Leeuwin class survey vessel

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HMAS Leeuwin operating off Cairns, Queensland
HMAS Leeuwin operating off Cairns, Queensland
Class overview
Succeeded by:Planned Australian offshore combatant vessel
General characteristics
Type: Hydrographic Survey Ship
Displacement: 2,550 tons
Length: 71.2 metres (234 ft)
Beam: 15.2 metres (50 ft)
Draught: 4.3 metres (14 ft)
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)
Complement: 46 (3 full crews rotating between the 2 ships and land duty)
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 x AS 350B Squirrel from 723 Squadron (not permanently embarked)
Notes: Ships in class include: HMAS Leeuwin (A 245)
HMAS Melville (A 246)

The Leeuwin class is a class of two hydrographic survey vessels in the Royal Australian Navy, HMAS Leeuwin and HMAS Melville. Both ships were built by NQEA in Cairns, Queensland, and entered service in 2000.

Both ships take their names from prominent points on the Australian coast: Leeuwin is named after Cape Leeuwin, on the South West tip of Western Australia while Melville is named after Melville Island, just to the north of Darwin.

The ships have the ability to support a AS 350B Squirrel helicopter (detached from 723 Squadron), and carry three Fantome class survey motor boats.

Both ships are based at the naval base HMAS Cairns in Cairns, Queensland. Leeuwin and Melville are crewed using a flexible arrangement in which three crews rotate between the two ships. The three crews are known as HS (Hydrographic Ship) White, Red and Blue crews.