HMAS Adelaide hit by significant power problems

ABC today reported that “A massive electrical power failure has crippled the Australian Navy’s largest warship as it completes its humanitarian mission to Tonga”.

FILE PHOTO: Australian soldiers and sailors inspect the three Army CH-47F Chinook helicopters embarked on HMAS Adelaide. Photo by an unnamed DFAT staffer.

The ABC report also said “an email sent by HMAS Adelaide’s commander states: “Marine Technical Department have worked throughout the past few days to restore power and get us operational again.””

Shortly before 6pm this evening, Defence put out an official statement, seeking to clarify what it said was erroneous reporting.

“Defence can confirm that HMAS Adelaide has experienced a power outage,” the statement said.

“Back-up power has been activated to restore essential systems.

“The situation is being closely monitored and the safety of the ship and the embarked personnel remains our highest priority.

“Following a number of incorrect reports today regarding HMAS Adelaide, Defence can confirm that;

1.    essential functions such as refrigeration and sanitation systems are up and running;

2.    food supplies have not been adversely affected as a result of the power outage;

3.    HMAS Adelaide is not under tow, nor has it been under tow while in or near Tonga; and,

4.    Air conditioning is operational in most areas of the ship.

“Civilian specialists are on route to conduct an assessment of the affected systems.”

Defence also said the power outage had not affected Australia’s ability to support requests from the government of Tonga to assist their recovery efforts.





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Posted by Brian Hartigan

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5 thoughts on “HMAS Adelaide hit by significant power problems

  • 12/02/2022 at 3:12 pm

    It amazes me that we have to call in civilians to assess the problems on our biggest warship , what happens during war do we call for civvy assistance or do we ask the yanks to pull us out of trouble .
    What a bloody joke ,what genius is running Pussers these days . Get your finger out & create a whole Navy , self sufficient from the civvys as we would be in wartime .

    • 13/02/2022 at 2:51 pm

      You are spot on Geoff.
      HMAS Warships should be capable of total self sufficiency except for refuelling, & food supply.
      Back in the 60’s when Australia had a capable & formidable Defense Force, Navy, Army, & Air Force, Our warships had personell on board who possessed those skills necessary to keep their ships operational.
      With the watch system of crew split into 3, ( Red, White, & Blue ) a warship is able to remain closed-up for Action Stations for monthes on end.
      In my opinion the rot set in when our Royal Australian Navy in it’s wisdom “farmed out” Ropework, Wiresplicing etc to civilians & it went on from there.
      The bigger the ship the more important she is so all the more reason to be independent of outside assistance.
      Ex Pussas Bandie.

  • 10/02/2022 at 9:44 am

    And another glaring issue is that the navy has to send civilians to diagnose the problem and probably fix it. Hate to think what would happen in a war zone?

  • 06/02/2022 at 4:06 pm

    The “GREENIES” or SPARKIES as they are referred to should be looking after all aspects of electrical power throughout any warship, especially one that is so essential to the mission she was sent to assist at. I’m certain that HMAS Adelaide has a BOSS greenie i.e Commander Electrical/Electronics and relies on his staff to keeping all electrical stuff in top order and running at 100% efficiency. You are correct, it is not the first time a ship in the Australian Fleet has lost total power, but all ships have emergency generators to keep the “vital” equipment functioning.

  • 06/02/2022 at 2:44 pm

    OK that is very different to the media and other reports I have read….. Never the less this is a warship designed to carry people and equipment. It suffered a power outage for no reason given. It is a warship! Losing electrical power is comparable to a passenger plane losing all power. Bad design or bad maintenance, or bad oversight. The navy unlike the army which relies on many people verses equipment, or the air force which has lots of shiny things. The navy has few big shiny things which other than crew the navy must rely on. This is not the first time RAN ships have broken down, what is wrong with our navy? Look after your/our major hardware assets.


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