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Australia marks first-ever submarine visit to Brunei

HMAS Dechaineux
Royal Australian Navy file photo of a sailor on the casing of HMAS Dechaineux as the boat comes alongside Fleet Base West

Collins-class submarine HMAS Dechaineux called at the Muara Port over the weekend to become the first Royal Australian Navy submarine ever to visit Brunei Darussalam.

The official, three-day port visit for the boat and her 59 crew started on March 7 and was part of a regional deployment.

To mark the occasion, the head of the Royal Australian Navy, Vice Admiral Michael Noonan AO, welcomed Crown Prince of Brunei Darussalam and General of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces, His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah Ibni and His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah onboard HMAS Dechaineux to meet her crew.

Australian defense minister Linda Reynolds CSC said the visit was an opportunity for the Australian Navy to strengthen its partnership with the Royal Brunei Armed Forces in the region.

“The visit by HMAS Dechaineux reinforces the strong relationship our countries have, and our shared understanding of the importance of protecting maritime security in the region,” Minister Reynolds said.

Launched in 1998 and commissioned in 2001, HMAS Dechaineux is the fourth of overall six Collins-class submarines to enter service with the Royal Australian Navy.

Based at Fleet Base West in Western Australia, the Collins-class will be replaced by the Attack-class submarines that are expected to start entering service in the 2030s.