The biggest news in the past 12 months for the Australian Royal Navy was all about what lies ahead.
The federal government announced it would significantly beef up the fleet, and there’s three contenders in the running to build the RAN a new $40 billion submarine fleet.
That program got a major boost this year, taking the lion’s share of a $30 billion budget boost from the Turnbull government today.
Defence minister Marise Payne said it is “the most ambitious plan to regenerate the Royal Australian Navy since the Second World War”.
The tension in the South China Sea continued to simmer on a slow boil. The RAN said it would go ahead with joint naval drills with China, while supporting US naval patrols which Beijing described as “dangerous and provocative”.
There was some controversy over the RAN’s involvement in turning asylum-seekers back.
And in the Middle East as part of the multinational Combined Maritime Forces, RAN’s ships have raked in several billion dollars worth of illicit drugs.
Quite a lot of it was captured in some spectacular images, all available at the RAN’s site here. We’ve gathered the best of them.