anzac FFH 150 18 May 1996 Fleet Base East
Arunta FFH 151 12 December 1998 Fleet Base West
Warramunga FFH 152 31 March 2001 Fleet Base West
Stuart FFH 153 17 August 2002 Fleet Base West
Parramatta FFH 154 4 October 2003 Fleet Base East
Ballarat FFH 155 26 June 2004 Fleet Base East
Toowoomba FFH 156 8 October 2005 Fleet Base West
Perth FFH 157 26 August 2006 Fleet Base West
Two additional ships built for and operated by the Royal New Zealand Navy

Adelaide class[edit]

Adelaide-class frigate HMAS Darwin

The Australian variant of 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 received upgrades to their weapons and systems during the 2000s, of which three remain in service. The other three ships have been paid off: the first two in the late 2000s to free up funds for the modernisation, and the third in 2015.

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 × 3-tube Mk 32 torpedo tubes
Phalanx CIWS
Aviation:
2 × S-70B-2 Seahawk helicopters
Radars:
AN/SPS-49, AN/SPS-55
Sonar:
AN/SQS-56
Name Pennant number Commissioned Homeport Notes
Darwin FFG 04 21 July 1984 Fleet Base East
Melbourne FFG 05 15 February 1992 Fleet Base East
Newcastle FFG 06 11 December 1993 Fleet Base East
Three additional ships (Adelaide, Canberra, and Sydney) retired from service

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. 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 hunter-killer submarines (SSK) in the international press. 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 × 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
Name Pennant number Commissioned Homeport Notes
Collins SSG 73 27 July 1996 Fleet Base West
Farncomb SSG 74 31 January 1998 Fleet Base West
Waller SSG 75 10 July 1999 Fleet Base West
Dechaineux SSG 76 23 February 2001 Fleet Base West
Sheean SSG 77 23 February 2001 Fleet Base West
Rankin SSG 78 29 March 2003 Fleet Base West

Amphibious warfare[edit]

Canberra class[edit]

HMAS Canberra, lead ship of the class

The Canberra class are landing helicopter dock ships based on the design of Spanish ship Juan Carlos I. The hull of each ship was built by the designer, Navantia, then was transported to Australia by heavy lift ship for internal fitout and installation of the superstructure by BAE Systems Australia. Designed to transport and land an amphibious force of up to 1,600 soldiers by landing craft and helicopter, the Canberras are the largest ships ever operated by the RAN. Lead ship HMAS Canberra was commissioned into the RAN in late 2014. The second ship of the class, Adelaide, was commissioned at the end of 2015.

Size Performance Armament Other features
Displacement:
27,500 t full load
Length:
230.82 metres (757.3 ft)
Complement:
358 personnel (293 RAN, 62 Army, 3 RAAF)
1,046-1,600 troops
Maximum speed:
Over 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph)
Range:
9,000 nautical miles (17,000 km; 10,000 mi)
4 × Rafael Typhoon 25 mm
6 × 12.7 mm machine guns
Aviation:
6-spot helicopter deck
8 × helicopters (standard load)
Boats carried:
4 × LLC in well deck
Vehicle deck:
Up to 110 vehicles
Name Pennant number Commissioned Homeport Notes
Canberra L02 28 November 2014 Fleet Base East RAN Flagship[4]
Adelaide L01 4 December 2015 Fleet Base East

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 personnel
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 × LCU, 1 × LCM-8, or 2 × LCVP in well deck
2 × Mexeflotes on flanks
Vehicle deck:
32 tanks or 150 trucks
Name Pennant number Commissioned Homeport Notes
Choules L100 13 December 2011 Fleet Base East In Royal Fleet Auxiliary service 2006-2011

Patrol and mine warfare[edit]

Armidale class[edit]

Armidale-class patrol boat HMAS Broome

For patrol of Australia's vast coastline, territorial waters, and offshore territories, the RAN operates thirteen 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. HMAS Bundaberg was decommissioned in December 2014 after being extensively damaged by an onboard fire.[5] Ongoing problems with the patrol boats, including wear from high operational use and structural issues, prompted the RAN to acquire two Cape-class patrol boats from the Australian Border Force.[6]

Size[7][8] Performance[7][8] Armament[7][8] Other features[7][8]
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 × 25 mm M242 Bushmaster
2 × 12.7 mm machine guns
2 × Zodiac 7.2 m (24 ft) RHIBs
Name Pennant number Commissioned Homeport Notes
Armidale ACPB 83 24 June 2005 HMAS Coonawarra
Larrakia ACPB 84 10 February 2006 HMAS Coonawarra
Bathurst ACPB 85 10 February 2006 HMAS Coonawarra
Albany ACPB 86 15 July 2006 HMAS Coonawarra
Pirie ACPB 87 29 July 2006 HMAS Coonawarra
Maitland ACPB 88 29 September 2006 HMAS Coonawarra
Ararat ACPB 89 13 November 2006 HMAS Coonawarra
Broome ACPB 90 10 February 2007 HMAS Coonawarra
Wollongong ACPB 92 23 June 2007 HMAS Cairns
Childers ACPB 93 7 July 2007 HMAS Cairns
Launceston ACPB 94 22 September 2007 HMAS Cairns
Maryborough ACPB 95 8 December 2007 HMAS Coonawarra
Glenelg ACPB 96 22 February 2008 HMAS Coonawarra
One additional ship (Bundaberg) destroyed by fire

Huon class[edit]

Main article: Huon-class minehunter
Huon-class minehunter HMAS Gascoyne

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 × 30 mm DS30B autocannon
2 × 12.7 mm machine guns
2 × Double Eagle mine disposal vehicles
Type 1007 navigational radar
Type 2093M minehunting sonar
Type 133 PRISM radar warning
2 × Wallop Super Barricade decoy launchers
Name Pennant number Commissioned Homeport Notes
Huon M 82 15 May 1999 HMAS Waterhen
Hawkesbury M 83 12 February 2000 HMAS Waterhen In reserve
Norman M 84 26 August 2000 HMAS Waterhen In reserve
Gascoyne M 85 2 June 2001 HMAS Waterhen
Diamantina M 86 4 May 2002 HMAS Waterhen
Yarra M 87 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
Name Pennant number Commissioned Homeport Notes
Sirius O 266 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 × Phalanx Mk 15 close-in weapon systems
4 × 12.7 mm machine guns
Name Pennant number Commissioned Homeport Notes
Success OR 304 23 April 1986 Fleet Base East

Hydrographic survey[edit]

Leeuwin class[edit]

Leeuwin-class survey vessel HMAS Leeuwin

Two Leeuwin-class survey ships were built for the RAN by NQEA Australia of Cairns. 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 × × 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
Name Pennant number Commissioned Homeport Notes
Leeuwin A 245 27 May 2000 HMAS Cairns
Melville A 246 27 May 2000 HMAS Cairns

Paluma class[edit]

Paluma-class survey motor launch HMAS Benalla

The Paluma-class survey motor launches are large catamarans designed for survey operations around northern and eastern Australia. Four ships were built by Eglo 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
Name Pennant number Commissioned Homeport Notes
Paluma A 01 27 February 1989 HMAS Cairns
Mermaid A 02 4 December 1989 HMAS Cairns
Shepparton A 03 24 January 1990 HMAS Cairns
Benalla A 04 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.

Name Pennant number In service Homeport Notes
Young Endeavour - 25 January 1988 HMAS Waterhen

Cape class[edit]

ABFC Cape St. George, a Cape-class patrol boat in service with the Australian Border Force

Eight Cape-class patrol boats were built for the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (now the Australian Border Force) by Austal Ships between 2012 and 2015, as replacements for the Bay class.[9][10] Following the loss of HMAS Bundaberg and hull issues with the Armidale class requiring an intense remedial maintenance program, two Cape-class patrol boats were leased to the RAN from late 2015 until the end of 2016.[6] In naval service, the two rotating crew groups for each of the two vessel are made up of RAN personnel, the patrol boats operate from HMAS Cairns, and are identified with the Australian Defence Vessel (ADV) prefix, but retain the blue-and-red customs colour scheme.[11]

Size[12] Performance[12][13] Armament[12][13] Other features[12][13]
Length:
57.8 metres (190 ft)
Complement: 18
Maximum speed:
25 knots (46 km/h; 29 mph)
Range:
4,000 nautical miles (7,400 km; 4,600 mi) at 12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph)
2 x .50 calibre machine guns 2 × 7.3 m (24 ft) Gemini RHIBs
Name Pennant number In service[11] Homeport[11] Notes
ADV Cape Byron 20 July 2015 HMAS Cairns
ADV Cape Nelson 40 October 2015 HMAS Cairns
Six additional ships built for and operated by the Australian Border Force

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Citations
  1. ^ Saunders & Philpott (eds.), IHS Jane's Fighting Ships 2015-2016, p. 35
  2. ^ Defense Industry Daily, 23 April 2012
  3. ^ Defense Industry Daily, 3 May 2012
  4. ^ "HMAS Canberra (III)". Royal Australian Navy. Retrieved 2 October 2015. 
  5. ^ Staples, Natalie (19 December 2014). "HMAS Bundaberg decommissioned". Navy Daily. Royal Australian Navy. Retrieved 19 December 2014. 
  6. ^ a b McPhedran, Ian (9 October 2015). "The $3 million cost of Navy's decision to lease patrol boats for border protection". News.com.au. Retrieved 19 October 2015. 
  7. ^ 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. 
  8. ^ 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. 
  9. ^ Australian Security Magazine, Govt to buy new border patrol vessels
  10. ^ "Austal Awarded Cape Class Patrol Boat Contract". Media Releases. Austal. 12 August 2011. Retrieved 23 August 2011. 
  11. ^ a b c Paroz, Des (5 December 2015). "Cape Class ships join the Fleet". Navy Daily. Royal Australian Navy. Retrieved 7 December 2015. 
  12. ^ a b c d Saunders (ed.), IHS Jane's Fighting Ships 2012–2013, p. 39
  13. ^ a b c "Austal Patrol 58 – Cape Class" (PDF). Austal. May 2013. Retrieved 9 February 2014. 
Bibliography