River Class Destroyer Escort - Operational History

Operational History

During their careers, the River class ships spent most of their time in Australian waters or on multinational exercises, but were regularly deployed to the Far East Strategic Reserve, and saw service during the Indonesia-Malaysia Confrontation.

During 1967 and 1968, Stuart and Yarra were used to escort the troop transport HMAS Sydney on voyages to Vietnam.

During the mid-1970s, Yarra underwent a half-life refit, which included the removal of her remaining Limbo, and installation of a Mulloka sonar. Parramatta underwent a more extensive modernisation during the late 1970s, with a new fire control system, modification of the boilers and electrical system, and habitability improvements. Stuart and Derwent underwent similar modernisations between 1979 and 1985. Modernisation was planned for Swan and Torrens during the mid-1980s, but a lack of funding meant that the ships only underwent a half-life refit.

At the start of 1984, Stuart became the first RAN vessel permanently assigned to HMAS Stirling, the new base in Western Australia.

In 1992, reports of sexual harassment aboard Swan prompted investigations by the Australian Defence Force and a Senate committee review.

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