Fairmile Class, Australian Motor Launches

Photograph of Fairmile "B" motor launch



Tonnage 75 tons standard displacement
Dimensions 112' by 17'10" by 4'9"
34.1m by 5.4m by 1.4m
Maximum speed       20 knots
Complement 20
Armament 1 2pdr gun
1 20mm Oerlikon AA gun
2x2 Vickers 0.303 machine guns
1 "Y" depth charge projector
Depth charge track (14 depth charges)
2-shaft gasoline engines (1300 hp)
Range 840 nautical miles (1560 km) at 12 knots
A number were completed as motor torpedo boats with twin torpedo tubes. They could also be modified to carry up to nine mines.

Fairmile produced a large number of motor launches for the Royal Navy, of which the Fairmile "B" were designed as submarine chasers. They were designed for mass production and, to further speed production, they were completed with two engines rather than the three originally intended. The resulting loss of speed did not prove much of a hindrance and the craft proved highly versatile, a number being completed as minecraft or motor torpedo boats.

The Royal Australian Navy considered the design ideal for littoral warfare in Australasia and southeast Asia and assembled 53 of the craft starting in September 1942. A dozen were assembled in New Zealand and nine in South Africa, with some of the South African craft serving in the Arakan.


Royal Australian Navy (accessed 2010-4-4)

Worth (2001)

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