THE former HMAS Sydney is being towed around southern Australia on its last voyage before it is cut up for scrap at Henderson.
The decommissioned Adelaide-class guided-missile frigate – not to be confused with the Leander-class light cruiser of the same name sunk off WA by the German ship Kormoran in 1941 – left Sydney last week after the Federal Government could not get any takers from any states for the vessel to be become a dive wreck.
Defence Personnel Minister Dan Tehan said the ship would be recycled by the Birdon shipping company.
“Ex-HMAS Sydney had an illustrious career during her 32 years in service with the Royal Australian Navy,” Mr Tehan said.
“The Adelaide-class frigate was involved in operations spanning the Middle East, East Timor, Fiji and the Solomon Islands and earned a meritorious unit citation during the first Gulf War in 1991.
“She was built at the Todd Pacific Shipyards in Seattle and commissioned on January 29, 1983.”
The ship was decommissioned on November 7, 2015 to make way for the Hobart-class guided missile destroyers, which will provide Australia with an improved war fighting capability.
“Sydney had been offered to states and territories for use as a dive wreck, however, there was no interest in the ship, so the government decided to recycle her by scrapping,” Mr Tehan said.
A new HMAS Sydney is slowly taking shape as the navy’s third air warfare destroyer at the ASC shipyards in South Australia.
Last Monday the mast of the new ship was successfully loaded on to the hull.
This milestone followed the mast stepping ceremony, a long-standing naval tradition, which involves placing a coin under the mast for good luck.