Australian Navy extending service life of Huon-class minehunters

The Australian defense department on August 11 announced that the project to extend the service life for Navy’s Huon-class minehunter coastal vessels had been granted first pass approval by the government.

The Head of Navy Capability, Rear Admiral Jonathan Mead, said the project forecast in the Defence White Paper 2016 will ensure Defence is able to provide an effective maritime mine countermeasure capability out to the 2030s.

The Australian Navy is now in negotiations with Thales Australia to engage the company as the prime systems integrator to deliver the project.

The Huon-class were built by Thales Australia, formerly ADI, and were introduced into service in the early 2000s.

“The Huon-class have proven highly capable, supporting Defence’s international engagement strategy through participation in exercises and operations to secure our sea lanes and disposing of Second World War explosive remnants, and they will continue to serve Australia for years to come,” Rear Admiral Mead said.

“In addition to its mine warfare role, the Huon-class vessels play a unique role in Defence assistance to the civil community and in 2011 provided support in response to severe flooding in Queensland, including the disposal of debris that posed a navigational hazard.”