Australian Defence Force News

03 Dec 2018

Babcock JV Secures $1.5b Australian DFS Program Contract

Photo credit: Department of Defence

Naval Ship Management (NSM), an existing joint venture between Babcock and UGL, has been awarded the support and sustainment program for two Landing Helicopter Docks (LHDs) at the Garden Island Defence Precinct in NSW, following a competitive bidding process.The announcement made today by the Australian Minister for Defence, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, confirmed NSM was selected by the Australian Defence Force to sustain and support two LHDs and twelve LHD Landing Crafts (LLCs) for a period of 15 years.

28 Jun 2018

BAE Wins $25.7 billion Australian Shipbuilding Deal

Deal covers nine anti-submarine warfare ships; BAE beat Italy's Fincantieri and Spain's Navantia. Britain's BAE Systems PLC has won a A$35 billion ($25.7 billion) contest to deliver anti-submarine warfare frigates for the Australian navy, the Australian government said on Thursday. The nine ships, to be designed by BAE and built by government-owned ASC Shipbuilding in Australia are expected to underpin the country's maritime combat capability for decades to come, the Australian government said in a statement. "The Hunter class will provide the Australian Defence Force with the highest levels of lethality and deterrence our major surface combatants need in periods of global uncertainty," it said of the ships. Australia is a steadfast U.S.

28 Jan 2018

Navies Bust $274 million of Heroin

A Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion flies past HMAS Warramunga's boarding team during an operation in the Western Indian Ocean. Photo: Royal Australian Navy

Australian and New Zealand joint forces have seized 915 kilograms of heroin, valued in excess of $274 million, in a counter-narcotics operation in the Western Indian Ocean. HMAS Warramunga’s crew has conducted one of the largest drug seizures in Operation MANITOU’s history as part of the Australian-led Combined Task Force 150. In a joint counter-narcotics operation, the Royal Australian Navy and the New Zealand Defence Force seized 915 kilograms of heroin valued in excess of AUD$274 million.

24 Nov 2017

Australia Announces Offshore Patrol Vessel

An Offshore Patrol Vessel, designed by Lürssen. Photo: Royal Australian Navy.

The much awaited announcement for the replacement to the current Armidale Class patrol boats was announced by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull at Russell Offices in Canberra. Lürssen was named as the prime contractor for the 12 new Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV) with the Australian PV80 variant. It will be 80 metres in length with a displacement of 1700 tonnes and a draught of 4 metres. The vessels will be fitted with a 40mm gun for self-protection, three 8.4m sea boats, state of the art sensors as well as command and communication systems.

22 Oct 2017

Exercise Enhances Maritime Security

Commander Joint Task Group 661.1, Captain Jonathan Earley, CSC, RAN, with participants from Exercise LUMBAS aboard HMAS Adelaide during their visit to the ship while alongside in Subic Bay, Philippines for Indo Pacific Endeavour 2017. Photo: Royal Australian Navy.

Exercise LUMBAS is an annual bi-lateral exercise between the Australia and the Philippines, and is being undertaken concurrently to the Royal Australian Navy’s visit to the region. The long standing and close working relationship between Australia and the Philippines was reinforced with amphibious giant, HMAS Adelaide hosting a visit and capability briefing to participants. Royal Australian Navy, Philippine Navy and other Philippine Government Agencies aim to develop and enhance…

19 Oct 2017

Smooth Sailing in the Philippines

Landing craft from the RAN and Australian Army in formation with Philippine Marine Corps small unit riverine craft, during humanitarian assistance and disaster relief training conducted from HMAS Adelaide in Subic Bay, Philippines. Photo: Royal Australian Navy.

The recent visit to the Philippines, by two Australian Navy ships of the Indo-Pacific Task Group has significantly reinforced the strong defence relationship between Australia and the archipelago. Led by HMAS Adelaide in company with HMAS Darwin, both ships were welcomed to the Port of Manila by the Philippines Navy for a full day of engagements including the visit by the Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and Australian Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin.

19 Sep 2017

Australian Sister Ships Share Final Transit

HMA Ships Darwin (right) and Melbourne, part of task group Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2017, steam in company in the Gulf of Carpentaria. Photo: Royal Australian Navy

HMAS Darwin and her younger sister HMAS Melbourne have shared their last moments together, showing the rest of the Navy that the guided missile frigates are still an impressive capability. The Adelaide class frigates have deployed concurrently with a number of other Australian Navy ships to the Asian region, however, Darwin’s program will see her decommission before Melbourne returns home from the deployment in December. Seizing the opportunity, Commanding Officer Darwin, Commander Phillip Henry…

18 Sep 2017

Australian Navy: Getting On Board the Gap Year

Gap Year sailors watch from the flight deck as a United States Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey from USS Bonhomme Richard, lands aboard HMAS Adelaide, off the coast of Queensland during Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2017. Photo: Royal Australian Navy

The Australian Defence Force Gap Year – Navy is an opportunity for young Australians to experience military training, service and lifestyle through a year-long program, with no further obligations on the participant to continue to serve. The program allows people to experience Navy life as a ‘try before you buy’ scheme during which every opportunity is given to participants to apply for transfer to Permanent Navy workforce categories, subject to sustainability and vacancies. The…

12 Sep 2017

Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2017 Completes

A United States Navy Seahawk helicopter and a United States Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey from USS Bonhomme Richard conduct landings on the flight deck of HMAS Adelaide, with HMAS Darwin in the background during Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2017. ABIS Steven Thomson (photographer), POIS Andrew Dakin (photographer). Photo: Royal Australian Navy

The Australian Defence Force Joint Task Group, Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2017, has completed the first international engagement activity of the deployment. HMAS Adelaide, one of the Royal Australian Navy’s Canberra class amphibious ships, reached the milestone after recently conducting aviation training with the USS Bonhomme Richard off the east coast of Australia. The training involved both the SH60S Seahawk helicopter and a United States Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor, with…

05 Sep 2017

Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2017 Begins

Royal Australian Navy's HMAS Darwin, HMAS Melbourne, HMAS Parramatta and HMAS Toowoomba steam line astern during their departure from Sydney Harbour during the fleet departure for Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2017 (IPE 17). Photo:  Royal Australian Navy

A group of warships departed Sydney on 4 September to participate in a series of key military exercises throughout the Indo-Pacific region – grouped as Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2017. Running from 4 September to 26 November, Indo-Pacific Endeavour will focus on enhancing military cooperation with some of Australia’s key regional partners including Brunei, Cambodia, the Federated States of Micronesia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Thailand, and Timor-Leste.

05 Sep 2017

Survey Vessels Hit the Charts

HMAS Mermaid, one of four Paluma class vessels, recently completed an intensive five and a half week training program in North Queensland waters in company with her sister ship HMAS Paluma. Photo:  Royal Australian Navy

Training to ‘fight and win at sea’ occurs across the Navy every day of the year, but how does that concept map to the hydrographic fleet and their motto ‘diligence and skill’? – step into the world of the Navy’s survey motor launches. HMAS Mermaid, one of four Paluma class vessels, recently completed an intensive five and a half week training program in North Queensland waters in company with her sister ship HMAS Paluma. The ship and her 15-person crew were put through their paces by Navy’s in-house training and assessment team – Minor War Vessel Sea Training Group.

20 Jul 2017

Australia Conducts Amphibious Task Group Drill

 Soldiers from 2nd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment disembark a Landing Craft from HMAS Canberra during a major amphibious beach landing operation during Exercise Talisman Saber. Photo: Royal Australian Navy.

Australia’s amphibious capability was put to the test recently as the Amphibious Task Group Headquarters took charge of the largest amphibious assault conducted by an Australian force for 70 years as part of Exercise TALISMAN SABER. The assault, led from amphibious sssault ship HMAS Canberra, was a significant milestone in the Australian Defence Force’s development of a high end amphibious warfare capability. The Australian and New Zealand Amphibious Ready Group, consisting of HMA Ships Canberra and Choules and the Royal New Zealand Navy’s HMNZS Canterbury…

12 Jul 2017

US-Australia Naval Drill TS17 is Underway

(Front to Back) HMA Ships Bathurst and Ballarat conduct Officer of the Watch manoeuvres with USS John S. McCain during Exercise Talisman Saber 17 Field Training Exercise - North. Photo: Royal Australian Navy.

The Royal Australian and United States navies have proven a potent and agile force when operating together during the opening phases of Exercise TALISMAN SABER 17, which took place in the Northern Territory. HMA Ships Ballarat, Melbourne, Broome and Bathurst conducted four days of high-end warfare exercises with USS John S. McCain off the coast of Darwin, proving their ability to detect, track and engage surface, submarine, and air targets. Advanced air warfare serials were supported by the Royal Australian Air Force’s Classic and Super Hornets and the US Marine Corps’ F/A-18s.

10 Jul 2017

HMAS Arunta Departs the Middle East to Australia

HMAS Arunta's S70-B Helicopter (Skeletor) lands onboard during a patrol in the Middle East region. Photo: Royal Australian Navy

Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Arunta is returning home to Australia after completing the longest Middle Eastern deployment by a Navy vessel since 1990. Arunta concluded its assignment to Joint Task Force 633 as part of Operation MANITOU and handed over responsibility to HMAS Newcastle after completing a nine-month deployment conducting counter terrorism and maritime security operations. The ship made three significant intercepts during the deployment netting more than 1310 kilograms of illegal narcotics.

09 Jul 2017

Training Flight Deck at Sea Comes to Australia

MV Sycamore multi-role aviation training vessel (MATV) entering Sydney Harbour. Photo: Royal Australian Navy

Australia’s new multirole aviation training vessel MV Sycamore has recently arrived in Sydney. Designed to support Defence helicopter training, having been launched in Vietnam in August 2016, built by Skelder and overseen by Serco Defence, the 94-metre ship is a flight deck equipped sea-going training vessel for the crews of most types of helicopters used by the Australian Defence Force. Captain Al Whittaker said building of the Damen-designed steel ship began in 2015. “Sycamore has completed its harbour acceptance testing…

30 Jun 2017

Australian Navy Begins Talisman Saber

HMAS Canberra and HMAS Choules form up outside Sydney Heads enroute to participate in Exercise Talisman Saber 2017. Photo: Royal Australian Navy

Australia's largest military exercise, Talisman Saber, was officially opened on 29 June aboard the United States Landing Helicopter Dock Bonhomme Richard off the Sydney coast. Minister for Urban Development, the Honourable Paul Fletcher MP, representing the Minister for Defence, and the US Charge d'Affaires, Mr James Carouso, officially announced the start of the combined military exercise taking place thorought July. Field training will occur in Shoalwater Bay Training Area, near Rockhampton and Mount Bundy Training Area, south of Darwin.

12 Jun 2017

Ballarat Completes Multi-National Passage Exercise

HMAS Ballarat (centre) conducts a Passage Exercise in the South China Sea with Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force ships Izumo and Sazanami and the Royal Canadian ship HMCS Winnipeg. Photo: Royal Australian Navy

Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Ballarat has completed a passage exercise with Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, Royal Canadian Navy and United States Navy ships during her South East Asia deployment. The exercise, conducted in the South China Sea from 8-10 June, included Japanese ships Izumo and Sazanami, Canadian ship Winnipeg and USS Sterett. The ships completed close quarters manoeuvres, helicopter operations, personnel exchanges, gunnery exercises and air defence training.

11 May 2017

Five Power Defence Drill in International Waters

HMAS Ballarat in formation with warships from Malaysia and New Zealand during a Exercise BERSAMA SHIELD 17. Photo: Royal Australian Navy

Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, New Zealand and the United Kingdom have completed Five Power Defence Arrangements exercise in international waters, off the coast of Malaysia as part of the longest standing multilateral arrangement in South East Asia. Acting Chief of Joint Operations, Major General Stuart Smith, said Exercise BERSAMA SHIELD was an important opportunity for the Australian Defence Force to strengthen cooperation with other nations. “Around 300 Australian personnel have taken part, drawn from Navy, Army and Air Force,” Major General Smith said.

18 Apr 2017

Ballarat Exercises with PLA-N

Royal Australian Navy's HMAS Ballarat and Chinese People's Liberation Army-Navy (PLA-N) Jiangkai II class frigate 'Huangshan', conduct exercises on completion of HMAS Ballarat's port visit to Zhanjiang, China. Photo:  Royal Australian Navy

HMAS Ballarat has taken part in a range of maritime exercises with People’s Liberation Army – Navy vessel Huangshan following a successful visit to the People’s Republic of China. Conducted after Ballarat departed Zhanjiang port, the activities included surface target firing, a search and rescue exercise, communication exercises and a formation activity with aerial photography. The Chinese and Australian navies conduct regular exercises to enhance mutual understanding, facilitate transparency and build trust.

17 Apr 2017

Heavy Lift for HMAS Choules

An Australian Army 35th Water Transport Squadron LCM8 landing craft enters the well dock of amphibious ship HMAS Choules off the coast of Yeppoon in Central Queensland. Photo: Royal Australian Navy.

The Australian Defence Force's amphibious capability was on point in the recent response to Cyclone Debbie, with HMAS Choules delivering one of her largest loads of supplies to affected communities last week. Working seamlessly with Army’s 35th Water Transport Squadron LCM8 landing craft, 80 troops and 43 vehicles took more than 36 hours to offload 850 tonnes of equipment and disaster relief stores destined for Rockhampton. After an eight mile journey from the ship, nestled in the lee of the Keppel Islands to the coastal town of Yeppoon and a further 45 kilometres inland by road…

03 Apr 2017

HMAS Darwin Farewells the West

HMAS Darwin at Fleet Base West for the last time. Photo: Royal Australian Navy

The call of 'last line!' meant a little more than normal as HMAS Darwin slipped from the wharf at Fleet Base West and set sail for Sydney recently. It signalled the end of the warship's long association with the west coast of Australia, unlikely to return before she decommissions at the end of the year. The Adelaide class frigate called Western Australia home for almost 13 years from 18 December 1993, before being relocated to Fleet Base East on 21 April 2006. Darwin's Maritime Logistics Officer…

28 Mar 2017

Navy on the Record Response to Andrew Greene Reporting

HMAS Choules sits at anchor off the coast of Darwin during Exercise Talisman Sabre 2015. Photo: Royal Australian Navy

Recent reporting by the ABC that “Navy's largest ships unable to join Cyclone Debbie emergency response amid engine troubles” is misleading, said TW Barrett, AO, CSC, Vice Admiral, RAN, Chief of Navy. To assert, as the ABC did in its reporting that issues with HMA Ships Canberra and Adelaide has impacted on Defence providing support to anticipated disaster relief support in North Queensland is wrong. Under the Australian Defence Force's regular planning cycle, HMAS Choules assumed…

27 Mar 2017

HMAS Choules Sails for Cyclone Support

HMAS Choules has sailed to support communities that may be affected by Tropical Cyclone Debbie. Photo: Royal Australian Navy

HMAS Choules has sailed for northern Queensland waters in support of communities which may be affected by Tropical Cyclone Debbie. The amphibious ship, left Sydney on 27 March as part of broader Australian Defence Force support to Queensland emergency services responding to the cyclone, which is expected to make landfall early on 28 March. The Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin said Defence was prepared and ready to respond with immediate assistance to local communities within the storm zone in coordination with state and local disaster management authorities.

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