Australian Defence Force – Fremantle Class Disposal
The Fremantle Class Patrol Boats (FCPB) were coastal patrol vessels operated by the Royal Australian Navy from 1979 to 2007. Designed by British shipbuilder Brooke Marine and constructed in Australia, the Fremantle Class were larger, more powerful, and more capable than the preceding Attack Class. The Fremantle Class also appeared in two drama television series based on the RAN. From May 2005 they were replaced by the Armidale Class Patrol Boats with the last two Fremantles decommissioning in May 2007.
The disposal contract required Birdon to disassemble eleven FCPBs for scrap. Birdon undertook all aspects of the disposal including: Project Planning, Contract Management, Quality Environmental & Safety Management, and Commercial Support.
After decommissioning at Darwin Naval Base, the vessels were towed to Birdon’s subcontract yard, Darwin Ship Repair and Engineering (now known as Pearl Marine Engineering), where they were broken up. As part of the contract terms, Birdon retained the MTU Detroit Diesel Engines for preservation, refurbishment and on sale to the commercial market. A few of these low running hours engines are still available for sale from Birdon.