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Attack Class Patrol Boats


The Attack-class patrol boats were small coastal defence vessels built for the Royal Australian Navy and operated between 1967 and 1985. Following their Australian service, twelve ships were transferred to Papua New Guinea and Indonesia.

HMAS Advance
HMAS Advance, now a museum ship at the Australian National Maritime Museum

Click on the image for a better view

Preceded by: Bathurst class corvette and succeeded by Fremantle class patrol boat.

The Attack class was ordered in 1964 to operate in Australian waters as patrol boats (based on lessons learned through using the Ton class minesweepers on patrols of Borneo during the Indonesia-Malaysia Confrontation, and to replace a variety of old patrol, search-and-rescue, and general-purpose craft. Initially, nine were ordered for the RAN, with another five for Papua New Guinea's Australian-run coastal security force, although another six ships were ordered to bring the class to twenty vessels.

The ships were designed with as many commercial components as possible: the Attacks were to operate in remote regions of Australia and New Guinea, and a town's hardware store would be more accessible than home base in a mechanical emergency.

The patrol boats had a displacement of 100 tons at standard load and 146 tons at full load, were 107.6 feet (32.8 m) in length overall, had a beam of 20 feet (6.1 m), and draughts of 6.4 feet (2.0 m) at standard load, and 7.3 feet (2.2 m) at full load.

Propulsion machinery consisted of two 16-cylinder Paxman YJCM diesel engines, which supplied 3,460 shaft horsepower (2,580 kW) to the two propellers. The vessels could achieve a top speed of 24 knots (44 km/h; 28 mph), and had a range of 1,200 nautical miles (2,200 km; 1,400 mi) at 13 knots (24 km/h; 15 mph).

The ship's company consisted of three officers and sixteen sailors.

Main armament was a bow-mounted Bofors 40 mm gun, supplemented by two .50 calibre M2 Browning

The inclusion of the Attack class in the RAN fleet led to a second version of the ship's badge design to be created, as it was not deemed appropriate for such small vessels to use the full-size badge. The badge used by the patrol boats was scaled down from 755 by 620 millimetres (29.7 by 24.4 in) to 440 by 365 millimetres (17.3 by 14.4 in), with no other alterations.

Operational history and fates

Stokes Hill Wharf
Attack class boats at Stokes Hill Wharf, Darwin March 1975

Click on the image for a better view
The Attack class was replaced in RAN service by the larger and more capable Fremantle class patrol boats.

In 1975, Aitape, Ladava, Lae, Mandang, and Samarai were transferred to the Papua New Guinea Defence Force. All five were paid off during the late 1980s, with Aitape sunk as a dive wreck off Port Moresby in 1995.

Acute, Archer, Assail, Attack, Barbette, Bandolier, Barricade, and Bombard were transferred to the Indonesian Navy between 1974 and 1985, and are listed in Jane's Fighting Ships as still operational in 2011.

Arrow was destroyed in Darwin on 25 December 1974 during Cyclone Tracy.

Arrow was built by Walkers Limited at Maryborough, Queensland, launched on 17 February 1968,[citation needed] and commissioned on 3 July 1968.

Advance was donated to the Australian National Maritime Museum in the late 1980s for preservation as a museum ship.

Ardent was to be preserved as a memorial in Darwin, but was instead sold into civilian service in 2001 and converted into a pleasure craft.

Aware was sold to a private owner during the 1990s, who modified her for use as a diving and salvage mothership, then was resold in to new owners in 2006.
Bayonet was scuttled in Bass Strait in 1999 and has been successfully dived.

Adroit paid off on 28 March 1992 and was sunk as a target by A-4 Skyhawk aircraft of the Royal New Zealand Air Force west of Rottnest Island on 8 August 1994.
The remainder of the class were broken up for scrap.

In fiction.

Two Attack class boats represented the fictional HMAS Ambush in the first series of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation TV series Patrol Boat.

List of ships.

Royal Australian Navy

Ship

Pennant

Builder

Launched

Commissioned

Decommissioned

Fate


Attack

P 90

Evans Deakin and Company

17 November 1967

8 April 1967

21 February 1985

Transferred to Indonesia (KRI Sikuda 863)

Acute

P 81

Evans Deakin and Company

26 August 1967

26 April 1968

6 May 1983

Transferred to Indonesia (KRI Silea 858)

Adroit

P 82

Evans Deakin and Company

3 February 1968

17 August 1968

28 March 1992

Sunk as target, 8 August 1994

Advance

P 83

Walkers Limited

16 August 1967

24 January 1968

6 February 1988

Museum ship ANMM, Sydney
Archer
P 86

Evans Deakin and Company

2 December 1967

15 May 1968

21 May 1974

Transferred to Indonesia (KRI Siliman 848)

Ardent

P 87

Evans Deakin and Company

27 April 1968

26 October 1968

6 January 1994

Decommissioned to a navigation training vessel (pennant number A243), paid off December 1998. Sold into civilian service as MV Ardent, purchased by Indonesia in 2002 (KRI Tenggiri 865)

Arrow

P 88

Walkers Limited

17 February 1968

3 July 1968

Destroyed at Darwin by Cyclone Tracyon 25 December 1974.

Assail

P 89

Evans Deakin and Company

18 November 1967

21 July 1968

18 October 1985

Transferred to Indonesia (KRI Sigurot 864)

Aware

P 91

Evans Deakin and Company

7 October 1967

21 June 1968

17 July 1993

Sold into private ownership, Bundaberg, Queensland. Scrapped 2011.

Bandolier

P 95

Walkers Limited

2 October 1968

14 December 1968

16 November 1973

Transferred to Indonesia (KRI Sibarau 847)

Barbette

P 97

Walkers Limited

10 April 1968

16 August 1968

15 June 1984

Transferred to Indonesia (KRI Siada 862)

Barricade

P 98

Evans Deakin and Company

29 June 1968

26 October 1968

20 May 1982

Transferred to Indonesia (KRI Sigalu 857)

Bayonet

P 101

Evans Deakin and Company

6 November 1968

22 February 1969

26 June 1988

Scuttled 21 September 1999, Victoria

Bombard

P 99

Evans Deakin and Company

6 July 1968

5 November 1968

12 September 1983

Transferred to Indonesia (KRI Siribua 859)

Buccaneer

P 100

Evans Deakin and Company

14 September 1968

11 November 1969

27 July 1984

Sunk as target, 8 October 1988

Royal Australian Navy Papua New Guinea Division

Ship

Pennant

Builder

Launched

Commissioned

Decommissioned

Fate


Aitape

P 84

Walkers Limited

6 July 1967

13 November 1967

14 November 1974

Transferred to Papua New Guinea, (HMPNGS Aitape). Scuttled 1995

Ladava

P 92

Walkers Limited

11 May 1968

13 November 1967

14 November 1974

Transferred to Papua New Guinea, (HMPNGS Ladava)

Lae

P 93

Walkers Limited

5 October 1967

3 April 1968

14 November 1974

Transferred to Papua New Guinea, (HMPNGS Lae)

Madang

P 94

Evans Deakin and Company

10 October 1968

28 November 1968

14 November 1974

Transferred to Papua New Guinea, (HMPNGS Madang)

Samarai

P 85

Evans Deakin and Company

14 July 1967

1 March 1968

14 November 1974

Transferred to Papua New Guinea, (HMPNGS Samarai)

The 1998 edition of Jane's Fighting Ships reports that two vessels of a similar design, pennant numbers 860 and 861 (KRI Waigeo), were being operated by the Indonesian Navy. It speculates that these were locally built copies of the class.