Royal Australian Navy

Operator Profile

History

Narrative Summary

To be added.

Key Dates

1928 First RAN avation unit taken over by the RAAF.
1946 Post-WW2 defence review recommends Naval air arm.
June 1947 First aircraft carrier purchased from the UK.
3 July 1947 Navy-controlled Australian Fleet Air Arm formally established.
December 1948 Aircraft carrier HMAS Sydney enters service.
1951 RAN units participate in the Korean War.
1955 First jet combat aircraft received – Sea Venom.
June 1983 Carrier aviation ends in the RAN.
1991 RAN units participate in the 1st Gulf War.
2000 Last fixed-wing aircraft retired.

Current Status

All RAN helicopters are currently active.

Future Plans

No plans known.


Markings

National Insignia

Navy aircraft originally operated in full Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm markings, with red/white/blue roundels in the standard six positions plus a fin flash. From September 1956 a roundel with a red kangaroo in the centre was adopted. In accordance with revised Royal Navy practice, the fin flash was also deleted around this time. The service titles ‘NAVY’ were not introduced until after the Korean War, and applied to the fuselage sides of all in-service types. In the 1980s a low-visibility black or grey version of the kangaroo roundel was introduced.

Aircraft Serial Numbers

Aircraft operating with the RAN originally retained their Royal Navy FAA serials, but in 1965 a system similar to the RAAF prefix number system was introduced. RAN aircraft serials would now consist of a prefix identifying the basic aircraft followed by an individual aircraft number, e.g. Wessex N7-200. This new system was only applied to newly delivered aircraft, although the ex-US Navy S-2 Trackers retained their US Navy BuA numbers. In the early 1970s the Navy system was integrated with the RAAF system, whereby N17 was used by Navy Kiowas and A17 by Air Force Kiowas.

Unit/Base Codes

The RAN still uses a coding system based on the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm aircraft coding system introduced in 1946. It consists of a 3-digit number, where the first digit indicated the aircraft layout of function, and the remaining two digits were an individual number, e.g. Single-seaters used 100 series codes. In 1955 all second-line units switched to 900 series codes, and in 1958 all RAN aircraft were recoded with 800 series codes. By the 1970s all 800 series codes had been used up and the Sea Kings received 900 series codes. The Navy now uses a mix of 800 series and 900 series codes for reasons of tradition, while contractor supplied types use their construction numbers as codes. Royal Navy style ship or airfield letter codes have also been carried on the fin since the early days.


Aircraft

Aircraft Designations

None – Manufacturers designations used

Current Aircraft Inventory

Table of Current Service Aircraft

All-Time Aircraft Used List

All-Time Table of Aircraft Used

Aircraft NOT Used

A 2006 order for IAI I-View 250 Surveilance UAVs was cancelled in 2008.

Aircraft Losses and Incidents

To be added.


Organisation

Main Headquarters

Fleet Air Arm Headquarters, HMAS Albatross, Nowra, NSW.

Organisational Structure

The Australian Navy Aviation Group currently comprises of four squadrons – two operational units and two training units.

Current Order of Battle

Table of Current Order of Battle

Historical Orders of Battle

List of Historical Orders of Battle – to be added.

All-Time Flying Units List

Units Listing


Air Bases

Current Air Bases

RAN helicopters are based at Nowra, NSW.

All-Time Air Bases Used List

To be added.
Aircraft-Carrying Ships Listing – to be added.


More Information

Books

None known.

Magazines

To be added

Websites

wikipedia: Fleet Air Arm (RAN)
Official website
ADF Serials

Any photographs illustrating this operator would be welcome.

 

All-Time Aircraft Used List
Royal Australian Navy

Aircraft Type Quantity Service Entry Out of Service Origin
Aermacchi MB.326H 10 1970 1983 Australia
Aerospatiale AS350B Ecureuil 13 1983 current France
AgustaWestland A109E Power 3 2007 2012 leased
Airspeed Oxford ? ? ? RAAF
Auster J/5G Autocar 2 1953 1963 UK
Avro 504L 1 1920 1920 UK
BAE Systems MQM-107E Kalkara 20 1998 2008 Australia
Bell UH-1B/C Iroquois 9 1963 1989 USA
Bell UH-1H Iroquois ? ? ? RAAF
Bell 206B Kalkadoon 6 1971 1998 USA/Australia
Bell 429 Global Ranger 3 2012 current leased
Bristol 171 Sycamore HR Mk 50/51 13 1953 1977 UK
Commonwealth CA-16 Wirraway 18 1948 1957 Australia
Curtiss P-40N Kittyhawk IV 1 ? ? USA
de Havilland D.H.82A Tiger Moth 4 1948 1958 Australia
de Havilland D.H.100 Vampire F.30 8 ? ? UK
de Havilland D.H.115 Sea Vampire T.22 4 1957 1970 UK
de Havilland D.H.115 Vampire T.34/34A 6 1954 1970 Australia
de Havilland D.H.112 Sea Venom FAW.53 39 1956 1978 UK
de Havilland D.H.112 Sea Venom FAW.20 ? 1955 ? loaned
Douglas A-4G Skyhawk 16 1967 1983 USA
Douglas TA-4G Skyhawk 4 1971 1982 USA
Douglas C-47A Dakota 4 1949 1977 USA
Fairey IIID 6 1921 1929 UK
Fairey Firefly T.1 ? 1950 ? UK
Fairey Firefly FR.4 2 1949 1958 UK
Fairey Firefly AS.5 37 1949 1966 UK
Fairey Firefly T.5 4 1948 1966 UK
Fairey Firefly AS.6 69 1950 1966 UK
Fairey Gannet A.S.1/4 33 1955 1977 UK
Fairey Gannet T.2/T.5 4 1957 1977 UK
Fokker F27-500 Friendship 1 ? 2010 Ex-civil
GAF Jindivik 42 1966 2000 RAAF
Gates Learjet 3 ? ? leased
Grumman CS-2A Tracker 1 1972 ? USA
Grumman S-2E Tracker 15 1967 1984 USA
Grumman S-2G Tracker 16 1977 1984 USA
Hawker Sea Fury FB.11 101 1949 1963 UK
Hawker Siddeley H.S.748 2 1973 1998 UK
IAI 1124A Westwind II 1 ? 2009 leased
Kaman SH-2G Super Seasprite 11 2004 2008 USA
NH Industries MRH-90 2 2007 current France
Northrop KD2R-5 Shelduck ? 1965 1973 USA
Sikorsky HO3S-1 Dragonfly 2 1950 1951 loaned
Sikorsky MH-60R Sea Hawk 24 2013 current USA
Sikorsky S-70B-2 Sea Hawk 16 1987 current USA/Australia
Sopwith 1F.1 Camel 7 1917 1919 UK
Sopwith Baby 1 1917 1917 UK
Sopwith Pup 3 1917 1918 UK
Sopwith 1 ½ Strutter 3 1918 1919 UK
Supermarine Seagull III 9 1926 1936 UK
Supermarine Seagull V (Walrus) 36 1939 1949 UK
Supermarine Sea Otter 5 1948 1953 UK
Supermarine Spitfire Vc 1 ? ? UK
Supermarine Spitfire VIII 15 1948 1952 UK
Vought OS2U-3 Kingfisher 1 1948 1948 USA
Vultee Vengeance 12 1949 1955 USA
Westland Scout AH.1 2 1963 1977 UK
Westland S-51 Dragonfly H.R.3 2 1951 ? loaned
Westland S-58 Wessex HAS.31A 27 1962 1968 UK
Westland S-58 Wessex HAS.31B 25 1968 1990 upgrade
Westland S-61 Sea King Mk.50 15 1974 1998 UK