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HMAS Ararat decommissioned in Top End

The patrol boat will no longer represent the Royal Australian Navy on official deployments after 16 years in service.

The patrol boat will no longer represent the Royal Australian Navy on official deployments after 16 years in service.

Armidale Class patrol boat HMAS Ararat has been officially decommissioned during a ceremony at HMAS Coonawarra, Darwin.

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The vessel, named after the south-west Victorian town of Ararat, is the third Royal Australian Navy Armidale Class patrol boat to be decommissioned.

The boat travelled over 500,000 nautical miles since entering service in 2006.

Commander Australian Fleet, Commodore Jonathan Earley, CSC, lauded the vessel’s contribution to Australia’s maritime security.

“HMAS Ararat and the men and women who have served in her, have made a significant contribution to our national interest, and international partnerships,” CDRE Earley said.

Commanding Officer HMAS Ararat, Lieutenant Commander David Martinussen reflected on the patrol boat’s deployments alongside Border Force, Australian Fisheries and the Australian Federal Police.

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“Of note, HMAS Ararat has quite recently supported the maritime surveillance efforts of Fiji and the Solomon Islands at the request of both nations, during May and June of this year,” LCDR Martinussen said.

“During the first leg of this deployment, Ararat responded to a distress call from a vessel of the Solomon Island Police Force. Fortuitously Ararat’s actions resulted in the rescue of all 17 persons on board.”

HMAS Ararat is the latest RAN vessel to be decommissioned, coming just months after fellow Armidale Class patrol boat HMAS Maitland was farewelled.

The 56.8 metre vessel, named after the City of Maitland in NSW, entered service in September 2006.

HMAS Maitland, which was the sixth of 14 Armidale Class vessels, was deployed for a range of border patrol and national security missions, including protecting Australia against unauthorised entry, breaches of customs, upholding immigration and drugs legislation, and other illegal activity.

Operations Resolute, Augury, Rai Balang, Sandalwood and Solania were among the vessel’s key missions.  

During its almost 16 years of service, the patrol boat reportedly sailed more than 435,054 nautical miles – almost 20 times around the circumference of the Earth.

This included visits to Bali, Davao, Dili, Honiara, Jakarta, Madang, Moresby and Sembawang.

The Armidale Class patrol boats will be replaced by 12 next-generation Arafura Class offshore patrol vessels from 2022 to 2030.

The Arafura Class vessels are under construction at Osborne Shipyard in South Australia and Henderson in Western Australia.

[Related: HMAS Maitland farewelled ahead of Arafura Class transition]

HMAS Ararat decommissioned in Top End
HMAS_Ararat_Top_End_dc.jpg
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