Operation MANITOU Update


02/02/2017: HMAS Arunta operates as part of the multi-national Combined Maritime Forces, predominately tasked to support Combined Task Force 150 for counter-terrorism and maritime security operations.

 HMAS Arunta’s S70-B Helicopter (Skeletor) fires decoy flares for exercise while on patrol in the Middle East region.

 Arunta is deployed on Operation MANITOU, supporting international efforts to promote maritime security, stability and prosperity in the Middle East region (MER).

 Arunta is on her third deployment to the MER and is the 64th rotation of a Royal Australian Navy vessel to the region since 1990.

Credit: Australian Ministry of Defence

HMAS Arunta is the second of the Royal Australian Navy’s eight Anzac class frigates. The Arunta is based on the German Meko 200 frigate, designed and built by Tenix Defence Systems at Williamstown, Victoria.

Arunta is a long-range frigate capable of air defence, surface and undersea warfare, surveillance, reconnaissance and interdiction. Arunta’s combat capabilities have been significantly improved under under the Anti-Ship Missile Defence upgrade program, a world class program that provides an enhanced sensor and weapons systems capability.

The upgrade showcases Australian design and integration capability, with new Phased Array Radar technology designed by CEA Technologies in Canberra, upgrades to combat systems performed by Saab Systems in South Australia, and platform integration design by BAE Systems in Victoria.

Arunta is fitted with an advanced package of air and surface surveillance radars; omni-directional hull mounted sonar and electronic support systems that interface with the state-of-the-art 9LV453 Mk3E combat data system. The ship can counter simultaneous threats from aircraft, surface vessels and submarines.

The ship’s main armament comprises one five inch (127 mm) gun capable of firing 20 rounds per minute, ship launched Mk 46 torpedoes and a Mk 41 vertical launch system for the Evolved Sea Sparrow point defence missile. Warramunga also has eight anti-ship/land attach canister launched harpoon missiles and a vertical launch system for the Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile. The ship’s other defence systems include the Nulka active missile decoy system, offboard chaff and a torpedo countermeasures system.

HMAS Arunta, like her sister frigates HMA Ships Anzac, Ballarat, Parramatta, Stuart, Toowoomba and Warramunga features a “combined diesel or gas” (CODOG) propulsion plant which enables the ship to sustain sprint speeds of greater than 27 knots and allows an operational range in excess of 6,000 nautical miles at 18 knots.

The ship can embark Navy’s latest multi-role Sikorsky S-70R Seahawk helicopter which has enhanced anti-submarine, anti-surface warfare and Search and Rescue capabilities. Embarkation of a helicopter also provides the ship with the capability to deliver air-launched missiles and torpedoes.

Arunta has recently departed Australia on a nine month deployment to the Middle East Region for Operation MANITOU.  This will be the 64th Royal Australian Navy ship deployed to the Middle East since 1990 and will be the first in an extended rotation which will see greater time on task for Australian ships.

Arunta is the second ship of the name. The original Arunta (I), commissioned in 1942, became one of the best known RAN ships in World War II . She served with distinction in New Guinea and the Pacific between 1942-1944, the Battle of Leyte Gulf in 1944 and Lingayen Gulf in 1945.

The name “Arunta” comes from the Arrernte Aboriginal people (also spelt “Arunda” or “Aranda”) located in central Australia.