HMAS Norman (M 84)

HMAS Norman (M 84), named for the Norman River in Queensland, is the third Huon-class minehunter to serve in the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). Built by a joint partnership between Australian Defence Industries (ADI) and Intermarine SpA, Norman was constructed at ADI's Newcastle shipyard, and entered service in 2000.

Although still commissioned as of 2016 and considered a part of the RAN fleet, Norman is one of two minehunters that have been in reserve since 2011, due to personnel shortages. As of 6 November 2018 the vessel has been advertised for sale.[1]

HMAS Norman
HMAS Norman at Station Pier, Melbourne
Name: Norman
Namesake: Norman River
Builder: Australian Defence Industries
Launched: 3 May 1999
Commissioned: 26 August 2000
Homeport: HMAS Waterhen
Motto: "No Surrender"
Honours and
Four inherited battle honours
Status: In reserve as of 2016
General characteristics
Class and type: Huon-class minehunter
Displacement: 732 tons at full load
Length: 52.5 m (172 ft)
Beam: 9.9 m (32 ft)
Draught: 3 m (9.8 ft)
  • 14 knots (26 km/h; 16 mph) on diesel
  • 6 knots (11 km/h; 6.9 mph) on thrusters
Range: 1,600 nautical miles (3,000 km; 1,800 mi) at 12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph)
Endurance: 19 days
Complement: 6 officers and 34 sailors, plus up to 9 additional
Sensors and
processing systems:
  • Kelvin-Hughes Type 1007 navigational radar
  • GEC-Marconi Type 2093M variable-depth minehunting sonar
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
  • AWADI PRISM radar warning and direction-finding system
  • Radamec 1400N surveillance system
  • 2 × Wallop Super Barricade decoy launchers

Design and construction

In 1993, the Department of Defence issued a request for tender for six coastal minehunters to replace the problematic Bay-class minehunters.[2] The tender was awarded in August 1994 to Australian Defence Industries (ADI) and Intermarine SpA, which proposed a modified Gaeta-class minehunter.[2][3]

Norman has a full load displacement of 732 tons, is 52.5 metres (172 ft) long, has a beam of 9.9 metres (32 ft), and a draught of 3 metres (9.8 ft).[4] Main propulsion is a single Fincantieri GMT BL230-BN diesel motor, which provides 1,985 brake horsepower (1,480 kW) to a single controllable-pitch propeller, allowing the ship to reach 14 knots (26 km/h; 16 mph).[5] Maximum range is 1,600 nautical miles (3,000 km; 1,800 mi) at 12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph), and endurance is 19 days.[4][5] The standard ship's company consists of 6 officers and 34 sailors, with accommodation for 9 additional (typically trainees or clearance divers).[4] The main armament is a MSI DS30B 30 mm cannon, supplemented by two 0.50 calibre machine guns.[5] The sensor suite includes a Kelvin-Hughes Type 1007 navigational radar, a GEC-Marconi Type 2093M variable-depth minehunting sonar, an AWADI PRISM radar warning and direction-finding system, and a Radamec 1400N surveillance system.[4] Two Wallop Super Barricade decoy launchers are also fitted.[4]

For minehunting operations, Norman uses three 120 horsepower (89 kW) Riva Calzoni azimuth thrusters to provide a maximum speed of 6 knots (11 km/h; 6.9 mph): two are located at the stern, while the third is sited behind the variable-depth sonar.[5] Mines are located with the minehunting sonar, and can be disposed of by the vessel's two Double Eagle mine disposal vehicles, the Oropesa mechanical sweep, the Mini-Dyad magnetic influence sweep, or the towed AMASS influence sweep (which is not always carried).[5] To prevent damage if a mine is detonated nearby, the ships were built with a glass-reinforced plastic, moulded in a single monocoque skin with no ribs or framework.[5] As the ships often work with clearance divers, they are fitted with a small recompression chamber.[4]

Norman was built by Australian Defence Industries in Newcastle, New South Wales.[4] She was launched 3 May 1999, and commissioned into the RAN on 26 August 2000.[4] Norman is based at HMAS Waterhen in Sydney, with the majority of the RAN's mine warfare assets.[4]

Operational history

On the morning of 13 March 2009, Norman was one of seventeen warships involved in a ceremonial fleet entry and fleet review in Sydney Harbour, the largest collection of RAN ships since the Australian Bicentenary in 1988.[6] The minehunter was one of the thirteen ships involved in the ceremonial entry through Sydney Heads, and anchored in the harbour for the review.

By October 2011, Norman and sister ship Hawkesbury had been placed into reserve; the Department of Defence predicted that it would take five years to bring both back to operational status and train enough personnel to run all six vessels.[7]


  1. ^ "Ex-Military Huon Class MHC Ships". Australian Frontline Machinery. 6 November 2018. Retrieved 6 November 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Australia plans new mine warfare force". Jane's International Defence Review. Jane's Information Group. 26 (6). 1 June 1993.
  3. ^ "Defence Materiel Organisation – Sea 1555 Project". Department of Defence – Australian Government. 13 June 2006. Archived from the original on 3 October 2006. Retrieved 16 January 2007.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i Saunders (ed.), IHS Jane's Fighting Ships 2012–2013, p. 33
  5. ^ a b c d e f Wertheim (ed.), The Naval Institute Guide to Combat Fleets of the World, p. 23
  6. ^ Brooke, Michael (2 April 2009). "Marching into History". Navy News. Department of Defence.
  7. ^ Stewart, Cameron (19 October 2011). "Navy fund and training cuts leave us exposed to terror". The Australian. Retrieved 16 December 2011.


External links

  • "HMAS Norman". Royal Australian Navy. Retrieved 24 December 2012.
HMAS Norman

Two ships of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) have been named HMAS Norman. The second ship is named for the Norman River in Queensland.

HMAS Norman (G49), an N-class destroyer launched in 1940 and transferred to the Royal Navy in 1945

HMAS Norman (M 84), a Huon-class minehunter launched in 1999 and commissioned but in reserve 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.

Tony Street

Anthony Austin Street (born 8 February 1926) is a former Australian federal politician who served as Foreign Minister in the Fourth Fraser Ministry between 1980 and 1983, representing the Corangamite division in Victoria. His father Geoffrey Street held this seat before him, and other members of the Street family have held various other offices in Australian politics since the 19th Century.


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