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HMAS Protector (AOE-303)

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Profile of HMAS Protector.
The HMAS Protector (AOE-303) was a combat support ship of the Royal Australian Navy in service from 1980 onwards. It was ordered from Cockatoo Island in February 1976 and laid down in May that same. Protector was launched in mid-1979 and commissioned in late 1980.

In the 1980s, it would be complemented by a trio of Durance-class replenishment oilers and in 2006 by the fleet tanker Sirius.


Protector was 593 feet (180.75 meters) long, 72 feet (21.95 meters) wide, had a draught of 26 feet 4 inches (8.03 meters), had a full load displacement of 19,600 tons and a crew complement of 335. It was powered by a quartet of Ruston and Hornsby 12 AOM diesel engines mounted on a hydraulically positioned raft for noise reduction, driving twin controllable-pitch propellers through non-reversing gearboxes for a maximum speed of 20.6 knots (38.15 km/h).

Protector carried 9,701 tons of cargo including diesel oil, AVCAT, fresh water, naval stores, ammunition and food. Six transfer stations for underway replenishment were to be provided for both solids and liquids, and two Sea Kings gave vertical replenishment capability.

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