HMAS Protector (ASR 241)

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HMAS Protector in 1992
HMAS Protector in 1992
Name: Protector
Builder: Stirling Marine Services, WA
Christened: 1984 as MV Blue Nabilla
Acquired: 18 October 1990
Commissioned: November 1990
Decommissioned: 1998
Renamed: 1990
Honours and
Two inherited battle honours
Status: Sold to Defence Maritime Services
Name: Seahorse Horizon
Owner: Defence Maritime Services
Acquired: 1998
In service: 1998
Homeport: HMAS Creswell
Status: Active as of 2010
General characteristics
Displacement: 670 tons full load
Length: 42.7 m (140 ft)
Beam: 9.5 m (31 ft)
Draught: 3 m (9.8 ft)
Propulsion: 2 Detroit 12V-92TA diesels; 2,440 hp (1.82 MW) sustained; 2 Heimdal cp propellors
Speed: 11.5 knots (21.3 km/h; 13.2 mph)
Range: 10,000 nautical miles (19,000 km; 12,000 mi) at 11 knots (20 km/h; 13 mph)
Endurance: 14 days
Complement: 6 civilian or 9 navy (for training)
Sensors and
processing systems:
Navigation Radar: JRC 310 I-band. Decca RM 970BT I-band. Sonar:Klein side scan.
Aviation facilities: Helicopter platform (removed 1992)

HMAS Protector (ASR 241) was a Royal Australian Navy (RAN) trials and submarine rescue ship. Built in 1984, the ship was initially operated by the National Safety Council of Australia as MV Blue Nabilla. She was purchased by the RAN in 1990 for use as a surveillance, training, and diving support vessel. During her military career, Protector supported the trials of the Collins-class submarines, and was involved in a search for the shipwreck of the World War II cruiser HMAS Sydney. The ship was decommissioned in 1998 and, while still owned by the Commonwealth, she is provided to Defence Maritime Services to allow them to support Navy activities under contract. Renamed Seahorse Horizon, the ship is operated by Defence Maritime Services out of HMAS Creswell as a training and Fleet support vessel.


The ship was constructed by Stirling Marine Services in Western Australia, and was completed in 1984.

Operational history[edit]

She operated as MV Blue Nabilla for the National Safety Council of Australia until 1990.

The ship was purchased by the RAN on 18 October 1990, fitted with a LIPS dynamic positioning system, two Remotely Operated Vehicles and a recompression chamber. She was commissioned as HMAS Protector in November 1990. She supported the Collins-class submarine trials and acceptance process from 1992. On 10 June 1995, Protector was slightly damaged when a switchboard malfunction aboard HMAS Collins caused the submarine to ram the trials ship.[1] The vessel also performed in the surveillance, training, and diving support roles.

During 1997, Protector undertook a brief and unsuccessful search for the remains of the World War II cruiser HMAS Sydney.[2]

When Protector was decommissioned in 1998, she was provided to the RAN's support craft contractor, Defence Maritime Services, for use in the provision of Fleet and training support operating out of HMAS Creswell under the name Seahorse Horizon.[3] In 2002, Seahorse Horizon took part in Exercise Dugong, laying and recovering mines.[4]


  1. ^ Yule, Peter; Woolner, Derek (2008). The Collins Class Submarine Story: Steel, Spies and Spin (Google Books). Port Melbourne, VIC: Cambridge University Press. pp. 213–4. ISBN 978-0-521-86894-5. OCLC 213111359. Retrieved 1 May 2009. 
  2. ^ Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade (JCFADT) (22 March 1999). Report on the Loss of HMAS Sydney. Canberra: The Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia. p. 139. ISBN 0-642-25872-4. OCLC 42768622. Retrieved 9 November 2009. 
  3. ^ Navy News 1 June 1998
  4. ^ Navy News 2 September 2002

External links[edit]