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Huon-class Minehunter

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The Huon-class Coastal Minehunters (MHC) are a group of minehunters built for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). Following problems with the Bay class minehunters, a request for tender was issued in 1993 for a class of six coastal minehunters under the project designation SEA 1555. The tender was awarded in 1994 to the partnership of Australian Defence Industries (ADI) and Intermarine SpA, which was offering a variant of the Italian Gaeta-class minehunter.

Five of the six ships were constructed completely in Newcastle, New South Wales, while the hull of the first ship was built in Italy, then transported to Australia for fitting out. Construction ran from 1994 to 2003, with lead ship HMAS Huon entering service in 1999. All six vessels are based at HMAS Waterhen, in Sydney. In 2006, following a capability review three years prior, one minehunter was placed in reserve, while another was marked for transfer to reserve status; this instruction was reversed prior to 2008, and the two vessels were tasked with supporting border protection operations.

Specifications[edit]

  • Type: Coastal Minehunter
  • Service Period: 1999-Present
  • Characteristics:
    • Length: 172 feet (52.43 meters)
    • Beam: 32 feet (9.75 meters)
    • Draught: 9.8 feet (2.99 meters)
    • Displacement: 732 tons (Full Load)
  • Crew: 40-49 (6 officers, 34 enlisted, plus up to 9 additional)
  • Propulsion:
    • 1 x Fincantieri GMT BL230-BN diesel motor, 1,985 bhp (1,480 kW), 1 x controllable-pitch propeller
    • 3 x 120 hp (89 kW) Riva Calzoni azimuth thrusters
  • Range: 1,600 nautical miles (2,963.2 kilometers) at 12 knots (22.22 km/h)
  • Speed: 14 knots (25.93 km/h)
  • Sensor Suite:
    • Kelvin-Hughes Type 1007 Navigation Radar
    • GEC-Marconi Type 2093M variable-depth minehunting sonar
  • Countermeasures:
    • AWADI PRISM radar warning and direction-finding system
    • Radamec 1400N surveillance system
    • 2 x Wallop Super Barricade decoy launchers
  • Armament:
    • 1 x 30mm DS30B rapid fire cannon
    • 2 x .50-caliber machine guns
    • 2 x SUTEC Double Eagle mine disposal vehicles

Unit Run[edit]

  • HMAS Huon (M-86)
  • HMAS Hawkesbury (M-87)
  • HMAS Norman (M-88)
  • HMAS Gascoyne (M-89)
  • HMAS Diamantine (M-90)
  • HMAS Yarra (M-91)
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