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Thursday, 21 September 1972
Page: 1745

Mr HANSEN (WIDE BAY, QUEENSLAND) - My question is directed to the Minister for the Navy. Has the Department of the Navy given consideration to acquiring fast missile-carrying patrol boats such as the Komar class patrol boat used by the Soviet Navy? What are the cost differentials between this type of vessel and the DDL? How many more Komar class boats than DDLs could we acquire for the same amount of money?

Dr MACKAY - The answer to the honourable gentleman's first question is yes. The Komar and Osa class patrol boats used by the Soviet Union have been considered for particular purposes. Their role is extremely limited. At the present moment a study is beginning within the Department of the Navy of the replacement in the future of our 'Attack' class patrol boat with a more sophisticated boat which undoubtedly would carry a missile. However, in regard to comparisons with the DDLs, there is a tremendous wealth of evidence to indicate that, although these smaller boats might be faster in calm conditions, they just could not perform such duties as surveillance in particular, escort duties and anti-aircraft defence duties. There are many roles that could not be fulfilled by a small patrol boat type of craft. This study is produced in detail and already a lot is in print to demonstrate what I have outlined. If the honourable member would like to have more information on this matter 1 will see that a comprehensive analysis of the study involved is made available to him.

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