HMAS Choules

HMAS Choules (L100) is a Bay-class landing ship that served with the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) from 2006 to 2011, before being transferred to the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). The vessel was built as RFA Largs Bay by Swan Hunter in Wallsend, Tyne and Wear. She was named after Largs Bay in Ayrshire, Scotland, and entered service in November 2006. During her career with the RFA, Largs Bay served as the British ship assigned to patrol the Falkland Islands in 2008, and delivered relief supplies following the 2010 Haiti earthquake.

At the end of 2010, Largs Bay was marked as one of the vessels to be removed from service under the Strategic Defence and Security Review. She was offered for sale, with the RAN announced as the successful bidder in April 2011. After modifications to make her more suited for Australian operating conditions, the vessel was commissioned in December 2011 as HMAS Choules, named after Chief Petty Officer Claude Choules. A propulsion transformer failure kept the ship out of service between July 2012 and April 2013.

HMAS Choules FBE 2014
HMAS Choules at Fleet Base East Sydney Harbour, Australia in August 2014
United Kingdom
Name: Largs Bay
Namesake: Largs Bay
Ordered: 18 December 2000
Builder: Swan Hunter, Wallsend, Tyne and Wear
Laid down: 28 January 2002
Launched: 18 July 2003
In service: 28 November 2006
Out of service: April 2011
Fate: Decommissioned under SDSR, sold to Australia
Name: Choules
Namesake: Chief Petty Officer Claude Choules
Acquired: 6 April 2011
Commissioned: 13 December 2011
Motto: "Face Difficulty With Zeal"
Status: Active as of 2019
Badge: Ship's badge
General characteristics
Class and type: Bay-class landing ship dock
  • 16,160 t (15,905 long tons) full load (RFA)
  • 16,190 t (15,934 long tons) (RAN)
Length: 579.4 ft (176.6 m)
Beam: 86.6 ft (26.4 m)
Draught: 19 ft (5.8 m)
  • 2 × Wärtsilä 8L26 generators, 6,000 hp (4.5 MW)
  • 2 × Wärtsilä 12V26 generators, 9,000 hp (6.7 MW)
  • 2 × propulsion pods
  • 1 × bow thruster
Speed: 18 knots (33 km/h; 21 mph)
Range: 8,000 nmi (15,000 km; 9,200 mi) at 15 kn (28 km/h; 17 mph)
Boats & landing
craft carried:
Troops: 356 standard or 700 overload
  • RFA: 60-70 core, increased for operational deployments
  • RAN - 158 fully crewed
Sensors and
processing systems:
  • RAN service:
  • EID ICCS integrated communications control system
Aircraft carried: None carried
Aviation facilities: Flight deck can operate helicopters up to Chinook size. Temporary hangar can be fitted as required.

Design and construction

The Bay class was designed as a replacement for the Round Table-class logistics ships operated by the RFA.[1] The new design was based on the Royal Schelde Enforcer design; a joint project between the Dutch and Spanish resulting in the Rotterdam-class and Galicia-class amphibious warfare ships.[1] The main difference with the British ships is the lack of a helicopter hangar.[2] The ships were originally designated "auxiliary landing ship logistics" or ALSL, but this was changed in 2002 to "landing ship dock (auxiliary)" or LSD(A), better reflecting their operational role.[3] Four ships were ordered; two from Swan Hunter, and two from BAE Systems Naval Ships.[1]

The Bay-class ships have a full load displacement of 16,160 tonnes (15,900 long tons) in RFA service; this increased slightly to 16,190 tonnes (15,930 long tons) after modifications for RAN service.[1][4] Largs Bay/Choules is 579.4 feet (176.6 m) long, with a beam of 86.6 feet (26.4 m), and a draught of 19 feet (5.8 m).[1] Propulsion power is provided by two Wärtsilä 8L26 generators, providing 6,000 horsepower (4.5 MW), and two Wärtsilä 12V26 generators, providing 9,000 horsepower (6.7 MW).[1] These are used to drive two steerable propulsion pods, with a bow thruster supplementing.[1] Maximum speed is 18 knots (33 km/h; 21 mph), and the Bay-class ships can achieve a range of 8,000 nautical miles (15,000 km; 9,200 mi) at 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph).[1] Largs Bay was fitted for but not with a Phalanx CIWS and a 30 mm DS30B cannon when required for self defence.[5] The RAN's webpage for Choules does not specify any armament.[4] In British service, the everyday ship's company consisted of 60 to 70 RFA personnel, with this number supplemented by members of the British Armed Forces when Largs Bay was deployed operationally.[1][6][7] The RAN opted to maintain the ship at full operational crewing at all times, with a ship's company of 158, including 22 Army and 6 RAAF personnel.[6][8]

"Largs Bay L3006" in Portland harbour - - 1458486
RFA Largs Bay in Portland Harbour, August 2009

As a sealift ship, Largs Bay is capable of carrying up to 1,150 linear metres of vehicles; equivalent to 24 Challenger 2 tanks, 32 M1A1 Abrams tanks, or 150 light trucks.[1][4] The cargo capacity is equivalent of 200 tons of ammunition, or 24 twenty-foot equivalent unit containers.[1] During normal conditions, a Bay-class ship can carry 356 soldiers, but this can be almost doubled to 700 in overload conditions.[1] No helicopters are carried on board, but the twin-spot flight deck is capable of handling helicopters up to the size of Chinooks, as well as Merlin helicopters and Osprey tiltrotor aircraft, and a temporary hangar can be fitted as required.[1][3][9] The well dock can carry one LCU Mark 10, one LCM-8, or two LCVPs (either the Royal Marines version or the Royal Australian Navy version), and two Mexeflotes can be suspended from the ship's flanks.[1][3][4] The LCM-1E landing craft being acquired by the RAN will not fit into the dock.[8] Two 30-ton cranes are fitted between the superstructure and the flight deck.[1]

Largs Bay and sister ship Lyme Bay were ordered from Swan Hunter on 18 December 2000.[1] Largs Bay was laid down at Swan Hunter's shipyard at Wallsend, Tyne and Wear on 28 January 2002; the first ship of the class work started on.[1] The ship was launched on 18 July 2003.[1] The ship was completed and accepted by the Ministry of Defence in April 2006, over a year late.[10] Largs Bay was dedicated on 28 November 2006, the second of the class to enter service with the RFA.[1] The Bay-class construction project saw major delays and cost overruns, particularly in the Swan Hunter half of the project.[10] Shortly after Largs Bay was handed over, Swan Hunter was stripped from the project, with BAE taking full responsibility for the class and Lyme Bay towed to BAE's shipyard in Govan for completion in June 2006.[10]

Operational history

United Kingdom

Humanitarian Supplies are Delivered to Haiti from the UK MOD 45151172
Humanitarian supplies being unloaded from Largs Bay at Haiti

Four months after entering service, an engine room fire resulted in steering and propulsion issues, requiring Largs Bay to be towed to Plymouth for repairs.[11] In late November 2007, Largs Bay embarked 815 Naval Air Squadron 215 Flight and left home waters for the Caribbean to conduct counter-drug operations.[12] She visited eleven islands including Barbados, Curaçao, Grand Turk, Martinique, Trinidad and also the USA.[12] Three days after leaving Barbados Largs Bay's patrolling helicopter spotted a small fishing vessel stopped in the water and detained her after a pursuit; 575 kilograms (1,268 lb) of cocaine were recovered, with an estimated £20 million European street value.[12] She participated in Navy Days while in port at Curaçao, where several hundred people toured her.[12]

In late 2008, it was reported that Largs Bay was to replace HMS Northumberland for duties in the Falkland Islands. Northumberland was to have left for the Islands in December 2008, but was instead sent for pirate patrol off Somalia.[13]

In early 2010, Largs Bay was deployed to the Arctic Circle.[14] Following the 2010 Haiti earthquake, the ship was pulled from exercises and sailed on 3 February to deliver a load of relief supplies to Haiti.[14][15] On 18 February 2010, she arrived at Port-au-Prince and unloaded 430 tonnes (470 tons) of supplies plus 165 tonnes (182 tons) of rations, while engineers from the ship began work on restoring electricity ashore.[14][16] On 30 March 2010, she returned home.[17] Largs Bay's actions were recognised in December 2011 with the awarding of the Firmin Sword of Peace.[14]

In August 2010, the ship participated in the Bournemouth Air Festival.[18]

Decommissioning and transfer

HMAS Choules in Falmouth Docks
Largs Bay in Falmouth Docks during August 2011. Note that her new RAN pennant number has been painted on her hull.

In December 2010, it was announced that the ship would be decommissioned in April 2011 as part of the Strategic Defence and Security Review.[19][20] Shortly after marking Largs Bay for disposal, the British Ministry of Defence contacted the Chilean government and suggested the vessel as a potential replacement for the landing ship tank vessel Valdivia, which was due to leave service.[21] In January 2011, the Australian Department of Defence announced that it was interested in purchasing the vessel for the RAN as a replacement for the heavy landing ship HMAS Tobruk or one of the Kanimbla-class amphibious warfare ships.[20][22] Interest in the ship was also shown by Brazil and India.[23]

On 17 March 2011, the Australian Department of Defence announced that the RAN would be bidding for Largs Bay; this was followed on 6 April by news that a £65 million (A$100 million) bid had been successful.[24][25] Sea trials during April showed that the ship was in good condition, although she would have to be modified before entering Australian service, particularly to allow operation in tropical conditions.[26] During a 16-week docking at the A&P Group shipyard in Falmouth, the modifications were made, along with refit work to maintain the ship's Lloyds certification.[6] The RAN also acquired two Mexeflote landing rafts for use with the ship.[27]

On 13 August, it was announced that Largs Bay would be renamed HMAS Choules when commissioned into the RAN.[28] The name comes from Chief Petty Officer Claude Choules, who served in both the Royal Navy and the RAN during his career, and was the last known living participant in World War I.[28][29] Choules is the second RAN vessel to be named after an enlisted sailor, following the submarine HMAS Sheean.[30] The ship was assigned the pennant number L100, reflecting the 100th anniversary of the RAN's origin in 2011.[29] Her motto is "Face Difficulty With Zeal".[31]

On 14 October, the vessel was handed over to the RAN.[32] She arrived in Fremantle, Western Australia on 10 December, and was commissioned into the RAN on 13 December.[33][34] Choules entered full operational service in early 2012, and is based at Fleet Base East.[27][31]


HMAS Choules starboard
HMAS Choules at Fleet Base East in January 2012. The ship's temporary hangar structure is visible behind the superstructure.

On 24 February 2012, Choules arrived in Townsville.[35] This was in preparation for a month of amphibious warfare training exercises with the Australian Army's 3rd Brigade.[35]

In June 2012, one of the two main electrical transformers involved in the ship's propulsion system failed, after an earlier engineers report highlighted "overheating of the propulsion motors and transformers".[11][36] Inspection found that insulation failure had short-circuited the transformer, while other transformers aboard showed premature wear.[36] Unable to find an available spare, a new unit had to be ordered from the manufacturer.[11] In June, it was predicted that Choules would be out of service for four to five months, but by October, claims were made that the ship would be inoperable until at least January 2013, and if all of the wear-showing transformers were replaced, she would not return to service until April 2013.[11][36] By December, the faulty transformer had been replaced, and the RAN had decided that although the other transformers (propulsion and others) had been shown to have acceptable levels of wear, all would be replaced before Choules was reactivated.[37] These repairs were completed in early 2013, and the ship was assessed as ready to re-enter service on 12 April.[38]

For a short time from July 2013, Choules was anchored offshore of the Manus Regional Processing Centre in Papua New Guinea to provide temporary accommodation for Department of Immigration and other personnel, due to a lack of accommodation at the Centre.[39] In April 2015, the ship transported 46 Vietnamese asylum seekers back to Vũng Tàu, after their vessel was intercepted at sea on 20 March by Australian border protection units and their claims were rejected after interviews at sea lasting less than 40 minutes.[40][41]

Choules' operational role will be reevaluated after the Canberra-class landing helicopter dock ships enter service in 2016, but will likely be kept on to fill the role of the strategic sealift ship envisioned by the 2009 Defence white paper.[8][42]

In March 2017 Choules was sent to Queensland to support recovery after Cyclone Debbie.[43]

Choules was deployed to Vanuatu on 30 September 2017 to aid in the rescue of 11,000 people from a volcanic eruption of Monaro Voui.[44]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s Saunders (ed.), Jane's Fighting Ships 2008–2009, p. 876
  2. ^ Kemp, New UK landing ship takes to the water
  3. ^ a b c Scott, The Royal Navy's Future Fleet
  4. ^ a b c d Royal Australian Navy, HMAS Choules
  5. ^ Royal Navy, RFA Largs Bay
  6. ^ a b c Kerr, Amphibious ambitions
  7. ^ Johnson, Ian (4 February 2010). "RFA Largs Bay Haiti Diary". Royal Navy. Archived from the original on 6 April 2010. Retrieved 12 July 2012.
  8. ^ a b c Gillett, Australia's Navy, Part 2, p. 22
  9. ^ Scott, Sweating the asset: versatility is the key to LSD(A) multi-tasking
  10. ^ a b c Brown, UK strips Swan Hunter of LSD(A) role
  11. ^ a b c d McPhedran, Missing spare part grounds Navy ship
  12. ^ a b c d Royal Navy, 815 Naval Air Squadron in RFA Largs Bay
  13. ^ UPI, Britain withdraws warship from Falklands
  14. ^ a b c d Craig, Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship Largs Bay wins award
  15. ^ BBC News, RFA Largs Bay leaves Southampton bound for Haiti
  16. ^ Daily Express, Royal Navy aid ship reaches Haiti
  17. ^ The News, RFA Largs Bay returns home after earthquake aid mission
  18. ^ Bournemouth Echo, RFA Largs Bay sails in for Bournemouth Air Festival
  19. ^ Defence News, Changes to Royal Navy's surface fleet announced
  20. ^ a b 'Themistocles', The UK SDSR and JP 2048 Phase 4C – A Golden Opportunity
  21. ^ Higueras, Chile eyes new amphibious transport ship
  22. ^ Oakes, Navy eyes redundant UK vessel
  23. ^ Kerr, Australia completes Largs Bay purchase
  24. ^ Taylor, Australia to buy amphibious military transport ship, aircraft
  25. ^ Australian Associated Press, Australia to buy used UK landing ship
  26. ^ Flash Traffic: Purchase of Largs Bay, in The Navy
  27. ^ a b Royal Australian Navy, HMAS Choules commissioned
  28. ^ a b Moulton & Australian Associated Press, Naval ship named after WA war veteran Claude Choules
  29. ^ a b Griggs, Naming of Ex RFA Largs Bay - HMAS Choules
  30. ^ Royal Australian Navy, HMAS Sheean
  31. ^ a b O'Callaghan, Choules on her way
  32. ^ Dodd, Navy's borrowed ship costs us $82,000 a day
  33. ^ Sea Waves, Port Visits December 2011
  34. ^ Australian Broadcasting Corporation, HMAS Choules commissioned in honour of veteran
  35. ^ a b Timms, Newest Navy warship heads north
  36. ^ a b c Australian Associated Press (17 October 2012). "Navy unclear why $100m ship broke down". (The Sydney Morning Herald). Retrieved 17 October 2012.
  37. ^ "In Brief: Work on Choules". Navy News. Directorate of Defence News. 6 December 2012. pp. 6–7.
  38. ^ West, Sarah. "HMAS Choules returns to sea". Royal Australian Navy. Retrieved 12 April 2013.
  39. ^ Robert Cornall AO, Review into the events of 16-17 February 2014 at the Manus Regional Processing Centre, 23 May 2014
  40. ^ Aston, Heath (17 April 2015). "Australian Navy to hand 50 asylum seekers back to Vietnam". The Canberra Times. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  41. ^ "Úc bị chỉ trích vì từ chối cho 46 thuyền nhân Việt Nam tị nạn". Nguoi Viet Daily News (in Vietnamese). 27 May 2015. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
  42. ^ Department of Defence, Defending Australia in the Asia Pacific Century, p. 73
  43. ^ Andrew Greene (28 March 2017). "Navy's largest ships unable to join Cyclone Debbie emergency response amid engine troubles". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 28 March 2017.
  44. ^ Matilda Rudd (30 September 2017). "Australia rushes Navy ship to Vanuatu to rescue 11,000 islanders from volcano eruption that threatens to rain down ash, lava and acid rain". Daily Mail Australia. Retrieved 2 October 2017.


  • Department of Defence (2 May 2009). Defending Australia in the Asia Pacific Century: Force 2030. Commonwealth of Australia. ISBN 978-0-642-29702-0. OCLC 426475923.
  • Saunders, Stephen (ed.) (2008). Jane's Fighting Ships 2008–2009. Jane's Fighting Ships (111th ed.). Surrey: Jane's Information Group. ISBN 978-0-7106-2845-9. OCLC 225431774.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  • Gillett, Ross (2012). Australia's Navy: Today and Tomorrow. Part 2. Topmill.
Journal articles
  • Brown, Nick (13 July 2006). "UK strips Swan Hunter of LSD(A) role". Jane's Defence Industry. Jane's Information Group.
  • "Flash Traffic: Purchase of Largs Bay". The Navy. Navy League of Australia. 73 (3): 13. July 2011.
  • Higueras, José (26 January 2011). "Chile eyes new amphibious transport ship". Jane's Defence Weekly.
  • Kemp, Ian (25 July 2003). "New UK landing ship takes to the water". Jane's Defence Weekly. Jane's Information Group.
  • Kerr, Julian (6 April 2011). "Australia completes Largs Bay purchase". Jane's Defence Weekly. Jane's Information Group.
  • Kerr, Julian (22 December 2011). "Amphibious ambitions: expanding Australia's naval expectations". Jane's Navy International. Jane's Information Group.
  • Scott, Richard (4 September 2003). "The Royal Navy's Future Fleet – Taking Shape". Jane's Defence Weekly. Jane's Information Group.
  • Scott, Richard (3 August 2011). "Sweating the asset: versatility is the key to LSD(A) multi-tasking". International Defence Review. Jane's Information Group.
  • 'Themistocles' (January 2011). "The UK SDSR and JP 2048 Phase 4C – A Golden Opportunity". The Navy. Navy League of Australia. 73 (1): 2–3.
News articles



External links

  1. ^
10th Force Support Battalion (Australia)

The 10th Force Support Battalion (10 FSB) is an Australian Army logistics battalion and is part of the 17th Sustainment Brigade. Its role is to provide third line or 'general' support within an area of operations.10FSB is located at Lavarack Barracks and Ross Island Barracks in Townsville, Queensland, and a Troop is also located in Darwin.10FSB was formed on 1 March 1998, following the amalgamation of the 10th Terminal Regiment, 2nd Field

Logistics Battalion and the 1st Division Postal Unit.The battalion was awarded a Meritorious Unit Citation for operations in East Timor during INTERFET in 1999–2000, the first logistics unit to win such an award.

Bay-class landing ship

The Bay class is a ship class of four dock landing ships built for the British Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) during the 2000s. They are based on the Dutch-Spanish Royal Schelde Enforcer design and intended as a replacement for the Round Table-class logistics ships. Two ships each were ordered from Swan Hunter and BAE Systems Naval Ships. Construction work started in 2002, but saw major delays and cost overruns, particularly at Swan Hunter's shipyard. In mid-2006, Swan Hunter was stripped of work, and the incomplete second ship was towed to BAE's shipyard for completion. All four ships, Largs Bay, Lyme Bay, Mounts Bay, and Cardigan Bay had entered service by 2007.

Since entering service, the Bay-class ships have been used for amphibious operations, training of the Iraqi Navy in the Persian Gulf, counter-drug deployments in the Caribbean, and relief operations following the 2010 Haiti earthquake. In 2010, Largs Bay was removed from service as part of the Strategic Defence and Security Review. She was sold to the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) in 2011, who operate her as HMAS Choules.

Canberra-class landing helicopter dock

The Canberra class is a ship class of two Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) ships built for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). Planning to upgrade the navy's amphibious fleet began in 2000, based on Australian experiences leading the International Force for East Timor peacekeeping operation. With a new climate for growing Australian Navy spending, a desire existed for forward defence capability for landing and supporting troops on Asian territory, that had never existed in Australian history, even with the old Majestic-class light fleet carriers, HMAS Melbourne and HMAS Sydney in the 1970s. In 2004, French company Direction des Constructions Navales (DCN) and Spanish company Navantia were invited to tender proposals, with DCN offering the Mistral-class amphibious assault ship and Navantia proposing the "Buque de Proyección Estratégica" design (later commissioned as Juan Carlos I). The Spanish design was selected in 2007, with Navantia responsible for construction of the ships from the keel to the flight deck, and BAE Systems Australia handling the fabrication of the superstructure and fitting out.

Construction of the first ship, HMAS Canberra, commenced in late 2008, with the hull launched in early 2011, and sea trials in early 2014. Canberra was commissioned in November 2014. Work on the second vessel, HMAS Adelaide, started in early 2010. Adelaide was commissioned in December 2015. They are the largest vessels ever operated by the RAN, with a displacement of 27,500 tonnes (27,100 long tons; 30,300 short tons).

The ships are home-ported at Fleet Base East in Sydney (which has prompted complaints from nearby residents about machinery noise, exhaust fumes, and blocked views) and will regularly operate out of Townsville, the location of Lavarack Barracks, home of the Australian Army's 3rd Brigade. In addition to being located in North Queensland close to Asia and the Pacific Islands, one of the 3rd Brigade's infantry battalions, the 2nd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (2 RAR), was selected to become the Army's specialist amphibious infantry battalion.

Claude Choules

Claude Stanley Choules (; 3 March 1901 – 5 May 2011) was an English-born military serviceman from Perth, Western Australia who at the time of his death was the oldest combat veteran of the First World War from England, having served with the Royal Navy from 1915 until 1926. After having emigrated to Australia he served with the Royal Australian Navy, from 1926 until 1956, as a Chief Petty Officer and was a naturalised Australian citizen. He was the last surviving military witness to the scuttling of the German fleet in Scapa Flow in 1919 and the last surviving veteran to have served in both world wars. At the time of his death, he was the third-oldest verified military veteran in the world and the oldest known living man in Australia. He was the seventh-oldest living man in the world. Choules became the oldest man born in the United Kingdom following the death of Stanley Lucas on 21 June 2010. Choules died at the age of 110 years and 63 days. He had been the oldest British-born man; following his death, that honour went to Reverend Reginald Dean. In December 2011, the landing ship HMAS Choules was named after him, only the second Royal Australian Navy vessel named after a sailor.

Cyclone Debbie

Severe Tropical Cyclone Debbie in 2017 was the strongest tropical cyclone to strike Queensland since Nathan in 2015, and was the costliest tropical cyclone in Australia since Yasi in 2011. Forming as a tropical low on 23 March, the low gradually intensified to a named tropical cyclone on 26 March. After steadily strengthening offshore to a Category 4 system, Debbie eventually made landfall near Airlie Beach, at 12:40 AEST on 28 March. Afterwards, Debbie rapidly weakened into a tropical low by late 28 March, but continued to travel south, causing significant damage and flooding in the populous areas of South East Queensland and Northern Rivers. In total, the storm caused A$3.5 billion (US$2.67 billion) in damage and fourteen deaths across Australia, primarily as a result of extreme flooding. This makes Debbie the deadliest cyclone to hit Australia since Fifi in 1991.

Dock landing ship

A dock landing ship (also called landing ship, dock or LSD) is an amphibious warfare ship with a well dock to transport and launch landing craft and amphibious vehicles. Some ships with well decks, such as the Soviet Ivan Rogov class, also have bow doors to enable them to deliver vehicles directly onto a beach (like a tank landing ship). Modern dock landing ships also operate helicopters.

A ship with a well deck (docking well) can transfer cargo to landing craft in rougher seas than a ship that has to use cranes or a stern ramp. The US Navy hull classification symbol for a ship with a well deck depends on its facilities for aircraft – a (modern) LSD has a helicopter deck, an LPD also has a hangar, and an LHD or LHA has a full-length flight deck.

Enforcer (ship design)

The Enforcer is a ship design jointly developed by the Royal Netherlands Navy and the Spanish Navy.Development began in the 1980s, when the Royal Netherlands Navy began investigating ways to provide an amphibious transport capability. In 1994, preliminary design work began. The Spanish government proposed in 1990 to collaborate on the design. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed in June 1992. Development of the base design occurred during 1993, after which the navies turned to local companies for further design work and construction: Royal Schelde in the Netherlands, and Bazán (which became Navantia in 2005) in Spain.Royal Schelde completed one ship to the Rotterdam class, with HNLMS Rotterdam constructed between 1995 and 1998. A second ship, HNLMS Johan de Witt, was laid down in 2003 and commissioned in 2007. Bazan/Navantia completed two ships to the Galicia-class design.

The Enforcer design also served as the basis of the British Bay-class landing ships. Four vessels were built for the Royal Fleet Auxiliary by two shipyards between 2002 and 2007, with one sold in 2011 to the Royal Australian Navy.After building Rotterdam, Royal Schelde developed the "Enforcer Family": four variants of the Enforcer design intended for export sale. Increased modularity, less powerful propulsion systems, and increased use of commercial construction standards allowed the company to offer the export variants at lower prices. The Enforcer design was considered a contender for the Indian Navy Multi-Role Support Vessel programme.

Exercise Croix du Sud

Exercise Croix du Sud is a military exercise held every two years in New Caledonia, its surrounding waters and airspace. Many countries in the Pacific region take part in these exercises, which usually focus on delivering humanitarian aid, evacuating civilians, and reestablishing security in the wake of a simulated disaster.

Fleet Base East

The Fleet Base East is a Royal Australian Navy (RAN) major fleet base that comprises several naval establishments and facilities clustered around Sydney Harbour, centred on HMAS Kuttabul. The Fleet Base East extends beyond the borders of Kuttabul and includes the commercially-operated dockyard at Garden Island, and adjacent wharf facilities at nearby Woolloomooloo, east of the Sydney central business district in New South Wales, Australia. Fleet Base East is one of two major facilities of the RAN, the other facility being the Fleet Base West.

Confusingly, naval personnel often use the term Fleet Base East to mean the naval wharves at Garden Island where ships assigned to the Fleet Base usually berth but the official designation includes several other bases and facilities as well.

Green-water navy

Green-water navy is terminology created to describe a naval force that is designed to operate in its nation's littoral zones and has the competency to operate in the open oceans of its surrounding region. It is a relatively new term, and has been created to better distinguish, and add nuance, between two long-standing descriptors: blue-water navy and brown-water navy.

It is a non-doctrinal naval term used in different ways. It originates with the United States Navy, who use it to refer to the portion of their fleet that specializes in offensive operations in coastal waters. Nowadays such ships rely on stealth or speed to avoid destruction by shore batteries or land-based aircraft.

The US Navy has also used the term to refer to the first phase of the expansion of China's navy into a full blue-water navy. Subsequently, other authors have applied it to other national navies that can project power locally, but cannot sustain operations at range without the help of other countries. Such navies typically have amphibious ships and sometimes small aircraft carriers, which can be escorted by destroyers and frigates with some logistical support from tankers and other auxiliaries.

HMAS Kuttabul (naval base)

HMAS Kuttabul is a Royal Australian Navy (RAN) base located in Potts Point in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Kuttabul provides administrative, training, logistics and accommodation support to naval personnel assigned to the various facilities that form Fleet Base East, the main operational navy base on the east coast of Australia. A part of Fleet Base East itself, Kuttabul occupies several buildings in the Sydney suburb of Potts Point and in the immediately adjacent Garden Island dockyard. It also supports navy personnel posted to other locations throughout the greater Sydney region.The base is named for the steam ferry HMAS Kuttabul that was sunk while docked at Garden Island during a Japanese midget submarine attack on Sydney Harbour in 1942.

John Cowan (RAN officer)

Commander John Joseph Cowan CSC, CD (born 23 July 1957) is a Royal Australian Navy (RAN) officer. Cowan originally joined the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) in 1976 as an ordinary seaman boatswain, eventually being commissioned as an officer in 1988, but transferred to the RAN in 1996. He was the commissioning Commanding Officer of HMAS Choules (2011–12).

Kanimbla-class landing platform amphibious

The Kanimbla class was a class of amphibious transport ships (designated Landing Platform Amphibious) operated by the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). Two ships (originally built as Newport-class tank landing ships for the United States Navy) were purchased by Australia in 1994 and modified. Problems during the handover process and the need to repair previously unidentified defects meant the ships did not enter operational service until the end of the decade.

Between them, the two ships have deployed to the Solomon Islands in 2000–01, Vanuatu in 2001, and participated in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, the Australian response to the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the Australian deployment to East Timor following the 2006 political crisis, and Operation Quickstep off Fiji.

After a large number of defects were found in both ships during late 2010, the vessels were docked. It was decided that Manoora was beyond economic repair, and she was decommissioned in May 2011. Kanimbla was to be repaired and returned to service, but the estimated cost and time to do this, plus the successful acquisition of the British landing ship dock RFA Largs Bay as an interim capability replacement, prompted the government to decommission Kanimbla in November 2011. Both ships were sold in 2013 and broken up for scrap.

LCVP (Australia)

Since 1993, the Royal Australian Navy has operated four Australian-designed and built Landing Craft, Vehicle and Personnel (similar in size and concept to the World War II LCVP) from the landing ship, heavy ex-HMAS Tobruk, replenishment oiler HMAS Success and LSD HMAS Choules. These aluminum craft were built by Geraldton Boat Builders and can carry up to 36 personnel or a Land Rover with a half-ton trailer. They are maintained for the RAN by the firm DMS Maritime. As of 2018, T4 and T6 were held in reserve at the naval base HMAS Cairns, T5 and T7 were carried by Choules . The craft remained in service as of 2018.

List of active Royal Australian Navy ships

The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) fleet is made up of 50 commissioned warships as of October 2018.

The main strength is the ten frigates and two destroyers of the surface combatant force: eight Anzac class frigates, two Adelaide class frigates, and two Hobart class destroyers. Six Collins-class boats make up the submarine service, although due to the maintenance cycle not all submarines are active at any time. The issues have now been fixed and five submarines are available for service. Amphibious warfare assets include two Canberra-class landing helicopter dock ships and the landing ship HMAS Choules. Thirteen Armidale-class patrol boats perform coastal and economic exclusion zone patrols, and four Huon-class vessels are used for minehunting and clearance (another two are commissioned but in reserve since October 2011). Replenishment at sea is provided by the Sirius, while the two Leeuwin-class and four Paluma-class vessels perform survey and charting duties.

In addition to the commissioned warships, the RAN operates the sail training ship Young Endeavour and two Cape-class patrol boats acquired from the Australian Border Force. Other auxiliaries and small craft are not operated by the RAN, but by DMS Maritime, who are contracted to provide support services.The lion's share of the RAN fleet is divided between Fleet Base East (HMAS Kuttabul, in Sydney) and Fleet Base West (HMAS Stirling, near Perth). Mine warfare assets are located at HMAS Waterhen (also in Sydney), while HMAS Cairns in Cairns and HMAS Coonawarra in Darwin host the navy's patrol and survey vessels.

List of warship classes of the Royal Australian Navy

This is a list of major classes of warship operated by the Royal Australian Navy. Included are capital ships, amphibious vessels, cruisers, destroyers and frigates.


The Mexeflote is a landing raft used by the British Royal Logistic Corps and the Royal Australian Navy to move goods and vehicles between ship and shore. It was first used by British military in the 1960s. It was used during the Falklands conflict, and has been used in humanitarian aid missions. The system is very similar to the Rhino ferry.

Procurement programme of the Royal Australian Navy

The Royal Australian Navy, although a significant force in the Asia-Pacific region, is nonetheless classed as a medium-sized navy. Its fleet is based around two main types of surface combatant, with limited global deployment and air power capability. However, in 2009, a white paper, Defending Australia in the Asia Pacific Century: Force 2030, was produced by the Australian government which set out a programme of defence spending that will see significant improvements to the RAN's fleet and capabilities.

Royal Australian Navy

The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) is the naval branch of the Australian Defence Force. Following the Federation of Australia in 1901, the ships and resources of the separate colonial navies were integrated into a national force, called the Commonwealth Naval Forces. Originally intended for local defence, the navy was granted the title of 'Royal Australian Navy' in 1911, and became increasingly responsible for defence of the region.

Britain's Royal Navy’s Australian Squadron was assigned to the Australia Station and provided support to the RAN. The Australian and New Zealand governments helped to fund the Australian Squadron until 1913, while the Admiralty committed itself to keeping the Squadron at a constant strength. The Australian Squadron ceased on 4 October 1913, when RAN ships entered Sydney Harbour for the first time.The Royal Navy continued to provide blue-water defence capability in the Pacific up to the early years of the Second World War. Then, rapid wartime expansion saw the acquisition of large surface vessels and the building of many smaller warships. In the decade following the war, the RAN acquired a small number of aircraft carriers, the last of which was decommissioned in 1982.

Today, the RAN consists of 48 commissioned vessels, 3 non-commissioned vessels and over 16,000 personnel. The navy is one of the largest and most sophisticated naval forces in the South Pacific region, with a significant presence in the Indian Ocean and worldwide operations in support of military campaigns and peacekeeping missions. The current Chief of Navy is Vice Admiral Michael Noonan.

 Royal Fleet Auxiliary
 Royal Australian Navy
Canberra-class landing helicopter dock
Bay-class landing ship
Round Table-class landing ship logistics
Kanimbla-class landing platform amphibious
HSC catamaran
Balikpapan-class landing craft heavy
LSM-1-class landing ship medium
Landing Ship Tank (Mark 3)
Landing ship, infantry
Ro-Ro ship
Australian Army amphibious craft
Royal Australian Navy amphibious craft


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