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Navy giant: HMAS Sirius officially turned into scrap after RAN retirement

Tugs guide HMAS Sirius towards the wharf at Fleet Base East as it returns home from its final deployment before decommissioning. Photo: LSIS Richard Cordell

One of the largest vessels in Australian history, HMAS Sirius, has been recycled after bowing out of service with the Royal Australian Navy.

One of the largest vessels in Australian history, HMAS Sirius, has been recycled after bowing out of service with the Royal Australian Navy.

After 15 years’ service as a Royal Australian Navy fuel tanker and two years since her decommissioning at HMAS Stirling, Perth, in December 2021 – the ship has now become scrap metal.

Sirius is the largest vessel to be dismantled in Australia, with industry partner Birdon Group carrying out the process at the Australian Maritime Complex facility near Perth.


Suzanne Kerrigan, acting First Assistant Secretary, Strategy, Planning and Independent Assurance, said the successful bid from Birdon Group was welcome.

“We are pleased to see the successful disposal of one of the largest ships in Australia to have been awarded to an Australian industry partner,” Kerrigan said.

Originally purchased by the government on 3 June 2004, the vessel was commissioned in 2006 as HMAS Sirius in honour of HMS Sirius of the First Fleet.

HMAS Sirius underwent extensive modifications to transform it from a double-hulled commercial product tanker to a Navy fuel tanker.

The ship’s primary role was the delivery of fuel to the RAN fleet at sea. Sirius carried an impressive 34,806 cubic metres of fuel and was capable of replenishing two ships simultaneously.

Conducting patrols during Operation Resolute in 2013 and 2014, Sirius was part of Navy’s contribution to protect Australia’s borders and offshore maritime interests.

Sirius also conducted patrols of oil and gas installations in northern Australian waters during Operation Red Raptor.

The ship saw further operational service in support of Operation Seville, support for the G20 summit in 2014, and Operation APEC Assist in 2018.

Sirius embarked on her final deployment to South-East Asia and the south-west Pacific before her decommissioning in December 2021.

“The level of collaboration demonstrates the strengthened partnership between Defence and industry in supporting the advanced and complex nature of disposing this beloved vessel,” Kerrigan said.

“After the Sirius deconstruction, 99 per cent of the ship’s materials have been recycled for industry for the development of new projects, which will be used across Australia and the world.

“It is encouraging knowing that her ongoing service continues as she is recycled into new projects.”

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