Sunday, June 14, 2009
Australian Offshore Combatant Vessels
According to "Navy the Big Winner - but but when" (Kym Bergmann, Asia-Pacific Defence Reporter, May 2009), the Australian Government has decided to rationalise the Navy's patrol boats, mine counter measures, hydrographic and oceanographic vessels into one class of twenty "Offshore Combatant Vessels". These will be larger than the current patrol boats, at up to 2,000 tonnes. This would appear to be the role the Austal Multi-Role Vessel was designed for. The MRV can be thought of as an Armidale patrol boat welded onto the front of a Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV), making a lightly armed trimaran which can also carry containerised loads and operate a helicopter, or even a F-35B.