|HMAS Childers docking at Rangoon's Thilawar Port.|
The HMAS Childers with a crew of 2 officers and 25 sailors arrived at Rangoon as a Friendly Ship Visit and also the very first historic visit by a RAN warship.
According to Burma Navy HMAS Childers is leaving Rangoon on January 24. At Thilawar Dock the Australian patrol boat was cordially welcomed by the senior officers and sailors of Myanmar Navy.
The four days itinerary of the Australian crew of HMAS Childers will include visit to the Burma Naval Training School at Than-hlyet-soon, extensive tour of Rangoon City and its nightlife, and friendly sports matches with Myanmar Navy personnel.
HMAS Childers's historic visit to Rangoon is part of two nations' military co-operation program just started recently after Burma Military self-reforming Burma to a semi-democratic nation.
The main roles of the Armidale Class patrol boats in RAN are surveillance and the apprehension and escort to port of vessels suspected of illegal fisheries, customs or immigration offences.
Since the election of PM Tony Abbott’s hardline conservative government in predominantly-Christian Australia last year HMAS Childers and other Armidale-class patrol boats have been actively involving in effectively protecting Australian territorial waters by forcefully turning and towing Indonesian fishing boats carrying illegal Muslim immigrants (including Bengali-Muslims from troubled Burma-Bangladeshi border) back into Indonesian waters.
|RAN's HMAS Wollongong closely tracking an illegal Muslim boat from Indonesia.|
|A Burma Navy's Marching Band welcoming HMAS Childers at Thilawar (20 Jan 2014).|
Armidale Class patrol boats were commissioned and built for the Royal Australian Navy to provide naval support for civilian authorities in missions such as fisheries protection, custom patrols and in protection against illegal immigration.
The Armidale class patrol boats were introduced to replace the 15 Freemantle Class large patrol vessels that entered service between 1980 and 1984 and approaching the end of their operational life.
In December 2003, the Australian Ministry of Defence awarded the prime contract to Defence Maritime Services (DMS) for the supply and support of 12 Armidale Class patrol boats. The Australian Government subsequently ordered two additional Armidale vessels in June 2006.
DMS subcontracted the design and construction of the patrol boats to Austal and they were built at Austal's Henderson shipyard near Freemantle. The $553m contract covers the design, build and supply of the patrol boats and support and maintenance for 15 years. DMS, formed in 1997 by P&O Maritime and Serco Australia, guarantees the availability of the patrol boats at 3,000 patrol days a year.
14 Armidale Class patrol boats
The construction of the first of class HMAS Armidale (83) began in May 2004. Armidale was launched in January 2005 and entered service in June 2005. The other ships of the class are:
HMAS Larrakia (84), commissioned February 2006
The Armidale Class patrol boats are based at HMAS Coonawarra in Darwin, Northern Territory and HMAS Cairns in Cairns, Queensland, and are deployed on surveillance, interception and escort missions. Ten patrol boats are based at Darwin and four patrol boats at Cairns.
The boats operate in Australian waters in the northern exclusive economic zone and in latitudes up to 50°. The two additional Armidale Class patrol boats (Maryborough and Glenelg) are separately based in Australia's north west to defend oil and gas assets.
Armidale patrol boat construction
|HMAS Armidale (83).|
The boats have Seastate active ride control with hydraulic stabiliser fins and stern trim tabs. The hull is 56.8m in length and the displacement is 270t. The stern deck accommodates two Zodiac 7.2m waterjet boats.
The main roles of the Armidale Class are naval support of civilian authorities in missions such as fisheries protection, custom patrols and in protection against illegal immigration. Missions are expected to be typically of 21 days duration. At a cruise speed of 12kt, the patrol boats have a range of 3,000nm with a fuel reserve of 20%.
The boats, which operate with a crew of 21, will be multi-crewed allowing a high annual usage. There is accommodation for 20 additional crew members.
The requirement specification for the vessels included the ability to carry out surveillance and boarding missions in conditions up to sea state 4 with 2.5m wave height and surveillance missions in conditions up to sea state 5 with 4m wave height. The Armidale Class is capable of surviving cyclonic conditions. The requirement specification outlined the capability to carry out 42-day missions between resupplies with a range up to 3,000nm .
The trials have proven the boats' sea-keeping characteristics in high sea states which exceed the performance requirements.
Armidale class weapons
|HMAS Maryborough (95) in Sydney Harbour.|
"The main roles of the Armidale Class are naval support of civilian authorities."
The line of fire stabilisation allows hostile targets to be engaged with precision in high sea state conditions and at appropriate stand-off distance. The gunner can choose to operate the gun manually or automatically. The ship also carries two 12.7mm machine guns.
Sensors and communications
The Armidale Class patrol boats are equipped with low-light optical surveillance and a Bridgemaster E radar operating at E, F and I bands.
BAE Systems Australia's passive radar identification system (PRISM III) electronic support measures provides detection, direction finding, analysis and classification of radar emissions in the 2GHz-18GHz band.
CEA Technologies has been contracted to supply the modular integrated ships communications suite (ISCS).
Related posts at following links:
Australian Navy Turning Illegal Muslim Boats Back into Indonesian Waters