Perth patrols North West Shelf

This article has photo gallery Published on LCDR Adam Cooper (author), ABIS Richard Cordell (photographer)

Topic(s): HMAS Perth (F157)

HMAS Perth sails through the oil rigs located in the North West Shelf off the coast of Western Australia. (photo: ABIS Richard Cordell)
HMAS Perth sails through the oil rigs located in the North West Shelf off the coast of Western Australia.

On passage to the Middle East for duties as part of Operation MANITOU, Anzac Class frigate HMAS Perth has conducted a security patrol of Western Australia’s North West Shelf.

The ship departed Rockingham on 7 June to relieve Adelaide Class frigate HMAS Darwin as Australia’s contribution to the maritime security operation.

Commanding Officer HMAS Perth, Captain Ivan Ingham, said the domestic tasking en route, part of Australia’s wider Border Protection plan, was an important Defence contribution to the Government’s maritime security arrangements to a strategic and economically vital region.

“The Royal Australian Navy’s routine and directed patrols provide a visible deterrence and surety that Defence is able to project force to respond to emerging situations and threats,” he said.

Of great national importance, the North West Shelf is key to the Australian economy, given that the region’s oil and gas platforms produce 65 percent of Western Australia’s domestic gas needs while also accounting for more than 40 per cent of Australia’s oil and gas production.

Australia’s liquefied natural gas industry is also the sixth-largest in the world and, since 1989, has produced sufficient energy to power an economy the size of Japan for over three years, while the wider Pilbara region accounts for approximately 20 per cent of Australia’s exports.

This particular patrol was greatly enhanced by Perth’s embarked MH-60R Romeo helicopter. The MH-60R provides greatly extended surface search and surveillance capabilities to conduct a much wider patrol of the region.