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.
Robert William Rankin was a Royal Australian Navy officer who was killed in action in World War II. On March 4, 1942 while escorting a small convoy from Java to Australia, HMAS Yarra encountered a Japanese naval force comprised of three cruisers and two destroyers. Rankin immediately transmitted a sighting report, ordered the convoy to scatter, and placed Yarra between the enemy and the convoy. Only 13 of the 151 crew survived the engagement. In honour of Robert Rankin the 6th and final Collins class submarine, HMAS Rankin was named in his honour. The ship's motto is "Defend the Weak", a reference to the efforts of Robert Rankin and Yarra to defend the unarmed convoy ships.
The Kanimbla class landing platform amphibiousis a class of two amphibious transport ships in the Royal Australian Navy. Both ships were originally built as Newport classLSTs and were purchased by Australia in 1994. Following their purchase the ships underwent extensive reconstruction to improve their capabilities. The main new feature was the addition of a large flight deck and hangar facilities capable of supporting up to three Sea Kings or four Blackhawks. Both ships can also mount two army landing craft on the forward flight deck, which can be winched on and off by a 70 tonne crane. Each vessel has the capacity to transport up to 450 soldiers and their associated equipment into a combat area.