Royal Australian Navy’s Anzac-class frigate HMAS Perth carried out a security patrol of oil and gas platforms located on the Western Australian North West Shelf while en route to the Middle East and Operation Manitou.
The ship departed Rockingham, WA, on June 7 to relieve Adelaide class frigate, HMAS Darwin, as Australia’s contribution to the maritime security operation.
Of great national importance, the North West Shelf is key to the Australian economy, given that the region’s oil and gas platforms produce sixty five percent of Western Australia’s domestic gas needs whilst also accounting for more than forty 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, whilst the wider Pilbara region accounts for approximately 20 per cent of Australia’s exports.
Perth’s Commanding Officer, Captain Ivan Ingham, said the domestic tasking en route, part of Australia’s wider border protection plan, was an important 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.
This particular patrol was greatly enhanced by Perth’s embarked MH-60R ‘Romeo’ helicopter. The MH-60R provides extended surface search and surveillance capabilities to conduct a wider patrol of the region.