HMAS Yarra (M 87)

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HMAS Yarra
HMAS Yarra at HMAS Waterhen, Sydney, New South Wales
Career (Australia)
Name: HMAS Yarra (M 87)
Namesake: Yarra River
Builder: Australian Defence Industries
Launched: 19 January 2002
Commissioned: 1 March 2003
Homeport: HMAS Waterhen
Motto: "Hunt and strike"
Honours and
One inherited battle honour
Status: Active as of 2009
General characteristics
Class and type: Huon-class Minehunter Coastal
Displacement: 720 tons
Length: 52.5 metres (172 ft)
Beam: 9.9 metres (32 ft)
Draught: 4.87 metres (16.0 ft)
Propulsion: 1 x 1460 kW Fincantieri GMT Diesel - (Single shaft, controllable pitch propellor)
3 x 124 kW Electro-hydraulic auxiliary propulsion units
Speed: 14 knots (26 km/h)
Range: 1,500 nautical miles (2,800 km) at 12 knots (30% fuel remaining)
2,400 nautical miles (4,400 km) at 10 knots (5% fuel remaining)
Complement: 36-40, maximum 6 officers, 7 senior sailors, 27 junior sailors
Sensors and
processing systems:
GEC Marconi 2093 variable depth Sonar
Armament: 1 x 30 mm DS30B rapid fire cannon
2 x 0.50 calibre machine guns
2 x SUTEC Double Eagle mine disposal vehicles

HMAS Yarra (M 87) is the sixth Huon-class minehunter to have been built for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and the fourth warship to be named after the Yarra River in Victoria.

Yarra was built by Australian Defence Industries in Newcastle, New South Wales, launched on 19 January 2002, and commissioned into the RAN on 1 March 2003.

Yarra is based at HMAS Waterhen Naval Base in Sydney, along with the majority of the RAN's mine warfare assets.

Operational history

In May 1993, Yarra and sister ship Hawkesbury were operating off the coast of Queensland on exercises.[1] During this, the two ships were tasked with checking the believed location of the shipwreck of AHS Centaur, a hospital ship sunk off Moreton Island during World War II, following several media stories indicating that the wreck at this location might not be the hospital ship.[1] These searches, followed up by the hydrographic survey ship HMAS Melville a month later, found that the wreck had been incorrectly marked as Centaur since its discovery in 1995.[1]

Following the discovery by the survey ships Benalla and Shepparton of a submerged object that corresponded to the dimensions of Australian submarine AE1, which had disappeared off the coast of East New Britain during World War I, Yarra was sent in June 2007 to confirm the findings.[2] The object was found to be a submarine-shaped rock formation.[3]

On the morning of 13 March 2009, Yarra was one of seventeen warships involved in a ceremonial fleet entry and fleet review in Sydney Harbour, the largest collection of RAN ships since the Australian Bicentenary in 1988.[4] The minehunter was one of the thirteen ships involved in the ceremonial entry through Sydney Heads, and anchored in the harbour for the review.