posted on May, 23 2005 @ 12:29 PM
Armidale patrol boat arrives in Darwin
The first in a fleet of new patrol boats to protect Australia's northern coast have arrived in Darwin.
Defence Minister Robert Hill said the first of the 14 new Armidale Class Patrol Boats, Nuship Armidale, had completed most of its mission trial along
the Western Australian coast.
The Australian-built boats will be used for protecting Australia's coast and will replace the Navy's ageing Fremantle Class Patrol Boats.
"The Armidale Class patrol boats are at the leading edge of international patrol boat design and construction, combining endurance, improved sea
keeping and advanced onboard systems," Senator Hill said in a statement.
Defence Maritime Services, which subcontracted Austal Ships to build the vessels in WA, will fine tune the equipment before they are formally accepted
by the commonwealth on May 17.
Construction of the second and third Armidale Class boats was progressing well, Senator Hill said.
First of the Armidale Class Patrol Boats Launched and Named
Defence Minister Robert Hill welcomed the official naming of NUSHIP Armidale, the first of the Armidale Class Patrol Boats today.
Minister for Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell attended the naming ceremony, held at the Austal Ships construction facility, Western
Australia on behalf of Senator Hill.
"This ceremony commemorates the successful launch of the vessel on 5 January 2005, following the design and construction over the past year,"
Senator Hill said.
"This achievement is testament to Austal’s and Defence Materiel Organisation’s ability to deliver on time and on budget.
"I am sure that the ship trials over the next two months will also see the vessel’s ability to meet the required performance.
The vessel was named by Ms Jana Stone, the eldest daughter of Ordinary Seaman Donald Raymond LAWSON who served on the original HMAS "Armidale", a
Bathurst class corvette, during World War II.
This launch of the first vessel is a key milestone under Project Sea 1444 following the signing of a $683 million contract on 17 December 2003 with
Defence Maritime Services (DMS) for the supply and long term support of a new Patrol Boat fleet of 14 Armidale class boats.
"I congratulate DMS, the principal contractor, and Austal Ships, responsible for the design and construction of the vessels for their work on this
project," Senator Hill said.
"The delivery of the first of this patrol boat class on schedule has reaffirmed the Government’s commitment that the contracted delivery schedule
for the remainder of Armidale Patrol Boats will be met.
"The Armidale class vessels will substantially improve the Royal Australian Navy’s capability to intercept and apprehend vessels suspected of
illegal fishing and quarantine, customs or immigration offences. The patrol boats in this regard play a major role in patrolling and protecting
Following the sea trials, NUSHIP ARMIDALE is scheduled for acceptance in May 2005
New Radar For Armidale Class Patrol Boats
(Source: Australian Department of Defence; issued Aug. 18, 2004)
A $25 million Australian-designed radar identification system will be installed in Australia’s new Armidale class patrol boats – dramatically
boosting the Navy’s capability to track down illegal vessels, Defence Minister Robert Hill announced today.
Senator Hill said Adelaide-based BAE Systems would be contracted to provide PRISM III radar identification systems for the 12 new patrol boats. It is
expected that BAE will also be subcontracted to provide through-life support for 15 years by the patrol boat prime contractor, Defence Maritime
He made the announcement while visiting West Australian shipbuilder Austal, which is currently constructing the patrol boats at their Henderson
shipyard for Defence Maritime Systems.
“This Australian designed and developed radar identification system will provide an increased surveillance capability and better protection for
Australia’s coastline,” Senator Hill said.
“PRISM III is a passive electronic system that can detect microwave frequencies, such as those used by marine radars, and identify the type of radar
being used. In combination with other sensors, this system will help the Navy to identify who is in Australian waters and increase the ability to
track down illegal vessels.”
Defence selected the PRISM III after evaluating available systems worldwide. The PRISM III system is already fitted to the Navy’s Mine Hunters and
has proved both effective and reliable.
“It is a credit to Australian defence industry that our new ships will be equipped with state-of-the-art capabilities that are locally designed and
developed,” Senator Hill said.
“The selection of the PRISM III system for the new patrol boats will benefit the Adelaide economy, providing additional manufacturing, maintenance
and ongoing support jobs in South Australia.
“At the same time it will provide savings in Defence support costs as different ships share the same types of equipment.”
Construction of the first Armidale class patrol boat, the Armidale, is progressing on time and on budget. The hull structure is currently 75 per cent
complete, with the ship 23 per cent complete overall. The Armidale is due to be delivered in May 2005.
“This project is demonstrating the ability of Australian industry to design, construct and deliver an important class of ships for the Royal
Australian Navy on time, on budget and at a high quality,” Senator Hill said.