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HMAS Onslow facts for kids

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A submarine tied up alongside a wharf on a calm day. Numerous skyscrapers are in the background
HMAS Onslow on display at the Australian National Maritime Museum
Career (Australia)
Namesake: Town of Onslow, Western Australia
Ordered: 1963
Builder: Scotts Shipbuilding and Engineering Company, Greenock
Laid down: 4 December 1967
Launched: 3 December 1968
Commissioned: 22 December 1969
Decommissioned: 29 March 1999
Refit: Modernisation (1982–1984)
Homeport: HMAS Platypus Sydney
Motto: Festina Lente ("Hasten Slowly")
Status: Museum ship at the Australian National Maritime Museum
Quick facts for kids
General characteristics
Class and type: Oberon-class submarine
Displacement:
  • 1,610 tons standard
  • 2,030 tons surfaced
  • 2,410 tons submerged
Length: 295.2 ft (90.0 m)
Beam: 26.5 ft (8.1 m)
Draught: 18 ft (5.5 m)
Propulsion:
  • 2 × Admiralty Standard Range supercharged V16 diesel generators
  • 2 × English Electric motors
  • 3,500 bhp, 4,500 shp
  • 2 shafts
Speed:
  • 12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph) surfaced
  • 17 knots (31 km/h; 20 mph) submerged
  • 11 knots (20 km/h; 13 mph) at snorkel depth
Range: 9,000 nautical miles (17,000 km; 10,000 mi) at 12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph)
Test depth: 200 metres (660 ft)
Complement:
  • As launched:
  • 8 officers, 56 sailors
  • At decommissioning:
  • 8 officers, 60 sailors
Sensors and
processing systems:
  • Sonar:
  • Atlas Elektronik Type CSU3-41 bow array
  • BAC Type 2007 flank array
  • Sperry BQG-4 Micropuffs rangefinding array
  • Radar:
  • Kelvin Hughes Type 1006
Armament:
  • Torpedo tubes:
  • 6 × 21-inch (53 cm) bow tubes
  • 2 × short-length 21-inch (53 cm) stern tubes (later removed)
  • Payload: Mix of 20:
  • Mark 48 Mod 4 torpedoes
  • UGM-84 Sub Harpoon missiles
Notes: Taken from:

HMAS Onslow (SS 60/SSG 60) was one of six Oberon-class submarines operated by the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). The submarine was named after the town of Onslow, Western Australia, and Sir Alexander Onslow, with the boat's motto and badge derived from Onslow's family heritage. Ordered in 1963, Onslow was laid down at the end of 1967 by Scotts Shipbuilding and Engineering Company in Scotland, launched almost a year later, and commissioned into the RAN at the end of 1969.

Although never involved in war, three major incidents occurred during Onslow's career. The first occurred in 1972, when a disgruntled sailor who disobeyed orders caused the submarine to dive to almost twice her safe operating depth. As a result, the RAN changed the Submarine Service from being able to "conscript" any sailor for submarine service to volunteer only.

The second happened in 1981, when carbon monoxide fumes from one of the diesel generators filled the submarine, resulting in the death of one sailor. Although changes were made to submarine operating procedures, the boat's company was not provided with any psychological counselling, and the incident report remained classified until 2009. The third was a controversial line-crossing ceremony in 1995, which resulted in restrictions being placed on similar ceremonies aboard RAN vessels. During her career, Onslow became the first conventionally powered submarine to be fitted with anti-ship missiles, and was successful in wargames, "sinking" a seven-ship flotilla during Exercise Kangaroo 3 in 1980 and the United States supercarrier USS Carl Vinson at RIMPAC 1998.

Onslow was decommissioned in 1999, and was presented to the Australian National Maritime Museum, where she is preserved as a museum ship.

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