HMAS Whyalla (FCPB 208)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For other ships of the same name, see HMAS Whyalla.
Namesake: City of Whyalla, South Australia
Builder: North Queensland Engineers and Agents
Laid down: 13 July 1908
Launched: 22 May 1982
Commissioned: 3 July 1982
Decommissioned: 2 September 2005
Homeport: HMAS Cairns
Motto: "Thrust Ahead"
Honours and
Three inherited battle honours
Status: Scrapped
General characteristics
Class & type: Fremantle class patrol boat
Displacement: 220 tons
Length: 137.6 ft (41.9 m)
Beam: 25.25 ft (7.70 m)
Draught: 5.75 ft (1.75 m)
Propulsion: 2 MTU series 538 diesel engines, 3,200 shp (2,400 kW), 2 propellers
Speed: 30 knots (56 km/h; 35 mph)
Range: 5,000 nautical miles (9,300 km; 5,800 mi) at 5 knots (9.3 km/h; 5.8 mph)
Complement: 22
  • One general purpose 40/60 mm Bofors gun
  • Two 12.7 mm machine guns
  • One 81 mm mortar (removed later)

HMAS Whyalla (FCPB 208), named for the city of Whyalla, South Australia, was a Fremantle class patrol boat of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).

Design and construction[edit]

Starting in the late 1960s, planning began for a new class of patrol boat to replace the Attack class, with designs calling for improved seakeeping capability, and updated weapons and equipment.[1] The Fremantles had a full load displacement of 220 tonnes (220 long tons; 240 short tons), were 137.6 feet (41.9 m) long overall, had a beam of 24.25 feet (7.39 m), and a maximum draught of 5.75 feet (1.75 m).[2] Main propulsion machinery consisted of two MTU series 538 diesel engines, which supplied 3,200 shaft horsepower (2,400 kW) to the two propeller shafts.[2] Exhaust was not expelled through a funnel, like most ships, but through vents below the waterline.[3] The patrol boat could reach a maximum speed of 30 knots (56 km/h; 35 mph), and had a maximum range of 5,000 nautical miles (9,300 km; 5,800 mi) at 5 knots (9.3 km/h; 5.8 mph).[2] The ship's company consisted of 22 personnel.[2] Each patrol boat was armed with a single 40 mm Bofors gun as main armament, supplemented by two .50 cal Browning machineguns and an 81-mm mortar,[2] although the mortar was removed from all ships sometime after 1988.[citation needed] The main weapon was originally to be two 30-mm guns on a twin-mount, but the reconditioned Bofors were selected to keep costs down; provision was made to install an updated weapon later in the class' service life, but this did not eventuate.[4][3]

Whyalla was built by North Queensland Engineers and Agents, in Cairns, Queensland.[2] The ship was laid down on 13 July 1980, launched on 22 May 1982, and commissioned on 3 July 1982.[5]

Operational history[edit]


Whyalla was based at HMAS Cairns, and was decommissioned on 2 September 2005.[6] The patrol boat was broken up for scrap in Darwin during 2006, at a cost of $450,000 to the Australian government.[7]


  1. ^ Mitchell, Farewell to the Fremantle class, p. 105
  2. ^ a b c d e f Gillett, Australian and New Zealand Warships since 1946, p. 89
  3. ^ a b Gillett, Australian and New Zealand Warships since 1946, p. 88
  4. ^ Jones, in Stevens, The Royal Australian Navy, p. 222
  5. ^ Moore, Jane's Fighting Ships 1985–86, p. 26
  6. ^ "Farewell old friend". Navy Annual 2005. Royal Australian Navy. 2005. Retrieved 11 September 2008. 
  7. ^ Australian National Audit Office (5 February 2015), Management of the Disposal of Specialist Military Equipment (Report), Government of Australia, p. 62, retrieved 24 April 2015 


  • Gillett, Ross (1988). Australian and New Zealand Warships since 1946. Brookvale, NSW: Child & Associates. ISBN 0-86777-219-0. OCLC 23470364. 
  • Jones, Peter (2001). "Towards Self Reliance". In Stevens, David. The Royal Australian Navy. The Australian Centenary History of Defence (vol III). South Melbourne, VIC: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-555542-2. OCLC 50418095. 
  • Mitchell, Brett (2007). "Farewell to the Fremantle Class". In Forbes, Andrew & Lovi, Michelle. Australian Maritime Issues 2006 (PDF). Papers in Australian Maritime Affairs (19). Sea Power Centre - Australia. ISBN 0-642-29644-8. ISSN 1327-5658. Retrieved 12 May 2010. 
    • The chapter is available separately as Semaphore, Issue 17, 2005 in PDF and HTML formats.
  • Moore, John, ed. (1985). Jane's Fighting Ships 1985–86. London: Jane's Yearbooks. ISBN 0-7106-0814-4.