Launched on 1 December 1978, the HMAS Canberra FFG-02 was built by Todd Pacific Shipyards Corporation in Seattle, Washington, USA. The second of six similar FFG-7 Class Guided Missile Frigates, she was commissioned on 21 March 1981.
The HMAS Canberra and her five sister frigates (HMA Ships Adelaide, Sydney, Darwin, Melbourne, and Newcastle), were the first Royal Australian Navy (RAN) ships to be powered by gas turbines for their main propulsion.
The HMAS Canberra’s role was to operate with other maritime forces to help keep the world’s sea lanes open and free by providing protection for military and merchant convoys.
To achieve this, she was specifically designed to simultaneously counter the threats posed by submarines, air, surface and subsurface launched missiles and enemy warships.
Accordingly, the ship was fitted with long-range radar, sonar and electronic surveillance sensors which were coordinated by high-speed computers to provide data for the ship’s weapon systems.
The weapons systems of the HMAS Canberra FFG-02 included shipborne and helicopter-borne torpedo delivery systems, surface to air and surface to surface guided missiles, a rapid-firing gun and electronic decoy devices. This weapons fit was intended to provide an in-depth defence for both the ship and the force or convoy she was protecting.
The HMAS Canberra was powered by two computer-controlled gas turbine engines operating through a controllable pitch propeller to give the ship high maneuverability and the ability to be “on-line” in less than one-eighth of the time required by steam turbine ships.
Scuba Diving the EX HMAS Canberra
Diving this Magnificent Wreck is a must when you’re in Victoria.
Starting at 8 meters with a max depth of 29 meters our new shipwreck is filled with loads of fun and excitement, From Open Water Students right through to advanced and wreck certified divers to penetrate at will and explore the ships alleyways.
Sunken warships are not that unique because most are spontaneously placed by an act of war or weather. But in most cases, warships are sunk too deep for any diver to visit. That’s not the case in Victoria, Australia. We already have warships and submarines, plus numerous other wrecks which were deliberately scuttled in-depth accessible to both recreational and technical scuba divers.
So, as magnificent as we expect diving the 138 metres (453 feet) long, 14.3 metres (47 feet) beam, 4,100 tonnes (4,519 short tons) displacement ex HMAS Canberra FFG-02 will eventually be, once the ship has been prepared and scuttled, there are plenty of other reasons to come and dive in the temperate waters of Victoria, Australia — today!
You will be sure to rate this wreck dive
HMAS Canberra Ship Specifications
Built by Todd Pacific Shipyards Corporation Seattle, Washington, USA
Keel laid 1 March 1978
Launched 1 December 1978
Commissioned 21 March 1981
Launching lady Lady Marjorie Tange
Length 138.1 metres (453 feet)
Beam 14.3 metres (47 feet) Draught 7.5 metres (25 feet)
Displacements 4,100 tonne (4,519 short tons)
Ship’s Company Approximately 210
Armament Mark 13 Guided Missile Launcher Harpoon anti-surface missile Standard anti-aircraft missile
Combat systems 76mm rapid-fire gun, Harpoon anti-ship missiles, Standard surface to air missiles, Phalanx Mk15 close-in weapon system, 2 triple anti-submarine torpedo tubes for Mk 46 torpedoes
Propulsion Two 270 kilowatts (362 horsepower) Electric Drive Auxiliary Propulsion Units and a Single Controllable Reversible Pitch Propellor
Maximum Speed More than 30 knots (56 kpm)
Range 7,250 kilometres (4,505 miles) at 20 knots (37 kpm)
Aircraft carried Two S-70B Sea Hawk helicopters
Motto “For Queen And Country”