HMAS Leeuwin (A 245)

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HMAS Leeuwin operating off Cairns, Queensland
HMAS Leeuwin operating off Cairns, Queensland
Career (Australia (RAN)) RAN Ensign
Namesake: Cape Leeuwin
Ordered: 2 April 1996
Builder: NQEA Ltd, Cairns
Launched: 19 July 1997
Commissioned: 27 May 2000
Homeport: HMAS Cairns
Motto: "I Shall Maintain"
Status: Active as of 2008
Badge: HMAS leeuwin crest.png
General characteristics
Class and type: Leeuwin class hydrographic survey ship
Displacement: 2,550 tons
Length: 233.6 ft (71.2 m)
Beam: 49.9 ft (15.2 m)
Draught: 14.1 ft (4.3 m)
Propulsion: Diesel-electric; 4 GEC Alsthom 6RK 215 diesel generators, 4,290 hp (3.2 MW) sustained. 2 Alsthom motors, 1.94 MW, 2 shafts. 1 Schottel bow thruster.
Speed: 14 knots (26 km/h)
Range: 18,000 nautical miles (33,000 km) at 9 knots (17 km/h)
Boats and landing
craft carried:
Three 10 metre Survey Motor Boats, equipped with shallow water multi-beam echo-sounders and short range UHF differential GPS
Two light utility boats
One Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat (RHIB)
Complement: 46
Sensors and
processing systems:
Navigation: STN Atlas 9600 ARPA; I-band
Sonar: C-Tech CMAS 36/39; hull mounted; high frequency active
Atlas Fansweep-20 multibeam echo sounder
AD 25 single beam echo sounder
Also fitted with Klein 2000 towed light-weight sidescan sonar
Aircraft carried: 1 AS 350B Squirrel (not permanently embarked)

HMAS Leeuwin (A 245) is the lead ship of the Leeuwin Class of Hydrographic Survey vessels of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).

Leeuwin is named after Cape Leeuwin, in the South West of Western Australia, and is the first ship of the Royal Australian Navy to carry this name (the naval base HMAS Leeuwin operated from 1940 to 1986).[1] Leeuwin and her sister ship HMAS Melville were built by NQEA in Cairns.

Leeuwin has the ability to carry three fully equipped Fantome class survey motor boats for use in waters not suitable for Leeuwin herself.[2] HMAS Leeuwin can carry a Squirrel helicopter from 723 Squadron.[3]


  1. Straczek, John. The Royal Australian Navy: Ships, Aircraft and Shore Establishments, Navy Public Affairs, Sydney, 1996. ISBN 1-876-04378-4
  2. Sharpe, Richard (ed). Jane's Fighting Ships 2000-2001, Janes Information Group, London, 2000. ISBN 0-7106-2018-7
  3. HMAS Leeuwin page on the Royal Australian Navy website