HMAS Stuart (DE 48)


HMAS Stuart (DE 48)

HMAS "Stuart" (F 21/DE 48) was one of six "River" class destroyer escorts built for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).

Construction

HMAS "Stuart" was laid down by Cockatoo Docks and Engineering Company in Sydney on 20 March 1959. She was launched on 8 April 1961 by Mrs. J. G. Gorton, wife of the Minister for the Navy and commissioned into the RAN in Sydney on 28 June 1963.

Operational history

HMAS "Stuart" was the first ship in the RAN to conduct trials on the Seacat short range anti-air missile system and the Australian designed and manufactured Ikara anti-submarine missile system.

From late 1968 until 1969, "Stuart" was designated Flagship of the RAN, while the aircraft carrier HMAS "Melbourne" underwent a major refit.Trevor Weaver (1994). "Q class Destroyers and Frigates of the Royal Australian Navy", pg 214]

In 1970, she carried out escort duties for the Royal Yacht "Brittannia" during the visit to Australia by Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh.

In 1979, "Stuart" began an extensive modernisation involving the fitting of new sensor and weapons systems, such as the Australian designed and built Mulloka sonar system, SPS-55 surface-search/navigation radar, and a pair of Mk 32 triple torpedo tubes. Conditions of habitability were also improved.

In January 1984 ,"Stuart" became the first major RAN warship to be homeported in Western Australia.

In 1987 she returned to Sydney for a six month refit, followed by six months in the training squadron with HMAS "Stalwart" and HMAS "Jervis Bay". In November 1988, she returned for her second homeporting in Western Australia.

HMAS "Stuart", nicknamed "the Tartan Terror", was paid off into reserve on 26 July 1991. She was later sold for scrapping

References

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