HMAS
Sirius

HMAS Sirius (left) and HMAS Anzac conduct a routine passage exercise in the South China Sea as part of their deployment throughout the Northern Indian Ocean and Southeast Asia.
Role Combat Logistics
Pennant
O 266
International Callsign
VKSI
Motto
To Serve and Provide
Builder
Hyundai Mipo Dockyard
Commissioned
16 September 2006
Decommissioned
18 December 2021
Dimensions & Displacement
Displacement 25,016.53 tonnes (46,755 tonnes full load)
Length 191.3 metres
Beam 32 metres
Draught 11 metres
Performance
Speed 16 knots
Range 16,000 nautical miles
Complement
Crew 60
Propulsion
Machinery 1 Hyundai B&W 6S 50MC diesel
Armament
Guns 5 x 12.7 mm machine guns
Radars 2 Sperry Marine Bridgemaster
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HMAS Sirius ships badge

HMAS Sirius was built as the commercial tanker MV Delos at the Hyundai Mipo Dockyard in the Republic of Korea. Following the decision to replace the supply ship HMAS Westralia, an extensive worldwide search of double-hulled, environmentally compliant, operating tankers was conducted. MV Delos was subsequently purchased ‘off the shelf’ by the Commonwealth Government in June 2004. Following Delos’ delivery to Western Australia, a large number of modifications were made in order for the ship to provide effective service in the RAN. These modifications included the installation of replenishment at sea (RAS) rigs, various accommodation modifications to house a crew of up to 70, and an enhanced naval communications suite. Additions to the ship included a helicopter landing deck, rigid hulled inflatable boats and RAN lifesaving and damage control equipment. These modifications were undertaken by Tenix Defence Maritime Division at the Henderson shipyard, Western Australia.  

HMAS Sirius was commissioned at Fleet Base West on 16 September 2006 under the command of Commander Tim Crawford, RAN. The ceremony was conducted immediately following the decommissioning of HMAS Westralia (II). It was the first time since 1935 that an RAN warship was commissioned immediately after the decommissioning of another. The Ship’s Sponsor was Mrs Janine Nobbs, a descendant of HMS Bounty’s infamous mutineer, Fletcher Christian, and spouse of Mr Benjamin Nobbs, a descendant of Philip Gidley-King, Second Lieutenant aboard the First Fleet’s HMS Sirius and a former Commandant of the Norfolk Island convict settlement. Also present at the commissioning ceremony was; then Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Russ Shalders AO, CSC, RAN; Maritime Commander Rear Admiral Davyd Thomas AO, CSC, RAN; State Member for Rockingham Mark McGowan; and the Chief Minister of Norfolk Island Mr David Buffett. 

Sirius’ primary role was the delivery of fuel to the RAN Fleet at sea. Sirius was capable of conducting night replenishments, dual replenishments and dual replenishments while conducting helicopter operations (VERTREP). Sirius first put to sea as an RAN unit on 18 October 2006, and conducted her inaugural RAS with HMAS Toowoomba on 25 October 2006. 

A MRH-90 Taipan helicopter from HMAS Adelaide conducts a vertical replenishment with HMAS Sirius, as it performs a dual replenishment at sea, refuelling HMAS Darwin (left) and HMAS Melbourne (right) simultaneously.

A MRH-90 Taipan helicopter from HMAS Adelaide conducts a vertical replenishment with HMAS Sirius, as it performs a dual replenishment at sea, refuelling HMAS Darwin (left) and HMAS Melbourne (right) simultaneously.

Sirius was a regular participant in fleet, inter-service and multi-national exercises in Australian waters including; various Fleet Concentration Periods; Anti-Submarine Warfare Exercises (ASWEX) in 2006, 2007 and 2009; Exercise TALISMAN SABRE in 2007, 2011, 2013 and 2015; Exercise KAKADU in 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2018; Exercise OCEAN RAIDER in 2017; and Exercise OCEAN EXPLORER in 2018. The ship also took part in exercises DUSK PANTHER and IRON ROTOR in March 2015 providing a platform for multi-national Special Forces training. 

Sirius was force assigned to Operation RESOLUTE in 2013 and 2014, conducting patrols as part of the RAN’s contribution to the whole-of-government effort to protect Australia's borders and offshore maritime interests. Sirius also conducted a number of patrols of oil and gas installations in northern Australian waters, under the auspices of Operation RED RAPTOR. The ship saw further operational service in support of Operation SEVILLE – support for the G20 summit 2014, and Operation APEC ASSIST in 2018.

Sirius participated in numerous multi-national exercises while deployed overseas including; BERSAMA SHIELD 2008; BERSAMA LIMA 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2018 and 2019; SINGAROO 2011, 2018 and 2020; NEW HORIZON 2011, 2015, 2017 and 2019; AUSTHAI 2019; RIMPAC 2020; and INDO-PACIFIC ENDEAVOUR 2021.

HMAS Sirius departs Fleet Base West, Western Australia, for a four month deployment.

HMAS Sirius departs Fleet Base West, Western Australia, for a four month deployment.

Against the backdrop of her operational commitments, Sirius was a regular participant in diplomatic, ceremonial and commemorative events. Before the ship commissioned, the Norfolk Island community made a proposal to the government and Navy to ‘adopt' the ship bearing a name with such close ties with the history of Norfolk Island. This proposal was readily accepted and Norfolk Island became the ship’s ceremonial port. Sirius’ crew conducted numerous Freedom of Entry ceremonies on Norfolk Island, creating a lasting bond that endured throughout the ship’s commission. Closer to home, the ship also developed an affiliation with the coastal city of Mandurah, with members of the crew participating in a number of ANZAC day commemorations there.

In 2008 Sirius formed part of the Great White Fleet Centenary Voyage Task Group with HMAS Darwin, and US Ships John S. McCain and Shoup. This was to mark 100 years since the visit of the US Navy’s Great White Fleet to Australia in 1908. Sirius later took part in ANZAC Centenary Commemorative events in October 2014, along with HMA ships Anzac, Arunta, Stuart, HMAS Rankin, HMNZS Te Kaha and JDS Kirisame. This task group represented ships of the nations that formed the escort for the first ANZAC convoy which departed Albany in 1914.

Sirius visited numerous ports in nations throughout Asia and the Pacific over the course of her commission including Singapore, Langkawi, Port Klang, Kemaman, Kuantan, Kota Kinabalu (Malaysia)  Surabaya, Balikpapan (Indonesia), Visakhapatnam (India), Subic Bay (Philippines), Da Nang, Cam Ranh Bay (Vietnam), Sattahip (Thailand), Apia (Samoa), Suva (Fiji), Noumea (New Caledonia), Guam and Pearl Harbour (USA).  

A MH-60R helicopter winches personnel onto the flight deck of HMAS Sirius during a replenishment-at-sea in the Karimata Strait.

A MH-60R helicopter winches personnel onto the flight deck of HMAS Sirius during a replenishment-at-sea in the Karimata Strait.

Sirius enhanced Australia’s international relationships by conducting fuel transfers or dry hook-ups with ships from the navies of New Zealand, the USA, the UK, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Spain, South Korea and Canada. In 2018, Sirius became the first ever RAN unit to conduct a RAS (dry hookup) with a Chinese PLA – Navy ship. 

Sirius broke the previous RAN record for the largest RAS by fuel quantity in July 2013 during exercise TALISMAN SABRE, with the ship passing 9816cz (cubic metres) of fuel to USNS Yukon over thirteen and a half hours. On 24 February 2018, during a multi-ship replenishment serial as part of exercise OCEAN EXPLORER, Sirius transferred her 100,000,000th litre of fuel, with HMAS Parramatta the lucky recipient of the ‘golden litre’

Sirius regularly participated in various fundraisers and charitable endeavours, raising thousands of dollars for the ship’s charities – Beyond Blue and Keeping Watch. The ship was twice awarded the Wormald Shield for combat survivability proficiency and was the recipient of the 2017 Australia Cup for engineering excellence. 

HMAS Anzac conducts a replenishment at sea with HMAS Sirius in the South China Sea.

HMAS Anzac conducts a replenishment at sea with HMAS Sirius in the South China Sea.

HMAS Sirius decommissioned at Fleet Base West on 18 December 2021 having conducted 757 replenishments at sea. The ship steamed 473486 kilometres and spent 73144 hours underway since commissioning.  Over the course of more than 15 years of proud service to the Navy and the Nation, HMAS Sirius truly lived up to her motto – ‘To Serve and Provide’.

Commanding Officers

 

Commander T.G. Crawford, RAN

16/9/2006

Commander A.J. Hawes, RAN

10/5/2007

Commander J.J. Cowan, RAN

12/12/2008

Commander D.V. McDonald, RAN

21/5/2010

Commander B.G. Delamont, RAN

16/12/2011

Commander D.G. Grogan, CSM, RAN

13/12/2013

Commander M.S. Oborn, CSM, RAN

3/12/2015

Commander M.A. Verho, RAN

15/12/2017

Commander B.J. O’Hara, RAN

10/12/2019

Commander S.R.J. Woolrych, CSM, RAN

1/7/2020

Lieutenant Commander W.J. Bemet, RAN

13/10/2020

Commander C.F. Doherty, RAN

16/11/2020

* Post Nominals held at the time of command

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