HMAS Launceston (ACPB 94)

HMAS Launceston (ACPB 94) is an Armidale-class patrol boat of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).

HMASLaunceston
HMAS Launceston docked at Riverside in Brisbane, March 2009
History
Australia
Namesake: City of Launceston, Tasmania
Commissioned: 22 September 2007
Homeport: HMAS Cairns, Cairns
Motto: "Progress With Prudence"
Honours and
awards:
Four inherited battle honours
Status: Active as of 2016
Badge: Ship's badge
General characteristics
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
craft carried:
2 × Zodiac 7.2 m (24 ft) RHIBs
Complement: 21 standard, 29 maximum
Sensors and
processing systems:
Bridgemaster E surface search/navigation radar
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
  • Prism III radar warning system
  • Toplite electro-optical detection system
  • Warrlock direction finding system
Armament:

Design and construction

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.[1] 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.[2] 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.[3] 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.[3][2]

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.[3] Two 12.7-millimetre (0.50 in) machine guns are also carried.[4] Boarding operations are performed by two 7.2-metre (24 ft), waterjet propelled rigid-hulled inflatable boats (RHIBs).[2] 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.[2][5]

Each patrol boat has a standard ship's company of 21 personnel, with a maximum of 29.[3][2] 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.[2][6] 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.[7] However, a malfunction in the sewerage treatment facilities aboard HMAS Maitland in August 2006 pumped hydrogen sulphide 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.[6][7]

Launceston was constructed by Austal at their shipyard in Henderson, Western Australia.[1] She was commissioned in Launceston, Tasmania on 22 September 2007.[1]

Operational history

She is based in Cairns and performs border protection and fisheries protection patrols.

Launceston was used for pick-up filming during the creation of the second season of Australian drama series Sea Patrol in 2008.[8] The footage was conflated with the main footage of sister ship Broome to create the fictional HMAS Hammersley, the ship the series is set on.[8]

Citations

  1. ^ a b c Saunders (ed.), IHS Jane's Fighting Ships 2012–2013, p. 33
  2. ^ a b c d e f Kerr, Plain sailing
  3. ^ a b c d Wertheim (ed.), The Naval Institute Guide to Combat Fleets of the World, p. 22
  4. ^ Heron & Powell, in Australian Maritime Issues 2006, p. 132
  5. ^ Heron & Powell, in Australian Maritime Issues 2006, p. 131
  6. ^ a b Kerr, Patrol boats shake down fuel faults
  7. ^ a b McKenna, Gas risk remains for navy boats
  8. ^ a b Idato, Michael (31 March 2008). "All ship shape". SydneyMorningHerald.com.au, Entertainment (TV and Radio) section. p. 2. Retrieved 10 April 2008.

References

Books
Journal and news articles
  • Kerr, Julian (1 January 2008). "Plain sailing: Australia's Armidales prove fit for task". Jane's Navy International. Jane's Information Group.
  • Kerr, Julian (8 December 2007). "Patrol boats shake down fuel faults". The Australian: Defence Special Report. News Corporation. p. 8.
  • McKenna, Michael (2 January 2010). "Gas risk remains for navy boats". The Australian. Retrieved 7 January 2010.
Websites and other media

External links

Armidale-class patrol boat

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.

BRP General Mariano Alvarez (PS-38)

The BRP General Mariano Alvarez (PS-38) is the lone ship of its class of coastal patrol ships in service with the Philippine Navy. She was the lead ship of the Cyclone class (a class of U.S. Navy patrol ships) prior to being transferred to the Philippine Navy, thereby making it the only other navy aside from the US Navy to operate a Cyclone-class ship. Today she is considered one of the newest active fighting ships in the Philippine Navy.

HMAS Launceston

Three ships of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) have been named HMAS Launceston, after the city of Launceston, Tasmania.

HMAS Launceston (J179), a Bathurst-class corvette commissioned in 1942, and transferred to the Turkish Navy in 1946

HMAS Launceston (FCPB 207), a Fremantle-class patrol boat laid down in 1980 and decommissioned in 2006

HMAS Launceston (ACPB 94), an Armidale-class patrol boat commissioned in 2007 and active as of 2016

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.

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