Written by D-Mitch
|HMAS Albany and HMAS Maryborough of the Armidale class|
The Armidale class patrol boats is a class of 14 boats which were commissioned the period 2005-2008 in the Royal Australian Navy. The boats were built in order to replace the 15 aging boats of the Fremantle class that entered service the period 1980-1984. Of the seven proposals tendered, the Austal Ships/Defence Maritime Services (DMS) proposal for twelve vessels based on an enlarged Bay-class patrol boat was selected. Two additional patrol boats were ordered in 2005 to provide a dedicated patrol force for the North West Shelf Venture. The vessels were built at Austal's Henderson shipyard near Freemantle. The Armidale class ships are operated by the Australian Patrol Boat Group, and based in Darwin. They are primarily tasked with border protection, fisheries patrols, and the interception of unauthorised arrivals by sea. The Armidales are longer and heavier than their Fremantle class predecessors, with improved seakeeping ability and increased range, allowing them to reach Australia's offshore territories. Initially, the ships are multi-crewed, with three ship's companies available for every two vessels, allowing allows the patrol boats to spend more time at sea without cutting into sailors' rest or training time. The last years however, are no more multi crewed .