HMAS Echidna (Mon 1926+)


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The Australis Navy had had a chance to view Monitor type vessels in operation at the Dardanelles. When the twin 12"  turret off the Coromandel (ex Lord Nelson) became available, the bureau of design asked for the plans of the last Royal Navy monitors the Erebus class. The designers used the Erebus as the basis for the Echidna and Maranoa types that were exactly the same except for their main armaments.

After the first unit was completed in 1926, further turrets became available from the conversion of the battleship Agincourt to the aircaraft carrier Van Diemen. The first 3 were used in making this clas up to 4 ships. The vessels were not laid down all together as they were not a high priority and the 3 units were laid down between 1927 to 1933.


In service the ships proved to be ecconomical steamers which made them good for training ships. They were a common sight on weekends, steaming up and down the coasts near Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide, introducing the weekend warriors to their craft.


Displacement 6400 tons std, 8,100 tons full load
Length 330 ft
Breadth 79 ft
Draught 12 ft
Machinery 2 shaft steam turbines, 9,000shp
Speed 17 knots
Range 3500 miles at 12 knots
Armour 4" side, 3" deck, 11" turret.
Armament 2 x 12 " (1x2)

4 x 4" (4x1)

4 x 2pd (1x4)

8 x 20mm (1x2 6x1)

Aircraft nil
Torpedoes nil
Complement 320
Notes HMAS Echidna (1926)

HMAS Quoll (1930)

HMAS Bandicoot (1932)

HMAS Wombat (1934)


Full size Erebus class (405x88) with 15" guns that were available as Renown and Repulse were fitted with 3 instead of the 4 of the R Class battleships.


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