Australian Warships In The News

From The Sydney Morning Herald:

Aussie-made warships to cost more: study

Australia could end up paying up to $2 billion extra to have three new advanced air warfare destroyers built here rather than overseas, a new study warns.

The Australian Strategic Policy Institute study said a comparable warship of the sort produced by South Korea for its own navy would cost $A1.25 billion, while one produced in America for the US Navy would cost $A1.5 billion.

The author, analyst Dr Andrew Davies, said the publicly announced budget for three Australian-produced AWDs in the Defence Capability Plan (DCP) was $4.5 billion to $6 billion, although industry analysts had suggested it could be as much as $8 billion.
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Ah, but we Aussies know the art of pork-barrelling as well as anybody. Here in South Australia, where the Collins class submarines were built, I can smell the crackling already.

Navy to get new advanced warships

Australia's navy is to get new, advanced, Spanish-designed air warfare destroyers and large landing ships at a cost of as much as $11 billion.

The three new destroyers, based on the Navantia F100 now in service with the Spanish navy, may eventually be equipped with standard SM-3 missiles able to defend against ballistic missile attack.

Two new landing ships - versions of Navantia's 27,000 tonne strategic projection ship - will enable the Australian Defence Force to deploy 1,200 soldiers, supported by helicopter and tanks - anywhere in the region.

The government's decision is a significant win for Spain's shipbuilding industry, which will construct the hulls of the two landing ships and parts of the air warfare destroyers.
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Soft singing of "Pork, glorious pork!"

I notice the article doesn't mention how long the ships will take to build. I heard a completion date for the landing ships of 2014. How long did QM2 take?
>>Soft singing of "Pork, glorious pork!"<<

They're anxious to try it!

>>I notice the article doesn't mention how long the ships will take to build.<<

In all the fluff about how great it'll be for the local shipbuilding industry, I suspect that little detail was overlooked. Should be interesting to watch the fun when the cost overruns come home to bite!
From Austal:

New Royal Australian Navy Patrol Boat Named

The Naming Ceremony for the thirteenth Armidale Class Patrol Boat was held on Saturday, 04 August at the Austal shipyard in Henderson, Western Australia. Fourteen patrol boats in total are to be delivered to the Royal Australian Navy.

The ceremony was attended by senior figures from the Royal Australian Navy, Department of Defence and Local Government including Chief of the Royal Australian Navy, Vice Admiral Russ Shalders, Minister for Justice and Customs representing the Minister for Defence, Senator David Johnston, City of Maryborough (Queensland) Mayor Barbara Hovard and City of Maryborough (Victoria) Mayor Geoff Lovett.
Full story at
From BYM Maritime news:

Former warship HMAS Brisbane attracts divers in droves

The former warship HMAS Brisbane is being heralded by scuba divers as one of the top wreck dives in Australia and is gaining an international reputation for its dive qualities, Environment Minister Lindy Nelson-Carr said today.

Ms Nelson-Carr said last week marked the 2nd anniversary of the sinking of the Ex-HMAS Brisbane navy ship in waters off the Sunshine Coast. "As at the 30th June 2007, over 10,700 divers from Australia and around the world have dived on the shipwreck, providing a significant boost to the local tourism industry and economy," Ms Nelson-Carr said.
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Comment: Hopefully, there will be no deadly accidents such as what happened with the HMS Scylla. (See ) Even with the hulk properly prepared, it's all too easy to have a nasty accident when diving on one.

HMAS Brisbane Photo Page at
From The Sydney Morning Herald:

Govt set to order fourth destroyer

The navy appears set to receive another advanced Air Warfare Destroyer with the government likely to exercise an option for construction of a fourth vessel.

No decision has yet been made, but the government is very much inclined to go down this route.

With the vessels to be assembled in Adelaide, South Australian Premier Mike Rann said a fourth vessel would be a good outcome.
Article at
From The Murcury:

$170m shipbuilding facility for Adelaide

A JOINT venture between McConnell Dowell and Built Environs has won a $170 million contract to build a world-class shipbuilding facility in Adelaide.

Construction work on the facility at suburban Osborne will support the $8 billion air warfare destroyer program.
More at,22884,22288053-5007064,00.html

Comment: After investing all this money, I hope this yard goes for more then just warship contracts if they want to stay in business. If all they rely on is the navy, they could find themselves in heap big trouble.​
From The Navy Times:

Aussie navy grappling with crew shortages

Australian navy warships are putting to sea with a “dire” shortfall of qualified crew members, Australia’s biggest newspaper reported, but commanders maintain the shortage poses no risk to the navy’s operational tempo.
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Comment: The spin on this notwitstanding, this situation doesn't give this old sailor the warm and fuzzies. Ships which are shorthanded can only make up the shortfall by having the remaining crew pick up the slack. This means for longer hours doing routine work and watchstanding which in turn leads to tired officers and crew.

Tired officers and crew have an unfortunate tendency to make more mistakes...often deadly ones...then crews which are well rested. Not a good thing on any ship, especially a warship. The Royal Australian Navy is a top notch force with some damned good people but even the best of them can only do so much.​
From The Australian:

$2m for survivor of naval disaster

AN able seaman on HMAS Melbourne when the aircraft carrier sliced into the destroyer HMAS Voyager in 1964 has been awarded more than $2 million in damages by the NSW Supreme Court.

Peter Norman Covington-Thomas, now 65, from Maroochydore in Queensland, successfully sued the commonwealth for compensation over the naval disaster.

Eighty-two men died when the Melbourne collided with the Voyager, slicing it in half, during an exercise off Jervis Bay on the NSW south coast on the night of February10, 1964.
For the rest, go to,25197,22483544-31477,00.html

Comment: The HMAS Voyager wasn't the only destroyer to run afoul the Melbourne. The USS Frank E. Evans was cut in half by the ship in 1969. See
From BYM Maritime News:

Final Austal Royal Australian Navy Patrol Boat named Glenelg

The successful completion of Australia’s landmark 14-vessel Armidale Class Patrol Boat fleet was celebrated during an historic naming ceremony held at Austal’s Henderson facility today.

Austal designed and constructed all 14 vessels during the past four years, so the event was a major milestone in the company’s 20 year history, which now includes the delivery of state-of-the-art patrol boats destined to protect Australia’s waters for decades to come.

The naming ceremony included an address by Chief of the Royal Australian Navy, VADM Russ Shalders, and Federal Minister for Justice and Customs, Senator David Johnston, and saw the final, 56 metre, all-aluminium monohull officially named “Glenelg”.
For the rest of the story, go to