HMAS Huon (II)

Commissioned on 15 May 1999, HMAS Huon (II) is the first of six Huon Class Minehunter Coastal (MHC) vessels. The Huon Class MHC was designed in Italy as the Gaeta Class for the Italian Navy. The RAN Huon Class includes modifications to suit Australian conditions such as improved accommodation and mine hunting capabilities.

The Huon Class Minehunters are named after Australian rivers. Huon is the second RAN ship to carry the name. HMAS Huon (I) was a River Class Destroyer commissioned in service during World War I.

The Huon Class features a unique hull design, shock resistance and an inherently low magnetic signature, allowing the ships to operate in hostile mine environments. Each hull was designed with no ribs, frames or stiffeners to avoid local stress points that could separate under shock conditions.

For mine countermeasure operations, the ships are fitted with a Variable Depth Sonar capable of detection ranges in excess of 1,000 metres ahead of the ship. When a mine is detected in a water column or on the seabed, the ship will 'hover' about 200 metres from the contact. Mine disposal vehicles or clearance divers are deployed to investigate and neutralise the mine threat.

Each ship is fitted with a pair of electrically powered Bofors Underwater Systems Double Eagle mine disposal vehicles equipped with a searchlight, closed-circuit low light television camera and an on-board close range identification sonar. Commands are relayed via a fibre optic link inside the vehicle's tether, which also relays sensor images for display on the ship's multifunction console in the operations room.

Each Double Eagle vehicle is fitted with either a disposal charge slung beneath or an explosive or mechanical cutter designed to sever the wire rope or chain holding moored mines.

Specifications

Commanding Officer Lieutenant Commander Troy Baird
Class Huon Class
Type Minehunter, coastal (MHC)
Role Mine warfare
Pennant M82
International callsign VLTC
Motto Stand Fast
Home port HMAS Waterhen
Builder ADI Newcastle
Launched 25 July 1997
Commissioned 15 May 1999
Displacement 732 tonnes
Length 52.5 metres
Beam 9.9 metres
Draught 3 metres
Speed 14 knots
Range 1,600 nautical miles
Crew 46
Machinery
  • 1 x Fincantieri GMT diesel
  • 3 x Isotta Fraschini 1300 diesels
  • 3 x electrohydraulic motors
  • Riva Calzoni retractable/rotatable APUs
Guns 1 x MSI DS30B 30mm
Physical countermeasures
  • 2 x Bofors SUTEC Double-Eagle Mk 2 mine disposal vehicles
  • 2 x MEL Aviation Super Barricade chaff launchers
Electronic countermeasures AWADI Prism
Radars Kelvin Hughes 1007
Sonars GEC-Marconi Type 2093
Combat data systems GEC-Marconi Nautis 2M
Weapon control systems Radamec 1400N optronic surveillance system
HMAS Huon badge

Function

Coastal minehunter