HMAS Sirius, once part of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN)’s fleet, has bid farewell to its days at sea as it undergoes recycling.

In a departure from its days as a naval asset, HMAS Sirius, one of the largest vessels to grace Australian waters, has embarked on its final journey – this time to the scrapyard. After 15 years of service as a RAN fuel tanker, the decommissioned ship has been transformed into scrap metal, marking the end of an era.

Located at the Australian Maritime Complex facility near Perth, industry partner Birdon Group took on the task of dismantling Sirius, a vessel steeped in history and significance. 

Acting First Assistant Secretary Strategy Planning and Independent Assurance Suzanne Kerrigan expressed satisfaction at Birdon Group’s successful bid.  

“We are pleased to see the successful disposal of one of the largest ships in Australia to have been awarded to an Australian industry partner,” Ms Kerrigan said.

Initially commissioned in 2006 and named in honour of HMS Sirius of the First Fleet, the vessel underwent modifications to fulfil its role as a naval fuel tanker. Over the years, HMAS Sirius played a role in various operations, from delivering fuel to the RAN fleet at sea to conducting patrols during operations Resolute and Red Raptor.

Following its final deployment to Southeast Asia and the South West Pacific, HMAS Sirius officially retired from service in December 2021. As it undergoes recycling, the ship’s materials will find new life in projects across Australia and beyond. 

Despite this development, naval vessels and surface combatants are the second-largest sector by forecast value in Australia’s defence market, according to GlobalData. The cumulative market value is $9.9bn, with a positive CAGR of 2.4%. Australian expenditure on naval vessels is anticipated to increase from $1.5bn to $1.7bn in 2028.

Kerrigan highlighted the significance of recycling the vessel: “After the Sirius deconstruction, 99% of the ship’s materials have been recycled for the industry for the development of new projects, which will be used across Australia and the world. It is encouraging knowing that her ongoing service continues as she is recycled into new projects.”

Though its days at sea may be over, Sirius reincarnates through new ventures and endeavours.