HMAS Leeuwin (A 245)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For other ships with the same name, see HMAS Leeuwin.
HMAS Leeuwin operating off Singapore in 2011
HMAS Leeuwin operating off Singapore in 2010
Namesake: Cape Leeuwin
Ordered: 2 April 1996
Builder: NQEA Australia, Cairns
Launched: 19 July 1997
Commissioned: 27 May 2000
Homeport: HMAS Cairns
Motto: I Shall Maintain
Status: Active as of 2016
Badge: Ship's badge
General characteristics
Class and type: Leeuwin-class survey vessel
Displacement: 2,170 tons
Length: 71.2 m (234 ft)
Beam: 15.2 m (50 ft)
Draught: 4.3 m (14 ft)
  • 4 × GEC Alsthom 6RK 215 generators, 2 × Alsthom electric motors, 2 shafts
  • 1 × Schottel bow thruster
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)
Complement: 10 officers, 46 sailors, up to 5 trainees
Sensors and
processing systems:
  • Navigation:
  • STN Atlas 9600 ARPA; I-band.
  • Sonar:
  • 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
Armament: 2 × 12.7 mm machine guns
Aircraft carried: 1 × AS 350B Squirrel (not permanently embarked)

HMAS Leeuwin (HS 01/A 245) is the lead ship of the Leeuwin class of hydrographic survey vessels operated by the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).

Design and construction[edit]

Leeuwin has a displacement of 2,170 tons at full load.[1] She is 71.2 metres (234 ft) long, with a beam of 15.2 metres (50 ft), and a draught of 4.3 metres (14 ft).[1] Main propulsion machinery consists of four GEC Alsthom 6RK 215 diesel generators, which supply two Alsthom electric motors, each driving a propeller shaft.[1] A Schottel bow thruster is fitted for additional manoeuvrability.[1] Maximum speed is 18 knots (33 km/h; 21 mph), with a range of 18,000 nautical miles (33,000 km; 21,000 mi) at 9 knots (17 km/h; 10 mph).[1]

The sensor suite consists of a STN Atlas 9600 APRA I-band navigational radar, a C-Tech CMAS 36/39 hull-mounted sonar, an Atlas Fansweep-20 multibeam echo sounder, an Atlas Hydrographic Deso single-beam echo sounder, and a Klein 2000 towed sonar.[1] The sonars and echo sounders allow the vessels to chart waters up to 6,000 metres (20,000 ft) deep.[2] There are three sets of davits fitted to carry Fantome-class survey boats.[1] The ship is fitted with a helicopter deck for an AS 350B Squirrel helicopter (detached from 723 Squadron), although there are no long-term hosting facilities.[1] She is armed with two single 12.7 mm machine guns.[2] The ship's company consists of 10 officers and 46 sailors, plus up to 5 trainees.[1] The Leeuwin class were the first RAN ships to use a multi-crewing concept,[citation needed] with three complements used to operate the two vessels.[2]

Leeuwin was ordered from NQEA Australia on 2 April 1996, and built at the company's shipyard in Cairns.[1] She was laid down on 9 May 1997 and launched on 23 June 1998.[2] Leeuwin and sister ship Melville underwent a joint commissioning ceremony on 27 May 2000.[1] Leeuwin initially carried the pennant number "HS 01", but this was changed to "A 245" in 2004.[2] She is named after Cape Leeuwin, the south-west-most point of the Australian continent.

Operational history[edit]

In late 2001, Leeuwin began to operate in support of border protection operations in addition to her normal hydrographic duties.[2][3] In January 2002, Leeuwin was repainted from white to grey.[2][3]

Leeuwin underway on Sydney Harbour on 5 October 2013

In October 2013, Leeuwin participated in the International Fleet Review 2013 in Sydney.[4] The fleet was reviewed by Governor-General Quentin Bryce on 5 October from Leeuwin's helicopter deck, with Bryce accompanied by Prince Harry.[5]

Leeuwin sailed to Fiji in July 2015 for a seabed-mapping operation around Rotuma Island.[6] This was the first RAN deployment to the region in eight years, since the deterioration of ties between the nations after the 2006 Fijian coup d'état.[6]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Saunders (ed.), Jane's Fighting Ships 2008–2009, p. 33
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Wertheim (ed.), The Naval Institute Guide to Combat Fleets of the World, p. 26
  3. ^ a b Bateman et al., in Rothwell & VanderZwaag (eds.), Towards principled ocean governance, p. 130
  4. ^ "Participating Warships". International Fleet Review 2013 website. Royal Australian Navy. 2013. Archived from the original on 10 December 2013. Retrieved 14 December 2015. 
  5. ^ Walsh, Fiona (4 October 2013). "International Fleet Review: seven to watch for when the ships come in". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 October 2013. 
  6. ^ a b Talebula, Kate (14 July 2015). "Australian frigate on seabed survey mission". The Fiji Times Online. Retrieved 19 July 2015.