Good deal on slightly used minesweepers, some assembly required
If you are in the market for some pre-owned warships, the Royal Australian Navy wants to make a deal. Working through a commercial service, the Navy advertised the HMAS Hawkesbury and HMAS Norman for sale “Sold As Is Where Is.”
The 172-foot long mine hunters have composite hulls designed to “flex inwards if an undersea explosion occurs nearby,” which is always a good thing.
Built in 2000 as part of a six-ship class to an Italian design (Lerici-class, the same as the U.S. Navy’s short-lived Osprey-class MHCs) both Hawkesbury and Norman were laid up in 2011 and have been in storage ever since while the other four ships have remained with the fleet.
Sadly, it looks like their DS30B 30mm Bushmaster cannons and M2 .50-cal machine guns have been removed, but the vendor offering them for sale suggests they could be turned into luxury yachts or charter vessels.
Not mentioned is a Jacques Cousteau/Steve Zissou-style recycle.
No price is listed but the vendor, Grays Online, does caution that the ships have had their shafts and propellers removed and would have to be towed off by the buyer, saying, “inspection is highly recommended.”