RNZN Fairmile Type B Motor Launch - From the Shipyards of New Zealand

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Fairmile Type B Motor Launchs (Q 400 - 411)


RNZN Fairmiles in transit to the Solomon Islands

TL;DR:
Coastal vessel, New Zealander Fairmile B, lighter firepower than the in-game one.

Overview:
In 1941, the Royal New Zealand Navy ordered 12 Fairmile B motor launches for anti-submarine port patrol. As opposed to many other RNZN vessels, the boats were to be built at local shipyards, with design drawings sent to New Zealand along with components like engines and weaponry. The ships were built out of local kauri wood with supplied hull parts from Fairmile. The first Fairmile Bs were finished in late 1942, and were rather lightly armed with a 2-pdr, an Oerlikon, and some depth charges. They were used to patrol the harbours of Wellington and Auckland against enemy submarines, but saw no action. In 1944 they were transferred to the Solomon Islands, with a refit replacing the 2-pdr with another Oerlikon (and for one ship, ML400, briefly fitted with a Bofors). They averaged 2400nmi of patrolling each month, but still did not see action.

In 1945 the ships returned to New Zealand and were soon paid off. The ships were popular among private entities as personal boats or ferries, with all the RNZN Fairmiles having decently long civilian careers post-war. 2, ex-ML409 and ML411 were repurchased by the RNZN in the 1950s, albeit without any armament, and both served until 1965 when they were sold again. Ironically enough, it was only in civilian service that some of them would see action, such as Iris Moana (ex-ML409), which was hijacked by Sri Lankan Tamil rebels which held the ferry and its crew hostage for 2 years. By now, almost all the RNZN Fairmiles have been sunk or scrapped, with only one of them still extant, the Motunui (ex-ML406), which seems to have been permanently moored at the town of Raglan.

Ship List:

ML400 (Q 400) - HMNZS Kahu (1944), Dolphin (1947), Cumulus (1955),
ML401 (Q 401) - Mahurangi (1947)
ML402 (Q 402) - Ngaroma (1947)
ML403 (Q 403) - Tiare (1947)
ML404 (Q 404) - Deborah Bay (1947)
ML405 (Q 405) - Marlyn (1947)
ML406 (Q 406) - Rodney Farry (1947), New Venture (1949), Motunui (1950)
ML407 (Q 407) - Wailana (1947)
ML408 (Q 408) - Karamana (1947), Colville (1956), Adi Litia (1985)
ML409 (Q 409) - Iris Moana (1947), HMNZS Iris Moana (P3570) (1953), ML P3570 (1955), HMNZS Maori (1956), Iris Moana (1964) - bruh what was the deal with this ship’s name.
ML410 (Q 410) - La Reta (1947), Sayandra (1963)
ML411 (Q 411) - HMNZS Kahu (P3571) (1950), HMNZS Philomel (1961)

Specifications:

Armament:

As built

1x1 40mm Rolls-Royce 2pdr Mk.XIV
1x1 20mm Oerlikon Mk.I
2x2 7.7mm Vickers GO
2 Y-gun DCT, 6 depth charges
14 DC chutes, 14 depth charges

1944

2x1 20mm Oerlikon Mk.I
2x2 7.7mm Vickers GO
2 Y-gun DCT, 6 depth charges
14 DC chutes, 14 depth charges

ML400 (1944)

1x1 40mm Bofors L/60
1x1 20mm Oerlikon Mk.I
2x2 7.7mm Vickers GO
2 Y-gun DCT, 6 depth charges
14 DC chutes, 14 depth charges

Displacement:
73 tons standard
88 tons full

Length: 34.1m

Beam: 5.5m

Draft: 1.6m

Propulsion: 2 Hall-Scott Defender petrol engines, 1260 hp, driving 2 shafts

Speed: 18.5 knots (34.3 km/h)

Range: 1100 nmi (at 9.5 knots)

Crew: 16

Systems:
ASDIC sonar

​Images:

image
ML403’s launching
image




image
Ngaroma and Iris Moana as ferries in 1982
Drawings:

Sources:
Lambert, J., & Ross, A. (1990). The Fairmile B type motor launch. In Allied Coastal Forces of World War II. Fairmile Designs and US Submarine Chasers (pp. 29–68). Conway Maritime Press Ltd.
McDougall, R. J. (1989). Fairmile ‘B’ class. In New Zealand Naval Vessels (pp. 85–88). Government Printing Office.

Images:

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+1 more coastal vessels

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Australia used Fairmile Bs as well. Would love to see a tree with AU/NZ naval.

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