Royal Australian Navy’s oldest active ships retired from service

Photo: Royal Australian Navy/Leading Seaman Shane Cameron

The Royal Australian Navy’s oldest active vessels have been formally retired after more than 30 years of service.

During their time in service, the survey motor launches HMAS Paluma and HMAS Mermaid collected hydrographic data necessary for creating products used by military, commercial and private vessels to safely navigate the waters around Australia. In addition to their critically important survey function, the ships also moved into operational support roles over the years.

The navy said the decommissioning of Paluma and Mermaid is part of the staged introduction of up to eight specialist vessels, which will have robotic, autonomous, and artificial intelligence systems.

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