Warships come in all shapes and sizes, and the hugely impressive Australian naval vessel, the HMAS Vampire, is a fine example of this. The ship today serves as a floating naval museum, but for the best part of thirty years it served with honour and distinction as part of the Australian Navy. Today, it is well-regarded as an excellent part of the late-50s era of Australian naval vessels.
Keen to show your knowledge of Australian naval history off? Then add our gorgeous replicate of the HMAS Vampire to your collection. Ideal on its own or as part of a wider collection, this is a must-own for any Australian proud of the nations naval capabilities going back decades.
The Vampire was a Daring-class destroyer that was developed as part of a wider British naval initiative. The development of this ship came after the end of the Second World War, with the British working towards development that could ensure the Cold War period did not end in something a little bit more serious. The Daring-class units were split among Australia and Britain, with eleven of the twenty planned units built in the end.
The HMAS Vampire helped to succeed the outdated Battle-class warships. Comissioned from 1952 until 2007, this particular class of ship retained huge popularity and affection among naval lovers for years to come. The Vampir was laid down in 1953 by the Cockatoo Island Dockyard. It launched in 1956, and joined service formally in June 1959. From then on, it enjoyed a rather nomadic experience, and gained a few interesting nicknames – including The Bat Mobile, rather hilariously.
With exceptional speed for such a large vessel, the Vampire could hit speeds as fast as 30 knots and could manage a range of some 4,300 miles. With a crew of over 300, too, it was a well-staffed vessel. In terms of its actual profile and purpose, the Vampire was regarded as being capable of handling just about any at-sea threat that could have come along during its era of usage.
Most of its time was spent as part of the Southeast Asian theatre, though it also flew under the banner of the Far East Strategic Reserve. It took part in the Indonesia and Malaysia conflict, serving as an ally of Malaysia. During the 1970s, too, it served as part of the Vietnam War in a deterrence role, before being used to provide security for the Royal Family when they visited Australia in 1977.
In 1980, the Vampire became a training ship and eventually finished up its career as a valued vessel in 1986. At this point, it was decommissioned after the best part of three decades of reliable and consistent service. Though it might have seen less action than the vessels which came before, the Vampire is still well-regarded for its service to the RAN.
It was gifted to the Australian National Maritime Museum and has been on display since the 1990s. Today, it remains as a preserved museum ship alongside other famous vessels lik the HMAS Onslow and the HMAS Advanced.