Armidale Class
Stand Firm
Home Port
Austal Ships, Fremantle
24 June 2005
30 March 2023
Dimensions & Displacement
Displacement standard: 300 tonnes (295.3 (uk) t) (330.7 t (short)) (300,000 kg)
Length overall: 56.8 metres (186.35 feet)
Beam overall: 9.7 metres (31.82 feet)
Draught hull: 2.7 metres (8.86 feet)
Speed top speed: 25 kt (46.3 km/h) (28.8 mph)
Range standard: 3,000 n miles (5556 km) (3452.3 miles) at 12 kt (22.2 km/h) (13.8 mph)
Crew crew: 21
Machinery 2 MTU 4000 16V dieses; 6225 hp (4.6l4 MW); 2 shafts
Guns 1-25 mm Rafael M242 Bushmaster. 2-12.7 mm MGs
Electronic Countermeasures RESM: BAE Systems Prism III; intercept
Radars Surface search/navigation: Bridgemaster E; E/F/I-band
Electro-optic Systems Rafael Toplite optronic director
Inherited Battle Honours
News Articles
Image Gallery
HMAS Armidale (II) Badge

Armidale Class Patrol Boats

HMAS Armidale was the first of fourteen Armidale Class Patrol Boats (ACPB) constructed for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). She was built by Austal Ships at Henderson, Western Australia, as part of a $553 million contract between the Federal Government and Defence Maritime Services.

The Armidale class vessels have continued the legacy of service established by the RAN’s former Attack and Fremantle Class Patrol boats. The larger, more capable ACPBs were characterised by good seakeeping qualities, improved range and endurance, as well as hosting a state-of-the-art surveillance system. They have contributed significantly over the last two decades to myriad border protection and maritime security operations, both in Australian waters and throughout the south-west Pacific.


HMAS Armidale (II) was commissioned into the RAN in a ceremony conducted at HMAS Coonawarra, Darwin, on 24 June 2005 under the command of Lieutenant Commander Andrew Maher, RAN. Among the guests present at the ceremony were Minister of Defence, The Hon. Senator Robert Hill; Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Chris Ritchie, AO, RAN; Acting Maritime Commander, Commodore Peter Lockwood, RAN, and Chief of Air Force, Air Marshall Angus Houston, AO, AFC. Also present at the ceremony was Bill Lamshed and Roy Clelland, former members of the boat’s namesake vessel, the corvette HMAS Armidale (I) and survivors of the ship’s sinking.

Following a series of initial tests and trials, the crew of HMAS Armidale proceeded south to the boat’s namesake city for several days of functions, receptions and relationship building endeavours. These included an inaugural Freedom of Entry march into the city. During the visit, the crew were invited to the Armidale Turf Club where members of the crew presented the ‘HMAS Armidale Cup’ and were later hosted by the Corvettes Association of Australia.   

Roles and Operations

Armidale’s primary role was the execution of constabulary and surveillance operations in Australia’s northern waters. Armidale was first assigned to Operation CRANBERRY, the Australian Defence Force’s (ADF) operation to coordinate intelligence and provide surveillance information to civil authorities, in 2005. The boat also provide effective service in support of Operation RELEX II, and later Operation RESOLUTE, protecting Australia’s borders and offshore maritime interests. She diligently contributed in that capacity for over 15 years.

Armidale was force assigned to Operation ANODE (II) the ADF contribution to the Australian-led Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands in 2006. During the operation, Armidale was able to provide surveillance of the approaches to Guadalcanal, surface picture compilation and troop transport.

Throughout her commission, Armidale conducted innumerable intercept, control and transport operations of both Foreign Fishing Vessels and Suspected Irregular Entry Vessels. On several occasions members of Armidale ship’s company risked their own safety to rescue people at sea whose own vessels had sunk or were in distress. This was highlighted in April 2006, when the crew of Armidale were responsible for the rescue of a group of Australian and US citizens stranded by bad weather on the remote Tongan island Kao.

Armidale regularly conducted patrols of oil and gas installations in northern Australian waters, and was used as a training platform for ADF members. In the early years of her service, Armidale was used as a showcase of the Armidale class patrol boats, hosting a number of foreign dignitaries and displaying the virtues of the platform.

More recently, Armidale was a contributor to operations focused on regional cooperation, with the boat participating in Operation SOLANIA, the ADF contribution to maritime surveillance within the Pacific Region, and Operation LILIA, established at the request of the Solomon Islands Government to support the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force to stabilise the nation during a period of public unrest in 2021.

Regional Engagement

Against the backdrop of her operational commitments, Armidale was a regular participant in diplomatic, ceremonial and commemorative events. Armidale was highly engaged with the community during her service, regularly providing an RAN presence for Anzac Day commemorations in Darwin and participating in commemorations relating to HMAS Armidale (I) and Ordinary Seaman Teddy Sheean, VC, in 2017, 2020 and 2022.

HMAS Armidale (II) crew members line ship at the wreck site of HMAS Armidale (I) during a commemoration for the former Royal Australian Navy corvette. November 2020
HMAS Armidale (II) crew members line ship at the wreck site of HMAS Armidale (I) during a commemoration for the former Royal Australian Navy corvette. November 2020

Armidale visited numerous ports in nations throughout Asia and the Pacific including Port Vila, Apia, Rarotonga, Nuku’alofa, Suva, Honiara, Kota Kinabalu, Cebu, Palau, Kupang, Singapore, Brunei, Funafuti and Noumea. She also participated in multi-national exercises LUMBAS 2008 with the Philippines Navy, and PENGUIN with the Royal Brunei Navy in 2015.

Armidale took part in a number of fleet exercises in Australian waters, including Exercise KAKADU in 2016, where the boat also served as commander of a task group which included Her Majesty’s Papua New Guinea ships Moresby and Seeadler, a number of other ACPBs and observers from Fiji, Tonga and Timor Leste.

For many years the Armidale class patrol boats were crewed by RAN personnel drawn from multiple patrol boat crews, before reverting to a more conventional single crew arrangement on 24 August 2015. During that time, many hundreds of officers and sailors have served in HMAS Armidale developing a strong affiliation with the boat.

HMAS Armidale during her decommisioning ceremony, conducted alongside HMAS Coonawarra, in Darwin, NT. 30 March 2023.
HMAS Armidale during her decommisioning ceremony, conducted alongside HMAS Coonawarra, in Darwin, NT. 30 March 2023.

HMAS Armidale decommissioned on 30 March 2023 after more than 17 years of proud service to the nation.

Commanding Officers

During the multi-crewing era, HMAS Armidale was, at various times, under the command of the following officers. (Rank and Post-nominals held at the time of command).

LCDR A. Maher, RAN

LCDR A.R Powell, RAN

LCDR J.C Hunter, RAN



LCDR C.J Cooper, RAN

LEUT J. Harper, RAN

LCDR R.P Davies, RAN

LCDR S.G Taragel, RAN

LCDR D.L Curtis, RAN

LCDR G. Zilko, RAN




LCDR C.J Cooper, RAN

LCDR D.L Curtis, RAN

LCDR A.S.R Macalister, RAN

CMDR C. Galloway, RANR

CMDR F.A Vergelius, CSM, RAN

LCDR S.R.J Woolrych, RAN

LCDR M.H.W. Sorby, RAN

LCDR Z. Geary, RAN

LCDR S. Doolin, RAN


LCDR P.A. Ukhoff, RAN

LCDR G. Mountney, RAN


LCDR S. Noakes, RAN

LCDR M. Miller, RAN

LEUT J.E.M Archer, RAN

LCDR D. McPherson, RAN

LCDR M. Kerrisk, RAN

LCDR T. Ryder, RAN



LCDR R.S Cucchi, RAN

LCDR P.R Draper, RAN

LCDR R.D Knights, RAN

LCDR M.J Strachan, RAN

LCDR M.S Richardson, RAN

Multi-crewing was discontinued on 24 August 2015 when a more conventional single ship/ single crew arrangement was implemented.

24 August 15 – LCDR M.S Richardson, RAN

18 December 15 – LCDR B.H Harrington, RAN

21 November 16 – LCDR A.J Dobb, RAN

13 December 16 – LCDR B.H. Harrington, RAN

2 December 17 – LCDR P. Hardman RAN

9 December 19 – LCDR P. Bernard-Chandler RAN

18 December 21 – LCDR A.J Hicks, RAN