IN PHOTOS: A look inside an Australian navy ship
JAKARTA, Indonesia – Australian Navy ship HMAS Darwin is currently docked at Jakarta’s Tanjung Priok en route to the Middle East.
The crew of more than 200 will spend 6 months undertaking anti-drug smuggling and anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden, between Yemen and Somalia in the Horn of Africa.
In the past, HMAS Darwin was deployed to East Timor as part of a peacekeeping task force, as well as 5 deployments to the Persian Gulf and previous deployments to the Middle East.
The ship with remain in Jakarta for Australia Day and will then set off for India in the days following.
Here's a look inside the working guided-missile frigate:
The HMAS Darwin, commissioned in July, 1984 has docked at Jakarta’s Tanjung Priok on it’s way to the Middle East. It will be one of the ship's final voyages before it is decommissioned next year.
The crew of more than 200 will spend six months patrolling the Gulf of Aden, between Yemen and Somalia, in anti-drug smuggling and piracy operations.
One navigator said of the 13 years he’d spent in the Navy, he’d spent only 3 of those in Australia.
For some crew members, however, this will be their first long voyage. Many have spent recent trips patrolling Australia’s borders and turning back asylum seeker boats.
In 2014, HMAS Darwin intercepted a boat carrying almost 450 kilograms of heroin off the coast of Somalia. The drugs had an estimated street value of $132 million.
The ship holds a number of explosives on board, including medium-range surface to air missiles designed to be fired at enemy aircrafts. The ship also utilizes Harpoon anti-ship missiles, to counter water threats.
The ship also houses two Seahawk helicopters, used mainly in anti-submarine warfare. Manned by three crew, the helicopter can fire two torpedoes and uses sonobuoys to detect submarine movements in the water.
One of the most important seats onboard: the pilot's seat. The steering wheel is detachable, but even without it there are enough dials and buttons to keep you entertained for hours. Some of these buttons are comms, engine status, direction and speed. There is also, of course, a drink holder.
The navy uses electronic mapping to navigate, but is still equipped with physical charts in case of emergencies. Navigators work the longest hours on the ship, monitoring dangers at sea, weather conditions, international boundaries and more.
The HMAS Darwin's radar, which gives the location of all nearby vessels. – Rappler.com