Portal:Royal Australian Navy

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Royal Australian Navy

Naval Ensign of Australia.svg

The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) is the naval branch of the Australian Defence Force. The RAN's stated mission is "to fight and win in the maritime environment as an element of a joint or combined force. To assist in maintaining Australia's sovereignty and to contribute to the security of our region."

The RAN currently has nearly 14,420 personnel on active duty or in the Reserve and operates over 50 vessels, including frigates, submarines, patrol boats and auxiliary ships. The RAN is one of the most modern navies in the Pacific and is responsible for defending Australian waters and undertaking operations in distant locations.

The Commonwealth Naval Forces were established on 1 March 1901, two months after the Federation of Australia. On 10 July 1911, King George V granted the title of Royal Australian Navy. The Royal Navy continued to provide blue water defence in the Pacific until World War II, when expansion of the RAN saw the acquisition of aircraft carriers, and other large surface vessels.

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Although Australia was remote from the main battlefronts of World War II, there was considerable Axis naval activity in Australian waters during the war. A total of 53 German and Japanese warships and submarines entered Australian waters between 1940 and 1945 and attacked ships, ports and other targets. Among the best-known attacks are the sinking of HMAS Sydney by a German raider in November 1941, the attack on Darwin in February 1942 and the Japanese midget submarine attack on Sydney Harbour in May 1942. In addition, many Allied merchant ships were damaged or sunk off the Australian coast by submarines and mines. Japanese submarines also shelled several Australian ports and submarine-based aircraft flew over several Australian capital cities.

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Vice Admiral Sir John Augustine Collins, KBE, CB (1899–1989) was an Australian naval officer who served in World War I and World War II, and who eventually rose to become the First Naval Member of the Australian Commonwealth Naval Board and Chief of Naval Staff. Collins was one of the first graduates of the Royal Australian Naval College to attain flag rank. During World War II, he commanded the cruiser HMAS Sydney in the Mediterranean. The latest class of Australian submarine, the Collins class bears his name. The first of these, HMAS Collins, was launched by his widow in 1993.

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US Navy 040823-N-3019M-003 The Australian Collins-class submarine, HMAS Rankin (SSK 78), enters Pearl Harbor for a port visit after completing exercises in the Pacific region.jpg

The Collins class submarine are the newest class of Australian submarines, built in Australia for the Royal Australian Navy. They were built by the Australian Submarine Corporation at Osborne, South Australia. They replace much older Oberon class submarines in the Australian fleet. In total 6 vessels have been constructed and all have been named after a distinguished former member of the RAN, some of whom have died for their country. The submarines are based at HMAS Stirling in Rockingham, Western Australia.

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