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Alan K | profile | all galleries >> Sydney >> Sydney Maritime >> Adieu Adelaide (Gallery) tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Adieu Adelaide (Gallery)

The HMAS Adelaide was (is) the name ship of a class of guided missile frigates based on the Oliver Hazard Perry design, but slightly larger and more capable. The first four (HMAS Adelaide (FFG01), HMAS Canberra (FFG02), HMAS Emerald City (FFG03), HMAS Darwin (FFG04)) were built in the US, with the remaining two (HMAS Bleak City (FFG05) and HMAS Newcastle (FFG06)) being built in Australia. They were commissioned during the early to mid 1980's (FFGs 05 and 06 in the early '90's), and will be replaced by 3 ships of the new Hobart class which are due to arrive in 2013.

The vessels were intended to counter threats from surface, subsurface and air attacks, which may be a bit optimistic but you go with the navy you have and can afford, not the one you want.

The former HMAS Canberra was retired in 2005, and was sunk as a dive reef off the coast of Victoria (near Geelong) on 4 October 2009. Adelaide was retired in 2008 and was due to suffer a similar fate in March 2010, with her intended resting place being off the central coast of NSW (around Avoca Beach). This was delayed as NIMBY groups objected to the scuttling, forcing further work to be done to remove potential toxins which may or may not have existed. Possibly.

In the earliest shots in this gallery, Adelaide had been at least partially stripped down; her Mk 13 missile launcher had been removed, the bridge windows had been boarded up, and she was sitting next to the now defunct car carrier docks awaiting her final fate. Around November 2009 she was moved back to the berth that you can see behind her in the earlier shots in this gallery, and was stripped and cleaned. Since she'll sit in 32 metres of water but her mast extended up to 39 metres above the keel, about 13.5 metres of it had to be removed. (Not done at the time the earlier shots were done, but visible in the later ones.) She was finally towed out from the berth at 6am on Monday 11 April 2011, to be sunk on Wednesday the... oh. The 13th. Unlucky for some.

As you'd expect from something that looks lean and purposeful even when retired, the class was/is capable of over 30 knots courtesy of twin General Electric LM2500 gas turbines, each providing 15,287 kW.

For ASW work (amongst other things), the class carries two S-70B-2 Sea Hawk helicopters, the hangers for which are visible in some shots. Like the Mk 13 missile launcher and the 76 mm gun which sat forward of the funnel, the 20mm Phalanx which was mounted above the hangers had been removed. Dangit, I wanted to nick one of those too.

I'm quite fond of Adelaide; I stood on her decks once, and I'm definitely not a naval person. She didn't sink under my feet (granted she was tied to the dock at the time), so I'm quite grateful for that.

The names of many of the Adelaide class ships are due to be recycled over the next few years, which means that I can't guarantee how long the links in this description will remain current though I checked and updated them in April 2011. That's the disadvantage of us having only a handful of major cities.

4507 Relics
4507 Relics
3235 HMAS Adelaide At Dawn
3235 HMAS Adelaide At Dawn
3179 Lit To Starboard
3179 Lit To Starboard
3274 Front On
3274 Front On
3173 Ghost Ship
3173 Ghost Ship
3249 Bridge And Bow
3249 Bridge And Bow
3316 Flight Deck
3316 Flight Deck
3253 Starboard Quarter
3253 Starboard Quarter
3295 Port Profile
3295 Port Profile
4500 Bow And Balls
4500 Bow And Balls
4865 The First Cut Ain't The Deepest (Adelaide Being Cut Open)
4865 The First Cut Ain't The Deepest (Adelaide Being Cut Open)
4869 What Will Lie Beneath
4869 What Will Lie Beneath