HMAS Dechaineux returning to Fleet Base West
Commanding Officer
Collins Class
Role Undersea Warfare
International Callsign
Fearless and Ferocious
Home Port
Australian Submarine Corp, Adelaide
Laid Down
4 March 1993
12 March 1998
Launched by
Mrs Mary Purbrick (Widow of CAPT Dechaineux)
23 February 2001
News Articles
Image Gallery
Dimensions & Displacement
  • surfaced: 3,100 tonnes
  • dived: 3,407 tonnes
Length 77.8 metres
Beam 7.8 metres
Draught 7 metres
  • top speed: 20 knots
  • dived: 20 knots
  • surfaced: 10 knots
  • snorting: 10 knots
  • surfaced: 11,500 nautical miles
  • dived: 400 nautical miles
  • snorting: 9,000 nautical miles
  • sailors: 38
  • officers: 10
  • plus trainees
  • 3 Hedemora/Garden Island Type V18B/14 diesels
  • 3 Jeumont Schneider generators
  • 1 MacTaggart Scott DM 43006 hydraulic motor for emergency propulsion.
Missiles McDonnell Douglas Sub Harpoon Block 1B (UGM 84C); active radar homing
Torpedoes 6-21 in (533 mm) fwd tubes. Gould Mk 48 Mod 4/6/7; dual purpose; wire-guided; active/passive homing
Mines 44 in lieu of torpedoes.
Physical Countermeasures Decoys: 2 SSE.
Electronic Countermeasures ESM: Condor CS-5600; intercept and warning.
Radars Navigation: Kelvin Hughes Type 1007; I-band.
  • Thomson Sintra Scylla active/passive bow array and passive flank, intercept and ranging arrays.
  • Thales SHORTAS retractable, passive.
Weapon Control Systems AN-BYG 1. Link 11
HMAS Dechaineux Badge

HMAS Dechaineux is named after CAPT Emile Dechaineux, the Commanding Officer of HMAS Australia (II) during the latter stages of World War II.

On the morning of 21 October 1944, Australia (II) was part of a bombardment force supporting the Allied landing at Leyte in the Central Philippines. During the battle, a Japanese Dive-Bomber was engaged and hit by HMAS Australia (II) and HMAS Shropshire. At first, the aircraft appeared to fly away from the ships, but it subsequently turned and dived into Australia (II), hitting the foremast and causing a large explosion and intense fuel fire. CAPT Dechaineux died of wounds received in the attack and was subsequently awarded the Legion of Merit (Degree of Officer) by the United States Government.

Submarine Dechaineux was launched in Adelaide by CAPT Dechaineux's widow, Mrs Mary Purbrick on Thursday, 12 March 1998.

HMAS Dechaineux commissioned at Fleet Base-West on Friday, 23 February 2001 along with the fifth Collins Class submarine, HMAS Sheean. The guests included The Hon Peter REITH MP (Minister for Defence), His Excellency Lt Gen John SANDERSON AC (the Governor of Western Australia), The Hon Kim BEAZELY MP (The Federal Minister for Brand) and the Hon Richard COURT MLA (Premier of WA). The Commissioning Lady was once again, CAPT Dechaineux's widow, Mrs Mary PURBRICK.

The ceremony was also attended by other members of CAPT Dechaineux's family, including his brother, sister, daughter and grandson.

Since commissioning, HMAS Dechaineux has successfully conducted a range of activities throughout the region in support of Australian Defence Force exercises, operations and the government's strategic directives.

History of the Crest

The Blazon

Per fess argent and azure; fess wavy of two azure and argent, a Tasmanian tiger erect, dexter forearm resting on an officers sword, point downwards.

Motif Description

The "Barry Wavy" represents the Navy and the sea. The field colours of yellow, blue and white represent: yellow for gold ining, white for tin operations and blue for the river and the sea. These all have association with Launceston, Tasmania where Captain Dechaineux was born. The Tasmanian Tiger is derived from the Coat of Arms of Launceston. The sword indicates that Dechaineux was an officer.


Captain Dechaineux was renowned for fairness and compassion towards his men and for his bravery and dedication. He was born and raised in Tasmania; these two themes suggested the motto "Fearless Friend - Ferocious Foe" however this was too long and shorted to the current motto.