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Rushcutter-class Minehunter

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The Rushcutter-class minehunters were a class of catamaran-hull mine warfare vessels operating with the Royal Australian Navy from 1986. Also referred to as the MHCAT (MineHunter CATamaran), the class was an attempt to produce a locally designed inshore mine warfare vessel. Two prototype ships were ordered in 1981, with the first ship, Rushcutter, commissioned in November 1986. The two ships experienced delays in construction, and the RAN resorted to acquiring six minesweeper auxiliaries (MSA) under the Craft of Opportunity Program to provide an interim mine-warfare capability, while also keeping Ton-class minesweeper HMAS Curlew in service until 1990, well beyond her intended decommissioning date. The ships did not enter service until 1993, due to problems with the sonar. The final four ships were built to an improved design entering service between 1998 and 2000.

Unit Run[edit]

  • HMAS Rushcutter (M-80)
  • HMAS Shoalwater (M-81)
  • HMAS Westernport (M-82)
  • HMAS Discovery (M-83)
  • HMAS Esperance (M-84)
  • HMAS Melville (M-85)
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