HMAS Pirie (ACPB 87)

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For other ships of the same name, see HMAS Pirie.
Career (Australia)
Namesake: City of Port Pirie, South Australia
Builder: Austal Ships, Henderson, Western Australia
Commissioned: 29 July 2006
Homeport: Darwin
Motto: "Mark Of Quality"
Honours and
awards:
Three inherited battle honours
Status: Active as of 2015
General characteristics
Class and 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 and landing
craft carried:
2 × Zodiac 7.2 m (24 ft) RHIBs
Complement: 21 standard, 29 maximum
Sensors and
processing systems:
Bridgemaster E surface search/navigation radar
Electronic warfare
and decoys:
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

HMAS Pirie (ACPB 87), named for the city of Port Pirie, South Australia, is an Armidale class patrol boat of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).

Design and construction[edit]

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.[1] 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.[2] 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.[3] 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.[3][2]

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.[3] Two 12.7-millimetre (0.50 in) machine guns are also carried.[4] Boarding operations are performed by two 7.2-metre (24 ft), waterjet propelled rigid-hulled inflatable boats (RHIBs).[2] 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.[2][5]

Each patrol boat has a standard ship's company of 21 personnel, with a maximum of 29.[3][2] 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.[2][6] 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.[7] 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.[6][7]

Pirie was constructed by Austal at their shipyard in Henderson, Western Australia.[1] She was commissioned into the RAN in her namesake city on 15 July 2006.[1][8]

Operational history[edit]

Pirie is assigned to Assail Division, is based in Darwin and performs border protection and fisheries protection patrols.

In 2006, the patrol boat was involved in unmanned aerial vehicle trials at Port Hedland, South Australia.[8] In November, Pirie was formally assigned to border protection operations under Operation Resolute.[8]

During 2008, Pirie participated in Exercise Singaroo with Australian and Singaporean vessels.[8]

She attended the 2009 Chinese International Fleet Review.[8]

During 2010, the vessel attended the Timor Fleet Review, then participated in that year's Exercise Cassowary, along with Australian and Indonesian units.[8] Pirie was one of the ships that responded when a Suspected Illegal Entry Vessel carrying asylum seekers ran aground and sank off Christmas Island on 15 December 2010.[9]

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Saunders (ed.), IHS Jane's Fighting Ships 2012-2013, p. 33
  2. ^ a b c d e f Kerr, Plain sailing
  3. ^ a b c d Wertheim (ed.), The Naval Institute Guide to Combat Fleets of the World, p. 22
  4. ^ Heron & Powell, in Australian Maritime Issues 2006, p. 132
  5. ^ Heron & Powell, in Australian Maritime Issues 2006, p. 131
  6. ^ a b Kerr, Patrol boats shake down fuel faults
  7. ^ a b McKenna, Gas risk remains for navy boats
  8. ^ a b c d e f Hicks, George (12 September 2013). "Patrol boat crews help to carry on a proud name". Navy News. p. 16. 
  9. ^ "27 confirmed dead after asylum boat sinking". ABC News Online. 15 December 2010. Retrieved 12 January 2011. 

References[edit]

Books
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. 
Websites and other media

External links[edit]