From bushfire relief efforts to cyclone rescues and complex sea missions, the Juliet 3 (J3) Rigid-Hulled Inflatable Boats (RHIBs) have played an essential role in Royal Australian Navy operations. Today Serco and Zodiac Milpro celebrate 12 years since the J3 model was first introduced into service.
The 7.2 metre J3 RHIB can be found on most Navy warships in Australia, acting as an ancillary craft for high-speed boarding and rescue missions, as well as personnel and cargo transport. Built in Caringbah, NSW by world-renowned inflatable boat builder Zodiac Milpro, and maintained by Serco Australia, 55 J3 RHIBs are currently in use by the Royal Australian Navy.
Over the past 12 years, the J3 craft has played a vital support role in critical Navy operations. Earlier this year, the J3s supported the evacuation of bushfire affected residents in Mallacoota. In 2017, the vessels assisted in the rescue of stranded guests and staff from Daydream Island after Tropical Cyclone Debbie. As part of Operation Render Safe, the crafts were used in the disposing of unexploded and abandoned Second World War explosives, and in Operation Manitou, they assisted with a joint international effort to provide security, stability and prosperity in the Middle East region.
Serco and Zodiac Milpro have supplied and maintained high-speed and reliable RHIBs for the Navy for more than 20 years, commissioning more than 200 vessels into service.
Zodiac Milpro Australia General Manager Craig Jordan said that innovations had been introduced to the J3 craft over the years to enhance safety and operational efficiency for Navy missions.
“The navigation and safety systems onboard the J3s have benefitted from advancements in industry technology. We work closely with Serco on a program of continuous improvement to ensure the vessels are equipped with the latest technology to achieve peak performance.”
Serco Fleet Marine Services Contract Director Mark Shannon said that the longstanding history between Serco and Zodiac Milpro played a critical role in the evolution of the design of the RHIBs.
“That history of operational experience is critical. Over the last two decades, the RHIBs have faced every operational scenario you could envisage, and through that experience we’ve been able to continually adapt and modify the vessels to ensure that the Navy is getting the best asset available for missions at sea.
“The RHIBs are a mission-critical asset, so the reliability of the vessels is crucial. Over the past 12 years, the J3 vessels have demonstrated proven capability to meet the most demanding missions and conditions for the Royal Australian Navy.”
Media contact: Tim Evans, +61 409 389 358
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55 Juliet 3 RHIBs are currently in use by the Royal Australian Navy.