Saturday, September 26, 2009

HMAS Armidale


The Armidale Class patrol Boat (Armidale Class) design is 56.8 m long overall with full load the vessel displaces 270 t.


The vessels are to be built using conventional welded aluminium alloy construction.

The Armidale Class will be classified under Det Norska Veritas (DNV) Rules for High Speed Light Craft. They are also to be certified against Navy Maritime Materiel Requirements. Navy policy is to voluntarily meet international civil safety and pollution regulations where applicable, such as using low environmental impact anti-fouling coatings for the hulls as an alternative to tributyl tin (TBT) and ensuring the pollution control equipment on the new boats complies with International Maritime Organisation (IMO) pollution emission control specifications.


The vessel is to be crewed by a complement of 21 personnel. Habitability is substantially improved compared with the current Fremantle force, for greater crew comfort and effectiveness. A separate space provides additional accommodation for up to 20 people for military and civil surveillance tasks.

Speed and Endurance

The Armidale Class boats can sustain a continuous speed of 25 knots in sea state 4 (significant wave heights up to 2.5 m) for 24 hours. It has a continuous cruising speed of 12 kts, giving her a range of 3000 nautical miles with a 20% fuel reserve. The vessels will be capable of being deployed for up to 42 days.


The Armidale Class may be operated far offshore, demanding excellent seakeeping performance to handle rough open ocean conditions. The Navy requires full operability to the top of sea state 4 (significant wave heights up to 2.5 m) and key surveillance tasks to sea state 5 (significant wave heights up to 4 m).

Seakeeping performance has been central to the evolution of the Armidale Class. The platform is 33% longer than the existing Fremantle class, while the hull is a semi-displacement vee form optimised for seakeeping. The design includes an active ride control system to reduce motions. This includes hydraulic stabiliser fins and stern trim tabs integrated in an automatic motion control system supplied by Seastate, a Western Australian company. The seakeeping performance is expected to provide a substantial increase in operability and effectiveness over the current Fremantle Class Patrol Boats.

Surveillance Systems

To meet the role of peacetime patrol and law enforcement tasks, the Armidale Class will carry a package of sophisticated surveillance systems, including low light surveillance system, radars and communication direction finding system, to ensure that the crew can easily search for and track a target.


The Armidale Class is equipped with a modular, flexible communications suite. The design allows integrated use of military and commercial communications equipment and is integrated with the ship’s computer network

The internal communications system includes intercom, main broadcast, alarm control, and entertainment.


The Armidale Class is equipped with a Raphael Typhoon 25 mm naval stabilised deck gun as the primary weapon. This lightweight, modular design has an effective range of 1500 metres. The vessels also have 12.7mm machine guns mounted at the bridge wings for light defence.

The Armidale Class carries two Zodiac ZH 733 7.2 m seaboats, powered by a Volvo Penta AD41P 6 cylinder diesel driving a Hamilton HJ241 waterjet unit. The seaboats are deployed by VESTDAVIT hydraulic single arm A-frame davits.

Propulsion Equipment

Two independent propulsion trains will drive the Armidale Class. Prime movers are MTU 16V 4000 M70 turbocharged marine diesel engines, each developing 2320 kW maximum continuous rating at 2000 rpm. Each engine drives a ZF 7550 V reversible transmission with a 3.27:1 reduction, through a Geislinger Gesilco fibre composite membrane flexible coupling. Veem 5.5 inch shafts run through EKK Eagle seals and drive 1.45 m 5 bladed propellers.

Auxiliary Equipment

Machinery and electrical equipment will be monitored and controlled using Austal’s comprehensive Marinelink Integrated Monitoring And Control System. Machinery spaces are to be certified to class society requirements for Unmanned Machinery Spaces, including remote monitoring by digital CCTV.

Power generation is by two MTU 6R183 TE52 generator sets, each generating up to 220 kW. The sets are mounted on isolated sub-bases and are controlled by Woodward digital governors, sychronisers and load controls.

Source: Australian DoD

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