At a ceremony in Hobart today HMAS Jervis Bay (045), the Incat 86m wavepiercing catamaran built for commercial service, completed her distinguished mission with the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) following a two-year charter. She was commissioned for logistics operations between Australia and East Timor in May 1999.
Since her debut with the navy HMAS Jervis Bay, Incat hull number 045, has completed 107 trips between Darwin and Dili, transporting personnel and equipment as part of the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET).
The Maritime Commander, Rear Admiral Geoff Smith AM RAN, paid tribute to HMAS Jervis Bay saying that “she was precisely the vessel we wanted in the East Timor crisis, we needed to transport personnel quickly, reliably and in large numbers”.
Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral David Shackleton also paid tribute stating “HMAS Jervis Bay, affectionately referred to as the ‘Dili Express’, served Australia well and successfully filled a shortfall in the Navy’s operational capability”. He went on to say that “she has been extensively trialed and assessed during her service and the RAN has obtained much valuable data for use in the future.”
The advent of the Timor crisis gave rise to an immediate need to transport large numbers of troops and equipment quickly. Travelling at 43 knots fully loaded and 48 knots lightship, HMAS Jervis Bay usually crossed between Darwin and Dilli in approximately 11 hours.
Just as Incat identified the fast ferry niche over a decade ago another area of the marine world in need of radical development has been identified. The US military is particularly impressed with the high-speed platform, to the extent that HMAS Jervis Bay is said to have “stunned” US 7th Fleet personnel during East Timor peacekeeping operations.
With its sights set on the military Incat is committed to revolutionise the way world navies think about, and use, innovative fast craft technology.
HMAS Jervis Bay Facts & Figures
During her two year charter to the Royal Australian Navy HMAS Jervis Bay completed 107 trips covering some 100,000 nautical miles, carried 20,000 passengers and 430 military vehicles. In addition, an impressive 5,600 tonnes of stores were shipped.