FFH151 was laid down in 1995 and commissioned in 1998. Her homeport is Fleet Base West in Western Australia, and her motto is "Conquer Or Die".
She is a long-range frigate capable of air defence, surface and undersea warfare, surveillance, reconnaissance and interdiction. Arunta's combat capabilities have been significantly improved under under the Anti-Ship Missile Defence upgrade program, a world class program that provides an enhanced sensor and weapons systems capability.
She is a 3,600-tonne (3,500-long-ton) ship, 118m (387ft) in overall length, 4.8m (49ft) across the beam and had a draught of 4.35m (14.3ft) at full load. She is capable of a 27-knot (50km/h; 31mph) top speed, and a range of 6,000 nautical miles (11,000km; 6,900mi) at 18 knots (33km/h; 21mph). Her hull and superstructure are of all-steel construction, and the ships are fitted with fin stabilisers.
Sencors and Decoys:
Sonars: Thomson Sintra Spherion B Mod 5; hull-mounted; active search and attack; medium frequency, and with provision for a towed array.
Air search radar: Raytheon AN/SPS-49(V)8 ANZ (C/D-band)
Search radar: CEA Technologies CEAFAR Active Phased Array Radar (S Band)
Navigation: Kelvin Hughes Sharpeye (I-band) Passive Detection: Sagem Vampir NG Infrared Search/track
Target Illumination Radar: CEA Technologies CEAMOUNT Active Phased Array Illuminator (X Band)
Combat data systems: Saab 9LV 453 Mk 3E.Link 11& Link16
Weapons control: Saab 9LV 453 radar/optronic director with CEA Solid State Continuous Wave Illuminator
Electronic warfare and decoys: Racal modified Sceptre A (radar intercept), Telefunken PST-1720 Telegon 10 (comms intercept) Decoys: G & D Aircraft SRBOC Mk 36 Mod 1 decoy launchers for SRBOC, BAE Systems Nulka active missile decoy.
Guns: 1 × 5 in/54 (127 mm) Mk 45 Mod 2 gun, 2 × Rafael Mini Typhoon 12.7mm (.50 cal) CIWS, small arms,
Missiles 2 × 4 Harpoon Block II anti-ship missiles, Mk 41 Mod 5 VLS for Sea Sparrow and Evolved Sea Sparrow
Torpedoes: 2 × triple 324 mm Mk 32 Mod 5 tubes with MU 90 Torpedo
Aircraft carried:1 × SH-60 Seahawk
For more information on her design and construction is the Anzac-class frigate page in the Frigates Index.
Operational historyIn September 2001, Arunta deployed to northern Australian waters in the wake of the Tampa affair. The ship participated in Operation Gaberdine and Operation Relex in two separate deployments. During the second deployment Arunta was involved in the interception and/or return of Suspected Illegal Entry Vessels (SIEV) 6, 7, and 9.
In 2002, Arunta saw active service for the first time when she participated as part of the third rotation of RAN ships to the Persian Gulf as part of Operation Slipper. The ship was involved in the enforcement of United Nations sanctions against Iraq, and at the time operated closer to the Iraqi coast than any other ship of the International Coalition Against Terrorism force. The ship's boarding parties effected 377 boardings during her four months on station.
On 19 December 2008, Arunta was dispatched from Fremantle to rescue injured yachtsman Yann Elies, who was participating in the Vendée Globe, a solo round-the-world yacht race Elies was stranded 1,480 kilometres (800 nmi; 920 mi) southwest of Perth, when his leg was broken in heavy seas.
In June 2014, modifications to Arunta as part of the Anti-Ship Missile Defence Project upgrade were completed. Arunta was the second ship of the class to be upgraded, with the installation of a CEAFAR Phased Array Radar and an upgraded SAAB Combat Management System, among other modifications, during an 18-month refit. The ship commenced post-refit sea trials at the end of June.
Honours and AwardsFollowing an overhaul of the RAN battle honours system, completed in March 2010, Arunta was retroactively awarded the honour "Persian Gulf 2001–02". She also has five inherited honours.
The Arrernte Aboriginal people of Central AustraliaThe name "Arunta" comes from the Arrernte Aboriginal people (also spelt "Arunda" or "Aranda") located in central Australia.
Selection of the Arunta name and original motto 'Conquer or Die' recognises the ship's proud history and the ongoing and special relationship with the ARRERNTE Aboriginal people.
The Arrernte region based around Alice Springs is large, and traditionally there have been many different aboriginal groups within it; each with their own language dialect. Language is strongly connected with family membership and the relationships to land and dreamings that go with this. Arrernte is known as a nation in itself to Aboriginal communities of Central Australia. Within these boundaries the ancestors of the modern Arrernte have roamed, hunted, and performed their ceremonies, just as their living descendants do in the present day.
Arrernte have always been traditional custodians of many of the river beds of Central Australia. Art, myths and ceremonies are at the centre of the Arrernte culture which is as strong and diverse today as it has ever been.
The Arrernte region itself is large and diverse and covers an area from Tea Tree to the north of Alice Springs, west to the WA border, east to the Queensland border and south to Uluru.
To maintain the warm and special bond between HMAS Arunta and the Arrernte people, the Arrernte Council presented HMAS Arunta with a flag displaying a perentie lizard. The lizard is an animal from the dreamtime for the Arrernte people.
HMAS Arunta also sponsors a perentie lizard, the ship's mascot, at Perth Zoo, Western Australia.