HMAS Childers (ACPB 93) is an Armidale-class patrol boat of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). Named for the towns of Childers, Queensland and Childers, Victoria, Childers is the only ship in the RAN to be named after two towns.
HMAS Childers and sister vessels berthed at HMAS Cairns
|Namesake:||Towns of Childers, Queensland and Childers, Victoria|
|Launched:||18 December 2006|
|Commissioned:||7 July 2007|
|Homeport:||HMAS Cairns, Cairns|
|Motto:||"Serve With Honour"|
|Status:||Active as of 2016|
|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 & landing |
|2 × Zodiac 7.2 m (24 ft) RHIBs|
|Complement:||21 standard, 29 maximum|
|Sensors and |
|Bridgemaster E surface search/navigation radar|
|Electronic warfare |
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. 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. 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. 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.
The main armament of the Armidale class is a Rafael Typhoon stabilised 25-millimetre (0.98 in) gun mount fitted with an M242 Bushmaster autocannon. Two 12.7-millimetre (0.50 in) machine guns are also carried. Boarding operations are performed by two 7.2-metre (24 ft), waterjet propelled rigid-hulled inflatable boats (RHIBs). 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.
Each patrol boat has a standard ship's company of 21 personnel, with a maximum of 29. 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. 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. 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.
Assigned to Ardent Division, Childers is based in Cairns and performs border protection and fisheries protection patrols.
The Armidale class is a class of patrol boats built for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). Planning for a class of vessels to replace the fifteen Fremantle-class patrol boats began in 1993 as a joint project with the Royal Malaysian Navy, but was cancelled when Malaysia pulled out of the process. The project was reopened in 1999 under the designation SEA 1444, with the RAN as the sole participant. Of the seven proposals tendered, the Austal Ships/Defence Maritime Services (DMS) proposal for twelve vessels based on an enlarged Bay-class patrol boat was selected. Two additional patrol boats were ordered in 2005 to provide a dedicated patrol force for the North West Shelf Venture.
All fourteen vessels were constructed by Austal Ships at Henderson, Western Australia. The first vessel, HMAS Armidale, was commissioned into the RAN in June 2005, and the last, HMAS Glenelg, entered service in February 2008. The Armidale-class ships are operated by the Australian Patrol Boat Group, and based in Cairns and Darwin. They are primarily tasked with border protection, fisheries patrols, and the interception of unauthorised arrivals by sea. The Armidales are longer and heavier than their Fremantle-class predecessors, with improved seakeeping ability and increased range, allowing them to reach Australia's offshore territories. The ships are multi-crewed, with three ship's companies available for every two vessels, allowing the patrol boats to spend more time at sea without cutting into sailors' rest or training time.
During their early service life, there were problems with the fuel systems across the class, and a 20-bunk auxiliary accommodation compartment has been banned from use after toxic fumes were found in the compartment on multiple occasions. The high operational tempo from the Operation Resolute and Operation Sovereign Borders border protection and asylum seeker interception operations, combined with design flaws and poor maintenance, resulted in the ships suffering from hull fracturing around the engineering spaces, mechanical defects, and corrosion issues. DMS's contract to provide in-service support will be terminated in 2017, and the patrol boats are undergoing a major refit in Singapore to reinforce the hull. Two Cape-class patrol boats have been chartered to supplement naval patrol boat availability during the refit cycle, and plans to replace the Armidales with an enlarged class of offshore combatant vessel have been accelerated to bring them into service by the early 2020s.
After extensive damage from an onboard fire, HMAS Bundaberg was decommissioned at the end of 2014. A fictional Armidale-class boat, HMAS Hammersley, appears in the Australian military drama series Sea Patrol from the second season onwards, with filming occurring aboard multiple ships of the class.Hugh Childers
Hugh Culling Eardley Childers (25 June 1827 – 29 January 1896) was a British Liberal statesman of the nineteenth century. He is perhaps best known for his reform efforts at the Admiralty and the War Office. Later in his career, as Chancellor of the Exchequer, his attempt to correct a budget shortfall led to the fall of the Liberal government led by William Ewart Gladstone.List of ships of the Royal Australian Navy
Since its foundation in 1913, the Royal Australian Navy has operated a large number of vessels, including various types of warship, support and supply craft, and auxiliary vessels drawn from civilian service when required.