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The Australian Naval Infrastructure’s operations team manoeuvred two halves of the first Arafura class patrol vessel together to be welded and form a complete hull. HMAS Gippsland is due to be commissioned in 2024. Photo credit: Department of Defence.

All aboard HMAS Gippsland

All aboard HMAS Gippsland

The Australian Naval Infrastructure’s operations team manoeuvred two halves of the first Arafura class patrol vessel together to be welded and form a complete hull. HMAS Gippsland is due to be commissioned in 2024. Photo credit: Department of Defence.

New offshore patrol vessel to be called HMAS Gippsland

Gippsland is expected to gain a new legion of admirers when a soon-to-be-built Royal Australian Navy patrol vessel takes our region’s name.

HMAS Gippsland is one of 12 offshore patrol vessels to be built and will be involved in maritime border patrols, fisheries patrols and humanitarian and disaster relief.

Minister for Defence Personnel and Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester said the vessel’s name would be a great source of pride for many people.

“It is a great honour for the name of our region to be borne by one of the ships from a new generation of offshore patrol vessels,” Mr Chester said.

“There will be many people who know and love Gippsland who will feel immense pride to see the name of our wonderful region on a naval vessel in the service of our country.

“Many of us witnessed the professionalism and compassion of our defence force personnel during the summer bushfires, including the evacuation of Mallacoota, and are touched that there will be a new, lasting connection between the Royal Australian Navy and our region.”

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HMAS Gippsland will be one of 12 new offshore patrol vessels that will be part of the new Arafura class vessels. They will replace the Armidale Class and Cape Class patrol boats.

The Arafura class vessels are 80 metres long, have a maximum speed of more than 20 knots and a range of 4000 nautical miles. They require a crew of 40 and can accommodate 60 personnel.

The first six Arafura class vessels have been named after Australian maritime regions and recognise the significance of these regions to Australia’s security and prosperity. The other names chosen are HMAS Arafura, HMAS Eyre, HMAS Pilbara, HMAS Illawarra and HMAS Carpentaria.

Mr Chester said the naming of the new patrol vessel would create a special connection between the Royal Australian Navy and Gippsland.

“Our naval personnel hold the vessels in which they serve dear to their hearts, sometimes for many years after they last disembark,” Mr Chester said.

“I think Gippsland will gain a new legion of fans comprising of the dedicated men and women who serve in our namesake patrol vessel.

“I also hope the naming of the HMAS Gippsland encourages people who hear our region’s name to learn more and come and visit our great corner of Australia.”

The first vessel is now under construction and is scheduled to enter service in 2022. HMAS Gippsland will be the fourth to be completed and is due to be commissioned in 2024.

The first of the new Arafura class patrol vessels is being built by Luerssen Australia and its partner ASC at Adelaide’s Osborne Naval Shipyard. The fourth vessel to be built will be known as HMAS Gippsland. Photo credit: Department of Defence.

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