HMAS Pirie decommissioned after 15 years

The Royal Australian Navy decommissioned Armidale-class patrol boat HMAS Pirie last week, after 15 years of service.

CAPTION: Royal Australian Navy patrol boat HMAS Pirie sails into Darwin Harbour, Northern Territory, for the last time before she decommissions. Photo by Leading Seaman Shane Cameron.

HMAS Pirie Commanding Officer Lieutenant Commander Sean Dalton said it had been a privilege bringing Pirie and her crew home for the last time.

“Pirie has sailed more than 426,000 nautical miles in her lifetime, travelling from as far east as Samoa, west to the Cocos Keeling Islands, south to the Bass Strait, and as far north as Qingdao, China,” Lieutenant Commander Dalton said.

Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Michael Noonan addressed the ceremony at HMAS Coonawarra Darwin and recognised the valuable contribution made by the men and women who have served in Pirie.

“HMAS Pirie and her Ship’s Company have lived up to the ship’s motto “mark of quality.” They have served the people of Australia, protecting our nation’s borders and offshore maritime interests with dedication and professionalism,” Vice Admiral Noonan said.

“Today, we reflect on their contribution and look to our future.

“Pirie is the first of two Armidale-class patrol boats to be decommissioned this year as we transition to our 12 Arafura-class offshore patrol vessels.

“While there is a nostalgia in farewelling one of our workhorses, it is an exciting time to serve, as Navy undergoes the most significant recapitalisation of the fleet.

“The new Arafura-class offshore patrol vessels will provide a significant increase in capability and enhance our capacity to patrol our maritime territory and near region.”

Throughout her commission, Pirie conducted intercept and control of both foreign fishing vessels and suspected irregular entry vessels, along with regularly providing support to the civil community. She has also taken part in diplomatic, ceremonial and commemorative events with Australia’s regional partners.

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Brian Hartigan

Managing Editor Contact Publishing Pty Ltd PO Box 3091 Minnamurra NSW 2533 AUSTRALIA

8 thoughts on “HMAS Pirie decommissioned after 15 years

  • 04/04/2021 at 10:07 am
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    15 years seems a short life span for a modern vessel, did she have some problems??

    Reply
    • 04/04/2021 at 11:11 am
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      I don’t know that Pirie had problems specifically, but the fleet did generally. One was destroyed by fire in maintenance – another had an engine fire at sea and had to be towed home – and the design generally had serious/dangerous issues with black-water storage in the early days. And that’s just the issues I’m aware of. But, yes, 15 years is a very short lifespan for a modern naval vessel.
      Brian Hartigan
      CONTACT Editor

      Reply
    • 04/04/2021 at 8:48 am
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      I don’t know, Martin – but I will ask.

      Reply
    • 04/04/2021 at 8:54 am
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      All relevant gear will he canalbilised for the other vessels no doubt.

      Reply
    • 04/04/2021 at 12:15 pm
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      Wouldn’t it be a good idea to start mothballing vessels of this type for future use…
      Just because we have defence ties doesn’t mean the cavalry will arrive.
      We are called a defence force but in my 33 years defence force I beg to differ.

      Reply
      • 04/04/2021 at 2:14 pm
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        Agree Richard. Mothballing defence assets in the current climate is preferable to disposal. Especially given the poor quality imported materials for the OPV’s.

        Reply

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